With all the talk of the new Intel Mac’s, sometimes I get distressed. I love all new apple hardware … but, my trusty iBook G4 1.2ghz is actually totally fine for the programs I run most of time: Xcode, Photoshop, iPhoto / iTunes, Garageband, Reason, Adium, Firefox. As long as you upgrade the ram – with at least 512mb extra – these laptops are totally usable.
One area where I am consistently frustrated though, is with the 30GB HD. I can’t be bothered carrying an external HD around with me, and I see no real value in upgrading the built in HD at this stage (esp with Macbook / iBook just around the corner). So, I make do, with endless culling.
The following tips should help you clear some HD space:
Youpi (Current version here)
Youpi gets rid of all the extra localisation files located in your software. This can clear a bunch of space. Make sure you run it on the root directory.
Disk Inventory x (Current version here)
This allows you to see in a graphical way the files on your computer that are taking up alot of space.
This helped me to identify the “Welcome to iWork” keynote presentation: 100mb.
iLife ’05 (and maybe ’06)
- Get rid of the demo songs : Mac HD / Users / Shared / GaragebandDemoSongs
- Unfreeze tracks : If you have recorded anything, make sure you unfreeze any frozen tracks when you save … this can take a whole heap of space
- Make sure that any songs you export are converted to MP3, and not AIFF
Use the rating system, and the ‘Playcount’ attribute to mercilessly cull the tracks that you never listen to. Seriously, do you really need all those old TV Theme songs?
Empty the trash! When you delete a photo (in iPhoto), it won’t go to the system trash – instead it will stay in the iPhoto trashcan. Although this behaviour occurs in a number of programs, for many users it will be a UI inconsistency …
Make sure you empty your cache every so often. This is located in Mac HD / Library / Caches …. and Mac HD / Users / USERNAME / Library / Caches.
You probably want to reboot immediately prior, to ensure that there are files in use.
There are a heap of other tips online, but these are the ones I use the most regularly.
Every mac developer should be coding to this soundtrack:
Obviously, someone at Apple is a little too fond of the old casio keyboard demos ….
Link to ZDnet
Over the last week, the boundaries between Mac OSX / Windows have been blurred once more …
Firstly, Apple released “Boot Camp“, a beta program designed to easily enable the dual booting of any Intel based Mac into Win XP SP2, or Mac OS X 10.4.6. This was followed closely by Parallel releasing the first virtualisation product to enter the market; it enables any Intel based Mac to run any existing version of MS Windows in a virtual machine. Gone are the days of emulation, ie Virtual PC – finally, we are seeing ‘Virtualisation’ in Mac’s – along with the ability to run Windows at near native speed, without rebooting.
This brings into question the future of the relationship between Apple OS X and Windows.
When Leopard hits the shelves, in the next 6-8 months, it will reportedly include Boot Camp (as stated on the apple site); but it will likely support much more.
In the past few weeks the Windows Presentation Foundation has been ported to Mac OS X, by Microsoft. The .Net framework has also been ported (although this is an independent project, MS has reportedly done extensive research into porting .Net to FreeBSD … which happens to be basis of OS X).
// Correction: this originally read NetBSD. Cheers to #NetBSD Community Blog for pointing this out
The joint effect of these developments may have major ramifications for Mac software … conceivably, Leopard will be able to run all Windows software.
Well … at the moment, Intel Mac’s & Tiger can run any Mac software. If the software is designed to work with Intel Mac’s (ie, Universal binary) it will run fine, with no user intervention required. If the software isn’t designed to be run by Intel Mac’s (ie, older PowerPC code), it will be emulated using Rosetta (as long as it at least uses the Cocoa framework).
When Leopard comes out, we may have a similiar option available, but for Windows software.
Ie, if the Windows software is developed in .Net (as many new programs are), and uses the new Windows Presentation Foundation for graphics, then it may be run by Leopard “natively” … it is conceivable that Apple will adapt the implementation of the Windows Presentation layer to use Aqua. If the Windows software is older (or wasn’t developed using .Net), then the program could be run through virtualisation … this would be similar to the way that Rosetta currently runs older PowerPC programs.
So … we would have one OS (Leopard), that could possibly run all Mac software, as well as .Net, and older WIN32 programs.
Who knows? The possibility is certainly there.
I suspect there is more to the relationship between Apple / Microsoft than is commonly acknowledged by either side …
(note: this was originally posted on my personal blog, last year – some allusions are therefore slightly out of date)
Once upon a time, the babies of the world complained to God, about a poorly designed user interface. The breast. God decided to hand the job over to human user interface designers, to see what they could come up with…
And so, human designers started on the job. After extensive research and development, the following results were acquired.
Apple was the first to release a breast that was stable and usable. Critics agreed that it looked great too.
As LOOG NEWS reported: “Following on from the successful marketing of mp3 players (iPod) and Personal Computers (iBook, iMac) … Only Apple could take an ordinary breast, and make it sexy!”
It was marketed as iBreast, and worked best with a baby that was suitably equipped with its companion product: iSuck.
