Archive for Apple category

Disappointing new MacBook Pros

Like many other MacBook Pro owners I’ve been waiting for the October 14th event with some excitement. The highlights include:

  • Stronger aluminium block casing
  • NVidia dual graphics for low-power or high-performance
  • Glass multi-touch/multi-press trackpad

But the downsides are also worth noting, all of which make me think when I replace my 2.6GHz 17″ MBP in a year Apple aren’t going to have something I want to replace it with.

  • No 17″ model
  • 4GB RAM limit
  • Glossy screen only
  • 1440×900 resolution
  • Firewire gone

Keith Combs has some similar observations in more depth while AppleInsider is suggesting a January refresh for the 17″

[)amien

MobileMe up and down at me.com

MobileMeMe.com was up, briefly, just long enough for me to grab my usual handle and get the confirmation message in fact.

I did get a brief glimpse of the UI complete with a Finder-like view of various folders once I clicked past a warning about Internet Explorer 7 not being supported. Seconds later things stopped responding and then the original placeholder was back.

It’s no secret Apple have been using the SproutCore framework in producing Me.com and that while SproutCore isn’t tied to Ruby on Rails it seems likely Apple went with Rails given the lack of interest in WebObjects and more and more Rails articles turning up on ADC.

If they’ve gone down that route I’m hoping we’re not in for a ride like the Rails powered Twitter one takes us on. Despite being relatively simple functionality it has been unable to cope with the demand and ability to scale which means downtime, slowness and features being switched off are regularly observed.

They are using WebObjects after all so expect some WebObjects and SproutCore integration love soon.

As an aside I’m in the US the week after next to meet my team and attend some training and will try and grab an iPhone 3G whilst there if not already sold out. Given that I’m only in Canada for 3 more months I don’t want to be trying to escape Roger’s expensive 3-year contract so soon.

[)amien

From the vaults of Twitter

I don’t normally republish my Tweets but are my highlights.

damienguard:
Methods returning "this" is a hack for fluency. Let’s get ".." added to the C# compiler to operate on previous object. a.This()..That()

lazycoder:
@damienguard I can’t decide if that’s genius or insanity. Should we add the "~" operator to refer back to the top of the inherit. chain? ;)

LostInTangent:
@damienguard I’ve started using Envy Code R for most of my applications (not just VS) and I have to say I’m loving it.

damienguard:
@LostInTangent: Envy Code R PR8 soon – Greek chars, improved hinting and some glyph revisions subscript/fractions & *96 redone.

damienguard:
Statically typed languages are not flexible enough to develop dynamically linked libraries.

damienguard:
Renaming your wifi router StupidRouter does not alas shame it into being more reliable.

damienguard:
@command_tab: Am I the only one who finds paying for pretty UI’s to leverage free software that took much more effort to develop offensive?

damienguard:
Just took delivery on my Alps-switched keyboard… feels good so far… but let’s see if co-workers complain about the noise.

Plip:
@damienguard I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK FOR THAT INFERNAL CLICKING !

damienguard:
@lancefisher The alps keyboard was from DSI USA… but don’t order one, terrible 2-key limits prevent fast typing.

damienguard:
Apple should add hobbyist to its OS X line-up. Make kernel easier to switch, remove the h/w lockdown and no support.

damienguard:
Standard windows font smoothing’s real problem is lack of scales. Convert a ClearType rendering to greyscale in Photoshop…

[)amien

What I would like to see in Snow Leopard

The word is out that Snow Leopard will be about trimming down Leopard – likely Apple’s effort to switch to lower-capacity solid-storage such as found in the MacBook Air and perhaps future iPhones and maybe a tablet.

Mac OS X binaries have always been on the large size containing as they do multiple human languages and processor code (PPC, X86, X64) and it will be good that you don’t need to keep running TrimTheFat or XSlimmer to get them down.

Given this is such a system-oriented release, here’s what I want to see:

  • More detailed system information such as RAM SPD details, processor revision etc. (Manufacturers are offering faster RAM but you have to run a tool in Windows to find out what you have)
  • Option for ZFS system-partition with intelligent fast compression.
  • Support for flash memory as a cache/page-file – 32GB ExpressCards are cheap but useless on OS X.
  • Uninstaller to clean up installed/created files squirreled away in /Library etc. (Present in NextStep but had disappeared by OS X now space is a priority it’s time to bring it back.)
  • System notification API with standard responder that can be replaced by Growl for more customisation.
  • Show package contents to work on ZIP files and other supported archives. Ability to drag files in/out.
  • Core compression API to complement core video and core data API’s with plug-in ability for extra compression algorithms and archive formats.
  • Optimization of the OpenGL drivers and API to get frame-rates for Mac games on par with their Windows equivalents.
  • Smart play-lists in Font Book – come on I want a list of English fonts… or monospaced ones. Why should I have to manage them?

I’d be very surprised if Blu Ray support doesn’t show up too and it might be time for DVD Player to just become Movie Player and gain some features from QuickTime which would then become just an API and the missing authoring features exposed to CoreVideo or iMovie.

[)amien