March 31, 2006
In my post about Safari, and two things about it that suck, I linked a rather interesting couple of curses back to Diane Duane's weblog. This evidently caused some confusion, as the great lady herself commented on this confusion in the Safari post, and added some clarification on her weblog so as to help out those of you who wander there, and become lost.
However, being the verbose bastard I am, I can't let this go without some comment about the quote, the book which contains it, and the author who wrote both.
The particular curse, or more accurately, curses come from Ms. Duane's Star Trek book,
The first one, about the turnip, happens during an argument over the translation for a Vulcan word for war. Amanda was working on the Universal Translator project, and as Sarek was the new Ambassador, they had cause to work together quite often. Sarek was a little too smug about being right, and...
She caused him to laugh out loud for the first time in many years when, after a disagreement over the translation of a world for war, that he should only grow headfirst in the ground like a turnip.
The second, longer one happens in the same paragraph, in the next sentence actually:
Later that month, when he was right about something again and made the mistake of not immediately down-playing it, she issued him with a formal malediction, wishing that the curse of Mary Malone and her nine blind orphan children might pursue him so far over the hills and seas that God Almighty couldn't find him with a radio telescope. Sarek laughed so hard at that that he entirely lost his breath, and Amanda panicked, and start to give him cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which was useless, because his heart was somewhere other than the spot on which she was pounding. It took him nearly an hour to recover: he kept laughing. He had never been cursed like that, not even by union leaders, and it was very refreshing.
Damnit. I've been using that curse ever since I read it, and getting it wrong for the most part. I beg forgiveness. Oh, yes, and ladies, don't knock the ability to verbally beat someone with style. Guys appreciate that more than you may think ;-)
However, that's the merest scratching of the surface of why I read Ms. Duane's work. The truth is, I've been reading every book I can buy with her name on it since the publication of Star Trek novel #13,
The Wounded Sky. The plot of the book is fairly standard Star Trek...new engines cause rip in space - time continuum resulting in enormous space wedgie of ultimate cosmic power, the Enterprise saves the day, etc. However, that is the only standard part. It's sandwiched in between two rather blah Star Trek books. Coincidentally, thirteen is one of my lucky numbers. That was a minor hint. When I read the book, it blew me away. If I were to be literal about it, it was like a hurricane. Not for some great Star Trek-ness thing, but the...care she took with it.
You see, when you talk about a well-established canon like Star Trek it's almost easy to be lazy. You don't have to explain Warp Drive, or what people do on the Enterprise, as you're primarily writing to and for people who are fans. As well, when some do try to explain certain things, well, the explanations tend to suck. Diane Duane not only did not suck, but she made quite a few other authors move, at least in my eyes, from "Pretty good" to "Kinda sucky". It wasn't that they were bad, or had become bad, far from it. It was that Ms. Duane had taken the bar, and not just set it higher, but strapped a rocket to it. A rocket with a LOT of fuel....and Warp Drive.
Have you ever read a book, and suddenly realized that it was going to be far more than you expected? That it was going to be so much better than you thought, there's not enough letters in the word "better" to convey the better-ness that it is describing? It started to happen in the first paragraph, where Ms. Duane is describing a ship in warp drive. By the end of the fourth paragraph, she's done that, and used a quasi-collision between a ship in warp, and a comet, and the effect that will have on a primitive world in three hundred years. I was pretty impressed, I mean, four paragraphs, and some heady stuff has happened. but it was the fifth paragraph though, that was the sign that I was reading something special:
Here and now, an unseen something fleets by so swiftly an observer would probably never perceive her at all. A flicker, a shimmer, a passing thought in the endless silent ruminations of the universe, the USS Enterprise cruises through on patrol.
