Now This Log

Archives: December 2001

Thursday, 20 December 2001

A bit more Mac stuff:

IE 5.1 for OS 9/Classic is out, the first real update to that program in over a year. It gains three particularly nice interface tweaks that are already in the OS X version:
  • As before, Command-click opens a new window from a link, but now Command-Shift-click opens the new window behind the current one, meaning you don't have to keep switching back to the original.
  • Clicking in the address bar can be set not to select the whole field (which has been the only option for a very long time).
  • Sending a URL to IE from another program can now open new windows instead of taking you away from whatever you were just reading a few seconds ago.
I'm sure there are more changes, but those are all real improvements and I haven't noticed anything else different... it's a worthwhile download.

BBEdit 6.5.1 (minor update) is out. BBEdit is one of the reasons I stuck with the Mac even when things looked dicey for Apple; there is still no equivalent on Windows. (HomeSite? Maybe if their grep tool ever gets better.) BBEdit makes it much less painful to make proper web pages (among many other things). BBEdit is a major tool that helps me earn my living. We like BBEdit.

A not-so-secret; an easy way to knock $40 off BBEdit's price ($119) is to download BBEdit Lite, the less-powerful free version. Register that, then order BBEdit itself through their online store. They count the Lite version as software you can cross-upgrade from, which reduces the price to $79. It's weird that they provide a big discount for having the free version, but it's clearly marked and has been there for years, so it's obviously intentional.

A new Opera-for-Mac beta is out. I haven't used it much (seems OK), but I really like their new demo philosophy; you get it without ads for the first 30 days, then you have to see ads on your screen while you surf or buy. I think this is the first time I've seen an ad-free period for an ad-supported version; I like it on many levels.

The OS X 10.1.2 update just came out. I'll get it this weekend, probably. Supposedly I can read CompactFlash cards under X once I have it. That would be nice; one less reason to swap to OS 9.

And Adobe just updated Acrobat! Guess everybody's declaring their updates done so they can finally go home for the holidays. Or something. permanent link

Eudora for OS X coming in early 2002 [MacCentral]
[VP-Technology Steve Dorner:] "Many people have noticed that new betas of the OS X version of Eudora have not been coming at exactly breakneck speed. I'm happy to announce that we will be resuming the OS X effort immediately, and that we intend to have a final version of Eudora for OS X sometime early in 2002. Thank you for all your patience, and many apologies for the long delay."
I'm using a beta, which basically works, but it's far from a finished piece of software. This is good news. permanent link

Tuesday, 18 December 2001

Brad on how he would run a consumer electronics store:
Customers who ask to see the owner's manual, installation guide or warranty card for any product on display will not be treated as though they have just requested the clerk recite pi to 300 significant digits.

Each customer who makes a purchase will be asked once, at most, if they also wish to purchase an extended warranty. If they decline, the clerk will conclude the transaction and wish them a pleasant day.
Personally, I think if you posted even just the last rule on the door, there would be lines. permanent link

Dan Bricklin: Thoughts about the Segway HT: Why it's not just a scooter
[Disruptive technologies'] first incarnations often seem like toys compared to existing technologies.

The Segway takes up about as much area as a person walking, so you can travel in groups much as you would with walking, with all the social advantages. ... Unlike commuting in a car, Segway lets you travel part of the way to a destination with a friend and then go separate ways at the end.

The Segway lets you keep the parking at a distance, but without the concentrated cost of a single people mover. One parking lot could serve multiple destinations, and a single destination could be served by many parking lots.

I hear comments about "what good is it if it doesn't carry anything?", and "I'll get tired of standing up", etc. Well, clearly it will evolve. The Segway web site shows pictures of it holding grocery bags ... their web site says it is designed to pull 300 pounds and I've seen pictures of carts behind one. Don't judge a technology purely by version 1. ... Compare the first Apple II VisiCalc with no commas or dollar signs, equal width columns, upper case only, etc., to Excel even 8 years later. Quite an evolution.
permanent link

Sunday, 16 December 2001

Slowly, Apple's re-introduction of itself to the Unix world keeps bearing fruit: Bioinformatics Software Ports to Mac OS X [Apple] permanent link

Links, exploration and
synthesis from
Steve Bogart

Mug shot
photo by my wife
If you want to be e-mailed when there's new stuff here, say "add me."
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