Recent Mac Commentary Posts



October 8, 2008

Adobe CS3, Office, Spam Sieve Setup

Yesterday saw some real work done. I got Adobe CS3 installed (just in time for CS4 to come out!) and Office 2008 installed. That was a nightmare. Take a look at this MacFixIt article to see my pain.

Spam Sieve is going to take a bit of re-training. It is a little to aggressive right now, but that is not really a bad thing. Going through an inbox of 17 days of email (both legit and some spam that was not caught) is going to take forever. I started by weeding out the false-positives and classifying them as good mail. Always get a lot of false-positives at the very beginning.

Setting up a machine from scratch takes a lot of time. Next up I need to get FileMaker Advanced setup and updated, as well as smaller apps like Transmit, Toast, Suitcase, etc.

October 6, 2008

New Mac Pro, missing backed up files

Got my Mac Pro this morning. That is like opening your gifts at Christmas of course. Plug in my external firewire drive that I had The Answer Factory copied from my semi-FUBAR drives, and there is nothing in my Home directory, save for the Desktop folder. Well, I need that, but Documents and Library are a bit more important.

Continue reading "New Mac Pro, missing backed up files" »

The bestest FedEx delivery person EVAR!

This is a pretty good story. FedEx tried to deliver a package to my office this morning (my Mac Pro) at 8:45 AM. No one was there, the intern doesn't get there until 9, and I am sure haley got there at a similar time.

But since the FedEx delivery lady knows me (I get a lot of games delivered via FedEx) she drove over to my apartment and knocked on my door.

Shocked, stunned, I said yes please leave them here! I sign for them, and I have my Mac Pro today instead of having to wait until tomorrow. I just wish I knew her name. Because she is the best FedEx delivery person ever! Major kudos for getting my computer to me this morning.

October 5, 2008

Mac Pro has been ordered

As of October 2 my newest Mac has been ordered, a Mac Pro. This will be my first Intel-based Mac. Considering how fast our office Intel iMac is, I can't wait. I should have it before Friday. Here are the full specs.

Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
2GB (2 x 1GB)
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (Two dual-link DVI)
Two 16x SuperDrives
AirPort Extreme card (Wi-Fi)
Apple Mighty Mouse
Apple Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
Accessory kit
AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro

I don't like the mighty mouse at all, but at least it has two buttons. I hate the touch sensitive "buttons" though, and I am not sure if I will use the new keyboard either. We have the new style keyboard on the office iMac and it is too low profile for my tastes.

September 22, 2008

My G5 Has No Video Output

Yea, life without my G5 sucks. Work without my G5 sucks even more. Thursday I turned my computer off and Sunday I turned it on again, only no video appeared.

The monitors work just fine. It has a startup chime. Nothing I can find on the machine, which I find by my serial number that is a June 2005 model.

I am not sure if resetting the SMU would do the trick. Heck if I can find it to push that button. I also am not sure if the battery on the mobo is dead or not.

So now I get to wait until the shop downtown gives me a call.

September 12, 2008

R.I.P. PowerBook G4 (2001-2008)

My 1 Ghz PowerBook G4 is no longer usable. It will no longer take a charge, no matter what battery I use. I got seven good years out of it. And it was a MUCH better system than that lemon 500 Mhz PowerBook G4 I had prior. Of course I broke the cardinal rule, I bought the first rev of an Apple product.

Now if my three year old Dell laptop would perform half as well as my seven year old PowerBook did, I would be happy to use it as a laptop replacement. I think it is WIndows XP. This Inspiron 700m is slow as shit. Shamefully I need it to test web pages on, so I don't think I will be installing Linux on it any time soon.

I will sure miss my PowerBook. I will get another Mac laptop some day. But my next Apple purchase will be a Pro desktop, to replace my "aging" three year old dual 2.5 Ghz proc G5.

Computers sure don't last long enough any more.

July 9, 2008

Not so safe Apple Developer Connection security?

This is a bad story. Really bad.

February 13, 2008

Exclusive Guy Kawasaki Interview with TheDigitalLifestyle.tv

Watch this video as Guy offers his thoughts on the Macbook Air, the blogosphere, and talks about his new online venture, Alltop.

His comment at the end about the blogosphere is priceless.

Oh, and my thoughts exactly on the MacBook Air.

September 13, 2007

Bad Week for my Macs

My 5-year-old (!) PowerBook G4 needs a new power supply. I noticed the power cord had exposed wires around the neck where it plugs into the PowerBook. Electrical tape did the trick only for a day. Thats $70 for an Apple 65 W power brick.

My 3-year-old G5, which still plugs away quite well I might add, has a bad keyboard. The D key sticks. Too bad I can't just replace the D key, its the membrane that is bad, not the key itself. I have a wireless bluetooth Apple keyboard, so I was not too upset, not until I found out that my wireless keyboard won't turn on, even with fresh batteries.

A new Apple Pro Keyboard is $60. You may think I am crazy (well, I am sure you do already) but I much prefer spending the extra money on the Apple Tax and get the better keyboard than spending $20 on a cheap USB keyboard.

Not a good week for my Macs. That is $130 plus tax, no fun. At least its a tax write off.

June 11, 2007

EA Brings Games to Mac OS X

I just got this presser (after the jump) and all I can say is: "are you serious?"

I wonder if they will require an Intel Mac or if the games will be Universal Binary. I would put my bets on Intel only. I just confirmed with EA PR that they will be Intel-based Mac only.

Not a bad bunch of games for the Mac. Who knew?

Continue reading "EA Brings Games to Mac OS X" »

March 7, 2007

One thing PC users can do that Mac users can't

Maddox is pretty funny. This is priceless.

March 2, 2007

The Truth About Switching

Ahh, another touching story about a switcher!

In related news, Bruce Kratofil got a Mac!

August 24, 2006

Apple Pays $100 Million to End Dispute With Creative

Apple Computer Inc. will pay Creative Technology Ltd. $100 million to end lawsuits over technology needed to navigate through songs on Apple's popular iPod music player. Creative's shares soared.
Source: Bloomberg

Anyone watching this unfold had to know that Apple would be paying Creative in the long run. But look at it this way, now with Creative joining the "Made for iPod" program, they can make products for MP3 players that people might actually want to buy!

August 18, 2006

Apple claims legal right to word 'Pod'

Apple has laid legal claim to the word "Pod", arguing that other companies that use the word as part of their product names risk infringing the trademark of its popular iPod music player.
Source: MSNBC

Um... what the hell? Did you read about this?

MacBook Wi-Fi hack didn't use Apple drivers

“Despite SecureWorks being quoted saying the Mac is threatened by the exploit demonstrated at Black Hat, they have provided no evidence that in fact it is,” Apple Director of Mac PR, Lynn Fox, told Macworld. “To the contrary, the SecureWorks demonstration used a third party USB 802.11 device–not the 802.11 hardware in the Mac–a device which uses a different chip and different software drivers than those on the Mac.
Source: MacCentral

SecureWorks even changed their web site. There is a reason for the “Mac user base aura of smugness on security,” and do you know why?

August 14, 2006

Repairing permissions: What you need to know

When it comes to Mac OS X troubleshooting and maintenance, Repairing permissions may be the most frequently recommended course of action. It’s also easily the most maligned.
Source: Macworld

If you could call an article on repairing permissions in OS X a wonderful read (and I can) -- this is it. Dan Frakes, as usual, does a great job of explaining things.

August 7, 2006

Apple WWDC '06 Keynote Today

This morning Steve Jobs will be talking Leopard at the keynote. But no one is interested in that (well, not really). You have to admit, banners that read "Mac OS X Leopard, Hasta la Vista, Vista" and "Mac OS X Leopard, Introducing Vista 2.0" are pretty funny.

My biggest hope is that Finder and Spotlight get a modest boost in speed. Both are dog slow, especially Spotlight -- which is also buggy as all hell.

But the big rumor is the Intel-based Mac Pro desktop. Apple needs to retire the G5 tower, and with the Core 2 Duo out, now is the time.

Wether we see Woodcrest or Conroe chips in the new Mac Pro, it is gonna scream. Xserve also seems likely to get new Intel hardware as well. We could also see new Intel chips in the MacBook Pro line, but I have my doubts on that one.

Will there be updates to the iPod and iTunes? If I were a betting man, (and I am not) I'd bet on it.

I am sure the keynote will have the usual fireworks, fake turtleneck, and "one more thing." The show starts off at 1 PM EST, with numerous sources giving live updates. MacRumorsLive and MacCentral are two places I usually read for the keynote.

July 24, 2006

Mac OS X Widgets for Xbox 360 Users

Desktop Stats has two different Widgets available for OS X. Desktop Stats Viewer is the newest, and most customizable. The Gamercard Widget just displays a gamercard. Both are great at what they do, and I encourage you to download both of them.

The developer is working on newer versions of both Widgets, and has said will incorporate some suggestions I have made. Here is a screen of the DSV Widget:

July 22, 2006

Why Macintosh Skills Matter in Tech

Once viewed as a plaything, the Macintosh is now the PC of choice for many hard-core technology professionals, and Macintosh skills are now an in-demand specialty among IT pros, rather than an afterthought.
Source: Monster.com

Yea. Take that!

April 14, 2006

ASR Command Line in Mac OS X 10.4.6

Ahh yes, it is good to get back to the geeky posts, isn't it.

I just found this out the hard way. I use Carbon Copy Cloner (thanks so much Mike Bombich) and Apple System Restore in my day job a lot. It allows me to clone a new Mac in about 15 minutes, and that is with about 10 GB of data.

Mac OS X 10.4.6 prevents me from even using 'sudo' to execute the 'asr' command in Terminal. My handy AppleScript even fails.

It turns out that you need to run the 'asr' command in a root shell, or login to the system as root. If you ask me, this is something that you should not have to do. As any BOFH will tell you, using root to do anything is not a good idea.

And I am not about to leave a root password in a "do shell script" AppleScript, as I don't even like putting in an admin password in there. Even though adding "user name "username" password "password" with administrator privileges" to the end seems to work if you enable root in OS X, and use that user in the script.

Using root allowed me to continue my ASR cloning as I always have in every previous iteration of OS X.

To make matters worse, you get an odd-ball error. The "Permission denied" error makes sense, but not the "Validating target" error. Why? Because in this case the Target had nothing on it, it was in fact a newly formatted HFS+ volume. The "The target volume will not be bootable" is also a little odd too. I chalk this up as another oddity of OS X/BSD integration.

See the entire CLI dump after the break.

Continue reading "ASR Command Line in Mac OS X 10.4.6" »

HP 5100 LaserJet Driver Fix

This is as simple as they come. After a week of trying different things when we got a new HP 5100ntd, we had flaky printing from any number of applications.

After calling HP, the solution was to force the printer to use the HP 5000 Series drivers, as there are serious issues with the 5100 Series drivers for OS X. I was told that HP had no plans yet to address the problem. But hey, if you want to call and complain that wouldn't hurt.

Using the 5000 Series drivers is our only option, and have had no problems at all.

On a technical note, we have had better success with LPD printing with the 5100, even though IPP printing worked fine with our 5000 Series printers.

April 5, 2006

New Apple software lets Intel Macs boot Windows

Apple today introduced Boot Camp, new public-beta software for Mac OS X that lets users of Intel Macs boot directly into Microsoft Windows XP. While the move may contradict previous statements by Apple, the company said they still have no intention of fully supporting Windows on the Mac.
Source: MacCentral

Or as Joystiq most eloquently put it: Apple's official Mac gaming solution: Windows. Rob Griffiths has a first look up already. It sounds just amazing. We should be getting some new iMacs in at work, so I will get a chance to tinker with this myself.

Rob and I was chatting a little about what this could possibly mean for the future of the Mac and Mac OS X. Not that I like the thought of a post-apocalyptic future with no Mac OS X, but what if software developers such as Adobe just stop making Mac OS X software. What if they just tell their customers to just buy the Windows version, since it will run on their Intel-based Mac just fine.

Is that too radical an idea? I don't know. Apple's history has been pretty radical.

What I do know is this: running Windows natively on a Mac is exactly what I want. It will let me ditch my Dell Inspiron 700m. I can finally install Mac OS X and Windows XP (or Vista, if that ever ships) on a MacBook Pro -- one that I will surely own sometime after the second revision.

February 24, 2006

Windows XP on the Intel-based Macintosh

We now have Windows XP running on the Intel-based Macintosh — as a guest operating system under the Linux version of VMware." "To anybody who has used Windows XP under Virtual PC on the PowerPC version of Mac OS X: you will simply be blown away by how fast Windows XP runs under VMware on the new hardware.
Source: Mac OS X Internals

This is great news. But I don't really want to jump through hoops like that. Hopefully running Vista on an Intel Mac will be a bit easier.

January 14, 2006

MacBook Pro: What You Need To Know

From the outside, Apple’s new MacBook Pro looks suspiciously like a 15-inch aluminum PowerBook G4. Yes, the ports are slightly different, and it’s slightly wider and thinner. But inside, it’s a completely different machine.
Source: Macworld

Some great info here, including this tidbit:

Apple has redesigned the way the power charger connects to the laptop. (Yes, laptop users who have collected a zillion power adapters, this means you’ll have to invest in all-new adapters.) The MagSafe Connector uses magnets in the cable and the computer to secure the connection.
Thanks Apple. I have three such power bricks for my PowerBook. Thanks a lot.

January 12, 2006

MacBook Pro Comparison Charts

MacBook Pro v. PowerBook G4 v. Acer Travelmate 8200... FIGHT!

If you ask me, I think the Acer won. This highlights a couple problems I have with the MacBook Pro: Why the heck won't Apple put more then two USB ports on their portable, and what kind of battery life can we expect from the new MacBook Pro (a statistic that Apple usually plays to the hilt, and has been very quiet about so far).

Sun And Apple Almost Merged Three Times

Sun Microsystems tried to acquire Apple once and then almost merged with Apple on two other occasions, according to Sun co-founder Bill Joy. Beyond these deals, the two companies almost teamed on three other projects including sharing a user interface and the SPARC architecture. The moves were cheered by Apple fan Joy, while Sun's CEO Scott McNealy appeared less impressed with some of the proposals.
Source: The Register

Could you imagine an Apple interface on SPARC?

No XP On Intel Macs, But Vista Is Good To Go

If you've been counting on being able to run Windows on those new Intel-based Macs, Apple's not about to make it easy for you -- at least not if you're attached to Windows XP. According to Apple SVP Phil Schiller, the new Macs announced yesterday (those being the Intel iMac and MacBook Pro) may not be able to run current versions of Windows due to the fact that the computers will boot using the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), rather than a traditional BIOS (current Power PC Macs use Open Firmware).
Source: Engadget

Well isn't that a kick in the pants. Best get out those Vista beta discs then. No worries for me however. By the time I buy an Intel Mac, Vista will be out.

January 11, 2006

Macword San Francisco '06 Keynote Recap

The Macworld Keynote every year is like an extra holiday to Mac fans. Others just don't seem to understand. Steve Jobs stands in front of us, in his mock turtleneck and jeans, and preaches about the current and future Mac plans. This is an event that even the naysayers pay attention to.

The biggest news of the day was the new PowerBook, now known as the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro features include a built-in iSight camera, IR Sensor, Apple Remote, ATI Radeon x1600 video processor, and a new, innovative magnetic power plug. All the normal I/O ports are included, with the exception of Firewire 800. I am not exactly sure why it was omitted.

Continue reading "Macword San Francisco '06 Keynote Recap" »

January 3, 2006

Friend Sells PowerBook G4 for $180

A friend of mine, who will remain anonymous, just sold her PowerBook G4 (circa January 2001) for $180. For only $180? Lets back up a few years.

We both bought our PowerBooks at the same time. I remember recommending the spec for her 400 Mhz PowerBook while I got the 500 Mhz model. It wasn't long after she got the PowerBook that someone decided to (accidently) put there elbow or arm down on top of the closed PowerBook breaking the LCD screen.

It is amazing how much Apple charges to fix the screen, even if you spend the money on AppleCare. Long story short: she never fixed the screen and hooked the PowerBook up to a VGA monitor for its entire life.

I am quite impressed that her 'Book is still working. Mine didn't last near as long.

But $180? That is just too funny... for me. That is one heck of an expensive keyboard you just sold.

October 13, 2005

Video iPod, iTunes 6, and new iMac G5

What a busy day. Although I can't it was a surprise, thanks to the rumor sites. MacWorld has a piece on the new iMac, Playlist has the video iPod and iTunes 6 covered.

Viva la video on the iPod! And to answer Matt and Jake, NO I am not gonna buy one. I have Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and Sin City on my PSP right now, and I can watch them (and actually see the details) just fine on the luxurious screen. Granted I only have a 1 GB card, but I will take the bigger screen over the bigger hard disk space.

The one thing that gets me is how Apple can only charge $1.99 for videos and TV shows. I think that is a miracle in itself. Of course the flip side to that is BitTorrent and free, but $1.99 a show isn't bad at all.

September 27, 2005

Screenshot settings in Mac OS

I get so tired of people asking, and I have to explain the keyboard shortcuts in OS X to take screenshots. Even though they could (gasp!) look it up in Mac Help or even Google.

Here is a nice article by Dan Frakes that talks about everything you would want to know, from 1st party to 3rd party, freeware to shareware.

Now please, stop asking.

For the quick and dirty methods:

Command+Shift+3: Full-screen screenshot

Command+Shift+4: Crosshair to allow selection of screenshot area

Command+Shift+4, then spacebar: “Camera” to capture a specific screen object

And for those who are still using OS 9, you don't get the fancy 3rd option. Upgrade to OS X and you can actually save those screenshots in a real file format to boot.

August 20, 2005

The hidden currents powering Intel's next gen chips

AT NEXT WEEK'S Intel developer forum, the firm is due to announce a next generation x86 processor core. The current speculation is this new core is going too be based on one of the existing Pentium M cores. I think it’s going to be something completely different.
Source: The Inquirer

Isn't it interesting. Now we (Mac users) have another market to watch. Now everything Intel is everything Mac. The speculation is a new 64 bit Intel chip based on the M core. Did Apple know something when they announced the switch to Intel that we don't know yet. Probably.

One of the major concerns that came out of that Apple-Intel announcement was "What about the 64 bit OS X?" I guess it is just a matter of time. 64 bit OS X might not be dead in the water after all.

August 13, 2005

Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs

That future may already be unfolding: Hackers have found a way to bypass a chip designed to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple PCs, which are often cheaper than Macs.
Source: WIRED

There have been conflicting reports about Apple using a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in their new development kits. It sounds like they did.

And you just knew it would only be a (short) amount of time before this new Mac OS on vanilla Intel hardware was hacked. It was as if Apple was just taunting people to defy them.

August 4, 2005

Sony to release PSP 2.0 firmware update Aug. 12

Sony has already released a 2.0 firmware upgrade to its PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Japan. Sony has announced plans to release that software in North America on August 12. the update adds a Web browser, photo sharing options and more to the handheld gaming console and media player.
Source: MacCentral

This we know (or should). This article focuses on the Mac side of things.

August 3, 2005

Apple introduces the Mighty Mouse

Apple Computer on Tuesday introduced Mighty Mouse, the company’s next generation USB 1.1 and 2.0 mouse. Mighty Mouse offers users up to four independently programmable buttons and a Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any direction — vertically, horizontally and even diagonally, according to Apple.
Source: MacCentral

Hell hath frozen over. I never thought I would see the day when Apple saw the light, and released a multi-button mouse. I just hope this mouse is included when you buy a new Mac now. I am also not sold on the name. I almost expected it to be named something like "iMouse." But aparently Apple liked the name Mighty Mouse so much that they licensed the name from Viacom, who own the property now.

As you would expect, it is designed very well. I do like the ability to scroll sideways (something the Microsoft IntelliMouse has). I am a little surprised at the price too, $49 is cheaper then Apple has previously sold its corded single button mouse for ($69). It still costs more then an IntelliMouse though.

My only questions is this: Where is the Bluetooth? Since Apple has a BT single-button mouse, why not have a BT multi-button mouse too?

I have a Logitech MX 700, and I do not think I could go back to a corded mouse.

June 7, 2005

Considering Intel

So in case you were sleeping today, Apple announced that, over the next two years, it will swap the chips inside the Mac.
Source: MacCentral

Since I really do not have the time to elaborate on this subject a lot, I figured I would point you to Rob Griffiths's (who just made Senior Editor, congratulations) column over at Macworld.

He and I talked a bit this afternoon, and we have very similar thoughts.

First off I think everyone who is now holding there breath about Apple just needs to exhale and take a chill. And all those people who just love to say that Apple is going under (for the 9,864th time) - just keep on saying it.