It was just so...visual and visceral at the same time. I've always been a very visual reader. When I read a book I like, at some point, it stops being reading, and the book becomes a movie. I see what's happening, I hear it. It's probably a large part of my reading speed, which even my girlfriend, a reader so avid she's a librarian, finds impressive. (when you impress a librarian, you read FAST) So for me, a good descriptive talent is important. I blew off two classes that day, and sat in the FIU Rat, drinking my cokes, and devoured that book. I inhaled it. But I couldn't stop. There were so many things right about it. She was the first author I'd ever read to get space battles right. She wrote about a ship that was massive, yet unencumbered by such pissant things like friction and gravity. She wrote about dealing with excess velocity and momentum! Like this part, from a battle between Enterprise and eight Klingon ships:
But Enterprise wasn't running her part of the battle according to the sensible, reasonable tactics they were expecting. Since nearly everyone in the Galaxy now had the Romulans' "cloaking device"—making it almost impossible to initially detect a ship in realspace, let alone bring it to battle there—the methodology of starship-level warfare had changed in recent years. Ships running almost entirely on instruments ambushed one another in warp, where the cloaking device didn't work, and fought whole battles there; or forced a ship in warp out into realspace, where running tended to be difficult for large ships and firepower was the determining criterion. Enterprise, though, wasn't following the rules. She would not fire. She would not duck into warp, however closely Kaza and his brother destroyers followed her. Instead, she swooped and soared and dipped and rolled through realspace as if a suicidal maniac piloted her. The Klingons' battle computers didn't have the necessary protocols programmed into them for this kind of realspace fighting; no one could get close enough for even hyperphaser fire to pierce those shields powered by the whole unreserved output of an undamaged warp drive. Anyone who tried soon enough heard the sound of screaming, overstressed metal in his ship's structure, and fell back to a saner, straighter pursuit, swearing—
It wasn't just space battle. She took that kind of care with the various stars and systems. One of Ms. Duane's hallmarks is that she uses real galaxies and real physics wherever she can in her books. She made sure that by the end of things, you knew why the Enterprise crew is the best of the best. No longer were Sulu and Chekov just drivers on a bus. They were master helmsman and navigators and weapons systems officers, capable of out-flying anyone, anywhere, anytime. Uhura was not just a high-tech operator, but a polyglot with multiple Ph.D's who not only ran the entire communications department on Enterprise, but had made major contributions to the science of translation. McCoy went from just a doctor to a leading medical researcher and pioneer. She even took the time to deal with such mundane things like meeting rules, and departmental shift change issues, supply and logistics, even the difficulty involved in planning a party when one of your crewman is a Horta and considers granite a delicacy. That's proper care and feeding of her universe, and the results are what they should be.
It wasn't just the crew of Enterprise that gets the "Duane Treatment". Every ship she talks about in Starfleet is full of motivated, smart, talented people. After all, they had to get through Starfleet Academy to get to where they were. She made being an officer on a Starship into what it should be, not just a body in a uniform, or a plot device. She made sure that we understood that any race able to make it into space, invent warp drive, and carve out an empire or Federation was not stupid. The Romulans, the Klingons, all of them become what you expect. For Enterprise to defeat yobbos with forehead deformities, or angry Vulcans is no big deal. But when those enemies suddenly become very smart, and very clever, and just as quick-witted as you, well, beating them starts to mean something.
I discovered Diane Duane in 1984 in college. It was a few years later, in the Air Force, that I joined the Sci-Fi book club and saw her name on a non-Star Trek work. A collection of three of her books called
Support Your Local Wizard. If I had admired her work before, I became a drooling fanboy after reading that book. I stopped counting how many times I've re-read it after ten or so. So much of what she wrote about resonated with me. The way Nita was the favored target of bullies...I'd been there. I may be 6'2", have a black belt, and be able to run a 7-minute mile now, but when I graduated high school, I was 5'6", 260lbs, poor, and had a big goddamned mouth that continually wrote checks my body couldn't cash. The scene, early in the first book, where Nita hides from the bullies in the Library? I'd done that, and not a few times.
People may call that series the "Young Wizards" series, and book stores may file it in the dungeon that is Teen Fiction instead of in its proper Science Fiction and Fantasy location, and it may have been totally ignored, even though every.other.friggin' book about witchcraft and wizardry was laid out next to the sixth Harry Potter book when it was released, but it's not a kids book. They talk about important stuff, like helping people because it's the right thing to do, not just for what you can get out of it. They talk about keeping your word, even though to do so will cause you great inconvenience, harm, or death, because keeping your word matters. They talk about how not only does the end not justify the means, but how the means matter more than the end. They also have a rather obvious affection for Apple Computer, which never hurt anything. Even the Wizard's Oath was pretty heady stuff:
In Life's name and for Life's sake, I say that I will use the Art for nothing but the service of that Life. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so -- till Universe's end.
