Sickness and progress on Apple software

I’ve been having a shocker of a winter this year where I have gotten sick twice – not just ‘sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough’ but both times really crippling sickness where I have been not only having a runny nose, sore throat, coughing up phlegm but the inability to focus with a clear mind, maintain my balance when on my scooter. Normally I would soldier on and get on with life but this past winter has really taken the stuffing out of me – maybe I’m just getting older but then again the weather has been colder than past winters where tonight the temperature has gotten down to 8°C overnight where as at this stage I was hoping that things would have started to warm up already.

Beta 8 of 10.13, iOS 11, tvOS 11, watchOS 4.0 has been released although it appears that there is still a lot of work that is still on going in hammering out the last major bugs but that being said however the release date could be anywhere from 20 September through to mid to late October depending on the progress. APFS seems to be a bit of a challenge to get right when it comes to the conversion process but that being said I tend to be a bit paranoid/old school where I tend to favour wiping the slate clean and starting with a freshly formatted storage device. There are two known issues that have stood out for quite some time:

  • HDD-only Macs cannot be converted to APFS.
  • Some iMacs with 3TB Fusion drives and BootCamp may be unsupported for use with APFS.

Such limitations have been noted over several beta releases which make me wonder whether known issues that’ll be resolved in a future release or a known issue that won’t be resolved because of technological limitations or if it is enabled that there is significant performance or reliability issues.

Crappy weather but things are looking better…gradually

Damn, it has been over a week since I updated my blog but I’ve had so many things happening in my life at the moment not to mention a small accident at home where I was thankful that I had insurance to get resolved. So lets start from the top:

1) I’ve got two interviews lined up on Monday so I’m hopeful that one of them will come off successfully but in the mean time I’m going to be looking into getting my managers certificate from the Wellington city council so I can finally put my LCQ to some good use – the challenge is finding an employer willing to be used as a reference for the process. The other bit of homework I’ll be looking at will be studying for the Food Hygiene 167 and 168 along with the possibility of taking a 4 day barista course to up skill myself in the areas where I am weakest at. Lets assume I get the call centre job then I’ll still look at getting those qualifications so then at least I’ve broadened my skill set so if I do move on from that job I have the necessary skills to enter into the marketplace.

2) I made a bit of a mess having spilled coke over my MacBook which resulted in my keyboard being totally broken – I’m still trying to work out how the coke got into the keyboard but it might have been a matter of me bumping my drinking and the drink slushed around and went over onto the keyboard rather than the result of it actually falling over on the keyboard. On Monday I’ll be sending it away to get an assessment and I’ll take it from there regarding what will be the next steps. The most likely scenario will be that the device is beyond repair and they’ll just issue me with a replacement – I’ll get the cash and buy it from Apple’s online store.

3) Diet is going well – lost a few kilos and one of my shirts are fitting me a lot better so I think in the long run as I eat healthier and in moderation that the benefits will occur gradually. I personally don’t want drastic over night changes because it is impossible to keep them long term so the main focus is making lifestyle changes that are life long rather than a flash in the pan and he effects are only temporary. The big thing is keeping away from sweet food – that is my big downfall.

4) Met up with this cute guy and things are going well – we’ll see how it goes from here but it is good to at least be with someone after a decade of loneliness caused by a schedule that made it next to impossible to meet people outside of work.  Maybe that is part of the reason why I’m losing some weight and sticking to the plan because of a rise in self confidence and self worth. Hopefully once I get over my cold and he sits his exam that there will be more free time to hang out more often.

5) My scooter is racking up a list of things I need fixing so hopefully once I get a few hundred dollars behind me I’ll head into the local and get the whole lot fixed in one go. Repair places are like electricians – they charge a flat fee straight off the bat so you might as well cram as much work into that allotted time to make the amount worth while.

Final thing: The election in NZ has been a shit-show, I’m still going to vote but I still haven’t made up my mind yet because the options are just oh-so-terrible so I guess it’ll be a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.

Yay, weekend!

Checked my usual sources for entertainment and ‘Ray Donovan’ started a new season (season 5) along with a new episode of ‘The Strain’ and I’m looking forward to eventually seeing the season finale of ’12 Monkey’s’ once it comes back on again – oh, and to make the situation even more fun Real Time with Bill Maher has returned as well after going on holiday (or as they say in the US – ‘vacation’).

