Monday, September 27, 2021

For the most part I’ve met iOS updates with the mindset, “I’ll just be happy if it’s stable”. Because when iPadOS 13 landed the features were much needed but the stability was crapola on my then young iPad Pro. Recent releases have thankfully been less hazardous and iPadOS 14 would become pretty stable for me.

Upgrading to iPadOS 15 thus far has passed the stability requirement. Plus for the first time it feels like new features have landed in a polished form. Running multiple applications using split screen, slide over, and the would probably confuse non nerdy users multiple instances thing, now work really damn well. iPadOS 15’s the best implementation of such things I’ve had since Samsung started to screw over theirs in favor of Googly multitasking and focusing on DeX.

So while I honestly could have cared less about the multitasking features earlier on, beyond slide over being a common offender in my iPadOS 13 instability, iPadOS 15 actually makes me view the fancy split screening stuff as a feature I can use.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Positive things:

  • Walked the dogs
  • Fed the dogs
  • Played video games
  • We all had lunch
  • Walked the dogs again
  • Did most of the cleaning

Negative things:

  • Never, want, to, clean, again
Yes, I think it's time for a break.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Somehow the thing that really bothers me about transferring files this way, is the speed.

Not because it's ridiculously slow by modern standards, but because it's nearly twice as fast as my last dial up connection in the '90s 🤣

When you end up transferring files over a serial port between computers made in 1992 and 2021, I'm not sure if you're crazy or have a strange concept of relaxing.

That said my PowerBook Duo's Printer-modem port seems to support a whopping 57,600 baud. Which works out to about 4.5 ~ 5.2 KB/s using ZMODEM between TeraTerm and SITcomm. Perfect for listening to music or making a sandwich as files transfer.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

In my life: I have had relatively few dependable encounters with adhesives. If there's a good way of joining pieces together that doesn't involve adhesive, I'm probably going to choose the other method.

Deciding to Velcro a USB hub to the side of my monitor, I decided to also go ahead and Velcro the switch to the other side. Which I had meant to double sided tape or Velcro to the wall, but have had on a humble picture hanger until I could get some of either.

Well trying to get the backing paper off this shit, I'm now pretty convinced I won't have to worry about the Velcro not sticking to the monitor or the hub and switch. Because as far as adhesive goes that shit works!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Misc thoughts on System 7.5.0

Poking around the classic MacOS has been an interesting experiment.

One of the things I find remarkable, brilliant, and rather lovely is getting the old Macs to boot! Seems like just about anything with a usable system folder and a means for achieving block I/O from it will boot. Compared to mucking with MBR based chain loading schemes and infernally buggy BIOS this has been a good plus. Offsetting that is how Apple's partitioning tool refuses to initialize SCSI disks without some kind of ROM identifying it as one of theirs, which seems to have been dropped by the later IDE days.

For the most part I have chosen to ignore the desktop on PCs in preference to a home directory. I've known people who cover the Windows desktop in icons all over. Mine has largely been spartan since I focused on UNIX systems, and since XP tried to make multiple users suck less on shared home PCs.

Classic MacOS on the other hand makes it curiously inescapable. It actually feels more like a "Shelf" to me than a desktop. Because its behavior is not like desktops that I am used to. On most "Desktop" operating systems that I've used: the actual desktop was simply a special folder. If you stuff a file on it the only difference from any other is not needing a file manager or a bunch of tabs or clicks to reach it later because you'll just be moving windows out of the way to see it or using a shortcut to navigate there.

I've found that moving files from floppy disk to desktop doesn't move the file off the diskette, so much as it seems to flag it as part of the desktop. Moving it somewhere else then generates the kind of I/O event other platforms do. Further when booting from other media: the desktop is subsumed into the current session. I.e. boot off a Disk Utils floppy and you'll still see the desktop, but the icons for your HDD and floppy will have switched positions. That's actually kind of cool in my humble opinion.

On the flipside the trash seems to work similarly. Trashing files off a floppy does not return the space, but unlike some platforms does send it to the trash rather than forcing a unix style deletion.

When working with the desktop and your hard drive: placing data on the desktop seems to be treated like the root of the drive. Opening a file info dialog will show a path like "MacHD: My Folder or File", and you won't see it in the actual drive: just the desktop. One thing that made this apparent to me is the option to default to a "Documents" folder for the file open/save dialogs. System 7.5 created a Documents folder on my desktop but it doesn't appear in MacHD despite the path shown in Get Info. I opted to leave an alias on the desktop and move the original into the HDD view, reflecting how I found the file system from my Wallstreet's MacOS 9.2.2 install.

At a more general level is the feeling that Apple's designers really did not believe in the keyboard. There are shortcuts for many common tasks, but when it comes to manipulating text the system UI has been use the mouse or piss off. Even simple behaviors we now take for granted like shift+arrow to select text do not exist in System 7.5. Fortunately, I actually like the trackball :P.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

There's a web abbreviation that I took a long time to learn, called "TIL" or "Today, I learned". Well, I'm gonna call this one closer to "Today, I giggled" :P.

Trojan Room coffee pot - Wikipedia

And somehow this makes perfect sense to me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Things that make me mildly sad:

  • That when I got my first CD-Burner, CD-Rs were so expensive we could only do backups about once or twice a year.
  • I bought a spindle of like a 100 DVD-Rs less than a decade ago, and I may not be able to use them up before I did without stooping to using them for Frisbees and coasters.
  • How I rarely need to use CD-ROM or DVD-ROM but inevitably
    • Need CD at home because the drive won't do a DVD, of course I only have DVD-Rs.
    • Need a DVD at work because the data won't fit a CD, of course I only have CD-Rs.
  • That at this point the only reason to care how many discs I use (or waste) is the wear and tear on my BD burner.

To which I'll add that time I saved $5 to $10 and got a CD-ROM only external drive instead of a DVD-ROM one was probably one of the dumbest ways I ever tried to save a few bucks 😜. The irksomeness of hauling it out of the closet aside, the USB enclosure my old Blu-ray drive has been in kind