My predictions for next week's Apple Event

Bank on it:

New iMac, the brushed screen version
Previews of iLife and iWork


50/50 Chance

  • Sub notebook
  • ILife bundled with Leopard


No Chance

  • Leopard release date

Final PocketMac update

PocketMac and I have agreed to start seeing other people.

While I haven’t uninstalled it yet, I’ve been using MissingSync and so far it’s been working ok. I haven’t actually tried tasks yet; while that was my beef with PocketMac, I’m finding ListPro lets me categorize them a little easier. That combined with an intense dislike for how iCal handles tasks hasn’t made task syncing a big issue.

Fair warning, though, I’ve only synced once so all bets are off on repeated syncs.

Yet another PocketMac Update

Oddly, PocketMac is the current leader on search hits for the site so I thought I’d give an update for anyone following along.

I’ve half given up.

It’s worth mentioning that PocketMac’s support has been very helpful; while they haven’t been quick, they’ve given me some good stuff to try. The last round was detailed instructions on how to uninstall PocketMac and reinstall it, which I did. That actually felt like it made things worse: some of the key components got buried into \library\pocketmac instead of \applications\pocketmac and I had a hell of a time getting it discover the PocketPC.

One of he symptoms I noticed before is the device name of the PocketPC would sometimes change in PocketMac (usually it would see the Axim as PocketPCPocketPCDellAximX54Vx). However, sometimes on connect it would see it as PocketPCPocketPCDellAximX51. If it saw it as a different device name, I was guaranteed to get duplicate tasks on sync. After the re-install I got duplicate tasks on just about every sync.

Since Calendar and Address Book info isn’t duplicating, which is the main reason I got the program, I’ve just started using ListPro for all my task management. It’s not quite as clean as doing it natively, but I can break the tasks down a little better so it’s a wash.

Thoughts on the Jobsnote

After reading the feeds to last year’s Jobsnote I was disappointed. While I could see a use for Spaces and the new Dashcode, the only new feature I really was interested in was Time Machine. While Leopard was a must-get for me, it was more because eventually apps I use would be Leopard only, so there’s no way to put off the upgrade.

This years left me really looking forward to its release. Now, I’m more interested in features that’ll make me more productive, so the 3d dock, transparent menu bar and the like do little for me. But the new Finder–who, boyo, do I want that now. Will they take a check?

I’ve lost track of the times I need to see the revision date/number on a document, or just need a live preview without waiting for Word, Photoshop, Preview, Reader to load and have it be in a separate window. The Cover Flow feature, which basically brings the iTunes interface to the Finder, allows you to scroll through some decent-sized previews of files. I’m leery to use the word “thumbnail” since it’s larger than that. But the best feature is you can flip through the pages of a document this way. Need to see if that PDF is the one with the index, or not? Just flip through it.

Will Apple take a check? October can’t come soon enough.

Update to the PocketMac Situation

Well, things got off promising. PocketMac’s support team got back to me with some tools to run to clean out sync services and to delete two files from the PocketPC.

Unfortunately, cleaning out sync services didn’t work, and the two files were nowhere to be found on the PocketPC.

I’ve been escalated to the next level with no word in a week. I’ve requested if this is something that can’t be sorted out for a refund and license revocation.

Pocket PCs and OSX: Hard Times

I’ve got a Dell Axim PDA that’s heavily used; it’s the system of record for my to-dos and calendar items as well as little notes. For the last 5 months it’s existed as a stand-alone device–it never synced to a computer, and I’d periodically backup to a SD card in case of an outage. The problem with that is since the device sat in my bag, if I’d set up a reminder for a chore I wouldn’t see or hear it go off and it’s handy to view a calendar entry while on the phone.

So, I bought PocketMac Lite to sync the Axim to my Mac. It’s been anything but a bliss ride. The first problem–just getting PocketMac to see the Axim–was quickly resolved with a tech support ticket with PocketMac. It turns out there’s a bug in the Device Locator App and there’s a fix. I merrily started syncing away and noticed that after about six or seven syncs it would time out on the tasks a lot. A quick look at the Task app on the Axim showed I had a whopping 1300 tasks. There is no way I had that many tasks, and a little research showed there were six or seven copies of every task, including completed ones. A check of iCal aslo showed many duplicates. So, I deleted all of them on the Mac, did a sync which then deleted them off the Axim. I blamed it on the Entourage-to-iCal Sync Services and disabled that.

Now tasks from the Axim are showing up on the Mac, but Mac tasks are not getting to the Axim. I’ve still got the duplication issue, and I can’t figure out any rhyme or reason behind it; I can do five syncs in a row with no duplicate, but the sixth might be the one that duplicates everything. This is far from an ideal situation.

So, I opened up another ticket with PocketMac this morning that’s gone unanswered. Until I get it resolved, I’ve got two options: I can use a different task program on the Axim doesn’t sync with iCal, or I can break out my Handspring Visor which syncs well with OSX. Neither of these are ideal options. I won’t be syncing tasks with iCal, so I can’t view them on the Mac, and the Handspring is seven-year-old technology with a grayscale display (however, it does take AAA batteries so I can always keep a few around). I’ve got the extended battery for the Axim and it has a nice color display. While the Axim is my main choice, I think tonight I’ll be syncing with the Handspring to test that out, again.

Hopefully, I’ll get the PocketMac issue solved. I’m not hopeful, since a quick Google search yielded a post on MacUpdate by a person with the exact same problem and he hasn’t heard back from PocketMac yet.

OS X Leopard delayed until October

Apple today announced that the next version of OS X, Leopard, will not release until October due to resources being pulled to support the iPhone development. Naturally, this has gotten many Mac message board posters to act like Steve Jobs canceled Christmas.

Me? I fall in the “meh” category. I was certainly hoping the OS would come out sooner than that, but since the iPhone is a bigger deal right now and its delay would be incredibly bad PR, Apple had no choice but to pull resources to work on it. Since the iPhone runs a version of OSX, logic would dictate those resources would come from the Leopard team.

I’ve seen people ask: “Why didn’t Apple just hire more people?” and as anyone who’s done any sort of Project Management will tell you, simply hiring more people during the critical phase slows the project, not speeds it. These people need to be trained, acclimated to the company, and gain an understanding of the code base.

I want the OS to come out when it is damn good and ready. Tiger works just fine for me. The only bad part is now it’s likely to hit around the time of the Office upgrade so I’ll be doing two upgrades closer together than I had hoped.