Archive for September 2003

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Resizing Login Items

Pierre Igot:

There are still a number of small details in Mac OS X that simply aren’t right. My latest example is the “Login Items” preference pane in System Preferences. Why is the list limited to showing only 8 items at a time? I have over 20 items in there. I constantly have to scroll up or down in order to locate the one I am looking for. Yet I have acres of screen real estate that could be used to display more than 8 items at a time.

macstl 0.1.4

Pixelglow’s macstl claims to be much faster than MSL and libstdc++.

AppleScript for Absolute Starters (AS4AS)

Bert Altenburg’s AppleScript for Absolute Starters is a slow-paced introduction to AppleScript, available in PDF format.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Free Computer Books

Andrew Cooke has a list of online books.

Matz Interview

Bill Venners interviews Ruby’s Yukihiro Matsumoto:

I need to guess how the compiler works. If I’m right, and I’m smart enough, it’s no problem. But if I’m not smart enough, and I’m really not, it causes confusion. The result will be unexpected for an ordinary person. This is an example of how orthogonality is bad.


I used to despise JavaScript out of ignorance, because I don’t like the way it’s often applied on Web pages. Now I’ve been reading more about it, and it’s actually a pretty neat language. Objects in JavaScript are based on prototypes, like in AppleScript.


DrawBot (binary, source) is a great example of the power of PyObjc, and it’s also a useful program in its own right. It’s a basic Python IDE that lets you edit scripts (with syntax highlighting) and display the results of Quartz drawing commands.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Hire a Mac Geek

Chris Turner:

So potential employers, I’m a Mac geek with a decade of experience in computer support, with a little HTML knowledge I’d like to expand on. I need to stay in the Dallas area, and I’m open to contract, contract-to-hire, or, best of all, permanent positions.

I’ve been working on Mac stuff with Chris for more than five years. He’s a good, smart guy.

Direct Innovation

Steven Frank:

Dell today issued a press release announcing their intention to rip off every single good idea Apple has had over the last year or so. This annoys me so much. It sucks to innovate the way Apple does because a hundred other companies are always waiting in the wings to see how well you do, and then flood the market with cheap knock-off crap if it looks like you had a good idea.



Thursday, September 25, 2003

SpamSieve and Apple Mail Public Beta

SpamSieve doesn’t officially support Apple Mail yet, but I’ve posted some scripts and instructions that should make it work with Mail, if you’re using an IMAP or .Mac account.

StuffIt Deluxe 8 Kernel Extension

Slava Karpenko:

But using a Kernel Extension to tweak is not just plain silly, it is dangerous and stupid—Aladdin risks the stability of your whole system just so their single feature only affecting could work.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Joel on Architecture

Joel Spolsky describes the new Fog Creek offices.

Interview on Daring Fireball

I had the honor of being interviewed for John Gruber’s site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Path Finder 3

Path Finder gets a great update, which includes an improved version of the Panther Finder’s Places sidebar. It’s still missing a good Find feature, though.

10.2.8 Installer

Eric Blair complains that the 10.2.8 installer can’t find Safari when it’s not in its default location, and is told that he shouldn’t want to move Safari in the first place.



Actually PHP just kills me anyway…why they had to invent a new language, I’ll never know.

Why is it that so many Web hosts support PHP instead of embedded Perl or Python?

Monday, September 22, 2003

NetNewsWire 1.0.5

NetNewsWire can now open the permalink instead of the external link when you double-click a headline.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

On This Day

Erik Barzeski’s blog has some discussion of how to use the calendar tool to print out timely holidays and historical events.

AppleScript Whose

John Gruber writes about the AppleScript whose clause, which add a kind of declarative filtering to AppleScript. whose is great in simple situations, but it doesn’t scale. The more interesting point: why do so many languages force you to use temporary lists and loops just to filter a list? It’s sad, really.

IMAP Backups

From time to time I hear that IMAP is great because you can rely on whoever’s running the server to do the backups. But as Lee Bennett shows, there’s no substitute for backing up your own data.

My host’s e-mail database rebuilt itself (as it has sometimes done in the past), but this time, it completely reset the contents of my mail space!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

SpamSieve 2.0.1

SpamSieve IconSpamSieve 2.0.1 is faster and fixes some bugs.

