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January 15th, 2009

Quake 4

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... ten years ago, I had to write my own "Modelines" to get Quake 2 to work at the resolution I wanted in Linux...

Today, its not much different with OSX! But, at least there is a control panel that allows me to manually enter the information, called "SwitchResX", that I have installed. Its a lot like xsetres (if thats what it was called?) but it saves the changes for you.

Still have to restart the window server, err I mean entire computer, to see the effects.

This probably isn't a problem for people who don't have their computer hooked up to a 1080p HDTV.

Actually, when I ran it at either 720p or 1080p resolution, everything was absolutely beautiful. I've never seen 3 frames per second look so detailed and amazing ... um, yeah. So anyways, I Quake4 supports something called "852x480" which is NOT one of the "native" modes of this macintosh. *sigh* ... The 480p resolution it does support in the default video config works great, but isn't 852 pixels.

Q4 also seems to work good in 640x480p, with huge black bars down the side. Yuck.

January 8th, 2009

iTunes plays the music purchased (or downloaded for free) from the iTunes store, without requiring the user to purchase an iPhone or iPod.

Why doesn't iTunes play the .ipa "apps" that can be purchased or downloaded from the iTunes store?

I can't think of any good excuses for omitting this functionality from the player, considering Apple seems to have crammed it into every other device they know how to make. What does it say about Apple, if they can't figure out how to get the files to play when they've got not just an overpriced cellphone or MP3 player to work with, but, an entire computer - one they made and should know inside and out, even?

December 25th, 2008

ImageMagick, near as I can tell, is very nearly completely useless.

What kind of image manipulation tool doesn't support JPEG?!?

November 2nd, 2008

Directory Flavoring

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If there were a way to label certain directories as "perpetually write-cacheable" it could significantly speed up the user experience of a computer without significantly increasing risk of data loss (as with so many other write-cached filesystem schemes)

For example, changes to a browsers cache don't really need to be written to disk with any urgency at all, but manual saves should probably be completed right away.

I wonder if there is anything like this available or in use?

October 30th, 2008

I had to reconnect the Mac Mini to the 40 inch 1080p monitor, because apparently the last time I used the equalizer, I didn't remember to position it correctly before closing iTunes...

The equalizer opens hopelessly off-screen, and I haven't figured out an easy way to retrieve it.

Maybe I could have deleted ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iTunes.eq.plist, but I have this feeling that if I did that, then I would have lost the position of all the sliders that I had manually set.

Unfortunately, unlike WinAmp's .ini file that once caused a similar problem, iTunes keeps all of its settings stored in binary format, which means its impossible (as far as I know) to edit the file in an easily human-readable format.

October 29th, 2008

If you happen to like to use the Internet, Spotlight really sucks the life out of your computer. It's a neat idea, a search engine for your computer. Except it indexes fucking everything any time it changes, which means bittorrent or even a browser with a refreshing web page on triggers it to do its thing, over and over, lagging the computer slightly. Or doing just about anything else, god forbid I don't have an up-to-the-minute index of the contents of a bunch of log files ...

This is not a fault tolerant script, but, it gets the job done. Try to run it when you aren't doing a billion other things already.

mv /etc/hostconfig /etc/hostconfig.old
cat /etc/hostconfig.old | sed s/"SPOTLIGHT=-YES-"/"SPOTLIGHT=-NO-"/ > /etc/hostconfig
mdutil -i off /
mdutil -i off /Volumes/*
mdutil -E /
mdutil -E /myotherdrive
kill `ps ax | grep -i mdimport | cut -c 1-5`
kill `ps ax | grep -i laserver | cut -c 1-5`
rm -rf /.Spotlight*
rm -rf /Volumes/*/.Spotlight*


If it fails, it may need rerunning.

UPDATE: What I really need here is an easy to use (or easier to find?) option for "Don't allow Spotlight to search this folder". Then I can set that option for the folders in question, and turn the service back on.

In the meantime, with the service off, there's no point in leaving old indexes around, which is why the script removes those too.

October 18th, 2008

First, let me start by saying that I am in no way implying that a human being at Apple or iTunes did this. I'm fairly certain it happened because of automatic organization in Apple's "Genius" product.

