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Wed, 26 Nov 2003
Hello World from Mac OS X
Well, here its, my first blog post from Mac OS X. I succeeded in repaving the machine, and most things appear to be working just fine. I've gotten on the wired Ethernet, and the WPA protected 802.11g wireless net. I've successfully connected to the OSAF and ASF machines, and to my own Linux and Windows boxes inside the house.

The biggest hardware glitch so far is that the 3rd party memory that was ordered for the machine causes it to lock up hard as rock. So I've yanked the RAM andOther World Computing is cross shipping me a replacement, which might arrive by Friday, in time to be useful for my trip to OSAF next week. The funky lighted keyboard also seems to be misbehaving, but I've read some reports on this and am unsurprised. I've succeeded in hooking up my 21" display as a secondary monitor, although the resolutions provided by the PowerBook are weird (at least to my PC adjusted senses).

Overall, I'm pleased with the construction of the machine. I don't have white spots, and the machine seems otherwise solidly built. The keyboard is taking a bit of getting used to, because I'm used to the unbeatable IBM Thinkpad keyboards, and I've been using Windows layouts for the last 8 years. But old Macintosh keybindings are buried somewhere in muscle memory, so I'm hoping that some of that will kick in soon. I'm using a low quality scroll mouse that I got at ApacheCon -- I don't want to unplug my Intellimouse from my Windows box just yet. Unfortunately, Mac OS X doesn't seem to be making good use of the center button. Are there drivers that I'm not aware of? At 5+ lbs its a little heavier than I would like, but I think it's probably still going to be manageable for me.

Software wise, things are going slowly -- I had to repave because X11 wasn't installed, and I couldn't find the installation packages for it. It seems that if you want to be a UNIX hackerboy, you have to do some things yourself. I installed Fink, but something is not quite right because dselect won't show me the list of available packages. I can apt-get install whatever I like, so I'm not hobbled, but it would be nice to have the list working in dselect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Apple is shipping the bleeding edge version of zsh, 4.1.1. I'm going to slowly build up my .zsh* files, since the last time I seriouslly hacked on them was zsh 3.x and since then a whole new completion system has been added.

Apple includes a console mode version of Emacs 21.2, and Fink's version is 21.2, and I'm not sure it's Carbonized. Andi at OSAF says that building Emacs from CVS is the way to go, so I checked out emacs 21.3?? and am building it while I'm typing this. Earlier tonight I copied my checked out copy of the Chandler sources to see how it would build on Panther, but I've run into a bunch of hardhat problems so I need to check with Morgen Sagen our build wizard in the morning.

I have iChat and Fire up and running, but I still need a good IRC program for Mac OS X. Ideally, I'm looking for something that doesn't tab all the windows -- I'm on Panther, so I can Expose, can open up a bunch of channels at startup/wakeup without prompting, can notify me when my nick is mentioned, and can log each channel in a separate file, preferably with a new file each day. So if you have recommendations, let me know.

I'm using Apple Mail to handle my OSAF mail, and Thunderbird to handle the rest. It wasn't too painful to get my settings from the Windows version of Thunderbird, but it wasn't a no brainer. We definitely need to do a better job of this in Chandler.

So far the browser situation is painful. I've tried Safari and Firebird .7.1 and both seem sluggish (of course I'm comparing them on a laptop with a 4200RPM disk to a desktop with a 7200RPM disk). I'm holding off judgement until I can get a decent amount of RAM into the machine, but I am disappointed. Further, I can't seem to get the tabbed browsing behaviour that I want, namely "middle click on a link" opens a new background tab containing the link. If I just haven't dinked with the settings enough, just let me know.

It's probably going to take me a few more days to load this up to an approximation of a livable system, so I'll keep reporting as I go.

Questions I have:

  1. When using Locations, how can I specify WPA logins for the Airport network? I can't figure out how to do this.
  2. Can I configure firewalling differently for different interfaces, for different locations?
  3. How do I make the most of an N button mouse?
  4. Whats a good IRC client?
  5. How do I get Fink's dselect working properly?
[01:37] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx] | # | TB | F | G | 16 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
congrads on the mac! for your questions...

with the WPA login and locations.. I don't think you have to do anything specific. inside a location, airport can be setup to either pick the strongest network to join or join a specific one. WPA information is stored in the keychain, and is per-network name. so the first time you join a network, just save the auth info and i think you'll be set.