Sure the list of things that Rosetta will not do is substantial, (sorry, I am not going to sugar coat it) but if you are running, today, carbon and cocoa software I think you will be OK in two years or so when you decide to upgrade to an Intel-based Mac.

Being able to run Windows natively, or near native like WINE does it, is very appealing to me. And I bet I am not the only one. If Apple develops a WINE like environment for Windows software, I would not have to reboot to use Windows. Even if I did, it would be so much better then using Virtual PC or Guest PC today.

I don't think the price of Apple hardware will drop drastically. Apple still needs to either make, or partner with a motherboard manufacturer (which could be Intel) so that it can protect is ROM, and 'clone wars' do not erupt again.

Apple has a peticular loathing for cheap PC parts - and who can blame them - so don't think you are going to build your own Mac. What will happen, however, is that Apple now has by default access to a whole slew of better technology: graphics cards, controller cards, hard drives, etc, etc. This is the big win for Apple loyalists.

I can't wait for the Macworld when we can do a Photoshop speed test with OS X and Windows on Intel chips. Will it matter? Not one bit. But we will finally be able to compare Apples to "apples."

June 6, 2005

Intel is inside

The rumors are true. Hell has frozen over. Jobs just showed OS 10.4.1 running on an Intel Pentium 4 @ 3.6 Ghz. What we all suspected is true, "Marklar" has indeed been in development for five years now.

I only wonder about porting the software to the Intel architecture. My guess is that Apple has not been happy at all with the PowerPC not being able to hit the 3.0 Ghz threshold, and this is Apple's way of saying the sh** has hit the fan. Lower prices for Apple hardware are soon to come, I would guess. And finally a faster processor in which to run OS X on.

MacCentral is updating their site live from the keynote right now.

May 21, 2005

Alan Deutschman reviews "iCon"

The Steve Jobs "iCon" book got early attention, even before it was published, because Jobs pulled all the publishers books from the Apple Store. So I earmarked the book on Amazon. But after reading Deutschman's review, I think I will pass. It seems that "iCon" is not only a rehash of "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs." - Deutschman's book - but a rehash of a number of previously printed books about Steve Jobs.

Deutschman gives a number of side by side examples of the text from his book, and that from "iCon." What a joke, and a con.

March 23, 2005

Mac Threats: Is Symantec Crying Wolf?

In a perfect would, people might pay for security software based on the number of attacks prevented and the severity of those threats. The bigger the threat, the harder the software works and the more it protects, the more you pay. Seems fair enough.

In the case of Mac OS X, if you paid for what you got, the price for security software would be zero. The price would thus equal the number of virus and malware threats that target Apple's Unix-based operating system.

Source: eWEEK

Opinion or not, he has a good point about the cost of Mac Anti-Virus software.

March 11, 2005

Apple joins Blu-ray Board of Directors

In a joint release, Apple Computer and the Blu-ray Disc Association announced on Thursday that Apple would become a member of the consortium's Board of Directors. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) is responsible for establishing format standards and promoting and further developing business opportunities for Blu-ray Disc.
Source: MacCentral

It looks like Apple might be taking sides in this upcoming war between Blue-ray and HD-DVD. This should be fun. HD isn't even settled yet. Lets just face it, there will be two standards. I mean we live with DVD+ and - R formats.

March 8, 2005

From NeXT to X

Most in the industry were certain that Apple would choose Be, whose operating system, BeOS, already ran on Apple's newest computers. Amongst Apple's other options were to license Solaris from Sun, NT from Microsoft, or to purchase a burgeoning software (it had dropped its hardware years before), NeXT.
Source: Macreate

For those of you who do not know this history of OS X, and how it was almost BeOS and not NeXT, or if you didn't know that Be and NeXT was involved, this is a great article. The timeline is fleshed out well, and was a good read.

February 28, 2005

Jef Raskin, lead designer of the Macintosh, dies

Jef Raskin, the lead designer of the first Macintosh computer and a pioneer in the development of user interfaces, died Saturday at age 61. He had been diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, his family said in a statement.
Source: MacCentral

Related Links
jefraskin.com
raskincenter.org

February 24, 2005

Review: Apple Wireless Keyboard

I have had my Apple Wireless Keyboard for 6 full months now. The batteries actually lasted 6 months! This is another great keyboard design from Apple. Although, I really miss having a power button on the keyboard, but it is great not having any wires.

Continue reading "Review: Apple Wireless Keyboard" »

TiVo shares rise on takeover speculation

NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - TiVo Inc. shares jumped more than 17 percent on Wednesday, fueled by speculation that Apple Computer Inc. might make a try to buy the digital video recorder maker, analysts said.

"What we hear on the street is that Apple is interested in their business and that they are a takeout target," said analyst Steven Kroll Jr. of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.

Source: Reuters

It fits the "Digital Hub" idea doesn't it? TiVo has been a money-losing company recently. I really have no idea why Apple would want to buy them. But who knows, Apple is great at keeping secrets. I didn't know this, but Time Warner, Liberty Media, Comcast, and even Sony (which used to make TiVo boxes) are all said to be taking a look at TiVo, too (Engadget).

February 20, 2005

Mac Developer Directory

Easily find contract developers with Mac or Mac related skills in the Mac Developer Directory.

February 7, 2005

IBM, Sony, Toshiba unveil nine-core Cell processor

Researchers from IBM Corp., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Toshiba Corp. unveiled the long-awaited Cell microprocessor Monday, revealing a multicore, multithreaded gaming engine described as "a supercomputer on a chip..."

The prototype chip discussed Monday is comprised of one 64-bit PowerPC processor core and eight separate processing cores that the companies call "synergistic processing elements," or SPEs. The cores can support multiple operating systems and programming models through the use of virtualization technologies, said Jim Kahle, director of technology at the Design Center for Cell Technology, and an IBM fellow.

Source: MacCentral

Not only is this great Playstation 3 news, this is great news for IBM. The next X Box, Playstation, and probably Nintendo console will all be using IBM CPU's and ATI GPU's. Thats really great news for IBM and ATI.

It is great for IBM because it means there are more uses for the PowerPC processor then just Macs. Who would have thought the next X Box, from Microsoft, was based on the Apple G5 processor. Its not exactly a G5, of course, but all these next generation gaming consoles are using PowerPC derived chips.

February 3, 2005

Apple's Tipping Point: Macs For The Masses

Now this is what you call an info-graphic! See the larger version, as well as some concept sketches.

The Sweet Spot. Until January 2005, Apple had no iPod or PC products that served the mass market. With the launch of iPod Shuffle and Mac mini they have finally converged two product paths with the mass market in mind....
Source: NiXLOG Via: Cult of Mac

There is some great information here, and man is this a good looking info-graphic!

January 25, 2005

Mac mini BTO option prices drop


Apple has sweetened the pot for build-to-order (BTO) options on its new Mac mini, reducing prices on some options or improving the options themselves. Customers ordering Mac minis through Apple's online U.S. store can now get Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme wireless networking combined for $99 -- $30 less than before. Apple has also cut the price of a 1GB RAM installation by $150, from $475 to $325. An 80GB hard drive upgrade for the 1.25GHz model, previous available for $80, is now $50. Apple has also replaced the 4x SuperDrive upgrade previously offered with an 8x unit instead, at the same price -- $100.
Source: MacCentral

Interesting move, wouldn't you say? It is a week old. So far, what I have heard is that orders in the queue have been adjusted. Apple always does that of open orders if you did not know that. It has happened to me twice. It is nice to see the $150 price drop for the RAM. It is still more then 3rd party, but have you looked at the Service Source manual for getting the Mac mini open to replace that RAM stick! That does not look like fun at all.

Good move Apple. Making the 1 GB of RAM more affordable was a good discussion, as was changing out the 4x SuperDrive for the 8x model.

iWork '05 Reviews

I have had a few days to play around with both Keynote 2 and Pages. Keynote 2 seems pretty solid. Pages, even being a 1.0 app, is missing something major, which is going to bring reviews down a few notches. Even on that note, Pages is a really slick app. I do not see how it can really be classified a word processor though. It is much more a page layout tool.

Keynote 2 has big improvements. There is a small bug however. I am not the only one who has it. No one has figured out what causes it. Some people cannot select Insert - Web View and others cannot. I can on my PowerBook but not on my G5. If I create a clean user on my G5 I can select Insert - Web View. My guess right now is that it is a conflict with a startup item or a preference pane, or some other software I run on my main account. I have yet to have time to figure out what the problem is. Once I do, I will surely post about it.

Pages is a great hybrid word processor/page layout application. You really can't call it one or the other. What you can call it is unfinished. Rob Griffiths came up with "OnlyAddPages" as a new moniker. You cannot delete or rearrange pages... without a heck of a lot of work. There simply is no user interface to delete and rearrange pages in Pages. Since Pages is from the team that brought us Keynote, you would think they would have the exact same "Pages" and "Master" pane on the left side of the Pages window, not to mention a "New" and "Delete" button right above that. Hopefully soon.

Since I don't have the time to fully review iWork, I will point you in the right direction. I am happy with the iWork package, it is worth the small price tag for these two great apps.

Rob Griffiths has articles online now about both Keynote 2 and Pages. Be sure and check them out a for a great overview of iWork and a few really great tips.

Buy your Mac a drink: The Macintosh turns 21


In celebration of the 21st birthday of the Mac, a German Mac site has posted a video [mirror] from Apple CEO Steve Jobs' public introduction of the first Macintosh on January 24, 1984. "Mac fans will definitely want to check this one out," writes CNET News.com's Ina Fried.
Source: MacMinute

The torrent came down in good time, and I left it open all day as I went to work. Pretty cool video, be sure to check it out!

January 23, 2005

Configuring and running X11 Applications on Mac OS X

For no good reason I was rooting through the ADC web site, and found this article "Configuring and running X11 Applications on Mac OS X." I found it most nerdy and very informative. You might as well.

January 15, 2005

Teen accused of leaking Apple secrets

A Web site that disclosed Apple's top-secret plans to bring out a $499 mini computer and a new bare-bones iPod -- prompting a lawsuit from the company -- turns out to be the brainchild of a 19-year-old Harvard University student.
Source: CNN

"Nick dePlume" is out of the bag now! He should have an easy time finding legal representation at Harvard of all places.

Windows Longhorn to make graphics card important

MAJORITY OF USERS don't care about a graphics card because this majority uses only 2D operations, or should I say they need it just to draw and show picture on displays...

Believe it or not, your Windows performance will depend on the quality of graphics card you have. A faster card might draw something faster than a slower mainstream or entry level card, meaning that even some Office software might perform better if you have a faster 3D card.

Source: The Inquirer

Read it and weep fellas. All you Windows users who have laughed at us Mac users with our slow screen redraw in OS X, just you wait until Longhorn.

This mainly happened to OS X when Apple introduced Quartz Extreme. (Screen redraw has always been a problem in OS X, Quartz Extreme fixed that in 10.2.x) Any Mac that did not have 32 MB of GPU was left in the dark, so to speak. Quartz Extreme offloads the compositing of the GUI to the GPU, and frees up the CPU from those mundane calculations. I was miffed when my 500 Mhz PowerBook could not handle Quartz Extreme, it only has a 16 MB GPU.

This same thing is going to happen with Longhorn hits shelves in 2006, or whenever it is released. Your low end or mid-ranged GPU's are not gonna cut the mustard. And the GPU you have in your year old PC surely is not gonna be the best for this new Windows Graphic Foundation calculations.

Interestingly enough Apple is doing the same thing again with Tiger, with the introduction of Core Image.

For computers without a programmable GPU, Core Image dynamically optimizes for the CPU, automatically tuning for Velocity Engine and multiple processors as appropriate.
I wonder if anyone will pitch a fit when their GPU cannot take advantage of Core Image. I assume the cut off mark of a "programmable GPU" will not be as bad as the cut off mark for Quartz Extreme.

Thanks to Rob Griffiths for sending me the Inquirer link.

January 11, 2005

Apple launches IT Pro Web site

Apple today launched its new IT Pro Web site, which provides a wide variety of information and resources for IT professionals. Subject areas include profiles of companies using Macs, feature articles, Government resources, Education information, a High-Performance Computing section, and more.
Source: MacMinute

January 8, 2005

PowerBooks burn dual-layer DVDs with new MCE drive

Irvine, Calif.-based MCE Technologies LLC on Wednesday announced it is shipping the 8X SuperDrive, a replacement for the optical drive in Apple Computer Inc.'s PowerBook G4 laptop. The new drive is capable of burning dual-layer DVD discs, capable of storing up to 8.5GB of information. The same drive also fits in Apple's Power Mac G4 Cube.
Source: MacCentral

If the price of Dual Layer DVD-R's come down, I might get this drive. Thanks to my Dad for the link.

December 20, 2004

PC Mag: eMac is worst desktop of the year

In his "Worst products of the year" list, Jim Louderback of PC Magazine calls Apple's eMac the worst desktop PC of 2004. "Apple, the entry-level eMac really does represent Think Different. That's because for a company that prides itself on quality, this computer is different. As in bad. On the plus side, it's stylish. On the downside, it's slow, underpowered, and pathetic. The 40GB hard drive will fill up quickly, the lack of a DVD burner makes offloading files impossible, and the Radeon 9200 graphics card won't even run this fall's hot Mac games. And at around $800, this eMac ain't cheap. If you're considering a home Apple, think different. Buy a Dell. Or be prepared to spend a lot more for an acceptable Apple computer."
Source: MacMinute

It is possible to offload files, its this thing called a CD-RW. They come standard. You must not have done your research if you think $800 for a Mac is not cheap.

Continue reading "PC Mag: eMac is worst desktop of the year" »

December 8, 2004

Consumer Reports gives Apple high marks

In its latest issue, Consumer Reports has once again looked at the computer industry and rated hardware companies on their products. Apple Computer Inc. topped the charts in a couple of categories, including repair history and tech support.
Source: MacCentral

I have been happy with my repairs and tech support I have received from Apple. They really bent over backwards to support my 500 Mhz PowerBook G4, otherwise known as "the lemon" or "Rev. A." It worked well enough to make me want to buy another PowerBook, and this one I have had no problem with.

* knocks on wood *

November 21, 2004

The Apple Store Regent Street

These pics from the new London Apple Store look nice. It has a 14 metre long Genius bar!

Via Macworld UK.

October 27, 2004

The dual 2.5-GHz Power Mac G5: Unadulterated power

OCTOBER 20, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) - Although Mac fans might find it hard to believe, the dual 2.5-GHz Power Mac G5 does indeed exist. The new top-end Power Mac was officially unveiled in June, but only a few of them have trickled into customers' hands, and four months after its debut, it remains one of the rarest Macs out there (with the scarce iMac G5 not far behind).
Source: Computer World

I just love hearing Mac and most recently G5 reviews from non Mac publications. You just know the people who have to do the reviews secretly want to keep the machine or buy one of their own.

October 25, 2004

The SH/Renepo "worm" (also known as Opener) scare

Over the weekend, MacInTouch and Slashdot posted information regarding a shell script dubbed "opener" that, if installed with proper authentication on a Mac OS X system, can trigger several vulnerabilities including password compromising and activity tracking. Several publications have since sounded the alarm, with headlines like "Mac users face rare virus" and "Destructive Mac virus spies on Apple users".

Fortunately, there is no immediate threat posed by this, or any other malicious shell script currently in circulation -- running the "opener" script and allowing it to do any damage requires root authentication, which must be locally entered by a Mac OS X administrator. There is currently no vector for this or any other malicious Mac OS X script, i.e. no way for the script to autonomously take hold of the system or propagate itself to other systems without express administrator permission. In other words, it is not spreading, and cannot spread without a vector that is capable of gaining root access.


Source: MacFixIt

Say this with me:

must be locally entered by a Mac OS X administrator
must be locally entered by a Mac OS X administrator
must be locally entered by a Mac OS X administrator
must be locally entered by a Mac OS X administrator

There. Do you feel better? I sure do. People need to settle down. There have been many similar malware scripts over the short history of OS X that could compromise a computer, but the password must be locally entered by a Mac OS X administrator.

But since OS X has historically has been virus free, when a potential virus shows up all the moron news agencies start to cry wolf. They all want to be there to break the story when the Teflon coating of Mac OS X is broken and a virus starts wrecking havoc on a mass scale. Well that hasn't happened yet, and its not going to happen with the "Opener" worm unless people just type their administrator password in for no good reason at all.

Sophos, as usual, has a good explanation of what this worm tries to do. Be sure to read it if you want more information.

Sure, its a scary sounding startup script. And Mac users should not feel as if they are 100% safe from virus attatcks, but lets get a grip people! Unwittingly giving arbitrary code the permission to run is perhaps the greatest current security threat for Mac OS X users.

Welcome to using a Unix based Operating System: the OS thinks you know what the [bleep] you are doing.

How did it suddenly become a vulnerability that if you have root access to someones machine, you can write a script that will automatically install a bunch of malware?

October 11, 2004

A Month with a Mac: A Die-Hard PC User's Perspective

Anandtech - the PC hardware site - took the Apple challenge and tried a Mac out for a month. The result was the most indepth Macdate I have even seen. As quoted by Anand, "In the end, Apple has developed a very strong platform."

Source: AnandTech via Slashdot

In-depth? Indeed. Good read? Yes.

October 8, 2004

Details emerge in Honeywell's suit against Apple

Honeywell on Wednesday announced that it has filed suit in federal court against Apple Computer Inc. and more than thirty other companies, alleging infringement over a 1994 patent that describes technology used to improve the quality of images shown on a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panel. MacCentral has obtained a copy of the documents Honeywell filed on October 6, 2004 in U.S. District Court for the district of Delaware.

Source: MacCentral

All I am going to say is this, other then the fact that Honeywell are morons: Apple does not make their LCD screens. They buy them from LG and Samsung. Hello Honeywell? Is Apple on this list of over 30 companies just to juice the media? I think so.

October 6, 2004

Stephanie got her PowerBook G4

We ordered Stephanie's PowerBook last Wednesday. It arrived last Friday! Now that is fast delivery. The Aluminum 'Books are so much curvier then the Titanium ones. I am very jealous of the backlight keyboard. That is very nice.

But to be honest, since I now have my G5, my PowerBook has been neglected. It just sits on the couch and is used once in a while. Its really sad. Though I would never sell it.

I can live without a backlight keyboard. I have a very front light keyboard sitting in front of this 23" Cinema Display.

;)

September 29, 2004

My Dream PowerBook

I just bought my dream PowerBook. Here are the specs:

• 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 with 128MB Graphics Memory (ATI Mobility Radeon 9700)
• 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 SO-DIMM (another 512 MB stick can be had cheaper elsewhere)
• 80GB Ultra ATA drive @ 5400 rpm
• SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
• Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
• AirPort Extreme Card
• APP for PowerBook (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit
• 15.2-inch TFT Display

So now it is perfectly fine for Apple to release their new PowerBooks tomorrow at the same price, with either dual G4 processors or a low heat (ha ha) G5 chip in them.

Now I know some of you are shaking your heads. "Ken, you just bought a PowerMac G5, and you have a PowerBook G4, what in the world do you need with another PowerBook?" Ahh, but Simon didn't say. This baby is not for me. This is for our Student Publications Graduate Student Stephanie. She is a first time Mac buyer, and she is fed up with her Pentium III-powered Dell at home. Not wanting to buy another PC, she decided it was time to get a Mac. Viruses in her email were enough to bring her back from the Dark Side, but she also really enjoys using the Macs we have at work.

I am as exited to see this new PowerBook as she is, I cannot wait to see the speed difference between my 1 Ghz and the new 1.5 Ghz, with the 128 MB of graphics memory.

Fun fun fun, it should be here within a week.

.Mac bumps up storage capacity, improves mail

Apple has improved the services offered to subscribers of .Mac. Previously, the amount of storage for a basic .Mac account was 100MB, with a maximum of 15MB for e-mail. The service's base online storage has been increased to 250MB, e-mail service has been enhanced, and the cost of upgrading has been reduced. .Mac's basic subscription price remains the same -- US$99.95 per year...

Source: MacCentral

What a sweet deal! And I just renewed my .Mac earlier this month. It is also a nice touch that you can change the allocation between iDisk and Mail storage. Now I am not so worried about publishing more photos to my HomePage on .Mac.

September 20, 2004

ESPN makes Motion available for Mac sports fans

ESPN.com has made its video player ESPN Motion available to Mac users, the Web site announced on Monday. Sports fans can add or subtract video clips to or from Motion's playlist and watch streaming sports highlights in any order they want. The video can be enlarged or paused during playback, with a control available for the audio level. You don't need to download and install any software to make Motion work, although ESPN.com does recommend viewing clips in Safari, Netscape, Mozille or Firefox -- Internet Explorer only offers limited compatibility. The Flash 6 plug-in is required, however.

