Category Archives: Apple

Why I didn’t become a graphic artist

I spent most of my grade school years drawing pictures instead of doing classwork. Classwork was easy, so I did that quickly and then “illuminated” my work with fanciful spacecraft, mythic maps, and lots of lizards and horses. My maps were quite good, my spacecraft were probably not flyable, and everything else was quite poor.

But now, thanks to powerful computer hardware and clever software, I can make cartoons based on nothing more than photographs that I’ve taken and odd comments. Such as this:

Cartoon showing two stacks of CD-ROMs mulling over their fate.

Combine powerful computers and software, a decent photo or three and some brief text, and you have cartoons!

You can find more such efforts at KLJC Computing Cartoons.

Advertisements

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Photos taken at the Apple Store, Columbia Mall, Columbia, Maryland.

wpid-job20111007a-2011-10-7-20-46.jpg

Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

wpid-job20111007b-2011-10-7-20-46.jpg

Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

wpid-job20111007c-2011-10-7-20-46.jpg

Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

wpid-job20111007d-2011-10-7-20-46.jpg

Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

wpid-job20111007e-2011-10-7-20-46.jpg

Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

Literary references to Macintosh applications

Have you ever said to yourself, “I want a native Mac OS X hex editor that can handle files of unlimited size?”

Of course you have. What you need is 0xED, and it is free:

http://www.suavetech.com/0xed/0xed.html

It is also Lion compatible, which probably means it is made of gazelles.

Sadly, NotePad Deluxe is not Lion compatible. It doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2005, which is a shame. (Yes, the copyright message in the About box is out of date.)
wpid-notepaddeluxe-2011-09-4-00-47.jpg
NotePad Deluxe has the rare distinction of being mentioned in a best-selling work of fiction, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. One of the two main characters, Mikael Blomkvist, uses NotePad Deluxe to organize and encrypt information he is using in an investigation, and in an author’s aside, the Web site is listed, www.ibrium.se. Curious to see if this was real or a fictional invention, I typed the address into a browser and — yes, it is a real site.

But there is no evidence the site has been updated since May 22, 2005, when the most recent update of NotePad was posted. A related project by the same team, Mac OS on Linux, http://www.maconlinux.org/, shows no activity since October 9, 2007.

Back to NotePad Deluxe. The application itself runs just fine under Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Sadly, it was built with PowerPC code, and won’t work in the Intel-only world of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. No gazelle meat, apparently.

It does have some interesting features. While the layout and style are somewhat dated, you can create multiple “notebooks” with the application. As mentioned, you can encrypt a notebook (which it quite correctly calls a database), and this encryption capability plays a role in the novel. Each notebook/database can contain a large number of entries, each entry with a creation date stamp. You can style text any number of ways, and not only change the fonts and font size, but even change the baseline, in case you wanted to superscript or subscript something. Text can be colored, you can add highlight colors, text borders, and even Unix-level word services (in case you wanted to integrate the application with some of the Unix text handling utilities of Mac OS X).

But it isn’t Lion compatible, so is doomed. Fiction met reality, and fiction won. Fiction has more staying power than software, even software made from gazelles.
wpid-notepadplus-2011-09-4-00-47.jpg

I’m in trouble now: I am the sysadmin

This is a genuinely frightening screen: you are trying to log into your computer, and failing. Your computer, unhelpfully, suggests you contact the system administrator.

And you are the system administrator.

Contact your system administrator

The screen says contact your system administrator. And you are the system administrator. (iPhone photo by Lawrence I. Charters)

Posting via MacJournal

3360

MacJournal is an inexpensive application that allows you to blog — or create a local journal on your Mac, or both — using a full, native Mac application. There are also iPhone and iPad versions, but we’ll ignore them and stick with…

The Mac version of MacJournal allows you to write text, incorporate graphics, sounds, links, and other things.

We’re going to start off small with some links:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.101672,+-76.654406

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.105775,+-117.313155

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.100213,+-116.999352

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.100239,+-116.999414

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=32.708186,+-117.164559

which may — or may not — be as meaningful as any other links. If this works, we may venture on to more robust fare.

Such as: useful graphs. Or at least a useful graph:

wpid-wpid-ymca-2010-07-29-22-131-2010-07-29-22-13.jpeg

It suggests a whole new kind of hobby: electronic scrapbooking.

[Added later] By the way, most of this blog was created with MacJournal and then uploaded, via MacJournal, to WordPress.

Posting via iPad

3941

There are few things more 21st century than blogging. And there is an app for that! Since WordPress is synonymous with blogging, the iPad and iPhone app is called: WordPress.

It is on the iTunes store, is free, and presumably was written by someone associated with WordPress. This entry was written with the app. Now to see if I can publish my entry…

And of course the application interface offers no obvious means of publishing. None. So you can write a local draft, and it is forever more just that: drafty.

The app has no on-line help, and no manual. The company behind WordPress and the app is Automattic, but the interface isn’t as automatic as you might expect. What to do?

And the answer is: research. The reviewers failed to have an answer (or even note there was a question), but the app Faq has the answer: on the “write” screen, change the Status: entry from “Local Draft” to “Published” and then Save.

Uh, OK. But could it have hurt to have a visible button or toggle?

iPhone 4 problems

3941

Having iPhone 4 issues? Pick no more than two.