Is it maybe hokey? Okay, so what? Read what it says...it's a good message, no matter the setting or the hokey level. Good messages are rare enough for me to ignore one right in my face like that.
Because of that series, I'll never look at a cat, a dog, or even a bird the same way again. And I have more respect for trees.
I gave a Young Wizards collection to my girlfriend on her birthday. We weren't dating yet, but in a way, that was kind of where it started. When a friend of mine was despairing because her son had been convinced that he'd never read well, I sent her a Young Wizards collection, and told her to read it to him, because I knew that it would be something they could share together, and that it would help him to see the other side of reading, that it is something to be enjoyed and cherished, not some onerous task to be endured. It was the first major book I ever read to my son. To this day, if I want to re-read one of them, and I often do, I don't bother looking on the bookshelf for them. They're in his room, under his pillow, or somewhere near his bed. I just know that when he moves away to college, I'll have to buy him his own copies, so I can get mine back.
That's okay, I'll do it happily. Like I'd complain about his love of reading, pff.
To delve even deeper into hokey, I'll say that Ms. Duane's work more than resonated with me. It helped me get through some hard times by remembering that we don't do good for any reward, or what we get from it, or what other people think. We do good because good is worth doing.
Any time you see me link to her site, it's not just me attributing a quote. It's me saying "Thank you", yet again.Comments ()
Apple...more than just a GUI
With April 1st, 2006 being Apple's 30th birthday, of course, there's a lot of talk about the birth of the company, Steve Jobs, the Mac, the iPod, and Apple's innovative role in the industry. But so many people look at the GUI and stop there. Now, don't get me wrong, if Apple had only created the first successful mass-market GUI-based OS, the folks who created the Mac could do nothing more than sleep late the rest of their lives and still be a success.
But stopping at the GUI is like limiting Led Zeppelin to "Stairway to Heaven"...that's only part of the story, and not even the start...
The idea that the OS and every application needed to do certain things the same way...cmd-q is always quit, cmd-v is always paste, the menu bar is always in the same place. That consistency, even when it may have not made sense, (I mean, really, what does the letter 'v' have to do with the word 'paste'? Nothing. But if you can't make perfect sense, then perfect consistency is a nice alternative.), meant that you could always rely on things. Remember that in 1982-1984, consistency was almost an anathema. Every program had to do things its way, and if they did them like no one else, good, it meant less likelihood of the user buying a competitor's product. Apple trashed that notion, and said that things working consistently was more important. How important? Windows uses ctrl-v for paste. Yeah, that important.
The idea that "hard" is not a requirement for a computer. That things should be easy, and that a computer should be a toaster. That the computer as a thing was not a goal, but a tool. That what mattered was how you used it. That entire concept was Apple's. Parts of it were started elsewhere, like the GUI at PARC, but Apple created the idea that "ease of use" was not just a nice feature, but a central requirement for a computer.
The idea that networking should be something that just works. That you can run a bunch of wire between computers and printers and have this stuff work. No CNE's, MCSE's, or ABCDE's needed. Apple was the first, and really, to this day even, the most successful computer vendor when it comes to stamping out the myth that using a network must be hard. When you go to Macworld, and you see a tall, rather skinny guy in glasses from Oregon, and his name tag says "Alan Oppenheimer", thank him. If not in person, then in a quiet prayer to the gods of proper computing, because he was part of the team that created AppleTalk.
Plug and Play. Microsoft may have created the marketing term, but Apple started it, and still does it better. They do it so well, it doesn't need a marketing term. On a Mac, adding devices is like working with Alfred the Butler. He's just there, with what you need:
"Ah, a new printer sir. Very good, I've already loaded the driver, so you can just print, no need for me to tell you, it shall work as you expect"
"Ah, pardon me sir, but I'm afraid I don't have that driver, you'll need to install it first, I'm terribly sorry, but you'll not need to do this until you need to print to it, no sense in bothering you about it until then."
On Windows, it's still like dealing with an over-caffeinated Boy Scout:
Apple went beyond just automatic configuration, and made it something that you don't think about unless you need to.