I’m fixing up my CV and making it more streamlined – focusing on the full time jobs I’ve had since graduating university rather than including every random part time job I’ve had since high school. I understand the need to include information but at some point one has to ask whether what is being provided is fluff, distracting and the potential employer looks at this proverbial thesis and moves onto the next CV without reading it. I’ll fire off some resumes tonight and hopefully I’ll get some responses but at the end of the day you can only do what you can do – no use getting angry at the world because in the end it just makes you feel even worse about the situation.

Anyway, going to grab something for dinner and start watching those episodes – a great way to enjoy some time off from work then everything gets back to normal on Wednesday.

macOS, iOS and tvOS updates

It’s a bit of old news but Apple released updates to all their operating systems but what I thought was interesting, and not mentioned in the Apple media ecosystem, was the firmware update that was also included with the macOS update which updated both my iMac and MacBook Boot ROM which, from what I understand, is preparation for the move to APFS that will be arriving in macOS 10.13. Another interesting improvement came with iOS 10.3.3 which adds runtime normalisation to the system which should address some of the issues of compatibility that some have outlined when transitioning from iOS with HFS+ to iOS with APFS (on iOS 11 the file system will be updated to provide normalisation as well (aka when you search for forté and forte the normalisation process will treat the e and é so that if you searched the system for forte it would also bring back forté as well).

On a good side I’m back to doing a 40 hour week so even through I do lose some assistance from WINZ in the process the upside is that I still come our better off at the other end even if the improvement is rather marginal. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this years election because at this rate I’m probably going to vote National given their tax plan to push the brackets up at the bottom end will help me considerably where as Labour has offered me nothing more than a kick in the face (thanks Andrew Little!) due to the fact that I’m single and not pumping out kids left, right and centre (sorry about sounding bitter but it does piss me off).  

So back to the original point..ah yes, working longer hours will mean more money and hopefully they’ll be able to find my jobs to do elsewhere in the company over the Christmas break since my contract is only seasonal (following the university schedule) but that being said I’m still looking for more permanent full time work. The big problem in New Zealand is the casualisation of the labour force which has resulted in employers parading part time jobs as if they were full having experienced it first hand. What I mean by that is the opportunity is given to me, I go to pick up the contract, read it, and then I find out that the contract only guarantees 8 hours per week but the employer promises that he can give me a lot more in reality – instability and a gentleman handshake (for whatever that is worth these days). So there is unstable employment then to make the situation more ‘fun’ there is a lack of a safety net if you take it upon yourself to get a job but find that for a period of time that you’re getting insufficient hours (and in turn money) to pay for bills but because you’re not in crisis mode then WINZ is unable to help you – your credit record and tenancy reputation basically have to be flushed down the toilet before any sort of assistance is provided.

A damn good whinge and moan about life

I’ve been watching a few documentary ( link ) and it makes me wonder about my current situation with the balance between wanting material gains vs. living the ‘good life’ by being satisfied with a few essential items and being satisfied with where I am. Unfortunately as a civilisation we’re now stuck in a cycle that predicated on the idea of ever expanding demand to keep the economy growing to keep people employed so even if people on mass wanted to walk away from the system the disruption would be so great that it would end up collapsing – what then would it be replaced with?

I’ve been having a look Skinny’s fixed wireless broadband which is $52 per month for 100GB which will save me $28 per month but as we speak they don’t have the 700MHz LTE sorted out in my area but I’ve been advised that it’ll hopefully be done by the end of this month. Although the amount saved isn’t a lot it is $28 that I’d sooner spend on something more productive.

Watched yet another video of someone whining that an Apple Mac laptop is actually a laptop rather than a mobile workstation – shock fucking horror, a laptop that is designed for portability doesn’t have the level of expansion that a desktop or workstation has! In other news, water is wet and grass is green. I sometimes wonder whether these videos are actually by actual people because the level of bitching and whining sound more akin to a salty competitor grasping at straws or a jealous PC user who is hell bent on trying to justify their own purchase by appealing to an audience to further bolster their position.

In typical Reddit fashion, someone posts a meme ( link ):


Then followed by the resident idiot who posts in response to the person who posted the meme that “so you’re saying that only rich people can have children? You’re conducting eugenics against poor people!”. When people jump to such idiotic conclusions you know that the education system is failing to teach people how to think rationally and logically, when the emotions are in the drivers seat rather than their rational faculties.

