Ever since June rolled over last year, I have been thinking how to commemorate the Apollo 11’s mission’s 50th anniversary. Then I remembered the Apollo Guidance Computer (it made waves over the internet last year, because people were trying to prove that Margaret Hamilton didn’t deserve any credit for it) and its interface — DSKY (pronounced “dis-kee”).
I posted my new hackintosh’s hardware spec a month or so ago and since then, I have been running OpenCore 0.5.4 with a config I made myself. Unfortunately, that config used
MemoryAllocation.efi, which I wanted to get rid of, due to concerns voiced by the author of that specific firmware driver. Finally, a month later, I found the time to clean up my OpenCore configuration.
I built my last hackintosh in 2014 and it was overdue for an update. Since Apple recently updated their iMac with Core i9s and skipped the T2, this is probably the last time I’m building this sort of computer, before MacOS is locked down forever. Unfortunately, nothing in their lineup fits my needs, hence I chose to go down the hackintosh route once again.
I’ve previously written only a few short words about one of my newer hobbies — mechanical keyboards — which has been a fantastic journey, keeping me occupied, teaching me new things, while providing a superior tool for all my writing at the same time. This all started over 30 years ago, when I used my first mechs, but which I left behind when I switched to laptops. Unfortunately, I listened a little too much to Jason Snell and John Gruber talking about their mechanical keyboards on their podcasts, so here I am, and I’d like to share what I’ve collected so far…
I was actually not planning on upgrading from my iPhone XS this year but there are two features which got me hooked. I’m not really into the ultra wide 13 mm lens — I would still prefer a proper tele in the 70-100 mm range — but the new video features, including the ability to record from two lenses simultaneously (via Filmic Pro) and to the possibility of continuously zooming between all three while recording, are what made my mind up.
I had a white X and it was great at masking all my fingerprints. Unfortunately, I decided to get a Space Grey XS and discovered that the lens is an absolute lint magnet (I don’t use a case and I didn’t even notice the lint on my X) so I’ll be going back to white again. Additionally, I love the look of the polished stainless steel case around the glass — it reminds me of high quality mechanical watch cases.
A little over 3 hours to go…
Ever since I stopped using Photoshop CC (opening a simple export dialogue window can take a few seconds instead of being instantaneous!), I have had one major gripe with Affinity Photo — it’s inability to remember the last used settings on the Resize Canvas tool. Today I finally fixed it with Keyboard Maestro and I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.
Ever since I got my 2016 MacBook Pro, I have had a love/hate relationship with its keyboard. Yes, it’s pretty good to type on. No, it doesn’t offer much feedback and the travel is extremely shallow. There was the one (well, two actually) with the Touch Bar, which I got rid of because of its mediocre battery life and being unable to live with Apple’s latest “innovation”. Then I had to have one on my MacBook Pro Escape replaced.
Mozilla released Firefox 67 a few days ago and they introduced support Dark Mode, as Safari did a while ago too. This prompted me to finally tackle implementing this feature here, on Infinite Diaries, hacking through my CSS. I should have spent the time to rewrite it from scratch, using CSS variables, but that will have to be done another day.
P.S. You might have to clear your browser’s cache to get it to work.
Star Wars has been a part of my life for over 30 years and there are some characters I always loved more than others. Chewbacca was one of them. Tragically, Peter Mayhew passed away a few days ago…
The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without him.
— Kev Hamm (@kevhamm) May 4, 2019
But he should have gotten that damned medal though.
I have used my first generation AirPods almost daily for the past two years. I started having issues with the right AirPod a few months ago, so I sent them in to get them looked at. They, surprisingly, replaced both AirPods (I got the old case back since it was fine) because Apple confirmed the issues that I had described. Quite frankly, going without AirPods for 5 days wasn’t easy — they’re easily the best product that Apple has created recently.
I expected AirPods 2 to get a 30% price increase and there being just one model available. Ideally, Apple would have introduced the second generation model with the charging case at the same price, but that’s just not how the world works. Instead, we got new AirPods with the old case for the same price and the option to upgrade to the Qi-enabled case for an extra 25%. This is better than nothing and honestly, you don’t actually need the wireless charging case.
There are rumours of AirPods with ANC. I will wait for them but I really hope they’re not going to charge even more for those.
Anyway, if you haven’t yet used AirPods (and they fit your ears), make sure to get a new pair. They really are extraordinary.
