This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



May 2024

Curmudgeon’s Corner: One Thousand Likes

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about Sam’s son’s trip to the doctor, they respond to a bunch of listener feedback, talk a bit about Apple and Nancy Reagan, and then finally jump into Election 2016. Within that topic they cover the charges of Trump inciting violence, the delegate math, what might happen at a contested convention, explanations for the Sanders win in Michigan… and more!

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2016-03-12

Length this week – 1:38:06

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:16:37) But First
    • Delayed Show
    • Agenda
    • Alex Doctor Visit
    • Alex Test Results
  • (0:17:25-0:43:53) Feedback!
    • Feedback Format
    • Jenn on which nomination process Sam should do
    • Bruce on which nomination process Sam should do
    • Richard on a show format suggestion
    • Jon on Gary Johnson
    • Matt on Kanye
    • Edward on Trump
  • (0:44:32-0:57:47) Mini Lightning Round
    • Alex’s iPad
    • Alex’s YouTube Channel
    • Upcoming Apple Event
    • Snowden on Apple vs FBI
    • Nancy Reagan
  • (0:58:28- 1:36:24) Election 2016
    • Trump inciting violence?
    • Trump salutes?
    • Delegate Math
    • Contested Convention
    • Sanders Michigan Win
    • Ivan’s Vote

Curmudgeon’s Corner: A Groundswell of Begging

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner we apologize for last week’s show, then jump right in on Election 2016 analysis. We cover Biden’s exit and the results of last week’s debate, and what all that means for Clinton. Then we move on to the Republicans, talking about Trump’s staying power, how the only one close to him is Carson of all people, and how Bush is crashing and burning. With the Presidential race out of the way, we spend some time on Paul Ryan and the race for Speaker. Then finally in our lightning round we hit Back to the Future Day, iPads and iPhones, the hospital bombing in Afghanistan, book and movie reviews, and more!

Click to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2015-10-22

Length this week – 1:32:48

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:09:08) But First
    • Sounds Ivan makes
    • Allergy Meds
    • Making fun of Ivan falling asleep
    • Forced Break
    • Future Debates
    • Agenda
  • (0:10:09-0:21:49) The Democrats
    • Biden Out
    • Debate Results
    • Clinton’s Position
    • Sad for Joe
  • (0:22: 53-0:56:17) The Republicans
    • Debate Demands
    • Trump not going away
    • Trump vs Bush
    • Efforts to stop Trump
    • Trump in the general?
    • Thinning the crowd
    • The Republican Split
  • (0:56:56-1:11:18) Speaker of the House
    • Future Sam Disclaimer
    • Ryan’s Conditions
    • Ryan’s Options
    • Ryan the RINO
    • Weakened Ryan?
  • (1:12:07-1:32:28) Lightning Round
    • Back to the Future Day
    • iPad vs big iPhone
    • Car bluetooth issue
    • US hospital bombing
    • Apple Music Subscriber Numbers
    • Movie: Mud
    • Book: The Son Also Rises

Today’s Apple Stuff and Lack of Timely Obsolescence

I told myself recently that if I found myself starting to send out a series of tweets expressing my thoughts on some subject, I should just do a blog post instead, cause that is what it is for after all. And I recently compared my blog from today to my blog from several years ago, and I noticed that I used to actually make real blog posts all the time, and it is very rare today, and I miss that old blog. And I have time today. So here goes.

Yosemite: I’m going to be installing this later today probably. I sometimes wait a little while on updates, but I’m home, I have time, why not. I am a bit sad that my iMac (a Late 2009 27-inch) is too old for Continuity, which is one of the big new things. That feature DOES seem nice. But I’ll see how it goes without that.

New iPads: Looks nice. And I do want touch-ID. But I have a just under two year old iPad at the moment (uh, modulo replacements for breaking the screen), and I have yet to hit something that I want to do with it that it can’t do. It is working fine for me. I’m not yet at the point where I feel really anxious to upgrade.

