Tag Archives: computer

Most annoying software OF! ALL! TIME!

I have to offer my congratulations to Apple Computer. Or, simply, “Apple” as they are now so pretentiously known.

As of today, Apple’s Time Machine backup software has become my #1 most all time hated software, exceeding even Microsoft’s oh-so-lovely Windows 95, the previous record holder, the primary feature of which was the need to completely reboot the computer at least once every three hours. Yes, friends and neighbors, Apple’s Time Machine has now managed to piss me off even more than Windows 95. I wouldn’t have thought it possible. It has in fact been 12 YEARS since I last used a Windows 95 system on a regular basis, so this has been a long standing record. But it is now broken.

So, congratulations Apple. I bow down in honor to your achievement.

Why am I so pissed off?

Simply put:

“Waiting for index to be ready (100)”.
“Bulk setting Spotlight attributes failed.” [TWICE!]

Total time taken on this backup task so far: 2 hours and five minutes. HOWEVER, when I poke around in Console, I discover that, over the past 48 hours, this sort of shit has already happened twice before, sometimes resulting in a single backup task taking over four hours. This, when (normally) the time spent on a backup task is measured in seconds, or (perhaps) a minute or two, if there are multiple gigabytes to be backed up.

On October 10, for instance, on the backup task which started at 1:09:08 A.M., it took over FIVE HOURS to finally complete the backup at 6:19:03 A.M. And there wasn’t that much data copied, either. In fact, although it’s kind of hard to tell for sure from the logged messages in Console, it appears that this five-hour-long backup task succeeded in backing up the absolutely massive quantity of four gigabytes. Yep: four gigabytes. Wow. And, mind you, this was in the middle of the night, when the computer wasn’t even being used.

Today’s backup gives every indication of being as ridiculous as that.

Well, if I am still awake at the point when this turkey finally quits, I am going to do two things:

1) Fucking turn Time Machine OFF.
2) Follow the directions on this page: http://pondini.org/TM/D2.html. Actually, I might not get to that part until Sunday. I do, after all, have plans for this weekend, and I cannot even describe to you how sick and tired I am of having stuff preempted because of Time Machine errors.

If all of the troubleshooting steps on http://pondini.org/TM/D2.html turn out OK, then I will turn Time Machine back on, and count this as a lesson learned. Except that I will still be annoyed, because, frankly, who the hell’s idea was it to tie Time Machine and Spotlight together like that, anyway? They weren’t linked like that in Leopard, and, as far as I can tell, Time Machine did what it was supposed to do in Leopard, barring the problems previously mentioned on this blog (which would NOT have been solved with Spotlight integration).

Alternatively, I’m going to spend a good part of Sunday (or other future day) setting up an alternate backup system. Carbon Copy Cloner seems to be a good, reliable program overall (I really do need to pony up the well-deserved shareware fee and upgrade to the current version, though). Maybe that’s the way to go.

Signing off, for now. (Hopefully it won’t be another two years before I post again on this blog.)

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Filed under annoyances, computers, general geekery

Steve speaks!

Wow – get a load of this:

Steve Jobs comments on Flash and its lack of support on Apple mobile devices. Very interesting stuff!

I find myself in complete agreement, which is unusual. I typically tend to be pretty critical of Steve Jobs (although I admit a lot of that may just be sour grapes), but in this case I think he’s right on the money.

One thing of particular interest appears late in the memo: “Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice.” The implication being that Steve Jobs and Apple view the PC era as being done. They may have actually said this at some point too, perhaps at the point when they removed the word “computer” from the company name.

(And off we go onto a little tangent here, if you’ll bear with me…)

The thing is, while I do tend to get very annoyed with computers, I also like them. To this day, I don’t own a laptop or iPod, or anything like that. I would rather have a good desktop system. The only portable computing devices I own are my camera (a Nikon D40, which is technically a type of computer, albeit a very specialized one), and perhaps my wristwatch. ;)

However, I’ve been toying with the idea of a laptop for some time now. My main objections to laptops have always been hatred of the blasted touchpad, and not liking the keyboards. Well, the new Mac I bought last summer came with a keyboard that’s pretty close to a laptop keyboard, and it turns out that I like it just fine. As for the touchpad, though, that’s another problem entirely. I admit I am getting sick of mice. They are just too hard on the hand and wrist during heavy use. A touchpad would likely alleviate that problem, although I do not know if it would come with its own set of RSI issues. In any case, I may end up having to switch to a touchpad for health reasons, even though doing so will likely slow me down by a factor of 10. Another fact to consider is the likelihood that Apple will eventually change their system enough so that key functions require multiple “touch” points in order to work. Such a system would no longer be fully mouse-compatible. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see something like that happen in OS 10.7, whenever that comes out.

Aside from the decreasing importance of my old objections, there would be advantages to having a laptop. The main one would be that I could keep on computing, even when I’m sitting on the toilet! :P Seriously, when I get really into something, I am so annoyed at having to take bathroom breaks. :D I have also been considering going back to school in the next few years, and I imagine a laptop would be needed for that. You can’t lug a desktop system into a lecture hall, can you? Just doing some more brainstorming along this line, what might prove to be even more helpful in that situation would be an iPad with an auxiliary detachable keyboard. Assuming such a device is available. That way I could put the keyboard on my lap and the iPad on the desktop, which strikes me as an ergonomically superior solution. Hmmm.

Well, this post has clearly gotten way off the garden path, so I’ll end it here.

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Filed under brainstorming, computers

Lame summer

(I originally posted this on my Flickr profile page a couple of months ago…but I think it fits here too. I’ll put today’s date, since I don’t want to get into the confusion of retroactive posting.)

Update 8/5/09 – All the computer chaos really seems to have taken the wind out of my sails. Haven’t posted in a while. Depressed. This is really turning into a lame summer.

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Filed under annoyances, doom and gloom

Computer death

(I originally posted this on my Flickr profile page a couple of months ago…but I think it fits here too. I’ll put today’s date, since I don’t want to get into the confusion of retroactive posting, heh.)

Update 7/13/09 – About a week ago, my iMac started to die, so I haven’t been able to upload anything lately. In fact, the computer is so fried that I have a hard time even checking email messages–for some odd reason, email seems to really annoy whatever the problem is. My best guess is the video hardware is failing, although it could be some other problem that would have video issues as a side effect. Anyway, the effect of this is that I am not all that active lately, and I’m going through computer withdrawal. :(

A new Mac is shipping sometime this week. It’ll take a bit to get myself up to speed, especially since I have to work late Thursday night (dammit!), and especially if I run into problems getting files off the old computer (I’m pretty sure the drive is fine, but whether the computer will cooperate long enough to allow the new Mac to hoover all the files off of it is another question entirely).

Anyway, that’s what’s been happening lately. I’m not dead or anything, just having an equipment disaster.

The good part of this is that once I am up and running, my slow-computer problems should be solved. :) In the meantime, I am tired and stressed out.

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Filed under annoyances, doom and gloom