Macintosh Blog Posts
November 1, 2007

Macintosh Leopard

Last Saturday I updated my laptop to the latest version of Macintosh OS X (Leopard). The update took a long time to process, about 2 hours for my Powerbook G4 and it used up a lot of disk space.

My inital reaction of some of the new features have been mixed. Some of the new features are cool, while others I won't touch. The "Time Machine" feature is ok, but a laptop doesn't have that much disk space, so I don't think I'll be using it. (I think it would have been cool to name it "Back to the Future", after all the Movie did show a Macintosh in it.) The only cool feature that I was looking forward to seeing was Fan/Grid display of folders in the Dock. I am not very impress by it. It would be nice if that the Grid icons could be resize.

Also I am now experimenting putting the dock on the left instead of the bottom. I don't like the 3D look and I think the dock is taking up more space than it was before. Having it on the left is a little visual challenge since I am use to it being on the bottom for 4 years.

I do like the new Photo screen saver, it looks pretty cool. I was looking to see what new screen saver was in this build since Apple has done that in the previous OSX builds.

Is this a must have upgrade? I don't think so. I think most users can wait and upgrade when they can afford to or have it pre-installed on their next computer. Goto an Apple Store and play around with it, ask one of the sales people to show you some of the new features.

October 1, 2007


If you are a Macintosh developer and working in a development environment where some developers use dotNet, you should look at using the MonoDevelop. MonoDevelop is a free GNOME IDE primarily designed for C# and other .NET languages.

Keep in mind this is a complex toolset and will take some learning curve to get up and running. But I think if you are a serious developer, you can easily master the toolset over a weekend.

Using MonoDevelop will be significantly faster than Remote Desktop and in some cases using Parallel or Boot Camp. This is because you don't have to open up a separate OS enviroment to create C# or .NET code.

September 28, 2007


Experiencing some problems with the Blogging tool. Will conduct some cleaning this weekend to get things back up and running.

I don't think its anything too serious!

September 26, 2007

Apple Keyboard

Apple Keyboard Thumbnail

I got the new Apple Keyboard yesterday at the Apple store at the Natick Collections. Its great because the store is within walking distance from where I work. In some cases, its easier to park where I work and walk over to the store than to park at the Mall.

The keyboard is great, very quiet to type on and has a nice look and feel to it. I am using it as my primary keyboard with my Powerbook G4. I have my Powerbook on a Targus Podium Coolpad and attach the keyboard to one of the USB ports on my laptop.

I was using the MacAlley IceKey Keyboard for many months, it works pretty well, but the Apple Keyboard is cooler looking and has a modern design to it. Nothing wrong with the MacAlley keyboard, I'll probably take it home and use it on my home computer.

One of the disappointing features of the Apple Keyboard is that doesn't hold enough power to charge an iPod. This is supposed to be a USB2 keyboard, but when I connect the iPod it says that there's not enough power to charge the iPod. I know I have a USB2 port on my laptop because I can connect the iPod directly to the laptop.

The software update did fix the ability to power an iPod that is connected to the keyboard. The Apple Keyboard software update is 19.4 MB! Wow! What's in the software update? Also this is the first piece of Apple hardware that I purchased that didn't come with the software. Which is a good idea since most people would just download the latest software online anyways.

Apple System Profile Confirms this isn't a USB2 Keyboard:

Apple Keyboard:Version: 0.67
Bus Power (mA): 100
Speed: Up to 1.5 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: Apple, Inc
Product ID: 0x0220
Vendor ID: 0x05ac (Apple Computer, Inc.)

The keyboard has a 1 meter cable attached which is a perfect length for me. In the box there's a cable extender which doubles the cord length. So if you need a longer cable you could attach the extender. The MacAlley IceKey has a long cable which is pretty annoying.

March 14, 2014 Update: If your looking at any Targus products you should first visit the official Targus Coupon page for outstanding deals.

September 25, 2007

MacOSX Database Clients

If you are evaluating on what Database client application to use on Mac OS X. Here's some things to consider between SQL Grinder and Aqua Data Studio.

One nice advantage that SQLGrinder has over Aqua Data Studio is that it can keep the SQL color syntax between applications.

So if I have a SQL Query and copy it to Word/TextEdit/Pages the color syntax stays the same. Aqua Studio just copies the text unformated.

