Pixel Editor on Mac OS X

I grabbed a simple, free pixel editor for Mac OS X called Paintbrush.  It seems adequate for my simple needs which are usually just adding  a note to a screen grab.
You can make it the default for opening an image by an existing image with Command-I and changing the “Open with” to the application and clicking the “Change All…” button:

iPhone and Snow Leopard Server’s failure to communicate

A few months ago I was complaining about not being able to synch my iPhone with Snow Leopard Server. Today, I realized that email push wasn’t working either!
This ARS Technica article iPhone and Snow Leopard Server’s failure to communicate provides more detail.

Imagine if the iPod worked with a Windows machine but not on a Mac. Would make zero sense, right? Amazingly, this scenario describes the current reality with the iPhone and Apple’s server edition of its Mac OS X operating system. Mac OS X Server has some great features, such as podcast production and collaborative wikis. But from the perspective of iPhone compatibility, it’s one of the worst server OSes available.

This ZDNet Snow Leopard Server review mentions the same problem:

For example, Apple told us that the new Mail 2 server software supports push notification to iPhones. But we couldn’t get this working in our lab tests. This Apple document describes push email support on the iPhone but does not include Mail 2 push configuration.

Syncing my iPhone with Snow Leopard Server with Address Book — Not!

I have some contacts I wanted to share with other people so I figured let’s put them into Address Book Server on my Snow Leopard Server. I moved the group on to the server and everything was great. Contacts show up in Address Book on my macbook.
I synch my iPhone as usual. Next day I get a call from a familiar number but no name (I can’t remember phone numbers if my life dependent on it)! I check the contacts on my iPhone and none of the ones I moved are there!
After much fiddling and googling it turns out it doesn’t work! That doesn’t make any sense. How could Apple fail at something so basic? I imagine they want the iPhone to sync remotely to Address Book Server much like iCal and mail. Reasonable philosophy but it doesn’t do that! In the interim, I’d expect iTunes to be able to sync — after all, it’s in your address book. Not only that, they already handle Google sync using CardDAV, right? So why isn’t it in iTunes until they get it working on the iPhone!
From ForkBombr:

Sadly, this isn’t the case. Address Book Server works beautifully between Macs. It’s fast and reliable. However, the iPhone OS doesn’t support CardDAV, the technology behind Address Book Server, meaning these contacts cannot be synced over the air to an iPhone like iCal or Mail data.

And the relevant discussion:

ABS does not sync OTA or have push changes. The iPhone supports LDAP access. This means you can lookup contct info stored in your WGM for users in your company. It does not support CardDAV.

ABS is Address Book Sync; OTA is over-the-air; WGM is Work Group Manager (aka Apple’s LDAP server); CardDAV is how to share contact information.

Visualizing disk usage (Mac OS X)

I downloaded GrandPerspective to visualize disk usage on my laptop. It uses the tree visualization algorithm to show the directory hierarchy and the size of the hierarchy.
Each “bump” represents a file with the area reflecting the relatives size. As you move around, a series of nested rectangles are highlighted. Each highlighted rectangle represents a directory and the nesting of the rectangles the directory hierarchy.

Xcode: notes

To reset Xcode to the default settings:

$ defaults delete com.apple.Xcode
$ rm -rf ~/Library/Application Support/Xcode

First, I dislike having a lot of popup windows so I set the layout to “All-In-One” to keep most things within a single window:


And my usual indentation style:


I like having the files autosaved on build:


DVD Ripping

I’ve been watching more movies on my laptop while commuting to work on the train. I’d mostly been happy either buying them from iTunes or just playing the DVD. However, lately I’ve wanted to have a couple available and decided to try some of the dvd rippers.
I’d used “Mac the Ripper” but it’s getting rather dated and since I upgraded to Snow Leopard I’ve been avoiding installing Rosetta to run old PowerPC binaries. So it was out.
I tried Aieesoft’s “DVD Ripper” but the demo wasn’t that impressive and I didn’t like the way the movies were organized. Why no titles?
I ended up trying Ripit and it does just what I want: insert a DVD and it copies it and names it appropriately.


It worked pretty well.
Price is $19.95 and you get 10 free conversions to try it out. It’s based on the open source Handbrake decoders.


I’d looked into SproutCore and sort of liked the idea. I see Apple is doing more with it — the gallery of MobileMe looks pretty cool.
Here’s an interesting video (jump to the 20min point and listen for about 20min) that argues why we should move more business logic to the browser and use a higher level framework like SproutCore.

Gmail, Apple Mail, and IMAP

I’d noticed my Apple Mail wasn’t always getting new messages in a timely manner. My iPhone would frequently get it before Mail!

  • Setup gmail, apple mail account as per google’s suggestions
  • These imap settings from google combine how gmail works with Apple’s mail. Read the extra details and the settings make sense.
  • It took 25 minutes to download all the email

While I was at it, I went ahead and setup syncing with google calendar. Recently, Google and Apple improved it so it could be two way:

Finally, it turns out that contact info between Apple’s Address book and gmail (and Yahoo!, for that matter) are doable:

Address Book002.png