Egg Freckles http://eggfreckles.net Latest news from Egg Freckles Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:00:24 -0400 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:00:24 -0400 PieCrust 1.2.0 Security Screws http://eggfreckles.net/notes/security-screws eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) genius Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:43:48 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/security-screws <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/tools.png" alt="Tools" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>The new <a href="https://www.apple.com/mac-mini/">Mac mini (Late 2014)</a> has no upgradable Memory. Its 4, 8, or 16 GBs of 1600MHz LPDDR3 are soldered to the logic board. A suction cup is required to remove the Bottom Cover. Six T6 security screws are required to remove the Antenna Plate. Each security screw must be replaced before the Mac mini can be reassembled.</p> <p>Locking customers out of their computers is not a first for Apple. It all started in 1984 with the release of the Macintosh 128k, which had no slots and was bolted together. It makes sense when a computer contains no user serviceable parts. The only upgradable part in a Mac mini (Late 2014) is its Hard Drive. An Apple Certified Macintosh Technician must remove the Power Supply and Logic board to replace the Hard Drive.<sup id="fnref:notes/security-screws-2"><a href="#fn:notes/security-screws-2" class="footnote-ref">1</a></sup></p> <p>I know this because I am a <a href="http://training.apple.com/certification">Apple Certified Macintosh Technician</a>. I have access to the Apple Service Manuals. I do most of the Macintosh repairs at MIT. And I am the one who told Brian Stucki, the founder of Macminicolo, <a href="http://blog.macminicolo.net/post/100240431773/a-look-at-the-2014-mac-mini">the RAM in the new Mac mini (Late 2014) is not upgradable</a>.</p> <p>If you are thinking of buying an Apple computer, choose your hardware wisely. You won&#8217;t be able to upgrade at a later date.<sup id="fnref:notes/security-screws-1"><a href="#fn:notes/security-screws-1" class="footnote-ref">2</a></sup> All of your computer&#8217;s repairs will be performed by an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician. Your computer will be either be glued shut, or screwed up tight. None of the hardware will be user serviceable anyway.</p> <p>If this bothers you, <a href="http://www.tonymacx86.com/home.php">build a Hackintosh</a>, buy a Dell, or complain to someone else. You are not Apple&#8217;s customer. But you are missing out on a great computer.</p> <div class="footnotes"> <hr /> <ol> <li id="fn:notes/security-screws-2"> <p>There is a shock hazard, and fragile logic board connectors that must be observed.&#160;<a href="#fnref:notes/security-screws-2" rev="footnote" class="footnote-backref">&#8617;</a></p> </li> <li id="fn:notes/security-screws-1"> <p>With the exception of the Mac Pro (Late 2013), iMac (27-inch), and MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012), which have upgradeable memory.&#160;<a href="#fnref:notes/security-screws-1" rev="footnote" class="footnote-backref">&#8617;</a></p> </li> </ol> </div> Newton Clock http://eggfreckles.net/notes/newton-clock eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) newton Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/newton-clock <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/newton-clock.png" alt="Newton Clock" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.apple.com/watch/">Apple Watch</a> won&rsquo;t be the first mobile timepiece released by Apple. The Newton Clock debuted in</p> <p>1993, and included the following revolutionary features missing from even <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timex_Ironman">the most advanced timepeices of the day</a>.</p> <p><strong>Day &amp; Night</strong></p> <p>The Newton Clock came in two fashionable styles; one for day and one for night. The border of the clock would change automatically to its corresponding style depending on the hour. 6:00&#160;A.M. &ndash; 6:00 P.M. gave you the daylight border. While 6:00 P.M. &ndash; 6:00&#160;A.M. gave you the nighttime border. No matter the time of day the Newton Clock was only in style.</p> <p>I only wish it could have been a little more sensitive to the seasons. Using the Newton&rsquo;s built-in almanac maybe the nighttime border could be set according to season and geographic location, instead of a hard twelve hour transformation. Perhaps in a future software update?</p> <p style="clear: both;"><strong>Daily Alarm</strong></p> <p>By tapping the simulated <a>Flicp Clock</a> interface, a user could set a dedicated daily alarm. &ldquo;Tap the upper half of a number to increase it; tap the lower half to decrease it. Tap a letter to change from am to pm and vice versa.