Snow Leopard

This morning Apple announced that Snow Leopard is available this friday, the 28th.  It's sort of amazing how differently Apple announces os.  I mean they are announcing it's availability 5 days before they ship a brand new version of their OS.

I've been using Snow Leopard (from now on referred to as SL) for a few weeks to make sure my plugins are all working.  So far it's all gone smoothly but I'll be planning some extra time this weekend to quick fix any problems discovered.

I wish I could share more about SL as I do have a few things to say but I'll honor my NDA and wait until after it ships.....

I am so Weak V3.0

Just purchased my iPhone 3Gs -- For the THIRD time I swore I wasn't going to get a new phone s the changes weren't big enough (original iPhone & iPhone 3G) but once again I got distracted the shiny newness.
I hope Apple never starts making Cars........
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WWDC Wrap Up

It's the last day of WWDC and I just finished my last session -- I thought I would share with you, my loyal reader, a few thoughts on WWDC.
As you probably know, WWDC is Apple's "World Wide Developers Conference". It's organized around three tracks: Mac, iPhone & IT. There is usually some stuff that crosses two of the three (for instance this year a number of sessions had info relevant for both iPhone & Mac, or Mac & IT.)
The sessions are organized into 75 minute blocks, with two in the morning and three in the afternoon -- They leave a generous amount of time for lunch (but usually have guest speakers) and there are many social activities in the evening (the only apple sponsored one is the 'bash' on thursday -- the rest of organized by various parties)
This is my third year going so I've begun to see some interesting patterns. For instance there are the folks who go mostly for social reasons -- They typically miss the morning session because they were out too late -- Often skip afternoon sessions and in general can be found surrounded by a group of people chatting it up.
Then there are the IT guys -- I really feel sorry for them because there really aren't that many sessions that are just IT specific so you often find them going to technical sessions. Some of them are pretty sharp and can follow along but often times it's stuff that that they just don't use enough so it makes it hard for them to follow along.
Then there are the corporate types -- People who's company sent them. They tend to hang around other people from their team and are pretty picky about which sessions they chose (and will skip sessions if there is nothing relevant to what they do) -- You can usually spot them because they are running entourage checking email constantly.
Finally the intense 'go to every session' guys -- that's where I fall -- I tend to attend every session (even if the choices are not terribly interesting to me).
Finally there are the labs -- I've always heard that the labs area a great resource but I've never used them much. In the labs the Apple engineers around a certain technology get together at a certain time and you can bring your problems and they'll help you fix them. This year for the first time I had a problem that I didn't have a good solution for and so I went to the labs. It worked out really well as I got to speak directly to the experts who gave me some really good ideas.
I wish I could talk about what I learned this year -- there are some exciting technologies in Snow Leopard that I really think will change the kinds of apps you can easily do so I'm really looking forward to it's release.
Ciao for now..

Last Comment!

No -- This is not the last post on this blog -- instead I'm referring to the fact that I got the last post on this comment thread (before they closed comments)
In case you haven't been following I've made a iPhone app for managnig your dreamhost account -- Initially it was spurred on by the 'crazy contest' but I actually had a lot of fun working on it (especially with a deadline -- honestly I do my best work under pressure)
My resulting app is called "DreamApp" and it's not too bad (if I do say so myself) -- Last night I debated on if I should put it on the app store or wait until after WWDC. I'll probably wait until after WWDC because I may learn some cool tricks to make it even nicer (and quite frankly releasing something before WWDC is a bad idea as your brain is generally pretty fried that week)
Speaking of which I'll be at WWDC next week -- Great Fun (most of which I can't talk about) and a nice time to meet up with some of my mac geek friends -- (in the picture from left to righ. Fraser Spiers, Me, Isaiah, some unknown tall guy -- from last years WWDC)

