The Computer Blog

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Another Reason Not To Buy Apple's Current Airport Extreme Router

A while back, I wrote about how Apple’s nonsensical omission of Gigabit Ethernet was a reason to avoid buying the unit until Apple corrected it. Well, Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle found another reason. He took a unit and ran it against Gibson’s “Shields Up” website (http://www.grc.com). You can see what he found here.

In short, Apple’s unit is less secure than almost any other unit on the market. Like the Gigabit Ethernet omission, Apple’s rationale is that this doesn’t matter to consumers. Well, I’m a consumer, and I say both of them do. I can get both of those features and “N” networking by buying a D-Link DIR-655 wireless router for $50 less than Apple’s Airport Extreme. That’s sad, especially when I would like to buy the Apple product.

Let me put it another way, Apple. I already have those features on my current 802.11G router. Why would I want to go backwards?

If It Ain't Broke, "Safari" It!

I was one of those who downloaded Apple’s Safari browser the same day it was released, and re-downloaded copies again a couple of days later when the security update was released. I’ve been watching both Apple and several financial analysts with humor as Jobs’ fantasizes about Safari’s and Apple’s success with this effort. Everyone’s wondering why Apple did this, including me.

As a switcher who has become largely an Apple loyalist, I downloaded Safari more as a curiosity and "just to have it" instead of any intent to use it to replace either IE 7 or Firefox when I’m on Windows XP. Since I use Safari most of the time when I’m on Tiger, I’m well aware of Safari’s limitations. Part of my curiosity was to see if Apple might have fixed them in this newest version, whether on the Mac or PC side. They haven’t, and that means there is no chance Safari will change my Windows-based surfing habits.

No matter which operating system you’re on, Safari seems to have a problem with correctly rendering certain websites. It seems to have the most problem rendering sites that are largely Java or Flash based. Many of the critical websites I need for work and financial business fit that category; I mostly use Firefox for those (whether I am on Tiger or XP) and sometimes IE7 when I am on XP.

I can understand, too, Windows users bitching about Safari not importing bookmarks from other browsers. I’m not one of those who are going to harp at Apple about doing everything the Windows way when on Windows; I think that’s a ridiculous and very limiting expectation. In this case, though, I am having a hard time understanding how Apple left that feature out, especially when Jobs is making the ultimate fantasy talk about Safari taking over the Windows market. If that was really the case, wouldn’t Apple have included that feature in an effort to ensure users switched? That says to me that the talk of becoming a Windows giant is a smokescreen, and Apple had some other motive for doing it. I suspect it had to do with the iPhone and trying to give people not familiar with Safari on the Mac side a chance to use it so it wouldn’t hold them back. If it even factored into reasoning to purchase iPhone or not, that is. The reality is that while some of Safari’s features are pretty cool, most of those features (like tabbed browsing and fast rendering) exist in most other Windows’s browsers; and its infrequent but noticeable failure to properly render some websites makes it the little kid on the Windows block.

If Safari is Apple’s Trojan Horse, it’s about to get blown up as it rolls through the front gate!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Doesn't anyone proofread these things?

Here's what an Apple technical document said about a problem when "hot-swapping" an external display with one of the new MacBook Pro's:

"Issue or symptom
When hot-plugging an external display into your MacBook Pro, you may notice the external display occasionally stays dark, or the internal display of the MacBook Pro appears to flash or turn black.

Sometimes, when switching from an S-Video to a DVI connection, the internal display may appear black or display only the mouse cursor.

Products affected
-MacBook Pro (15-inch 2.4/2.2GHz)
-MacBook Pro (17-inch 2.4GHz)

Solution
1) Wait 5 seconds for the screen to automatically re-size or activate.
2) If this doesn't occur after 5 seconds, click on Detect Displays in the Displays pane of System Preferences.
3) If the internal (or external) display still doesn't re-size or activate, press the F7 key to turn on mirroring mode, or restart the computer."

Does anyone other than me find #2 hilariously funny?