&rdquo;</p> <p>Features included turning that alarm on or off. Only a single daily alarm could be set a time, and the daily alarm sound is a digital alarm and can&rsquo;t be changed. &ldquo;When the daily alarm goes off, the Clock appears and you hear the digital alarm sound. You hear the sound for approximately one minute, or until you tap X to close the Clock.&rdquo;</p> <p>Users who require multiple alarms could setup events with alarms in the Newton&rsquo;s Dates application.</p> <p style="clear: both;"><strong>Minute Timer</strong></p> <p>Almost as though it was an egg timer from the future, the Newton clock could count down a specified number of minutes ending with an alarm. &ldquo;After the set number of minutes has elapsed, the timer sounds and a message appears. If you want the timer to go off again, tap Snooze and, in the list that appears, tap the number of minutes. Tap X to close the slip.&rdquo;</p> <p>How many minutes does it take to boil and egg again?</p> <p style="clear: both;"><strong>Time/Date</strong></p> <p>Set the time, month, and year, then tap X to close the slip.</p> <p><strong>Options</strong></p> <p>Options include setting a twelve or twenty-four hour clock. The change would not be reflected in the clocks twelve hour face, but in the upper-left corner of the Notepad. User&rsquo;s could also access the Clock by tapping the time and date in the upper-left corner of the Notepad instead of searching for it in the Extras drawer.</p> <p><strong>Time Zone</strong></p> <p>A sibling to the Newton Clock is the Time Zone application. User&rsquo;s could use this application to tell the MessagePad which city they are located in. User&rsquo;s could also set a second time zone for traveling, or get information on specific cities and countries.</p> <blockquote>At the top is your current time zone, based on the worksite information. To change this, tap the diamond. In the list that appears, choose the worksite you want as your current time zone. To choose another city, tap Other City. In the slip that appears, tap a city, then tap X to close the slip. A second time zone is listed near the bottom of the Time Zones slip. You can set this if you travel or want to see the time and date for a particular city. The distance from your current time zone is also listed.</blockquote> <p>A user can even add additional cities including their location, Greenwich Mean Time Offset, and preference towards Daylight Savings Time.</p> <p>If a user deleted a city that already existed (one they did not add), they could only get this information back if they perofrm a hard reset. I never like Paris anyway&hellip;</p> <p>Using the Time Zone application it is possible to show two clock faces at the same time.</p> <p style="clear: both;">The Newton Clock, a trendy portable timepiece made before its time. It may not seem like much now, but I can gaurentee you one thing. On four AAAs, or one NiCd re-chargeable battery pack, it gets much better battery life than any Apple Watch. Did I mention its available in green?</p> <blockquote>Don&rsquo;t leave your MessagePad without batteries for more than one hour. The MessagePad maintains backup power using a super capacitor that can maintain a charge up to one hour. If you remove the batteries for a longer period, the super capacitor charge could become depleted, and you may need to reset your clock and calendar information on the MessagePad.</blockquote> Zero All Data http://eggfreckles.net/notes/zero-all-data eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) genius Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/zero-all-data <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/disk-utility.png" alt="Disk Utility" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>You’ve probably heard that you need to overwrite a drive multiple times to make the data unrecoverable. Many disk-wiping utilities offer multiple-pass wipes. This is an urban legend – you only need to wipe a drive once.</p> <p>Wiping refers to overwriting a drive with all 0’s, all 1’s, or random data. It’s important to wipe a drive once before disposing of it to make your data unrecoverable, but additional wipes offer a false sense of security.</p> <p>How to Geek explains why <a href="http://www.howtogeek.com/115573/htg-explains-why-you-only-have-to-wipe-a-disk-once-to-erase-it/">you only have to wipe a drive once to erase it</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>To understand why the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutmann_method">Gutmann method</a> isn’t necessary for all drives, it’s important to note that the paper and method were designed in 1996, when older hard drive technology was in use. The 35-pass Gutmann method was designed to wipe data from any type of drive, no matter what type of drive it was – everything from current hard disk technology in 1996 to ancient hard disk technology.