Linked List: October 2004


Open source iPhoto plug-in by Fraser Speirs, exports photos to Flickr. Works like a charm — it adds nice Flickr tab to iPhoto’s Export dialog.

(Via Ranchero.)

Basecamp Case Study Interviews 

37signals — one the current sponsors here at DF — have released a bunch of interesting case study interviews of Basecamp users.

Mossberg on iPod Mini Competitors 

Walter S. Mossberg reviews three iPod Mini competitors, and, not surprisingly, they all suck.

(Via MacMinute.)

iPod Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition 

Greg Storey has the scoop.

iPod Socks 

I’m at a loss for words on this one.

Author Highlighting in MT 

Dan Cederholm on how to highlight comments from the author of a web site using MT.

New PHP Packages From Marc Liyanage 

Marc Liyanage has create a bunch of new Mac OS X package installers for PHP. Easiest way to, say, upgrade to PHP 5 on your Mac.

File Calumnies 

Andrew Pontious:

Here’s a demonstration for you. Open TextEdit and save a file to the desktop. Go to the desktop and move the file somewhere else. Then go back to TextEdit, modify the file, and save it again.

Presto! New file on the desktop.

Do the same thing in BBEdit. No new file appears on the desktop. Instead, the changes are made to the moved file.

Now, some of you are saying, “Ah ha, bug in TextEdit!” Others of you are saying, “Ah, ha, weird behavior in BBEdit!”

Using Movable Type for S5 Slideshows 

Anil Dash ties MT together with Eric Meyer’s S5. Which in turn provides a nice way to use Markdown to write the copy for S5 slideshows. Clever.

Bull Market for the TAO 

If Matt Neuburg says TAO is a good outliner, it must be.

fs_usage Intro 

Jonathan ‘Wolf’ Rentzsch with a quick how-to on fs_usage, a command-line tool that allows you to track file system activity. His example shows how he used it to figure out where Mac OS X’s built-in spelling checker stores user-added words.

StuffIt 9 Compression Bug 

Michael Tsai reports that StuffIt 9’s new “Choose Method by Analysis” compression scheme can result in archives that can’t be unstuffed.


Simon Beavis has released a free app for editing BBEdit codeless language modules, if you don’t want to edit the XML directly.

Movable Type 3.12 

Bug fixes and performance improvements.

2 Type Designers, Joining Forces and Faces 

New York Times profile of Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, type designers extraordinaire.

RSS for Mac OS X Roundtable 

DrunkenBlog interview with the developers of five Mac feed readers.

AWS Zone 

Nice unofficial site for developers using the new version of Amazon Web Services.

(Via Sippey.)

Steve Jobs Unveils Apple Mini Stores 

Jason Snell and Jim Dalrymple for MacCentral:

At a private viewing at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., Apple Computer Inc. on Thursday unveiled a new 750-square-foot “mini” design for its retail store. The first six stores using the design, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs — in his first public appearance since cancer surgery — described as “designed to be small, and cool because [they] are small,” will open this Saturday.

The design is striking. Very Kubrickian. Also striking is this tidbit:

Products in the new stores are half iPod related, half Mac related, according to Jobs.

Multiple Display Spanning With the iMac G5 

Dan Frakes, at the Macworld Editors’ Notes Weblog:

Although many people assume that Apple’s consumer-level computers don’t support screen spanning because they use lower-end video cards or because of some other type of hardware limitation, that’s not really it — the video cards found in all of Apple’s latest consumer models fully support this feature. The real reason is that Apple has disabled extended desktop mode in Open Firmware. If you don’t know what Open Firmware is, don’t worry; the key here is that if this feature can be disabled in Open Firmware, it can also be enabled in the same way.

In other words, Apple cripples its “consumer” machines such as the iBook and iMac such that their video output to a second display is limited to mirroring, rather than spanning. An Open Firmware hack — unsupported, of course — is all it takes to enable the feature.

iMac G5 Troubleshooting Assistant 

New web app from Apple, provides super-simple guided troubleshooting for iMac owners.

(Via MDJ 2004.10.11.)

Apple Posts Profit of $106 Million, 2 Million iPods Sold 

Holy shit, that’s a lot of iPods (and the profit is way above Wall Street estimates).

Business Week Interview With Steve Jobs 

Steve Jobs:

I used to be the youngest guy in every meeting I was in, and now I’m usually the oldest. And the older I get, the more I’m convinced that motives make so much difference. HP’s primary goal was to make great products. And our primary goal here is to make the world’s best PCs — not to be the biggest or the richest.

We have a second goal, which is to always make a profit — both to make some money but also so we can keep making those great products. For a time, those goals got flipped at Apple, and that subtle change made all the difference. When I got back, we had to make it a product company again.

Eric Meyer: S5 

CSS demigod Eric Meyer has released S5, an open source framework for creating PowerPoint-esque slide shows using regular HTML markup. Layout is handled using CSS, slide control (back/forward/etc.) is handled with JavaScript. Check out the demo.

Apple Fires Back at Microsoft Over ‘Closed’ Comments 


There is a lot of customer choice happening today, it’s just that Microsoft doesn’t like the choices customers are making.

iPod Market Share 

The iPod accounts for an astounding 92 percent of the market for hard-drive-based music players.

John C. Welch on EMC’s Acquisition of Dantz 

Yesterday, EMC purchased Dantz, the developers of Retrospect, which far and away the leading Mac backup software. John C. Welch called EMC and Dantz to get the scoop on what this might mean for Mac users. If you have any interest in serious Mac backup software, this is big news, and Welch’s coverage is essential reading.

