Category: "Mac stuff"

Mac OS vs Windows font rendering

I want to recommend this post by Joel Spolski about differences in font rendering philosophy between Mac OS & Windows.

I never really understood why Apple failed to render sharp fonts on screen. Now I understand the purpose. I'm still not sure which is best though... ;)

AC3 codec for Intel Mac (Universal)

WOW! All this time I've been running the wrong AC3 codec on my Mac Mini!

Last week, I found one that works soooo much better! To find it, I actually had to search for "a52 codec" and not "ac3 codec". Go figure!

It is GPL licenced and merely based on the "a52 library". But I really wonder were a52 comes from. Too late to investigate tonight though ;)

Update: a52 is now included in a codec pack called Perian and you can even get 5.1 surround sound out of it.

Update: the easiest solution now seems to just use the VLC media player and not worry about the codecs (VLC has everything it needs included).

Mac instead of PC for PHP/Web development?

I have recently put together a new Core 2 duo PC for doing my web development. And I have been asked why I didn't get a Core 2 duo Mac instead...

The question definitely makes sense. You can now get essentially the same components into a PC or a Mac. So the choice would boil down to:

  • Design
  • OS
  • Software

Design

Well, the Macs look better, definitely.

However...

If you choose your hardware carefully, you can get a pretty decent looking PC. Check out these Antec enclosures (they have a nice quality feeling by the way) or these Sony displays.

And also, if you actually want to connect 3 screens to a Mac, you'll definitely need one of those bigger Mac Pros where you can put in a PC video card. And those sort of lose their coolness factor over the iMacs. But to be fair, I guess you could get away with a 24" iMac ;)

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AppleJack

Link: http://applejack.sourceforge.net/

If you crash your mac: AppleJack!

And even if you don't crash your Mac bad, you want AppleJack. Everytime you hard reset/reboot your mac you add a few errors on your hard drive structure. And as time goes by, you get more and more of those turning pizzas/beach balls and you just don"t know why...

Run Apple Jack and your Mac will feel all clean and new again! ;)

Apple Mighty Mouse goes wireless... but how far away?

Wireless Mighty Mouse
Wireless Mighty Mouse

Until now, Apple had a cool mouse called the Mighty Mouse with all the advanced features you'd expect from a mouse (right click, scroll weel... even better: multidirectional scrolling ball)... it just wasn't wireless.

Apple also had a Wireless mouse... but it had only one button! :(

Today, you can finally get the best of both worlds! The mighty mouse with all it's buttons becomes wireless! Apple has even improved the pointing technology which is now a laser instead of an LED. This should allow for smoother movement on more surfaces...

...except this one little detail: the problem with the Apple wireless mice is not the pointing technology... it is the bluetooth technology! Apple bluetooth is just not reliable any more if you get more than 2 meters away from your Mac. (Home entertainement use... Of course you have less issues on a desktop... but do you really need a wireless mouse on a desktop?)

It seems that the mouse can operate on either one or two batteries. So you might expect it to have more power and greater operating range when you insert a second battery. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that will be the case. The "old" wireless mouse had 2 batteries already... :-/

Ironically... I think I'll buy it anyway... yeah, even at 69 €... I just want that thing in my living room! :P