Friday, September 2, 2011 10:02:52 PM
J'ai vécu aujourd'hui une expérience téléphonique incroyable. A tel point que je me suis demandé si je ne subissais pas un canular de François l'Embrouille.
Je téléphonais à Orange pour explorer les façons de régler un problème avec le bouton 'home' de mon iPhone qui ne fonctionne plus très bien. Après avoir franchi plusieurs étapes d'un conseiller à un autre, on me dit qu'on va me passer Apple. J'avais l'impression d'être dans un jeu vidéo et d'atteindre bientôt le boss.
Non seulement j'aurais voulu enregistrer l'anthologique conversation avec Apple dont les grands moments suivent, mais également me filmer pour voir ma tête à de divers (et nombreux) moments.
"Je vais pouvoir vous manipuler"
Un monsieur d'Apple prend la ligne et me dit d'entrée qu'il va pouvoir me manipuler puisque je n'utilise pas l'iPhone pour lui téléphoner. J'ai une vague idée de la tête que j'ai fait en entendant son introduction et son rire.
"C'est de la négligence!"
Je me suis fait réprimander d'avoir tardé à téléphoner. Quand j'ai dit que le bouton 'home' avait commencé à moins fonctionner il y a deux ou trois semaines, il a dit "Et c'est seulement maintenant que vous téléphonez? C'est de la négligence, Madame!". J'imaginais la pauvre bête en regardant mon iPhone et je me voyais déjà accusée de non-assistance à iPhone en danger.
Faire un screenshot de ses SMS et MMS.
A ce moment-là de la conversation, j'ai eu un très gros doute quant à ses compétences. Il m'expliquait que si je restore mon iPhone, un certain nombre de mes données ne seront pas conservées et qu'il faudra que je fasse un screenshot. Je lui ai demandé de préciser et il a dit qu'un screenshot crée une pellicule qui s'ajoute à mon répertoire d'images. OK. Je lui demande si l'intérêt est de retrouver sur quel écran ranger mes applications et il me répond que non. Ah. Il élabore en expliquant que pour garder des traces de mes données je devrai faire un screenshot de mes SMS et MMS. Ouh la.
"Je ne peux que vous féliciter, Madame!"
Très peu de temps après, il m'a demandé si je faisais plutôt des back-ups ou je synchronisais mon iPhone. La réponse synchronisation m'a valu un chaleureux "Je ne peux que vous féliciter, Madame!". Ça se passe de tout commentaire.
Pendant un bref retour à la question des données personnelles, il m'a rappelé de bien prendre soin de transférer de l'iPhone tout ce que j'ai pu acheter sur l'iTunes Store, comme la musique. Ah, oui, j'en achète de la musique sur l'iTunes Store. Alors comment puis-je procéder pour transférer ce que j'ai acheté? "Eh bien, control-click." OK. Mais control-click sur quoi? "Sur l'iPhone!" Ah. Suivi d'un rapide "mais ne dites pas que je vous l'ai dit." Et pourquoi donc? "Trente-cinq euros." Je ne le suivais plus du tout, dans ce qui me semblait être un délire bien à lui. En fait, il venait de faire une incursion dans la phase consulting, phase payante, qui suit la période de grâce de 90 jours suivant l'achat de l'iPhone. Et le consulting auprès d'Apple, ça coute 35 Euros.
Au bout de vingt minutes, j'avais un rendez-vous à l'Apple Store le plus proche demain après-midi. Il me tardait d'abréger. En guise de conclusion, je demande si je devrai donner un numéro de dossier, ou dire que je viens de la part de quelqu'un. "Oui, vous dites que vous venez de la part d'Alain, et le boss de l'Apple Store sortira de son bureau pour vous serrer la main."
Merci, Alain. Pour tout.
Thursday, July 28, 2011 9:33:57 AM
I upgraded less than a week ago.
I don't remember how long it took to download because I was working at the same time. Also, the Mac App Store put the download in the dock and only showed a little progress bar and no information such as total size, completed download, estimated time.
When the download was done, it took me 1h10 to install the new system (an installation window appeared, saying installation would take about 33 minutes, which took slightly more than 40, and then a new window appeared, similar to the first one, indicating installation would take about 20 minutes, which took 30).
And then, everything looked the same. The obvious difference was that the scroll bar of some windows appears at launch and disappears, the bar revealed only when the window is scrolled. At the top right corner of some windows, there is the new icon for "full screen", in case I want my screen real estate consumed by just this one window. Windows are now resize-able by each side and corner (woohoo!). Back in 2004 when I used a mac for the first time I was looking for that feature.
