Monthly Archives: February 2010

Longing for home

As a Christian, my worldview is that the entire universe is under the effects of sin. The whole damn thing is wearing out and dying. Nothing works exactly as designed. The entire creation is still an amazing thing, even in this state. The beautiful things of this world really drive home for me what a wonderful thing the redeemed world will be.

Those “zen” moments, when the perfect song comes on while I’m *understanding* a piece of code. When a perfect, clean fix implements just the way I wanted it to. When people truly, selflessly work together for the common good (I’ve never seen this, but I’ve seen shades of it). When multiple cars come up to an intersection from opposite directions and all make balanced (if the roads were a see-saw, they would be flat before and after the cars turn, because of the “weight” on the roads) similar turns. When my daughter has a smile on her face and runs to meet me, so full of joy, after a long day of work. When my wife, in her knowing way, smiles at me (weapon in hand) when I enter the door.

All of these things, each in its own way, serves to cause me to simultaneously praise the Creator of an orderly, beautiful creation (that can shine even behind the patina of sin) and long for the day when the entire thing is redeemed to His Glory.

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

OS X and wallpaper

This is a really trivial thing, but it’s so nice! You can separately set the image, scaling, rotation etc for the wallpaper on each monitor in a multi-monitor setup. I’m cheap, so my monitors are different aspect rations. The main monitor is a fairly nice widescreen LCD. The secondary monitor is a 4:3 CRT. This means that wallpapers need to be setup differently to look nice on the two screens.

Yes, I realize this is super trivial. Most of the time, I can’t even see my wallpaper. Regardless, it’s nice when things work so nicely. No more stitching images together in MS Paint!

OS X 10.6.2 on Hackintosh, initial impressions

I’ve now spent about a week using my new OS X setup. Everything continues to work except for the “about this mac” screen, even through software updates. I have a suspicion that my motherboard’s ethernet ports are only partially supported, which is what’s causing the about this mac to crash, but I’m still hunting that one down. I’ve installed Transmission (bittorrent client), Quakelive and World of Warcraft.

I started off by putting only 2 gigabytes of ram in the machine. I eventually upped it to four because the swapping behavior when I was close to using all the ram was really nasty. With four gigs of ram, everything is happy.

So far, my favorite things about it are Spotlight and how software is installed. Spotlight is the search/run application. I hit the hotkey for it (Windows key (meta) + spacebar on my machine) and a box pops up. I type in part of the name of the app I want to run, and it starts showing me a list of matches. I can select the program I want out of the list. Very handy. Software installation is also quite nice. Software seems to come packed in two different ways: disk images or directories.

Simpler software seems to come as a directory that I just copy or move into my Applications folder. Voila, installation is complete. More complex software seems to come in .dmg files, which are disk images (although I can’t help but think of them as “damage” files). When I download them, the system mounts them and they generally have a script that runs to install the software that they contain. Basically the same as how a software CD normally works when you stick it in your drive.

Last thing for this post: I gave it the IP for our printer and the operating system detected the type and everything worked correctly. Very cool. It’s a Samsung 4828 laserprinter/scanner/fax, for what it’s worth.

I’m sure I have lots to learn still, but my initial impression is positive. I have the iPhone SDK and xcode downloaded now. I’ll probably install it tonight and start going through tutorials to see if I can get some code running on my iPhone.

Removing OS X mouse acceleration

At this forum page I learned to put these lines:

defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.scaling -1
defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.trackpad.scaling -1

into the terminal on OS X to kill mouse acceleration. I wish it was an option to set this up graphically, but at least it’s an easy fix.

Hackintosh prime

Once in the past I built a so-called Hackintosh, OS X running on PC hardware. I’ve started doing that again, only this time using vanilla Snow Leopard. I had to get a new motherboard in order to pull this off. I’m using a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (rev. 1.6). It’s a very well supported motherboard, mostly because it uses the intel P45 chipset, but also because of the network and sound chips it uses. Here’s a link to the board.

And here’s a link to the page that had instructions for installing using an un-modified Snow Leopard disc.

Everything works: sound, network, sleeping… I haven’t had any crashes yet. The only part that doesn’t work (yet) is the “about this mac” window, which normally has system hardware stats.