Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Goodbye and thanks to this Blogger version of the site.
Hello to the new home of Mac OS Prose.

The new Radio-based site won't have a lot of frills just yet, but at least it'll have the capacity to become a better news and commentary site on par with many other sites like it that you probably read from day to day. Eventually, search capacity will be added as well.

The archived posts will remain, but this is the last entry for the Blogger site. I would still recommend Blogger to anyone that needs a quick blog site that can be accessed anywhere. However, Blog*Spot is probably the better choice, because you can't expect the world from the free, basic Blogger service.

See you at http://radio.weblogs.com/0118556/.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Mac OS Prose has a new home...

But if I told you where it was just yet, I'd have to kill you. (grin)

I've chosen Radio as my new blog creator and host as it has greater flexibility. In the next day or two, you'll get the new address. Posts here will cease at that time.

Apple is gaining more of the all-important mindshare. See this Infoworld article,, this another Infoworld article,, and an article on eWEEK.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

@#$! Blogger!

I'm really never against free blog hosting such as Blogger, but, after spending several precious minutes in composing a post to you earlier, only to have Blogger throw it up with VBScript errors, I'm more motivated to end my blog's life, much less bother to move it to a new site. After a cool down, I changed my mind. I know my site is one out of many Mac blog and news sites, most of which are more bona fide in its news generation and less involved in commentary. Still, this is my professional vent point, and a new site will enhance any tips and tricks and insights I can provide that no one has actually written.

In other words, I still don't like it when people beat me to the punch with a good idea.

Expect "Mac OS Prose" at its new home, very very soon. Nothing is really free.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Teach a man to fish...

During my client's rollout of new Mac OS X systems, I've carefully watched how new users accommodate to the new operating system (all of these users worked with Mac OS 9 previously). Generally speaking, their transition is good.

What seems to be the popular application is iChat. Word is getting around fast in switching on the app in Rendezvous mode, adding a custom picture, and posting a custom "available" message. Given that these users haven't had a comparable chat application that is in use throughout the company, iChat is a fun addition.

Interesting news if you haven't found it already: Apple has a beta of an X11 (X Window) environment for Mac OS X. Some may think that this would threaten the XDarwin project in some way, but I disagree. I suspect both will have their uses and needs. I already have XDarwin installed but I may consider trying out Apple's offering, which ostensibly ties into the Quartz interface with more finesse than XDarwin.

The Big Blog Move for me is delayed. Financial and time reasons. It will happen over the coming two weeks, however.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

What? My thoughts on Steve Job's keynote at Macworld on January 7?

I'm on vacation from my workplace, and my planned move of this blog to another host has been delayed. I did watch, in its entirety, the keynote address last Tuesday. I found it one of the CEO's better addresses.

I think that Steve Jobs was grasping at straws for a theme to sell products. His last ideas, the "digital hub", and movie making, have been successful in generating ideas that have worked their way into the rest of the industry and spurred some sales. This keynote was missing that glue, although Apple provided quite a festival of refreshed or new applications.

The popular iMovie, iPhoto, and iDVD applications were updated, and all now mesh well to add extensibility to each. The most popular application was new: a KHTML-based web browser known as Safari. In case you're been under a rock, it's available in a beta version as a free download. It's not a perfect browser, but it works very well, and very fast. In fact, normally I have to use Internet Explorer to update this blog. Other browsers don't work. But Safari does. A few bug fixes and feature enhancements and this baby will be ready to go.

Back to my keynote thoughts. Apple is looking for something new, and, for a change, they really didn't have anything very new to offer. Analysts (read: people who draw up typically uninformed opinions for a living) may see this somewhat correctly as a bad thing. However, considering that Apple is doing OK in this slow tech sales period, it's important to see that Apple is never one to back down when things are rough. Anyone who watched Apple climb out of its doldrums in the late 1990s knows not to count Apple out.

As I expected, the new FireWire arrived. It was a logical upgrade, and I was convinced that Apple would introduce it before it updated its USB offerings to 2.0. The PowerBook offerings stunned me, and I don't think its a great idea. I like the offerings, but adding these additional products to the line increases the company's inventory as well some confusion to those just getting introduced to the product line. In particular, the 12" PowerBook is awfully confusing with the similar iBook design.

The new commercial on the airline with the small actor from the "Austin Powers" movies and the Chinese basketball player was one of the funniest commercials from Apple in some time. I hope it gets a Super Bowl play.

Enjoy the rest of the week. Talk to you on Monday.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Moving Day is Coming.

I've made my decision to move my blog to a stronger weblogging tool during the week of January 6. It'll help that I'll be on vacation from my workplace at that time and can devote a strong amount of attention to the move. I'll move all 6 months of archived posts to this site, and I hope the tool works well in helping me do so.

The new file server at my client's workplace, a Windows 2000 Server running Services For Macintosh, has moved past its growing pains on the company network and is fully operational. It's replacing an AppleShare IP server and a Mac OS X Server 10.1 configuration that had promise but wasn't very robust as it could've been. Part of the lack of robustness involved its administration tools, admittedly improved with the 10.2 Server update that was never applied to this server. As a basic plain-vanilla Mac OS file server, it will have the strength and integration to my client's data center that I've been researching since June.