SQLGrinder handles Oracle connections better than Aqua Studio. Not sure the reason, but I am unable to make connections to Oracle using Aqua Studio. I believe that JDBC connections are managed better in SQLGrinder

I did have SQL4X Manager, but the version I have is old. (Purchased July 18, 2004) At some point I plan to test the latest version.

September 19, 2007

Update BBEdit?

I am thinking this week of updating my BBEdit to the latest version 8.7 from 8.2. The upgrade only cost $30.

Since migrating to Textmate last year, I have been using Textmate for all my initial web development. Textmate is an awesome application and I would highly recommend it! However there some features in BBEdit that are pretty cool and worth keeping , here are some examples:

  • If I open up multiple documents from an FTP application, such as Interarchy, BBEdit opens one window and puts all the selected files in a Drawer, which makes it easy to move around files. Thus making it easy when editing multiple files.
  • The color syntax seems to be better in BBEdit than Textmate, the color tones are easier to read.
  • After many years of using BBEdit I am very familiar with all the keyboard shortcuts.

The question is are the new features in BBEdit worth the upgrade? My initial reaction is that there isn't any must-have feature that I should upgrade for. So, for now I'll just use BBEdit 8.2 and Textmate 1.5.6.

To simplify matters, I have two FTP clients in my dock. When I want to use BBEdit, I use Panic's Transmit, when I want to use Textmate I use Interarchy. I think Interarchy and Textmate combination works really well.

I will be checking into Coda, the new application from Panic, which is supposed to be the latest and greatest FTP/Editor tool all in one.

June 28, 2007


I use the Kensington #72123 Mouse-in-a-Box as my computer mouse on my Powerbook computer every day. At home I use Logitech MX518 Gaming Optical Mouse. The Logitech is a great mouse, just seems a little "over powering" at times.

What amazes me is how simplifies the Kensington mouse is compared to the Logitech mouse. I really don't need a fancy mouse to perform simple tasks, clicking, right-clicking and scrolling. The Kensington mouse performs the task very well and a good mouse to have.

I purchase Apple's Wireless Mighty Mouse when it first came out, thinking it would be cool to have a wireless mouse. Today, the mouse is sitting on a shelf on my desk at home. Why? Well I had some problems with the mouse loosing the Bluetooth signal even thou it was inches away from the computer. I do bring it with me on business trips but very rarely do I use it.

This got me thinking about Apple's new iPhone that is going to be release this week. Sure its cool, got the latest technology, awesome graphics, and probably the best sound in wireless phones. But, is that something I really need? Am I better of just using a simplified solution? Earlier this year I got the LG VX8300 phone, and signed up with Verizon for 2 years. So I won't be jumping ship just yet to get the iPhone. However, I'll be checking out the phone the next time I goto the Apple Store.

In the meantime, if your looking for a good mouse, goto eBay and pickup a Kensington #72123 Mouse-in-a-Box. Currently you can get one for around $25.

June 14, 2007


To add content to this Blog, I am now using Journler, By Philip Dow, as my primary writing tool. Journler has a great writing environment and sophisticated tools that I need, such as tagging, organizing content by categories, custom labels, and a pretty good search engine.

I also like the default font that Journler uses: Cochin Regular 14n. However, sometimes I'll switch to Georgia Regular 14. If you use any Journal tool, try using Cochin or Georgia. When writing code I find that Monaco Regular 9 is better font to use, this is due to using BBEdit so much.

I still use TextMate to clean the code prior to going live since it has excellent HTML tools such as Google linking capabilities and entities converter. TextMate has quickly become an important part of my application development.

My day-to-day note-taking tool is still DEVONThink. I use this to store my source code examples and code references. All my personal and business documents are stored in Journler. This decoupling my personal life from my work life.

If your undecided between various Journal/Notetaking applications, I would encourage you to consider using more than one application. Consider one application for you business needs and one for your personal needs.

April 26, 2007

Macintosh Journal Tools

On my laptop I have both DEVONthink, MacJournal, and Journler. At one point in time I saw some value in each application and have purchased a license.

However, having mulitple tools is not very productive and can make finding information difficult. So over the next few days I am going to pick one application and use that as my default Macintosh Journal tool.

