During the WWDC keynote quite a lot of fun was being made of Microsoft and their upcoming Vista release. Granted, the VP from software engineering where making a point that Apple’s current Mac OSX version, Tiger, holds its own against Vista and they’ve got Leopard around the corner. But still, at WWDC they’re preaching to the choir and I feel the Microsoft bashing lessens their own achievement.
Leopard is looking really strong though. As a GNU/Linux convert I am heartened to see support for virtual desktops. Of all the features I miss from my Ubuntu installation, this is probably on my top three list.
But the most interresting thing is hardly mentioned at all on the ususal news sites: Xcode 3 features Xray, a tracing program built on DTrace. There’s a little more information at Mike Shapiro’s blog.
I develop software for Microsoft Windows and I wish I had DTrace too. Hunting down performance problems can be tricky under controlled conditions on my developer machine. It’s often impossible to do at all on a customer installation. Since it seems that Apple is including DTrace not only as part of Xray, but also as a binary under
/usr/sbin, profiling an installed application on site certainly looks like it will become a reality on a Leopard machine.
Microsoft, please start your photocopiers; I want tracing capabilities like this in Vista too!
After the usual research and considerations when shopping for digital cameras, I bought a Nikon D70s a month or so ago. Now, Nikon is releasing a new D-SLR that looks likely to replace the D70 model.
Figures… Oh well, the D70 will continue to be a great camera but I have a few gripes that the new model might adress:
- RGB histogram
- RAW+Basic only when shooting dual quality
- Auto ISO cannot be set through jog dial
With a proper RGB histogram I can see if a color burns through; sometimes it makes a difference. Why can’t I choose JPG quality when shooting both RAW and JPG in a single exposure? All I get is the lowest quality (basic) which is never what I want.
The rather nifty automatic ISO mode has to be turned on using a menu. It would be much better if it where available using the jog dial, among the ISO levels. Working menus when taking pictures is not for me; it just takes too long.
Reine strikes a chord with me regarding his post on todo list. I should say that I really only do todos in my professional life. For my personal life, I at least try to take the stance that if you feel the need for a todo list, you’re not doing it right.
Anyhoo, here’s how I do todo lists in my professional life:
- Write it down if it clouds your focus
- Get it down on paper and keep it tidy
- If it stays for more than a week: get rid of it
I write down the things that keep me from focusing on the work at hand. It helps me both to relax and stay concentrated if I write it down since I now know that I won’t forget about it. It doesn’t work like that for everybody but it does wonders for my own productivity.
There’s still no substitute for pen and paper when it comes to taking quick notes and todo items. I think this article is spot on. Also, it doesn’t work for me having notes lying all over the place. I like to keep my lists and desk tidy. I know many people don’t mind a cluttered desk, but I find it clutters my mind too.
I don’t mind having a lot of items written down; that happens sometimes, especially when a product release or project deadline is drawing near. But items that grow old don’t belong on my lists.
Massively cool trailer of the upcoming Spiderman 3 movie here. From the looks of the trailer, the fight between good and evil takes place not only in the streets of a metropolis, but also within; the hallmark of any good superhero episode! The first two movies where both great, and if the trailer is any indication of what can be expected of the third, we’re in for a treat come May 2007.
Lately, I’ve started taking a lot more photos than I used to. It’s great fun and the more photos you take, the more you learn. However, sifting through all those photos can be a real chore.
Then I got a Mac, which in its own right made handling photos easier and iPhoto made a difference too, but the fundamental process of comparing, selecting and discarding photos remained time-consuming and left me with decisions I didn’t want to make:
“Was that shot really the best of the set?”
Aperture changed that. Now I can quickly group photos and make a single selection from the stack; and the process is undoable: I don’t have to delete the candidates.
Throw in version management, white balance editing and RAW capabilities and suddenly, post-processing takes a fraction of my precious time and is much more fun; without un-reversable decisions to be made!
That’s how desktop software should be developed: Find the basic user work-flow and design relentlessly until streamlined.
You just got to love Daniel Jalkut’s take on John Grube’s plea for consistent spacing and casing. However, I think he’s sadly mistaken on the benefit of casing PDFKit just so. Of course it’s PdfKit. Upper-casing PDF makes the Kit part hard to read, giving PDF unjustified attention.
There’s a new video of Spore from E3 available. This game has me totally geeked out. Let’s just hope that they can deliver on their promise to make a truly open-ended game.
After having used a Mac for two weeks, one thing is clear: the Gnome desktop is a very nice environment. However, there’s a completeness to Mac OSX that Gnome still lacks. Three examples that Mac OSX Tiger does better than Gnome:
- It just works.
- Much more integrated than Beagle (Ubuntu Breezy).
- Not part of Mac OSX per se, but an amazing little utility.
Given Boot Camp and Parallels, buying a Mac is no longer a leap of faith. So the other day, I got myself a 20″ Intel iMac.
Basically, it was an iPod purchase gone awry. I was planning to buy an iPod only, but since iTunes is not available on GNU/Linux and I recented the idea of such a comittment to Microsoft Windows at home, I made my move.
My expectations are very high and so far met. A Mac is a smooth experience; the iPod connection in particular is just done right.
This video displays a serisously cool multi-input touch screen with some equally cool software.
Notice that a few minutes into the video, the user navigates some maps. That’s how I’d like my GIS systems to work! SpatialAce already has all the navigation functionality displayed in the video. All I want is that screen!