I’ve long had a longing to have a Mac Mini as build server in my technics room. After Apple finally updated it to (now) fashionable space grey, it was a must purchase for my company.
There’s a category of developers – probably coming from other Linux-based desktops – who are feeling at home in the console (aka terminal). Especially when working with SCM systems like Git or Subversion you’re often faster committing or updating doing that via short commands as compared to Xcode.
Unfortunately Apple did not think to make the console a nice thing to look at from the get go. Let me show you quickly how you can geek up your terminal as well. Your colleagues will be impressed.
Ever since I got my first earbuds with an Apple device (must have been an original iPhone) I’ve been wondering something, maybe you as well: what is the purpose of this extra clip on the wire. There’s this movable thingy between where the cable parts and the earpiece.
In fact if you google that, then there’s only one other person that asks the same question:
On my iPhone headset (the one that came with the device, as well as the in-ear buds) there’s a little piece of plastic that slides on the cable to one earbud, and can clip onto the other cable.
- It’s not large enough to accommodate the headset cable below the split, so it can’t be used to somehow hold the cable in place when it’s curled up.
- It’s not tight enough to stay in place if I slide it nearer the earbud, so it can’t be used to essentially move the point where the cable splits closer to the earbuds.
- It’s not tight enough to really hold on to the other earbud cable. It takes nearly no effort at all to pull the cables apart.
What in the world is it good for?!?
After some research we found what it is mean to be used for, as well as several other tricks with Apple cables that you might not have known.
I bought my first MacBook Pro last September to get started on my Mac journey. The whole family on the side of my wife had been fully Mac’edized and I figured I wanted to give it a chance as well, after having had a small Laptop provided by the company I work for. Also shortly before that time Apple had released the SDK and iPhone OS 2.0 enabling third party apps. So I justified the expense to myself by needing a Mac to be able to develop for the iPhone.
I had been one of the first Austrians with an iPhone 2G and when iPhone 3G became the first official iPhone in Austria I jumped at the chance of upgrading. My then girlfriend (now wife) inherited the 2G and I started developing for my 3G in September 2008.
Shortly thereafter Apple released a new generation of MacBooks in the famous aluminum unibody case. As usual when you purchase Mac hardware you soon feel a minor regret because usually 1-2 months after such a purchase something new arrives to be lusted after. But an upgrade 2 months after having purchased my Mac was out of the question, I was still amortizing the first one.
Then came the WWDC and my mind was blown once more. Apple dangled the Mac carrot even closer in front of my nose by reducing prices, adding a SecureDigital slot, and a great new battery which promises 5 hours of wireless work. And at the same time announcing the release date of the next update to OSX, dubbed Snow Leopard coming in September.
The crack in my heart started to get a little bit wider. Outwardly I told myself that I cannot buy more than one Mac Laptop per year, that I preferred the silver keyboard to the black ones anyway and that the glossy screen is useless. But unknowingly I had already ordered from the universe the circumstances that would make upgrading irrefutable.
When grabbing a couple of things in our Wintergarten the smooth Mac slipped and dropped onto the stone floor. The lower backside corner got dented and I was somewhat wrecked. I researched my options and found that I had cancelled the only insurance which would have covered it 2 years ago. The bottom case would cost $200 and another $200 at an authorized Mac support center to get it installed. Essentially the bottom case is the frame where all parts are mounted inside. So it takes long time to take it all apart.
I found the bottom case for around $50 with shipping on ebay and figured that I would just pay a handy friend to replace it for me. When I received the lower case I figured I’ll wait with replacing it so that I could get a new Mac first in a couple of months and then, after having moved all my development tools to the new one, could refurbish the device and put it on ebay. Or keep it as emergency Mac.
I thought so until today. After a nice day I wanted to climb into my hammock in the same Wintergarten I mentioned before. But when I pulled myself up to the hammock the MacBook felt like exiting it and heading for a second encounter with stone. OMG. F*CK.
The drop this time was more than twice the height, but still it survived… technically. Not aestethically. I had to bend the frame above the Maglock power connector back, but apart from this the Mac performs as if nothing had happened. This serves as proof of the superior build quality and sturdiness of the MacBook Pro design. So I can tell you from my own experience: Macs bend, they don’t break.
Looks to me as now I don’t have much of a choice to get a new unibody MacBook Pro next month. Incidently it’s my birthday then and I am getting my income tax refund so there now is really no way around it.
(Note from editor: When Dr. Touch is not coding or in surgery he preaches the Mac gospel and sometimes somebody hears the calling and switches. This article illustrates this, the title where his own words on twitter.)
Thanks to Dr Touch for the opportunity to make a contribution to his blog. I’m a new MacBook user and have had my gorgeous new white MacBook for 48 whole hours. I’m writing this with it sat on my lap. I’ve decided to give it a name ‘Polo’. I don’t know if the meaning will translate into other countries, but in the UK a polo is a small, white mint and is cool.
I’ve been a PC Windows user all my life; I’m 38 now and started using computers on a regular daily basis in the early to mid 90’s. One of the main reasons for the switch is the slow ‘Applefication’ of my life. It started as I replaced an MP3 player with an iPod shuffle, and then an iPod Classic and then I replaced my mobile with an iPhone.