Mission control is the new exposé and virtual screens. It's nicely done. The layout in exposé view is pretty (that is, every window of every program minified and stacked behind the program's icon) and useful: the icon of the program in the foreground of each stack, and then the window(s) opened belonging to that program are stacked. If I put the mouse pointer on a window and click space, I remain in the exposé view but the window maximises and the effect is similar to quick look. Active corners remain active. I had set them up for a particular Exposé action, and I keep using them as before.
The biggest change is natural scrolling on the touchpad. They've unified scrolling on Apple devices, bringing the iPhone and iPad scrolling to the touchpad. I'm still not used to it! As though my brain is cabled to adapt my scrolling direction based on the device. Anyway. When I want to read down a document, I've got to pull it (scroll up), and when I want to read up a document, I've got to push it (scroll down). In the systems preferences, one can choose old-skool scrolling.
I didn't notice any improvement in system memory, cpu and battery consumption; it seems no better and no worse than OS X 10.6.
I gave Mail.app a try for one full day. I set it up with IMAP with the same config I have on my iPhone. It didn't work for me, I'm too used to Opera mail, which I resumed using the next day.
iCal presented me with one disappointment. I don't mind their aesthetic choice of faux-leather and torn paper line below the leather pad, I really miss the left panel that showed the calendars and allowed me to display as many months I could fit in that space. This was convenient to quickly check, uncheck, select + refresh given calendars, and the small months view was convenient when planning, next to the main window in which I showed the current week. They added a year view which is pretty (small months featuring my calendar colours and the more stuff I have on a given day, the darker the colour), but doesn't make up for the loss of the left panel. The calendars I created or I'm subscribed to appear in some popup window when I click "Calendars" at the top left of the iCal window and stays on while I mouse-over, click a cal, refresh, etc, until I click somewhere else.
I almost forgot to install XCode! But I had to because I you run stuff like CVS or make. This took me ages and I even feared it would never complete. The Mac App Store let me download XCode (it used to be, I think, on one of the installation DVDs), put the dl in progress in the dock, and when it was done, I was shown Launchpad. It looks like my iPad welcome screen, with icons of all my apps. I clicked on install XCode, entered my system password and waited, waited. Waited. Something went wrong, it was stuck, I had to force quit the installation, do it again, and wait, wait. I think it took more than a couple hours (by that time, I was busy doing other stuff, like cooking, entertaining guests, eating, so it may have just taken 2 hours).
Some apps like TextEdit have active window bars; if I click on the document title on that bar I see light grey text, for example " - Edited" and if I mouse over, I see an arrow. Click the arrow to lock the file, duplicate the file, revert to last opened version and browse all versions. It might make some use of a my local CVS moot.
Amaya works fine. Quicksilver too.
That's all folks.
Saturday, April 9, 2011 4:16:48 PM
Hypnosis was a discussion topic at work the other day. I once blogged about how hypnosis had failed to help me with snowphobia. This was an epic session and funny, come to think of it. But I never wrote about the power of hypnosis. And I am now, because I was once successfully hypnotised.
It was some time during the summer of 1999, during a family vacation in Crete. The family of my boyfriend of the time. His father's occupation was psychologist with a skill for hypnosis. I was regularly plagued with massive headaches. I had tried to cut down on coffee without visible effects. He offered to try hypnosis on me and I agreed. I don't recall very much of the session.
He made me lay on a bed in a quiet room and he sat on a chair next to me. He made me close my eyes and listen to him. He said I wouldn't fall asleep but the state I would be in would be very close. He said I would remember everything. It was true, but I gradually forgot, years after years.
I think is lasted less than a half hour. Near the end, he said my headaches were taken care of. He added they may return and if they did, we were about to work on how to make them go away. He instructed me to think of one word, and to remember it. Then the session was over. I went back to performing my vacation activities, a little dubious.
I didn't have a single headache for many months and when I had one, it wasn't massive like before, and it was rare.
As to the magic word that he made me think of —a word that I invented at the time— it still works even today. I don't have to say it, I just have to think of it, say it in my head, and the headache disappears within seconds. It's wonderful.
Sunday, March 6, 2011 4:45:21 PM
Amy gave me a book a few years ago, Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, that I found again a couple weeks ago and that I really enjoyed reading. Amy had liked the book and wrote a note on the first page that she hoped I would enjoy the world the book creates as much as she did. Thanks, my friend, I enjoyed it immensely.
The author creates a wonderful world, where time stops to matter, a world that I knew would end and that I was loath to leave. It isn't about opera, but the story is weaved around opera. The story is that of a group of terrorists --adult and children-- somewhere in South America, who hold hostage forty or so men, and a soprano, during several months.