Source: MacCentral

Ummm, yea. Its about friggin' time! And it works great in OmniWeb 5.0.1, by the way.

September 13, 2004

Beatles settlement could be 'biggest in legal history'

According to Variety, the trademark dispute between Apple Computer and Apple Corps (which is owned by the Beatles) could end up costing the Mac maker a pretty penny. The publication said that an out of court settlement could be imminent and that it will "massively dwarf" the US$26.5 million Apple paid to the Beatles in 1991 over trademark use. One lawyer told Daily Variety, "People are expecting this to be the biggest settlement anywhere in legal history, outside of a class action suit. The numbers could be mind boggling."

Source: MacMinute

What the hell is the point? Why wasn't the US$26.5 million enough? Because lawyers are a** holes. And everyone is this world is sue-happy.

September 12, 2004

Developing Cross-Platform UNIX Applications with Mac OS X

The ability to do cross-platform development is a strength of Mac OS X, as the UNIX underpinnings make it easy to develop applications on your Mac and port them to other flavors of UNIX for deployment. This article enumerates some of the tools that you can use to develop code on Mac OS X so that you can deploy that code on other UNIX-based platforms, and some things that you'll want to make sure to note before you get started...

Source: Apple Developer Connection

September 7, 2004

OS X's Windows compatibility opens new avenues

A Computer Reseller News article makes the case that Mac OS X's improved Windows compatibility opens new avenues -- for both users and resellers -- but that Apple isn't doing enough to push it in those new markets: "'The OSX has a strong argument for organizations that are heavily vested in Microsoft workflow because it can complement those environments well. It is a great opportunity for Apple to jump in and play with those organizations, but are people selling it that way? Probably not,' said Tekserve's Cohen, noting Apple doesn't charge for client access licenses." Source: CRN.com

Mac OS X Hidden Files & Directories

Mac OS X volumes contain quite a few files and directories (aka folders) that are invisible from the Finder (and many other interfaces). For the most part, they're hidden for good reason -- you generally don't need to worry about them, and in fact, probably shouldn't muck with them unless you know what you're doing. But just in case you find yourself needing to deal with them, here's a quick summary of what they're for... Source: Westwind Computing What a great list! People always ask me questions about hidden files/folders in OS X, and now I can say something other then "so you cannot see them."

Joswiak: 'True to What an iMac Has Always Been About'

After Apple unveiled the iMac G5 in Paris this week, Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak gave Macworld editors a guided tour of the desktop's new design. Among the topics of conversation: the iMac's cooling system, why FireWire 800 was left out, and how this new model fits in with Apple's objectives... Source: MacCentral What a great Q and A!

September 3, 2004

iMac: The Missing Memory

By Dan Frakes ...Adding 256MB of RAM to an iMac G5 -- resulting in a total of 512MB -- would cost you or me $40-$50 at today's retail prices, which means Apple would most likely pay $30-$40 (or less?) for the same upgrade. That's a small investment that would result in significant gains for the consumer. Even if Apple couldn't afford to reduce their per-unit profit by $30 and had to raise the price of the iMac $30, I think such a move would be worth it. How many iMac buyers would balk at an extra $30? And any competent reviewer would praise Apple for not taking the low-RAM route. A few price-obsessed "analysts" might object, but I think most would see the value in such a move... Source: Editors' Notes Weblog I don't get the 256 MB of RAM in the new iMac G5 either. Especially the top of the line iMac G5, it too comes with 256 MB of RAM as the stock config. Not only that, but Apple asks $75 to double the RAM to 512 MB! Crucial sells 256 MB for $46.99 and as low as $26.97 found on Pricewatch.com. I think Apple could have done better on the RAM front on this new amazing iMac G5. People who are not Mac geeks do not know OS X really needs 512 MB or more RAM to really shine. The same thing is true about Windows XP, by the way. I must say the best feature of this new iMac G5 is the user installable parts that this iMac G5 puts at the end users fingertips. If you have ever ripped the cover off of a Rev. A iMac to replace anything in it knows how nice these user installable parts in the iMac G5 are. Even installing RAM in the Rev. A iMac was hell.

August 29, 2004

G5 Received and Setup

"Sittin' on the dock of West Hall, watching the time roll away..." I will never choose Ground shipping when I buy from Apple, or any other vendor again. FedEx Ground has until 8 PM to deliver, and as I found out Friday, it does not seem to matter if the delivery address is a business or not. When my G5 did not show by 5 PM, and the web site said it was on the truck for delivery, I started calling FedEx. I had to talk to 5 people and did not get through to the person I needed to on the first call, but I finally confirmed that my G5 would show up by 7 PM. I had to confirm with FedEx that I would be there at 7 PM as well. So I grabbed a chair and sat on the dock behind West Hall. I got some of my Economics reading done, so it was not a complete waste of time. Once you start up a G5 for the first time you are prompted to transfer files from an old Mac. I have heard of this Setup Assistant feature but never have I seen it first hand. I have to say that the hour it took to transfer all my files (about 50 GB of stuff, lots of video too) saved me probably 10 fold in time installing and setting up preferences. What I am very impressed with is that my unix apps came over, even though they are not in my user Library folder. I use POPFile, which uses SQLite, as well as a number of perl modules. I was sure I would have to install POPFile on my G5, and I did not have to do a thing. How wonderful is that! The only thing that was not transfered was the Developer folder with all the developer tools and 'developer' unix apps. This was a quick install however as this package installer is provided in the Installers folder. The only casualty of using the Setup Assistant is that iSync thinks your new computer is your old computer. You have to delete the "old computer" name and then you are set. Not a huge problem, just something to be aware of, because you cannot keep two computers in sync if they are both named the same thing. UPDATE: I found one more casualty of the Setup Assistant file transfer process. Zino's DRM file gets out of whack and I get an error #22-M. There is, however, a very easy fix. It was also very easy to find on their help site. UPDATE: Apple Remote Desktop also exhibited some odd behavior. When I launch ARD Admin it tells me I need to serialize my install. It has the my serial number filled out but it has some odd ball characters (upside down question marks, for example). I just had to type in my serial number and everything works now. UPDATE: Audible will not let me listen to my subscription books and periodicals on my G5. I get an error message stating that I need to remove my Audible account on at least one of my other computers. I do not yet have a fix for this. I need to go to their help site. I found the answer, not on the web site, but in iTunes itself. Under the Advanced menu choose Deauthorize Computer. I found this handy feature AFTER I found this page on the Audible.com site. That always happens. I cannot get over how fast this G5 is. It should be fast after all, I payed a pretty penny for it! I can't get over how fast things install and apps load and everything else. I will have to use it for a little while to notice how much faster it feels over the Dual 2.0 Ghz G5 at work. I was not thinking strait when I ordered my G5 and bought an AirPort Extreme card after the fact, so I had to install it. That was the easiest computer component I have ever installed. I also ordered extra RAM from Crucial, and that installation was similarly painless. So here are the specs of my new baby: Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 with 1.25 Ghz frontside bus 3GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) ATI Radeon 9800 XT w/256MB DDR SDRAM AirPort Extreme Card Bluetooth Module 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) Apple Wireless Keyboard Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel) I got the Cinema Display July 30, the day my G5 was supposed to ship. The G5 was then supposed to ship August 20. Then it was supposed to ship August 30. Each time I got emails explaining the delays. On August 22nd I got shipment confirmation, I am just so glad I have it now and it is not a lemon. I do not understand why the ATI 9800 XT has a ADC port on it. It SHOULD have two DVI ports on it. I of course also do not understand why Apple came up with the Apple Display Connector in the first place. I have my 23" Cinema plugged into the DVI port, and now need to buy a Dr. Bott ADC VGA Extractor for $25 to plugin my other monitor. I wish the cord for these new Cinema Displays was longer. I would like to place my G5 tower on the floor, and the Cinema on my desk. But because of how short the cord is that plugs into the Cinema's power brick, I have to put the G5 on my desk next to the Cinema. Other then the ADC port on the ATI 9800 XT, my only other complaint with the G5 is only having one Firewire 400 port in the back. I figured after the feedback from the Rev. A G5 they may put another Firewire 400 in the back. Oh well. I just have too many Firewire devices, and for that matter, too many USB devices. Connecting everything was a snap. Of course I would accept nothing less with a new G5! Connecting to my new AirPort Express was a breeze. Connecting the BlueTooth Keyboard was a breeze. It was so easy to connect via BlueTooth to my Tungsten T3 and transferring files. I sent a couple Word and PDF documents to my T3, that is so slick! Rendezvous printing worked as expected. No glitches what so ever. Not having to install POPFile was such a nice sunrise, that is for sure. Now if you will excuse me I need to go play Halo on my new G5 :)

August 9, 2004

Exclusive liquid-cooled Power Mac G5 development details

The overall development and production of the first liquid-cooled Power Macs was no easy feat. The project was lengthy and relied on the efforts of several third parties, and in fact, still does. While following the development of the new Power Macs, AppleInsider collected several tidbits of information that may finally lend answers to some of the burning questions surrounding the new liquid cooled computers. Source: Apple Insider

Apple at SIGGRAPH 2004

A buddy of mine just IM'd me from LA and told me that both Tiger and Motion is at the Apple booth this year. SIGGRAPH 2004 opens tomorrow. I wish I was there this year, but I have much work to do at the newspaper.

July 30, 2004

Apple misses Dual 2.5GHz G5 ship date

Several MacMinute readers (including me) report that their orders for the new Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 have been delayed until late next month. "The demand for this item has been incredible," Apple said in an e-mail to customers. "We are shipping them as quickly as possible, but cannot meet the ship date we previously estimated for you. We now expect to ship your Power Mac on or before August 20th." When the liquid-cooled machine was announced in early June, Apple said it would ship in July. Customers who ordered the tower on the first day it was available were given an expected ship date of July 30. Source: MacMinute I was looking forward to a ship date of July 30. That would have been nice. I get my display tomorrow, it would be nice to have the G5 to go along with it. I do not like this recent trend that Apple has, this hurry up and wait, and broken shipment promises. It has happened too much. But didn't we see this one coming? Apple knew they had a problem with the 970FX chip, we all knew they had a problem, Why keep making hollow shipping promises. One of these days this is going to hurt Apple. But until then there will always be an excuse that the public seems to understand. After all, I would rather wait another month to have the dual 2.5 then have a dual 2 that have shipped now.

July 23, 2004

Apple Settles TIBCO Suit, Renames Rendezvous

Apple Computer has settled a trademark dispute with TIBCO Software, sources told eWEEK.com. There have been reports that Apple will rename its implementation of the ZeroConf wireless network discovery technology from Rendezvous to OpenTalk as part of the deal, but sources suggested that no new name has been set... Source: eWeek

Flat Panel iMac Port Placement is a Pain

I do not know what Apple was thinking when designing that lampshade iMac but they came up with a great product. The swivel display is a nice touch (no pun intended). Why in the word they put every single port in the back of the base is beyond me. I can understand the power being in the back, and possibly the ethernet port should be back there too. But why the Firewire and USB ports are in the back baffles me. Why are the audio jacks in the back? We now have a nice mix of FP iMacs and eMacs at work, and setting up the FP iMacs is a pain. We use USB bus powered Zip drives in the offices and move a few of them to the machine that need them at that moment. I use a Firewire bus powered HD to perform maintenance on all of our (Firewire equipped) Macs. Some students, including myself have USB pen drives. The USB and Firewire ports on the FP iMac should be brought around to the left or right side. And while they are at it they can bring the power button around to the side as well. It is such a waste of time, and an annoyance, to have to swivel the base of the FP iMac around to plug/unplug a Firewire or USB base. The port placement on the eMac on the other hand is great. Of course its in the same place as the CRT iMacs, a placement that should not have been mucked with.

July 17, 2004

AirPort Express iPodLounge Review

If Apple's iTunes music management software had only one major failing up until today, it would have been an obvious one: you could only hear your iTunes library through a computer. And if that computer wasn't in the same room with a nice pair of speakers - say, the large ones used in your home entertainment center - the only ways you could enjoy your digital music collection would be on a computer, or on an iPod... Source: iPodLounge

July 11, 2004

Goodbye Windows, Hello G5

The PC has left the building. And you know what? My apartment is a lot quieter now. No, I am not kidding. Until Virtual PC 7 comes out and supports the G5 (come one Microsoft it has been AN ENTIRE YEAR already) I will now have to check web sites with the PC at work or in the School of Art lab (or s l o w VPC 6 on my PB). Now it looks like we will have to wait till the second half of 2004 now. I can't wait to see how VPC 7 runs on the G5, I know how VPC 6.1 runs on my PowerBook, and it's not pretty. On July 5th I ordered a Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 with 1 GB of RAM, only one 250 GB HD, and the ATI 9600 XT. This kept the cost under $3000, and that makes me happy. I also ordered a 23" HD Cinema Display. I also had to get that new snazzy AirPort Express with AirTunes. I knew I didn't need 3 computers, and I was not about to sell my PowerBook. Funny thing is I did not first think of selling my PC. But that thought did come to fruition. Timing is everything and Bonnie needed to buy a PC for her studio. I have impeccable timing. Not planned at all. Who knew? When Steve Jobs boasted the Dual 3.0 Ghz in a year I decided I could wait a year. Oh well its only a 2.5 Ghz system but I think that is pretty good considering that even Intel has hit a brick wall in upgrading the speed of the P4 chip. My new toys should ship on or before July 30. So Christmas for me comes early this year. My freelance business has been going great, and I need a machine more powerful then my PowerBook. I think the G5 will fit the bill. What I will not miss from my PC is viruses and spyware. That and all the other Windows annoyances. But the viruses (and or threat of viruses) and spyware were a major reason for evicting my PC. I have been a Mac user since I was a little kid. Once a Mac user, always a Mac user. Owning a PC for a year has taught me a lot about Windows. You can draw your own conclusions on that one.

July 9, 2004

First Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 Benchmarks; Productivity Calculator

You can get it strait from the horses mouth or get the watered down version from Apple. The one strait from Pfeiffer Consulting is a 57 page pdf and the version of the study on Apple's Web site is only 8 pages. It all depends on if you want short and concise or really in-depth. At that Apple link you can find a G5 productivity calculator as well.

Apple hits back at Sony's 'misleading' Walkman marketing

Sony's 13,000 song measurement is based on its ATRAC3 (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding for MiniDisc 3) compression system at the relatively low rate of 48Kbps (kilobits per second) while Apple's measurement is based on the AAC compression system at 128Kbps. At the same bit rate, the Walkman can store around half as many songs as the iPod, which is consistent with it having half the storage capacity. Source: MacCentral Nice to see Apple making this statement since AtAT did the same thing a week ago. Now the figures might get more attention though. Silly Sony, what in the world were they thinking?

July 8, 2004

Power Mac G5 (June 2004) CIP Instructions

Ooooh, there is nothing like a good KB article to read :P Power Mac G5 (June 2004) Customer-installable parts Instructions.

July 6, 2004

Rich Wareham of Desktop Manager

I just read a great interview on DrunkenBlog. Thanks to Brian for the link.
For DrunkenBlogs' 300th post I have a special treat for my 12 loyal readers: a chat with Rich Wareham, the creator of Desktop Manager for OSX. I also couldn't resist the gentle irony of putting this up on the 4th of July. Remember kids, cultural differences are meant to be bridged, and the sharing of alcohol and pejorative phrases are generally a good start.
Source: DrunkenBlog Desktop Manager is indeed nice, and faster then CodeTek's VirtualDesktop. Don't be scared off that Desktop Manager is a home grown Source Forge project, it is very easy on the eyes, and it just works(tm).

July 4, 2004

I gave up on MS-DOS format

As I wrote about earlier, OS X does not work well with the MS-DOS (FAT 32) format. OS X will read it, it will even format a disk as MS-DOS, but the real kicker comes in searching and just navigating said volume.

Steve Gehrman (Path Finder developer) told me about OS X and searching non HFS volumes.

If you have a MS-DOS formatted hard drive, and a HFS formatted hard drive, you will see a HUGE difference when you perform a search, and an even bigger difference when you navigate through the drive.

Just take my advice, if you want your hard drive to be readable on both Mac and Windows, just install HFS reading software on your Windows box. You could also just share in it OS X, since you have Samba available to you.

At least OS X is compatible with FAT 32 and NTFS. You cannot say the opposite for Windows. Being compatible and working well are two very different things though.

I cannot tell you how amazed I was at how much faster searching a HFS firewire drive. You live and learn.

Speed is the price you get for compatibility, at least in this case.

June 28, 2004

Wonderful WWDC 2004 News

The best news of the day was not all the new features announced in 10.4 "Tiger" and 10.4 "Tiger" Server, it was not the announcement of the 30" HD Cinema Display, but it was the announcement of Maya Unlimited. Its not to say that all the Apple news is not important and cool, its just that having Maya Unlimited will make a heck of a lot more people happy then a new version of the OS, or a new display. Go Alias! Its great to have Maya Unlimited coming to the Mac soon!

June 22, 2004

Diagrams detail Apple's new liquid cooling system

Last week Apple Computer, Inc. introduced its most powerful Power Mac model to date, which sports two 2.5GHz G5 processors and a nifty liquid cooling system (LCS). Curiosity surrounding the new LCS is running high as Apple officials have recently reiterated warnings that other G5 products from the company remain a long-shot due to G5 heat issues. Aiding some of the curiosity, sources have recently provided AppleInsider with side and rear-view diagrams of the new Apple LCS, which detail some of its many components. Source: AppleInsider Since Apple Legal has not had AppleInsider take these images down yet, I would say its a good bet they will be there to stay. This site has 2 diagrams that depict the new cooling system in the dual 2.5 Ghz G5.

June 21, 2004

Apple offers 'iPod your BMW' details

Owners of select BMW automobiles can now have their Apple iPods integrated directly into their vehicle's audio systems thanks to a new interface developed by Apple and BMW. The iPod can be controlled directly from your BMW's audio system and multi-function steering wheel through the use of an integrated adapter that's installed into the vehicle's glovebox. It's available for model year 2002, 2003 and 2004 BMW3 Series; Z4 Roadster; X3 and X5 SAV; and MINI models. The interface cable is not available on vehicles with navigation system, CD changer, DSP cassette player or satellite radio. Source: MacCentral I just saw the commercial for the first time. Pretty slick. Nice commercial. I think I will stick with my Belkin Auto Kit and Belkin Cassette Adapter, its a little cheaper then a new BMW. Thanks to Max for the link. Also see: iPodYourBMW.com iPod Your BMW Press Release

June 18, 2004

Firefox 0.9 Huge Speed Boost in OS X

Firefox 0.9 is out. Thats all that really needs said. Might I inject my major beef about 0.8 that is totally fixed in 0.9 - startup time has been reduced! The Windows version of 0.9 is nice, but the OS X version is a much bigger step forward. Also the new Aqua skin is a nice touch to 0.9. Download it now!

June 11, 2004

'Silhouette' iPod ads receive top honors

The Magazine Publishers of America have awarded TBWA/Chiat/Day the US$100,000 Grand Prize Kelly Award for its work on Apple's iPod "Silhouette" ad campaign that shows people dancing with iPods in front of vibrant background colors, as noted by iPodlounge. "It demonstrated to people that you don't have to spend a lot of time talking about features to get people to make a human connection with your product," said Mike Hughes, president of The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and a Kelly judge. "Also, one of the core values for Apple is design. To reinforce that without ever talking about it, just by art direction, is an incredibly smart and effective device." The Kelly Awards are given to ad campaigns that "demonstrate creativity and effectiveness." Source: MacMinute

June 10, 2004

New Power Mac G5 models include "System Migration" feature

MacFixIt has learned that the just-announced updated Power Mac G5 models are the first to include Apple's new "System Migration" feature. Apple's website states: "Apple simplicity lets you add a Power Mac G5 to your creative studio without days of downtime configuring a new system. The new Mac OS X setup assistant helps you effortlessly move user accounts, system preferences, documents and applications from an old Mac to a new Power Mac G5 -- and the transfer is FireWire fast." Source: MacFixIt This makes me feel better about my next Mac, wether it be another PowerBook or a G5 PowerMac. Cool Feature. Thanks to Rob for the link.

June 8, 2004

Jobs intros AirPort Express; streams iTunes music

Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs on Monday aimed to further solidify his company's hold on the digital music market with the release of AirPort Express, a tiny mobile 802.11g-based wireless networking base station available in July for US$129 that comes equipped with a combination analog and digital audio connector. The announcement came at the "D: All Things Digital" conference in San Diego. AirPort Express will act as a portable 802.11g base station for traveling, but when used at home, will also connect consumers' home stereos with their iTunes Music Library. Source: MacCentral This is the reason I am an Apple user. One word: innovation. The technology in use here is not anything new, but this is a new innovative and unique way to use wireless technology. The low cost AirPort Extreme is $199 ($249 for the one with the antenna + modem). This AirPort Express costs $129 and the tech. specs say it supports 10 users. That in itself is a selling point. Add to that wireless USB printing, AirTunes, and the form factor (close to the AC brick that current iBook and PowerBook models come with) is just icing on the cake. Oh and you can use this as a repeater? Yea, you can use it as a repeater. Most good wireless repeaters are going to cost you about $100 anyway. I will pick this up for the AirTunes feature. I have been wanting to play my iTunes library on my stereo for a while now, and this is just the ticket. What a great product announcement, and we didn't have to wait until Macworld next month to hear about it.

