Category: Apple

  • Why OS X Needs a Native OpenOffice Port

    MacMerc pointed to a status update on the native OSX port of

    It’s been over a year and a half since this page was last updated, and as of recent memory, all engineering for Mac OS X has been focused on X11 graphics, that is, Mac OS X (X11). Without significant contributions of time and talent this will most likely remain the case.

    No engineering work has been performed on Quartz or Aqua development within the project since mid 2003. For the last year and a half all engineering work focusing on a native Mac OS X version has been concentrated in the NeoOffice/J project, using a combination of Java and Carbon technologies to replace X11.

    This is a bit of a bummer for Mac OS X users. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have a clean and solid office suite with good data interchange that runs on Win32, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac (using X11). The problem with requiring OS X users to have X11 installed is that most don’t. Of course the hardcore geeky OS X users know of Apple’s X11, XonX, and fink. Unfortunately the people that should really see this amazing suite: the non-technical masses, aren’t going to see it en masse until it’s a point and click native install.

    I totally understand the arcitectural decision for the mainstream OOo release to rely on X11. It’s solid, it’s standard, it’s tested, and it’s going to be around until the end of time. At the same time, Mac users really need a native, sexy port of their own. I’m hoping that NeoOffice/J, with its GPL license and associated political issues, can fill the void. They’re using Java and some other fancy bits to get around the need for an X server. They also seem to be very early in their release cycle, but I’m hoping that NeoOffice matures quickly and becomes that native free office suite that I know that OS X users need.

    Of course right now you’re thinking that with iWork who needs anything else? I guess that’s right as long as you don’t need a spreadsheet or if you don’t have $79 to shell out for iWork, or if you’d rather use an open source product.

  • Mac Mini Peer Pressure

    The Mac mini is a gateway drug. Everybody’s doing it.

  • Meet the Mac Mini

    Here is a collection of links with more information about the Mac Mini:

  • Keynote Frenzy

    So begins a tradition that I usually spend either at Apple’s Reston, VA office [pdf] or online at #mobitopia watching the quicktime stream. This year I’ll be madly refreshing the dozen or so sites I mentioned the other day and I’ll also be lurking in #mercworld on with the hopes that someone at the keynote has batteries long enough for “one more thing”

    What I expect

    • iTunes Flash – 1GB coming in at $149ish (which would be a great place to be: less than the mini butmore in cost and value than a 256 or 512 meg player for $100)
    • A solid ship date for Tiger (and various demos) and mention of iWork.
    • Talk of (and demos of) the Moto-Apple phone which is really just a mobile phone that can consume iTunes store stuff.
    • Minor speed bumps in Powermacs, Powerbooks, iBooks, the 80gb iPod, and general shuffling of the iPod line.
    • I expect Steve Jobs to say something along the lines of “Over the years we’ve brought you some of the best products on the planet. In 2005, we’re going to bring them to everyone else.”
    • one more thing… the cheapmac. I hope the price point will hit $499 but I wouldn’t be suprised to see it higher.

    What I don’t expect

    • The G5 powerbook
    • A tablet ibook
    • Newton 2.0
    • A major unrumored announcement

    I’ll be updating this post throughout the day as information comes in, so stay tuned.

    10:26AM EST: MacNN’s barebones Macworld coverage page is up.

    10:29AM EST: Mac OS Rumors has a dedicated page for coverage.

    10:50AM EST: MacMerc has gone Lite.

    11:31AM EST: Erik points out, though it’s not registered to Apple.

    11:44AM EST: This iPod Micro story is a fake..

    12:15PM EST: Steve was a little late but the show has begun.

    So far there’s been an hour of WWDC wrapup, the mac mini, and the ipod shuffle (“great for podcasts.”

    I could have easily skipped the first hour, especially with my only feed being IRC channels and websites. I am extremely impressed with the form factor on the mac mini and on the price point of the ipod shuffle.

    The Unofficial Apple Weblog has excellent coverage of iWork ’05. I’d love to see it in action.

  • Keynote Delayed by 9 Hours

    The Mac Observer notes that Steve’s MacWorld keynote will (hopefully) be available around 9pm tomorrow evening, almost 9 hours after the actual webcast. In other news, Mac Rumors has a good wrapup of the rumors that are out there. It looks like the flash-based iPod is going to happen according to some detective work done by

    I’m still holding my wallet for the cheap mac…

  • Preparing for a Keynote Without a Webcast

    I’ve made peace with the fact that there will be no live webcast tomorrow Tuesday. Instead, I’ve prepared a collection of bookmarks to ‘open in tabs’ and refresh as neccesary during the keynote. Here’s what I’ve armed myself with so far:

    I’d love to know if anyone that will be there plans to be on IRC during the keynote (until their phone battery dies anyway), or if I’m missing any crucial sites that I should be watching tomorrow.

