Tomorrow is the Independence Day holiday here in the States, and I'll be spending the day with the family. Hints will return as usual on Thursday. For something to do in the interim, go ahead and vote in the new iPhone poll.
Well, mostly. There are a couple others in the mix, but most of today's tips are about Safari 3. Amongst the tips, there are two Safari for Windows hints -- this isn't a sign of change, but since many of us will be using Safari on Windows in Parallels, Boot Camp, or Fusion to test sites, I felt it fair to share these hints. As with iTunes, we won't get into actual Windows-related hints here, but if someone submits something about iTunes or Safari for Windows that may help Mac users use those apps better, then I'll probably run the hint.
Last year at WWDC, Steve Jobs noted that there were "many" features they weren't showing us yet in Leopard. This year, we should (I think) see those features, as Apple will be releasing a "feature complete" beta at next week's WWDC. On Monday, Steve will take the stage to (presumably) discuss Leopard and other things of note. Anything mentioned during the talk is public knowledge (unlike the rest of WWDC, which is under non-disclosure), so I thought it might be fun to speculate for a few days on what you think the single most interesting "hidden feature" might turn out to be...
I'll be interesting to see if anything on this list (beyond zfs, which seems to be a known fact now) is actually in the Leopard beta.
Monday of next week is the Memorial Day holiday in the US, and as such, there won't be any new hints posted that day. From Tuesday through Friday, Kirk McElhearn will be once again be handling the daily updates -- I'm headed out Saturday for my second-ever Geek Cruise, this time heading for Alaska from Seattle.
As with my first cruise last fall, you'll be able to read trip dispatches (and see pictures) on Macworld's MacMania page (which is presently populated with the blogs from last fall).
As most of the regulars know, we have but two themes for the macosxhints.com site -- the default white/blue scheme, and darker "classic" view that recalls the site's early days. Well, today, after many long months in development, and a very full final day (it's 11:59pm on the 1st, according to my clock) of pounding on the CSS, HTML, and Geeklog's layout templates, I'm pleased to reveal the third official macosxhints.com theme, as seen in the image at right (click the image for a much larger view):
My objective in working up this new theme was to capture the simplicity, elegance, and power of Derek Zoolander's patented "Blue Steel" modeling pose. Using Derek's work as the benchmark, I looked for design inspiration from many sources. After a long and arduous search, I finally identified the perfect Blue Steel counterpart to use as the basis for my design: Spinal Tap's Smell the Glove. This landmark album featured an all-black cover, and when I recalled its simple yet powerful imagery, it struck me: this is perfection in design! So thanks, Spinal Tap, both for the music and the inspiration for the site's newest theme. I owe much to your groundbreaking design efforts!
Registered users will be able to activate "Spinal Tapestry" very soon now; I'm just putting the finishing touches on the CSS, and hope to have it all wrapped up sometime tomorrow. It's been a long day of final-rush coding and testing, preceded by many months' worth of setup work, but I think you can all see that the end result has justified the energy expended on the theme's development!
If you'd like to know more about this theme's early development, you can read any one of thesefourbackgroundarticles; they cover the process in great detail.
It's back! That's right, the occasional browser wars poll has returned! I usually try to ask twice a year, but it's been over 12 months since we last ran the survey. And so, just what is your favorite browser of the moment? I added two new choices this time -- IE for Windows under Parallels and Other Windows Browser via Parallels -- for any of you Intel-Mac-using folks who might find a Windows browser to be your current favorite.
These polls are always interesting; the last time around, Safari won with 57% of the votes, followed not so closely by Firefox (22%) and Camino (11%). Safari's numbers were actually down from the poll before that, where it received 64% of the votes, Firefox was about the same, and Camino was at 6%. Will Safari's share be down again this time? If so, which alternative browser is gaining the most? Vote now and help determine how things shake out.
As of today, macosxhints.com has surpassed 10,000 hints (OK, they're not all hints, as there are some site blurbs like this one in there!), in just about 6.5 years since launch. Here's what those years have looked like, from a hints per day perspective (click the picture for a full-size higher-quality version):
I'd just like to take a moment to thank the community for making this possible -- only 1,195 of those hints are directly mine, so it's all of you that have helped us reach this notable milestone. Sometime later today, I'll be changing the little hint counter in the banner of the site to stop tracking the total hint-by-hint (as I think it'll be a while before we reach the 100,000 milestone!).
And now, Apple, if you please, get Leopard out the door soon, so we can all start discovering its behind-the-scenes features and secrets!
In January at Macworld Expo, I gave my annual "Best of Mac OS X Hints" talk (gave it twice, actually, as the room was overflowing). The objective of the talk is to distill 9,900+ hints down into 75 minutes or so of my favorite hints. The challenge every year is to find hints that are neither too hard nor too easy (which means some of my actual favorites aren't actually included, as they'd fall into one of those categories), have visual qualities that make them good demo material, and that can be easily demonstrated to a crowd of a few hundred people -- and to find as many of those hints as possible that fit in the allotted time.
If you'd like to see how well (or poorly) I faired at that task this year, Macworld Expo (a sister company to Macworld) has made the video of my Best of Hints talk available free of charge to Macworld and Mac OS X Hints readers (640x480 96mb download). What you'll see in the video are my Keynote slides and real-time demos of each hint; what you'll hear is my voice; what you won't see (thankfully?) is my smiling face, as the video is restricted to the slides, demos, and audio (whew!).
This freebie is part of a promotion for Macworld Expo's new Macworld Encore service, which will allow you to purchase any or all of 80 different sessions from this year's Expo talks. (As of this morning, the Macworld Encore site isn't working, but it should be back online shortly.) If you thought some of the talks this year looked interesting but you either couldn't get to Expo, or couldn't make a given session, this might be a good way to see what you missed.
Today the USA is observing President's Day. I'll be spending the day with the family, and trying to finish up a handful of deferred home maintenance activities (I suppose the Christmas lights really should come down now).