My name is Cédric Bozzi. I make websites and apps, and this is my blog dedicated to technology: here you’ll find news, opinions and reviews, all written by a Mac-head who tends to have definite opinions about stuff.
Alors il est vraiment dans une boîte aux couleurs d'Orange, l'iPhone français ?
En informatique, une fonction est dite à effet de bord si elle modifie un état autre que sa valeur de retour. […]
Effet de bord est un barbarisme né d’une traduction fautive de l’anglais side-effect. (Le mot side signifiant “côté” et non pas “bord,” une traduction littérale et correcte aurait donné “effet collatéral” ; cependant, en français, on utilise plus fréquemment l’expression synonyme “effet secondaire.”)
J’ai toujours bloqué sur cette expression (et du coup elle m’a tellement marqué qu’il m’arrive de l’utiliser) parce qu’elle ne voulait rien dire de cohérent. Ah mais bien sûr, c’était de la mauvaise traduction de l’anglais !
(A ranger dans le dossier “mais je pourrais jurer avoir déjà posté ça un jour.” Je fais beaucoup de déjà-vu ces temps-ci.)
I still don’t know why my on idle script that updated the “currently playing” item on my blog doesn’t work in Leopard, but this new bit is quite useful for just about anything you want to do with AppleScript:
tell application "iTunes"
−− won’t launch iTunes if it isn’t running
if it is running then
And the variant I find more intuitive:
if application "iTunes" is running then
tell application "iTunes"
P.S. Hmm, for some reason the “Stay Open” bit you must set when saving the on idle application had gotten lost at some point.
When Apple introduced code signing for Leopard, I was doubtful about its benefits (like everyone else seems to be, from what I gather) and worried that it might be a hindrance to all kind of system hacks and customizations — signing the entire app package sure got to help somewhat (but not much) against worms and viruses, but it also means you might break something by just changing an icon file or something (well, maybe the resources themselves are exempt from signing, I’m not sure). So the other day I ran Service Scrubber to tidy up my Services menu a bit, and guess what happened?
Actually, nothing happened for a while. But the next time I restarted Safari (and I don’t have to restart Safari as often as I used to in Tiger, so I’m not sure how much later that happened) it didn’t fill in my passwords anymore. I both blamed the problem on, and circumvented it with, 1Password, so I didn’t pay much attention. But then, the next time I tried to blog something, Safari spun and spun and crashed. When I realized that the browser crashed whenever I tried to access a page locked behind HTTP authentiation, I figured 1Password had somehow corrupted either my keychain or Safari, so I uninstalled it, removed a couple passwords from Keychain Access and tried again… which didn’t improve anything. Still thinking 1Password was the culprit, I looked through the forums, and found out I wasn’t the only one blaming them… wrongfully.
When I disabled the “Search With Google” services in Service Scrubber, it changed something inside the Safari.app package, which changed its checksum so that it didn’t pass the signature validation anymore. And what did OS X do about it? Well, nothing, since Safari still ran and I had no warning anywhere that I could see — only now the application had limited access to the keychain. I reverted the changes in Service Scrubber, and now Safari works again (and I can remove 1Password from the Trash, with apologies).
Moral of the story: users, beware of modifying signed apps; developers, beware of signing your apps. The consequences might not be immediately evident, which makes debugging all the more difficult.
By the way, the Terminal instruction to check whether Safari has been modified is codesign -vvvv /Applications/Safari.app and the manpage justifies the quadruple v thusly:
-v, –verbose -[n]: Sets (with a numeric value) or increments the verbosity level of output. Without the verbose option, no output is produced upon success, in the classic UNIX style. If no other options request a different action, the first -v encountered will be interpreted as –verify instead (and does not increase verbosity).
-v, –verify: Requests verification of code signatures. If other actions (sign, display, etc.) are also requested, -v is interpreted to mean –verbose.
Okay, I’m not sure how the forum poster ended up with four vs rather than two, but still: who the hell develops an Unix program whose command-line parameters change meaning depending on how many times they’re used?
God I fucking hate fucking eZpublish and I'll spend my whole fucking life regretting I fucking used it for several fucking clients.