I really thought the iPad Mini was dead but when the rumours started coming in about a newer model, I kept my fingers crossed for Apple adopting the Liquid Retina display from the new iPad Pros, along with a similarly designed case. I had two Minis in my iPad history and I loved them both. They were most excellent for thumb-typing and fantastic reading tablets, especially for RSS, the web, Twitter, and even ebooks. The screen was a bit small for comic books and magazines but I blame my ageing eyes on that. While a new Mini is always welcome — it really is a great little tablet — things have changed in the last few years. I really expect more from the “most innovative” company in the world, than just a speed bump, a slightly better screen, and the same 7-year-old design.
The “new” 10.5-inch iPad Air is really just a 10.5-inch iPad Pro without ProMotion and the quad-speaker system. While most people won’t notice the loss of the former, they really could have retained the latter, since a lot of people like to use iPads for watching video. The good news is that the price is down slightly.
Apple finally updated the iMac with new CPUs and GPUs last week and while not much has changed in the design of this particular Mac — same design, same Bluetooth, similar configs, etc. — a speed bump is always welcome. Unfortunately, some upgrade pricing is still as insanely absurd as ever and the base models still offer spinning disk drives:
- The base models should all have SSDs.
- The 8 GB → 16 GB upgrade costs $200. You can buy an 8 GB module for around $40-50 and a 16 GB module to around $90, which means Apple is charging 3-4 times more.
- The 32 GB RAM upgrade is $600. A 32 GB set of two 16 GB DDR modules is around $180-190.
- The 64 GB RAM upgrade is $1000 while a similar set can range from $200-430, depending on the vendor.
- SSD upgrade pricing is 2-3 times higher than current prices for high-quality NVMe SSDs.
- Since the design hasn’t been changed, I’m assuming that dust will still accumulate on the back of the screen over time.
I’m glad that the iMac has been updated but I still cannot comprehend why they aren’t getting more flack for their absurd upgrade pricing. The i9-9900 configuration should make a nice hackintosh config though, which I can fix in minutes or hours should anything go wrong, instead of sending it in to Apple and waiting 5-7 days. This route also allows me to use much beefier GPUs. I just wish Apple and NVIDIA stopped bickering — MacOS really could use GTX and RTX support.
I was recently asked for a list of the subreddits I subscribe to, so here it is…
- r/Aww — For the cute animals.
- r/Battlestations — I just like looking at creative and clean computer builds.
- r/CommandLine — Easy to come across some useful tips and tricks.
- r/CozyPlaces — Always looking for inspiration.
- r/EarthPorn — Before we destroy it completely.
- r/Europe — Mostly for “local” news.
- r/Funny — Helps on Mondays.
- r/Gifs — Sometimes people post really creative stuff in here.
- r/GlobalOffensive — I play CS:GO in my spare time.
- r/iMagazine — This is subreddit that I run for our magazine.
- r/InternetIsBeautiful — For the memes.
- r/MacSetups — Lots of great minimalist setups for inspiration.
- r/MechanicalKeyboards — This is my current hobby (read: obsession).
- r/MechMarket — As above.
- r/Monitors — Mostly gaming monitors but interesting info on more professional models can be found here.
- r/Polska — Even more “local” news.
- r/StarWars — The Force is strong with this one.
- r/StarWarLeaks — I really shouldn’t be subscribing to this one but I can’t help myself.
- r/Travel — More inspiration for our travel plans.
- r/Westworld — Doesn’t look like anything to me…
Macs, like many other computers, have always had their share of problems. These past few years feel particularly bad though, so here’s my quick take on the current state of the Mac lineup.
I got a Raspberry Pi last year just to integrate some of my less-than-smart devices with HomeKit, so I could control them via Siri. Late last year I decided to get a Logitech Harmony Hub to be able to control my TV, receiver, and Apple TV with Siri but Logitech decided to change-up their plans, shutting down their local API which integrated with Homebridge. They backtracked on their plans after their users voiced their outrage and new firmware dropped a few weeks ago. I had to make some changes but I finally got my Harmony Hub working with Siri once again. Here’s what I had to do…
Every day, in the morning, while drinking a tea, coffee, or Red Bull, I’d first launch Twitter and catch up on events. For the past two weeks, more or less unconsciously, I have been slowly transitioning to Reddit.
I think the problem is the people I follow — they’re just posting less. Perhaps I could change things up by following new people but Reddit is partly superior in this regard — I can just follow topics that interest me instead. This naturally leads to more disconnect with specific people but there’s so much more variety and content.
I can’t hide the fact that I’m extremely disappointed with how Twitter itself is being run and I’m sure these feelings influence my usage but it’s refreshing to know I have found an alternative of sorts, especially since Twitter will die for me the day they pull the plug on third-party clients, such as Tweetbot and Twitterrific.
