Jan 262005

CodeTek has been pretty unresponsive to my emails requesting status about the problems with Firefox and their VirtualDesktop program. Their site hasn’t been updated in many months, I wonder if the company still exists? I and many others have been stuck at Firefox 0.8 for many months now. It’s very frustrating. (See bugzilla bugid 254463)

The only other real contender for an OSX desktop pager has been DesktopManager (aka ‘wsmanager’). It seemed mostly fine, but had one glaring omission that made it unusable for me: a purely linear row of desktops instead of the 2D rows-n-columns that us Unix kids have been using for over a decade. Sure, DesktopManager could display the desktops in a 2D grid, but all the movement between desktops was purely 1D.

I started poking around into adding true 2D support to DesktopManager, but low and behold, someone already did it. And this generous soul, one Robin Summer, posted the diff for 2D use for all to use.

Thanks Robin!

(and yes, there is Virtue, which looks interesting, uses some of DesktopManager’s code, and totally throws away the standard ‘pager’ concept which I dearly enjoy. I don’t think I’ll try it)

Update: okay, after a day of trying DesktopManager w/patch, I’m kinda sick of it. And I’m liking Virtue the more I use it. Sigh. Why can’t Apple just make this a standard feature of their window manager?

 Posted by at 1:30 pm
Jun 212004

Are you a Unix geek who has been seduced by Mac OS X?
Are you totally frustrated with the lack of ‘sloppy focus’?
Here’s some tricks to do, depending on what you want to do:

  • for just Terminal windows:
     %  defaults write com.apple.Terminal FocusFollowsMouse -string YES
  • for X11 windows:
     % defaults write com.apple.x11 wm_ffm true
  • for most other Mac apps:
    use Codetek Virtual Desktop

 Posted by at 6:09 pm
Jun 142004

I just got a new Powerbook and had to re-remember all the bits I need/like:

  • uControl — Capslock -> Ctrl key remapper
    I also use it to remap the ‘enter’ key next to the arrow keys to be a ‘fn’ key, so I can do ‘fn+arrows’ to give me easy pgup,pgdown,home,end.
  • Codetek VirtualDesktop Pro — pager / virtual screen
    Like any good Unix, this functionality should be part of OS X, but oh well. It also supports a hack to sorta give one Sloppy Focus.
  • WindowShade X — Windowshade functionality (window minimizer)
    This was part of MacOS, but left with OS X. Here it is as a third-party app. Sigh.
  • Carbon Copy Cloner — disk backup and cloner
    My backup solution is to clone my Powerbook’s disk to an external disk that I boot from in case of catastrophic disk failure.
  • MenuMeters — menubar stats
    Gives you little graphs of CPU, net, disk, etc.
  • PDF Browser Plugin — view PDFs and .ps files in the browser
  • Adium — multi-protocol IM client
    Adium is based off of libGaim, and supports tabs.
  • Mozilla Firefox — Kick-ass fast browser
    Sort of obvious, yeah, but Firefox still beats out Safari in terms of dealing with all the crazy pages out there
    (especially forms-based broken-ness)
  • Fink — Unix program package manager
    Fink can give you all the crap you can get on RedHat, if you want it.
    Things I use:

    • gnuplot
    • ncftp(get)
    • nmap
    • mtr
    • unrar
    • wget

    All my other Unix needs, even X11, are (surprisingly) supplied by OS X itself.

  • Media players
    Sometimes you just gotta view the occasional .rpm or .avi:
    – RealOne Player
    – Windows Media Player
  • Network Beacon — Rendevous service publisher

Almost recommended:

  • XBattery
    — battery monitoring utility
 Posted by at 4:08 pm