Tuesday, 31 May 2022

What is the Mac Bloc?

The Mac Bloc is like most of my categories tied up in a pun or some inside joke. 

This is a pun on the "Soviet Bloc"—also synonymous with the Eastern Bloc, Communist Bloc, or Socialist Bloc. The Mac Bloc then is dedicated to the somewhat blind ideal I hold Apple hardware and the Mac OS. 

As a staunch anti-communist, then you should read: The Mac Bloc is a mocking pun, wherein I see myself as a thrall to what Steve Jobs created, as those who are slavishly chained to the blind ideals of Marxist theory.

It's been 12 years since I posted in this category. I should queue up some pro-Mac OS stuff for June. I might start with something about moving the "Year of the Linux Desktop" perpetually to the next year. As one that stands with many in the Bazaar, on the steps of the Cathedral, we should just acknowledge that the "Year of the (Linux|BSD|Unix) Desktop" was 2004 and has been with us since. 

Everyone should just lower their guidons and yield to the Mac Bloc.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:33 AM in the mac bloc

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

New MacBook Pros Imminent

Your editor-at-large is excited about the possibility of new MacBook Pros.

Yes, I am a Mac Addict. Fanboi. Thrall. Since 1992.

POOF! There goes my evil bank bonus... well, just a little bit of it.
Posted by caffeinated at 2:44 AM in the mac bloc

Thursday, 3 July 2008

8 days and a wake up


Some might call me a chump. Others might call me smart for holding out and not jumping in, waters untested.

I like to think I'm firmly planted in the latter group.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:03 AM in the mac bloc

Saturday, 20 October 2007

64bit, memory, and money

Here’s one for the readers: if Mac OS X Leopard finally exercises the 64bit features of the Intel Core 2 Duo, does that mean my MacBook Pro can effectively be expanded to use 1TB (terabyte) of RAM?


Let me translate that number: 1024GBs! For a MacBook Pro that’s two 512GB chips. Aside from “they don’t make those (yet),” 1024GBs is a lot of RAM. 4GB excited me. 1TB?! I can't describe the excitement or possibilities: multiple guest OSs... or the combinations of development platforms. Ah, such are geek wet dreams.

Sad really. It would so be expensive. 4GB, even 8GB, is attainable; 1TB needs an angel with money, ’cuz I ain’t got that kinda dough.

Posted by caffeinated at 1:46 PM in the mac bloc

Monday, 15 October 2007

To partition or not to partition

I made the mistake of equipping my new MacBook before splitting the drive into HFSJ and HFSX partitions (J is for Journaled HFS+, X is HFSJ with case-sensitivity). Now, I’m sans case sensitive partition and my CVS/SVN checkouts have issues, besides I can’t commit files with the same name, differing only in case (yes, there are reasons such things might exist in the world of software development).


There appear to be some good tools out there, though I’m only seriously considering DriveStudio by Micromat. Micromat has always been a great Mac company, producing powerful tools for the Mac hacker and support expert. I trust Micromat.

I’m just not ready to drop the 50 bucks.

Then there is parted and its GUI’d cousins, QTParted and GParted. Freeware tools that do the same thing, but without the feature set of a tool like DriveStudio.

What to do?

Posted by caffeinated at 7:56 AM in the mac bloc

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Another Caffeinated Podcast?

Oh, crap.


Three reasons. Because. Garageband. blojsom templates.

I have been following the misadventures of Dr. Rotwang! at IWTBWMxB with his production and software problems. Ugh! I made my suggestion: “Get a Mac.” Yeah, yeah. Don't bother me with the urban legends about price. I'm not listening. Garageband would give the Doctor the prescription he needs for dead simple podcasting. I've been playing with Garageband and it simply makes a professional out of the amateur podcaster. In the hands of a studied professional like Dr. Rotwang! I can only imagine the greatness.

That covers reasons 1 and 2, but what's this about blojsom templates? blojsom is a blogging package, and thus could be the medium in which a podcaster offers his or her work to the listener. Instead of submitting to iTunes or some redirector, wouldn't it be nice if blojsom provided a template to serve it directly? Apple provides the XML format, all you need is a feed capable blogging server, be it blojsom or some other package, and an appropriate XML response on a request. Or so I think. But it would need at least a first podcast...

But nobody wants to listen to me. People do listen to Dr. Rotwang! To the Doctor: Go to your Apple Store. Just play, Apple let's you do that, and be wow'd.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:37 PM in the mac bloc

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Selling my broken iPod on eBay

Broken 3GB 5th Gen. White iPod

It recently took a dip in a sink full of water that had been washing lettuce. Generally clean tap water, but the impurities from the lettuce are likely conductors.

It never recovered from trauma. Someone with some knowledge about salvaging parts, like the still functioning screen, might be able to do something noble with it. Kind of like organ donation.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:36 PM in the mac bloc

Friday, 1 September 2006

Know when to fold 'em

It comes down to this. If I’m wrong, it’d be worth $1099 to know that MacBook users are in fact at risk. And if I’m right, someone needs to call Maynor and Ellch on their bullshit.

Excellent. John Gruber is calling Maynor and Jon "Johnny Cache" Elich out.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:58 PM in the mac bloc

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

iLife '06

At the moment the installer is running for iLife ’06.

Not to worry, you won’t be subjected to my voice or visage in a podcast, though the box really pushes those integrated features that make it possible to produce such content with ease.

