Not Tekserve!


Tekserve is closing. For those who don’t know, tekserve was the oldest, originalist, apple store in NYC. They were where you went back when apple stores didn’t exist, back when apple was actually the struggling upstart. And even after apple became the behemoth it is today, Tekserve was still the place to go if you wanted anything other that basic service – if you wanted to upgrade your hard drive or RAM and walked into an apple store, they would just try to sell you a new computer. Tekserve would actually help you – my second most recent iMac has additional RAM installed by the tech guys as Tekserve – it was underpowered for whatever OS had come out at the time, and instead of scrapping it, I realized I could extend its life by at least a little bit if I just added some more RAM. I figured I’d get another year or two. That machine is over 8 years old and in active use at my parents’ house. They were the guys who helped me soup up my powerbook before I moved to Italy a decade ago, so that it could go from being a ‘peripheral’ device for my main computer to my primary device for that trip.

But, in honor of their closing, I present to you the ultimate in Tekserve adventures, the saga of attempting to repair my G4 iMac. in NINE parts.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

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instagram – march roundup, and some complaining about apple


Not a lot of photos in March, due largely to the fact that it was still bitterly cold and unpleasant around these parts. I was also dreading the inevitable update apple was launching that would finally depreciate Aperture and foist Photos onto all of us, which happened this weekend. It’s pretty terrible. I was willing to deal with the “less functionality” aspects, given that it was really an iPhoto replacement and not an Aperture replacement (although they chose to discontinue Aperture with the launch as well), but the number of things that got broken either as a result of the upgrade/installation or just don’t work as said is kind of ridiculous. I’ve had to tell my parents to hold off on upgrading their computers, because I fear the repercussions of having the less tech savvy members of my family deal with issues that have been giving me agita for the past several days. In no particular order…

– Even though every piece of written material about Photos indicated that it would copy your existing photo library and leave your iPhoto or Aperture library where it was, my Aperture library disappeared after the migration – when I opened Aperture, or when I tried to access the Aperture library from iTunes or the finder, it was as if it didn’t exist and I had zero photos. I finally found it this evening after a day and a half of searching, and had to essentially manually reconnect it to Aperture to get my photos available again in that application.
– I refuse to use iCloud for photo storage for a variety of reasons (first, I have too many photos and don’t want to pay for storage, second, there’s no option to selectively upload or to selectively hold back photos, and I have stuff i don’t want in the Cloud), so I continue to rely on iTunes syncing to keep my photos in sync across devices. It took a dozen syncs to get my entire library back on my phone. It would sync part of the library, behave as if it was done, and when I checked my phone, only a portion of my pics had transferred.
– I understand not having the full panoply of Aperture editing tools, but it doesn’t have any ability (yet, at least) to link to third-party editing software. If you want to edit, you have to cumbersome-ly export, edit, and then reimport.
– You can no longer add watermarks when exporting photos – this was an extremely handy feature in Aperture, where you could save a preset export setting, that would save a preferred size as well as watermarking options, so I could hit export and it would automatically format the 20 or 50 or 200 photos I wanted to upload to my website in the right size and include my copyright bug embedded in the bottom corner automatically. For the photos below, I had to download a separate piece of software, export the photos, and then add the copyright bug separately. Again, significantly more time consuming and cumbersome.
– Simple functionality things like not being able to change the sort order of photos, or to view with the most recent photos at the top rather than at the bottom (there seems to be a menu option, but it’s always greyed out).
– photos on a white background with no ability to change it to grey or black, or to add a border to add contrast (I have a white screen on this site, but I very intentionally use a black border on my pics because it causes additional color contrast).
– and on and on and on…

I’m sure people will come up with workarounds and whatnot for all of these things, but I’m seriously contemplating reverting to Aperture (now that I’ve finally found my library!) for the time being. My biggest concern on that front is that I know, at some point, that Apple will push out some supposedly innocuous security update that will irretrievably break that far superior software now that it’s been end-of-lifed.

So – march photos.

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365:75 (redshirts)


and…the apple store is open (a few days early). The place was totally packed with people, and it seemed a bit more rationally dispersed upstairs, but downstairs there appeared to be two apple employees for every customer. as an added bonus, I got to annoy lots of people by stopping halfway down the spiral staircase to take this picture.


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365:71 (warning)


warning…annoying crowds to descend on my neighborhood in 10 days. Otherwise known as the latest apple store.


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This is when i realized that the iphone was worth it


As I wrote about a month ago, my Internet connection died for about a week, and then miraculously started working again the day before my tech appointment. I figured at that point that the issue was done.

Until last night, when I got home, eager to go out for a bike ride before it got too late out, only to discover that I was having the same problem, where my (new) cable modem indicated that there was no signal coming into my apartment. So instead of a pleasant sunset ride along the Hudson river, I got 40 minutes on the phone with the cable company.

But this time there was a marked difference in my tone – I was practically zen about the whole thing. Completely understanding when the earliest weekend appointment wasn’t for a week and a half.

