I have moved my blog to Wordpress at theunixgeek.wordpress.com. I will still be checking back periodically on this one as well, though. 19 April 2009


Merging Mkdir and Cd | 280 Slides Interview | I Switched to KDE 4

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Monday, June 30, 2008

riverstream project begins

It's begun. Click here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Snow Leopard to be released near 11 March 2009?

The QuickTime 7.6 About screen in Snow Leopard 10A96 says that it will expire 11 March 2009, a Wednesday. Maybe Apple doesn't want to release it on the 13th, a Friday (get it? Friday the 13th?). If so, this wouldn't be the first time Apple holds back a product release.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Booting of a Live CD without a CD or an Emulator

Yes, it's possible to boot off a live CD without any burnable discs or an emulator, especially if you have Mac OS X installed.

  1. Open Disk Utility in /Applications/Utilities/
  2. Create a partition just over the size of the disc image.
  3. Select your hard drive in the left table view and click on the Restore tab on the right.
  4. In the Source field, drag in the image from the left table view or select it through the selection dialog; for the destination, drag in your partition from the left side.
  5. Press Restore.
  6. Reboot, holding down the Option (alt) key.
  7. Select your Live CD partition.
  8. Enjoy your Live CD!
If anyone knows how to do this on other OS's please leave it in the comments and it may be added here.

Snow Leopard 10A96 Review

Screenshots at the end of the post!

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A96. I got some screenshots (see the end of this post), and here's what I noticed about my experience:

it really seemed a lot faster. With the battery at 98%, there were 5 hours 11 minutes left! Some screenshots were taken of the setup assistant and now instead of the little "Welcome" movie playing at first boot full screen, it runs in a window.

Looking at System Preferences, the Desktop & Screen Saver pane was redesigned, and screen savers only work under 32-bit (or sysprefs can only set the screen saver under 32-bit mode). There is nothing really especially new in the system preferences, except a lot of things only work in 32-bit mode. And as I checked out the Apple menu with System Preferences running, you can force quit the specific app if you're holding down shift (this is probably in other OS X versions, though).

The Finder was really interesting: now in the path bar you can change folder sizes on the fly, without having to press command+j for the options. It's also interesting to note that windows' close, minimize, and zoom buttons have higher contrast/brightness (I'm not really sure of the terms). Also, menu selections are a brighter blue.

Also noticed was a new font panel and options for Spaces allocation in the Dock. Not only that, but the login screen is by default blue instead of the Aurora wallpaper. QuickTime is still version 7.6, not yet QuickTime X. Preview's PDF sidebar is redesigned and looks cleaner by using smaller font.

The most annoying bugs I found are that dragging a file into a folder doesn't cause the folder to change into the open folder icon, indicating it's ready to accept the file, but accepts the files anyway. Also, you can't drag a file from a stack into the trash anymore.

For "putting a pause button on new features," Apple was fibbing, but I guess that's a good thing.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

openSUSE 11 Review

I know it's a day early, but I was able to get my hands on a copy of the release version of openSUSE 11 and I must say it's a really good distribution! Here are three lists of what I noticed, what I liked, and what I didn't like about this new release (the GNOME live CD, specifically):
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

What I noticed
  • new icon for the home folder
  • boot speed - it was pretty fast for a live CD
  • new OpenOffice.org splash Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
  • Cheese - like Photo Booth but for Linux-compatible systems (but for some reason doesn't come preinstalled with Ubuntu)
  • Monsoon bittorrent client
  • Tasque task manager - for use with Remember the Milk
  • Default GNOME, openSUSE 10.2/3 wallpapers, the latter of which are available in HD and non-HD formats (one has greater resolution than the other)
  • openSUSE-related bookmarks in Firefox 3 Beta 5
  • screen resolution applet in the panel
What I liked
  • comes with a "Quick Start" PDF in the home folder
  • automatically recognized my monitor's best screen resolution
  • latest version of GNOME (2.22)
  • fast OpenOffice load time
  • The GNOME default wallpaper is finally available in a distribution! FTW!
  • Out-of-the-box support for Asian text
  • XGL
What I didn't like
  • Empty bin and public_html folders in the home folder without explanation (all the distros I have ever used don't have these)
  • I wasn't able to get desktop effects running automatically because of my nVidia card... again... (but this can be fixed easily here)
  • Num Lock isn't automatically enabled, like on every single GNOME distro
Overall, it was a great distro and I really enjoyed it! I would strongly recommend everyone try out the gold master.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The McCANSA-Brazil License

There's a new license in town: McCANSA-Brazil, short for Modified creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Brazil. This license is designed for any use, froom artwork to music, from video to source code, unlike many licenses that are more specific. For example, I use this license for all my Flickr stuff unless otherwise noted.

