Tech

OS X 10.5 Leopard: News on the new features; MacOS developments past and present

Introducing OS X 10.5 Leopard: HOTNESS!

Ok fine, that is really VisiCalc for the Apple II, one of the first Killer Apps in computing history.

(Note: The nifty blogging tool Ecto 3 is now at beta 6. It is still a bit buggy but i am a registered user so i'm giving em feedback on the bugs, crashes etc.)

A correction: someone anonymous added a comment that Apple WebKit, the core engine of Safari, is NOT derived from Gecko, the engine that runs Mozilla Firefox and other Mozilla web renderings (Thunderbird, Camino and SeaMonkey among them). Evidently the WebKit was an in-house project or whatever.

Today I started looking a bit at the history of Apple's OS evolution. It's a pretty arcane area. Chances are, you haven't been sitting around lately wondering "What ever happened to HyperCard or Quickdraw GX? What is the connection between Cocoa and Yellow Box / Rhapsody? Where did the OS X Developer Kit come from?" etc.

The hairy backroads of Apple's circuitous development path since the 1970s are not really that interesting to most people, but with OS X 10.5 just released, it is a good time to review where the Apple Macintosh operating system came from, and thereby getting a more granular sense of its trajectory and future developments.

The big trend I noticed when reading up on the history was how Apple used to have a lot of shoddy in-house technologies that never quite worked smoothly. The core of OS X itself came from the NeXT Corporation, and it's interesting to see how NeXT developer tools (Interface Builder mainly) were ported to OS 9 before X came out, and those sorts of elements became deeply embedded into OS X today.

A kind of plugin structure has been evolving in OS X: Core Audio, Core Graphics and other packages inspired by Quicktime's design will allow app creators to easily make powerful and cool applications.

AppleInsider.com is a damn fine website. So without further ado, a collection of articles which both explore the original history of the Apple, as well as the brand-new features in iCal, Developer Tools, Core Video and other aspects of the new OS X 10.5. Some of these are on the Insider, some on other sites.

Introductory Mac OS X Leopard Review: Present & Future Value. The historic big picture, including the Apple II and BeOS.

Introductory Mac OS X Leopard Review: Core Graphics and the new UI. Nitty Gritty stuff, but also a review of what's happened since OS X 10.0.

RoughlyDrafted.com: Ten myths of Leopard #1 Graphics must be slow. Shorter: It's faster because various drawing bits have finally been set up to run through the graphics card (GPU) instead of the CPU, so you can get purty effects without the pokiness, unlike Windows Vista.

RoughlyDrafted.com: How Apple Keyboards lost a logo and Windows PCs gained one. The true story of where the Command symbol came from: Swedish campground maps!

A look at the old techs: Platform Crisis: the Lazy Dinosaur. Proprietary techs and long term legacy support caused Apple and Microsmish to become "Lazy dinosaurs" at various points. The graphic is awesome.

Adobe to update some CS3 level apps for OS X 10.5. However your CS2 apps may go haywire and were "not designed" for Leopard and therefore may cause problems that eschatonistically "Likely to encounter issues for which there is no resolution." Like the Bush Administration?

An introductory review of 10.5: iCal and Mail. 10.5 Address Book and iChat: looking nifty. Check this out: all the effects available to mutate the looks of images are actually "Quartz composer composition files" and you can make your own. They are available all over Leopard in iChat, Photo Booth and elsewhere, part of Core Graphics. The main ones are in /System/Library/Compositions, but add your own at /Library/Compositions and create new photo filters in the Quartz Composer in the latest Developer Tools (more below). Also Address Book now automatically digs up TIFF files matching email addresses from Library/Images/People , anywhere a person's email address is used.

Both of these are cool elements that basically allow any developers to tie in their apps to an open framework in the system, creating better and more well-integrated applications. Like embedding Quicktime or other common things, new OS X development features seem to have a solid, open orientation that permits applications to use customized services around the whole system. This is the big evolution in OS X operating system design under the hood, and Linux and Windows would be wise to understand what is going on here. Look at the next one:

Strongly recommended for geeks: An introductory Mac OS X Leopard Review: Developer Tools. Includes HyperCard and AppleScript. Bonus: the new Developer Tools include easily deployed versions of key UI parts of iTunes: the iTunes Store heirarchy breadcrumb thingy is included, as well as the iTunes "smart playlist" Rules Editor system.