Macworld Expo 2003 San Francisco begins in earnest next Tuesday. I'm not the finest news site, but if things go well, you'll be directed from this site to next details about the keynote address, with pictures, RSS feeds, and the works. I'm getting all excited thinking about it.

One fine bit of reading while you wait:

GameSpy has a nice synopsis on Mac gaming in 2002. Well, I guess this is really Macintosh professional news after all, since Mac gaming appears to have entered a new support renaissance where the odds of a port are much stronger for popular PC titles.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Happy New Year.

Not much throughout this week to discuss, primarily due to the holidays. However, a Macworld Expo trade show begins in less than a week.

Do I have any impressive predictions for what Steve Jobs may show in his keynote address that opens the show? Not a one. But what do I expect to see?

Expectation 1: No "G5" or any new processors, yet. Maybe in July. Expect speed bumps on existing architecture, however, especially with the iBooks.

Expectation 2: A major change to FireWire and USB. Apple was probably reticent to add USB 2.0 to their systems before they updated FireWire. I suspect they are ready to unveil "Gigawire," a.k.a. FireWire 2.0.

Expectation 3: Updates on existing iApps. iSync is finalized. Maybe a new app.

Expectation 4: No other extreme surprises, except maybe a release date for QuarkXPress for Mac OS X.

I'll start the New Year with a discussion on OpenGL performance and games in Mac OS X--a subject close to my heart since all of my games (Medal of Honor, Jedi Knight II, and especially Return to Castle Wolfenstein) experience unexpected quits during gameplay. I've scanned the console crash logs and found something odd. More later. Happy 2003, everyone. Stay safe and not too much partying, please.

Monday, December 23, 2002

It's the holidays (for most Christians, anyway). What the heck are you doing here?

Go enjoy your families, not your computers, this week. OK, OK...bop the kids/nephews/nieces/cousins on your knees for a few minutes and kiss the spouse/significant-other passionately at least a couple of times before you break the shrinkwrap on that new game.

I've been enjoying Phillip Windley's blog on IT issues in the government sector. He had a different seat to view these issues than most, as he is (well, for a few more days anyway) the Chief Information Officer for the State of Utah.

I've enjoyed Phillip's site as a model for this blog: Informative views, an open mind to new technology, and a well-designed, searchable site He's using Radio,, the RSS-able blog software where I have decided to switch this blog sometime in the first quarter of 2003. A great, all around tech opinion site.

I caught wind of his site when he spoke of the consumer laptop, the iBook. On Friday, Phillip announced that he purchased a PowerBook G4 1GHz laptop to replace his XP laptop that has to go back to the State of Utah.. He's in hog heaven--and so am I, as a matter of fact.

Last week, I switched from a company-owned PowerBook FireWire laptop (still a strong system for OS X if you have a lot of RAM) to the same setup as Phillip. While I enjoy my new dual-867MHz G4 desktop at home, there's a stronger integration of power with this laptop. Nothing feels slow on this computer.

See you in multiplayer Return to Castle Wolfenstein world (I'm "JackStryker", in case you're interested) throughout the week, and have the holiest, if not happiest, of end-of-year holidays.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Mac OS X 10.2.3 is now available from Software Update.

Remember--don't be a bleeding edge user unless you want to be. Wait over the weekend to see what happened to those who didn't.

Two welcome fixes: Provides a fix for the HP Communications stall, and improves speed of Virtual PC 6.0 (which just happened to be released yesterday). At least Connectix is pretty innovative with each version. About the only thing that Apple didn't add was Java 1.4 support.

No GUI for its IPSec support yet, however, several companies such as Equinux's VPN Tracker and the recently announced free VaporSec provide you with alternatives.
The GNU-Darwin project is about to kill itself over GNU/Free Software ideology. And what is it with Apple and WEP support?

Find out more on Slashdot, and MacSlash (who broke the article). Sic semper stultus.

Here are interesting experiences on installing an Xserve in the classroom from Low End Mac.

I've been having a hard time locating information on WEP key support in AirPort wireless networking. Specifically, can AirPort support several WEP keys instead of having to type in a single key? In products available for Windows, this is possible. Also, getting an existing WEP key to work can be problematic if the key is a long string (alphanumeric or hex). The use of AirPort isn't very consistent on non-Apple wireless networks, and its an example of Apple either ignoring the problem or choosing to work in its near-disasterous "Not Invented Here" mode that almost killed the company.

If you know of a source for AirPort WEP support, drop me a line.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Real One Player for Mac OS X is now available as a final product.

I've been very impressed by this client, especially over its RealPlayer for OS 9 versions. (Works great with geeky things such as NASA TV.) Get it here.

Things are going to get quieter here with Macintosh news quieting over the American holidays. However, I've been hoping to dive into my Mac OS X-to-Active Directory authentication testing as a new Windows 2000 server is coming up that will support it live on my client's network. If I'm able to play around between now and the start of the new year, you'll see my initial reports here.