Posts categorized “Technology”.

NewsGator acquires NetNewsWire

The price of bacon has just gone up!

NewsGator acquires NetNewsWire

I never ever thought I’d see this, but I guess after the same thing happened to FeedDemon, I shouldn’t be as shocked as I am.

Of Mice And Machines

So, a couple of days ago I listened to Adam’s interview with Leo Laporte on the MacCast (which was very good by the way). One of the many subjects they discussed in the podcast was the impending move to Intel chips by Apple and what they think will or won’t happen with regards to Mac OS X being released for generic non-Apple hardware.

I’ve held back in airing my thoughts on this subject for some time, but I thought I’d just get it out of my system now and move on as some of Leo’s opinions mirrored mine (but I doubt we agree on everything). It’s been sitting here as a draft for way too long, this subject is starting to get old.

Hardware Release Schedule

Leo said that he does not expect us to have to wait until next summer for the first MacTel, and I agree whole heartedly. In recent times Apple hasn’t released any information on products much more than a month ahead of release, they are very good at officially being tight-lipped even if the rumour sites do get the scoop ahead of schedule now and then. Steve Jobs said in his WWDC keynote in June that they would have Intel based hardware “Starting next year, we will start introducing Macs with Intel processors in them… so when we meet here this time next year, our plan is to be shipping Macs with Intel processors by then.”, I’m hoping that Apple really expects their first product to be out before that.

I predict that by the end of January 2006 we will be able to buy a Intel CPU’d Mac mini, we’re not going to have to wait until summer. Further more, I expect there to be a variation specifically targeted to the Home Media Centre segment, which may have either new software for full screen TV compatible Music, Movies and watching/recording TV, or at least extensions to iTunes for full screen simplified control (e.g. via bundled remote control).

By summer 2006 we will have the first PowerBooks (or whatever they will be called) based on intel chips, what’s the date of next year’s WWDC event with all those developers milling around with PowerBook in-hand? ;-)

I would expect that the Intel based replacement to the PowerMac G5 should be easier to create than any other Apple hardware model purely due to the extra room you have for part placement. However, I expect the G5 replacement (G6 anyone?) to be based on the recently announced “proper” dual core Intel chips, and I seriously hope that they are dual processor too giving us effectively four way processing. Drool. This may delay release a little, so we may be looking at end of 2006/begining of 2007 for this one. What’s the betting that Apple’s deal with Intel includes them getting first dibs on the new chips as “guinea pigs”, with release to Intel’s major volume partners soon after.

iMac G5 replacement. This is a little tricky, with any luck we’ll get these for Paris Expo next year, I expect them to be out before the PowerMacs, but after the much needed PowerBook replacements. Don’t get me wrong, I love my PowerBook, it rocks, but Apple needs to get the Intel laptops out the door as they’ll be a key seller.

Mac OS X On Intel

A lot of the discussion recently has centred around whether Apple will release Mac OS X for any old generic PC, or whether they will ensure Mac OS X can only run on hardware made by themselves.

Well, I reckon they will (and should) take steps to make it fairly difficult to run Mac OS X on anything but Apple hardware, but not waste time in making it very difficult. It doesn’t matter how hard Apple tries, someone will have it running on generic PCs within a month of release, so why bother trying to make it impossible. Apple should do as most software vendors do, just make it hard enough that the casual user won’t bother, and make it extremely clear that Mac OS X running on anything other than Apple hardware will not be supported in any way. Apple simply could not afford to support Mac OS X running on generic hardware, their support costs would sky-rocket. But, after the first iteration, once a fair chunk of business has been buying Apple hardware or looked at OS X, and a sizeable segment of the software market has made noises about porting their apps to Mac OS X to satisfy the demands of the new switchers, I can see Apple taking another look at the generic PC market as a platform for OS X. It would in my opinion be a shame to decouple the hardware from OS, quality will suffer, but they’ll sell a lot of copies and iLife will sell by the truckload too, not to mention the Pro tools.

Where Apple will gain is in people buying Apple hardware that they know can run MS Windows, but also that sexy Mac OS X that everyone is raving about. They’ll take the plunge because the hardware just looks fantastic and has a superb build quality, and if their current computer usage depends on Windows based software, they’re not going to miss out. Security is a real head-turner in todays virus ridden world, Mac OS X in inherently more secure and so I think this will make a lot of sales just in itself as people look for a safe platform to do their email and web surfing while still having Windows as a fall-back.

What About Mice?

Why did I title this post as “Of Mice And Machines”? Well, I’ve talked about machines, and the OS that runs on them, but what about mice?

It occurred to me as soon as I saw the Mighty Mouse that one of the major reasons that Apple released it was not because it’s existing users have been requesting it or that they have been buying replacement 3 button mice forever, but because Apple is trying to remove as many obstacles from the path of potential switchers. These mice, when bundled with a new Mac that can run both Mac OS X and MS Windows are what the switcher expects, three button mice are the norm in the Windows world.

OK, I’ve made enough of a fool of myself, better leave off now!

