The Perfect Umbrella

Let’s not beat around the bush; umbrellas generally suck. For a relatively complex invention, we’ve reduced it to its most basic, pathetic version when we’re buying one for $5 on a street corner in New York, only to have it snap in half a block away and have to buy a new one 5 minutes later. What would form your ideal/most perfect umbrella?

  1. Something strong, light, and small — maybe inspiration from trekking poles for the main pole?
  2. A good grip that I can hang onto, without getting a sore/cramped hand
  3. Wind billow/”Gust Buster” design of some sort to ensure that it doesn’t flip inside out/break in the wind
  4. Double/triple fold so that the folded product is nice and small
  5. Push to expand AND retract. Ideally all the way down (although I don’t know how technically feasible that is)
  6. Actually waterproof material. Too many umbrellas start leaking (especially around the central point) once they’ve been rained on a lot

What else would make your perfect umbrella? Can someone get right on it and Kickstarter this thing plz? Kthxbai ๐Ÿ™‚

* Image from here.

Today, Fuck You Apple

WARNING: Explicit language ahead!

I’d like to officially put out a big “fuck you” to Apple today, and here’s why…

  1. Imported some photos into iPhoto this morning, and deleted them from my camera when I was done (never had a problem with that before). I rotated a few of them because they were around the wrong way, and then iPhoto decided that it would lose track of a bunch of them, and corrupt the originals. I have 8,415 photos in my library, and now it looks like new imports are going to be a problem. Fuck you iPhoto.
  2. iTunes said it needed to be updated, so I went ahead and updated it. Re-opened iTunes, and it decided my library file wasn’t valid, so it created a new one, and lost track of all of my playlists. Fuck you too iTunes.
  3. I emptied my Trash yesterday. I don’t know how much stuff was in there, but there was a lot. Next time I tried to shut down, FileVault wanted to reclaim a bunch of space. No problem, does that every time I shut down. It tried for over an hour, before I turned off my PowerBook and gave up. I can’t turn FileVault off either, because it claims that I need a spare 4,088 GIGABYTES (!) of space to create an unencrypted copy of my home folder. Now every time I try to restart/shut down, same thing happens, and it sits there for a long time – so I can’t shut down cleanly. Also, a big “fuck you” to FileVault.
  4. And now, for the grand finale. Mac OS X 10.4.3 System Update. Wow. Complete the update “successfully”. Restart. No Keychain. No Dock. No Accounts in Mail. No application preferences in pretty much anything. In short – fucked. Overall – a MASSIVE FUCK YOU to the Apple Mac OS X 10.4.3 System Update.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go waste half my day reconfiguring everything because Apple decided my settings weren’t important.

Installing and Formatting a Hitachi Travelstar 5K80

So I wasted around 6 hours trying to get a Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 to work in my external USB-driven hard drive enclosure the other night… and I wasn’t a happy camper.

I did the normal things, put it in the case, plugged it in, restarted Windows a couple times to try and pick it up, stuff like that. I had no luck getting it to show up in My Computer to start with, so I checked in the Adminitrative Tools (in Control Panel) launched the Computer Management MMC. In there, I checked the Disk Manager and found that the drive was there, but marked as Online, Unallocated.

According to everything I could find on the ‘net (and believe me, I looked) all I had to do was right-click the drive, select ‘Write Signature’ and then I could format it and off I go. The problem with this was that when I did that, it would start doing something with the disk, then just sit there with its access light on, but not do anything – still couldn’t access it, still couldn’t format it.

To cut a long story short, I noticed that it was making a similar noise to what my old drive made when it woke up after being asleep for a while. All I had to do was unplug the drive (from the USB), then plug it in with Disk Manager open, constantly clicking ‘Re-Scan Disks’. As soon as the new drive appeared on the listing, I did the right-click signature trick and it worked straight away. Then I kicked it into an immediate, complete format and everyone’s happy!

Now all I need to do is clone my current drive onto this one, switch them over and I’ve got an upgraded drive and a spare external one ๐Ÿ™‚