April 29th, 2005

Porsupah smile by Djinni

Caution: this is a geek-heavy entry. Proceed with care.

Some salient insights into just what Spotlight is, from someone who knows whereof he speaks. It's quite cool.

If you're using Safari or iCab under OS X, why that, rather than OmniWeb? (Just random curiosity)

There's a good geek interview over on DrunkenBlog, with Jonathan Rentzsch, on a disparate array of programming and coding topics.

Dave Hyatt seems quite pleased at Safari now passing the Acid2 test. That applies to an internal build, for the moment, but you can see the whole ordeal in his Surfin' Safari weblog.

A few minutes of playing around with QuickTime 7.0 Pro suggests they've actually spent a bit of time on the UI. "Get movie properties" presents its information as a list of properties and values, akin to an XML view in OS X, making it much simpler to see all the data at once. Multi-channel audio's supported throughout, so viewing, say, a stereo audio file's properties allows you to tweak those "left" and "right" values to any of the usual 7.1 positions. Encoding offers similar choices of various numbers of channels. Exporting to MPEG-4 fixes the odd limitation of QT6, where the frame size options were only "current", 320x240, and 160x120 - now, various 4:3 and 16:9 options are available, plus arbitrary resizing, previously only available within the "Export to QuickTime Movie" option, which necessitated a second step of exporting to MPEG-4 with passthrough selected for audio and video. (And yes, the various playback speed is fun to play with - it doesn't affect the audio's pitch) No sign of AACplus, which I'd been looking forward to, but H.264 AVC is there on the video front.

It's available for Panther now (the page notes 10.1.5 or later, to be accurate), and of course, comes with Tiger. The Windows version should be following presently.

From the Ars Technica forum, one posting on the nature of UI responsiveness/feedback (as the subjective "snappiness" of various OSs is something of a recurring theme) I found worthwhile for the latter point:

Just to support schnee on this, I can tell you that car manufacturers do this, as well. Nearly every gas gauge out there is NEVER displaying the correct gas tank level - except "full." For two reasons:

1. Gas gauges get to "Empty" before they are actually empty because there is usually a reserve amount not reported of one to two gallons to protect the fuel system against damage.

2. Through research, they've found that drivers were completely turned off and alarmed when cars were outfitted with true-reading gauges. Drivers felt that they were going through too much gas. To correct this, the gauge moves faster when a tank is full, and then as it approaches empty, the gauge moves slower. It is less accurate, but it is the final user outcome that is most important.

(Hey, tursi! Does your car überdashboard also measure fuel level?)

Yay! Ep.9 of Damekko Doubutsu's out, and it's a particularly cute one - wolfie's caught a cold, so everyone else tries to help. Sort of. ^_^
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