Expansion buses that just work. Yes, now we all laugh at how slow and overpriced NuBus was, but when you compare it to the hells of ISA, MicroChannel, and VESA-LB, it was worth it. Not until PCI did the rest of the world catch up to what Apple had been doing since the Macintosh II.
The idea that the user shouldn't have to care about IRQ's and memory addressing. That's what the computer vendor is for. I was stunned when I started working with NuBus. I expected it to be harder, and honestly, the first time I added a card to a Mac, I didn't think it would work. It was too easy. After that, going back to ISA and the rest was like that line from
Billy Madison...I felt dumber for having used it.
The idea that "It just works" is the central vision for a general - purpose computer. That's Apple.
Even when Apple didn't invent a technology, they out innovated everyone else by being the first to make that technology the standard across the product line. They jumped wholesale into PCI far faster than the PC market did, and then there's USB....
If you want the perfect example of how much power Apple wields, USB and the iMac is all you need.
Intel and the rest may have created USB, but even after Windows 98 and years of endless demos of how cool it was, the PC market barely supported it. (Even into 2001/2002, I would get brand new Dells in that required a PS/2 keyboard for the initial setup, even though they had USB support in the BIOS) It took Apple, the iMac, and ninety days to create what is now the massive USB market.
In ninety days, the USB market went from almost nothing to damned near everything. Microsoft, Intel, and everyone else couldn't do it in years. Apple did it in a quarter.
Even now, Apple runs towards the future, Microsoft stumbles towards it, sometimes in spite of their best efforts to prevent it.
EFI anyone? EFI has been around for years, but I bet Apple is the number one user of it, and they only have three products that use it. No wonder Intel loves Apple.
The idea that a computer should be elegant, even, dare I say, pretty...that was Apple.
Prior to the Jobsian Apple, the entire PC world reveled in its ugliness and how a computer would turn its area into a web of ugh. Even Apple, thanks to the craptacular designs put out by the CEOs that followed him/preceded him.
Steve Jobs came back, and Apple destroyed that idea, ground it into the dirt like the stupid thing it was, and more power to them for doing that. When the PC manufacturers said "Color doesn't matter, only Power!", Apple ignored them, and the iMac exploded. I imagine the Auto industry was laughing about that one too. Ask any car dealer about color, and if it matters. I almost bought a different car once because of color. It was availability that changed my mind. It took Apple, and Steve Jobs to make the blindingly obvious fact that color counts a reality.
Apple showed the world that Unix was indeed a suitable environment for the home user. Others had been working diligently for years to do this. Apple did it in less than a year. It started the day Mac OS X 10.0 was released, and by the time Mac OS X 10.1 came out, the point had been proven. Unix and "user-friendly" are not mutually exclusive, and Apple's undeniable proof of that has helped both KDE and GNOME with the same quest on Linux.
Even now, Apple is convinced that a server should be easy to set up and administrate. Apple started this with AppleShare, later AppleShareIP and now Mac OS X Server. They're taking a little longer to get there, but you can see the eventual goal. I've confidence they'll do it too.
Why? Because Apple not only fosters brilliance, but they take the risks that brilliance requires.
I was in the room when what would become Zeroconf was proposed. The idea that TCP/IP should be as easy to use as AppleTalk, and that it could be done simply, with existing technology, (some of it created by Microsoft). It is a moment carved into my brain, because I got to see absolute brilliance at work, and an astounding idea created. Right there, I saw the start of something that would, and indeed has changed so many things. I think of that moment every time I'm at an Apple Keynote, and I'm one of many people all editing the TidBITs Keynote article on SubEthaEdit, with no more effort than selecting some menu choices and clicking some buttons. All because Stuart Cheshire had an idea, and he worked for a company that was willing to take risks. It took a lot of people and other ideas to make it a reality, but today, we can do this because of Apple, and its ability to reach beyond the safe, and take risks, and reject the orthodoxy.
To limit Apple's history of innovation to popularizing the GUI, the iPod, and iTMS is to ignore a constant stream of innovations over the last three decades, and the most important quality of all:
Apple, more than every other computer company, takes risks.
Apple leads, everyone else follows. That is Apple's first, best quality, and everything else comes from that. As long as Apple remains true to that, they'll be around for another thirty years, and they'll still be in front of everyone else.Comments ()
March 30, 2006
Kudos to Matt & Nik at DF...
