Facts and things

Facts from around the world!

In South Africa, they use the same word for ‘demonstration’ and ‘riot’, according to a friend from Cape Town who was alarmed to read about the mass ‘riots’ taking place in London for Bush’s visit.

In Australia, when the public transport workers go on strike, they don’t go home. Instead, they go to work as normal but they don’t charge anyone. Clearly an idea whose time has come for the London Underground (and Post Office).

In other news, I played my first ever competitive doubles game of badminton for the college second team this morning, and lost both matches. I’m still fairly pleased with my performance though, considering that our college team has never practiced together, or even met before today, whereas our opponents had clearly practiced a fair bit before. My partner and I lost the the first game 4-15 although we managed to rally towards the end. I don’t think we had enough of a warmup.

The second game was much better; our opponents were slightly better than in the first game, but we still managed to pull ahead to 11-6 at one point. There was a lot of fast play going on that left me unusually out of breath, probably because I’d donated blood the previous day. Unfortunately they went on to win 11-15 due to a run of bad luck (for us) and some silly errors on our part.

I finally got my iBook yesterday in a highly circuitous route which I don’t feel like recounting. The important thing is that I have a highly shiny iBook G4 800 12″ sitting in front of me. Here’s what I spent part of yesterday doing (times are approximate):

0h – 1h: Booted it up and used the installation disks. Made appreciative noises as I explored OSX. Got frustrated about using the touchpad.

1h – 2h: Connected the iBook to my wireless network, which was not as easy as it could have been due to my total unfamiliarity with OSX and Windows being difficult. Tried to figure out how to transfer files across, and failed.

2h – 3h: Figured out how to transfer files by FTP. Realised that the utterly dismal transfer rate of 50k/s wasn’t going to cut it for 10GBs worth of stuff. Decided to use IP over Firewire.

3h – 3:30h: IP over Firewire didn’t work, so I tried booting up the iBook as a dumb Firewire drive. Windows refused to recognise the iBook’s HD, although it did see its DVD drive. Wow, that’s really useful, Windows…

3:30h – 4h: Tried IP over Firewire again. Finally got it working by disabling my other network connection on Windows. Marvelled at the 2MB/s transfer rate.

4h – 5h: Copied over all my files. Got irritated about OSX not recognising unusual characters in filenames, e.g. �.

5h – 6h: Realised that I made an apparently fatal mistake by transferring the files over using the ‘wrong’ FTP account, thus resulting in non-ideal file permissions. Spent a fruitless 30 minutes moving them between shared and public folders in vain attempt to alter permissions. Began to think that it might have been easier to get a Windows laptop.

6h – 6:30h: Hit upon the brilliant idea of trying to change the file permissions using the admin user, which worked, but took far too long since I was doing it folder by folder, file by file.

6:30h – 6:35h: Suddenly thought, “Hey, this is Unix, I shouldn’t have to do this crap, I should be able to do it all from the command line.” Googled for suitable command and changed all directory and file permissions in the blink of an eye. Felt suitably power-user-ish.

6:35h – 7h: Finally got iTunes to see all my music. Tried importing several thousand photos into iPhoto and stopped when I saw it was just copying all of them. Still don’t have a good solution for this.

7h – 8h: All the files now copied. Installed Office X, and then Fire, OSXVNC and VLC. Was utterly amazed by the ease of installation and never being asked to restart the computer. Decided that it really was a good idea not to buy a Windows laptop. Set up a special Windows VNC client that allows me to use my Windows keyboard and mouse for the iBook.

8h – 8:30h: Gazed lovingly at Aqua goodness and the speed of Preview. Wasted a few minutes playing around with Expos� and Fast User Switching. Looked at the clock and decided it was time for bed.

3 Replies to “Facts and things”

  1. So, based on the amount of grief you had with getting this iBook and the 8 hours you spent sorting it out and transferring your files across, you still reckon it’s better than a Windows laptop? 😉

    I’m curious as to why the admin user can’t change file permissions for an entire folder (using the GUI rather than a UNIX shell, or whatever OSX uses). That just seems odd.

  2. I see the 8 hours as a small sacrifice to having a highly seductive computer that will pose no further problems from now on 🙂 Of course, I didn’t see it that way at the time…

    You can change the permissions via the GUI, but it wasn’t clear whether the change applied to all files and subdirectories. It seemed that sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t.

    Tom: I’ll keep an eye out for it, thanks.

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