August 02, 2005

Mighty Mouse

Mighty Mouse

I love Apple.

Last week, after more than 10 years using Apple branded single button mices I decided to buy a multi button mouse with the dreaded scrolling wheel (I use the the PowerMate for scrolling and other controls, as seen here).
I just hadn't had time to actually take it from the store.

Today Apple presents the Mighty Mouse.
As I said: I love Apple.
As a true AppleNerd I'm pretty sure I'll spend about 50 euros on the new stylish white mouse instead of 9 on a Logitech one: sort of Reality Distortion Field...

With the Mighty Mouse costing (in Italy) 55 euros, tax included, you can have a Mac Mini for about 9 or 10 mices...

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February 28, 2005

Jef Raskin.

Jef Raskin, the user interface expert who started the initial Macintosh project at Apple, passed away on Saturday February 26th, 2005.

Digibarn
MacDailyNews
Raskin's profile at Folklore.

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January 11, 2005

Life is Random.

The guys from Macity.it spotted a banner for the new (flash based 1Gb?) iPod in the Moscone Center, San Francisco.
You can read: "Life is Random" and a tagline ending with: "240 Songs".
Here the photos.

This evening at 18:00 we'll discover...

[Update]: What's about the new packaging graphics?

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November 14, 2004

True Story: Audion.

nostalgia: audion
I remember Jobs asked, "Do you have any other ideas for apps you want to work on?" I replied, genuinely, "Well, we've got an idea for a digital photo management program..." and he replied with a simple, "Yeah. Don't do that one." Everyone in the room laughed.

Wow. Do you love stories?
Are you whining 'cause folklore.org is not being updated?

This is for you: the true story of Audion.
It took me three cigarettes, a couple of cookies, and almost half an hour to read it. No, wait, "read" isn't the right word: half an hour savoring it, enjoying it, living it!

Fascinating, wonderfully written and filled with a miriad of unique pop-up notes, including the disturbing real sound of the Chipmunks!

So, adios, Audion!

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October 25, 2004

iTMS Italy.

At the moment there's no way to connect to the (US) iTunes Music Store from my computer, and it seems all the italians Mac aficionados are experiencing the same problem.

Maybe tomorrow it will be an insanely great "Apple Tuesday", at least here in Italy!

Update: Italian store up and running: aargh!

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July 19, 2004

Finally!

airport extreme - for the broadband addicted

I did it. After months thinking about it, I finally bought an Aiport Extreme base station for my home.
As a fan of the standard ethernet patch cable I always considered Airport as something suited for low traffic networks (and, it is), but after using it at my workplace for months, a big - stinking - monkey was sitting on my shoulder, beating me on the head everyday: "spend your money..." monkey said.

The best toy for the Broadband addict: in a couple of hours I found myself browsing from the bed (me, lazy bastard), living room, terrace (in the evening is wonderful), kitchen, just didn't tested the bathroom...

In the past I used my desktop G4 (a 733mhz revision A) with an airport card as a "fake" Base Station, but it was a bit noisy (consider a couple of internal SCSI hard drives...) and it missed some options the base has (since with MacOs X Apple killed Software Base Station). You can work it out using command line configuration, but it's complicated... and you still have the loud noise!
Then, since my ISP (Fastweb) it's, practically, an hi-speed MAN in the city of Rome, that connects you to the internet, I wanted to use the Base as a sort of "filter" for wannabe hackers who, every once a while, tried log into my LAN.

Now the house LAN is split in two parts: Wi-Fi, serving three laptops (two Macs, one PC running XP, connected via an Orinoco Silver Wi-Fi card - some problems: see below); cabled 10/100 network (gets internet access from the Base Station with Network Address Translation) for the desktop G4, and my Powerbook when it sits on my desktop, connected to the external monitor, external hd and a bunch of other stuff.

Now, troubleshooting:
I have some password problems with the XP laptop: it wont authenticate (does not prompt you for a password) on a password protected network.
If you create a Wi-Fi network without password protection works fine, but I'm not willing to leave my network unprotected (I'm using MAC addresses as access control while trying to solve this problem).
The Base is wall mounted: any drawbacks? Just a smaller radius?

Update: after nearly 200 Mbytes of Service Packs, Critical Updates and other crap, the PC finally connects to Airport network (with password protection). You just have to provide the exact exadecimal key: instructions here.

PS.
If you are asking yourself: yes it's me reflected in the Apple logo in the photograph.

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June 21, 2004

Fast User Switching

Are you a fast user switcher?
I'm a huge fan of this Panther feature: I use it for security reasons on my Powerbook, and because I've got a bunch of different users on the desktop G4.
The only thing I didn't liked was the waste of menu bar space (OsX writes the current user logged in on it), but you can read my complaint here.
If you're like me, and don't like to waste precious space on your menu bar, even with a 17" wide screen, download immediately WinSwitch (via Guigalaxy).
You can replace the username in the bar with a generic icon, custom user icon or short user name - neat!
It's donationware, and you can even download the source code, avaiable under a BSD license.

