Hell hasn’t frozen over, yet…

I know Apple didn’t mind if anyone were to install Windows (XP) on their new Intel Macs. But actively making it feasible by themselves?

Apple – Boot Camp:

More and more people are buying and loving Macs. To make this choice simply irresistible, Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp (for now), you can download a public beta today.

Sidenote: It only works when you have an Intel Mac, the latest OS X version (10.4.6) and a legit WinXP install-cd. I’m happily cruising along on my PowerPC. 🙂 What’s next? Linux on a Mac? 🙄 😛

PocketMod, Hipster PDA or Ductster PDA

The PDA* market is becoming quite competitive it seems. Once a small niche, it looks to be ready for main-stream. There have been no mergers, buy-outs or busts … yet. But hey, it’s still an emerging market. Here’s the short-list:

  • PocketMod: The Free Disposable Personal Organizer: Nice pocket-sized, folding design, but takes a while to ‘install’. Comes with a multimedia instruction video and even offers a PDF-converter. Somewhat active userbase.
  • The Hipster PDA: Easy clip-on design. Multitude of organising possibilities. Active user community.
  • Ductster PDA: Spin-off from the Hipster PDATM. Improved (weather-)durability. Excellent for more extreme environments than just the office. Rather complicated ‘install’.

Not convinced? Take a look at this Yahoo! Finance article.

An expanding market makes choosing rather difficult. How much effort is one willing to take to ‘install’ his/hers PDA*? Oh what the heck, I’ll take’m all then!

Contributions to expand the short-list are welcome. 🙂

*PDA meaning ‘Paperbased Diary Assistant’.

Which Browsers matter in 2006?

BrowsermixIf you are planning to build or rebuild a site this year you may wonder at some point which browsers you should support. If not, you should! Just looking at your new design in IE 6 is no guarantee it works and behaves the same in any other browser.

Not that long ago the browser shortlist consisted of IE 6, combined with IE 5, IE 4 & Netscape 4. And maybe some other occasional ‘weird’ browser. But times have changed and are changing. IE 4 & Netscape 4 are ancient history, support for IE 5 has been dropped in most cases by Microsoft itself. And there are emerging new browsers, either driven by innovation or security issues.

So what browsers should you support today and for the upcoming year(s)? Simple question, simple answer: Check your visitor stats and build/optimise for what they use.

Continue reading “Which Browsers matter in 2006?”

Google Earth Mac Beta

Google Earth Beta After an evening of trying out the non-public beta of Google Earth for Mac OS X I must say… YES! Finally. 🙂
I, and a lot of Mac owners, have been eager to run this piece of software on a Mac. And now we can. Not officially, because the download page at earth.google.com still mentions Apple Macintosh computers are not supported at this time (but we are working on it).

And they definitely are working on it. See the screenshot below.

Google Earth on Mac OS X

All I can say right now, is:

  1. It works. On my iBook 12″ (Tiger inSideTM) I can spin and zoom the Globe quite happily without resorting to *hacks*, Virtual Desktop, Remote Desktops, etc.
  2. It’s buggy. It froze on me a couple o’ times. With all the options turned up, it hampers. A DirectX option on OS X???? Polygons are garbled. The app icons look like s… Images in popups don’t seem to work. And there’s probably more.
  3. It’s NOT finished. So it is not expected to work YET! DO NOT COMPLAIN it is a non-public beta that happened to leak. Otherwise Google would’ve made publicly available.
  4. It’s great. If you get motion-sickness too easily, don’t mess with the scroll-pad. 😉
  5. This apps Useragent is ‘GoogleEarthMac/LT3.1.0371.0’. So the ‘network link’ people know now.
  6. It’s a first for Google! As in: A first major software ‘leak’. A first major application on OS X (GMail Notifier was an excercise).
  7. Compatibility? You’ll probably need a current (hefty) Apple product with the latest OS (X) and patches. But we’ll know for sure once they release it.

So how do YOU obtain a working version?

You’ll have to wait a little longer! Google is working on it. How long? Maybe a few days or months.

Update: It’s here. Go get it from Google!

