Category Archives: Hardware

Discussions of computer hardware such as disk drives, scanners, printers and any other such things.

WWDC Predictions: Hardware

This is the third in my prediction posts. Note I don’t take these too seriously. I’m usually doing well if I bat .500. I’m excluding Apple TV predictions which had their own post as I’m convinced Apple’s updating the hardware.

The real question is whether Apple is going to take its Watch initiative (which I’m lukewarm on) to the iPod. I think it’s a small chance, but I’d be more interested in an Apple Watch inspired iPod Shuffle reboot than the watch itself. Consider a plastic, slightly heavier, shuffle for $150. It has a screen akin to the small watch (but cheaper LCD) and no sensors. What it does have is bluetooth. I’d almost certainly get it. Will Apple do it? And if they do it would they announced it at WWDC or at the iPhone event in the fall? Probably the latter if it happens at all. But I’ll give it a 10% chance.

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Related Posts

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    The blog’s been pretty quiet of late as I’ve been extremely busy on other projects (including butting heads with trying to put an ObjC front end to a C++ project in Xcode). In past years though I made my WWDC predictions a few weeks out from the keynote. That’s far enough away so as to…
    Tags: apple, will, wwdc, predictions
  • 56
    This is the second of my WWDC predictions focusing in on iOS. Obviously given the amount of shared code a lot of this will apply to OS X as well. My Apple TV WWDC predictions can be found here. My old iOS9 wishlist can be found here. I think this WWDC will be at least…
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  • 50
    Sorry, been quite busy of late. Just a bit of followup on last week’s event.First I feel a lot better about my MacMini purchase last week. The speed increases were modest and arguably a step back for people doing multitasking. The high end of the Mini seems like a definite step down with only a 2 core…
    Tags: apple, tb, hardware, wwdc

An iPod Touch I’d Buy

Lumina CM1The new Panasonic Lumina CM1 is a very intriguing product. I don’t think it’s the first hybrid Android phone. It does seems one of the most mature. It’s a camera first and a phone second. Honestly I wouldn’t want this as a phone. I’d much rather tether it to a phone. I don’t need yet an other data plan eating away at my wallet.

I can honestly imagine Apple making a new iPod Touch like this with a big lens. I think I’d buy something like that much quicker than I’d buy an Apple watch with nebulous utility. Whether Apple would ever do that is an other question. They’ve given no indication but I think many people would love it if they pushed into the camera space with real lenses.

Make Your Own Drobo with Fusion

ProBox

This originally was from the old blog. I’ve reposted it with a few minor changes by request. 

Make your own Drobo for cheap. Well, not exactly. But close. If you are like me your main disk drive is 3T or bigger now. You also probably have a bunch of 1T drives laying around. Some you can use for a particular manual backup of data. However you can’t really use them for automated backup because they are just all too small. Like me you may have looked at Drobos or Synology bays with lust, wishing you could take your old drives and make a backup system with them. Yet those drive bays are usually ridiculously expensive. Too much for Time Machine. 1

The alternative is to use Apple’s Fusion Drive technology. You won’t be creating an SSD/HD fusion.2 Rather you’ll be taken a bunch of drives and treating them as a single logical drive. To avoid things from getting too confused, I strongly suggest getting a multidisk bay. I used a ProBox USB3 4 bay enclosure for mine. If you don’t do that remember that if one drive goes down none of the drives will work right.3 In other words bad things happen if they aren’t all running. Trying to keep 4 disks straight when you may have several others is just asking for trouble.

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  1. I’d never consider Time Machine a primary backup — just a “nearly good enough” versioning and backup solution. It’s just too unreliable to be a real backup. Instead I have a collection of full disk backups I rotate through and then some dated backups of particular files I automate via Python.
  2. Although it’s pretty easy and works great. I put a 420G SSD in my 2010 MBP along with a 500GB 3.5” HD as a Fusion drive. It works fantastic. Much better than my old system of symlinking directories off the SSD to the Hard Drive. All you have to do is replace the DVD drive with a caddy that can hold the HD.
  3. This isn’t a hypothetical. I originally wrote this post last fall. In spring one of the four disks did go down. I had to undo the Fusion drive, figure out what drive was bad, and then recreate. For this reason don’t ever consider this a primary system. Even if you use new disks. But if you, like me, use old disks laying around it’s a question of when, not if, the Fusion drive will go down.

Lego EV3

Lego Ev3

We’re going to be doing home schooling with our son this fall due to a few issues I won’t get into. (It definitely wasn’t our first choice but seems to be the best one) One thing I wanted to do was get him into programming. Since he loves Lego I broke down and bought the latest Lego Mindstorm. Unfortunately while the previous generation (NXC) had some great programming languages, like C, for it the current one doesn’t. (Yet)

There’s a version of C called RobotC is in beta. Unfortunately it’s PC only. I’ll almost certainly snag it once it becomes available. I’ve not tried the beta yet though but it sounds like it’s still fairly rough. Some people have got it running in a virtual machine. I may try that later this week. There’s a version of C++ as well called BricxCC which I plan to install as well. Again sadly (and surprisingly) it too is PC only. 

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