Leopard, First Look

Ok, it’s been a few hours since I upgraded to Leopard. The first time it booted after it installed, I got a kernel panic. But it booted the second time. It’s been at 100% CPU usage ever since, installing the XCode stuff (which I always install but never use) and reindexing for Spotlight. That’s colouring a few impressions, because it means Cover Flow, for instance, is very slow. But in brief

  • iScroll doesn’t work. It’s probably what caused the kernel panic on that first boot. I hope there is an update soon, because I like two fingered scrolling.
  • Safari has a really disconcerting and distracting way it gets really dark when you switch to it, and light when you switch away. Some of the other apps do that as well, but Safari gets too dark.
  • Months ago I quite distinctly remember reading that the Airport Express’s external drives would be usable with Time Machine. As a matter of fact, that was a major reason for buying the AE. But now it turns out that AE drives aren’t supported in Time Machine. And considering what a piece of shit the AE turned out to be, I can’t think of any reason not to put it on Craigs List.
  • I was also looking forward to being able to use Mail again. The Tiger version of Mail insisted on indexing and scanning every file in my ~/Mail directory on the IMAP server, which was incredibly time consuming. Every other IMAP client I’ve tried, from Thunderbird to SnapperMail, has the ability to specify that you only subscribe to specific folders instead of all of them. Well, Leopard’s Mail is supposed to have that as well, but when I open up the dialog, no folders are listed there and I can’t find a way to add or remove folder subscriptions. I’ll try again when the CPU isn’t pegged, and maybe it will work right.

I was really looking forward to getting the advantages of Time Machine without having to have a hard disk on my desk, but if that’s what I have to do, that’s what I’ll do. In the mean time, I’m glad that Apple finally came out with Spaces so I don’t need a third party virtual desktop software (actually, I gave up on those ages ago because they kept getting broken by OS updates). And Vicki and I will have to experiment with some of the remote desktop stuff.

Joel on Software

The more I read Joel on Software, the more I’m convinced that if there software jobs in heaven, they’ll look an awful lot like this. Today’s post, called Evidence Based Scheduling, is just one example of the sort of nirvana that I’m hoping awaits me after death if I’ve been sufficiently good, because I sure as hell haven’t seen anything like it in this life.

I’ve certainly seen my share of the ones he gives as bad examples. The schedules passed down from above. The “I’ll give them 30% less time than they said it would take, and then creep the feature list” managers who think it’s motivating to put you under stress, the managers who do the same and then put the blame on you when the project is late, the projects with no schedules and no clear deliverables, but which still manage to make you feel like you’re not producing enough, the “fire 30% of the team but don’t change the schedule” managers, the “if you guys were any good you wouldn’t need so much time for debugging” managers (who not coincidentally are the ones who didn’t give you any time for designing up front), the ones who are as fickle as the wind when it comes to deciding what features are absolutely 100% necessary to win this customer (who turns out to have already decided to go with your competitor), and the “compile it, run it once, deliver it to the customer and if they complain, roll them back to yesterday’s build” ones.

Yes, that’s what life is like down here on earth.

Gmail on my Treo

Now that Gmail supports IMAP, I got it working on my Treo. W00t! It’s pretty simple, but you have to use SnapperMail (the expensive version that supports IMAP rather than the cheap version that doesn’t). I created a new account. Obvious stuff under “Your Name” and “Email Address”. Under Server:

  • Incoming Mail:
    • IMAP4 Server: imap.gmail.com
    • Username: yyyyy@gmail.com
    • Password: zzzzzzz
  • Outgoing Mail:
    • SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com
    • Username: yyyyy@gmail.com
    • Password: zzzzzz

Then click the “More…” button. Change the IMAP port to 993, and the SSL option to “Always Secure (wrapped port)”. Change the SMTP SSL option to “Always Secure (STARTTLS)”. I made a couple of other changes but they didn’t stick, and it’s still working.

The best thing is that if like me you’ve got filter options that label things and skip the inbox, IMAP treats those labels like folders so you can sync them as well. And if you delete something on your Treo, it gets archived but not deleted on GMail.

I can’t wait to see how well this work with the new Leopard Mail.app. I hated the way Mail.app worked with multiple accounts and multiple folders in Tiger, but I’m told that’s all fixed now.

Passive-agressive problems call for passive-agressive solutions

The new president of the flying club has been a member since Orville and Wilbur signed him off for his license. And like a lot of old-fart pilots, he seems to resent any attempt to get him to use more computer technology than just the bare minimum to get a weather briefing. (I should mention in passing that he also seems baffled by the concept of a period (full-stop for you UK readers), and seems to randomly sprinkle the gaps between his sentences with anywhere from 3 to 5 of them. It’s like reading somebody from somebody who mumbles and just trails away to nothing at the end of every sentence.)

Because of some big decisions that have to be made in the club, and the fact that with the shrinkage in pilot numbers probably nearly half the club are either on the Board of Directors or are club officers, I decided to open up the officers mailing list to BoD and asked all the officers and BoD who were not currently on the mailing list to join. When that didn’t work, I used the mailman “send an invitation” function to invite them all, including the new President.
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