Sidenote: If you manage to install GE on a Mac. You may want to look at some spectacular impact craters on Earth’s surface. Download the kmz’s and open them in GE. Enjoy! 🙂

Update: Stefan from go.ogleearth.com has been asked nicely by the Google people to take down the download links. He also has a more in-depth review of GE on Mac OS X. I haven’t gotten any comment from Google, yet.

{Canvas} demo

If you’re viewing this post with a release candidate of Firefox 1.5, take a look at the below <canvas> demo.

Canvascape - 3D Walker

For now, you can only walk through a maze from a first person perspective. But it runs smooth and looks pretty impressive.

See the “3D Walker” demo on Canvascape

PS: It is rumored to work on Safari too, but I haven’t tried it yet. Confirmed. The demo works fine on Safari (2).

Small update: It appears to be a bad idea to use (encoded) tags in post titles. So I changed it slightly.

Update: This just has cross-browser* Wolfenstein 3D written all over it. 🙂 Or, … yes there I go again… Google Earth?

*IE6 doesn’t support the canvas-element nor is there an indication IE7 will.

Exploring the earth from your couch, part 2

Imagine yourself sitting down on your couch in front of your television, as usual. A drink in one hand, the TV remote in the other. Don’t worry, the chips are within reach. Within the press of a button, or two. You spin up a three dimensional globe and with the directional buttons on your remote you ‘cruise’ around the earth. Occasionally zooming in to street-level (provided a plane taking off from O’Hare isn’t blocking your view.) and back up again.

Maybe check out the beach of your next vacation spot? Or the surf? Maybe find out where ‘Moldavia’ is located, if it really exists…? Show your holiday photos from Florida superimposed on a map, to your inlaws? Brag about how you developed altitude sickness going up ‘this’ mountain? Or take a look at some impact craters? Or…

Virtual Earth on a Media Center PC (Sean McLeod)

Well, Sean McLeod pulled it off, sort off. If you own a Media Center PC and are willing to do so some ‘hackery’ stuff. You could be viewing the earth in its full satelite glory from your couch for real. (Judging from the pic above.)

Now, I don’t own a Media Center PC, Front Row capable Mac, TV-Set Top box nor any other TV-enabled device. (Yes a laptop could be attached to a tv, but where’s the remote…) But if you think about it. Wouldn’t that be ‘swell’…
Maybe Google should consider porting Google Earth to XBox or Playstation?

IMHO, we won’t be seeing the last of this!
Internet on a TV sucked, big time, because TV’s aren’t meant to be read off. They’re meant to be viewing pictures at a rate of 25 or 30 frames a second. Thus, viewing satelite images of your neighbourhood, on your TV, with you in control of the view… Excellent!

Thanks to James @ Spatially Adjusted. (Part 1 is over here)

Google Earth for Mac, developers wanted…

Or so it seems. Google wants a Senior Macintosh Developer – Mountain View and/or a Macintosh Developer – Mountain View. I suggest any Mac-developer have a go and bring us… Google Earth for Mac. 🙂

You may be very familiar with some of our desktop products including Google Earth, Google Desktop, Picasa, and Google Talk., the description says. Well, GTalk I can connect to with iChat for now. Picasa? iPhoto comes with the system. Google Desktop? There is a thing called Spotlight & Dashboard that come with Tiger already. So that leaves one much desired piece of software left… If I may trust my stats, it is the most requested item today. Though you may want to inquire with the Zeitgeist people upon application. 😉 (Found on Is Google Gearing Up for a Mac Software Assault?)

Continue reading “Google Earth for Mac, developers wanted…”

Apple iBook. On Second Thoughts.

Apple iBook 12" It’s officialy a month ago since I bought my 12″ Apple iBook. Coming from a WinTel world I must admit, it has been an overall positive experience. But there also have been some quirks I haven’t got used to.