Top 5 functionality that I am looking for:

  1. Search Functionality - not only within the application but also using Spotlight.
  2. Label Content - Easily identify importaint content in the listing
  3. Usibility - An application thats easy to use.
  4. Sorting - Ability to organize content
  5. Back up - Ability to do a complete backup and remove information as needed.

April 20, 2007

iSync Error Message

With the iPhone soon to be release, owners of any LG Phone, including my LG VX8300, will be seeing the following messages in iSync for a while.

LGVX8300 Message

An alternative solution is to use BluePhoneElite. For some reason the Address Book works fine when importing contacts. However the first name and last name get reversed when it goes to the phone, so on each import I have to change the order of the name.

March 2, 2007

VX8300 Wallpaper

I recently upgraded my cellphone and purchase a LG VX8300. I really like this phone over my Samsung A670 since it has Bluetooth capabilities and a better sound, including a speaker phone.

The screen is a little bigger, and I with that I needed create some new Disney World Haunted Mansion wallpaper. If your a Haunted Mansion fan, and have a LG VX8300 download these wallpapers that I created.

HauntedMansionNight  HauntedMansions  HauntedMansionSign

I am working on some ring tones. For some reason, Disney isn't providing any Haunted Mansions ringtones as they did when I purchased the Samsun A670 a couple of years ago. I think this is a big mistake since there are plenty of Haunted Mansions fans that would like to have Grim Grinning Ghosts as a ring tone. Once I am done with it, I'll put it up here so others can download it.

January 25, 2007

Apple Bugs

Google it...

Apple Tiger Bugs: 1,300,000
Microsoft Vista Bugs: 28,100,000

Oh, Vista doesn't officially come till next week. Lets see where the numbers stand Tuesday morning (January 31, 2007), once users installed it and start blogging it.

January 9, 2007

iPhone for $499

Wow Apple announced the iPhone for $499! The bad news is that it runs on Cingular network.

Apple would have been better to make a couple of these for different providers. In the northeast, Verizon pretty much has the most coverage. After all, they will have to make a different phone for Europe and for Asia.

more later...

November 16, 2006

Quicktime Feature

I have been working on the features section of this website and looking to take advantage of using Final Cut Express HD that I purchased last year.

I have my VCR connected to my Sony DCR-TRV720, as a pass-through and connected to my desktop computer using firewire. I got this working in Final Cut Express, so that I can record video, by using File > Easy Setup and selected DV-NTSC DV Converter. The only downside is that the audio doesn't play through the speakers.

Final Cut Express HD is a great piece of software, and one of the cool things that I didn't know that was included is Apple Compressor. This allows me to compress multiple Movies at the same time! Very Cool!

I currently have Media Cleaner 5 for all my compression, and its a great tool. But its a little out of date and I am unable to compress using the latest H.264 Codec. I am not sure if its worth getting the upgrade to Cleaner 6.5 since that costs $179. I think the key advanage would be the RealMedia and the popular Flash Movie Format that is not available in Apple's Compressor2.

I'll investigate other options, as there might be some plug-ins that might work with Quicktime or Compressor, such as Helix Producer.

October 5, 2006

Installing Oracle

I am in the process of Installing Oracle on my Powerbook G4 and G4 Desktop for development purposes. Here are the steps I am currently using.

First download Oracle Database 10g Release 1 ( for Mac OS X Server

Then perform the following commands from the Terminal:

su -
sudo nicl . -append /groups/admin users oracle
sudo gcc_select 3.3
sudo nicl . -create /groups/dba
sudo nicl . -append /groups/dba gid 601 
sudo nicl . -append /groups/dba passwd "*"
sudo nicl . -create /users/oracle
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle uid 601
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle gid 600
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle shell /bin/bash
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle home /Users/oracle
sudo nicl . -append /groups/dba users oracle        
mkdir /Users/oracle
chown oracle:dba /Users/oracle
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle gid 601
nireport . /users uid name | more
mkdir /opt
mkdir /opt/oracle
mkdir /opt/oracle/product
mkdir /opt/oracle/product/10.1
chown -R oracle:dba /opt/oracle
cd /Users/cryan/Desktop
mv ship_mac_db.cpio.gz /opt/oracle/product/10.1/
cd /opt/oracle/product/10.1
gzip -d ship_mac_db.cpio.gz 
cpio -idmv < ship_mac_db.cpio

That's where I am at for now...