my apple attitude today

It’s been a while since I purchased anything from Apple. With the exception of my 16″ 2019 MacBook Pro, which was purchased in 2020 to support my consulting work, I’ve not purchased anything from Apple since I purchased my iPhone 11 Pro Max in September 2019. That was the last new item. I’ve got an Apple Watch Series 3 I picked up heavily (really heavily) discounted in 2017. Apple is currently selling Series 6. I’ve got a couple of iPad Pros (9 and 12 inchers) that were purchased well past their release dates because they were on sale and because they still had the buttons at the bottom and 3.5mm headphone jacks.

Nothing spectacular, but even so, and even with heavy discounts, still expensive relative to other vendors. All except the Apple Watch; the Android Watch equivalents are all pretty much garbage, with Google essentially abandoning Wear OS.

My biggest complaint continues to be the sloppy software that runs on everything. Take iOS for example. I still have to reboot my iPhone because it’s the only way to get Shortcuts to work when Shortcuts decides to not work. It’s the only way from time to time to get Siri to make hands-free calls when attached to my car and using Apple Car Play. I have issues with it recognizing my aging AirPods from time to time, which is fixed either by repeating a pairing with my iPhone, or else, in one case, you guessed it, rebooting my iPhone.

But damn, when I try to consider using Windows 10 or Linux desktop or Android, they’re as bad (Windows) if not worse (Linux and Android) than Apple equivalents. I’ll probably stay with Apple and its various operating systems not because they’re better, but because the alternatives are so much more worse.

And while you’re here, listen to Linus tell you why Linux desktop sucks. It’s enlightening.

dealing with buggy software: visual studio code rendering issue

Ubuntu 20.04.2 running as a full desktop VM within Parallels on macOS 11.2.2

I have for some time now been running multiple versions of Linux as VMs on my 2019 MacBook Pro via Parallels. Up to this point everything has run smoothly. Until recently, that is, with Visual Studio Code. For whatever reason, something was altered within VSCode that causes it to completely render the display either as you see it above, or if I resize the window, as a red-only window with the white, in which the black is replaced with red. I at least traced to the release where the problem did not occur to 1.52.1, the November 2020 release. Every release since then has exhibited this problem.

Normally I’d take this as something of a challenge and try to find and fix the issue, but before I decided to dive in and look into it I fired up a RHEL 8.3 VM. I had VSCode installed on it and I needed to do some rather quick code work inside VSCode. I have all my VMs sharing common data using a folder on the Mac so it’s rather easy to keep data and source code easily synced. Unfortunately the same problem reared its ugly head on the RHEL VM.

I believe that there is something unique about the current release of VSCode that causes it to improperly render when running within a Parallels Linux VM.

In the mean time I’ve dropped back to VSCode 1.52.1 and blocked it from being updated. I’ve also built and installed Emacs 28, just like I did on the Nvidia Xavier under Ubuntu 18.04. If this problem remains unsolved in VSCode then it looks like I’ll stick with Emacs.