June 5, 2004

Making An Operating System Faster

The performance of computer hardware typically increases monotonically with time. Even if the same could be said of software, the rate at which software performance improves is usually very slow compared to that of hardware. In fact, many might opine that there is plenty of software whose performance has deteriorated consistently with time. Moreover, it is rather difficult to establish an objective performance metric for software as complex as an operating system: a "faster OS" is a very subjective, context dependent phrase... This document discusses ten things that Apple did (beyond initial/fundamental OS design and implementation) to improve Mac OS X's performance. Some of these are simply good ideas and obvious candidates for implementation; some are guidelines or tools for developers to help them create high-performance applications, while some are proactive attempts at extracting performance from strategically chosen quarters. Consider the following a sampling of such optimizations, in no particular order... Source: kernelthread.com This was a very good, albeit technical, read. It does a great job at explaining how some things work, such as prebinding. I had a general idea, but now I know more about it. There are a lot of code examples you can use in the Terminal.

May 29, 2004

Getting Support for Office 2004

You can get support in many ways. By phone, email, newsgroup, etc. I thought it would be handy to get support by email. I figured it would be faster to get support this way. I was wrong. In the time writing this I got the answer I needed at the Microsoft Newsgroups page. I want to say thanks for such a great community. I will be using it the future if I need to - it has been bookmarked. Before I got the answer, I was looking on the Microsoft Mac Support site to get support. This is how I faired: First you have to sign up for a stupid Passport account. Fine. Second you have to choose your product. In the list there is no entry for Entourage or for Office 2004 for Mac. Am I surprised at this? Not one bit. There is a choice for Office. I choose Office. Then they list all the components of Office. Do you think Entourage is in this list? Of course not. There is Office in this list again, so I choose Office again. Next to get free email support you need to provide a valid License. No problem, I got 3 of em (Office 2004 allows you to install on 3 computers). Here is a problem though. The form field to enter my license code WILL NOT EXEPT my license, my number is more characters then is allowed in this field. I am sorry but that is the last straw. What the heck! What kind of web site usability is this? It is obvious to me that this page is not equipped to give support for Mac products. It is too late (in the day) to call for support, and once I call that uses up my one free incident by phone. All I want to know is if I found a bug or not. I don't have anything very pressing, and it is not a work threatening thing, its just really friggin' annoying. Let me explain this annoyance. Well the first annoyance is that I cannot enter my product serial number in order to get email support. How lame is that? In Entourage 2004, just like in all other versions of Entourage or Outlook for Mac, you can go to View > Internet Headers. I do this once in a while, but most times I like to see the nice looking GUI that says the From, Date, To and Subject. Once in Entourage 2004 I selected to View Internet Headers. Now every time I open an message in a new window, I always see the Internet Headers at the top of the message, not the nice GUI that tells me the From, Date, To, and Subject. If I wish to see this information given to me in a easy to read fashion, I have to always use the menu command or keyboard shortcut to hide Internet Headers. I think this is a bug, it did not happen in Entourage v. X, or Entourage 2001 that I can remember. I will try calling tomorrow, or next week. All I want to know is if this is a bug. UPDATE: it is not a bug, it is a check box in the View section of the Preferences. I cannot remember if I turned the preference on or not. When I first opened Entourage I did a lot of tinkering so it might well have been me checking that check box. "Show Internet Headers" needs to be unchecked. Done. I have since posted to the Newsgroups that they provide, and do not require a Password login, by the way. I will follow up once I get ahold of Microsoft about this issue, whenever that may be (no longer needed). I am also working on a review of Entourage 2004. It has some great new features, and one killer new feature. Its nice enough that I have switched back to Entourage from Mail. I should have that review posted this weekend.

May 23, 2004

Finally a Mac security hole (A Recap)

If you missed out on the recent Mac security holes, you can find a fairly good, consolidated recap of the entire mess here. Apple has patched the Safari/Help Viewer/Mac OS X (they have not really been clear on this one) and this article gets into the guts of the issue, it has to do with something called LaunchServices. There are a lot of links to read if you so desire, or you can just get the gist of the many different problems (its not just one) by reading this report. There are a few things you can do if you are feeling terribly paranoid, you can use RCDefaultApp, Little Snitch, and Paranoid Android. I realize there is a security risk here, but at what point does this all become irrelevant? Its just like that MP3Concept trojan, if you are going to use it for malicious means, why publish the blueprint? It still is nice to have a community that helps others patch holes even faster then Apple can stop the bleeding. I am glad for the knowledge shared in the Mac community, even if some of it comes over as FUD at times. And as usual, the folks who post at Slashdot have a great sense of humor: I've got to hand it to Apple... "help:runscript=..." No double-decode, unicode obfuscation, or CMD.EXE parms. Even the exploits are user-friendly! The Joy of Tech comic is pretty funny too!

May 21, 2004

Apple patches vulnerability in Safari

Apple Computer Inc. issued an update on Friday to fix a reported security hole in its Safari Web Browser. The venerability, which was classified as "Extremely Critical" by security firm Secunia, allowed the execution of malicious code on the users computer. "Apple takes security very seriously and works quickly to address potential threats as we learn of them -- in this case, before there was any actual risk to our customers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement. "While no operating system can be completely immune from all security issues, Mac OS X's UNIX-based architecture has so far turned out to be much better than most." The vulnerability, which has been confirmed using Safari 1.2.1 (v125.1) and Internet Explorer 5.2, made it "possible to place arbitrary files in a known location, including script files, on a user's system if the Safari browser has been configured to ("Open "safe" files after download") (default behavior) by asking a user to download a ".dmg" (disk image) file," according to Secunia's advisory. Source: MacCentral
I stick my tong out at all those people that says Apple does not act fast for security updates. Those who run OS X, and actually use the Software Update feature, know that Apple release security updates when they are needed. I prefer the "when needed" philosophy over the "once a month" approach that Windows has been using lately (with the exception of the holiday season, of course).

Mac OS X vulnerability allows execution of malicious code

In what is being described as a "highly critical" vulnerability, security firm Secunia on Monday issued an advisory to all Mac OS X users that surf the Web with Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Apple's Safari Web browsers... The result of the vulnerability, which has been confirmed using Safari 1.2.1 (v125.1) and Internet Explorer 5.2, is that it is "possible to place arbitrary files in a known location, including script files, on a user's system if the Safari browser has been configured to ("Open "safe" files after download") (default behavior) by asking a user to download a ".dmg" (disk image) file." Source: MacCentral
Um, yea. This "flaw" has been known for a while now folks. Apple should have fixed this in February. Why didn't they? Good question. New information found here. Many other related links are found at that article. Basically you should get More Internet, something I have installed already. More Internet is a fix for the flaw, but Apple needs to patch the Terminal vulnerability. This is not, by the way, the first time a security hole has been found to gain access to the Terminal with more privileges then you should have. This one just has not been fixed yet. There is an AppleScript inside the Help Viewer package that is the root of this vulnerability. This is the first OS X vulnerability I am worried about. But there is a temporary fix, and I hope Apple makes an "official" patch soon. "rm -rf" cannot be used because the string command will not accept spaces. At least it has not been figured out yet. Two examples of what can be done with this vulnerability: The first uses a meta refresh to cause you to download and mount a .dmg file. The second uses this technique to launch an executable in the mounted volume. This could be used by AOL and other vermin to automatically install a "Free Trial of..." from a pop-up. That is nasty.

May 20, 2004

Mail.app spam filter Explained

Many myths have emerged about Mail's junk mail filter. No, it's not an extremely complex set of rules, no it doesn't look for keywords, and no, it doesn't use white magic. To truly understand what makes it so much better than the competition, we'll have to take a closer look at the recognition engine and the technologies it relies on to do its work. It may sound a bit complex at first, but things will begin to make sense as we work through the mechanics. Source: Mac Dev Center I have long wanted to know how Mail's spam filter worked. I personally have seen much better results using SpamSieve and POPFile. I have used both heavily, either for myself or for my clients.

Mac OS X Trojan Technique: Beware Geeks Bearing Gifts

By now, assuming you pay any attention to the Macintosh media in between your weekly doses of TidBITS, you've undoubtedly heard of the hubbub brewing around the announcement last Thursday of the first Trojan horse to target Mac OS X. The news came from Intego, the developers of a variety of security software, including the anti-virus program VirusBarrier, which Intego updated to detect hypothetical malicious software using this new technique. Should we laud Intego's integrity in alerting the Macintosh community to this possible pestilence, or should we revile the company for a self-serving PR move that has the potential to cause untold headaches for the entire Macintosh world? I'll reveal my hand here - if Intego wants to do public service announcements, they shouldn't use a press release to submit their findings, and they should stop selling a product that stands to benefit directly from both the increased paranoia they've caused and a potential plague of copycat Trojans.... Needless to say, the press release was immediately covered by a variety of news sites (I've included a selection of links below; it's amusing to compare them, and be sure to see the hilarious Joy of Tech cartoon at the end). As usual, that means a few sites confirmed the story, investigated the technical claims, and queried security experts, whereas many others merely reprinted or pointed to Intego's press release. The massive coverage instantly generated a ton of confusion and misunderstandings. Many people thought Mac OS X was immune from such malevolent code (false, and the proof-of-concept works equally well in Mac OS 9), which led to the conclusion that Intego was promulgating a hoax (equally false). Other misapprehensions that quickly resulted were that this was a virus (false, Trojans don't self-replicate) and that it was in some way related to Apple's success in the music world (inane, and at best a non-sequitur). Intego itself generated other confusions, such as the implication that what was being identified was an actual Trojan horse (false) rather than just a method by which a Trojan horse could be created. Intego is also culpable for classic FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) tactics by advertising that the same technique could be used with GIF and JPEG files, and QuickTime movies (true, but irrelevant)... Then there's this section: [of the press release] "Due to the use of this technique, users can no longer safely double-click MP3 files in Mac OS X. This same technique could be used with JPEG and GIF files, though no such cases of infected graphic files have yet been seen." That's classic FUD aimed at scaring less-sophisticated users into believing that they cannot so much as double-click an MP3, JPEG, or GIF file without risking untold digital horrors. Unless, that is, they're running Intego's VirusBarrier. Source: TidBITS
It amazes me how many people, Mac and Windows users, get brainwashed by Intego. They are by far the worst supplier of FUD the Mac Community has ever known. I have thought this for a while, and it is nice to see Adam Engst feels the same way. If you read through the Intego press release, you will find an all knew meaning to the term FUD. Or just read Adam's breakdown of the press release, it is far more informative. Has the proof-of-concept MP3 "trojan" become a serious threat in the wilds of the real world? Will it become a threat any time soon? I have my doubts. But now that MP3Concept is so publicized it will either be copied or no one will use the technique since it is so well known by now. See Mac OS X MP3 Trojan horse threat overhyped, says Sophos. Now Sophos is a anti-virus vendor I have come to trust and respect. Don't believe all you read folks. Oh, and the hubbub about that IE and Safari vulnerability, thats pretty lame too. That "flaw" has been around for some time now. I don't see it as a flaw either. You can read my comments on that issue on my blog if you like. Intego did the right thing, they just went about it all wrong. Another great article by Adam Angst.

Apple creates new iPod and Macintosh divisions

Apple has reorganized its corporate structure into new iPod and Macintosh divisions. The iPod division will be led by Apple Senior Vice President Hardware Engineering, Jon Rubenstein, while Apple's Macintosh efforts will be led by Executive Vice President Worldwide Sales and Operations Tim Cook. Tim Bucher, who heads Mac system development, will head up the Mac's hardware engineering, according to a Reuters report. Source: MacCentral Rubenstein in charge of the iPod division? Huh?

May 15, 2004

Stupid Energy Saver

I did something pretty stupid at work yesterday. I setup a temporary file server so I could format our file server and install Panther Server on it. Everything worked on the new temp file server. It was a long day, I went home. I did not get much sleep, an hr. or so. Paul calls me at 7 AM "I can't see the temp file server in the Chooser." And there it hit me, like a brick. I bet the energy saver preferences are set to go to sleep. I cannot believe I forgot to check that! Easy, I can walk Paul through this on the phone. One small problem, Paul (for some odd reason) does not have a key for room 202. "OK, I'll be in, give me 5." One or maybe two hrs. of sleep, I drive into work. Sure enough, energy saver was set to turn on after 3 hrs. and even spin down the hard drive. Man did I feel stupid. I was home by 8 AM and slept until the interviews I was conducting later yesterday.

May 12, 2004

Make Sheets Speedy in Mac OS X

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime 0.001 Put that in the Terminal. Do you hate how long "sheets" take to show up? Are you running OS X on an "old" G4? This hint rocks, Rob IM'd me tonight and told me about it, and I love it. You can read the full hint at MacOSXHints.com. Oh and do you want to irritate the piss out of someone? Use this instead: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime 5.0 This would be good for April Fools Day, he he.

May 9, 2004

IN DEPTH: iTunes 4.5

Just what it says, iTunes 4.5 in depth!

May 6, 2004

My PowerBook Battery is Stuck

Knock on wood *knocks on wood* this 1 Ghz TiBook has not had the problems that my first TiBook did.

Of course I found out that my battery was stuck right when I needed to pop in a fresh battery. Always happens then.

I just had my first problem with my TiBook, and I did not have to send it to Apple. Thanks to Tom Folk at ITS. Its so great having an authorized hardware guy on campus.

The latch that slides open got out of whack, in such technical jargon. The top case had to be removed (ohh the bad memories) but the battery was ejecting in not time thanks to Tom.

May 4, 2004

Former Disney director says Jobs could fix company

Dissident Walt Disney shareholder and former director Stanley Gold said Monday that Steve Jobs would be on his short list of people who could fix the troubled company. "If I had a list, Steve Jobs would be on a short list of people who could fix this company," Gold said in response to a question from the San Francisco Business Times following his presentation at a meeting of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in Fort Worth, Texas. "Disney's biggest problem is attracting creative talent," Gold said, describing the media giant as being "bankrupt of creative people." Source: San Francisco Business Times Well Jobs sells sugar water these days, why not helping Disney?

April 15, 2004

Report: Real seeks musical duet with Apple

RealNetworks Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rob Glaser has urged Apple Computer Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs to partner its digital music businesses against rival Microsoft Corp., according to a report published Thursday in The New York Times online edition. In an e-mail sent April 9, Glaser offered to create a "tactical alliance" with Jobs and Apple, the report said, citing the message that was obtained by The New York Times "from a person close to Apple." Should Apple, in Cupertino, Calif., and RealNetworks, in Seattle, Wash., be unable to reach an accord, RealNetworks may turn to Microsoft to pursue "very interesting opportunities," the report quoted Glaser as writing. Source: MacCentral I really do not know what to think of this. It would be great for Apple and Real to make a deal, but it seems odd, a very odd match. But hell, if Apple and HP can partner and make HP branded iPods, who knows what is possible.

Mac OS X MP3 Trojan horse threat overhyped, says Sophos

Virus researchers at Sophos have reassured customers that a recently publicised Mac OS X Trojan horse does not pose a threat. Mac/Amphimix-A (also known as MAC.Amphimix, MacOS/Amphimix, MP3Concept or MP3Virus.gen) is a Macintosh program which is also a properly-formed MP3 file. When the program is launched it displays a dialog box to say "Yep, this is an application. (So what is your iTunes playing now?)". The program then tries to load the Amphimix file into the iTunes player as an MP3 music file. The MP3 component of the file contains a track called "Wild Laugh", a four second burst of manic laughter. Mac/Amphimix-A first appeared as a 'proof-of-concept' on the internet (even though the concept of Mac programs under disguise is not a new one), and was widely reported by the media as a "new form of Mac OS X virus". But it is neither specific to Mac OS X, nor is it a virus. Source: Sophos

Apple Profit Up on iPod, Notebook Sales

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc. (NasdaqNM:AAPL - news) on Wednesday posted much stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on heavy sales of its iPod digital music players and notebook computers, pushing its shares up nearly 10 percent in after-hours trade. For the first time, Apple sold more iPods in a quarter than it did its signature Macintosh (news - web sites) computers, and sales of the trendy gadgets even topped levels seen in the preceding holiday sales-fueled December quarter. Executives said on a conference call that the company expected to face tight supplies of the successful iPod mini through the June quarter, but would be able to meet demand for the original, white iPods, which store more songs. "Apple shipped more iPods this quarter than they did during the Christmas quarter, which is pretty telling," said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research. She had expected Apple to sell 600,000 iPods in the quarter; Apple shipped 807,000... Source: Yahoo! News Go Apple!

April 14, 2004

Apple responds to Trojan Horse Advisory

Apple Computer Inc. responded on Friday to an advisory issued by security software-maker Intego on Thursday. Apple said they were aware of the issue outlined by Intego and that they were investigating. While one security analyst doesn't feel this is a very big deal, he does note that this incident gives absolute proof of the vulnerability. "We are aware of the potential issue identified by Intego and are working proactively to investigate it," said Apple in a statement given to MacCentral. "While no operating system can be completely secure from all threats, Apple has an excellent track record of identifying and rapidly correcting potential vulnerabilities." In the advisory issued yesterday, Intego said a Trojan horse called MP3Concept (MP3Virus.Gen), exploits a weakness in Mac OS X where applications can appear to be other types of files, according to the company. The release of the Trojan Horse, which has been classified by some as more of a proof-of-concept rather than a real Trojan Horse, may be the result of Apple's own success in marketing its operating system. As Mac OS X becomes more popular in the market, virus writers will receive more notoriety for exposing vulnerabilities... Source: MacCentral So lets see, application files (usually .app) can parade around with different file extensions I guess. This is a shame, and should be fixed in a (near) future update for OS X. At least I hope so. It is also important that this is proof of concept, and was not a virus out in the wild. IMO this was stupid to do this, as now Mac users are keen to this "trick," Also, I would venture to say that most Mac users are more weary of viruses then PC users just because we know (most of us) about the many many viruses on the PC. So we have one trojan on the Mac platform, the first I can remember, verses how many viruses on Windows? I am plenty happy about that ratio. And this Mac virus didn't even "hit." I hope Apple fixes this soon, it would look good for OS X.

March 17, 2004

Guy Kawasaki talks about Apple, Garage, more

Like Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Guy Kawasaki, the original Apple evangelist and a former Apple Fellow, is known for his charisma. And while still a fan of Apple products, don't look for him to return to Infinite Loop. "There's more chance that I'll play for the San Jose Sharks [the California hockey team] than return to Apple," he told MacMinute. "I'm 49 -- my days of trying to build or run empires are behind me. I just want to focus on my family, invest in great tech companies, make a few speeches, write a few books, and play hockey." Source: MacMinute

Apple unveils Spoken Interface for blind OS X users

Apple has introduced a new accessibility solution for visually impaired users that it will integrate with the next major release of Mac OS X. The company took the wraps off of the new technology today: It's called Spoken Interface for Mac OS X. To find out more, MacCentral recently spoke with Mike Shebanek, Apple product manager for Mac OS X Source: MacCentral This looks pretty nice, and it should be better then the current voice features of OS X. I just hope there are better voices then the MacinTalk voices, such as Veronica.

March 11, 2004

Writer of original Mac development doc talks OS X

Caroline Rose, the primary author and editor of the original Mac developer documentation, is no longer an Apple employee, but is still a big Mac fan. In spite of writing about technical things for a living, she says she's no "geek/technophile" and admits that she had to be "dragged kicking and screaming" to Mac OS X. "But now I'm a delighted Panther user," Rose told MacMinute. "I think Apple's doing a great job of making these inevitable transitions relatively painless, if not altogether enjoyable. I'd already seen much of this same software in action back when I was at NeXT, and I'm very pleased with its translation to the Mac." Source: MacMinute

March 7, 2004

Finder co-designer not keen on current user interface

Steve Capps, co-designer of the Finder and much of the Mac's graphical user interface (as well as one of the folks behind the Newton OS), doesn't find much to excite him about either the Mac or Windows user interfaces these days. He's been designing and building user interfaces for over 25 years. Currently, he runs his own company, onedoto (pronounced "1.0"). The company was designed to develop user interfaces, software and hardware and provide services "that make communicating easier, richer and more personal." Source: MacMinute

February 11, 2004

MacMall sells pieces of Virginia Tech G5 supercomputer

MacMall is selling the Apple Refurbished VT G5s. You may think the $2799 is a good deal. If you cannot order through the Apple Education store, then you will be saving $450. If you can order through the Apple Education store you wont save $200. It is questionable, but VT did put these computers through a good amount of work. So it may or may not be worth it to buy a refurbished G5. If I did not work in education I would look at this differently. Educational discounting aside, this is a pretty nice deal. I just wonder how long it will take to sell out of the 1,100 G5s.

