Death of the butterflies.

Aug 03

Tap.. tap .. taptaptap.. Grunt, blowing sound, tap tap TAP.. yeah, it sounds like somebody is frustrated behind their keyboard write ? Some Shmo pounding out an angry flame mail to a bunch of co-workers with half the org-chart splattered across to to and bcc field. But .. thats not the case. It”s just me trying to write up a little blogpost on a computer that suffers from dying butterflies.

Downside ? It makes EVERYTHING you type sound like an angry hate-mail to POTUS, even if you are doing a love letter.

‘Chokin the butterfies’
The butterflies I refer to are the keys on my keyboard. In Apple’s grand opus of “Thinking Different”, somebody in the giant glass donut thought it would be a good idea to radically change the way they keyboard worked on their new Macbook Pro’s. So they decided the butterfly key would be a great idea. Superslim keys that have virtually no “keytravel” (How ‘deep’ your key goes when you tap it) and that make the keyboard look like a giant touchpad. Upside ?: Cool and pretty thin (allowing them to thin-down the laptop a few millimeters). Downside ? It makes EVERYTHING you type sound like an angry hate-mail to POTUS, even if you are doing a love letter.

DD I press ‘i’ ?

But the biggest downside is that these keys are NOT dirt resistant. Tiny mote of sand or dust gets underneath your key ? Boom. no more room for travel. If you are lucky the keystrike is still recorded and you get your character on the screen, but it “feels” like you just didn’t strike that key. And that totally throws you out of the zone. If it is worse , the just doesn’t work at all and you end up POUNDING the letter out of the laptop by jamming your finger on it with too much force required.

‘Cupertino is gonna fix it’
Its a known issue with Apple and they promised to fix it in the NEXT generation. But for the current owners ? Well, there is a replacement program. Only you need to bring us your Macbook Pro so we can fix it. Well, Fix it is a big word, they are going to replace my keyboard (AND my Touch bar AND my battery, because the glued it all together) with similar hardware. So the chance that THOSE butterflies are going to “clog up” is still very real.

Well, the only thing I can do is wait for my Mac to be back. In the meantime I’ve ‘Fallen back’ to my Dell XPS 13 laptop (Running Windows 10 Pro) and that is NOT a bad place to be. The machine is slim, light and fast and the keys are .. well, better. Rattling out blogposts like this kinda feels like being a coder pounding out the next killer app. No dead butterflies here ūüôā Keep you posted.

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“Whats in your bag week” Day 4 : Knightwise.

Oct 30

kw

With all these amazing guest bloggers showing us what gear they use and what is “in their geekbags” I feel a little intimidated showing you what I drag around. My “Bag” is my daily companion for the days I work onsite as an IT consultant. It is focused on portability AND the ability to facilitate my creative and commercial activities while i’m out the door.

2014-10-27 16.39.27

The Bag : I have a thing for bags. I don’t have just one : ¬†I have several. As my wife jokes from time to time “I’m like a woman” when it comes to computer bags. Perhaps she is right .. The¬†thing is : I don’t believe in “one bag” for every occasion. Depending on where you are going, what you need to take with you and what kind of venture you are attending … a different bag ¬†(or even a different setup of selected gear) might be required.

So in this case i’m showing you my “Day to day – on the road” bag (and its contents). The bag I carry around is a Thule Gauntlet 13. It was orignally designed for a 13 inch Macbook pro, but as I talked about it in the INITIAL REVIEW I did for Knightwise.com, it is a bit of a “Too tight fit” for the 13 inch Macbook but perfect for the setup I use it for. The bag is more of a ‘hard-case” then a messenger bag. This makes it compact AND keeps you from “over stuffing” your bag with things you don’t need. Like an old ‘attache’ case, it offers sturdy¬†protection but also allows just ¬†a finite amount of stuff you can cram in it. This is both a positive and a negative thing. The bag is stylish (important) rugged (it protects my gear) organised (it has pockets and compartments) and waterproof (I tested that by aiming a garden hose toward it.) You can go for a detailed review HERE¬†.

