Recent Mac OS 10.4 Tiger Posts

September 27, 2006

The Great Server Crash of 2006

Last week was a FUBAR. That is the only way to describe it. Without going into detail, and boring the hell out of all you, our file server crashed -- hard.

I had to replace the internal drive that had the operating system. I also had to use DiskWarrior to resurrect the main firewire drive. The only way to salvage data off of one of the other external drives was Data Rescue II (DiskWarrior could not even help me with that one.

Continue reading "The Great Server Crash of 2006" »

August 12, 2005

Review: Verizon VZMinutes

The Verizon VZMinutes widget shows off the best reason for using the Dashboard. Its just a shame that widgets in general take up between five to 10 MB of RAM each. Some people are spoiled with RAM though.

In short, Widgets are Sherlock without all the overhead. Search engine widgets are great, RSS widgets are nice, comic widgets are fun, but these web services widgets like the VZMinutes widget are the reason Dashboard really shines.

They work mainly because, in this case, I hate going to the Verizon Wireless web site and login every time I want to check my minutes.

Of course I would not store my PIN on any computer other then my own, for obvious security reasons.

I should note that this is in beta, and it very much acts like it. It does work though, just not all the time.

August 5, 2005

PlayStation 3 processor could support Mac OS X Tiger

It's unclear at the moment exactly what this will mean for Mac or PlayStation 3 users. Sony's Cell processor is a derivative of IBM's PowerPC chip used by Apple in its personal computers.

Source: AppleInsider

I love rumor mills. Especially the far out bizarre claims. I would think that Sony would put a Linux distro on the PS3, since it already has one for the PS2. But thats just me. But whatever. Anything could happen. I mean Apple switched to Intel chips and finally after 21 years released a multi-button mouse.

July 2, 2005

Set Command-F to search by 'Name Contains'

Whenever I try to find a file in Tiger, as I could with Panther's Command-F, I get too many results -- Spotlight shows me too many things I don't need. So every time I hit Command-F, I need to reconfigure the search options to find Name Contains. What a pain!
Source: Mac OS X Hints

My thoughts exactly. Spotlight can be nice, but by and large it is fat and clunky. Changing the default Command-F behavior in Tiger was a Stupid Idea. Luckily it is as easy as changing the default_smart.plist file. Another great hint from Mac OS X Hints.

John Gruber's Tiger Details

Notes, comments, and observations regarding Mac OS X 10.4. Everything you wanted to know about Tiger, plus some new hidden gems. Some very good tidbits of info, be sure to read it all.

July 1, 2005

Use Automator to mass-convert iTunes tracks

Thanks to this great hint and Doug's Automator iTunes Actions you can now fully automate the process of converting your MP3 files to AAC files, saving a bit of space along the way. If you are an audiophile you may not want to do this, but I hear no difference in audio quality. I end up saving a lot of hard drive space, which is more important to me then CD quality tunes.

June 26, 2005

IE7 and RSS in action

Take a look at this picture, snapped at this year's Gnomedex conference. Is it just me, or does that look vaguely familiar to how Safari handles RSS in Tiger? I guess we will have to wait for Longhorn to ship to see how close it really is.

Am I surprised? Not at all.

Subscribing to an RSS feed from within Internet Explorer 7.0 will be similar to adding a Web site to "Favorites." An icon placed in a toolbar will illuminate when feeds have been updated with new content.
Source: BetaNews

Subscribing to RSS in IE7 even sounds like Safari. I wonder where they got the idea? It is nice to see that Microsoft is going to embed RSS into IE7 and Windows, but they could have at least been original about it.

And is it just me, or does IE7 look like Safari for Windows? Here are some more pics. Look at the IE7 window.

June 23, 2005

Delicious Library Dashboard Widget: Cache problem

When I upgraded to Tiger, which I am still transitioning to, I did not upgrade my current drive. My install of 10.3.9 was FUBAR, to put it mildly. I installed Tiger on one of my Firewire hard drives, and used that handy Migration Assistant utility to bring all my apps, docs, and prefs to the new clean Tiger install.

Continue reading "Delicious Library Dashboard Widget: Cache problem" »

June 13, 2005

BG News Dashboard Widget

Dashboard Widgets in Tiger are really easy to create. Especially when there are so many examples (400+ according to Steve Jobs) you can take apart. If you install the Tiger Developer Tools, you get a blank Widget, as well as a folder full of examples.