So I decided to get myself a little present.
Jesus it’s small. And Jesus the Enter key is small. But other than that it’s all good. Except for the fact that it doesn’t have a trackpad, of course.
Yay, more function keys. (Too bad you can’t manually associate the function keys with each Space.)
Why hasn’t anyone developed a special desk yet with a tiny bevel that the keyboard sits in, flush with the work surface? Sure it wouldn’t be exceptionally ergonomic, but it would look so cool. And the keyboard already doesn’t have orientable feet, and sits as horizontal as it physically can without removing the USB ports.
P.S. Ah. Of course Proxi doesn’t recognize the F16–F19 keys.
Gros flashback en entendant l'expression "16 millions de couleurs" dans un podcast.
I’ve kinda lost interest in GTD task managers — because what I really want is something much more free-form, a Yojimbo-like system when I can drop and organize all kinds of stuff, from to-do projects to reference material and visual inspiration — but this is pretty well thought-out, natural to use, and extensible. I’ll be looking at it. (Until I develop my own web-based app someday.)
Kindle does not require a PC for synchronization or any software to be installed. "Instead of shopping from your PC, you shop directly from the device. The store is on the device, and then the content is wirelessly and seamlessly delivered to the device."
That’s going nicely against the tide of iPhone and other devices. But it’s also needlessly complicating Amazon’s task when it’ll come to selling the Kindle outside of the American market. (But then, Amazon is already just about as U.S.-centric as Apple.)
Each device also provides the user with a personal Kindle e-mail address so that word-processing files such as Microsoft Word documents, as well as image files, could be sent to the e-book reader.
That’s convenient, but frighteningly insecure. It’s not like Office users need any encouragement to share their top-secret documents over e-mail, but still. (According to Gizmodo you’re billed 10 cents per e-mail. Yuk. And PDFs don’t work. And transferring files directly by accessing the Kindle as an external drive doesn’t work either — although hackers will take care of that very soon, obviously.)
Kindle connects to its specialized Amazon store via an EV-DO cellular network built atop Sprint’s EV-DO network. No data plan or monthly bill is required. "We pay for all of that behind the scenes so that you can just read," Bezos said.
And that’s an amazingly stupid business model. Apple revolutionized the way telephones are sold to their advantage; Amazon is selling a phone-based device in the most detrimental way for everyone. They could offer the device for free with a subscription (which would also include a couple “free” books per month) and it would be a hit; instead they’re setting the price so high that only a couple people will buy it, and those will be the heavy-duty readers most likely to rack up huge expenses on Amazon’s Sprint tab. (Or as huge as a data bill can be for transporting tiny e-books, anyway.)
Add to this the unsightly design that’s more evocative of a Soviet-era PDA than anything you actually want to hold in your hands — I would never have imagined Amazon setting themselves up so deliberately for failure. I thought they were good at business or something? This looks far worse than the first-generation Zune!
Removing magicquotesgpc feels scaaaaary.
L’une des principales raisons pour lesquelles je me sentais en relative confiance avec OVH pour l’hébergement de mes serveurs était que, lorsque le disque dur du serveur hébergeant GayAttitude était arrivé en fin de vie il y a une deuzaine d’années, je n’avais rien eu à faire : ils avaient changé le disque dur, cloné l’ancien sur le nouveau (ce qui avait pris deux fois une demi-journée, mais c’est qu’il y a beaucoup de petits fichiers sur ce site) et c’était reparti comme en 40.
Aujourd’hui, le serveur sur lequel mes clients me payent pour être hébergés est dans la même situation et, outre le fait qu’il a fallu quinze jours pour faire réaliser au service technique que le disque dur était bien sur le point de crever comme j’en avais l’impression, ils refusent de lancer une copie de fichiers depuis l’ancien disque vers le nouveau :
Nous ne faisons plus d’intervention ayant un lien avec les données du client directement, car il est impossible d’evaluer clairement les montants des responsabilitées en cas de probleme sur les données sur ce type d’opération.
