Good news updates first:
So I've setup the Mac now to be the media hub, using SugarSync to sync between my gaming machine, my netbook, and my file archive/storage server. It syncs my iPod Nano (4th generation) with iTunes and my Samsung Intercept (Android phone) with doubleTwist.
The iBook is about the same speed as my little Asus netbook, with about the same battery life (the netbook battery deteriorated really
fast) so I take the netbook when I want mobility, and the iBook when I want a large screen and a simple user interface (all my friends ask "where is iTunes?" when I hand them the netbook
So I've got a gaming machine for when I want to have a frustration-free experience, or vent frustration from a prior experience (I'm really liking Sanctum
). I have the iBook for media consumption and synchronization, and messing around with. I have the netbook for mobility/web browsing/IMing and light gaming. And my server continues to chug along for when any of these three machines need to archive some old files. I'm really
liking how this is working.
But I bring new gripes, do not distress!
I had a strange issue, which Google reveals to be somewhat common, where the iBook would not shut down, reboot, or log off. It came down to Finder (Mac's equivalent to Windows Explorer) freezing and locking up the login process. You can't "force quit" (End Task) Finder, because it is basically the entire UI, minus the Dock, so it is hard coded to not offer that option. After a bit of searching around, I reset the Open Firmware (BIOS) and PRAM (not sure how this is different from Open Firmware, I guess OF is the interface but the PRAM holds the settings? Ugh.). That, with a run of OnyX (all-around OSX maintenance tool) seemed to clear it up.
I am also getting random "Recovered Files" in my Trash (Recycle Bin) after runs of OnyX and rebooting. I empty the Trash, reboot, and more files come back. This can occur over nearly half a dozen reboots. Not sure what that's about. Nothing has broken yet, though.
Additionally, last night, after watching The Bourne Ultimatum, I tried to log onto Skype; I found it was in permanent Offline mode. I tried BlackFire (Xfire client) and it said there was no internet connection. Opening Network Preferences, it said "AirPort has a self-assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the internet." After a few words and wondering to myself why the fsck it is self-assigning instead of using DHCP like normal, I spent 45 minutes running around my room (at 3AM) messing with the router, modem, iBook, my phone (to see if the internet was actually working), and my gaming computer (to access router/modem setup pages). I went to sleep annoyed and confused, figuring that maybe the router would terminate the DHCP lease overnight and give the iBook a new IP. I woke up, and no dice. Digging around for another half hour, I found that the OSX Firewall might be the problem. It was set to what is essentially "Ask on all incoming connections" mode. I flipped it to "Allow all" (off, basically), the iBook got it's new IP, flipped it back, and it's working now. From what I read, it is a bug in Tiger and Leopard (and beyond, I would assume, as Leopard still gets security and functionality updates AFAIK) and has been known for some time (3+ years). That's really
going to bother me if it becomes a recurring issue.
Oh, and another thing that's going to annoy me to no end that I didn't really think about until this morning: Apple is just as stupid as Microsoft was with XP: the firewall is OFF BY DEFAULT
). Holy crap.