|« August 2014|
One of the things that came along with Apple’s new product announcements yesterday was an updated set of preview pages for Tiger, the next version of OS X that’s due out in a few months. No mention of Sherlock, not that anyone should be surprised. But what struck me was the new info about Dashboard. They’ve added some new widgets to the lineup. Stocks. Yellow Pages. Dictionary and Thesaurus. Language translation. Flight tracking. A friend who watched the keynote told me that Steve demonstrated a prototype widget from eBay.
Where have I seen that lineup before? Oh yeah! In the Sherlock toolbar.
Dashboard is the new Sherlock.
That’s fine as far as it goes … but will Dashboard fare any better than Sherlock? (I won’t discuss their similar origins.) I think Dashboard solves most of the problems that harmed Sherlock:
I always thought Sherlock was a cool idea with an implementation that didn’t make the grade. I look forward to using its successor.
I'm sitting in on a "webinar" today (how I loathe that word!) hosted by The Conference Depot using some software called On-Site Pro. They recommend that you test your browser compatibility, etc. before the meeting starts, which I did. I was greeted by this:
You are running the Mac OS X Operating System. On-Site Pro no longer officially supports this Operating System.
The application may work for you with limitations. However, for a better meeting experience, please upgrade to a Windows 98/2000/NT4/XP operating system.
Even if I don't like it, I can understand them not supporting OS X. (Although I suspect that "no longer" is stretching the truth ... I doubt they ever did support it.) But calling a switch to Windows an upgrade -- that's going too far. (And never mind that this "upgrade" would require buying new hardware, which they fail to mention.)
I have an XP box here at work that I could use -- but I want to see how serious the limitations actually are. More later.
Update: The limitations are pretty serious: the software didn't work at all. Good thing I had a Windows box handy ... but here's to the day when I won't have to.
For a while, at least, I've set aside the Powerbook during the day, and am exclusively a Windows guy while at work. Mostly it's not bad; the annoyances that have always been a part of Windows are only slightly worsened by the past year's association with OS X (and I've continued to use Windows a lot during that time, anyway). But there's one thing I'm having a very hard time living without: iChat.
It's amazing how subtle user interface design is, and how important it is. When I first saw iChat, the only thing that was noticeably different about it was the little speech bubbles, and I saw them as useless eye candy. I was sure the first thing I would do when I got iChat would be to turn them off. And it was the first thing I did -- but I almost immediately turned them on again. The bubbles, with their different colors and different alignment (your own icon is on the right, the other person's on the left) makes it much easier to distinguish different parts of the conversation.
Now that I'm using AIM again, I'm noticing all kinds of things that (like a comfy Eames chair) you don't appreciate until they're gone:
Those are mostly in order of priority. If anyone knows of a Windows-based AIM-compatible chat program that supports most of these features, especially the ones near the top of the list, please let me know.
You've probably noticed that I like iChat. One of my favorite things about it is that it displays any non-default status message right in the buddy list, and many people use those messages to indicate their current whereabouts, etc.
James uses them for self-expression.
This morning I was copying something to my iDisk, and it bogged down. I had to get to work, so I tried clicking Cancel, but the Finder was unresponsive. I finally had to just unplug and go.
When I got to work and opened the machine again, things were still stuck. I tried a restart, but 10 minutes into the shutdown process, looking at a machine that wasn't doing anything, I powered off. The fsck on reboot found a lot of things to fix. I hope all my data is OK, but in any case, it's time for the safeguard of the journalling filesystem.
[self setWindowFrameAutosaveName: @"LinkWindow"];
It's so simple that there's no reason not to do it. It took just a couple of minutes to add that to Blapp.
I noticed fairly quickly that the crashes seem to always be related to modem use: they happen either while the modem is disconnecting, or very quickly thereafter. And I also noticed, shortly before the crashes started happening, that disconnecting was taking a lot longer than it used to. Something's up.
After playing around for a while, I figured this out: if I unplug the phone cord from my laptop before I tell the modem to disconnect, the machine won't crash. So far, that's worked. Keeping my fingers crossed.
This morning, it happened again. Two crashes in four days. *sigh*. How disappointing.
Update: Again tonight. Time to figure out how to turn on crash dumps.