Un technicien d’OVH va ouvrir mon serveur, avoir mon ancien disque dans les mains et en brancher un nouveau ; alors qu’il pourrait lancer une simple instruction pour copier vite fait les données, il va falloir que je passe une journée à tout reconfigurer et à réinstaller les fichiers — journée pendant laquelle les sites de mes clients seront inaccessibles (à moins qu’ils fassent l’intervention en fin de journée, auquel cas j’y passerai la nuit, ce qui est mieux pour mon cas personnel mais pas vraiment pour… bon, ok, l’administrateur système moyen est plutôt nocturne). Et encore, j’ai de la chance qu’ils hébergent leurs comptes e-mail ailleurs.
Est-ce que j’ai tort de me plaindre, est-ce que j’ai des attentes irréalistes ? On sait ce que c’est, les hébergements au rabais, comme les providers : c’est très bien quand ça marche, et le calvaire dès qu’on a un problème technique. Mais j’ai de vagues notions d’administration système, et je suis relativement capable de communiquer avec des geeks, donc mes interactions passées avec la hotline s’étaient toujours passées correctement ; et, comme je le disais, la dernière fois que le problème s’était présenté ils avaient transféré les données sans aucun problème. Le disque étant la pièce d’usure par excellence sur un serveur web, c’est la moindre des choses qu’il soit remplacé sans heurt, non ? Je suis déjà bien assez désavantagé comme ça de payer ce serveur 120 € HT par mois depuis un an et demi alors qu’ils font maintenant la même configuration (voire plus puissante, je ne sais plus exactement ce que j’ai), avec RAID, pour 70 €.
Je comptais déménager mon blog sur un Kimsufi, mais finalement je n’y tiens plus trop ; quelqu’un a un hébergement à me recommander ? Je ne peux pas me contenter d’un hébergement mutualisé classique, parce que j’ai plusieurs domaines à mettre (et que je ne compte pas payer pour chaque).
I can’t believe the long-leaked design is for real. There’s supposed to be something of an emotional, irrational connection with books; I can imagine browsing a Sony e-book reader, but that thing? Wouldn’t touch it, even if it didn’t cost $400.
What the hell? Every once in a while I see my upstairs neighbour’s PC in the sidebar, but she wouldn’t have renamed her laptop after me, would she? I’m creeped out. Maybe it’s time I remove the wifi card from my router and just pretend it broke — it wouldn’t be far from the truth, either (seriously, how long can it take my ISP to send a freaking spare DC adapter?).
At least, unlike Gateway, Dell understands that the only way to compete with the iMac is not to be ashamed of copying what works about it; I think this design is actually a nice blend of iMac style and PCishness.
Pricing the cheapest model at $300 above the smallest iMac is suicidal, however — whether the actual hardware configuration warrants it or not.
sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.WindowServer 'EnvironmentVariables' -dict 'CI_NO_BACKGROUND_IMAGE' 0
Zero, rather than one, gives you a perfectly Leopardy gray gradient (the same shade as you get with the transparent bar on a black background).
OS X 10.5.1 fixes the Scrabulous bug — messages and statuses were displayed in dark gray on black, so I never knew how many tiles were left in the game. Cool. (What do you mean, that’s not important? The other bugs were more intermittent, so I can’t check for them.)
P.S. Ah, they haven’t fixed the disappearing windows in Spaces. Or maybe they made it worse.
Can you imagine that I can be listening to a podcast on my iPod shuffle, plug it into my Mac when I get home, and a second later pick up listening in iTunes right from where I was?
Oh, yeah, you probably can. But I’ve been suffering from stupid Sony-Ericssonitis for a year and I can’t help but marvel at the little things an iPod does right. Even a good old first-gen shuffle.
I need a permanent thumbnail view of my Spaces desktops — actually, I find it amazing that Apple didn’t think of providing that as part of the package. If Spaces is too limited to reasonably contextualize your different workflows (by the way, here’s a little reminder of a hint: if what you’re missing most is the ability to efficiently spread browser windows across spaces, just use several browsers; works just fine for me), then at least it could be used to monitor information across several screens. I’d very gladly sacrifice a tiny permanent section of my actual screen if that allowed me to see at a glance what’s happening in the inactive virtual desktops.
