Archive for June, 2007


OS X did not crash

June 28, 2007

The Inquirer posted a story yesterday morning under the title of ‘OSX crash hits Glastonbury’. Showing a picture of a crash message, but it really must be the chat/text system that Glastonbury festival was using. It looks very much like an application crash screen saying that the system and other applications are not affected. It can’t be OS X that crashed, the dock is still visible and a true OS X crash will give you a grey screen and a kernal panic message.

I didn’t post the picture myself because I don’t know who to credit or the copy right status. You can find the article here.


Lego fun

June 27, 2007

I can think like this though I haven’t had to for years. These sculptures are amazing.

If only I could find the photograph my father took of the Viking ship dragons head I made as a child…


Quark gains 700 hundred extra user licenses.

June 26, 2007

Fair play to Quark I suppose, but having read the article I don’t quite understand the logic behind the decision.

QuarkXPress 7’s resolution of long-standing PDF-generation problems, which were synonymous with earlier versions of the desktop publishing software, proved a deciding factor in securing the deal.

Whereas there were few if any problems with InDesigns out put. Adobe invented the pdf format, so you would expect them to generate faultless out put. You could just use InDesign. Quark use a third party pdf engine.

Charley Lecat, Hebdoprint’s technical director, said:

“We couldn’t find anything better than QuarkXPress 7, particularly when it came to getting reliable PDF output – a key element in our production chain.”

Except that InDesign does it better and it’s default export format is pdf. In the same quote, he goes on to say..

“Removing Acrobat has simplified production and eliminated the cost of endless Adobe upgrades.”

You don’t need any flavour of Acrobat or Distiller to get pdfs out of InDesign. I would also question the statement about…

“endless Adobe upgrades”.

This doesn’t make sense. Assuming they use other Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator, they must have bought ‘Creative Suite 3’ at some point. Given the price of that software bundle, you’re effectively getting InDesign for nothing. By buying a single additional piece of software, that costs roughly the same as the entire Creative Suite you have added to your upgrade costs. Adobe update at around 18 months, though they have quietly released an update to GoLive this week. Then he contradicts himself…

In addition to resolving its PDF problems, Quark has released numerous updates since the launch of QuarkXPress 7 last June.

Admittedly the Quark updates have been free. The original version of 7 was so bad not even they had the cheek to charge for it. But it hasn’t been ‘endless’. He goes on to say…

Amongst these was support for Intel-based Macs, which proved another deciding factor for Hebdoprint.

Many companies have the Creative Suite running on an Intel Mac, It’s a none issue, CS3 runs natively.

There could possibly be a reason for this decision. Hebdoprint is a publisher of news titles and it’s quite possible that they have some heavy investment in bespoke automation software being driven out of / into a database via Quark. There are a great many publishers who do this especially since xml has become more pervasive. Saying anything about production processes is likely to be commercially sensitive.

There is a collection of professional users over here who deliver their own view. Good lads. A link to the original article is in the first post.

I’m only happy that I didn’t approve the purchase.


Life on a memory stick?

June 24, 2007

Being away from home for a couple of nights, would there be a need for me to have my laptop? I decided that there wouldn’t. All I wouldn’t have access to would be my personal mail and only because I haven’t set up web access for it. I would just need a copy of some bookmarks stored in a html file on a memory stick. Infact, I didn’t even need that, I just mailed them to my web mail account… I wouldn’t need local applications, everything I would need would be right there on the web.

If you use Google apps already, you’ll know what I mean. It’s fairly easy to imagine that the browser is the operating system. Clearly you can use Google on any platform, so the operating system becomes irrelevant, the browser is the OS. To a large degree, the browser is also irrelevant; Google is the common denominator here.

Larry Ellison had a vision back in around ’96 for a diskless Network Computer (which kind of turned into the iMac – note I said ‘kind of’) and now it appears technology is heading in that direction in a round about sort of way. Maybe in another ten years…

For a while now I’ve been visiting this site, just checking in from time to time to see how progress is going.

The idea certainly has some advantages. Especially if you provide software. If you are a developer you virtually eradicate software piracy. By not distributing any software, users just log onto your site and use the software there, while having the choice to store locally on their hard drive or on rented server space. So you pay once for a registration and once again for storage. Developers will make a lot of money this way.

I would do both and still back up. The chances of you loosing data on your hard drive are small, but a lot bigger than if your data was stored on a web service, unless the company goes bust or you loose your connection. Which is why I would do both. Wherever you went, so long as you had access to the internet, you would be effectively sitting in front of your own computer.

The technology isn’t quite mature enough yet, but some companies are getting close, though they are lacking in functionality and compatibility. If the thought intrigues you, have a look here


Go get ’em Floyd*

June 24, 2007

EMI sales of DRM free music are ‘astronomical’ through iTunes store. Pink Floyd are still great. This throws a light on DRM that every other record company should take a note of.

* When I was a child there used to be an advert on TV with this tag. It was for Nestle Toffo, I can’t remember the ad or the context, just the tag line, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.


Safari 3.0.2

June 23, 2007

Apple has released an updated beta version of Safari 3. Just a few fixes and still no support for international users. Bearing in mind that Safari on Windows is more about the iPhone than anything else and the iPhone won’t be available internationaly for at least another three months, I wouldn’t expect it to be sorted out any time soon.

If you realy want to live on the edge head over to Surfin’ Safari where you can down load the latest nightly builds from the WebKit team. In addition to what’s available from the Apple download site the latest nightly build has

Support for Ctrl+Mousewheel to zoom.
Support for Shift+Mousewheel to scroll horizontally.
Support for tilt wheels.
Support for Backspace and Shift+Backspace to go back/forward. 

Also expect it be equally as unstable as the ‘official’ beta.


The Macalope has moved!

June 19, 2007

Blimey! The Macalope is now blogging on cnet!

The horned one has gone mainstream. Best of luck and congratulations Macalope. Please keep the old site going for the stuff you can’t put on cnet

Old site

New site