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Finally released Pester 1.1b1 yesterday, and beta 2 today, to testers. So far the biggest complaints I've received have been about user interface rather than functionality, which is a good thing. If anyone else is interested in testing Pester, please let me know and I'll add you to the list. The final release should be early next week if everything goes well.

The CocoaDev recent changes RSS feed should be back up and running now—it broke in mid-November and I didn't have a chance to fix it.

Today's Apple introductions, which I slept through in uncharacteristic style, were great. Safari is terrific, and has the potential to provide a great user experience and speed since Microsoft gave up after releasing MacIE 5. It's not as innovative as Cyberdog was in its time, but it isn't just another Web browser either. The positive energy radiating from Apple these days is really refreshing.

In challenging Apple's choice of Web framework, most people seem to neglect Mozilla's significant footprint and overhead: the choice of KHTML/KJS was the right thing to do. Now I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop and Apple to expose their higher-level interfaces (check inside Safari and you'll find a likely-looking WebKit.framework) so app developers on the Mac can finally get a modern standards-compliant Web rendering component. Even other Apple applications such as Project Builder, Help Viewer and WebObjects Builder should benefit from the change.

The new PowerBook hardware looks terrific, although the only thing I'll likely be buying is a new base station with USB printer sharing support and an external antenna connector. My mother's Christmas present was a Canon i850 printer, which has outstripped my expectations in every way. It prints a 4×6 photo, borderless, looking just like something you got developed, in less than 45 seconds. Micro Center had a sale on the photo paper, $3 for 20 sheets, last week: we bought 4 packs which should last us a while.

If you're the a market for a cheap yet good photo printer which can handle light duty text as well and doesn't cost a fortune in ink and paper costs, go get an i850—you won't be disappointed. If you're using OS X, you'll need to download the drivers and ImageBrowser software from Canon's Web site, but it works well. I wish iPhoto or iView MediaPro supported borderless printing.

I got back to Champaign on Friday, and med school classes started yesterday. Since the classes are harder this semester, I'll probably only take immunology to leave enough time for research. I got my medical genetics results back from last semester—I passed, but not with a margin I'm proud of. My goals for 2003 are to make a huge dent in developing software for my PhD, to excel in med classes, to keep in better shape (I gained 20 pounds last year), and to make slow but steady progress everywhere else.

Last but not least, MacIRC is back, for OS X. More on that soon.

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