corenominal

Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

A hiatus

I’m taking a break for a few weeks. I’ll be back, but there’ll be no new posts until I return.

Right then, I’m off, Hong Kong and Australia, here I come.

Why Your Next Mac Should Be a Hackintosh image/svg+xml

Needless to say that it would a very bad investment to throw a couple of thousands of dollars on a 3-year-old Mac Pro when you can get twice the performance with a custom-built computer.

I’ve been pretty happy with my Hackintosh, it’s proved itself to be a powerful system and it’s been running reliably for about 18 months.

That said, I’m now faced with updating it to macOS Sierra, and that could be problematic. If I remember correctly, the update from Yosemite to El Capitan was not too bad, but I did have to play around with the boot loader. I’m hoping the macOS Sierra upgrade will go smoothly, but not knowing how it will go is part and parcel of running a Hackintosh. If you can handle that, maybe your next Mac really should be a Hackintosh.

New iPhone, Transformation to Apple Fanboy Accomplished

Last week, I purchased a new iPhone. It’s my first iPhone, ever. And, I love it.

Prior to the iPhone, I’d been using Android devices, with my last phone being a HTC One M8. Now, I thought my M8 was a good phone, but, just one week on from purchasing my iPhone, I now realise how disjointed and kludgy my M8 was.

In the past, many people have lauded Apple’s accomplishments with the iPhone, attributing much of the iPhone’s success to the fact that Apple tightly control both the hardware and software. As an Android user, it was easy for me to read these statements and not give them too much attention, but now as an iPhone user, it’s clear to see what these people were talking about.

On my iPhone, everything just works.

Here’s an example of something just working, seamlessly: yesterday, I was working on my Macbook when my daughter called. When the call came through, a notification popped up on my desktop asking if I wanted to accept the call. I clicked accept and the call was routed to my Macbook, where I proceeded to have a conversation about a joint of gammon.

Mind blown.

For any long-time Apple users, you might be thinking, duh! But, for someone like me who has been using Linux on the desktop and Android phones, this kind of seamless integration is like voodoo magic. In my experience, it just didn’t happen with my previous hardware and software choices.

There are plenty of other features and services (reliable Bluetooth, Siri, iTunes – yes iTunes, Force Touch, Touch ID) that I’m enjoying on my iPhone, too many to mention here, but to summarise, in comparison to my previous Android devices, my iPhone feels and works how I would expect a premium-luxury device to work.

And all this, before touching on the topic of security, which is one of the main reasons I opted for an iPhone. For the past few years, I’ve not felt at all confident about my Android device. Even though I was running the latest CyanogenMod builds, it still felt like I was walking around with a pocketful of known exploits. I simply couldn’t shake the feeling that my device was dirty.

Meanwhile, my iPhone carrying friends and colleagues were receiving OTA security patches and updates.

Then this happened, and it was the final nail in the coffin. As soon as I’d read that, I’d made my mind up, I was moving away from Android.

For a while, I did consider purchasing an Ubuntu phone, but then I came to my senses. There was really only one option. Buy an iPhone, and in the process, complete my transformation into a fully-fledged Apple fanboy.

For anyone who might be interested, I opted for a Space Grey iPhone 6S with 128GB storage. This might seem a little strange considering the iPhone 7 has just been released, but I figured the 6S was a solid device, plus the price had just been reduced by £100.

A week later, satisfied that I’d done the right thing, I purchased another iPhone (same model, but in Silver) as a gift for Becky. And now, Becky loves her new iPhone too.