This past weekend I finally finished archiving the most of the contents of my MacBook Pro so I could install the new version of Mac OS X: 10.5 (Leopard). Overall the install went fine.. I opted to use the case-sensitive HFS on this go around. My first impressions are that the UI does look a little more polished and standardized now. Several of the settings dialogs have been revamped too. The networking settings for one are a lot more cohesive now. Though I have to chuckle, i feel like the settings are also growing to look more like the network settings found in older versions of windows. I must admit i haven’t played with all of the new features too much yet (spaces, time machine, etc).
As far as programming things go though, I am impressed by some of the following things: a new /etc.d/ way of creating a standard PATH variable across the system, the use of XQuartz (an eventually mainline version of X.org compatible with the mac) which attempts to init transparently for X apps, the newer terminal and XCode tools, and finally a nicer way to change your shell (since i’m a tcsh user). It’s also nice to see some applications deciding to use brand new frameworks in order to really enhance their quality.
I just patched my wordpress distro to 2.2.2, It’s kind of nice that they have their trac organized enough that they can post links to trac queries for the patches and changelists to be autogenerated. It kind of likens to my following of many open source projects through blogs and just watching the checkin/issue logs on something like trac.
There is good news for me this week though. I am supposedly for real actually on my way to graduating with my master’s degree in computer science. All of the paperwork is in flight, and grades have been put in, so it’s only a matter of time I have been told. When I get the certificate, everyone is invited over to celebrate. Also, I survived a week of work, and I’m closing in on the remaining large HR and new hire junk that everyone must deal with. The next step is my huge learning curve on the systems I’ll be working with. Good think I have a bunch of big, strong, tasty beers at home :)
By the way, what do you think about the new articles on MSN Censorship? If you ask me it’s pretty bad. It seems to fall into that net neutrality gray area (they’re doing it to protect people from virii, but, come on, a filter like that is hurting as much as it is helping!). Hopefully it can be resolved and people won’t have to tell people to go to sites like growl dot info.
So a friend of mine let me know about this sweet application: synergy. It’s supported on all the major platforms, works over the net (LAN would be suggested). If you set up ssh portforwarding you could make it secure, but i’m serving on a windows machine and i’m only using it locally. Anyhow, the app allows you to share your mouse and keyboard (and optionally clipboard depending) across any machine. it’s more or less a snap to setup, windows has a dialog based configurator. OSX and linux have a simple text config file (which is normal for those platforms).
I am somewhat curious as to why configurations must be mirrored across machines, maybe just to reduce the overhead of announcing it from the server. Perhaps i’ll look into it, or better yet, port the configurator to cocoa, wouldn’t that be nifty? The software is available as a binary for OSX, but i opted to install it via port (which has the latest version). If you have a few machines sitting at a desk and don’t want to use a full blown vnc system, this really simplifies usage.
So today I started work in earnest on my “nightlife” site for pittsburgh. You can see it slowly progress here. Ideally i’d like to list all of the bars actually still around Pittsburgh, with the normal info (location, hours, specials, pictures, etc.). As time progresses I hope to add more information and functionality (suggestions are welcome). Also, since I’ve been intrigued by Google Maps as well as their new Mapplets feature, that is a target for this site too.
Other sites like BarSmart and iLoveDrinks are ok as far as lists go. BarSmart is indeed trying to improve upon that by hosting mini-sites in an effort to keep strong ties and have correct information. I’m making my site less for commercial purposes and more for the ease of use I’d expect from a good information service.
So on my MacBook Pro, I ended up giving up on Fink after a little usage (Fink Commander was having another hissy fit when I last used it). Anyhow, I decided to use DarwinPorts instead, because at the time I needed a copy of cracklib installed somewhere for a class project. It worked out pretty well, and has since continued to grow nicer. They have renamed the project to MacPorts and are hosted by Apple (afaik).
Today I went to upgrade all of my ports since I was using my lab desktop and my laptop was sitting mostly idle, only to discover I had multiple copies of many of my installed ports. When I tried to uninstall them it refused, noting that they were depended upon. This however was not true though, since they were inactive and a newer version was being used. After a little googling and a look at the man page, I found out the following command would do the upgrade, and forcibly remove the currently installed version
port -fun upgrade outdated
After using that, I forcibly uninstalled all the inactive ports I had (since if something really bad does happen I can always downgrade them, and these are more toy apps, not mission-critical). Now I have a single copy of all my ports installed, at the latest version; this is very good since I’m already running out of hard drive space on my laptop ’cause I haven’t learned to temper my free iTunes downloading of video :O