Picked this upgrade up to really use some of the new iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD features. Maybe play with iWeb a bit, though its lack luster reviews seem to soften that need, not dismissing the fact that the upload features really need a .Mac account apparently.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:59 PM in the mac bloc

Saturday, 24 June 2006

The Dock, a survey

Mac users. A simple comment survey.

How is your Dock currently set?

  1. Position: left || bottom || right
  2. Magnification: on || off
  3. Auto-hide: on || off

I’ve been experimenting with left and right vs. the default of bottom. Left has its problems in Photoshop. Right has its problems when on the desktop. But has one setting, even the default, turned you into an evangelist of that position?

I’m back to "bottom/off/off," respectively, myself.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:35 PM in the mac bloc

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

International iPod

iPod owners get together and share your ideas, questions, tips and thoughts. You might find out something that you didn’t know about your iPod or accessory.

My coworker and I were chatting about car radios and the Griffin iTrip performance or lack of performance. Since I swear by my wife’s iTrip mini, I got the iTrip for the 5g iPod and, well, have been less than happy (but I blame that in part on the shitty radio my Toyota sedan has in it and the otherwise full spectrum FM offerings in my area.)

But a visit to Griffin Technology showed how to set the iTrip to “international mode” allowing a wider range of station settings, into part of the FM spectrum I know is all static for my area.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:08 AM in the mac bloc

Monday, 8 May 2006

vim 7

Just built vim 7 on my Mac.

Some neat new features. Mostly out of the box, but had some problems with the GUI portion. There is something about that part of the build that makes it possible, I just didn't want to worry my day away trying to get it work, so I dropped that portion of the build.

Just uncommenting CONF_OPT_GUI = --disable-gui seemed to do the trick.

# make config && make install built the default binary to the /usr/local directories. I did update my symlink in /usr/bin to use the new vim.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:08 PM in the mac bloc

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

WebLogic on my iMac G5

Yes. Read that again.

WebLogic on my iMac G5.

Download the install JAR for AIX/PPC. Install. Configure your application for your environment. Badda Bing. I just deployed my employer’s (a financial institution) very complex application, editing only my CLASSPATH, the WL configuration (via the WL console in Safari no less). Yeah, some noise in the logs about performance pack falling back to Java I/O, but this is WL “out-of-the-box.” I love it.

Some specs: WL 8.1SP5. Java 1.4.2_09 (VM build 1.4.2-54, mixed mode). Mac OS X 10.4.6.

Yes, others are doing it, but none have described the process “out-of-the-box”. I can say it works exactly that way.

I’m not endorsing WL on the Mac for production, no, this is strictly a development enviroment endorsement.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:15 AM in the mac bloc

Friday, 17 March 2006


I completed the rebuild of my iMac G5 at work. The drive is partitioned. One HFS+, one HFSX. CVS checkouts work like a charm now.

Just what does a geek name his drives? After sci-fi starship drives, of course. Go ahead, groan. I know you wish you thought of it.

Yeah, yeah, the “drives” do the same thing, get you some place fast. And “WARP” is older than “FTL” (from a linear aspect). But I was never a Star Trek fan, and I haven't missed an episode of BSG. Thus, BSG gets“ top-billing.”

meta-photo-album-thumbnail=geekThumb.gif meta-photo-album=geekdesk.jpg
Posted by caffeinated at 5:00 PM in the mac bloc

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Backing up the Home and other notes

Recent process changes at work have put me in a pickle. Well, not one that can’t be beat with some research.

A large part of my day-to-day work moved to CVS. This is a good thing, I pushed for it. But the Mac OS file system is case-insenitive by default—and before I get a bunch of noise about HFSX, rest assured I researched this format and it’s a no-go as Photoshop, hell, Adobe, has not “certified applications” on HFSX—but I still have to reformat my HDD, so...

...I’ve opted to go with two partitions, one standard HFS+ and another HFSX. OS and applications on HFS+, CVS and development on HFSX. Good trade off I think.

In preparing for this move, I found that MS Entourage was hoarding drive space...about 7GBs of space in the database. I’m compacting that now to see how much I can get back. I need a lot of it back, as my home directory will not back up to a single DVD! Ugh, everything about MS seems to be bloated.

Some notes:

  • Compacting the Entourage database needs 2x the disk space as the database’s starting size (7GBs needs 14GBs)
  • A 7GB database takes +/- 2 hours to compact (on a 2GHz iMac)

Possibly more to follow.


Well, I learned a few things about backing up a home directory in Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x). Top of the list, recursive references to the Desktop will bomb a "Burn Folder" and items in your ~/Library will do so too.

On the former, delete the Desktop reference after dragging your home folder to the burn folder mounted on the Desktop.

On the latter, run the following command to see what files are not really owned by “you”:

% find ~/Library -not -user yourusername -not -type l -ls

Note the directories and files listed, determine just how expendable those files might be, then make a Library folder in the Finder’s Burn Folder and drag the contents of your ~/Library (not the Library folder itself) sans the previously flagged directories, and cross your fingers! :)

Take special care when manipulating “burn folders”: Items dragged to the burn folder appear as aliases, double-clicking on them will take you to the original directory. Deleting a file on this click path, deletes the original file, not some aliased version of the file.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:21 AM in the mac bloc