Friday, February 27, 2004

OS X Application Roundup

(originally posted at

I've just finished updating my newly-serviced 15" Powerbook G4, and now I have the fun task of downloading the newest versions of my favorite applications.  Here's what makes my OS X experience so much fun:
  • BBEdit (text editor for programming projects)
  • Firefox (mozilla browser)
  • iChat AV (latest beta does AIM vidchat)
  • iPulse (graphical system monitor)
  • iRoster (rendezvous browsing)
  • iTerm (tabbed console/terminal)
  • iWork (time-tracking and invoicing)
  • MacStumbler (wifi detection)
  • mplayer (does divx better than quicktime)
  • NetNewsWire (rss/atom newsreader)
  • OmniOutliner (mind-mapping, outlining)
  • OmniWeb (innovative web browser)
  • OSXPlanet (xplanet front-end)
  • Psi (jabber client)
  • SubEthaEdit (rendezvous-enabled text editor)
  • Teleport (software kvm)
  • Vim (for quick and dirty text edits)
  • VideoLAN Client (yet another movie player)
  • WeatherPop (menuling with local weather info)
  • X-Chat Aqua (irc client)
I'm not linking to them right now because I plan on adding each of them as nodes to the wiki when it's up, that way I can document my usage.  If you want to find them, head on over to google and slap an "osx" after the application name.  Quite a list, eh?  Who says there's not enough software for the Mac platform?

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

iTunes Error

(originally posted at

I ran out of RAM, the iMac crashed hard, and my iTunes Music Library file became corrupted and unusable.  I'm not a big stickler for application-specific metadata, but tune ratings are an important part of my iTunes/iPod experience.  A quick trip to google yielded this tip page, which is a bit dated but still valid.

What it boils down to is: if you have a valid .xml file but not an iTunes Music Library file, import the .xml file and you'll be fine.  If you've got a particularly large .xml file (mine's 16 megs!) it'll take quite a while to re-import.

On the one hand, it's a pain.  On the other, Apple could've easily kept the file format totally closed.  By choosing XML, they saved me quite a lot of time and effort.

Thursday, February 19, 2004


(originally posted at

Zengobi announces a sketchboard app Curio, which looks nice in theory but not something I could find much use for... at least not until Apple releases a tablet...

MacXWare announces LogoCreator - which I could've used just a week or two ago.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


(originally posted at

This Teleport software is amazingly useful.  It allows you to control two Macs with one keyboard and mouse entirely through software.  It even has Rendezvous discovery for quick and painless configuration.

First come across a month or so ago over at the tao of mac, I found a review over at macosxhints and decided to give it a whirl.

Installation was easy, just drag the supplied .prefPane file to a PreferencePanes folder either in /Library or ~/Library (depending on if you want all users on the computer to have access to it).  It took two minutes to configure and to my surprise and delight even required authentication when connecting the two machines for the first time.

This is fantastic for me, because it allows me to clear up the clutter of a keyboard/mouse on my work table.  I've got a large table with a Powerbook dead-center, an iMac just left-of-center, a television to the right and peripherals to the left.  This doesn't leave much room for open books or half-full diet coke cans.

Now my table has some free space and I can control my iMac simply by "throwing" my cursor off the left-edge of my Powerbook.  Once I'm better-equipped, I may need to switch to osx2x which has similar functionality, but also lets you control machines with VNC and/or X server running on them.  Hot stuff.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Firefox 0.8

(originally posted at

By now you've heard that Firebird has been renamed Firefox and a 0.8 release has been, well, released.  Here are a few first impressions for the OS X user:
  • Startup time is not noticeably faster than Firebird 0.7, but it is noticeably slower than Safari 1.2.
  • Yes, you still get that tiny phantom window when you use Apple's Expose feature.
  • Woohoo! They've included DOM Inspector, I now have no reason to have the full version of Mozilla installed.
  • Yes, the new Pinstripe theme is that cool.
  • OS X hotkeys like cmd-m to minimize and shift-cmd-left/right to switch tabs still do not work.  Bummer.
  • about:plugins shows they're still working with Java 1.3.1, so still no Newsmonster support.  Argh.
Enough to get me to switch?  I dunno.  It's tempting to want to use a cross-platform browser, but I'm really only using one platform on the desktop these days anyway.