New iMacs: My 2009 iMac definitely shows the fact that it is almost five years old. In the past I have operated on a four year replacement cycle. My iMac was “due” in 2013. It wasn’t in the cards for budget reasons. (I got a car at the end of 2012 instead.) I was really anxious and performance was bad. Since then the upgrade to Mavericks, plus moving a bunch of stuff off the primary drive to external drives has given the old thing a new lease on life. It is still quirky and sometimes frustratingly slow. There are some games Alex would like to play (I’m looking at you Trainz Simulator 2!) that just perform really badly on this old hardware. But, but, it basically does the things I actually use it for regularly. I do my podcast, I work with my photos, I work on my website stuff, I watch some streaming video, I do email, I look at twitter. Those things comprise 95%+ of what I actually use my desktop for these days. And those things still work. (Much of my “just reading stuff on the web” use has moved to the iPad.) Given this, as much as it would be awesome to upgrade, it will be hard to justify.

OK, and even though it was last month, not today, the new iPhones: Same here basically. The new iPhones are cool. We’ve updated every other generation for years. I still don’t have touch ID and I want it. But again, my current phone is basically working, and aside from being jealous on the Touch ID, there isn’t much on the new ones that makes me feel like I *must* upgrade.

There is clearly a theme here. Last time I updated my iMac and last time I updated my iPhone, similar lengths of time had passed, but I was distinctly feeling limited and frustrated by the old devices. I felt I *needed* to upgrade. At this point I don’t feel that yet. It would be *nice* to upgrade, of course. But I don’t have that feeling where I feel like I will be suffering if I don’t.

It seems like, at least for me, things are moving from an “upgrade every X years because by then your old equipment will be barely hanging on and you need to” to more like an “upgrade when it breaks” mode, with maybe a caveat in there for “or when you have some extra money and want to treat yourself”.

Is this just me and my own family’s situation and use case? Or is this widespread? Is the hardware getting to the point where it is good enough that for most people these things can last much longer than they used to? Will the phone replacement cycle start moving from two years to three? Or even more? A computer more than four years old used to feel crippled and unable to keep up with what was wanted of it. Is that less so now? Will it be reasonable to keep these old things running 5 or 6 years or more?

Of course, some of this depends on how you push your computers and what you do with them. If you were just doing simple word processing, you could still conceivably use a 1970’s or 1980’s era computer to do it. If you were satisfied to keep doing the things the way they were done back then that is. If you only ever do with a device exactly the things you did with it on the day you bought it, then you can use it that way as long as it physically doesn’t stop working. It is the new things that tax the old equipment.

Maybe I’m just not seeing the “killer app” yet that forces the upgrade from any of the older equipment. Or maybe I am seeing it, and I’m just an old curmudgeon that just doesn’t think any of it is as compelling as other folks do.

When I install Yosemite in a bit, and it turns out I’m constantly wanting the features it can’t run because my computer is too old, maybe I’ll start thinking about that. When there is a major OS release that the old device can’t support, maybe that is when the issue gets forced. Yosemite supports back to the Mid-2007 iMacs. iOS 8 supports back to the iPhone 4s and the iPad 2.

I admit, if a major new software release came out, and I just couldn’t upgrade at all, I think I’d feel like the time had come. I have some old devices lying around that aren’t up to date on the software, but none of them are primary use devices.

Anyway, budgets are tight these days. If I had tons of extra, maybe I’d upgrade regardless. But at the moment, the question is, “do I *need* to”. And as of today, for hardware anyway, the answer appears to be “No”.

Pics from May 2014


2014-05-01 01:50 – Climbing a whale at Seattle Center


2014-05-01 02:02 – Surveying the world from the top


2014-05-02 00:40 – What Alex does at a playground… clearly my kid.


2014-05-02 01:22 – Of course that changes once we hit the sand


2014-05-02 23:55 – Spring is time for dandelions.


2014-05-03 03:54 – There was a birthday party at a skating rink. That didn’t go so smoothly. We will have to try again someday.


2014-05-03 20:41 – But a portal shirt makes Alex happy again


2014-05-03 21:21 – Well, at least until haircut time


2014-05-04 22:20 – New day, and it is time for a trip to the zoo, where Grandma Ruth explains warthogs!


2014-05-04 22:34 – Why is mom holding me?


2014-05-04 22:44 – The siamang always seems a little sad


2014-05-04 22:50 – Brandy spends a lot of time with the siamangs, they have been her favorites for years


2014-05-04 23:00 – Walking in the rain


2014-05-04 23:28 – The carousel was a little scary at first


2014-05-05 00:25 – But it was much better the second time around


2014-05-05 00:37 – Then we looked at the penguins, or did they look at us?


