Posts in the “apple” category

A simple Apple “PR vs Advertising” secret

Just before beginning this hellaciously long drive to Alaska, I stopped in a used bookstore to sell 250 of my favorite books (that were too heavy to fit in my RAV4), but in the process, I bought one more: an old copy of Guy Kawasaki’s, The Macintosh Way.

I was going to wait to read The Macintosh Way until I got settled in Alaska, but I’ve had some down time the last few days — waiting out some brutal Canadian winter weather and waiting for new winter tires to be delivered — so I cracked it open.

Tonight, on page 123 — right before some Iditarod sled dogs started barking like crazy at feeding time in the parking lot — I read a few lines from Mr. Kawasaki that succinctly explain Apple’s marketing and public relations approach:

There’s a big difference between advertising and PR. Advertising is when you tell people how great you are. PR is when someone else says how great you are. PR is better. (This is Jean-Louis’ insight.)

How to move iPhone application (app) icons around

iPhone apps FAQ: How do I move iPhone apps or app icons? (Related: How do I move iPod or iPad app icons?)

I'm a relatively new owner of an Apple iPhone 3G, and last night, quite by accident, I learned how to move iPhone apps (applications) from one place to another on the iPhone screen. The technique to move an iPhone app is a bit of fun; here's how you do it.

How to make a backup copy (ISO image) of a CD or DVD using the MacOS dd command

[toc]

If you want to make a backup copy (an ISO image) of a CD or DVD on a MacOS system using the Unix dd command at the Mac Terminal command line, I’ll demonstrate the process in this tutorial.

Step 1: Insert a CD or DVD

Assuming that you’re using an external CD/DVD drive, the first step is to connect your drive to your computer, and then insert a CD or DVD. If you insert a movie or music CD and an application automatically starts playing, quit that application.

How I significantly improved my iTunes song quality

It was driving me crazy that the quality of the songs I was streaming from a website known as Bandcamp sounded better than the quality of the songs I was playing from my iTunes collection. In my case, I recently bought a Marian Call CD named “Something Fierce”, and had imported the songs from that CD into iTunes. But the songs I streamed from Bandcamp sounded better than the songs I imported from the CD; how could this be?

[toc hidden:1]

iPhone/iOS: How to quit using cellular data when using WiFi

I live in Colorado, where cellular reception can be very hit or miss because of the mountains and rolling hills. As just one example there are only two spots in my apartment where I can make a phone call. So when I’m at home trying to view a website using Safari on my iPhone and the page is loading really slow, I find it really annoying that my iPhone is trying to use my cellular data rather than my home wireless network (WiFi).

Note: Apple implies that the cellular data is “assisting” the WiFi, but with the poor cell reception here, I can confirm that this feature just slows down my iPhone internet speed.

Solution: How to turn off cellular data access when on WiFi

Fortunately there’s a way with an iPhone and iOS to turn off this annoying feature. Apple calls this technique “Wi-Fi Assist,” and you can disable it by:

  • Go to Settings on your iPhone
  • Tap Cellular
  • Scroll down (way down) on that screen until you see the Wi-Fi Assist setting. Disable it.

This is what that cellular setting looks like on my iPhone running iOS 10.2:

The iPhone/iOS Wi-Fi Assist setting

If the button background is green (as shown), tap it once to turn off this feature. After you do this your iPhone should just use WiFi data.

Note: It would be nice if you could turn this feature on for poor networks (like when you’re sitting at Starbucks, Panera Bread, etc.) but off for your home network, but unfortunately Apple doesn’t let you do that.

Summary

If, like me, you have a good home WiFi network and poor cellular reception, I think you’ll find that this tip will speed up your iPhone internet access speed. It can also save you money on your cellular data plan.

Apple Magic Mouse 2: How long to charge the battery?

I recently bought a new iMac, and it came with a “Magic Mouse 2,” which is like the original Magic Mouse, but this one has a built-in battery. (It would have been nice if the documentation mentioned that, but that’s another story.) Once I figured out that you could charge it, I quickly wondered, “How long do you need to charge the Magic Mouse 2?”

Great tech review of Apple’s iPad A12X system

Kudos to Samuel Axon of Ars Technica for writing a very good tech review of the hardware behind Apple’s new iPad Pro (2018). As I was reading it, it reminded me of the old style of solid writing that I used to get when I bought print copies of magazines.

One of the nuggets of the article is shown in the image I’ve attached here, where you can see that the 2018 iPad Pro is faster than every MacBook Pro in existence other than its 2018 model, at least in terms of the Geekbench multi-core performance tests. If you dig through the images in the article you’ll see that the story isn’t quite as powerful in the single-core benchmark, where the iPad Pro lags the 2018 MacBook Pro by up to 16%. But in those tests the iPad Pro is roughly the equivalent of a 2018 Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 model. (The older Macs use Intel Core i7 and Xeon W processors, and the Dell model uses an Intel Core i7. The 2018 MacBook Pro uses an Intel Core i9.)

These numbers — comparing a tablet to i7 and i9 processors — make one think that Apple will be using their own chips inside Mac computer systems some time soon.

Apple’s mission statement (Tim Cook text)

Apple mission statement: To the best of my knowledge Apple has never published a “mission statement,” but I enjoyed this quote from Tim Cook of Apple regarding Apple's business philosophy, which is essentially an Apple mission statement:

A custom TextMate command that uses ‘sed’

In this post I share the contents of a custom TextMate command I just created that uses pandoc and sed to convert markdown content in the TextMate editor to a “pretty printer” version of HTML:

#!/bin/sh

PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin

# note: 'sed -E' gives you the advanced regex's

# use pandoc to convert from markdown to html,
# then use sed to clean up the resulting html
pandoc -f markdown -t html |\
sed -Ee "/<p|<h2|<h3|<h4|<aside|<div|<ul|<ol/i\\
\\"

You can try to use a command like tidy to clean the HTML, but the version of tidy I have does not know about HTML5 tags. The TextMate Markdown plugin also doesn’t work the way I want it. Besides that, I’m trying to learn more about writing TextMate commands anyway.

As an important note, when you set this up as a TextMate command and then run it, it will convert the TextMate editor contents from markdown to HTML.

(In a related note, serenity.de is also a good resource for TextMate command and bundle documentation.)

In summary, this code shows:

* How to execute a Unix shell command from TextMate
* Specifically, how to execute a sed command from TextMate
* How to use modern regular expressions with sed (the -E option)
* How to search for multiple regex search patterns with sed

Lesson learned from Apple: Keep innovating, or die

One lesson learned from Apple recently is that if your products stagnate people will start to look around, and when they do that they may spend their money elsewhere.

As just one small example of this, iOS got boring for me, so I started looking around and bought an Android tablet instead of a new iPad. These days the Mac and macOS feel stagnant — or worse than that, moving in the wrong direction by removing features like Spaces — so I’m looking at desktop alternatives as well.

2018 Update: As a result of macOS moving in the wrong direction (IMHO), I now have have a laptop and desktop that run Linux Mint.