I've recently bought an Apple iBook, not as a long-time Mac fan, but as a Unix aficionado who wanted a cheap, well-spec'd portable with good battery life. While by no means unique, this is still a little unusual, and I thought it might be fun to share my experiences as I learn more about it.


Here are some sites I've found useful (I'll add more as and when I come across them):

  • Apple: Obviously...
  • Apple Developer Connection (ADC): A good range of developer support, tools and documentation. You have to join, but internet-only membership is free.
  • Mac OS X Hints: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Fink: Unix software on Mac OS X; it's based on the Debian packaging system, with a ports system built on top of it.
  • VersionTracker: Shareware, freeware and similar software. I gather it's popular with Mac people.
  • 1984: Apple's seminal Superbowl commercial, and one of the best TV ads in history (better even than the Pixar-created Luxo Junior ones, and an incredible contrast to their current risible campaign).



SilverService is a Mac OS X application that combines the power of the Unix command line with the convenience of the Services menu. It has its own page.

Contact Me

At some point, I might right some sort of forum script to allow people to post comments. Until then, you can always mail me at

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Sun, 05 Sep 2004

To buy one Apple product may be viewed as misfortune...

****- >

Mmmm... iPod... After a year or so of watching my bank balance move monotonically in one direction (the wrong one), I now have an income again. I celebrated this fact by splashing out on a 20GB fourth gen iPod. It arrived on Wednesday, and on the whole I've been impressed. The design of the thing is, of course, fantastic. Not only does the iPod itself seem to be getting neater and simpler with each generation (without sacrificing functionality), but all the little touches (like the fold-out packaging) cement the impression of a product into which real thought has been invested. I particularly like the power adaptor - it's just a transformer with a 6-pin FireWire port in it. As I said, simple.

See more ...

Sun, 09 May 2004


The recent Register article about Clicker (a piece of software I'd get in an instant if it supported my workhorse-like 6310i) got me wondering why Apple hadn't done something similar themselves (as they've done in the past with other third party software such as Watson). One thing that did occur is that it would involve writing software for other people's devices (i.e., the phones), and that's something they've traditionally been happy to leave to others. However, there is an alternative route that they could take - the much-postulated BluePod (a iPod with Bluetooth). Think about it; a platform they control, synchronization software that's already written, and an ideal user interface for remote controlling things. Even if they don't enable the personal radio station mode that everyone's focusing on, adding Bluetooth to the iPod would make the syncing of contacts, calendars and other low-volume data easier, and would further cement the iPod's place as an accessory to your Mac (a position that's been diluted a little by the addition of Windows compatibility).

Now we just need to convince Apple to make the damn thing.

Wed, 10 Mar 2004

RAM - Cureall or Panacea?

I've just installed the 512MB SODIMM that I bought with my birthday money (thanks, guys) into the iBook, and the difference is, well, even better than I was expecting. Applications launch faster, waking from sleep is near instantaneous, switching between applications is no longer accompanied by five or ten seconds of the spinning beachball, the sun is shining a little brighter, and the shooting pains in my wrists are gone. Is extra RAM the solution to all of the world's ills? I think it just might be.

(I may be exaggerating a tiny bit, but the difference really is remarkable. Not that the iBook was particularly bad to start off with, but now running four or five applications at once is that bit smoother.)

Mon, 26 Jan 2004

Yet Another Way To Waste Time


John Gruber's Daring Fireball is one of the few blogs that I read regularly. It's always worth a look, and this morning was no exception; he provides a link Folklore. It's run by Andy Hertzfeld, one of the team who designed the original Mac, and is basically a repository of anecdotes about, for want of a better word, “hacker culture”. At the moment, it's filled with stories from the Mac project, which is a particular treat given it's 20th aniversary (yesterday). It's like the Jargon File, but without the whole ultra right wing neo-conservative gun nut angle.

Wed, 07 Jan 2004

Spot The Difference


To celebrate the 20 years of the Macintosh, Apple have released a very slightly different version of everyone's favourite Superbowl commercial.

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