Apple backs down, sort of…

Since my last rant about Apple attempting to push new software onto my PC via it’s “update” service, they’ve backed off a little with a newly released version of their software. Following an update to the updater, it now looks like this,

As you can see they’ve rightly split the list into actual updates and new software. However, as the astute among you will notice, the Safari selection box is still ticked by default. This is better behaviour than before, but still not “best practice” in my opinion.

Hey Apple! – despite not wanting your browser, I don’t have a problem with being offered new software, but I want to OPT-IN not opt-out. So yeah, shame on you – again! And don’t get me started on having to install QuickTime just because I want iTunes…

Boys and Cars

While browsing though some photos on my computer I came across a whole bunch of old family photos from my grandparents. Here’s a quick sample – my father as a boy playing in a pedal car,

This photo was taken at my great grandparents home in Geraldine St in Christchurch, 1946. For comparison, here’s Matthew in a pedal-less car from the toy library,

Taken at our home in Wellington on 6 Apr 2007, just over a year ago.

Virtual Machines

Virtual machines are great. They let you run another operating system inside your current operating system so you can test software out without fear of nuking your current computer. Or, without having to find another computer to install a completely different OS on.

Here’s some screenshots of virtual computers on my PC,

Windows XP – my current OS,

Ubuntu – a popular Linux-based OS,

And the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child),

If your first reaction on seeing the above screenshot was “WTF?” – you’re not alone. So was mine. I still can’t get my head around it. I guess I’m too old and stuck in a Windows world to understand how the kids can do anything useful with that… I did however manage find a web browser under one of those big noddy icons.

If you want to try running another operating system on your machine, here’s some useful links – all with free downloads,

VMware Player
VMware Ubuntu images
VMware OLPC images

Microsoft Virtual PC
XP/Vista images

WordPress update

Following the recently released v2.5 of WordPress for the folks who host their own install, my blog here at has got the same treatment. The changes are all behind the scenes, and if you’re curious what the new interface looks like, here’s a screenshot of the page used to post a blog entry,


Yet to discover all the new features, and only one gripe so far – I don’t like the position of the tags and categories sections – these were better on the right of the main post area.

Origins of Thunder Explained


This is actually a t-shirt available from

Shame on you Apple

Apple’s Software Update service is trying to install the Safari web browser on my computer.

Why is this bad? Because an “update” service should not be pretending that I should update this software which doesn’t actually exist on my PC! Yes I can opt-out of the install, but why isn’t the process opt-in? That little box should NOT be checked by default if the software isn’t already installed. Shame on you Apple.

If you run iTunes on your computer, you’ll see the same thing if you use Apple’s Software Update. Here’s how to disable it permanently so you won’t be bugged again,

Leave the box ticked for Safari, hit the tools menu and select “Ignore Selected Updates”,

Safari update be gone and don’t bug me again. I’m more than happy with my Firefox install (and I don’t believe the claims in the blurb in that top screenshot).

Ignore Safari. Get Firefox. Smarter. Safer. Better.

March climate summary

…is out from Niwa.

In short, it was warmer than average by 0.8C nationwide (also warmer than Dec 2007) and drier than average in several areas with severe soil moisture deficit in places. Notably for Wellingtonians, the capital was the sunniest of the 5 main centres, despite being the wettest, while Auckland was the warmest and Christchurch the driest.

Grab Niwa’s pdf summary for more data.