Thursday, February 27, 2014

Menu Bar Icon Apps

Update.--I played with Bartender this morning and it does work, although the instructions aren't quite clear or intuitive about how to arrange or rearrange the Menu Bar icons, but once you get the hang of it, it work quite nicely. I'm able to open all my Menu Bar items and then move them to the place I want than where OS-X 10.9.2 puts them.

Original Post.--Well, some things I learned about controlling the order of the icon on the Menu Bar. First, right after you reboot, the icons will, more or less, line up right to left in the order you open them starting to the left of the last icon opened in the startup and your login.

I say more or less because if you have more than a few, some will open in random order the first or second time before lining up last one on the left. If you use the Mac for awhile and have to close then to update or upgrade then, good luck on controlling the order. I never got it to line up right again.

Ok, plan B, menu bar icon applications, eg. MenuBar ReArranger and Bartender. My view of them right now is don't buy them, unless you have a lot of time learning them and getting them to work if you can. I never did get the former to work at all and the latter screwed up the system icon order.

I'm sure you can get Bartender to work but it's not an intuitive application to learn and understand so it's a trial and error method. I ended up closing it and rebooting to regain the system icon order and put the icons I want in the order I want.

What I've also done is reduce the number of applications on the Menu Bar from ~20 of mine, after the last system and login applications, to 4 I use all the time. The rest now I just open, use and close, and I don't care where they open on the Menu Bar since I close them.

The real solution is for Apple to fix what they broke, not just after rebooting, but anytime. I may play with Bartender some more but I need to take a break from yelling at it for not doing what I want and doing things I don't want.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

OS-X 10.9.2 Redux

Apparently I spoke too soon about the menu bar icon arrangement, stating that it appears Apple almost solved the problem to give users control of the order of the icons in the menu bar. I was vastly wrong about the ineptness of the Apple programmers to solve a simple problem.

The control doesn't work if you close the apps on the menu bar and reopen them again. You have no control of the order again. IT'S THE SAME PROBLEM AGAIN and even after rebooting, you have less control than the first boot in OS-X 10.9.2

So what exactly does it take for Apple programmers to fix a problem they created? Why can't the give the control of the order of the icons in the menu bar which was the standard mode in Mountain Lion (OS-X 10.8.x)? They didn't break it then. THEY BROKE IT WITH MAVERICKS!

This is really a WTF moment for the massive company of Apple to screw up a simple thing they broke. And it's really aggrevating to have to keep trying to get the order by luck or buy a third party application to do what Apple can't do.

Really Apple? Are you that inept? Or is it you really don't give a shit about your users and customers?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

OS-X 10.9.2

Update.-- I spoke too soon. The hid-deny control still crashes some apps, like Twitter, and some have problems working. I suspect updates to those apps will be released soon.

Original Post.--Well, almost, but not there Apple. But then probably much of what was updated doesn't concern me or I don't use anyway, eg. Google mail, etc. My concern was control of the menu bar arrangement which they broke among other things. That said, here's a few notes.

First, walk through your notifications, Cloud account and other settings in the preference panel. The installation changed them, adding notes and reminders to iCloud for me which I don't use, but to change them it may delete them off your Mac.

Apple is pushing people to the iCloud by hook or by crook, meaning setting the iCloud to the default and if you change it, they pop up a box it will delete all those things, notes, reminders, etc., on your Mac, and it will.

To Apple on this I can only say what can't be said but is often heard on the street when someone pisses you off and you reply with short, precise language. Yeah, it sucks on Apple to continue to pull this stunt.

As for the Menu Bar control, it's better but still not what was the normal mode in OS-X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Most of the icons will line up on the far left after that last one in the order you open them, but some won't and will take 2 or 3 times to close and open before it will line up last on the left.

With that I'll settle for it now but expect better with OS-X 10.9.3 to return to what was in 10.8, simple and easy operation and control of the icons on the menu bar. You can get one of the third party apps, Bar Tender and Menubar Rearranger, but with a little time you can get the icons in the order you want now.

They also appear to have solved the deny hid error message and problems with the menu bar apps which use drop down menus or open/close window on the screen. All the menu bar apps seem to work as expected now.

Don't forget after the installation to run the purge command after you reboot. The installation and reboot uses about 4 GB of the file cache which isn't reclaimed until tomorrow morning if ever, so it helps to reset the cache file memory.

You can use Google for the instructions or it's really simple. Open a terminal window, see the app in the utilities folder. Type: purge . You'll be asked for the administrator password, which is your password if you have administrator privileges, enter it, and wait about a minute.

You can check the before and after with the Activity Monitor window, another app in the utilities folder. Watch the "File Cache" value. Before will be in GB's and after in MB's. This value will rise during the day to 1.5-2 GB as you use apps, and more if you use a lot of apps.

You can always use the command when it get too high but make sure the backup isn't running. It won't break the backup, just keep more memory in use for the backup in progress. There's a cool backup monitor widet to monitor the backup.

That's some initial impressions and opinions. It's better and I hope Apple continues down the road to fix problems, you know the real ones than the bells and whistles, or add new problems in old applications, but then with Apple anymore, I don't hold my breath anymore.

