Posts Tagged ‘Problems’

… Come Back, Mako – All Is Forgiven!

 

Project Overlord

 

Hammerhead(3)

 

Oh, Bioware – there are no words…

I had forgotten just how awful this was. Not the thing in and of itself – but that damned M44-Hammerhead. The flying Mako. Making the Mako look like it’s the best thing ever.  The controls are not terrible… Oh, no. That would be far too generous to call it that.

The hovercraft-tank hybrid thing is an absolute nightmare to control – I would have the Mako any day. This thing appears in two Mass Effect 2 DLCs – Firewalker and Overlord. Whoever designed it should never admit Hammerheadit for fear of being hit by thrown Xbox controllers – as people rage-chuck them about the world from attempting to play this game.

It was actually slightly (about 0.1%) easier to use with an Xbox 360 controller. Having built myself my shiny self-build rig, I got the PC edition of the Mass Effect Trilogy. Then – oh, so stupidly – spent even more money (although not that much, at least) on adding the Overlord DLC. I like the second half of it – and I like saving the character of David. But in the beginning it’s the biggest nightmare of all time in gameplay.

It’s one thing to make it hard. It’s entirely another to make it notoriously frustrating and impossible simply because the control-handing is impossible.

Now I’m trying to play it with Keyboard & Mouse and it’s turning out to be excessively difficult to manage simply because the handling is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever tried to handle in a game.

 

Hammerhead_Vulcan.png

 

* NOTE TO SELF: *

  • The key command for “Exit Hammerhead” is not necessarily (F) – it is, in fact, programmed to use whatever was key binding was programmed in Mass Effect to return to the Normandy from the Mako, after exploring a planet.
  • The “Exit Hammerhead” command is the *same*  as the “Leave World” key command in Mass Effect [1]  > 

 

Bindings=( Name="Vehicle_Quit", Command="LeaveWorld" )

 

Exiting_Hammerhead_Code

 

My game is downloaded from EA Origins: The Bindings and other configurations are found in the Coalesced file.

The File is found in:

E:\Games\Mass Effect 2\BioGame\Config\PC\Cooked

~ (on Steam this file-path would be different) ~ 

 

* NOTE TO SELF [2]: *

When “Mining” for resources (the yellow circles, see pic), an important point is to hold down Ctrl whilst “Mining [Right Mouse] (mine is set to RM).

This is mainly for obtaining the Data Hound Achievement in it, as an extra mini-mission. Being able to “Mine” effectively is fairly important – and there’s also a couple of rather tight spots you can mine general mineral  resources from, too.

This stops the Hammerhead from flying off in whatever direction it pleases…

 

 Hammerhead_Mining.png

 

This could have gone a lot better… it’s almost like it’s trying (a little too hard…) to emulate its own themes Trying something new that goes horribly wrong; Pushing tech too far and failing miserably; Thinking it’s a good idea (in theory)… till you actually do it and it fails spectacularly; Emitting outrage from everyone when they’ve found out what you’ve done…

It’s quite a shame that the first half is right out of Satan’s Gaming Handbook – the rest of it is quite entertaining and very interesting… and dark. And creepy. And slightly terrifying at times. It’s not so hard to imagine such things actually happening. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities… unless, of course, it’s happened already… Nothing new under the sun and all that… Scary.

Just like their Hammerhead. Only that’s much, much scarier…

 

 

Fedora 21: Package Kit Errors

After experiencing a whole host of issues with Fedora 21 recently, I found the following in the hope that it helps:

http://fedoramagazine.org/special-update-information-for-fedora-21-users-packagekit-errors/

To run:

yum update --advisory=FEDORA-2015-0921

I ran this through, and by the look of the code it seemed to address a number of issues I have recently had trouble addressing in any of the usual ways that I was finding online, not least PackageKit issues.

Further advice states if the problems continues to run:

pkcon repair

Hopefully, this will work….

 

Fedora vs Skype…

 

Skype… Easy to install, right? Just click on the pretty icon on the website and it all appears as if by magic. Right?

Well… Not so much when you’ve got a new Linux distro that is a Fedora edition, it would seem.

Installing Skype on Fedora 21: to say it wasn’t easy would be an understatement. Once I worked out that the best Skype/Microsoft had to offer was a download option for Fedora 16 it seemed like it I had no option: and I was off to see what Professor Google had to say on the matter.

The lovely Prof. Google hit on one of my favourite panic button sites for Fedora problems:

http://www.if-not-true-then-false.com/2012/install-skype-on-fedora-centos-red-hat-rhel-scientific-linux-sl/

This website always seems to have a brilliant answer for all the new Fedora codes for things I need. I love the fact there are so many people out there who not only have the patience and smarts to work these things out, but also put them online to help people.

 

Problems…

One annoying thing was that for some reason there were still issues even after I went though this tutorial… I’m not sure what was wrong, but once I worked out just what the terminal was telling me, it turned out it as missing a whole bunch of added extras too… So one by one I asked the terminal to install them as they appeared.

It was only after running this crapload of code that I finally got Skype up and running — and it actually  works just fine now.

It took much longer to mange than if the package on the website had run properly. Running everything separately, manually, makes things take so long — something we’re not used to in the age of unpacked zip files, and lightning-fast and instant installations at the click of a mouse or tap of the screen. On the other hand there’s a huge sense of achievement when after all that effort, the thing you were trying to get to work actually works.

That is why I like Fedora — everything new I try to do with it gives me some sense of achiement because I did it myself… with the help of dear old Professor a Google, of course.

