The Just-Works Edition Tuesday, April 28, 2020

No, The Best Doesn’t Win, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

People — and I’m including myself — tend to overthink why some companies and products last and others wither. Being the first or even the best at something may not matter.

Simplicity is the overlooked secret to success. “It just works” are magic words.

Six Lessons Learned From Dealing With An iMac's Dead SSD, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

There it was, Wednesday evening, and I was working hard to finish something for the day. Then I received an email from Watchman Monitoring, an essential tool used by sysadmins and consultants to keep track of Macs under their care, telling me about disk errors on my 2014 27-inch iMac’s SSD.

That was concerning, so I finished what I was doing, restarted in macOS Recovery by rebooting while holding down Command-R, launched Disk Utility, started First Aid, and went to make dinner, and promptly forgot about it. The next morning, however, I checked the iMac and discovered that First Aid had failed with an error -69842. Another try (which took longer than it should have) failed with the same error. I could find no indication of what that error meant, but Apple’s support documentation was pretty clear about the next step being a reformat and restore. At some point in that process, I booted the iMac successfully again, just long enough for Watchman Monitoring to send an even more ominous warning.

No Idea What to Expect

Apple's iPhones Got Hit By The Coronavirus. Now We'll Learn How Bad, by Ian Sherr, CNET

On Thursday, Apple will go from ringing the alarm to sharing the details when it releases its fiscal second-quarter results. Unlike in years past, investors have no idea what to expect. Many companies have withdrawn any guidance they gave to Wall Street, merely saying Apple won't meet whatever numbers they'd offered before.

Apple Retail Chief Sees ‘Many More’ Store Reopenings In May, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc.’s retail chief told staff that she expects the company to reopen “many more” of its retail stores in May after closing all locations outside of China in March due to Covid-19.

Deirdre O’Brien, vice president of retail and people, made the disclosure in a weekly video update, according to retail employees familiar with the matter. She didn’t specify which stores or regions, but said “we are continuing to analyze this health situation in every location, and I do expect we will reopen up many more stores in May.” The company declined to comment.

Apple Park Will Have To Change, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

These kinds of encounters in open plan office space designs really don’t seem so desirable now that enterprises and employees must learn to live with COVID-19. When almost anyone can carry the virus, spread it, and die as a result, encouraging teams to mingle and co-mingle no longer seems a good a plan.

This is going to demand major design transformations across most working spaces —and this must be part of the response to the disease. Even the most cynical business executive (and I’m sure there’s a few) will recognize that training staff costs money, so you want to protect the ones you’ve got.


PSA: iPhone SE's Haptic Touch Doesn't Work With Notifications And It's Not A Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

On the 2020 ‌iPhone‌ SE, long pressing on a notification in the Notification Center or on the Lock screen does not appear to bring up rich notification options to allow ‌iPhone‌ SE users to interact with incoming content.

Today At Apple Performances You Can Watch At Home For Musical Inspiration, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Flagship stores around the world would normally be hosting musicians, photographers, artists, activists and more to share their creativity. These sessions are not typically recorded by Apple to be made available online later, but session attendees and artist friends often document the performances and upload their own videos.

Below, I’ve curated a playlist of some of the best Today at Apple Performances and Labs hosted by rising and established musicians that are available to watch online. From DJ beats to traditional Chinese instrumentation, there’s something new for everyone to learn at home.

HBO Max To Launch May 27 On Apple Devices; Current App Store Customers To Get Free Upgrade, by Brad Gibson, Cult of Mac

HBO Max will be available on all Apple devices when it launches on May 27 and will be fully integrated with the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV, WarnerMedia announced Monday.

Apple and WarnerMedia also announced that that existing HBO Now customers, billed through the App Store, and HBO subscribers who subscribe through ‌Apple TV‌ channels, will be upgraded to HBO Max at no additional charge.


NHS Rejects Apple-Google Coronavirus App Plan, by Leo Kelion, BBC

The UK's coronavirus contact-tracing app is set to use a different model to the one proposed by Apple and Google, despite concerns raised about privacy and performance.

The NHS says it has a way to make the software work "sufficiently well" on iPhones without users having to keep it active and on-screen.

Bottom of the Page

Last night, I woke up just after midnight, and made the mistake of just-take-a-glance-at-my-work-email-inbox, and couldn't get back to sleep until a few hours later. :-(

Lesson relearnt.


Thanks for reading.