    Update: Thanks to Jonathan Greene for pointing out that MacMerc will have live coverage at #mercworld on I’ll be there!

  • Comeon Steve, We Need Our Feed

    For the past several years I’ve tried to follow the big MacWorld keynotes by Steve Jobs. I’ve sometimes watched the Quicktime stream from home, other times watched it from a satellite viewing location such as Apple’s campus in Northern Virginia. In the leadup to MWSF05 I’ve been getting a little nervous that they haven’t announced satellite coordinates, viewing locations, or a stream location. AppleInsider may have an explanation.

    They cite a memo exerpted at MacInTouch:

    Apple will not be making satellite coordinates available. Although the keynote WILL be available on our web site – it will NOT be available until sometime AFTER the keynote is over. They do NOT have a time determined, so it may not be immediately after the keynote is over.

    Wow, that really sucks. I’m sure that Steve is pissed at the thunder-stealing that the rumors sites tend to do before keynotes. (Hint: don’t sick the laywers on them until after the keynote, it’s a dead giveaway.) Couple that with BillG’s miserable keynote the other day and Steve might just be a little spooked.

    Seriously tho, I’m reather bummed about this. Watching the stream and drooling over tech I can’t afford has become a semi-annual tradition for me. Especially if they are indeed rolling out a Mac in my price range, I want to see it in real time.

    This move could really backfire on Apple, as they’re going to instantly piss off a ton of geeks who might be thinking about that $500 price point. Then again, Apple might just be heroes if they reinstate the feed at the last second…

    Update: In the past when I’ve not been able to plunk down in front of a Quicktime stream I have found that MacNN tends to have very good realtime coverage of MacWorld. In the past they have updated their live coverage every few minutes during the keynote. As always, Frank is on top of this news too.

  • /me is back.

    It’s been a long couple of months and I apologize for the hiatus. It’s a long story for another day, but lets put it this way, I’m back! I’ve moved from Radio Userland to WordPress. I promise that I’ll share my (semi-painful and procrastination-ridden) migration process in due time.

    The .css that is currently driving the site is Dots by Alex King, which I’m currently tweaking. I’ve still got some random bits that I need to find and url rewrite to fit the new engine, but I’ve done my best to keep the old permalinks. If you find something that’s whacky, please drop me a line at matt at the domain Thanks!

  • Rendezvous to be Renamed OpenTalk?


    Back in August, Slashdot covered Tibco suing Apple over the Rendezvous trademark. AppleInsider now reports that the lawsuit has been settled and Rendezvous’ new name will be OpenTalk.

    Ouch.  If this is true it’s going to be a major setback for Apple’s Muticast DNS (which is already known as both Rendezvous and Zeroconf).  The timing could also not be much worse.  Rendezvous/Zeroconf is poised to find its way in to daily use across platforms.  Apple recently released a technology preview of Rendezvous on Windows, re-released Rendezvous for Linux, and made awesome use of Rendezvous in their Airport Express with Airtunes product.

    This will be a major blow to a technology that already has confusing dual-branding.  I do like the retro throwback reference to Appletalk though.

  • Multiplatform Rendezvous: Big News

    Apple opened the Rendezvous floodgates yesterday with new multiplatform Rendezvous releases. Most notable was the technology preview of Rendezvous for Windows XP/2000. It ships with Howl-like IE integration (Russ wants a Firefox plugin), but more important are the hooks. The platform ships with .dlls so that developers can bring on the apps with Rendezvous/Zeroconf integration. The package also ships with .jars so that Java developers can have access.

    This really is big news. Now we Windows users can become full-fledged citizens of the Rendezvous world.

  • Panther on My Laptop

    Today I installed Panther on my laptop using PearPC 0.2.0. I’ve got quite an army of aging Mac hardware, but nothing that I can coax OSX on to. Over the years I’ve installed the OSX Beta and several versions of OSX on G3/G4 hardware, but never my own. I’ve always been in love with it, but only today have I actually been able to poke around and fall for it completely.

    Panther is a wonderful thing. OSX is a wonderful thing. The fact that I can run both of those on my Athlon XP 2500+ laptop using an open source emulation program is absolutely wonderful. Some parts are faster than others, and it’s nowhere near usable for everyday tasks, but I’m running OSX on my AMD laptop. There is some Zen OS-fu to that.

    I’ve been ambiently looking for some older but usable G3/G4 capable hardware so that I can run OSX on a dedicated native machine. My new love affair means that I really have to find some hardware so that OSX can become part of my daily life.

    To the PearPC dev heads: you are amazing. I am thorougly impessed and in awe at the ablility to run a modern OS in emulation at a slow yet tolerable speed. It’s only going to get better from here. Networking didn’t work under Windows in the previous release, but I can assure you that I’ve been giving Safari a workout under 0.2.0.

