Monday, October 30, 2006

I am OS X

More Mac love for luku.

My quiz results - Which OS are you?

You are OS X. You tend to be fashionable and clever despite being a bit transparent.  Now that you've reached some stability you're expecting greater popularity.
Which OS are You?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Large disparate groups

Background: There's a competition called "My Dream App" that asks Mac OSX users to submit ideas for their dream application. The top 3 apps will be developed and turned into shareware apps, and the idea person wins a prize and 15% of the proceeds from the sales of their app.

The results: The top 3 apps as determined by web-wide voters were:

1. Atmosphere, a weather simulation and forecasting app
2. Portal, an app for syncing files, folders, and apps between 2 or more Macs
3. Cookbook, an app to streamline many kitchen and cooking activities

As I read through the comments on Ars Technica's post about the Dream App winners, I found this profound gem:

Posted October 26, 2006 @ 9:33PM by segphault
A cookbook and a weather application. That speaks volumes about the mentality of OS X users.

And the reply (which is really why I'm posting this):

Posted October 26, 2006 @ 11:36PM by macFanDave
That speaks volumes about the mentality of OS X users

Windows users would have chosen an anti-spyware tool, a Notepad replacement and a PowerPoint template that didn't look like it was created by a second-grader hopped up on Ritalin and Pixie Sticks.

Linux users would have chosen a package maker, something-something-ML that's like a python hanging on Rails held up by struts bobbing for perls, and a Konqueror control where if you click on Tux's . . . uh. never mind.

If you ever wanted proof that large disparate groups can only agree on the unispired and mediocre at best, look at who we Americans have put in charge!

Bravo! I got a laugh from it, anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

AMP web server package for Mac?

I had a heck of a time getting XAMPP for OS X installed on my Intel-based MacBook Pro tonight. Actually, I got it running just fine, but was having permissions issues. XAMPP requires that you start it as root/superuser, so I did so from the Terminal. However, my htdocs and all other folders were read-only to my main user account. I could change the permissions so that my user account could edit the files, but then I'd have to change the permissions back to the system owner.

So - how the heck do I get XAMPP installed so that I can develop and test on the same machine? (ie. edit the files in my htdocs folder, and test them via localhost in my web browser)

Does anyone know of a better "AMP" package for Mac OS X? (Apache, MySQL, PHP)

/edit - I found MAMP and it's working just fine.... ahhh how a Mac should be! Easy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who needs Windows?

I'm sitting in a hotel in Dallas, typing away on the MacBook Pro that my job has provided to me. It's been a few months, and I'm now comfortable doing tasks like configuring my Mac OSX environment and installing applications. The primary applications I use are available for Mac, so there hasn't been any adjustment required in that department. I use Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Microsoft Office. Yup - they all come in Mac flavors - even Office.

This week has been the longest sustained Mac usage I've experienced, with no Windows access whatsoever. After learning how to use GarageBand to record podcasts the other day, I've decided I'm a convert. I already knew how to record and edit audio on Windows with Audacity, but it certainly isn't easy enough for my mom to do it. Podcasting with GarageBand? My mom could do it. Literally.

That got me thinking about Macs in general. In the past, one of my biggest criticisms of Mac machines was the fact that software is much less abundant and a bit more expensive (in some cases) than software for Windows. I'd say, "Would you rather walk into Best Buy and have one measly aisle of software to choose from, or lots of aisles?"

Here's the thing: who needs aisles of software, when each Mac application is typically superior to its Windows counterpart? Why do I need 5 different choices for the same application, from different manufacturers, when I can have ONE that works wonderfully?

This MacBook Pro looks good. It's slick. The screen is gorgeous. Its battery lasts much longer than my Pentium 4 Windows-based laptop. This MacBook Pro is innovative. My 2-year-old Windows based laptop is just about useless right now because its power plug has come loose and will no longer charge the battery properly. This Mac has a magnetic power plug that easily pulls away from the machine in the event of emergency (such as, tripping over the power cable). This MacBook Pro just works. I have yet to have it crash on me. (I had trouble with it early on, but it turns out I didn't understand how to implement the power management features).

Tonight, since I'm stuck in a hotel with limited television options, I went to the web site to listen to the Flyers hockey game online. When I clicked the "listen now" link, my browser informed me that I was missing a plugin.... GULP. NHL Radio requires Windows Media Player. I nearly shrieked, "Nooooooooooooooooo!" thinking that I might have found one reason why I needed Windows in my life. A little googling and I discovered that there is a plugin that allows Quicktime player to play Windows Media files - and Microsoft endorses it. (In fact, I got the link from Microsoft's web site). It's called "Flip4Mac," and it works like a charm. (No reboot required! Gosh I love this Mac).

The only thing I've been able to think of that I can't do on this Mac is play Ultima Online, and with BootCamp's ability to boot my Intel-based Mac into Windows, I could even play UO if I wanted to. I haven't tried BootCamp, but I will soon.

Who needs Windows??

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Release Candidates

Firefox Version 2, Release Candidate 2 is available for download. (Firefox 2 - RC2)

I ran RC1 on a computer at work and had no problems, so now I'm running RC2 on my computer at home. I like some of the interface tweaks. I've only been using it for an hour or so, so I don't have a good feel for it yet, but it's been stable thus far and I'm excited for the upgrade.

I also downloaded an iso for Windows Vista Release Candidate 2 last night. (Windows Vista RC2)

I had downloaded RC1 and burned it to DVD, but never installed it. I've got RC2 as well, and have not installed it. Dare I? There's no way I'd install it as my main machine. Too many bugs. However, I've been toying with the idea of repartitioning my hard drive and installing it as a dual-boot scenario. Still, any such thing risks effing up my whole system, and with Windows, the likelihood of things getting screwed up is always high.

I'm still not sure if I'll try Vista RC2. I've been reading good things about it, though.

Funny how my faith in beta version software is so different for two different companies.