On October 20, 2012, my iPad went missing. I knew I’d last seen it at church, which in my case brought some comfort, because the people at this church are, for the most part, a pretty trustworthy group. Still, not everyone in even a good church is a saint, and besides there are visitors who could be — gulp — capable of anything.
Since I had iCloud, I decided to try Apple’s nifty Find My iPad feature. But when I tried, this is the sad news I got:
Normally I am pretty positive about all things related to Mac OS X. However, despite some nice features, I have to say that the OS X Finder is one of the weakest links in the operating system. In particular, it fails woefully at something very commonplace and important to many routine computer tasks: copying or moving files.
Wimpy error handling: One of its most annoying traits is its utterly wimpy error handling. Recently I was trying to copy a Time Machine backup from one drive to another. This was many gigabytes in size, and could take hours to complete. The source drive was a bit flaky, beginning to fail physically. I couldn’t wait for the copying operation to finish at home, since I had to go to work. But while I was at work, the drive went to standby mode (after the lengthy file counting process, but before any actual copying had begun, since at that strange juncture Finder asks for a username and password), and then the drive didn’t want to come back online when I returned home — at least no without some kicking and screaming. This caused the copy operation, now in progress since I just typed my username and password, to get an error, but rather than giving me a chance to try again, it just quit. Which put me back at square one, with hours of copying ahead. What Finder needs is a simple “Retry / Cancel” dialog. There is no excuse for operations to fail because of a single error; give the user the chance to remedy the error and resume. Even DOS had “Abort, Retry, Fail?” Come on, Apple! We need something robust. And this is not the only situation where that can happen — it appears any error will cause Finder to give up.
Here is a screen shot comparing, side by side, the flight search results on both Orbitz.com and CheapTickets.com:
Click the image for a full-size view.
I had a major falling out with my previous blog client, ecto. It destroyed about 60 or more entries in my private journal, going back to 2003. (After some serious digging, I was able to restore most of them from backups, all but about 9 or so of the entries; I’m still working on it.)
So I was looking for a solution, and tried MacJournal, which I thankfully already owned a license for. So far it is working well. It is not really a blog client per se; it is intended as a journaling app, as the name suggests. But it can sync to a blog, so is serviceable in that way.
If you like nature and wildlife, you should check out the Wikipedia article, “Largest Organisms.” It is incredibly fascinating. Just getting a taste of the megafauna and megaflora of the past gives us a new perspective on life in our world today. (There is a similar Wikipedia article, with pictures at the end, called “Megafauna.”)