Here are the quotes that I liked particularly.
They were so shaken by the beauty of her voice that they wanted to cover her mouth with their mouth, drink in. Maybe music could be transferred, devoured, owned. What would it mean to kiss the lips that had held such a sound?
He saw La Sonnambula three nights in a row. He had never sought her out or made himself to be anything more than any other member of the audience. He did not assume his appreciation for her talent exceeded anyone else's. He was more inclined to believe that only a fool would not feed about her exactly how he felt. There was nothing more to want than the privilege to sit and listen.
No one could see her objectively anyway. Even those who saw her for the first time, before she had opened her mouth to sing, found her radiant, as if her talent could not be contained in her voice ans so poured like light through her skin.
There was a television in this room. A few of them had seen a television before, a wooden box with a curved piece of glass that threw back your reflection in peculiar ways. They were always, always broken. That was the nature of televisions. There was talk, big stories about what a television once had done, but no one believed it because no one had seen it.
His own daughters presented him with a mathematical impossibility, one minute running around the house wearing pajamas covered in images of the blankly staring Hello, Kitty, the next minute announcing they had dates who would be picking them up at seven. He believed his daughters were not old enough to date and yet clearly by the standards of this country they were old enough to be members of a terrorist organization. He tried to picture them, their plastic daisy barrettes and short white socks, picking at the door frame with the sharp tip of a knife.
Russian was by no means his best language, and if his concentration lapsed even for a moment it all became a blur of consonants, hard Cyrillic letters bouncing like hail off a tin roof.
Always we would go to the opera. As young men we would stand in the back for a few rubles, money we did not have at the time. But then jobs came we had seats, and with better jobs came proper seats. You could mark our rise in the world by our position in the opera house, by what we paid and, later, what we were given. Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, we saw everything that was Russian.
Again and again he sang the chorus, almost whispering for fear someone might hear him, mock him, punish him. He felt this too strongly to think that it was something he could get away with. Still, he wished he could open himself up the way she did, bellow it out, dig inside himself to see what was really there.
"God forgives you," the priest said.
Beatriz opened her eyes and blinked at the priest. "So it will go away?"
"You'll have to pray. You'll have to be sorry."
"I can do that." Maybe that was the answer, a sort of cycle of sinning and sorriness. She could come every Saturday, maybe more often than that, and he would keep having God forgive her, and then she would be free to go to heaven.
She closed her eyes and looked for her dark pile of sins, hoping she could release a few more on her own without the help of the priest, thinking that fewer sins would give her a lightness that these new men would recognize. But the sins were gone. She looked and looked behind the darkness of her eyelids but there was not a single sin left and she was amazed.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:41:23 PM
Every now and then when my mac is slow, I take a peek in the Activity Monitor, to find out what is the culprit. Today I didn't find any usual suspect and the only odd bit was the process mds. While it was using barely 10% of the CPU, the memory it used was outrageous. I remember having only 1MB free memory left, and that mds was using 14GB of the virtual memory (this figure stuck, while the real memory one didn't).
I had learnt that mds is in use for Spotlight indexing. I have no use for Spotlight indexing, because I use other tools or tricks. So I searched for the way to disable Spotlight and did it in the Terminal:
sudo mdutil -a -i off
All of a sudden the process mds jumped from using 14GB of virtual memory to 77MB of virtual memory, whee! And the system memory, of which 1MB was free, reached the comfortable level of 1.7GB, re-whee!
If I ever need Spotlight, the command above is reversed by using "on".
Update of the day after:
It turns out I need that Spotlight indexing after all, if only to search in iCal. <sigh />
mds is on again! until it gets too greedy, that is.
sudo mdutil -a -i on
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 9:51:06 PM
I tapped into Maxf's excellent and extended collection of books and was intrigued by the title of a Douglas Adams' novel, 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'.
I read it pretty quickly and it enchanted me. Just the kind of clever and humorous reading I was after.
Here are a few spoiler-free bits I particularly liked, in the order they appear in the book:
So after a hectic week of believing that war was peace, that good was bad, that the moon was made of blue cheese, and that God needed a lot of money sent to a certain box number, the Monk started to believe that thirty-five percent of all tables were hermaphrodites, and then broke down.
"Well, he's one of these people who can only think when he's walking. When he has ideas, he has to talk them out to whoever will listen. […]"
Pink valleys, hermaphrodite tables, these were all natural stages through which one had to pass on the path to true enlightenment.
[…] Richard had run into Dirk from time to time and had usually been greeted with that kind of guarded half smile that wants to know it you thick it owes you money before it blossoms into one that hopes you will lend it some.