Weekend begins, television is horrible, binge watching Netflix

Damn it is cold and according to the news item I read a few days ago the situation isn’t going to made much better in the coming weeks because apparently it’ll be getting colder. One saving grace is that the former owner of the place I’m in did a really got job at installing insulation in the ceiling, walls and floor so as long as I close off the kitchen over night (4 big glass windows and no curtains not to mention a glass door) the place keeps fairly warm. I’m not a fan of having a house so warm that I can walk around in my underpants but I do like to at least have it warn enough that I can sit in my pants, a short sleeve shirt and a pair of socks on fairly comfortably. Long term the ideal situation is getting some double glazing put into the toilet/bathroom which will help hold the heat in because curtains are not viable (condensation and mould being a concern) so with that improvement the house will be kept a lot warmer – yeah, I could close off the toilet at night but imagine having a call of nature at night and an uncomfortable cold experience it would be.

The quality of television is really gone off the cliff with he usual sources of entertainment run dry so apartment from Darkness and Orphan Black it appears that when the US goes into ‘summer mode’ the rest of the world suffers with substandard shitty television – first world problem I guess. I’m gradually working through the series “13 Reasons Why” and it is turning into a pretty good series so hopefully once that is out of the way I can have a look at Narcos on Netflix and see else there is to entertain myself over the holidays.

Been following the improvements that are coming through on iOS, tvOS and macOS but what I am hoping for is eventually SkyTV start offering an app for the tvOS platform because that would be the ultimate killer if they started to offer all their channels online rather than depending on a satellite so then it is possible to watch it on any device as long as it has the application or a web browser that supports HTML5 video tag, encryption extension for media plus HEVC support.  The other tit bit that I came across via the ‘Accidental Tech Podcast’ ( link ) and Hetzel ( link ) was the inclusion of Opus in CAF container support on iOS, macOS and tvOS which makes of interesting reading whether we’ll eventually see iTunes re-written so that it can take advantage of the modern frameworks which would expose support for Opus/CAF along side AAC? Maybe the long term play as part of providing support for WebRTC? If so, where does VP8/VP9/AV1 fit into it going forward or it a matter of VP8/VP9 being inferior to h264 or HEVC and AV1 is too immature and the hardware support isn’t there to make playback and encoding power efficient by taking advantage of the GPU.

Still looking for a new full time job but the biggest problem I find is that when I do apply for a full time job that the job actually turns out to be a job that only guarantees 8 hours per week so effectively there are businesses passing off part time jobs as full time so I’m having to think of alternatives. One of the alternatives is to get a part time job to coast me over the holidays (down time) to make ends meet which isn’t an ideal situation or the alternative being that I have a chat to my boss about seeing whether there are hours in other sites that the company operates at to bridge that gap especially over the end of the year/Christmas period. For me, I enjoy what I am doing and I’d be more than happy if I could get more stable hours so that I had employment 52 weeks per year without the down time.

Some new beta builds for iOS 10.3.3, macOS 10.12.6 and tvOS 10.2.2 were released this week which will make for interesting speculation as to when it will be released but that being said there is still a regression relating to Time Machine and Grand Central Dispatch ( link ) which hasn’t been addressed. With the long lead time between when it first appeared (it might have existed before then) it makes me wonder whether it hasn’t be corrected because some sort of underlying architectural issue but there has been no word yet whether the issue appears with macOS 10.13 ‘High Sierra’. It’ll be interesting to see what happens going forward with APFS, Time. Machine, and the other parts of the operating system given how closely related the design of many of these components are to HFS+ limitations. When looking at how those various components worked around the HFS+ limitations one is therefore asked how much of a difference APFS will make to the smooth operation of macOS going forward – Time Machine no longer having to use a jerry-rigged solution but instead use the ‘baked in’ snapshot functionality of the filesystem. The other interesting part of APFS is the fact that it is designed from the ground up so that features can be added without breaking compatibility so although it doesn’t have all the features that many power users wanted one has to remember that those most requested features can be added at a later date, everything isn’t set in stone. The future is looking bright and as long as you’re not blinded by the doom and gloom merchants over at MacBreak Weekly then you too can see that the Mac platform is alive and well even without the gimmicky features like ‘touch screens’ that get demanded by a few noise makers in the peanut gallery.