Wonder how easily a third-party could provide that functionality. I mean, I’m sure someone will at some point, but I just hope it won’t need to be too much of a messy, unstable hack.
iPhone owners entered text as rapidly as QWERTY owners on their own phones. However, iPhone owners made significantly more texting errors on their own phone (5.6 errors/message) than both QWERTY owners (2.1 errors/message) and numeric phone owners (2.4 errors/message) on their own phones.
Interestingly, comparing texting performance between iPhone owners and novices (non-owners) on the iPhone found no significant difference in error rates.
Who the hell registers “bentotrial.com” as a domain name to promote a new application? Okay, anyhoo… sounds like it might be useful, but it feels a little too constrained for me. Isn’t the twenty-first century all about free-form data that interconnects magically? Oh, and tag clouds. Those entry forms remind me so much of Access circa 1995.
Leopard makes accessible one of the most useful functionalities that nobody (but veteran MacOS users, I suppose) knew existed: Command-click the name or icon in a document or Finder window’s title bar to open any folder in the parent hierarchy. Now available with a simple right-click, even if the apps haven’t been updated for Leopard; that’s much more usable, especially in Safari where it lets you navigate a website’s directory tree.
The most interesting part of this video is that Sergey Brin himself came out to present the not-gPhone, Steve-style — only without the talent. But, yeah, he’s got the dollars, that fucker.
Anyway… apart from Street View, which is cool, there’s nothing really impressive, even though the whole thing is a pretty good surprise: they went from rumor to vaporware to something that looks decent and usable in a few days, and that was all very well played — lowering expectations by announcing mere concepts before they started showing off actual functional stuff.
Those will definitely not be iPhone killers, but they might very well wipe out all the other competitors. And they also have a shot at the iPhone’s international market, too, if rumors about the French prices and limitations are to be believed (and Orange is clueless enough that they might come true). There’s no doubt that Android phones will be cheaper, and if they’re coupled with affordable, reliable subscriptions anything’s possible.
Now that they’ve presented 3G phones, though, even though they’re not available to the public yet, I’m pretty sure a 3G iPhone is only a couple of months away.
I should have to warn you — decent software is supposed to update links automatically — but I just realized that some aggregators were still trying to access the feed at its old URL from a couple months ago, despite the 301 redirect.
So, this time, I’m officially notifying you, because cedric-bozzi.com will soon no longer have any web hosting attached, so the old feeds’ address won’t work at all: my blog RSS is now available at www.garoo.net/rss/en/index.xml.
That feed syndicates everything I post, but there are also more targeted versions: tech.xml for technical stuff (what was originally posted on #FF00AA), games.xml for video games, garoo.xml for personal matters (that includes Twitter noise), and crea.xml for everything creative — from my photos to design links and my TV show reviews (yeah, that’s a little bit messy).
There you go.
I think I’m gonna move stuff around, change encodings and whatnot, so don’t be surprised if my various blogs look weird in the coming hours or days. With my apologies in advance if the RSS feeds keep bumping up in your aggregator.
I’m not a fan of having to leave an icon file in my Downloads folder at all times, but I guess there’s no choice — and it also lifts the inconsistency of displaying the stack vs. opening a window depending on whether the folder is empty. Fantastic idea, and well executed too; it’s a shame Apple didn’t think of doing something like that themselves.
Oh, Cmd-Shift-4 now captures the window shadow, too — using PNG transparency. And it works even if the window’s title bar is staying flush with the system menu bar. Cute. Depending on how you feel about Leopard’s prolonged beta status, you may think it’s either endearing or irresponsible that Apple’s developers spent a bunch of man-hours implementing that trick.
Idea: CoverFlow in Address Book. Would be nice in the iPhone, too.
By the way, after I upgraded to Leopard I was surprised to see that the Address Book’s picture size and format hadn’t changed; I figured they would change it to follow the iPhone’s screen format, so that it synced optimally.
