all your computers are belong to us

i used to love #computers and now i hate them — and they make me sad. here is why. (a work in progress ...) because of all the hoo-hah about the latest version of the macintosh operating system making it impossible to run any software unless it is able to contact the internet overlords to check if it's ok by them or not to do what you want with your computer, i decided to have a closer look at what the o/s i use (mojave) is doing behind the scenes ...

to do so you can purchase little snitch as i did (or run a trial for 30 days) and it's great but then you do a minor update of your o/s (from 10.13 high sierra to 10.14 mojave) and it wants you to pony up for an upgrade which is ...

ok i appreciate that independent software developers need to make a living but i have a limited amount of money and when i buy something i need it to work for a good amount of time.

for example my main writing software scrivener. i still run version 2, which i bought at least five years ago, and it works perfectly. there is a version 3 which has all kinds of nifty new features which i do not need or want and the developer is not forcing me to upgrade which i appreciate very much. and when i request support, they don't say, we no longer support version 2, you should upgrade to version 3.

so goodbye little snitch and hello vallum! it's made in italy :)

vallum does exactly what little snitch does or used to do :( for a third of the price (USD15) and it allows you to decide if and when to hand over your money. basically how it works is that every time some process wants to connect to the internet it asks you if it's ok or not. you can approve it or block it, for a day, two minutes, or forever. at first this is pretty annoying because there are a lot of processes that want to connect to various servers far and wide.

ok enough already. vallum's default setting is allow all of apple's processes to connect to whatever they want whenever they want. after all it's your operating system and the operating system is your friend. right? hmmm not so fast! i used to think my operating system was my friend until it began telling me what i could and couldn't do. up until and including mojave you could override these settings in various more or less hidden ways. but then, as of catalina (10.15), some of these options disappeared and apps, installers and extensions must be notarised by apple to run. that's like every time i want to do something in my house i have to get permission from the landlord or the bank.

this. is. bullshit.

but that is not the only reason i didn't upgrade to catalina. the other reason is that only 64 bit applications can run on it. this would mean that much of the software i use no longer works and i would have to pay for upgrades for no reason. for example i would have to purchase a new version of microsoft word which i rarely use but sometimes have to because some people insist on using it. i still run the version the university i worked for purchased for me in the year of our lord 2011. ha ha ... how simple life still was ten years ago. every time i start up word it complains and gives an error and it tells me i should quit but i don't and it works fine :)

so not my friend anymore.

but what of these processes. yes.

7-12-20 : when i said i hate computers, i mean computers in general, and the computer industry — not the computers i use and maintain.

a few days ago the battery in zayed, a 2013 macbook air 11”, which is the machine i use every day, died. i quickly did a full backup (using superduper) and installed it on my #2 machine, z52, a 2012 macbook air 11”, but the problem is that the web browser i use, which is set up in a highly idiosyncratic way, loses all its extensions in this backup/restore process.

i wondered if, as a procrastination tool, i should document my web browser set up but why would you waste your precious time on earth, of which only a little remains, doing that?

so maybe i should document the process of replacing zayed's battery which is something the manufacturer doesn't recommend doing yourself ha ha and it voids the warranty but the only warranty a seven year old machine has is the one you provide yourself. fixing hardware is not my thing but now i live with a young nurd who builds his own computers (and is thus scathing about macs but nevertheless willing to help) i would also like to upgrade the hard drives, or rather the ssds, in one of my other machines but first things first : to order a replacement battery and get zayed fully useable again.

to be continued