Or, just because the vendor wants you to do something stupid, that doesn't make it the right thing to do.
As some of you may have noticed, comments for the site have been dead for a few days. This was due to some issues with the server it runs on, and a rather silly thing that Six Apart wants you to do with Movable Type.
The server issues were that a bunch of directories on the server, (including some of mine, which was rather embarrassing, and my only explanation is that I forgot they had been set that way. It was still stupid.), were set to be world - writable, aka 777 permissions. That combined with some PHP issues allowed a bunch of haxx0r kiddies to start running rogue IRC servers, etc. The folks at digital.forest fixed the permissions issues right away, but then Movable Type started acting up.
So I finally bite the bullet and spend the c-note to get the uber version of MT. What does support tell me? "Oh, the db directories have to be world writable, or you have to use cgiwrap/suexec, or MT won't work." This strikes me as nonsense, so we go back and forth a bit, and they insist on this. Six Apart should be very glad that I knew their support people weren't thinking clearly, because had I not used MT on servers i DO own, then I would have thought this was the answer, and moved over to WordPress.
Luckily, I not only knew they were wrong, but about 5 minutes of work showed me the answer: The group on the directories MT needs to be able to write to has to be set to the group Apache runs under. Once I did that, and set the folder/file permissions correctly, well, now I can post, and now you can comment, both of which may not be good to a lot of people. But Six Apart support should have already known this, and it should have been one of the first options, even though it looked like that might not work.
I especially want to thank the support staff at d.f., including Matt and Nik, both of whom sat on the phone across the weekend, and much of this week to help me get the permissions set correctly, (Yes, that's right. On the phone...on the weekend. Live, competent, professional tech support. One call, very little to no waiting. Another reason I recommend digital.forest), without whom, I'd have had a much harder job of moving to a different setup. Good job folks!
March 27, 2006
Dear Safari Team
It has, through the years I have used your product, come to my attention that Safari is quite stupid in two areas. Now, this is not bad at all. Some products are relentlessly stupid, (WinIE), so in comparison, you're not doing bad at all.
However, these are two areas that I use a lot, and I'm kind of tired of it. I can't quantify them as bugs, because I think that in your eyes, you do things the right way. But sometimes, there are multiple right ways, and some are stupider than others, and you have a couple of really stupid things, namely URL autocomplete and the concept of safe files.
- URL Autocomplete
I know I'm not the first to bring this up, but please, fix this, it currently sucks. Let's say that in my bookmarks, I have a site that's "blah.foo.com". If I start typing "foo.com" because I can't remember the full URL, but I know that it was in foo.com, I get...nothing. The only time Safari includes anything before what you are typing is if it's www, or ftp, etc. Basically, there's no intelligence whatsoever in this. Even worse, if there's a dozen URLs with long strings after, the first hit is NEVER the smallest or simplest one. It's something else based on some bizarre algorithm that I'm sure sounds nice, but is annoying as hell, so I don't really care about it. However, what you get is something where the stuff you've typed isn't highlighted, but the stuff you DO type is. So, what happens when you hit enter? You don't get just what you've typed. You get the whole thing. This means that you have to double save things. Once with the whole specific link, and then once with just the main domain name. For example, I have one link for Dell saved in my bookmarks. It's a dead link. But if I type "www.dell.com" and hit enter, do I go to www.dell.com?
I go to the dead link. To just go to what I typed, I have to type www.dell.com and hit backspace to erase the autofill crap. Thanks for making things easier. Oh wait, you didn't. Along with that, you know how in the bookmarks, you have a field for the name of the bookmark and another field for the address? What if, and I know this is crazy, but, what if someone got all NUTZY COOKOO and let you type the NAME of the bookmark in, or, even KOOKIER, if you could just type a word and if it showed up in ANY part of the bookmark, name or not, that would be presented as an option? I know, I know, you're saying
JOHN! THAT'S CRAZY TALK! YOU CAN'T HAVE AN OPEN ENDED SEARCH LIKE THAT! IT WOULD BE THE END OF THE INTARWEB!. Well, that's how it worked in IE:Mac. You'd just start typing anything you could remember about that URL, and if you matched any word at all, you'd get a hit. Kind of like, oh....Spotlight.
