OS Quest Trail Log #63: Hurricane Edition

Hurricane photo

It’s been awhile since I updated the blog, and things have been similarly slow at the OS Quest. There haven’t been any major changes around the home data center, just some minor ones. I survived Irene without a power failure or other problems, unlike most of the state, and 65% of my town according to the power company. In fact, it had the benefit of delaying my planned Sunday flight until Tuesday, letting me trim two days off a business trip that was already painful enough.

Lion

I still like Lion on my MacBook Air and it’s been stable. Still, I’ve yet to install it on another Mac. Eventually I’ll install it on my desktop Mac Mini but I’ve wanted to avoid the inevitable hassle a change always brings, or even worse, breaking of apps.  It will probably get Lion in October. As for my bedroom iMac I’ll probably end up holding off on Lion. It’s an entertainment PC and I use Front Row to watch videos and Front Row is dropped from Lion. Finding replacement software probably wouldn’t be difficult, but expending effort just so I can make a change that gives me what I already have seems like a waste of time.

I’ve been tempted to buy Lion Server but it’s been more out of curiosity than any need. In looking over my Macs, I have two that meet the minimum requirements, my desktop and bedroom iMac, but I’m not willing to experiment with either of those. I do have a Mac Mini I’d be willing to use but it’s just shy of the requirements, I could probably install Lion but I fear I’d be more annoyed than anything else. It would be different if I thought I would actually use it for something.

Firefox Out – Google Chrome In

I’d gone back to Firefox several months ago, despite preferring Chrome. I had a conflict with my LastPass password manager add-in for Chrome and TextExpander on my Macs. When I was logged onto LastPass (which is always) TextExpander wouldn’t work. I noticed recently that it started working again, My MacBook Air running Lion still shows a warning sometimes, but TextExpander is working fine, I’m glad to be out of Firefox. Their recent 6 week upgrade cycle was a pain. I consistently had broken add-ins and it’s the add-ins that brought me to Firefox. Now some of it may have been that the add-in developers just needed to flag the add-ins as compatible, but still, the whole thing was handled poorly.

Firefox is still around, but I glad the speed and simplicity of Chrome is back as my default browser,

Home Entertainment

In my last trail log I mentioned that my LG Blu-Ray player was having problem playing some Handbrake encoded files. I mentioned the files played fine elsewhere, Well, they don’t play fine elsewhere and re-encoding them solved the problem. In the LG player they were scrambled from the beginning, on everything else they played fine until about the last 90 seconds where they showed obvious problems. So the LG player was affected more, but there were definite problems with the files.

Everything else is still working fine, Streaming from my Windows Home Server works great despite being wireless and running on HP MicroServer hardware.

SpiderOak

Last month I started testing SpiderOak as a backup and syncing solution. I’ve since upgraded to a paid account. I’ve been using it to sync files between my PCs (including Macs) along with backups. I also use it to backup my Windows Home server despite not being an officially supported OS. For the WHS it’s actually a second offsite backup for my most important files so I’m not too concerned about the unofficial support. It’s probably worth a longer article, but the short review is I’m happy enough to have bought a 200 GB subscription, Which does trigger my one gripe about plans like this. I bout the 200 GB plan because I’m just over the 100 GB plan so needed the next level.

On Tap

Now that the summer is officially over and vacationers return to work I hope to get some time back. I’ve got a couple weeks vacation soon. No travel plans but that could change if the weather is nice. Still, I should be able to find some quality tech playtime, There’s a few things on my list, but since I won’t get to them all I won’t mention any. It’s been over a month since the last post, hopefully the updates will be a little more frequent for the rest of the year.