OS X server will run on virtual machines legally. Ok, one key thing for modern web servers is to run numerous 'virtual' operating systems on one server box, which takes a ton of RAM and CPU, but ensures that if you get hacked or otherwise trashed, the one virtual operating system can get chucked like a soda can without fucking up the other virtual OSes. You run like five virtual Linux boxes on one real machine, and they're basically unstoppable because even the worst fuck-ups can be limited to just killing a single virtual machine. Also allows better development because you can make test 'sandboxes' to run self-contained whatever. Apple changed their license policy to allow this, and it's a good thing:

Many of these businesses need to separate programs from the main operating system in the event of a malware infection or a crash, or else need a sandbox to test new software without buying an entirely separate computer. This is already commonplace with Virtual PC, VMware, and similar tools on most operating systems, but until now has been impossible with Apple hardware. This will change in the next several months when SWSoft intends to release Parallels with its first instance of Mac OS X virtualization support, Rudolph says.

All righty, good stuff to check out if it's your kind of thing.

Halo Hangover

Ok, so finally yesterday Zacharias demanded that I bring the Xbox 360 back to their house because they purchased some used games for it. I - and more skilled visitors over here - accumulated a whopping 50 Xp (xperience points) on his Xbox user name. We are at about 123 XP, which is 27 short of the threshold to become an 'officer' on the bungie.net system. It has military ranks to encourage social structure, or mark competence, or whatever.

I seriously can't believe these users who have already logged 400 games (or more!) since the game was released a couple weeks ago. Although of course, it could be several people using the same User to build up points - a heavily used account for a whole frat, or whatever.

When I got it unhooked and out of here, it dawned on me that very little has been accomplished lately, my apartment is a complete mess (mostly papers and such though, not too much groady rotting foodstuffs). I moved in a month and a half ago, and really a lot of things are still in their original boxes and locations. My bedroom is a complete afterthought. The dirty dishes have been rotting away for more than two weeks.

So when you play Halo 3 to the exclusion of virtually everything else, then yes, everything does screech to a halt. That's why I'm calling today the day of the Halo Hangover.

On the upside, I spent about 90 minutes setting up a new website for a friend of mine using my hosting account. For now, the site is secret since the whole concept is under development, but it is a good progressive kind of thing, and I pointed him towards trying Drupal as a platform.

These days I am quite the Drupal advocate, but that's all right since it is open source and extremely versatile for content presentation. When updates come out for Drupal and its modules, i can do a kind of roundhouse kick across numerous sites to update all of them at once. It is easier to build up expertise for one Content Management System then get splintered among Wordpress, Mambo/Joomla and the others, although I have enough working knowledge of them to customize their look without a huge amount of hassle.

New OS X blogging tool: Ecto 3 beta 3 available!

Update aboot 6 hrs later: Beta 4 just came out, now thats what i call a quick dev cycle. should be at same URL

You can download it here: http://infinite-sushi.com/ecto.zip. I am using it now and it certainly ain't glitch-free, but it has been a long time in coming, and I purchased the last version, so I'm happy to see this in action. There's a new Bookmarklet which you can drop into an existing browser:

ectoize

"After installing the bookmarklet, you can create weblog entries from any webpage you are visiting. When viewing a page that you want to write about, select some text you want to quote, and then choose or click the "ectoize" item from the browser's Bookmarks Bar. This will open a new draft window in ecto with text from and details about the current webpage."

Not bad. It was able to download all the tags from Drupal quite nicely, and should rock on Wordpress and MovableType as well. They have a new website at infinite-sushi.com. Inserting hyperlinks from the clipboard is now command-shift-U . It has a little trouble styling the text, but likely this is related to a dependency on which Safari version you have.

