iTunes rentals and the cost of a purchase → PP

I’d rent a whole lot more if this were the case.

Titles can retail for £15-20 each, so for this kind of money I’d be severely annoyed if the film I bought turned out to be a load of shit. Renting is a great way to weed through the rubbish and should definitely act as a down payment towards a full purchase; The studio’s would be getting the same amount at the end of the transaction anyway. Being asked to rent something for a few pounds and then have to stump up the full asking price puts me off and I’m sure Todd and I aren’t the only ones.

17 May, 2018

Firefox 60 arrives with enterprise support → PP

It’s taken sixty releases, going by Mozilla’s versioning, but Firefox finally has native Group Policy Object support. This isn’t a half arsed implementation either by the looks of things, with almost every part of the user interface and its underpinnings being configurable by IT Administrators.

One of the reasons, (but not the only reason), as to why we switched from Firefox to Chrome at work was due to GPO support in Google’s browser. This will certainly improve Firefox’s chances of making headway in the enterprise but it could be a little too late.

15 May, 2018

The Pinball Arcade is losing many of its tables → PP

Pinball Arcade is one of the most enjoyable ways to experience pinball, short of having a physical table in front of me. Sadly, many of the official Bally/Midway titles are not long for this world so now is an excellent time to stock up on favourites before the plug is pulled on the 30th June.

I’m really sorry to see this happen. The number of hours I’ve put into the original Doctor Who title alone… I’ve truly lost count, it was that faithful to the original.  I wonder how the software’s future will fare with so many tables having to go away. Perhaps the developer will take the route of devising their own tables to which they own and can market forever?

In short, if you’re a pinball nut then go and check out the library whilst you still can.

14 May, 2018

SSMS shortcuts with SSO using Remote Desktop Manager → PP

If you have a need to manage one or more SQL Servers, do yourself a favour and try Remote Desktop Manager by Devolutions. I wrote a guest article for their blog about how you can add Same Sign On into the mix. Saves me a load of time. Also, look at my happy face.

01 May, 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.com, 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