</p> </blockquote> <p>As a Mac Genius, one of the things that used to bother me most, was customers who insisted the defective hard drives on their computers be wiped multiple times before being returned to Apple. What a waste of time watching a bunch of machines wipe their data 35 times when a single pass would do the job. Today the answer is clear, either protect your data with whole disk encryption like <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileVault#FileVault_2">FileVault 2</a>, or destroy the drive.<sup id="fnref:notes/zero-all-data-1"><a class="footnote-ref" href="#fn:notes/zero-all-data-1">1</a></sup></p> <div class="footnotes"><hr /><ol> <li id="fn:notes/zero-all-data-1"> <p>Do to the consumable nature of flash storage, no SSD should ever be subjected to multiple wipes. In fact the very <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_leveling">wear leveling</a> techniques designed to protect SSDs can render the destruction of data by overwriting zeros useless if sensitive data has been written on a block that has already been retired. The only way to protect an SSD is to encrypt it prior to saving your sensitive data.</p> </li> </ol></div> Newton Keyboard http://eggfreckles.net/notes/newton-keyboard eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) newton Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/newton-keyboard <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/newton-keyboard.png" alt="Newton Keyboard" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>Apple has a long history of on-screen keyboards.<sup id="fnref:notes/newton-os-keyboard-1"><a class="footnote-ref" href="#fn:notes/newton-os-keyboard-1">1</a></sup> But few have played as important a role as the multitouch keyboard in iOS. In fact, I would go so far as to say the multitouch keyboard is iOS&#8217; most important feature. For without a reliable input mechanism, iOS would be little more than a media-centric mobile operating system, and not the leader of the app revolution it is today.</p> <p>In contrast, the on-screen keyboard that came with every Newton MessagePad was never as important as the on-screen keyboard in iOS. Apple said it themselves in their <a href="http://www.newted.org/download/manuals/NewtonKeyboardUIGuide.pdf">Newton UI Keyboard Guild</a>. The Newton on-screen keyboard always played second fiddle to the pen.</p> <blockquote> <p>In the Newton OS 2.1 interface, users should be able to operate all controls and input all data solely with a pen. A user may attach a keyboard to facilitate entering text, and may use keyboard commands to operate some controls. Keyboard commands are always alternatives to operating controls by tapping with a pen; they should never be the only method of giving a command.</p> </blockquote> <p>Still that&#8217;s not to say the Newton OS keyboard didn&#8217;t have its uses, and in some ways it is even more functional than the on-screen keyboard in iOS.</p> <p>For starters when the <strong>shift</strong> isn&#8217;t tapped, all of the characters on the keyboard are represented in their lowercase state.</p> <p>And the differences between <strong>option</strong>…</p> <p>and <strong>shift-option</strong> are clearly visible.</p> <p>The Newton on-screen keyboard was never a replacement for the pen, but even without multitouch it could still be used to enter information with the tip of your finger. The context-aware number pad was a useful feature for entering phone numbers and performing quick calculations on the go.</p> <p>Starting with the release of iOS 8, Apple will begin letting developers take a crack at designing their own <a href="https://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/quicktype/">third-party keyboards</a>. Maybe it should come as no surprise that the Newton enabled third-party on-screen keyboards more than two decades earlier.</p> <blockquote> <p>The <a href="http://www.fitaly.com/newton/newtfitaly.htm">FITALY One-Finger Keyboard for the Newton</a> is a stand-alone utility usable as an ergonomic replacement for the standard QWERTY on-screen keyboard.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Newton will always be known as that &#8220;<a href="http://allthingsd.com/20120113/former-apple-ceo-says-newton-scribble-thing-was-15-years-ahead-of-its-time/"> little scribble thing</a>&#8221; to some, but it is hard to deny the important features Newton OS pioneered for mobile on-screen keyboards.