 

Skype Install

Installing Skype 4.3 on Fedora 21:

http://www.if-not-true-then-false.com/2012/install-skype-on-fedora-centos-red-hat-rhel-scientific-linux-sl/

<Code is written in green>

 

First:

<enter root mode:>

 su -

## OR ##

 sudo -i

 < Changes terminal to:>

[root@localhost ~]# 

 

Installation:

yum localinstall http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm

 

<Success>

 Installed:
  epel-release.noarch 0:7-5
Complete
  • Required Dependencies:
    yum localinstall http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/dextop/el7/x86_64/nux-dextop-release-0-1.el7.nux.noarch.rpm

 

<Success>

 Dependency Updated:
  cups.x86_64 1:1.7.5-15.fc21
  cups-client.x86_64 1:1.7.5-15.fc21
  cups-filesystem.noarch 1:1.7.5-15.fc21
  cups-libs.x86_64 1:1.7.5-15.fc21
  dbus.x86_64 1:1.8.16-1.fc21
  dbus-libs.x86_64 1:1.8.16-1.fc21
  dbus-x11.x86_64 1:1.8.16-1.fc21
  freetype.x86_64 0:2.5.3-15.fc21
  gtk3.x86_64 0:3.14.8-2.fc21
  libgudev1.x86_64 0:216-20.fc21
  libstdc++.x86_64 0:4.9.2-6.fc21
  sqlite.x86_64 0:3.8.8-2.fc21
  systemd.x86_64 0:216-20.fc21
  systemd-compat-libs.x86_64 0:216-20.fc21
  systemd-libs.x86_64 0:216-20.fc21
  systemd-python.x86_64 0:216-20.fc21
  systemd-python3.x86_64 0:216-20.fc21

 

  • Download Skype 4.3 Dynamic
cd /tmp
## Skype 4.3 Dynamic for Fedora/CentOS/RHEL/SL ##
 wget --trust-server-names http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-dynamic

  • Extract Skype:
mkdir /opt/skype
## Extract Skype 4.3 ##
 tar xvf skype-4.3* -C /opt/skype --strip-components=1

 

  • Create Launcher:
ln -s /opt/skype/skype.desktop /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop
 ln -s /opt/skype/icons/SkypeBlue_48x48.png /usr/share/icons/skype.png
 ln -s /opt/skype/icons/SkypeBlue_48x48.png /usr/share/pixmaps/skype.png
touch /usr/bin/skype
 chmod 755 /usr/bin/skype

  • Open /usr/bin/skype with text editor and add following content:
 <Open Text Editor>
 ∘ gedit /usr/bin/skype
 ∘ nano /usr/bin/skype

Then in the text editor add:

#!/bin/sh
 export SKYPE_HOME="/opt/skype"
 $SKYPE_HOME/skype --resources=$SKYPE_HOME $*

<save>

 

<< * INSTALL PROBLEMS * >>

  • PROBLEM: Error Received:
 /opt/skype/skype: error while loading shared libraries: libXv.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Ran:

 yum install libXv.so.1

<Because the terminal code stated that it was lacking the package named “libXv.so.1”, we request Yum to install it – and keep running the Skype request to find the missing packages until it finally runs>

 

  • PROBLEM: Error Received:
 /opt/skype/skype: error while loading shared libraries: libXss.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Ran:

yum install libXss.so.1
    • PROBLEM: Error Received:
     /opt/skype/skype: error while loading shared libraries: libQtDBus.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Ran:

    yum install libQtDBus.so.4
    • PROBLEM: Error Received:
    /opt/skype/skype: error while loading shared libraries: libQtWebKit.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Ran:

    yum install libQtWebKit.so.4

    <<Skype now running >>

     

    run Skype:

    skype

    Oh yes… That I still do. I used to love my iPad… but now… Now I want to throw her out of a window. Preferably one that’s on the top floor of the Canary Wharf towers. When there’s a massive carter at the bottom for it to fall into.

    There has been yet another new update released: v8.1… and despite high hopes it would fix the so many issues that it has, it… well… hasn’t. Once again, I made space, downloaded the update, and… nothing. After a weeks of barely tolerating all this, I’m now really am ready to go up to the top floor of that tower – no update has fixed anything that’s wrong with it.

    It has not become any better, even after update 8.1. If anything, it may be even worse. And for this privilege I even had to give up an extra 1GB of precious space in my 16GB iPad, leaving just barely 12.5GB left. What a waste of space. Literally.

    ... Wanna join me?

    … Wanna join me?

    I even gave up a few games to make the space for this. Hearthstone was particularly difficult to let go of. I no longer have space to download my Audible books, and I there’s no space install any music from iTunes anymore, either. And for some reason, it saves my pictures twice – and I can’t even get at the Photo Stream service, nor understand why it has to save it locally twice on my hard drive. It’s supposed to be on iCloud. A server. Not local. I have no idea what they’re doing – and, frankly, I don’t think they do either. For some reason, I must endure their new brand of crazy, and now have to very carefully pick what I want to keep on my girl at any one time – and for something to stay, something now has to go. It’s like musical chairs. But with data. Data that I want to keep on her, but I’m not allowed to, because they took all my space… and also some my sanity.

    I was looking at the iPod Touch range the other day on the Apple store website; just browsing the pages that were there to tell you all about them. Towards the bottom of the main page, there was a boxed out bit that advertised them with iOS 7, and I immediately thought that if I got one and it shipped with iOS 7, there was no way on earth I would ever update it. Ever.

    It was  right then that I realised just how much I resented the massive difference in quality the OS brought, and how user unfriendly iOS 8 really was. My iPad has gone from something I loved using to something that was bordering on being virtually unusable. No longer fun. No longer nice. Now… now that new OS is just a nightmare.

    It reminds me more and more of my Windows Vista laptop… and that was another thing I would have gladly thrown from a skyscraper and into a crater for just how abominable that system was.

     

    Issues…

    The difference in the way my iPad operates between now and before the update unfortunately screams instantly in anyone’s face. I would like to add, “from the moment you turn it on”… but even that part is difficult to do now. She used to wake up like a dog that’s just heard a gunshot. Now you’re lucky if she wakes up at all without freezing. Actually, you’re lucky if she does anything without freezing.

    Getting the feeling this has something to do with the problem...

