Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Find My Mac - needs to be better than it is

So, I work in I.T. and we constantly are dealing with stolen systems.  I started thinking to myself, why is FIND MY MAC (part of iCloud - Find My iPhone) not a good solution?

It turns out that the security built into the FIND MY IPHONE feature of iCloud that extends to hardware systems isn't as good because it can be circumvented.  Why can't the Macintosh platform contain the same security that our iPhones have.

According to a report by the New York City Police Department on the Thefts and Grand Larcenies involving Apple Devices (since the Activation Lock came into production), thefts have dropped by 19% and GL by 29%.  That is great.  It is working as reported and that report was from October 2014 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenhuet/2014/09/18/iphone-6-default-kill-switc/).

In fact, CNET (http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/smartphone-thefts-drop-thanks-to-kill-feature/) more recently reported the following:

"The volume of stolen iPhones dropped by 25 percent in New York, by 40 percent in San Francisco and by 50 percent in London over the 12 months after Apple added an Activation Lock to its smartphones"   

So we see it is working great for the iOS platform.  Why isn't it on the Macintosh platform?  It has a FIND MY feature in the iCloud control panel.  But this can be easily bypassed by wiping the system.  

If we can track iPhones, iPads and iPods (Touches), then I say it is time to allow us the option of tracking our Mac's the same way.  While it won't stop a Mac from being wiped or used, it would never FORGET who it is bound too.  Why can't we simply keep that serial number to iCloud association going.

For instance - I have a Mac laptop, it gets stolen.  It was registered to me and bound to my iCloud account.  That system serial number is bound to me.  Now let's further state that this system gets wiped and re-installed with the latest OS.  What is one thing that every Mac does?  It checks for system updates periodically.  Why, at that point, can the check in process for system updates, not include a reference checkpoint to location for the iCloud account.  Furthermore, when someone adds an iCloud account to that Mac, why can't iCloud simply come back and say, "This Macintosh is registered to another account (b*@t*.biz)".

If this was a second hand sale, then, like an iPhone/iPad, it becomes the responsibility of the seller to remove the activation lock on the Mac and also the buyer to verify that the activation lock is clear before purchasing.

Problem solved.  Apple - I am available for hiring!  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Old Poems I dredged up from the internet

STARTUP (2001)

A flick of the switch,
and it pulses to life.

Fans whirling, drives spinning
Electricity Imbimbing.

This is the START & I await the happy computers greeting
will it start, will it stop, will it stall

Action, icons appear, bringing form
to microscopic 0's and 1's

So begins the magical dance as
my clicks and drags manipulate

and transform the 0's to 1's and
the 1's to 0's.

Form and function travel in
the ether contained from diode to diode.

Much to small to see,
but it's there. I smell it... I can taste it.

Have you tasted it lately?
You may have and not known it.

I cannot describe it; it changes so fast
... technology
... changes
... everything
...even us.


It comes in a shiny package,
all the cdroms are so bright.

GUARANTEED to make my computer run faster,
or so the marketing team writes.

I rip open the cellophane wrapping,
and I fly high as a kite.

As I extract from the box
a disc and manual, wrapped so tight.

I gleefully place the disc in my computer,
everything seems so right.

After a twenty minute install,
my excitement has reached its height.

I reboot the system,
but all that returns is a small green light.

Now frustrated and hysterical,
I prepare for a technical support fight.

All has not gone as planned and
all is definitely not right.

After three hours with tech support,
I send the software disc on a one-way flight.

As it sails across the room,
trying to escape my sight...

I reflect on the shiny package,
that has made this a hell-of-a-night!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Remember Your Past - Honor your ancestors

I don't drink - this is the closest I get to
'pouring out my liquor' for my father!
I have a lot of Aunts and Uncles and unfortunately, I only have a few left.  On December 26, 2013, I took a small trip to the Madronia Cemetary in Saratoga, CA and visited my father and the rest of his family.

