Archive for the ‘Apple & OSX’ Category


September 14, 2008

Arguably, the funnest animation movie I’ve seen so far. It’s amazing how they’ve managed to tell a story with so little dialogue. The Mac references are a great touch, and all the pristine white robots on board the Axiom look like they will turn into Mac designs in the near future.

Must watch movie.

Now I have to twiddle my thumbs until they finally release Tropic Thunder and The Pineapple Express in Singapore.

A year and six months later…

August 31, 2008

I finally made the jump and I am a proud iPhone owner. Impressions after a day of usage:

  • It has to be the single-most gorgeous thing I have held in the palm of my hand. It is really really beautiful.
  • It did feel heavier than I thought it would when I first held it, but now, it feels very comfortable.
  • Typing on it in the first few hours, did make want to pull my hair out, but like Apple likes to claim, once you learn to trust the keyboard, it becomes easy. I definitely prefer this over T9.
  • Haven’t gotten to really speed-test 3G, but WiFi speed is quite good for browsing and email.
  • That said, YouTube performance is lacking – I haven’t been able to watch YouTube as seamlessly as I had hoped to watch.
  • I’m not sure if this is a feature per-se, (but if it is, it’s a nice little touch) – 3G is completely switched off if you are connected to a WiFi network. Apart from the benefits of not having to pay for 3G, it should defnitely help battery life too.
  • The AppStore is really awesome – the whole experience of downloading and installing applications – is so clean and so well thought-out.
  • Talking about third-party apps – the most impressive ones so far are FaceBook and Pennies. I also bought Super Monkey Ball, but haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. Twitterific is nice too, but feels kinda clunky. An app which I think would really use a lot (while commuting) is Instapaper (downloads all your Instapaper bookmarks for offline reading)

More later, as I need to get back to admiring the iPhone.

Designed in Cupertino, Sleepy in Singapore

December 11, 2007

Update: The MacBook has gone into a coma and is in intensive care as of writing. Technicians are standing by. They fear that it might require logic board transplant. It’s times like these I wish I had opted-in for the logic board donor program. 

Lately, I’ve been having some Kumbakarna/Rip-van-Winkle woes with my (work-) Macbook. In case you’re wondering – yes it is the same beautiful Macbook which I defaced about two months ago, and it’s come mac from the dead. But after the unfortunate spillage, it started showing signs of increased lethargy. To be more specific, it would go to sleep and never wake up (for at least a couple of hours). I let it go the first time, thinking that it probably is the after-effect of a caffeine stained logic board. But as luck would have it, it is not.

From various blogs, I gathered that MacBooks have a safe sleep feature (analogous to hibernate on Windows) which doesn’t quite work well. I’m not sure if it is on by default on Mac OS X 10.4 (it was, on mine) but to disable it, use this command in your favourite terminal (that’s a zero at the end):

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

Reboot and this disables the safe-sleep feature. Some other forums/blogs might instruct you to meddle with the nvram settings but this caused sleep to be completely non-functional for me. So just to be safe, use this command:

sudo nvram “use-nvramrc?”=true  

To be sure, use this command:

nvram -p | grep use-nvramrc  

and you should see the value true.I’ve lullabied the MB to sleep many times after making this change and so far it seems to have worked ok. Hopefully, the MacBook’s sleep disorder is behind it and it’s back to its energetic self.Postscript: I also realized after this entire episode that I am more forgiving of OS X’s shortcomings than I am of Windows’ shortcomings. Wonder why that is. Maybe it’s because when they get so many things right and very few wrong, I can cut them some slack.


October 22, 2007

It’s been a bad week for me electronics-wise. I lost my relatively new phone in a cab last week, midway through last week my iPod died on me (just as when I was beginning to enjoy Vortex) and today I spilt coffee on my beautiful work MacBook and it died on me too.

I’m beginning to wonder if in my last life, I was an abusive manufacturing-line worker for Intel who didn’t care less about electronics.

E-Karma Gods, please forgive me.

Squirt Me

October 3, 2007

The new Zunes are out – they look OK. The faces of the smaller, flash based ones seem to be inspired by Mickey Mouse, and I still don’t understand Microsoft’s weird obsession with the colour brown† and undecipherable punchlines: You make it you*.

Personally though, I hope the second-gen Zunes do well because that will only mean that the iPods will get much better. The Starbucks-music-buying-and-browsing feature on the iPod Touch seems to be a better executed version of the infamous squirt technology on the original Zune.