The holy trinity of working on more than one Computer

Like perhaps many of you I live & work on multiple computers. It's almost a embarassing but I have
  • A Mac Pro as my main development machine (and is it ever sweet!)
  • A HP laptop at my 'day job' (While it certainly doesn't have the stylings of Apple it's actually quite a nice machine)
  • A Macbook pro for when I'm away from home
  • A Hackintosh MSI Wind that I use for fun
Crazy -- Four computers for one guy but there you have it. For the most part I can keep my work PC and Macs separate -- I usually don't need to share files back and forth and on the odd day i do need to share I usually end up emailing myself (or a USB thumbdrive) - A little awkward but it gets the job done.
My Macs are a different issue all together -- It's horrible to be working day in and day out on one computer (my 'pro) and then have to prepare a laptop for a long weekend away. I *always* forget to transfer something and when I'm away I'm always fretting that I am editing a old version of a file and then coming home is terrible -- I need to remember to transfer them back.
I've come across four solutions, however, that almost perfectly fix my problem and make multiple macs (or to a large extent PC's) sync up perfectly. They are DropBox, Evernote, & Mobile Me.
DropBox is the home run of this solution -- I had tried it about 6 months ago an uninstalled it as it seemed to be a resource hog (chewing up tons of CPU, bandwidth & memory). Since then the dropbox folks have done a lot (plus I've upgraded my hardware) so now it runs like buttah. You just store files in your dropbox on your PC and amazingly fast they get synced. Open up another computer and it syncs that. It even works on my work PC so I've begun to keep all my documents in my dropbox to have always access.
The other thing dropbox does is keep revisions -- If you modify or delete a file you can go online and restore it (I'm not sure how far back they keep them -- I suspect they keep them until you run up against your limit)
DropBox is free for 2GB accounts and $99/yr for 50GB accounts.
Evernote is a notes taking application -- They have a great iPhone, Mac & PC client and I use it to scribble things down. Like dropbox it works like magic and it's replaced my various folders of text documents, outlook items, etc. Evernote is free but there is a premium service for (I think) $49/yr that increases the size of notes as well as attach arbitrary files (so you can embed a PPT along with the note)
Finally mobile me. At this point I use it for calendar, address book and preferences syncing across macs and my iphone. It works pretty well for this but at you can get the address book and calendar syncing through google so the preference & keychain syncing is the only thing I use it for with multiple computers. I do occasionally use back to my mac which is nice but honestly I hope apple finds a way to make it more valuable otherwise they may not see my $99 come september.
Of the four DropBox and Evernote are my most favorite -- They work amazingly well and are free (but both offer paid upgrades with enhanced capacity & storage)
Highly recommended.
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Newest Project (DreamHost customers read!)

I've been playing with a new project recently -- I honestly never intended for this to turn into anything "real" but somehow it took on a life of it's own. If you use DreamHost as your web host you might be interested in looking at this -- It's a domain & list management application for dreamhost accounts (and I must say that it's turning out pretty slick) If you want to help finish it via beta testing send me a note.
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Drawing Mode

Google just released a 'drawing mode' in google docs. While it certainly won't replace Adobe Illustrator it's still a amazing achievement for an online word processor and should be quite handy to toss up a few quick diagrams to explain a point.
Of course I've updated PlusKit to work with it -- Grab 1.58 and enjoy all of the drawing goodness.
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Safari 4.0 & RapidBlog

If you've installed Safari 4.0 you'll notice that RapidBlog has stopped working. A fix is forthcoming in the next 10 hours or so.
[update: RapidBlog & RapidFlickr updated and should be working now]


When I first came to the Mac there were a handful of things that I didn't initially get -- Honestly speaking in some cases I still don't get them (and/or think the PC way is perhaps better)
One of those is the font dialog (cmd-t) -- I find it so frustrating to work with and what are all of those little funky controls at the top?
But I digress -- this post is about printing. My first experience on Mac was 10.3 and the printing seemed a little funky, pages never quite came out as I was expecting without a lot of twiddling. 10.4 seemed to really improve it and in 10.5 it's been (almost) flawless.
Over christmas I was doing christmas card and made a custom paper size to print them out with -- So far, So Good. The problem is ever since then my default paper always ends up being the custom size. No amount of going to preferences, saving, restarting, etc. seemed to force it to stick -- It subbornly reverted to my 'christmas card' size.
Finally tonight I dug in and did some digging -- Turns out there is a preference -- One of the items in there is 'DefaultPaperID' which pointed at, you guessed it, my christmas card size.
Deleting that one plist entry fixed the problem -- Now I happily print to the proper size by default -- It does beg the question what happened -- How did it get changed and why wouldn't it change back but at least I'm back up and working again.

Lockdown Screencast

If you haven't yet check out the Screencast done by the fine folks at SupportCasts. It's very nicely done.
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