Hell, why not. Every other blog on the interwebs has these silly little 'tips'.
So, I recently purchased a bunch of CDs and added them to iTunes. Now, how to listen to them all?
I'm a shuffle kind of person, so I use the "Recently Added" smart playlist. However, it does repeat, which is no good. So, what to do?
Pretty simple really. Duplicate the "Recently Added" playlist (right click, and select duplicate). Then edit it (right click and select edit), and add a new criteria (click the + button, moron), and select the criterion "Plays" and is and 0. Make sure "Live updating" is checked (it should be, unless you've been stuffing around with the default settings in iTunes).
The effect of this is that your recently added, non podcast (that's the default) media, that you have not played will be on this list. So, in theory it should shuffle through, removing items as they are played. Or not. iTunes does some counter intuitive shit.
So, Mountain Lion is looking like a July 25 release. Apple have released docs for Mountain Lion Server, and the move from big iron enterprise Unix continues. Server Admin and WorkGroup Admin appear to have been dropped, NetBoot isn't mentioned but NetInstall is. Interestingly, FTP looks like it is back in the GUI. PPTP VPN looks like it has disappeared again.
The big problem, and I might be the only person who thinks this, is that whilst a lot of the power is still there (they are still using BIND, Apache, RADIUS, OpenLDAP, Perl/Ruby/Python etc etc), their is precious little documentation on it. And where Apple used to have a reasonable training and certification program, it has all but disappeared (the Open Directory section of their 'Advanced' Admin guide is barely 7 pages). Good enough if you don't care about best practice and are happy to set up an ad hoc server by trial and error for a small business that's not too fussed about downtime when you realise you need to rebuild the server because the DNS name you gave it in the first instance was wrong. But if you want to use the real power that Unix offers, you really, really need to know your stuff.
I have found a temporary solution for the pains of 10.7/10.8. I am running Snow Leopard with a Lion Server VM. Likely, I will clone this and create a Mountain Lion VM. I've not found /any/ software that I need yet that is Lion specific, but this will likely happen. If I didn't need to find my way around it for work, I doubt I'd touch it. But FileMaker and Adobe tend to support only a couple of versions of the OS for any release, so the day that Snow Leopard becomes untenable draws closer still.
There is the possibility of moving to Linux, and running all instances of Mac OS X as VMs under that. I'm not sure if that would break licensing conditions or not. I seem to recall it being licensed for VMs running on Apple hardware, I don't recall mention of running the VMs under an Apple OS.
I must say that the naming of 10.8 struck me as a little odd in the context of past names.
Mountain Lions are in fact the same species as Pumas (and arguably Panthers). This requires a closer look.
10.0 - Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
10.1 - Puma (Puma concolor)
10.2 - Jaguar (Panthera onca)
10.3 - Panther (Puma concolor OR Panthera pardus)
10.4 - Tiger (Panthera tigris)
10.5 - Leopard (Panthera pardus)
10.6 - Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia)
10.7 - Lion (Panthera leo)
10.8 - Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)
So, a cynic might say that superficially 10.8 is an improvement on 10.7 but is really 5 (or 7) steps back.
So Apple decided to release 10.6.6 the day after I installed my CalDigit USB 3 card. This is an issue because USB 3 is very new, and the drivers (kexts) are still not completely solid. CalDigit released an updated version of their driver for 10.6.5 (and make you jump through some hoops to get it), since the driver broke with the 10.6.5 update. Their current (10 Jan) recommendation is not to update to 10.6.6 until they have done their tests (and probably released a new driver). Update: a new driver is available.
So, the Mac Pro is on 10.6.5 for the meantime, but the Mac Mini is on 10.6.6. I've tried out the app store on the Mac Mini and downloaded an app. The nice thing is it is a little easier to search and find stuff than apple.com/downloads. The downside is that it requires 10.6.6, many of the apps cost money (interestingly the AUD prices are STILL much higher than the USD equivalents despite the exchange rates). And the fact that Apple can now easily track what you download and where you install based on your AppStore account.
The good news is that you can copy some apps from the Mac where they were downloaded to another Mac without issues. So, set up a Mac with the account, and then copy the apps (many ways to do this) to however many other Macs you like.
I mentioned that I also installed Debian on a Mini-ITX box, specifically it is a VIA Epia with a 533MHz Eden CPU, and nearly all you need integrated (as mini-itx boards normally are). I bought it a little while ago from someone who had assembled 95% of the parts to make an ADSL/WiFi router, but gave up on it. All it needed was a case/psu, which cost about as much as the board and bits I had already purchased. The other small problem was that it only had 256MB RAM. Not really enough. But since I had just upgraded the Cube, I took the two spare 256MB chips and bumped the RAM up in the MiniITX to 512MB.
I had previously attempted to install 3 or 4 distros (Fedora, SUSE, Mandriva etc) on this box, but had a variety of issues, ranging from the installer not running (or halting part way through), installing but then going into a restart loop, or installing and then not doing anything. This is probably due to the fact I was using current distros on a rather old board. So, back to old faithful Debian, which goes out of its way to support obsolete hardware like this.
I used a 5.0.4 DVD to install and only two little snags during the install: the Intel wireless card needed nonfree firmware (very simple to do), and half way through the pre-install config, the font died and turned to the default square boxes for all chars. Fortunately, I found screen shots of the install online and could work my way through the rest of the config. Installed ok.
At some point I will need to configure the WiFi on the MiniITX box, and put it in an appropriate location. I'm thinking to play around with kismet.
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This is all about my on going fumblings with hardware. Regular entries should provide an indication of the depths of my obsession.
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