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Macworld Day One - Pictures and videos Site News
I shot a bunch of stills and video clips today, primarily at the keynote. Take a look at any/all you wish. The video clip collection includes: In addition, there's a gallery of 40+ images available, at 800x600 resolution. Make sure you check out my hand wrapped around the new Mac mini, to get a sense of just how small it is!

-rob.
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Semi-live (OK, not really!) keynote update Site News
Here's a short summary of what Apple has just announced at the keynote. BTW, video is all high defintion, Jobs stated (perhaps?) that's why it wasn't simulcast.

Read the rest for my notes, to the best of my 'typing while listening' skills. I have lots of photos and video that I'll try to upload a bit later today, after I get back to the hotel room -- not sure how good they are, but we'll see!
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Site schedule next week... Site News
Unless you've been avoiding the internet completely, you're probably well aware that Macworld Expo is next week. I'll be attending and doing a couple of presentations, which will affect the site update schedule. As of today, here's a rough summary of the week:
  • Monday: Small site update possible, but maybe not: it's a travel day for me, with a very early start.
  • Tuesday through Thursday: Site updates will be published, but they may not be done first thing in the morning.
  • Friday: Normal publishing schedule resumes.
If you'd like to say 'hello' during the week sometime, here's where I'll be:
  • Tuesday: The first-annual macosxhints.com dinner event, 6pm at Bucca di Beppo. If you'd like to attend and haven't yet RSVP'd, please do so immediately, as I'll be getting a final number to the restaurant this weekend. Depending on what time the dinner wraps up, I may then head over to the open-to-all Macworld party for a while...
  • Wednesday: Giving my Best of Mac OS X Hints presentation at 1:15pm (paid-for conference registration required to attend).
  • Thursday: 11:00am presentation and Q&A session in the O'Reilly booth on the show floor (you need the "Exhibits Only" cheap/free pass to get on the show floor). This will be quite informal, with a few minutes on my favorite hints and third-party apps, and then I'll try to answer any OS X questions you may have, and sign copies of the book for anyone that's interested.
Based on the rumors to date, it should be a most interesting event, and I'm looking forward to meeting some of the faces behind the macosxhints' community!
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Tsunami disaster relief... Site News
Everyone:

As is probably the case with most of you, I'm struggling to come to grips with the loss of life and destruction from the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. The pictures of the dead and injured, especially the children, simply tear at my heartstrings. My thoughts go out to all who have been affected by the tsunami, yet I cannot begin to understand what it must be like to have gone through such a thing...

I've pondered what I might be able to do to help, and I think Apple has the right idea -- spread the word regarding relief agencies, as the scope of this disaster is unprecedented: it will take all of us to make a difference for the affected countries and people. So without further ado, here's a list of relief agencies, borrowed from Apple's homepage:



Please do list other agencies in the comments. Please do not waste your typing to tell me that this doesn't belong on the site -- at times like these, I feel it's important to help in any way I can. If these links inspire even one additional person to contribute, then that's a victory for the cause. I'll leave this here for a few days while I find a spot for some permanent links...

To do my very small part, I will be making a donation of $500 to the relief efforts. I will also pledge 50% of the advertising revenue in January, with a continuing 10% (of ad revenue) donation for each month of 2005. Hopefully others will feel similarly inspired to contribute to the various agencies...

-rob.
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Happy holidays! Site News
Everyone:

Due to the Christmas holiday, there won't be any updates here on Friday (I still have, um, some shopping to do!), but we'll return on Monday for the usual assortment of OS X goodies.

I hope that you all have a wonderful, safe, enjoyable and fun holiday season with your family and friends...

Your humble hintmeister...
-rob.
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Macworld Expo 2005 update and plans... Site News
The 2005 San Francisco Macworld Expo is quickly approaching, and once again, yours truly will be there -- for the first time as both an attendee and a speaker. I'm giving a Best of Mac OS X Hints presentation at the Users Conference (Jan 12th, 1:15pm; paid conference registration required to attend), and I'll be doing a shorter presentation and Q&A in the O'Reilly booth at 10:15am on the 13th (free).

In addition, we're going to try to hold the first-ever Mac OS X Hints get-together on the 11th at 6:00pm. The location is still TBD, but that's why I'm posting this -- I need to get a relatively firm idea of headcount, so I can reserve some space somewhere. So if you're interested in meeting with myself and some of the other readers of the site for dinner and conversation, please send an email to mwsf2005 at macosxhints.com [spammers, that's a throwaway address, so have at it!], and include the number of people you expect to have in your group. Once I get a better idea of the rough headcount, I'll try to find somewhere with room for the group.

It could be a great show (iPod flash? Tiger ship date? Unknown but expected surprisingly cool hardware!), and I hope to get the chance to meet a few of you there in person this year.

Update: Location chosen; please note the site message just above the first hint...

-rob.
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It's a birthday! Site News
Happy Birthday to macosxhints!

