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Banana Bread and Seething Hatred

Posted on January 26th, 2024

Dave!Yesterday I was all ready to have Apple unleash the "nuclear option" to see if the data of mine that they destroyed could be restored. This morning I called. The guy I talked to had no clue what this "magical restore" could be. He'd never heard of it. He didn't know why I was told it existed. It doesn't. Apple makes no backup of their customer's data on iCloud Drive in the event they have a catastrophic failure. There's nothing. There's no data saved anywhere that they can restore from. So first Apple doesn't tell you that Time Machine won't backup iCloud Drive files. And then they don't take any precautions to save your data if they fuck it up.

Sooo... what's gone is permanently gone.

Not because of anything I did. I used the service as it was designed. I dutifully bought an iMac with a pricey external drive to back up my stuff via Time Machine. But because Apple doesn't give a FUCK... and doesn't give a single shit about their customers... I'm screwed.

I fucking hate Apple with the passion of a thousand suns. THEY misrepresent. THEY lie. THEY screw up. But not a penny of their BILLIONS OF DOLLARS is used to safeguard their customers over THEIR mistakes.

After fuming all day, I arrived home to make banana bread.

I'm one of those people who buys bananas and "forgets" to eat them so they over-ripen, then the only thing I can do about it is make banana bread...

My perfect banana bread.

But I make banana bread MY way.

No lumps in my banana mash. I purée that shit. No spices. I want all the banana flavor and don't want it covered up. Extra walnuts. AND ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO RAISINS! I only eat raisins in oatmeal cookies or on their own. Never in cinnamon rolls or breads or pastries or anything else. Oatmeal cookies have that oatmeal texture to take the edge off the raisin texture so I don't get skeeved out.

A sweet end to a shitty fucking day.


Re-Backup Now, or Risk Eternal Torment

Posted on January 24th, 2024

Dave!TL;DR... if you have any data at all on Apple's servers, particularly iCloud Drive, you need to get it off of there or perform a backup immediately. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Immediately.

Forty years ago today, Apple shipped the first Macintosh computer.

Today-today, Apple technology has resulted in my losing hundreds of files... some I've been able to recover on old computers and in ancient backups... some I found in local backups from a month-and-a-half ago (so they're partially recovered)... and some I've lost permanently, because they were ever only on iCloud.

Both of the Apple Support specialists I've talked to thought it important to tell me that "iCloud Drive is not intended to be a backup." And it's like, yeah, I know this. Which is why I have a desktop iMac with iCloud Drive synced, and Time Machine turned on. Except I found out the hard way that unless the files are actually downloaded to the iMac, they are not backed up. And, of course, despite having a shitload of free space on my iCloud Drive, Apple doesn't keep backups of older versions of files. Dropbox may be a pile of shit, but even they do that. So not only does Apple not do that, they don't tell you they don't do that.

Here's a serious of events that lead to now.

  • A month and a half ago, I decided to offload a bunch of files off of local drives because I was running out of space. Because I've grown to hate the pile of shitty bloat that is Dropbox, I upgraded my iCloud Drive space to the 2 terabyte option for $9.99 a month because there wasn't a 500 gigabyte plan. All my files were transferred. Given that they would always be in the cloud, I thought it was safest to work on them from there. And everything was working great.
  • Two days ago I had an iPad that's been powered off for six months. I decided to charge it and update it to the new iPad OS that just came out that day.
  • Yesterday I went to load a file I've been working on. I couldn't. I looked on iCloud Drive and saw it was 0 bytes. A bunch of files were 0 bytes. Files that had been many bytes... even gigabytes... just days ago.
  • I chatted with Apple Support in a panic as files were dropping to 0 bytes in Real Time as I watched. They couldn't help me. A call was arranged for 7:30am this morning. This is also when I found out that my iMac wasn't backing up iCloud Drive files as I thought it would be.
  • I turned off my iPad just in case that was the cause. It wasn't. Files continued to drop to zero. I disconnected all computers from the internet so that I wouldn't lose anything else overnight.
  • This morning I spoke to an Apple Support agent. Technically, my files weren't deleted, so recovering them on the iCloud website's "deleted files tool" wasn't possible. Not that it matters. Not even the files I didn't need could be recovered. Every time I try, I was told "There was a problem loading restorable files. Please try again later." I tried later seven times.
  • The Apple Support tech told me there was nothing they could do, and that I should download and manually back up all my iCloud Drive files.
  • I started downloading files, but some files were being zeroed out before I could complete the download.
  • So I called back, desperate for any ideas which might save my data. No ideas were to be had. I was told that the best option was to update to the latest OS all my computers and devices, then give Apple permission to try and recover files, even though it may end up doing even more damage and cause even more data loss. So I did the best I could to save what files I could as they continued to be destroyed. The good news is that I found out the more files I downloaded at the same time, the slower Apple was at ruining my data. Apparently iCloud Drive can only do one thing at a time. Lucky me.
  • I managed to get as much of my data copied off iCloud as possible. I then updated all of my devices. Tomorrow I'll ask Apple to go all nuclear option on my iCloud Drive in an attempt to recover some of my lost data. Which may mean that they end up destroying everything.
  • Tonight I took stock of what, exactly, I've lost. A bunch of photos I thought were gone forever (including my high school graduation, photos of my grandmother, and my trip to Egypt with my mom, among others) were actually backed up Plex, thank God. But a bunch of Hard Rock photos from my early days are gone (though some lo-res images were published on my blog, so there's that). But all the writing I've done for the past month-and-a-half is gone (though I have backups of these files from before that). Stuff I wrote years ago and haven't touched in years is gone though. Research I've been working on for decades is gone. Vector files for my later DaveToons are gone. Future tattoo ideas I drew up are gone. All the digital versions of my mortgage, banking, and the digital documents I saved for my mom's care are all gone. Every last note of the music I wrote for advertising in the 90's is gone. All the maps I drew for my old "DaveWorld" site are gone. It goes on and on.

