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Rewarding Gifts

Today I felt as if all the sweating over code of the past days finally got rewarded. Multiple times over.

A new iOS update, a Lion DP2 update and an Xcode update – all with minor fixes – were showing that Apple too was focussing on this reward nexus. There was a video of gay Apple employees, that can also be considered a gift to the world. My iPad 2 arrived. I ordered an 11″ Air. Makes us wonder if there is a cosmic significance to April 15th.

Ah yes, this day, 99 years ago, the Titanic chose to hit an iceberg to escape from Celine Dion’s title song for good.

During the day we had heard a rumor that Portal 2 might be lauched today, because somebody had found a page with a countdown. That had us excited and decreased our concentration while we kept returning to the page to see if the countdown had expired yet. In the end there was another practical joke in true Portal tradition: they are promoting a “Potato Sack” bundle where the number of CPUs playing these games serve to speed up the “reboot” of the evil Portal mainframe. Long story short: My raffle continues until the official launch, you can still participate.

Let’s start by ignoring the Lion update, like most iOS developers I put the new OSX version onto a secondary partition of my 2-year-old MacBook Pro to play around with it. But I’d rather have it as main OS on all my machines, having to parallel-boot all the time quickly got very tiresome.

I was already quite happy with Xcode 4.0.1, contrasting to other people I hardly ever experience any crashes and also the syntax highlighting and auto-completion always worked for me. But I still downloaded the 4.6 GB Xcode 4.0.2 update and installed them. You never now. Now instead of having issues never, I will have them never ever. Though there might be one major benefit contained therein: there was a nasty compiler bug rendering arm6 code corrupt. This bit even a couple of the big guys, including Tweetbot. Rumor has it that this has been fixed now.

I’m especially lovin’ the great GIT integration. Right now I’m working both on my NSAttributedStrings+HTML open source project and another secret project that builds on it and uses it as a submodule. Committing changes works the same for Subversion and GIT, but because git commits are local they are much faster. For pushing and pulling to remotes I still drop to the command line, is there a way to do that from within Xcode?

The iOS 4.3.2 update fixes several security holes and facetime bugs. At first you could hear several warnings of jailbreakers, but one of the involved hackers has confirmed that the exploit which enables the current generation of untethered jailbreaks is still present. He only needs to do some update or so. Well, I don’t care, I don’t dabble with that. I have neither time nor nerves to jailbreak and sim-unlock my devices. So next time I sync my devices, they’ll get the update.

Merry and Gay

In the course of the day several people pointed to gay Apple employees producing an inspiring video speaking out for a good cause: preventing suicides amongst homosexuals. My first reaction was a bit of astonishment for Apple to allow some of their employees to participate in this very well made message, one that might pose a slight PR risk for the otherwise family-friendly, squeaky clean image toting corporation.

But also in this area Apple continues to surprise positively. It turns out that the most powerful executive in silicone valley, Apple’s very own Tim Cook, paved the way for gay geniuses  at Apple. Their support for non-discrimination ranks equally to their interest in greener products and processes.

I consider this video another gift (even though I am happily hetero-married) because it renews my hope that sexual orientation has shed tabu status. As one Tweep fittingly remarked: if your gay customers don’t commit suicide then you can sell them more Macs.

If you are down, mobbed and gay, don’t be. Those are idiots. And probably run Windows. You are smart, well groomed and own a Mac.

Padded 2

But now let’s get to what is the most interesting: my iPad 2 arrived!

5 days passed between my original order on April 7th and the iPad beginning its travel from Shenzhen to Austria. Then it took 3 days and 8 hours to got to the final destination.

Here’s my iPad2 Unboxing video with a couple of funny surprises.

When I’m at home I exclusively develop on my 27″ iMac which I had gotten a few months after my 15″ MacBook Pro which I’m now using mostly when traveling. I recently had the battery replaced and so I’m getting over 3 hours of unwired performance. But still, it weights 2.4 kg and a plane ride to the USA is far longer than what the battery can support. If my trips to Arizona and California are any indication then I’ll be flying more, next trip will be to WWDC in June. Before that there’s a quick iOS Barcamp in Graz. And then I’ve promised myself to keep attending the Vienna Cocoaheads meetups. So even more traveling is in my cards then ever before.

Where the Air is thinnest

I’ve been eying those developers with jealousy who have a cute 11″ Air for travel, so I was especially interested to read about what Jeff LaMarche thought of this modus operandi. This was followed up by Robert Lo Bue who seconded the positive experience. The bottom line: it’s perfect for travel and even Xcode 4 works nicely if you commit certain keyboard shortcuts to memory.

For a while I was torn between the 11″ and the 13″. Two hours more, SD-card. But what do I really need that for? The main problem you have on a plane ride between continents is that the guy in the seat in front of you insists on reclining. Bastards! On trains I ride first class because of my press pass, so I got power.

The 11″ Mac near-netbooks are still selling like hotcakes. I would be able to recoup most of my money if I should decide not to like the small guy. And then there’s the thing about being fully on SSD. I’m always a bit worried when closing the lid of my MacBook Pro to get off the vehicle but the harddisk still spinning down. And I save 20% because as company I get the VAT refunded. And I just sent off a big big invoice. And free shipping. And. And. Have you ever noticed how you can find so many logical reasons for a purchase once you have made up your mind?

To hell with it. I went and ordered the “Ultimate Edition” of the 11″ Air. 128 GB SSD + 4 GB RAM as recommended. They are so highly available that I should get them on the same day that the rest of my iPad2 order will arrive (HDMI cable, Orange 3G Sim Card).

There is no better day for this than such a day as today, bearing so many gifts.


Categories: Apple

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