Archive for February, 2008

My First iTunes Movie Rental

Last night I rented a movie from iTunes for the first time and watched in on my MacBook Pro. The whole operation was pretty great, with only a minor couple of glitches. After renting and download started, I waited until about 100 megabytes of the 1.5 gigabytes had downloaded. The audio started but the screen was white. I got out of full screen mode and stopped the movie. When I restarted it, I had video as well. Later, I paused the movie for about an hour in full screen, but it wouldn’t resume until I left full screen. Other than those two minor glitches, the experience was fantastic. The audio and video quality were great. Kudos to Apple. I think this will be a fantastic service.

Lunar Eclipse

I just spent about 20 minutes watching the lunar eclipse go total. I love watching it. Even on a cold night. The moon looks so magical as a dim, sort of crimson object, instead of a bright, white one. We were lucky here to see it, as cloudy skies were forecast.

Lunar Eclipse Wednesday

There’s a Full Lunar Eclipse for the Americas on Wednesday! I love lunar eclipses, but it looks like it may be cloudy on Wednesday.

How to Change the Case of Finder Labels in Leopard

A quick search of the term “uppercase” at got me this. Took me about 2 minutes and now I have capitalized rather than uppercased labels. Now to find out how to change Mail and iCal and I will be a happy Leopard user…






As I get familiar with Leopard, one other annoyance is the introduction of ALL CAPS into the UI. I hate them. ALL CAPS are the text equivalent of a RAISED VOICE. The two places that I’ve noticed them are in the Mail and Finder sidebars. Mail used to use lowercase which was much less obtrusive.

finder-sidebar.png mail-sidebar.png

The other thing: why the MAILBOXES label? Tiger’s mail didn’t have the label, I don’t need it and it wastes vertical space. At least let me make it lowercase…

From the Tiger to the Leopard

Well, Mac OS 10.5.2 came out the other day and I decided it was time to start my migration to Leopard. The first glitch was that my Leopard disc was DOA. Bogus. No good. Kaputt. The dang thing wouldn’t show up in either computer, so I called Apple and they are sending me a replacement. In the meantime, I’ve borrowed a disc from a buddy.

I do a clean installation every time. Upgrades don’t work–they leave too much old crap on the system. Stuff that might interfere with the proper operation of things under the hood or with my development tools. Too make things easy, I installed to a partition of my new backup drive and then started transferring my data and applications over. Everything was smooth, except for Mail, which applied the junk filter to my previously sorted imap data. I mean, WTF? Then I discovered that it was treating my whole imap tree from one of my accounts as the junk folder. After some hair-pulling, my buddy Anoop got me straight. I had to configure Mail to use a specified junk folder. Like I would have figured that out. My lord. So I created a folder and told mail to use it for Junk and the problem was solved. The new folder suddenly reappeared at the top of the folders window renamed Junk with the Junk icon.

I also ran into a glitch installing MySQL server from MacPorts. Everything seemed to go fine, but when I ran the launchd/launchctl mojo, MySQL would not run. I reinstalled a few times and no love. Finally, I just wiped out MacPorts and started from scratch and all went fine. The first time I had neglected to initialize the db right away and perhaps that was the cause of my troubles. I’ll never know, but starting over completely was a pretty painless operation and solved the problem.

Leopard fixes many issues under the hood, adds Time Machine, a new multi-threaded Finder, and more. But I must say, The new flat, blue folder icons are just terrible–a real step backwards. Also, I’ve had to move from my wonderful old NetNewsWire 2.5 to the new 3.1 as some of the old version’s key commands do not work in Leopard. Makes me sad, because I really hate the giant, blue bubbles used for the unread article count. The are loud and obtrusive. I much preferred the old parenthetical style of indicating the unread count.

Safari 3 is also a good step up–I was still on a 2.x version because I did not upgrade Tiger to 10.4.11, choosing to stay at .10, since there had been many reported issues. I don’t know what I think about its search yet though.

I’m really glad to be on Leopard though. As a developer and incessant computer user, it’ll be great to have the stability, new Finder, DTrace and other features of the new system–not to mention Time Machine.

Bad News for Beer-Drinkers!

Wow, I just found out from my local favorite wine and beer shop, Market Street, that there is a world-wid hop shortage!

Well, what we feared is now upon us. The first of the price increases reflecting grain and hop shortages (if you don’t know, there’s a world-wide hop shortage) will take effect this month. Look for domestic and imported beer prices to rise sharply as the supplies of malts and hops from multiple varieties continue to fall way behind demand. Hop heads, prepare to hang your hop heads.

And as if price changes weren’t bad enough … we also can expect many of our favorite beers to change their recipes to reflect hop availability, or lack of ability as the case is. (Such things as an IPA made solely of one Pacific Northwest hop may be a thing of the past.) Things will be toughest for smaller and newer craft breweries, of course, but we may see even established breweries forced to retire brands. Everyone expects the shortages to slow the Craft Beer Boom. For lovers of fine beer, the landscape is about to change.

As a beer-lover, I can’t believe that I missed this before. Here’s an NPR story: Hops Shortage Likely to Boost Price of Beer.



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