Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

One more reason to consider switch to MAC OS.

 Do you have to create any presentation on work, university, volunteer activity ?

The answer to the topic you have to try “d**n f****g” great software called ‘Keynote’ from the set iWork 08. It is software for creating presentations, PowerPoint is analog.

iWork goes with Pages (Word processor), Numbers (Excel or Calc analog).

It is worth each cent , you have paid for that. Continue reading

Latvian or non-standard spell-check on Safari and other Mac applications.

ALatvian spell-check issue is gone at Mac (partially). Thank to the Normunds and “Power of Google”.

Great feature of browser – spell-check. Firefox provides support for different non-standard languages, latvian support is available there too, but remember – the point is to use Safari.

So Firefox is not a solution, MacOS provides support for standard widely used languages (ok, probably languages of the countries, where Apple products are very popular). The nice thing is that spell-check is not hardcoded to any applications, but it works for applications like web-browser, text-editors, etc. The bad thing there is no Latvian, even Leopard does not have Latvian localization (like support for Russian and Polish localization is added), but it is not a big surprise, really.

Luckily, there is a solution, the bad fact that used dictionary is old, but it contains words to check-spell anyway and you can educate it.

Software cocoAspell is the key to our problem. Aspell software installation is very easy, installing dictionaries process asks more resources.

1. First of all you have download it, link for Intel Macs.

2. Installation process is on GUI, that’s why only read instructions and use ‘Next’ button.

3. After successful installation go to ‘System Preferences’ of your Mac, there should be new menu ‘spelling’, it does not contain correct dictionaries yet.

4. Different languages dictionaries are available to download, there is not only latvian, but a lot of different languages. I’m not sure about the dictionary freshness.

5. Most likely dictionary file will be archived, you have to de-archive it, then place files into the /Library/Application Support/cocoAspell/ directory.

6. Go to ‘System Preferences’ —> ‘Spelling’ and select language you need, Latvian my case.

7. Restart Finder, go to the ‘Force Quit’ menu, ‘Relaunch’ button is provided for ‘Finder’ application.

8. To enable your language spell-checking on the specific application. ‘Right-click’ on the text editor program Window —> ‘Spelling’ —-> Select your Dictionary.

That’s all folks, enjoy spell-checking feature.

Move to MAC everywhere.

I have almost decided to use MacOS on the work too.

Home Windows PC is living the last days (I mean, we will use until it die). Linux at work sometimes is very confusing, I agree that this is due to used hardware configuration on the PC. But let’s try Mac for sometime.

At the work I do not use any tricky software, that may cause troubles in the moving between OS. However, I got half a day to battle with different issues, in order to get all required software to work.

1) First of all, I’m using web-browser, funny is in it ? Actually I like Safari, I like it very much. I was being very skeptical to install any other. Very nice system is used there, it is working fine extremely well with all browsers, that I tried. Everything was good with Safari, but one specific page, that is used extremely often is able to work only Firefox. Oh man. I should go with Camino, that is the same as Firefox, but for MAC. It works fine for this time, this custom web-page also is working fine.

2) The main concern was mail management, when I considered switch to MacOS at work. I have ~10GB of mail for 2 years, I have used POP3. So switching to Mac/laptop, then POP3 is not looking as good solution. IMAP. IMAP was big concern for me, actually speed that I can get with IMAP and such e-mail quantity ~200-300 a day. As well note, that all e-mails are stored at the archive, so speed issues was a big deal. But Apple mail client was able to surprise me (surprise with the capital S). It is working very fast and reliable until now.

3) Well, then my troubles began. I need two .exe files to load, one is Winbox and second is specific .exe file. As MacOS is not Windows it is not possible to run .exe files, there is a some of alternatives of course, but it was no the point. So I’ve used Darwine and this example, the main problem was to find Darwine. It was not possible to download Darwine version from the official page, but Google saved the day. As well I installed Xtools, it is approximately 1BG download from the Apple development page. Then go over the steps in wiki and get Winbox working.

4)  The latest battle was to install Minicom (software that is used for Terminal Emulation, allows to access devices via COM port). Firstly I tried options ‘ports’ (MacPorts), that is something very similar to my favorite ‘apt-get’ tool,  that allows to install different software. Macports were successfully installe, but there were problems with command like ‘apt-get update’ or ‘sudo ports update’/’sudo ports sync’. I have tried a lot of combinations, googled a lot of different topics. Finally, I give up.

I started to search for the alternatives, topic from Aaron Adams blog helped me. However, I have used only part from there. I’ve downloaded Minicom, Wizzard installation began, that installed minicom.

sudo /usr/local/bin/minicom -s 

command that loaded Minicom, however the last hurdle was to initialize my USB-Serial converter. It is not possible to run Minicom, unless you have specified serial device, at “Serial Port Configuration” –> “Serial Device”.

Erm, what should I type there ?

