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Tue, 05 Oct 2004
Laszlo Goes Open Source

My friend David Temkin over at Lazlo has an important announcement: The Lazlo platform is going to be offered under an open source license (the CPL). This is a really interesting development. People interested in building rich internet applications would do well to give this release a close look. David and I have been talking about this for quite some time now, and I"m glad that the time has come for this information to become public.

[11:57] | [computers/internet] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Pre-meetup ramblings

As Julie has already mentioned, tomorrow we'll be heading over to the Eastside blogger meetup. Perhaps Scoble and I can sit down and talk about Information Overload. I've been pondering this topic since he posted on his BloggerCon session of the same name. Philip Greenspun posted what is essentially the reverse opinion, that reading the news is of little benefit. It's an interesting question. I definitely tend towards keeping up and having lots of information pass through my brain. RSS Aggregators provide the machinery that allows lots of content to pass into my brain. Weblogs provide a source of good quality information. The combination is a treat for infovores.

There are many interesting discussions that one can have about using technology to increase the signal to noise ratio of one's personal RSS cloud. All of those conversations are predicated on the notion that higher quantities of higher quality information is good. But is that really true?

I've been watching the whole iPodder/podcasting thing with interest. On the one hand, the jump from text to rich media is obvious. On the other hand, the impact on information overload is tremendous. I can't watch a Channel9 video and be cutting through my RSS feeds at the same time. Even the audio turns out to be distracting for me, which means that podcasting isn't going to help much either. Audio and video take advantage of temporal relationships in the audio and video. You can only accelerate that a small amount before the communication is garbled. Try to compute the number of hours during a week that are potentially available for information grazing. Then add up the number of audio/video posts that you might want to consume and face reality. Podcasting (and it's obvious and imminent followon, video podcasting) are a way of providing on demand delivery of audio/video (just not controlled by big media). In some ways that's going to turn out to be pretty powerful. (I can imagine my ice skating channel coming to life if venue attendees are allowed to do DV recording and rebroadcast of events)

Hmm, that personal RSS cloud just became a personal media cloud. But it still won't be as efficient as text. And there's still the question of whether this is a good thing.

[00:42] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Macintosh Tips and Tricks
Here's an update of my Macintosh Tips and Tricks. The contents of this post have been folded into the main file.


  • Export your address book to FOAF
  • OnMyCommandCMshop
  • Add more actions to your command (control-click) menu
  • Adium
  • The best (such as it is) multiprotocol IM client for the Mac. Jabber support is horrible
  • Paparazzi
  • A neat little utility for taking perfectly sized screenshots of web pages
  • Download comment for Safari
  • Store the url of a download in the Finder comments of the downloaded file
  • Unicode Checker
  • A useful tool for dealing with Unicode. Also makes itself available via the services menu
  • Growl
  • A system wide notification service with command line tools and Python bindings. Supported by Ecto, Adium.
  • svnX
  • A standalone installable subversion
  • cscreen
  • Set the screen resolution and refresh rate from the command line
  • chatmaster
  • Manage iChat and Adium archives
  • AntiRSI
  • A very nice app that forces you to take those RSI breaks
Getting to hidden folders in open/save dialogs
You need to know how to do this!
Using iChat to send SMS's to a cell phone
The advantage of doing this is that the SMS reply goes to the iChat window, not your e-mail mbox
How to launch a GUI app as root
If you must, you must
Nicer separators for Safari Bookmarks
I'm using Safari a bit more
Rebuilding the Launch Services Database
These sorts of hints remind me of Windows...
How to solve Mail.app index problems
Because Mail.app does hang/crash.
Getting to the console from the login panel
This is handy when troubleshooting your machine
You can pipe the output of a shell command to "open -f" to get that output into TextEdit [via Macworld 10/2004 p. 87 ]
Some of this type of stuff can be done with Quicksilver
Docklet folders
Put commonly used folders into the dock for easy access
Turn on the Safari Debug Menu
There are a few useful items in the Debug menu - like import/export of bookmarks
[00:07] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx/tips] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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