All Your Domain Are Belong to Verisign

Jonathan Rentzsch:

Verisign, in their capacity as the sole operators of the global .com and .net top-level domains, suddenly changed the fundamental operation of the domain name system yesterday.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Wayback Search

Jamie Zawinski:

The Wayback Machine has a search engine now.

Triumph of the Will

Gary Robinson:

If you ever get a chance to see Triumph of the Will, particularly in a theater, do it, not only because it is the best example ever created of the power of the media to seduce people into unknowingly move in utterly horrific directions, and not only because it will give you insight into how a Hitler can move people to unconditionally follow him, but also because, if you are a film lover, you will actually enjoy it purely as brilliant filmmaking.

Custom Headers In Mail

Dan Wood shows how to use the UserHeaders default.

Free Smalltalk Books

Stéphane Ducasse has collected some PDFs of out-of-print Smalltalk books, and also has some newer books about Squeak.

Galileo Software Update

Buzz Andersen:

From the “Tales of Great Software Engineering” department comes an article in last week’s New Yorker, entitled “What Galileo Saw.” In it, Michael Benson descibes the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s struggle to salvage the Jupiter-bound Galileo spacecraft…

U.S. History

Here are the citizenship study guides recommended by Cullen Murphy in the current Atlantic.

PodWorks Cracked

Buzz Andersen:

Besides, the irony is almost too good: enabler of intellectual property theft has his own intellectual property stolen. Truly, there is no honor among thieves!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

TeX for the Impatient

Kai von Fintel:

The book TeX for the Impatient by Paul W. Abrahams, Kathryn A. Hargreaves, and Karl Berry is now available in open source form. The pdf-file is here.

Note that the book doesn’t cover LaTeX.

Upgrade Timing

Buzz Andersen:

Apple may be secretive, but when it comes down to it, it’s [sic] product cycles are fairly predictable. Getting into the proper rhythm can save a Mac devotee a whole lot of frustration!

SpamSieve 2.0

SpamSieve IconToday is SpamSieve’s first birthday, and I’m celebrating by releasing version 2.0. There are lots of changes in this update, but the highlights, in my opinion, are improved accuracy and speed, plug-in integration with Eudora 6 (Sponsored or Paid), and notification when new good messages are received.

Programming Language Names (via Lambda):

Most of you have noticed that programming language names tend to fall in several different themes. Here is an attempt to catalogue them

Inside Every API

Erik Meijer (via Lambda):

Any sufficiently useful API or programming pattern will migrate into its host programming language.

Which is why languages should support macros so that programmers can grow the language themselves.

Saturday, September 6, 2003

Be and Microsoft Settle

Scot Hacker:

Microsoft just agreed to pay Be $23,250,000 and “admit no wrongdoing” to put the lingering lawsuit to bed forever.…In case you missed all the fun, this is the sort of wrongdoing to which Microsoft is not admitting, but for the sin of which it has ultimately agreed to pay.

Wednesday, September 3, 2003


Would I like to see a new office suite for Mac OS X, better and/or cheaper than Microsoft Office? Of course—who wouldn’t? But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to be produced by volunteer labor.

ATPM 9.09

The September issue of ATPM is out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003


Jim Rankin’s Excelsior marshalls Cocoa objects into XML. Most interestingly, the mapping process appears to be data-driven. Separate from marshalling, Excelsior lets you access text and attributes from XML documents using key paths.

Monday, September 1, 2003

If They Don’t Have It, You Don’t Need It

I didn’t expect to see Dan & Whit’s in the fashion section of The New York Times:

But what exactly is Vermont style, if it is not, in fact, a contradiction? A look inside Dan & Whit’s General Store in Norwich provides a quick primer: Back in the hardware department the other day, a sinewy woodsman with Phish-y facial hair wearing a chambray workshirt, jeans and Timberland boots compared prices of motor oils while his wife—braless in a tank top with graying bangs and a three-foot-long braid—surveyed the organic produce. Near the counter, a guy with a dirty blond mullet and a pack of cigarettes jammed into the front pocket of his jeans examined the selection of microbrews; outside, a trim man with a beard wearing a patterned fleece jacket, a Ben & Jerry’s T-shirt and Teva sandals climbed into a Subaru with New Jersey plates.


Steven Frank:

As dorky as it is, it’s somehow hard to resist the allure of a contest to see who has the coolest collection of worthless retro-tech.

I should have kept the TRS-80.