Here's everything I've written throughout April 2018.


Apple discontinues its Airport base stations → PP

Rene Ritchie for iMore:

Apple is ceasing production of its AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule Wi-Fi routers. I had a chance to speak to Apple briefly about the decision, and here’s the statement I was given

We’re discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last.

This news is bittersweet. I own both a second generation Airport Extreme and a modern-ish Airport Base station. Whilst I don’t currently use the latter, both products follow the traditional Apple mantra of, “it just works”. Simple to set up, a reliable feature set and they looked amazing in the living room. I still use the Airport Extreme to bring some much need AirPlay functionality to a 2:1 speaker set by the TV.

Infrastructure isn’t sexy but it’s crucial. Perhaps the current take up of their base stations wasn’t enough to continue investment in the product line. Pretty much every ISP gives you a router when you sign up for broadband these days, so the need to go out and acquire one has diminished. Some companies like Sky take it a step further still and lock their network down to only work with their hardware. But the world of wireless networking is heating up. If their heart’s not in it – and I don’t think Apple’s has been for a couple of years now – then they should back out.

I wonder if this is the end of the road for adding Airplay to ‘dumb’ speakers. I’m certainly not about to invest hundreds of pounds in a HomePod when the audio equipment I have is perfectly serviceable. Whether this was the right decision or not remains to be seen.

27 April, 2018

Ubuntu 18.04 is now available → PP

Here comes the next bi-annual release from the community behind Ubuntu and it’s official flavours. Keep in mind that this is an LTS (Long Term Service) release which means security updates are guaranteed for the next five years, rather than the usual nine months.

As a side note, OMG Ubuntu has some good coverage on their website.

27 April, 2018

webOS Open Source Edition → PP

I’m really not sure how far LG think the newly christened Open Source Edition will go towards developer adoption, but it’s never a bad thing to see alternatives reaching the marketplace. Before you get too excited, keep in mind that LG’s sexy UI doesn’t come with this edition and you will need a Raspberry Pi 3 at least for now. What you’re getting is the foundations with which to build your own apps and interface elements atop of.

Having said that, some impressive stuff can come from this operating system. LG’s webOS shipping on their smart TV’s is the best interface available for televisions right now.

26 April, 2018

Windows Admin Center → PP

Windows Admin Center is a new, locally-deployed, browser-based management tool set that lets you manage your Windows Servers with no Azure or cloud dependency. […] (It) is the modern evolution of “in-box” management tools, like Server Manager and MMC. It complements System Center and Operations Management Suite – it’s not a replacement.

This looks to be an excellent middle ground for those looking to deploy Server Core and yet would like a GUI for general management and maintenance tasks. It’s free, lightweight and supports Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, the upcoming 2019 release and even Windows 10 workstations. I’ve deployed it on a standalone workstation at work so I can truly run it through its paces, but early impressions are good. Not only does it provide statistics on how your server is running, but remote PowerShell is available for executing necessary tasks. I can browse the file system, dive through the registry, manage roles and features and more.

If you administrate Windows Server, I recommend checking this out. I’ll be keeping a close eye on how it evolves in the near future and will report back with anything noteworthy.

24 April, 2018

Windows 10 Spring 2018 release delayed → PP

I can’t help but wonder how deep the rabbit hole went with this bug, to have the planned RTM pulled like this. No doubt the now delayed release is angering some of the Windows loyalists who are thwacking “Check for Updates” every hour, but it’s best for Microsoft’s customers. If the bug had been found after releasing the Spring 2018 update to the masses then a hotfix or future cumulative would have addressed it I’m sure. But why complicate matters if the horse hasn’t bolted?

17 April, 2018

Turning on the macOS “three finger drag” gesture → PP

I was setting up a Macbook from scratch last weekend and found myself completely lost on enabling the three finger drag gesture. I thought it was within the Trackpad settings but nope; it’s buried in the Accessibility preference pane. (Is it just me or has this moved in recent years?)

10 April, 2018

New features in Windows 10, version 1803 → PP

Mauro Huculak over at Pureinfotech has a fantastic breakdown of the new features and improvements coming in the Spring Creators Update to Windows 10. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into, so grab a coffee before making a start.

I intend on posting some of my own thoughts with 1803 once I’ve updated and spent some time with it. Whilst I’m an iOS and macOS guy at home, Windows is the platform I use and administrate at work. Keep your eyes peeled for that.

09 April, 2018

Windows File Manager is now on GitHub → PP

The Windows File Manager lives again and runs on all currently supported version of Windows, including Windows 10.

You’ll have to compile it yourself, but here’s an unexpected announcement for a Monday. The last time I properly used File Manager was when I had an old IBM 386 computer. If you’re not entirely sure what I’m talking about, go check out the article on Wikipedia.

09 April, 2018

Families page on Apple’s website → PP

If you have children and own Apple hardware, this is a useful page to see what’s available in regards to parental controls and their online safety.

08 April, 2018

The quest to save Stephen Hawking’s voice → PP

It wouldn’t be easy. They might have to locate the old source code. They might have to find the original chips and the manuals for those chips. They couldn’t buy them anymore, the companies don’t exist. Solving the problem might mean mounting an archaeological dig through an antiquated era of technology.

But it was for Stephen Hawking.

“Let’s get it done,” Dorsey said.

This is such a fascinating story.

07 April, 2018