It uses the WebKit, the Gecko-derived engine for rendering web pages, and upon launch, Ecto begs you to install Safari 3 Beta in order to make this gizmo render stuff more reliably. WebKit is provided by / is the kernel of Safari's innards. I have avoided Safari 3 Beta because I heard it was kinda hairy, and i am not really happy with Safari. But for this, I will probably bite.

The Ecto beta will work for a few weeks, then you'll have to grab the new one. I am impressed and will try to offer useful info to the developers about it, because this new Ecto has been rewritten from scratch and should provide a much better way for plugins and add-ons to push data out through the back end of Content Management Systems.

They have also released 'endo' for RSS aggregation and '1001' for Flickr stuff.

All this talk reminds me I have a very late email response owed to send to a friend who needed tips on this stuff...

Drupal 5.3 works just fine

Yeah I had to take the site offline for quite a while because Drupal 5.3 came out last week, replacing dire security holes in Drupal 5.2. These things have to be taken seriously, so I shut it off until I got around to upping the version.

There's plenty of stuff built up that I wanted to post about, but right now I'm just gonna watch Valerie Plame appearing on MSNBC Countdown with Keith Olbermann ... then George Carlin. Not too bad.

Other than that, also someone known as alias 'Zacharias' left his XBOX 360 with Halo 3 here, thus I've been building up big points on that. I'm better at driving the Warthog than up-close combat.

There is good news with OS X 10.5 coming out, with much improved Securitay, and also with Drupal 6 already reaching Beta 2 stage, which is going to turn out fantastic.

A lot of stuff going on, trying to help friends with web developments, etc... Fortunately a lot of Drupal overlap has been engineered, some by me, some by an emerging consensus. Sweet.

Flying killer robots; Russians up to something

UK Register: USAF seeks control of aerial kill-bots:

Everyone knows about the current rise of the aerial killer robot. These machines are now in operation across the US military, and have already reaped a deadly harvest in Southwest Asia.

But the big deathbot battle isn't, in fact, in Iraq of Afghanistan; it's between the various branches of the US armed services, regarding who will be in charge of all the new flying slaughter machines and spy-eyes.

The United States Air Force (USAF) has been engaged for at least two years now in an attempt to seize control of almost all US military drones and flying kill-bots. The USAF was arguably left at the starting line in this rapidly-growing death-tech arena, perhaps due to the natural reluctance of human pilots to see their jobs automated out of existence.

Both the US Navy and Marines have strong aviator subcultures, of course, and even the US Army has huge numbers of helicopter drivers, but only in the USAF is the aircrew dominance total.

USAF generals are often vocally sceptical about unmanned aircraft, and the USAF has so far failed to move forward with serious, heavy, jet-powered drone combat aircraft.

Even its prop-driven Predator-B/Reaper hunter-killer, thus far the heftiest aerial death-droid in operation, must be handled remotely by a fully-qualified human pilot and sensor operator.

Yikes. Relevant article I can't find a fulltext of, but very sweet: The Coming Robot Army: America's future killing machines. Sweet in an evil way. It was pretty creepy how all these military-industrial pitchmen kept talking about Hollywood-oriented styles and prospects for more wars with fewer casualties. Far more cash for the military-industrial complex, they're circling it like vultures.

Doonesbury has had a thing about shady Beltway lobbyists working for brutal dictators, a subject of a sweet undercover story in Harper's by Ken Silverstein. Sorry, pay only :(

Bush wants the money.

Russian Tu-95 bombers cruised over to Guam in a new example of Russians acting like Russians.

Paul Craig Roberts is an old conservative guy who's turned way against the Bush administration, going far enough to warn of staged false-flag 'Gulf of Tonkin' style incidents to start a war with Iran. "Uncle Sam, your banker will see you now" and "US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance."

I just posted a huge summary of the MnDOT bridge collapse documents at Politics in Minnesota. I will repost it here later. That is all right now.

Scanning all the children's eyes for the DataBase

When you gotta make sure that the plan for total Orwellian identification gets rolled out for the younger generation, count on Berkshire County sheriffs to put your kid's eyeballs patterns into a big national database. Which I'm sure will somehow not get erased when they're 18.

