January 2009 Archives
More in the extended...
A few weeks ago, the gadget blog Gizmodo reported as rumor that Jobs' health was "declining rapidly", and he would not be giving the traditional Macworld Expo keynote. Goldman, a reporter for CNBC quickly shot down the rumor, citing sources.
A few days later, Jobs sent a note in which he explained his problem with a "hormone imbalance," implying that it was the reason he stepped down from the Macworld appearance. Goldman had been wrong. Then, on Wednesday, Jobs announced that he was taking the aforementioned leave of absence and that Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook would handle management in the interim.
"You can try to backpedal and say that what you reported was true," Lyons said to Goldman on CNBC, adding that the broadcast journalist had been "played" and "punked" by his sources at Apple, "but look, you should apologize to Gizmodo for having criticized them and apologize to your viewers for having gotten it so wrong."
This is actually one of my big pet peeves about traditional media reporting; there's definitely a lack of follow-up and scrutiny in reporting; when a news story gets it wrong, the corrections (especially in television) just aren't made, and the damage caused by the mishandling of a story without getting all the facts can cause some real damage.
When the Canon EOS 5D Mark II was announced, I wasn't sure if I wanted one, but after seeing the excellent low light performance in the prototype Vincent LaForet used , and that the latest firmware fix solved the early models' problems, I jumped headfirst into ordering one.
One of the things I've noticed lately is that shipping boxes are very random; in this case, the box they shipped the camera could probably fit two or three of the very same camera...
The actual box is about the same size as the previous generation 5D and contains 2 CDs of software and drivers, a pair of manuals, a camera strap, cables for USB and RCA, battery, charger and camera strap.
When I first pulled it out of the box, the body seemed larger, but in truth the old and new 5Ds are pretty similar in size. The Mark II can be distinguished by additional buttons and a microphone on the back of the camera, as well as a larger LCD screen. The shape of the head of the Mark II is also slightly different, and the flash mount is not as recessed as the original.
One of the buttons that I bemoaned the existence of was the DirectPrint button on the back of the 5D; there are infinitesimal chances that I would ever use the button, so it might as well not be there. On the Mark II, the button is still there, but it serves a dual-purpose: to switch the camera into Live View Mode, which is necessary for taking video. (video is not viewable from the viewfinder, which may take some getting used to).
I've had my Titanium G4 Powerbook since June of 2002, and despite it being a bit sluggish at times, this six and half year old computer is still very usable, though these days, it mainly acts as a portable internet terminal; it can even play World of Warcraft (at a really crappy framerate, but it works). In 2005, the left hinge began to shatter, and last month disintegrated further such that it could no longer hold up the screen.
It was at this point of breakage that I decided that something needed to be done. I called the local Mac Repair shop to see if they had the part in stock; they wanted $100 for the part, and $90 oer hour in labor to repair the laptop -- I ended up ordering the part from eBay for $10 (including shipping) and spending 3 hours of my evening taking apart and restoring the laptop.
I'd say it's good for another 6 years...
The exhibition includes over 80 pieces of drawings, storyboards, puppets, sets, and costumes from the stop-motion animated film.
January 24, 2009 - February 15, 2009
Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission St
San Francisco CA 94105
11 am - 5 pm
You'd think after 5 or 6 years of using Movable Type, I'd at least have a pretty easy time backing it up and restoring it on another server. While it's definitely gotten better from the old days, Movable Type could still use some improvement in the Backup/Restore area.
First of all, the import and export functions in Movable Type don't work. Don't even waste your time trying. The problem I kept having was that the export was only a partial export -- while my blog had nearly 2800 entries, the export was only taking in the first 1600 of those entries, leaving the rest unexported. To make things worse, the import doesn't really work. It'll read the file, tell you that it's successful, but it won't actually create the entries. I even used Movable Type's Import/Export Format along with their instructions on how to export, as well as attempting a customized export. None of these yielded any results.
Since Import/Export didn't work, I decided to try the other way of reading entries into the blog, via the Backup/Restore functions of Movable Type. The documentation for Backing Up and Restoring is woefully incomplete, as it describes how to back up, but not to restore, which is a somewhat more complicated process.