</p> <div class="footnotes"><hr /><ol> <li id="fn:notes/newton-os-keyboard-1"> <p><q><a href="http://lowendmac.com/2005/innovative-macintosh-system-1-0/">Key Caps 1.0</a> is a fairly useless Desktop Accessory. It&#8217;s useless because when you press a modifier key (Shift, Command, or Option), Key Caps doesn&#8217;t change to show you the special characters associated with that modifier.</q></p> </li> </ol></div> Docklings http://eggfreckles.net/notes/docklings eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) history Sun, 24 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/docklings <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/dock.png" alt="Dock" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>Yesterday, Stephen Hackett described <a href="http://www.512pixels.net/blog/2014/8/the-control-strip">the transformation from System 7&#8217;s Control Strip to today&#8217;s Menu Bar extras</a>. But he left out one often-overlooked stage of Control Strip evolution; the Dockling<sup id="fnref:notes/docklings-1"><a href="#fn:notes/docklings-1" class="footnote-ref">1</a></sup>.</p> <p>Page 229 of Dan Frakes&#8217; <a href="http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0782141927.html">Mac OS X Power Tools</a> describes the Dockling.</p> <blockquote> <p> In early versions of Mac OS X, Apple provided small Dock-based applications called Docklings. These applications didn&#8217;t have any menus in the menu bar, and you couldn&#8217;t even switch to them&mdash;they existed only in the Dock, and all their functionality was provided via their Dock icon and menu. </p> </blockquote> <p>The three Docklings that shipped with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_v10.0">Mac OS X 10.0</a> provided similar functionality to their corresponding classic Mac OS Control Strip modules; display resolution, Airport signal strength, and battery life. Despite the Docklings private API, third-party examples of Docklings quickly became available. But by the time <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_v10.1">Mac OS X 10.1</a> was released, &#8220;many of the features that made Docklings so popular&mdash;such as custom Dock menus&mdash;were available in normal applications.&#8221;</p> <p>The Dockling was short-lived, but its legacy lives on in the contextual menus and live icons our docked applications enjoy today.</p> <div class="footnotes"> <hr /> <ol> <li id="fn:notes/docklings-1"> <p>Can you blame him? Stephen Hackett was only 9 when Mac OS X was first released.</p> </li> </ol> </div> Public Beta http://eggfreckles.net/notes/public-beta eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) history Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:37:25 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/public-beta <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/public.png" alt="Public" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>Earlier this year, Apple announced the availability of the <a href="https://appleseed.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/mavericks/welcome">OS X Beta Seed Program</a>. Allowing anyone with a valid Apple ID to try-out pre-release versions of OS X. Up until the <a href="https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2014/06/02Apple-Announces-OS-X-Yosemite.html">announcement of OS X Yosemite</a>, the OS X Beta Seed Program wasn&#8217;t very interesting. But <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/2456968/apple-os-x-yosemite-public-beta-arrives-thursday.html">starting tomorrow</a>, Apple will begin distributing pre-release copies of Yosemite, the next major version of OS X, to the first million people who have signed up. This marks the first time the public has had access to a pre-release version of an Apple operating system in over 14 years.</p> <p>The first <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_Public_Beta">Mac OS X Public Beta</a> was released on September 13th, 2000 for the price of $29.95. It came on a single CD, accompanied by the following message.</p> <blockquote> <p>Dear Mac OS X Beta Tester, You are holding the future of the Macintosh in your hands.</p> <p>Mac OS X is a new, super-modern operating system that will usher in a new era for the Macintosh. New from the ground up, Mac OS X is specifically designed for the Internet and includes advanced technologies for incredible improvements in stability and performance. It also features a stunning new interface called Aqua.</p> <p>This Public Beta will give you a chance to start using Mac OS X and give us a chance to hear what you think. Let us know by visiting our website at www.apple.com/macosx.</p> <p>Thanks for your help and for being a part of Apple history. We couldn&#8217;t do it without you.