Why is this? Are they suggesting that hordes of children are kidnapped and brainwashed every year into forgetting their own names?

"The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office is starting a campaign to photograph the eyes of every school-age child in the county for inclusion in a national database meant to help identify recovered children more quickly.

With "iris recognition biometric technology," law enforcement officials can access the database on laptop computers wirelessly via a secure Web site to identify a subject in 12 to 15 seconds, said Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano Jr. At any location with access to a cell tower, the database will be wirelessly accessible.

He noted that it also will be used for the elderly.

"This is a wonderful tool for sheriffs and police throughout the commonwealth and the nation," Massimiano said. "We're going to every school that wants us to and take pictures of the children's irises for inclusion in the national database."

I found this on the Agonist where I made a couple points: 1: this kind of thing gets initiated and carried out at the local level. as a decision tree, the key nodes are not "at the center of the big brother conspiracy." instead they occur because of shared ideology at the lower levels. 2: guys like Alex Jones who are over-the-top paranoid are ultimately the kinds of people you need to shine light on this sort of insanity.

Presidential candidate Ron Paul: The media-suppressed candidate of the year! Even MySpace thinks he's spam!

Here's a good one. Over the last couple weeks, the star of the Internets has been obscure Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, an outspoken Libertarian of the old school, who's been running for president on the GOP ticket for quite a while. You wouldn't know that, of course, because of that funny way the media has of sucking oxygen out of campaigns. Paul has been virtually ignored everywhere in the mainstream, naturally.

I don't have time to insert the links now. Instead enjoy the videos!

The first GOP presidential debate got him more attention, but it immediately became apparent there was a serious and profound media prejudice/filtering effect pressing on Dr. Paul like a ton of bricks. Paul kept winning Internet polls, but this was attributed to his wily hacker constituency. Otherwise he went virtually unmentioned in AP coverage for example. ABC News got caught with its hand in the cookie jar: they refused to even put his name on their online poll. There was a big outcry and they had to add him. Paul won the poll by thousands.

None of this compared to the great, ominously orwellian censorship exercise MySpace spit out days later. Everyone who tried to post Ron Paul bulletins found their accounts instantly suspended for phishing. [ie suspected spammer/hacker activity]. Soon a MySpace moderator spilled the beans: links to Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet.com embedded in the Ron Paul posts trigger the MySpace spam filter. Jones, the noted internet conspiracy guy, has been an outspoken Ron Paul supporter, since he is really, surely, not part of the New World Order/globalist bastard conspiracy/etc. Paul would be the last president to set up Orwellian total control for the corporate masters, so, you know, posts about him get jammed off MySpace instantly.

Here was Ron Paul at the first presidential debate:


Here was video from the second debate, where Ron Paul and Giuliani exploded at each other, probably the highlight of the day. Paul outlines the concept of "Blowback" under heavy fire, and the audience doesn't like it too much. CIA analysts roll their eyes...


Here's the video of the MySpace auto-censorship in action. Nice work MoreRockin!

When you look at it like that, everything makes sense.

Here's Ron Paul talking about adapting to Fourth Generation Warfare AND the prospects of staging Gulf of Tonkin-style Iran war provocations.


Here's Ron Paul telling those damn sonsa bitches that the Federal Reserve board is illegal! "Ron Paul 0wnz the Federal Reserve": "We don't even have M3 statistics" in Congress any more...

Back from the dead! Back to the Future! This website started in November 2000, and it's going to start that way again

A friend of mine uncovered something obvious that had eluded me for a long time.

First a step through the looking glass, circa March 2001:

Safariscreensnapz038

The Internet Wayback Machine has stashed most of the content of the original HongPong.com, as well as Thwart.net, the other site I ran as a main blog for the first 1.5 years over at Macalester. Somehow I just never noticed the Wayback Machine had all this stuff. I seem to recall looking into it once before without finding much. But hey, whatever, here it is preserved forever! It did not collect the images from each part, but that's not a big deal compared with recovering the text of long-lost missives from Roy, Fatty, Frogisis and Mordred.

Here is most of the Wiki.hongpong.com that met an ugly end from another hard drive crash: this was a very cool page about the geopolitics of pipelines that died badly. It also doesn't have images but i still have those. I had lost the text until today!!