Oh yeah, God help you if you have a feed:// URL, because then that will show up in the autocomplete too, and helpfully become the default URL for what you're typing. <sigh>
That was the last time I had a truly useful URL autocomplete on the Mac. IE 5 Mac. You know, that product that was discontinued? Yeah, it did that, and it ruled. Does Firefox do this? No. Does Camino do this? No. Do Opera or Omniweb do this? Don't know, don't care, don't use either. Even better, they would allow you to use a key combo, (ctrl-arrow IIRC) to select or deselect parts of the URL, so if what you wanted was only part of the autocompleted URL, you could get to it pretty easily.
So, could we maybe have URL autocomplete, oh, I don't know, work like Spotlight? Only you know, actually find URLs. Which Spotlight doesn't do for crap on my system.
So how's about it? Let's make URL autocomplete not suck?
- "Safe" files
I do not understand, nor shall I ever understand why this great whopping stupid idea stays in Safari day after week after month after year. Let me say this right now:
The myth of the "safe" file needs to be shot in the skull
And what does this even get us? Auto-opening is a pain in the ass. Period. When I'm downloading files, the last thing I want them to do is auto-friggin'-open. If I want them to open, I will open them. When I download things, (again, being kooky here), I just want them to sit there when they are finished. Don't open. Don't make the Safari icon dance. Just sit there until I take action, or, at most, put a badge on the Safari Dock icon to let me know that my downloads are done. This auto - open idiocy is almost Windows-ish in that over-eager boy scout kind of way. Don't do that. Okay? Just...stop it.
Auto-opening "safe" files is, has always been, and always shall be a dangerous concept unto the end of time and the next morning. Personally, I think that anyone advocating this should not only have their head stuck in the ground so they grow upside - down like a turnip, but they should be chased by the Ghost of Molly Malone and her nine blind orphan children so far over the ends of the Earth that even the Almighty Himself couldn't find them with a radio telescope!
There are not enough letters in the words "bad" and "stupid" to properly convey the bad-ness and stupidity of this idea. Pull out that code, take that code out back, burn the media it's on, pour acid on the ashes, bury what's left, and sow salt on the burial site.
See...two simple requests that will make things MUCH better.| Comments ()
March 24, 2006
It's only news if it's new
So Mike Harsh on the WPF/E team at Microsoft recently posted an article about WPF/E, (Windows Presentation Foundation EVERYWHERE) at the Microsoft Mix06 PR blitz...er, conference:
The WPF/E package also contains a small, cross platform subset of the CLR and .NET Framework that can run C# or VB.NET code. Yes, we are bringing C# programming to the Mac.
First of all, we've HAD C# on the Mac for quite some time now, as part of the quite-lame ROTOR, and the quite-NOT-Lame Mono, which has actual products out for it.
However, barring a change in what I've seen from Microsoft, (and given the lack of proper documentation on MSDN, lord knows what's really going on), Mike's statement needs some...clarification:
Yes, we're bringing products written in C# that use WPF/E to the Mac...sometime in 2007.
See, right now, the only way to write WPF/E code is in Visual Studio, and most likely, VS2005 on Windows. Anyone remember the last major product to use a Microsoft Cross-Platform compiler? Word 6 anyone? Okay, that's a bit unfair, I imagine that not even the Windows team is stupid enough to repeat that mistake. But the fact is, WPF/E is not bringing C# to the Mac. It will, (when it shows up) allow you to write code on Windows that can be run on a Mac. Once the browser plugin is out...sometime in the first half of 2007. Of course, the WPF/E stuff you need to even write it for various Windows platforms, like Windows Mobile, (Why do I think that WM is the real reason for WPF/E, and non-MS platform support is a side - effect? Oh wait, past experience.) won't show up until the third quarter of 2006. So, if you are expecting WPF/E applications that have been tested on the Mac in less than a year or more, you're going to be disappointed.
Unless they're from a seriously confused person who thinks that just writing WPF/E code will magically work in the plugin untested. Yeah, right.
However, Mono lets you write .Net C# code in Xcode today. Or in the IDE of your choice on Linux. Or even in VS on Windows, and you can use it today. If you want to start writing cross-platform managed code, you don't have to restrict your development environment to Windows, nor do you have to wait a year. You can do it right now for free.
