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A Discussion on Comments

Relates to Blogging

Roger Johansson has raised a bit of debate on the use of comments and how it potentially imposes on what he writes. Further links and discussion on Jeremy Keith's blog.

Posted on Sep 21, 2007 at 07:31:31.

Reviewing OS X Package Receipts with lsbom

Relates to Software and OSX

In my previous post I slightly over-simplified the ease with which installed applications can be removed from OS X. Not all software comes packaged in a single application file and in these circumstances the Installer will be used to add the programme. This blind process is somewhat reminiscent of Windows installation which left me so paranoid of infection I was taking system snapshots prior to and post every install!

But the good news is there is a very simple command line tool (lsbom that provides access to the package receipt giving full details of what was installed where and your very nice clean system. Every Installer installation will place a Bill of Materials file (Archive.bom) in the package receipt for the installed software. The receipt itself placed in the Receipts folder on the drive. So just open up the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and enter the following command to see what files were installed where:

lsbom /Library/Receipts/{Application Name}.pkg/Contents/Archive.bom

If you are a Terminal novice you can hit tab as you enter any directory names to get a list of possible options (or auto-complete if only a single matching directory). This is useful for entering the application name if there are several alternatives or you are not entirely sure of spelling.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 at 11:15:27.

OS X Software I Cannot Do Without!

Relates to Software and OSX

I am a software addict! Who isn't in this game. But I cannot resist downloading the latest software for a test drive.

But for every ten packages I download nine of those will inevitably wind up in the trash. In my Windows days this soon became a sorrowful affair as left trawling the registry cursing the total lack of usability. Fortunately on OS X this is simplified considerably with most software being self contained packages with only a small footprint left in the user library Preferences and Application Support folders.

Anyway my Dock is filled with logs of colourful icons (ooooh I love the eye candy!) for software I might use on a week by week basis. But what programmes must I have open at all times? Well here is a quick snapshot of some of my essentials. Perhaps a few are left off this list like Cyberduck, Photoshop and Fireworks but these are the major must haves if I were to reinstall.

Screen grab of my favourite software on OS X

From the right since that is where the interesting ones are:

iGTD
I procrastinate! This is the antidote.
Ecto 3 Alpha
Note this is alpha but it performs pretty well to me and I was already a paid up and very large fan of Ecto 2. I use this for my personal weblogs on both Blogger and Wordpress. Slightly different to other blog clients I have tried with great OS integration.
Mailpane Beta
Another pre-release this one. In essence it is a browser window for Gmail but it also integrates with the Dock, menu bar (instead of Gmail Notifier) and Growl.
Syncro SVN Client
I actually own this as part of the Oxygen suite (itself excellent software) and while I generally do must SVN management from the command line, this has become an essential client GUI for reviewing what went where and when along with integrated Diff viewer.
Adium
Feel the force! And see when my friends are around for a chat.
Brilliant - I store everything here from purchase receipts to notes to serial numbers. I just hope it holds out once the SQLite database starts hitting the gigabytes!?
Path Finder
It has taken a while to get used to using this Finder replacement which has similarities to Directory Opus (my old faithful on Windows) and I am still discovering cool features. But couldn't revert to Finder only ever again!
Billings
I test drove a number of tracking and invoicing solutions and this came out as the least bloated and simplest to use.
Mail
Can skip over that one!
Textmate
I really only use this at its most simple (for instance I rarely use the inbuilt SVN package) but it is quick efficient and effective syntax highlighting/macro support.
Foxy
I am a CSS developer - need I say more!
ITunes
With DockArt running as the Visualizer.
Endo
Ecto's companion (buy them together at a great discount) and a fresh approach to RSS aggregation with lots of hidden treats.
Navicat
MySQL client GUI of choice since it allows SSH tunneling and many other other powerful features.
Safari 3 Beta (Pimped)
Testing and general browsing.

Not exhaustive but an excellent set of tools.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 at 10:48:29.

Digg and Reddit Archiving Available

Relates to Blogging

Forget about commenting on this weblog directly - comments are no more. So be gone evil spammers!

If you like what you have read and feel it is worth sharing with the social labyrinth that is the web at large then why not Digg the entry or add it to Reddit using the buttons provided next to each post.

I think both these social sharing sites provide a far better starting block for comments and discussion than buried away in the archives of my site.

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 at 21:30:06.

Back to Blogging

Relates to Blogging

So, back to blogging as normal…? Well not quite. For a start I now have numerous blogs I am maintaining. It seems simpler to keep different fields of interest separate and this allows me to experiment a bit with the different blogging solutions out there so I can make valuable recommendations to clients and colleagues when they are considering a blog of their own.

Currently TWBlog is still powered by my home-grown and hand-rolled solution which was first developed back in 2003 when this weblog came into existence. That PHP solution gradually evolved into a full blown module based content management system and now forms an integral part of most contracts I work on, while it is still more than adequate for maintaining a simple blog as this is.

However some things have changed in the last 2 years and one of those is the never-ending evolution of comment spam. This is where the open-source solutions such as Wordpress come into their own and one reason I chose to use alternative solutions for some of my other blogs. The CMS behind TWBlog is not equipped currently to handle such an infestation and hence there will be no facility to post comments directly on this site.

Anyway, this was just a quick re-introduction to my blogging software - as much for me using it as for anyone still out there reading my entries. All for now.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 at 14:18:38.

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