iMAC G4 CD tray

CD tray does not open

I still use this old but beautiful iMAC for some software and to read small CD sizes that new MACs do not accept anymore (you need to place them on a tray). But the iMAC G4 CD tray refused to open.
A few years earlier we managed to repair the screen backlight years ago (mentioned in my book TOXIC CAPITALISM).
I needed to read a small size CD and realized the tray got stuck. There were some faint click-clacks but that was it.

The solution

Out of desperation I poked around the tray, trying to pull it out, with the lid opened. Finally I pushed inside the white plastic (see pic 4), which “clicked”, see pic 5.


Then with the keyboard I opened the tray that slides out.
Simple, works…

Didi app disappeared from App Stores

Who noted?

Didi app disappeared from App Stores for iOS as I discovered.
Indeed I was happily using the English app (that does not show anything about the version) but I am getting the warning that I need to update, see screenshot.
While online the Apple App shop shows the correct app, being “DiDi – Greater China”, available for iPhone, this app is NOT available, in my case on the Belgian Apple Shop. Other DiDi app shown are for other applications such as Didi driver. No Didi car. See screenshot of the Belgian store.
My Chinese friends have the latest version, downloaded from the China Shop (see their screenshot). The app does offer a language choice Chinese or English.


Didi Customer Service

I sent a mail to their service and they did reply, see here (slightly edited).

We suggest you could reinstall DiDi app again.
Sorry about the inconvenience brought to you, due to for now, some app stores doesn’t support DiDi app. Our related team are processing this issue.
We suggest you could change your APPLE ID region just for this time, when you donwload and install in China APP STORE, you could change back to previous region.
And changing region of Apple ID method in below:
Tap 【Settings】 –  Tap 【iTunesstore/AppStore】 -Tap【Apple ID】 in above- Tap 【Check Apple ID】 – tap【Country/Region】 – Tap【Change Country or Region> – Choose China – Fill all information needed. Then you can downlod the DiDi-Greater China  APP
The lastest verson of DiDi app is 5.2.48_533, you can check whether your app is the latest one or not.
If not please change your Apple ID into China then you can find the DiDi app in app store. If yes please ignore this tip.
DiDi Customer Service

Now what?

The app still works but for how long?
I already downloaded another app, just in case: “China Taxi”, in English.
I will certainly not do the country change, that is a risky thing. I’ll wait for DiDi to sort things out with Apple.
The weird thing is, why does Apple accept the app on their China Shop and not on others? Cannot be an issue of “technical or security” issues.
I find it strange there is no mention of this on the Internet.

Update 27 November 2020

Oh well, it took some time but the didi app is now dead after updating my iOS to v. 14.2.
And still no new app for didi (cars) on my Belgian Apple store.
I had received an request if I wanted to test a “beta version” a few days ago, did not try it as that normally does not work.
Fortunately I do have the Alipay app in English where I can book didi…
But I miss the didi app, it was working pretty well and I also received alerts on discounts. Now I have to see how that will work with Alipay.

Latest update! February 2021

After my warnings about the Didi app on the iPhone, the app finally crashed. Now the English Didi app is resurrected. Like a miracle!

Chinese government websites: do not visit!

Well, that is what Chinese government gives you as a message.

Good luck. What I understand, the websites are tailored to be visited only by Windows users (how much were they paid for that?). Use Apple and you are out of luck.
Now, how more short-sighted can that be? As a webmaster I even wonder how they managed that filtering in their web design.
We already are living in an Intranet in China, not Internet. Isolated from the world, unable to reach the most important websites one needs for research and business. And forget many of the international email platforms, blocked in China.
In other words:

  • China does not welcome foreign business people, if they come here they are supposed to limit themselves to China Daily, Global Times (worse!) and sterile CCTV news. No more contact with the outside world; no more emails;
  • Chinese people should not know what is REALLY going on in the world;
  • Chinese people, the less they know, the better;
  • Think twice before outsourcing your web design to a “Chinese” company.

Unless of course you think Baidu delivers “information”. I had a hilarious moment with a Chinese friend looking up the word “horny” on Baidu. He found it was well, some rough skin stuff. I explained it was not really that meaning…
Oh well. China says it opens the door more and more. They forgot to say they installed double glass in the doorways, so the “flies” will not come in.
There are still many naïve foreigners who did not get it. Until they sit in their 5-star hotel and can’t open gmail.
I just wonder what all those hundreds of thousand of Chinese who study and travel abroad think when returning home. And are back in their isolation.
So, when the government talks about “innovation and creativity”, allow me to become cynical.

