October 2011 Archives

Of the 184 185 discs in my queue, 15 are available on “Watch Instantly.” So Reed’s decision hasn’t changed my decision to keep using discs, and until the studios give up on discs as a whole, that likely won’t change.

I doubt Netflix—or, indeed, any streaming provider, Apple included—will be able to get the studios to give up the disc market until the studios have their own content distribution mechanisms.

Successful content distribution mechanism, that is.

This update is not PHP-neutral. Apple installs PHP 5.3.6 over your custom PHP installation.

I looked at the configure that Apple uses and it looks about like our usual configure info.

So the steps required to make this all work with what we have from our previous expeditions:

  1. Keep copies of the Apple binaries and how they configured their installation:

    $ php -i > ~/php-config-2011.10.20
    $ sudo cp /usr/libexec/apache2/libphp5.so /usr/libexec/apache2/libphp5.so.old
    $ sudo cp /usr/bin/php /usr/bin/php.old
  2. Get the 5.3.8 tarball and unpack it. (5.3.8 seems to be a good drop-in replacement for 5.3.6, which is where I was.)

  3. Move the libpng headers around a bit so that configure doesn’t find old headers for use with the new libraries:

    $ sudo mv /usr/X11R6/include/png.h /usr/X11R6/include/png.h_old
  4. Append the new flags to the configure statement and configure away:

    $ ./configure  '--prefix=/usr' '--mandir=/usr/share/man' '--infodir=/usr/share/info' '--disable-dependency-tracking' '--sysconfdir=/private/etc' '--with-apxs2=/usr/sbin/apxs' '--enable-cli' '--with-config-file-path=/etc' '--with-libxml-dir=/usr' '--with-openssl=/usr' '--with-kerberos=/usr' '--with-zlib=/usr' '--enable-bcmath' '--with-bz2=/usr' '--enable-calendar' '--with-curl=/usr' '--enable-exif' '--enable-ftp' '--with-gd' '--with-jpeg-dir=/usr/local' '--with-png-dir=/usr/local' '--enable-gd-native-ttf' '--with-ldap=/usr' '--with-ldap-sasl=/usr' '--enable-mbstring' '--enable-mbregex' '--with-mysql=mysqlnd' '--with-mysqli=mysqlnd' '--with-pdo-mysql=mysqlnd' '--with-mysql-sock=/var/mysql/mysql.sock' '--with-iodbc=/usr' '--enable-shmop' '--with-snmp=/usr' '--enable-soap' '--enable-sockets' '--enable-sysvmsg' '--enable-sysvsem' '--enable-sysvshm' '--with-xmlrpc' '--with-iconv-dir=/usr' '--with-xsl=/usr' '--with-pcre-regex' '--with-freetype-dir=/usr/X11R6' '--enable-zend-multibyte' '--enable-zip'
  5. Use four cores to make PHP. It’s a lot faster to use the -j 4 option, and if you have more cores, make the number match:

    $ make -j 4
  6. Install.

    $ sudo make install
  7. Restart Apache.

    $ sudo apachectl restart
  8. Clean up what we did to the libpng headers:

    $ sudo mv /usr/X11R6/include/png.h_old /usr/X11R6/include/png.h


Alternatively, if you have already installed 5.3.8 before, all you need to do is:

  1. Keep copies of the Apple binaries and how they configured their installation:

    $ php -i > ~/php-config-2011.10.20
    $ sudo cp /usr/libexec/apache2/libphp5.so /usr/libexec/apache2/libphp5.so.old
    $ sudo cp /usr/bin/php /usr/bin/php.old
  2. Install.

    $ sudo make install
  3. Restart Apache.

    $ sudo apachectl restart


Apple on Tuesday let down Wall Street on earnings as iPhone sales came up short of forecasts.

Whose forecasts, Apple’s? No, Apple did better than its own expectations, and yet we’re still listening to the idiots on Wall Street? (Other than the ones in the park, that is.)

On Politics the Way It Should Be



We all hate politics. The name calling. The exaggerated rhetoric. Partisanship. Oh! the partisanship…

Mudslinging? Pff! That’s child’s play.

But since I’ve entered the race for Planning and Zoning Commission here in Tolland, I’ve seen a different kind of politics, a kind of politics that I believe Madison all those other men had in mind so many years ago. It’s a kind of politics I actually like. It’s somehow pure and clean, at least in the race for P&Z.

