Category Archives: apple

I got my hands on an iPad today

I finally got my hands on an iPad today I know I’m a bit behind. It was ok. It is pretty much a big ipod touch but it isn’t lame like you would think. The bigness just makes it easy to use. It seems like it would be really good for reading books on and maybe watching short videos. I think it would be a nice to keep near the couch or bed so you can grab it and get online without having to lug around a laptop.

I have to say the typing was better than I thought it was going to be. It is impossible to type on the ipod because you hit 6 keys at once but the size of the ipad means you don’t have that problem. I couldn’t hold the thing and type with my thumbs though. That would have been nice. I would be cool to see something like what Sony did on the vaio ux’s (or one of its predecessors I can’t remember) onscreen keyboard. (sorry I couldn’t find pictures, but the basic thing you need to know is that it put the keys in a radial arangement in the lower corners so you could type with your thumbs)

simply scaling up the ipod touch probably has other UI problem too. I’m also still not happy about the lack of a USB port but I can get over that. Apparently it can’t print even though Apple made appleworks for it… The only reason I would ever buy one is for content reasons. Unfortunately I don’t think Android is going to be as successful at getting content provides to work with them. I would probably still go with Android just because of the openness (and I don’t mean the platform but on the usability and developer level).

if the iPad were $100-$200 cheaper I would be much more willing to accept its faults.

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Posted by on April 6, 2010 in apple


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Tell Apple you want iTunes For Linux.

A lot of linux users don’t like iTunes and that is fine. I’m not a huge fan of it myself, but I have an ipod and I need it. Of course a much better solution to the ipod problem would be to make ipods not need itunes, but that is never going to happen. Apple makes a version of itunes for windows so why doesn’t it make on for linux? The thing I hate about apple the most is that their devices require itunes and the thing I hate about itunes is that it doesn’t work on linux. I can’t see myself buying another Apple device in the future if I can’t run itunes. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. I’m sure there are some of you who think that it is good that it isn’t on linux because it isn’t free (as in speech). Personally I’m ok with non-free software’s existence. If you don’t want to use it don’t, but don’t tell me I shouldn’t use it because it is evil or something (tell me why you don’t use it and then let me decide for myself if I want to use it).

Anyway I’m writting this because I would like everyone to go tell apple you want a version of iTunes for Linux . I hope you have better luck with it working that I am…


Posted by on April 3, 2010 in apple


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Adding some color to ls in Mac OS

If you have ever used ls in the Mac OS terminal you have probably noticed that you get a boring monochrome list. If you have never used Linux before you might not find this a problem at all. Why would you anyone expect or need it to have color? Well, sometimes color is very important, for instance if you are in an unfamiliar directory and you don’t know what is a file and what is a sub-directory.If you are completely new to the Terminal/Unix-like operating systems a short explanation of what ls is is in is a program which lists all of the files and directories in a directory. Try opening the terminal and typing ls to see what I mean (type man ls for more information on how to use ls). On a mac, and all other BSDs to my knowledge, the output text will all be in one color (probably black in your case),but on Linux the output will be color coded (files and directories have different color text)So you want Mac OS to have colored output just like Linux? well, that is easy. ls has the argument -G which will output colored text (on Mac OS. Linux uses -C (–color) but you shouldn’t need that, and I don’t know what other BSDs do.) So, you could type ls -G every time you want to list the contents of a directory, but that would get every annoying after a while. There is an easy way you can make it output colors every time you run ls so you won’t have to add the -G every time! Go the command line and type:

cd ~/ (if you are not already there)

echo alias ls=’/bin/ls -G’ >> .bash_profile

Now every time you type ls you will see colored output (if you ever want to remove this just edit ~/.bash_profile with your favorite text editor and remove the line we just added) Enjoy!

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Posted by on December 21, 2008 in apple, bash, concatenation


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Leopard sucks

Leopard Sucks! “Why not just switch to Linux then; you are always talking about it” you say. Well I tried. When Fedora tries to start anaconda (the installation program your those not in the know) the screen just flashes red, green, blue, black, white, and gray. At first I thought well maybe it is testing the video card or something but after 20 minuets I decided that probably wasn’t the case. Sure I could use other distros but I like Fedora

So why does leopard suck?