So, yeah, not ideal.

But it could have been so much worse.

And for that I'm grateful, though I remain absolutely outraged at Apple. The company has BILLIONS of dollars. Yet they won't devote a fraction of that to safeguarding the data their customers entrusts to them. Instead they want me to know that it's my fault because I should have backed up... even though I thought that's exactly what I was doing by having a large, pricey Time Machine hard drive hooked up to a Mac that's synced to my iCloud Drive. If only Apple could be bothered to warn people that the obvious way you'd think things would work are not, in fact, how things actually do. I guess, in the end, they just don't give a fuck. Which is probably why they have billions of dollars in the first place.

I remain hopeful that a lot of stuff I've lost can ultimately be recovered. Whether because I find it on a drive or computer or a backup somewhere... or Apple is able to do something tomorrow.

Hopefully the REAL backups I'm making now (instead of the unreal backups I thought I was making) will prevent this in the future.

Because I sure don't even want to go through this again.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2024Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Apple, Data Loss, and Me

Posted on January 23rd, 2024

Dave!When I got home from the office for the day I had a quick bit for dinner then pulled up a personal project I've been working on for the past seven years. It's a writing exercise that may not go anywhere, but I enjoy the distraction from the constant barrage of work that never ends.

But the file would not open.

I went to my Apple iCloud Drive to see what was going on, and found out that files of all types were being reduced to zero bytes. I sorted by date and could literally watch it happening in real-time. A file would be 3.8 gigabytes one minute, then 0 bytes the next. And it's not just big files... even small little nothing files were being gutted...

File reduced to zero in a minute.

from 265 bytes to 0 bytes in less than a minute.

Everything had been working fine in the months since I copied all my files over to iCloud Drive. The only thing I had done which might cause this was to pull out my iPad yesterday to update iPad OS. All my files were put on iCloud Drive while the iPad was off, so I can only guess that it woke up, sall all the files it didn't know about, and is somehow removing all their data. Except when I turn the iPad off completely, it's still happening so maybe the iPad Os update is just a coincidence.

In any event, my iMac which has Apple Time Machine backup running is useless for iCloud drive, because it doesn't back anything up that it hasn't held on its local drive. Something Apple should really tell you. Otherwise, you're completely boned. Or not. Apple Support is calling me back in the morning so (hopefully) something can be done. I dunno.

All I do know is that my files are being destroyed while I watch, and most times it happens before I can even download them to back them up. It reminds me of that movie Disclosure where Michael Douglas is trying to uncover critical information he needs to save his job, but Evil Demi Moore is deleting them as he's trying to save them. THIS IS ME RIGHT NOW...

If Apple can't help me tomorrow morning, it means a lot of stuff I've had for decades... photos, files, drawings, and whatnot... which haven't been backed up somehow, somewhere, are gone forever. That would be a horrific loss from which I don't know I can ever mentally recover.

Apple. Where everything just works!


Apple iCloud FAIL!

Posted on September 7th, 2023

Dave!One of the things that keeps me so firmly embedded in the Apple ecosystem is that everything works together. You don't have to do anything special, they just work.

Except when they don't. Like HomeKit HomeShit, which is so fucking flakey as to be useless based on unreliability. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes things which worked forever randomly stop working (Currently the automation which turns the garage light on when the pass-door is opened has stopped working. The door sensor is fine. The switch is fine. They are both connected to HomeShit. But the automation fails even when deleted and re-added).

But the thing which really fucking enrages me is iCloud.

It's not that your computer will stop working with iCloud and you can just log out and log back in to get things working again... it's that individual services will randomly stop working and then never fucking work again no matter how many fucking times you log in and out.

All everybody ever says is "Make sure Bluetooth is on, make sure WiFi is on the same network, make sure syncing is enabled, then log out of iCloud and log back in." Except that has NEVER worked for me. Not once.

