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Archive for January, 2006

Blog software on Mac OS X: Ecto

January 31st, 2006
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Continuing with my coverage of blogging software for Mac OS X, which started with a post about MarsEdit and iBlog, let us talk a little bit about what I think is a better software for blogging on Macs: Ecto.

Ecto is made by Adriaan Tijsseling, a programmer who is author of other nice software for Mac OS X. The basic system allows the addition of multiple user accounts, in case you have more than one blog. Blogs can also be maintained in several systems, such as blogger, wordpress, and typepad. Each account can be customized to ping any service such as weblogs.com, and blo.gs.

In the main window, Ecto presents a list of blogs: when you click a blog, the most recent posts are downloaded and presented in a list on the right side of the window. Then, you can either edit an existing post by double clicking it, or you can add a new post if you wish.

The post editor can show a rich edit interface or a more basic HTML interface. I use the rich edit interface since it is very easy to use, with most of the common formating options. The post editor also gives full access to a system of Tags (or categories, if you use wordpress, for example). When you add a new tag to the post, Ecto automatically creates the necessary code necessary to link to technorati.

Ecto makes it easy to add pictures for your posts, in the case you use blogs with the wordpress interface — this may be a problem for people like me, who use blogger. To solve this I need to access the post one more time in blogger to add the images I want. Ecto also has some advanced options, such as changing the time of the post, adding pictures from iPhoto, musics from iTunes, and wish lists from Amazon.com.

In the end, Ecto appears to be still a young product but already with a very good set of features. Certainly it needs to incorporate a more features, which would be necessary to provide a full solution for bloggers (like, for example, support for image uploads to blogger.com). However, I see Ecto already as a pretty nice piece of software, that should be at least tried by bloggers using Mac OS X – after all, it is only 17.95, and you get 21 days with the trial version.

Related posts:
Another Blog Editor for Apple Mac
MarsEdit: editing your blog on an Apple Mac

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How to boot Windows XP in the Apple MacBook Pro

January 29th, 2006
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Since Apple announced the availability of the switch to the Intel platform in the last year, the possibility of using the Windows operating system in a mac computer has been suggested. It is no surprise, therefore, that some people have created lists of instructions to install windows XP in your mac computer.

The newsmart blog has a list of instructions to install Windows XP in the macBook. To do this, however, you need a PC computer with a clean windows installation and the programs Acronis Disk Director Bootable CD and Acronis True Image (to tweak the partitions).

The main problem faced in this process is the fact that the Macs don’t use a BIOS as PCs do. Thus, while loading itself Windows cannot rely on the existence of the BIOS, what makes things a little more complicated. This is the list of instructions:

  1. Using the Bootable Acronis Disk Director CD on the MacBook, shrink the Mac partition. Create a new partition of type NTFS/HPFS in the remaining space.
  2. Setup a clean version of XP on a PC.
  3. Extract Boot.7z to the root drive of your XP installation.. So you have C:\Boot\
  4. Copy bcdedit.exe to the root drive of your XP installation. C:\BCDedit.exe
  5. Copy MacBook.bcd to the root drive of your XP installation
  6. Use sysprep to “reseal” your XP install and remove all hardware info from the setup (thanks Kristan for pointing that out!).
  7. Use Acronis TrueImage CD to make an image of your XP install.
  8. Use the bootable Acronis True Image CD to recreate the image on the partition you just made on your MacBook.
  9. Use the Bootable Vista DVD to boot on the MacBook.
  10. Select “Repair Startup” -> Next -> CMD -> Run too.
  11. Browse to drive C:\Boot (which is the partition you created on the MacBook and then extracted the Acronis TrueImage file to). (cd C:\boot)
  12. Run “fixntfs.exe -lh” without the quotes
  13. Browse back to drive C:\ (cd \)
  14. Run “bcdedit.exe /import MacBook.bcd” without the quotes
  15. Eject the CD and restart.
  16. In Mac now, hack the Darwin Bootloader to add another entry that chainloads Drive(0) Partition(2).
  17. Restart

Read the complete instructions.

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Apple code is really flawed?

January 26th, 2006
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A security researcher said in a recent interview that the operating system code of Mac OS X has lots of ancients bugs that should had been fixed ten years ago.

The specialist, Neil Archibald, was the same person that found the “dsidentity” bug last year. According to him, Apple is slow to patch bugs discovered by security researchers and they don’t have a proper procedure for handling this problem.

My opinion that, while this guy gives good advice, he seems to be very resentful towards Apple. Even though there may be problems, it is difficult to believe that the Mac OS X is less secure than Windows.

Moreover, Mac OS X has more market share in the desktop than Linux. With so many smart people working with the Apple OS it doesn’t seem that lack of users is the only reason Mac OS X is not attacked.

Finally, it is good to remember that Darwin is open source. If somebody wants to fix a bug in it, he or she just need to send a patch against the current source. Apple will certainly apply the patches that they consider necessary. So, again it is difficult to see how those old codes would be hiding on the Darwin code.

Link

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Steve Jobs: Apple and Disney

January 25th, 2006
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Castle
Well, it seems that Steve Jobs just did what he was looking for (and what most people expected at this point): Pixar was sold to Disney, and now he is a top executive of the entertainment company.
With billions of dollars in his pocket, I hope that he do not forget his first and best company.

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Apple in the News is not Spam!

January 25th, 2006
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Today I received the great news: This blog is officially labeled as no-spam! I am so proud! :-))) I hope you reading this are proud too… See for yourselves:

“Hello,

Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and whitelisted so that it will no
longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back
in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience,
and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Sincerely,
Blogger Support”

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