And I chalk it up, in its entirety, to the fact that this little device (on which I’m writing this blog entry) has the best Internet capabilities of anything that’s not an “actual” computer that I’ve ever used. It makes my work-provided blackberry look like a commodore 64.

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Coolest iphone app yet


This is really just a test. I’m writing this on my iPhone, using the just made available wordpress for iPhone app from the app store.

For good measure, here’s an attempt to post a photo directly as well.

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Yes, I actually got up super early this morning, got on line at the apple store in midtown, and got a new iphone.  I’d like to point to the fact that I never bought the first one as some sort of proof that I don’t immediately jump on every apple bandwagon that comes my way, but…who am I kidding.  In any event, there were massive problems at the apple store, which I got to experience firsthand.  In addition to the activation problems there was a big problem with the AT&T servers that allowed us to sign up for accounts, so I probably ended up spending over 2 hours in the store once I had gotten inside (that was after waiting on line for two hours).  It wasn’t unpleasant though.  I basically hung out with the apple nerds (ahem, i mean “geniuses”), who were stuck not being able to do anything because they couldn’t access the iTunes store.  They spent a non-insignificant amount of time trying to get me to go get their manager to let them download movies off of itunes so that we could at least “entertain” all of the people stuck in the store.  I didn’t do it, because I am a pill.  The guy behind me on the activation line though – seriously needed some stress management classes.  Little hint to those people who “need” their phone immediately?  Don’t decide to port your number on the first day of the friggin’ launch.  You’ll be much happier waiting a few days until they work the kinks out.  Anyway, I think the nerds liked me so much because I was extremely calm and patient about the whole thing.  It helped that I had nowhere else to be.

And then…

about 30 seconds after I walked out of the store, I decided to take the iphone out of the box because it was buzzing (most likely with ‘welcome’ texts from AT&T), and the phone slipped out of the box and landed face down on the cobblestone sidewalk of central park south and the screen cracked into about a gazillion pieces.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

But I calmly walked back to the store, got the security people to let me cut the line (after showing them the devastation), and the store people were very very very nice and very sorry about what happened, and exchanged the very damaged phone for a new one.  It took a little while, because we had to re-port all of my account information, and they said I was actually pretty lucky that it was launch day, because tomorrow they might not have been allowed to do this, but in the end, I’m home with a shiny, fully functional, non-broken iphone currently syncing with my computer.  And I’m keeping it in the soft-sided pouch that I used for my iPod Touch.

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vacation update, day 2


I promise I’m not going to do this every day. Frankly, no one wants to read repeated blog entries about just how little I can do every day.  But today was exciting – I took my bike out for a “real” ride (i.e., not going in a circle around the park).  The plan was to go down to Madison Square, or Union Square, and maybe get a shake at the shake shack.  Anyway, I got going down the Hudson River Greenway, and before I  even realized it, I was all the way downtown at ground zero.  So I tooled around Battery Park for a little while, took some pictures, drank lots of water (it was really warm out), and then got back on my bike and rode all the way home.  it was a 13-14 mile round trip, and I was gross and sweaty and desperate to get in my shower at the end, but not “tired”.  In fact, my legs didn’t hurt at all. I actually thought at the time that, but for the oppressive heat and humidity, I could have kept going.

This is a really big change from a year ago, when i took my bike to the park and could barely go 3 miles without exhausting myself.  That was the day I decided to join the gym.

Plans for the rest of the week?  More bike rides, although tomorrow is a personal training day, so I probably won’t be biking around the island.  All you can eat sushi tomorrow night with my dad and brother (have I mentioned that it’s kind of weird to have my brother actually living in the city again?  good, but weird.  I was so used to our regularly scheduled Friday afternoon IM sessions with him on the other side of the world).  Tentative dinner plans with a friend from college who I haven’t seen in about 13 years, thanks to Facebook (and yes, I’m totally addicted now).

As far as Friday, I’m currently debating whether to attempt to go get a 3G iphone.  I certainly didn’t plan my vacation around the iphone release, but since I’m definitely planning on getting one, it does seem kind of stupid to NOT get one while I’ve got plenty of time to wait on line.  Although I’m definitely not going to be one of those people who is already waiting on line

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classic imac


There were a lot of reasons why I switched from a windows pc to a mac back in 2002, including obsessive amounts of time at various retailers playing with the demo, but this commercial was one of the things that pushed me over the edge.  Still awesome today, even though the imac itself is now obsolete.

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this might be the coolest toy ever


I got my wifi enabled iPod touch today, and it just might be the coolest toy I’ve gotten on a long time. Not even due to the iPod facets of it, but because I’m sitting on my couch writing this entry on a completely intuitive full-fledged web browser.

and, of course, i can’t help but already be mentally running through all of the free public wifi spots near both my apartment and my office.

Im actually glad that i didn’t get the iphone (not only because i hate AT&T) but because i’d constantly have to check that i haven’t run down my cellphone battery doing stupid things like posting pointless blog entries!

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