Tuesday, December 25, 2007

To the newer cat

Belated Christmas greetings. Unfortunately I could not post an entry yesterday, not that I was too busy celebrating christmas, but my laptop had to be pressed into an unavoidable service, namely, showing my mom a movie. Anyhow so I will complete my yesterday's duty today.

So what has kept me occupied last two days. Of course I am doing some Solaris and Java learning. But apart from that, I am also doing a Leopard learning. Yes, finally I have upgraded my system to Leopard, and definitely I have started liking my new OS. So how did it all began?

While I was at Chandigarh, a day before I left for Delhi, I decided to free my hard disk space, cause I new that I needed so free space to upgrade my OS. Usually I only have free space of about 1-2 GB, and definitely it is far from adequate for an upgrade. So I decided to transfer some of my things to a DVD and in the process I spoilt 2 DVDs. Toast would only write the DVD for about 2 seconds after the lead in and then it would generate a hexadecimal hardware error. It was late so I decided to return to Delhi and then try to diagnose the problem patiently. Back in Delhi I tried to write the same DVD again, but this time a DVD+RW. This time Toast would write the lead in and immediately following it, it would write the lead out. No error. But the error was generated when I tried to erase it. I finally confirmed that something was definitely wrong with my SuperDrive. So when I was going to meet Karan, Maanick, Mukesh Sir and Nisheeth (who apparently forgot that we were to meet, and got left out in the process), I carried my laptop along to Anything Mac at Yusuf Sarai (Near Karan's place). For those of you who have read my criticism of the AppleCare Center at Chandigarh forget about all that. AnyMac has definitely beaten the the Chandigarh one by miles. I remember this summer, when I had got my laptop, Maanick and I tried to locate AnyMac for a laptop bag. Boy, we nearly sieved through the Yusuf Sarai market and Village for an address 2F 40 Yusuf Sarai. Some people sent us to Yusuf Sarai market, some to the village. There are two 40 Yusuf Sarais at Yusuf Sarai and we reached both the places but could not find AnyMac. To top that Maanick is someone who has already been to the place once, and even he could do anything but give up. This time I carefully checked out the Map they have on their website. On reaching the 40 Yusuf Sarai Village, I had to ask two more person to find a small staircase behind the building (sort of a back door entry) and then climb to 2nd Floor to find a dark glass door with a tiny Apple Sticker on that. Ah.. Finally. I realized that the reason that Maanick and I could not find it was because our eyes were searching for an Apple Logo, or Apple Poster or something, some board that would either say Apple or Mac or Anything Mac. None of these things actually exist. Anyway once you go though that door, you fill find everything Mac inside it. At least the receptionist is using an iMac G4 and not an ancient windows computer as they do in Chandigarh. So after proper diagnosis they declared that my SuperDrive will be replaced and so they ordered the SuperDrive from Bangalore and took my contact no so that they can contact me when the replacement would arrive. Now since I had a bad SuperDrive I met everyone and did not upgrade to Leopard that day.

On 24th they gave me a call. My replacement had arrived, and I was hoping that the drive would be region free. I am really pissed carrying an RPC2 Drive. So I got it replaced and then went to Karan and tested my drive with an original Hindi Movie DVD - Corporate. Vlc played it!! I was happy but somewhere in my mind I was not really convinced that Hindi movie DVDs have a proper region check. Then I upgraded to Leopard.:)

Back home the first thing I did was Check with my Gladiator DVD. And sigh!! Vlc failed to read it... My hopes were shattered. I searched over the internet if there was a firmware hack for my new SuperDrive. My last Superdrive which was a Hitachi-LG (HL) GWA4080MA did not have a firmware hack for the AE39 firmware revision. My current drive a Matsushita UJ-857D has a firmware hack for the firmware revision KCVB. I quickly downloaded all the required files. But later on reading the forums I realized that the Patcher wont work on Leopard... Shit Man!! I just upgraded to Leopard!! Maybe I'll wait for a patcher that would work with Leopard, or maybe I'll use Tiger temporarily to apply the patch. I don't know.

But some consolation... I am using a superior OS now. So what are the features I love... Firstly QuickLook. Boy, isn't it useful... Works with most files. And interestingly, video files that are currently being downloaded, you dont have to wait for the download to end for it to be played on a player. Just QuickLook it and it would play even the broken file. The next would be Spotlight. Its quick and its better. Interestingly the Help menu of every application also have a Spotlight. And while you are typing your search it would also yield result if there is a menu matching with the keyword. And it woould also show the menu like this:



I really like this feature. So from now on you dont have to search through the various Menus and Submenus to find an option eg it often happens with Photoshop. It has loads of menus and submenus and at times its really difficult to find a menu option if you are not a regular user. Next good thing is Spaces. Finally Mac has workspaces and they are lovely. Also you can assign an application to open in a particular space. Time Machine is also good, but since I don't have a large hard disk for backup, I can't take full use of that. Coverflow in finder is just another feature, its good but not a feature that I'd die for.

Leopard has also brought with itself certain bad points. Firstly the directory Icons. The Dock is also not that good. If only the "orbs" change to something more contrasting I'd be satisfied. Of course I know the List View is coming in 10.5.2, and also that I have Drawers Icons that helps me differentiate the stacks in the Dock (Not neat, but effective). Also for some reason when the Spotlight dropdown is open and we use Exposé for seeing the desktop, the Spotlight drop-down disappears. I am not yet comfortable with that, but surely will get used to it. FrontRow interface is not as cool as the last one. Mostly the opening and closing. This new one fades through black. The older one was awesome in that respect. Also no live video in the dock icons when a player is minimized. :( Not a feature that would be missed but definitely it was cool.

Chalo I'll get back to some real work....

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