Sunday, December 30, 2007

iLife Browser in Leopard's open dialogs

In Leopard, if the developer allows certain types of file to be opened, then you get a free iLife browser in the file open dialog. This applies to OpenOffice.org aqua on Leopard too. As the X11 version of OpenOffice.org doesn't have a native filepicker, this won't be available there.

Find a screenshot below.

 
Those who have played with the latest OpenOffice.org aqua builds, you will find that you get an open dialog like the above one, without any way to select any files. This is a known bug. You simply cancel and open the dialog again to workaround the issue, until the fix is found and integrated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BBC's iPlayer now compatible with Mac OS X

After reading a macnn article. I have now found out that the BBC's Player is now supported on Mac OS X. It is great that I can now watch BBC content from within Safari. The player only has a short buffer, though you can jump to any part of the video and it will start playing from there with very little delay. You have to remember that I have an internet connection of about 7Mbit downstream and around 0.8Mbit upstream. Therefore I don't know how people on slower connections will manage.


Some video items come up with:
"
with no explanation as to why. Maybe some videos are not updated to the adobe flash video type.

Now I'd like to get an improvement to Space, that will allow me to make a window in any application to be front most and move between space as required. That way when I'm playing a video the window will always show. Another problem that I have found with spaces is that when switching apps with command+tab or clicking the icon in the dock, a random window usually comes forward.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Edinburgh Leopard Tech Talk

Today I went along to the Leopard Tech Talk in Edinburgh at the posh Caledonian Hilton Hotel.


It was a very interesting event, and might just convince me to start programming in Cocoa and Objective-C 2.0. Objective-C 2.0 is far more like Java when it comes to memory management. This is where I tend to struggle in C. The event was under Apple Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so I can't publicly discuss anything that isn't publicly available.

In the Cambridge Bar afterwards, one of the things that I tried to fix with the help of and Apple Tech guy was the Finder restarting when trying to change file permissions. This is mentioned in Apple support article 307128. However the instructions there don't quite work. After some tries in the pub I was still getting the crash. Once I got home I had some tried the article again, and the second sudo dscl command seemed to wipe out the group record. In the end I did manage to get the problem fix, and I no longer get the crash.

I also got to play with an iPhone, and the reception on the O2 network is crap. The iPhone was only just, maybe thinking about getting a signal. On the other hand my Sony Ericsson k750i on the Vodafone network could get a full signal. Since I upgraded to Leopard I haven't had my phone working as a bluetooth modem. With the help of the tutorial that I used the last time, and the GPRS network data table, I managed to get it working again.
The tutorial is now out of date of Leopard. On Leopard it is now a lot easier to setup. Once you have paired your phone, head into network preferences, and click Bluetooth in the left column. Then use the "User name" from the afore mentioned data table for the "Account Name" in Network preferences. The "Password" field uses the same name in both the data table and Network preferences. Next you need to click "Advanced...". Select the appropriate vendor and model for your phone, and enter the appropriate APN from the data table. Hit "OK", then "Apply" and you should be ready to connect.

At least now, the next time I go out with my laptop, and don't want to pay for expensive wifi, I can use a little bit of data on my pay as you go phone.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mac OS X OpenOffice.org file naming scheme

Bruce has mentioned that he didn't understand the files on the good-day server in a comment to a prior blog post.


I'll try to make this as simple as possible for end users to understand using the following example:
OOo_SRC680_m237_MacOSXIntel_AQUA_install_en-US.dmg
This can be broken down into several smaller chunks _ is used as a separator:
OOo is the short product name. Other options are BrOo (the Brazilian localisation of OpenOffice.org due to
SRC680 is the code line, this changes with every major release. All release candidates are done on a different code line. For example OpenOffice.org 2.3.x used OOG680.
m237 is the milestone. OpenOffice.org code base has a new milestone every few weeks (sometimes a milestone will have only a few days between but this is rare). This number increases after several new code change have been integrated into the trunk of the code line. Internally within OpenOffice.org this is a MWS or Master WorkSpace.*
MacOSXIntel tells you the Operating System and the Platform that this build is for. Another option relevant to mac users is MacOSXPPC or MacOSXPowerPC. The name is changing/has changed to come in line with other platforms.
AQUA states that this is an AQUA build. The other option is X11. This option is only there during the transition from X11 to Aqua. It will be soon be the case that this parameter won't be included when Aqua is default.
install is there to say that this is an application and not a language pack, SDK or URE. The SDK and URE are generally only needed by developers. Language packs are currently not available for Mac OS X.
en-US this is the language that is to be installed.

* In OpenOffice.org we use a trunk and branch method. Think of a tree growing. Any new code is created in a branch (internally called a CWS), which is merged back into the trunk when it is ready. Think of the milestones being the rings you see when you cut a tree down. However we are producing these rings (milestones) far more frequently than a tree in nature.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh Critical Mass - St Andrews Day

On Friday I headed in to the centre of Edinburgh for November's Critical Mass. Even before I set off from work in the west of the city, it was pitch black. So I had my lights and reflective jacket on.


About 17:45 a whole load of fireworks started from Edinburgh Castle to mark St Andrews Day. We had a great view point from the foot of the mount between the two National Galleries. There was a couple of points where the fireworks went off in a cross pattern, a bit like the cross on the Saltire (our national flag).

About 50 of us participated in this month's ride. Map of the November Critical Mass ride.

Today I watched the River City omnibus. Friday's episode really emphasised the fact that in Scotland we really don't celebrate Saint Andrews Day. In fact we usually forget that Saint Andrews Day even exists. Over the other side of the pond, Tartan Day is celebrated (at a different time of year), far more than what we do. Are we Scots no use a celebrating? Or are we just too busy working to bother with celbrations?