WPF/E on a Mac

Oh that’s interesting. WPF/E is running on a Mac which leads to the new platform independent approach for Microsofts Windows Presentation Foundation technology…booyah!

You want to take a look on WPF/E by yourself? Well, go ahead.

Source 1: http://blogs.msdn.com/webnext/archive/2006/12/05/i-m-a-mac-and-i-run-wpf-e.aspx
Source 2: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=A3E29817-F841-46FC-A1D2-CEDC1ED5C948&displaylang=en

KDE on MacOS X

Well nice description what this could do:

“They may not work. They may not even install. They may make your monitor explode in a shower of glass. EVEN LCDs! They may make your children grow horns, and cause the people in your neighborhood to explode spontaneously while doing the Macarena. They will rip out your eyeballs, and eat your soul with a really dull spoon, laughing and cackling while forcing Cheerios up your nose. They will make your intestines explode in a rain of confetti, while evil clowns bite your feet.”

But what it really will do is slightly different:

Source: http://ranger.users.finkproject.org/kde/#about

Paul Thurrott: Who’s the Copycat Now?

Paul Thurrott writes about the upcoming cat:

“Sometimes I wonder how Apple CEO Steve Jobs can sleep at night. He appears to spend half his waking hours ridiculing Microsoft’s admittedly behind-schedule operating system, Windows Vista, for copying Mac OS X features. But this week at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), he announced ten new features for Leopard, the next version of OS X, most of which will seem more than vaguely familiar to Windows users. I’m not dim: Microsoft does copy Apple on a fairly regular basis. But seriously, Steve. Apple’s just as bad.”

Source: http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/macosx_leopard_preview.asp

what does a Leopard best? It kills.

“While yesterday’s preview of Leopard didn’t show too much (I’m talking about the “top secret” features that Steve left out this time around), it did show enough to, well, make quite a few shareware and freeware applications somewhat obsolete”

Follow the link and find out which applications are going to be obsolete and which programmers will find themselves searching for a new job soon…

Source: http://phillryu.com/2006/08/08/7-apps-on-leopards-hit-list/

Apple User Interface design flaws…

I really like the User Interface that Mac OSX gives me. I even like the iLife applications and I used them for the first time just for fun… and I came across something which is a really serious design flaw in my opinion: notice the black dot in the red “close”-button of each window:

This dot apparently shows me that I cannot do anything with this window apart from moving it around.The dot shows that the document changed – in the case of the iLife applications you cannot do anything else than moving the window around… you cannot minimize it. And the case is: The only thing I don’t want to do with such a window is starring at it’s progress bar and waiting … So normally I and probably every other user wants to hide/minimize that window. But it’s impossible. It’s just not allowed to minimize it…

Why is that? Ideas anyone?

handy Mac bootup hotkey combinations

Personally I like the cmd-opt-shift-delete-# combination most… how much more complicated could they’ve made it?

Key Combination Effect
mouse down Eject removable media
opt Bring up OF system picker on New World machines
cmd-opt Hold down until 2nd chime, will boot into Mac OS 9 ?
cmd-x (or just x?) Will boot into Mac OS X if 9 and X are on the same partition and that’s the partition you’re booting from
cmd-opt-shift-delete Bypass startup drive and boot from external (or CD). This actually forces the system to NOT load the driver for the default volume, which has the side effect mentioned above. For SCSI devices it searches from highest ID to lowest for a partition with a bootable system. Not sure about IDE drives.
cmd-opt-shift-delete-# Boot from a specific SCSI ID # (# = SCSI ID number)
cmd-opt-p-r Zap PRAM. Hold down until second chime.
cmd-opt-n-v Clear NV RAM. Similar to reset-all in Open Firmware.
cmd-opt-o-f Boot into open firmware
cmd-opt-t-v Force Quadra AV machines to use TV as a monitor
cmd-opt-x-o Boot from ROM (Mac Classic only)
cmd-opt-a-v Force an AV monitor to be recognized as one
c Boot from CD. If set to boot to X and no CD is present, may boot to 9.
d Force the internal hard disk to be the startup device
n Hold down until Mac logo, will attempt to boot from network server (using BOOTP or TFTP)
r Force PowerBooks to reset the screen
t Put FireWire machine into FireWire Target Disk mode
z Attempt to boot using the devalias zip from first bootable partition found
shift (Classic only) Disable Extensions, (OS X, 10.1.3 and later) Disables login items. Also disables non-essential kernel extensions (safe boot mode)
cmd (Classic only) Boot with Virtual Memory off
space (Classic only) Trigger extension manager at boot-up
cmd-v (OS X only) show console messages during boot
cmd-s (OS X only) boot into single user mode

iTunes Agent: great try…now get more sophisticated

I thought many times of such an application. A tool that would allow me to use almost every MP3 player available on the market to sync with iTunes…

This solution does work – there are no worries. But it’s not the perfect solution of the problem. The perfect solution would be an application that runs on the MP3 player (Windows Mobile, eh?) and allows the MP3 player to pretend it is actually an iPod. Than no software on the Mac/PC is necessary to sync…

Anyone got the iTunes/iPod sync protocol documentation ready?

