Shipping Service Quality

I buy a lot of computer parts to support my hobby of repairing computers.  I buy several hundred items a year, enough that I need to keep track of each order and shipment to ensure that it makes it to me.  Otherwise I forget.

Given the 100+ shipments this year, this is what I've found:
  • All items "lost in the mail" are due to bad US-based eBay seller practices.  Items get lost due to lousy label printing and poor label attachment.  These items have all eventually showed up, but it is definitely the seller's fault, and not the shippers.
  • For domestic shipping, USPS is the most reliable and predictable.  UPS Ground and FedEx Smartpost are very slow. FedEx Smartpost uses ground trucks to move items thousands of miles, and then they hand it to USPS for delivery.   I guess it is cheap.
  • Items from overseas (mostly China) normally makes it to me within 3 weeks, but it can be as quick as 7 days, or take as long as 8 weeks.  So I can't bank on timing when ordering items from China.
  • LaserShip is getting better.  They're still sloppy, but not as horrid as my previous experience with them.  I speculate that they have a lot of driver turn-over, which results in inexperienced delivery people.
  • USPS's "informed delivery" is pretty awesome.
  • Amazon's real-time delivery tracking is very awesome - when it's available.
 Other Thoughts: None!


WWDC 2018 Keynote: The Good, The Sad, The Ugly

I watched the Keynote.

My overall rating:
  • iOS: A+ effort!
  • tvOS: D.  Very little new here.  Where is the out-of-the-box innovation?
  • Watch: B-.  It's good, despite killing off the 1st generation watch.
  • MacOS: F.  Clearly an afterthought, and kills off a bunch of good Macs too.
  • Other: F.  Absolutely nothing new in the decaying Apple ecosystem.

Here are my detailed thoughts

iOS 12

iOS 12 retains support for iPhone 5S.  This is important.  Instead of throwing these excellent devices into the Security Trash bin, iOS 12 lets the 5S remain in secure, active service for another year.   Furthermore, these devices are fully considered for performance improvements.

iOS 12 is a very bold move by Apple, and shows that iOS has taken on more "green" principles, and that it supports the ecosystem used by its customers.

Compare this to iOS 11, where Apple completely abandoned the relatively new and capable iPhone 5 and 5C, making them a dangerous security risk.

Good: Phone Addiction Tracking

The new features that help users track how much time they use with their device.  This is impressive.  A lot of people use their phones way too much - myself included.  This addresses that, even though most manufacturers would rather allow people to get hooked.

Sad: No Time Capsule Replacement

With the death of Time Capsule hardware, Apple should add Cloud-centric backup capabilities to TimeMachine so that it can work with S3, or BackBlaze, Mozy, or one of a dozen other modern Internet backup services.  Instead, MacOS users get a decaying backup ecosystem.  Clearly Apple just wants to sell more iCloud subscriptions instead of advancing MacOS backup services.   Sad.

Sad: tvOS updates.

Apple TV.  Still no new features that make it extraordinarily enticing.  It's just an amp'd up ROKU.  It's time for Apple to add WiFi router, Airport, Time Machine, and VPN capabilities to this impressive piece of hardware.  Instead, it remains a ROKU.  It sells only because of proprietary but pedestrian capabilities.

Sad: MacOS Mojave

The idea that Apple has to state that they still care about the Mac shows that they don't really care about the Mac.  MacOS and its Apps are quite static, with only minor improvements for exceedingly expensive hardware.

Ugly: MacOS Mojave Kills Millions of Macs

Mojave kills off millions of excellent Macs, sending them to the security waste bin:  Any Mac that was initially released before 2012 is going to go into the security waste bin in 2 years.  Apple could address this by committing to make security updates to High Sierra for the next 5 years, but Apple would rather push you to upgrade for security fears instead of encouraging you to dream of their new (overpriced, under-performing and inflexible) Mac hardware.  SJ, we Apple customers miss your product strategy.

Apple was clearly so utterly embarrassed by this Mac mass murder that they didn't mention it in the keynote at all.

Getting your dishwasher to last longer

I love my dishwasher and I want it to last forever.    Here is my non-obvious advice for getting a dishwasher to live a long life: Leave...