    Apple Tech? Seems legit…

    From therein on, it just gets worse. The wifi system is terrible and you’re lucky it even picks up a signal. It doesn’t even always auto-log into my home wifi… forget anywhere else. It certainly can’t hold a signal properly, or use it. Safari is a pointless nightmare that never works properly, and along with the wifi, seems hellbent on conspiring against you ever accessing the internet. Between them, it feels like you’re back in 1996 and trying to get into a dial-up connection that refuses to work no matter what.

    This particularly comes screaming into your day whenever a new search in run on Safari. It won’t respond when you tap on the website you wish to go to. That’s if Safari actually brings you anything at all, of course. Quite often it will get bored halfway through a request and just never goes anywhere; it freezes. Sometimes it crashes. Sometimes even a Force Quit and reboot won’t fix the issue. Sometimes simply attempting to do anything straightforward on Safari becomes absolutely pointless, to the point of frustrating absurdity.

    Occasionally, it might work, though – if you can successfully scroll up and down the results page. Then it allows you to tap the results. But almost always the touchscreen becomes completely unresponsive, and you have to do something to remedy that.

    I’ve all but given up on a game that I loved, because it can’t seem to load it properly anymore, and when it does it is usually unstable and really slow. Even apps as simplistic as the BBC News or Asda Groceries apps are difficult to manage. The touchscreen will always, at some point, become entirely unresponsive of its own accord, regardless of whatever you may be doing, or which app was involved. Most apps are slow to load, and then even slower to close. Hitting the Home button in front brings everything “home” in such slow motion, I think it’s going to crash. The new system’s absolute lack of ability to manage anything is truly astounding.

    Twitter and G+ apps even joined in the fun. They have apparently been harvesting a crapload of data in the background onto the local drive for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Nearly 1GB of data they stuffed into themselves. Each. When I saw that they were adding to my space problems, the iPad very nearly really did go out the window. Only deleting the app and reinstalling actually aborts the data, so that’s what I had to do. Even then, Twitter still has issues loading properly at times. I have absolutely no idea if it’s going to continue to hoard data again as I continue to use it, either, which doesn’t fill me with much confidence.

    Will they ever get it right...?

    Will they ever get it right…?

    As well as all this, the jump to iOS 8 has screwed up my Pages app (Apple’s answer to Word – which is a pretty great software, by the way). I use this app a lot and – for some reason that is entirely unfathomable to anyone but themselves – the Pages designers decided the iOS 8 update would no longer be able to read certain format documents, rendering a good amount of my documents unusable on my iPad. The only way to fix it? Log into iCloud via the browser end, opening the document(s), and re-saving it again under the new format. You can’t even do it on the OS X app – it can only be done via the Pages Beta app on iCloud.com. Genius.

    You can tell they thought all this through long and hard over all this. What makes it worse was that this, like other little niggles, wasn’t widely mentioned by Apple, or particularly specified properly in the update information; I only found out through searching through Google and Apple forums. I would have expected Apple to have offered more information and specifics, even advice for porting, regarding various changes to the system and apps than they did. The information wasn’t exactly widely available, and what was there wasn’t too easy to find… As in it wasn’t obviously there amongst the other shiny paraphernalia offered in the OS release website pages. There was a lot of posturing and pretty images on their website – everything you needed if you were a newbie purchasing a new system from scratch. Not too much for someone upgrading. Apart from how “different” it all was… and forgetting to mention how those changes were going to bugger up your systems. I have very high expectations of this company,  but… well… it seems that my high expectations of this company seems to have set the bar too high for them this time.

     

    Rotten Apples…

    iOS must be, without doubt, the most unstable OS I have encountered. Except Windows Vista. Vista may be worse. Maybe… And that is most certainly something I thought I would never say about an Apple product, system, or software.

    I’m horrified and astounded by how unbelievably glitchy and unstable it is – even after 3 updates. They haven’t managed to stabilise it – it’s certainly not just me, if the hits on Google are anything to go by – and if anything, they may have made it worse. My iPad certainly still seems extremely unhappy to have it, and she’s not getting any better, either.

    I probably need to learn how to do this...

    I wish I knew how to do this…

    Coupled with the almost equally-inept OS X Yosemite, it seems that Apple appears to be focused on effectively punishing anyone who doesn’t have a new model of a computer or mobile product. This new pair of operating systems seem to be entirely designed for the high-end newer products that are also brand-new out of the box. Older models who are migrated onto it seem to be having nothing but trouble. They’re clearly not optimised well enough for the older processes to manage to run them properly, and the migration itself is also flawed… well, mine was. A whole bunch of stuff doesn’t work on both platforms, and both are 2012 models; only two years old. But that may as well be lightyears.

    The older models clearly aren’t able to quite manage to run these things. Certainly in the case of iOS 8, this is particularly evident. Simply put, my iPad just cannot really cope with the new operating system. She gets easily upset by anything, and not only freezes or crashes the apps, she even freezes and crashes her entire system, especially when there’s space memory for the CPU (the brain) available. I haven’t been able to open files on iOS Pages app that I created before the upgrade, and the one game I have left (whilst having to delete the others to make space) doesn’t work properly.

    n the other side, as well as other irritating niggles, on reboot after the new OS X Yosemite update, it screwed up my Gmail account in the Mail centre of my Macbook, and also forced my Macbook Apple ID apps into launching under their designated default setting of my iCloud account, as opposed the Apple ID account I actually do use – leaving me wondering for while why the supposed upgrade to having everything sync wasn’t working (the iPad was set to the proper Apple ID I use). I been unable to view screenshots I created from games on my Macbook with OS X Yosemite (although other platforms or software are perfectly able to manage them). The wifi doesn’t connect or work properly (and there’s more, but they’re over here). The point being that my Macbook doesn’t work properly anymore, either.