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June 16, 2004

Double Layer DVD±RW Burner.

Finally, a double layer DVD±RW Firewire (and USB2) burner from LaCie.
8.5 GB on a single disc.

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June 08, 2004

Fiat Internet!

Finally, today the DSL connection has been installed in the new house.
I passed three weeks of deintoxication from "connection disease" (except for days passed in my workplace in Spoleto: DSL up and running).
Back online just in time to see the new AirPort Express, the new insane Apple "appliance" that works as an AirPort bridge and can remotely play music on any Hi Fi system and/or share a printer.
It will perfectly fit the new living room, managing iTunes via Sailing Clicker. (I'm a nerd... I know...)
I just don't understand if I have to buy a standard base station (right now, my old desktop G4 works as base station in the house) in order to use one or two additional Express Stations.

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May 14, 2004

This Old Mac...

Just experience an old mac running System 7 at myoldmac.net, link found via Coudal.
You also get the lovely eyeballs in the menubar, it only needs a Talking Moose... that seems to be still alive under MacOs X!!!

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April 19, 2004

In Motion.

Final Cut Vs Premiere is long time gone, now it's time for the brand new Motion Vs After Effects.

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March 10, 2004

Smart + iPod = iMove

Finally they did it: Apple and Smart unveiled an iPod equipped Smart Car.
You can plug the iPod in a special dock located above the gear shift, and control it via the standard radio system integrated into the car.
Smart is going to sell brand new models with the iPod (as Quattroruote says) at 18,000 euros, or you can buy the iPod and the adaptor/dock for 600 euros.

Yum! It's time to "upgrade" my Smart, Folks!

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February 13, 2004

Nostalgia.

MacWrite Styles Menù - Circa 1984.
Quark Xpress 6 Styles Menù - Circa 2003.

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February 04, 2004

Gucci's Ipod Case.

Ipod gets even more stylish!

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January 24, 2004

Happy Birthday Mac.

This morning my Mac (and many others in the world) turned 20.
My Mac today is a 17" Alluminium Powerbook, the last one of different incarnations of "the Mac" in my life, during more than a decade, starting with my first experience with a Mac SE in a flat at the 47th floor of a skyscraper somewhere in New York back in the 1988.

20 years of success, innovations and, yes, some debatable periods, but still a step (or two) ahead the others.

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November 21, 2003

Spinning Cube Mania

Have you ever used Image Capture under Mac OsX 10.3 Panther?
If you do, you'll notice that the so famous spinning cube used during the fast user switching has been used for not-so-glorious applications too.
And, speaking about fast user switching, why do the user switching menu need to be a menu-extra on the right side of the menu bar?
Menu bar space is a terrible thing to waste.
Since under OsX anything related to the login is in the Apple Menu (Logout User, I'm pointing at you), can't we have the user switching list over there, or this interferes with some mysterious UI rules?

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November 16, 2003

Going Mobile.

Yesterday I bought my new machine: a brand new 17" Powerbook.
After a couple of months thinking about it, i finally made the decision to switch from a desktop machine to a powerful laptop: I'm often out of Rome for work, so buying a new G5 and let it "alone" at home most of the time would have been useless.
That is what, in fact, was happening with my Desktop G4 733 (now adopted by my sister) these last months: I was always working on my Powerbook G3 "Pismo" laptop, a quite slow machine these days, while the G4 was at home, waiting for a few ssh or ftp connection per day, just to synchronize some files ore to use the home DSL for downloads.

This is my second day on the Powerbook: it seem quite faster than the desktop machine, I still got my beloved SuperDrive for huge backups and, when at home, plugging the laptop into my 19" LaCie monitor (since the Powerbook's 17" monitor is wonderful, I use an extended desktop setup with the LaCie as the main monitor - I still love CRT!) and external hard drives doesn't make me miss a desktop mac setup.
Size is the only drawback of the 17" Powerbook: it doesn't fit into my old backpack, and doesn't fit into my motorcicle's bagsters bags too, damn!
I need a new backpack: now I'm using an old school backpack (dated circa '88) that's big enough to safely contain the powerbook during my expeditions around center Italy on my motorbike!

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November 12, 2003

The Final Panther Review.

While I discovered that Font Book on my machines is correctly working, but is painfully slow at activating fonts and sets, I came across John Siracusa's Panther Review (thanks to Vincenzo for the link suggestion).

Siracusa's reviews are usually the most complete and well written I've ever seen, and this particular one is a perfect example of John's style: more than ten pages on the topic, eviscerating everything from the poor Finder model (remember my rants a long time ago?), to performance analisys to Expose seen in depth.