First, I used wget -x -m -np to download the entirety of ytcracker's freely available music; you can too at http://ytcracker.com/music/

I added the entire thing to iTunes after clearing out the single songs that I had downloaded in the past.

I updated Genius, and saw that it recommended I check out some YTCracker stuff on iTunes. I did, and elected to purchase two songs "I did it my way" and "I am a pirate", from the album "Serious Business", which was recommended to me. Then, I updated Genius again.

Prominently featured in the top recommended spots were several titles from Cyprus Hill and Eminem. White people that Rap (Yes, Cypress Hill is not only white people, but, nevertheless...). There were also lots of other suggestions from Cypress Hill and Eminem...

The third entry was MC Chris, who, while also white, is at least related in a logical manner to YTCracker in that both are in the genre "nerdcore".

Given exposure to over 2GB of YTCracker, Spamtec, Nerdy South Records, Category Five, and of course, my first iTunes purchase, "La Cancion de Pokemon", I wouldn't have expected Eminem or Cypress Hill to be recommended more than YTCracker stuff I hadn't downloaded yet (there's a few sets on iTunes) or MC Chris or any of the other nerdcore music available on iTunes.

Genius is a success - it even resulted in two purchases - but it does still need a little bit of fine tuning. I shouldn't be left feel like the genius decided I ought to like something because, hey, it has white people.

==

A couple hours later... as I continue to play the thing, it seems to be fine tuning the list away from its initial racial bias and more towards the content of the songs.

==

Nevermind. While searching the term "Soviet" in order to find some cool Russian theme songs, I saw: S***o: Russia's extreme fighting.

What was it? What could possible be SO HORRIBLE it needed censoring, like fuck and shit?

I googled the rest of the title, and got my answer: SAMBO.

Apparently, iTunes is run by a bunch of closet-racist white motherfuckers who have some serious issues with "white guilt".

October 14th, 2008

Setup where problem occurs: Mac Mini with more than one user, when using user switching, on a 1280x1024 LCD monitor rotated 90 degrees (1024x1280 portrait mode).

Problem: After changing users using the pulldown in the upper right corner of the screen, color calibration gets all screwed up when changing back to original user. Entering the display module of system preferences to fix it doesn't work, as the color calibration profiles no longer have any effect at all when clicked!

Temporary workaround: Set rotation to zero. Set rotation back to 90 degrees. Reload color calibration profile - now it will load.

I couldn't find any log entries relative to the failure of the display module of system preferences to be able to set the color calibration.

October 12th, 2008

I just made the mistake of spending my own cash on Office 2008, the so-called office suite from Microsoft.

So why is it that I feel like I'm using a badly compiled ripoff of Sun's OpenOffice. What the fuck happened to this product in the last several years, anyways? Its AWFUL, and I mean that in every sense of the word.

One deal-breaker: Things just don't plain work at all! There's that hideous blank line on top of tables that simply cannot be deleted without erasing the page break that puts the table on its own page in the first place. What the fuck? How about when I erase a line at the end of a paragraph, and suddenly with no warning, the text for the section heading of the paragraph underneath it changes losing its underline and bold and italics, even though that text was NEVER SELECTED in the first place. Something else to fix.

Office 2003 for the PC didn't suck this bad. I loved the early MS Word word processing products for the Mac OS too. But this, I absolutely hate. Its actually harder to use than Open Office, and the help function is a complete joke - its nowhere near as complete or easy to find what I want, whichever, as the help for 2003 was for the PC. Probably because in most cases, there is no answer anyways.

I know now why they implemented that fucking "docx" and "xlsx" file type: Because without literally forcing us to upgrade in order to open files sent by their other victims, there is no way anyone in their right mind would use this crap.

September 17th, 2008

I got yet another update for QuickTime and iTunes that requires - what the fuck - restarting the entire goddamned computer. Why?

Who knows. But, whatever the fuck Apple did, apparently prevents named - the Unix nameserver - from running automatically at startup! As a result, I was unable to contact any domain name anywhere until I realized that no, it wasn't just my usually crappy COX cable connection acting up, it was the goddamned Macintosh.

What the fuck did Apple do?!? Why?
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