Just look at this idiotic shit...

iMac M1 MacBook Pro M2 Mac Studio M1 Ultra
iPhoto Sync X X
iMessage Sync X X
AirDrop X X
Keychain Sync X X X

Syncing iPhoto libraries doesn't work on my iMac. But everywhere else is fine (including on my iPhone and iPad) even though syncing is slow as shit. And since there's no manual SYNC NOW command, there's no way of telling iPhoto to sync things you know are there. Even quitting the app and restarting doesn't force a sync. It just sits there like a stupid pile of shit until you either reboot your machine or it randomly decides to sync things.

Syncing iMessage doesn't work on my MacBook. Well, it will sync if the message was sent/received from Apple devices... but if you send to a non-Apple device via SMS, then tough crap... absolutely NOTHING will get those to sync. Ever. Logging out and logging back in. Quitting and restarting. Rebooting. Turning off sync and turning it back on. NOTHING!!!

Airdrop is ridiculously finicky. None of my computers work perfectly every time. But my Mac Studio at the office will never successfully receive a fucking thing. You'll see an alert saying that the file is been received. The download folder in my dock will bounce like the file is there. BUT THE FILE IS NEVER, EVER FUCKING THERE! Th only way to receive a file from my laptop or iPhone is via iMessage, since that is mysteriously working.

Keychain Sync always seems to work. But sometimes it takes a fucking eternity to sync depending on which device made the change.

It's maddening how much time I have wasted trying to get this idiotic shit working. Scouring the internet. Leaving messages in forums. Reading every technical document I can find. And it's all for nothing.

And of course Apple doesn't give a fuck. Big companies never do if it's not threatening their profit margins.



Posted on October 12th, 2011

Dave!Where to start.

Well, I don't know about anybody else, but Apple's release of iOS5 and iCloud have proven to be an absolute and total failure on every possible level for me. My Apple TV is dead. My mom has lost all her photos and her MobileMe/iCloud/Apple ID is so hopelessly fucked up that she can't even send email. My computer is in some kind of hybrid MobileMe/iCloud state that doesn't seem to work with either. My keychains are no longer syncing. Every single device has some kind of problem.

Here's the rundown of my day...

MobileMe to iCloud Migration...
UPGRADE? Failed. "Cannot be completed at this time."
UPGRADE, TAKE TWO? Failed. "Cannot be completed at this time."
UPGRADE, TAKE THREE? Failed. "Cannot be completed at this time."
UPGRADE, TAKE FOUR? Failed. "Server connection lost."
UPGRADE, TAKE FIVE? Failed. "Cannot be completed at this time."

Mac OS X Lion Update...
UPGRADE? Success?
NOTES: Converted MobileMe crap to iCloud crap, but kept me subscribed to both, forcing me to manually go through and delete all the old MobileMe crap that wasn't going to sync anyway. But it's still trying for some reason. iCloud no longer syncs Keychains between my Macs, which was one of the major reasons I signed up for MobileMe in the first place.

iPhone 4 (Mine)...
UPGRADE? Failed. No explanation, just a reboot.
NOTES: Lost all my app data and have no idea how to recover it.

iPhone 4 (Mom)...
UPGRADE? Failed. Unknown error occurred (-18).
UPGRADE, TAKE TWO? Failed. Unknown error occurred (-18).
NOTES: Apple ID is now hopelessly screwed up.

iPad (First Generation)...
UPGRADE? Failed. Some kind of "update can't be verified" error.

iPad 2...
UPGRADE? Success?
NOTES: Deleted all images from Photos with no warning and no way to recover. Apple ID is now so hopelessly screwed up that she can't send email.

Apple TV (Second Generation)...
UPGRADE? Failed. Generic "Update Failed" message.
UPGRADE, TAKE TWO? Major failure. Unit goes dead with rapidly-blinking light. Trying to restore direct from my Mac (with unsupplied cable) doesn't work.
UPGRADE, TAKE THREE? There is no Take Three. I now have an Apple TV paperweight that will have to be sent to Apple to be fixed. Or whatever.

So, in the end, Apple is running 0 for 7, and I've got days of troubleshooting, recovery, and research to do in order to get things running properly again.

Starting with my poor mother's screwed-up Apple ID. The problem being that I have no fucking idea where to even start. Probably with a call to Apple because I don't have an Apple Store handy, but I have no idea how to approach it or who to call.

She registered her Apple ID with an Gmail address, but now Apple doesn't like that, so she switched over an Apple address. Except now I can't get rid of the Gmail address. When I try, I get a nonsensical error message...

Apple ID cannot be changed?

Well, dumbass, if THAT'S now her Apple ID, then why the fuck can't she actually USE it as her Apple ID? Why is Gmail stuck there? And why can't she use the iCloud SMTP server to send email? Oh probably because it will only send for an Apple email address, but there's no way of defining that address as the sender address because I can't change the Gmail address.

What a clusterfuck.

Apple is the new Microsoft. Nothing works right.

The only difference being that once you finally get all the myriad of problems solved, at least you can enjoy using the Apple products.

Apple had better get their shit together before somebody comes along and does it better. There's only so long that people will put up with stupid crap like this.

Even me.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2011Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  



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