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About this morning's site changes... Site News
The 2008 April Fool's Day edition of macosxhints.com has now vanished into the sands of time. For those who are curious and weren't around earlier today, for a few hours this morning, Mac OS X Hints went retro:
That's just a bit of the home page; click the image for the large version -- but be warned, it's a huge (1024x3824, 513KB) PNG file. If you'd like to see the hints with the comments that were posted, just download this 960KB archive; each story and its comments are stored as an individual PNG within the archive.

(For those who may be new here, I have a long history of doing something different each year on April Fool's day. The intent isn't necessarily to fool anyone, but just to have a bit of fun to counter the other 364 days of the year. If you're interested, here are all the past April Fool's Day posts: 20032004200520062007).

The feedback on this year's stunt was generally positive, and it was actually quite a lot of fun to work on -- as someone commented, it's amazing to glance back and see just how far we've come in a relatively short amount of time. While searching for OS 9 information, it became obvious just how different things were back then, and how really nice it is to be working with OS X. The road here wasn't always smooth, but the end result has (to me, anyway) been worth the struggles.

Hopefully everyone got a least a little laugh out of our brief blast down memory lane today...and if you don't like this sort of thing, well, then I suggest you mark April 1, 2009 on your calendar and stay away from the web that day :).

-rob.
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Minor site changes last night
Authored by: mustang_dvs on Apr 01, '08 08:18:49AM
I think you might have broken something in your upgrade to the latest version of AppleShare IP.

I've been visiting MacOS9hints.com for years, without any problems, but now, at the top of the page, it says: Welcome to macosXhints.com, mustang_dvs.

Did you get bought out by ZDnet? Or something?

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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: sf addict on Apr 01, '08 04:27:18PM

Good one, Mustang! ...had me lol-ing here at the office!



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: JJCortes on Apr 01, '08 08:27:07AM

Very good job, the theme is nice and it's a pity you don't want to make a platinum theme for Mac OS X Hints.com
Happy Fool's Day



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: robg on Apr 01, '08 08:29:19AM

It's not necessarily that I don't want to, but that it would be very time consuming to do so. Plus I'd have to do some debugging on other browsers -- the theme looks a bit off in Opera at the moment, for example.

-rob.



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: Zeitkind on Apr 01, '08 08:29:59AM

Well.. I like the new layout.. but System 6.7-style might be better!
Any hints how to upgrade an older SE with a 20MB internal HD?



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: asmeurer on Apr 05, '08 03:06:02PM

20MB? What could you possibly need all that memory for?



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: morespace54 on Apr 01, '08 08:34:01AM

Coool.... old time style rule!
It's not working as good with the blue layout style but still... a really great job!



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: flmiller on Apr 01, '08 08:35:22AM

Makes me feel like I went back home - warm & fuzzy for a while, but a bit surreal. Thanks!



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: dj_feare on Apr 01, '08 08:58:00AM

This was great!

It's been so long on OS X that I often forget some of the hoops we had to jump through to keep OS 9 running smoothly. It's like how in the 50s, a driver wouldn't think of filling their gas tank without checking the dipstick, and now most people don't even know what a dipstick looks like.

Thanks to you and thanks to Apple for bringing us so far in the last few years.



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: gklinger on Apr 01, '08 09:05:05AM

I feel like firing up Classic on Intel, configuring Open Transport and loading up the site with Internet Explorer. The problem is, I would end up spending the rest of the day playing Spaceward Ho! and getting nothing done.



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: cpragman on Apr 01, '08 09:11:50AM

I'm hitting the "close" box in the corner of all those Advertisement windows, but the darned things just won't close.



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: robg on Apr 01, '08 09:13:35AM

Hehe ... I had thought about wiring the "expand" box to give the full version of each article (ie the same as clicking the article's headline), but it would have been too complicated. (For speed of development reasons, the two boxes on the right are part of the category label. Not ideal, but it made it much easier to get the theme looking right.)

-rob.



