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Month: October 2016

In Search of a Lightweight Linux Distribution

In Search of a Lightweight Linux Distribution

The first decision, for many Linux users with a new machine, is what distro to install? Now I understand that many users that have been using Linux for some time have settled on one main distribution they prefer, that they’ve come to know, etc. In my case, I prefer Debian on my main laptop, (although use of a Fedora VM has me curious about other distros), but the machine I’m hunting for a distro to install isn’t as powerful as my main machine. Thus begins my research into lightweight Linux distributions.

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What is the Future of Mac? Pro-Sumer Not Professional.

What is the Future of Mac? Pro-Sumer Not Professional.

Apple LogoLet me start this article with one thing. I love Apple computers. I love Apple in general. I’ve read the books, seen the movies, watched the documentaries. The first computer I ever used was an old Mac, I can’t remember the model. I had a 2009 MacBook Pro that got me through college and then some, it lasted 7 years before it met it’s end at the hands of a beferage. My previous and current position consist of support Macs, and iOS devices. But every day I’m having more and more trouble with this, I’m wondering when use loyal Apple users will get updates to our Macs, we shell out $700+ on a new phone every year. Where’s the love for those that have been on Mac for years?

My second point before I continue is that I may be an Apple fan, but I am not an ignorant fan-boy. I’ve had Android phones. I own a laptop running Debian, I last week, I purchased a Windows 10 Lenovo N22. I’m very much comfortable in a Unix/Linux Terminal. I’ve been working in IT for a few years. I’m not someone that just likes to complain, I am incredibly lucky to use all the devices I have, and not have to purchase many of them. This is just my observations over the last few years of work and personal Mac use.

At this point, given the recent announcement from the developer of Dash, and other events in the Apple world, such as the lack of ANY desktop or laptop products in the September event, I have a hard time believing that Apple cares anything for the professional or enterprise user. When I say professional, I don’t mean start up, I mean business, I’m referring to those organizations that have to protect sensitive information, standardize deployment, and manage access. Things that you cannot do in any simple way on an Apple Device.

It’s for this reason that JAMF Software’s CasperSuite and Centrify’s MDM options are able to excel in their field. They do things that Apple has made it very clear they care little for. I don’t care what the proponents say, the iPad Pro is not even close to competing with the Microsoft Surface. It is an iPad, not a full computer. Integrating a Mac into an Active Directory environment is hell, almost more trouble than it’s worth, and the lack of built in management of these devices makes me fear that sensitive data could walk away at any minute. Xsan and OS X/MacOS Server may still be around in a software sense, but they’re hardly any help. A few versions back for OS X server, there was a semi-robust management feature, but that’s gone.

That’s also side stepping the atrocious state of the Mac App store, VPP program and everything else software deployment related. Half the software on a Mac is way in need of updates, where’s the new features for iMessage? I haven’t been able to use Apple Mail in any real way for years, especially since Microsoft gave us Office 2016 for Mac (I’ll cede one point here, it took Microsoft WAY TOO LONG to make that happen, and we’re still waiting for a Lync/Skype for Business update). I can’t tell you the last time I used some of these apps in Launchpad – Grapher, Reminders, iBooks, Chess.

screenshot of low powered macbook pro

Mac Pros, the old foot print, were a work of art. The new one? The trash can? Sleek, sexy, looks awesome, engineering did a great job on it, except for one GLARING flaw. The ports are on the back…This is supposed to be the professional machine, but anytime I need to plug in a flash drive I need to reach around to the back? I understand that the iMacs are the same way, but in my experience you’re more likely to need to plug in things to the Mac Pro. Audio interface? Video equipment? Better find some sort of good looking USB hub. It’s been 1000 days since the Mac Pro has seen an update to their hardware, but Apple’s description for the site still says “Introducing the New Mac Pro”

BUT THE MAC HAS SIRI NOW. I don’t need Siri on my Mac, I didn’t ask for Siri on my Mac. Siri hasn’t enhanced my computing experience, ever. I want a better Mac. I have to talk to Siri. Still? 5 years down the road and I still can’t type a query to Siri? Ok, well if you need me, I’ll be in Starbucks asking Siri to sort my files while everyone looks at me with a strange look on their face.

I’m holding out for new Macs. I’ve been holding out for new Macs. I liked the Retina MacBook, insanely small logic board? Layered battery? Beautiful. Then I used it, I couldn’t type a line in an email without the cursor ending up 10-15 characters back. It’s a pretty netbook, super light, a beautiful machine, but I use it for email, word processing, and light internet browsing.  Full Disclosure – I have heard the second gen of the Retina MacBook is miles ahead in performance, I have not been able to use one for any time other than a quick in store demo. Rumors are that this month we’ll see new things in Mac. An OLED strip to replace the function buttons. USB-C Ports. I just want a current processor and a better battery. We’re waiting Apple, it’s about time you gave us something.

Riding a Bike in San Francisco

Riding a Bike in San Francisco

There are a lot of cyclists in San Francisco. Many ride road or mountain bikes, something with gears, but you’ll often see bike messengers riding fixed gear bikes or single speed up and down Market St, weaving in and out of traffic rather impressively. I made sure that my car during my first drive from Rochester to San Francisco had enough room for my bike, a Trek Earl I purchased a few years back. I knew that I wouldn’t be driving a car much in the city, what with parking, (or lack thereof), traffic, the number of pedestrians, etc. A bicycle just seemed like a good idea!

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Lenovo N22 – Thoughts Part 1

Lenovo N22 – Thoughts Part 1

I don’t spend much time using Groupon these days. If I have to be completely honest, both physical products, (a solar phone case, and Kindle light) were unusable within a day and returned. All the coupons have worked without any issues, so I was VERY wary about ordering this laptop from Groupon. My justification to myself was multi-level;

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