Why I Still Like Apple

It is easy to have a love/hate relationship with Apple. On one hand they make great products. On the other hand, they control control their products too tightly. The most recent “anti-Apple” catalyst was the revelation that iPhones track movement information in an unencrypted database, until it was revealed a couple days later that Google Android phones are doing the same thing.

I purchased my MacBook in August 2009. Actually it was a gift but I did purchase some upgrades. Two weeks ago I realized the battery is running strong for two and a half years. Until it wasn’t. Two days ago I realized it was bulging and risked cracking the case.

Laptop computers are easy to hate, due to the batteries. My last employer gave me a new Dell. The factory battery lasted 3 months. The company replaced it with a 3rd party replacement. That lasted 4 months. They replaced it with another Dell 9-cell battery, and that lasted the duration of my ownership. The best trade-off is a local vendor  like Battery Plus which offers a one-year warranty. I had planned to replace my MacBook battery there, but I moved out before I needed one.

I researched “macbook battery bulging” and found a few people who had the same issue. They recommended take it to the Apple Store for a free replacement. Last night I setup an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Apple Store in Shibuya. I told her simply “when I show you, you will know immediately.” She looked at it and said “Ah, the battery.” Apple replaced it for free and I left 15 minutes later. It was so simple and painless.

For the record, the MacBook is under the 3-year AppleCare. Batteries are not normally under warranty, but batteries are not supposed to bulge. For all of Apple’s faults, their support remains exemplary. I still think Apple is the worst computer company, except for all the others.

Firefox Preferences

This lessons shows you how to change preferences in Firefox.

Choose Preferences…


First select Preferences… from the Firefox menu



Select the General button

Show my home page


1. When Firefox starts: "Show my home page"
2. Home Page: http://gregorytucker.com/ (This step is very important

Show my windows and tabs from last time


Alternatively you may select "Show my windows and tabs from last time". The Home Page will be ignored.

Fixing WordPress Automatic Updates on 1and1

This issue had been bugging me forever. The automatic update functionality of WordPress, for plugins and themes, never worked well. Occasionally it did, but usually I had to secure shell (ssh) and update manually.

I finally found the fix. Login to 1and1 using secure shell (ssh) . At the root of your account edit (vi) the .htaccess file. Add the following commands to the top:

AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

This applies to the 1and1 service.

Install pgAdmin III on CentOS 5.5 in 3 Steps

In 3 simple steps:

1. Install epel

rpm -Uvh http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-4.noarch.rpm

2. Install rpmfusion repel

rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/el/updates/testing/5/i386/rpmfusion-free-release-5-0.1.noarch.rpm

3. Install pgAdmin III

yum install pgadmin3