February 6, 2004

Apple Plays Big Brother

I just saw this movie over at Brian Flemming's blog that has a very well thought out breakdown of the recent Apple/Pepsi ad. Just go watch it.

February 5, 2004

iChat AV, AIM updates add Mac to PC video conferencing

Apple Computer Inc. and America Online Inc. on Thursday announced a new level of compatibility between the companies' instant messaging applications, iChat AV and AIM 5.5 for the PC. With updates released today PC and Mac users will enjoy the benefit of video conferencing between the two platforms. One industry analyst said today that Apple stands to benefit greatly from the relations as it moves out of its niche market. "With the introduction of iChat AV in Mac OS X Panther and the iSight camera, Apple revolutionized the way people communicate with each other over the Internet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement. "Now iChat AV users can video conference with their AOL buddies around the world who use PCs." Source: MacCentral Interesting to note is that if a PC user wants to buy an iSight, they would have to use another mic, even though the iSight has a mic. That is apparently a Mac thing. I am really glad to hear this, now the other 95% of the IM world can video chat. Of course now they need to go buy a video camera. Question: Does this mean that if my PC friends update to AIM 5.5 that they and I can voice chat iChat <-> AIM?

February 3, 2004

Courtyard Commercial

Courtyard (Marriot) is the first commercial I have noticed with an iSight. Cool!

January 27, 2004

Apple History At folklore.org

I saw this the other day, and meant to post, and as you know I am never busy :-P. There are some great reads here, fun stuff. The site even has an RSS feed! Andy Hertzfeld is one of the genuine titans of Mac history. Not only did he write an enormous chunk of the original toolbox APIs and a ton of innovative Mac software, but, by all accounts, he’s also a nice guy. And to top it off, he’s a great writer. His most recent project is Folklore, a web site about the development of the original Macintosh, written by the people who were actually there. (Actually, Hertzfeld has designed the software behind the Folklore web site such that it can host stories about multiple projects, but for now, the history of Macintosh is the only one.) Link via Daring Fireball

Virginia Tech moves supercomputer to Xserve G5

Talk about conserving space!
Virginia Polytechnic and State University made headlines late last year as they raced to build a supercomputer based on Apple's G5 desktop processor. Now, just months after the 1,100-node Terascale Computing Facility was completed, Virginia Tech has made the decision to move the supercomputer to Apple's 1U rackmount server, the Xserve G5.
Source: MacCentral

January 25, 2004

20 yrs. as a Mac User

Editors Note: This is by no means 'polished' and it probably will not get to that because of lack of time. My first experience with an Apple was the IIe and IIc. And then later the 128k Mac and Fat Mac (512k) when I was in 1st and 2nd grade. My experience was mainly due to the fact that my dad. I have never asked him why he chose to use a Mac over a PC (because the school had Apple II's), but I assume it had something to do with photography, as I have memories of going to football games when I was a kid and dad shooting the game (on 16 mm black & white film). I never really had an urge to use a PC when I was a kid, or at any point of my childhood. I came to know PC's as having ugly graphics and cryptic commands you had to type in. I remember in high school swearing up and down why I had to load mouse drivers before I loaded 3D Studio (before the Max). And more times then not I forgot to type in those stupid commands to load the mouse. I lived with my mom and visited my dad on the weekends, and my mom would not get me an Apple II (of any flavor). My mom was a teacher, and I was your standard teacher's kid, so I had plenty of access to Apple computers at school. I can remember in 1st and 2nd grade playing Sticky Bears, Q*bert, some math game I cannot remember the name of, Oregon Trail, etc, and text based RPG adventure games on the Apple II. The next Apple computer I remember using, which was an entirely new experience because of a different operating system, was the Apple IIgs. After all I had learned a little about programming Apple Basic for the Apple II and now there is this entirely new thing with a full GUI, a Desktop. I had seen the Amega by this time and the Apple IIgs was just a prettier Amega desktop. I remember the Amega having plenty more games (awesome games) but I liked the applications and the general user interface of the IIgs better. I cannot remember what year it was, but I was in middle school (I think) and my dad became the network administrator for Plain Local Schools. This meant, among other things, more computers to play with. Dad's school had the Internet, and all on Macs, and there was AppleTalk networking them all together. By far the first moment that solidified for me the reason I love the Mac came in my freshman year of high school. That reason was MacPaint, MacDraw, and shortly after this program called Photoshop. I also learned how to type on a Mac in high school, but of course I would open MacPaint or MacDraw and doodle more then type. In high school I was about the only person who had heard of photoshop, much less used it. I can remember using Photoshop 1.07 and was in heaven compared to using MacPaint/MacDraw. I started showing our high school photography teacher what the class could do once they scanned their negatives, and soon enough I was teaching photoshop in photography classes during my study halls. At the time the school did not have photoshop for Windows, and I seem to recall they could not get the scanners to work with Windows either, so we never used PCs for photography class. Our assistant superintendent was a big Apple fan, and we got in the Power Macintosh 6100's! 33 Mhz! Netscape 1.0N, that was the first time I had used a browser other then NCSA Mozaic. Photoshop was so much faster on the PowerPC chip, so much better then the 680x0 chip. I started to get into web sites and HTML. This was the time I decided I wanted to go to college for computer art, and mainly web related computer art. My mom never got me a Mac, but my dad always had an abundance of them. He had the Workgroup Server home once I remember, and used it at school. I am pretty sure that thing ran Apple AUX. I started reading this book "I Hate UNIX" to learn how to use the Workgroup Server. UNIX was really hard for a kid who did not grow up using DOS. But at this point I had experience using things such as telnet and gopher, pine, etc, so learning the commands wasn't that hard. The thing that was really challenging was learning about TCP/IP, which is a lot different then AppleTalk. By my senior year of high school I was really into this HTML thing, and had a lot of experience with Photoshop, so I started to help out with web site design for the school, as well as within the community. When I graduated high school I got my first Mac. A Performa 6400/200. MacAddict called it "the sexiest Mac ever" They were still beige at this time, but this thing did have curves (hense the 'sexy' remark). Through college I doubled the L2 cache on that thing and maxed the RAM in it, that computer served me very well. I did a lot of HTML and Photoshop learnin' on that machine. In high school I worked on the yearbook, so had a lot of experience and Aldus/Adobe PageMaker. So I volunteered to do graphics and layout on the yearbook my freshman year in college. This was my induction into Student Publications at BGSU, and I was soon heading up a web staff and putting The BG News online for the first time by freshman year. At the time we had a Windows NT 3.5 file server I had to deal with, and this was really my first experience with Windows. Friends tell me it was better then starting with Windows 95. In 1997 The BG News used a system called Intrepid, advertising used the same thing (they were 386 boxes running DOS). Production was using Macs though, just like the yearbook. In 1998 The News got Macs, and a couple years later we even moved advertising to Mac. We eventually got rid of the Windows NT file server and ran Rhapsody, and now OS X Server for our file and print server. I also had the chance in college to work at the Center for Teaching, Learning, & Technology, where I again, worked with people on HTML and Photoshop. The first thing I did for CTLT (even before I was hired there) was a 2 day, 10 hr. course on Dreamweaver. I had a friend that worked for me at The News, Maury Mountain help me out. I had never held such a course! Special thanks to Bonnie Mitchell for giving my name to Dan Madigan, the director of CTLT. In 2001 I bought my first Mac, a 500 Mhz PowerBook G4 (the first model, why, I don't know why). The AppleCare Protection Plan really payed for itself on that machine. I had a lot of fun working at CTLT. We had G3s and G4s. G4 Servers. I was in charge of technical duties when CTLT started creating digital video, Media 100 and then Final Cut Pro. In 2003 I bought a 1 Ghz PowerBook G4, but not untill after I bought a 3.06 Ghz Pentium 4 rig. The 1st anniversary of my first PC purchase is coming up soon, so I will have more on that later. Suffice it to say cheaper and more powerful is not better, and I am not using my PC for full time work any more. I don't think I would have gone to college for computer art without my Macintosh background. The things that Apple has delivered since Steve Jobs came back to Apple are the reasons I am such a Mac fanatic, evangelist, weirdo, geek, whatever you want to call it. I cannot wait to see what 20 more years brings to Apple and the Macintosh platform! Be sure to read the comments on this post over at BlogCritics. This has also been posted to HardwareGeeks.com.

January 24, 2004

Mirror Agent Logout Failure

This dialog shows up in the latest version of Panther (10.3.2). One of the new features in Panther is that you can keep a local version of your iDisk on your desktop at all times, and then sync it automatically or manually. This is great to not have to mount the iDisk every time I want to access it. In the initial release of 10.3 I used to get dialog boxes such as this one, but they were not as nice. Mirror Agent (the application that runs in the background to help with this iDisk feature, has cancelled my logout about 3 times. But before I was never given the choice to force quit the app. Now in 10.3.2 I can. I like that.

Apple's Diplomatic Core - C|NET Special Report

Happy 20th Birthday Macintosh!!! Why not read about it at C|NET? This column has a good point - Apple no longer just makes its hardware and software available on the Mac. I am really glad for this to be honest, but having the iPod and iTunes on Windows is definitely something that is a difference in thinking at Apple.

January 19, 2004

The HP Bomb

John Gruber has some great commentary about the Apple/HP iPod deal, it is well worth the read:
And so what to make of the HP/Apple iPod deal? It’s a big deal for HP, and it’s a very big deal for Apple. I thought there were a bunch of big announcements at Macworld Expo — GarageBand, the iPod mini, the updated iLife suite, the new branch of mathematics that says 40 percent of Mac users on OS X means “the transition is over” — but the HP deal is much bigger. I’m guessing that Apple had in fact hoped to announce it at Macworld, but couldn’t because negotiations between the companies weren’t finalized until late Wednesday night, according to the New York Times . Why is it big? Well, for one thing, because HP is big. HP is a huge company; in the fourth quarter of 2003, HP reported nearly $20 billion in revenue , and over $1 billion in profits. Apple, by comparison, reported $1.7 billion in revenue and $44 million in profits in their most recent quarter.
Source: Daring Fireball

A look at secret new Apple computer

(Note: First published in the Mercury News in January, 1984) After two years of secrecy, brainstorming and sometimes zany company maneuvering, Apple Computer Inc. will unveil a new personal computer Jan. 24 that is the size of a stack of paper and, for about the same price, contains more power than the basic IBM PC. Known as the Macintosh and considered by analysts to be critical the the future of the company, the machine already is winning rave reviews from the dealers, software developers and industry analysts for its compactness and ease of use. Source: Silicon Valley.com

January 12, 2004

Odd OS 9 Firewire HD Behavior

I must admit, it has been some time since I have used OS 9. I took my 250 GB Lacie HD to a friend's house who is not yet using OS X (shame on them). As I mentioned before, the Panther "Windows Format" does not work at all in Jaguar, but I was happy to see it does mount in OS 9. It wanted to rebuild the desktop, which is all too common in OS 9. I said OK, and I should not have! It could not rebuild the drive. When it got to the end of the progress bar it just stopped. So I had to cancel. Now there are some 3000 FINDER.DAT files on the drive, and plugging the drive into OS 9 and rebuilding was the only thing I did which could have caused this. All I can say is thanks to the folks at the Macworld forums and the terminal! Cuz this killed them all:
find /Volume/HDName -name FINDER.DAT -exec sudo rm -rf {} \;
So that is how to get rid of all those FINDER.DAT files that are supposed to be hidden (and not used in OS X if i recall). I think the big error was letting OS 9 try to rebuild a Windows formatted volume. That is the lesson for today. But then who uses OS 9? Apparently 60% of the Macintosh install base, based on Steve Jobs's Macworld 2004 Keynote.

January 9, 2004

Apple drinks its own juice

Normally reluctant to discuss even what is served in the company cafeteria, secretive Apple Computer on Thursday offered a sneak peak into its data center. Trying to make the case that its products belong in large companies, Apple showed how it runs its own business using a great deal of Apple gear. The disclosures, offered by Apple senior IT director Dean Rally, came as part of a discussion on Apple's role in the enterprise during the "Mac IT" portion of this year's Macworld Expo. Source: C|Net News.com It is interesting to see the breakdown of the arsenal of hardware & software that Apple uses. But I do not think it is a big surprise that Apple uses its own stuff. Funny was the mention of MS Office X, and not AppleWorks, heh. AppleWorks was a great program a long time ago. It still is, but its just not as compatible.

Apple seeks dollars in former freebies

Apple's decision to stop offering free downloads of iMovie and iPhoto is part of a clear shift by the Mac maker to try to recoup more of the dollars it invests in creating software for the Mac. Apple has been pouring resources into consumer software for years, but initially the company gave away the fruits of its labor. The giveaways were justified as a means of differentiating the Mac from its Windows-based rivals. More recently, though, Apple has been making the case to its customers that it needs to bring in revenue from its software efforts in order to keep investing in new development. Source: C|NET News.com I understand why Apple pulled iMove and iPhoto downloads off their site. Which I might point out, they did with very little fan fare from the press. They pulled the downloads a while ago. I do not mind paying $49 ($29 educational) for the new 5 applications (GarageBand being the 5th). iTunes should remain a free download, I do not think Apple would ever NOT have that as a free download. But if you look at iPhoto, iMovie, or for that matter iDVD and now GarageBand, they have committed a lot of resources into development. Software companies have a long history of giving version 1.0 away for free and then charging for version 2.0, but I think this is smart for Apple to do. You don't see Adobe giving away Adobe Photo Album. You don't see Ulead giving away their video editing software. Should Apple include iLife on every new Mac? Yes, its the reason you buy a Mac isn't it? Not only do you get iLife when you buy a new Mac, you get a rather nice bundle of 3rd party software including Art Directors Toolkit 3, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, GraphicConverter, Quickbooks, and Fax SFT, not to mention demos of FileMaker Pro and MS Office X. I admit I was a little upset at first that I could not download iPhoto and iMovie anymore, but Apple now ships these apps pre-installed (they did not before).

January 8, 2004

Microsoft celebrates 20 years of Mac apps

Their relationship has seen its highs and lows, but this year Microsoft and Apple mark two decades of working together. The collaboration began with Word 1.0 in 1984 and Excel 1.0 in 1985, followed by a 1987 release of PowerPoint 1.0 that didn't ship for Windows until 1990. In the first half of this year, Microsoft plans to build on its previous accomplishments by shipping Office 2004 and Virtual PC 7. An article on Microsoft's Web site runs through the company's history on the Mac, complete with a timeline on a separate page that details important events from the past 20 years. Plenty of insights and anecdotes from Mac Business Unit employees are sprinkled liberally through the article. The piece also details all the new features -- such as Project Center, Word Notebook Layout View, compatibility reports, and others -- Mac users can look forward to in Office 2004, as well as a special promotion that offers a free copy of the suite to anyone who buys Office v.X from January 6 until 30 days after the new edition is released. Three versions will be available: Standard, Student and Teacher, and Professional, which will include Virtual PC 7 Source: MacCentral It is amazing how the core Office apps started on the Mac. I wonder why? :-P

December 13, 2003

Safari Wish List 12/13/03

Here are the features I would like to see in an update to Safari. (Disregarding any changes I would like to see in WebCore.) This is also part two in an n part series. Please see part one and part two for my previous wishes. Show Image Size in Window Title: Both Internet Exploder and Mozilla do this. It is just nice to see the dimensions of an image if you load an image directly in a browser window. You do not have to open it in a separate application, when all you want to know is the height and width. Tab to Form Lists and Buttons: Both Internet Exploder and Mozilla do this. I am one of those people who like to tab to all my form elements, including Select Lists and Buttons. Even in Panther's UI you can now tab through buttons (and hit space bar when the button halo is around the one you want). But in the Panther UI you cannot tab into a Select List. It is nice to be able to tab into a select list, then use the arrow keys, or type, say "O" for "Ohio" for example. Please Apple add this to Safari! If for only those of use who try to use the mouse as little as possible! Sidebar for Bookmarks: Both Internet Exploder and Mozilla do this. I like having bookmarks (and bookmark groups) on top of my browser window. But I also like having bookmarks displayed in a sidebar window. The widescreen of my PowerBook is well suited for this. Oh, OmniWeb does this too, and OmniWeb is now based on WebCore and JavaScriptCore (meaning when these technologies get updated, not only does Safari get an update, but so does OmniWeb). As much as some of these things (including the previous installments) might irritate me, Safari stays my primary browser, I hardly use anything else.

Refresh Finder Window

I have many wishes for Mac OS X. Lots of them have been filled in the 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 releases of OS X, but one has not. As much as we would like them to, Mac OS X (and for that matter Mac OS 9) Finder windows do not refresh as fast as we would like them to. You have to close out of, or collapse if in List view, the window, and reopen it to force a redraw. In Windows hitting F5 will refresh the current window. Now why can't OS X do this? I am sure it can! This is the number one feature I would like to see in the next release of OS X, be it a dot dot release, or in 10.4, thought it would be nice to see it sooner then that. On a related note, you should submit your feedback to Apple on OS X. Who knows, something positive just might come of it.

December 8, 2003

Steve Jobs: The Rolling Stone Interview

When Steve Jobs cruises into the airy reception area on the Apple Computer campus in Cupertino, California, on a recent morning, nobody pays much attention to him, even though he's the company's CEO. He's wearing shorts, a black T-shirt and running shoes. Tall and a little gawky, Jobs has a fast, loping walk, like a wolf in a hurry.
Nice interview, with some Q & A.

November 30, 2003

X vs. XP rebuts WinSuperSite

Last week Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows made some bold claims about Mac OS X and Longhorn, an upcoming version of Windows. The X vs. XP site, which claims to compare OS X and Windows XP in an unbiased manner, responds: "Perhaps Longhorn really is technically superior to Panther (with three more years to work on it, I sure hope it's superior), but it would take more to substantiate such a claim than to merely cite Longhorn's task-based file system."
Source: X vs. XP My favorite quote is "I sure hope it's superior" since Longhorn is 3 yrs. off, and we are using Panther today.

November 20, 2003

Palm Keyboard & The Mac

I recently wrote about this with regard to problems I was having sync'ing in Panther. As it turns out it has nothing to do with Panther, but it is important enough to devote a separate post to it.

If you use a Mac *cheers* and you have one of the many Palm Keyboards (I have the 1st party Thin Palm Keyboard) then you need to disable the keyboard before you can HotSync to your Mac. This problem does not exist in Windows. We are so lucky.

You need to remember to go into the Keyboard app (on your Palm) and un check "Enable Keyboard." Now HotSync is possible. This is annoying, because when I want to use my keyboard, I have to remember to enable it again.

The way I understand it, the Palm cannot talk to the Mac, and the Palm Keyboard at once, or simply it cannot talk to two I/O devices if one of those devices is a Mac.

What really chaps me is the fact that I spent many phone calls to Palm Tech. Support, well over 3 hours with Level 1 Tech's and none of them bothered to ask if I had a keyboard, they all knew I had a Mac, you key that in when you make the call. The last Level 1 tech. I talked to finally had me talk to a Level 2 tech. Barbara D. called me Monday morning (I had talked to the Level 1 tech. on Saturday) and within a half hour I was syncing (in Panther no less) because she quickly after trying to get me to sync with fail, asked me if I had a keyboard for my Palm.

I am not disrespecting Palm Tech. Support. Palm, like Apple, in my experience, have very very good technicians manning the phones. I find that it sometimes takes talking to a couple different techs. to get a clear or corroborating answer, but that is something that is not unique to any tech. support department I have dealt with.

For a number of days Palm was not supporting Panther, Barbara D. told me that just recently they officially support Panther, and the word had not gotten around to all the techs. yet. (When an OS is not supported, the techs. will not help you).

OK, I have gone off on a small tangent, but it was related :-P.

If this issue is readily discovered and fixed by a Level 2 tech. then I would think the Level 1 techs. should be made aware of it. That, and there should be a FAQ page about it on the PalmOne Support Site.