2014-05-05 00:53 – Grandma Ruth watches too


2014-05-05 00:57 – While this guy contemplates the sky


2014-05-05 01:43 – After the zoo it was time for dinner, and Alex wanted to know why I was still taking pictures


2014-05-05 01:50 – Working on Trainz Simulator on his iPad, as he often does during dinner


2014-05-05 03:38 – Then out like a light as soon as we were in the car


2015-05-13 20:06 – Back at home, Alex torments the dog as usual


2014-05-22 05:28 – It is me Roscoe decides to cuddle with though


2014-05-25 02:08 – Another day finds Alex whispering secrets into Amy’s ear


2014-05-27 00:02 – Alex made a point of dragging me outside to the back yard to take a picture of this nest of baby spiders


2014-05-27 00:10 – Roscoe lounges as Alex plays in a large box he had carefully braced with toys so it wouldn’t fall over


2014-05-27 00:10 – Seconds later, it does of course fall over, right next to Roscoe. Roscoe doesn’t even blink, let alone move.


2014-05-27 00:13 – Roscoe is used to these shenanigans, and is not going to worry about it. Not at all.


2014-05-27 00:17 – Goofing for the camera


2014-05-27 03:07 – Roscoe really is incredibly patient with Alex. So here he wears shades, because Alex wanted him to.


2014-05-30 04:01 – Even on Mom’s shoulders, it is still iPad time.

Latest iPad Destruction













Curmudgeon’s Corner: Something to Contribute

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Feedback / iPad Smash / Bitcoin Update
  • Budget Deal
  • Some NSA Stuff
  • Beyonce Ramifications

Recorded on 17 Dec 2013

Length this week – 1:17:52

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So, last evening as I do many times each week, I made sure Alex was hanging on to my iPad (which he had been using, as he often does) and I unstrapped him and pulled him out of my car. I completely forgot that the iPad had been low on batteries, so I’d plugged it in. So when I pulled Alex out of the car, since the iPad was plugged in, and iPads don’t have MagSafe like Apple laptops do, the iPad was basically violently yanked out of his hands. From there it of course went flying in a nice arc constrained by the cord, smashed against the side of the car, then onto the asphalt parking lot face down. Alex looked shocked. I said “Oh no!”. Then when I picked it up, of course the whole front face was shattered.

I told Alex it was completely my fault (it was) and that I was very sorry, but it was broken. He immediately started bawling inconsolably. For the next 15 minutes or so. It is “my” iPad, but he uses it all the time and loves it. I told him we would take it in right away and get it fixed or replaced. He was still inconsolable. He was worried that we might lose some of his games. Not just the games themselves, but the saved levels he has been accumulating. For the last month or so he has been carefully building new worlds and train arrangements in Trainz Simulator and saving dozens and dozens of them. I told him I would make sure everything was all backed up and that we wouldn’t lose anything.

Normally I would have been very upset myself about this, but he was so upset I didn’t have time to be upset for myself. So right now I’m going through the process of making sure I have triple redundant backups of the iPad (both on iCloud and a couple copies on my computer) so that Brandy can take it in to the Apple store later today, where it will get swapped out for a new one I am sure. Then when I get home from work I’ll do a restore from the encrypted local backup so that hopefully EVERYTHING will be restore to exactly the current state. (It is now on airplane mode to ensure nothing comes into it to change the state after the backup currently in progress.)

Thank goodness for AppleCare+. This is my second screen smashing incident in just under 12 months though, so I’ve used up my allowance after this time. Next time it gets smashed, the cost to deal with it will be just a TAD more.



Curmudgeon’s Corner: Gladiatorial Combat

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam, Ivan and Bruce talk about:

  • Mortgage Refinancing / Election Update / EV-PV Split?
  • More on Polls / Hurricane Sandy
  • Sandy Election Effects / Ballots / Worst Case Scenarios
  • Surface / BYODevice / Windows 8 / iPad Mini

Recorded on 28 Oct 2012

Length this week – 1:28:25

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: A Show About Nothing

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Slow Summer / Baby Prep / Latch Key Kids / Higgs Boson / Lost Knowledge
  • Mac Switchers / Old Computers / New Computer Setup
  • iPad Mini Rumors

Recorded on 8 Jul 2012

Length this week – 1:01:52

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Oops a Daisey

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Election 2012
  • New iPad Launch
  • Iran / Syria
  • TAL Retraction

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 18 Mar 2012″]


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