Category Archives: Computing

Snow Leopard, iPhone: certainties, hopes

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

I’ve been studying all day for an exam I have on Wednesday, and I only started learning anything useful two hours ago.

It so happens that this Monday, the WWDC kicked off with a keynote by Steve Jobs, the prophet who guides all Apple fans throughout the world. For the uninitiated, “WWDC” stands for “Worldwide Developer Conference”, and it is one of the major yearly Apple-related events.

Last year, Steve Jobs showed the world a feature-complete version of Mac OS X Leopard, among others. But this year, big disappointment if you’re not much into the iPhone and were hoping for a sneak preview at “Snow Leopard”, the next version of the OS. Disappointment, but surprise right afterwards.

Continue reading Snow Leopard, iPhone: certainties, hopes

Google’s new favicon: the end of an era (poll)

 

 
 
 
 

There are times when a company decides to change its logo. And there are times when it decides to change its favicon.
Either way, it has a huge effect on the consumer, because he/she has to adapt to the change.

Ambrosia Software did this recently, to illustrate, and it showed that “ASW” was letting go of its “sketched” look to go towards a new “modern” look.

And now, Google is doing the same thing.
Continue reading Google’s new favicon: the end of an era (poll)

My Leopard’s Look: part III

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In this series, entitled “My Leopard’s Look”, I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X “Leopard”: icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons, and Part II to read about the Dock and wallpapers.


Themes

I never was interested in themes under Tiger (Mac OS 10.4), partly because I had a 1999 G3 iMac, and partly because the only tool “average users” could use to apply themes was Unsanity’s ShapeShifter (which came at a hefty price for a student, and which is a “haxie” that requires “Application Enhancer” [APE] to run, and APE has caused me a couple of problems in the past).

Then Leopard came along, and while I was very happy with the new unified metal look for all applications, the blue aqua (scrollbars, list headers, …) was starting to feel old.
So I decided to take a look at Leopard theming options.
Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part III

My Leopard’s Look: part II

 

 
 
 
 
 

In this series, entitled "My Leopard’s Look", I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X "Leopard": icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons.


Dock

The Dock itself

The 3D Dock introduced in Leopard was one of its most controversial features. Many users far preferred the 2D Dock from Tiger. But then someone found how to customise the 3D Dock, and now, you can find Dock skins and instructions on how to install them all over the place (LeopardDocks.com and LeopardDocks.net spring to mind).

Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part II

My Leopard’s Look: part I

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There are many things you can do to make your Mac look unique.
You can customise the hardware by decorating it or adding "skins".
But most of the customising comes from the software. Partly because it’s often free, and because it’s less… permanent.

So, what can you do if you have Mac OS 10.5, a.k.a. Leopard?

Until this weekend of mid-May, icons and dock changes (which I’ll detail later) were pretty much all you could do, because Apple has changed the way OS X generates the user interface in many ways. Not completely yet though: it appears 10.6 will be the first to fully use the new "CoreUI".
But enough technobabble. In short, since this week-end, all parts of Leopard are customisable. At least, that’s the theory.
And to illustrate, this is a normal Leopard screenshot. But here is an example of a new appearance, without using any hacks (note that system fonts can also be changed), and here is my personal Leopard’s appearance.

Note: there are still some limits, but for example, window backgrounds are customisable, …

In this series, I’ll talk about the different aspects of customisation, mostly for the sake of those users not entirely familiar with it, but it will contain some advanced customisation information as well.
Part II will concern the Dock and wallpapers, and part III, theming.

Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part I

Lessons of web design

 

 
 
 
 
 

I could have easily titled this "What I learnt while making this website" (yes, "learnt" – British English, my friends), but it felt a little long.

The website has only been truly complete for a few hours now, because I now believe no more changes are needed (though the past week has been just about tweaking). This means I haven’t yet received any real feedback (except from a couple of friends), and so I cannot say I’ve learnt anything from the potential users.
But as a web designer (an amateur, really), there are so many things I’ve learnt over the past month that I feel it necessary to write down the most important of them.

Continue reading Lessons of web design

The quest for the perfect non-web font

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

At university, I write down most of what the teacher says during a lecture, and given that I do so on my MacBook and was feeling generous at the time, I decided to make these lecture notes available to all 400 other students in my class, by putting them online and putting a link to them on the class webboard. Turns out my notes were downloaded over 3300 times during a three-month time-span, because over here in Belgium, lecture notes are the way to go if you want to pass an exam. Especially if the teacher doesn’t provide you with a syllabus.

So I decided I would do the same this term, though this time, we had far fewer courses in common. And at the end of the term (a week ago), I was thinking about how I would make the notes available: Word .doc and Adobe PDF, as usual, or just PDF? I work in Pages ’08, so converting to .doc is always a bother. At the same time, I noticed that the course titles were in Times New Roman. And I thought: “Eugh.”

Continue reading The quest for the perfect non-web font