    Rock. On.

  • ADC Reference Library

    Apple’s new reference library for developers looks amazing.  Now if I only had some Mac hardware that could successfully boot OSX…

  • Macworld Warmup

    It’s that time again.  The infamous “mini-iPod” is the rumor de jour.  I would really like to see something like an affordable $99-$199 2-4 gig mini-iPod, but would not be suprised if this rumor goes either way.  Of course standard rumors also apply: updated G5 desktops, and iLife update, maybe a rev to one of the notebook lines (though we’re probably some time away from a G5 lappy).  Then in the left wings we also have the standard far-out rumors like the second coming of Newton and something like an iTablet.

    Here’s a quick selection of news sites that will be covering the event.  You can also watch for yourself via the Quicktime feed:

    • Mac News Network will have a dedicated page listing updates as they happen.
    • Mac OS Rumors is speculating as usual.
    • Mac Central has a list of product announcements and such.
    • Think Secret seems to be speculating a little less than usual this time around.
    • Macintouch is gearing up for coverage.
    • MacMinute plans to have live coverage of they keynote.
    • I’m sure that Macsurfer will be covering the event, but there are just so many links on the page.
  • QT 6.5 Supports 3GPP Out of the Box!

    Woohoo!  Anil points out that 3GPP support is included in Quicktime 6.5 by default.  I was rather annoyed that you had to download an addon to get 3GPP support in the previous release, but it is A Good Thing that support is there by default.

    With support for 3GPP by default, mobile phone users can post .3gp files directly from their phones to the web without having to worry about converting them over to something else.

    To celebrate, here is a short 3GPP movie.  The audio track goes “This is a 3GPP file of a cup of tea.”  Yep, that’s as creative as I get before the sun comes up.

  • iTablet? Maybe. Probably Not.


    Robert Cringely is pretty convinced that Apple is going to come out with a Tablet Mac, possibly as early as January.

    Cringley says more.  It’s one of those things that I wish was true, but wouldn’t be suprised if it is not.  The Mac tablet and the reintroduction of the Newton always seem to be on top of the rumor lists.  I’d love to see a Mac tablet just as much as I’d like to see the Newton come back, or see other random rumors come true, but they don’t always.

  • View Your Site Under Safari

    Dan Vine has created a sweet little tool that allows you to see your site as it would be seen in Safari.  Check it out at Through the eyes of a Mac browser.  You can see at the right.

    I’d really love to know more about how it works, but here is the jist from Dan’s site:

    Although I am keeping the source-code private for the time being, I can and shall devulge the basics. This page interfaces to a MySQL database from which a web-service feeds. The iMac parses the requests and then pushes the data through a maze of shell, perl, python and applescripts. The result is returned in the form of a PNG to the requester’s browser window.

    Glue, baby!  Cool stuff, Dan.

  • XPostFacto Boots Panther On Older Macs

    The latest version of XPostFacto has initial support for booting Panther on older Macs:

    XPF now includes limited support for Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) on the 7300 – 9600 (and friends), as well as the Wallstreet Powerbooks and Beige G3 (with some limitations related to video). The original Powerbook G3 (Kanga) is not yet supported, but I will be working on it.

    Of course we’re still in Alpha release mode, so it may work for you and it may not.  I sent in $10 to fund development a few weeks ago, as eventually I should ne able to boot a recent version of OSX on my hopped up G4’d 8500.

  • Great G3 Desktop Deals

    Dealmac has two excellent deals on older B&W G3 Macs: a G3/300 (128/6/CD/Zip) for $299.95 and a G3/350 (192/6/DVD) for $349.99 from MegaMacs.  Both of these come with 17″ Studio Displays.  I consider both of these excellent deals and would jump on one of them if I were liquid for it.  I’m trying to scrounge together enough to get my hands on something to properly run Panther on. 

    XPostFacto for Panther should make it work on my 8500 soon, but it’s going to be dog slow if it will work at all.  I’m hoping that something really cheap crops up on my local craigslist.

    If anyone else out there is looking for user Macs, Baucom Computers is another great source.  Right now they’ve got some attractively priced G3 and G4 desktops.

  • Apple’s Panther Developer Deal

    Apple is running a pretty good deal for ADC members.  Until November 21, you can pick up Panther and an ADC Select membership for $500.  You will also get Xcode (of course), early access to software, a developer hardware discount, six ADC TV coupons, two code-level technical support incidents, access to Apple’s compatability lab, plus all of the other goodies available to ADC Select members.

    As Erik pointed out, you’re pretty much getting Panther for free with a Select membership.

  • Dive Into Panther

    Mark Pilgrim explores Panther in 100 screenshots and insight to boot.  I love the new finder, and Panther has become simultaneously more Mac-like and more Windows-like.

    I’m drooling over here.