Forwarding Address: OS X

Monday, December 27, 2004

Developing Dashboard Widgets

Developing Dashboard Widgets is an article on Apple Developer Connection's site that gives you the skinny on writing your own Dashboard Widgets. Unfortunately, you won't be able to write anything with the Dashboard SDK unless you have a Tiger beta. Still, it's good to see what's coming.

One thing I think is lacking is a way to apply my own style sheets to a Widget. Although, since a widget is just a directory that contains HTML and images, you can always just patch it yourself. Ugh, does this mean that people will start distributing patch files as third-party add-ons for Widgets? If so, we'll have to come up with some long-term strategies for Widget hack management. Gross.

iCal Update 1.5.5 and MenuCalendarClock iCal Edition

If you're installing the iCal 1.5.5 update (available now via Software Update) and you're running MenuCalendarClock you'll want to quit MenuCalendarClock before attempting the install. Otherwise the iCal update will repeatedly ask you to quit iCal, though it may not appear that you have iCal running at the time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The untold story of Graphing Calculator

I'd hazard a guess that the vast majority of Mac users never had cause to use Graphing Calculator, a hyper-extended calculator that used to ship with Mac OS that created graphical visualizations of your equations. Nonetheless there it was and its legacy lives on in the current Calculator application forever more.

Ron Avitzur tells the story of the clandestine birth of Graphing Calculator in "The Graphing Calculator Story":

We finished in January 1994. Graphing Calculator has been part of the Macintosh ever since. Teachers around the world use it as an animated blackboard to illustrate abstract concepts visually. It shipped on more than twenty million machines. It never officially existed.
Incidentally, if you haven't recently dug into the current Calculator app, you should. In addition to having a myriad number of math functions I don't know how to use it also does crazy stuff like currency conversion. It's beautiful.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

T-T-T-Tiger Tech Talk

On Monday I'll be in Boston at the second to last installment of the "Tiger Tech Talks" roadshow. This will be my first ever Apple developer evangelism event. If I learn anything fascinating, I'll post about it when I get back. (And on the off chance that any FA:OSX readers will be there, I hope we cross paths!)

Monday, December 06, 2004

Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks

Recommended: O'Reilly's Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks. A nice dense book, not too huge. The chapter subjects make an eclectic list -- Perl, Multimedia, Printing, Fink, Compiling Source Code -- but every one I've sampled so far has been technically meaty and to-the-point in a way that few books are. It contains gems like "the missing manpages" for commands you may not have known existed: opendiff, screencapture, hostinfo, et al. And as a secret bonus, it turns out that a FA:OSX post is actually mentioned in the chapter on MySQL and PostgreSQL. Good for the commandline jock on your holiday gift list.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

iTunes Music Store in Canada

Its not the November deadline like they were hoping but Apple finally managed to get the iTunes Music Store operational in Canada: or just click on "Music Store" in iTunes. Sweet! There goes all my money....

(Thanks Dale!)

Update: David Akin, Canadian tech journalist, has more details and insights in (Finally!) Apple launches iTunes in Canada.