Tag Archives: mac



Why is it so hard to print? I have a bog standard HP Photosmart C4180 here running on an XP machine. It is shared as a windows printer.

  • Jaunty works 95% of the time. Sometimes it just stops and wants a restart before coming back to life.
  • Windows 7. Works about 50% of the time. Sometimes just nothing happens. The Windows 7 machine will sometimes think everything is fine but nothing appears on the XP machine. Sometimes it will just hang. Sometimes it will print. Usually a reboot will help.
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Had to resort to the CUPS interface (http://localhost:631) just to get it to see the printer. Now seems to be working. Seems to be.
  • Son’s XP machine. Prints around 70% of the time. Same symptoms as the Windows 7 machine when it doesn’t print.

If you want to blame the XP machine, last week it was being driven off a Samba machine instead with the same issues. Everywhere I go I have the same experience. Just walking into our office and hitting the print button and having something print out feels like an extraordinary experience. I have no idea how it feels if you manage it two days in a row.

>Apple are slick

>Email from Apple to me after I registered my new purchase

Thanks for registering your new Mac. We have the following on record in your name:

>Welcome from the MacBook Pro and Another Welcome from Refurbished Computers UK

>It arrived a day late and is looking pretty cool so far.

So I’m typing this with MarsEdit first of all to see how I get on what that.

What have I noticed about the new machine. Some random comments made in no particular order. Here’s the low down on the specs of the Machine.

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro4,1

Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz

Number Of Processors: 1

Total Number Of Cores: 2

L2 Cache: 3 MB

Memory: 4 GB

Bus Speed: 800 MHz

It has a 250GB hard drive, 5400 RPM

I’ve been through a number of laptops in the last couple of years. I had the MacBook which replaced my old iBook and died a horrible death. Which was replaced by a Sony Vaio VGN-FE41Z. And I’ve also been running the Dell Inspiron 630m which I think become my second favorite laptop ever, just behind the 12″ iBook before it too popped it’s clogs. So maybe over three years I’ve had five major laptops – running a mixture of OS X, Linux and Windows (XP and Vista).

I had a bit of a epiphany regarding laptops a short time ago. Because even though I was loving Hardy Heron on the Dell I realised that linux laptop compatibility is a lottery – unless you get one with Ubuntu preinstalled which limits somewhat your choice of machines, trying to get all your laptop features running can become something of a fulltime job. Even on the Dell resume/suspend didn’t work (although it did under Gutsy 95% of the time – I suspect I tweaked something in the past which I’ve since forgotten). So upgrades are exciting times with new treats and old ones sometimes taken from you. The Dell 630m was great but even it was showing it’s age. I was plotting what to replace it with and was thinking of something like my last week’s Vista setup but on a much nicer spec machine. You have all the drivers provided, suspend works, you can buy some crappy bargain bit of hardware not wondering if you’ll ever be able to use it. So if the “X Server, VMWare” trick works and you can use Ubuntu easily within a windows environment it makes sense to go the Windows route.

Because the only other option is the Apple route and I swore to the gods I wouldn’t give them my money again until they sorted out their production process … i.e. I won’t buy a MacBook until they start making them reliable and resilient. I even thought of buying refurbished computers from gigarefurb.co.uk because I have heard how worth it they were. We’ve bought so many of these Macbook and had so many problems and the Apple Care they provided wasn’t much use either because you have to sit there arguing that, no, you didn’t crack the front casing of it and this is a problem that thousands of others have suffered from. And they still don’t believe you. And why don’t we just buy Dell’s instead because you can get cheap accidental damage cover with that. And actually Vista is not that ugly. It’s quite nice. But it’s slow. And not very reliable. And 3GB of RAM is about your max. Oh and Steve Balmer.

Apple are evil. Microsoft are evil. Ubuntu are not evil (or at least, if they are, they’re keeping it quiet so we don’t feel bad about using an evil os). But we have to use evil hardware with the good software and maybe something won’t work properly. Hmmm … Apple.

Am I rambling?

Anyway, on the spur of a moment decision I went back to Apple. I bought a MacBook Pro because I was not aware of them suffering the same monumental build quality issues as the MacBook. It’s a Unix based laptop. It has a great screen and a great keyboard. It has good battery life. It’s fast. I was in Japan when the other laptop died and I could easily get a US keyboard and a worldwide warranty. I love OS X.

I’ll blog a bit shortly when I have my same Ubuntu VMWare setup up and running. I’ll blog a little bit later, maybe in a couple of months, when I’ve worked out whether this is really changing my life. If it can and I can reduce my laptops to one again, I’ll be a happy man.

>For richer, for poorer

>Currently being assembled, should be with me by the end of next week:

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy WS
4GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM – 2x2GB
250GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
SuperDrive 8x DL
No iWork Preinstalled
No Final Cut Exp Preinstalled
No Aperture Preinstalled
No Logic Exp Preinstalled
US KYBD/User’s Guide -JA
Country Kit-JPN