inessential by Brent Simmons


MacPython 2.0 has been released. Also, here's Python for OS X.

The Unofficial Darwin FAQ. If you want to lift the hood on OS X, this is a good starting place.

Classic Menu -- Apple menu and processes menu for OS X. I'm considering it.

ID3X 1.0b1 is a freeware ID3 info editor for Macs.

Carbon porting tip: if your app is already using Appearance Manager calls that came in with OS 8, then porting to Carbon is easier. Case in point: there was a bug with scrollbars. We were deactivating them using System 7 routines. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that -- except it didn't work right on OS X. (What happened was that they disappeared entirely, never to return.) So substitute DeactivateControl, which came in with Appearance Manager 1.0, and we're in business.

So the lesson is: if some control is being weird, remember the Appearance Manager. A bonus: you can often do in one call what used to take several calls.

There are some books on my shelves I haven't read yet. Last night I started reading Ada by Nabokov. It's one of the fattest books you could ever hope to read -- 626 pages in a hardback edition.

I paid $1.49 for it.

How did I get it so cheap? See, I used to work for Goodwill as a book pricer. My job was sorting through all the books that came in, throwing out the ones in bad shape (most of them), and pricing the remainder. $1.49 was a high price; most books were priced at less than a dollar. So it was me, I set the price at $1.49. It still has the little green Goodwill price sticker inside the front cover that I placed there.

I couldn't just keep books that I wanted; I'd make a mental note of it, then after work go to the books section in the store and try to find it. It usually took a few days between me pricing a book and its appearance on the shelves. But given that there was very little organization in the books section, I'd have to browse the whole thing every day until I found the book I was looking for.

You'd think -- well, how many people shopping at Goodwill are Nabokov fans? What happens is that book collectors and used-book stores send people to Goodwill every day, looking for bargains. (I'm sure they find lots of bargains.) So the book section got regular comb-overs by people other than me. I was lucky to snag Ada; there were plenty of other books I struck out on.

Only now, years later, am I actually getting around to reading it. But I'm glad I have it. So far I like it.