Four years ago today, macosxhints.com was born with a simple site news announcement on the evening of its first day of existence, followed by the first six hints the next evening. A look at some assorted statistics will show where we've gone in that time...
  • 8,753,612 characters (1,414,124 of which were spaces!) have been typed or edited by yours truly, organized into...
  • 1,332,576 separate words, which are distributed across...
  • 6,276 hints! That's an average of 4.3 hints per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But since I usually don't post on the weekends, it's actually about 6.3 hints per work day.

  • 913 of the hints are under my name; 1,305 are from anonymous tipsters. That leaves 4,058 hints that have been written by 2,501 separate authors! Our most-prolific singularly identifiable author is bluehz, with 38 hints in the system. bluehz's first hint was in November of 2001, with the most recent hint appearing just last week -- thanks, blue!

  • 46,997 users have registered for free accounts.

  • 45,788 total comments have been posted, or about 45 per workday. We're not Slashdot in the comment volume department, but the comments that are posted reveal the audience here to be knowledgeable, friendly, and very very bright!

  • 345,752 daily page views from all of you (and another 52,712 on the forum site), totalling...
  • 6.34GB of data transferred each day (plus another 2.0GB for the forums). To put that in perspective, when we first launched, a busy month was 2.0GB!
So I'd just like to take this time to say Thank You to the members of the community. You've all helped make macosxhints.com an amazingly useful resource, and it's clearly the #1 spot on the web for "inside info" on getting the most out of OS X. You have my word that, for as long as my family is willing and I am able, I'll do my best to keep it that way (with some minor enhancements along the way, of course!). The caliber of the community is what drives me to spend the time I do on the site and email every day ... you folks are truly amazing!

Now, help yourself to the cake and ice cream, and then get back to work!

-rob.
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Panther edition of Mac OS X Hints book released... Site News
Mac OS X Power Hound Panther Edition: Teach Yourself New TricksYes, it's true -- most authors have very little say in the titles of their books. As evidence, I introduce the image at left :). Let's just say that O'Reilly and I had a disagreement over the new branding strategy for the book, and that in the end, we agreed to disagree (insert "Don't judge a book by its cover" joke here). As such, the official title of the new book, as seen at left, is "Mac OS X Power Hound Panther Edition." According to O'Reilly, it should be available in various bookstores today, and it's also listed at Amazon, though they don't show it as currently shipping. And yes, it's now part of a "family," as you'll also see a "Windows XP Power Hound." For the record, I had absolutely nothing to do with that book...

For those who haven't been around here very long, this book is basically a "best of Mac OS X Hints." The first book, Mac OS X Hints Jaguar Edition (what a nice simple name!) came out in 2003, with about 550 hints in it. The new book had to drop some non-Panther-applicable hints (label hints? who needs 'em!), but we also added probably 175 new hints, so there are now something like 680 hints in the new edition -- all for the same list price as the first edition. The book is not simply a republication of the hints from the site (but every hint in the book does appear on the site, somewhere). Every hint is written from scratch, with added detail and screenshots (over 400 of them), and then tested and proofed by multiple people -- which means, of course, that there are still errors in the text :).

Read on for more about the book and its production ... as well as an explanatory note for the (probably inevitable) "Hey, that's not fair -- you're getting rich on the work of others!" comments that may appear here...
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Upcoming local [Oregon] appearances... Site News
My apologies for the late notice, as I meant to get this blurb online last week, but I have two upcoming Mac User Group (MUG) presentations set for this week. Tonight I'll be presenting in Corvallis at the monthly Corvallis MUG meeting, starting at 6:30pm.

Then, on Wednesday night (also starting at 6:30pm), I'll be in Eugene for the Eugene MUG monthly meeting.

At each meeting, I'll be giving a presentation on "living with OS X," covering its hits and misses, cool and useful apps and utilities, troubleshooting help, some of my favorite OS X tweaks, and taking Q&A. I believe both groups welcome visitors, but you should check their websites first for all the pertinent info. Hope I get a chance to meet at least a few of you in the person these next couple of days -- now that I have part-time hours at my 'day job,' I hope to get out from behind the screen more often.
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Change has come to macosxhints.com... Site News
Don't panic! Yes, you've come to the right site, and yes, those are advertisements on macosxhints.com.

For nearly four years, I've run macosxhints.com ad-free, relying on the contributions of visitors to help fund the costs of the site. Most of the time, this has worked out well enough, with contributions running somewhat ahead of costs in most months. But that's OK, as making "a lot of money" with the site was never an objective of mine, as I had a full-time day job.

And, believe it or not, despite the new presence of ads, making a lot of money from the site is still not an objective of mine. My main objective is to continue to make macosxhints.com the single best spot on the web for all sorts of tips and tricks about working in and around OS X. I have a lot of ideas for changes and improvements to the site in pursuit of that goal. However, between the site, my job, and my family, there just isn't enough time (despite my pleas, they continue to insist there can only be 24 hours in each day) to tackle these projects.

What does that have to do with ads? In order to do some of the things that I'd like to do on the site, I have recently moved to a part-time position at work -- so I'll now be spending a couple of days a week on site-related projects. The revenue from the ads is what (hopefully) makes this transition possible ... which is why you're now seeing ads.

Read the rest for a bit more on the change, and my thoughts on the future of the site, the community, etc...
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