Penguins.mooh.org

Goodbye Country (Hello Heidelberg)

This will be the last posting from Australia for quite a while I think. To say that I've been busy is a mild understatement. Luckily, I've had an amazing support crew hovering around me, attempting to maintain my sanity, and generally giving help when I've asked for it, and even more importantly, when I haven't. It's been very weird for the past few days, and your mind starts doing really strange things when it's so preoccupied. You become more forgetful and absent minded. I'm glad that I'm not planning on driving anywhere for the next few days, I think I'm a danger on the roads. I've got bigger things to worry about now though. What music should I be taking with me on the plane? I've got the shuffle to fill up, and the PDA should be able to handle some music to play too. Maybe I should just get some sleep instead.

I started out writing part of this post on my new Palm Tungsten E (Thanks guys!), but had to give up because my graffiti skills needed some improvement, and the writing up a rambling story using it would take hours. The actual device worked straight out of the box. You could pull apart the packaging and then tap a few buttons and be scribbling obscene pictures as if you had a sparkling clean whiteboard and a row of markers begging to be used. After a few hours charging, I was ready to tackle trying to integrate it with the rest of my gear. Unfortunately, I became less than impressed with how well the Palm and Apple software integrated. One of the big selling points for the Palm was that it could synchronise with iSync pretty seamlessly. However, if you follow the instructions down to the last letter, it just doesn't work. Since both these products were legitimately mine, I thought I'd use the support mechanisms of both these companies to try and get the problem solved, after I had tried to mine Google for an answer and received no joy. The support process between the two companies could do with some refinement. Google had at least confirmed that my problem wasn't isolated, and there were a few people who were suffering through these problems, yet none had a solution. Palm were the masters of form letters, often taking my emails, rewording them slightly, and then sending them back to me with a few form letters attached. Apple was unreachable for me. I didn't really have the option to call the US based Apple support, and I didn't have AppleCare to give me that service here. That said, Apple's support discussion boards have some knowledgeable people hanging around, and so you can often get some good information from there. So given that I had no way of really getting the companies who had promised to deliver a particular service to me to actually deliver that service (for the reason that my problems were too unlikely to occur again), I had to find other options to solve it. In the end, I had to dig into the actual applications themselves, and try to figure out what they were trying to do. It turns out that my problem occurred due to two specific bugs in the Apple and Palm software. I wrote up the techie solution in a message on the Apple boards. Sometimes I'm very glad I did the hard yards in Linux for all those years - it allows me to be able to get under the hood and tinker with problems which otherwise may never have been solved. Die-hard Mac users would be petrified by the thought of dropping into the terminal to change ownership on a bunch of files in a system directory. Then again, the software should have just worked - and it would have saved me a few hours of my time.

Next time you hear from me, I'll either be in an airport lounge or I'll be basking in the sun in Heidelberg.

Update - I put the pictures up from my party on the photos page. Go be click-happy.

2 comments

apemeister *

If you'd bought OS X 10.4 instead of pirating it from me you coulda got some Apple support, you terrorist supporting commie!!!

Good luck with the big relocation. Say gutentag to the eurobabes for me.

Anonymous *

So yeah, I made it to Germany. Too tired now.

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