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And here is one from Thwart.net around November 2002, just after Wellstone's death

Safariscreensnapz039

Incredible. Well not really that incredible. But it's a really great find, which basically reverses most of the years of data loss. Furthermore, I have every intention of adding all these old posts to the Drupal system, so that effectively THIS incarnation of Hongpong.com will include all the ancient material. After all, while not operative continuously, this site has been in operation for a very long time in internet terms. Starting up in November 2001 definitely makes it one of the oldest blog-sites around. NewsPro, PHP-Nuke, Wordpress, Scoop, MovableType and today Drupal, Hongpong.com (and thwart.net, which I still own) have run on most of the systems, usually on home-brewed server setups that only catastrophically die occasionally.

Safariscreensnapz040

Also, for that matter, the hongpong.com I set up nearly seven years ago was actually organized pretty well, in many ways organized better than it is now. So a good swath of the old material will just get grafted right in, as top-level elements of the site design. You will be able to read the whole thing from November 2000 right through to today.

I haven't seen this in one hell of a long time:

  Thwart.Net Standby

  <a href=Www.Hongpong.Com Artie" />

AMAZING. And yes I am going to have to add the Groovy Penguins back in.

Poindexter Total Information Awareness data mining moves to Authoritarian Singapore

 PoindexterSingapore, a casual Asian dictatorship justly known for its canings, has a new cat in town: controversial Iran-Contra coordinator and all-around Orwellian Superstar John "Can't Recall" Poindexter has set up shop to make a new Total Information Awareness system over there.

Wired Reports: Son of TIA Will Mine Asian Data:

Nearly four years after Congress pulled the plug on what critics assailed as an Orwellian scheme to spy on private citizens, Singapore is set to launch an even more ambitious incarnation of the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness program -- an effort to collect and mine data across all government agencies in the hopes of pinpointing threats to national security.

The Singapore prototype of the system -- dubbed Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning, or RAHS -- was rolled out early this week at a conference in the Southeast Asia city-state. Retired U.S. Adm. John Poindexter, the architect of the original Pentagon program, traveled to Singapore to deliver a speech at the unveiling, while backers have already begun quietly touting the system to U.S. intelligence officials......

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So you have the shrewd actor archetype sorter of: true leaders, ideological zealots, power-hungry autocrats [i'm assuming], selfish exploiters, bungling incompetents, depraved evil-doers, and then Strong and Good. This is possibly the stupidest Orwellian data mining interface I've ever seen. But hey as long as it looks good to the cash handlers. And of course it's nice to see they're using OS X. I zoomed into the image a bit and you can discern that Muqtada Sadr has a button, etc.

Wayne Madsen had a couple bits on this March 26. Grains of salt with him, etc. I'm gonna jack the images anyway.

 Tia

Best Government logo ever: DARPA Masonic eye scanning world, with Scientia est Potentia: Knowledge is power, and total knowledge = total power! Bonus points for all.

How to clear the OS X font cache when your text is garbled

I installed some new fonts and now things are a little bit garbled up. Probably what happened is a new font is a duplicate of an old one and confuses the reference somewhere.

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This makes your everyday conspiracy surfing sort of a dyslexic problem. Fortunately the solution isn't too bad: You just have to clear the font caches - the spots storing whatever streamlines font display. ("Optimizing font menu performance" type application messages mark the creation of these).

To unravel this, A bit from CreativeTechs.com:

Font caches have become a real headache for Mac OS X users. When fonts are activated they are cached for use. Some of these font caches are handled by the OS and some of these font caches are handled by the applications themselves. In either case it is very easy for individual cache files to become corrupt, causing this common display annoyance.

If you are experiencing problems in a specific appliation (Microsoft Entourage for example), you'll want a tool that clears the font caches for that application as well as the general Mac OS X font caches

So try using FontNuke to clear the damn things. Then you reboot and it should be flushed out. See also CreativeTechs' Garbled Fonts Troubleshooting Guide and specific answers for Safari and Mail glitches (which I'm getting).

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