Network Solutions Teaches Gawker a Lesson 

Yet another reason never to do business with Network Solutions. Ever. If you have domain names registered with them, you should switch to another registrar as soon as you can. (At this writing you may not even be able to reach to read the linked article.)

Introducing Grad 

New typeface from Mark Simonson, based on a design by Phil Martin. Conceived as a redesign of Century Schoolbook.

Mike Davidson: ABC News Redesigns 

Great write-up regarding the complete overhaul of the web site.

Delicious Library Sneak Peak 

Manager for your books, CDs, DVDs, and video games. (Previously mentioned here.)

Two New Books on Word by Matt Neuburg 

Matt Neuburg — my favorite Mac writer — has just published two new ebooks about Microsoft Word 2004, in the TidBITS Take Control series. $5 each, or $7.50 for both. Unbelievably cheap.

PulpFiction 1.1 

Update to Freshly Squeezed’s RSS aggregator.

OmniWeb 5.1 Public Beta 

New version of OmniWeb, now includes an up-to-date version of WebCore as the basis of its rendering engine.

PHP Function Index 

AppleScriptable PHP documentation browser.

Michael Tsai on TextMate 

Michael Tsai, in a very astute first look at TextMate:

TextMate doesn’t feel like BBEdit, CodeWarrior, Alpha, QUED/M, or Symantec’s IDE. It also doesn’t feel like ProjectBuilder, Project Builder, Xcode, or third-party NSTextView-based editors such as SubEthaEdit and TeXShop. As a result, I think it feels all wrong, but TextMate wasn’t designed for old Mac hands like me. It was designed for switchers. I would have a hard time switching to another platform if it lacked an editor that felt right, so I can certainly understand MacroMates’ motivation here. I’m rooting for their success in making switchers feel at home on the Mac.

2lmc Spool on TextMate 

10-minute summary. Blech is unimpressed, as am I.

TextMate Released 

Supposed BBEdit-killer from Allan Odgaard. I find it telling that the web page starts with the supposition that Mac users envy Windows text editors.

EarthLink Finds Spyware Running Amok 

The Windows malware problem just keeps getting worse and worse. CNET reports:

The Internet service provider worked with security company Webroot’s software to scan consumer PCs, surveying more than 3 million systems between January and September. The study found 83 million instances of spyware, a sign of increasing bombardment by malicious software.

(Via Brad Choate, via iChat.)

Omni Software Update Statistics 

92.5 percent of Omni Group customers are running Panther. Lots of other interesting stats here, too. Remember that this isn’t representative of Mac users overall — it’s only representative of those who use Omni Group software, which I’m guessing skews nerdy.

(Via Rogue Amoeba’s Under the Microscope.)

Technical Note TN2123: CrashReporter 

How to read a CrashReporter log.

Ars Technica Redesign 

Complete redesign: new look, lots of user-customizable options.

Brent Simmons: ‘MarsEdit User Interface Notes’ 

Detailed look at the thinking behind Ranchero’s new weblog editor.

Styling Form Controls 

Roger Johansson offers an extensive report on the ways you can use CSS to style web form controls, in all the major browsers, on both Mac OS X and Windows XP. A ton of work went into this; bravo.

(Via Dan Cederholm’s SimpleBits.)

Hack iChat to Paste as Plain Text 

iChat’s Paste command inexplicably supports text styles, which means that if you paste text from, say, a web page into iChat, the pasted text is in the color and font of the web page you copied it from. This is never what I want.

Mac Geekery has a nice tip showing how to hack iChat using Interface Builder to add a Paste as Plain Text command (or you could just change the built-in Paste command using the info in this tip). One small correction: where the tip says to use Cmd-I to open Interface Builder’s Info palette, you need to use Shift-Cmd-I.

Ava Marie Zeldman 

Wonderful news.

Security Update 2004-09-30 

Don’t let the name fool you; it was just released earlier today. 10th Anniversary 

Congratulations to Ric Ford on the tenth anniversary of the MacInTouch web site. Still no permalinks, alas.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: ‘iPod users are music thieves’ 

Andy McCue reporting for

Billing Microsoft as the good guys and Apple the villains of the piece — at least as far as corporate America, rather than users, is concerned, Ballmer said: “We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.”

(Via Slashdot.)


LanOSD is a notification utility that seems to be competing in the same space as Growl. It lets you pop up Aqua-ish transparent notification windows; it’s scriptable both via AppleScript and from the command-line. Currently in beta, and, as far as I can tell, free of charge.

(Via Paul Bissex at Forwarding Address: OS X.)


Very nice free replacement for Mac OS X’s standard menu bar clock; clicking on the click displays a small monthly calendar tied to your iCal data. Register for $15 to unlock extra features. MenuCalendarClock is actually an updated and rebranded version of Peter Maurer’s Calendarclock, which I linked to in July.

Bill Gates Hit by Malware 

CNET reporter Ina Fried:

Microsoft plans to offer its own anti-spyware software, Chairman Bill Gates said Friday.


It’s also a problem that has affected Gates personally. He said his home PCs have had malware, although he has personally never been affected by a virus.

“I have had malware, (adware), that crap” on some home machines, he said.

Jason Snell on RadioShark 

Jason Snell briefly reviews Griffin Technology’s RadioShark, a $70 USB gadget that’s more or less like a TiVo for AM/FM radio.

Brent Simmons: ‘No margins’ 

No detail is too small.

Inside Adobe’s New Digital Negative Format 

Terrific overview of Adobe’s new DNG image format, reprinted at MacCentral from MDJ.