New iPhone: Apple Servers Down, Yawn.

When Apple launched the iPhone 4, I think it was, their servers couldn’t handle the sheer number of customers ordering the thing at midnight.

His ‘n’ hers. Except that *she* has a clunking great handbag, and *manbags* never really took off


After nine iPhone 5 were ordered, the servers went down.

And the sheer volume of coverage the news media gave to this, must have made Apple realise what vast worth lies in this. As a result, every new product is accompanied by Apple pulling the fat pipe out of the back of the datacentre, to be replaced by some dial-up modem advising that the traffic volume is too high for them to cope. And the next day, the news inches fill themselves with advertising.

It was no different for the iPhone 6 pre-orders. At one minute past midnight, blam! Down! And now the carriers are in on the act. In the past, the massive queues of the über-cool only ever gathered before the Apple Store; you could nip next-door to T-mobile and pick up your shiny in under ten minutes. It was never cool to queue in front of a mobile phone shop. But the website is a different matter: it, too, has to suffer from over-ordering now.


These exceptionally cool people are already in line for the 2018 arrival of the iPhone 8, by which time their sponsorship deal will be worth over £400.000 (source

Apple is pretty fond of advertising it doesn’t have to pay for: the queues themselves are testimony to that. Then there is the “accidental” losing of prototypes: the stunning device! the massive improvement! the 15.000.000 views (and that was just one of the articles)! and not a penny paid for all that PR. The phone was even returned to Apple.

It makes me sick, the whole Apple outfit. The “secrecy” — come on, these are consumer electronic devices, you could actually live without them. The annual (are they?) announcements, where drooling idiot fanboys get told what they’re going to be buying and adoring next. This year you desire the phone for being small, next year you adore the phone for being huge.  The patent suits. The operating system: it’s BSD for god sake. The manufacturing plants, where happiness abounds. iTunes is on a par with Amazon, except that Amazon has never pushed U2 albums. And when people asked on forums how to remove the album, Apple fans moaned how ungrateful that was.



They have been there since 2013. The woman still had clothes on then, but has since started to feel a little hot. When they are not queueing, they make compost from green tea leaves (source:

The truth of the matter is that I have simply have no idea how a commercial company making gadgets has managed to work its way into the hearts and minds of consumers who, after buying into the Apple ecosystem, seem at a loss to break free, ever again. And then these consumers become fans.

“Why are you so down on Apple devices? Is it because you can’t afford them?”

“The people who use Apple products tend to post fairly reasonable, thoughtful comments, while the people who don’t gravitate strongly towards insults and personal attacks.”

“Amateur Microscopy”

Well, hardly. I had a look at this amateur forum, and now I feel like an impostor! I have no proper kit, I have not the first idea what I’m looking at, and I don’t even know what magnification I have things set to. I just twiddle the dial until it looks OK-ish, and wait. All I know is that the Chinese are hugely optimistic when advertising the magnification rate of their microscope toys. But all the same, in the spirit of ‘the meek shall inherit the earth after the bold have spat it out,’ I have uploaded some videos to Youtube, and hopefully I will carry on sticking others on there every now and again. Below are the few that are are there now, with gratuitous commentary.

First up is the Flea Egg Time-Lapse. For some unaccountable reason, this is getting views all by itself, without me foisting links upon people. That is kind of scary. Read the rest of this entry »

Strange HTTPS Requests from Microsoft

Yesterday’s logs have some strange HTTPS requests emanating from, which belongs to Microsoft, according to whois. - - [10/Sep/2014:22:09:51 +0100] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 302 223 "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:05 +0100] "GET /portal.html HTTP/1.1" 200 3899 "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:07 +0100] "OPTIONS / HTTP/1.1" 302 223 "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:13 +0100] "OPTIONS /portal.html HTTP/1.1" 200 - "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:14 +0100] "GET /Robots.txt HTTP/1.1" 404 208 "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:16 +0100] "GET /SiteMap.xml HTTP/1.1" 404 209 "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:18 +0100] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 302 223 "-" "-" - - [10/Sep/2014:22:10:19 +0100] "POST /portal.html HTTP/1.1" 200 3899 "-" "-"

Microsoft Offices

Monolith Much?

The requests are addressed to a domain which, whilst obviously accessible from the internet, is not actually linked or advertised anywhere (21 results on Google, 67 results on Bing; and the majority of these are those sites that pretend to be able to estimate a site’s pecking order).

So this site, which is only accessible through HTTPS, is being probed. The page called portal.html gets loaded by the redirect, but there is nothing on the page that calls for POSTing, and I have done nothing, to my limited knowledge, to deserve OPTIONS.

Most worryingly of all is the request for “Robots.txt”. The server runs Lunix, the file is called “robots.txt,” never the twain shall meet. And why would I want a camel-cased SiteMap.xml littering my directories?

Vye S18P Netbook With Bodhi Linux

This ancient little 7″ netbook came with Windows XP Home pre-installed. It has long ago been superseded by various notebooks and tablets, and Windows XP is not the securest operating system in existence anymore, so I thought I might freshen it up with Linux. The Linux of choice this time, because my attempt to install Fedora basically failed, was Bodhi Linux, primarily because of a stray forum posting that the non-PAE version worked with this model.

It did indeed! Even the touch-screen worked right away. Read the rest of this entry »