My father passed away 9 years ago from Leukemia.  It was a very fast passing and we only had 2 months of time with him before he left us.  To this day, there are many things I wish I could have done differently to be more present to him.  I wasn't a good son.  The internal struggle between being selfish and not wanting to see someone waste away and the side of me that wanted to be a good son and remain present in the moment to witness his passing - a terrible thing for me to fester with these past 9 years.  He was a good man.  He deserved better than me.

So each year, I bring him his cigarettes and a coca-cola - his favorite.  I stay and I talk with him a bit and fill him in on what is new.  I believe my father can hear me no matter where I talk with him, but I think this makes me feel better to be as present to his lifeless body as one can be.

Below are some pictures I took to help me remember my past and to enjoy my present.

Monday, December 2, 2013

10.9.1 Mavericks Beta and WoW

So I have been running for a week or so on Mavericks 10.9.1 but have run into a nasty little bug that I haven't been able to track down to anything except for my World of Warcraft playing.

It seems that spontaneously, the OS will halt and reboot due to a Kernel Panic but it won't give me any other details.  It ALWAYS occurs during my game playing and nothing else - ripping my cd's, streaming music, etc. etc. etc - 10.9.1 does indeed fix a lot of usability issues in 10.9... but it can't at the expense of my WoW addiction.

The only thing I can think of is that my system doesn't want me to play WoW anymore!  LOL.

I am now re-installing 10.9.0 to verify this issue is truly part of the 10.9.1 beta that I was seeded.

 I hope it is, otherwise, I may have to move my dual xeon system in from the garage to keep my WoW habit satisfied.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Very Thankful, Happy Thanksgiving

It has been quite a while since I posted something on my blog.  I shied away for a while after dealing with some negativity over a social posting was picked up by my peers in my workplace.  Needless to say, I have curbed my enthusiasm for letting people really know what is on my mind when it comes to negative energy.  I don't allow the negativity of my workplace interfere with who I am or what I believe in.  I think I am in a better place because of the experience, but wish I never went through the experience to begin with.

That being said, I had the urge to sit and write for a bit this morning and let you know what I am thankful for.  The day is young and before it gets away from me with the Macy's Parade, cooking and some cleaning before the in-laws come over, I wanted to document what my thoughts where.

I am very thankful this year for a lot of things.  It truly has been a blessed year full of ups and downs, stress and fun and mostly... love.

So - what am I most thankful for this year?  My family.  Without my family, my life would seem meaningless.  Everything I do, I do for them and their support and devotion is what fuels me to try and be a better man, a better father, a better husband.  Last year, we lost my Uncle Dale to cancer and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his funeral left an indelible mark with me.  I never got my proper chance to say goodbye and it left me bitter.  I am over that, now.  I have come to realize that family is more than just a word.  It is actions and those actions have repercussions, both positive and negative at times.  My soul tries to guide me towards a positive action and outlook, and historically, I have started to see a pattern of negativity that I do not fully appreciate.  I can never fully wash away that part of my existence and it will always be there, but I chose to keep it at arms length now.  Family is about unconditional love.  It doesn't matter what you do to me or how you do it; I will still love you.  And that is true - I do love all my family members, near and far.  In an instant, I will be there to support you if not in person than in prayer, but I choose not to engage the negative energy.  My core, here in San Jose, is full of positivism and that is very healthy and makes me happy.  I truly hope and pray that you all find your happiness in your core and understand that sometimes (to quote a Beatles Tune), "All You Need Is Love"

For those of you who know me, I stand 6' 2" and currently weigh in at 210 lbs.  I am not fat, but know I have gained more poundage than I like.  I am not thrilled by this.  But for the most part, I am healthy and trying to adopt more healthy ways of living.  I am thankful that at 41, I don't have any issues. The only major issue I have is that Milk is no longer my friend.  I have cut milk out of 99% of my diet in its raw form.   There are very few things I have that may have raw/homogenized milk included in them. I choose soy or almond milk, now, and my body thanks me.