“iTunes Agent is a small application resting in your system tray constantly looking for new MP3 players and other music capable dev”ices connecting to your system. When a device it recognizes is connected to the system, it will create a playlist for the device in iTunes and it will synchronize that list with tracks on your device.

You may then modify this list, add and remove tracks, before you tell the iTunes Agent to synchronize the list with your player”

Source: http://ita.sourceforge.net/

How-To mount a network share at login / startup on OSX

When I first worked with a Mac I had many problems finding things and doing things that worked just out of the box on a Windows machine. One thing that was very annoying was that the Mac apparently is not able to mount a network volume at startup. On Windows you are just doing something like this:


But that’s not possible on the Mac. So I had to find another way. The easiest way is to write a script that is executed at startup. And so I did.

Go to your applications folder where you probably find the “Applescript” folder in which you’ll find the “Script Editor“. Start it and you’re ready to write the script which looks like this:


try
    mount volume "smb://bietiekay@femflawlessfs/1"
end try

Whereas “smb://” is the protocol and “bietiekay” is the username followed by the servername “femflawlessfs” and the share name “1“.

When you did that you can check if it works just by clicking on the “Execute” button in the icon bar of the script editor. Normally you’ll be asked for a username+password. If so enter your username and password and add it to the key chain by activating the checkbox in the username+password dialog. You have to do that to allow the script to mount the share without asking you for the username+password again the next time it runs.

When you checked that everything is working you do a “File->Save as“. Give it a name and most important select “Application” instead of “Script” in the file format select box. I recommend to deselect the “startup dialog” checkbox so you would not get bothered by another dialog at startup…

Now you have a script and the executable application.

Go to the “Apple menu->System Configuration->Users” dialog where you can configure the applications that run at startup/login. Click on the “+” symbol under the startup list and select the application you just made with the script editor.

That’s all. You’re set-up to test this… start your machine and see if it works.

I want this particular iPod please…

There are many iPods. Many different generations. There’s even a video playing iPod. But some guy made a flash mockup of something he wants to have as the next videp playing iPod. And oh my god I am with him! I would instantly consider robbing a bank for this one:



Source: http://www.deviantart.com/view/28738962/

finally found: a GUI frontend for dict.leo.org for my Mac

I am using dict.leo.org for years now – and all the time I looked for a frontend to the website. It’s not as if the website is not usable – it’s just the point: a website takes so much more screen space than a dedicated tool does.



So there’s now iTranslate: A free tool by equinux that is exactly what I was searching for – a small and handy frontend for leo. Great!

Source: http://www.equinux.com/us/products/itranslate/index.html

iTunes 6.0.2 privacy concerns anyone?

You complained about the Windows Media Player 10 – when the End User License Agreement said something like “We want to log what you’re playing and use that data for statistic purpose.” – So what about the newest and coolest feature of the brand new Apple iTunes 6.0.2? – It’s called “iTunes Mini Store” and shows a smaller version of the iTunes Music Store right beneath your song overview:



To display the information inside this little box – iTunes HAS TO send the information about the song I am playing right now to Apple. So Apple can keep track what and how often you’re listening.


As a matter of fact: Where are the complaints about that now? Oh I forgot: Apple is on the bright side of the force whereas Microsoft is on the dark side… Come on Apple fans! Start to think about the stuff you’re using everyday…

finally an official free-of-charge WMV codec for the Mac


Unlike in my previous article about Flip4Mac now the codec that is needed to play Windows Media files with the Quicktime player on Macintosh computers is now free-of-charge!!! Hurray! You can download it directly from Microsoft and install. It’ll run natively on G4 and G5 processors – so no hacking anymore to watch Windows Media content.


“With Windows Media® Components for QuickTime, by Flip4Mac™, you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a Web browser.”


Source 1: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/flip4mac.mspx
Source 2: Flip4Mac article

an OSX traffic monitoring tool – even usable when you only have a shell


Since I am quite frequently working on my Mac via ssh I was in desperate need for a tool to monitor the input/output network traffic. I normally don’t need something like ethereal or tcpdump – I just need something that displays a graph and simple traffic statistics and last but not least updates itself frequently. So netstat is not usable for that purpose because it’s not the most concise tool I know. So ethereal and tcpdump are usually used for different purposes like traffic sniffing and dumping – So ahzf gave me the hint to look for something called “darkstat” – And yes: it’s a really useful tool.


Darkstat runs on the host system and monitors the network interfaces. It also incorporates a webserver which allows you to take a look at the statistics.


Darkstats main start-page looks like this:



It’s a great tool that displays more detailed information when you click on the links in the menu bar. If you’re searching for a great network tool for your unix/mac – go for darkstat!


I have to mention that darkstat is no longer under active development – sad but true.


Source: http://dmr.ath.cx/net/darkstat/

Windows Media on Quicktime


Did you ever try to play a Windows Media Video file on a Mac? If you did not – you probably would not expect the result: it’s horrible and simply nothing you want to watch.


