Recharging my batteries

Since we got home from New York, life in our household has been both hectic and draining, so I was getting desperate for some R&R.

Yesterday I finally managed to get out for a walk and grab some caches. I went up Chesham way to do some more Chiltern Hundreds. I found 8 of those, 4 of these finds were caches I’d DNFd on previous visits which I was very pleased about; I also DNFd a new one! Ah well can’t win them all. I also found a Church Micro and a random Captain Jack.

It made a nice change to be out in the English countryside, if only for a few hours.

And when I got home my iPhone 6 had arrived. 🙂





There’s been a disturbance in the (Apple) force recently, due to Apple’s current Ad which seems to go against everything they’ve stood for in the past. Namely, giving owners “permission” to decorate their Apple products. For some, it seems a sacrilege to adorn one’s Mac with stickers, now here is Apple acknowledging that people like to personalise their Macs.

I love my MacBook Air, it’s my favourite bit of Apple kit after my iPhone. I like its clean lines, the unadulterated curve of the aluminium and would never adorn it with a sticker or (worse) a neon wrap. Still, plenty of people do. It’s a free country.

I just wonder if Steve Jobs is turning in his grave.


Website update

I’ve written a couple of geocaching/GPS guides from the Mac-user perspective. Most guides on the web seem to be for Windows users so I thought maybe something for MacIntosh users would prove useful for Apple geocachers. I may write some more. 😉

This gave me the excuse to rejig the site navigation so I’ve spent a while re-writing it with CSS-based menus, I’ve even gone so far as to develop a drop-down menu for the user guide pages. It took me a while but I think it works well and looks quite pretty too.

Anyway, have a look if you are interested:

Retina display

What I’d read about the new iPad Mini a while back seems to be true. Visiting an Apple Store today, I’ve finally had the opportunity to compare the “old” iPad Mini with the iPad Mini Retina display.

They’ve got them displayed on the same table so, as the store was fairly quiet, I was able to set an old mini and a retina model next to each other. With both models set to maximum brightness I selected the same image in the photo app on both, applying the same amount of zoom, etc. so the images were directly comparable.

Even with my less than perfect eyesight it was obvious that the image on the retina model was sharper. What was also discernible was that the colours on the non-retina model were more saturated. This is what I’d read in tech reviews so it was interesting to find that I could see the difference. That’s not to say the non-retina display wasn’t sharp enough, I personally think it would be for me anyway.

So, with apologies for starting a sentence with “So”, which would I buy? With the old model only being available with 16GB, if I think that’s enough storage for me then I’d get the old one. The cellular one is £70 less expensive that the retina model.



So, Mavericks is now on 2 of the Macs. I like the changes; pleased to see the back of the “faux” leather on the calendar app, etc., although I haven’t yet formed an opinion on the changes to Pages or Numbers. I’ve also held off setting up Keychain on iCloud. Call me old fashioned, I still find it somewhat unsettling to store all my logon credentials on someone else’s server.

I haven’t been out geocaching much. Whenever there’s been a day of decent weather it has coincided with some other activity. In fact my last find was about 10 days ago and that was mainly because it was a new cache very close to home and Skye needed a decent walk.

Meanwhile… emboldened by my success with tiling the kitchen floor, I have embarked on the next stage of the project – tiling the walls. This, as they say, is why we drink.


After updating my MacBook Air to 10.8.5, I read some interesting stuff on MacWorld about the update. Turns out it included the MacBook Air Software Update 1.0 – which was released on 18 July but was only available for Mid-2013 MBAs. This update included a fix for “an issue that in rare instances may cause an intermittent loss in wireless connectivity”. And that of course is the issue I had on my Mid 2012 MBA. Better late than never, I guess.

It explains why my WiFi has been robust since the update, anyway.

WiFi Woes

In my last post I mentioned that I’d been experiencing the WiFi dropouts which have been plaguing users of OS X 10.8.4. And that I thought I’d fixed it. Seems I spoke too soon; periodically I’ve found my MBA dropping the connection. In fact it has been getting bloody annoying. The Apple discussion forums have loads of threads on the subject, seems it’s an issue with 10.8.4 that  Apple has know about since June. Apparently it is affecting various Mac models but I’d only had it on my current MBA (the others were fine).

Anyway, I found some very promising fixes (see and was reading through these when System Update announced an OS X update. While it didn’t explicitly mention “my” bug, there were numerous bug fixes, including some WiFi ones so I thought maybe do the update first and see what happens. So I did that. And after a while the connection dropped again.

Now, (as you know) Mountain Lion has done away with the old way of installing updates, nowadays everything is done through the App Store (like Software Update but even more “nanny state”). Pre-App Store/Lion/Mountain Lion, installing the Combo version of an update would often cure all ills. Now, IT Admins with many Macs to update need the facility to download once and update many, don’t they? So the old school Combo Update method must still be available, huh?

So I went to Apple’s download site and found the Combo Update for 10.8.5 and, after saving a copy externally, doing the usual backups, permission repairs etc. I ran the update – it was just like the old days.

And so far it seems to have worked. Whatever the fix was, running the Combo seems to have made it stick. I’m still watching that fan icon for now. 😉

This week I has been mainly doing…

I swapped the diesel-guzzling Rang Rover Sport for my Freelander. Despite the fun I had driving the RRS it was a joy to get my own LR back.

On Wednesday evening they tested the new Buncefield Siren which is designed to warn the local populace of imminent catastrophe. Unfortunately we were out so we missed it. I hope it was suitably loud.

In a moment of madness I decided to tart up the woodwork on the rear elevation of our house. Not completed it yet. I hate DIY.

I’ve had an intermittent problem with my MacBook Air dropping its Wifi connection. According to  Apple discussions,  it’s something to do with the latest version of Mountain Lion (10.8.4). While we all wait for Apple to fix that, I decided to delete all the known networks from System Prefs and Keychain, I also renamed  ~/library/preferences/ (to force OS X to create a new one). Made no difference. A suggestion on the forum was to reset the SMC but I couldn’t see how that would help. Instead I reset the PRAM. That seems to have cured it.

And I haven’t yet been geocaching in September.

An eclectic week.