June 30, 2003

Curious

It's curious that the iSight manual mentions at least four times that to use the iSight with videoconferencing apps other than iChat AV, you must install iChat AV. This, however, is patently untrue. I have it working with both iVisit and Yahoo Messenger with nary a sign of iChat AV on my TiBook. I wonder why they'd go to such lengths to say otherwise.

On another note, interest has picked up again on Camino development. I've got a couple people working on the download manager as well as a full bookmark infrastructure rewrite in progress by someone else. What a nice thing to return to from a tiring week in Cali. :)

Posted by pinkerton at 10:33 PM

Camino v. Panther update

As several of you have pointed out, Camino 0.7 works with Panther. It appears to only be trunk builds that no longer function. We'll keep looking at it, thanks for the feedback.

I'm trying to install Panther on a spare G4 400 in my office and it just won't install. The installer can't drive the monitor at the correct resolution (though jaguar is fine) and the installer is now hung somewhere in the middle asking for disc 2. I gave it disc two but it's still hung. *shrug* So my ability to debug this stuff is, well, feeble at best.

Posted by pinkerton at 1:05 PM

June 28, 2003

Stop Telemarketers

I recommend everyone sign up for the national "do not call" list, unless, of course, you like that kind of thing.

Posted by pinkerton at 4:05 AM

Shame!

After running panther through some paces, we've discovered two things:


  • Mozilla (and that means Camino) don't work on Panther -- it doesn't load webpages at all. Creating a new tab in camino crashes down in OS code. What this means is that nobody even ran it. Now I understand why they didn't run Mozilla, but to not have even run Camino?
  • Apple has removed the preference UI to set default browser, mail app, and download location. Well, they didn't quite remove it, they moved the UI to the respective application, either Safari or Mail. What this means is that to change these prefs, I have to run the very app that I am trying to replace, or hope that the app I'm replacing it with duplicates this functionality. It means more work for developers (read: myself) who are competing with Apple applications.

Both of these discoveries sadden me. I'm sure they weren't done out of any intent to harm, but out of sheer ignorance. Apple only seems to want 3rd party developers as long as they're not trying to compete.

Posted by pinkerton at 4:01 AM

June 24, 2003

XCrap

At first, I thought the redesign of XCode was pretty cool. Now i'm almost positive it's one of the worst apps I've seen come out of apple in a long time. The UI is terrible, and developers are worse off in many ways than before.

Case in point, editing include paths. Before, you'd click the target and click the GCC panel and you'd see a nice list of include paths. Ok, the list was a little narrow, but you could see one per line and they were easy to read. Now, you have to click the target, then (after waiting for all the files in it to appear) click the info button -- which, mind you, is different than double-clicking it! What you now have to edit the search paths (and my app has plenty) is a single text field. That's right. A single text field that's only as wide as you make the info window. Streeeeeetch. Nope, still not wide enough. Whose bright idea was this!!? What adds even more insult to injury is that if you leave the target as a PB target, you get the old (and better) UI. "Upgrading" it makes the UI worse.

It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't crowing at the conference about the thought they put into this new UI and how they got help from the design team.

Posted by pinkerton at 2:03 PM

June 23, 2003

California Dreamin'

I've been here in cold and windy SanFran for 3 days now (I got in saturday morning) and it's much like I remember. It's hard to imagine that I've been gone nearly two years, yet it's even stranger how quickly everything comes back. I notice signs that are new, I recall driving directions and shortcuts. The mind works in mysterious ways.

FWIW, my Netscape badge still works a-ok.

The keynote was entertaining, the Kool-Aid very tropical-punchy, and I'm enjoying my new iSight and cup full of Jamba Juice. I never thought I would live to see the day of a G5. Of course, it comes bundled with the typical outlandish claims from the fruit about price and performance. Sigh.

I've been playing with my work project in XCode and if you thought the old Project Builder was crash-happy, boy are you in for a treat. XCode not only crashes if you look at it funny, it crashes if you look at anything else funny. Heck, it crashes even if your eyes are closed. The other thing I noticed is that you get none of the cool features unless you convert your PB targets to native targets. If you don't, be prepared for nothing in the UI to update. Gee, thanks for telling us guys.

Congrats to Gramps and Jinglepants for Safari 1.0. Is it the "greatest web browser on any platform"? No. Is it pretty good given how long they've been working on it? Yes. Cut hyatt some slack, folks. I'll smack him around good and plenty this week when I see him.