Exactly how is Mike's announcement news?
March 20, 2006
AGMCarbonLib fix for Illustrator CS
Another one for the great Google database
If you're getting immediate AGMCarbonLib shared library errors on launch with Illustrator CS (this may work for CS2, but I don't use that), then try making sure the permissions are set correctly for the application folder:
sudo chown -R <userwhoinstalledIllusrator>:admin /Applications/Adobe\ Illustrator\ CS/
that fixed it for me. I think it's the group permissions that have to be administrator here. In my case, they were staff.
March 16, 2006
George Clooney rocks!
I Am a Liberal. There, I Said It!
by George Clooney
I am a liberal. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I'm proud of it.
Too many people run away from the label. They whisper it like you'd whisper "I'm a Nazi." Like it's a dirty word. But turn away from saying "I'm a liberal" and it's like you're turning away from saying that blacks should be allowed to sit in the front of the bus, that women should be able to vote and get paid the same as a man, that McCarthy was wrong, that Vietnam was a mistake. And that Saddam Hussein had no ties to al-Qaeda and had nothing to do with 9/11.
This is an incredibly polarized time (wonder how that happened?). But I find that, more and more, people are trying to find things we can agree on. And, for me, one of the things we absolutely need to agree on is the idea that we're all allowed to question authority. We have to agree that it's not unpatriotic to hold our leaders accountable and to speak out.
That's one of the things that drew me to making a film about Murrow. When you hear Murrow say, "We mustn't confuse dissent with disloyalty" and "We can't defend freedom at home by deserting it at home," it's like he's commenting on today's headlines.
The fear of being criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, "We were misled." It makes me want to shout, "Fuck you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."
Bottom line: it's not merely our right to question our government, it's our duty. Whatever the consequences. We can't demand freedom of speech then turn around and say, "but please don't say bad things about us." You gotta be a grown-up and take your hits.
I am a liberal. Fire away.
I disagree too much with the "Liberal" platform to be called one, (I just don't like groups), but for this one George, I'll hold your coat. Boo-Fuckin'-Yah
Technorati Tags: Politics| Comments ()
March 15, 2006
I couldn't have said it better myself, so I shan't
March 8, 2006
Does Microsoft actually WRITE Windows software anymore?
It would seem that their mergers and acquisition department is doing more of the real work towards adding new features to Windows and Office than the 8000+ MS Windows Devs are. For example, their Apptimum purchase.
Migration Assistant anyone?
Sorry, but if this purchase is the only way Microsoft can come up with to make the cost of upgrading a Windows box drop from up to a thousand dollars to a hundred bucks, there is something terribly, terribly wrong with Windows. Getting existing data and settings from box a to box b should not require that much work, even on the enterprise level.
Tell me again how the Windows Registry makes things better, because this looks to me like yet another example of why it's the worst idea in computing in the last 11 years.
They're only NOW just figuring this out?
Okay, so while I'm always glad when people notice some security holes, I just have to say this:
They're just now realizing that in Pre-Tiger versions of Mac OS X, there was a gaping security hole around /Library/StartupItems/, two years after it was first pointed out?
This was something that I, and others were pointing out almost two years ago. Really, we were. Read my article referenced above, I talk about it in paragraph 6 or so. I also recall those of us raising the issue being told "Well, that's not a real problem."
My, how times change. Luckily, Apple did take this issue seriously, and provided a good fix in Mac OS X 10.4. If nothing else, it's a great reason to update to Mac OS X 10.4, as it's a heck of a hole, and if you don't know about it, trivial to exploit.
So no, this is not some new exploit or hole, and it's been fixed for a while now, no matter how much the rest of the Mac web suddenly realizes it exists.
March 5, 2006
In response to your "OS Failure" message, because evidently not having IE 6 on Windows is a failure in your eyes, and your real, sincere promise to support Macs in the future, aka, when you get around to it...
Don't bother. Really. If you can't manage to support the OS I do my business on, and my recreation on when it is convenient to me, then the chances of me caring when you do "get around to it", are slim and none. Whatever it is you do, you're not unique. You're not the only people doing this, and I'm sure your competitors will be happy to have more exclusive access to 20 million customers.
March 1, 2006
Technorati Tags: Apple| Comments ()