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Mac OS X

Paul (29 Apr 2005 20:28): So, Firefox has duplicates in /Applications/ and /Volumes/Firefox/ (which `df` says is mounted). The (mounted) volume shows on the desktop, and at times two copies of FF show in the dock. Any idea how this could have happened, or how to get back to normalcy?
(P.S. Where is the dock represented in the filesystem?)
Grant (10 May 2005 0:38): Uh, you have a disk image mounted. That's why it's in /Volumes - all mounted volumes are there. You want to unmount that. If the version of Firefox on the disk image is more recent, replace the one in /Applications, then unmount the image on the desktop. You can also set your mounted volumes to not show up on the desktop, if you want - just open up the Finder's preferences (command-comma).
If you have more than one copy of an application floating around, they can both be running. If they are both running, they will both show up in the dock. The dock does not correspond to a file structure.
Carla (14 May 2005 16:44): Is there a way to tell what programs are safe to download for Mac (free from viruses)? Also, where is the best place to get mp3s nowadays?
Grant (15 May 2005 16:34): Well, the short answer might be 'no.' If that seems a little disconcerting, well, it's also true for all the other computer platforms, too... unless you like compiling your own programs.
But, I haven't actually heard of any real viruses being released for OS X yet, so you're probably fine for now. I recommend keeping up-to-date with Software Update. If you're really smart/paranoid, you'll try to avoid typing your administrative password into random programs. Other than that...
As far as MP3's, or any other kind of popular file, there are still the same old options, really. You can use a peer-to-peer network ('Danger!') - Cabos, Poisoned, MlMac all have their users - you can use BitTorrent, there's Hotline (haha (I still use it...)), or you can hit up your friends (if your friends have broadband, anyway).
Or, you know, you can join the Wave of the Future, and start using iTunes to legally purchase digital music... Complete with DRM! Compleat, even.
Actually, I saved the most salient and illegal option for last - there are huge repositories of copyrighted music available on the web, believe it or not - and almost all of it's free and fast to download. It's called MIDI.
m (17 May 2005 2:45): for an example of when compiling your own program wasn't even safe, see the second and third paragraphs of this entry in the jargon file. it's pretty sexy.
Grant (17 May 2005 18:41): Yeah, there are some flaws.
Also, it can be just as bad to have software with security flaws as actually malicious software, sometimes; the first can enable the second without your knowledge.

1. What can you do?
Grant (23 Jun 2005 0:39): Ha ha.
Steve Jobs and The Apple Crew pull the wool over our (their) eyes once again.
Grant (22 Aug 2005 19:00): The GUI is getting worse. Frowny face.
Grant (22 Aug 2005 19:03): But the advanced font support is still there, at least...
Grant (8 Sep 2005 17:27): It's true.
Oh, God, it's all true.
m (11 Sep 2005 10:45): that's pretty awesome
Grant (11 Sep 2005 18:00): It is an awesome little post, yes.

The actual program's interface is kind oif infuriating, though. It's probably a little better than Spotlight, and when you get right down to it, it's not so terrible, maybe, but it's not good, either, and I was hoping for better.

Somebody made the mistake of asking me what was wrong with it, and I spend like ten minutes just going off. The kicker really is the custom window corners. That shit is seriously uncalled for. It's not some sort of mistake, either - they must have worked hard on those effing corners. Where, I say, where is the God-damn quality control at Apple?
Interface Bigot (11 Sep 2005 18:10): Brushed Metal has always been a piece of junk in my opinion. It's (especially) atrocious in the Finder. I guess I've gotten kind of used to it in, for example, Safari and iTunes... that's basically where I can ignore it the most, though.

But when you compare it to it's roots - when QuickTime 4 was the only app that used it, and it was completely non-standard - it's become much better. I'm not sure it was a good idea, but over the next three or four years, Apple improved it and made it a 'standard' interface option. I still think it's bad, mind you, or at least not good, but it's not quite the satanic, bulky interface that slavishly imitated thumbwheels and such back in OS 9.

