Phone vendors can not earn as much as Apple

October 12th, 2015

Why most (if not next to all) smartphone vendors can not be as successful as Apple:

For one simple economic reason: They do not own an AppStore, and thus Samsung, Sony, etc. pp can not cash in the 30% of all transactions made for apps and other content within.

Basically all HTC & Co can earn is the “small” profit on the initial hardware sale. Apple on the other hand makes plenty of surplus money on all third-party software and content sales thereafter. All they do is having the monopoly on the distribution hub.

Lucky Apple for this coincidence. And initially, with the introduction of the original, 1st-gen iPhone Steve Jobs did not even wanted to allow native Apps on iPhoneOS, … I have the feeling even he did not foresee this billions coming.

[self note:@”trigger Windows 10 Update”];

July 29th, 2015

wuauclt.exe /updatenow

yay, let’s break the internet, Avg: 56.93 MBit/s ;-)

Of course you could also go, buy a physical copy

How Apple is loosing me as a customer :-/

March 10th, 2015

This 2015 MacBook seriously? Yes, the 12″ form factor is exactly my sweet spot since I search for the perfect laptop.

However, it is 2015, and yes I need more than one USB/charging port. As I said on Twitter:

Since the initial, first gen MacBook Air: Are two USB ports too much to ask for a over thousand dollar machine? And now it is even shared with the power supply! ?!?!? :-/

And did I mention it is 2015? I want to connect a HiDPI 4k display at home or in the office. Because, you know, I need to get work done, …

Thanks but no thanks. I stick to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 then, or grab a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. Because you know: they got USB ports, and a pretty HiDPI display, too ;-)

Update: It is also a slap in the face how short the Thunderbolt lifespan was. Thanks god I did not invest into a single proprietary Thunderbolt device. The only thing I got here was one cable for fast Mac backup, restore, and archive test booting, … puh! Oh wait, wrong, I got a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. As you know, Macs do not come with proper, fast wired Ethernet for some time, requiring all kind of adapter clutter to be added left and right, … :-/

The new face of Apple

January 21st, 2015

I never quite liked that new Macs do not come with any installation media anymore. In former times you got pretty optical discs. But since the DVD-less Mac’s and the App Store one get’s “nothing” anymore :-/

The trouble comes after some time, when you want to reinstall your OS. Case in point: I wanted to install the latest OS compatible with the black, polycarbonat (awesome, stylish [did I say black?] machines, btw. - except the breaking plastic border, unfortunately). Turns out the App Store does not allow to download my “purchased” 10.7 with errors such as: “Item temporary not available” (or so).

With billions on the bank account: Why does Apple need to be so unsupportive and impolite to good old customers - when they already do not support recent, security updated OS versions on the slightly older machines, ..?

So not only can I not (without hacking and tweaking) install 10.8 or 10.9 on this still nice Macs form just some years ago. I can not even download the last supported Mac OS (10.7) to at least get some latest (and not so greatest) security updates.

This state of this former computer company is really sad.

Thankfully I often burn some backup discs, especially for installation on more than one Mac, and thus found a self-burned Mac OS 10.7 Lion disc in my archive stack and could install it on this Mac in point after all.

And this is not only about the base OS - with the current App Store implementation we will often find ourselves with purchased software, that we can no longer download for older OS and hardware in the future.

Like today being able to install vintage (and often still pretty useful) versions of an OS, and applications. Often even expensive ones: Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat Professional, … and games. How much fun is it to boot up some vintage game from the Amiga, or old PC and play thru it again, with your kids, or friends?

What dim, brave new world, … :-/

Timing code on Win~32, sigh

December 29th, 2014

The wonders of the WinDOwS DOS legacy. Not only does the the command line (cmd.exe) totally suck, one even needs to resort to the new, and not much less sucking powershell for some halfway decent command time scripting:

Measure-Command { cmd /wait /c our.exe args }

Alien, “fun” :-/

Wake on Lan w/ Linux et al.

December 16th, 2014

For some time I was wondering why WoL (Wake-on-Lan) was not working on a AM2+ Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G Mini-ITX board with on-board Atheros Attansic (atl1c) that was lingering here for the usual IT testing purposes.

After quite too much time of trial’n error today I finally found out why. Turns out while the BIOS has an APM: “PME Enable” option - that is not enough! In the same power menu it additionally has a rather cryptic: “Control EuP” option that was enabled.

