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An Architect's View

Entries Tagged as osx

Java 6 just arrived on Leopard

April 30, 2008 ·

The latest software update for Mac OS X 10.5.2 adds Java 1.6.0_05 but does not change your default setup. See this tech note for more details. I haven't yet switched to Java 6 as my default JRE but I will shortly. Happy to hear any early feedback from folks.

Tags: coldfusion · j2ee · osx

Mac vs PC - Popular Mechanics Review

April 16, 2008 ·

Popular Mechanics has published a very interesting comparison of Apple desktop and laptop performance compared to equivalent PC equipment. In almost all cases the Mac outperformed its PC partner and scored higher ratings in user tests as well. The review is interesting because it compares similar hardware (easier now Macs run on Intel chips) performing similar tasks. Leopard scored higher than Vista in usability and performance. Running Vista on Macs also scored higher in performance in almost all cases (than running Vista on PCs). It's worth reading all four pages of the review and looking in detail at the specs - and the prices, which gives lie to the long-standing myth that Macs are more expensive. The laptops, whilst slightly different specs, are the same price and the Mac desktop is $300 cheaper than the similar Gateway used in the test.

Tags: osx

Post-Leopard Glitch #3

April 09, 2008 ·

Just discovered that my iPhone had stopped syncing calendars. It turns out that Tiger and Leopard store their calendars in different places and if you do a simple "upgrade" to Leopard (as I did), then iTunes gets confused and uses your old Tiger calendars, even after the upgrade. The workaround is horribly painful and it took me a while to find it on various discussion forums. In essence, backup iCal, export each calendar, delete all your subscriptions (after recording the URLs!), delete ~/Library/Application Support/ical and ~/Library/Calendars (and maybe any iCal-related preferences), reset your sync history (in iSync), import the calendars back into iCal and re-subscribe to everything. Ta-da! Mind you, while doing this, my mail accounts disappeared from iTunes for syncing. The fix for that is to modify a mail account configuration in Mail. That forces the mail accounts back into the iTunes sync list.

Tags: iphone · osx

Warp - Making Leopard Spaces Even Better

March 30, 2008 ·

I like Spaces but I always like improving my workflow. A small utility called Warp does just that. It allows you to switch Spaces using the mouse, with a variety of options including modifier keys, clickable previews etc. Since I currently have six Spaces (two columns, three rows), I'm finding Warp speeds up my workflow by adding a natural way to move around my extended workspace.

Tags: osx

Post-Leopard Glitch #2

March 29, 2008 ·

It won't recognize my Verizon broadband card - or at least it won't connect. Network preferences show that it thinks the "Novatel CDMA" card has become an Apple modem (huh?!). Delete the network profile, re-insert the card, bingo! Auto-configuration "just works". I'm posting these little notes in case they might help anyone else moving to Leopard (and as a testament to the fact that whilst I love Apple, I know not everything goes smoothly with a Mac - and this is why I held off upgrading for three months after buying the Leopard DVD!).

Tags: osx · wifi

Post-Leopard Glitch #1

March 29, 2008 ·

It won't recognize my iPhone. Google turns up lots of similar complaints. Solution? Download iTunes and re-install it. Weird but it works.

Tags: iphone · osx

Another Leopard Annoyance

March 29, 2008 ·

In Tiger, you could cmd-tab and then use the arrow keys to move back and forth between apps. In particular, you could run off the end of the apps and wrap round to the other end of the app list. In Leopard, you can no longer do this. If you're on the first app, you have to arrow right to the last app, you can't just arrow left and wrap around. I had become very used to that so Leopard has broken a fundamental workflow that was almost "muscle memory". Bah! On the plus side, I really like the Leopard UI and I'm getting to like Spaces. I'm hoping I'll love Time Machine (when it finally finishes backing up my 120Gb of stuff). I also took the opportunity to take .Mac for a test drive. Not sure whether I'll spend $100 a year on it but the whole "Back to my Mac" thing seems very cool...

Tags: osx

Welcome to Leopard - Bye, bye /home

March 28, 2008 ·

If you're planning to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5, make sure you backup or move whatever you have in your /home directory before you start. You know, don't have your ColdFusion 8 install or your Eclipse workspace in /home. Like I did. Oh, I know, why /home? Old Unix habit, I guess. So, why should you be careful about this? Because the Leopard upgrade kindly blows away your /home directory. Yup. There goes my ColdFusion install, there goes my Eclipse install and all my projects. Backups? Fortunately, yes, I had a backup. Not a very up-to-date one, I'll admit (and I did toy with the idea of backing up my entire HD before upgrading to Leopard). Fortunately, everything is under SVN so I just pulled out my old backup (and put it in /Developer this time) and then ran svn update on everything. Other than that minor(!) trauma, the upgrade to Leopard seems to have gone well. I think. Watch this space for more Leopard experiences. Oh, and after all I've said about not upgrading early, why did I finally upgrade? Because, finally, everything I use on a day-to-day basis has been updated for Leopard. Or at least close enough to make the pain worthwhile. That and a new VPN client at work that is not compatible with Tiger.

Tags: osx · personal

Thunderbird and Keynote

February 16, 2008 ·

If you use Thunderbird on OS X and try to attach a Keynote presentation (or, I suspect, a Pages document or Numbers spreadsheet), the recipient will not be able to read it. Apple's iWork products use a directory to store the documents instead of a single file. It seems that Thunderbird tries to attach just the directory. Apple Mail gets it right and sends the directory plus all of its contents. A workaround appears to be creating a ZIP of the iWork document and Thunderbird is able to attach and send the ZIP correctly.

Tags: osx

Amazing CSS editing tool

January 16, 2008 ·

The creative director at one of my clients just turned me onto CSSEdit. It has a really nice user interface for working with CSS but the really cool thing is that you can view any site in CSSEdit's built-in browser and then download and edit the CSS file live and see changes on the remote web page directly (without needing to actually modify the remote site). This is really useful for previewing how a site - any site - would look with different CSS applied, which is essentially for skinning (which I think is just going to get more and more important).

Tags: osx