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: shavenyak on Apr 01, '08 10:32:41AM

Very cute, but unfortunately the left column isn't rendering correctly under IE6 on Windows. Yeah, yeah, I know it's a sucky browser, but I'm at work and have little choice.



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Minor site changes last night
Authored by: robg on Apr 01, '08 11:14:32AM

My testing was very limited: Safari, Firefox, and Camino. Those three browsers covered 93% of the respondents the last time I polled on browser preference. If you throw in the other WebKit- and Gecko-based browsers, it's over 97%.

Given that I had little time to pull this together, once I had it working on the big three, I deemed it 'good enough.' :)

-rob.



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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 01, '08 12:19:10PM
"to have a bit of fun to counter the other 364 days of the year"
Leap year anyone?

Yep, the move to OS X was a good one. At the time, I wondered how long it would last. The recent silly decision to allow hard linked directories, along with dropping OpenFirmware, patenting MagSafe so that third parties can't make replacement PSUs for those scary white bricks, etc., have answered that. The expose on the dithered displays decided me. Sad, really.

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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: deef on Apr 01, '08 12:35:25PM

Yikes....it's all this stuff that kept me using Windows up until 2005.



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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: earthsaver on Apr 01, '08 06:59:20PM
FYI, Rob: There are 365 other days this year.

---
- Ben Rosenthal
PBG4 1.25 - Leopard

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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: Chas on Apr 01, '08 10:02:58PM

To which I will add, those pranks will be indexed and available through Google throughout those other 364 days.

I think it should be mandatory for April Fools pranksters to alter their robots.txt file to keep search engines from indexing this junk. You can always change it back on April 2 after wiping the prank contents.



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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: robg on Apr 02, '08 07:31:41AM

"To which I will add, those pranks will be indexed and available through Google throughout those other 364 days. "

In the case of Mac OS X Hints, that amounts to exactly six posts. One announced "WinXP Hints," one covered a fake G5 product, another a fake 30th Anniversary Mac, one an all-black Hints theme, and this year's OS 9 hints. That leaves exactly one post that *might* be confused with a real hint, the one about installing OS X on the iPod. However, there are now a bunch of comments on that hint indicating it's a joke, so nobody is likely to be confused.

I'm OK with Google indexing these six pages; I don't think it will lead to consumer confusion, nor finding incorrect hints when searching for something else.

But I do agree that inappropriate prank content shouldn't be indexed, which is why I deleted all 10 of the fake hints, and left only the downloadable image collection here as evidence of the prank's existence.

-rob.



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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: Chas on Apr 02, '08 08:42:52AM

Well Rob, your content was more benign than most of the stupid pranks I've seen, everything you posted was true (and only funny in this context) so I'm not singling you out specifically.
One particular prank comes to mind, several years ago, a Mac website posted an Apr 1 story about Steve Jobs selling all his Apple stock and included some extremely damaging comments (if you didn't know it was a joke). Alas, that story had extremely high Google ranking if you searched for "Steve Jobs" and remained a top search result for months. I asked the site operator to edit that story on Apr 2 to include a disclaimer that it was a joke, but he wouldn't do it.
IMHO it is not funny to make a joke that could damage our favorite computer company. I'm not accusing you of that, but some people are pretty stupid and WILL make a joke at someone else's expense.



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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: robg on Apr 02, '08 07:26:55AM

Yes, this year, but not three out of every four years. Since I was giving a generic answer, I went with the majority rule. Perhaps I should have said "the other 364.2422 days per year," to cover the leap year :).

-rob.



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Re: About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: Uncle Asad on Apr 01, '08 09:41:46PM

I missed it due to illness :-( but it certainly looked like you rounded up a good collection of hints there; I can remember learning most of them for the first time. That alone is impressive. A tasteful April Fool's prank :-)



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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: sthodges on Apr 02, '08 12:17:28AM

I got a big kick out of the new look.

Moof!




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About this morning's site changes...
Authored by: tim.dehring on Apr 02, '08 09:36:15AM

I actually like the layout.



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