To Restore from Backup, you will need to be in the 'System' Tools Menu. (Restore is not available on the 'Blog' Tools Menu). You will see a box for the backup file. If you click on Browse, you can select your backup manifest file. If you have multiple files and try to restore from the xml files directly, you will get error messages. After it reads the manifest file, it will start to ask for the Movable_Type-Year-Month-Date-Hour-Min-Second-Backup-Number.xml. When you initially did your backup, Movable Type asked whether you wanted the files segmented. I recommend sizes of 1 megabyte or less -- while the option for 2 megabytes is certainly available, most servers/and or browsers will time out before the 2MB file is transfered, and you'll have to start all over again.
One of the early problems that I had restoring the blog from the backup was this puzzling error message:
Uploaded file was backed up from Movable Type but the different schema version () from the one in this system (4.0067). It is not safe to restore the file to this version of Movable Type.
Save the file in utf-8 format which is the default format that Movable Type generates for the backup file.
As the backup is restored on Movable Type, you should occasionally see that MT:Entry records are being transferred over.and restored. If you saved the xml files as utf-8 character set, there shouldn't be any problem here -- however, if you're using a character set like latin1-swedish_ci, you may end up with errors such as this:
Illegal mix of collations (latin1_swedish_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,COERCIBLE) or some kind of perl error.
Provided that you've gotten this far, the only thing left to do now is to restore the files one by one; after all the xml files are restored, then it's time to restore the assets; and you'll need to upload them when prompted one by one.
In any part of these processes if you cancel or get disconnected, you'll have to start over from the manifest, and everytime you attempt a restore, it should create a new blog -- there's no way to really add onto a previous attempt unless you're willing to do some SQL magic.
So what happened? Simply put, I switched servers. Generally when one does that, all the content from one server is copied onto the new server, and no one ever notices that what was once on one is now on another. This process is typically very much invisible to the viewer on the other side. Why isn't it a simple matter of copying the files from machine to another? A large reason is Movable Type, the blogging software I use to run the backend of mikehuang.com. You see, I've been using Movable Type for nearly 6 years now, and as the years have gone by, I've continuously kept Movable Type updated with the newest releases. At some point however, my version of the Movable Type database with all the different plugins and modifications to the database diverged from the current version, making the backup/restore and import/export functions incompatible with this latest version (4.23). My last full successful backup was sometime in late 2006, so while it is entirely possible to import those entries (about 1600) to save me some work, I'd also like to go back and tag and categorize them properly. I'm not expecting to do all this in a day, or even a week -- I expect I'll be re-adding entries for a long time.
A second reason for doing this is to create a clean version of the Movable Type database, one which is more easily backed up and restored -- I suspect that the database must have been corrupted at some point, as I can only ever manage to export a little over 1600 entries before Movable Type thinks the process of export is done, and I hope that this re-creation of the database will solve that problem.
While the camera originally exhibited problems with black spots and banding, those have been fixed by Canon's recent firmware release.
UPDATE: It appears that Amazon sold out of their stock of Canon 5D Mark II's within a matter of hours. The 5D Mark II appears poised to be the new Wii of digital cameras.
Apple's announcements this year were fairly low-key; while some analysts expected items such as a new Mac mini or new LED monitors, the actual announcements were simply iWork '09 and iLife '09 and the 17 inch MacBook Pro. While I'm glad to see that they added the option of a non-glossy screen, I'm not thrilled that it comes with a $50 surcharge as it involves cutting out the bevel of the MacBook Pro.
The 17-inch MacBook Pro is a curious beast, as it also includes an integrated battery that is Apple serviceable, but not user-servicable. While this means that the 17-inch MacBook Pro probably won't be used by those who swap batteries, Apple claims the battery will last for 8 hours, and will be good for 5 years, which should make it extremely usable for all but the most power-needy of road warriors. My concern with the integrated battery is simply that a battery replacement will require the user to be without their computer for a certain length of time; this is not only inconvenient, but a complete deal breaker for some people.