And this sarcastic comment from Sinocism:
“Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation Spurs Philanthropy Debate in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ – One of the jokes going around is that the announcement must be fake because when a PRC user tries to find Facebook their browser says the site does not exist…”

Why we can’t survive without Google (and sex is good for seniors)

The Chinese dinosaurs want to isolate the brainless Chinese (that is at least what they think about our friends) from the international Internet. Yeah, they need to remove “foreign influences”. Sorry but your Baidu and others do not give us the needed results to do our jobs. A survey done recently by the European Chamber confirmed that business feels poor Internet and all the censorship do seriously affect business.
Who can survive without Google? That is what we need for search, maps, pictures, cloud back-up and so on. The Chinese Internet becomes more an Intranet. Forget cloud services.
Follow some examples of what Google search does for us.

One morning we had a power cut in the office. When power came back I noticed my external USB hub (providing 4 USB ports with external power) was dead. As I had problems in the past with those hubs I thought, oh well, the power cut busted it. I changed the hub to no avail. Then found out one of my USB ports on my MacBook Pro was dead and the hubs were all fine. I thought, well I better go to Apple Shop to get it fixed. But then, hey, better ask Google. And the replies cam in after 1 minute of search:
“After the first two weeks, my USB Ports stopped working. Just a while ago I’ve tried PRAM Reset, and it all worked out. For that:
Restart Hold the keys Command + Option + P + R (holding the keys when the Apple sign doesn’t appear yet on the screen). After the restart all USB ports started working again.”
So, no need for repair!

One of my precious antique clocks got stolen, still trying to figure out what happened and where (long story). As it is a unique piece (belonging in the Forbidden City Museum) I was thinking of registering the theft so it would be known internationally for auctioneers and others. But how to do? Go to the police? Where? How?
Ask Google!
Two minutes later I had found the website of “the Art Loss Register”
And I have already registered the clock with all details.

Discussing with Chinese friends, the topic came up that seniors should avoid sex after 50 and with age should go down to, well, never do it, as it is “bad for the kidneys”. Is that true? Obviously not, but once you Google it and dig deeper you can find both the Chinese and Western opposing views. Obviously seniors can and should have sex whenever they can.
See here one of the many search results:

Government of Canada’s Role:
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada work together to promote, improve, maintain and protect the health of Canadians. Together, they gather and disseminate information on healthy, balanced lifestyles – including the sexual health of Canada’s seniors.

And the TCM view:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are various ideas about how often an individual can “safely” engage in sex without damaging his or her essence and thereby contributing to premature aging and sexual dysfunction. Dr. Sun Si Miao, a physician and Taoist of the Tang Dynasty who lived from 580 to 682 (101 years), gives the following guidelines for a healthy amount of sexual activity. TCM recommendations given over 2500 years ago:

  • Teens:  Contrary to what the media pressures us to believe in today’s society, in Ancient China it was thought that teenagers didn’t have enough strong, mature energy to engage in sexual activity yet.
  • 20′s: It is healthy to have sexual intercourse once every 4 days.  Engaging in sex more frequently at this age runs the risk of prematurely depleting Kidney essence.
  • 30′s: Once every 8 days
  • 40′s: Once every 16 days
  • 50′s: Once every 20 days
  • 60′s: Once a month, if the individual is fairly healthy.  If the individual had a history of health disorders or generalized weakness, then only occasional sexual activities was recommended.
  • 70′s: Whether healthy or not, sex would use up too much energy therefore sex is not recommended at all.

Obviously following those “tips” from some people who lived thousands of years ago explains it all… As if humans did not evolve.
In other words, if one needs information about health, medicine and related Google gives you a broad picture.

150624 baidusearch

Now Baidu, what do you have to say? Well I tried but while some search results do pop up in English, Baidu remains too Chinese and one has to go through lots of crap to find relevant information. The screenshot is from page 5 or something. And I wonder how many of those links do actually work without a VPN, another major issue.

Do you remember this before the era of 2 GB USB sticks?

Technology is going so fast we even have no time to look back. Some weeks ago I was digging up all my back-ups to find some pictures and stumbled on these.
Who still remembers the iomega ZIP Drives? They were great to use but just look… 250 MB. With the new USB sticks, ready for the museum. Not to even mention floppy disks. The challenge is now how to retrieve files sitting on those old media. Reason why I keep my older MACs so I can go back to the past. And keep those xternal floppy disk readers and others.

130410 iomega

Now many don’t even bother to store it physically; there is the “CLOUD”.


Now, nothing to do with the white fluffy stuff up there.