Blogging Sucks

To be honest, a majority of the blogging I do on here is meaningless ranting.  There’s no summary or planning involved.  I shoot from the hip, if you will.  Sometimes it works out and people enjoy my rambling, other times it’s along the lines of “What the hell is he talking about?”  Meh, it’s all whatever.  I kinda had a plan for this particular post, but I got like halfway through and I realized that I had no idea what I was writing about.  Something about technology *durr hurr*…

But anyway, it’s been a long long time since I lasted blogged and I was thinking about why.  It’s because I’ve been so damn busy.  Side business work has really started taking off, and life at home has been turbulent but I look forward to what the future might hold.  Christmas is approaching (!!!!) and I can’t fricken wait.  For the first time ever, I think, I’m more excited to give this year than to receive.  It’s a strange shift, but I feel like that goes along with all the other changes I’ve gone through over the course of the last year and a half.  I’ve gotten a lot of presents for Allyssa, and I plan to get a few more presents for her family and mine.  It’s certainly the season for giving, and since there’s only been one day of any snow so far this season – I’m pretty much unable to complain about anything.

I finally finished reading the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.  It was incredibly well written, and it really gives you a non-sugar coated idea of what Steve was all about.  There was a lot of talk about the Microsoft/Apple view points on technology.  Especially that Apple’s gated garden where everything works together and they control the experience from start to finish.  Whereas Microsoft makes the product and let’s everyone else build onto it or build it into whatever.  Open versus closed.  I used to be in the open camp.  Windows was what I was used to, what I learned in school, and what I had grown up with.  That day in like 2001 when my parent’s brought home an indigo iMac was the first step that led me to where I am now.  I hated that iMac to begin with.  It was different, it operated differently, looked weird, etc, etc.  Pretty much the same arguments that everyone throws at the Mac camp – even now a days.  But since that was the only computer in the house that had an internet connection (Dreamcast, then Verizon dialup I think), I had to get used to it.

I was only 13 or 14 at that time, and I was just beginning to cultivate my tech knowledge.  The standards, the acronyms, the hardware.  I had my parent’s hand-me-down PC running a weird mashup of Windows 95/98SE that could barely run any new games that were out.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I was just getting into computers, I probably wouldn’t have given the Mac a chance.  Back then it was probably the 2nd or 3rd version of Mac OS X which wasn’t very impressive compared to 10.7 now.  As I started using that iMac more, I began to see the fundamental differences between Windows and OS X.  Ease of use, intuitiveness, and the fact that it just looks good at what it does.

I was planning on writing more, but some server stuff just came up at work so I’ll sign off for now.  Thanks for reading, beeyotches.

Time Machi… Damnit

When Apple introduced Time Machine, I was excited as hell.  I’ve had experience with other shitty forms of backups.  Burning to DVD, thumb drive, dragging and dropping, Iomega ZIP drives, tape backups, etc, etc, et-fuckin’-cetera.  When it comes down to it…

Backups SUCK.

They’re necessary, but they suck major ass.  Either they don’t work, they take too long, or they’re too complicated, or any number of other things.  Time Machine was like a single ray of hope to finally get out of that cycle of mediocrity.  Here’s how it works:

TM basically does it’s first, initial backup and copies everything to your backup disk.  This is the longest backup, as it is starting from scratch.  Subsequent backups only look at the “delta” files, or files that have changed or are new.  So basically, when you add a file, it backs it up.  When you modify a file, it backs it up.  If a file hasn’t changed, it leaves it in the file’s original location on the backup disk, but adds a “marker” or “link” to that file in the most recent backup.  So if you have a file that has never changed since your first backup, under any backups after the first, it’s a link that points to that first backup.  Awesome execution, for the record.  This is definitely the best way to handle backups.  If the file hasn’t changed, it doesn’t get backed up again.

The nice part with TM is that you can use a locally attached disk via USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt, or it can back up across your local network to either one of Apple’s own Time Capsule devices, or a third-party Network Accessible Storage unit.  For my situation, going with the NAS unit is fricken awesome since I have a laptop and I don’t wanna plop down and let my computer sit for a few minutes while it backs up.  I like portability and convenience, yeah buddy.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve ran into some problems with backing up across the network to my NAS unit.  It’ll become corrupted and tells me I need to delete all my backups and start fresh.  Not acceptable, especially since I have a few months worth of backups sitting on there.  Luckily I stumbled upon a website that walks you through verifying, fixing, and continuing to use your network Time Machine backups after that effing message shows up.,08,27,169,169.html

Just giving that site a plug since his post fixed my issue and was a breeze to follow.

iTunes Match

Alright, so I’ve been playing with iTunes Match over the course of the last couple days, and I must say that I’m impressed.  When the Google Music beta opened up initially, I got in pretty quick.  Uploaded my shit and started using it.  iTunes Match blows Google Music outta the water.  For the simple fact that I own all Apple products, they’ve baked iTunes Match into all of them.  iTunes for Mac, the music app on my iPhone, etc.

Pretty much the way it works, once you get it set up, is that iTunes “syncs” with Apple’s servers to let them know what music is in your library.  Whatever information is relayed to Apple, they mark that song as purchased on your account.  From there you can redownload it, transfer it, etc, on any of your devices or computers.  Mine matched a little bit over 2000 songs out of my 2600.  The other 600 needed to be uploaded to the cloud, which is what mine is doing right now.  Once that’s done, my entire library will be accessible wherever I am, as long as I have a data connection.

Another thing that iTunes Match has over Google is that the songs are stored locally.  I know a lot of people are up in arms about that, bitching and moaning about how they’d rather stream the songs to conserve space.  Well there’s a few issues I have with that stance.  First of all, most new users don’t have unlimited data anymore.  Even veteran users might not have it.  I’m still grandfathered in on my unlimited data plan from way back when the first iPhone came out.  I’m lucky in that sense.  If you’re capped at 2GB a month, streaming would suck.  With Match, it actually downloads a hard copy of the song to your device.  Use it when you’re on Wi-Fi and you’ll get no data charges, but you’ll also be able to keep the music stored locally when you leave that Wi-Fi network.  I like that concept.

All bandwidth caps aside, my second thought about the streaming/stored locally debate is that songs load faster when stored locally.  3G is fast, but you’re not always going to have a decent connection.  If you’re in a bad coverage area, there goes your music when you’re streaming.  But if it’s stored on your device, you’re good to go – signal or not.

But anyway, I’ve been thoroughly impressed thus far with iTunes Match’s offerings.  It works!  Some how, some way, it works.  Once it leaves beta and hits mainstream, it’ll take the industry my storm.  Apple has done it again, just wait and see.