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Stuff about Apple and Macintosh computers

Objective-C Memory Management

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 by darco

A while back a friend of mine mentioned that for programmers starting to learn Objective-C often have difficulty fully understanding how Objective-C handles memory management. Objective-C memory management isn't really all that difficult once you get the gist of it, but it can be confusing at first.

This short article covers the basics of the normal reference-counted Objective-C runtime. Garbage collection can wait for another day.

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MacBook Pro on eBay

Sunday, April 12, 2009 by darco

MacBookPro/DSC09811 I'm currently selling my old 15" MacBook Pro on eBay, item 250406106004.

Lets hope I have better luck than the last time I tried to sell a laptop on eBay.

In what can only be described as a bad omen, eBay actually suspended and blocked my account soon after I first listed this item! It took a few hours to try and work things out, but things seem fine now. But Jesus, what a pain in the ass.

Bovine Software Update

Friday, October 5, 2007 by darco

What follows is the most amusing paragraph I have ever read on daring fireball:

It’s hard to work the concept of a “software update” into a cow analogy, but here goes: You willingly purchase a cow, which, the purveyor of said cow makes explicitly clear, is intended only to be used to produce milk. You buy it and figure out a way to make cheese. Two months later the purveyor of the cow offers you a pill, free of charge, which, if administered to the cow, will result in slightly better-tasting milk, but which pill comes with a stern and plainly worded warning that, if administered to a cow that had been used to produce cheese (which, recall, was made clear from the outset the cow was not intended for), the pill might kill the cow, and that, even if it doesn’t kill the cow, will prevent all previously known cheese-making hacks from working. Further, let’s stipulate that there is no medical or bovine pharmacological reason the pill could not have instead been engineered in such a way that it would enable the cow to produce the better-tasting milk and still allow the previously discovered cheese-producing hacks to continue unabated — that the reason for this frustrating limitation is, at best, marketing, and at worst, spite — and so that, in some way, the whole situation is, undeniably, at least somewhat shitty.


MacOS X Tips

Static Page

These are all things to type from the terminal.

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Teredo for MacOS X

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 by darco

As some of you may know, I've been playing around with IPv6 quite a bit lately. One specific IPv6 technology which has gotten me quite excited is the Teredo automatic tunneling protocol. Teredo allows you to obtain a globally routable IPv6 address when you only have access to the IPv4 internet, even if you are behind a NAT router1!

Support for the Teredo protocol is actually in WindowsXP, but it is disabled by default. However, that has changed for Windows Vista—where IPv6 and Teredo are enabled by default2. This is important because this means that relatively soon, widespread deployment of IPv6 will become a reality. This is great for Windows users, but what about other platforms?

Miredo is an open-source (GPL) user-space teredo implementation for linux and BSD. Someone went thru the effort to get miredo to work on MacOS X, but setting it up is not something your average joe can accomplish. What is needed is an installer package.

Well, that's exactly what I'm putting together. I'm releasing a prerelease version of the package today for early-adopters and power-users. You just download it, install it, and you should have IPv6 connectivity. It's that simple!

Prerelease 2

Download Here: Miredo Installer for MacOS X (Universal), and source code

Screen shot 2009-09-18 at 11.11.29 AM

IMPORTANT: This package is a prerelease version intended for early adopters, and is NOT intended for widespread deployment. If you decide to install and use this experimental package, you should subscribe to the miredo mailing list, paying serious attention to any security advisories.

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Steve's Thoughts on Music

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 by darco

Everyone who cares about DRM should read Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Music. (thx Macalope) Here are a few choice excerpts:

. . . Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

I knew I liked this guy.

It seems that Macrovision's CEO, Fred Amoroso, has formally responded to Steve's "Thoughts on Music". Luckily, John Gruber of Daring Fireball has translated the letter from PR-speak to plain English. Worth a read.

Mac Keyboard Remapping

Friday, September 1, 2006 by darco

I just found out how to fix the HOME and END keys on my Macintosh! On darn near every computer, pressing HOME takes you to the start of the line and pressing END takes you to the end of the line. However, on MacOS X, the keys take you to the start and end of the FILE. This is just something I have learned to live with... But thanks to this post on the TextMate Blog, that's no longer the case! I'm so happy! :D

Why in the world Apple doesn't provide a nice user interface for changing these things without mucking around in the terminal is beyond me.


Sunday, July 30, 2006 by darco

MacSaberDo you have one of those fancy new Apple laptops that have the Sudden Motion Sensor? You know, that thing that is suppose to park the hard drive heads if you drop it? Well then you have to check this out.

MacSaber is a program which will make your mac sound like a light saber. Go ahead. Wave it around like a lunatic. If you have one of the new backlit keyboards, the keyboard even lights up when it "hits" something, mimicking the flash of light that shines when two light sabers touch.

This is just too cool.

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