Tag Archives: iPad

Dear Apple

Just some selected letters to my favorite consumer electronics company…

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On weather, creating art, and other general thoughts

I grew up in New England (southeastern Connecticut) and heard many times as a young man, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Someone attributed it to Mark Twain, but it was probably around longer than that. We lived in Oklahoma from 1989 to 1992, and I heard the same phrase (this time attributed to Will Rodgers.) Some years later, living in Korea, I heard that they had the same phrase…for about four hundred years.

Christmas Eve brought us four types of precipitation in 15 hours: hail just after 1:00 a.m., rain through most of the night/morning, sleet in the early afternoon and accumulating snow by 3:00 p.m.

So, after living in Texas for the past six years, I can say those other locations were pretenders. It was in the 70s on Friday and heading south of 34F right now.

Art creation

We discovered last year that Andrea and I do not collaborate well on her art. I can make the boxes and frames she needs but my creativity and hers do not align. Not so with son Brandon. He has a knack for paper placement Andrea sometimes uses in her mixed media works. See here for progress photos. I do get a kick out what has become my role in her brainstorming process: “What about…?” is usually met with “No. but thanks.” So, I contribute by helping Andrea eliminate the things she doesn’t want to do!

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Thumbing my nose at Big Brother Apple

Before I dive into the subject of the post title, an observation:

Tuesday, January 8th, is Stephen Hawking’s 71st birthday – amazing given that 50 years ago, he was told he’d have maybe two more years to live. I just finished rereading A Brief History of Time in December and hope to get to both The Universe in a Nutshell and The Grand Design this year. The picture/graphic below appeared on a Facebook page (as quoted in John Boslough’s Stephen Hawking’s Universe) and it made me rethink a position I’ve held for many years.

Hawking - Simple Goal

I generally think that “why” is not a question science need answer. If someone really wants to explore “why”, then take on religion or philosophy. The word I prefer is “how”. “Why” seems to lead to meaningless queries such as “Why am I here?” followed by time-wasting searches for answers beyond the obvious fertilization of an egg by a sperm. I have little use for philosophy as an adult. Just the facts. Opinions are like… (Including mine.)

“How”ever, I can understand the use of “why” in the context of “why the universe is as it is”. I am a little concerned over Hawking saying “…why it exists at all.” Oh, I see that as a consequence of examining time arrows and singularities, but I fear that such a simple phrase can be perverted by the ignorant, much the same as Einstein’s dicey objection to quantum physics and uncertainty. Still, it is an admirable goal, although one he knows is impossible. At least from a 2013 perspective.

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Recovering your iTunes library from a HD crash

I wrote a long bit about my recent disk crash and the trials of trying to restore, then rebuild it, but this is the short and skinny on how to fore a new iTunes library to recognize your devices that were sync’d to the lost one.

First, iTunes is not friendly at all at copying stuff off of foreign iDevices – something about music rights, or whatever. “Transfer purchases” only moved the iStore apps and five or so ebooks off my iPad that were free downloads but not DRM free (I don’t like not being able to share like a real book), so I was still stuck with a lot of stuff in jeopardy of vaporizing like the rest of my data. Syncing would wipe the device because it was sync’d “to a different library.” You’d see something like this:


Uh oh.  No syncing yet. I don’t jailbreak my devices – call it worry that I may not recover and end up with a brick – but even if they were jailbroke, what I needed was a way to get iTunes to not wipe my stuff.

I found a couple programs that claimed to be able to read and transfer files from an iDevice and settled on Wide Angle Software’s TouchCopy because it could see the ebooks and podcasts, while the other couldn’t. I used it to pull the books and music – and export playlists – off of my iPad.

Do note that that one can backup a device in iTunes without syncing. That comes into play in the next step. But I had to do more research…surely somebody has come across this before.

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