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Mac OS X Public Beta allowed users to preview key Mac OS X features including <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preemptive_multitasking">preemptive multitasking</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_memory">protected memory</a>, and the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_%28user_interface%29">Aqua user interface</a>. It included many of the standard Mac OS X applications, including <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TextEdit">TextEdit</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preview.app">Preview</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail.app">Mail</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quicktime_Player">QuickTime</a>, and the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal.app">Terminal</a>. The Mac OS X Public Beta was the first consumer release of Mac OS to include a command line interface. Included with the Public Beta, but not in any subsequent versions of Mac OS X, was a <a href="http://www.guidebookgallery.org/pics/gui/applications/multimedia/cdplayer/macosxpb.png">simple MP3 player</a>. iTunes had not been introduced yet.</p> <p>Native third-party applications for the Mac OS X Public Beta were few and far between. Early adopters had to turn to open source or shareware alternatives, giving rise to an active homebrew software community around the new operating system. The poor state of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_%28API%29">Carbon API</a> contrasted with the relative maturity of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoa_%28API%29">Cocoa</a>, giving rise to an anti-Carbon bias among OS X users that still persists to this day. Legacy Mac OS applications were restricted to the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_Environment">Classic Environment</a>.</p> <p>The Mac OS X Public Beta expired in Spring 2001, following the official release of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_v10.0">Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah</a>. Owners of the Public Beta were entitled to a $30 discount on the price of Mac OS X. But due to demanding system requirements, many opted to wait before adopting Mac OS X as their primary operating system. It wasn&#8217;t until the introduction of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_v10.2">Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar</a>, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz_Compositor">Quartz Extreme</a>, that Mac OS X would start to feel snappy.</p> <p>The differences between the first Mac OS X and Yosemite are great. But Apple&#8217;s motivation behind releasing beta software to the public is still the same.</p> <blockquote> <p>To make the next version of OS X our best yet.</p> </blockquote> <p>Here&#8217;s to &#8220;holding the future of the Macintosh in your hands.&#8221;</p> Blixt http://eggfreckles.net/notes/blixt eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) review Sat, 07 Jun 2014 16:00:47 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/blixt <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/blixt.png" alt="Blixt" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>I met <a href="https://alpha.app.net/bryanjclark">Bryan Clark</a> and <a href="https://alpha.app.net/strike">Jesse Herlitz</a> during last year&#8217;s WWDC. Under the cover of darkness, in the backroom of a bar, they showed me the beginning of a brand new client for <a href="https://app.net/">App.net</a>. By combining slick animations, colorful transparencies, and intuitive natural gestures, they created an app the looked at home on Apple&#8217;s new iOS 7; introduced just days earlier. Today, after a year of refinement, <a href="http://blixt.io">Blixt</a> has finally made it to the App Store.</p> <p>Instead of re-envisioning how an iOS application should look, Blixt has reinvented how an iOS application should behave. Users are no longer content navigating their apps the same way they browse their address books. Being pulled along a string of endless lists tied together by the Back button. Instead Blixt takes a new approach. Giving users full screen content in stacks they can shuffle using just their fingertips.</p> <p>Think of Blixt as a stack of playing cards. Want to get more information on a particular post? Tap the entry and a new card comes to the top of the stack. The post you just tapped travels with you to the new card using a simple sliding animation. Swiping from the left returns the top card back to the stack and repeats the sliding animation in reverse. By using simple animations like these Blixt reminds users of their position within the stack.