Category Archives: Computers

Mac OS X and Windows

Apple Official Windows 8 Drivers – BootCamp 5

Apple has at long last published official Windows 8 support – but only for 64 bit Windows and only if you are running OS X 10.8.3. A tad irritating if, as on my machine, Windows 8 installed itself as 32 bit and not 64 bit.

The small print is at Boot Camp 5: Frequently asked questions

When Agile isn’t Agile

Reading I Fear Our Mobile Group Being Forced To Follow Scrum crystallised in my mind what can go wrong when you treat Agile as a methodology. It describes a team successfully using kanban which is to potentially be required to use scrum — because that’s becoming the company standard.

Making a team follow an agile methodology is exactly *not* Agile.

Agile is “Individuals and interactions” being valued more highly than processes. Imposing Scrum looks like valuing the process more than the team.

Agile is “self-organising teams” and letting “the team [reflect] on how to become more effective, then tune and adjust accordingly.” Imposing conformity on a team that has already adjusted is a backwards step; you’re asking a team that has optimised somewhat for the individuals in the team to de-optimise again.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t teach an agile team anything. The manifest starts with “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” A team that can’t be corrected, or won’t learn better ways, isn’t agile. For that matter, a team that won’t learn in any walk of life has started the downhill path to decline.

For what it’s worth, I’m sure that a competent lean team that tries Scrum for a while will learn from it, even if they end up optimising back to something more fluid.

Best Download Manager for OS X?

I’ve use two of the download managers currently on the market for OS X and they are both a lifesaver if you have a poor connection and want to download large files. Not only are they faster than a browser — they open multiple connections to the server which browser don’t* — but they resume incomplete downloads so they cope much much better with poor and failing connections.
They are … how can I put this … very similar. You could think they were different skins of the same product. iGetter shows the fact that it’s 10 years old (which is about how long it’s been saving my bacon), Folx looks more modern. They have different approaches to nagging non-purchasers: Folx distinguishes their free/pro versions, and requires a key-press to start a download. iGetter makes you wait for an increasing time when you launch the program.

They’re both downloadable for free trial or purchase.

iGetter from Presenta Software £18.27
Folx from Eltima Software £13.95
Folx family pack £27.95

* Because major browsers respect the internet standard which says client applications should not open more than 2 connections to a server.

Why do I have AWS free tier charges?

The short answer: you left a light turned on somewhere in the world. Turn them all off and you’re done.

The longer answer:

  • The AWS free tier covers you for one (1) machine running all month. If you leave one machine running all month, and then have a second machine running for a day, you will pay for that day.

How to incur AWS Free Tier Charges by Mistake

There are 2 easy ways to do this by mistake:

  • You are testing multi-server deployments. With 2 servers running, your free tier is just half the month. The second half of the month will cost you about $15+VAT. As soon as you turn on a second machine you risk overrunning your free tier quota. If like me you accidentally leave 3 or 4 machines switched on for most of a month, then your ‘free’ tier has suddenly cost you $50.
  • The second is that you have machines in more than one region. Your typical console view hides shows only one region so you can easily forget that you have machines switched on elsewhere in the world.

How do I stop it?

Turn off your machines with Right-Click — Terminate in the EC2 Management console.
If you’re repeatedly spinning up test machines, don’t forget to do this every-time you finish work.

BootCamp Drivers direct download—further help

If you’ve downloaded bootcamp drivers for Macs to run Windows 7 or 8, but still have problems, here’s my summary of the main issues and solutions I know of:

  1. The download file won’t open; or it doesn’t seem to work somehow; or doesn’t contain all the drivers you expect Do the download again using a download manager because sometimes the download appears to finish but hasn’t really. There are a couple of download managers I know of for OS X:
    Folx by Eltima, who have been doing Mac software for years
    iGetter has been working well for a decade
  2. You get an error message saying that the drivers can’t be installed on this computer model.In this case you may have one of 3 problems:
    1. You clicked the wrong download link. Check the instructions on finding your ModelIdentifier again carefully, and try again.
    2. Some Macs only get drivers for 32-bit versions of Windows and some only get drivers for 64-bit versions of Windows so if you install the wrong one, you’ll have to start again.
    3. Back to item one – your download didn’t work properly. Get a download manager and try it again
  3. If you no longer have OS X on your machine, or if you did the download in Windows anyway, then opening-a-bootcamp-driver-download-on-windows-7-or-8-with-7-zip is the page that explains how to open the pkg file and the dmg file in Windows
  4. And finally the really obscure one: All you get in your download is drivers for a Motoral modem. I’m not sure what’s going on here, so I’m grasping at straws but you could try this: in the download URL, replace the http://swcdn.apple.com/ by using nslookup to to see if you can change which server is ‘really’ serving your download, for instance:
    http://apple.vo.llnwd.net/
    http://swcdn.apple.com.akadns.net/
    http://95.140.227.134/