10.4.3 Odds and Ends

I'll keep it short, since I'm on a tidying spree and just wanted to note these down before I forgot.

First, the good bits:

  • My 800MHz G3 iBook is usable again, and when I'm nearly dozing off at 3-4AM I would almost call it "snappy", even with Dashboard and Spotlight active. Battery life has stabilized, if not slightly improved.
  • UNO works fine, and makes all the horrid brushed/unified/striped mess go away.
  • Safari only crashed once since I upgraded, and otherwise feels very slick.
  • Nothing terribly serious (or unexpected) broke.

There are a few significant downsides, however:

  • The Cisco VPN client is now broken. Since it relies on a kernel extension, that's to be expected (I've forgotten my CIO password again, but Monday I'll check for an update). Which means the W900i is hanging off its charger near the window sill while I patiently sort through the last three weeks' work e-mail via Remote Desktop.
  • Mail.app keeps complaining about not being able to connect to "port 0". I've also mentioned its new penchant for mis-reporting unread messages and linked back to my old list of annoyances, but I'd like to mention that its lack of SOCKS support is becoming a really big annoyance again.
  • The BenQ/M310 still doesn't work. I've been using it with my M100 at the office, but I brought it over this weekend to recharge the batteries, and confirmed that it still jumps to the upper left corner when clicked.
  • I've posted about the Canon/EOS 350D RAW/CR2 issues and likely fixes, but it would have been something I'd expect to have an official fix by now.
  • Unplugging a K750i's USB cable still crashes my iMac (hard). This seems to fix that, but it probably needs updating for the W900i.

Which leads me to the whole iPhone/mobile support thing again.

In that vein, here's something I've been writing on and off during the past week:

iSync... What?

My biggest gripe concerning 10.4.3 is that I would have expected Apple to have gotten their act together with iSync support for recent mobile phones. Fixing .Mac bugs is important, sure, but the device support page is starting to look decidedly dated, which is not something you'd want to have people notice.

I'm one of those folk who are always on the bleeding edge (sometimes getting my hands on samples months in advance from sales), but you would expect something as pedestrian as the V600i (which is now nearing its fifth month of availability throughout Europe) to be officially supported before Xmas.

After all, if Apple can spend time helping Motorola get iTunes on the ROKR (although not nearly enough to compensate for its Motorolaness), they ought to be able to fix the issues with Address Book dialing once and for all. And, looking back, it's easy to see that the same issues apply to just about all SonyEricsson phones after the Z1010.

I haven't kept much track of Nokias, since most Nokias I use are Series 60 or Series 80 devices and those are better supported and/or easy to add (you can check out my iSync plugin for the 9300 here).

And these are just the ones I choose to use - 90% of the stuff that I handle has zero support. No iSync, no Address Book, no GPRS/UMTS modem scripts, nothing.

Even models that are identical clones from stuff that Apple has easy access to in the US, which is why I've been rolling my own iSync plugins for a while (and releasing them when my Disclaimer allows).

Incidentally, someone at Apple really ought to check out mobile.feisar.com's iSync plugins and roll them into an iSync update, or at the very least publish integration guidelines for handset manufacturers to roll their own.

With the steady renewal of iPhone rumors, Apple would to well to remember they're a global company and not just a US one with an overseas retail network (well, considering the legendary lengths of time my colleagues have waited for their minis, iPods and the like, I'm probably being charitable, but that's the idea).

As I (and plenty others around the net) have proven time and again (just search macosxhints), provided the phones have halfway decent SyncML and Bluetooth support, any trained monkey can hack a .plist for recent SonyEricsson and Nokia models.

My only question is: do their monkeys think different? Or are they just too US-centric to care?

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