</p> <p>Each new card is its own full screen view of a conversation, profile, or reply. There are separate stacks of cards for your timeline and mentions. Accounts and settings can be accessed by swiping from the left. The iOS title bar shows unread counts, and status updates. A search field can by revealed by pulling down on a timeline or conversation card. The only visible control on each card is a large circular post/reply button in the lower left. The rest of the screen is dedicated to content. It is easy to forget Blixt is an application, and not just a series of colorful cards painted on your iPhone&#8217;s screen.</p> <p>Unlike other applications that offer a choice of font or theme, Blixt lets the people you follow control the experience. The background of each card is colored with a blurred reproduction of the conversation owner&#8217;s cover image. By following more people there is an even greater chance to make the next card look different than the last, and for Blixt to become a whole new experience every time you launch it.</p> <p>Blixt doesn&#8217;t do private messages, and Like <a href="http://brooksreview.net/2014/06/blixt-for-iphone/">Ben Brooks I found a pretty bad bug</a> when you tap on a post with a link it. Normally missing features and bugs on a version 1.0 wouldn&#8217;t mean much, but by being built on the App.net, <a href="http://blog.app.net/2014/05/06/app-net-state-of-the-union/">Blixt may have a short time to live</a>.</p> <p>From the <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ihbixdmqy4wqhov/AABaqyCQMmYCfVmCQtWAw4ara#lh:null-Blixt_512_Rounded.png">icon</a> to the scroll, Blixt is one of the best iOS experiences I have had in some time. At this point it isn&#8217;t optimized for iPad, but with the upcoming features coming to iOS 8 I expect it to eventually work on an iOS device of any size. It is a shame Blixt&#8217;s life may be cut short by the loss of App.net, but I advise anyone with or without an account to <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blixt-for-app.net/id858355445">try Blixt out today</a>.</p> Stop Syncing A Folder In Dropbox http://eggfreckles.net/notes/stop-syncing-a-folder-in-dropbox eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) genius Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:56:22 -0400 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/stop-syncing-a-folder-in-dropbox <p><img src="http://eggfreckles.net/dither/dropbox.png" alt="Dropbox" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>My first post on Egg Freckles covered how to sync almost any folder on your computer using <a href="http://eggfreckles.net/notes/my-dropbox-strategy/">Dropbox and symbolic links</a>. I couldn&#8217;t imagine a reason why someone would want to put a folder in their Dropbox and not sync it, until <a href="https://twitter.com/ismh/status/456956515383910400">Stephen Hackett asked the question</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p> Is there anyway for a folder to be in a Dropbox sync’d directory, but not synced itself, and reside only on the local disk? </p> </blockquote> <p>The answer wasn&#8217;t available in 2010 but it is now, <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/help/175/en">Selective Sync</a>.</p> <ol> <li> Create a new folder inside your Dropbox folder in the same location of the folder you don&#8217;t want to sync. </li> <li> Rename the folder you just created to the name of the folder you don&#8217;t want to sync. </li> <li> Use Dropbox&#8217;s Selective Sync preference to disable syncing for the folder you just created. </li> <li> Watch the empty folder you just created disappear from your Dropbox. </li> <li> Now move the folder you don&#8217;t want to sync to the same location inside your Dropbox as the folder that just disappeared. </li> </ol> <p>Dropbox will continue to ignore this folder until you either rename it, delete its ghost copy from the Dropbox website, or disable Selective Sync.</p> <p>It turns out Stephen Hackett came up with the <a href="http://www.512pixels.net/blog/2014/4/how-to-have-dropbox-ignore-a-local-folder-within-its-synced-directory">same solution for his iPod Photo Cache folder</a>.</p> Snugg Ultra Thin Smart Case http://eggfreckles.net/notes/snugg-ultra-thin-smart-case eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) review Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:06:56 -0500 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/snugg-ultra-thin-smart-case <p>I am normally skeptical when it comes to covering my electronics. I despise those colorful plastic shells made for MacBooks, and the only protection I will give my mobile phone is the inside lining of my front pants pocket. Most cases these days claim to protect my device from scratches and damage, but far too often they hide the damage they create. Trapping grit against the surface of my device, only to be discovered later in the form of unsightly scratches.