inessential by Brent Simmons

February 2004

bash on Mac OS X

O’Reilly: bash on Mac OS X. I need to read this because I’m still using tcsh, and I have a number of aliases I need to convert before I can switch.

Tricky upgrade question

Here’s a tricky chicken-and-egg question for Mac admin types...

I have—actually, a relative of mine has—an iMac running Mac OS 9.0.4 that I’d like to upgrade to OS X.

The CD-ROM drive is broken, so the idea is to buy an external CD drive and hook it up. But all the CD drives we can find require OS 9.1 or greater.

Is there another way to install OS X on this machine? Or a way to install 9.1 so we can get a CD drive running so we can install OS X?

Eric Czarny’s new XML-RPC Cocoa code

Eric Czarny posted a new Cocoa XML-RPC client implementation. I took a quick look at it—and it looks good. Eric is using the design patterns you’d expect from a Cocoa implementation. Cool.

Mugs, microwaves, and Murphy

If you have one of those microwaves with a spinning platter, try this experiment:

1. Put some water in a mug with a handle.

2. Put the mug in the microwave; run it for a minute or two.

3. When the microwave stops, note the position of the mug handle.

If you’re right-handed, the mug handle will be at about 10 o’clock every time, the most awkward position for picking up a container of hot liquid.

You can’t reach around it without risking touching the hot mug with the inside of your wrist or forearm. You have to use your left hand.

(It’s possible this isn’t universal—it could just be me this happens to.)

I’ll be on Inside Mac Radio

I’ll be on Inside Mac Radio sometime today between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Pacific. (That’s in just a few minutes, at the time I’m writing this.)

Blogger, Atom, NetNewsWire, bug work-around

We found a bug after releasing the special Atom beta of NetNewsWire yesterday.

If a feed has summaries but no content, NetNewsWire ignores the summaries—and items display in NetNewsWire as titles only.

We’ve seen this so far with some Blogger weblogs. (To be clear: it’s not a Blogger bug.) Though we’ll fix the bug in a future release, in the meantime, if you have a Blogger weblog and you want to work around it, you can.

On the settings for your site’s feed, under Descriptions, choose Full instead of Short. Here’s a screen shot.

NetNewsWire special Atom beta

Yesterday Sheila posted on that it was NetNewsWire’s first birthday—and now today we have a small present for you.

But first, a note about birthdays: the first beta of NetNewsWire Lite appeared going on two years ago. So if it seems like you’ve been using NetNewsWire for more than a year, it’s probably because you have.

Anyway, today we’ve posted a special Atom beta for testing NetNewsWire’s Atom parser.

Atom support is part of NetNewsWire 1.1—but this build is not a build of 1.1, it’s really 1.0.8-plus-Atom. NetNewsWire 1.1 will have a bunch of new features, but this build is just for testing the Atom parser.

Gus Mueller does ‘Edit in BBEdit’

Gus Mueller (of VoodooPad fame) posted a Cocoa class for doing an edit-in-BBEdit. Very cool.

$6 month for nothing?

I’m intrigued by the idea of taxing people $6/month so that music downloading would be otherwise free and unrestricted.

The big drawback is that I don’t want to download any non-free music, and I’d resent paying the $6 for something I don’t want. I’m not sure that fogeys like me really want to subsidize the music habits of teenagers.

It sounds like a way for the music labels (which produce a nearly uniformly boring product) to be ensured of making a profit and getting my money. They have no interest in creating something I personally would like—and they’d have even less reason to try, since they’d be getting my money anyway.

But I must be missing some larger point about society or copyright law or something. Feel free to enlighten me.

P.S. I like music—that’s not what this is about. In fact, I just bought a new Stratocaster.

NetNewsWire and NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.8

NetNewsWire and NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.8 fix a couple small but important bugs and add a bunch of feeds to the Sites Drawer.

See What’s New in 1.0.8 for details.

ecto 1.0 released

ecto 1.0 has been released. Congratulations to Adriaan!