Monday, May 26, 2008

Video intro to Mac OS X Cocoa

There's a lengthy video introduction to Cocoa available from Theocacao. Although I haven't watched it (yet), it appears to be received very positively. An unofficial BitTorrent is also available. You need QuickTime for this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Crash your Mac with a stick

If you want to crash your Mac, or perhaps any kind of computer, put a little piece of aluminum foil paper inside the USB connection of an external device and then plug the device in, while your computer is running.

In my case, it worked: the Mac spontaneously rebooted. After 2 reboots I realized that my Mac experienced a real physical problem and found the culprit inside the connector of my USB stick. It was the result of keeping the USB stick in my pocket, along with some random other stuff, aparently including some aluminum foil paper.

So: be warned :-)

Changing Leopard's look and feel

Ryan Faas has written another excellent article, this time about changing the look and feel of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard):

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

del.icio.us extension for Firefox 3.0

Just recently, Firefox 3.0 RC was released.

I use a fair amount of Firefox extensions, including Firebug, YSlow for Firebug and the del.icio.us extension. The latter was not available for Firefox 3.0, until recently:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NeoOffice integration with Mac OS X improves


Even though a beta of OpenOffice.org 3, with a native Aqua version, has been made available, NeoOffice is still standing strong as a stable OpenOffice.org cousin that provides slick Mac OS X integration. Standing isn't the right word, though, because it's constantly improving.

Since 2.2.3 Patch 3, NeoOffice now improves on the Mac OS X integration by adding these features:
Previously, NeoOffice 2.2.3 Patch 2 added horizontal scrollwheel support.

Information on Unicode characters

The site fileformat.info claims to provide extensive information on various file formats. I haven't checked that claim myself, but I have found their information on Unicode characters is extremely useful. For example, see this page on the Unicode symbol 'EURO SIGN':
It shows a picture of the symbol, as well various descriptions and links. Then it shows how the character is encoded in, for example, HTML, UTF-8 and UTF-16 and how to use it in source code (C/C#/C++/Java/Python).

A great resource for information on Unicode characters!

Smooth web image zooming with FancyZoom

FancyZoom is a JavaScript library for zooming into images on a web page. It looks really well, zooming images smoothly when you click on them. And then when they show, they get a shadow effect applied.

The library works with most modern browsers: (Mobile) Safari, Firefox, IE6/7 and Opera are reportedly supported, but no word of Konqueror (KHTML). See it in action on here:
FancyZoom is free for non-commercial use. To use it commercially, the author asks $39 per site.

FancyZoom 1.1 comes with for 2 JavaScript files (34 KB) and 15 PNG image files (100 KB), which sums up to 134 KB. With current broadband connections it should not be a problem in itself, but it may add up to the total download size for a web page, especially for first-time visitors. Note that a compression tool like YUI Compressor may tighten the file sizes a bit.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Opacity 1.1 released

If you're creating iconic graphics, either for desktop applications, mobile apps or the web, and you're lucky to be using Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), then Opacity is definitely a contender for creating those nifty looking images.

Opacity is simple, intuitive but still very powerful when it comes to creating small graphics. It supports layers, different kinds of shapes, all sorts of effects and integrates with a couple of FTP programs.

The user interface works mostly consistent with the rest of Leopard.

Have a look at the screencast on their site.

OpenOffice 3.0 beta available

The OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta is now available from download.openoffice.org. One of the most compelling changes is Mac OS X support. Localized builds are also available, but not directly linked from that page. Instead, check out one of the mirrors.

Currently, most Mac users prefer NeoOffice over OpenOffice 3. OpenOffice 2 does not work under Aqua (only under X11) and NeoOffice has a history of stable OpenOffice-functionality for the Aqua/Mac OS X platform. This may change once OpenOffice 3 becomes (more) stable.