</p> <p>But somehow adding a case to my iPad feels different. Covering my iPad gives it more than just protection, it gives it functionality. A covered iPad is like a well-bound book. It provides a cover I can close, and a binding I can hold. With the proper case I am no longer worried about tossing my iPad on the bed, or tucking it into my backpack. I can use the fold back cover to <a href="http://images.thesnugg.com/1115_130088165134497522iPad-mini-Port.jpg">prop up my iPad for easy reading</a>, or the soft inside cover lining for cleaning my iPad&#8217;s screen. The perfect iPad case is so thin it covers my iPad front-to-back without getting in the way. In fact it makes using my iPad easier, with hidden magnets that turn on my iPad automatically when I open the cover.</p> <p>For the longest time I thought only Apple could make an iPad case that meets all of my requirements, but at $69.00 I wasn&#8217;t willing to invest in an <a href="http://store.apple.com/us/product/ME710LL/A/ipad-mini-smart-case-black?fnode=3b">Apple Smart Case</a> no matter whose cow it is made out of. Luckily for me, Apple isn&#8217;t the only company making Smart Cases out there.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.thesnugg.com/ipad-cases/ipad-mini-cases/snugg-ipad-mini-ultra-thin-smart-case-in-black.aspx">Snugg Ultra Thin Smart Case for iPad mini</a> is my dream iPad case come true. It does everything the Apple Smart Case does, and looks better doing it in nine possible color choices for only $19.99. I like the fact it is just as small as the Apple Smart Case, while providing better protection thanks to its <a href="http://images.thesnugg.com/1115_130088165134497522iPad-mini-Rear.jpg">hard plastic border</a> which holds my iPad secure while protecting it from glass-shattering falls. The rigid strength of the plastic also allows Snugg to <a href="http://images.thesnugg.com/1115_130088165134497522iPad-mini-Port.jpg">leave the iPad&#8217;s speaker grill open</a> allowing for better sound quality and less interference when it comes to plugging in the Lightening connector.</p> <p>Will the Snugg wear better than Apple&#8217;s Smart Case made out of premium cow? Only time will tell, but I am putting my money on the Snugg and keeping the $49.01 I save for a second case; perhaps in <a href="http://www.thesnugg.com/ipad-cases/ipad-mini-cases/snugg-ipad-mini-ultra-thin-smart-case-in-orange.aspx">orange</a> this time?</p> ADB, the Epitome of Early Apple http://eggfreckles.net/notes/adb-the-epitome-of-early-apple eggfreckles@me.com (Thomas Brand) history Fri, 27 Dec 2013 16:14:55 -0500 http://eggfreckles.net/notes/adb-the-epitome-of-early-apple <p><a href="http://daringfireball.net/2013/12/lightning_apple">Lightning, the Epitome of Apple</a> is one of the best things John Gruber has written all year.</p> <blockquote> <p> The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_%28connector%29">Lightning adapter</a> epitomizes what makes Apple Apple. To the company’s fans, it provides elegance and convenience — it’s just so much nicer than micro-USB. To the company’s detractors, it exists to sell $29 proprietary adapters and to further enable Apple’s fetish for device thinness. Neither side is wrong. </p> </blockquote> <p>Of course Apple wasn&#8217;t always this way.</p> <p>In 1986 Apple needed a low-cost bus for connecting devices like keyboards and mice to its computers. The large headphone-style jack for the Lisa keyboard was too unreliable, and the phone-style jack used for the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_128K">Macintosh 128K</a> was too fragile. Apple needed a system that was rated for hundreds of insertions that could allow devices to be daisy-chained together without the need for hubs or complicated routing.</p> <p>It took <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Wozniak">Steve Wozniak</a> one month on his own to come up with the answer, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Desktop_Bus">Apple Desktop Bus</a>.</p> <p>In keeping with Apple&#8217;s 1980&#8217;s philosophy of industrial design, ADB was intended to be as simple to use as possible, while still being inexpensive to implement. Instead of inventing a new port and cable, a suitable connector was found in the form of the 4 pin mini-DIN connector, which was already being used by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-Video">S-Video</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p> The connectors were small, widely available, and can only be inserted the &#8220;correct way&#8221;. They do not lock into position, but even with a friction fit they are firm enough for light duties like those intended for ADB. </p> </blockquote> <p>ADB could be implemented for less than a penny because Apple sold the decoding transceiver <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application-specific_integrated_circuit">ASIC</a> at a loss to encourage peripheral development and their own economy of scale. Can you imagine today&#8217;s Apple selling the Lightening adapter at a loss?