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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. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
*grins* I've just read through the 20-page Ars Technica review of Tiger :D

kind of glad I decided to wait at least until it was released before getting an iBook. Though now I'm going to have to wait until after the summer at least before I consider one. Hmmmm, what do you think my chances are of them releasing a revamped iBook with built in bluetooth, 14" widescreen and DVD+-RW as standard? ;)
Ah, I need to see what that article's like! I'm sure there'll be points he and I will disagree on, but with an Ars review, you know there's a technically literate mind behind it, rather than some self-promoting echo-chamber pundit. ^_^

Hmm. Not sure about iBooks going widescreen - it's quite possible, of course. Whilst that's one of the points of difference with the PowerBooks, the 12" PB is also still 4:3. (And certainly, if you're watching an anamorphic DVD, a 15" 16:9 screen does feel larger than a 14" 4:3) It does feel about time for a refresh of the iBook line, maybe around July, for the new school year. Bluetooth as standard, rather than an option? Erf, tricky to say. Usually the rumor sites only seem to manage a couple weeks visibility, presumably once the final boxes are getting stacked up and shipped.

Of course, you could always look at something used - an older PowerBook won't have as fast a CPU/GPU, but ought to leave more change. Even Ocelot, my fastest system, is a comparatively modest 400MHz G4, and that runs Panther beautifully - Tiger too, but it also runs a WaveLAN Silver as a base station, and that driver's temporarily broken under Tiger. Given it's mostly just for video compression and playback, rather than most everyday use, upgrading isn't too much of a priority for it; it's Bunny I'm wanting to get Tigerificated. ^_^ (But, being a 1998 vintage 266MHz PBG3, that's got to wait for Ryan Rempel to cast the magic spells over XPostFacto first, given it's an unsupported machine as of Panther)

I'm itching to get to play with Spotlight, obviously, and on the programming front, Core Data sounds like very nice stuff to help speed application development, let alone the fun factor in Core Image and Core Video.

And I'll toot OmniWeb's trumpet too. ^_^ It lacks the coolness of Firefox's plugin architecture, but, it's a very elegant browser indeed, with a tabs implementation I much prefer to anything else I've come across. Workspaces can be set to preserve their contents, even across quitting or the (very) occasional crash, including window and scrollbar positioning and text entry fields, or can be kept "static", so going to that workspace loads a predefined set of tabs/windows. Very nice stuff indeed, but, not free - $30. But they don't ask for license upgrades often - I bought my copy in early 2001, and they only required an update ($10) for v5, which came out in final release late in 2004. Seems pretty fair. (With previous versions, they'd been using their own, long-running rendering engine, but v5 adopted Web Core, so it inherits Safari's compatibility, leaving them free to focus on UI and usability features, rather than the minutiae of CSS3)
..., rather than some self-promoting echo-chamber pundit. ^_^

Gee, shall I hazard a guess? :)

Of course, you could always look at something used - an older PowerBook won't have as fast a CPU/GPU, but ought to leave more change. Even Ocelot, my fastest system, is a comparatively modest 400MHz G4, and that runs Panther beautifully - Tiger too, but it also runs a WaveLAN Silver as a base station, and that driver's temporarily broken under Tiger.

A used G3 PowerBook is something I would always consider if I had the cash and it was a reasonable deal. Unfortunately, I rarely see those when I go shopping at my usual computer junk stores. :)

I think most PC users should look into an older G3 Mac as a secondary machine. The two platforms compliment each other very well. while my Mac was working, I preferred it for doing internet searches (Sherlock), some web browsing (Safari) and IM (Adium-X) while my PC could still be dedicated to work stuff.