"The man just liked to talk," he would later tell the police. "Man, I could have walked away to the toilet for ten minutes and he would've told it all to the till. If I'd been fifteen minutes the till would have walked away too.[…]"
That's the problem with crunch-heads -- they have one great idea that actually works and then they expect you to carry on funding them for years while they sit and calculate the topographies of their navels.
There was something odd about the horse, but he couldn't say what. Well, there was one thing that was clearly very odd about it indeed, which was that it was standing in a college bathroom. Maybe that was all.
What with that and the amount he talked, the traffic through his mouth was almost incessant. His ears, on the other hand, remained almost totally unused in normal conversation.
[…] the act of measurement collapses the probability waveform. Up until that point all the possible courses of action open to, say, an electron, coexist as probability waveform. Nothing is decided. Until it's measured.
The tall figure appeared to be not at all happy with what it saw, to be rather cross about it, in fact. To be more than cross. It appeared to be a tall dark figure who could very easily yank the heads off half a dozen chickens and still be cross at the end of it.
Dirk turned away and sagged sideways off his chair, much as the sitter for The Thinker probably did when Rodin went off to be excused.
"[…] Dirk Gently is the name under which I now trade. There are certain events in the past, I'm afraid, from which I would wish to dissociate myself." "Absolutely, I know how you feel. Most of the fourteenth century, for instance, was pretty grim," agreed Reg earnestly.
If you had seen the look on the poor child's face. So miserable. She thought the world would be a marvellous place, and all those appalling old dons were pouring their withering scorn on her just because it wasn't marvellous for them anymore.
"[…] may I ask you something that may be terribly personal? I will understand perfectly if you don't want to answer, but I will just keep pestering you until you do. Just my methods, you see."
"[…] I commend you on your scepticism, but even the sceptical mind must be prepared to accept the unacceptable when there is no alternative. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands."
He stood transfixed. If anyone had been looking at his face at that moment, it would have been abundantly clear to them that the single most astonishing event of this man's entire existence was currently happening to him.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 9:27:06 PM
Here's a funny exchange I just read in one of our IRC work channels. I didn't ask their permission to blog their little exchange, so I've anonymised the nicknames of my colleagues.
2010-10-05T21:00:13Z <joe> Anyone know a convenient way to
check a CVS repository for integrity?
2010-10-05T21:03:49Z <jane> give it $20 in change for a $10
and see if it takes the money or returns it?
Saturday, August 7, 2010 10:18:51 AM
I've just read Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book of 1884 which is set somewhere along the Mississippi River in the mid 1830s and tells the story of escape and freedom of Huckleberry, a white teenager and Jim a black grown-up runaway slave.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading that book. It took me a while to get used to the English old-fashioned vocabulary and grammar, as well as the language used by the slave Jim.
It was a surprise when I reached the end. Having read the five adventures, I would have gladly read some more.
Here are a few quotes and excerpts from the book that I found striking, amusing, or interesting.
About superstition, after Huck inadvertently killed a spider:
I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep the witches away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horseshoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you'd killed a spider.
About itching, as Huck had to remain immobile:
If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain't sleepy--if you are anywheres where it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places.
About Stockholm Syndrome, discussion among Tom Sawyer's self-proclaimed gang, who plot to carry out adventurous crimes:
Kill the women? No -- nobody ever saw anything in the books like that. You fetch them to the cave, and you're always as polite as pie to them; and by and by they fall in love with you, and never want to go home any more.
Huck tells the truth about Mathematics, the truth, only the truth:
I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don't take no stock in mathematics, anyway.
Long but exquisite passage. Conversation between Huck and Jim about the language of the French:
"Why, Huck, doan' de French people talk de same way we does?"
"No, Jim; you couldn't understand a word they said--not a single word."
"Well, now I be ding-busted! How do dat come?"
"I don't know; but it's so. I got some of their jabber out of a book. S'pose a man was to come to you and say Polly-voo-franzy--what would you think?"
"I wouldn't think nuff'n; I'd take en bust him over de head--dat is, if he weren't white. I wouldn't 'low no nigger to call me dat."
"Shucks, it ain't calling you anything. It's only saying, do you know how to talk French?"
"Well, den why couldn't he say it?"
"Why, he is a-saying it. That's a Frenchman's way of saying it."
"Well, it's a blame ridiculous way, en I doan' want to hear no mo' 'bout it. Dey ain' no sense in it."
"Looky here, Jim; does a cat talk like we do?"
"No, a cat don't."
"Well, does a cow?"