Is this what they're trying to do with the 'unified' 'theme' (which is actually the most discontinuous experience that OS X has to offer)? And if so, are they going to replace brushed metal with it? Or just tack a third theme onto OS X? Maybe they'll make the 'tic-tac' button three-state!!! Maybe they'll make a fucking button you can type into now, or a menu you have to double-click. Maybe they'll make a button that you type into that underlines when you mouse over it and creates a fucking menu in the middle of the screen with text that uses a separate fucking renderer and makes a little ripple on your desktop when it's activated!

My opinion? An OS only needs one theme at a time, thank you. Another thing we don't need is some blasphemous 'view as web page' bullshit faggot-ing up our computers. Ahem. Fuck.
Grant (6 Dec 2005 16:55): Also, thank you Apple for naming all of your trademarked tech stuff with normal words. (I don't know if I'm being sarcastic or not)

Sometimes, things like Airport, Dashboard, Rendezvous (now changed to God-awful Bonjour), Exposé, etc., etc. seem witty. Or catchy. Then, at other times, you find yourself having to use the real word, and it makes the whole thing seem a little silly. And non-tech people, hell, most non-OS X people must have no clue what I'm talking about. The whole 'i-' thing has stuck, and 'podcasting' has been declared Word of the Year, but at the end of the day, an airport is where planes land.
m (6 Dec 2005 22:57): I had an angry response to that word of the year bullshit, but now it just seems sort of funny. the depressing kind of funny, where you maybe cut yourself a little bit afterwards to feel better about the world. I hope lolzer was the runner up. or maybe teh.
Grant (8 Dec 2005 18:00): Yes, that will be the proverbial day, will it not? When the OED adds all the popular, intentional misspellings of words as entries. "Teh: See the."

Still, I would like to see examples in the OED of how to use phrases like "for teh win," and "VTEC just kicked in, yo." Maybe just "all your base," et al. I mean, that's prehistoric by now, right?
m (11 Dec 2005 21:42): Oh, do not adjust your television sets -- you hear right! None of this podcasting bullshit, they chose a possibly even more bullshit word that I've never even heard of!
Grant (11 Dec 2005 21:54): Jesus Christ that is a shitty... Is that even a word? I've certainly never heard it before. What a joke.
"Podcasting" got 35,500,000 hits on Google. Infosnacking gets 643, all of which seem to be within double quotes. This is shameful.
For comparison, I tried to make up some words. "Biltong" turns out to be a real word, and gets 219,000 hits. Blargo, which is definitely made-up, gets 121. Finally, banboo gets 34,100 and balmboo gets 743, despite being typos.
Grant (9 Feb 2006 5:00): What the hell is this shit? God damn it. I haven't been that angry about an OS's interface since the 'start' 'button.' Or, you know, spotlight.
Grant (9 Feb 2006 5:01): The good part is that nobody has actually done it (AFAIK). But it's there, just asking to be (ab)used.
Carla (20 Feb 2006 11:52): I am trying to see if there's any way I can run the free version of Pro Tools on my iBook G4. There is a Pro Tools FREE for Mac OS 9, but they say specifically that it will not run in OS X or in Classic mode in OS X. Any suggestions?
Grant (20 Feb 2006 18:08): Well, you can try running it in Classic mode. There are several programs that simply will not work in Classic. If you've already got OS 9 installed, though, it seems like the worst case scenario is that you force quit the program and throw it away.

As you're already no doubt aware, the iBook G4 can only boot up in Mac OS X, so if it won't run in OS X or Classic, you really can't run it. Unless you want to emulate OS 9. But, believe me, you don't. If you do, you can check out SheepShaver, I guess. But, seriously, it's not worth trying.

