Apple’s Developer Site has Crashed

With the news that Apple has released the SDK for the iPhone, their developer site is currently unavailable. It seems to be have exceeded Apple’s expectations in terms of demand.

I’m currently wondering if there will be access to the Bluetooth in the SDK so that I can connect a bluetooth GPS and produce some nice mapping application for OpenStreetMap. With unlimited data, a fairly large (for a mobile device) touch display, it may well be an idea device to do the mapping in the field.
Hopefully I’ll earn a bit more soon, so that I can afford the mobile contract.

iLife Browser in Leopard’s open dialogs

In Leopard, if the developer allows certain types of file to be opened, then you get a free iLife browser in the file open dialog. This applies to OpenOffice.org aqua on Leopard too. As the X11 version of OpenOffice.org doesn’t have a native filepicker, this won’t be available there.

Find a screenshot below.

 
Those who have played with the latest OpenOffice.org aqua builds, you will find that you get an open dialog like the above one, without any way to select any files. This is a known bug. You simply cancel and open the dialog again to workaround the issue, until the fix is found and integrated.

BBC’s iPlayer now compatible with Mac OS X

After reading a macnn article. I have now found out that the BBC’s Player is now supported on Mac OS X. It is great that I can now watch BBC content from within Safari. The player only has a short buffer, though you can jump to any part of the video and it will start playing from there with very little delay. You have to remember that I have an internet connection of about 7Mbit downstream and around 0.8Mbit upstream. Therefore I don’t know how people on slower connections will manage.

Some video items come up with:
” is not available to play here.”
with no explanation as to why. Maybe some videos are not updated to the adobe flash video type.
Now I’d like to get an improvement to Space, that will allow me to make a window in any application to be front most and move between space as required. That way when I’m playing a video the window will always show. Another problem that I have found with spaces is that when switching apps with command+tab or clicking the icon in the dock, a random window usually comes forward.

Edinburgh Leopard Tech Talk

Today I went along to the Leopard Tech Talk in Edinburgh at the posh Caledonian Hilton Hotel.

It was a very interesting event, and might just convince me to start programming in Cocoa and Objective-C 2.0. Objective-C 2.0 is far more like Java when it comes to memory management. This is where I tend to struggle in C. The event was under Apple Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so I can’t publicly discuss anything that isn’t publicly available.
In the Cambridge Bar afterwards, one of the things that I tried to fix with the help of and Apple Tech guy was the Finder restarting when trying to change file permissions. This is mentioned in Apple support article 307128. However the instructions there don’t quite work. After some tries in the pub I was still getting the crash. Once I got home I had some tried the article again, and the second sudo dscl command seemed to wipe out the group record. In the end I did manage to get the problem fix, and I no longer get the crash.
I also got to play with an iPhone, and the reception on the O2 network is crap. The iPhone was only just, maybe thinking about getting a signal. On the other hand my Sony Ericsson k750i on the Vodafone network could get a full signal. Since I upgraded to Leopard I haven’t had my phone working as a bluetooth modem. With the help of the tutorial that I used the last time, and the GPRS network data table, I managed to get it working again.
The tutorial is now out of date of Leopard. On Leopard it is now a lot easier to setup. Once you have paired your phone, head into network preferences, and click Bluetooth in the left column. Then use the “User name” from the afore mentioned data table for the “Account Name” in Network preferences. The “Password” field uses the same name in both the data table and Network preferences. Next you need to click “Advanced…”. Select the appropriate vendor and model for your phone, and enter the appropriate APN from the data table. Hit “OK”, then “Apply” and you should be ready to connect.
At least now, the next time I go out with my laptop, and don’t want to pay for expensive wifi, I can use a little bit of data on my pay as you go phone.

OpenOffice.org on Mac OS X Leopard

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was launched by Apple Inc. about one month ago.

OpenOffice.org, with the exception of the Java features will work on Leopard. If you require the Java features of OpenOffice.org on Leopard, you require to use milestone m237 or later. 
The problem essentially boils down to the way that OpenOffice.org detects Java, and the fact that “Apple Computer Inc.” is NOT the same as “Apple Inc.”. (There are a few other build issues too.)
Thanks should go to Florian, Philip and Eric Bachard for their work on this issue.

The past 2 months

It has been a couple of months now since I’ve properly written a blog post. So here is a longish catchup post.

