When in column view in OS X, the final column is designed to present a 'preview' of whatever file is highlighted in the previous column - text, image file, whatever. I've found that its behavior in the PB is somewhat unpredictable - sometimes you see a preview of an image file, sometimes you don't; text files seem to work regularly. Tonight, though, I noticed for the first time that Quicktime previews work really well. If you highlight a Quicktime movie in column view, you get a mini Quicktime player in the next column with audio and video controls. Easy movie browsing without launching anything!
When this feature is ironed out in the final release, it could be one of the nicer usability touches in the OS.
I just stopped by The Computer Store, and had the sales rep look up Mac OS X in the Apple system. As of today, Apple has entered the part number in their systems, meaning that resellers can now take orders. So I reserved the very first copy at the Beaverton store.
I asked if they were going to do "Midnight Madness" for OS X. The rep told me he's not sure yet when they'll be opening on the 24th. He told me they opened at midnight for the OS 8 launch, and that was fine with Apple. But he also said they got in "a lot of trouble" with Apple over the iMac launch. I asked if they opened at midnight that evening as well. He said, grinning, "Well, it was midnight on the east coast!"
On a side note, they had one of the new G4 Titanium machines. This was my first chance to see one up close and personal. Incredibly thin, amazing screen, solid keyboard, and reasonably light. And the white apple on the cover glows with the light from the screen on the other side when the machine is on - a very impressive effect. Tempting, even though I have absolutely no need for one.
[UDPATE 2/2: As reported on the net, Apple has rolled out a PB rebate program; here's the text of the email that I just received:
"Thank you for being one of the pioneers who beta tested Mac OS X. Your feedback has helped make Mac OS X the world's most advanced operating system. To show our appreciation, we are offering you a $30 discount on the final version of Mac OS X.* You will also be among the first to receive Mac OS X when it ships on March 24, 2001. Again, thanks for helping to make Mac OS X the world's most advanced operating system."
I'm called (the online store system didn't work as described in the email) and ordered my $99 copy today, and will purchase a $129 version for work on Saturday the 24th - I'll keep the local dealer happy, and get a usable copy as quickly as possible!]
If you're a complete beginner to UNIX (as I still consider myself), you can use something called aliases to save yourself a lot of typing at the command line.
In the Mac OS, an alias is simply a pointer to another file. In the UNIX world, an alias is similar in concept, except that it's a command that points at another command. There are a few pre-defined aliases in the tcsh shell (the program that runs when you open a terminal). You can see these by typing
at the command line. One of the more useful pre-defined aliases is ll which replaces ls -lag for complete file listings.
Although the pre-defined aliases are useful, the real power is in creating your own aliases for your often-used commands. If you're new to UNIX and you'd like to learn about aliases and how to use them, read the rest of this article.
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have successfully built Apache 1.3.17 and PHP 4.04pl1 as a DSO on Mac OS X Public Beta 1H39 (AKA Darwin).
The problem was that the configure script for PHP was trying to create a file in the ./pear directory named 'pear' where a directory named 'PEAR' already exists. Of course, since Mac OS X uses the HFS+ disk format by default (case preserving, case insensitive) this is not allowed. Read the rest of the article if you'd like to see how to modify the configure file to successfully build the latest versions of PHP and Apache.
[Editor's note: This process requires the developer's tools, as you'll need the compiler to build the applications after editing the files.]
Marcel Bresnik, author of PrefEdit, has released TinkerTool for OS X. This nifty program lets you adjust a number of things in OS X which were previously difficult to do and required command-line editing. These include disks and trash on the desktop, showing all hidden files, using the blue triangles and hidden apps effects in the dock, and a slew of other things including changing the default system fonts.
Most interesting to me, though, was the presence of a gamma adjustment tool for OS X. For those of you that find Aqua "just too darn bright" or "just too darn dark", you can finally adjust the gamma! Personally, I find it to be just a bit too bright, and I set a slightly darker than standard gamma. Wow ... I thought it looked good before, but now it looks really good!
TinkerToy is free, and highly recommended if you want to tweak your PB system. As always, anything it does bad to your system is not my responsibility! I've only been using it for the last 15 minutes or so, but no problems yet.
Is is possible to tar the active OS X system (as with LinuxPPC)?
Has anyone determined which files/directories are best to backup in case of a system corruption? By this I mean if you just "tar czf / backup.tgz" you get all disks and loads of stuff you could easily reinstall.
I would like to move my install to a new machine, which I have a clean install of OSX on, but not reconfigure everything as I have spent a lot of time setting things up! I would like to take my tar from the old machine and install/overwrite the new install. Any ideas what will happen?
I have seen the discussion about re-blessing the System, but I don't think it applies if you are going straight from OS X - OS X.
[Editor's note - See the comments for a discussion on the options...]
Although 99%of the world browses websites with some version of a graphical client, there can be times when it could be useful to have command-line access to a website.
Imagine a scenario where your home machine uses DSL or a cable modem, and is "net-connected" 24 hours a day. You're at the office one day, and notice a site that has a file you want to download, but it's only available via a web browser. If you've enabled remote connectivity to your home box (via telnet or SSH), you could connect to home, launch a text-based browser, and start the file download on the home machine. There are also command-line utilites that can do this for you (cURL is one of them; there's an OS X version here), but the text-browser is also useful as a, well, browser!
links is an excellent text-based browser that works very well in OS X. The small screenshot at the top of this article is of links displaying this site; here's the full-size screenshot. Read the rest of this article if you'd like instructions on downloading and installing links for OS X. You could also use lynx, another text browser; search this site on 'lynx' for more info.
This weekend, I set up a second OS X 'experimental' partition on my hard drive. I'm using the new partition for mySQL and PHP work (for this site), as well as anything that I feel is too risky for my main OS X partition. One of those things is Apple's Developer Tools.
I've held off on this 70mb download for quite a while, as I have no real need for the development tools, and I was a bit short on drive space on my main OS X partition. Today I finally downloaded and installed the tools on the new experimental partition. It was definitely worth it, just to see some of the nicer demo apps they included. One of them, EnjoyEffectMovie was used to create the fire QuickTime movie from which the screenshot at right was taken. If you have some interest in the tools, and you have a fast connetion and some drive space, I'd recommend the download. Read the rest of this article for instructions on obtaining and installing the tools,and a brief description of some of the more interesting (to a non-programmer!) included programs.
DISCLAIMER: You can probably do Very Bad Things to your system with the developer tools! Any damage you cause is not my responsibility.
While messing around with the terminal today, playing with transparency, size and colors, I noticed a couple of nice design elements.
First, as you resize the window, ithe window title displays the size of the new window ... 80x24 becomes 92x24 to 103x24 to 120x40. When you let go, it returns to the original display.
Second, and I guess I just overlooked this earlier, you can open an Inspector Window for any open terminal session. This gives you access to nearly all the same settings as you get in the prefs panel, but you can now set them on a per window basis. I'd always just mucked around with the color and font control panels, but the Inspector lets you do things like change the window title, specify the scrollback buffer size, etc. This isn't a hidden feature; I just overlooked it in the menus earlier.
And if you haven't tried it yet, play around with the terminal transparency hack - you can make some very nice looking (yet still functional) semi-transparent terminals.