mac

Prepping for Git on drupal.org - Need a Git client? Try Tower

A few weeks ago, I heard rumors of a new Git client for the Mac that was supposed to be even easier/prettier than my past favorite, GitX (specifically, brotherbard's fork of GitX). GitX is simple, and very usable, but just feels rough sometimes. But... it's free, so it is very nice in that way.

Tower for St. Louis Review
Yes, I often work on the server. "Do what I say, not what I do."

This new Git client is Tower, and it is awesome. I paid for two licenses for my two Macs, and I highly recommend it for other Mac users deeply invested in Git. The interface is simple, it has searchable commit logs, it lets you stage and unstage (and modify) changes and commits with efficiency and ease, and it is $50 well-spent. Check out the Tower demonstration video on YouTube.

Mac OS X Mail - Exchange Account Stuck unless Mail Quit and Restarted?

I was having this particular problem off and on when using Mac OS X Mail on my work Mac, which was set up to use our corporate exchange server, and an 'Exchange 2007' Mail account: Every so often, Mail would quit getting new messages in the inbox, and when I checked the 'Activity' window, I would get the following error:

(Screenshot to be posted here)
("Opening Mailbox — Requesting Latest Information")

Sometimes, simply hitting the 'stop sign' would allow me to get new messages, but the problem would always crop up again. Other times, I'd pull out my Mac laptop, which was set up to use IMAP instead of Exchange (long story, details don't matter), and after syncing it up with the server, and restarting Mail on my main Mac, the problem would go away.

Only today, after finding this forum thread on Apple's Discussion Forums, did I find the source of the problem:

Removing a Stuck Disc (CD/DVD) from a Mac - EVERY Way Possible

CDMost of the time, I'm extremely happy with Apple's decision to make all their physical media (CD/DVD) drives slot-loading, as it means there's one less part to accidentally break off my Mac, and it just looks so darn pretty! But every now and then, I have a hellish experience with the drive. This usually happens when:

  • A CD/DVD disc is warped or really thick (like most discs with homemade labels)
  • I'm given a mini CD (business card size) or DVD (this rarely happens anymore)
  • A CD/DVD is way out of balance... usually it's just slightly warped

That's the hardware side. Sometimes, I just want to get a dratted disc out of the computer, but dragging it to the trash, or pressing the 'Eject' key won't work. Often a dialog pops up and says "the disc is in use" (but it doesn't specify what application is using it!), or worse, there is no error—the disc just won't come out.

Here are the steps I usually take in trying to eject a CD or DVD—in order from least likely to damage the disc and/or my Mac, to most likely... always try the steps in order!

Developer Experience on the Mac App Store

This year, one of my resolutions is to become a more experienced programmer—not only in web development (I can hold my own with PHP, server scripting, and web design languages)—and one of the measurable achievements I'd like to accomplish is having apps on the Mac App Store and iOS App Store.

I submitted a new Mac App, Visibility*, on January 9, and was hoping the app might be reviewed quickly so I could experience a few days on the Mac App store soon after its launch. Well, after more than two weeks of waiting, the App is still 'Waiting for Review.'

Following the advice of some other developers on Apple's Developer Forums, I submitted an expedited app review support ticket... and didn't get a response for over a week!

From the response email:

Thanks for your email and feedback. In order to get as many developers into the Mac App Store as possible we are reviewing apps on a first-come first-served basis. The size of any individual app or its fixes do not have an impact on when the app will enter In Review state.

We will get to your application as quickly as possible.

Mac App Store - Real Reason for It?

Mac App Store Icon - LogoThis might just be too crazy to be true, but I just thought, after reading that some of the bestselling games for the Mac were added to the Mac App Store, if there might be an ulterior motive to the Mac App Store...

Besides adding some revenue to Apple's bottom line, offering a convenient means to Mac users discovering and purchasing new software, and making the Mac more in-line with the iOS device philosophy, what if Steve walked into an Apple retail store one day last year and said:

Reeder App for Mac - Usage Tips for My New Favorite News Reader...

After about a week's use of Reeder for Mac (currently at 'Draft 4' status), I can finally ditch NetNewsWire, and confidently state that I would pay maybe something like $20 for this new Mac application.

NetNewsWire has always been a little slow, a little clunky, but at least it was reliable.

Reeder for Mac - Draft 4

Reeder brings a lot of the simplicity of the iOS Reeder apps (both of which I have - Reeder for iPad and Reeder for iPhone) to desktop Macs. There are some odd UI glitches that are simple annoyances, but don't get in the way of my personal use of the app.

However, every new draft release brings with it more goodies, more polish, and more awesomesauce.

Using the Plextor PX-B120U Blu-Ray BDROM Drive with a Mac

A few notes from my initial use of the Plextor PX-B120U external USB BD-ROM drive (you can pick it up for under $100!):

  1. You need to plug the drive directly into your Mac, or use a USB hub capable of providing enough juice to power the device directly. Since the Plextor drive doesn't actually have an AC adapter, it needs all its juice through the USB port. (I was trying to plug it into my weak Belkin USB hub, and that wasn't working).
  2. You can use the drive with VMWare Fusion, but it seems you need Windows Vista or Windows 7 to be able to actually do anything besides read DVDs or CDs with the drive.
  3. I don't have Windows 7 (yet), so I can't yet test how well a new iMac can play back Blu-Ray discs using the included CyberLink PowerDVD 9 BD.
  4. I am evaluating MakeMKV (a native BD/DVD ripper for the Mac) to see if it will be able to do what I did for my HD-DVD collection—back everything up in full HD, including the surround sound tracks (I'm okay with Dolby Digital 5.1...)

I'll post back here with any new updates I find.

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