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Preview: Forwarding Address: OS X

Forwarding Address: OS X

Migrators to Apple's new operating systems talk about their experiences. Some of them come from Classic MacOS, some from Windows, and some from other Unixen.

Updated: 2010-05-11T06:31:07.866-07:00


Rails Will Ship With Leopard


While the Mac has long had a reputation for providing end users with a great out-of-the-box experience, it's noteworthy that it's steadily gaining an equally good rep among developers. This is especially true among the Ruby on Rails crowd -- Mac OS X is the preferred development platform for the Rails core group. Several counts I took at the recent RailsConf showed that Mac laptops outnumbered Wintel/Lintel ones by a nine-to-one ratio; some people have suggested that the ratio is larger. (In fact, after the Mac, the next most popular machine seemed to be the Nintendo DS.)

This announcement should boost its rep among developers even more: Rails will ship with both the client and server editions of OS X 10.5, a.k.a. "Leopard". Here's what the Riding Rails blog has to say:

The developer seed that was distributed today at WWDC contains Ruby 1.8.4 and Rails 1.1.2, but we fully expect to have Rails 1.2.x along with Mongrel, SQLite bindings, and lots of other Ruby goodies on the final gold master when it goes out in spring.

Full-time Fireball


John Gruber has decided to do Daring Fireball as his main job. If John is able to make DF half as cool as he hopes, it will be a big plus for the online mac community. His smackdowns are things of legend... Bon chance, John!

Looks like time for anti-virus software


(image) If you missed the malware news last week, I have some catch-up links on my blog, but the most important one is ClamXav, the open source anti-virus package for OS X.

Open source Mac applications


Sure, you could scour Sourceforge for hours on end, but Open Source Mac is the fastest way to grab the well-tested essentials.

AppleWorks, R.I.P.


I have a feeling that AppleWorks is dead.

Killing the iTunes "MiniStore"


Yesterday's iTunes update continues the recent tradition of adding marketing features instead of, well, real features. When you start it up for the first time and see the "MiniStore" that appears at the bottom of the main window, don't panic -- just hit Cmd-shift-M.

Google Earth


Throw out those bootleg copies, the official release of Google Earth for the Mac is here. It's nifty. Requires 10.4 for the moment, unfortunately. I blab more about it here.

Google Hiring Mac Engineers


If you're a Mac hacker and might be interested in working on Mac stuff at Google, let Steve or me know. These positions were just posted: And these were posted a little while ago:

Slashdot - Microsoft Ends IE on the Mac


I don't know why this is news, because MacMinute talked about it two and a half years ago.

BBEdit Update


For those that have auto-update notification turned off, BBEdit 8.2.4 has landed.

Fulltext search in Tiger Mail?


So, does fulltext search in 2.0.5 (OS X 10.4.3) work for anybody else? Because it sure as hell doesn't work for me. Indexing Mail Messages is turned on in Spotlight prefs; I don't see any relevant options in Mail itself. From within Mail I can search for matches on From, To, Subject without difficult, but "Entire Message" mode yields nothing. Is this feature just broken?

Digging TextMate


I still remember being at CFP in 1996 and sitting behind some supercool geek who was using BBEdit to take notes. I imprinted immediately, and I was onboard with that wonderful application from 4.0 all the way to 6.5. Somewhere around 7.0, though, BBEdit began to lose the plot. Its transition to OS X had always seemed halfhearted, and all those buttons for generating HTML were looking very quaint. The menus and preference dialog had grown unwieldy, almost byzantine.

To make a long story short, after trying everything under the sun (really; I don't think there's a single native editor for OS X that I didn't fire up at least once), I switched to TextMate a couple weeks ago and am completely sold. It consistently works the way I want it to work and leads me to discover features I didn't know I needed. Its bundle system solves the cruft problem that's killing BBEdit, and provides an organized, accessible way for users to expand the app's featureset. It's a Cocoa app with a good native feel. I even bought it, which is a remarkable thing for a cheap, indecisive, open source guy like me to do.

PowerBook hibernation


Andrew Escobar has posted an informative page on enabling the new "Safe Sleep" mode that Apple made public (quietly) with the release of the latest PowerBooks.

Looking at Buying a PowerBook?


John Gruber does an very detailed review of his newly acquired 15" PowerBook. If you are on the fence about a purchase, you might take a few minutes and give this a read. It might help.