</p> <blockquote> <p> ADB&#8217;s protocol required only a single pin for data, labeled <strong>ADB</strong>. Two of the other pins were used for +5&#160;V power supply and ground. The +5&#160;V pin guaranteed at least 500&#160;mA, and required devices to use only 100&#160;mA each. ADB also included the <strong>PSW</strong> pin which was attached directly to the power supply of the host computer. This was included to allow a key on the keyboard to start up the machine without needing the ADB software to interpret the signal. </p> </blockquote> <p>The ability to turn on the computer from the keyboard without the need of extra wires was one of the classier advancements Apple made to the personal computing industry. This capability was carried forth into the introduction of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus">USB</a> , but was lost around the same time the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac_G4">iMac G4</a> was introduced. Despite advances made in the <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/2082515/mac-pro-late-2013-review-apples-new-mac-pro-really-is-for-pros.html">new Mac Pro</a>, it is a pain you still have to reach around back to turn it on.</p> <blockquote> <p> Most serial digital interfaces use a separate clock pin to signal the arrival of individual bits of data. However, Wozniak decided that a separate wire for a clock signal was not necessary; and as ADB was designed to be low-cost, it made economical sense to leave it out. Like modems, the system locked onto the signal rise and fall times to recreate a clock signal. </p> <p> Data rates on the bus were theoretically as high as 125 kbit/s. However, the actual speed was at best half that due to there being only one pin being shared between the computer and devices, and in practice throughput was even less as the entire system was driven by how fast the computer polled the bus. The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS">Mac OS</a> was not particularly well suited to this task, and the bus often got bogged down at about 10 kbit/s. </p> </blockquote> <p>This slow data transfer rate limited ADB to the kind of devices it was originally intended; mice, keyboards, graphics tablets, joysticks, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_protection_dongle">software protection dongles</a>.</p> <p>Another problem with ADB was that despite having all of the basic capabilities needed for hot-swapping, you should never plug or unplug a ADB device once the system was on. Doing so could cause the opening of a soldered-in fuse on the motherboard, and a costly out-of-warranty repair.</p> <p>In addition the ADB mini-DIN connector was only rated for 400 insertions and it was easy to bend a pin if not inserted with care. Sockets could become loose over time resulting in intermittent function, and while ADB cannot be plugged in the &#8220;wrong way,&#8221; it is possible to have trouble finding the right way without looking inside the circular connector&#8217;s shroud.</p> <blockquote> <p> The first system to use ADB was the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_IIgs">Apple IIGS</a> in 1986. It was subsequently used on all Apple Macintosh machines starting with the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_II">Macintosh II</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_SE">Macintosh SE</a>. ADB was also used on a number of other <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/680x0">680x0</a>-based microcomputers including later models of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT_Computer">NeXT computers</a>. </p> </blockquote> <p>The first Macintosh to move away from ADB was the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac">iMac</a> in 1998, which featured <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus">USB</a> in its place. The last Apple computer to have an ADB port was the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Macintosh_G3_(Blue_%26_White)">&#8220;Yosemite&#8221; Power Macintosh G3</a> in 1999. No machines being built today use ADB, but up until February 2005, PowerBooks and iBooks still used the ADB protocol in the internal interface with the built-in keyboard and touchpad.</p> <p>ADB epitomizes the Woz-era Apple of the 1970s and 80s, &#8220;intended to be as simple to use as possible, while still being inexpensive to implement.&#8221; ADB may not be considered elegant when compared to modern connections like Lightening or USB, but it was designed to meet the customer&#8217;s basic needs at a lower cost. A philosophy foreign to the Apple we have today.</p>