"No, a cow don't, nuther."
"Does a cat talk like a cow, or a cow talk like a cat?"
"No, dye don't."
"It's natural and right for 'em to talk different from each other, ain't it?"
"And ain't it natural and right for a cat and a cow to talk different from us?"
"Why, mos' sholy it is."
"Well, then, why ain't it natural and for a Frenchman to talk different from us? You answer me that."
"Is a cat a man, Huck?"
"Well, den, dye ain't no sense in a cat talkin' like a man. Is a cow a man?--er is a cow a cat?"
"No, she ain't got no business to talk either one er the yuther of 'em. Is a Frenchman a man?"
"Well, den! Dad blame it, why doan' he talk like a man? You answer me dat!"
I see it warn't no use wasting words--you can't learn a nigger to argue. So I quit.
Considerations from Huck and Jim when they're star gazing:
We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course if could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they'd got spoiled and was hove out of the nest.
When the King and the Duke rehearse properly the Balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet:
[…] after a while he said he done it pretty well; "only," he says, "you mustn't bellow out Romeo! that way, like a bull--you must say it soft and sick and languishy, so--R-o-o-meo! that is the idea; for Juliet's a dear sweet mere child of a girl, you know, and she doesn't bray like a jackass."
About the ignominy of people thinking Black people were sub-humans. Huck explains to Aunt Sally what delayed his steamboat:
"It warn't the grounding--that didn't keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head."
"Good gracious! anybody hurt?"
"No'm. Killed a nigger."
"Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt. […]
Monday, July 12, 2010 9:30:34 PM
Je me faisais la réflexion, ce matin, que c'était quand même fort de moka d'avoir truqué une grosse partie de la Coupe du Monde de Football, rien que pour donner raison à Paul le Poulpe.
Et cet aprèm, Vlad me donne à lire un article à ce sujet: "Les prévisions de Paul le Poulpe : entre coup de chance et supercherie".
Je ne me suis pas attachée à la valeur de la démonstration, mais les citations suivantes m'ont amusé.
Petite remise à l'heure:
Il faut d'abord savoir qu'un poulpe, même doué en football, ne distingue pas les couleurs.
Philosophie du poulpe:
Face à un choix, un poulpe compare systématiquement les options avant d'agir.
Friday, June 4, 2010 12:10:43 PM
Opera 10.53 for mac OS lasted about 36 hours on my machine. It wasn't stable, unfortunately. It really felt like a beta version! It was so bad that I even resolved to try out Opera 10.60 alpha, but since it doesn't have Opera Mail, it wasn't workable for me. So I reverted to Opera 10.10 just now.
Opera is the program I use the most. It is my default browser and my beloved MUA. It is also the first time I am disappointed with a version to the point of downgrading. I've always been a fan of Opera, which I discovered some time in 2002, and that I adopted as mail client and default browser when M2 was part of the Opera 7 release in early 2003.
A few quick observations about Opera 10.53, expanded below:
- Spectacular unexpected* crashes in series.
- Intrusion with window coming in focus by itself.
- Enter key no worky on dialog boxes.
- Scrolling didn't work consistently.
[* We need to admit to ourselves that sometimes we're pushing the limits knowingly, in which case, crashes are more or less expected.]
I found them spectacular in the sense that I was used to Opera looking like it's really trying to process whatever it is doing, entering the phase of being slower or unresponsive for a while till the application crashed. When Opera 10.53 crashes it is sudden and swift. My first impression was that the window had moved to a different virtual space, and I even looked for it, till I saw the box announcing the app had to crash.
And they happened in series. A series of 4 or 5 consecutive crashes triggered by all sorts of actions, followed by a phase of suspicious stability.
Actions that made Opera 10.53 crash:
- double clicking a URI in the address bar in order to copy it.
- clicking the send button in Opera Mail.
- waiting for Opera to finish restarting after a crash.
- it also crashed when I was busy with another app.
I was surprised, using Opera 10.53, that the Opera window would come into focus unexpectedly and for no particular reason, other than my mouse hovering over it from an application window to another, or each time Opera fetches e-mail, news or feeds. I found the intrusion quite annoying.
When a dialog box popped up, it appeared that the focus was on a button, yet, the return key had no effect. I was used to hitting the enter key when the focus is right, and I was disappointed to have to use the mouse to click.
Again, because of habits, I expected the trackpad gesture of scrolling with two fingers to work anywhere in the Opera windows, and consistently, be that a browser tab, or the panels and sections of the Mail interface. It wasn't the case at times and it wasn't obvious why it wouldn't work as expected, when it didn't.
« Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 12 Next »