Girl DJ with headphones and lights. Graphicstock

Getting Sound Back on a Macbook Pro (when the headphone is stuck on Optical)

A regular problem for me with my Macbook Pro is getting the sound disappearing because the headphone jack gets stuck in optical mode (TOSLINK on). You can tell it’s happened because: a red light is on inside the headphone jack (the light is the TOSLINK signal); and adjusting the volume through the sound controls brings up a sound meter with …

The iPhone in Doctor Who (c. 1984)

Ever wonder whether Apple has a case against other “tablet” makers? The Atlantic today has a blog post about how the patent office rejected a “scrotal support” by referencing the movie Borat, showing that he had already invented it. Madrigal went on to point out that using pop culture in movies was not just a feature of frivolous filings: “Part …

Looking down at Château-d'Oex from our chateau on after a snowfall. © E. Forrest Christian.

Software Architecture: There Is No One Right Way

I spent some time perusing the programming stacks at Seattle’s main library today, and skimmed through some texts on software architecture. Perhaps the most interesting was 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts (ed. Richard Monson-Haefel). It’s a collection of various two-page thoughts from people who do software architecture from across the globe. Think Chicken …

Different Worlds: My Experiences with AT&T/RIM vs. Apple

Recently, I had two problems come up. Neither of them are really horrifying but the experiences that I had show why Apple dominates the markets for consumer-oriented electronics, and why RIM’s Blackberry, Obamania aside, is declining. I should start out with a confession: I’ve been a systems administrator at a variety of levels on several network OSes, including Solaris, HP-UX, …

Analog Computing Machine in Fuel Systems Building Lewis Flight Propulsion Lab-NASA

Retraining Mainframers to Object Oriented Programming (OOP)

I’m going through my old email archives, and discovered a note from a project I ran to help a very large US property & casualty insurer to better retool their mainframe-oriented programmers (procedural using COBOL) to client-server paradigms (mostly Object-Oriented Programming using Java). It was an interesting project because the dirty secret was that some people were better than others. …

New MacUpdate Promo Bundle

Since I got so much grief from some of y’all for failing to mention the last one, here’s the news: a brand new MacUpdate Promo bundle is available. You get some great apps, plus the chance that they will unlock SoundStudio (probable), BannerZest (likely), and Parallels Desktop (possible but don’t hold your breath), all for US$64.99. In my opinion, the …