Sierra and my Printer

One of the most successful1 articles on my static site has been created as the result of taking notes while fixing the installation of a printer driver for my Dell laser printer while running the El Capitan beta.

Frankly, I was expecting that the issue went away after the product release of El Capitan. I was expecting that driver developers would quickly find a way to provide a seamless installation experience in the times of System Integrity Protection (SIP).

I was more than surprised that this article sparked such a resonance. And I was even more surprised to learn from commenters that the issue obviously persisted long after the product release.

Naturally, I was having mixed feelings when ticking the list of actions for the installation of my new computer, and “install printer driver” came closer and closer.

I went to Dell’s website and downloaded the latest driver for my C1765NFW printer. I started the installation and everything went its way just smoothly.

The printer started printing and I was relieved to see that I didn’t have to apply my own recipe to get the stupid thing behave properly.

So that problem thankfully seems to have gone for good.

  1. In terms of the number of commenters. 

This is Brilliant

Ben Brooks about a new policy for using the overhead bins in United’s fleet:

United has a new ticket fare, where no luggage is included in the price (except what fits at your feet). If you want overhead bin space, or to check, you pay. I actually love this, though I would much rather checked luggage be free and overhead charged for everyone.

If you have been on a flight recently (say last 3-4 years) then you likely know how big of a shit show it is when you board a plane. There’s so many people with bags that are clearly too large to carry on, or people with clearly too many bags. Tons of gate checking — in all I think people not following rules, add tremendously to the overall boarding time.

This is a brilliant idea, if you want my opinion. Here’s why: until recently, I used to wait in line to board the aircraft as early as possible in order to catch a space in the overhead bins for my stuff.

No longer. I’ve stopped putting my moderately sized Synapse 25 into the overhead bin after flight attendants (I kid you not) started to yank it out again to make space for the luggage of people who obviously don’t care about rules1.

And, yes, Ben is right: it usually takes an unnecessary amount of time for people to walk around the aircraft, desperately seeking for a vacant spot overhead.

I’ve witnessed (extreme) cases where this dance was going on for at least ten minutes until everyone got a place for their stuff2. Sure, ten minutes are not that much but ten minutes can make you miss your connection flight for no other reason than the selfishness of other people.

Personally, I’d be curious to see how the luggage situation develops if (more) airlines started to charge for carry-on luggage that is too big for putting it under the seat in front of you.

On the bright side, not even wanting a spot in the overhead bin makes a big difference for me: boarding is suddenly so much more relaxed.

  1. Come on! For at least the last five years, the carriers that I usually fly leave totally no room for interpretation regarding the number and size of allowed carry-on luggage. 
  2. After all, there are only so many bins and luggage must be stowed for departure. 

Using the Kindle app for Audio

I listen to podcasts nearly every day, and I think I have a pretty good feeling how playing podcast episodes impacts the battery life on my devices.

That’s why I was stunned to see what happened to my battery after a modest amount1 of time spent listening to an audio book played by the Kindle App on iOS.

There’s a word for what the Kindle app did to my battery of my plus-caliber iPhone, and the word is slaughter. Within said time period the charging level went from well above 50% down to 8%.

And, as could be expected, it gets significantly worse if the audio goes to the internal speaker.

I did a quick search on the Internet, and indeed found complaints about the Kindle app’s impact on battery life here and there. But these were mostly years old and probably do not represent reliable data points for the current app.

I guess I’ll finish the book reading …

Update (2016-12-03)

Predictably, I tried the Kindle app again, trying to verify the astonishing effect of the first time. This time, the loss of battery life was way less pronounced, and not even close to the frustrating result of my first try.

Therefore, I can’t help but come to the preliminary conclusion that my experience must have been a fluke, despite the fact that I really didn’t do anything else with my phone than listening to the audio book.

Whatever happened during that period, it does not seem as if the Kindle app could be blamed for it. The book is not finished, so maybe there will be further opportunities to either reproduce my initial impression or get reassurance that it was just a one-time effect.

  1. Around an hour, if I remember correctly.