The Space Bar on My MacBook Pro Doesn’t Register Presses Properly

November 19, 2018 · 09:54

I recently had a problem with my Control key which I finally fixed by taking out the vacuum cleaner and sucking substantial debris1 out from under it. Today, the Space bar will not register keystrokes on its right half.

(A few minutes later.)

Seems to be working fine again, after thoroughly vacuuming it at max power.

I am not happy with this keyboard and I refuse to buy another MacBook until they fix this issue with a completely new design — silicon condoms membranes are not enough.

  1. A speck of dust.

I ❤️ iPad

November 17, 2018 · 11:38

I’ve always really enjoyed using the iPad as a secondary device but the new iPads Pro take things to a whole new level.

I just can’t get enough of that gorgeous new screen.


iPad Pro 10.5-inch vs. 11-inch On-Screen Keyboard

November 6, 2018 · 11:54

Since the iPad Pro reviews have started to trickle out yesterday, I was looking for a comparison between the on-screen keyboards. I own a 10.5-inch iPad and will be switching to the 11-inch model tomorrow (hopefully, if there are no delays!), but I couldn’t wait. Luckily Steve Troughton-Smith had the simulator handy and helped me out1.

Above is the 10.5-inch keyboard in portait orientation, while the new 11-inch edition is below. You can click the images to load them full-screen and use the arrow keys (or swipe on them) to navigate between the two.


Make of this what you will but I can’t say that those additional keys are useful for the way I use my iPad. I’ll find out soon enough, but I am curious if it will be more comfortable to thumb-type on than the older one.

  1. Thanks Steve!

MacBook Pro (mid 2018) throttling

July 19, 2018 · 11:14

As expected, the #ThrottleGate controversy is being looked into by anyone who has their hands on the new MacBook Pros.

John Poole on Geekbench’s blog, running a CPU-only test:

Why does this test not replicate the throttling seen in other tests? Part of the issue is the test themselves. Premiere uses both the CPU and the GPU, while Geekbench only uses the CPU.

The i7 ran at an average 3.0-3.1 GHz, which is above the CPUs base 2.6 GHz frequency, but below the advertised 4.0 GHz Turbo Boost for 6 cores. So is it throttling or is the test just not maximizing load on the CPU?

Jeff Benjamin, for 9to5Mac, ran a test based on Final Cut Pro X:

Leaving the Core-i9 configured as default, I exported the video in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Throttling was definitely noticeable during the export, as you can see from the following chart created from Intel Power Gadget log data.

Curiously, when he set the CPU to utilize only four cores, it was faster than when using all six.

Mike Wuerthele, for AppleInsider, opted for Cinebench 15:

We shifted to a different benchmark for our own series of tests. Using Cinebench 15, we ran 10 total runs on the i9 MacBook Pro.

Immediately after starting the first test, the CPU clock speed shot up to 4.17 GHz. It rapidly drops to 3.86GHz until it hits the chip critical temperature of 100C. It then drops nearly immediately to 2.57GHz and also nearly immediately drops to 84C.

The speed of the processor varied between 2.33GHz and 2.9GHz generally, with one profound dip to 2.02GHz, and then the range drops to a peak of 2.65Ghz.

I think it’s same to assume that all MacBook Pros will throttle under load, especially when both the CPU and GPU are being taxed. A potential solution for this problem is running an eGPU, which should help (in addition to being significantly faster than the one on-board). Surprisingly, an iMac Pro may not solve everyone’s problems when it comes to video editing — it was a slower in 9to5Mac’s test than the MacBook Pro:

Xeon CPUs lack onboard hardware video encoding, dubbed Intel Quick Sync Video. So even though the iMac Pro runs circles around the MacBook Pro from a thermal perspective, it doesn’t really matter in this test.


Hey Siri, Set the HomePod’s Volume

March 16, 2018 · 13:04

I discovered an interesting tidbit regarding setting the HomePod’s volume:

  1. The buttons on top of the HomePod change the volume in 5% increments on each tap.
  2. The voice command “Hey Siri, louder / quieter”, “Hey Siri, increase / decrease the volume”, etc. changes the volume in 10% increments.

Also, Siri really shouldn’t need to hear the “Hey” in “Hey Siri” every single time I need something from her.

“Siri, just do it.”


So… I Got a HomePod

March 9, 2018 · 17:36

I said I wouldn’t get the iPhone X, but I did. That was an exception since the deal I got on it was too good to pass up and I ended up paying less than for a new iPhone 8. I did not expect to get as good a deal on the HomePod. To be quite frank, it wasn’t even close percentage-wise to the aforementioned one, but I still went for it, figuring I could sell it on if didn’t satisfy my needs.

It hasn’t blown me away so far, but it’s only been an hour or so, so here’s keeping my fingers crossed.


Using a Raspberry Pi Zero W to Add a Camera and a Xiaomi Air Purifier 2 to HomeKit via Homebridge

March 1, 2018 · 15:04

I recently purchased a Xiaomi Air Purifier 2, to avoid having dirty air in my apartment. Unfortunately, this product does not integrate with HomeKit. I am generally averse to having my “connected” home accessible from the internet, but I did want to use the HomeKit automation features. Setting this whole thing up just for one air purifier did seem like a lot of hassle, until I found out (from Steven Troughton-Smith) that you can get a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a camera module, which also works under HomeKit. Two-in-one? No need to ask me twice.

Continue reading →


iPhone 8 Code Name and Image Found in Homepod Firmware

July 31, 2017 · 08:39

Steven did a little sleuthing over the weekend, poking around the HomePod firmware…

Pearl ID and BiometricKit found, but still no word whether the iPhone 8/Pro (or whatever else Apple will call it) will have Touch ID along facial recognition.

Guilherme Rambo‏ also found an image representing the new iPhone, which Steven confirmed, along with its D22 code name.


Someone at Apple is going to have an angry phone call today…


iPod Nano and Shuffle Removed from Apple.com

July 27, 2017 · 22:23

Sadly, the iPod Nano and Shuffle were both removed from Apple.com. The iPod brand still lives on, in the form of the iPod touch in 32 GB and 128 GB flavours. I kept hoping Apple would release an iPod Nano with Apple Music support in some form, even if it didn’t have a modem — it appears that those dreams won’t come true.


My Mac, Hackintosh, and iOS Setup →

April 24, 2017 · 21:11

Jeffrey Abbott, on The Sweet Setup:

Every week we post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.

My Mac and iOS setup is up today, with detailed specs of my Hackintosh! Yay!


The Magic of AirPods

February 22, 2017 · 14:23

The new AirPods perfectly encapsulate the magical experience that only Apple is capable of creating. Open the case in which they are stored1 — a pop-up appears on your iPhone, asking if you’d like to pair them. Do it again, anytime in the future — you can quickly check your battery status. Play some music on your iPad2 — hear it in your AirPods, despite not having paired them with that device. Mac? Same thing.

Continue reading →

  1. It doubles as a charger with a built-in power bank.
  2. It has to be signed in to the same Apple ID.