Category Archives: macintosh

Macintosh, Apple and OS X.

Trusted Computing is anything but AND loses my business

Cory Doctorow, over at boingboing links to a potential scoop about Apple to add Trusted Computing to the new kernel from a slashdot posting and commentary that references (which I don’t see a story about on the main page).

Like, Cory – I’ve been an on-off Macintosh user for a long time (1985 for me, but Cory since 1979? you must have been 6 year old hacking on that Apple II!). If Apple Computer Inc. adds “trusted” computing, even in iTunes (wait, it’s not already in iTunes?), or in any other part of the OS, it would push me away from from the Macintosh as a computing platform I would use or recommend. I have been running GNU/Linux (but I usually just say “Linux” or in this case Ubuntu) on a PC/Intel machine now and it is pretty respectable and easy to use. I suspect many people are moving towards Linux-based systems and this would surely push them (or their companies) over the edge.

I would miss a few applications on the Mac, such as Salling Clicker, NetNewsWire and Quicksilver, but that’s a sacrifice I’d make to know that I can use my data whenever and in whatever application I like. I encourage these software developers to make their case known to Apple that choosing to enable a DRM system inside the OS (at the kernel level even) would impact the sales of their applications.

I also happen to work for a place that buys a huge number of Macs (let’s say 10,000 a year as a guess) and I would do my best to persuade them to stop purchasing all Apple equipment. I encourage anyone else with a dog in this fight to make a declaration about this too.

If I were the rabble-rousing, organizing type – I would recommend someone start an online petition to communicate mine (and your) opinions on trusted computing to Apple. Steve Jobs has managed to reinvograte Apple in the past few years, but I can think of nothing that would kill the Macintosh buzz and cachet quicker than locking owners out of their own data.

Update: It looks like myself and others didn’t have the whole story (but who does?) in that there do not seem to be any current plans to enable this technology into the core of the Mac OS. Some have mentioned that it could be used to ensure that the intel-flavored OS will only run on Apple hardware. As an Apple Computer, Inc. shareholder I can understand this, as a Macintosh user I do not want this as an extra thing to have to worry about when using the system, as a OS X developer I do not want this as an extra set of functions or libraries to have to work with or be concerned in conflicting with.

I do have to ask myself, is there any situation or clever use of “Trusted” Computing or DRM that is actually useful for a user? One comes to mind – version control – but there are a number of non-restrictive ways to solve that problem as we know. Let’s discuss it.

Feed Your Reader – auto subscribe with NetNewsWire

Thanks to an email from Brent Simmons, the Firefox extension Feed Your Reader lets you auto-subscribe to a feed from Firefox to NetNewsWire.

Just install Feed Your Reader and select the “Feed Protocol” option in the extension’s one and only configuration option. Then right click (or hold-click) and select “Subscribe to This Page”. You’ll be prompted by Firefox to choose an application to work with the “feed://” protocol. Just find NetNewsWire and you’re all set.

The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities?

Maybe not all 46 are useful, and some are obvious, but these Windows apps look pretty good if you need them or didn’t even know there was an application that did some of these things. And hey, they’re supposedly free: The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities.

Note that these are classified as free, but that’s not explained in depth. While some are open source, the provenance of many of them are either unknown or not stated by the list makers.

Frontier going Open Source

According to eWeek: UserLand Frontier is going open source soon. Since it’s mostly a client-based system, will this really make a difference, especially with all the recent acrimony with SixApart’s Movable Type licensing?

Also, client software seems less likely to be taken up by the open source community, as you’ve got to master either operating systems APIs and have a OS developer’s kit or IDE to work. In this case (AFAIK) we’re talking MacOS and Windows, both which do have a learning curve. I’m also assuming since Frontier has been around a long time – I played with it in 1995 – that it’s not so groovy with Mac OS X Panther, etc.

As I’m advocating “a server on every desktop, a chicken in every pot” (ok, or a palatable vegetarian substitute), Frontier might be one of the ways that individuals, but more interestingly enterprises might take some of the technology and make a run with it. Done the right way, it might bump up against Groove or even Lotus Notes.