Good luck with your update. As with all things Apple and in life, your mileage may vary.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

iPhone 5s & iPad Air

This last week I finally got around to upgrading my iPhone 4 and adding an iPad Air, both 16 GB models (smallest memory available - I don't use more than 8-10 GB on the iPhone 4 and old iPad I) when AT&T offered a good deal to the pay it over two year plan with only a slight increase in my monthly bill until the devices are paid off and the decrease to less than my current bill.

I had them transfer everything on the iPhone 4 to the 5s, so it was only a matter of updating it to IOS 7.0.6 (was 7.0.), updating the apps and waking through the settings for Siri, touch (fingerprint) mode and other stuff. That took two-plus hours at my speed but was straight forward.

I did notice the reports that the touch sensor doesn't always work, which I can affirm, that it usually takes 2-3 touches to get it to recognize my fingerprint, or type in the passcode after 3 tries. Something Apple needs to improve.

I activated Siri but I haven't used it yet. I'm not one who takes to their iPhone, and for the most part will mostly just play with it occasionally to see how it responds and what information it provides. I more an app person who likes to look up things.

As for the iPad Air, I kept the old iPad but had them disable the 3G, so it's just a wifi device now sitting next to the Mac where I can use it with applications on the Mac with the apps which works on the iPad, eg. Apple's Remote, along with apps for reading books and documents and working with maps.

In short, it's still useful, just dated. The new iPad Air was installed in iTunes as a new one with the backup (contacts, settings, etc. but no apps or files) from the old iPad. From there I built the iPad from scratch, including updating it to IOS 7.0.6.

This whole process took into the evening and a few hours the next day downloading the files, books and maps which only download from the Website, which I learned ate 67% of my monthly usage (Google books, topo maps, Nook books, etc.) to match the old iPad.

As I went through the process, there was one quirk which is really stupid on Apple's part to have gone 6 updates and not fix it, after the obviousness of it and the noise on the Apple forum about it. It's the wallpaper.

Those who already know this can't stop laughing. I spent several hours trying to get my background image to fit the screen. This wasn't a problem with either iPhone or the old iPad, but is with the iPad Air.

I finally find a temporary solution which said to make the image square (the orignal one above), but it still doesn't display the full image in either portrait or landscape, and clearly something Apple needs to address. Even the recommended app (Wallax) didn't work and made me wonder why people recommended it.

The second issue I had is the battery with the iPad Air. It was only about 70% when I opened it and on never lock the charger was not able to keep up with the work on it and it dropped to about 65% by the end of the day. It then took overnight to charge it.

The third issue with it is that it discharges faster than the old iPad so doesn't last as along, not even the Apple specs for it. I don't know if these batteries take time to get up to full charge and hold it longer or not, but so far it's not good for using for very long with being plugged in.

Otherwise, I have a lot more work now to test all the apps, but the initially walk through showed all but one works. The National Geographic (NG) National Parks (NPs) Map app wasn't updated for IOS 7, but works on the old iPad with IOS 5.

I updated the NG app with their newer NPs complete guide with inclusive map (for $1.99 for each NP - but only bought the one for Mt Rainier NP).  I then went to the Apple store today to buy cases for each one and the lightning to 30-pin connector for my monthly appointment (they have an older iPod music player) as I supply the music on the iPhone.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the devices if anything happens. I have to say it's kinda nice to have both iPads, the old one working the Mac and the new doing the things the old one did.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Scientists announced today they discovered the perfect instrument to cure anyone of any illness, disease, condition or disability they have, instantly and permanent. The announcement of this discovery is actually an old discovery which has been around for hundreds of years and only recently discovered as a cure-all where the person only needs one treatment and it can be administered by anyone.

It's called a handgun. Available at your nearest outdoor sporting goods store, gun shops, gun fairs, and even on-line with overnight delivery available. Easy to read instructions come with each instrument along with the option to buy easy to load ammunition, or are available on the companies' Websites, and even from the NRA who will offer courses on the easiest and fastest methods to cure someone of their life threatening conditions.

It only goes to show you that you don't need medical professionals to cure you of any health issue or problem, anyone, even a teenager, can do it, except of course, as sometimes happens, the user wasn't fully trained or experienced to thoroughly cure you with the first treatment and leave you worse than before.

Remember users are not liable for any damage they cause by their instruments because the Second Amendment ensures their right to own and use it and absolves them of any responsible incurred from it's use. And a federal law shield the instrument manufacturer from any responsiblity and product liability.

In addition, recently enacted laws gives the user the freedom from being criminally convicted of a crime if the person can claim the other person, the one at the reception end of the instrument, was a threat and you had to protect yourself. The simple case of self-defense in the guise of the stand your ground law.

Scientists suggested that the sheer numbers of these instruments that will make the use of them more prevalent in our society, especially in light of the pro-instrument organizations like the NRA which promotes the false arguments of the reasons to have one and the right to use one.


The question about the Keystone oil pipeline isn’t about the choice between the pipeline or trains to transport oil from the source to the refineries, it’s about how you want your oil spill, in a series of derailed trains or a pipeline failure. It’s not about when oil spills will happen, that’s a given, but about the difference of geography and environmental damage.