I have been busy doing agency work mostly in staff restaurants as a Kitchen Porter. I’ve even bumped into the Lead of the Marketing Project in our home town, rather than having to go to some OpenOffice.org conference. I did spend 3 weeks commuting by train (a novelty for me), to Stirling to work as a caretaker. Unfortunately the work is rather dull, though there are bills to be paid. Hopefully I’ll get around to updating my CV and sending it off to relevant people to hopefully get a degree related job.
Now back to 2 months ago.
I managed to get up and do my Buildbot presentation at ooocon2007 without any breakfast. The presentation has been really useful, as I have received some very useful feedback from developers on what they want from the system.
Code writers are interested in seeing if their code breaks on some other platform as early as possible. They want this to be reliable, and ideally the same configuration as the officially released builds.
The QA project are looking for install sets for testing new code that is about to be introduced into the main code line. Again they ideally want to have the same configuration as the officially released builds.
At the moment the source code statistics aren’t interesting enough for developers to want them. Also the basics don’t currently work well enough.
I have finally got around to Geotagging my photos from this years OpenOffice.org conference in the past few days. As I have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5, I found that my previous geotagging solution (GPSPhotoLinker) has stopped working as a library has stopped working due to a perl version mismatch. So I have headed to the command line with a perl script. gpsPhoto.pl seems to do the trick, though it is a pain to get the command line right as it isn’t as easy to just drag a load of photos from iPhoto. I’m not upgrading to iLife 08, as there is no GPS tagging support. Leopard’s Preview has a feature that allows you to go to a Google map of where the photo was taken. However, what I really want it to tell iPhoto: look in this folder for GPS traces, and geo tag all these photos automatically.
For future reference (as I was in mainland Europe with daylight saving the offset from UTC is minus 2 hours):
./gpsPhoto.pl –gpsdir 2007-09 –timeoffset -7200 –maxtimediff 7200 –overwrite-geotagged –dir /Users/shaunmcdonald/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library/Originals/2007/ooocon2007/
Photos from ooocon2007. I’ve also added the photos to Flickr with the ooocon2007 tag.
As many people have already seen. I am now the lead for the Mac Port of the OpenOffice.org. Eric Bachard made the announcement some time ago. I have posted my vision to the Mac porting mailing list. Due to time constraints as mentioned at the start of this blog post, I won’t be spending as much time as Eric Bachard on the project. I’m sure Eric will do a great job as the lead of the Education project, which tries to get more students involved in the OpenOffice.org project.
I am currently moving broadband provider from VirginMedia to Be*. For the same price I’m getting about 4 times the speed, with a slightly greater dropout for the same £18 per month.
When I was working out in Stirling I cycled home, or part of the way home. I have managed to map and tag most of the National Cycle Network route 76 from Stirling to Kincardine/Grangemouth. The south of the Kincardine Bridge is rather difficult to map and cycle just now as there is a lot of major road works and changes to the road network happening there.
About a fortnight ago I cycle 73 miles from Edinburgh to Ayr along the A70. I left quite late just before midday, and took about 6 hours. With the winter setting in, the last hour was pitch black. I lazily took the train back home for £8.80 with my Young Person Railcard. (Rather than cycling back home.) I have mapped and tagged the A70 with my GPS trace for the OpenStreetMap project. My ride on MapMyRide.com. I probably won’t cycle the A71 to Kilmarnock as it is a more dangerous road.
I have created a count down dashboard widget to State of the Map 2008. Download the SOTM countdown widget
Finally, I have partnered with Manager-Pro. To translate and distribute and English version of their software. All exported reports require the usage of OpenOffice.org. Either as the document reader as the exported documents are in the OpenOffice.org 1 format. If a user wants the reports in PDF, Word or Excel formats, OpenOffice.org requires to be installed for the file format translators within OpenOffice.org.

Clean re-install of Mac OS X

Today I have spent some time re-installing Mac OS X on my MacBook. It has been over a year now since I have bought the MacBook, and have only once done a clean install on it so far

It is now a lot faster as I don’t have any junk lying around running in the background. That’s one problem of installing various bits of software to see what it does and then not using it again. Maybe I should unsubscribe from the VersionTracker daily mail of new software releases. I’ve also gained around 20GB on my internal hard drive. 
Of course prior to the clean re-install, I had create a complete bootable backup of my hard drive, thus allowing me to selectively recover anything that I need.

I should now be able to use the OpenOffice.org CWS tools again as I’ll setup my local cvs server on a different port than the default port.

Cycling: Glasgow to Edinburgh

On Thursday evening, I took the train over to Glasgow for the Scotlug meeting. There was an interesting presentation about phidgets. Afterwards I went along with the other geeks to the pub to grab something to eat and have a natter. I’ve even now seen an iPhone (not just in pictures), though not yet had a chance to play with one.

After 11pm, I set off back to Edinburgh. On my bike. I could have taken the train, but that would have cost more and I was needing the challenge of cycling over night home.
I headed North from George Square to the Glasgow spur of the Forth and Clyde Canal. I then followed the Forth and Clyde Canal, the whole way to the Carron Sea Lock, where I then hit the road for the rest of the way home (except the cycleway parallel to the A90 from Dalmeny to the Crammond Brig pub, where cyclists are not allowed on the trunk road).

By the time I was nearing South Queensferry, first light was starting to show. See the picture below, where you can just about make out the towers of the Forth Road and Rail Bridges.

From 20070727Glasg…

The journey took 5 hours, and was about 53 miles in length. It’s not very often you’ll see me arriving home at 4:20 am.

The greatest thing about cycling at night is that the roads are really quiet, especially after 1am. It also makes cycling on the bigger roads a lot easier, and saves you from having to use the quieter and hillier routes. It can also be faster as you don’t have to deal with other traffic or air turbulence caused by other traffic.
I’d be quite happy to do it again, as long as I don’t need to get up the next day before lunch time.

Can launch PPC apps again

Since installing the Quicktime 7.2 and iTunes 7.3.1 updates on my MacBook, I’ve been unable to launch PPC applications through Rosetta. It appears that having Java 6 installed has caused the prebinding process to crash.

Following the process documented in a comment by Darlene on a blog, I’ve been able to launch PPC applications through Rosetta again. The process is basically removing Java 6 and then force running the prebinding process. I didn’t even need a restart which is nice.
EDIT: I’ve also had to download and install Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 5 to get Java working again.