What I haven’t heard about MWSF 06

[Update 2005-01-12: Apparently Photocasting only works with .Mac and it’s hard to use iWeb with non-Apple hosting. So, if you were like me and thinking about buying an iLife 06 family pack don’t forget to add on an extra $180/year for a .Mac family pack, even if you already have a web host. And, like Scott points out in the comments, that only gets you 2 gigs of storage. Kind of makes you wonder why Google can give you 1 gig for free on Linux, but Apple has to charge an arm and a leg for 2 gigs on OS X Server.]

There’s been plenty of talk about the two big announcements at MWSF 2006, so I won’t bother to go into them. While I want a sexy new MacBook Pro, (though not the first few off the assembly line, thank you very much) my technolust doesn’t add much to the conversation.

But what about the other announcements? Let’s see if we can’t find a common theme.

iPhoto will now be able to publish and subscribe to image RSS feeds of photo albums, deemed “Photocasting.” Photocast feeds will work with regular RSS readers, but iPhoto will be able to handle 1-click subscriptions and will treat Photocast feeds as special folders. It’s kind of like a distributed Flickr, using RSS.

iWeb, the new iLife tool for web sites, has built-in blogging and podcasting tools. While hosted blogging tools have gotten to the point where even executives can blog, there’s still a market for client-based blogging tools. So with iWeb, people will be able to produce RSS feeds, complete with media enclosures from other iLife applications.

iMovie has been updated to make web ready video easy, specifically for podcasting video to iPods. GarageBand has added a metric assload of podcasting features. Podcasting, by the way, is something that happens over RSS.

Looking at the new things in iLife, I can’t find that common theme that I was looking for. So let’s talk about RSS instead.

Continue reading “What I haven’t heard about MWSF 06”

OS X? Adium.

On OS X? Using iChat? Time to switch to Adium. I tried Adium maybe a couple years ago and was underwhelmed, so when I started hearing people talk about it I figured that it wasn’t anything worth checking out. Eventually the buzz got to me and I downloaded it again. Guess what? In a couple years software can get a lot better!

So what won me over this time?



The interface
It’s super simple. Easy to set up, easy to keep running.
Address Book integration
I love how iChat integrates with the OS X Address Book, and Adium is just as hooked in.
Hella configurable
There are a metric ass-load of add-ons available. Installation is a snap too, you can install right from the browser. (If you’re a Homestar Runner fan, check out this conversation layout and this soundset). Also, creating new message styles is just XHTML and CSS.
Most of my IM in one place
My AIM, my Jabber, and even the accounts I have but don’t use all in one contact window, thanks to the Gaim underpinnings. It even supports Zeroconf, err, I mean Rendezvous, err, I mean Bonjour. The one network it doesn’t support is Skype, so unfortunately I have to have 2 IM apps open.
Built-in crypto
It supports OTR encryption out of the box, and it’s super easy to get going.
Growl support
If you use Growl, you’ll appreciate the built-in support. No extra apps required.
History in chat windows
When you start a new conversation, the recent history is displayed. This is great if you leave a message for someone, close the window, and then the other person replies after you’ve forgotten what you’re talking about.
Open source
All things being equal, I prefer an open source solution. All things aren’t equal here though, this blows iChat out of the water.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have its shortcomings. If you use iChat for audio or video conferencing, you’ll probably want to stick with it. Another big hurdle is that sending files doesn’t work as well as iChat, likely due to NAT issues (which a simple upgrade should fix). The only other problem I have with it is that I can’t find a dock icon that doesn’t flash when I have an unread message, which I find distracting. [Update: Brian found a dock icon that isn’t animated.]

I’m pretty geeked about it, I like seeing an open source app that gets OS X UI right. Geeked enough to evangelize in my blog. Check out the screenshots, go download it and give it a try.

Further reading:
Tim Bray: Adium is the Future
Eric Meyer: Adium: Chatting With Style

Help ypsi~dixit!

I was reading my local feeds folder and saw this call for help on ypsi~dixit’s blog:

Here’s the deal. I have Mac OS X and a pile of documents on the desktop in .DOC format. What I need is a search engine with a preview box feature that will allow me to search for key phrases and preview the results, so that I can quickly assess if the search results are what I’m looking for.

My first instinct was to leave a comment pointing to Spotlight but that has the same shortcoming as the search tool she tried, Spotlight doesn’t show previews. Context is important for figuring out which result is the one you’re looking for. Imagine if a Google search didn’t include context, the difference would be subtle but important.

So if you know of a way to cajole Spotlight into showing text surrounding the matches, please let ypsi~dixit and me know in our comments. Lazyweb, I beseech you!