AsRock, Aptio, AMI BIOS update crap

There haven’t been some updates for quite a while. But that’s not because I abandoned this site, but rather because I fried my mainboard when a BIOS update failed.

Of course I have been up- and downgrading my BIOS a lot which always is kind of risky – even more when you are using patched firmwares / BIOS’es. ‘Funny’ thing is it all went wrong with the BIOS Instant Flash feature and with a non-patched BIOS. And here is what happened:

I had all my flash files prepared on my MicroSD card. But it turned out named SD card had some corrupted sectors (I wasn’t aware of this when doing my BIOS flash unfortunately!)
So I did a regular BIOS update with the BIOS Instant Flash feature and it all (seemingly) went ok. When asked for a restart at the end, I confirmed – thus sending the motherboard into oblivion.

So learn from it: the BIOS Instant Flash feature doesn’t do any checking on read errors or corrupt sectors on your media. Also it doesn’t do any hashing (crc, md5, etc) to ensure a correct reading of data and flashing consequently ! So before flashing you should make damn sure your media is free of any errors and your files are ok (unfortunately AsRock also doesn’t provide a SHA-1 checksum of their downloads)

Meanwhile I got my motherboard replaced and already downgraded the BIOS, not before checking my USB stick is without any errors – what can take some time on a 32GB stick.

By the way AMI seems also to have problems with their website and https certificate, so theoretically also their webpage could be corrupted 😉

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The new Apple TV – the worst Apple product I own

Honestly the new Apple TV is a piece of crap – at least by Apple-standards! And I am not an Apple hater: I own a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, 2 iPads and every iPhone introduced since the 1st iteration (except the new 6S) and the 3rd gen Apple TV.

But the new Apple TV, which I started to use yesterday is mostly underwhelming and here is why from my point of view:

1) Firstly Apple chose to power the Siri remote with a lighting cable, but the TV itself has a USB-C port. Why can’t both have the same ? Of course I knew that before buying the device, but this doesn’t make it any better. Why in gods name 2 different ports for the same device!? It hurts ‘only’ developers mostly, but still. Anyway that’s not the most annoying.

2) What is really annoying is the on-screen keyboard which was changed from 2D matrix style of input to a loooong 1-dimensional string where you have to enter everything from artists you search, to iTunes account information and passwords (in case you intend to buy something from the AppStore). This is totally user unfriendly. Of course you can safe the passwords for iTunes purchases, but then maybe as a parent you have to enable parental controls (with password protection) so this kind of neglects it. With the new Siri remote why I have to use a 1D left-right scroll “keyboard”, it’s annoying, it’s frustrating, it sucks.

The ‘String-Keyboard’:
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3) Next is the unsatisfying (movie) player experience. Half of the time when I want to fast-forward the subtitle / dubbing menu pops down and I can’t ‘swipe’ it away easily. I ‘swipe’ to fast-forward and it appears, I ‘swipe’ and ‘swipe’ and ‘swipe’ up and this menu just stays there. I think one of the number one usages of the Apple TV is to play media. But the media player experience is leaps behind even the versions before. Why ? And Why ? And again why ?

So to conclude as of today, the new Apple TV is a usability nightmare and definitely a step back from the prior models. I guess Apple would have been better of in keeping the old UI and ‘just’ adding and AppStore.

I will keep my new Apple TV (and also the old one), but I seriously recommend everyone for the time being to stay away.