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There is no undo in Safari's text edit fields. I mostly use NetNewsWire to write these days, but I just wiped out an entire post that way. They just use a standard NSTextView—I know, because ICeCoffEE works! At least it'll be easy to enable. I just filed a bug.

Ray Ozzie is in C-U for a few days, and just dropped by the ACM office. We went around the office presenting our various projects, and I had a chance to show him 3DOSX, which he seemed to like. (Wish the current version were more presentable; the MWSF'03 version is usably fast.)

Some links I found as a result of the comments and referers from yesterday's Keynote post:

LaTeX Equation Editor is an alternative to Equation Service that appears specifically designed for Keynote. Aside from the metal interface, it looks decent, though I haven't tried it. has a tutorial on using Equation Service with Keynote, which provides detailed installation instructions references some other useful tools, such as the graphical TeX equation editor TeX FoG.

Kai von Fintel, a professor of linguistics at MIT, has a weblog focusing on Mac OS X and LaTeX.

Doug Rowland, Equation Service's author, got back to me and I should be able to incorporate my improvements this weekend if I find time.

In an attempt to further wean myself off the twelve-year-old software I’ve been using to do presentations, I prepared my presentation of a paper for my research group this week with Keynote, OmniGraffle Pro and Equation Service.

From all the complaints I’ve read about Keynote, I expected it to be a buggy, feature-poor mess. Perhaps my expectations were tempered by coming from MORE, but I didn’t have any serious problems, and was pleasantly surprised more than once by Keynote’s elegance and effectiveness.

To not seem a shill for Apple, the following are the problems I experienced: Keynote crashed once when I tried to import a graphic from inside a package (don’t do that). The insertion point would disappear at times when I was editing text. My use of Gill Sans Light in table cells reset itself to Gill Sans Regular every time the program needed to read from storage such as the Clipboard or a file on disk. The program was generally fast enough, though I noted a bit of slowness when editing tables. That’s it. Keynote is of far better quality than I’ve seen from Apple’s recent 1.0 (and even 2.0) releases of Cocoa applications such as iCal and iPhoto.

Exporting from Keynote was another story. The Keynote document (actually a package) for my presentation came to 7.3 MB; gzipped it was 6.2 MB. Exporting the slides from Keynote produced a 13.5 MB PDF. PdfCompress reduced it to 1.4 MB. Apple really needs to do something about this: while PdfCompress is a terrific product, which I’d buy if I regularly posted Quartz-created PDF files to the Internet, some type of PDF image compression needs to be available to Mac OS X programmers.

Once I got the file size down, I opened the PDF with Preview and Acrobat Reader to check its fidelity. The OmniGraffle Pro-produced graphics looked terrific, preserving every attribute I could see. Keynote slides mostly looked fine, but text shadows and image transparency were lost in Preview, and Acrobat Reader additionally showed little white specks everywhere at the origins of graphics. So if you download the PDF file linked above, be warned. Yuck—even my MORE-to-Acrobat-Distiller method came out better than that.

OmniGraffle Pro absolutely rocks; the new features in 3.0/Pro are some of the most innovative I’ve seen in any software in years, and thanks to extremely reasonable pricing and even more reasonable academic pricing, there’s nothing stopping most people from going out and buying a copy today. If you do any drawing of diagrams, or wish you could, and don’t use OmniGraffle, you must check out a demo.

EquationService, if you haven’t seen it, is a handy free application which produces PDF images with PDFLATEX or CONTEXT that can be dragged and dropped into Keynote or almost any other Mac OS X application. The main advantage over using TeXshop or similar is that you can typeset a single equation to get a small PDF image containing only that equation, rather than an entire page. The interface sucks, however, and I sent the author some changes which I hope he incorporates.

Tomorrow is the annual MSP Research Symposium, in its third venue in as many years. No free Viagra pens or trips to a nearby bar this year, as it’ll be at the auditorium of the Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory (that big imposing building across from Krannert, if you’re not familiar with it :-)).

This week

Yet another busy week with no time for blogging, hooray.

Trying Safari on my desktop Mac for the week, as a replacement for Camino. So far, so good. Safari seems to crash about as much as Camino—once every few days, generally the fault of buggy plugins or Java. I like Safari's speed and attention to detail in the bookmarks and history, love the form auto-fill and simple download manager, but dislike the tab handling in comparison with Camino.

Did a bunch of sysadmin work this week. Messed with Kerberos getting reinstalled—this stuff is still black magic after all these years, unfortunately. A bunch of the ACM servers and networking equiment are now in a rack in L510 DCL, which is a great improvement over their former location: cheap plastic shelving. Propagated the look and feel to the wiki (fixing some CSS errors that caused problems in Safari, though I didn't work around all the bugs I could have) and the Webmail interface (for which I still need to generate a valid SSL certificate, sigh). Finally got authenticated SMTP working with Postfix and SASL2 on calamity and arnold. I've now got four different sets of passwords, but for three users, I don't think it's worth the hassle to set up LDAP with replication.

This weekend I've mainly been doing research, but spent many hours cleaning my condo and doing five (count 'em) loads of laundry, left over from my extended illness last month. Stuff looks much better. A friend came over today to look at my place for potential cohabitation this fall; some company in my place would be great.

Finally, I spoke with my advisor on Wednesday, and we've figured out a simpler way to go forward with my research. So far, so good. Right now, I'm off to an Easter party.

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