Posts tagged 'mac'

Latest Links and commentary

I haven't been bookmarking things in quite as often as I used to, for a variety of reasons, but I still do about 2-3 links per day. So I setup my FeedPoster to post my latest links to my blog each day as a draft post, which I can edit and post later if I want. So here are my edited links from the past week with some added commentary to make them a little more interesting (hat tip to Rafe Colburn).

Atom protocol "features" extension

I try to follow the Atom community pretty closely, but sometimes I fall out of the loop. For example, I missed the discussion on James "Mr. Atom" Snell's important new extension proposal for Atom protocol features, which will enable blog servers to declare what features they support. For example, Roller could inform blog clients that you can enable/disable comments for each post, limit comments to N days on, "pin" a blog entry to to site's main page (if you are an admin) and more. Hopefully, we can get blog server developers to agree on a common set of features and blog client developers to support that set.

Publishing critical info with Atom

And I had to bookmark James Snell's excellent and important article Publish critical public warnings on the Web, with the sub-title "Atom publishing can provide a powerful and flexible way to distribute critical, life-saving information."

Sun Portal's blog porlet, powered by Atom protocol

This next Atom link comes from It's some documentation for the Sun Portal Server 7.1 - Blog Portlet. I did not realize that the Sun Portal blog portlet uses Atom protocol to enable publishing to Roller. It was developed and tested against Roller 3.1, so it probably does not conform to the final Atom protocol.

What to call Atom protocol?

And finally, folks are wondering what to call Atom Publishing Protocol. Is it APP or Atompub or Atom protocol? Ian Bicking says I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to call it Atompub from now on." I don't have a strong opinion, but I do think APP is to vague to be useful.

Lightweight image editors for Mac

I've got a copy of Photoshop Elements for the Mac, but I really hate to have to start it up when I want to crop or resize an image. So I twittered about it. Ryan Irelan pointed out ImageWell "the Free and Lean Image Editor". Rich Sharples recommended Skitch, a Web 2.0-ish desktop app that makes it easy to snap, draw and share images from your desktop. I'm on the waiting list for an invite. On my own, I found Seashore, which is a Gimp based open source image editor Mac, one that does not need X11, and it's pretty light-weight. I'm not ashamed to admit, I love the Gimp.

Whew! I've got a couple more links but my lunch break is over so there you go.

Firefox 2.0 crashy on MacBooks?

I used Firefox 2.0 for a while on my Powerbook without any major problems, but since I switched over to my MacBook last week, Firefox 2.0 been just as crashy as hell -- locking up multiple times each day. From this looks of this thread on MozillaZine, I'm not alone. I took some advice from a comment on this post at and uninstalled the Google Toolbar extension. So far so good.

Easy upgrade #1: Powerbook to MacBook

I was tempted to switch away from Apple, but in the end I decided to take the easy route and buy another Mac laptop. When Apple updated the MacBook Pros a couple of weeks ago, I ordered one.

And I'm not kidding about the easy route. Transitioning from my old Powerbook to my new MacBook was amazingly easy, especially when you consider the fact that I moved from a PowerPC processor to an Intel. It was this easy: start up new Mac and when prompted hook old Mac to new Mac via Firewire cable, wait 2 hours and boom... all applications, settings, mail... everything... is perfectly duplicated and ready to on my new laptop. And yes, it's fast. As long as my battery doesn't explode and I don't get hit by random shutdown syndrome -- fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that -- I think I'll be a happy with my new Mac for very long time.

Apple repair turn-around time

The Apple support guy told me that mail-in repairs typically have a five to seven day turnaround time, but increased "back-to-school" load could mean ten days. I'm not sure if that's good or bad compared to other companies, but it's a long time to go without the trusty laptop, that's for sure. In case you're googling around for info on Apple repair turn-around time, as I was last week, here's my experience. [Read More]

Day 2: Tigers!

It took a bit longer than I'd expected, but I made it through the Tigers upgrade. I'm now working with J2SE 5.0 Tiger on my Solaris x64 box, my Powerbook and as of a couple of minutes ago, this site is running on  5.0 as well.

I also upgraded my Powerbook from Panther to Mac OS X 10.4.3 Tiger. Along the way I learned that you shouldn't try to use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone to a network mounted drive (it will work, but it's extremely slow) and that I didn't really need to buy iLife (the old versions of iMovie, iDVD and iPhoto continue to work). Migrating to the new took all morning, so I'm only now getting to my overflowing mailbox.

Day 1

After wrapping up writing last night, I took a break from the book for most of the day with some shopping and some time with our neighbors. Our neighbors across the street, invited us over for some candle lighting, latkas and dreidling -- a very nice way to wrap up the holidays.

One of my non-health related resolutions for 2006 is to switch over to Tiger, by which I mean Mac OS 10.4 Tiger and Java 5.0 Tiger. So I dragged the boys over to CompUSA and bought a LinkSys NSLU2 Network Storage Link and a Maxtor 200GB external USB drive. They didn't have Mac OS X, so I drove over to the Apple store in Durham. I bought both Mac OS Tiger and iLife, because I was warned Tiger doesn't include the Apple software goodies I've been digging recently (iMovie, iDVD and iPhoto, grumble grumble). All and alll, a way too expensive day. Once I use my Carbon Copy Cloner to back up my Powerbook (hmm, is that gonna work with a network mounted drive?), I'll feel comfortable installing the new Mac OS.

