Categories: "Devices" or "Linux stuff" or "Mac stuff" or "Mobile" or "Windows stuff"

Mac OS X Lion Full Screen Apps on multiple displays?

As showcased in Steve Jobs “Back to the Mac” presentation of Mac OS X Lion today, I welcome the trend towards full screen apps on the Mac. Having windows of different apps overlapping was just a daily receipe for A.D.D. waiting to happen…

However the one thing I’m concerned about is dual screen support. And more generally: multiple displays support.

I personally use 3 displays, one center and 2 on the sides. I tend to use one app on each screen. The main thing I’m working on in the center and related stuff on the sides. For example, I might have DreamWeaver for creating a web page in the center. I would then have the Photoshop design on the left and the Safari rendering on the right. (Or… PHPED / MySQL / Firefox ;)

Or I might have my email on one side, my calendar on the other, and some excel or project management thing in the middle. I might even have Excel, and Excel and Excel and want each spreadsheet to fill exactly one screen with no distractions around it.

Now… given everything that has been shown today, I didn’t see anything allowing me to imagine full screen apps to function smoothly with multiple displays :’(

It looks more like it’s going to be one of these:

  • Either a full screen app on one display while the other displays go dark – which defeats the purpose of multiple displays… – and you’ll be lucky if the app goes onto the display you actually want it to go to :/
  • Or full screen apps that pan over multiple displays – which kind of works for the dashboard but would be a bad idea for anything with a document to look at…
  • Or… keep using windows as you were before – Thank you Lion! :/

One solution I could think of would be to fire up Mission Control indepently on each screen (depending on current mouse position?) and then select what you want on that screen… but… it almost sounds too good to come true… :/

Oh well, we’ll see…

Mac Mini 2010 Hard Drive Speed

Mac Mini 2010 Hard Drive Speed

I was looking into upgrading my 2006 Mac Mini (serving as a media server) with a 2010 model, just to get a bigger hard drive… and also a faster one!

Now, according to this guy, the Mac Mini 2010 still comes with a stinky slow old SATA-1 drive, just as back in the days. And that Ricky guy actually sounds like he knows damn well what he’s talking about!

Anyone got a Mac Mini 2010? Care to check the Negotiated Link Speed in your System Profiler? (About my mac > More info…)

On the screenshot above, you can see a Negatiated Link Speed of 3 Gb/s, which is good… except I made the capture on my Mac Pro. Apparently, 2010 Mac Minis will show you a Link Speed of 3 Gb/s (that’s what the Mac is capable of) but a Negotiated Link Speed of only 1.5 Gb/s (that’s what the HD is capable of)…

What Ricky doesn’t say though, is if he has the 320 GB drive or the 500 GB drive. There may be a difference between these two.

Now, the alternative would be to upgrade the drive myself, but it’s just a big bag of hurt! I’m too old to get any pleasure out of disasenbling hardware any more…

November 2010 Update: I went to the Apple store and checked out the Mac Mini Server version: it has 7200 rpm drives but still at 1,5 Gbps. I also checked a MacBook Air for comparison: it has an SSD drive and it actually communicates at 3 Gbps.

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How to automatically start playing movies in QuickTime X

Apple has removed that features in Snow Leopard and QuickTime X has no preferences panel to enable this. So you need to go through the command line to get it back…

In Terminal, copy/paste:


defaults write MGPlayMovieOnOpen 1

Now movies will autploay when you double click them.

How to enable X-Ray folder previews in Mac OS Quick Look

In Terminal copy/paste this:


defaults write QLEnableXRayFolders 1

Then relaunch the Finder by Pressing Cmd+Alt+Esc.

Press space on a selected folder and admire :)

Update: it seems this no longer works in Moutain Lion.

Why echo is slow in PHP and how to make it really fast

You may have noticed that PHP scripts that echo a lot of content appear to be running with poor performance…

Well, the operative word here is “appear". It is a common misconception that “echo is the slowest PHP command"! :p

The problem is actually just a bandwidth issue! When you try to pump a lot of content though the Internet, at some point you experience “load time"… and at some point PHP actually experiences “send time"!

You may measure the execution time between the begining and the end of your script, and, on a slow connection, it may show you that it took 500 ms to execute. You may even narrow it down to a single echo statement that takes 480 ms to execute. But that time actually includes wait time where PHP cannot send any more data back to apache!

There is a common trick that consists of starting output befering before echoing, like this:


echo $a_lot_of_content;

This will allow PHP to move on and appear to terminate fast. But the truth is, all the content is now in PHP’s output buffer, and although your script is done, PHP is still working in the background to send all that data to your web server (apache for instance).

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