November 19, 2003

Odd iSight Behavior

Maybe odd is not the correct term. Once is odd, but three times? That is just strange. Dad brought home an iSight so we could talk, and see, each other in iChat. But at first I could not hear my dad's audio, just his video. After about 5 minutes I opened up System Preferences, because dad asked if there was a software update he should run, and so I opened System Preferences. It was not until I opened Software Update until I could hear dad. No Joke. We talked for about an hour or so, and then the audio dropped again. I opened Software Update, and the audio came back. Now I did not actually run software update, I just opened the prefPane. That was yesterday. Tonight we started a video chat and the same thing happened. I got no audio, though my dad could hear me fine. So the first thing I do is go to the Software Update window. Sure enough his audio kicks in. I do not understand this, but it happened 3 times. Weird man, weird!

November 16, 2003

MS DOS Format + Jaguar

I still boot into Jaguar (10.2.8) to sync my Tungsten T3 (which I am actually having problems doing again) and I noticed something: my Lacie Firewire drive does not show up. Indeed if I go into Disk Utility in Jaguar it is grayed out. It finds the drive but cannot mount the volume. It knows it is MS DOS File System, but thats about it. Major bummer! Why? I find that OS 9.2.2 mounts the drive just fine. Interesting. Not another thing that OS 9 can do, and OS X could not do! Shocking. I really don't see why Jaguar cannot mount this drive formatted as MS DOS, but there are a number of mysteries about OS X that I still do not understand. This really does not effect me as I am running Panther, but if I take this drive to say my dad's house, he needs to be running Panther (or OS 9, but who does that anyway) to be able to see the drive. I have a OWC firewire HD that I Formatted on a PC, and Jaguar can mount that drive just fine. So there is something different about the "MS DOS File System" formatting option in the Panther Disk Utility. I tried finding more info about this at the Macworld Forums, but found no solid answers. I will try to find out more info on this on other boards, like MacOSXHints Forum among other places.

October 31, 2003

Apple will fix security flaws in Jaguar

I saw this one coming, and so did most of the Mac community. Those columnists over at C|Net and other tech. sites that just love to pounce on a story and criticize Apple can go shove it. @ Shake found some security flaws with Jaguar, and since Apple did not immediately put out some PR about fixing it, they get nailed with "they are not updating Jaguar because they want you to spend $130 for Panther" bull shit. Know your facts. The flaws that @ Shake can only be detrimental to Jaguar if the person has physical access to the machine, that means they have to be sitting at your computer. Now if someone is sitting at your computer and doing something he should not be, that is YOUR fault not Apple's fault.
Apple Computer Inc. said in a statement given to MacCentral on Friday that the company would be fixing security flaws uncovered in Mac OS X Jaguar by Cambridge, MA-based security research firm @Stake earlier this week. Some have speculated that Apple would not update the older Jaguar operating system since the release of Mac OS X Panther on October 24, 2003, but Apple has put that speculation to rest.
Source: MacCentral It seems that C|Net has even replaced the article bad mouthing Apple with their new article about Apple patching Jaguar. Smart move C|Net, smart move.

October 30, 2003

Even Microsoft wants G5s - Just Don't Tell anyone

But you might get fired for letting out the secret. This poor guy has had his 15 minutes of fame though. I bet you never thought blogging would get you fired. It seems the combination of the photo of palettes of G5's on the M$ Campus and the name of what office was in which building was the breach of security protocol that got this guy canned. My opinion? Pathetic Microsoft, pathetic. I bet SixApart loved the slashdotting. (the blog is hosted on TypePad) Just take a look at the number of trackbacks and comments on his original post! Source: UtterlyBoring.com

October 27, 2003

Apple Student Discount

A friend of mine, Jill, went to the Apple Store in Columbus this weekend to buy Panther. She had her Student ID card, but they would not sell her Panther at the student rate. Saying that she would have to buy it from the Online Apple Store. Does that make sense? So they will believe you if you go to the Apple Store for Education online, but they will not accept an actual Student ID in person? That is a crock.

October 17, 2003

"I'd like to do a demo on a PC"

Yes, this is Steve Jobs. You probably will not see anything like this again.

October 12, 2003

I Give Up on SPAM

I Give Up. You cannot win. I have known this, I just chose to deal with SPAM. No longer. There is no ideal solution for an email client on Mac OS X. There is also no ideal solution for blocking SPAM. There is Entourage, This is a great application, but its also big, and slow, and a memory monger. I used to use Entourage when I first moved to OS X. There is Eudora. I was a long time Eudora user. The only email client I had used before I used Eudora was Pine, and it took me a long time to step away from pine, let me tell you. Eudora is OK. It has decent filtering, better then Entourage IMO. There is Mailsmith, from those good folks who bring up BBEdit. Mailsmith shares a lot from BBEdit, the text engine, grep, and has very nice filtering. Then there is the built in Mail. The junk mail filtering introduced in 10.2 are nice, but not wonderful. Only Mailsmith and Mail use the OS X Address Book. I thought about switching to Mailsmith from Mail, but not with the new features in 10.3 Mail. The best SPAM filtering for OS X is SpamSieve, but alas, it does not work for POP accounts in Mail. The developer's site states Mail as the problem. Even with SpamSieve installed you need to use AppleScripts to teach it if it is a good or bad email. Not elegant by any means. I would go as far as saying it is annoying. So I give up. I am going to a white list. A solid 80% of my email is SPAM. Yea, I know. Getting POPFile running on OS X is a lot of work, unfortunately. I do not feel like doing all that. For those who do not know, POPFile is by far the best filtering system to use on Windows, no matter what email client you use. Starting today I am using my Address Book as my whitelist. I can live with a false positive once in a while more then I can live with SPAM showing up in my Inbox all to often because Mail's Junk Mail Filter did not catch it. This is very easy to do. Create a new rule in Mail with "Sender is not in my Address Book" and set the action to "Move Message" to the trash. NOTE: Although it would make sense to include "Sender is not in my Previous Recipients" in this rule, that let SPAM through from people who have never ever been recipients of mine. I also do not think the "Message is addressed using my full name" is a very good option to use either. Now I do not see SPAM in my inbox, imagine that! This just means I have to add some addresses into my Address Book. There is always something, isn't there. I am more then happy to add email addresses then see SPAM in my Inbox. The only real down side to this is that people who have never emailed me before get flagged as SPAM (I use a bright yellow background). But I would much rather drag one or two emails from the Trash to my Inbox then delete 5 or more messages from my Inbox.

September 26, 2003

First Impressions of the G5

My first impressions of using the G5 are based in Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 (DW MX 2004), and generally using Mac OS X. Dreamweaver As I stated, I could not install University software, so I downloaded and installed the demo of DW MX 2004. This is a great application to test the new G5 on since DW in general is one of the slowest applications on Mac OS X. I would really like to have tested DW MX, but as I said I could not get University owned software to install. You see DW is made up of mostly HTML, JavaScript, and XML files, there is little to it that is written in C. Web pages render slower on a Mac then they do in Windows, that is a fact. This is why DW has always been slower on a Mac. I have been using DW MX on my PC at home for 8 months now, and I am really happy to say that DW MX 2004 seems as snappy on this G5 as it does on my 3.06 Ghz P4 at home. The thing that takes the longest to load, both on Mac and PC is the DW Extensions. When you click the triangle in the panel to list all the available extensions, this menu takes a while to load. Nope, not at all, very fast. When you open the Reference Panel it also takes a while for it to load the reference., also very fast on the G5. Overall DW on the G5 feels like using it on my PC at home. It is snappy and can keep up with me. This is more than can be said about DW MX 2004 on my 1 Ghz TiBook, or any other G4 I have used DW on. Mac OS X Using Mac OS X on the G5 is the way Mac OS X was meant to be used. Everything is more responsive then using a G4. As it should be! What I was most impressed with was the speed in which the G5 navigated remote volumes, either being OS 9 based AppleShare volumes, OS X volumes, or SMB volumes. This is one headache I have on a G4, navigating remote volumes. I realize that part of the time it takes has to do with the network and traffic, but it is noticeably snappier on the G5. Everything is faster, When you change preferences in System Preferences, when you launch and quit applications. It is all so much more enjoyable. Apple and IBM really did a great job with the G5, I only wish this had come to market about 6 to 8 months ago. I doubt I would have bought a PC if it had. I cannot wait to see Mac OS 10.3 running on the G5! After seeing how much faster 10.3 runs on a G4, I am sure it will be leaps and bounds faster on the G5. More Testing I have a great opportunity here. I have been wanting to do this since I heard the announcement this summer of the G5. I want to comparison test my Alienware P4 against this G5. My initial thoughts are to test Photoshop 7, Dreamweaver MX 2004, Acrobat 6, InDesign 2 and Quark 6. This is a mix of applications I use for my business, and applications used at Student Publications. I would like to get some test results that are more then just numbers though. I want to get some numbers, so I am going to have to figure a way to accurately record those. But I am more concerned with just using the G5 and the P4 to get a specific process or set of processes accomplished. To me that is worth more then just plain numbers. If you have any ideas on doing testing like this, recording accurate numbers and such, I am all ears. Please let me know. I am also going to need some test documents. LARGE Photoshop files, complex InDesign and Quark documents. I should have little problem finding these from here within Student Publications, but if you would like to contribute some yourself that would be wonderful. I only wish I had a fresh clean install of Windows XP. I know that when I got my PC in January it was a lot snappier then it was now. Maybe I should format it and install all the software. HA HA had you going for a second there. There is no way I would want to do that! If you have any info on conducting these kinds of comparison tests (URLs or otherwise) please let me know, and if you would like to contribute a file to be tested head to head, P4 vs. G5, let me know as well. Thanks!

September 24, 2003

File Association Lookup

I found this File Association Lookup site while trying to find a good way to change file associations in OS X, because if you don't know, no good way exists yet. In OS 9 you could change these easily. In OS X you have to get info on an app, change the file association, and click the "Change All" button. I want a UI akin to the File Types tab of the Folder Options dialog in Windows. That is a feature of Windows that I really like. Mac OS X has gone away from metadata, which is in some ways sad, and some ways good (See ArsTechnica for good insight on this). Since OS X has done away with the File Type & Creator codes, well lets be honest, the OS has done away with them, many, *many* applications still use them. But since the OS has gotten rid of them, and gone the more Windows-esk way of thinking, shouldn't OS X have a dialog like File Types in Windows? We now rely on the three letter extension in Mac OS X just as much as Windows users do. Wouldn't it make sense to have a centralized way to edit the file types, and the applications that launch?

Back in Toast 4

Way back in Toast 4 when you wanted to clear the contents of the toast window, wether it was a disc image or a data CD or whatever, you could use Command+Delete (being the same keyboard shortcut to trash something in the Finder, it makes sense). In Toast 5, and now in Toast 6, you have to use Clear from the Edit menu. And the Clear command does *not* have a keyboard shortcut! Why would you take a feature out of software? Especially something as useful as Clear. Hmmm. Panther (OS 10.3) is going to have a great solution for all these little "why is there no keyboard shortcut for this" gotchas. It will be part of the Keyboard preference. I could wait until then or I could get QuicKeys X2. I own QuicKeys 5 for OS 9, and do miss it. I might upgrade. QuicKeys X (the initial OS X release) and QuicKeys X.5 was not that exiting. This could go into another rant, once I need to dedicate to Mac OS X... QuicKeys X2 still does not have all the features QuicKeys 5 for OS 9 did. Do you see where this is headed? Mac OS X *still* does not have all the features that OS 9 did. Labels anyone?

September 22, 2003

Safari Wish List 09/22/03

Here are the features I would like to see in an update to Safari. (Disregarding any changes I would like to see in WebCore.) * Tab & Print buttons, not third-party, from Apple. * Print Preferences to let you print like every other web browser known to man. What I mean is date stamping the print, and also printing the URL in either the header or footer. Safari prints the background color of web pages. This is opposite of the norm. You usually have to turn that option on. I have also noticed some CSS heavy layouts do not print out nicely. Safari also seems to shrink the width a little too much when printing. Bottom Line: I cannot use Safari to print a page, which is a shame. * Multiple Password Storage: It would be great if Safari could manage multiple passwords for the same web page, a la Mozilla. If I sign in with a different login name and password, Safari can only save the most recently used login. I do not know if this is limited because of Keychain (as this is where the passwords are stored). It would be a great addition to be able to handle password storage like Mozilla. * Bookmark Tab Set: Since Safari has tabs, why not have a Bookmark Tab Set function? I know it is bad to use any browser in comparison, but I am going to have to use Mozilla again. In Safari you can Open in Tabs from a Bookmark Folder, so it is half way there. * Bookmarks/History Sidebar: As much as I like the iTunes like Bookmarks window, there needs to be a sidebar which integrates the bookmarks and the history. Every other browser known to man does this too. * Banner Blocking Preferences: Adding Pop Up/Pop Under Banner Ad blocking to Safari was a smart thing. This could be improved to allow regx style blocking a la OmniWeb. Another OmniWeb preference I like is to block images of the same size as standard banner ads. On this same note, I would like Safari to have the ability to block Flash content. We all know how I feel about Flash. Also posted on BlogCritics.

September 16, 2003

New 15" PowerBooks, Bluetooth keyboard

The rumors have been around forever. It turned out to be true that Apple would introduce the aluminum 15" PowerBook in Paris at AppleExpo. Apple sure has been busy lately, they just introduced a 20 and 40 GB iPod. I am very happy with my 30 GB iPod. I am happy with only 5 GB of music on my iPod to be perfectly honest. It's not like the iPod has a search function! It takes long enough to scroll through 5 GB of artists names as it is. The announcement of the bluetooth wireless mouse and keyboard was another rumor that came true today. No recharging station for the mouse? Come on Kensington does that. No two button mouse? No scroll wheel? This is another really sleek looking piece of Apple Crap. Apple prides itself on innovation, "Our strategy at Apple is to innovate," they only go half way. Using Bluetooth is innovating, OK, how about getting away from the AA batteries. Just a thought. I am not paying $60 for a mouse that has one button when I can get something from Kensington or Logitech that has multiple buttons and a scroll wheel for about the same price. The thing I do not like about the new aluminum 15" PB is the ports on the right and left side. The ports on the right side bother me more. That is where my mouse goes. Its a trade off though. You get a new hinge system, but the ports cannot be on the back. That is one of the things I did not like about the 17" PB design, one of the main reasons I did not get it. I am really glad I got the Titanium 15" PB before they released the aluminum one. I just had to wait till they released it to post this stuff. FileMaker Pro is still not as nice to use in OS X then in OS 9. So being able to boot into OS 9 for FMP, and other things, is one of the reasons I decided not to wait till this new aluminum 15" PB came out. I also got a heck a good deal. It would cost me $1000 more to get a similarly equipped 15" Aluminum PB, even with the educational discount. Ill take my rear ports, my OS 9 boot-ability (I do not believe in Classic Mode thankyouverymuch) and my major summer price cut over built in Bluetooth (low cost addition through USB), 802.11g (easily added through a PCMCIA card if need be), and a somewhat faster processor (I am willing to bet its not a huge leap in speed).

September 15, 2003

Update MS Office X

I guess there is no such thing as a combined update for Microsoft Office X For Mac OS X. The current version is 10.1.5. I install Office 10.0.0 (from CD) and go to VersionTracker to download the latest version, 10.1.5. Well I cannot install 10.1.5, see the dialog box at left. I ended up having to install 10.1.2, 10.1.3, and 10.1.4 before the 10.1.5 update. I thought everyone made combo updates these days. It is just annoying. If you are going to make an update to a piece of software, for crying out loud make it easy for users to upgrade. It is a good thing I had a broadband connection available to download all these incremental updates.

August 24, 2003

What, me worry?

David Zeiler for The Baltimore Sun penned a column "What, me worry?" about this same subject: Macs and viruses.
As the latest Microsoft Windows infection spread across the Internet last week, knocking out thousands of PCs in homes and businesses, Macintosh users did what they usually do during a computer virus outbreak -- they continued working.
But more than two years after its introduction, not a single Mac OS X-specific virus has yet appeared.
Not bad odds if you ask me.
While Windows also has a built-in firewall, by default it has been turned off. In the wake of the Blaster worm, Microsoft said last week that new versions of Windows XP will ship with the firewall active by default.
Well that is a great idea Microsoft! Who thought of that? I just love looking through my PC's firewall log files to see how many things have been blocked. So it seems the questions is wether Mac OS X is any less vulnerable then Windows XP. Yes it is much less vulnerable. One reason has already been established. Mac users are in the minority of the market. There are also so many holes left open with the default install of Windows that if not blocked up will eat you alive. This has nothing to do with the features of the different Operating Systems, it has to do with how they come "out of the box." That alone makes Windows much more vulnerable.
Take the Blaster worm, for example. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., learned of the hole on June 27 and issued a patch to fix it on July 17. Millions of Windows systems were vulnerable on Aug. 12 only because their owners failed to download and install the patch. Though Microsoft frequently is berated for releasing vulnerable software, the reality is that 95 percent of malware attacks take place after a corrective patch becomes available.
Sad but true. This happens all to often with Windows viruses.

Mac users watch from sidelines

Virus attacks are all but non existent on the Mac. Why is this? Why do stupid people feel inclined to write viruses for Windows? Sam Diaz from the Mercury News write "Mac users watch from sidelines."
Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group, a Silicon Valley technology research firm, said the new Mac OS -- based on Unix -- is tougher for malicious hackers to get into because the code is not as generic as the Windows code. And it's probably not worth the hacker's time and energy, given the smaller number of computer users who use a Mac.
Thats why. It takes longer to code a virus for the Mac and the user base is small. This is one of my many reasons I like being in the minority when it comes to my computer platform of choice. Thats not to say viruses don't happen on the Mac. I remember a number of Mac viruses. The Mac viruses I can remember did not cause the mischief that the most recent Windows based viruses have. Code Red, I Love You, SQL Slammer, MS Blaster, Sobig.F. Those are the most recent ones I can remember. The last Mac virus I had was one called the Autostart worm, and to make yourself immune meant turning off the Autostart feature of QuickTime. Microsoft (go figure) Word viruses and Macro viruses on the Mac are the largest threats. This is because of Visual Basic Macros in Word. It does not get to the annoyance level of any of the above mentioned Windows viruses though. Not even close. For this *great* feature of Microsoft Office (VB Macros) I have been deleting or not installing VB and the Macros features/extensions of Office since Word 6 and Office 4.2.1. Believe me when I say Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is not worth it. And those annoying Word Macro worms that work under Windows work the same way on the Mac. So here is some advice: do not install the VBA stuff in Office for Mac (any version). I can't remember the amount of times I have salvaged someone's paper because YOU CAN turn off the VBA and Macro features of Mac Office. Yet another reason to use the Mac. Imagine that. So is it a smarter business decision to use a Mac? You save time (therefor money) not having to be offensive and/or defensive about viruses.

August 21, 2003

PowerBook G4 SuperDrive Speed Bump Hack

Its always a good thing to read Sladhdot, and it had been a while since i looked at the site actually. Look what I found. Even better news is the message board thread has tons of satisfied customers. For those who do not yet know what I am blabbering about: This guy has hacked the firmware of the DVD-R(W) drive (SuperDrive) of the PowerBook. The PB SuperDrive burns a CD-R at 8x which is pretty slow to me. I have a Sony Spressa that burns at 12x and I am pretty used to that. My PC can burn at 48x and I can get reliable burns at anything under 40x. So 8x is really slow for me. The SuperDrive burns a DVD-R at 1x. The SuperDrive cannot burn a DVD-RW. This hack firmware allows 16x CD-R burns, 2x DVD-R burns and enables DVD-RW burns. Wow. There is even a "downgrade" available. I don't know if I am going to try this. The 16x CD-R burn speed is what I am really interested as I do not burn to DVD quite as much as I burn to CD-R. Why would Apple cripple these drives? The general consensus is the added heat and power consumption. Well don't burn while the laptop is on a blanket. I am really tempted, I might flash my burner for that 16x CD-R speed. With so many people reporting success I can only guess why Apple would cripple the hardware. It is not the first time Apple has crippled hardware, that is for sure. The 17" PowerBook has the same model drive but it reports a 16x CD-R speed and has a different firmware version as the 12" and 15" PowerBook. Hmmmm.... Read on for an insane amount of specs on a flashed SuperDrive.

Continue reading "PowerBook G4 SuperDrive Speed Bump Hack" »

August 12, 2003

Attack of the (eMac) Clones

I cannot express how much Apple System Restore (ASR) and most recently Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) makes life as a Mac Admin a more enjoyable time. After a couple weeks the job of cloning 12 eMac's is done. Why does it take so long? Step into my shoes (size 16) and see how many hours a day I can devote to setting up new computers :-P All I do is set CCC to prepare the image it makes for ASR. This takes over an hour for about 5.5 GB worth of data (OS 9 and OS X systems and applications). I have this on a FireWire HD that I can take from computer to computer to boot from and image the internal HD. That takes 18 minutes. That rocks! 18 minutes! Now the fun part is when you figure out you forgot something on the image. We have a bunch of first generation iMac's, these do not have FireWire. My job is always interesting in this way. I cannot image these iMac's using my handy bus powered FireWire/USB drive. And unfortunate as it is, I cannot boot an iMac from a USB HD. I guess I am going to have to do ASR the hard way (old way) of making an ASR CD for the iMac's. Oh well. Next up is to put two more third generation (yay FireWire!) iMac's down in the Yearbook office. Their secretary's desk is going to loose an aging 7100/66. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to get rid of that old beast. This will mean that Yearbook will have 4 iMac's and a 4400/200. I wish I could get rid of the 4400/200 but they use that for the SCSI film scanner. Oh Well. This is how work works sometimes. Oh well.