Another resolution on my list is to do some 'casting. I'll be making the first non-snapshot release of Blogapps this week, so I'd like to make a couple of screencasts. I've got two ideas in mind. One screencast will walk you through the installation and setup of the Blogapps server (i.e. my Roller/JSPWiki bundle). The other will explain Atom protocol (as it stands today) using the Blogapps server and some command-line utillities I wrote for the Atom protocol chapter. I was quite impressed with what Brian McAllister did with Snapz Pro X in his ApacheCon talk, so I'm thinking that is the package to buy for Mac screencasting. Please pipe-up if you know better.

Andi's next computer

She doesn't know it yet, but Andi's getting a Mac mini. The kids can have the old Windows box, but we'll have to disconnect it from the net so they can use it safely ;-)

Powerbook second impressions.

I've had my Powerbook for over a week now and I'm starting to get settled in. Overall, I've been very pleased with the Powerbook itself, the software that came with MacOS, and the software I've downloaded. I'm still trying to figure out what works best and I find it very useful to read what other Mac users are using and why, so here I'll document the software I've started to use.

Before I started using the Powerbook, I had assumed that I would be using the same browser and mail programs that I use on Windows, Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. When I got the Powerbook, I installed Firefox and Mozilla and found that they work well and look almost exactly as the do on Windows. Generally speaking that is a good thing, but I'm in the mood to try something new and I prefer applications that get the native look-and-feel perfectly right, so I switched over to the built-in default browser and mail programs, Safari and Mail.App. I've been using them for about a week now and they both look great and work great. I'll stick with them for now.

I've been experimenting with iMovie. I imported a bunch of video clips from my digital camcorder and found it very easy to compose a video, edit out the bad spots, incude transitions between clip, and add titles and text. iMovie works very well and, at this point, I don't think I'll be needing any other video editing software. I've also been using the OmniOutliner and the OmniGraffle drawing programs. I was surprised to find these applications included with Mac OSX and very pleased with both of them. I downloaded Voodoo Pad Lite the other day and found it so useful that within hours I was paying the the $19.95 registration fee for the full version.

There are some bad points, of course. For example, I have't found any chat software nearly as good as Trillian. Fire may eventially rival Trillian, but right now it's GUI is clunky and nowhere near as full-featured. Eclipse is usable, but the fonts are so big and the new Eclipse 3.0 M8 look-and-feel is a real put-off.

Eclipse and Netbeans on MacOS

I'm not exactly pleased with the open source Java IDE situation on MacOS. Eclipse 3.0 M8 works and connects to SourceForge CVS/SSH just fine, but it is slow, looks obnoxious, and it just crashed while I was editing a Java source file. I hope that, by the 3.0 release, Eclipse will be usable on MacOS. Next, I tried Netbeans.

Netbeans 3.6 seems fast, fits in with the MacOS GUI, and even recognized the SourceForge CVS/SSH configuration that Eclipse left behind, but... when I attemped to login to CVS, Netbeans showed me a stack-trace. I decided to try using a real cvs client instead of Netbeans built-in implementation. I used Fink to download the cvs command-line client, configured it, and confirmed that it works with SourceForge CVS/SSH by doing an update on the Roller CVS. I configured Netbeans to use the command-line cvs client, but no luck. Netbeans says "Permission denied (publickey,password,keyboard-interactive)." I have CVS_RSH set in my .bash_profile and in Netbeans CVS environment variables... is there some other trick?

Anybody had any luck connecting to SourceForge CVS/SSH with Netbeans on Mac OSX?

PowerBook waiting list.

I have a birthday of arbitrary numeric significance coming up and because of that, and a new secret project I'm starting, I've been able to convince my better half that I need one of the new PowerBooks. I've never owned an Apple before, so I'm pretty excited about this (despite the buzzkill build timings that Matt posted yesterday). I've wanted an Apple ever since my Dad brought home a TRS-80 back in the late 70s. I used a Mac for a while in the 80s and ported some software to MacOS back in the 90s, but I always hesitated to buy a Mac for myself because Macs were all GUI and no command-line. Now, Macs have the finest GUI plus the finest of command-line interfaces (UNIX and bash) and I'm on the waiting list for a new 15" PowerBook.

No Panther for this cat.

Apple has roughly 1% of personal computer marketshare, so why am I hearing so much about the new Mac OS release? Seems like everybody I know is excited about Panther and every weblog I read is Panther, Panther, Panther. But no Panther for me because I don't own a Mac. In fact, I've never owned anything manufactured by Apple, until now that is. I went out yesterday and treated myself to a 20GB iPod. What a beautiful and useful device. I'm a little worried that the iPod is like a gateway drug and I'll soon find myself jonesin' for a Powerbook and waiting in line for new Mac OS releases.