Now there’s a filter/application that allows Quicktime to play the Windows Media Video files – and this does work really really great.


Almost all files I tried to play worked instantly – some had their problems – but well I did not expect the DRM to work.



“The WMV Player is an industry first product offering that allows you to play Windows Media directly in your QuickTime Player. This eliminates the need for an additional player and provides the great playback experience and control that you’ve come to rely on with QuickTime Player. “



Flip4Mac offers not only a WMV Player but also a “WMV Studio”-Application that allows you to cut and edit WMV content on MacOS X…


Oh… it does cost some money…….;-(


Source: http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm

more iTunes for Windows Mobile 5.0 pictures…

I made some more pictures of iTunes for Windows Mobile 5.0 that show how it looks when it’s playing songs. And some more detailed pictures of the interface itself. They tried to make it one-hand accessible which means that you can easily control iTunes for Windows Mobile 5.0 with just one hand. You literally never have to pick the pen to click on something on the touch-screen – just use your thumb.



if you press on top information pane the pane is pulled aside and the toolbar is shown:


See the “toolbar”? There it is: Shuffle, Repeat, Equalizer. The button on the left is used to pull out the toolbar and pull in the information pane


…and as we know it from the other iTunes versions…


Finally some more words on the technical aspects: It seems that it’s entirely written in some .NET language since it requires the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 to run. And that leads me to the conclusion that there will not be an iTunes for Windows Mobile for earlier Windows Mobile versions like 2003 and 2003SE.

I so far was not able to actually buy anything in the apple store – iTunes just crashed when I tried. So there’s obviously more work to do for Apple than I thought yesterday.

Apple iTunes for Windows Mobile 5 spotted!!!

UPDATE: even more pictures and testing here…

I managed to get my hands on Apple iTunes for Windows Mobile 5.0. After the Motorola ROKR Apple seems to get seriously into the mobile phone business. As my sources tell there will be a special data rate for T-Mobile bundled with devices that come with iTunes (maybe we’ll see an official announcement soon).

The version I could test was iTunes for Windows Mobile 5.0 version 0.9. Although it looks pretty complete (everything (except bonjour) is in place and even podcast sync worked like a champ (see picture)) it’s not a customer ready version. I don’t know anything about the release dates or announcement dates at the moment.

Some words to the graphical user interface: Apple decided to use the well known iTunes in favor of the iPod user interface. Since the buttons and functionalities are all where I expected them it’s as easy to use as the “big” version of iTunes.

I did not have the time for an in-depth test yet but it seems that it is not limited in the way the Motorola ROKR is. Nevertheless I was not able to sync it with a PC/Mac iTunes yet since there are no drivers (and I haven’t got any) I successfully copied 1 GB of MP3/AAC files onto a SD Card and I could play it all. When I inserted the SD Card iTunes automatically searched for media files and rebuilt it’s library. After some seconds I could start listening.

It’s about 6 AM here and I had no sleep – so more after I woke up…


we all know this icon… now even on Windows Mobile.

This MDA2 is connected to the Internet over GPRS. You can see that a search in the iTunes podcast directory was successful.


a little bit closer


the menu. All one-hand-navigation…

Source: http://www.apple.com

Wireless Tunes… WiFiTunes… wireless music on your Windows Mobile device

The one interesting thing is that this piece of software for Windows Mobile is giving you the possibility to listen to music which is streamed to you – hopefully wireless – from your iTunes on your Mac/PC. The second interesting thing about this application is that it’s entirely written in C# (.NET Compact Framework) and the sourcecode is/will be available. How cool is that?

“WiFiTunes is a solution that enables you to stream MP3s from a computer running iTunes to your Pocket PC. Since I last posted on the product in January, the developer has modernized the look and made the software simpler in use.”

“A C# implementation of the DAAP protocol was written using AppleRecords as a reference so thanks to Chris for doing all that tedious work. Thanks also to SPAlarm for starting a fmod C# wrapper.”

Source: http://www.aspecto-software.com/WiFiTunes/WiFiTunes.htm

hurray! iTunes 5 lost my podcast subscriptions…gnaarrr!!!

“Cool a new iTunes version!” I thought and downloaded it…but after the system restart and the first start-up of the new iTunes this came up:




“this iTunes library is damaged….”

And guess what: all my podcast subscriptions are gone. Damn! What the hell do you think you’re doing Apple?!

The “Update-Mania” on the Macs I am using is quite impressive: After a fresh Panther Installation you are forced to download more than 400 Megabyte of Updates…and at the moment around 200 Megabyte of Updates for a fresh installed Tiger…

Who is complaining about the 180 Megabytes of Windows XP!?!

Tiger Bug? Why can’t I minimize?

From time to time some of my applications on Mac OSX Tiger tend to loose some functionality. The most frequent bug is that I cannot minimize a window to the dock. It’s not only that the window does not response. The orange minimize button at the upper left of the window is ghosted…

For your understanding: This is what it should look like.



and this is what it look like:



Uhm… weird!