Sony's DRM kernel extensions


You probably read the recent news about Sony installing cloaked "digital rights management" (DRM) software on PCs. Well, Mac users don't have to feel left out any longer, because it looks like Sony discs also install DRM kernel extensions on the Mac.


Of course none of this is a problem if you're just ripping audio, but if you're running some whizzy multimedia app from a CD, watch out -- especially if it asks for your admin password!

LaunchBar 4.1b1


Launchbar cultists take note: 4.1b1 is out. New file manipulation commands, Spotlight integration, more iTunes controls, and even Tiger dictionary lookup.

10.4.3 Update


97 megabytes! Includes lots of fixes to lots of things.. And apparently we've got (or had) our own BSOD:
Addresses an issue in which high ASCII characters in a password could lead to a blue screen at startup, or prevent log in.



I just noticed that the folks over at Blacktree released a hallowe'en themed version of Quicksilver, Tricksilver b44. Though the site says b40 is the latest, the one I'm running lists its version as "b44 Werewolf". Nice work guys, love the start-up image!

Idea for Software Update


This is probably an old idea, but I haven't seen it around recently (or at all in my case). Spotlight may not be the key to world peace, but at least Apple provides a way to get your special file format indexed. Wouldn't it be nice if Software Update allowed a way for developers to register their app so that users could be notified through a unified interface? Yes, I know there are apps from various mac update sites that do something very similar to this. This would be much simpler for the user, even if it does put a little more load onto the developer.

I guess it would be similar to how Windows Update knows about a few of the non-Windows components on your system (video, nic drivers, etc) only better.



By now you've heard about Aperture, Apple's new pro-level imaging app. Is it iPhoto on steroids? iView on crack? Photoshop on lithium? Nobody can decide. I blathered more about it here, but if you're really curious and you happen to be within driving distance of NYC you should head on over to the PhotoPlus Expo today or this weekend and see for yourself. I hear Apple has a big booth and I don't think it's for the iPod Shuffle.



gDisk does pretty much what you think it does, which is basically store files in your gmail account. Which is, for the most part, "cool." It works pretty much how you expect it to work, by creating draft messages and attaching the file. It has the concept of "categories" locally, which correspond to labels on the gmail side. Why they don't just say "labels" is beyond me.

But what doesn't it do? It does not act as a mounted drive like it's Windows and Linux counterparts. It's not a huge deal, and I'm glad something like this finally came out for OS X. But, and you knew it was coming, it's just one more app that has to be launched. Having file system integration saves you that much.

Found via digg (which is the new slashdot, and by "slashdot" I mean "annoying community-driven site").

Real Player direct-ish download


I needed to install Real Player on my new PowerBook and remembered something about the BBC making the whole process less bothersome. After some Googling and testing I ended up with this link to the BBC site as the most direct entry point. From there you click on the Mac OS X download link, which takes you to Real's site where you choose a mirror. If you try to simply use the URL from the Mac OS X download link alone, referrer checking on Real's site will throw you back to the main Real download page and will subject you to all their silly info-gathering.

Adium instead of iChat


It is easy to get sucked into Apple's applications that come with OS X, particularly when you compare them to the lame ones that Microsoft includes with XP. But there are ones that are better.

I wasn't all that keen on using IM a few years ago, but it was convenient for a few friends I had. When I first launched iChat, I was quite impressed. I've been using it a few years, and became surprisingly fond of it.

Then Tim Bray recommended Adium, and I took a look at it. In short, if you like iChat but don't use the voice capabilities, you may love Adium. You can make the contacts window much more compact, you can have all your chats in one tabbed window, Adium integrates many more IM services than iChat, and you can change the color schemes easily. If you have a long list of chat partners on different services, Adium will cause you to remove iChat from the dock.

Unix for Mac OS X Tiger


Now available: Unix for OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickPro Guide, Second Edition by Matisse Enzer, published by Peachpit Press. A great intro to Unix for the curious Mac owner.

LaunchBar screencast (and discount)


Reposted from my blog:

ScreenCastsOnline and MacTV have posted a great screencast that demonstrates some of the wonders of LaunchBar. I'm a longtime fan and user of LaunchBar, but it can be hard to evangelize because it's so unlike anything most users know. (Spotlight has changed that a bit, but that's a post unto itself.)

I thought the use of the Keyboard Viewer was particularly clever. When the utility you're demonstrating has "Keep your hands on the keyboard" as its motto, just following the mouse won't do.

At the end of the screencast, Tom gives a 20% discount code for any LaunchBar orders made until November 30th, 2005. Sweet!