Making an RSS reading Widget is pretty simple. Just rip apart another RSS widget. I will make one for Breaking Windows soon enough. First here is one for The BG News. I will post it on soon enough.


June 12, 2005

Widget Manager warning

I just posted about Widget Manager, which is great for managing Widgets.

One word of warning. Do not disable the Apple supplied widgets. If you restart your computer, they reapear. so now you have a duplicate. One disabled and one not. Deleting the wrong version will render that Widget unusable. Using Widget Manager to fix this problem does not fix the problem, and also renders that Widget unusable as well.

If you did this, here is what to do. In this example we will use "World Clock.wdgt"

1. Delete World Clock.wdgt
2. Rename World Clock.wdgt.disabled to World Clock.wdgt
3. Restart the Dock

New computers for Student Publications

Every couple years the University's IT department (ITS) has a Desktop Replacement Program. We give up old computers and get new ones. Its a sweet deal. As we put a little more then $10,000 into new computers two years ago, its nice to get seven brand new iMac G5s and not have to pay for them. This is the second time we have received new, free computers.

We recieved three free computers in the ITS Replacement Program in July of 2004. At that time my boss only thought we would get one. I asked for three, and got them. Yep, I was happy.

Continue reading "New computers for Student Publications" »

June 11, 2005

Widget Manager

Widget Manager is a Preference Pane for OSX 10.4 that allows you to inspect, remove, and disable Dashboard Widgets. Widget Manager is a convenient way to manage all the Widgets on your system, including the standard Apple Widgets. Since it handles removing the .wdgt file as well as restarting Dashboard, Widget Manager eliminates Dashboard display issues when you remove a Widget by hand, and is also a great defense against potentially harmful Widgets.
This is a handy, free, preference pane. When you manually manage your Widgets folder you have to restart the Dock to see your results immediately. Widget Manager not only takes care of restarting the Dock, but also lets you disable Widgets, like that analog World Clock that Apple provides - I never use that one.

Mac OS X 10.4.2 and Dashboard improvements

Mac OS X 10.4.2 will include several enhancements that will make Dashboard widget management simpler and safer, according to Mac rumor site AppleInsider.

“The forthcoming Mac OS X 10.4.2 Update will let users delete widgets from the Dashboard dock by hovering over the widget’s name and selecting a small deletion icon. Upon selecting the icon - a red circular image with a dash through it - a confirmation dialog will appear, asking the user to confirm that they want to move that widget to the trash.”

Source: AppleInsider

May 9, 2005

Blueprint for a Widget of mass destruction has some great examples of mischief with Safari and Tiger's Dashboard Widgets. *DO NOT* go to that page if you do not want it to auto-install a Widget. But do go there to learn more about Widgets in Tiger.

May 7, 2005

Tiger software update summary

Macworld will routinely update this page with information on Tiger-related software updates.

Here is something handy to bookmark.

That syncing feeling

Even if I can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who still use a PDA, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a Palm user. For the longest time, I used the company’s Palm Desktop software. But about a year ago, I switched to iCal and Address Book—while jumping to Mark/Space’s Missing Sync For Palm OS as a replacement for the Palm HotSync Manager—because Palm Desktop was old and messy, and I really enjoyed the speed and integration of Apple’s calendar and contact applications. And thanks to Apple’s free iSync Palm Conduit, I could synchronize iCal and Address Book info with my Palm.
Macworld Editors' Note Weblog

I would have to agree. I really do like Missing Sync. It is so much better. I only came to this conclusion recently, but all the same. If there was going to be one problem with moving to Tiger, I would have put money on Palm syncing to break. This is the main reason I have not upgraded to Tiger on my main hard drive yet.

I also did not know there is a new iSync conduit in iSync 2. That was helpful to know.

May 3, 2005

Mac OS X Tiger first look

I got my retail box of Tiger Monday. The funny thing is that is is Build 8A428, the same as the GM that I downloaded from the ADC Connect site days ago. I have been beta testing Tiger thanks to Steve Gerhman's kindness; he gave me a ADC seed key.

I have too many variables to install Tiger on my work drive, but I have enough firewire drives laying around to choke a horse. I figure I will test installing all my software on this drive before I take the plunge on my main work drive.

