Tag Archives: OS X

OS X tray icon overload

We used to make fun of Windows users and impossible number of tray icon in bottom right corner. Observing my OS X tray today I noticed that it’s almost 700 pixels wide and that it doesn’t look like the trend of expanding will stop.

Does this mean that next version of OS X will slowly start introducing “hide unused tray icons” like with Windows or there is nothing that we can do as we need all of them?

How is your tray? Wider or shorter? Am I missing anything?

Rhetorical dialog boxes anyone?

Modal dialogs are something to be very careful around as they break the flow of user interaction and scream at user “Focus! Answer this NOW!”

But what do you think when you get something like this:

Question box?
Question box?

I imagine it would be too much to build a QA tool that would scan all the dialogs and detect if they end with question mark (or if you’re really smart – use natural language processing to detect the question form) and notify someone to take a look at what’s happening. One can dream ..

Have you seen any interesting dialogs recently?

Placing links in Firefox on MySpace blogs

Dogs, Lightroom Export Test (Adobe RGB)Image by carlosgomez via Flickr

This is a short tutorial how to insert links into your blog post using MySpace blog editor on OS X in Firefox. It’s pretty verbose as I tried to see if I can write a detailed tutorial. It’s a quick republish of the blog on my MySpace blog, as I’m not sure if everyone can see it there. For more technical audience of this blog, just ignore this post :)

Lets start first with the fact that you’ll need Firefox for this to work. Firefox is a free alternative to Safari. (Btw, this tutorial works for all Firefox users on all other platforms – Windows and Linux).

After you installed Firefox, go to your MySpace page and open up Blog editor. You’ll get an error message like this:
MySpaceError

Just press cancel and a full editor will load for you:

MySpace Editor with Zemanta

(this screenshot uses Zemanta so it’s a bit more full of things, as it will suggest to you all sorts of things while you blog).

Now moving on to placing links part. We’re going to create a link to moo.com. They’re makers of really great business cards.

Click on the green world with a paper clip icon:

MySpace editor links placing

Now just enter their URL – web address, and the text you want for your link:

MySpaceLinksEditor

There is also an option what to do with the link target. While there are four options there, in reality they will just do two things for you: either open link in the same window, and replace your blog, or open the link in a new browser window.

To open a blog in a new window, select option _blank. All other will open in the same window. For those who are more technically inclined, you can read full explanation of target attribute on this page.

And that’s it. Now you have a nice link:
moo.com – makers of cool business cards. (btw, I have some discount codes. Leave a comment if you are interested).

I also noticed that MySpace blog editor is pretty buggy, so sometimes the icon doesn’t work. Refreshing the page seems to fix that.

That’s it for today. Leave a comment with suggestions what else you’d like to see a tutorial on, or if I didn’t explain something correctly.

Zemanta Pixie

Open source and your Mac

This week I gave a presentation on topic of Open Source and Mac OS X and how it affects your life as a Mac user. While the initial idea was to talk about Open Source alternatives on OS X, I quickly discovered that this might not be the best thing to talk about. The issue of talking of Open alternatives is quite educating, but I rather decided to use my time talking about the actual reasons why the state of Open Source in Mac is so much different from the Linux “scene”.


Source: hakore@flickr – CC-BY-NOC-ATTR

My basic premise is that taking some sort of controlled top-down approach towards assembling open project allows you to build a reliable set of components that do limited set of tasks very well and do not confuse the user. Throw some excellent design into the mix and you’re almost done. That’s the basic argument regarding the OS X itself.

Taking look at the software we can see one really big problem, the graphic toolkit. Since for historical reasons the GTK and QT toolkits were not very native to Aqua/Cocoa this presents quite some problem with porting issues. So what happens to projects is that they end up taking just the core libraries (like libpurple from Pidgin in Adium project) and then rewriting the user interface part using native Apple tools.

The good news is that the amount of new code and porting efforts are improving all the time as Mac are becoming one of the most loved hackers platforms, even though many of them choose not to actually use OS X.

A bit more practical things

There is an excellent resource for all things Open Source Mac – http://www.opensourcemac.org/.

Then there are my slides from the talk:

And lastly, there is my whole talk at vest.si (in Slovenian only).

How to fix iWork 08/Keynote/iDvd/Numbers/Pages NSInternalInconsistencyException crash

Some time after installing Leopard OS X 10.5 and second set of updats for iWork 08 the Keynote Application started crashing on start. Crash report said the following:


Process: Keynote [3724]
Path: /Applications/iWork '08/Keynote.app/Contents/MacOS/Keynote
Identifier: com.apple.iWork.Keynote
Version: 4.0 (591)
Build Info: Keynote-5910000~3
Code Type: X86 (Native)
Parent Process: launchd [152]
Date/Time: 2008-02-17 15:32:34.960 +0000
OS Version: Mac OS X 10.5.2 (9C31)
Report Version: 6
Exception Type: EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP)
Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000002, 0x0000000000000000
Crashed Thread: 0
Application Specific Information:
*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInternalInconsistencyException', reason: 'Invalid parameter not satisfying: (index >= 0) && (index < (_itemArray ? CFArrayGetCount((CFArrayRef)_itemArray) : 0))'

etc.

After much fiddling around I found a hint that this might be due to duplicated fonts that confuses Keynote so much on startup that it crashes.

Here is a quicke guide how to check if you have duplicated fonts on OS X:

First: Open Font Book (Applications -> Font Book)

Once you have Font Book open, check for any fonts that have black dots next to the name. This means that you have duplicates of this font installed. In my case I had a few dozens of duplicates on the system.

fontbook1.png

You can then either manually turn off conflicting fonts or choose Resolve Duplicates from Edit menu. This will automatically disable one of the fonts in duplicate fonts pairs. You can always turn them on later if you decide that you need the other font from the duplicated pair.

fontbook2.png

Second: Clear your Font Cache

Download neat little utility called Font Nuke (it’s free). After you run it, first Update Cache List and then Nuke Font Caches. After OS X reboot your system will automatically rebuild the font cache.

fontnuke1.png

Enjoy

At this point, you can try running Keynote or any other crashing application again and it should work as in good old Tiger days.

Why did this happen?

Taking a minute to think of the scenario that created environment for this crash. When I installed Leopard I updated my Tiger installation which it seems to transfer some fonts and thus create duplicates. This does not seem to affect any applications normally so you can survive a long time before you run the Keynote for first time and it crashes. It is also possible that these fonts are stored in your user profile, because of that Keynote will not crash if you create a new user and try running it from there.

Online forums recommend full OS X reinstall in somewhat Windows-horror story like scenario. Realizing that this will effectively clean up your font resource explains why this would work.