As Rob pointed out last Friday, I'll be editing hints while he's changing diapers. I hope I can provide the same quality as Rob, though I don't have his photographic memory of every hint that's ever appeared on the site. However, he'll be watching over my shoulder, and he'll certainly chasten me if I get anything wrong. :-)
Note that for lack of certain hardware, I won't be publishing hints that I can't test. So you won't see any more Parallels / Boot Camp hints for the next two weeks (unless something comes in that looks really cool, which I'll post as untested), but I can guarantee that when Rob comes back, he'll continue the eternal saga of running Windows on a Mac.
One more thing... Rob usually replies by email to people who have submitted hints that have already appeared on the site. (The technical name for these is 'dupes'.) I probably won't get around to doing this, since I have to deal with editing hints along with other work, so don't feel upset if your hint doesn't make it to the site.
As most of you have probably noticed, and some have commented to me via email, there have been a lot of hints recently about Intel Macs, Boot Camp, Parallels Workstation, and even (gasp!) Windows. The fact that we've run many such hints recently is not necessarily indicative of the general direction of the site. Rather, it's a reflection of what's currently interesting to the community at large. Since the majority of the hints here come directly from the community, what you see published reflects what's been submitted. And right now, Intel-powered Macs and Windows on Mac are hot topics, hence, we're seeing lots of hints about those subjects.
This doesn't mean that we're going to start a section for actual Windows hints -- there are many ways to get help with Windows, but macosxhints.com should not be one of them. However, it does mean that you may occasionally see a hint about Windows, if it's directly related to how it might be used on a Mac. There have been a couple such hints this week, for example.
It also doesn't mean that we're ignoring PowerPC or Unix or web browsers or any of the other topic areas. It's simply a reflection of the current hot topics -- no different than publsihing 250+ hints on OS X 10.4 during the first few weeks of its release. So for now, if you're not an Intel Mac user, or if you have no interest in Boot Camp and Parallels, you'll just have to skip over those hints. We are going to introduce a couple new topics to help categorize these hints -- and as with all topics, registered users will be able to disable those they don't wish to see.
Hopefully this will help ease any angst over a "change in focus" at the site. After doing this daily for over five years (1,427 work days, give or take a few), I've seen many such 'waves' of focused hints come through the site. And in all cases, things calm down and a more balanced selection of hints returns as time passes after the release of whatever caused the wave.
I've posted a poll concerning the new solutions that allow easy use of Windows XP on Intel-based Macs. I'm curious about what impact, if any, the ability to run Windows on Mac hardware has had on your buying plans for the Intel-powered machines.
The results might be interesting, especially if there are some non-Mac owners who browse here occasionally.
Tomorrow is officially Apple's 30th birthday, but since it's a Saturday, I figured I'd take today to just say "Thanks!" to the company for all the wonderful products we've seen in that time. Apple has clearly had a profound impact on my life, going all the way back to the Apple ][+ that my father brought home, way back in 1979. I recall being amazed at what this relatively tiny little box could do.
Since then, much has changed in computing, in technology, and in my life (more pounds, less hair). But through it all, Apple has continued to release products with excellent industrial design, while never losing sight of the fact that the user experience is the most important aspect of computing. While not everything they've done has been a success, they've continued to push the envelope on what we should expect from our computing, and more recently musical, devices.
Today is President's Day here in the USA, and its one of the official holidays at Macworld as well. So technically, there shouldn't be anything to see here today.
However, after too many years of early morning starts, I found myself sitting here at the computer anyway, so I've posted this week's Pick of the Week along with one other hint I wrote.
In addition, I've posted a new poll that a couple of developer friends asked me to run on their behalf: they're curious as to which releases of OS X are in use out there. I belive that the macosxhints' readership will be highly skewed towards 10.4 (more so than the general population), but I thought it'd be an interesting poll. Feel free to pass the poll URL around to others who may not normally read here; it'd be great to get as wide a sample as possible.
If you're in the US, enjoy the holiday -- I'm off to spend the day with my wife and daughter.
Take a second to vote for your favorite browser. Ever since its release, Safari has been dominating these polls, with anywhere from 60% to 82% of the votes. Have things changed since May? Let's find out...
Note: Given the number of users who read via RSS and would otherwise miss out, I've decided to publish a brief note like this one for each new poll. Don't worry, such items won't overwhelm the site, given that I change polls here at most every three to four weeks.
I posted a new poll late last night, and was somewhat surprised at the results thus far. Then a friend pointed out that the way polls work on macosxhints.com (or most any site, for that matter), the very readers I would be most interested in hearing from on this poll probably wouldn't even see it!
You see, the topic of the poll is RSS readers. More specifically, how many sites do you subscribe to in your reader of choice? But since polls here aren't typically associated with a new story, they don't generate a new entry in anyone's RSS feed! Hence the surprising results thus far that show 50% or so of the audience doesn't use an RSS reader. I know there are more newsreader users out there than that, given the traffic we see in the log files.
So the only purpose of this 'hint' is to create a new entry in your RSS readers, and convince you to take a minute and vote in the survey. The results sort of meaningless as it stands now, since we're missing out on a key segment of the audience! So all you RSS fanatics, here's your chance to set things straight...
As usual, another entertaining and well-done keynote by Steve Jobs. The new hardware looks way cool; I haven't yet had hands-on time, but the speed increases he described seem borderline unbelievable. I can't wait to see what's in store for the pro line later this year.
But I actually found the software announcements nearly as interesting as the hardware -- iPhoto, iWeb, iDVD, etc. have all received notable improvements. Since I'm assuming most everyone was impressed with the hardware, I thought it'd be fun to see which software app is at the top of everyone's list -- hence the new poll. Please feel free to comment on anything else in the keynote, too, either here, or in the comments to the poll.
And now, I'm off to fight my way to the Apple booth!
As a reminder, I'm at Macworld Expo this week, getting my annual dosage of Mac fanaticism, so the daily site updates may come at slightly non-standard times. My schedule is (I think) finally finalized for the week:
Tue Jan 10, 2:15pm-3:00pm, Macworld booth:
A roundtable with other Macworld staff members, discussing our reactions to the morning's keynote.
Wed Jan 11, 1:00pm-2:00pm, Macworld booth:
I'll be presenting a few iPhoto tips during Kelly Turner's presentation about digital photography.
Thu Jan 12, 9:30am-10:30am, Room 134:
I'm on one of the teams in the MacBrainiac Challenge quiz show.
Thu Jan 12, 11:00am-12:15pm, Room TBD:
Best of Mac OS X Hints, my presentation on some of my favorite tips and OS X add-ons. You'll need a conference pass to get into this one.
Fri Jan 13, 11:00am-12:00pm, Macworld booth:
Another version of my favorite hints, this time in a shorter, free session on the tradeshow floor.
I'll be around each of these locations for a bit before and after the talks, so please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself. I always love the chance to meet the people who have helped make macosxhints.com such an amazingly useful resource.