August 1, 2003

The TiBook is sold

It seems the classified I put on the PowerBookCentral.com site proved usefull. A political consultant driving through Ohio bought my old TiBook yesterday. What is the great part is I did not have to pay to get the CD-ROM fixed! But the best part is that this guy who bought my TiBook is a "Switcher." This is his first Mac and he seemed rather pumped about OS X. I wish this young guy lots of luck with his "new" computer and new Operating System. I also today sold my old HP printer to a college friend of mine. It is great to get these two boxes out of my attic and it is also great that someone else finds use out of these "old" things. Of course we all know "old" in the computer world is not that old at all.

July 24, 2003

Selling old PowerBook

This is what I am selling. 15.2" 500 Mhz PowerBook G4 (rev. a) - 512 MB RAM - 40 GB HD - AirPort Card - CD-RW (after market, this model did not come with a CD-RW) - 1 Battery - 2 Power Adapters - 1 yr. AppleCare Protection Plan (this is transferable to the new owner) - never used keyboard in plastic (ie sans wear and tear of two years) 10 GB Bus Powered FireWire Drive HP 970cxi DeskJet Printer (w/duplexing unit and USB cable) AirPort Base Station If you are interested email me at ken[at]meancode[dot]com.

New PowerBook on the way

As I posted about earlier that I could not get a new PowerBook in Columbus, when I got home at midnight I called up the Online Apple Store and placed my order. I wired the money Monday, and now on Wednesday I am already getting some of my order. My iSight and HP DeskJet 6127 came today. My AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) and Final Cut Pro 4 upgrade will arrive tomorrow. My PowerBook will ship tomorrow as well. My iPod will not ship until the 28th because I got it engraved.

I just read the *new* rumors about the aluminumium 15" PowerBooks (I think they should be built out of animatium personally). So I bought be a 15" TiBook. 1 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 60 GB HD, SuperDrive, Airport is built in. Education discounts are down 5% to 15% right now so I was also able to buy some other toys I otherwise would not have. I payed LESS for this 1 Ghz TiBook then I did for my original 500 MHz TiBook in 2001.

So why buy when the new one is undoubtedly around the corner soon-ishly. I got hundreds of dollars off the price, the extra 512 stick and the APP for "free." But the main reason: it will boot into OS 9. The aluminum 15" won't.

But wait... there's more... and if you order right now...oops sorry.

I got a iSight, 30 GB iPod and a HP 6127 DeskJet printer. Like I said I would not have thought of getting some of this stuff, mainly that expensive iPod, but the reduced price on the already reduced educational price really rox! They have a rebate going, laptop + ipod + printer = 300$ rebate. So I either only payed 200$ for the iPod or i'm $50 in the black for that printer purchase (printer was $250). I call that a good deal, either way you slice it.

This HP is ethernet as well, so I can put in on my home LAN and print from my TiBook and my Alienware rig. That and the rebate were enough reasons to get the printer. It is 4800 dpi so I am sure printouts will look purrrty.

SoundTrack was $300 and the upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4 was $400. So I got the upgrade as it comes with SoundTrack as well. I played with SoundTrack at the Apple Store, oooh that's such a nice loops app. It reminds me of ACID sorta. And hey, guess what, the lead programmer for ACID = the lead programmer for SoundTrack, go figure.

So yea, I cant wait till my new loot gets here. Like Christmas in July, er late bday gift, er I wanted new toys, er whatever.

Now before you say i'm a spoiled little bitch (dot com) (Jake) I work hard for my toys.

July 22, 2003

Trip to Columbus Apple Store

Well lets start out by saying I came back empty handed. I did however aquire a massivly burnt arm durring the trip. I am talking lobster red burnt arm. Yea, anway... I have never been to an Apple Store. Even though the one in Columbus does not ook as cool as the one in Chicago, it was an awsome experience. The 23" Cinima Display, the 3 different PowerBooks, drool. The way the Dock for the new iPod works is nice. I went down all set to come home with a new computer, an iSight, an iPod, and some software. And like I said I came home with NOTHING. ARRRR. I was paying by check (I personally don't belive putting things of this nature on a credit card, they are evil). They had to verify my check with a 3rd party check verification business, named TeleCheck, hereby refered to "bastards." The bastards say I do not exist. My name and drivers license number aparently is not in The Bastards database. Because of this I came home with nothing. I tell you I was so mad It did not even occur to me I could have gotten the iPod or iSight while I was there. I just wanted to leave. That totally ruined my Sunday. It did not matter that I could pull up my online bank statement. And being a Sunday no one is at the bank of course. Heh, the cashier even asked the person from TeleCheck if there was a way for people to add there info to their system. I get the impression that answer was no. I don't even have a check card for my checking account. On Monday I went to Sky Bank and filled out a form to get one. The only redeaming quality to this trip was Mike's step mom made marzetti for dinner. Yummy. Oh well that's life. I loved the Apple Store. They let you play with anything there. Plug and unplug everything. The people were very nice. The "Genious" seemed like one who knew what he was talking about. I spent a lot of time playing around with SoundTrack, enough that I am going to get it. That is a nice app. I am just glad they didn't call it iSounTrack (I am getting tired of all the "i" Apps but that is another post all together). Sountrack is not the Pro app the Final Cut and DVD Studio is at all. It is a little more complex then say iDVD or iMovie but not much.

I hate Quark

I am going to be blunt here. I ******* HATE QUARK! OK i feel a little better now. I am going to do my best here not to go on a cussing spree, and will prolly have to edit this when i am done, heh. I am really pissed, and I am writing this after work today, and I am still irritated about this.

I have always not liked Quark, the company, or QuarkXPress the product, but at the moment I have a very good reason to hate them. Their Sales and Tech Support staff are most the time not helpfull. And their pricing policy is just down right horrid. (To "upgrade" from Quark 3.3 to Quark 4 you had to pay full price, EVEN FOR EDUCATION.)

Here is the situation.

We have a 15 seat lab pack of Quark 4. Quark 4 was hardware dongled for some reason. We have an assortment of OLD and REALLY OLD computers that have Quark 4 installed. Said REALLY OLD computers are ADB based, and said OLD computers actually have a USB port (whoa!). So of our 15 seats of Quark, 7 are USB and 8 have ADB dongles. In the past when we got an OLD computer and got rid of a REALLY OLD computer we have called Quark and traded a ADB dongle for a USB dongle.

We got 12 new eMac's last week (still need to post about that, I took pictures ;-D). So we no longer have the need for the ADB dongles. I called Quark today and guess what, Quark has no more USB dongles either. And its not like any of there resellers have any either (I called). What is their solution? Spend Money! Upgrade right now. 15 seats times $145/seat equals $2175. We do plan to upgrade when we move to OS X but not untill then (Quark 6 required OS 10.2 and we cannot move to OS X just yet).

I am not about to upgrade to Quark 5 so I can still use OS 9 for the time being and then upgrade to Quark 6 when we move to OS X (which was the suggestion I was given). I can understand my boss's point of view. He just spent over 10k on hardware, he really doesn't want to spend the 2k for Quark right now. Oh and there is a hidden cost in there, NewsEdit Pro and the Quark Xtentions we use (Both from Baseview) that run in Quark 6 and in OS X. The Baseview upgrade is going to run 3k. Does this person from Quark even remotely give the impression of caring? No. She checked with her supervisor about the USB dongles issue, but that was about it.

I understand that Quark 4 is old news, but how many customers do you think still use Quark 4? And we have been a long time customer.

Aside from the cost aspect, The BG News, Gavel, Miscellany, Obsidian, and BG News Production are NOT ready to jump to OS X just yet. It is going to happen in say January, that much has been discussed and agreed upon. But not right now.

What is going to happen is that a number of the eMac's that were bought to be layout machine's are going to sit in boxes for a few months, or be used as text entry stations (something a beige G3 is quite good at). I am going to have to use 2nd generation iMac's for the pagination stations with the exeption of 2 that will be new eMac's. Yay, what a geat use of the new hardware!

July 20, 2003

Enable Disk Copy Expert Mode

To enable Disk Copy Expert Mode, type the following in the Terminal: defaults write com.apple.diskcopy expert-mode 1 Quit the Terminal and launch (or quit and re-launch) Disk Copy (in /Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Copy). Under the Utilites menu, you will now see a new Debug menu which allows Verbose and Debug Mode settings. However, the best part of this hack are the options that are now available in Preferences on the Imaging tab. We now have a broad range of options under "Image Type" that were hidden to us before! To disable this hack, simply open up Terminal again and type the following: defaults write com.apple.diskcopy expert-mode 0

July 19, 2003

PowerBook dilemma

Should I get a 12" 867 Mhz or a 15" 1 Ghz? Is 1024x768 on a 12" screen too small? Do I want to buy another Titanium after all the problems I have had with this one, even though it has gone through 4 revisions? Do I want to buy another PowerBook on its initial release? Do I want to give up the ability to boot into Mac OS 9? Do I want a Mac with no L3 cache? Do I really need Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme? What about the heat problem under the left palm rest of the 12" AlBook? Will I have the same optical drive issues in the new revision 15" What about an updated enclosure for the 15" PB? Is the fan in the new 15" PB really that bad? On sunday I am venturing to the Columbus Apple Store. I am psyched about that in general, I have never been to an Apple Store. I will take my digi camera to record this wonderful event. I have had this 500 Mhz TiBook since April 2001 and it has had its problems. It has been into Apple Repair 4 times, it would have been 5 but once it was because of a User Installable Part (the keyboard). The logic board, top case, bottom case (so that is the entire case), CD-ROM drive, keyboard, and video/backlight unit have been replaced on this thing. But I must say that Apple Support have been very good considering everthing involved.

Continue reading "PowerBook dilemma" »

July 14, 2003

The drooling is over

No new PowerBooks this morning at MacWorld. Oh well. But the drooling is over, I am going to purchase a 12" PowerBook. I have been oogling over it for some time now and want a replacement to my now long in the tooth TiBook 500. But since it is not just announced I will get it sooner :=D.

July 3, 2003

The $129 "Upgrade" Cost of Mac OS X

When Apple released Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" they sold this for a retail* price of $129. I was pretty ticked at this price. And most all of the Macintosh community was ticked as well. Mac OS X *costs* $129, and now all of a suddent the "upgrade" is gonna cost another $129! Well they are doing the same thing with 10.3 "Panther". And with the announcement at WWDC now it is happening all over again. People are swamping the mac boards with complaints about the price of the upgrade.

I have something to say to that. Stop bitching and pay for it. I was at first ticked at the price, but I have since come to the conclusion that we as Apple users have been quite priveledged folks when it comes to upgrades. But yes people have the right to bitch about the $129. Only since Mac OS 8 was cost involved with a Mac OS upgrade. Durring OS 8 and 9 it did not cost $129, but it did cost money. Before that Apple did not charge for OS upgrades. So Mac users have come to expect a free meal when the updated OS shipped.

Continue reading "The $129 "Upgrade" Cost of Mac OS X" »

July 2, 2003

QuickTime State of the Union

I meant to post this last week, but it slipped my mind (imagine that). Link from MacCentral.

June 27, 2003

Mac OS X accounts for 20 percent-plus of Maya sales

Full Story from MacCentral. 25% domestic and 20% global sales of Maya going to the Mac? That is impressive. I only wish that was the market share of the Mac platform (pipe dream, I know). I really did not think the percentage would be this much. Our School of Art at BGSU has a a G4 Maya lab though and they are faster then the dual and quad Pentium 3 based SGI Maya lab. It is nice to see numbers like this. Not only for the Mac but for OS X. The more people that use OS X the less I have to deal with OS 9 related support questions :-P

Two (2) Button Mouse

With the release of the IBM 970 chip and the PowerMac G5 I would think it would have been a good time as any to also release a (first party) 2 button mouse. I was chatting with a buddy of mine, Eric, about this and he had a good point. Sell a single button mouse with the consumer line (iMac) and a two button mouse with the pro line (PowerMac). Well why not just sell it as a BTO (Built to Order) option on the Apple Store. Although I don't know if people would really mind having a second mouse button. Just sell all Apple computers with 2 button mice. This would save the cost of buying a two (or more) button mouse from another vendor. Also think about this: am Apple designed two button mouse would be very easy to use. I am sure they would come up with nice placement for the two buttons, and why not a scroll wheel? It would look beatiful and be much more functional. At least with a PowerMac or iMac you can get another mouse. Do you realize how much nicer it would be to have a second mouse button on my PowerBook? I realize this goes completely in the oppisite direction of the entire 'ease of use' theory Apple has going for it. Apple seems to think that a second mouse button confuses people. Well I know total nOObs that are even starting to see the power of a second mouse button. It is almost like when you figure out a cool keyboard shortcut. Apple has done a great job at putting very usefull options in the contextual menus of OS X, they need to sell a two button mouse with the Mac. UPDATE: Oh and another thing: Why on earth is the Pro Mouse $60? It should be wireless for that price. You can find two and three button mice for 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of an Apple Pro Mouse. I mean, you do not have to put that much engeneering into a single button mouse. Also think of this. Don't most people like to work faster on their computer? multi-button mice do this. Just like keyboard shortcuts make you work faster. We OK now I am just trying to make a point to not having/using a two button mouse. Which incidently I read comments on at the Macworlld Forums and which prompted this post.

My Opinions of the G5 case

Brawn(tm) Razor. That is what it looks like. But I guess that is how they are able to cool it. Whatever. I am sure the front grille will grow on me. I am glad they kept the handles. I am very glad to see USB and FireWire on the front of the case. I am going to be picky here and ask why not 2 USB and 1 FireWire. There are many PC cases that have two USB ports on the front. A headphone jack on the front is also nice to see, after all the iMac has had front headphone jacks for a while now. Why Apple decides to put the power button right next to the headphone jack is beyond me. On the G4 towers the power button is at least a inch away from the reset button. My main problem with the design is the lack of drive bays. It used to be that you got 4 drive bays on the Mac tower case (such as the 8500 or the G3 Server). The Blue & White G3 case went down to 3 then 2 drive bays. You could still install things into the G3 and early G4 cases though. The latest G4 cases (Quicksilver and Mirrored Door) only has 1 open drive bay (for a Zip drive or another optical drive). Now with the G5 case there is no open drive bay. What I like about the last two G4 cases is the ability to get the SuperDrive and a CD-RW. You got a Pioneer DVR-105, and the option to get a Sony CD-RW. Why Apple chose to use a slow CD-RW drive I do not know (the Sony CD-RW in the Quicksilver burns at 12x max). Having a second CD drive is handy no matter what. It is nice to be able to have 2 CDs in your computer. Call me lazy (lazy). The latest CD-RW's burn at 52x and RW at 24x. Mine at home burns at 48x and RW at 16x I think. So I can RW faster then I can burn a CD-R with that Pioneer 105 in the latest G4 and the new G5. Having a second bay in the G5 case would allow you to put in a fast CD-RW. If you look at the picture on Apple's site of the inside of the G5 case there is no place for another drive bay. Look at where the RAM slots are. Two words. Wasted space! I dislike the inside of the G5 case more then I dislike the outside. You now get no expansion bays at all. There is also no room to add internal storage (just two drive bays. You used to be able to add drives to a SCSI or IDE chain in older Apple cases). But is that needed? I don't know. You can buy internal and external components to most everything. I would just rather put them inside my computer. Portability of a hard drive or a CD burner is one thing, but so is clutter. But in true Apple style this case looks just as nice to open up and add/move things around like PCI cards and RAM. I can say from experience that the Dragon case of my Alienware rig is not the most friendly and/or spacious place to be moving components around. You can't have it all and I would much rather have the design of the Apple case then the expansion of your standard PC case.

June 25, 2003

Different G5 Comparisons

Check out this page to see some different numbers from what is seem on Apple's site. Reading the hate mail at the bottom of the page is pretty funny. As we should take any kind of comparisons with a grain of salt, this guy looked in the PDFs provided on Apple's site. I think the most obvious fudge is the turning off of HyperThreading on the P4 and Xeon procs. Also using libraries that the common computer buyer/user would have access to is pretty dumb in my book. Its worth a read. It gets beyond the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field a little bit.

June 24, 2003

Apple's False Advertising

I have never understood this: Since the first G4 Apple has used the Pioneer DVD-RW drive in their systems. First it was the 103 (1x) then 104 (2x) and now the 105 (4x). The DVR-105 is neerly identicle to the DVR-A05, I do not fully understand the difference, but there is one. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Apple's SuperDrive, as they call it, is a "DVD-R" If you look at the technical specs pages it says "SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)." This is not the case. It is in fact a DVD-RW. Both Apple Disk Copy and Toast can whipe and rewrite to a DVD-RW disc. Why? Because it is a Pioneer drive. Pioneer is not going to make a special drive that has less features. This causes a problem. You have both new and old Mac folks asking the question. Is it a DVD-RW? Well yes it is timmy, but Apple doesn't like saying that. This makes Mac users out to be stupid, and PC folks love to yuk it up to the expense of stupid Mac users. And believe me, I have seen my fair share of stupid Mac users. I have seen my fair share of stupid PC users too, its just that the stupid Mac users are more fun to laugh at (for me) cuz the computer and the OS are already made with easy usability in mind. So if anyone would like to weigh in on why Apple does not promote their SuperDrive as a DVD-RW and only a DVD-R please comment. I think it is bad for potential "switchers" or Mac folks looking to buy a new Mac, like say that new G5. I cannot count the number of times I have told both Mac and PC folks that yes it is indeed a DVD-RW they are getting. If you do not believe me go into Apple System Profiler (Apple Menu > About This Mac, click More Info) and check out the Devices & Volumes tab. It will say Pioneer, and if you got the latest G4 it will say 104, that is a DVR-104. So please, please, help spread the word. We are here to educate those who cannot seem to go to a web page and look at the actual specs. But no, I do not blame people for not knowing. I blame Apple. They are the ones marketing it as only a DVD-R drive. Why Apple, why?

The New PowerMac G5

Well isnt this nice. If I had waited 6 months I could have spent about $4000 on a new dual 2 Ghz G5 (1 GB RAM, ATI 9800, AppleCare) but alas, i spent less then $3000 on the P4 rig I have now. I am sure some of you are wondering would I have gotten the G5 over the P4. Hell yes I would have. Here is why: * downloading virus updates almost daily to combat Windows viruses * running virus software in the background all the time * scheduling virus sweep once a day * scheduling disk defragmentation once a day so my computer doesnt slow to a crawl * having to run a complex firewall to keep things out of my system * running ad and spy ware killing tools every so often I am sure I could come up with a longer list if I really wanted to. But those are the major ones. All of those things do not need doing on the Mac, and more spacificly OS X. Now am I going to go get a new shiny G5 and ditch my P4? Nope. I don't think that would be a wise thing to do. After getting the first model G4 PowerBook I have learned a good lesson. Do not buy the first model of anything. I may buy one in the future, but I will wait until the second generation comes along. That 3 Ghz G5 "within a year" doesn't sound too bad.

Touch Keyboard for 15" TiBook

No Jake, I do not one of these (Sam I am). I have a big dent in my TiBook (long story) and I don't even want to pay to get that fixed. At $259 for the TouchStream MacNTouch keyboard (interesting side note - MacInTouch is the web site of a very good Macintosh new site), you would have to REALLY be spoiled to go out and spend your money. But no Jake, I would much rather spend my money on on of those new dual 2 Ghz G5s that were announced today. But back to this touch keyboard for the 15" TiBook. That is pretty slick. One thing is for sure, it would not scratch the screen (well OK the TiBook keyboard doesn't scratch the screen but it looks like it does). That keyboard is an interesting layout, but I think it could work. I would buy it for its not-scratching-the-screen abilities myself tho. But since I do not use my TiBook nearly as much as I used to, there is no need for such expenses :-P.

June 20, 2003

G5 at the WWDC?

Will the WWDC (that is World Wide Developers Conference) bring an announcement of a IMB 970 based PowerMac G5? Everyone from Slashdot to The Register and many places in-between are reporting that Apple leaked specs on the AppleStore.