For the more curious, here are the license's contents:
1. Implications clause
2. Distribution clause
3. License Use clause
4. Agreement clause
5. Source Code clause
6. Morality clause
7. Location clause
8. Brazil clause
9. License Waiver clause

Please note that this license is copyrighted and is not released under itself.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Adding Address Book Contacts from Mail

I was recently about to send an email to someone and wanted to add them to my Address Book in OS X, but I was surprised to see that there was no "Add to Address Book" option anywhere, especially since there were "Edit Address" and "Remove Address" options. So I sent this feedback to Apple:
Since you can remove and edit Address Book contacts from Mail, it would be nice to be able to type in an email and select an "Add to Address Book" option somewhere.
If you agree, please also send it to Apple, digg this post, or save it to del.icio.us

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Snow Leopard Build 10A96

In this first developer preview of Snow Leopard there isn't anything that really stands out yet, except that System Preferences shows whether or not the system is run at 64-bit (probably part of Grand Central) and some apps have been updated (Address Book is 5.0, Mail is 4.0, Photo Booth is 3.0, etc). And it's official: Snow Leopard is 10.6

It's interesting to note how some apps were already being worked on by the end of May this year.

Screenshots from OrchardSpy

And just for fun: if get screenshots without the title bar (Command+Shift+4) and change its icon and file name and you can say to your friends, "Look I have Snow Leopard" when you really just have, well, Leopard.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Safari 4 Review

Note (24 Feb. 2009): This latter half of this review is from an earlier version of Safari 4. Here are my opinions on the public beta:
  1. Putting tabs on the top of the window was really smart; now there's a lot more space for actual browsing. However, you have to select the upper-right corner of tabs to move them, unlike in Safari 3 where you could move them by selecting them anywhere.
  2. The X to close tabs is hidden in non-active tabs until you mouse over them.
  3. I still find Cover Flow useless in most cases, but I really like its implementation as a Bookmarks or History browser.
Original Post (Safari 4 Developer Preview):

I got the Safari 4 Developer Preview, and I have to say there are a couple (literally) of new features I find very interesting, and the only new user-end features I found (Squirrelfish is a nice addition, I saw some speed improvement):

  1. New tabs open your homepage - it's no longer the plain white page
  2. Save as Web Application under the File menu - it's a very good idea. I hate it when I'm reading something in Wikipedia and Safari crashes. Now, if something like that does happen, it's OK because Wikipedia is a separate app (see image). I find the end result's interface much nicer than Fluid's. The apps are saved in /Applications/Safari Web Applications
Overall, it's very nice, but being about 3 MB bigger I don't understand how it fits in with Snow Leopard giving us more space for our "photos and videos." Speaking of Snow Leopard, some people already got their builds....

Tracking Snow Leopard Development

I have decided to track Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard development and here is the first step.

Each time Apple updates the Snow Leopard page I'm going to get a screenshot of it. Each time a new build comes out, I'll point out highlights. Here's the first archive of the Snow Leopard page as of 10 June 2008 (by the way, the picture's barely a megabyte - I'm surprised at the compression size of PNG's - hence the name Portable Network Graphics).

Click on the image for a larger view.

Now we wait for a developer build.

Edit: Here's the Snow Leopard Server page as an extra addition.

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Look

I felt that The Unix Geek was in time for a new look (last time it changed was in December 2007). So here's a brighter feel to it. I call the old look the "Tiger Banner", the previous one the "Leopard Banner", and this one is the "Topics Banner" (pun intended- TOPics, terminal is running top).

Here's a screenshot of what the blog looked like in the Leopard banner. Check the December 2007 posts for a peek of the Tiger banner.

Leopard banner:

Topics Banner:

Confirmed: OS X Snow Leopard Will Be Darker

It's pretty much confirmed that OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" will be darker. Just take a look at this screenshot of mobileMe and how dark the toolbar is. I bet Snow Leopard is gonna follow. So I guess this person I talked to was right. 

I reached this conclusion because it's very coincidental that two sources imply dark interfaces and that Apple generally keeps similar interfaces among products. 

And just another note: I've started the Wikipedia article Mac OS X v10.6.

OS X 10.6 Pre-WWDC Secrets

I was able to contact someone on IRC who said they happened to have an early seed of OS X 10.6; here's the info I was able to get from them before they went offline:

Q: what's different?
A: mostly just speed/stability, but the ui is going darker
Q: like iTunes?
A: darker
Q: send me a screenshot plz
A: can't it's all marked
A: with user information
Q: [use an image editor to] blur out the parts with your info on it
A: it's more advanced than that
Q:go into the guest account :)
A: they've thought of that
Q: and where'd you get it from
A: I can't tell you that
Q: why can't you tell me?
A: I can't tell you why, but it has to do with the new ui
Q: what about the new ui?

then the person left. Seems interesting. Not very reliable, though

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Joined Technorati

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Saturday, June 7, 2008


took me about 2 minutes in Google and Seashore  ;)

Friday, June 6, 2008

280 Slides Interview

I got a nice chance on IRC to interview Tom Robinson, one of the coders of 280 Slides, the online version of Keynote written in Objective-J, an Objective-C port in JavaScript. Cappuccino is the name of the ports of the Cocoa classes (nice choice for a name, in my opinion). Here's the interview. A podcast with another interview is available on Ajaxian.