I have been using Apple’s keyboards almost solely since 2008, starting with the silver keys on my now sold 17-inch MacBook Pro. I then graduated to an Apple Wireless Keyboard, the 2013 MacBook Air and 2014 MacBook Pro keyboards, an Apple Magic Keyboard1, and I’m currently on a 2016 MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard, which has been already replaced once in April 2018. My frustration with the last two has led me on a long quest to find a mechanical keyboard, which would bring back to the joy to typing once more — I am currently using a Vortex Race 3, custom programmed to my liking, which I also use with my iPad Pro. So that’s my background, but what’s up with headline?
- I still haven’t found anything magical about it. ↩
My Vortex Race 3 arrived while we were away on our vacation, so naturally I spent most of last night playing around with it, instead of sleeping like any sane person would. I’ve already preprogrammed the first layer and it seems to suit my needs perfectly, connected to both the iPad and Mac.
I’m very excited to go back to a mechanical keyboard, especially since I’m frustrated with the one in my MacBook Pro.
Rainbow backlight turned on only for the purpose of taking the photo — I don’t actually use it.
I still rely on Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent Sync) to sync my files between Macs, an iPad, and an iPhone. It works perfectly but I have been considering switching to iCloud Drive ever since I upgraded to the 2 TB storage option (please give me a cheaper 500 GB and 1 TB option Apple — I don’t need 2 TB at this point in time).
I was trying to transfer an edited photo from my iPad to my MacBook Pro a few minutes ago. I saved it to iCloud Drive and went to look for it on my Mac. Not there. I checked my iPhone and verified it was synced. So I restarted my Mac. Nope, nothing.
Want to know what triggered the sync process? I created a new folder in Finder.
I recently learned that I can add a Logitech Harmony Hub, Logitech Harmony Companion or Logitech Harmony Elite to HomeKit, with the help of Homebridge. This meant that I would be able to control my TV, AV receiver, and Apple TV with my voice my HomePod and/or Siri.
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.
- A speck of dust. ↩
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.
As soon as all the rumours started consolidating around the new design of Apple’s tablets, I knew I was going to get a new iPad this year. I chose the 11-inch model with 64 GB of flash storage and LTE.
Apple recently unveiled new Macs, iPhones, and iPads. They are continuing their trend to increase ASPs and milking their customers. This is a hostile practice towards its users and completely unacceptable to me personally. I compiled a list of things which the company should remedy below, before it’s too late.
My new Apple Watch finally made it onto my wrist yesterday. I’m going straight from a steel Series 0 in Space Black to the aluminium Nike+ 44 mm in Space Grey, so this is going to be a huge jump in terms of… everything basically. I’ve only been using the new one for a few hours, but here are a few quick notes on the things I’ve already noticed…
I had my 2016 MacBook Pro Escape’s keyboard replaced in April 2018, because some of the keys were expanding under heat, making them “sticky”, e.g. when using it in the sun.
I’m extremely happy to report that today my Control key has gone on strike and will only work when it feels like it should, which translates to registering maybe one in ten presses.
This keyboard is great to type on, when it works, but it’s generally a disaster.
I was hopeful for new iPads at this event but given how big of an impression the Apple Watch Series 4 made on me, I’m not feeling let down. I will, however, complain about the prices because I consider them to be absurd. Not by much but nevertheless… absurd.
I pay an annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and I had my PayPal details on file with them but since receiving an email a month ago, asking me to verify and/or change my payment details before the charge goes through today, I removed all the PayPal details (Adobe is not authorized for recurring charges in PayPal’s settings either) and added my credit card instead. Since the charge was in Euros and I no longer had any Euros in my PayPal, I would save money on the conversion rate (around €10).
Adobe went ahead and charged my PayPal today anyway.
How is this even possible?
I have since been in contact with their phone support. They have cancelled my subscription and I should the amount in question charged back straight to my credit card1, but I assume this will trigger another currency conversion, which will mean that I’ll be paying for their mistake through no fault of my own.
Oh, and since my account is cancelled, and I refuse to pay for it until the chargeback comes through, my Creative Cloud apps don’t work.
- In 5-7 days. It never ceases to amaze me that it takes seconds to take my money but days to return it. ↩
The discussion under this tweet, in which a Twitter developer — Andy Piper — chimes in, is completely bizarre. I don’t know Andy, so I have no clue if he’s trolling or being extremely sarcastic — it sure seems that way — but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Tim Hetzel answered one of his questions with the following…