Tag - mac

Seriously, Entourage

I’m being forced to use Entourage, the Mac version of Outlook, on my work computer. And yes, it’s a major hardship. Not quite up there with communicable diseases or debilitating illnesses, but approaching. Definitely approaching.

First of all, it looks like a pilot’s dashboard. Simplicity is not part of the plan. This is after some serious effort to tone down the menus and email fields that display:

Worse, it’s stupid. I mean that quite literally. As an example, see this pop-up question:

That’s in response to a double-click on a recurring event – a weekly recurring event. Would it seriously open up the hundreds of recurrences over the next couple of years if I selected all? Is it not fairly obvious that generally users might want to see the details of the event, not to open up 52 copies of the event as it stretches out over the next calendar year?

Alas, iCal is not on speaking terms with our Exchange server … somehow the month field is being represented by a single digit in the details it’s sending up the line. Until I get that fixed, I’m stuck in 1998.

At least for calendaring.

Easily download YouTube movies via Safari

If you’re using Safari, there’s an easy way to download YouTube videos. Open the page with the movie and press Command-Option-A, which shows the Activity window. If you’re also loading other sites, you’ll see a list of them: scroll until you find the YouTube page and click on the arrow to show details about what is being loaded.

You will certainly notice an element whose size is over 0.5MB (most of the time, over 5MB). Double-click on it (even if it is still loading), and Safari will download it. When the download is over, navigate to the file in the Finder (which will probably be called get_video) and add the extension .flv to its name. Now you can play it with VLC or with QuickTime (only if you have Perian installed).

via Easily download YouTube movies via Safari – Mac OS X Hints.

The worst thing about Windows

I’m using a lot of Windows lately, via VMware Fusion … recently installing both Vista and XP. It’s for work, and it’s for certain apps that need to be tested on a PC.

The most annoying thing I’ve found so far – besides the way Windows is always mothering me to death me with little messages, asking me if I’m really, totally, quite absolutely sure I want to do something – is that fact that there are no visual cues that an application is launching.

You double-click an app … and nothing happens! Or so you think. Actually, it is launching (usually). But it’s entirely invisible until it appears, fully loaded, on your desktop. In the meantime, of course, you’ve double-clicked it a couple more times … and more of the same open like jack-in-the-boxes.


Mac OS X tells you an app is launching. First by changing the icon background color, and most importantly, by bouncing the icon in the dock until it is fully launched. Plus, if you double-click the app again by mistake, OS X is smart enough to not launch the same app twice.

Now that makes sense.

. . .
. . .

I’m sure this is in actual fact not the most annoying thing about Windows. But it is the most annoying thing right now for me.

iPhone is a trojan horse for Mac software development

I’m watching VP of iPhone software for Apple, Scott Forstall, in today’s Apple Event.

He’s demo’ing the API and development environment, and my first thought was: this is a trojan horse for Mac OS X development.

Thousands of developers are going to want to write applications for the hottest mobile device on the market … and as they do so, they’ll all be learning how to program for a Mac, using the same tools – the same development environment.

This is going to pay dividends for many years to come.

Takes all kinds …

I tell you, I get the weirdest email sometimes …

This one was in response to my Sony camcorder & Mac OS X: Not happy together? post from a year or so ago.

i saw your blog about about the mac and sony cam! I am the victim of samsung not connecting with mac! kinda like pam anderson and kid rock! it sort of works but not the full throatle

anywho sorry to bother you i am sure you are busy! My problem i bought my cam yesterday from compusa which is going out of buisness so all sales are final!

now i think i can take it back raising h*ll in a calm way! i would even take a credit and buy something i can use! but i did drop 230 bucks so i am pissed not break a nail pissed I cant sleep at night pissed, because i was wrong

anywho why this random email well is apple coming out with a new usb chord?

you seem like you know yo sh*t and frankly i am a new user to apple just bought the imac beast 2 days ago!

take care!


More power to you, Mary. Hope everything worked out OK – and thanks for brightening my day with your email!

MacSurfer update: grand old dame gets a facelift

Count me shocked.

MacSurfer, the grand-daddy and still king of Mac news sites, has unveiled a new look, now in beta. Times have changed, mullets have gone out of fashion, Michael is no longer the king of pop, and tie-dye is out … but MacSurfer, the essense of web 1.0, has stubbornly remained completely and utterly static. So any update is a bonus.

Major changes:

  1. 1-column to 3-column
  2. Font size for article titles is smaller
  3. Tabbed navigation (as opposed to no navigation at all)
  4. More add space (in the afore-mentioned 2 extra columns)
  5. Integrated search (not just a link)
  6. Archives
  7. Archives!
  8. Let’s say it one more time: finally, finally, archives! Now that great article you saw on MacSurfer but forgot where it was is findable.
  9. Translations (don’t get too excited, they’re via Google … “El Maco updating system blue muy excellent sofa” is a likely translation)
  10. Times when articles added

That’s a lot of change for a grand old dame … but there could be more.

Social features like commenting, submissions, and voting might make MacSurfer less of a jumping-off site and more of a social hub … which I think would translate into significant value for its owners. At any rate: wow – great to see the change.

iWork needs Appleworks import

Dan Knight of Low End Mac fame has a well-researched article on the abandoned Apple office suite AppleWorks, which used to be ClarisWorks.Most of it I’m taking with a bit of a grain of salt, since I know Dan is a keep-my-old-computers-til-they-rot kinda guy, but he makes a number of good points, and one very important one:

However, iWork isn’t AppleWorks. It’s not an integrated word processor, database, spreadsheet, paint, and drawing program. It’s much more like Microsoft Office, where Word and Excel are separate programs that can work together.And while iWork can open PowerPoint, Word, and Excel files, for some reason Apple has ignored compatibility with its own AppleWorks program, which is used by millions upon millions of Mac users on both the Classic Mac OS and OS X.I know Steve Jobs has a general disdain for things not created on his watch, and he’s allowed AppleWorks to languish, but if he wants Mac users to migrate to new hardware and iWork, he needs to make it easy to convert .cwk files into iWork documents and spreadsheets

An import function … that would be useful for people who have documents in AppleWorks. I know I have a few on my home computer.

Thumbs up, thumbs down: obligatory post-Jobs-keynote post

I want the new iMac.
I want the new iPhoto.
I want the new iMovie.
I want the new GarageBand.
I want the new Keynote.
I want the new Numbers.
I’m not really impressed with iWeb.
Not too sure about .Mac yet.
I don’t really have a need for Pages – Word is good.

Best new iPhoto feature
Better organization of photos. Events is just brilliant … we have 14,000 photos and they’re just a complete blur. Events makes sense, and it’ll be a major enhancements. I called my wife down for that chunk of the demo, and it passed her keenly tuned BS filters. She even said “cool” a few times.

Best new iMovie features
Movie library just like photo library: one of those things that is obvious after Apple does it. Creating a movie in minutes: very needed, and very awesome.

Still needed: easier podcasting
I still think Apple needs a better podcasting tool. GarageBand is not the obvious place to go for podcasting, and it’s still not super simple and easy there, AFAIK.