April 28, 2009

Amazon acquires Stanza ebook reader for iPhone

For those of you following the progress of ebook readers on the iPhone, Amazon just bought out the major competitor. I have mixed feelings about this.

April 20, 2009

Microsoft will end support for Office 2004 in October

Microsoft announced this week that it is ending support for Office for Mac 2004 in October. What that means for those of us hanging on to 2004 is that security updates will stop after that points.

Some of us have stuck with 2004 because of VBA functions we rely on. However, I would suggest anyone switch by October, and for enterprise contexts, you need to get your VBA applications recoded in Applescript by then.

April 08, 2009

Setting Up Your Own Mac Web Server

If you have reason to be setting up your own web server on a Mac, office-based or home-based, these are very clear instructions from a get-you-started perspective. There are a number of reasons you might want to do this, including ease of mass distributing documents and data to a group.

Please note that many basic consumer internet contracts disallow you running your own web server. And furthermore, for even the most basic web page, I would recommend hosting remotely... I do so with all the web sites I am involved with.

April 01, 2009

Spotlight in Snow Leopard to include Bible Lookup

I've earlier touted the data recognition concept behind Apple Data Detectors. It was recently announced that the new version of Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" would include more system wide data detectors, and hopefully expandability beyond recognizing just phone numbers and addresses.

I was surprised to learn a random tidbit from the developer's blog at TextMate regarding the merger of data detectors with the implementation of Spotlight. In Leopard, they added things like recognition of calculator computations, such that you can put 4*5 into Spotlight and get the quick resulting calculation. But the latest seed of Snow Leopard has included the new data detector features. No word yet on whether the capability exists for user defined data detector actions, but it does include a large number of pre-installed data sets (more than two dozen), including reverse zip code, advanced URL recognition and scripture lookup!

Several of the screen shots are quite cool but this scripture lookup data detector is rather surprising: Some of the other plugins are equally questionable in their potential use (such as the Messier Object database), but I still think the scripture lookup directly within Spotlight to be a very odd addition by Apple. I'm wondering if some of these won't be making it into the final release of Snow Leopard.

Update: Apparently the feature only works on April 1st.