Some of you do know that I suffer from anxieties from time to time and they all stem from 3 traumatic episodes during my youth.  It took me years to figure out that I had these anxieties and what brings them on.  Couple my anxieties (which started out after a car accident in 1993), with the above Milk issue and no understanding of my body and you have a prime mixture for being a terrible husband and friend in the 90's.   I had no idea that I was growing intolerant of milk.  Think of that - milk in milkshakes, your Starbucks coffee, ice-cream, etc. etc.  Even milk within cream sauces like Fettuccine Alfredo was bad for me.

I have battled my anxieties over the years and even took my battle to a new level in 2007 when I hiked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with my father-in-law and then again in 2011 with my children!  Now that is battling my anxieties.  I call these anxieties, my demons and I will never fully be rid of them and that is my curse for life.  But keeping them in check and waging my war has never been more successful than where I am today.  I attribute knowledge of how to battle them and mostly I still credit my faith and prayer to God.  I still plan on writing a more detailed short memoir on my anxieties and how I overcame them with my trip in 2007.  

But, I am thankful for my relative good health - It is important that we feel good about ourselves and our situation in order to be confident in our day-to-day dealings.  I am want to lose 20 lbs. but I am OK with how I am today.  My body may not look like a life guards or Brad Pitt, but I function, nonetheless.

This is been a tricky one as I am happy in my current job - Love my company and believe whole heartedly in their vision and product and for that I am truly thankful.  I have been with them for 4 1/2 years now and that is almost a record in my tech career.  It is good to have a stable company that offers you employment in exchange for your expertise.

But with any job, there can also be personalities that don't mesh well.  I know that my personality is viewed as such by some people, but the overall goal of the company and stability is all I have in mind and thought.  I think the beginning of this year was a bit rocky, but just as I have come to an understanding with my family, I have also come to an understanding about my job.  That no matter what my stance is or how firm I am in my beliefs, that it isn't in my best interest or the companies that I make myself so resolved that I become this reef of stubbornness of which people keep crashing against.

Half way through the year, I lost a friend of mine to another department.  That hurt a lot and I decided that instead of fostering a level of negativity at the company (like what I experienced over the years with my family), that I needed to change to a more positive outlook.  That being said, the transition hasn't always been smooth, but I feel better about the situation.

I am thankful for my job and my career in IT.  I really like to help people who are appreciative of the help I give them.

I am Catholic and love my religion.  I love the majesty and the ritual of my faith.  I love seeing my two oldest kids alter serving and doing their part.  It amazes me so much.  I wish some things were different and some things weren't so difficult.  My oldest is going through confirmation and I am the 'stand-in' for Aunt Marie back east, but we haven't done anything or engaged the confirmation sponsors whatsoever - our Parish (and the Church Canon for that matter) forbid a parent from being the SPONSOR, which is complete crap, but I am following it.  I just wish the process was engaging of the sponsor more with the child making his journey.

I have been a Catholic since 1996 and I went through the RCIA process and my future Mother-In-Law was my sponsor.  She is my Godparent, in fact.  She led me through some wondrous discussions about faith, history and understanding of this religion I was partaking of.  What a great teacher she is.

I try to be that to my kids - any opportunity I get to talk about God or religion, I do so but in a way that doesn't throttle it down their throats. Ultimately, they are free spirits who need to make and embrace their own choices as just that:  Their choices.

My religion (not my church), mean the world to me.  It is the foundation for my moral and ethical views and helps me guide myself and my family through a society that would otherwise have swallowed up most other families in its turbulent wake.

I am thankful for my community and the people in my parish - and truly pray that they are as grateful and loving of each other!

The year has been full of ups and downs and through it all, I have learned some things.  I have grown as a person and even become a bit more mature in my way of dealing with the problems presented to me.  I am thankful of all the blessings given to us this year and pray for your blessings and that you are loved too.

It is almost time to get the Turkey stuffed and in the oven and the Thanksgiving Day Parade starts in another 40 minutes.  I am looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with the family and pray that you too have a wonderful holiday, yourselves.