Apple had a primary focus on simplicity, and usability. Therefore, they incorporated three groundbreaking elements into their design. Firstly, Apple argued that two breasts were much too confusing for the users; so instead, they adopted a single breast approach. Despite the unorthodox look, babies were much less confused as to what was going on.
Secondly, they incorporated a clickable scroll-wheel, to control the flow of milk to the baby. This was located around the periphery of the nipple, and ensured that the flow of milk was just right.
Thirdly, Apple incorporated maximize and minimize buttons into their design. Competitors argued that this was merely for eye-candy, and that it had no actual benefits to the baby. Apple argued that babies no longer needed to wait for fresh supplies of milk, with the much increased size capacity.
This particular function was popular, for a variety of reasons.
As an added bonus, the baby was given a complimentary pair of white earphones, from which to listen to soothing classical music as they were fed.
Babies reported increased levels of intelligence, and also enjoyed the extra social status afforded by the white earphones.
Unfortunately, iBreast models were only produced in white – which some 'ethnic minority' mothers complained about. It was not long before 3rd parties began to make plastic covers; unfortunately, these were often uncomfortable and inconvenient to use.
Despite the design flair, high prices cut a significant portion of the market. In the end, musicians & creative professionals became the main users of Apple iBreast.
God thought that iBreast was the best designed breast of the bunch. Unfortunately, few people these days are able to accept a good thing when they see it.
(p) MS Woman XP
Soon after the UI design challenge was issued by God, it became apparent that Bill Gates was in fact the devil. Therefore, he never played ball. Instead, (p)MS spent 100 Trillion dollars developing Woman XP. Woman XP was designed to include an advanced breast management system, as well as a complete suite of productivity tools.
Woman XP was initially greeted with enthusiasm.
The hugely marketed features included:
-A fully skinable UI
-PlugNPlay network connectivity
-Support for large harddrive’s
Anyway, mere days after Woman XP was released, many problems arose.
Every morning, Woman XP would greet her housemates with "what do you want to do today?". The housemates would offer a range of activities … ALL of which inevitably led Woman XP to crash, sobbing on the floor uncontrollably.
The actual breast, was a utility located under start – applications – utilities – "Baby to nipple interface connection management system".
Despite the marketing stating that it was easy to use (offering plug n play) the actual system was unreliable, and uncontrollable. Often, the milk failed to appear. If it did appear, then it was likely to be of an invalid milk type. Sometimes, the breast could not find the baby – even though the baby was obviously plugged in. Sometimes, milk would flow; then, for some unknown reason, it would stop. The only way to start the flow of milk again, was to perform a complete restart of the Woman XP.
As well as the many bugs inherent in Woman XP, hackers were able to write malicious code to affect Woman XP; bringing down household networks across the world. For example p_msBlaster.exe caused a variety of ills, while nag.script sent spam to everyone in the nearest yellow pages.
One thing Woman XP was good at, was games.
Despite the many problems with Woman XP, the market share forced Woman XP to become the dominant breast available commercially. Many professionals gained jobs through maintaining Woman XP, and they were therefore unlikely to advocate its replacement.
Despite her many problems, Woman XP here to stay.
Nokia: “Connecting people”
Unlike the traditional pc manufacturers, Nokia started with the vision of reaching a much wider user base with their technology. Thus, their marketing was focused not just on mothers and babies, but also included any other interested parties.
They incorporated many useful features, along with the standard breast functions. For instance, in a variation of phone based ‘SMS’, they sought to integrate “Instant messaging” into their breasts.
The IM service enabled the breast to communicate with any local parties who were within range. Nokia provided a variety of template messages that could be sent to users within their local social network.
• “So … would you like to buy me a drink?”; and
• “Is that a Nokia cell phone in your pocket … or are you just happy to see me …?”.
Along with the IM service, the Nokia breast also incorporated the following features:
• A flip top, which enabled speedy access to the breast if an urgent need arose.
• B9 – ‘Predictive Breast’ enabled the breast to ascertain what the baby was doing at the time, and adjust automatically.
• A low quality, tacky digital camera, to ensure that no special moments were missed.
There was one significant difference between Nokia’s breasts and those of the other competitors. Nokia had a large variety of breasts that could be selected; one size did not fit everyone.
At the conclusion of the competition, God asked for volunteers to perform usability testing. Unfortunately, the number of applicants for these positions was daunting, even to the one who truly understands the infinite universe.
So, instead, God asked for the babies of the world to perform the testing of the breasts.
Of Nokia, the babies commented on the problems associated with standardisation (there were far too many breasts to choose from) as well as the fact that the manufacturer had ignored the concerns of their main users (the babies) and the main uses (sucking milk). While feature packed, all the babies really wanted was something that performed the required function is a simple manner; Nokia had ignored this.
Of Woman XP, the babies laughed. When God asked them, politely, to at least provide a considered opinion on the usability of the product, the babies reluctantly began their testing. Generally, the babies became increasingly agitated as the testing continued. The resident psychologist expressed concern as to the longterm effects of continued use of Woman XP. The breast provided the babies with an extremely inconsistent interaction; frequent restarts were required, and little help was given to the baby – all causing extra stress.