    I regret updating both of them. A lot. I feel guilty for putting my girls through it. My poor sweet things are being forced to endure such difficult working conditions, and I can’t undo them. Well… I could – but I won’t. I guess I just really hope that my faith in Apple as a good company will come through and will fix the problems.

    Naive, I suppose. But until then, I will continue to still rant about it…!

     

    When I got my MacBook Pro Retina, I naively thought that 250GB was enough on-board space. In my defence, it was 2012 and I didn’t realise how many cool games were available for the Mac platform… (and we’ll just write The Witcher 2 off as a really big mistake and not count that… I still have no idea where that one went wrong).

    What do you mean, 'Yosemite' broke it?... Want me to bite him?

    What do you mean, ‘Yosemite’ broke it?… Want me to bite him?

    Now, I have quite a few games with their add ons, DLCs, whatnots and what have you, and they’ve stuffed pretty much nearly half of my available space (more, if you include other things like screenshots and stuff). Clogged it right up. CPU got sluggish (and we’ll just pretend not to count the upgrade to OS X Yosemite – that’s a whole other rant… or two…!). I got some of it back when I got really annoyed with Witcher 2 and dumped all 22GB of it. But the fact of the matter was that at least 80GB of my space was taken up by games and their extra watsits – and that’s a bit more than my Macbook can handle, given what else is stuffed in there too…

    In the last two years since I bought my two shiny-new Apple products (iPad [4] Retina & Macbook Pro Retina), Techland has changed a lot. It’s changing faster and faster as the weeks go by. Not years or months. It takes just weeks. Two years ago, 250GB of HDD was enough for a laptop and 16 GB was enough for a tablet. But that was before everything went digital and was required to be downloaded. Now, thanks to all that downloading, hard drive space is being measured in terabytes. iMacs are coming with 1TB of space as standard (apart from the one cheaper option which has “just” 500GB on board – it practically screams “I am only for the download-phobic outliers out there”…). They also come with NVIDIA GTX 775M graphics cards with 1 or 2GB of graphics space. They’re really cool… but then about five minutes after I thought my 650M was pretty cool, it was already out of date (but that’s a whole other rant…).

    Meh. 

    I love Apple, but they can also be such a pain in the arse.

     

    Enough is Never Enough…


    Hmmmm…

    Maybe this will be big enough to manage all my Mac games –

    MyMemory 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

    For now, at least... 👾🎮💻 😋

     


    So… The space issue is really bugging me. For anything Apple to be mobile and useable you need shedloads of both on board data and cloud data. And thanks to the irritatingly incompetent networks/cable/phone companies, we do require both – since the internet can’t always be accessed to rely solely on cloud connection for storage/gameplay/etc, and then you need that shedload of hard drive space so to access what you can’t either get on the cloud or generally via the internet – and usually because the internet access just isn’t there.

    The tech is there, but there’s nothing – or, or rather, no one – really supporting it. Not here in the UK, anyway. So, at best, we end up with either 128GB iPads with best-option wifi and 4G access, or a laptop/desktop with an external HDD hanging off it, also with the best-option wifi, in the hope that either one or both storage and access options will suffice for what we require of it.

    [I will never understand why the tech and hardware firms haven’t already come to some sort of mutual arrangement with the networks and internet firms – it would obviously benefit them both. Is it only obvious to everyone who doesn’t work for these companies or something…?]

    I need a lot right now...

    And I need a lot right now…

    Currently, I have neither of these options – and a growing abundance of “lack of space” pop-ups whenever I try to shoehorn anything else in. I’m looking into something to hold more space for my games… I hardly have enough to justify an external hard drive measured in terabytes – I have a Mac after all (now, it would be a very different conversation if I had a high-end PC, and ergo access to the entire Steam toy box…!). I have, though, found a lovely little USB key that holds quite a nice little total of 128GB, and that made me smile. Not the price, though… Not until I went to My Memory… They have nice prices. This, at least, may be a half-decent temporary solution. I can’t imagine 128GB will take that long to fill.

    I can’t wait for terabytes to be stuffed into something smaller than a flash drive. Most external HDDs are annoying, and the ones that aren’t too annoying (the really light, small, shiny ones they have the gall to call “portable”… They all should be “portable”…) cost too much. And even then, they tend to gear towards the whole Time Machine thing when it comes to using it with OS X – something that is a nice idea in theory, but a stupid one in reality, and entirely impractical. So I’m not a big fan. The 128GB flash keys were a relief to see when they finally turned up – at least they hold a fairly decent amount of stuff, and it’s all that I really need. For now.

    Obviously, if the networks on internet companies can get themselves together, then space wouldn’t be that much of an ongoing issue – most things will be directly available from cloud servers; we would be able to continuously stream content, and easily save our own content back onto them. Downloading wouldn’t even be required, and ergo, neither would space.

    I am lucky enough to have a good broadband service at home and I take advantage of it. However, I have rubbish access over 3G outside (and don’t get me started about the lack of even half-decent wifi out there too), and since content streaming when it comes to games is still not available anyway, that therefore still means I have to forgo most of the things I would like to download onto my iPad, including games. Saying goodbye to Blizzard’s Hearthstone and Capcom’s Ace Attorney to make room for other things, including iOS 8, was painful to say the least.

    Not Enough Disk Space

    … I feel his pain

    I make as much space as I can: All the data that is on my iPad that can be backed up and exported from the local drive is, via the various cloud apps that I have installed (backup of backups is always a good idea). They are then deleted from the iPad and makes more space – however, there are some things like particular pictures I’d rather keep directly on the local drive (as well as being backed up over cloud, of course), and they do help clog it all up. Unfortunately, we’re also still in the era where games have to be downloaded to be played, and they’re pretty big these days. So I’m still out of space on the 12.5GB that’s left after iOS 8 took over. I’m still waiting for that future to turn up – where the downloads aren’t necessary at all… then maybe I could play the games and have my locally-saved pictures at the same time, as well as listen to music as well. Right now there’s nowhere near enough room to even think about having my iTunes or Audible downloads on it as well as everything else. There’s an option to stream iTunes from their iCloud server… but that’s obviously not helpful when it takes up so much data when out and about, and you’re stuck to listening to it over wifi at home, which is unhelpful as the point of having it on a mobile platform is that it’s, well, mobile. Restricted to listening to it over home wifi rather negates that point.

