Forwarding Address: OS X

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Don't want to wait a year for multi-protocol iChat? Give Adium X or Fire a try.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Spotlight seems like a step in the right direction but having to explicitly search for data is so passe! I'd love it if they incorporated Dashboard's automatic display functionality.

[Edit: Oct 1, 2012: here's a better link (thanks to Hannah Edwards): Learn about Spotlight

In case anybody missed it, Mac OS X Tiger has been unveiled. Lots of appealling stuff, including:
  • RSS in Safari (with autodiscovery)
  • Spotlight searching -- as-you-type results similar to Launchbar or Quicksilver, but with the addition of filtering by metadata (modification date, file type, etc.).
  • Dashboard, a reinvention of Desk Accessories for OS X (which seems to have greatly increased traffic to the Konfabulator site... I liked it better when Apple bought the technologies they found worth incorporating, e.g. Stickies)
  • Automator -- "Like AppleScript, but usable!"
The Tiger pitch starts at about the 38:30 mark in the webcast stream.

I have to say, though, it takes some balls to mock Microsoft for not being ready with Longhorn when the release of Tiger could be a year away.

Friday, June 25, 2004

So...about those GIF files.

ToyViewer, an excellent image tool, has just added the ability to save in GIF format "without any additional setting." Now I'm going to guess that it has something to do with the patent on lzw compression expiring in Japan on the 20th of June.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

So I've been testing the dreaded Gmail for a week or two now. It's pretty good -- especially if you use it in a browser like Firefox that works with Gmail's keyboard shortcuts. It's like a Unix mailer in your web browser, sorta. I use it for high-volume mailing lists.

One of my frustrations with, which I generally like, has been its lack of keyboard shortcuts for seemingly simple things like proceeding from an open message to the next message in the current mailbox.

I am now using a webmail app with better keyboard control than the desktop app it is competing with. Sigh.

P.S. I have a few Gmail invites if anybody wants to try it out. E-mail me there: paul.bissex at Update: All gone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004 has a tutorial on how to "Make your own Pirate Radio Station with an iPod." That's a bit of an overstatement; it's more like "how to broadcast to nearby radios using your iPod."

If you install Microsoft Office 2004 you should restart your machine, even though it doesn't say you have to. The fonts that were installed with Office did a number on Safari, especially with sites that used Verdana. Go figure. Uptime stats are for people who don't install security updates anyway ;-)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Welcome back, Steve. Welcome back, blog.

Question for readers: what is your favorite multiple-clipboard utility?

I got addicted to this functionality when using KDE for a couple months last fall. I've looked at a number of the OS X options, and for some reason I've become very fussy. I like the implementation in YouControl, but it comes with a lot of other cruft I don't need. CopyPaste is, I'm sorry to say, ugly (is it my anti-Windows bias that makes me dislike those over-saturated reds and blues?), which I can overlook in free software but not in payware. Keyboard Maestro Lite is free (always nice), but it is not smoothly integrated enough -- you have to choose between either regular one-step copy/paste functionality or the enhanced type with its intervening dialog and uselessly named clipboards.

What I want, most simply, is an invisible clipboard stack. When I copy or cut, the selection is pushed onto the stack. When I paste, the item at the top of the stack is pasted (and optionally removed from the stack). A simple selection window would allow for more involved tasks, like discarding items or pulling something from mid-stack.

What's out there that I've missed? In what ways can the existing tools be adapted? Could this be hacked up somehow using e.g. Keyboard Maestro invoking shell scripts that use pbcopy and pbpaste?

Monday, June 07, 2004

I'm sorry for the downtime. Some horrifying beaucracy brought my DSL down for the past 10 days. My girlfriend, who's trying to talk me into buying an Airport Express for our apartment, offers a more lengthy explanation.