Posts for the month of March 2011

Mac Mini First Impressions

I got a Mac Mini. These were my first impressions with one helpful comment from one of the people to whom I was complaining:

18:49 < cory> Mac Mini.  All of my keys are different. :(
18:50 < cory> Didn't let me set up my bluetooth keyboard until after the install, either.
18:55 < cory> Oh god.  I'm no longer a registered Apple Developer?
18:58 < cory> No optical audio out AND no optical media drive.
18:59 < cory> Apple doesn't like optical things apparently.
19:19 < cory> My keyboard apparently needed a firmware update, and the machine needed to reboot for that.
19:21 < silencer> this is what you get for buying cheap junk, oh wait
19:38 < cory> Oh, I guess XCode 3.* is the free one.  That's the one I want.
19:59 < cory> Well, Netflix works.  That's something.
19:59 < cory> Though I get random white pixels reminiscent of my first ATI video card.

Some explanation: I've been thinking about getting a Mac Mini for many years. I had originally intended to get one as a home theater PC, but I opted for something a third of the price some years ago and have been using it happily ever since. I've looked at prices and specs for a while, hoping for a reason to get one since, as a build machine and just for variety, and I recently just splurged.

I remember noting that they don't have optical audio ports and being disappointed in the past. I think I just forgot about that until I tried plugging it in, this time.

That the model I ordered didn't have an optical drive was a bit unfortunate, as I'm using it as my HTPC, now, and it would be nice to be able to throw even a DVD in there if not a Blu-Ray disk. It's weird that it comes with install DVDs. I failed to be able to read them on Linux. They weren't mountable as iso9660, hfs, or hfsplus volumes, and then I stopped caring. There's apparently some software to be able to read them over the network from a Windows or Mac machine, but I don't have one of those with an optical drive. Why didn't it come with an SD card loaded with software?

I now own two Apple products - a bluetooth Apple wireless keyboard and the Mac Mini. That they didn't work together without a hassle was really disappointing. The firmware update required me to reboot the machine, after which I had to log in before pairing the keyboard with it again. Logging in requires a keyboard.

Charging for development tools always seemed like a crime to me.

I think I resolved the issue with random white pixels sparkling across my screen by swapping out an HDMI cable. I'm running cables through my receiver and to my TV so that I can use my receiver to switch inputs, and the run was apparently too long for the Mac Mini's GPU to deliver a strong signal. Even though other devices on the same cables didn't exhibit the problem.

My Wii, which had been used primarily for Netflix for a while, now, will likely see much less use.

The upshot of all of this is that there's a .dmg of Notebook Ninja that runs on OS X attached to its project page, now.


I just cleaned up about a dozen new users and spam pages on the NTRW MediaWiki.

It feels like I'm not handling it right. Each time I see spam, I disable the new users, usually for a year. Then I delete any new pages I created and rollback any edits they made. This is in line with the typical steps for dealing with vandalism documented for MediaWiki. What bothers me is that it seems like I should just be deleting the offending users rather than blocking them, since they're going to clutter up the legitimate user list. The username, page name, and anything else in the deletion logs might all contribute to some bizarre Google bombing scheme, I would have no idea, and these steps would do nothing to help that. I would also love to just pick a range of time and obliterate it from the wiki's history. In this case, only vandalism happened in the last week. I suppose everything built to handle spam is more suited for Wikipedia's level of change throughput where good and bad changes are constantly intermingled.

Each time this happens, I look for more MediaWiki extensions to prevent this in the future. This time I switched to Google's !reCAPTCHA extension. I also ran SpamBlacklist's cleanup script, which unfortunately identified at least one valid page as spam. I failed to get its whitelist to work for me, but I didn't really care about the offending link, so I just removed the link.

Then I checked external links for spammy links and was surprised to see none jump out at me, though many are quite stale/broken.

Am I missing something?