Archive for the ‘mac’ Category

mobileme *and* gmail?

August 12, 2008

We have been discussing that off and on, but here is a piece from someone, who actually tried it … and seemingly abandoned the idea after a few hours. Nice detailed listing what’s possible, and what’s not:

MobileMe and Gmail: Pick one or expect frustration


google and apple: mobiles, me and the cloud

June 29, 2008

Thinking about buying an iPhone2 is one of the things to do lately, and with the upcoming mobileme there is a whole new dimension to the pondering: should you go for an open standard like Android, and the google side of the street, or for a seemingly open, but appearantly pretty controlled environment like the iphone and mobileme?

I honestly don’t know. I was in favor of an iphone until very recently, when mobileme turned out to be a pretty restrictive thing in terms of interoperability with other online services, that I use (like gmail).

I am a fan of the apple-philosophy – to build few but very good things – and to make your computer run with a well integrated and spectacularly useful user interface. But now I have doubts, whether this approach scales up to web based systems. The apple experience is about a box with perfectly tuned stuff inside. What is the cloud about?

I think it is about integration beyond hardware, and far beyond sticking with a single company to provide you with everything – especially since you trust a lot of stuff into their hands. Unlike for hardware, and my computer box, which just has to run, I would like to be able to use web-based services by lots of different providers in a convenient fashion. I just can’t see a single provider having all exiting ideas – and I would like to try all of them.

So I might as well wait for the second iteration of android phones, and hope that they come with decent hardware.

A piece in Wired describes the story behind Android.

mobileme or gmail?

June 27, 2008

… that is the question. I am happy with my gmail account, so should I buy a mobileme one? Can I use them both at the same time in some streamlined convenient integrated fashion? MobileMe is sexy, but gmail is convenient. What shall we do? Where can we go? Where is my stressbollen … I have to go.

A nice piece on that on cult of mac.

HD tapeless video and MACs

June 6, 2008

So ever eager to stay informed on purchase options that are not going to materialize – because A. I don’t really need the stuff, and B. it’s actually pretty expensive – lately I am getting a pro in tapeless HD camcorders.

It turns out, that even-though you can plug these camcorders in the computer, and usually can see the videos as files, the importing is by no means trivial. It seems that the codecs are far beyond the capabilities of the software one would usually use, and well what can I say: everybody seems to love their own proprieteriness a tad to much.

In this spirit here is a piece on 5 tapeless camcorders and how they work (or don’t) with a MAC. Good thing: the canon, which is on the top of my virtual ‘I would buy it if I would need it’ list, seems to cooperate smoothly.

Tapeless camcorders are not a Mac’s best friend at MacWorld

syslogd gone wild

January 8, 2008

Since Leopard my mac sometimes begins to freeze and I recognized that my syslogd is running at 100-150% with 1Gb of virtual memory. I wondered a little bit about it and began digging in Google.

My research ended in a guess. (If its wrong – please drop me a note)

The reason is, that buggy programs are filling up the syslogd with debug messages – mostly Apple Event Debug messages in my case. When the file /var/log/asl.db is over 20-25 mb big, the syslogd goes wild

so execute in your prefered shell

     sudo rm /var/log/asl.db && sudo killall syslogd

and it will stop for a while.


I am looking for a permanent solution. If you know one – please drop me note.

have fun

macbook mouse move graphics error and fix

November 30, 2007

This is what happened: suddenly the lower half of the upper half of my screen started to jump approximately 1 pixel up and down, when my mouse crossed a certain horizontal line on the screen + I had two vertical 1 pixel offsets in my screen + I couldn’t grab the effect in a screen shot, because everything was fine in a screen shot. It didn’t really jump a lot – so the screen was usable – just the bit, that makes your unconsciousness go really crazy with the thought ‘right, thats my graphics card, minimum time after guaranty expiry’ …

If you just want to fix it, jump to the ‘quick solution’, while I rant on here …

Things that you can do, but that don’t really help

You can clean up your startup list of programs, and remove everything – doesn’t fix the problem, but my mac starts with light-speed again. You can remove the desktop background – well this one I put back in place by now. You could restart, change the screen resolution, the number of colors displayed, go through lots of forums … or:

The quick solution

I had a basically unused spare account on my mac, and copied the from this account, and replaced my version on my account. BAM. fixed. (this took the better part of a day)  Note that from the preference panel point of view, universal access was turned off all the time during this episode.

change the 3D Dock in a 2D Dock (Mac OSX Leopard)

November 18, 2007

One week ago I installed Leopard. Well I am quite happy. There are some disappointing bugs, but I hope they will be fixed soon. (like my beloved python does not compile and mplayer from macports works only with disabled SSE and MMX).

Another thing was the 3D Dock. I find it a little bit ugly. So if you want to change it to 2D, here’s the trick.

open a terminal an execute

defaults write no-glass -boolean YES; killall Dock

You can undo this with

defaults write no-glass -boolean NO; killall Dock


have fun



I found this in this german blog (thanks guys)

PS: Sorry corrected a error (removed the sudo)

command line @ your mac

October 2, 2007

At they have a nice wrapup on useful command line tricks in macos. Real sweetness with command line arrives if you install quicksilver.

(This will come in handy, when we explore the systemless-gtd-sytem btw)

GTD Salsa: in 80 days around the world

October 1, 2007

Ever wrote all your super important and time sensitive info in a gadgety note taking and self administration tool? Ever recovered that info exactly half a year after its relevance horizon? Then this post is for you, but beware, this is not the post for the quick info, so I have marked these posts with GTD Salsa, for the less focused break and hellish self reflection.

Frequent readers might notice that I am the guy, who first installed a ruby based instiki – which crashed on me, just after I had gotten serious with hacking its database internals (speak: added a slash in a path definition) – who then spent a night transforming my macbook into a mediawiki server just for myself, and promised to keep you up to date with how my media wiki information and project planning was coming along. What to say? I just discovered that reminder while skimming through this blog.

My MediaWiki: I have dumped it. My personal wiki was working reliably, I just turned out to fill it with information that I never ever retrieved out of it. I could have, it was all there, and in a thought-out structure, but to be honest I was just to lazy to click 5 links in order to know what the next step in a certain tasklist would be. It is important to note here, that this was a personal wiki. Shared wikis are quite a different affair, and I enjoy using some of them, bit this post is about organizing just yourself.

The all new system without a system

So, for two weeks now I have a new system, that is extra easy and just for me. no hyperlinks, no databases, and I will explain it to you in a series of postings, because I have just lost you now for today, and have half a Charles Stross left at the side of the sofa.

stay tuned …

will I like zeroconf?

September 15, 2007

will I like zeroconf?

YES you will (or do)

what is this magical thing everyone is talking about.

Well, simply spoken – its sends a broadcast in your network and gets back the ipadress of another machine.
I hear you saying – but thorolf, that’s a normal broadcast. You are not telling us really news.

… and it gets back the port and a decsription – ahhh that sounds cool.

zeroconf was former called Rendezvous or Bonjour in Apple systems. Now you can find it under linux also, under the name Avahi.

A longer good video about it – google zeroconf video

have fun