It’s the politics of what’s best for the town, where the candidates are putting the needs of the town first, instead of putting their re-election prospects on top. Local Republicans are campaigning under the banner “Putting Tolland Citizens First.” And as I chat with other P&Z candidates, I’m impressed with just how much we genuinely care about Tolland and its citizens.

Better yet, I am supremely impressed with the reactions of the people of Tolland to the political process. How do I know?

I know because I have witnessed firsthand how Tolland residents reacted to my standing at the Exit 68 westbound entrance ramp for I-84. In the hour-and-a-quarter that I stood there, waving my signs, waving my hands, smiling, and greeting people, I was met with exactly one “thumbs down”. That’s it for negative reactions. Of course, I didn’t get smiles and waves from everybody, but those people who reacted at all reacted in a friendly way. Lots of waves, lots of smiles.

And yet I was clearly out there as a candidate for political office, as an aspiring politician, a word that most people use as an epithet. But that didn’t stop people from being nice. Even though I was, in essence, nobody special to the people who drove by, I was out there waving, being nice. And they were nice in return.

My observations lead me to believe that from both the candidate’s view and from the citizen’s view, this is the way politics should be. It should be a collaborative effort. It should be a friendly undertaking. Though we may differ in how we get from here to there, I think we’re all on the same page that politics like this is how we take care of our community and our citizens.

And that’s how it should be. Right, Mr. Madison?

*!#% That Siri Says is Siri-ously Funny


Language notwithstanding, this is some siri-ously funny @#%*.

Ever wonder what happens when Apple’s Siri is asked something… offbeat?

Here’s the answer.

Oh! The humanity!

It wasn’t two million phones in 24 hours, so certainly this is a failure. You’d better sell your Apple stock now. I’ll take it off your hands for a generous $100/share…

People do just die without any advance warning or with very short, very fast declines. It happens.

But I have to wonder, given Steve Jobs’ propensity to control everything about “the message,” Was his life supported just long enough to make it past Tuesday’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event?

If that were the case, that would only serve to strengthen my admiration for him, and to deepen my respect for his family.

His final bow, timed with perfection.

His last “one more thing,” delivered knowing he’d done what was right for Apple.

His family, knowing that the event would herald the end of his life.

Steve, “Thanks for coming.” We’re going to miss you.

Thought Different.



Steve Jobs Died Today.


Sweept: iPod nano with Multi-Touch. | Apple


Shawn Blanc points out the new homepage for the iPod nano with its animated Mickey Mouse watch face.

Worth noting is that the second hand is swept (i.e., it moves in less-than-one-second increments—5Hz, I think—just like a real mechanical movement watch) and that the minute and hour hands’ motions emulate that of a geartrain. That is, they, too, move with each tiny tick of the second hand, just as a real watch does. The motion is beautifully imperceptible, just like a real watch. It’s stunning.

On the other hand (ahem), the clocks on the Mac OS X Dashboard have driven me nuts for years. The programmers went to all the trouble to simulate the bounce in the second hand’s quartz-driven motion, but then update the minute and hour hands only at the top of the minute. That that detail made it through the scrutiny of other folks in the shop, or maybe even Steve himself, is surprising.

These nano guys got it right. Finally.

[via ShawnBlanc.net]

(For those of you arriving from ShawnBlanc.net, Welcome! Feel free to add my RSS feed to your newsreader. I post a fair mix of of Apple observations, Mac OS X Server experiences, and Conservative topics. I’m still ad free, supporting this on my own, and I’m not beholden to anybody but myself, so the mix of stuff you’ll see is pretty varied. In any case, posts are infrequent enough that you won’t be overwhelmed. And, as always, feel free to contact me however you like. I think there’s a link over there somewhere…)

Update - 10/11/2011

Correspondent Steve McDonald has this unfortunate bit of news:

Hi Bill and Shawn,

I thought you guys would be interested to know that while the iPod nano website guys got it right with the sweeping hour and minute hands, the iPod nano application guys did not: the hour and minute hands only update at the top of the minute on the nano itself. (So you don’t have to ask, yeah, this is with the brand new nano).

Seems odd to make the effort to have the second hand sweep and then just not bother with the other hands.


Sorely disappointed, I am.

However, this hint over at Mac OS X Hints tells us how to make a web clipping for the dashboard of the Mickey Mouse watch, complete with smoothly-moving hands. Give it a try. (I haven’t yet, so you’ll be the first!)