Tag Archive | "os x"

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Chrome on OS X Ready

Posted on 05 April 2009 by Demian Turner

chromeWell, by ready I mean it’s available, and apparently it’s one of the first usable builds.  Seems pretty cool though, and definitely blazingly fast already.  See the whole story.

Aside from great performance with Google apps/products, I’m looking forward to per-tab performance monitoring, I always get one tab that kills my whole Safari instance, have to re-start, put all the windows back in their respective spaces, PITA.

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Taming Netbeans

Posted on 25 February 2009 by Demian Turner

I’m really glad to see so many posts by PHP devs switching over to Netbeans – I don’t think there’s any real competition when it comes to a PHP IDE with a decent feature set that’s not painful to use.  Obviously this last requirement rules out anything based on Eclipse.

But there are a few niggling hitches remaining in Netbeans that need to be addressed.  Others have written about this already but I’ll paraphrase:

  1. fix the double-click drag select bug
  2. get a more native-looking Mac look and feel
  3. get some themes at least as good as Textmate, eg the default ‘blackboard’ theme

The first problem is in fact very painful and I haven’t been able to find any remedies for it.  Netbeans being a Java app, the GUI is implemented in Swing, which by default doesn’t seem to support the ability to double-click a string of text, then with the mouse button still depressed, drag to select additional words of text.

In any browser, for example, this works as expected: you can click the mouse in the middle of a word, double click to get the whole word, then drag left or right to get the string of words you need.  Not having this feature can be extremely painful because the alternative means you must place, with pixel precision, the cursor at exactly the beginning and end of a word, then click, then drag.

The former system lets you work a lot faster, and in a text selecting business like programming can really cut down on the agro in a day’s work.

If this problem drives anyone else crazy, or someone knows a workaround I’d love to hear about it.

For the second point the Netbeans 6.7 M2 release, out today, seems to address some of the issues.  But it has to be said the IDE is still on the ugly side of things, however slightly less bubbly now which I think is an improvement.

For the third point I dug up a theme this afternoon which is a definite improvement over the sparse selection of themes offered with the Netbeans download.  Check out Ruby Dark Pastels – Mac users beware that the .nbm file gets .jar appended to it when you download the component which makes it unusable.  Simply remove the .jar in the Finder.

The theme is not perfect however, method names are black on a dark blue background, and many code elements (constants, static methods, etc) are white and get match-highlighted in yellow making them unreadable.  Many of these elements are not configurable in the Fonts & Colours preference option.

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Date & time in the menu bar in OS X

Posted on 23 February 2009 by Demian Turner

Personally I find it unbearable not to have the date and time in the menu bar, or at least somewhere on screen that I can see at a glance without having to click to see it.

For some reason the Mac usability guys decided that showing just the time, and date on one click, was more usable.

There are a lot of tutorials about how to customise this and generally each one has around 50 comments, the thing is none of them work without a black magic hack that can usually be discovered around comment #47.  

If you don’t select the format medium and don’t include the seconds (even though they won’t show up) the formatting does not work.

I found this tutorial one of the more helpful ones, and after trial and error discovered the seconds problem.

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OS X and Visual Diffs

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Demian Turner

What are people using as a visual diff tool on OS X?  Since my move to the Mac just over 1 year ago this is the one tool I have been unable to replace.

On the linux desktop I used meld for years and miss it greatly.  It’s simple and effective and doesn’t do any more than is required.  I also spent a record amount of time trying to get this package to compile on OS X, something like 2 days once.  Would love to see a screenshot of someone who has it running 🙂  Current solution is to launch Parallels and run meld in Fedora, very painful ..

And please don’t suggest FileMerge.app, this program is really anemic compared to meld.

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Mac OS X Flash/Youtube audio probs solved

Posted on 27 April 2008 by Demian Turner

Oh man I’ve spent so long not being able to watch Youtube videos, well they play but with no sound, bloody frustrating.  Tried many lines of attack through Google and only just managed to crack it.  The problem is widely reported but most of the suggested fixes don’t work.

  • voodoo fix #1: the most widely “documented” fix is to launch /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup.app and change the properties for built-in output from the default 44khz, to 96khz, then back to 44 – doesn’t work
  • voodoo fix #2: this one I like, launch Garage Band and the audio prob will be fixed, nada
  • the fix that works: delete the ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia folder

Above prob occurs with latest software at the time of writing, btw:

Update: this problem just happened to me again, using OS X 10.5.8 and Safari 4.0.3.  Again, use the fix that works, restart Safari and problem fixed.

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X11 probs with os x 10.5 Leopard

Posted on 30 October 2007 by Demian Turner

In a word, Leopard is amazing and makes the Mac even more fun to use. And probably more productive too, but I guess that comes after you have fun with it. But there is one small issue to do with x11 not working properly. A bit of googling brings up this post:


But the relevant info is here, about 10k words down the page 😉

I reinstall X11 form the original leopard image. All the package X11User.pkg (hidden in /Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/System/Installation/Packages), X11Documentation.pkg and X11SDK.pkg from /Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/Optional Installs/Xcode Tools/Packages.

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