The laptop : I have a 15 inch Macbook Pro I use for just about everything. But I also held on to my 11 inch Macbook air that I got last year. Partly for sentimental reasons (its just a great device) but also for practical reasons : I would be terrified taking my 15 inch Macbook Pro¬†on the road with me every day. Its too valuable for me ¬†(and also a little bit too bulky). The Macbook Air ¬†is also my¬†‘experimental machine’ to run Linux distro’s and stuff. It is encased in a clear plastic hardcase I bought on Ebay (i’m also a little bit of a case-afficionado) and on its 128Gig ssd drive I’ve dual booted Osx Mavericks and Elementary OS Linux.

Headphones : My wife bought me a pair of Philips Headphones (I don’t know the type, threw away the box) that sit snugly ON my ears (not one of those sets that goes AROUND your ears). I like them because they are still quite discrete and stylish to use on the road, yet offer good sound quality. I also carry around a pair of apple in-ear earbuds. (not in the picture). These are great for recording audio, listening to podcasts while walking outside .. and they are just plain indestructible. (I have had my pair since Christmas 2012 and they have been through the washing machine 5 times now…) What IS in the picture is a pair of el-cheapo Samsung earbuds I keep in my bag as a spare. Yeah .. triple redundant headphone/earbud setup.. i’m a geek.

Cables : Very few. A charger for the Macbook Air and a micro usb cable to charge my phone, the blue thing is one of those adapters that lets you transfer files from a usb stick TO your phone. I have no idea why I keep carrying it around since its a little redundant .. but I haven’t taken it out yet.

“Writing utensils”¬†¬†: Pens : As few as possible. A highlighter, a black and a blue pen (a blue STAR WARS pen !) and a couple of small post it notes I use religiously to keep tabs on whatever paperwork i’m dragging around. ¬†I also carry around a manila folder (the red one) for every slip of paper I need to handle. It keeps the paperwork free from creases and prevents me from losing any document/piece of important paperwork that is smaller in size then a sheet of wallpaper. I don’t carry around a notebook or one of those snobby Moleskin books. I don’t believe in paper.

Harddrive : A one terabyte Western Digital Hard drive (usb powered) for those situations where I need to carry stuff around that does not fit on the drive of my laptop. It is pre-packed with some movies, some music and some tv shows to  watch, should I get stuck on an airport or a train station. I NEVER plug this drive into a foreign computer and have thought about encrypting it too.

Usb sticks : 2 Usb sticks , one 8 gigabyte ‘Darth Vader’ one that sports a Live usb version of TAILS (the super secure privacy oriented linux distro that Snowden used) whenever I need to work on a computer that is “not trusted”.¬†There are also some portable apps on there when I’m working on a foreign Windows machine. The other 16 gigabyte stick is just there to “sneakernet” data across.

Box of business cards : Running your own company means carrying around business cards. My super geeky wife found out that these little plastic “wallets” are perfect for doing just that.

Not in the picture.
My phone ¬†: ¬†I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on a daily basis, combined with a 1st generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The Note3¬†takes care of many of my entertainment and communication needs. The Note3 is also the main “connectivity device” when I’m unable to smooch off some free wifi.

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kw607 : Reviewing the Thule Gauntlet 13 inch Macbook pro and iPad attache Case.

Jul 17


We got a nice and juicy hardware review for you on one of our favourite topics : Laptop bags. We take a closer look at the 13 inch Macbook pro and iPad attache Case (what a mouthful) from Thule. We take a good and decent look at the appearance, style and finish of Thule’s carry-case for the Macbook pro .. but most importantly we answer the question no-one dares to ask : Is it waterproof ? All of that and more in this weeks Knightwise.com podcast.

Shownotes.

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kw606 : Making your Mac cross platform friendly.