    It rather feels like we’re stuck in tech-limbo – we have available to us cloud storage and streaming on one side, and the option of mass on board storage on devices on the other, yet we would require hardly any storage at all (except just enough for the system) if the cloud services we’ve been supposedly promised about a millennium ago would actually turn up, along with the online access and support for them. The problem, of course, is that it can’t turn up until internet/network providers actually provide sufficient internet access to do so. Everywhere. Nationwide. Even in the tiniest corners of the country. Not just in the home, but wandering about outside, everywhere and anywhere. Without proper constant access, we can never be rid of the need for a large local hard drive.

    The other thing is that most people don’t even have large local hard drives on their mobile devices – certainly not their Apple ones. Most have the lowest priced option – no surprise given Apple’s price ranges. And just 8 or 16GB is never going to be enough.

    Decent and low-priced 4G access would be a great answer, at least for now. But it’s not being offered here. It’s hardly available to use at all, and even then the price plans are generally eye-watering for a realistic amount of data to stream everything you want. But if it was more readily available at a decent price, it would probably solve a lot of these problems outlined here.

     

    Solutions?

    ... the dream

    … It’s the dream!

    The best solution? Get the internet working. Everywhere. In all places, in all areas of the country. Wifi or 4G…. As long as it works well at well above 100mbps in every corner there is, nationwide. Idealistically, I imagine this is what Apple imagines also, given the way they have designed their hardware. This idealism, however, is not something that has been acknowledged by BT, Virgin Media, or the countless mobile networks there are out there.

    There are places on this planet who are lightyears ahead of us here in the UK – places where even 100mbps is probably a laughably low bit-rate. But here, we get a nationwide average of – what? – 8mbps, realistically speaking? And that’s at home, from our home broadband routers. Outside your modem’s ping range, you’re screwed. There’s nothing out there to rely on except your awful 3G service, and if it does actually work at all, you can probably barely use it for more than a few hundred MBs as a part of your contract/bundle plan. Don’t mention 4G… for all the “4GEE” adverts around, it exists in about 12 hotspots nationwide and costs a small fortune to access on particularly awful data plans. Mr/Ms Average Jo outside of central London isn’t really going to get much of a chance with that option, and you might as well say it doesn’t exist until the mobile networks sort themselves out and offer it to everyone at a sensible price.

    who loves living in the dark ages...?

    Who loves living in the dark ages…?

    At my parent’s home in rural north Wales, they barely pass the 2mbps mark on a good day. We should be able to expect a norm of above 1000mbps… but the infrastructure and investment is virtually non-existent. Without it in place, sophisticated cloud servers and streaming options aren’t really viable, and we’re back to practical hardware matters. How very… turn of the century (21st Century, naturally).

    So… we’re left with only “turn of the century” solutions for more space, the most practical solution being some kind of internally-located external memory, like on mobile phones. SD cards clearly didn’t catch on… Apple certainly has no intention of going down that route anymore and using them. Even my 2012 Macbook doesn’t have an SD port. I imagined they would come up with something that was an alternate, but none has come to light. They seem intent on sticking to USBs, “upgrading” USB slots to 3.0 ports, so we can transfer bigger files at a faster rate between flash drives and the computer. Up to 128GB of data apparently…

    Phone companies have managed to overcome burdensome on board memory issues and offer even lower-end Smartphones with the capacity to upgrade their on board memory with SD cards, most commonly up to 64GB – some even 128GB. The card is obviously unobtrusive and sits inside the phone itself. It’s a great compromise: Put less hard drive in the unit, yet allow the buyer the option for more. Simple enough. Easy enough.

    Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t seem to believe in this. Their hardware designers have failed to take inspiration from this, which is rather a mystery to me. They continue to be narrowly-focused on using the Cloud, but at the same time they continue to push online downloads, mainly via iTunes. Granted, they continue to add extra on board space for their new hardware, but there is no “top up” solution to adding space to older models, except to offer overpriced external hard drives.

    Adding the ability to use internal extra memory space seems like such an obvious solution to “external” memory options. But, no… it was just Cloud. And 3.0 USB flash drives. The latter are annoying, can be lost and broken, and stick out the machine about a mile. The former is great in theory, but pointless without constant and accessible internet access.

    Apple used to be trailblazers in all areas. They trailblazed the Cloud, but given the fact that online access isn’t yet universal, I had imagined they would have also invented something for the interim, until online access was better and more readily available (and much, much cheaper…). Something better than SD cards, but not as obtrusive as external HDDs or USB drives. Until that “someday eventually” when constant wifi and/or 4G access is available throughout every square meter of every country, it seems like a better solution than what we already have to struggle with. However, with Apple trailblazing blindly ahead with cloud-based everything, no one is going to be looking at anything else, either. Whatever Apple does, you can guarantee everyone else is going to be following closely behind. And they’re only interested in online-only when it comes to extra storage.

     

    Cloudy With Little Chance of Space…

    Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t live in rural north Wales. If they did, they would realise just how the other half live, and it would be a whole different story… And I probably wouldn’t be writing this.

    ... Fact!

    Fact!

    Up in the hills, valleys, and mountains of Snowdonia, there is barely any internet access for homes, let alone – and even less when relying on mobile networks. There’s barely even any 2G.. let alone any 3G. 4G is out of the question. Ergo, so is Cloud. I can’t imagine it’s very different in other places here in the UK as well. Outside the main cities, and certainly outside of London, there is very little online access over basic 8mbps broadband, and barely-there 3G. Even in the centre London there are a mass of black holes, even on the best mobile networks.

