Thu, 05 Jan 2006
When I finally upgraded to Mac OS X Tiger, my old Emacs broke again. I hunted around for a replacement, tried a couple, and settled on Aquamacs. It has a few glitches, but it not only works like Emacs should, it also does a surprisingly decent job of acting Maclike. Some things I like:
It's good enough that I dropped a donation on its author.
Sat, 02 Apr 2005
Is it possible to get to a place where you can comfortably use Cocoa and Java, or is the path always full of rocks?
<boring_tale_of_woe>I am finding plugging a Mac interface on my Jar file no fun. I am distressed that too often building produces mysterious behavior that goes away when I hit 'clean all' first. It's bizarrely cumbersome to include a jar file in the project. The link between the Nib and whatever other magic is involved in launching got so scrozzled that even backing up all the way to the Nib and regenerating all the Java sources yielded an executable that couldn't find the java UI objects. I had to start completely from scratch, redraw the UI, generate the Java sources, and paste in the code from the previous version.</boring_tale_of_woe>
Interface Builder is cool, but once past that things go downhill. I'm particularly wondering if the whole system is fragile in the face of lots of renaming of methods and redrawing of interfaces.
<boring_tale_of_woe>For example, the runtime once unilaterally ceased being able to find the action method
Mon, 27 Dec 2004
The Powerbook G5 announcement has been canceled. Although my drive did die, I bought another disk instead of another Powerbook.
P.S. I've decided to opt for convenience over expense. Henceforth, I'm going to make bootable full backups to a Powerbook-compatible 2.5" drive in a firewire enclosure, rather than to a partitioned big disk. Next time a drive dies, I'll move the drive: Up and running again in fifteen minutes. And if my drive starts making ominous clunking sounds, I won't hang around waiting for it to die. Plus the extra planning and expense will ensure that no disk ever dies on me again.
Anyone else do that? Or do you have some other clever backup strategy? Mail me.
Mon, 13 Dec 2004
My powerbook is making truly alarming clunking noises. Gosh, could
it be the disk? I'll probably be buying a new one soon, which
can only mean that some wonderful new model will be announced
Tue, 16 Mar 2004
My life would be ever so much better if I could type control-shift-meta-cokebottle while reading mail and have that message added to an iCal todo list such that clicking on something (the associated URL?) would bring up Mail and show the message-that-prompted-me-to-want-to-do-something. Anyone know if this is possible? Mail me. Thanks.
Tue, 29 Apr 2003
When I was about 12, I would stay up late Saturday nights to listen to the local community college station's alternative show. "What is this Frank Zappa creature?" They say that the Golden Age of science fiction is 12; for me it was also the Golden Age of Rock.
When I was a freshman in college, I became a huge Prokofiev fan. I actually signed up for two years of Russian just so I could read Nestyev's biography in the original. (That proved to be a mistake...)
In recent years, I've drifted away from music, but some of my enthusiasm came back in the last few months. I've listened obsessively to mostly old fogey music: the Clash's London Calling, Patti Smith, Springsteen (especially Nebraska), and Shostakovich's 8th. So Apple's new iTunes music store came at a vulnerable moment.
It's not possible, maybe, for a 43 year old without any particular musical talent or training to recapture that feeling that music matters, but I have to say I feel close to that tonight. Being able to reach out to a world of songs that mattered to me, click on one, and have it...
Good job, Apple. Good idea. Fine execution. But where are the Stones?
Sat, 01 Mar 2003
Sciral Consistency is a tool for reminding you to do things semi-regularly. For example, I want to check my Junk mailbox every three to nine days to see if my spam filter filtered out anything important. Every one to twenty days, I want to do something that improves my computing environment. Consistency reminds me to do those kinds of things through a display that looks like this:
That display is always visible on my left-most screen (of three). Each row is a task. You can see parts of some of the task names on the left. Each column is a day. Every so often, I'll glance at the display, focusing on today's column (the one with the brown heading). If I see red cells, I know I'm overdue for that task. Green cells are tasks I might do today or put off until later. Yellow cells mark my last chance: tomorrow, the cell will be red. Blue means that it's not time to do the task again yet.
The display of the past lets me know how well I'm keeping up with the things I want to do. As you can see, I slipped recently (a long consulting trip and some rush projects just after it).
It's really quite simple and surprisingly effective. Well worth $25.
Fri, 21 Feb 2003
I switched from Windows to Mac OS X last summer. It seems I know a lot of people who have switched too (PragDave), will switch as soon as their 17 inch TiBook arrives (Cem Kaner), or won't be able to resist forever (Mike Clark).
Back in my Unix days, I used to be quite the tinkerer. I fiddled with my environment to make it just so. When I went to Windows, I stopped doing that. I just submitted. On OS X, I'm back to spending time making myself more efficient.
Here are some thing I've done that other switchers might like. Let me know what you've done.