If you really want to do it on your iBook, and it really won't run under classic, you'll have to look for a different program to use.
Grant (20 Feb 2006 18:19): Depending on what you want to do, though, you might consider checking out Cacophony or Audacity. They're both free, and Audacity is Free.
m (22 Feb 2006 7:09): I've been using audacity -- it's pretty great.
Carla (23 Feb 2006 6:11): Thanks, Grant. That was what I was afraid of. I'm doing radio stuff now, and actually do need to use Pro Tools for assignments instead of my usual combination of Audacity (which I agree, is pretty great for editing) and GarageBand.
Grant (15 Mar 2006 19:24): Vista won't boot on Intel macs. This comes after Apple had repeatedly said that it would not support Windows on Intel macs. Now Paul Thurrott's unhappy. :(
Grant (26 Jun 2006 23:32): The iStache.
G (20 Feb 2007 17:54): It seems that Safari doesn't support CSS text-decoration: blink.
That's in addition to the standard HTML tag, <blink>.
So this page loses some of its... impact.
Just some of it, though.
G (25 Feb 2007 23:05): Man, with 'active desktop' you could set that web page to be your desktop, couldn't you?
And that was introduced in, like, Windows 98 or something?
Talk about the future.
G (11 Jun 2007 16:54): Safari's new tab dragging is absolute silk.
R (23 Mar 2009 20:32): Safari's new new tab dragging is absolute silk. But sorta ugly.

Specifically, you can now move a window with a single tab into another window. I needed that. Also, the tabs on top feature saves, like, 16 vertical pixels. Which is nice! Although this means that a new window with a single tab has a 10-point title, which is disconcerting. Solution: use a lot of tabs (not a problem for me).
G (25 Mar 2009 0:05): Yeah, but how would you know? Don't you have to restart if you want to install it? :P
G (2 Sep 2009 8:32): TUAW is officially filled with idiots.
They obviously have no idea what they are talking about, and they continue to post article after grievously error-filled article.
R (2 Sep 2009 18:35): Oh wow. Pretty sad. At least Ars is still kicking... arse... with John Siracusa's review.
G (7 Nov 2010 1:00): I thought this was funny, if only because I hadn't seen it until just now.
If you have quick look active while you hit cmd-F to start a file search...
G (29 Apr 2013 13:36): According to 9to5Mac's sources, Apple has been "testing a new multi-tasking system" that's similar to the app-switcher within iOS.

Ugh, what the duck.
R (29 Apr 2013 17:21): Yeahhh... I am not too thrilled with these initial rumors. 10.6 / Snow Leopard may be my personal high-water mark for desktop OSs. OTOH, iOS 7 is supposed to be "very, very flat."
G (29 Apr 2013 18:01): Yeah, no big complaints on the iOS side, really. (Maybe just some sympathy regarding the difficulty of managing large numbers of apps, and wanting some solution for keeping certain information handy (like Status Board?)).

But multi-tasking is not an area where I consider iOS to be a leader. I'm sure that you could get significantly improved battery life by limiting the background processes on your laptop or something, but that is not generally a compromise I'd want to make. If that's not really the issue at hand, then I guess I'm curious but still not very excited. We already have the cmd-tab switcher and Mission Controll (née Exposé)... Not sure what new method of presentation they would have in mind that's not a list or a thumbnail.
m (29 Apr 2013 20:24): I do love that flat look
GRZA (10 Jun 2013 20:57): C.R.E.A.M.
m (30 Sep 2015 8:36): Apple finally coming around to some of the benefits of tiling window managers?
sam (3 Oct 2015 14:55): I'm tiling right now! Not super useful on a laptop though.
sam (3 Oct 2015 15:08): also the window resize blur is a bizarre throwback
R (4 Oct 2015 17:22): Yeah, what is up with that? Is split-view supposed to be so distraction-free that live-resize is disabled? So weird.
sam (9 Oct 2015 13:55): by the way i'm trying i3 now, and liking!
m (10 Oct 2015 7:07): i3 all the way!
m (10 Oct 2015 9:21): Just reading the thing Reed linked about switching from OSX to ChromeOS(!) for work use(!) via Google's really quite nice Chromebook Pixel. Mixed feelings. It's true most of what I do happens in a browser, but I don't understand the mechanics of twisting ChromeOS's arm into being a regular linux distro for everything else I need.

Still leaning Asus Zenbook for next laptop. Similar specs, solid form-factor, and lighter.
m (10 Oct 2015 9:22): oh...