As for webkit, I'm sure after seeing the demos many of you are going to set out to build the next great web browser. You will quickly find, however, that WebKit 1.0 isn't really meant for that. Just try to build a cookie manager or popup whitelist. Guess what, you can't. Some things are just not meant for this world. It is nice, thought, especially if you need a basic web browser in your cocoa app. It slips in very easily with almost no pain.

Oops, there goes XCode again. Crash.

Posted by pinkerton at 10:39 PM

June 12, 2003

Deterrence

Last night, i watched a very interesting movie called Deterrence which I think I'd heard about watching the commentary track of some other good movie, mentioned in the same breath as Reservoir Dogs. Not only is it very relevant to current events (Iraqi aggression, weapons of mass destruction, etc) and fairly well written, one aspect really makes the movie for me: it is set entirely in a single location, a diner.

Using a single location poses a distinct challenge to everyone involved in the movie as you can no longer use what the audience sees to help tell the story, a fundamental tenent pounded into you if you read any book on writing screenplays. Sure, things happen in other locations, but the writer and director and the actors must make you believe that the rest of the world which you cannot see is real, and just as real as the world that you can.

One result is that it makes the movie unique to each person as each viewer is free to picture what's outside the diner any way they like. It's almost like a book or a radio play in that regard. The movie just wouldn't be the same if we saw everything.

My hats off to the writer/director, Rod Lurie, for a movie that definately deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dogs.

Posted by pinkerton at 10:23 AM

June 9, 2003

News you can't use

I had a whining and self-indulgent blog written, but i deleted it and started over. It was fucking crap anyways.

The news has finally leaked that DirecTV will be expanding their HD lineup with a new movie channel, Discovery HD, and the coveted ESPN-HD. While the new lineup is not free of charge, it will be a most welcome addition. The most interesting aspect of the announcement is that they posted it on their website, but left it commented out in the HTML pending the official press release. Unfortunately, an enterprising web surfer discovered it and splashed it all over the AVS Forum, scooping the press release by hours. Let this be a lesson to anyone who puts anything outside the firewall, hoping people won't see it. If they're looking, they will. Reminds me of the people way back when who used to camp out on the Netscape.com FTP site hitting reload every 15 seconds because there was a rumor of a new Navigator beta.

After watching several of the NBA finals games on ABC in HD (btw, boooooooooring), I'm unsure at to whether the softness that people (including myself) complain about is because we're only getting 720p from ABC. Things up close look sharp, but crowd scenes look soft in the distance. Certainly missing 300 lines of resolution would do that, no? I'm sure most of us are used to seeing 1080i and anything else lacks a certain detail that makes the picture "pop". Just a guess.

I'm dismayed, after using Firebird on a PC, how much it just kicks camino's ass in rendering speed. It's not even close. It's almost enough to send me headlong into another "what's 2% of 5%?" spiral.

Another thing that really pisses me off is that there are tons of things in Camino's UI that need improving (the download manager comes to mind among a long list of other things) but I just don't have the time. Oh, I'm sorry, I have a life and a job. However, that doesn't seem to be enough for some people, who repeatedly insist (or dare I say, threaten) these shortcomings be fixed or they'll go use a different browser. See this? This is me giving you the finger. Get over yourself. I have.

I do, at the very least, seem to be having better success playing GTA:ViceCity on a PS2 than on a PC. Simple pleasures, but I'll never get close to finishing.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:48 PM

June 3, 2003

A Year To Wait

I just saw Peter Krause on Live With Regis and whatshername (don't ask, my TiVo loves me) and he said that there won't be new episides of Six Feet Under until next June. Next June!! What is a straight guy to do?!

Posted by pinkerton at 8:32 PM

June 2, 2003

Lord Stanley Would Love It

Hockey is one of those games where even bad HD turns the game into an entirely new experience. ABC's coverage of the Stanley Cup is mediocre at best, especially given what we've seen on HDNet, but compared to SD it's simply amazing. Normally when you watch hockey on TV, you're playing "where's the puck?" for 60 minutes. In HD you're a part of the action. Not only do you always know where the puck is, but you can see the intricate passing as full plays develop. If you are a hockey fan and haven't yet seen a game in HD, get thee to your neighborhood electronics store.

That said, ABC (and thus ESPN-HD) really needs to get their game together. There are too many SD cameras with bad up-conversion, the black levels are waaaay off, and even the HD cameras are soft and out of focus. HDNet's coverage of regular season games had none of these problems, and about 1/100 the budget. Makes me sad, but hopeful.

I'm looking forward to the NBA finals as well (staring Wednesday), but I'm sure it will be ABC-business-as-usual. I'll still watch, though.

Posted by pinkerton at 9:07 PM