Single Window Mode for Mac OS X

I’ve been using single window mode as recommended in this article. When you click on a window in the dock then all the other applications are hidden leaving the selected application as the only one displayed. Here is how to enable it from a console window:

defaults write single-app -bool true ; killall Dock

One recent benefit is that hidden apps go into “Nap mode” to save energy. Plus, it is just nice how the screen gets cleaned up. Using ⌘-TAB switches between apps but keeps previous apps on the screen much like the usual behavior. However, as soon as you click on an app in the dock then all the others are hidden.
I liked it 85% of the time but cutting and pasting between apps and apps displaying modal dialog windows frequently got lost and difficult to figure out what was going wrong. After about 6 months I’m disabling it:

defaults write single-app -bool false ; killall Dock

Tech firms conspire to drive down wages

From How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages:

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators.

The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, and at times it reads like something lifted straight out of the robber baron era that produced those laws.

And don’t forget how H1B visa’s essentially limit immigrants ability to change jobs for a better salary and drive down non-immigrant wages with a lower salary employees.


Mac OS X Server: iChat Service Re-inititialization

If there’s ever trouble with iChat server and ServerAdmin doesn’t let you do anything, you can fix things up based on this Apple Support article:

This can occur if the /Library/Preferences/ichatserver.plist file has been deleted or is problematic. If the file is deleted a new default version of this plist will be created.

$ sudo /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Set :initialized true" /Library/Preferences/

Refresh the Server Admin view for the iChat service. The Start button should now appear and the service should be configurable.

You can reset the iChat database with (you should make sure you have a backup!):

$ sudo rm -rf /private/var/jabberd/sqlite
$ sudo /usr/libexec/ichatserver_init_tool -i

The Seashore image editor

I tried Seashore to do some very simple image. It was perfect for my simple usage and looks to be able to handle more:

Seashore is a free, open-source image editor for built entirely in Cocoa. It features advanced tools like multiple layers and alpha channel editing, alongside basic tools like gradients, textures, text (with subpixel rendering) and brushes


iPhone4 and FaceTime

I’d been surprised about Apple emphasizing FaceTime in advertising. I don’t think it’s very compelling — I don’t know enough people with an iPhone4, I rarely have a Wi-Fi connection when I want to talk to them, and I don’t find video chats very compelling anyway. After all, how often do you video iChat or Skype?
Anyway, TechCrunch had an interesting perspective about it when they compared it to a scene from Mad Men (official site. They are getting people to make an emotional connection with the iPhone rather then the analytical one of feature X vs. feature Y.


How much do tech companies spend on advertising?

Here’s how much various tech companies spend on advertising. I’ve always thought the quality of a product is an inverse of how much is spent advertising it — if it was great you hardly need to spend much to get someone to buy it.
So, it’s clear Google and Amazon are doing well. Yahoo is slated to increase to $80 million. It’s the “Ad Spending As a Percent of Revenue” that is important. This is from Business Insider:


Adium (or iChat) and Facebook

I just read that Facebook chat is now based on Jabber/XMPP. What does this mean? Basically, any of the instant messaging clients that can talk to sites such as Google Talk such as iChat, Adium, or pidgin can be used to connect to Facebook.
First, you need to make sure you have an account setup on Facebook — not just able to login to Facebook but an actual, short name. Go to “Account” menu:

And then you can set your “Username”:

Then you can setup your IM client to connect using the “Jabber” (or XMPP) protocol with your Jabber ID as the above This example is for Adium but other clients are similar:

You probably don’t need to change the port to 5222 but you may need to make sure SSL/TLS is disabled.

After that, it should connect to Facebook. You don’t have to have Facebook open in a browser.