Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lion Freezes Up? Here's a Clue!

Since upgrading to Lion (OS X 10.7, and then to 10.7.1), my Mac intermittently freezes up.  I haven't been able to find a pattern, but the programs I usually have running are Microsoft Office 2011 and my Bria softphone.

Today when it happened (at least the fourth time) I called AppleCare to see if they had any details on it.  We found a Safari plugin (I don't even use Safari!) from Leopard or Snow Leopard to be the most likely culprit!

In my user account login items, SIMBL Agent was listed.  We deleted it from that list (it's apparently known to have issues causing Lion to freeze up), but found that it still ran in the background when I restarted.  Se we went hunting and found it on my hard drive under Library\LaunchAgents.  Deleting it there stopped it from starting up on a restart.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Article: The Cloud Can Simplify IT

I just released a new article to publishers on how The Cloud can simplify IT-- and can save lots of cash flow in the process.  If you'd like to read the article, click here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Ostrich View of Applied Medical Technology

My HMO, Kaiser Permanente, advertises that it wants it's customers to thrive, but only using older technology.

Some Background
My knee was injured in a triathlon when in college, and has been operated on six times.  It's beginning to hurt again and is making me cut back on activities, so I went in to see their lead orthopedist about it.  He's ready to replace my knee, and thinks it should be done soon.  I asked him for details on the technology he uses (which replacement knee), and he told me he's using the same solution that he's been using for the last 15-20 years.  He confirmed that it will only last 10-12 years, and that it will quite likely not allow me to continue surfing or cycling.  There are newer proven solutions available (I've paid for second opinions and done some research), but he said they stay with what they're using because it works.

So That Got Me Thinking...
What was technology like 15-20 years ago?  Here's a brief list:
  • No cell phones, smartphones, or text messaging
  • No hybrid cars
  • No digital data & video projectors
  • No satellite radio
  • No DVDs or BlueRay
  • No Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Netflix
  • No Internet or email
  • People still used/ relied heavily on:
    • CRT monitors & displays
    • Faxes & US Mail
    • Telephones & extension phones owned by the phone company
    • Dot matrix printers
    • VHS & Beta video players
    • Answering machines
    • Typewriters
Wake up, Kaiser, and serve us better.  There's lots of good new technology available.  Help us thrive.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mac OSX 10.7 -- Lion

I've been running Lion for a couple of weeks now, and think I like it!  Yes, the download from the App Store takes forever, but it's worth it.

App Check
The first thing I did was check to see if all of my apps work.  They do.  Here's a quick list of the apps I use and rely on (all are the most current versions):
  • Microsoft Office 2011 (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Remote Desktop Connection)
  • Firefox 5
  • Bria 3 Softphone
  • VMware Fusion 3.1
  • TweetDeck
  • Mindjet MindManager
  • SPB Wallet
  • GoToMeeting 5
  • iLife
  • iWork
  • Kindle
  • Logos Bible Software 4
They all work!  That's important, since it's not about the OS, but about the apps.

Network Integration
Integration with our Microsoft network is still good.  We don't add our Macs to Active Directory, but do automatically mount network volumes for easy access (see prior post for easy steps to do this).

A Coupla New Features
New versions of software don't have to be better, just different!  (One of our favorite sayings.)  While that may be true with Lion, there are a couple of new features worth mentioning:
  • Mission Control
    Mission Control replaces Spaces.  Admittedly, I was never a fan of Spaces, primarily because I didn't like how it impacted mouse movement.  Mission Control is similar in function, but better.  It acts more like the multiple screens on an iPad.  I like to the point where I'd say the meager $29.99 upgrade fee is worth it just for Mission Control!
  • Launchpad
    Launchpad is a simple way to see all of your apps.  It's a little like doing so on the iPad, and is convenient.  Some are predicting the death of the Dock because of Launchpad... we'll have to keep watching to see what Apple does with that.
Mouse Scroll Behavior Change
Lion takes the iPad concept to the mouse too.  Unfortunately, in its default setting the mouse scrolls up and down opposite to how computer users want it to.  But you can go to the Mouse or Trackpad preferences and fix it by simply un-clicking the "Scroll direction: natural" box.

A Coupla Minor Bugs
There are a couple things I hope Apple decides to fix, but they're minor:
  1. For some reason my sound setting keeps resetting itself to a very low volume setting.  I haven't found a pattern yet, so am thinking it's just a bug.
  2. When shutting down it always asks if you want it to re-open windows when logging back in.  Removing the check mark (which shows up checked every time) is often ignored... another little bug.
Is Lion Worth It?
I like keeping in current operating systems when I can.  This upgrade is very affordable and, I think, worth doing.