In the end, testing was never completed due to the ill health inflicted on the babies.
Of Apple, the babies were the most complimentary. Unfortunately, along with cost, the babies were put off by the breast’s inability to work well with other manufacturers. For instance, other breast-related products (such as bra’s) that worked fine with normal breasts would no longer work with Apple’s specialist one-breast design.
In the end, the babies begrudgingly admitted that God had in fact designed the best product. In terms of usability, simplicity, cost and aesthetic design the natural breast became the best choice.
All of which leads to the conclusion, as has been stated:
"The tit is the most intuitive UI known to man".
Everyone does it.
From the bored guy at the bustop, to the Pagani ™ salesgirl on a slow day …
We live in a world surrounded by it. Over the last 10 years, it has slowly invaded our society. Multinational corporations seek to impose their products on us, and we are constantly bombarded by the nonverbal assumption, that indeed bigger is better.
Does your cell have T9? What about Java? PXT? Are you 3G capable? Can you “wave-write”? Do you have a foldout keyboard? Bluetooth? MP3 player?
Without these necessities, you are “not getting enough”.
Obviously, txt sells.
Today, I want to help you to find clarity amongst a crazy, txt-ridden society.
In my own life, the best way to find txtual clarity, is often to take a complete break. Sometimes, I leave town (flee txtual temptation …) leaving my cell off for the whole weekend.
It is generally in these times that I rediscover the many beautiful things in life.
Things such as:
- the beauty of a natural silence,
- the wonder of nature, and;
- being able to watch a movie or eat my meal without interuption.
Generally, I would heartily encourage all to know when enough is really enough. Just because you have a txtual quota-based reputation to keep up, you should not let this get in the way of your health.
Promiscuous txt can indeed forge many relationships with those who you would simply not have time for in the real world. It is not that these people are not important – quite the opposite. The point is, simply, that we must be able to fill our lives with meaning, and the txtual antics of many simply disguises their hidden loneliness and disullusion.
Take a break. Feel lonely. Maybe write a poem or a song about it. Feel’s pretty real, doesn’t it?
Anyway. I realise that most of the preceding discussion will be lost on many. So, if you cannot refrain from txt, at least take the necessary precautions:
# Safe txt
Whilst partaking of txt, it is important to never get so carried away that you forget who you really are.
There are a few questions worth thinking about:
Firstly, who are you, in your txtual fantasy world?
I have known many who are timid, confident, yet unassuming; however, once they start their txt, they become raging bulls.
Sometimes, you really need to stop to think what kind of message you are sending. We often hide behind the attitude of: “it’s only casual txt – it doesn’t mean anything”. In reality, every word in your txt has likely been painstakingly lingered over – when you only have 165 letters, you must be concise; saying only exactly what you mean.
This differentiates the txtual fantasy world, from the real world. In the real world, communication consists of not only what is said, but also many nonverbal cue’s; for ie, the way it is said, the speed, the slouch, the direction of the eyes …
The txtual fantasy world contains none of these vital peices of communication. It may be asked, what then, of the letter? (the snail mail kind) To which the response must be, the traditional letter is generally much longer; non verbal communication can, to a degree, be substituted for increased wordiness.
Individuals must be careful to avoid giving mixed signals through the use of their txtual msgs versus their verbal communication.
Secondly, do you avoid meaningful verbal conversations, prefering to instead participate in meaningless and mechanical communication?
A common problem associated with txt-addicts is the tendency to retreat from social settings, substituting their physical context for a virtual community. This alleviates loneliness, yet at the expence of the development of meaningful relationships with those around us.
Txt can be good. However, we should never let our need for txt force us to abandon those around us. Txtual partners can come and go; but true friends will remain with us for much longer.
Which brings us to the next point:
# Sometimes, there’s no substitute for oral pleasure
In the modern, txt-driven society, it is easy to forsake meaningful human connections in favour of a brief txt quickie. It is easy to go for weeks without catching up with a friend; frequent txtual intercourse takes place, yet an actual meeting may never take place.
It must be remembered, that our txt drive is primarily about the need for communication with others. To feel that we have reached out to another, and have in turn had a connection; a reasurance that our lives are witnessed by others.
In many cases, it may be much more healthy for an individual to actually have a verbal conversation with another. A face to face meeting may precipitate a much higher degree of connection than can ever be fostered via txt.
Txt has its place within a caring relationship that exists; however, it should never be used as a complete substitute.
We must always remember the value of verbal communication.
In the world of txt, there are often no easy answers. As our society (including current txtual politics) continues to evolve, we must be able to take advantage of the latest technologies, without sacrificing our inherent humanity.
A healthy txtlife is a good thing. However, never let this cloud your vision; we do have real friends around us, whose need for connection is as great as our own.
Take time this week to engage with your friends – don’t abandon them, in your search for txtual fulfillment.