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Sorry for the posting lapse; my desktop Mac crashed, taking Radio with it (if you work at Apple, check out bug 2813146, filed November 2001, tagged “can not reproduce”—I can certainly reproduce it frequently). I'm several states away, and my officemates were out of the office. Finally got it back up and running today (thanks Mario!)

Still working on Pester 1.1. It's been “almost finished” for days now, but the bug list has finally stopped growing and I should have a feature-complete beta ready by the time I get back to Illinois on January 3.

Lots to talk about… later.

This post was made with the new NetNewsWire beta. I've found plenty of glitches so far, overuse of sheets, a lot of other questionable UI, and the crashing bug with OS X's Web Services API while trying to post, but it seems to be on the right track. I'll probably start using it as of 1.0 final. For now, I'm going back to writing in Archipelago.

Sorry about the lack of blogging recently. As a a poor substitute, here's a quick recount of this week's events.

My med school finals finished Monday and went well, though I never know for sure how I've done with multiple-choice exams. After finals, I've had to catch up on everything I put off in my life. Tuesday morning was a budget meeting for the condo association; Tuesday evening I went to Chicago to shop for a sofa and go to the CAWUG meeting (Apple's Chicago offices are nice!). After I got back, I had to do some emergency sysadmin work to fix my mother's email; not working on my own system, I broke a lot more than I needed to before fixing it all. (Sorry Kriss!)

After being up until 5 AM for the above ordeal, I accidentally slept through my research meeting Wednesday morning; thankfully it was sparsely attended as most people were away. Wednesday afternoon and evening I caught up on email and prepared to depart; some more unforeseen computer problems kept me up the whole night, and I had to leave to the airport at 5:15 AM Thursday morning.

For the first time in over a year I flew into BOS. Normally I arrive at PVD or MHT, both smaller, newer airports which are quite a bit cheaper and more convenient. I slept and relaxed for the remainder of Thursday. Friday I had an emergency dentist appointment (nothing was wrong), shopped for Christmas presents, and installed some drive sleds we bought for calamity, our 9500. Virtually nothing but the motherboard is original on it. Amazingly, it all fits: 2 SCSI hard drives and a CD-ROM on the 2940UW, an ATA tape drive on a Promise Ultra100 card, and a CD burner on the original 53C94 external SCSI bus (the internal MESH SCSI is toast on this particular machine). After everything was working, I knocked a jumper off one of the hard drives while putting the case back on, and couldn't find where it went. This brought the night's activities to a close until we could go to Micro Center and buy some more jumpers.

Today I spent most of the day with calamity, updating it to Linux 2.4.20-ben1 and getting its disks converted from reiserfs to xfs so I can use dump for backups (there is no dump for reiserfs). The tape drive has definitely been more trouble than it was worth: I've spent so much effort installing it, first on my desktop G4 then on calamity, and now it gives me an I/O error when I do a mt eod. I'm hoping this is a side effect of writing to it with tar. If I still have problems with xfsdump, I've got a couple of extra 4 GB SCSI disks, formerly plugged into my desktop G4 (in the right MTI case in the image linked above), which I can use instead of tape; just need to figure out a cheap and durable way to transport them from Illinois back to Boston.

Tomorrow (should have been today, but for the jumper incident) we're heading up to New Hampshire.

Work on Pester 1.1 continues: the user interface is almost to the point I want it. What remains are some reasonably large architectural improvements (saving and loading alarms, default alerts, sleep/wake interaction) and a lot of bug fixes. As a rough benchmark, Pester 1.0 was 1520 lines of code; Pester 1.1a1 was 6561, and the current size is 7596 lines.

launch 1.0b1 released. Several convenience features are new in this version: launch “slack” URLs (launch -l, and email addresses without the mailto: (launch -l someone\

launch can now accept piped input as the bbedit tool does. launch represents standard input by the single dash (-): the equivalent of ls -l | bbedit is ls -l | launch -i com.barebones.bbedit -.

A Mac OS X Hints article points to Still Life, which creates movies by panning, zooming, and fading between images. All of Granted Software's products are donationware, and the few I've tried so far (Still Life, USBMonitor and iMIDI) are amazing and truly useful. iMIDI uses TCP/IP as a MIDI transport and supports Rendezvous; USBMonitor pops up a translucent window when you plug in a USB device.

A few tips for dealing with broken Installer VISE installers, which
I discovered this weekend while upgrading my PowerBook to Jaguar:

Does the installer require you to authenticate? Delete the contents
of /var/root/.Trash to reclaim space on your hard drive after
the installer has finished. Installer VISE correctly moves files to
the Trash instead of deleting them outright, but unfortunately it's
root's Trash. My PowerBook had 85 MB of files in
there, primarily old copies of Office X components.

Does the installer quit all open applications for you? The FaxSTF
10.0.8 and Office X 10.1.2 updaters want to, but there's no point
doing so under OS X, as you can relaunch applications as the installer
is working and create the same problems that this action is designed
to work around. Instead of clicking Install, open Script Editor and
type this script:

tell application "Office X 10.1.2 Update" to DoAutoInstall

Replace “Office X 10.1.2 Update” with the name of the broken
installer. Then click Run, and the installer will execute without
quitting any applications. Make sure you quit the applications you're
upgrading, however. [This tip courtesy Rosyna].

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