As I prepare to upgrade to the newest version of the Geeklog engine, I thought I'd take a few minutes to ask the readers what they like and don't like about the current site and gather some feedback on a few new features I'm considering.
I've put a quick survey online to help answer these questions - I promise it won't take more than a minute or two to complete (only nine questions), but the feedback will be very valuable. As I look to make the 'second generation' of macosxhints even more useful to all of the readers, it will be very helpful to know what you do and do not like and what features you'd most like to see added.
So please, take a couple minutes and complete the survey. The data you provide is completely anonymous, you don't have to be registered to complete the form, and the more responses I receive, the better I'll be able to judge what changes need to be made here. The data you provide will strictly be used to improve the site; this is not some exercise to collect stats for a third-party!
After some hard work by James at Amigo-3, I'm pleased to announce that the migration of macosxhints.com is now complete! All bookmarks should be working again, Mac Reporter and SlashDock etc. should be working again, and you should be able to login as usual. Please remove any "osxhints.com" bookmarks, as they'll eventually become non-functional. The two official URLs (and one unofficial URL) are:
As of 2:40pm Pacific time on Sunday, macosxhints.com is now hosted on Amigo-3 Interactive, the same ISP that has been hosting the new forum site. The main reasons for the move are faster page loading, better service, and more consistent up times (along with better rates - what a nice combination!). The outages on Thursday and Friday were the last straw for me with the prior ISP, so I accelerated what was a planned future move.
There will not be a new URL required; for now, we're just autoforwarding from the old site to the new site, but the old domain should move over in the next 24 to 48 hours.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Until the domain begins to forward, links which point to "www.macosxhints.com" will take you to the old site. This should only affect links which are hard-coded in older stories, and maybe a static page or two that I missed while moving the site over.
Please let me know if you see any problems, but in my testing so far, about all I've noticed is that pages are loading significantly faster!
New stories will appear tonight sometime after the Super Bowl...gotta check out the new ads, right?!
First, there are a number of stories to post, and I hope to get to those this evening. Those that I can't get to before my flight departs will be posted sometime tomorrow.
I have just returned from the opening day of the Macworld Expo, and it was quite interesting. The last time I attended this show was at least six years ago, and there's no doubt that the event was smaller than I remember it. However, attendance seemed very strong, as the show floor was packed the whole time I was there. If, as some people believe, OS X represents the end of Apple, it certainly wasn't evident at this event!
As a user of a machine in the 5% minority of all computer users, it was nice to attend an event that makes you realize that 5% of a very large number is still a really large number. It was nice seeing so many Mac heads in one place, and it was also great to have the chance to say hi to a few of you in person.
If you'd like to see what I found interesting at this year's Expo, read the rest of the article ... warning, it's a bit long!
Although this isn't strictly OS X related, I think it's of interest to all Mac users ... have you noticed the hype on Apple's home page for the upcoming Macworld Expo? Here's the list of taglines from the past week:
Monday: "This one is big. Even by our standards."
Tuesday: "Count the days. Count the minutes. Count on being blown away"
Wednesday: "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond."
Thursday: "It's like a backstage pass to the future."
Friday: "To boldly go where no PC has gone before."
Saturday: "Full speed ahead. Lust Factor Ten."
Sunday: "Just one more sleepless night."
As the week goes on, they continue to get more and more interesting ...
Also, based on a number of email requests, I'll be holding a very informal "meet and greet" at the Expo next week. On Tuesday the 8th, from 1:30pm until about 2:30pm, I'll be hanging out in the Snack Bar at the end of aisle 1700 (near Canto's booth) in the South Hall (the one where Apple's large display is located). Read the rest of the article for more information if you'd like to stop by and say "Hi!".
PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME!! I have moved the schedule back to accomodate the newly-announced "Power of X" feature taking place from 12pm - 1pm with Avie Tevanian...
Beginning December 18th, site updates may become somewhat unpredictable until December 27th. We're headed home for the holidays to see the family, and there are (of course) numerous activities planned. As a result, I will not be able to spend as much time as usual maintaining the site. So if things seem a little bit slow, that's the reason. I should still be able to get to it once a day, but not much more than that.
Normal updates will resume on the 27th, and I'll be headed to Macworld the following week to see the new Apple products (whatever they might be). I'll do my best to file a live keynote update relative to OS X via the iBook, but I'm not making any promises! I'll be at the show on Tuesday the 8th, then home again and back to the normal update schedule on the 9th of January.
I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, wherever you may be spending it. Thanks for making macosxhints' first full year of existence a successful one. It's been a wonderful year of learning for me, thanks to all your shared knowledge.
Dan Knight of lowendmac.com sent me an email yesterday noting that macosxhints will be included on their "Rest of the Mac Web Survey." This is a survey of 30 to 40 sites that were not on their "Best of the Mac Web Survey". Although I'm not much into polls or popularity contests (so you won't see a permanent link about this survey on the site), I figure this is a good chance to help spread the word about the site. The results will also determine which sites are included on their next "Best of the Mac Web Survey" in spring of 2002.
Starting today, you can vote for macosxhints on lowendmac.com's Rest of the Mac Web Survey voting page. For full information on the poll, visit the survey information page. Voting ends December 7th.
Thanks to lowendmac for hosting the survey, and thanks to those of you who participated in their 'Best of the Mac Web Survey' and wrote-in macosxhints (for that's how we wound up on the follow-up survey).
I've spent some time over the last couple of days tweaking the site a bit.
The first change is that I've removed the "### hints" label from each of the categories listed in the Topics box. This change saves 12 database calls for every page served, which should help with the page loading speed.
Second, I went back and deleted a number of old "Help Request" and "Site News" entries, again in the interest of reducing database access time.
Finally, the last change is the completion (about a year after I started it!) of the Headline Hints layout. This is a headlines-only view of the site, and allows you to quickly scan either the whole site or any particular category. You switch into and out of headline mode with the "Switch to:" link in the "Topics" box at top left of the screen.
Thanks to Steve M. for the prodding needed to finish the headline-view page. Please let me know if you find any glitches, especially in the headline hints area.
... it means we're back!! Sorry for the downtime. No excuses for this one - it was completely my fault. Suffice it to say that if one doesn't renew one's domain name, bad things happen (sigh).
And for our U.S. readers, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Be thankful for all you have and give a moment of thought to those who are no longer with us this year. After I catch up with this morning's queue, I'll be spending the day with family and friends, but the site will be back to normal operations tomorrow.
I took some time last night and greatly improved (I hope!) the links page. It's still a large page, but it's now much easier to read. The next step will be to move all the individual links to a sub-page by category, but that's down the road a bit.
If you haven't visited the links page lately, there are now nearly 100 links to OS-X related information. It takes a bit of time to load (hence my desire to split it a bit more), but it's now hopefully easier to use than it was previously.