Jul 06

macbook-sliderWe dive behind the microphone and give all of you Apple users a slice of pie you don’t want to pass up on. We talk about making your Mac “Slider” friendly and how to put up ladders and crawl out of Apple’s walled garden. We have quite a slew of interesting tips and tricks on how to run “cross platform” applications, files, filesystems and connections through your favorite Mac. Learn and listen to this episode of the podcast that is filled to the rim with community feedback and contributions and great music by Youtube princess Juless.

Shownotes.

Tweak code (Copy and paste in your OSX command line)

#make dock appear instantatiously

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0 && killall Dock

#don’t reopen every file when you reopen your app.

#in preview

defaults write com.apple.Preview NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

#in quicktime

defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

#kill the dashboard

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

killall Dock

#show the path in the finder

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES

#disable window animations

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool false

#enable direct scrolling

defaults write -g NSScrollAnimationEnabled -bool NO

#no more bouncy windows when scrolling

defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0

#set time machine backup to 1800

sudo defaults write/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto StartInterval -int 1800

#force expanded save-and-print  dialogs

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -boolean true

defaults write -g PMPrintingExpandedStateForPrint -boolean true

#no 3d-glassy dock

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean yes

#show hidden files in finder

#defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

#killall Finder

#3d glassy dock

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean no

#make hidden app icons semi transparent

defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -boolean yes

#create a ‘recent items’ stack

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” = 1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’

#screen grabs in jpg

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

 

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How about a Citrix session in Ubuntu on a Macbook Air.

Jan 11

The one upside of being a slider is that you can do whatever the hell you want with your computer. I mean, its not only thinking outside the box, its like thinking about the box outside the box before there ever IS a box. The fun part of doing all this is that you can hack your hard and software the way YOU want it to work for you.

one does not

As you know I have an 11.6 inch Macbook air that I drag around everywhere. It would be quite dull if it ONLY ran OSX. Of course it doesn’t. Since the day I got it I fought, tweaked and tinkered right up to the point that I had it running exactly like I wanted to. In my case : on Ubuntu 12.10. After tweaking the fans, the keyboard, the screen illumination and the function keys, I had trained my Macbook to behave like a Mac, while still running Windows.

The only time I had to really boot back into OSX is when I wanted to access our work Citrix server. Since I take my little bundle of joy to work from time to time, but also work from home, it was always a little sad to say bye bye Ubuntu, JUST to use the silly Citrix client.

And when you tell me I HAVE to use a CERTAIN operating system JUST to use a CERTAIN application .. I get antsy and start looking around. So my new goal for the week was : Get a Citrix client working on Ubuntu .. ( on a mac ) and access your work deskop (A Windows 2003 Terminal server environment).

After finding this brilliant howto on installing the 64 bit Ica Client under Ubuntu I had the Citrix client running in no time. The only downside came when I started typing.

Remember : This was a Windows 2003 session I had open, with a Ubuntu operating system and a Macintosh keyboard. So when I started typing it looked …. Fracked up. ¬†So how was I going to fix it.

After some searching in my home folder I found the Ica client config file.  in  /home/%username%/ICAClient/wfclient.ini

The first lines in the config file pointed towards the keyboard layout looked like this.

KeyboardLayout = (User Default) 
KeyboardMappingFile = automatic.kbd
KeyboardDescription = Automatic (User Profile)
KeyboardType=(Default)

I remembered I had kinda the same problem when I tried to run the Citrix Receiver client on my Mac (under OSX) and got a wonky keyboard. The solution there was to also look for the config file an change the keyboard settings to FRENCH (Since I have a French Macintosh keyboard layout) So I changed the first line.

KeyboardLayout = FRENCH

Now everything works perfectly ! I can now happily run my work “Windows” session under Linux on my Macbook Air. Sliders rule !¬†¬†

Link : Ubuntu howto on running the ICA client.

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