El Capitan es una mierda

… or to put it in English: Mac OS X 10.11 – called „El Capitan“ sucks. Now while you won’t see much of the changes in your everyday life, if you are just an email, internet and office application user – once you drill down a bit, there are a huge bunch of problems.

First, and that is one that deeply annoys me: Photos. Before Yosemite there was iPhoto which was pretty neat already, with all the functions that a hobby photographer would enjoy – face recognition, tags, meta data information, a map pinpointing every photo you took (you could actually click on it and then click on the location and see all photos). It was great.
If you wanted more: Aperture was the power app – being basically like iPhoto, but allowing for more and specialized photo editing, support of multiple libraries, etc.

All that was gone with the last updates. Instead of iPhoto and Aperture, Apple decided to introduce Photos. It is basically the same app that runs on iPhone, and besides a minimum basic things it does not allow you to do anything. All the cool features from iPhoto and Aperture are missing. And while Photos might be great on an mobile device – on a laptop or stationary device this sucks. No album support, just the zoom in and out into a stream of photos, hardly any editing support, no batch support (I mean, wtf? You seriously believe that Aperture users will dig this?). But it get’s worse. While first applauding the simplicity and pointing out that now you only need to know one app, that works on all devices the same – with El Capitan they introduce new features, that distinguishes the OS X version from the mobile version again. And guess what. A few selected features that we knew from Photos and Aperture are now being sold as new innovative ideas. NOW you can filter your photos by location – seriously? Who the hell are you trying to kid, Apple?!

So the new features in El Capitan are – hold your hats – the ability to add and edit location information, to edit meta data in batches, and they re-introduced the sidebar with some „new“ features, including – finally – the ability to have third party editing plug-ins if you are not happy with the limited filters, Apple provide.

But actually I digress. I didn’t want to talk about Photos, and if you are interested in that, there is a tons of places on the net, where professional photographers that where content with iPhoto and Aperture express their feelings towards the new Photos.

Although I handle a lot of photos, that is just a hobby, and if there is some serious editing needed there are alternatives like Photoshop.

SERIOUS: Update your iDevice and don’t use Safari!

In case you haven’t heard: There is a SERIOUS Bug in iOS/OS X, which is affecting SSL/TSL and basically rendering it ineffective. SSL/TSL is used to encrypt and protect data send via secure connections, e.g. using HTTPS to shop with Amazon, or for your online banking, or sending your passwords encrypted to the networks, e.g. Mail passwords, etc. You are especially vulnerable if you’re outside your secured network (e.g. office or home network), i.e. in a shared network, such as wireless hotspots, mobile network, etc.

Both iOS and OS X are affected, for iOS Apple has already released patches, and they even include the devices that are officially not supported anymore, i.e. 3GS and iPod Touch. For those devices you are to UPDATE to version 6.1.6, all newer devices are to UPDATE to version 7.0.6.

Unfortunately for OS X the patch is still developed, so here you’ll want to check your software status regularly and untill then DO NOT use the Safari browser. You’ll be fine using Firefox, Opera or Chrome, which offer their own implementation of SSL/TSL.

Other applications affected are:

• Calendar
• Facetime
• Keynote
• Mail
• iBooks
• Software Update

Or to put it short: all Apple software (and third-party software using the Apple Security Framework) that provides ways to connect to servers. It should be relatively safe using these applications at home, but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use them in wireless networks that other people can use as well, i.e. anywhere outside your secured home network.

Non-breakable Space Problems

On OS X and apparently also some Unix-based machines you may have encountered a strange behaviour (in my experience especially on Laptop keyboards). On the shell it sometimes might just happen that you pipe something and get an error message. E.g.

pygospa@lalaith ~ % ls -ahl | grep .log
zsh: command not found:  grep

Retyping it may then bring you:

pygospa@lalaith ~ % ls -ahl | grep .log
-rw-r--r--    1 pygospa  staff    54B 15 Nov 11:55 tmux-client-8140.log
-rw-r--r--    1 pygospa  staff    24K 15 Nov 11:55 tmux-server-8142.log

So, what just happened? To me this actually happens so seldom that I never even bothered to try understanding. Therefore I often encountered another problem wich started annoying me. When editing a TeX-File, every now and then I got this error message:

! Package inputenc Error: Unicode char \u8:  not set up for use with LaTeX.
l.193 \end{align*}


I discovered that rewriting (not copying!) the line does some good. So it had to be some non-printing control character, and after searching for “OS X, Latex \u8 error” (I initially assumed that it must be an OS X thing, as I never encountered it in LaTeX on my Linux days – I now assume that it’s rather a Keyboard thing) I found a quick and dirty solution to it, adding this line:

\DeclareUnicodeCharacter{00A0}{ }

So the non-visible Unicode sequence was overwritten with a space. And thus I was never bothered again when editing LaTeX.

But now, while writing some RSpecs for a Ruby on Rails project I am working on it occurred again, and in RSpec there’s no quick and dirty solution that can be written into some preamble to fix an input error.