MAC does not have COM port, I’m using USB-COM converter. Funny, that it had been initialized at  the system information, when you got to System profiler, but ls -la /dev does not return any result for (there were only cu.Bluetooth-Modem cu.Bluetooth-PDA-Sync). A lot of different links were investigated (2 hours), while my colleague Janis said “Ei, I have googled and first link I got is about drivers”. Erm, what drivers, but it is correct drivers, drivers for USB dongle were necessary. Afther the installation, I finally got,

ls -la /dev/cu*

I entered /dev/cu.PL2303-000034FD  and got Minicom.

Let us see, what kind of issues will be on the way.

Where is my macbook.

design_topimagecenter20061108.jpgMy Macbook is traveled to Lithuania, where is located headquarters of the company, where Macbook was originally purchased, as local Latvian distributor is not repairing Macbook, that are not distributed by them (well, everyone has its own specific business politic).

This week, I got into the situation, when I realized some “rumored” advantages of the MacOS. It is ‘no hunting for drivers’. I had to connect my SE K800i to the Windows PC, thanks god that I have installation CD with me. As Windows installed drivers for 8 different devices, that it found when I plugged my phone. The procedure was about 20 minutes long, unless I have access to the phone, argh two commands and 30 seconds on the MacOS for the same procedure.

Ok, there is another question/discussion about the hardware space requirements, it is not a secret, that MacOS uses more space than XP, however situation become a bit absurd, when Microsoft mouse is not working with XP without driver installed, but works fine on MacOS.

As well another question, when device is not very popular and not included into the huge list of the device that are supported by MacOS, then driver installation should be problematic, if ever possible at all.

My point as for the end customer, that it just works is more preferred, as procedure that I was going trough the phone installation is not so apparent for the human, that does not touch with computers. Why should I know all that things, as I only want that device ‘just works’.

Well, I’m not really impressed about the different ads for MAC, as I do not admit “humiliation” in any manner, as some of them for me is trying to humiliate, however it is not best approach to advertise your product, that probably better than competitors. As well this page contains mixed and confusepoints, why you should get a mac.

They are looked very similar and cross-referenced to me, (1) , (3) and (5) are the same, all the information about new software also strongly relied on (2) paragraph.

Anyway the time when I started to think about MacOS and Macbook, I had the great wiliness to try anything alternative from home (Windows XP) and work (Ubuntu, Feisty now). MacOS was/is able to satisfy my requirements, but this is another story.

Certainly “Drivers” feature is very comfortable at MacOS (for the device that are supported), I do need to spend extensive time to get work my phone or any other device, as well the most important that all that actions are intuitive and friendly. As all that I need from the Mac, just plug wire and use ‘iSync’ to connect to the phone, bluetooth method is more “complicated”,

– enable Bluetooth (documentation for this is not even required), click on ‘B’ (bluetooth symbol) on the top panel;

– enable Bluetooth on the phone and allow Mac to connect;

– run ‘iSync‘ on the Mac.

The shadow of the Wicker Man is rising up again., I have found time to finish the book “iCon“. It is not hard to guess, that book is about Steve Jobs. Person who has participated in different projects, that sometimes so hard to imagine.

The book is not autobiography, moreover I think that author is trying to show Steve Jobs more in negative light, rather than positive. However for me he is stayed positive along all the story, at the beginning where is described period before Apple foundation, early years of Apple until he was fired (the most negative part), years at NEXT and Pixar, return to Apple. Despite of the fact author seems again the Jobs at the earlier stages of Jobs career, he admits that Jobs has changed and at the time at the return to the Apple, Jobs recognized some things, that should be done in the different manner (interestingly that there are not direct words about that, only different scenes that points to this).

Book is not only about Jobs, it is more about the environment around him. Interesting fact, one of the most detailed part of the book is story about Pixar and Disney relationships. Jobs is not the person who created Pixar famous and award-winning movies, he is not even author of the scripts. He was able to purchase Pixar, negotiate beneficial terms and allowed creative humans to do their work, that brought Pixar and him to the highest hills of the cinematographer industry. This book is also about different persons, “who have changed the world”. I want to highlight one person from this list, it is John Lasseter, who is simply outstanding talented person.

I wanted to get the answer to one question, when I started to read this book. The question is still unanswered, partially I found the answer but is not complete. I wonder, where persons like Steve Jobs are gathering ideas for the greatest speeches. It is easy to understand that keynote presentations by Steve Jobs are being prepared for the months long, every detail, word, slide have being discussed. Anyway to present something like this is real talent. Well, book is telling about the fact, that Zen made big impact on him, it is very interesting to know, where did he get his talent on presentation, negotiating, prediction, management, etc.

Just imagine the companies, that he was/is managing Apple (hardware, software, MP3-player market, iTunes store, iPhone); Pixar (company was sold to Disney, however the deal somehow made him as a biggest shareholder of Disney company); NEXT (hardware, software (interesting fact, that in some circumstances NEXT software could be very serious competitor for Microsoft, but it did not happen). Just one is big enough, but not for him, as he always tries to find a chance to change the world or at least improve it.