FryUp: Lights out at Apple

The Cupertinoans couldn't be bothered to issue a timezone patch for OS X; has Orcon got the iPhone or not; and Vista SP1 feels solid

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— Lights out at Apple

— Ringringring Orconiphone

— Happier Vista camper


Error Message: Your Password Must Be at Least 18770 Characters and Cannot Repeat Any of Your Previous

30689 Passwords

— Microsoft KB article Q276304

Lights out at Apple

I hate Daylight Saving with a vengeance, because mornings are bad enough as they are without losing an hour of Hallowed Bedtime as well. Farmers don't like it either as it gives them less time to play with the cows or something like that.

I don't think Apple users like DST much either, after the Cupertinoans couldn't be bothered to issue a timezone patch for OS X that'd make computer clocks tick along as they should. Instead, users are expected to change the time manually, which sort of works but isn't a complete fix.

There seems to be an update for OS X 10.4.8 with updated timezone information for the entire world, but... if you try to download it or read the accompanying documentation, all you get is:

"We're sorry!

Online support is currently unavailable due to system upgrade or maintenance. Please try back later. [sic]"

I've tried back later for the past four days now though...

— Apple DST solution 'very poor', say local users

— Apple Support: About Daylight Saving Time Update (Tiger)

— Apple Knowledgebase: Article N305056

Ringringring Orconiphone

Has Orcon got it or not? The Apple iPhone, that is. That's the question on everyone's mind at the moment, followed by a general "why on earth would Apple even talk to Orcon?"

Unless Kordia has injected some telco magic into Orcon without telling us, I can't see why Apple would speak to Orcon either. Orcon hasn't even launched its phone service as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator under Vodafone's auspices. Would Apple take a massive gamble with a partner that has no experience as a mobile operator, even if it is in a tiny market like New Zealand? I very much doubt it.

Still, good on Kordiacon for generating a good amount of hype. Vodafone could learn a thing or two from Orcon in that area.

— Mauricio Freitas: Apple iPhone coming to New Zealand through Orcon?

— Techsploder: Orcon scores the iPhone?

Happier Vista camper

I downloaded beta 5 of the 1.8GB Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista — yes, that's how big it is with all the languages bundled into it — and like it. While I'm still reconciling myself with the idea of releasing betas of Service Packs, which by definition are bug fixes, Vista SP1 feels solid, better so in fact than the release code version of the operating system.

Installing SP1 took almost two hours, the only gotcha reported being an issue Mauricio at Geekzone experienced: make sure you unplug external drives before installing SP1. The reason for this is that SP1will decompress files to the external drive which may or may not be visible to the operating system after the installer restarts the computer. I have two partitions on my laptop, and sure enough, the SP1 installer avoided the OS slice and put its temporary files on the D:drive. Be careful here.

On the surface, there's not much difference between SP1 and Release Code, and the version number has only been bumped up a single digit, from 6000 to 6001. However, on my ASUS test laptop, 32-bit Vista in SP1 drag seems much snappier despite being beta code. A number of devices like the SD card reader and PCI Express cards work better, and the laptop wakes up from standby and hibernation in a more orderly fashion now.

Vista SP1's only been installed on the laptop for two days so I can't say all that much about it yet, but will report back when I have more experience with it. Meanwhile, check out Brandon LeBlanc's summary of the improvements in SP1 below.

— Brandon LeBlanc's Windows Vista SP1 review

Ballmer Peak


Robert X. Cringely

Apple smacks hackers, hackers attack back

So last week Apple released its expected iPhone re-locker, a bit of firmware that turned previously hacked open iPhones into expensive pocket-sized bricks. Take that, you anti-corporate scamps.

It took the unauthorised Apple development community all of 48 hours to figure out how to re-un-lock their phones by downgrading the firmware to its original state. The trick, as detailed by KMAC1985 on the Hackint0sh forum: holding down the power and home buttons for 10 seconds, then releasing the power button and restoring the old firmware. This apparently works for at least some iPhones.

The score as we head into the third inning: Hackers 2, Apple 1.

Meanwhile, as some users grumble about a class action suit against the Apple/AT&T Axis, comes news that the Apple Newton may be making a comeback.

No, I have not been huffing oven cleaner again. According to AppleInsider, developers inside Apple have been working for the last 18 months to re-animate the long lost equally beloved and belittled Newton, last seen in the wild sometime in 1995.

The New-Newt, allegedly on track to appear next year, will look like the iPhone on the Karen Carpenter diet — almost painfully thin, with a stylus and a "slate" you can write on. Think ultra-mobile PC, only without the hopeless geek factor. (Thanks to Cringester S. C. for alerting me to this tidbit.)

True or not, it's pretty clear that a pocket friendly ultra mobile always connected device is inevitable. And given who is vying to control this market, Apple has both the engineering and marketing savvy to pull it off, as well as a substantial lead with the iPhone. (Like who else is going to do it — Microsoft?)

And if they come out with another proprietary our-way-or-the-highway device you can be sure that somebody will find a way to hack it (and hack it, and hack it again). That's something to take comfort in.

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