Sunday, November 30, 2008

Birthday returns

Due to preparing for another operation (on the 28th), the foods I could eat on the 26th were quite limited. No seeds or grains really cuts down my preferred foods list (no tomatoes, rice ...) At least my birthday wasn't on the day before the operation - when I couldn't eat anything!

I ran around during the day, getting my hair cut, going shopping, etc. My doctor even gave me a birthday present - bulk billing my appointment ;-)

I scored a bunch of books, a decent set of kitchen scales, and a grill/griddle, amongst other things. After wrestling the Griddler out of its rather beaten up box, I discovered that one of the drainage cups were missing, and the cleaning tool was snapped in half. The grill plates had been cleaned (!), but there was still oil on the housing. I was horrified that David Jones had not checked that they sold a new item rather than a return, and I was even more horrified that someone believed it was ok to return a used appliance with accessories broken and missing.

David Jones swapped it over, and I got to use it on Saturday when I got home from the hospital. Easier to use than a jaffle iron :-) and much easier to keep clean. I foresee fewer breakfasts eaten out...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Magnetosphere shortcuts

The built-in iTunes music visualiser, Magenetosphere (the best of the 5 provided visualisers in my opinion), has a few advertised and a few hidden 'shortcuts' to change settings. Unfortunately I haven't found one that saves the settings for when you next start the visualisation.
If you find any more shortcuts, please let me know!

Documented
?Toggle help screen
MChange modeCycles through about 20 different modes
PChange palleteDoes not work in all modes
IToggle track info
CToggle auto-cycle (on by default)Cycles through all modes
FToggle freeze modeLights still pulse, but effects are frozen
NToggle nebula modeOnly works when in certain modes
LToggle camera lock
 
Undocumented
EEnhance nebulaOnly works when in Nebula mode
AAdd light particlesThere are about 5 levels
SSubtract light particles
+Increase light intensityThere are about 5 levels
-Decrease light intensity
RResetResets light intensity and particle count to their default values

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Virtualisation wishlist

I looks like the virtualisation software available at the moment on the Mac, although massively improved in recent months, is still not adequate for me. The following aspects are those I consider important for how I use computers/applications:

  • cut/paste and drag/drop across all applications (Mac/Windows/Linux)
  • smooth and adaptive multi-monitor support (not just 2 monitors)
  • comprehensive game support (for large 'civilization building' games and first person and graphics intensive games, not that much into first person shooters though)
  • major applications supported without continual reactivation (MS Office, photography software, etc.)
  • flexible boot support, into both native OS and virtual OS from the same installation location
  • full read/write support between file systems
  • preferably fast, low latency and absolutely robust (at least as much as the virtualised OS)

Parallels and Fusion (VMWare), do cover many of these points, and can use a Windows installation from a Bootcamp partitition. Unfortunately MS Office requires re-activation with each native/virtual swap, in line with their licensing agreements, which is a shame, because I am using Office on only one computer, in one environment at any one time.

CrossOver can't cut/paste drag/drop between virtual Windows and Mac applications. Bootcamp can't see the Mac filesystem.

Parallels is rumoured to currently have the better game support, but failed to play my current game Caesar IV (not really a new game), and was not completely happy with a much earlier game (Settlers 3).

For the time being, I'll avoid virtualisation, and deal with the frustration of working in two mostly separate operating systems.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Limits on post retrieval (Ecto+Blogger/Livejournal)

New computer, new installation of Ecto. Unfortunately pulling old posts from Blogger seems to be limited to 500 (despite changing Ecto's preferences). I suspect this is on the Blogger side, because Ecto can only retrieve 25 posts from Livejournal (using the Atom 1.0 interface), which is definitely a Livejournal limitation.

I got around this last time by using Wordpress, but don't want to have to do that again. It was painful and time consuming. So, how does Ecto deal with using data from a previous installation on a different computer. I guess I'll find out later today...