The specifications read:

  • 1.6GHz, 1.8GHz, or Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
  • Up to 1GHz processor bus
  • Up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM
  • Fast Serial ATA hard drives
  • AGP 8X Pro graphics options from NVIDIA or ATI
  • Three PCI or PCI-X expansion slots
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • One FireWire 800, two FireWire 400 ports
  • Bluetooth & AirPort Extreme ready
  • Optical and analog audio in and out

This is a good spoof of Steve Jobs' response, funny! Here are some screen shots I have found.

My thoughts: Apple might have done something like this on purpose. Steve Jobs loves a big show. And how many more people are going to be interested in the WWDC now. I mean the WWDC is a show for programmers. There is going to be a delayed webcast of the keynote (otherwise referred to as the "SteveNote") plus all the Apple Stores will have the "SteveNote" piped to them. This smells fishy, I say this is Apple marketing at its best. Apple has other things up their sleeves. "Panther" or OS X 10.3 we know about, that is the reason WWDC is being held so late. But what about a new PowerBook? With all the rumor (and non rumor) sites a buzz about the IBM 970 and the G5 that puts questions about a new PowerBook in the background for a day or two. And that is all Apple needs. The WWDC keynote is Monday. Who knows. Maybe all we will get out of WWDC 2003 is a first look at 10.3, but Apple usually plans for tricks.

Maybe they did fire someone over this?

"The position manages day to day publishing requirements such as image updates, third party loads, pricing changes, new feature enhancements, application improvements and application testing. Position also supports product launch deadlines, managing graphic and business resources to achieve business objectives."

June 18, 2003

Exploror 5 for the Mac dead

I know this is not breaking news as I did not post this last friday when this broke but it is big news. MS has stopped development of IE for the Mac. They are releasing a security and performance update and that is it, no future development. Also see Apple response to MS dropping Exploder, a, I mean Explorer. It sounds like MS is giving in to Apple and Safari (in the MacCentral article). But I do not think that it is Safari that MS is giving in to. I could be wrong here but I think there are more geko based web browsers (Netscape, Mozilla, Cameno) being used then Safari by OS X users. Lets face in tabbed browsing has hit the mainstream now that Safari has them and even non geeks are learning how nice they are to use. MS would have to put in much time to add features to IE such as tabbed browsing, and a password manager/forms autofill feature to name just a couple. IE has forms autofill but its not that great. Once again Apple has taken something a bit too "geeky" and made it the defacto standard, tabbed browsing. Since Safari is still labeled a "beta" product there are a lot of users who will not touch it. I know this because I have supported enough end users over the years to see this first hand. Some people are afraid of beta software. But with Apple pushing Safari so much people are gonna download it and go "holy cow" when they realize how much faster it is compaired to IE. Of course when people tell me this I ask them if they have ever heard of OmniWeb or Cameno or Mozilla. Of course they havent because those are geeky web browsers. If you look at a comparison chart of the technologies that IE 5 for Mac supports, and compare that to Mozilla and Safari you would be very amazed as to what IE is limited too, and the kinds of holes that exist in the IE engine. But this really does not matter because people will still be using IE 5 for OS X a year from now because they don't like to change. Just like the many administrative offices at BGSU are still using Netscape 4.7. I think the MacBU at MS is much better served not developing IE though. I am glad they have stopped. Not because I hate IE for Mac, I do, especially from a web developer standpoint, but because I think they can use those developer resources on other projects. Lets not forget that MS now owns Virtual PC. I for one cannot wait to see a faster Virtual PC running on my OS X box.

June 12, 2003

New Woz Interview

It is the first of a two part series from SunSpot.net. Check it out! Here is the second part of the interview.

May 22, 2003

Adobe to drop OS 9 in next major Photoshop release

Full Article from MacCentral. All I have to say is "It's about time." Running Photoshop 7 in OS 9 is dog ass slow compared to running Photoshop 6. Of course I still feel the best version of Photoshop to run is version 5.5. It has the new layer styles and loads just a ton faster on the Mac then the more recent releases. This has been rumored for awhile, and it is nice to hear that OS 9 support will be dripped by Adobe. Maybe this will be across the board, and not just Photoshop. I have been using OS X since before the Public Beta. Ever since I used the original OS X Server (that would be OS X Server ver. 1, or Rhapsody) I have disliked using OS 9. I think it is the User Interface and File Management changes that make me not like using OS 9 any more. IMO Photoshop 7 is slow in OS X. I am sure this is due to the fact that it is still supporting Carbon. I seriously doubt that Adobe is going to give us a Cocoa version of Photoshop any time soon, but the next version of Photoshop for OS X will surely be a lot more optimized then Photoshop 7. I for one cannot wait for a faster running Photoshop in OS X. Now all we need is Quark to get off its lazy ass and release QuarkXPress 6 for OS X. Of course they were going to release ver. 5 for OS X, and that never happened. Quark 6 looks promising and the sooner the better for Apple as for the majority of the creative community that has yet to jump on the InDesign bandwagon.

April 4, 2003

Exploder for OS X

Since I have been ranting lately, I figure why stop right? In Exploder (5.2) for OS X when you download something, the download manager window does not come to the front. I have nevere come to a conclusion as to why this behaves this way. Also there are not preferences in the Download Options section to make the download manager to come to the front. I think this is a very bad UI decision. Every other browser I use (and I use more than the average joe) has some kind of window or dialog come to the forground when you initiate a download. I just wish Exploder for OS X did the same. We can all wish right?

April 2, 2003

MacAddict Pick of the Month

Rock on! Path Finder 2.1 got MacAddict's Shareware Pick of the Month! CocoaTech (a guy named Steve) needs to advertise more. This application kicks the crap out of the Finder in both speed and feature set. It is really nice to see MacAddict pick it. This is a quote "For power navigation and file management, we'd tale Path Finder over the OS X Finder any day." Great job on one of OS X's hidden gems and killer apps!

March 26, 2003

Web Browsing on the Mac

I know this is an understatement, but web browsing on the Mac is horridly slow. I am not just now figuring this out, but I did want to make it a point to post something about it. Even Internet Exploder 6 is faster on Windows than any Mac browser. Safari is a sigh of relief, but it has a long way to go until it is ready for prime time. It has a lot of work until it works with all of the standards and uber standards that are on the web these days. I am just getting used to using a PC to browse the web and using a Mac to browse at work is painfully slow and irritating. Why is browsing on the Mac so much slower? I asked this question once on a board and the only somewhat coherent answer I got was that the web was written for Windows so it works faster on that platform. I dont nessesarily agree with that, i just said his post was coherent. So why is web browsing so much faster on a PC? I have used older PCs that are faster than the latest and greatest Mac. Why? This link though lenghy is great! Thanks to Dan Burton for posting it! I have read a lot about TIm Berners-Lee but never about him using a NeXT box.

March 23, 2003

Networking my Mac Part 1

Part 1 - The explanation of stuffs Last night I setup my TiBook so I can access it from my PC. I could, but am not going to, setup my PC so I can access it from my Mac. Why? Well for one I do not need to, and two, I have turned off the Server service in Windows because I find this makes my firewall work a hell of a lot less because it does not have to block all the pings to my machine, NETBIOS or otherwise. Once I turned off the Server service the amount of requests to my box just dropped through the floor. So I am mainly not networking my Mac and PC both ways for security related. Just for reference in 10.2 all PCs on the network (and in your OS X Workgroup) show up in the Connect To Server dialog. I just have file sharing turned off for XP so I cannot login from my TiBook. Mac OS 10.2 includes Samba which is nice, I had to install it earlier to be able to work with our Workgroup at work before in 10.0 and 10.1. Now the "easy" way to do this is install DAVE. Let me say one thing about DAVE and 10.2. They don't like each other. At least in my experience. DAVE is one thing I cleaned off my system by my recent reinstall of 10.2 Yes, DAVE has a very nice UI and setup to get a Mac on a PC network. and DAVE for OS 9 works very well. I just don't like the OS X version. One thing that is nice about DAVE though: If you use DAVE instead of the built in SMB in 10.2 you get less hidden Macintosh files on your Windows volumes. Mac OS X puts a lot of resource files onto a PC volume when it connects. It can look ugly if you run with hidden files turned on in Windows. Of course if you turn hidden files in OS X on its even uglier still. Also, if it built into the OS, why run DAVE? Mac OS X by default is in the WORKGROUP workgroup. Well I do not like running in that workgroup as that also poses a security risk. You use the Directory Access applications in /Applications/Utilities to change the workgroup your OS X box resides in. You can also change the Workgroup in SharePoints. I also use an excellent piece of OS X freeware called SharePoints because it just makes life easier. It also puts a UI close to OS X Server's share points into OS X Client. It also keeps you out of the very hairy looking Netinfo Manager application, which most people faint at the sight of. Netinfo Manager is one of the most non-Macintosh looking applications but it was the heart of the NeXT OS and is the heart of how OS X works. SInce I have worked with OS X Server a lot I have gotten used to using it, but I still like to do things the easy way, and SharePoints is the way to go. Running a firewall on the Mac and the PC is optional of course, but I run one on both. OS X has a built in firewall. 10.2 has a nice GUI for the standard BSD firewall, ipfw. The OS X firewall UI (in the Sharing panel of System Preferences) is OK but Brian Hill's BrickHouse is a much nicer front end to ipfw. To each his own, use which ever you want. Most people I am sure would prefer to use the one in the System Preferences. For my XP box I am using Zone Alarm Pro as I was not content with the built in firewall of XP. In Part 2 I will go over the process of getting everything working.

March 21, 2003

Rebuilding my TiBook

I have finally had time to work on rebuilding my TiBook. It is not near close to how I had it, but it is up and running and usable again. I figured I would jot down what I have installed on it so far. I performed a clean install on the partition just because I wanted it clean anyway. I had A LOT of shareware and freeware "hacks" installed and those slow down the OS but then they also provide nice functionallity. When I could not reboot after the kernel panic in the middle of the 10.2.4 install (discussed here) I figured it was a sign I had too much crap on the drive, which was probably true. So here is the path to my up and running TiBook. * Install Mac OS 10.2 from CD * Download and install 10.2.4 combined updater * Install all other updates through Software Update * Enable Root user in NetInfo Manager. * Install 10.2 Developer Tools * Install SharePoints 3.0.1 * Install iLife (only iPhoto 2 and iTunes 3) * Install Keynote 1.01 - because its cool! * Install Path Finder 2.1 * Install Super Get Info 1.1 * Install BBEdit 7.03 * Install Cocktail 1.2 * Install FruitMenu 3.0.1 * Install WindowShade X 2.1.2 * Install Silk 1.1 * Install MacReporter 1.1.4 * Install Fire .32c * Install GraphicConverter 4.5.4 * Install Kensington MouseWorks 2.2 * Install Fetch 4.03 * Install DragThing 4.5.2 * Install Script Menu from the AppleScript dir. Copy all my AppleScripts and Shell Scripts to the /Library/Scripts dir. * Install Web Browsers for multi-platform testing (Netscape 7, Mozilla 1.3, OmniWeb 4.1, Chimera .7, Safari) * Install and setup Retrospect to backup my TiBook and my PC * Install Toast Titanium 5.2 Wow thats a lot of stuff, well not really for me. I have a lot more things to install but these are the things I use so often that it just becomes second nature that I install them first thing when I am setting up my Mac. My Dad just showed me Cocktail, and it is a really nice utility for OS X. If anything I am reminded of the investment of Mac OS shareware I have bought over the years. Not to mention the commercial software I have. One nice thing is educational software pricing. Since I am still in college, and I also happen to be an employee of an educational institution, I get great deals on various software such as iLife and Keynote for $15. Another good example is M$ Office for $10. Some shareware becomes free for educational users, and some shareware becomes next to free. Of course I cannot use this for business or get tax deductions for it, but its still a nice break on the ever depleating amount of green stuff in my wallet. The nice thing about having a business is commercial software (and some of the shareware) is tax deductible since I use both my Mac and my PC for Meancode Media :=D

March 16, 2003

My TiBook Died (Updated)

UPDATED - 03-17-03 I posted to the Macworld and the MacOSXHints board, and got basically the same answer from two people. happens to be two board members I know as well, both from the MacOSXHints board - small world. they tell me it is a kernel panic. well the last time I saw one of those the screen went all wacky with white text with a black background all over the nice perdy Aqua stuffs. I guess I am behind on the times as to kernel panics, huh. well that's a good thing, I have not seen a kernel panic since sometime in 10.1. They both also said don't upgrade everything at once, well I didn't, people don't read anymore ya know? that IS a good way to screw up a system, Mac or PC. it is too late now to fsck the drive, I already have a clean 10.2 install on it. that was another thing that was suggested. although I don't know if booting into single user mode would have helped.
Well this is not fun. my TiBook is not booting up :mad: I have spent many years breaking macs and I have never seen this message, but then this might be a standard message after you update to 10.2.4, idunno. I figured it was safe by now to update to 10.2.4. I opened software update and I had a slew of updates, Keynote, Java 1.4.1, iSync, iMovie, Safari, etc, etc. Well I updated all of them then started 10.2.4. went to Meijer to get food n stuff, and I came back to that lovely error message. so I had to snap a shot of it. the message says to hold down my power button for several seconds. so I did and it shut down. I restart it. and nothing, it stays at that gray screen with the gray apple logo and the swirly thingie. well this is why I have a partition that has OS 9 on it. i'm booted off of that right now, and I am going to just do a clean install of 10.2. I don't mind, I have done clean installs upon clean installs of OS X so many times it doesn't bother me. not that it needs a clean install, I mean I just put a clean install on it when 10.2 shipped. minor details. like I said I don't mind it. I have all my important documents backed up anyway :=D this is the one thing that I am most worried about with my new PC. what if XP gets hosed, I have NEVER done a reinstall of Windows let alone XP. ahh I am sure that time will come to pass but hopefully, knock on wood, not in the near future. i'm not too distraught about this though, as i'm not doing much on my TiBook these days. I use it mainly as a backup device, and to play my mp3's. I also do a lot of web site testing on it, test my corss platform FileMaker invoicing system, and test and make cross platform Director cds. but all in all I have moved completely to using my PC for work. WinAmp is a nice app, but it does not hold a candle to iTunes. and the internet radio stations of WMP might be plenty, but most are slow and drop out. there are a lot of 128k feeds in iTunes that are very good, and don't drop quite as often. my TiBook is so slow in comparison to my PC now that it is frustrating to try and do work in photoshop, dreamweaver etc.

March 15, 2003

Retrospect is setup!

Since I already use Retrospect to backup my files on my Mac there is no reason to install it on my XP box. I just installed the Client on XP and now my TiBook backs up both my Mac files and my PC files to my 10 GB Firewire drive. That's another thing that irks me, no friggin bus powered Firewire in the PC world. it makes life so easy to just plug in the drive where ever I need to. I want to use my 60 GB Firewire drive on my PC (its got my MP3 collection among other things) so I have to get a power supply for the drive. grrr... It didn't come with one because it is a bus powered drive. well thanks to Dad (thanks Dad) he is sending me one of his extra ones saving me $15! While typing this I backup up My Documents, Application Settings and Local Settings. well My Documents is still going, but its going pretty quickly. all I am using is a 10 baseT hub, no router or anything. pretty slick. One less thing to worry about now, all my important WORK files are backed up daily. next on the list of things to get working on my PC is to actually install my printer :-D yes I know I am lazy. its not a high priority as I can print from my Mac just fine :-P Well after doing a spell check the backup is complete in 77 minutes. I am impressed I have never backup up a PC to a Mac before, but it sure beats installing the full Retrospect on the PC. plus this way I can backup both my computers at once to one drive.

February 22, 2003

Mac OS X and FAT 32 (Updated)

UPDATED - 02-23-03 From my recent experience when you copy things to a FAT 32 formatted Zip disk and then view those files you get TWO copies of every file. you get one called ._somefile.psd and somefile.psd. the one that starts with ._ is either zero K or very low kb in size compared to the "real" file. Mac OS X does not understand the NTFS format, so I have to use FAT 32 to format my zip disks so i can use them cross platform.
the ._ files do not show up until I put the Zip into the PC, but then when I put the Zip back into the Mac the ._ show up on the Mac as well. I don't understand this at all. this behaviour is very annoying. Interesting is that if I boot into OS 9 and copy files to a FAT 32 Zip disk this does not happen. I cannot attribute this ._ stuff to Windows, as when transfering files from Windows to Mac nothing like this happens. Also the files dont show up on the disk until I put the disk into the PC. they are not hidden to the Mac OS X Finder I checked that. So it seems that this is a resource fork thing. well I am glad that Mac OS X apps are doing away with resource forks. there are some good arguments for resourse forks, John Siracusa of Arstechnica has discussed Mac OS X metadata before. i do agree with it to some extent. but losing the resource fork is a good move for OS X IMO.

February 16, 2003

So why buy a Mac?

I have read many many benchmark tests between Apple, Intel, and AMD. the latest of which is in this months Maximum PC Mag. another one recently is one on digital photography which is a good read. all these benchmark tests have similar chimes. "the Mac lagged behind in the Quake III fps test compaired to the P4" well frankly 135 fps (quoting the dual G4 proc tests in Maximum PC) is enough for me, and whoopi for that 290 fps on a dual Xeon. but people don't buy a Mac for videogames. people buy PC's for video games. if you are a hard core gamer, you get a PC, as it has the most titles and you don't have to wait 6 months or more for a port to the Mac. ill say that again, people do not buy a Mac for gaming. yet no one, not one article I have read online or printed understands this.

I cannot count the amount of Windows and Linux users I have given mac advice to because they just bought an iBook, PowerBook, iMac etc, etc. why did they buy a Mac? is it because they are "cool"? could be. they bought a Mac because of the user experience. they bought it for the software, for Mac OS X. by software I do not mean the mac version of #variable# software. by software I mean iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, iCal, iSync, Safari, Keynote, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, etc, etc. the software that is NOT available on Windows. and my Mac OS X I mean, well Mac OS X. I think NeXT was the best company to take over Apple, and Mac OS X has sure turned a lot of PC users heads. the Switch ads actually work because they show normal (or well semi normal) people that bought a Mac for the user experience. I did not buy my PowerBook G4 for its speed. I bought it for the user experience.

the tests done my Maximum PC in this latest round of "Mac vs. PC" benchmarks show off the speed of an intel Xeon, and and AMD Athlon against a dual 1.25 Ghz G4. this Maximum PC test was the first I have read that actually addressed the bus speed. I have not seen any others that talk about the bus speed of the G4. its 167 Mhz. Intel's FSB is 533 Mhz, and AMD runs at only 266 Mhz. why don't people "get it" that that 167 Mhz pipeline isn't as big as the 533 Mhz pipeline? and that the DDR333 that Apple puts in it's boxes is a total waste because of the slower bus? yep everyone is pitting a G4 up against a P4.

people buy PCs for the speed. you buy a Mac for the user experience.

February 14, 2003

CocoaTech Blog goes live

Steve Gehrman, the one man machine behind Path Finder has put a blog up after i told him how kick arse Movable Type is. Check Out Steve's blog if you get a chance, and if you are a Mac OS X user, you really should give Path Finder a try. I cant say enough about it. its so much faster then the Finder in OS X. one thing people were complaining about in the 10.2.4 update is you yet cannot use Services in the Finder, well you can, and always could, use them in Path Finder.

February 6, 2003

Path Finder for OS X

For some time now i have been working on Path Finder for Mac OS X (i work on graphics and varios UI elements). this monday, if Steve gets all the bugs fixed that he wants to, we will see the public release of Path Finder 2.1. it is a HUGE upgrade. if you wish the OS X Finder was faster, or did more, please check out the web site.

so why am i posting something about OS X here? well im not giving up the Mac OS! on monday, if it is released, i will put some screens online of the new features.

February 5, 2003

Mac OS X Skins for XP

There are a number of skins for XP (well Windows in general) that turn the Windows UI into looking and feeling like OS X. this is WRONG! these hacks of the Aqua GUI for the most part look horrible. i have tryed most of them, and they are really bad looking. if you are going to imitate, at least do justice to the original. i have a copy of Stardock's suite of tools, maybe in my free time (read never) ill make an OS X skin for XP that actually LOOKS like OS X. then i would prolly get a phone call from Apple Legal Dept.

on this same subject about turning Windows into looking like OS X, i just want to ask why. Why turn Luna into Aqua? now if Windows had a Column view i dont think it would be so bad. but it does not. also the OS X toolbar acts in very different ways. sadly, you cannot customize the toolbar of Windows (as much) as you can in OS X.

but then imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and everyone wants to have a Dock. thats fine with me, just dont put OS X elements in Windows, it messes with your head, especially if you use both OS's daily. you want Windows to work like the Mac after a while because your Windows box LOOKS like a Mac. this comes from experience, i ended up taking the Aqua derived themes off of my Windows box because i was getting frustrated that it wouldn't act like my Mac :)




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