Monthly Archives: July 2012

No Seriously, Having A Second Computer is Awesome

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Just a month or so back, I “wrote about the virtues of having a second computer”:, and what do you know, it came out to be extremely useful when my main MacBook Pro died. Its death was very sudden and unexpected. I closed it and went to go eat dinner, and it wouldn’t wake up or turn on an hour later. I took it to the Apple Genius Bar immediately the next day, where a technician diagnosed a dead logic board. He told me it would cost a flat fee of $310 + tax to ship it off to Apple to get repaired, and it would take 5-7 days from start to finish. What’s sad is that I don’t have that money, because I was going to earn around that much with some recording work which I was doing on the laptop. Now that the laptop’s dead, there goes my main source of income.

Fortunately, my hard drive was not affected, and after cracking the laptop open (with an ungodly assortment of philips and torx screws to remove first), I was able to transfer all the data off the hard drive with a SATA to USB cable. Phew, so all my work survived. Trouble is, my backup iMac isn’t nearly powerful enough to handle any serious mixing or recording. I’ll probably work something out with my dad to use his way more powerful recent iMac to finish the works and get the money. At least I can still do design work and such on the iMac, and I’m not forced to do everything on a smartphone. I might just borrow some money and get the laptop fixed now and worry about paying that off later, once I’m able to make money again.

Moral of the story is to back up your data *all the fucking time*. I was lucky that it wasn’t my hard drive that died, but others are not so lucky. And maybe have a cash reserve for these random unplanned things. Thankfully I don’t have any bills to pay and I’m not living paycheck to paycheck, but I can see how a computer breakdown could really screw over somebody who relies on it to survive.

An Ode To The Android Community

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Today I was reading my RSS subscriptions and I saw this wonderful article on Engadget, about Android Developers putting the latest “version of Android (4.1 aka Jelly Bean) onto an HTC HD2”: It’s noteworthy because a) the phone is from 2009, making it three years old and b) it was originally a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. You have to give it up for the Android community for making such feats possible.

Smartphone manufacturers and carriers are all too quick to abandon their phones, ending updates in as little as a year. For example, I have a T-Mobile G2, which was discontinued about a year ago now, and the last update was for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), months ago. There is zero chance of it ever getting Ice Cream Sandwich the official route, let alone Jelly Bean.

If I decided to go the average consumer route and just live with it, I’d be missing out on so much. Instead, I went and rooted it and started using custom ROM’s. Currently I’m running a custom build of ICS specially optimized for my device. It runs just as well as a stock ROM would, which raises the question of whether “outdated” phones are actually outdated. Granted, you can’t run Android on a Motorola StarTac from 1996, but more recently discontinued phones are still fairly powerful devices. It’s just a matter of the carriers and smartphone manufacturers not giving two shits about supporting anything past the latest and greatest. That’s what makes me immensely grateful for the Android community, with awesome sites like “XDA-Developers”: cooking up sweet ROMs for just about any kind of smartphone/tablet manufactured in the last decade. And for that, I’d like to give a great big thanks to everybody involved <3