Before I go any further, let me explain something about upgrading Mac OS X. Every time we have even a dot release I see all these people having problems. MacFixIt just loves to post them too. Disconnect all your stuff. Especially your firewire drives. I am going to have to make a seperate post for this because it is just so important. If it is a dot release, do not install it through Software Update.

And now we continue with our regularly scheduled post...

Continue reading "Mac OS X Tiger first look" »

April 30, 2005

Delicious Library gets Tiger ready; fixes bugs

There are a lot of software titles that are gearing up for Tiger (which is very worth the price tag, by the way) but none with quite the list of updates and bug fixes than Delicious Library. One of my favorite apps has been bumped to 1.5. It has a number of Tiger-centric features, and some welcome changes and bug fixes.

I really like the new way of selecting items once scanner or input. You can choose what country catalog to pull the information for. This is a great UI enhancement. The list of possible matches also does not take you to another window like in 1.1. It now displays the list of possible matches with the rest of the Enter Item options. This cuts down on mouse clicks if you have to go back or need to manually edit something. It is a small, but nice touch.

The edition of correctly sized PSP and DS game boxes is also nice.

I wish I could rearrange the shelves. I am also hoping for a nice web export that has more options then DeliciousExporter, although that does a heck of a job as it is.

March 9, 2005

Tiger vs. Longhorn

Relations between the users of Apple and Microsoft computers have never been particularly cordial. Windows users claim they've won the war for the desktop: all you have to do is look at the numbers and you find the most of the world using a Microsoft OS. Mac users point out a near total lack of security problems, along with a bombproof operating system that never seems to crash. (Then they sneer at the Windows masses.)
Source: Yahoo

Patrick Norton (a moment of silence for The Screen Savers please) has written this comprehensive look at what's to come from both Tiger and Longhorn. Oddly I could not find this on the ExtremeTech site, even though it is credited as such.

Apple Dashboard Contest Winners

Apple has been running a Dashboard contest (I guess I forgot to post about it) and it has just ended. the two winners are Send SMS and WikityWidget.

Send SMS provides the ability to send a message on the spur of the moment to someone without having to launch the Address Book application. Send SMS combines the instantly available Tiger Dashboard with Short Message Service, or SMS.
WikityWidget is a personal notepad with automatic linking. Using a simple notebook-style interface, WikityWidget lets you easily jot down and organize notes with hypertext links so they're easy to find and instantly available via the Mac OS X Tiger Dashboard.
WikityWidget really sounds impressive when you read about how it works, including using SQLite and that it uses "Wiki technology." hence the name.

If you have been lucky enough to score yourself a developer key for Tiger, you already know how cool Dashboard is. For those who will have to wait until Tiger goes on sale, :P

No no, just kidding. Just like Expose has become something I use every day, Dashboard is going to be another part of the Mac OS that I will soon say "how did I live without it."

Talking about Dashboard widgets, you should check out the Widget Archive at as well as others at Dashboard Developer.

January 15, 2005

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.

July 23, 2004

10.4 to offer more support for HFS+ features

As usual John Gruber has a great article, this time on HFS+ and Tiger's new features. Check out "Spotlight on Spotlight" for some great info. I agree with that its about time that cp and tar will finally support resource forks and metadata. Spotlight really looks like a great new feature in Tiger. I always liked the resource fork and metadata of OS X, and was disheartened at talk that those things would be going away. I am sure I am not the only one wondering what would have happened if Apple had bought Be and not NeXT. I think we will see in Tiger some truly Be like touches to HFS+.

July 10, 2004

Tiger Screen Shots

Prrrrdy! I can't wait to the release. Source: eWeek

July 5, 2004

Dashboard vs. Konfabulator

A sliding puzzle. A calculator. A clock. A little notepad. Tiny little applets — little pieces of software that are something less than full applications themselves, but which run alongside real apps and are easily accessed at any time. Obviously, Apple ripped off the idea for Dashboard. Stolen wholesale, without even the decency to mention where they took the original idea. Which, of course, would be the desk accessories from the original 1984 Macintosh... Source: Daring Fireball John Gruber has a great look at Dashboard and why it is not a rip of Konfabulator. Sure they are similar. But from reading David Hyatt's blog I see where the differences are.

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