Here’s to great Zune sales.

*The first-gen had the great punchline: Welcome to the social.

†It’s actually a rather dirty green. My bad.

Two is the new One

September 30, 2007

Episode 2 of The Inglorious Slackers is out. The theme this week is films, but we manage to drift in and out of the main topic. Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to listen to us and offer their feedback 🙂

We really appreciate it.

Touching Your Dream

September 28, 2007

You know when you have a dream, and you get up wishing that you were actually in it. Well, from 1930 to 2030 yesterday, I got some one-on-one time with the one and only iPhone It is truly a work of art. The multi-touch interface works as advertised, with no asterisks in tiny font spoiling the fun. Google Maps is in my opinion the best application on it, or wait is it the iPod, no wait – maybe Safari, or is it Photos?

There are still a few rough edges – GPRS completely ruins the Internet experience, the keyboard is pretty hard to use for proper nouns (but for everything else go with Yoda Jobs and use the force), and it did seem a little sluggish sometimes (this could be due to the fact that it had third party applications installed). But all this just means that it’s a bad time to be a Motorola/Nokia/Samsung CEO when version 2 comes out.

I could keep going on and on, but that would just spoil the dream.

Postscript: In my excitement, I even managed to drop the iPhone. I know it is as unforgivable as going to the Louvre and drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa, but my sincere apologies to Choon Keat for my klutzy behaviour 🙂

The Heat Is On

September 26, 2007

Competition is always a good thing. It brings out the best in the lazy incumbent, and it always means best for the consumer – because it means more choice, and less tie down.

That is why I feel the Amazon MP3 service is a God-Send. The iTunes Music Store has in recent times (justifiably or unjustifiably) received quite some stick for its closed-doors policy, its perceived greed and its lock-down. The Amazon MP3 service, though still lacking the finesse of the iTunes Music Store, has aimed to answer some questions which Apple have been a little less forthcoming in answering:

  • DRM-free music is priced at lesser (or equal to) than the equivalent DRM-shackled music you can buy at iTunes, and
  • variable pricing makes an introduction – something which Apple have been very reluctant to offer.

Though Amazon MP3 says the service is restricted to US-only customers, I believe they do not perform any credit-card verification; so long as you to* enter a valid US address, you are free to purchase.

As for me, I’m enjoying John Coltrane‘s ‘A Few of My Favourite Things’, without having to worry about whether I’m going to hell.

* – Thanks Amma!

The Inglorious Slackers

September 21, 2007

Yup. We’ve finally gotten off our behinds and created something. It might not be the next-gen web app or the iPhone killer. But it is a first step nonetheless.

It is a weekly show which I co-host with my brother, where we talk about random things ranging from technology, film, soccer, photography, politics (hopefully minimally), religion, life and what not. We also hope to be interviewing people (mostly entrepreneurs) in coming episodes.

Inglorious Slackers is available through RSS:

A few bits of trivia about Inglorious Slackers:

  • The pilot was conceived on a Monday, recorded on a Friday and published on a Saturday.
  • Recording for the pilot began at 2202 hours on 21st September, 2007 and finished at 2234 hours.
  • The show is powered by Mac OS X 10.4.10 – Recording done on an iMac G5, using GarageBand.
  • The title of the show is inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s yet to be released Inglorious Bastards.
  • The theme of the show is inspired by The Talk Show – hosted by John Gruber and Dan Benjamin.
  • The show frequently makes references to The Family Guy, The Daily Show, Pulp Fiction and other nuggets of pop culture.
  • The show is 100% unscripted and unedited.

Talk Is Cheap

September 21, 2007

In the split-second that I pressed tab to go from title to body of this post, I had a moment of clarity – I’m not Steve Jobs.

Let me explain. This particular post was supposed to be an Applesque teaser to a new ‘venture’ that me and a person who will remain anonymous at this point, are flinging ourselves into tonight. It is not a big deal, just an experiment in new media which hopefully will go well. If everything goes as planned, we’ll have it out by the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

But that’s when I realised, that it is a tall order to expect an Applesque teaser to have the same impact on a blog (which by the way has the default WordPress theme), as a great teaser from Cupertino.


0600 SGT, 22 September 2007 – Talk Is Cheap.

UPDATE: Couple of hours ahead of schedule, but the covers are off – we present to you – The Inglorious Slackers.