  1. The Dock looks retarded so you have to hack it into a simi-non-retarded state. At least they kind of almost fixed stacks.
  2. Only about half of your settings are stored in your user folder, so you have to reset everything when you reinstall. Of course, Apple never really intends you to reinstall.
  3. Its slow and often unresponsive. Much like windows Leopard gets slower over time
  4. Spaces not only still sucks but there is now (or maybe I’m just now noticing it) a bug that will cause the Finder to stay in focus if you move to a space with nothing running in it and then move to another space where something is running. So, incase that doesn’t make sense I will give an example of what I mean. You have Firefox running in space 1 and you are looking at websites or something, in space 2 you have Thunderbird running, and in space 3 you have nothing runnig (just the Finder). If you move from space 1 to space 2 Thunderbird will come into focus, but if you move from space 1 to 3 and then to 2 the Finder will be in focus. Spaces uses already used keyboard comands… What?! Why would you do that?!
  5. They somehow made previewing things suck. If you want to preview audio or video the only controls you have are play and stop. Not to mention that sometimes their preview in Finder thing sometimes randomly opens random files when you didn’t tell it to.

I have one more general complaint about Apple which doesn’t really belong in the list above. Apples main purpos for creating new versions of there software is to make money by forcing people to upgrade by creating backward incompatibly (ie. new APIs which are only available with the new version of mac os). If you don’t update within a year or two most applications won’t run on older versions.
Apple even knows that Leopard sucks being that (much like Microsoft) they are already planning to release a new version soon (the only difference between the two being that Microsoft is completely incompetent and will much longer than anyone can guess to get their new version out). I would say I hope that this new version (snow leopard) is better but I don’t really care because the rumor is that it will be X86 only and I’m not going to buy a new mac just to use it.

P.S. Let me know if you have gotten Fedora to work with an IBook G4 and if so what version and what model Ibook


Posted by on June 26, 2008 in apple


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10 Things Apple Should Do

Of course, The one thing I would love to see Apple do is free Mac OS and be more supportive of various Free software movements, but that is never going to happen as long as Steve is still in charge (I wouldn’t bet on it even if her weren’t though). So I have settled for the top 10 things I would like to see apple to in the future that don’t, for the most part, have anything to do with my support of free software. Unfortunately we live in reality and thus must ourselves be realistic.

  1. Include all or at least most common GNU software with Mac OS You may be thinking “but he said he wasn’t going to talk about free software.” Well, this has nothing to do with the software being free, other than it makes it easier for Apple to include it. I think Apple needs to include this software because it is insanely useful. Now, I know a lot of people don’t use the terminal so they won’t see a lot of these programs but is it too much to ask to have gnupg installed with the OS?
  2. Include a fully functional terminal environment on the install CD What I mean by this is that the install CD is lacking some very useful tools. While trying to fix apples mistakes in leopard (transparent menu bar) I broke a plist. I booted up the install cd so I could edit the file I broke from the terminal. I was dismayed to find that I did not have access to many essential utilities. Its been a while so I don’t remember what all was missing but I do remember there was no emacs or vi and I believe that even grep was missing! To Apple’s credit I didn’t think to try nano or pico and surely at least one of those must be there. So a had to edit the text file with echo, cat, head, and tail. I guess I can just say I’m really hardcore or something.
  3. Include support for more codecs in QuickTime/iTunes/iPods, or at least allow third party codecs to be easily addedThird position doesn’t do this justice, however I am more concerned about numbers 1 and 2 than this so I (and you) will have to live with it at third. I ranted a while back about how apple will never allow Xiph formats. I believe that is still true but I would also like to see divx, WMV(as much as I hate it), and whatever else you may have.
  4. Package management I’m not really sure how anyone can use a computer with out some kind of package management. I use macports myself. One of the things Mac Os has going for it is that it is easy to use so why can’t Apple add a simple graphical package management system (hopefully with a more powerful command line interface aswell) and say to all of the people who aren’t geeks “Look at this you can install all kind of programs with one click of the mouse and all for free!.” The free part would assume that they would only include free software. It might make more sense for Apple to provide Free software for no charge and offer non-free software for a per download price (think iTunes store for software).
  5. Make spaces and stacks and the dock and the folder icons not suck I like spaces in respect to it being a planar multi-desktop utility and it was about time Apple added a multi-desktop utility by the way! However, I don’t like the way it switches desktops every time a program (normally iTunes) is being an attention whore and is fighting to be on top (as in the foremost window…) for no apparent reason other than it wants to be. I also don’t like that windows always maximize to the desktop they were opened on. It would me nice to be able to minimize a window and move to another window and maximize that window without spaces automatically changing back the space it originated from. To move a window to a different space you have to click and hold on the title bar and then move to a new space. For the way stacks should be see this page(I hate the way stacks shows a stack of the icons in the folder as its icon. It is impossible to discern anything useful from that mess). The dock looks stupid if it isn’t on the side of the desktop. I changed it so it looks like it does on the side even when its on the bottom. The new folder icons leopard uses make it very hard to tell multiple folders apart (see Arstechnica’s
    leopard review for more about this)
  6. Get a new filesystem HFS+ is old and outdated. Apple seems to be working on replacing it with ZFS. I’m not sure if that is really the best way to go, at least for desktop, but I can’t think of anything better off the top of my head (HAMMER might be a possibility when it comes out)
  7. Allow for full disk encryption Mac os uses File Vault to encrypt your user file right now and it sucks. It just makes your user folder a variable sized encrypted disk image. Disk images are not meant to be used like this. Not to meantion that every time I have tried to do it (on Tiger) I get an error telling me that my hard drive is too small and I need a few hundred more terrabytes of free space.
  8. Make a CDMA Iphone CDMA is better and I happen to already be a sprint customer :). Apple could also learn a thing or two from the OpenMoko while they are at it.
  9. Integrate X11 into Quartz I don’t know if this is possible or even if I’m talking about the right thing. That is as far as I can tell Quartz seems to be analogous to X11 but I’m not 100% sure it is. I occasionally like to use X11 applications and it can be annoying to have to have X running. It would be nice if Quartz could support X programs to some extent so that X never has to be run. Along with that It would also be nice to have native GTK support.
  10. Be more open I couldn’t help myself. Also I couldn’t think of any thing else (which is why it is 10).

