NetNewsWire Lite 3.1 Beta Released

The beta version of NetNewsWire Lite 3.1 has finally been released. This is my favorite feed reader for OS X (or any system for that matter). I’ve been waiting for this release ever since they released the new version of NetNewsWire.

Spotlight Rejiggered in Leopard

I’ve heard a lot of rumors about Spotlight now actually ‘working’ in Leopard. That’s good news, because it was a total bust in Tiger. I liked the idea of it, but it was just too damn slow to actually be useful and I ended up using Quicksilver instead.

In More Goodies in Apple’s New Operating System, David Pouge mentions two new features in Spotlight (other than fixing the molasses problem) I wasn’t aware of.

Menu bar calculator:

[Spotlight] is also a tiny pocket calculator now. Hit Command-Space, type or paste 38*48.2-7+55, and marvel at the first result in the Spotlight menu: 1879.6. You don’t even have to fire up the Calculator.

This is a neat idea, and if I could train myself to actually use it, it would be useful.

Dictionary lookups

The Spotlight menu also searches the Leopard dictionary now. If you type, for example, “schadenfreude” into the Spotlight box, the beginning of the actual definition appears right there in the menu. Click it to open Dictionary and read the full-blown entry.

Um, interesting example word. Anyway, one of my favorite features in OS X is the ability to move your mouse cursor over any word (in a Cocoa app) and press Ctrl + Cmd + D and get a little pop up that defines the word.

Schadenfreude OSX word lookup

I’ve been steadily beefing up my vocabulary by using this feature. Sometimes this little trick isn’t enough though and I have to go to the real dictionary. I usually use Dashboard for this, but in general I’m really not a fan of it. This new Spotlight trick is great.

Firefox 3 To Ditch Unified Cross Platform Look

Mozilla’s Alex Faaborg announced a week or so ago that Firefox 3 would focus on visually integrating with the operating system:

Visual integration with Windows and OS X is our primary objective for the Firefox 3 refresh.

This is great news for Firefox, because as I have mentioned before, its user interface has really been the achilles’ heel of the browser, especially on the Mac.

Mozilla’s user experience team literally wants to do a better job of visually integrating with Windows than IE, and a better job of visually integrating with OS X than Safari. I don’t know if we will be able to pull that off, but that’s the goal.

I’m glad that they’ve recognized this as an issue and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. If Firefox actually did look as good or better than Safari on a Mac, I might use it as my primary browser.

Via Beauty And The Geek: Firefox 3’s Visual Makeover.

Email Hall of Fame

I recently took the plunge and switched to Apple Mail after all these years with poor little neglected Microsoft Entourage. You know, we just don’t seem to have anything in common anymore: I don’t schedule appointments, I got tired of notes, and I kind of have this new thing for Universal apps. I’m not sure if I’m going to grow to like Mail better or not (it certainly wasn’t love at first site), but we’ll give it a shot. I hear she’s going to be getting some ‘work done’ soon.

Anyway, in honor of this new partnership, if decided I’d work a little harder at gunking out my mail. I just don’t need those emails from 2 years ago asking if I can meet at 1pm on Tuesday.

I found this gem of an email in one of my folders:


as promised, here’s a sumdum of the problum.

had been working with elektra, getting along fine. no arguments or anything, then i decided to get lunch… and thought it’d be safe to leave myself logged in. WRONG! miss E wasn’t cool with me leaving her alone. she threw a tantrum, hissed a bunch, and now she refuses to open my files. most importantly, the file named portfolio piece that is located on ######.

photoshop is also a bitch. she has poor work ethic. when she encounters a problem, she causes a ruckus (i.e. corrupts my files), and then quits. doesn’t she know she’s supposed to give two weeks notice before peacing out? sheeesh, she’ll never get re-hired.

Working in computer support would be a lot more fun if I got emails like this several times a week.

New Font Features in Leopard

Typographi has a post on Grading the New Font “Features” in OS X Leopard. There is some good information on font improvements that I haven’t heard about elsewhere. The feature to print out Font Book pages sounds nice.

The feature that really got me excited1 though was this:

Automatically activate fonts as you need them. When an application requests an installed font that’s currently disabled, Leopard activates that font and keeps it active until the requesting application quits.

If this feature actually works and works well with lots of fonts, it’s easily got to be one of the killer features of Leopard. Seamless font auto-activation built into the os is worth the price of admission alone. How many other font management applications cost money and don’t really work (other than of course FontExplorer X, which is free)?

I’m not holding my breath though.

  1. By excited I mean pessimistically hopeful.