Forwarding Address: OS X

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Adium instead of iChat

It is easy to get sucked into Apple's applications that come with OS X, particularly when you compare them to the lame ones that Microsoft includes with XP. But there are ones that are better.

I wasn't all that keen on using IM a few years ago, but it was convenient for a few friends I had. When I first launched iChat, I was quite impressed. I've been using it a few years, and became surprisingly fond of it.

Then Tim Bray recommended Adium, and I took a look at it. In short, if you like iChat but don't use the voice capabilities, you may love Adium. You can make the contacts window much more compact, you can have all your chats in one tabbed window, Adium integrates many more IM services than iChat, and you can change the color schemes easily. If you have a long list of chat partners on different services, Adium will cause you to remove iChat from the dock.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Unix for Mac OS X Tiger

Now available: Unix for OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickPro Guide, Second Edition by Matisse Enzer, published by Peachpit Press. A great intro to Unix for the curious Mac owner.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

LaunchBar screencast (and discount)

Reposted from my blog:

ScreenCastsOnline and MacTV have posted a great screencast that demonstrates some of the wonders of LaunchBar. I'm a longtime fan and user of LaunchBar, but it can be hard to evangelize because it's so unlike anything most users know. (Spotlight has changed that a bit, but that's a post unto itself.)

I thought the use of the Keyboard Viewer was particularly clever. When the utility you're demonstrating has "Keep your hands on the keyboard" as its motto, just following the mouse won't do.

At the end of the screencast, Tom gives a 20% discount code for any LaunchBar orders made until November 30th, 2005. Sweet!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Pixel mania

Jonathan Rentzsch has an amusing post today about his near-Siracusan UI obsessions.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Beware the Palm Installer

Over on this dire warning about the Palm Installer 4.2.1c:
I have just examined the contents of the Palm Desktop 4.2.1 Revision C package installer, and I have come to the conclusion that either PalmOne is intentionally trying to damage our computers, or the software is a trojan horse that someone uploaded in place of the real software.

After the program files are installed, the installer runs a shell script called "postflight" that attempts to "fix" any permissions issues which may prevent the program from running properly. Unfortunately, the script violates the most basic programming principle in the universe - thou shalt not alter the files of programs other than thyself - and it does it so blatantly that I can only assume malicious intent.

Read the rest of that post for details.

Flash back to the iTunes Installer of Death....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Missing the comments? You're missing out

A little editorial aside: if you're reading this blog via RSS you might be missing out on what is occassionally the best part of it - the comments. And many thanks to everyone who's been leaving comments, especially those that expand the body of our knowledge. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled iPod rumours.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Post 555A02C0-CDAC-43FA-A5D4-24E4C234616A

One of my favourite things about the chewy Unix core of OS X is all the bizarre comman line utils floating around in there. Jonathan Rentzsch writes about uuidgen in What A Universally Unique Product Name!.
UID stands for "Uli's Unique Item Description". Young Uli originally invented it on a TRS-80 model 100 while on holiday in the Harz mountains, for the purpose of naming every bacterial species he scraped off his boots.