Server now on iMac and macOS High Sierra

New iMac 21.5" 2017, freshly booted and ready to replace Mac mini 2012

The venerable Mac mini 2012, which took over the job of the server from the iMac 2008 in February 2013, showed signs of its age two months ago, refusing to boot due to corrupted Fusion Drive. I was able to remedy the problem, but I thought it may be a good time to move over to a new system. Seeing that Apple has not updated Mac mini in three years (and frankly, the 2014 edition was not an upgrade many had hoped for) I decided to return to using an iMac.

The iMac 21.5" 2017 was able to smoothly take over the Mac mini last month, but for some reason the system came equipped with macOS Sierra (10.12) instead of High Sierra (10.13) which was already a month old at the time. So I applied an extra caution and checked carefully that the apps I ran were compatible before manually upgrading. Finally, I made the switch to High Sierra today. It seems everything is functioning as expected.
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On Apple Maps update of South Korea region

Apple Maps showing Naju Bitgaram City area - 2014, 2015, and 2017 edition (left to right, click to enlarge)

One of the sore spots in using an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in particular) in Korea was the Apple Maps. Sure, you could use the natively developed map apps from the likes of Kakao or Naver, but regular apps using map function generally resort to the default Apple Maps data, leading to sub-par experience.

This had largely to do with the lack of map updates. When Apple Maps initially launched in September 2012, map data for Korea was sparse at best. It then received a major update in March 2014 that looked more complete at a first glance. However, delving into details revealed that the actual map data was from around latter half of 2012. This was clearly evident for Bitgaram City as you can see above. Roads weren't completed until 2013, and Apple Maps had much of the major roads missing.

Apple Maps showing Gwangju's Juwol-dong area - 2014, 2015, and 2017 edition (left to right, click to enlarge)

Interestingly, there was another map update for Korea in April 2015. It showed all the major roads in Bitgaram City, as well the street of Juwol-ro in Gwangju that was completed in early 2015. This meant that the map was quite up to date at the time, but you could see it only if you were outside South Korea. The Korean server for the iOS Apple Maps that sends the data to users within the borders never received the update, leaving the Korean users with severely outdated map for several years. The screen caps shown here were made while I was on a trip to Mongolia a few months ago.

I actually asked Apple's technical support about this issue back in June. Sadly, no resolutions came out of this even though the staff did acknowledge the problem. Then, out of the blue, Apple Maps received yet another major update for South Korea yesterday afternoon. The new map data was fairly recent - judging from the building data, it seemed to be from early to mid 2017.

3D Map-enabled view of the eastern Bitgaram City

Speaking of which, yes, there were now outlines of most of the buildings. This didn't exist for South Korea before this update. The building data also contain height information, which enabled this nice flyover-style view of the map in 3D. With the updated road and building information, I felt that it finally became good enough for in-app uses, such as location-based arrangement of photos in the Photos app. With a few more feature additions and beefing up of POI data, it should be good enough for stand-alone uses as well.
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The most up-to-date biography I've seen yet

I got this biography of Moon Jae-in in the mail and it says this 2nd print came out on May 18, 2017... which is today

Moon Jae-in became the 19th President of the Republic of Korea on the morning of May 10, 2017 immediately after the confirmation of his win in the snap election. Naturally, lots of books written by or related to him were flooding out to the bookstores to capitalize on the occasion. For my kids, I ordered this cartoon biography targeted for young readers (who? special - Moon Jae-in) online yesterday.

To my surprise, the publisher was very keen to have the book updated. The 1st print of this book only came out on March 7 of this year, a few days before the constitutional court upheld the impeachment of Park Geun-Hye. This meant that they were pretty confident of how the events would play out around when the National Assembly approved the motion to impeach last December and started to get the book ready. The 2nd print was dated May 18, which is today, implying that I got one of the first shipments of the even more updated version.

...and on the last pages of the book, it says clearly that he had been elected as the President, which happened just a week ago

Indeed, this print of the book ends with Moon officially becoming the president. The 1st print had the same pictures but with a somewhat placeholder caption, so the publisher apparently anticipated the results and did a quick edit after the election was over. I have to say, I was quite impressed.
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We voted for a new president

The most important election in the recent Korean history has started this morning - the 2017 Presidential Election. It's being held more than 7 months earlier because the citizens like us have successfully ousted Park Geun-Hye from power. We made our voices heard with various protests, and it resulted in her impeachment at the National Assembly; the decision was ultimately upheld by the constitutional court last March. Now our family put our efforts in electing a new president, who will hopefully clean up the giant mess and make new progress.

We made it to the local voting place a little past 10AM, and there were a steady flow of people coming in


Once the you get your identity verified and leave a signature on the list at the right side, you receive a ballot on the left side
Continue reading "We voted for a new president"

Wish fulfilled with the arrest

My kids held up signs saying "Arrest Park Geun-Hye" at the rally on December 3, 2016

Early this morning, Park Geun-Hye has been arrested on multiple charges including bribery. She had been ousted from presidency just 3 weeks ago. Millions of people, including my kids as shown here, had been calling for this to happen for the last several months. Things are progressing - wish us luck.
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