    So… we must continue to endure with archaic solutions. The very ones we have used for years… Decades. External hard drives and USB flash drives are really no different to the external floppy disk drives we used to have to plug into old computers like the Amiga. They’re also no less annoying and cumbersome.

    The fact you also have to carry around anything from a huge, black brick-shaped thing that also requires another plug just for itself, to a USB flash drive that always seems to somehow get knocked as it sticks out obtrusively, is ridiculous to the point of absurd. Laptops and what have you are supposed to be mobile and convenient – but there’s nothing convenient about having virtually no battery life, or any decent storage space… yes, one terabyte may have seemed like a lot back a year or so ago, but with HD, 4K, 30GB games plus extra DLCs, etc, it means very little now. Especially when you download everything and want to keep them. Therefore a whole bunch of other stuff ends up having to be carted along for the ride, wherever your going. It’s how many years since laptops/notebooks/netbooks have been the norm for people? Yet very little has actually changed. More on board HDD space is useless if it’s still less than you need, and have to buy some stupid add-on that you have to lug around, plug in, and have it hanging around, taking up even more space.

    Again, it’s annoying.

     

    Thanks to the fact that downloading things is still the norm, I will be getting that 128GB 3.0 USB flash drive. That way I can store my games on there, not clog up the hard drive and screw up the CPU (the “brain”). I still rather resent having to pay that extra money for it to do so, though. I paid for the laptop, paid for the games, paid all that extra for my laptop to be a damned Macbook (as opposed to buying a cheaper, even more annoying Microsoft product)… I don’t see why I should have to pay extra for more storage on top of it. It’s almost as bas as having a Wii U… (lordy, Nintendo screwed up with the hardware and storage on that one!).

    I can’t help thinking that surely, by now, the supposed trailblazers of tech would have worked out a way to store downloadable games on the Cloud too.

    But no. The future of such things now lie with Sony PlayStation, it seems, who are working on pioneering streaming games right now.

    Maybe this time it will be Apple who are doing the following…

    I H8 iOS 8…

    New operating systems have glitches. When that company then brings out a patch, you expect it to fix those glitches.

    Well… Apparently not. Not for iOS 8 anyway.

    It’s definitely annoying enough to hate. I thought it was a good idea to upgrade from iOS 7. It may have been a really, really dumb move. I should have waited. Definitely should have waited.

    My poor iPad hasn’t been the same since… She’s been struggling with processing anything. Freezing. Crashing. Sluggish. Slow to close (closing apps in slow-motion…literally). Has difficulty with wifi connections – sluggish online despite other devices being fine. Slow to wake up. Has required more reboots than she’s probably ever had before in her life. And worse of all, my Messages no longer sync between Macbook and iPad.

    Now that really makes me annoyed.

    I missed messages. I’m not a happy bunny. About as happy as this one…

     

    unhappy bunny

    A Very Unhappy Bunny…

    And, yes, I have updated to v8.0.2.

    It’s still rubbish.

    The OS seems to make my iPad clumsy, glitchy, irritatingly slow, and difficult to use. It ran smoothly and seamlessly on iOS 7 – I miss that.

     

    Old vs New…

    I cannot even imagine any issues is because my girl can’t handle it. My iPad not exactly geriatric, but she is getting on the “mature” side of Apple products. She’s coming up to 2 years old – I got her in 2012, shortly after iPad (4) Retina. But she’s absolutely no slouch. She’s got dual-core A6X chip with quad-core graphics… That’s more than enough to comfortably power basic operating system without a problem. I know she’s not quite as good as the new iPad Air, with her fancy-pants A7 chip with 64-bit architecture and M7 motion coprocessor. But she’s still more than good enough for iOS8 – and me.

    I get the feeling the Messages thing will be addressed with OSX Yosemite… Or at least it better be. iOS 8 and Yosemite are supposed to be made to go hand-in-glove, so they say… This allows me to hope that in the near future, when my Macbook is updated, they will work as a Messaging partnership once again. If it isn’t… Well, I’ll really be miffed.

     

    Then vs Now…

    It’s unfortunate that right now the system is really slowing my iPad down. This isn’t doing itself any favours. The fact that it’s bigger than the last OS also means there’s less actual space left on my 16GB device. 12.5GB to be exact, meaning 3.5GB is somehow taken up by the system and whatever extra whatnots. I’ve had to delete things to get this OS onto the thing, but then I’ve had to keep some things deleted because there’s less space on it. My space is still sparse now, despite this – probably adding to making the CPU sluggish. It’s beginning to become painfully obvious that 16GB (or rather 12BG in real space) models are completely outdated now. Just put three avarege-sized games/films/shows on one of these and it’s completely stuffed, sitting alongside the usual things that everyone has on there too.

    I can no longer fit a lot of photos, or games, on my iPad. Hearthfire had to go, as did Capcom’s Ace Attorney. That first one stung. A whole bunch of photos have to go as soon as they’ve been uploaded into Cloud drives. And I obviously can’t be the only one who suffers from this space loss. Given it’s the cheapest of their models, I imagine quite a high percentage of people have 16GB iPhones/Pads/Pods. I imagine they’re also facing the same annoying space issue. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder why they keep stocking them – they’re borderline useless these days. Especially now the system itself taking up so much space.

    In the two years since iPad (4) Retina, Apple have gone from iOS 6, which it what iPad Retina shipped with in late 2012, to this. Two years ago the internet was ablaze with astounded fury when iOS 6.1 turned up with a 983MB update… Sounds a bit of a joke now, right – since these very same, now-mature devices have just been clobbered with a 5.8GB upgrade with iOS 8.

    Two years down the line and we’re up from 983MB to 5.8GB for updates. It just goes to show the difference 24 months can make in TechLand.

     

    Too Old?

