April 30, 2005

Trotting out tiger

Yeah, like every other mac person on the planet, I went and got tiger last night. Installed the thing without a problem on the 15" powerbook and gave it a spin. Didn't even take that long. The obligatory first impressions:

They screwed with the look'n'feel again, for no reason I can particularly see. I think we're up to four separate possible looks if you count the dashboard widgets, maybe five with the spotlight GUI element. While I won't claim to be able to design or tweak this sort of thing, I do know it's a good idea to not screw around with it for no good reason, and I can't see a good reason that they did.

Carbon emacs died, and none of the emacsen I found through versiontracker (not that I looked too hard) worked either. Relinking from the CVS source I had worked OK, though. This is not a surprise -- I've found emacs to die at the drop of a point release. I think well over half the 10.2 and 10.3 releases forced me to do this.

Camino wasn't working. Turns out that the MRJ plugin I'd installed was at fault. Throwing that away got it working again.

The DivX Quicktime plugin I'd installed last week looks like it might be dysfunctional too, so I ended up throwing that out. (It might be OK, but I've not tried it again after it was looking to be killing emacs)

Panther, but not Jagwyre, will mount up optical drives on laptops booted in target disk mode. This is handy if you happen to have a machine that can be upgraded but doesn't have a DVD drive in it. Pop the media in another mac with a DVD drive, reboot that machine in target disk mode, and connect with firewire cables.

So far, I find the single biggest new thing I like in Tiger is the provided Oxford American dictionary. And yes, consider that as pathetic as you might want. All the new toys, and I find most of 'em ignorable except for the dictionary. I do like that dashboard's mapped to a non-overloaded Fkey on the powerbook. (F11 and F12 don't need the fn key qualifier) I am interested in seeing how Parrot fares when built with gcc 4.0, though.

Interestingly, the upgrade preserved custom system-wide startup items. I'd installed Postgres 8.0.1 a while back and set it to start on system startup. After tiger was in I popped into PSQL without thinking about things, and it was up and running. I didn't notice anything wasn't out of the ordinary right away, which was nice.

Oh, and the menu extras widget thingie still works, so Cee Pee You is still functional. Yay! (As is Temperature Monitor) Not that you can get this anywhere any more, but I don't much care. Yes, it is terribly geeky that I find having the CPU percentage in the menu bar terrifically useful.

So, overall... eh. Ultimately worth it, I expect, but for now I'm happy that it didn't break anything. The Jabber integration into iChat might be useful if it does chatroom stuff -- I'll find that out monday when I get into the office. If it does I'll be happy to toss Adium and cut one more app out of the pile. (Now if it just did MSN Messenger too, and multiple AIM and MSN personalities at once, I'd be really happy)

Posted by Dan at 12:59 PM | Comments (2)

April 18, 2005

Treasures of the Shub-internet

There's some truly amazing things on the internet, some of which even have clothes on still. In this case, it's pop music about Mad Scientists and fractals from Jonathan Coulton. Oh, and IKEA. The EP's available from CD Baby, and the Smoking Monkey CD's actually on the iTunes Music Store. I'd recommend running (or, rather clicking) right out and buying it, since it makes the world just that much more surreal, and that's a good thing.

This one's courtesy of Miracle of Science, a darned nifty web comic. (Mmmm, mad scientists!) As is Radioactive Panda which has nothing to do with music, but one can't have too many mad scientists. (And in that spirit, I should mention that Phil Foglio's gone on-line comicing with Agatha Clay, Girl Genius, so go there too)

Posted by Dan at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

The view from up here is amazing

It's truly incredible what you can see when you look down from the heights of idiocy -- the vistas are breathtaking.

Right now I'm looking at a wad of virus-generated mail bounced back to me because it failed an SPF check at the receiver's end.

Yep, that's right. Someone configured their mail server to check and see if inbound mail had a forged From address and, if it found that it was, bounce it back. Back to the forged from. You know, the one you just checked and found thatit didn't come from.

Some days people truly puzzle me.

Posted by Dan at 01:30 PM | Comments (3)