Archive for the 'Mac' Category

March Emacs

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

I downloaded the latest Carbon Emacs for MacOS X, with about as little success as I had last time. I think it’s time to roll my own again…

More Mac Software

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

In the news (/., MacRumors): yet another attempt at malware for your mac. This one’s being touted as a virus but seems to be just a trojan.

Nevertheless, I briefly considered some advice in the MacRumors comments to stop running as an admin user. (See also the explanation of admin user powers in this informative thread.) But I consider myself geeky enough not to double-click something dangerous, so I’ll wait until a real virus starts circulating before I do anything that inconvenient in the name of security.

On the positive side, today I stumbled across HyperJeff’s catalog of OS X Apps while surfing. It’s a huge, unwieldy list, but handy if you want to look up all the mac sudoku apps.

Camino 1.0 Released

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

I didn’t get to use that beta long: Camino 1.0 has been released. It’s even a Universal Binary, for that one guy whose new MacBook has been delivered.

Camino is Back!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Camino (the OS X web browser formerly known as Chimera) is back with a beta of the long-awaited version 1.0.

I tend to use Safari for my day-to-day browsing, but for the weird stuff like XML (raw or with xlinking) and sites that need BugMeNot, I use a Mozilla browser. Lately, since Camino seemed mired in version 0.8, I’ve been using Firefox, but no more! It’s back to the good old days for me.


Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

As of this morning in California, Intel is officially inside the new macs. I don’t care for the name “MacBook Pro,” but I’m a New Englander so I was doomed to go on calling it a Powerbook for at least another five years–no harm done.

Writing by Mac

Sunday, November 6th, 2005

From the NaNoWriMo forums: Writing aids for Mac OS X. Personally, I don’t use any of them, but I did download SideNote and GraphViz to give them a try. Most of my “notes” are actually links, so sidenote may clean up my desktop a bit.

More Sudoku Madness

Friday, November 4th, 2005

I had no idea there were Sudoku Dashboard Widgets out there. It’s the perfect NaNo break…

Desktop Managers II

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Timeslip of the day: Saving Time

I’m supposed to be gearing up for NaNoWriMo, so of course I geeked instead, downloading desktop manager demos for You Control:Desktops and CodeTek Virtual Desktops (CTVD). So now I can do a three-way comparison of them and the free, open-source Desktop Manager:

There’s nothing like free software, and Desktop Manager has freedom going for it. It also has enough features to satisfy the average cheapskate such as yours truly. Development seems to have stalled, but development is pretty slow on the other two as well so it’s hard to say which product is the most moribund. Desktop Manager felt the most stable of the three on Tiger.

YouControl has some nice features, like separate desktops for each virtual desktop. (The others show all you desktop icons on every desktop.) YouControl has nice OS X transitions (the fast user-switching Cube, etc.), but unfortunately they go backwards most of the time, making them highly annoying. (DesktopManager has transitions that work correctly; CTVD has no transitions.)

The major downside of YouControl is the linear desktop model. They’re very cute up there in the menu bar (on those rare occasions when program menus don’t hide them), but virtual desktops are traditionally paged through with a grid pager like that of Desktop Manager and CTVD. Paging through my six to nine desktops linearly just takes too long. But I think the real reason I gave it up was that it required a control click on the menubar icon in order to access the preferences or shut the thing down. Requiring right-clicks for anything is against the Apple Human Interface Guidelines.

CTVD follows the HIG very nicely indeed, though it’s behind the times on the fun transitions. Besides the preference settings for individual app behavior (which YouControl also has but Desktop Manager makes you set manually, window-by-window), CTVD also has a handy interface for setting separate desktop wallpaper. YouControl makes you do this manually with System Preferences; Desktop Manager crashed when I tried to do the same. CTVD also implements that pinnacle of all Unix features, focus-follows-mouse, as well as other subtle but handy features. The link to the pager skins page is wrong; the real page is here. On the down side, it seems to be a bit of a resource hog compared to the other two.

To pay for CTVD or go back to Desktop Manager, that is the question. I’ll see how the 15 days of my demo go and report back.

Air Kitty

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Filk of the day: Survival Song. Thanks to Veronica for the link.

Due to a sudden and unexpected rearrangement of my living room, my mac was far, far away from my cable modem. Rather than stretch my favorite crossover ethernet cable across the middle of the room, I went to the Apple Store and got an Airport Express. All the setup software was already on my mac, so I just ran the Airport Setup Assistant and kitty was on the air.

I did have trouble coaxing my free printer into printing through the Airport Express. I followed most of the advice on this printer troubleshooting page, and the step that worked was deleting and recreating the printer queue.

There’s at least one other wireless network in the building, with a cryptic, non-Airport-looking name. This entry was blogged wirelessly.

Desktop Managers

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Book of the Day: Conventions of War, the third and final volume of Walter Jon Williams’ Dread Empire’s Fall series is out! I snagged it at Borders yesterday.

My desktop was getting cluttered with too many windows at work, so I went looking for Windows software to simulate multiple desktops. The Microsoft Virtual Desktop Manager (a powertoy) was far too buggy to use, but AltDesk turned out to be wonderful. I may even have to pay for it when the demo expires.

For my Mac, though, I prefer free software, so I went with Desktop Manager, rather than the promising you control: desktops or the traditional CodeTek Virtual Desktops. Right now I’m using the stable 0.5.3 version of Desktop Manager, but I may upgrade to the developer build for more fun and excitement.