    And when you put it like that, it certainly seems that the 16GB devices are definitely playing outside their original parameters now – involved in a fight way above their weight class. Maybe I should expecting my girl to be a little sluggish. After all, iOS 8 was made with iPad Air in mind – and she’s got a lot of assets at her disposal… Much more than her big sister, now two years her senior.

    The specs between iPhone 6 and iPad Air and their predecessors are pretty big, tech-wise. My poor girl just wasn’t designed for this kind of processing, hence the poorer performance with a stuffed local memory, and therefore probably ensuring she’s lacking in the extra oomph needed to run this new software. Deleting even more of my lovely precious photos has ensured she runs a little smoother… Proving that 16GB just isn’t enough to power the device as well as have anything of significance on it.

    On the other hand, iOS 8 was designed to work with the “older” devices, and therefore all this should be taken into consideration. Hence, I’m still miffed that this system is making my iPad sluggish and continuously freezing and crashing apps. They should have worked these things out better before setting it loose, and it should be designed so it doesn’t cause all this trouble.

    And I would still be able to get all my Messages on all my devices too.




    Raise Hell and; Break Shit

    Not Worth the Jail Time
     

    I thought updating to other iOS platforms was bad…

    This latest on has been simply nothing but a nightmare!

    Apple iOS8 for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. For too many people worldwide, the above statement is a very short sentence that quite a lot of people have thought and felt, and (in not so many words) said. Possibly even saying the words iOS 8 would make their hackles rise and leave them foaming at the mouth… And I can’t really blame them. The rollout wasn’t just a bit of a PR disaster, it was a nightmare for pretty much every single iOS owner that ever was.

    It’s been 3 or 4 days since I installed it. My iPad has been rather a grumpy git since then, and sometimes I kinda wish I’d never bothered. I’m beginning to think my mother has the right idea when she keeps saying, “oh, I’ll do it eventually…” – because when “eventually” turns up, they probably would have fixed everything that’s bugging me (and it) by then. On the other hand, it’s a new operating system, and these things do happen.

    What shouldn’t happen is that it’s shipped out without much of an explanation or any instructions from Apple as to how you should deal with the software upgrade.

    *

    The Magic Number…

    Like me, most people were probably far too keen to get this going and install it now. We didn’t wait, we didn’t think, we went straight into Settings and went to download it. Then we realised just what we were in for, and probably sat and stared when we saw just what was required to get it.

    Kitten and Keyboard

    “Noooo… Seriously??!… Meh…”

    That space thing was a real charmer. I simply stared at that number that was nearly half the entire onboard space on my iPad (Retina). I literally had to empty nearly everything in the poor thing to shoehorn that damned update onto it… And 5.8GB of space is a lot to ask from any device that’s only 16GB onboard the first place.

    It took ages going through each set of apps, checking the Usage total, then deleting some more and checking again – over and over again, until there was virtually nothing left.

    I even listed all the things I took off: The final count was 61 apps and 6 games. Not all of them bounced back with everything, which definitely added insult to injury. I am still working on getting it back together again.

    Dog-Tired

    “Are we nearly there yet…?”

    It was only after a long time of repeating the delete-and-check thing so many times, I finally saw the magic numbers “5.9GB” – there was finally enough space free on that damned thing! So I breathed a sigh of relief and despondency, and tapped the Install icon. It only took a couple of hours to get there, now it was finally time!…

    Is it supposed to be somehow my fault for “just” getting the 16GB edition? It certainly feels like it – but I really hope that’s not how Apple thinks. And if it is, I strongly suggest they make the 128GB the same price at the 16GB, because that’s the only way these huge updates are going to be managed. What else is there to assume, that I’m almost being punished for having the smallest iPad edition, when I have to have near half my onboard storage allowance dumped to manage this upgrade? (And this is not the part where you point out anything about the PC/Mac option – that’s really not the point right now…).

    The actual space used was 1.1GB. The rest of it was installation space. OK, it did need all that extra space to “unpack” the package and install the new iOS onto the device. But that doesn’t soothe the sting of having to effectively upend my iPad into a virtual bin and shake it until there was enough space to fit it in.

    *

    More Problems…

    The pain didn’t just end there, though. I squeezed the new operating system in, brought up my list, reinstalled all the apps and games I had deleted, and breathed a sigh of relief.

    Insulting ComputerBut it wasn’t over. It wasn’t until the day after that I found out my Messages app wasn’t working properly on my iPad anymore. It was only when I opened the Messages app on my MacBook (which I rarely do, but luckily I did this time) that I realised I even had messages. Damn important ones too, which I missed. I wasn’t too impressed about that.

    After all the effort I had already gone to, to delete and then reinstall them again afterwards, it was rather an irritating byproduct of the new upload and seemed rather sloppy on their part that such a glitch would exist.

    Rebooting helped a little. It at least sorted out the conversations already going on the Mac’s Messages app that were already open. But anyone that didn’t have an open conversation on the iPad couldn’t get a message through to it. I had to open conversations, sending Testing messages to see that it would still at least work then. I’m unfortunately fairly sure that anyone I still haven’t got open conversations going with won’t get through to me on my iPad.

    To add some insult to the “injury” of the difficulty of dealing with the nightmare that is iOS 8, my iPad has also become rather slow and a bit clunky afterwards. I’m a bit unconvinced that the whole thing was a rather good idea at all.

    I must admit that I was very lucky regarding how long it took. The entire process took maybe an hour or less, perhaps helped along by the high-speed broadband I am fortunate enough to have. I managed to avoid the reported 12+ hours (minimum) that others were reporting. Once the mass deleting was done, the entire thing ran smoothly and took about as long as expected. I’m not sure, given what has happened, that I would choose to do it all over again, though…

    IMG_0748*

    Space and Size Matters

    The best way to avoid most of all the hassle of updating the operating system is to run it via iTunes. You can avoid the storage issue by simply connecting the device(s) to a PC/Mac, and iTunes will pretty much do the rest for you. No mass deleting required. It’s straightforward enough in theory – but 6GB of data is a lot of work for the average broadband package, whichever option you choose.

