Forwarding Address: OS X

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Been looking for a stable, Carbonized emacs?

It doesn't get much easier than Alex Rice's drag-n-drop installation, which even works with 10.2.2.

The following code in my .emacs makes me happy:

  ;; 9pt Monaco.  There is no substitute (except possibly 10pt Monaco).
  (set-default-font "-apple-monaco-medium-r-normal--9-120-75-75-m-120-mac-roman")
  ;; Make option act as meta.
  (setq mac-command-key-is-meta nil)

Friday, November 22, 2002

This made me laugh, mainly because, well, who hasn't wanted to do this? (Be honest now).
In an incident alternately described as "disturbing" and "cathartic", Mac user Tom Saenz, a help desk analyst at San Francisco-based bank, finally up and smacked a co-worker in the midst of an anti-Macintosh screed.
"I've kind of made a reputation for myself here as the Mac guy," he said, "and that's made me a target of all these clowns stumbling over each other to see who can be Microsoft's biggest bitch."
From Crazy Apple Rumours

Comictastic, v1.0, is the NetNewsWire for comic strips, grabbbing the latest antics of Doonesbury, Red Meat, the ever-popular Rugrats, and >150 more for your offline reading pleasure.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Chimera is an excellent thing: fast tabbed browsing without the cruft. It's only at 0.6, though, so it's unsurprising that it's missing some features. One that's been a real pain is the ability to export bookmarks in a form that other browsers can read.

I wanted to get my Chimera bookmarks file into MSIE (never mind why). Browsing the Chimera mailing list, I came across this script, which the author claims will find your Chimera bookmarks and export them as a conventional HTML bookmark file in the folder from which you ran the script. Well, sort of. Trying to import the resulting file into MSIE, I just got a link to the file, which wasn't quite what I had in mind.

But what the heck! I didn't have Mozilla installed, but in these days of broadband, what's a multi-megabyte download just to check out a hunch? And I was right: Mozilla 1.2 imports the file flawlessly, and MSIE can then import from Mozilla's own bookmark file. Okay, so Mozilla is now back on my system as a 35.3MB bookmark conversion utility. Oh well.

Monday, November 18, 2002

iPulse is a super-dense diagnostic tool for OS X. Instead of running MemoryStick, CPU Monitor and NetMonitor to get a graphic view into your computer's load and activity, run iPulse, learn to decipher its user interface, and have a groovy, high-tech desktop widget. Link Discuss (via Hack the Planet)

Saturday, November 16, 2002

My PowerBook had its AC adapter die on it a few months back, and has been out of comission until yesterday, when I bought a new one. This is why I dislike putting my PowerBook in anything other than sleep mode:

1. Power on PowerBook. Get Happy Mac. Wait a long time. Listen to a distinctly audible and memorable repeating disk read/write pattern ("click, click, cliccccck... click, click, cliccccck..."). Get hypnotized by the spinning disk.

2. Finally get OS X log in screen after OS X comes alive and does it's boot-up check phase with all the various runlevels and what not. Log in.

3. Wait a little bit for Finder to load, as well as some other things I start on launch.

4. Open a Finder browser window. Listen to the same disk pattern for approximately the same amount of time or more. Get hypnotized by the spinning disc, again.

5. Proceed to work away just fine until I shut down the PowerBook and do the whole thing again.

I've had this problem for a while (way before the power adapter died, in case you were wondering), and although I'm planning to upgrade to 10.2 soon (I'm at 10.1.5 now) via Scorched Earth Technique, I'm wondering if there's a solution I can apply to make the interim current use experience more pleasureable. I thought about using fsck, but I'm not sure how it treats HFS+ drives (I've read somewhere that the kernel treats everything like UFS, but that this is just meant as an abstraction layer, not the actual file system on the disk), and I'm not sure if there are any good disk tools for OS X that might solve this problem. I suppose it *might* be a defragmentation issue, but somehow I doubt it. Bad sectors? Maybe, but seems unlikely. How can I do disk diagnostics in OS X just to find out what's up? Is fsck okay?

Hopefully toasting everything and then moving to 10.2 will solve most of my issue, if all else fails.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

So lately I've been seeing mail messages with people's photos in them. This is odd since they weren't HTML emails. They were just plain old text messages. No funky X-headers either.


What's going on here? I think I have the answer. If you are using, when you get a message from a address, will then make an HTTP request to looking for a thumbnail. If it finds one, it will display it with the message.

How do you get the thumbnail? You have to enable it in the webmail preferences in your .mac account. "Big deal," you say. This feature is listed on the first page of the .mac tour. Indeed it is. But you only have to use the webmail interface to upload your photo. After that, it's all taken care of by on the recipient's end. I'm assuming that they make you use the upload interface so they can scale the image to the right aspect ration. At least, that's my theory. [ Discuss]

BareBones -- makers of the stellar MacOS text editor BBEdit -- have announced BBEdit 7.0, with lots of sweet new features. I use BBEdit for everything from writing novels to editing html to composing email -- I'm writing this blog entry in BBEdit!
BBEdit 7.0 allows you to configure multiple Web sites in the preferences and then work with files from any of the defined sites. Syntax coloring support for ASP/VBScript has been added, as well as XHTML 1.1 support in the HTML Tools and syntax checker, and a "Close Current Tag" command which speeds and simplifies HTML tag creation and editing.

For text editing, BBEdit 7.0 adds support for selecting and operating on rectangular regions of text.

Bare Bones also added a few general improvements including a "Paste Previous Clipboard" command, Quartz text smoothing support in editing views, improved support for Mac OS X Services (on Mac OS X 10.2), plus palette-savvy window resizing and a new "atop" window stacking option. A new plug-in info window displays version information, online help, and web links for installed plug-ins. Plug-ins can also now be installed via drag-and-drop.

Link Discuss

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Users of Chimera (aka Navigator) will want to check out this page of nifty tricks and hacks. It has instructions for enabling auto-Google, customizing contextual menus, disabling disk cache, and more.

Monday, November 11, 2002

10.2.2 is here folks. Beware though! The AppleCare doc says:

You may experience unexpected results if you have installed third-party system software modifications, or if you have modified the operating system through other means. This precautionary statement does not apply to the normal installation of application software.

Think they are talking about Haxies or even any of the other nice packages Cory posted about? [Discuss]

Neatly packaged binaries for OS X.2:
* Perl 5.8.0
* Apache 2.0.43
* mod_perl 1.99_07
* PHP 4.2.3
* Tomcat 4.1.12
* MySQL 3.23.52
* PostgreSQL 7.2.2
* OpenSSL Development Headers 0.9.6e
* NetInfo Administration Scripts 1.0

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Numerous people suggested I skip the whole shell script thing and just do it in AppleScript. So for fun I did. The following AS does the same thing:
on run
tell application "Microsoft Entourage" to run
tell application "Mail" to run
tell application "Internet Explorer" to run
end run
With one notable difference: the shell script launches the applications concurrently while the AppleScript launches them consecutively. I think I like concurrently better. [ Discuss ]

Monday, November 04, 2002

I have a shell scripting question in need of an answer. I've written the following simple script:
open /Applications/.../AppName1&
open /Applications/.../AppName2&
open /Applications/.../AppName3&
which launches the three defined applications when run. However it leaves a terminal window open afterwards. Could someone please tell me what I'd need to include to have it close the terminal window when the script is done? [ Discuss ]