This has been irritating me ever since I got my MacBook. I use lots of different computers with lots of different operating systems and the simplest way to transfer information is often to use a FAT32-formatted removable USB flash drive.
On my Windows and Linux machines this works great. I plug in the drive and the files are available. No problem. On my Mac I plug in the drive and it messes with it. It splats a bunch of “hidden” folders on the drive then locks the drive from being dismounted while it spends a lot of CPU cycles attempting to index it. All of which is completely pointless. And there’s no config or preference to switch it off.
Worst of all, it even does it to the memory cards from my camera. This is inexcusable.
Searching around I found a lot of people complaining about this, but no real solutions, until I stumbled on macosxhints.com – 10.4: Disable Spotlight on a FAT32 external drive.
Simply create an empty file at the top level of the drive named .metadata_never_index and the Mac OS X “Spotlight” indexer should leave it alone forever.
This article really helps join the dots for a project I’m thinking about a lot at the moment.
Connecting Apple’s iPhone to Google’s cloud computing offerings.
For the last few weeks I have been eagerly waiting for yesterday’s announcement of updated MacBooks, ready to lay down some cash but unwilling to buy an old model. Now I’m stuck. The new MacBook range do not have a Firewire port, and cannot be connected to a regular camcorder. Apple don’t even offer any kind of adapter cable.
For many people, including me, this makes the new MacBooks essentially useless for video. To get a Firewire port you need to buy a MacBook Pro, which is bigger, heavier, and about twice the price of a MacBook. The glossy marketing bumf still rambles on about how all Macs come with video editing software, but without a port to connect an actual camera it’s all largely pointless.
I find it very hard to understand how Apple can casually brush-off videomakers, traditionally a significant part of their core user-base, especially now that so many PC laptops come with built-in firewire. And that’s without even considering the huge range of add-on firewire devices for other purposes. Even a simple firewire external drive (one of the most useful additions to a portable computer with a relatively small internal drive) can not be used with the new MacBook range.
A few days ago Apple finally changed the terms of their iPhone development license to allow people to talk (and write) about how to develop software for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Pragmatic Programmers already had a book project waiting in the wings and have made it available as a “beta” available to buy for download now.
No excuse not to get started writing that killer mobile application now!
The Pragmatic Bookshelf | iPhone SDK Development
This is just cool, in a “don’t know what I’d actually do with it” way. A port of the Squeak Smalltalk environment to the IPhone and iPod touch.
iSqueak Wikki: Home of the iPhone/Touch port of Squeak
Dreaming of making your fortune selling your great idea for a software app to millions of iPhone users? Perhaps you should read this before you start work.
Apparently Apple have a habit of refusing to sell competing applications through their store. Unfortunately their idea of what that may encompass is vague and seemingly broad. Together these things can result in an otherwise promising application being refused admission, and without Apple’s blessing, nobody can use or buy the application.
Daring Fireball: The App Store’s Exclusionary Policies
On the one hand this is a neat example of using commodity solutions to miltary problems rather than commissioning specialist equipment. On the other hand it’s slightly strange to see something as supposedly innocuous as an ipod being used to support occupation troops.
AppleInsider | U.S. Army increasingly using custom iPods as field translators
Every time I think about buying an Apple computer, something surprises me, usually something which nobody has thought to mention, and makes me wonder.
In this case it was reading an article about using Quicktime Pro to edit video from a digital camera – because the included video-editing application is effectively limited to dealing with DV or HD from a traditional tape-based video camera. If true I find this astonishing, especially given the emphasis Apple place on MP4 video in their iPod range and the wide availability of low-cost digital cameras which record video direct to a removable memory card.
I record a large proportion of my video using one of several solid-state cameras, and had largely assumed that iMovie, being an entry-level product, would support a range of entry-level devices.
I tried to check this up on the Apple web site, but all it says about format support in iMovie is the following vague statement:
Expanded format support.
iMovie supports standard and high definition video, as well as the most popular formats, including DV, HDV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and even AVCHD.
Can anyone who owns a copy of this software give any concrete information about what formats it really supports?
QuickTime Soundtrack Hacks | DV for Teachers
An important part of my work is producing web and mobile user interfaces. Both cases have traditionally had trade-offs: A modern desktop or laptop computer web browser is so powerful and potentially has so much screen space to play with that deciding how best to make use of all that resource is a daunting task. Typical lowest-common-denominator mobile devices, on the other hand have so little power, flexibility and screen territory that getting enough information and interactivity on any single screen-full is a struggle.
In this arena, the success of the iPhone is especially interesting. For many application developers, the iPhone has already gained enough market presence to be worth re-building mobile and web applications to suit the particular blend of size and features offered by the device. This in turn has led to some surprisingly usable condensed applications.
Slipstream – On a Small Screen, Just the Salient Stuff – NYTimes.com
Unlike many “switcher” tracts, this one actually seems to address the kinds of problems I have whenever I encounter a Mac.
The Blog from Another Dimension Â» From Windows to Mac: Three Biggest Tips for Switchers
It looks like there is still plenty of grumbling about the new model of iPhone. Here’s an article pointing out a group of popular complaints and missing features.
Seven problems with the new iPhone : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech
The web and mobile portals which I produce in my day job need to support a wide range of devices, and these days that includes the iPhone. Because its an Apple product it has its own standards and eschews the old and familiar (if often annoying) “favicon” in favour of its own equivalent.
“How to create a custom Apple iPhone icon for your Web site”: Tech Support from Ask Dave Taylor!
I’m not a mac user (although some people seem to think I suffer from mac-envy), but the following seems an interesting and potentially-useful tip for managing notebook battery life anyway.
Mac OS X 10.5 Help: Calibrating a MacBook or MacBook Pro battery