firewalling, i think you might have to drop down and use ipfw directly.. the controls provided aren't that complex. i think there is a program that lets you hack at them more via a UI, but i'm not 100% sure. check

for an N button mouse.. OSX will recognize a right button, but beyond that.. i think you might need special driver support. I think OSX will see button 3 and you can assign that to an expose function, but i'm not sure. i know logitech at least has OSX drivers for their lots-o-button mice

for irc, i think http://www.javelin.cc/portfolio/software/colloquy.html is the best out there. it does all you need except for logging. but its open-source, so you can learn obj-c and patch it too :)
Posted by peter royal at Wed Nov 26 04:02:04 2003

Have you installed the Developer Tools? with all optional packages? The optional packages include things like the BSD and X11 header files that come in handy. Also, Apple has an X11 package, in case you weren't aware. After that, you may need to reinstall fink with -systemX11 (or something), which tells fink that you have supplied X, so it doesn't give you the option of installing it.
The "fink" command has the switches to update dselect. "update-all" or something.

I use Safari or Mozilla 1.5 for a browser.

Other random stuff:
some Apple .emacs stuff
Posted by Robert Sayre at Wed Nov 26 05:16:42 2003

You can find software at sites like versiontracker.com and download.com. For your mouse buttons, I have heard that USB Overdrive is a good universal driver.
There is a program that said it could change firewall settings based on location, I believe it might have been Firewalk:

I have to admit that I haven't used either, but they might help you out.
Posted by Jim at Wed Nov 26 07:06:31 2003

there's a carbonized emacs available, but I'm not sure how well it works because I ditched it in favor of XEmacs under X:

There's also some simple instructions on getting XEmacs working under Apple's X11 on my site: http://www.cwinters.com/News/show/?news_id=1090

I haven't played around enough with the mouse to offer advice. I'm getting used to the Command-linkclick to open that link in a new tab in Safari though. (I think this works in Firebird too.)
Posted by Chris Winters at Wed Nov 26 07:15:35 2003

Firewall:  I use FirewalkX and it is great for multiple locations.  It is not however free or libre. 

Mouse: OverDriveX is the key to doing whatever you want with the mouse buttons, customisable by application and the customizations work with any USB mouse.  I doubt that is the case with the intellipoint or other vendor specific driver. ^H^H^H Just saw this---<A HREF="http://www.versiontracker.com/php/feedback/article.php?story=20030917102423433">some guy says that Intellipoint drivers are OverdriveX</A>

I had trouble upgrading fink to Panther due to issues with X11.  Basic story is:
1.  Install X11 from cd (well DVD ;)
2.  Install X11 SDK as option in Developer tools package
3.  Then remove all xfree86 packages from fink then update fink---it will recognize Apple's X11.  Full instructions and some scare about dselect here on the fink site.
Posted by James Howison at Wed Nov 26 16:50:46 2003

I second a lot of opinions already posted: be sure to install the included Developper Tools and X11 packages; having the BSD subsystem installed is also pretty much compulsory... And with anything less than 512MB of RAM, everything will seem sluggish at one point when virtual vemory really starts kicking in!

This site is a really good starting point for everything UNIX on OS X:


USB Overdrive X is a time-tested generic USB driver, you should definitively check it out. As for alternative pointing devices, you might want to check this page out:


"The Mouse" is an Apple Pro Mouse-inspired multibutton device that blends in with the design of all Macs. As mentioned before, be sure to assign the middle button to command-click.

Safari has a comprehensive handful of behaviour options regarding tebbed browsing, be sure to check Safari (or Mozilla/Camino/Netscape/iCab) tab preferences... I recommend command-clicking to open a tab in the background. Every day, I mosey over to macsurfer, command-click on every interesting link I might find and savour the joy of having tens of articles at my disposal... beats poneying tens of dollars each month for paper-based magazines stuffed with last month's news!

Useless showoff tip: in Safari, load 20+ pages in tabs, wait until all the pages are loaded, then keep the shift-command-right arrow key combo pressed: Safari will cycle through all the tabs, slowly for the first cycle, then wicked-fast thereafter!
Posted by flyermoney at Thu Nov 27 08:56:14 2003

There is a quite nice shareware blogging app called iBlog http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/internet_utilities/iblog.html which is free for .Mac users.

The X11 comes with Panther, but the option is not selected by default, so you have to click the check box when installing.  I am not sure if you can upgrade from the DVD afterwards.
Posted by Bao at Thu Nov 27 15:08:58 2003

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Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

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