So here’s a short list of things I hate or love about my Mac:

  • Dashboard is overrated. I’ve looked at it maybe 3 times. The concept of widgets is OK, but it’s on the edge of geekiness a.k.a. ‘who’s using it?’.
  • No Delete-button. There’s only ‘Backspace’. Why? As with the rest of OS X, it’s too keyboard centric, meaning I have to use Command+… everytime I want to get something done. Like switching applications. The dock, despite it’s coolness does NOT replace the Windows taskbar. I’ve got to hand it to Windows, where I’ll be operating my mouse all day and occasionally using the keyboard.
  • Killing applications. I still do not fathom the concept of killing all windows and still have the application running in the background. Please tell me why I want a memory hogging app running in the background without an apparant GUI?
  • Microsoft should learn about this installer alternative of ‘packages’. Installation is just a matter of dragging a package to your ‘Applications folder’. That’s it. No questions asked. It’s there. Use it.
  • The same with de-installation. Just drag it to the bin and you’re set. It’s gone. (Apart from some deep-hidden settings that you did not get away, even with using ‘regedit’ on Win. In fact it brings back the good ‘ol DOS days, drag’n’drop this time. :-))
  • Exposé rules! Besides patent-issues, this could make Windows great. For all you MS people, imagine this: Just press one button and see every app running as a thumbnail and seeing what it is doing at the moment. Imagine having several Mediaplayer windows open and seeing them playing all at the same time, while checking your downloads progress. (Again: Why not a mouse-button somewhere in the GUI?)
  • As for default browsers. Safari RSS is not all that. So I’m sticking with Firefox + extensions. I could not imagine living without.
  • It is when I switch to my Dell that I sorely miss the trackpad with scrolling capability. Trackpads have been around for ages, why didn’t they come up with the idea of using two fingers to scroll a page before? It is like the scrollwheel on a mouse. Once used to it you can’t live without.
  • Standby = Standby (or Sleep as it is called on a Mac). Meaning, whenever I close the lid of my iBook it does what I want. Namely, go to sleep (or standby) in a moments notice. And here’s the big part. Whenever I decide to open the lid, the OS springs back to life, sub-second.
    (In fact I just did it just now. Just for fun. :-))
    I noticed this, while waiting in vain for my Dell to come back to life from a standby. It never did… and it’s not exemplary for this Dell. Be it hardware or OS, it’s not working on Wintel.

So here it is. My list of quirks after one month of Mac. 🙂

(Added: trackpad with scroll)
(Added: sleep/standby)

Comparing Apples and Lemons*

So how do you compare an Apple running OS X with a Windows based PC? Many a flame-war has started over this matter. Just a few examples:
Win vs OSX

  • Apple geeks will tell you any PowerPC 0wnz Intel. But it seems Intel 0wnz Apple soon.
  • Microsoft alledgedly has copied the Mac interface, in fact it was a Xerox first. (On a sidenote: How come I can spend a day just clicking around on Win, while having to resort to keyboard on OSX? Just stick with “the Aqua eye candy is no match for the Luna Theme“.)
  • Apple hardware is more expensive than your generic Dell. Well, that is a fact, but the jury is still out on on the verdict of lemons.

In short: The MS camp stands squarely at the Apple camp. And vice versa.

Back to the question: How do you compare an Apple running OS X with a Windows based PC?

Continue reading “Comparing Apples and Lemons*”

Apple iBook. First impressions.

Apple iBook 12" It has been a couple of days since I collected my iBook from the store. Mind you, it is my first personally owned Mac. And it has been fun exploring a new OS and fiddling with all the options on the machine. In fact it still is fun. 🙂

Everything I’ve thrown at it so far worked nicely, differently, but nicely. It’s just a matter of getting used to. And I’m already so used to it, that this morning I automatically went for Command+W to close a window on my Windows machine. 😉 (I find Mac OS X more keyboard centric, despite its GUI, than Windows)

But what struck me most was the reactions of family, friends and co-workers. Just a few quotes: “Apple? You weren’t into Mac before…”, “Cool! I want one too!”, “Aaaaaaahhh a Mac!?!?!?! Are you nuts?” and “Yay! He’s one of us now.” I don’t know why, but mentioning you’ve bought a Mac leads to some frowns in a Windows world. Not in a bad sense though. 😉

Anyway, let me clarify things. NO I DID NOT SWITCH!!! I have NOT left the M$ Windows world. Give me one good reason why I should?

Continue reading “Apple iBook. First impressions.”