iChat breaks, Apple Keynote and more


I work with a remote team. As such we need remote management software. Things like net meetings, screen sharing, web based whiteboards, etc. We used to rely heavily on WebEx until company mandate pushed us to another Cisco based Meeting Place thing. Meeting Place is kinda cool but here’s the thing. It doesn’t work on the Mac. I mean it’s supposed to work on the Mac. It’s advertised to work on the Mac. Hell, we even have a couple people in our company who have it working on the Mac. Still, a good plenty of us cannot make it work on a Mac. The It that I’m talking about is screen sharing. It doesn’t work on a Mac. In fact, it has been working only sporadically in a variety of Mac forms. OSX screen sharing, screen share over iChat, VNC from finder… all different approaches to the same thing. All of these approaches give me trouble in one way or another.

Just yesterday I figured (well not just me but me and my QA buddy who shall remain shameless/nameless) out the problem with broken screen sharing in iChat. We have wireless in our offices but to use it you have to log in through a proprietary VPN client. The VPN, it seems, gets in the way of iChat screen sharing. I assume there’s more to the story.

That’s only one of my iChat woes. I’ve been seeing crazy behavior when logging into one of my AIM accounts. It probably won’t affect most people since it this is a corporate account but the problem only happens with iChat and it only happens under certain circumstances with this one account. However it happens frequently enough to drive me crazy. So in my mind iChat and OSX is in a horribly broken state while everyone else sees it as one of the world’s most wonderful creations.

Speaking of Apple’s wonders, I just watched the Keynote 2009 on http://www.apple.com and things are looking really good in iLife. I just recently upgraded to iLife ’08 to start playing with the reduced functionality in iMovie ’08 and now I feel like I need to race to the Apple store, checkbook in hand so that I can lay down several thousand dollars for every product mentioned in the keynote. They do an awesome job at marketing but then again I’m an easy sell. I love the ideas around face detection in iPhoto. I was both blown away and disappointed by the places feature. Blown away because it’s amazing but disappointed because they pull their maps from the wrong place.

The new MacPro is looking tight too. My only problem with it is the return of the Apple over-design. Non-removable batteries!!! WTF???!!! C’mon, if you can’t solve the battery life issue without fusing it to the machine then give us the regular 300 recharge model so we can blissfully overcrowd our landfills with NiCad, Lithium, or whatever the material DeJour is today. Could we have possibly sacrificed a millimeter or two reducing life from 1000 to maybe 725 recharges just so we can pull the darn thing out on our 600th powering where the thing still fuels up but begins discharging at double the rate? I’m sorry but there’s a bit of arrogance in thinking your product is so good that nobody should ever need to dig the battery out. That’s because it’s accompanied by the thought that your company is so JohnBlazed that if there ever is a need to claw the battery away from your pristine product then the customer (me) should/would be ever so pleased to beg you to perform the clawing while paying premium $$$ to help finance your specialized Mac battery removal claw that is only ever used by the rare 25 customers that are dumb/rich/[insert adjective describing a human with too many greenbacks on hand here]/wasteful enough to pay. This is and will always be my pet-peeve with Apple. Practicality goes out the window too early with their engineering team.

I wonder what would happen if some of the lead engineers spent a month or so in the hood? Y’know, where you have to live exclusively on practicality and people don’t generally have an extra $650 to pay for battery claw services on their $2700 Mac pro that they bought a few years back. These are the same people that will/have figured out how to extend the life of the original Macintosh Power books well beyond the 90s and into modern times where they have them not only hooked up to DJ equipment but also the non-cable-ready 1982 Zenith in the living room, Who is Jerrold? that manual push button cable converter box (you know the black box with the brown trim and the little lever on the side that switches three ways stolen from Comcast and rigged to pick up extra stations? Don’t act like it’s just me…) and the latest media toasters pushing Blu Ray copies of Hancock to the homies ’round the way. These are the same people that practically invented Bluetooth headsets.
Bluetooth Wireless
They won’t get any credit for it though, it’s all good.

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