Wood iPod

Way cool: Wood iPod by ZapWizard

iTunes 4.9: Podcasts == Good, No convert to AAC == Bad

iTunes 4.9 with the new Podcast feature is great, and working well for me except for two things:

1) I don’t like the fact that it doesn’t have the option to automatically convert the downloaded files to bookmark-able AAC files like iPodderX does. This means you can’t “round trip” from iTunes and your iPod.

2) My Smart Playlists can’t reference the Podcast genre files downloaded within the Podcasts list while in iTunes, but they do work on my iPod. Very strange.

Shame, maybe the next version will have these features / fixes.

NetNewsWire 2.0 Released!

NetNewsWire 2.0 Released!: “NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0 streamlines the award-winning RSS and Atom newsreader by removing the weblog editor and adding many new newsreading features.

NetNewsWire 2.0 includes a tabbed browser so you can read web pages with the convenience of staying in the same window.

You can search your news items with a standard Apple search widget—as in Mail and other applications.

NetNewsWire 2.0 downloads podcasts and enclosures, and sends podcasts to iTunes with with your choice of genre and playlist.

The flagged items feature lets you mark items that you want to keep—they stay forever or until you mark them as unflagged.

NetNewsWire 2.0 is Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) compatible, and includes Automator actions to control functions in NetNewsWire.

Other new features include syncing, smart lists, search subscriptions, and built-in styles. NetNewsWire’s built-in list of feeds, the Sites Drawer, has been updated to include new categories and over 1000 new feeds that can be easily subscribed to.

See What’s New in NetNewsWire 2.0 for more features, details and screen shots.

The full and Lite versions of NetNewsWire 2.0 are available for download at the NetNewsWire home page.

NetNewsWire 2.0 costs $24.95 for a single-user license and $19.95 per person for multi-user licenses. It’s available bundled with MarsEdit 1.0 for $39.95.

NetNewsWire 2.0 is a free upgrade for licensed users of NetNewsWire 1.x. See the Licenses and Upgrades page
for more information.

NetNewsWire Lite is freeware. The Full Version
page lists the features exclusive to the full version.”

(Via NetNewsWire.)

Tiger Tiger Tiger Tiger Tiger

So, I’ve ordered my copies of Mac OS X Tiger for desktop and server, have you yet?

However, I’m in a quandary, when should I actually install it on my main development desktop, and when should I implement the server?

The geek in me wants to install both as soon as I get them (hopefully before or on the 29th April), but the more sensible side of me says that would be a bad idea, and that I should wait for a couple of things to happen:

First “point” release out and tested.

It’s already known that there are a couple of fixes that didn’t make it into the “gold master” release of Mac OS X Tiger, and that they will be implemented in the first point release, how many other fixes might there be once this very large update is out in the wild?
As far as I’m concerned Apple always releases quality software and hardware, I’ve only ever stumbled across a couple of very minor problems with their products. But this is a huge release, there’s bound to be some creases to be ironed out. Can I afford to lose any of my data or time to such issues? Panther gave me no troubles, but will Tiger?

All tools/software verified as working on Tiger.

It could take a very long time before all the software I use is either verified as working fine on the released version of Mac OS X Tiger or a new release built and verified for it.
My biggest concern is of course RealBasic, and in particular RealBasic 2005 which is due out in the next couple of months. RealBasic is what I’m using to build my own software, so I really do need to know that it works well with Tiger, whether I need to wait until v2005 is out before running on Tiger, will v5.5.x work OK on Tiger? Will the software I build with RealBasic on Tiger work on Mac OS X Panther, all the normal versions of Windows and Linux (if I decide to support it), or should I stick with Panther for a while? Will the software I build on Panther be OK on Tiger? Will the first release of this huge update to RealBasic that is v2005 be stable from the get-go too? There’s a lot of uncertainty there for me.

For the first time I’m going to start running my desktop Mac as a full blown server, I just can’t resist having Mac OS X Tiger as my main server in the office, dumping my trusty (but old) mini-itx based Debian Linux server. I’m really looking forward to the account management aspects and Portable Home Directories which I had real problems with on Linux, but hope that Tiger can do simply. Hopefully then my PowerBook and PowerMac will be in sync every time I re-connect, and it looks like this will include all my music, pictures and everything else in my home directory, which is way cool (gonna take some lengthy syncing at first though).
This is obviously going to be quite a shift, I’m really looking forward to all the tools OS X Server brings to the table to make configuration a breeze. I also have a lot more disk space in my PowerMac than in my current Linux server, four 120Gb disks compared to the single 120Gb drive in my mini-itx box, and I’m thinking it might be good to configure them as a couple of mirrors for safety, hopefully I can do that during install, but I don’t know for sure.

So it seems I have a lot of questions, and these may take some time to be answered, let’s hope I get some reassurances before the 29th, because I’m just not sure whether my sensible side will be able to hold my technology lusting geek side back!

How I explained REST to my wife… (not me, Ryan Tomayko)

How I explained REST to my wife…

Smart cookie putting it simply…