Meet my Steve Jobs cubee

Looking through the web for some Apple news, I stumbled upon a cutout of a Steve Jobs cubee. A guy named Jay Hauf provides an iconic template at his Flickr profile.

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(Source: “Steve Jobs Cut Out” Jay Hauf)

I just had to have one of my own, so I got started on creating mine immediately. It took about 30 minutes and this is the adorable result:

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Isn’t he cute? I think so. Finally I have a playmate for my plush Steve Jobs puppet I bought at PodBrix many months ago. I am sure you remember seeing it on the web as well. For 30 € it sure was the best geek investment of my lifetime. Unfortunately the item is no longer available.

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(Source: “PodBrix creator brings you a huggable Jobs” Macworld)

Here is what they look like together. They do make quite a team, don’t you think? So why don’t you create your own Steve Jobs cubee?

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Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac? No thanks.

In November Sophos announced its free business-strength anti-virus program for Mac. Since any anti-virus software for Mac I tried has been a disappointment I was looking forward to this and tried it out after reading:

That means your home Macs can be protected automatically in-the-background with the latest anti-virus protection, checking every program you run, every file you download, every USB stick you insert, completely free. Is there a catch you’re wondering? Well, nope! There isn’t!

(Source: “Yes, you need anti-virus on your Mac.. and now it’s free” Sophos Naked Security)

But as it turns out, it is a disappointment as well. I admit it is just a security tool, but the look and feel alone is a flashback to the last decade and not really the desired pitch. In addition I feel that it is a lousy piece of engineering when it comes to process management. Like any other anti-virus software it consumes huge amounts of CPU power. Of course this is already a known issue, but nothing is happening. For automatically protecting my machine in-the-background I am not willing to reduce its power to the point where I can’t browse the web anymore.

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It feels like anti-virus software for Windows performed in the 1990ies. I suppose porting Windows software to the Mac just doesn’t cut it anymore. There maybe sufficient reasons for the necessity of a anti-virus software on the Mac but as long as they perform like this, I have to get by without it. I just have to limit my contacts to Mac users only. I don’t want to get involved with Windows users anyway.

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Playing Sid Meier’s Civilization V on the Mac

Sid Meier is probably the most influential game designer to me and maybe even my generation. Among many other games I most enjoyed watching my father play Silent Service and Railroad Tycoon when I was a little child and of course playing the Pirates! and Civilization series for myself.

Since the 80’ies many years have passed and after deviating to the PC world for a short time I am quite happy with the recent development in games for the Mac. Most major game titles are coming to the Mac now. In the Sid Meier corner I already spent many hours on Civilization IV and Pirates!. Especially Pirates! brought back many memories and actually made me read the favorite books from my childhood again (The Hornblower Series by C. S. Forester, if you are wondering).

I enjoyed playing all versions of Civilization and while I am waiting for a remake of Sid Meier’s Colonization, the new version Civilization V comes in handy. It hast been introduced just recently and was advertised with a 30% discount on the Aspyr Website on Black Friday according to Macrumors. As it turned out, the discount was not valid for Civilization V, so I decided to buy it as a direct download within the Steam Application which is required to run the game anyway. For just 49,99 € the fun was mine for the taking.

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I suppose this is just a port of the Windows game and it comes with several bugs as one would expect. The game crashed the first 3 times I tried to launch it and even after that there were serious display errors during video playback. This bug is already recognized, but there is no patch yet. It still kept crashing in play for a few more times but it seems to run smoothly now.

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The game has rather high system requirements. The main issue is the video graphic card. I am using a 13 inch Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini at home, each with a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. Officially this setup seems not to be supported but it works anyway. I am not sure how to improve in this perspective. The current Macbook Pros and Mac Minis do not seem to have real superior power in this matter. They are using the NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M chip in the highest configuration. They score higher in benchmarks but surely wouldn’t warrant the investment. Only the current iMacs and Mac Pros seem to have real graphic power. This seems obvious but does not fit into my setup.

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I like the gameplay and the new look of the game. I don’t really mind the change from square to hexagonal tiles. Also, I think city states are a nice alternation from already established nations.

The biggest change to it’s predecessor is found in the combat area. There is only 1 unit per tile allowed in Civilization V. This really makes it interesting and requires a more tactical approach to defeat the enemy.

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In my opinion, the complexity of the game has been reduced massively. This leads to an easier and faster gameplay but it also gets boring pretty fast. Still I think Civilization V is one of the best titles for the Mac if your are into strategy games.