Q: How'd you get started with the Cappuccino project?
A: We started it in college?

Q: When was that?
A: About 3 years ago.

Q: The Objective-J website currently says "coming soon." How soon is soon?
A: We're not exactly sure when "soon" will be but hopefully in the next month or two.

Q: Did you copy/paste real Keynote code or did you make it up and got it just like Keynote?
A: We wrote all the code ourselves.

Q: How'd you get the interface elements?
A: We hired a graphics designer, and did a lot of it ourselves, and purchased some of the icons.

Q: What about the interface controls? Did you write an NSButton class, NSToolbar class, etc?
A: Oh, yeah, those are all in AppKit.j, er, .sj

Q: Why .sj? Why not just .j?
A: If you look closely there's two different formats; .sj is sort of an archive of preprocessed code.

Q: Oh, and what sort of licensing are you shooting for?
A: We currently plan to make it open source. We haven't decided on a license, but we're looking for input from the community. We're considering the GPL, apache, BSD, etc.
R: I recommend the GNU Affero General Public License, especially since the code is very network-related.

As a final wrap-up, congrats and kudos to the Cappucino/Objective-J/280 Slides team! Good luck on your efforts; keep it up!

Objective-J Leaked

280 Slides apparently is a web application written in Objective-C. Wait, how does that work? Just look at some of its source code: this and this. Well, after a while of googling, I was able to find the Objective-J code that was so well hidden. Here it is on their own server. Here's a backup in case it's moved.

The application is very Keynote-like, and I like it like that. I guess this Objective-J thing could be considered to be Cocoa for the web, but what about all the  NSClasses? I guess somebody's gonna have to write those up.

Good luck!

And thanks, 280 North!

Edit: apparently some people have already gotten their hands on it. here
Update: Foundation and AppKit

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Programming Salaries

I was recently wondering what the average salary per specific programming language or API is. Here are 18 very popular programming languages, 4 popular operating systems, and 7 popular APIs and their average salary in the United States (I think that's the country where Indeed was getting the info from). Valid as of the date of this post.  Source

Programming Languages
Haskell $198,000 (added 10 June 2008)
Erlang $99,000 (added 8 June 2008)
Objective-C $82,000
Pascal $81,000
C++ $80,000
SmallTalk $80,000
TCL $80,000
C# $79,000
Java $79,000
Python $78,000
Perl $77,000
Ruby $74,000
COBOL $73,000 (added due to demand)
JavaScript $72,000
ColdFusion $64,000 (8 June 2008)
Delphi $64,000
PHP $64,000
Visual Basic $64,000
C $60,000

Operating Systems
GNU/Linux $86,000 (maybe because of so many web servers?)

Solaris $80,000 (added 8 June 2008)

Microsoft Windows $55,000

Mac OS X $51,000

Win32 $86,000
Tcl/Tk $81,000
Qt $76,000
GTK+ $75,000
.NET $71,000 ($75,000 for "Visual Studio")
Cocoa $43,000 ($60,000 for "Mac Programming")

(organized by higher-paying salary, then alphabetically)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Giving up with Microsoft

Well, that was enough for the Microsoft posts. Now, onto more Unix; Microsoft isn't what this blog's readers want to know about.

Anyway, I'm happy that KDE 4.1 is coming along and I'll be downloading it on my Mac as soon as it's available as a final release (release candidates/alphas/betas have never worked well for me).

OpenSUSE 11 seems promising - I'll be sure to try it out when it's released.

Oh, and can't forget WWDC's coming in less than a week! Will we see an OS X 10.6 beta? I sure hope so.... Oh, and my guesses are that codename "Lion" will be the last OS X version. What will OS 11 be? OS Xi? OS XI? or iX? :P or will Apple rename it to the iOS (hey, Steve Jobs is the iCEO!)

Ok, enough with this coming-back rant and onto Unix posts!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Switching over to Windows Live Services

I went over to http://home.live.com/ to see if the services were worth it. For its nice price of free, it has about the same features as .mac and gets the job done well. In fact, I'm typing this on Windows Live Writer and I'm forwarding my Gmail mail over to my new Hotmail account.

Oh, and apparently .mac is to be renamed MobileMe....