Facebook is going to start serving ads based on what your profile’s keywords — that’s what everybody expected. The interesting bit, however, is that Facebook is going to identify you when you go to eBay and other partners (so that they can tell your friends what you bought and what movies you’re going to see). Put two and two together: they’re much closer than you might have thought to offering an advertising network allowing any website or blog to insert ad iframes that are specifically targeted to each visitor, based on their Facebook profile.
No wonder Microsoft would afford Facebook such a valuation: they might actually be the first serious threat to AdSense, succeeding where Google failed in trying (supposedly) to put together Orkut and DoubleClick.
No wonder, either, that Google would try to make the web 2.0 landscape as fluid as possible with OpenSocial, facilitating profile transfers so that each next Friendster is more short-lived than the one before, and nobody ever gets to be Facebook again.
Now it all hinges in Facebook managing to keep the audience’s interest in the long run, and it actually looks like they may be clever enough to make it.
Concerned about your privacy? (News flash: there’s no such thing anymore in the twenty-first century. Deal with it.) At least a Facebook targeted ad network would have the advantage over Google that it would only (or at least, mostly) use data you voluntarily gave it. And you could totally opt out — if you don’t mind looking like the luddite sociopath that you are.
Why is RAM for my iMac twice as expensive as for the MacBook?
Yay, my old iPod shuffle remembers playhead position in podcasts,
unless unlike my stupidass Sony-Ericsson phone. But damnit it's cold outside.
A workaround to enable the Volume Logic plugin on Leopard: yay, I can listen to podcasts comfortably again! If it doesn’t work for you, make sure the iTea file was really copied: for some reason the Finder didn’t manage to overwrite it, and I had to make a copy of the Volume Logic plugin on my desktop, edit that, and copy it back over the original.
This is a shareware plugin that some people paid for; no matter what their reasons are for abandoning development, I can’t believe they refuse to post an update for their paying customers when all it takes is replacing a third-party library. Unless Rogue Amoeba charges through the nose for bug fixes to that library, it’s just unacceptable. I’m glad I never got around to buying it (for some reason the demo never expired).
Oh, funny (by which I mean, stupid): you can’t rename a file while the Finder is refreshing the Quick Look preview icons; it keeps closing the input field every time an icon is updated.
Interesting how the Facebook news feed is actually an incentive to only list people you remotely care about as friends.
TUAW: Control another Mac with iChat and AppleScript. I haven’t tested this, but I like that they include an AppleScript to control iTunes remotely — a functionality that’s long been missing (I’d argue that remote control is more relevant to home usage than sharing music libraries). It’s fun and weird to see it appear via IM bot.
It’s not so fun on the other hand that you apparently have to select a freaking AppleScript in your preferences if you want to have iChat open a chat window (rather than the stupid notice you have to click on) when you get a new message. Unless I’m missing something.
Macosxhints: Use Help to select menu items via keyboard. Of course, I had to go to System Preferences to change the “Show Help menu” shortcut because those things tend to get mangled on foreign keyboards (in my case, the default hotkey toggled Safari’s status bar instead of displaying the Help menu), but that’s just excellent — so much faster and more reliable than using Quicksilver’s equivalent function.
Incidentally, it also serves as a single hotkey for searching through your bookmarks in Safari (or any other browser).
Downgrading to Twiterrific 2. I don't mind ads per se, but those are way too big.
In fact, I just wish I could have a mouse button that triggered both Spaces and Exposé at the same time. (And I’ve tried; the configuration dialogs let you set the same button for both, but only Spaces responds.)
It’s nice that the Finder’s column view now lets you sort by kind (or by whatever you want), but I’d really like to know who’s the moron who decided that .dmg files should come before folders.
Not to mention that nobody ever figured that it would be nice to have an option to list folders at the top of any kind of view.
Twitter pages look more boring every time I view them, and they still won't put the Follow button in its rightful place.
Since when does iChat let you connect to the same username from several computers? It could have been done in a slightly more useful way (taking advantage of the connection to allow communication and file transfer between two local or remote computers) but it’s still pretty cool.
Sadly, neither iChat nor Photo Booth allows me to use the “blue screen sans blue screen” effects on my iMac; I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve got an old G5 or because it’s an external non-Apple camera (a Microsoft one, even). I wouldn’t care if the original Star Wars hologram and an exclusive Predator invisibility effect weren’t available on the web.
