Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hotel WIFI

I have been travelling and staying in hotels recently, while giving training courses in Apache Cocoon.

I stayed in Lincoln for a week, at the disgusting Travel Inn on Canwick Hill. Nasty, ugly, bland, expensive bad food. The crowning insult, being forced to pay £70 for a week's worth of poor WIFI usage in my room. Not only the ridiculous price, but it forced me to re-log in all the time!!

Why do hotels charge for WIFI?
Do we get separate bills for clean sheets, water, electricity?
WIFI should be seen as a service that comes with your bill like any other.

I just got back from giving a course in Brighton.
I stayed at the extremely fun Hotel Pelirocco in Regency Square.
Totally opposite to the Travel Inn experience, a fun, friendly, wacky place ...... each room a different theme, I stayed in the Bowery room, dedicated to the performance artist Leigh Bowery, decorated by his wife and the Kinky Girls' room, complete with handy bondage gear (though not exactly my taste : )

And the other big difference?
I get to my room, wake up my mac and it instantly connects to their free WIFI.

MacOSX Finder Bugs

There is a very nasty bug in MacOSX Finder, it has caught two of my friends out now ......

I have several non-computer-savvy friends who have started using Macs, I help them with their systems.

I get a phone call saying "All my files have disappeared !!! HELP !!!!", with the implication "You feckwit I thought you said Macs were more reliable !!".

After some discussion, trying to wheedle out of them what they did, I hear that they used the Finder to change the name of their Home Folder. The stupid Finder lets the user do this, and nothing bad happens, until they restart.

When they log in again, using their old credentials, the home folder for that user name no longer exists, a new one is automatically made, and lo and behold, it appears like they have lost everything.

The Users section of the NetInfo database still contains the path to the old user folder name, changing the name in the Finder does not update NetInfo.
The Finder should NOT LET YOU DO THIS!!!!!

The next big source of "I have lost my files" horror, is new users moving or renaming stuff in their iPhoto or iTunes library using the Finder.

Both of these problems could be fixed in the Finder ......

First, renaming the user home should not be possible from the Finder, as doing so is 100% guaranteed to break your system.
Secondly, the iTunes and iPhoto libraries should by default be treated as Packages, not folders (then if a savvy user legitimately needs to browser those folders, they can still get in).

Please get to it Apple.
We need a fix for Panther and Tiger ASAP !!