Apple has a feedback page so if you agree with anything that I have said you might head over there and let them know about it.


Posted by on February 13, 2008 in apple


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Emacsen for your Mac

UPDATE I have leopard now so I thought I would let you know about emacs on leopard. It doesn’t work; Emacs 22.1 will not build. I did a quick google search and found a blog post that talks a bit about it. According to this site Aquamacs will work on leopard and there is an unofficial patch witch will get emacs building. I’m working on building it right now (cross your fingers).

Lets face it Mac OS doesn’t have a good gui text editor; sure there is Textedit but it saves rtfs which are completely useless for any real work. What you need is Emacs. There are a few really good Emacsen out there for mac os. (they’re all really just Gnu Emacs in different packages.)


Aquamacs is an aqua version of GNU Emacs. It has all the power of emacs but with a Mac OS like interface. Aquaemacs is a really good solution for someone who doesn’t already know how to use emacs and doesn’t necessarily want to learn how to learn the traditional way to use it. but wants the power of emacs.

Carbon Emacs

Carbon Emacs is just a binary distribution of GNU Emacs. If you know how to use Emacs and you are looking for a binary distribution, this might just be the Emacsen for you. I haven’t look at this one for a long time so it might have some specializations for Mac OS and I just forgot.

GNU Emacs

Emacs 22.1 has Carbon support so if you want Emacs and you don’t have a problem with building in from source I would definitely suggest going this route. Its really pretty easy. After you download and decompress emacs move to the directory in the terminal and type:

./configure –enable-carbon-app (should be dashdash, stupid wordpress)
sudo make install

As far as I know every option I’ve presented so far is carbon. Right now all this means is that you can’t get a 64-bit version and they won’t be able to use the new libraries apple introduced in leopard (aquamacs would likely be the only one that would want to). However, future versions of Mac OS might drop carbon all together, meaning Emacs will have to be ported to cocoa. I don’t think there will be a problem using any of these with leopard but I can’t guarantee that as I don’t have leopard myself.

I have to admit that I don’t often use Emacs on my mac. I have it installed and now that I’m getting more used to using it (I use it on Linux) I might start using it more on my mac. What I do use is smultron. It doesn’t have all of the power of Emacs but it is nice and I know it will work with leopard.

Don’t know much about emacs? check out the last post I on emacs for more information.

If I have forgotten your favorite Emacsen or just said something stupid let me know in the comments.

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Posted by on January 22, 2008 in apple, emacs


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Why Apple will never support ogg/flac

have been wondering for some time why Apple won’t just freaking add ogg,flac, or any other Xiph formates to iTunes and iPods. It just hit me, it really is quite obvious; they want people to use their own proprietary formats. They don’t want people to be able to control their music because that is bad for their profits.

I need a new mp3 player (I have a 4GB ipod mini now) so I looked around a little bit, and I couldn’t find anything that is as nice as an ipod but also supports Xiph formats. Some of the Archos stuff is really cool but they are expensive and I can’t find them in stores so I can try before I buy. If there is anyone out there with one of these or something better please let me know about it. The other route is to just get an ipod and deal with it or install linux or what ever that firm wear thing is. I have done both of these things with my current ipod, but I got ride of them to save space.

Anyway, I digress. Apple wants to force people into their hardware, software, and music store. I for one only buy music on cds because I am a simi-audiophile and only willing to pay for music if I can get it in a lossless form. Apple, according to Slashdot, is preparing to offer a lossless iTunes store. I, of course, will still not buy this because the music will be DRMed (DRM= Digital Restrictions Management) and only available in Apple’s format; I won’t buy music that I may not be able to use in the future.

Die for the metal not the format.


Posted by on December 18, 2007 in apple


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