    The problem in most places, certainly in relation to the UK, do not even have access to decent broadband, let alone get the choice to pay got anything over 20mb. Running at full pelt – and when does it ever do that? – it still may take quite some time to crunch through 6GB. In more rural areas, 8mb is the best they can hope for and 2mb is common… Is it no wonder people are having difficulty with it? The problem always has been that Apple live in the future, and BT’s broadband rollout isn’t even trying to keep up in the UK. In some big cities here, including London, up to 300mb broadband is available – for an eye-watering price, of course. Unfortunately Apple seems to believe it’s everywhere in the world, and everyone has it.

    Hooking up your device to a computer may solve the storage space issue, but if you don’t have the bandwidth it’s not going to go too great. Broadband is going to have to grow up a bit, as will the providers, for everyone to keep up with technology in the way they want to. Unfortunately, the providers aren’t really doing such a spiffing job of this as everyone wished they would, and ergo we keep having these issues each time people are faced with huge download sizes to very (im)patiently sit through.

    ***

    Hate iOS 8? 

    Actually, I don’t hate iOS 8. Or Apple. At all.

    In fact, I wouldn’t blame Apple in the least for the teething problems of iOS 8 (well, apart from screwing up my Messages app… but that’s just normal teething problems). It’s not their fault that most of this country doesn’t have the broadband capacity to deal with much more than email and YouTube videos. I have higher broadband; I had no trouble whatsoever with the download and installation of the software.

    Yet everywhere else here, there is an uproar because so many people are struggling to manage to do it. Anyone complaining about storage should just use iTunes… At the time I wanted to install the new system, I didn’t have access to my MacBook, so I just bit the bullet and did what I had to do to get it installed. OK, I still complain, but I’m aware I had choices, and I could have waited and done it through the computer if I cared that much.

    The basic matter of the issue is that people pay several hundred pounds for their Apple devices. For MacBooks/iMacs/PCs, Smart TVs/TV boxes… Yet they are still not supported by the broadband width required.

    Once installed, iOS 8 has the usual minor teething issues of a new operating system. It runs well, looks nice, streamlines and adds a few things – and of course there’s all that “added security” in it (or you could just not take naked pictures… no one would ever care  about the crap I have in my PhotoStream, which probably mainly consists of about a thousand pictures of my dog on his beanbag or rolling around on the floor… And if they do hack it – enjoy, they’re so cute!)

    *

    Lacking Collaboration…

    I certainly don’t hate iOS 8 for this. I had even initially thought that what has happened with iOS 8 would make me feel rather weary of updating my MacBook to OSX Yosemite, coming “This Fall”… Probably around October/November. But it doesn’t. I’m looking forward to it. I have that luxury of knowing that I don’t have any issues with downloading and installing products (when there’s onboard space for them…).

    There is really no problem with the actually operating system itself. Once installed, there are some minor, yet irritating, issues and glitches with iOS 8. But that’s all, and that’s to be expected. It’s normal for a new operating system rollout. It would be odd if that didn’t happen. But the point is, there is no real issue with iOS 8 itself, the installation process, or with space (if you’re willing to be savvy about it and plug it into the computer, or you have the 128GB edition).

    Probably a smarter than the average broadband tech...?

    Probably a smarter than the average broadband tech…?

    I say if you’re going to look to anyone for accountability to the downloading issues of this system, look to your broadband provider – for being so ridiculously incompetent and overpriced, offering ridiculously low speeds for their relatively high prices. I don’t pay that much more for high-speed broadband, though even that price would be out of most people’s reach, I would think – but more importantly that that, most people don’t even have that option. I’m very happy to sacrifice some things to afford the higher speed package… But I at least had all the options available to me.   I imagine there are people out there who would do the same thing. I imagine after having paid out for their iOS device, they would quite like to be able to install its new software without having to wait a week whilst it downloads.

    In an ideal world, tech companies should be collaborating and strongly encouraging the broadband network providers to keep up with them and their requirements, locally, nationwide, worldwide. High speed broadband needs to be everywhere. Microsoft famously had to retract their “always-on DRM” for gamers when they effectively booed it all over the internet. And why did they do that? Because their internet never works properly, they can’t afford it a good speed, or they don’t have it in the first place because it’s expensive. For Tech to move forward, the broadband network providers have to as well.

    *

    Thoughts of the Future…

    I am now a little concerned that Apple have now set the precedent for future updates… I’m not sure how much more of these kinds of download sizes a little 16GB iPad can take. I can imagine the next one being bigger… And what if they get one that’s 10GB? I imagine this is the time I should be thinking about getting the 128GB edition – and if I had a spare £700 knocking about I would certainly be getting it now… Although I have to admit I’d quite happily bet I’d stuffed even that so full I’d have to delete stuff to get a 6GB update onto it!

    Apple - Think Different

    Apple – Think Different

    I can see where Apple is going with this, and I imagine a 16GB edition will very soon be obsolete and not even offered. These days even 32GB is not enough for what we expect to be able to download onto our mobile devices, particularly when the system takes up a larger and larger percentage of that space just for itself. We also need to hope that broadband providers will also be along for this ride, otherwise we’re really going to be struggling with the bigger download expectations coming from the hardware companies.

    If the tech and the broadband access became in sync, we’d all be much happier campers in the world of gadgets, gizmos, and tech thingies. We would probably be more confident and happier to invest in these things too. My parents live in a rural area that has such a bad internet service my phone has better online access on its 3G network than they do via their landline package. I have no idea if they’ll even be able to update their devices. If they have any sense, they’ll come here and do it!

    In an ideal world, these sectors would start working together, in collaboration, to get their products out to the people who want them. One requires the other to manage. I’m fairly certain that lightbulb will not go off in any their heads, but I hope it does – and it certainly should.

    *