By Way Of An Explanation

The source of my distraction.Posting today has been light due to two occurences:

  1. A “network problem” that brought down much of the Dreamhost network this morning.
  2. The arrival of my Palm TX handheld.

The TX is nice, very nice – I’ve been monkeying around with it and have it syncing via Bluetooth to my Powerbook. It also has 802.11b, but I haven’t had a chance to change my WAP over to mixed-mode, so I haven’t been able to test out the web browsing capabilities.
The only downside is actually not the fault of the TX itself: my fargin’ Nokia 6820 isn’t supported by iSync, meaning that all of my phone numbers are virtually locked away on that stupid thing. I’m having to resort to manually typing numbers in to Address Book and then syncing the TX to the Mac in order to get the info in. Last time I ever buy a Nokia product; my experiences with the phone have been nothing but trouble. I miss my Motorola products…

Mac OS X 10.4.3 Has Hit The Streets

I’ve loved my PowerBook ever since the day I brought it home, although it’s been conditional love. I’ve had all manner of niggling annoyances with the OS and it has taken me a while to get accustomed to the Mac way of doing things. I’ve gotten through the acclimation period, but those nits with the OS itself remained, at least until Monday night.
Two of my chief complaints were that 1) OSX can’t seem to handle remotely-mounted filesystems that aren’t exported via AFP (i.e., NFS, SMB, CIFS, etc.) and 2) Safari was slow, not fully standards-compliant, and prone to slowing the machine down to a crawl when viewing JavaScript-heavy pages, such as Google Mail/Maps/Reader,, etc.
All of these complaints remained firmly in place until Monday night. Apple released the much-anticipated OS X 10.4.3 and, glory be, my complaints were addressed! The complete release notes run down the changes in great detail, but for me, the fact that Safari no longer sucks where JS is involved and that I can now rely upon NFS shares (a staple, in my line of work) were Heaven-sent. Apple even threw in full Acid2 compliance, to boot! I’m an extremely happy man and, for all of you Tiger users out there, if you haven’t updated to 10.4.3, do so immediately.
Bonus for other OS X users:
I stumbled across a meme creation attempt by Om Malik (by way of Ceprix) that asks users to name their top 10 Mac apps. There are some very interesting and useful tools mentioned, not only by Malik, but also by his users, but the one that I’ve gotten the most use out of has been Quicksilver. It’s a bit difficult to describe (Mark Jaquith does an admirable job trying to describe it here), but I’ll give it a shot: it’s like having a Tab-completion pseudo-command line interface for your Mac. It makes getting around my Mac thousands of times easier. Prior to using Quicksilver, in order to have easy access to commonly-used applications, I had three choices: I could drag a shortcut to my Dock and use up precious screen real estate, I could place a shortcut on my Desktop, or I could open a Finder window, drill down to the Applications folder and start the app from there. Now, I simply hit Ctl+Space and type the first few letters of the application in question. Quicksilver then finds the app and, with a tap of the Enter key, I can fire up whatever suits my whims. It also works for visited URLs, documents, filesystem locations, iTunes – all manner of applications, MIME types, and actions. Brilliant!