Backup software that doesn’t back up—by design

Update 2018-01-23: Arq support has announced the release of version 5.11 with background validation, obsoleting some of the concerns in this post. 😁 Further comments below.

Sorry for the clickbait headline, but this is important. As of this writing, I’m watching in horrified fascination as Arq Backup validates an 8.8 TB backup set on Amazon Cloud Drive. It started on March 6th at 02:00 and is not close to being finished. Arq has been validating for over 4 days(!) and probably won’t finish until the 7th day, when it will rest. 😏

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Canadian Blood “Services”

2017-02-11 & 14: See updates below.

It’s been over a month since I contacted Canadian Blood Services with a complaint about a 45 minute delay during my appointment. Appointments serve no purpose if you don’t even come close to meeting the scheduled time. I was told, “…someone will follow up with you again shortly…”.

This is the third time I’ve had to file a complaint on different matters with CBS since 2005, one being a serious privacy issue that got their lawyers involved and resulted in major changes to donor privacy rules. Each time I was promised a quick reply. Each time I was ignored until I nagged them. Well, I haven’t nagged them this time yet. I’m giving them extra time due to the holidays, but come on … three weeks into January and you can’t respond to a regular donor’s concerns?!

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Is Apple killing macOS automation?

Here is the feedback I left Apple …

I see you essentially fired Sal Soghoian and without further comment from you it looks like you’re saying that the future of automation on the Mac is dead. Your strategy to purge pros from your customer base continues to progress on schedule.

No Mac Pro updates, no Mac mini updates, laughable MacBook “Pro” updates, a Server app that keeps getting dumbed down each release, USB disks that don’t mount on Sierra, no major enhancements to AppleScript and Automator that pros depend on. Hell, you don’t even fix the outstanding bugs.

I just wish Tim had the balls to come out and say, “Dear pros, seriously, WTF? We don’t want you anymore. You won’t let us commit product lunacy without whining. Get lost. Just leave. Ingrates.”

Is @JonyIveParody your official account now?

Apple’s Genius Bar rips off my daughter for thousands of dollars

Back in March my daughter called to tell me her 2012 MacBook Pro would only boot so far before powering down. After running the usual tests like booting into Recovery Mode and using Disk Utility to try to repair the disk, which said it couldn’t, it became clear that more extensive intervention was required. Since she’s 3600 km away I told her to take it to the Genius Bar.

They told her the disk was not repairable and that she had to buy a new one. Apple charged her $250 for a 1 TB drive including installation. A 1 TB bare drive is about $100 so Apple was charging $150 for a 10 minute job. Well, there was nothing I could do about it so she had to accept it. Fortunately, she had a recent Time Machine backup and could restore to the new drive. They originally kept the old drive but I told her to retrieve it because it had sensitive information and I didn’t trust Apple’s disposal procedures.

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Rogers billing saga and it’s only my first bill!

I left TekSavvy in late September because Rogers was offering 2.5 times the speeds of my TSI plan and unlimited data for just $3/month extra. From past history I knew there were going to be billing problems because that’s the only thing Rogers excels at. So here’s what has happened with just my first bill (so far):

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TekSavvy lost a customer today

… partially due to a disconnect between their front-line agents and their retention department.

I have 45/4/400 $62 service with TekSavvy (TSI), and Rogers offered 100/10/unl for $65, but with a 2-year lock-in.

After tweeting that out I was told by TSI’s Twitter account that they could not price match.screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-14-46-54
I called TSI’s sales department and they reiterated that they will not price match and they made no other offer to retain me. They didn’t offer to knock a few bucks off, bump my service for a good price, increase my data cap (0 cost since I’ve never maxed out), or even lock in my current price so I wouldn’t have to worry about a price increase after Rogers’ offer expired, which would have added insult to injury. TSI made rumblings earlier this year that they were going to raise rates but they didn’t for my package. But I assumed I was living on borrowed time.

TSI offered nothing. They did not make me feel like a valued customer.

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The problem with reporting aggressive driving

You may have seen signs on the road asking you to call 9-1-1 to report impaired drivers, or the following image tweeted out by Ottawa Police asking us to “Report aggressive driving.”:


There’s one major flaw that the signs and poster don’t warn you about. You need to have a description of the driver. Trying to get that description could put you in danger. Here are all the requirements to report an aggressive driver.

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1000/500/unlimited for €40

… but not in Canada.

In Finland they offer 1 Gbps down, 500 Mbps up, unlimited data for a measly €40 (CA$57.52) per month. Skip to 1:53.

I’m currently paying TekSavvy $62 for just 45/4/400. This is an obscene amount of money, but it’s still better than the telecartels for those speeds.

The Bell telecartel in Canada offers 940/100/unl for $150, just three times the price for one fifth the upstream bandwidth.Bell Gbps

The Rogers telecartel offers 1000/50/unl for $150, yes … just one tenth(!) the upstream bandwidth for three times the price as Finland.Rogers Gbps

macOS Sierra’s nickname is…

I try to give the latest OS X an “affectionate” nickname because the reality seldom matches the promise. Remember when Snow Leopard was supposed to be mainly a bug fix version of the truly awful Leopard. I do. It was so bad I nicknamed it, “Yellow Snow Leopard” for obvious reasons.

El KabongLion became Lyin’, Mountain Lion became Cougar because it was a tired old OS with some lipstick and a new hairdo, but my favourite was El Capitan that I refer to as El Kabong, channeling one of my favourite cartoon characters, Quickdraw McGraw’s alter-ego (remember QuickDraw?).

Now that Apple is dropping OS X for macOS with the 2016 version being called macOS Sierra, I must come up with another nickname. I will give Sierra a chance to prove that it’s unlike its predecessors and is really a stable OS, but that’s highly unlikely given Apple’s track record.

I used to have a great dog, part German Shepherd, part Collie that we named, Sierra. I don’t want that name tarnished by another crappy OS so…

…should the need arise, macOS Sierra will be referred to as macOS Siooma.