Oct 31 2016

Snacking, LibreOffice Writer Edition, using an Ubuntu VM

Adel Gabot

4:03PM

I am writing this on an Ubuntu Linux 14.10 amd64 virtual machine on my iMac, made possible by an installation of the latest version of Parallels Desktop (as of this writing), using the free LibreOffice Writer.

I’m testing and playing with Ubuntu again, after using a similar setup about two years ago, and so far it’s been ok. Loading the system takes a bit of time though, but once it’s up, it smooth sailing.

Ubuntu Linux has a reputation for being the most stable OS around, and so far nothing’s happened to contradict that reputation yet,

I’m going to make a workable system on this virtual machine and see if I can live with it, and on it, for a bit.

Just testing it out for now, and writing a Snacking entry.

I’m going to copy this to the clipboard, and will try to paste and upload this onto my blog using this virtual machine and see if goes through.

 

ADDENDUM, WRITTEN DIRECTLY INTO THE BLOG:

It went, with some qualifications.

I couldn’t paste the text into the Add New Post window under the Visual format, but it went under Text, although without the text formatting. I had to do that again.

Also, Little Snitch keeps interrupting with requests for internet access for the various sites Ubuntu has to have access to, at least on the first go-through, and it’s kind of irritating.

And it takes forever for pages to open on the included Firefox installation. I don’t know if that’s also an initial thing, but time will tell.

So far so good.


Sep 30 2016

Plexing around

Adel Gabot

plex-hero-1200-80

8:48AM

I don’t really know which app I use more these days than Plex.

I use it to watch my downloaded videos, which means movies, TV shows, short films, YouTube stuff, Vimeo stuff, music videos on the big-screen TV, which is what I do when I’m not working.

I mostly use Plex Media Server, which streams the media from my iMac’s library to my flatscreen via the PS4 or the Apple TV, and view them there via the Plex app on the whatever platform I prefer to use. There is a Plex Home Theater app on the Mac, but why watch on the puny 27″ monitor with the tinny built-in speakers when I can watch it on the big home theater?

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Plex is the best—well, maybe not the best, but certainly the most convenient—video player software around for us homebody videophiles, and they have apps specifically built for most of the usual platforms around: Mac, PC, iOS, Android and what have you. Best of all is, entry-level usage is free. To have other people access your library, or to use the server across the internet (and a few other perks), you have to pay a monthly fee, but for now I can live with the free version.

You just have to tell it where your media is on the home system, and it puts it all together on the main screen of the apps, subdivided into five basic categories: Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos and Other Media. I’m afraid you can get any more specific than those five categories. You can’t separate old from new TV episodes, or classic films from documentaries or animation or short films. (Oh, well, you can’t have everything.)

Then Plex gets, or tries to get, the metadata related to your media from the internet and present them in an organized, orderly manner as much as it can—the poster, the cast, director, summary and other important stuff like that. You’ll have to tweak and modify it some, though, to get everything just right.

The look of Plex differs from platform to platform. This is how it looks on my 4th generation Apple TV:

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And this is how it looks on my PS4:

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I have to admit, it looks better on the PS4 (I like the general layout better; it’s more compact and streamlined), but it operates much better and faster on the Apple TV. To each its own. I imagine it looks different on other platforms, but it has the same general usability and functions as the other versions.

I’m tempted to go whole hog and pay for the entire package and turn my media library into a NAS of sorts, but it’s ok like this for now.

I just looove Plex.


Sep 28 2016

Another one?

Adel Gabot

8:20AM

It’s been less than a whole week since Apple released the first beta test of macOS Sierra 10.12, which itself was released not two days after the official release of Sierra to users, and this morning they release 10.12.1 Beta 2.

What the hell?

What gives, Apple?

The worst part of it is they never say what’s new or what’s changed. Only that the “macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.”

Since time immemorial, it’s been like that.

What did you fix or add or change or improve or remove that’s so urgent and important that you had to release a new beta right away? We all don’t have the extra hour ot two it takes to download and upgrade to your damned betas.

Yeah, I signed up to be a beta tester, so I guess I gotta swallow my objections and take the betas as they come. As you deal them out. Which, I’m starting to realize after all this time, is whenever you please.

But man.


Aug 30 2016

7 and 8

Adel Gabot

9:15AM

Ah, finally. I woke up this morning to the App Store telling me macOS Sierra Beta 7 was waiting to download. After over a week delayed, it’s finally here.

So I go through the update routine, and after about an hour it’s finished and working properly.

Then I go to an Apple-centric website, and they tell me Beta 8 was just released today for developers and public testers. Damn.

So I go to the App Store and check, and it tells me “No Update Available”. Again. Double damn.

Hay naku. Ganyan talaga.


Aug 23 2016

What? Beta 1? What?

Adel Gabot

8:32AM

Huh.

Apparently, the macOS Sierra beta I installed was Version 1.

I know this because when I woke up this morning, the App Store told me that Version 6 was waiting to download.

Erp.

The fact that Version 1 installed flawlessly this time and worked just… well, fine apparently was just a welcome, er, anomaly.

So I installed 6, and wasn’t really surprised to find nothing had apparently changed. Sometimes these under-the-hood changes and improvements are just plain creepy.

And while this changeover was going on, I stumble across the news that Version 7 was just released to developers and public beta testers today, just a week after 6 was released.

So after the installation, I hurried fired up the App Store, and wouldn’t you know it? “No Updates Available.

Not yet, anyway.

Guess I’ll have to wait.

But really? Version 1?