April 17th, 2005


OS X and switching, for awhile?

I'd really like to switch on my desktop (at least for awhile) but some Apple stuff really annoys me yet.

-- Window management: This is essential: I need to be able to Alt-drag a window to move it, by clicking anywhere in the window. And need to be able to resize a window by Alt-middle dragging a quadrant. I've been doing this since '98 and I'm not going to lose that muscle memory any time soon. Is there some OS X utility to let me do that? I have to imagine there is. If not, that's the first thing I'd have to write.

-- their speed. Can you get a fast machine that's also pretty quiet? The G5s towers aren't that quiet. Especially the disk grinding. Can I do iSCSI over gigabit on root? I know how with Linux, but I don't know OS X or OpenFirmware. I don't know how I'd netboot an "initrd"-like thing to get iSCSI up and running. So I'm not going to go down that route and I'll use a local disk for awhile at least. I hear the Mac Minis are quiet, but I'm concerned about speed. Then again, I'm using a P3 800 on my desktop right now, so I'm accustomed to slow. I'm just concerned that a slow G4 + fruity graphics would be slower than what I'm using now, which is already a little too slow for my tastes.

-- "Optimizing Volume". I know what it's doing technically and I still don't care. Just annoying.

-- Need to use my keyboard and mouse. But that should be no problem. This is an old serial keyboard with a PS2 adapter on it, with a USB adapter atop that, and it works in my old PowerBook.

-- App (well, window) switcher in top-right. OS 9 used to have that, and GNOME has it nowadays, and I love it. Why'd it go away in OS X? I've seen a utility to add that back, though.

-- The OS X shareware culture. Which makes sense, since people already threw a couple grand down for their computers, they're probably willing to buy some $25 bonus apps. But I'm used to Libre, so the shareware thing might irk me too much. We'll see.

Overall I really respect OS X and Apple and I want to like it and use it.

Cingular is so stupid. (UPDATE: and Sprint)

Example of a company that doesn't get it:


They used to provide a clean MMS-to-email conversion like everybody else, but now they've decided they want to use the feature (which customers already pay for) to advertise to the recipients.

Now, we could regexp it all to death, but that'll only work for maybe a month before they change it again.

Sprint at least does all that crap, but embeds an XML document in the HTML comments of their spam that contains the raw data URLs, so we can regexp it to find the XML document and that'll presumably work for a bit longer than a month.

Standards.... so many to pick from. OR JUST PICK NONE AND SEND HTML EMAIL!


Update: Sprint is also dumb beyond words:

It's a constant arms race with these guys. So depressing.

Dear Lazyweb, .... Linux::AIO on ia64, hppa, and alpha

If anybody can get the CPAN module Linux::AIO to build (and test correctly) on one or all of IA64, Alpha, and HPPA, I'll buy you a beer and a permanent account. Here's the Debian buildd results so you can see how it's failing. (You don't need to use Debian, though... I'll take contest entries in raw diff format against the Linux::AIO distribution. Offer not valid for Florida residents or where prohibited by law. :P)

And/or, modify Perlbal to use File::FDpasser to portably do async stats/opens/closes in a child process. Won't be as fast, but it'd work on FreeBSD, whose users are currently unable to use Perlbal in webserver mode (and thus unable to use MogileFS).

But if FDpasser is slower than Linux::AIO by enough to matter, we can make Perlbal's core use Linux::AIO on Linux and FDpasser everywhere else.

LiveJournal Backend presentation on Tuesday

If you're going to be at the MySQL user conference, I'll be speaking on Tuesday about LiveJournal. I put Mark down as a speaker too so he could go for free. We'll have to figure out how we'll split up our precious 45 minutes.

Doing the slides now.

Having done 4 presentations already, this is getting increasingly easier. Copy/paste, rearrange, add, remove, freshen up weak areas from before, add more graphics....

I know dormando, krow, and peter_zaitsev will be there. Who else? Wikipedians?