Category Archives: Mac OS X Software

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.

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


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:,+-76.654406,+-117.313155,+-116.999352,+-116.999414,+-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:


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.

Mac dates


I’m always looking for important dates in Macintosh history, for no good reason.

January 1, 1904: if you have an original Mac and the battery goes dead, this is the starting date.

August 11, 1950: birth of Stephen Gary Wozniak, better known as Steve Wozniak.

February 24, 1955: birth of Steven Paul Jobs, better known as Steve Jobs.

October 28, 1955: birth of William Henry Gates III, better known as Bill Gates.

August 27, 1956: birthdate of Ray Montagne, designer of the CUDA chip in old Mac. If your Mac displays this date, you have a Mac that has ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) chips and your battery is dead. An excellent example of a system-level Easter egg.

December 31, 1969 or Jan. 1, 1970: you have a dead battery on a machine that runs Mac OS X. Unix counts time in seconds, starting with one second past midnight on Jan. 1, 1970, is the start of the clock (the “zeroeth second”).

April 1, 1976: you have a dead battery and your machine has reverted back to the day that Apple, the company, was formed. Another stellar example of a system-level Easter egg.

January 1, 1983: Lisa introduced

January 1, 1984: Lisa 2 introduced

January 22, 1984: Macintosh introduced via a commercial during Super Bowl XVIII

January 24, 1984: Macintosh (original) for sale; System 1.0 released

May 5, 1984: System 1.1 released

September 10, 1984 Macintosh 512K introduced

January 1, 1985, Macintosh XL introduced

April 1985: System 2.0 released

September 1985: System 2.1 released

January 16, 1986, Macintosh Plus introduced
System 3.0 released

February 1986: System 3.1 released

April 14, 1986, Macintosh 512Ke introduced

June 1986: System 3.2 released

January 1, 1987, Macintosh Plus (Platinum) introduced
System 4.0 released

February 3, 1987, Macintosh SE introduced

March 2, 1987, Macintosh II introduced
System 4.1 released

October 1987: System 4.2 released

April 1988: System 6.0 released

September 19, 1988, Macintosh IIx introduced
System 6.0.1 released

January 19, 1989, Macintosh SE/30 introduced

March 7, 1989, Macintosh IIcx introduced

August 1, 1989, Macintosh SE FDHD introduced

March 19, 1990, Macintosh IIfx introduced

October 15, 1990, Macintosh LC introduced
Macintosh Classic introduced
Macintosh IIsi introduced

February 11, 1991, Macintosh Portable introduced

April 1991: System 6.0.8 released

June 1991: System 7.0 released

October 21, 1991, Macintosh Classic II introduced
Quadra 700 introduced
Quadra 900 introduced
PowerBook 100 introduced
PowerBook 140 introduced
PowerBook 170 introduced
System 7.0.1

March 23, 1992, Macintosh LC II introduced

May 18, 1992, Quadra 950 introduced

August 3, 1992, PowerBook 145 introduced
System 7.1 released

October 19, 1992, Macintosh IIvi introduced
Macintosh IIvx introduced
PowerBook 160 introduced
PowerBook 180 introduced
PowerBook Duo 210 introduced
PowerBook Duo 230 introduced

February 10, 1993: Macintosh LC III/III+ introduced
Macintosh Color Classic introduced
Centris 620 introduced
Centris 650 introduced
Quadra 800 introduced
PowerBook 165c introduced

March 22, 1993, Workgroup Server 80 introduced
Workgroup Server 95 introduced

June 7, 1993, PowerBook 145b introduced
PowerBook 180c introduced

June 28, 1993, Macintosh LC520 introduced

July 26, 1993, Workgroup Server 60 introduced

August 16, 1993, PowerBook 165 introduced

October 10, 1993, Macintosh Color Classic II (last “classic” Mac) introduced

October 21, 1993, Macintosh TV introduced
Quadra 605 introduced
Quadra 610 introduced
Quadra 650 introduced
PowerBook Duo 250 introduced
PowerBook Duo 270c introduced
PowerBook 520 introduced
PowerBook 540 introduced
System 7.1.1 released

February 2, 1994, Macintosh LC550 introduced
Macintosh LC 575 introduced

March 14, 1994, Power Macintosh 6100 introduced
Power Macintosh 7100 introduced
Power Macintosh 8100 introduced
System 7.1.2 introduced

April 26, 1994, Workgroup Server 6150 introduced
Workgroup Server 8150 introduced
Workgroup Server 9150 introduced

May 16, 1994, PowerBook 520c introduced
PowerBook 540c introduced
PowerBook 550 introduced
PowerBook Duo 280 introduced
PowerBook Duo 280c introduced

July 18, 1994, Quadra 630 introduced
PowerBook 150 introduced

September 1994: System 7.5 released

March 1995: System 7.5.1 released

March 1995: System 7.5.2 released

June 1995: System 7.5.3 released

September 27, 1996: System 7.5.5 released

January 7, 1997: System 7.6 released

April 7, 1997: System 7.6.1 released

July 26, 1997: Mac OS 8.0 released

January 19, 1996: Mac OS 8.1 released

October 17, 1998: Mac OS 8.5 released

December 7, 1998: Mac OS 8.5.1 released

March 16, 1999: Mac OS X Server 1.0 “Rhapsody” released

May 10, 1999: Mac OS 8.6 released

October 23, 1999: Mac OS 9.0 released

April 4, 2000: Mac OS 9.0.4 released

January 9, 2001: Mac OS 9.1 released

March 24, 2001: Mac OS X 10.0 “Cheetah” released

June 18, 2001: Mac OS 9.2 released

August 21, 2001: Mac OS 9.2.1 released

September 25, 2001: Mac OS X 10.1 “Puma” released

December 5, 2001: Mac OS 9.2.2 released

August 24, 2002: Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar” released

October 24, 2003: Mac OS X 10.3 “Panther” released

April 29, 2005: Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” released

October 26, 2007: Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” released

August 28, 2009: Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” released

July 20, 2011: Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” released

[time passes…]

Tuesday January 19, 2038: the world ends, as the 32-bit versions of Unix reach the maximum number of seconds supported by the clock, and reset to zero. Or possibly the world starts again. This will happen at 3:14:07 UTC (seven seconds after 3:14 a.m. in Greenwich, England).

There’s an app for that

It is amazing how quickly Apple’s campaign to create applications (apps) for the iPad and iPhone has not only spread among software developers but also into the general population. “There’s an app for that” has evolved from a marketing push to a punch-line for jokes to a commonly used phrase.

“Is there an app for that?” is probably heard as often as “There’s an app for that.”

There's an app for that

Storefront of Apple Store at the Columbia Mall, Columbia, Maryland (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters, taken with an iPhone)

While the application explosion is extraordinary, so is the method of distribution: you can buy an application (“buy” includes free applications) while sitting in a coffee shop, or in your living room, or almost anywhere but a computer store or electronics store. There are no store aisles, you don’t have to wait in line at the checkout counter, you don’t carry your purchase home in a bag, and you don’t have to throw away the cardboard and plastic packing materials.

If that isn’t enough, there are even apps to help you shop for apps.