By the way: I would like to know who the hell is the guy who finally arrived to jnkmail.com searching Google for "porn bookmarks" and finding the link to this site on the 110th result page!!!
That's urge for Porn!!!
I think I'll make a little list of the most idiot keywords used on Google to get on this site in the near future, I've got a lot, like:

"powermac g5 windows version"
"apnea fetish"

Be prepared!

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October 30, 2003

iStrap.

Mac Lovers: that's Japan.

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Panther Bugs and Issues.

The long awaited Font Book, the font management application included in Apple's Panther, seems not to be working.
At least on my machines.

Some months ago, some voices pointed (read the comments) out that Font Book would have been a "simple" font manager, just for the standard user, not for designers with hundreds of fonts to manage.
I used the beta and it worked: the final release doesn't.
I can't activate a single font (damn), and according to my referrers I'm not the only one: I'm receiving visits from Google with font book bugs and Font Book not working-like search keys.

I'd better investigate this week.

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September 29, 2003

Turn on that Lisa.

Dilbert and the Apple's Lisa.

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September 18, 2003

Powermac G5 Photos.

If you want to take a closer look to the new Powermac G5, don't miss Bill Noll's wonderful photographs of the machine!

Found via Splorp.

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July 09, 2003

Font Book

Yesterday I had the possibility to test-drive Panther again on a friend's Powerbook (he is a registered developer).
I don't like the new Xp-like column on the new Finder windows, you can close it, but I hope Apple puts an option to automatically hide it, I don't like Os X Finder 'cause it's becoming more and more chaotic than the old, trusty, but a bit too basic, Classic Os Finder, it seems to me that they started with a flacky Finder model and now they're slowling trying to fix tings up.
If you are of the same idea, and willing to read some well argumented critics you can start here, it's a bit old but still valid.

Anyway all I wanted to do this time was testing Apple's new Font Book, font management utility that, as I thought, is really similar in it's logic to the defunct ATM Deluxe.
You can preview the fonts, create your sets (called "collections") and simply activate or deactivate these, no more, no less (Screenshots 1, 2).

Fast, clean, and it works!

You don't have to spend half an hour studying obscure preference panels, use 2-3 different application just to activate a font.
If you don't work for a giant design firm that needs centralized font management via dedicated servers, Font Book will be your perfect partner!
There are still a few issues with it (normal: it's still a beta): obviously is instable, and I tried to, directly, drag the fonts from the Finder over the Font Book window, there's no drag 'n drop, maybe we'll have it in the final release or in a newer beta, I hope!

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June 25, 2003

Audio/Video Chat, again.

I took these screenshots (1,2,3) during another iChat DV test with my love, Chiara.
The fullscreen mode is wonderful (especially on a 19" monitor), but I noticed that, also using the standard window, it's a pain working with the Mac while having a "video conference": the overall system response is sometimes too slow, my main mac is a PowerMac G4 733 (rev. 1) with 1.5 gigs of RAM.

So if you plan to use the new iChat DV features while working it's better to stick with the audio chat only, as I said two posts ago, or wait for new, faster, iChat betas!

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Audio/Video Chat.

Another Apple-centric entry: I'm testing iChat DV, it suffers a few bugs, but considering it's the first public beta it works wonderfully.
I've tested the video chat and it's great!
Audio and video are perfect, but at home I use a pretty fast connection (the other user too), so I still don't know how it behaves on slow connections (crappy DSL or 56k). I'm sorry I didn't took any screenshots.

The audio chat also works perfectly (Screenshot), like standard telephone connections, and helps a lot when working remotely with other people on the same project, without using phone or using the keyboard, without even mentioning when you had to find that damned iChat window under tons of palettes or photoshop comps!

There's also the "One way video chat", an option that lets you broadcast your webcam source, or, since you can use any firewire device (at the moment I'm using my Sony PC-5), you can even broadcast pre-made movies like a mini TV studio!
Enjoy!

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June 24, 2003

Font Book, Finally.

I'm happy to see that in Panther (next MacOs X major release), Apple has introduced Font Book.

Font management under Os X is a bit tougher than under Os 9 (and previous), I've tried different font management tools, and I'm now using Font Reserve, it works well, but I still miss a simple to use tool for font management.
I hope Font Book will honour (as it seems by the screenshots) Apple's easy of use.
We'll see.

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June 23, 2003

G5.

Wow, this is a real new machine.

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Panther is coming.

Informations about Apple's new products are leaking out in these days.
We may see the new Powermac G5 by the end of summer, or/and have the new major release of MacOs X.

According to these screenshots, Apple has slightly modified MacOs X appearance to resembe it's last powerbooks and powermacs design (we don't have stripes over the cases anymore) and, wow I'm amazed, we'll have classes back, remember System 7?

Since Apple reintroduced classes, why shouldn't they reintroduce custom icons inside the Library folder?
Yes, I know they don't want us to mess around these folders, but, since most skilled users do it, custom icons can help them (and me) moving around.
I hope they'll do it in the future or... I want the archaic Fotn/DA mover back!!!

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