So… now that I’ve created yet another new .Mac account (I didn’t lose the passwords for my older ones — I can even still login to my old Garoo AIM account — but I just don’t like the names I chose back then), is there anything I should want to check out while during my 60-day trial? No? I thought so.
Installing Leopard on my iMac G5 was quite scary: the install remained stuck for more than an hour on “Time remaining: Calculating,” starting with an indeterminate progress bar followed by a stationary 0%. I hesitated to quit and start over as an Archive & Install, but the progress bar finally started moving.
Mail’s upgrade screwed up: three crashes while importing the old accounts, then an immediate crash every time I tried to launch the app. Removing non-essential files from the ~/Library/Mail folder (ie., everything but the mbox folders) solved my problem. I wouldn’t quite call it stable, though: even though all my plug-ins have been removed as advertised, pressing ctrl-< (which was my Mail Act-On shortcut) just crashes Mail instead of beeping to signal an unrecognized shortcut. I haven’t tried to compare with other key combinations because I get shivers down my spine every time my mail client crashes. (Yes, I do have backups — if I didn’t, I would probably have lost all my mail due to the botched upgrade.)
The new Finder’s idiosyncracies are going to annoy me even more than I thought. I spent two hours Cmd-J’ing every single folder in my WWW tree (and that’s a lot), but I’m still bitten by Cover Flow not remembering how much of the window I want it to take, or the Path Bar showing up in folder windows even though it makes more sense to only display it in the browser windows. Still, there’s good stuff with this new Finder, and I’m pleasantly surprised that icon previews weren’t too slow to generate on my iMac, even for big folders filled with pictures. And, as much as I was excited to get Cover Flow on my file manager, icon view with 128-pixel previews and a very tight grid is probably more productive in the end.
The Volume Logic dynamic compression plugin for iTunes doesn’t work anymore, which is all the more frustrating as its development has just been discontinued. I’m happy I never got around to buying it (because the 30-day demo never stopped functioning, heh, their loss), but very, very annoyed at having to listen to uncompressed podcasts again. Jesus fucking Christ, you goddamn incompetent morons, USE THE FUCKING LEVELATOR, IT’S FUCKING FREE, FOR FUCK’S SAKE.
There would be a link in the previous sentence, but you’ll have to use Google because Teleport (which lets me control the iMac with the MacBook’s keyboard, until I sell the latter) doesn’t work quite right with Leopard: for some reason, everything works except the Command key — actually, it does work in some cases (such as Cmd-arrows), but does not for most keyboard shortcuts. The developer is aware, so I hope it’ll be fixed soon, because that’s getting on my nerves rather fast.
I’m not sure I’ll really get around to use Spaces; I’d like to be able to assign windows to spaces based on title rather than just application (because I only use Transmit in one context, but Safari for everything; I just might end up using different browsers for different tasks) — but, really, I guess what’s standing between me and Spaces is the lack of an unused button on my mouse. Wait, adding Shift to my Exposé button would make sense; I’ve got to try that. Except, not Shift; that one slows down animations. But why can’t I just move my mouse pointer to the side of the screen (while pressing a modifier key) to move to another space?
All in all, now that the dust has settled down, that upgrade is actually even more uneventful than I expected — even if I had an external hard drive I could dedicate to Time Machine (yes, I plan to, but it’s not exactly a priority), there would still be nothing that would really change my daily workflow and interactions with my Macs. If I hadn’t been using UNO on Tiger, at least the new UnifiedForReals window theme would be a relief; as it stands, the most prominent change for me is the ugly, over-saturated window lights.
Maybe Apple should have manufactured some software incompatibilities so that the Leopard upgrade really felt like something was happening — it doesn’t feel right that all my peripheral drivers work perfectly well after an upgrade that isn’t much less important than XP-to-Vista. I know the system is actually a big step forward, and the new or updated third-party applications that will come out in the next few months will make every Tiger user jealous, but right now it feels a little like I’m coming down off a cocaine high.