So how should I know what that is? Obviously not a first thought that this somehow relates to wake form standby handling. And it would certainly help if the manual for the board would somewhere prominently and easy to find linked on their product website. Alas, finally with a manual somewhere deeply hidden on their site it just says to all power settings this:

The Power Management Setup allows you to configure your system to most effectively save energy saving while operating in a manner consistent with your own style of computer use.”

Wonderful details. Anyways - enabled sounds nice, right? Well turns out that option actually disables power to various wake related components for enhanced standby power savings. Look what I found searching for the setting on the Internet in another product’s manual:

“Control EuP - Enables or disables the Energy Using Products (EuP) Ready function. When set to [Enabled], power for WOL, WO_USB, audio and onboard LEDs will be switched off at S5 state”

Ok, great. And with this disabled wake-on-lan finally works on this box, and it can go to the others into the test system rack. Yay!

Android update lottery

November 16th, 2014

The Android update lottery is such an annoying thing. I already got a Nexus 5 specifically to get updates at all. But even when there eventually is an over-the-air (OTA) update, one ends up hitting the “check for updates” button for week without actually hitting the update lottery seed win.

So after a week or so of this silly and annoying game I finally side loaded the update over USB, sigh:

./adb devices
./adb reboot bootloader
./fastboot oem unlock
./fastboot flash bootloader …bootloader-hammerhead-hhz12d.img
./fastboot reboot-bootloader
./fastboot flash radio …radio-hammerhead-m8974a-
./fastboot reboot-bootloader
./fastboot -w update …hammerhead-lrx21o/
./fastboot oem lock

What a cluster mess, only silicon valley companies are elite enough to innovate like this, … sigh :-/!

PS: If you get “./adb devices, … # offline” then you probably run a too old adb version, like 1.0.29 instead of the newer 1.0.31 that handles authentication or such, …

PPS: One does not need to install the whole, huge, Gigabytes of Android SDK, there are various sites that offer (ZIP) downloads with just the two CLI Kilobyte tools.

Installing Mac OS X 10.10 alias “Yosemite” to USB

October 28th, 2014

I was just surprised that the “Install OS X” actually comes with a “createinstallmedia” helper, how nice of them:

$ sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/Install –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction
Erasing Disk: 0%… 10%… 20%… 30%…100%…
Copying installer files to disk…
Copy complete.
Making disk bootable…
Copying boot files…
Copy complete.

Surface Pro 3, the big disappointment

September 23rd, 2014

For some days I had a Surface Pro 3 for some testing. In general the new, bigger 3:2 12″ display is much nicer to work (code) on. I personally find the “silver”ish magnesium looking a bit cheap. The black option of the Surface Pro 1 & 2 looked a bit more Pro. However, the unpainted version should be less sensitive to scratches.

The new flexible kickstand is of course a big plus, though it is still not very comfortable to use it on the lap, e.g. an armchair, or on an airplane tray.

A real showstopper, however, came this morning. Powering the Surface Pro 3 up resulted in an unexpected and automatic firmware update (I guess left over from the last shutdown) which never finished and thus bricked the device. And being in Germany I would not even get an in-store replacement for a self-destructed, 5 day old Surface, and now sit without anything waiting weeks for (a hopefully repaired) device in return. Sigh.

Definitely not a good start for a new companion. I guess a sign that I should have quickly installed Linux, and not let Windows 8 take over the self-destruct sequence, … :-/ !!1!

PS: One more thing: Dear companies - if you want no bad press here, then please sell products that a) work and b) do not self destruct due nightly updates. You’re welcome.

VMware fusion and the third mouse button

September 17th, 2014

For all too long I was wondering why the middle (center, third) mouse button would not work in a Linux VM on VMware Fusion on a Mac. You know, for copy and paste, … in terminals, … all that text ;-)

I actually googled another rainy day, month or winter, but only found more questions than answers (like mouse.vusb.useBasicMouse = “FALSE” and whatsoever).

Today –clicking around in the Mac’s System Preferences– I came arose the setting for the center button that I would normally not use for Mac apps. Turns out setting this to “Button 3″ is just what is needed for VMware to actually get it and pass it down to the Linux VM.

Sometimes solutions can be so simple, sigh!

Update: Hm, only still a problems with the mighty MagicMouse - as it does not allow to configure a “Button 3″ in Apple’s SystemPreferences … Third party hacks apparently floating in the interweb for this :-/