Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Java app bundle on OS X

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I have a complex project running in one of our biggest clients (one of the best worldwide in it’s area), and the deploy machines are all Apple.

Since my software is written in Java, it runs on every OS under the Sun (oh my…), but on the Mac you really want to go the extra step and integrate nicely with OS X.

So I picked up my app and created an Application Bundle. I love the concept: a simple directory structure, a couple of XML files, and your data. Install and uninstall is a simple drag-and-drop affair. Every OS should have a similar concept; it might not be the best strategy mass-storage-wise (and Apple now recommend you ship your app with the JRE “integrated”, ouch), but it’s so simple and innocuous, it almost slaps you in the face. I’ve actually touched this subject in this post. Kinda of reminds me of AmigaOS 3: the OS was all modular (datatype files, etc), and app installs/uninstalls were also a drag-and-drop affair.

Then I hit a wall: I don’t actually know what command the JavaApplicationStub will run, and my RMI server was not being launched properly (I need to specify the hostname for RMI as a Java property). But, as always, a simple look at Apple documentation and the thing is working great (it required a simple fine-tuning of the Info.plist XML file). Apple might not be the be-all and end-all company on this planet, and you know Apple is not exactly in love with Java anymore these days, but for me they always came through with a solution.

Server down. Culprit: dust.

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

My server went down yesterday! 😮

It was when I came to it to program a bit more on my Arduclema guinea pig that I realized it was off. I quickly opened the case (a 1.5-second affair on this dual-processsor PowerMac G4 MDD) to see if something was horribly wrong, and I saw the problem immediately: dust had clogged the air intake.

This PowerMac has been modified by me in the past to keep it’s fan noise down; every fan was replaced, mainly the two Nidecs on the power supply, and the CPUs heatink got a couple of specially placed fans and duct. Many air paths were blocked to force simple, efficient intake and exhaust. So when dust settled in, it quickly wreacked havok on the inside temperatures.

I gave it a good cleanup, and here it is, up and running. Again. But one of the power supply fans has given up the ghost and needs replacing, as does a cheap blower that was on one of the PCI bays (exhausting the Nvidia GeForce Titanium).

This PowerMac needs some love…

A Calendar Bird’s Eye View

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I’ve been using my company’s paper calendar (the ones they distribute) to mark my project’s research, development schedules, deployment phases, support events, appointments, personal events, holidays, whatever. I like to have a view of the whole year; visualising the months ahead is great to preview stuff, but looking back at the past months is great to see where you’re at.

Amazingly, I can’t get this view in Apple’s iCal, the further it goes is one month view. This means I’ve nerver used it. I’ll be looking at other software alternatives (as soon as I can find the time to do so) and see if I can move away from paper… any sugestions?

Expansão à la Apple

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

É impressionante como os novos MacPro são simples de fazer upgrades. Adicionei um disco novo ao meu (um Western Digital de 640GB – WD6400AAKS – mas já lá vamos) e foi uma questão de 1 minuto. Menos, até. O raio do Mac tem os discos em pequenos berços, que encaixam directamente na caixa e na board. Nada de cabos. Nada de apertar parafusos em ângulos manhosos, ou puxar fichas presas, perigosamente perto de cantos afiados, debruçado sobre a caixa do computador. Eu sei, porque recuperei recentemente alguns PCs meus (e de familiares), e sei bem a trabalheira que dá. Aqui é: slide out, screw in (os parafusos já estão no sítio), slide in. Tão simples que até me esqueci de desligar o MacPro (estava a dormir… o MacPro, não eu!).

Já no meu PowerMac G4 Dual Processor era fácil (os “berços” dos pares de discos saíam da caixa para se montar o disco, e os cabos eram ligados depois de encaixar o berço), mas isto é ridiculamente simples, fácil e rápido. Doesn’t get any better than this!

Vamos a ver se a memória também é assim, uma vez que vejo ali duas daughterboards enormes e um esquema desenhado na tampa lateral do MacPro…

Parabéns à Apple!

Em relação ao Western Digital, fiquei mesmo espantado. O disco que o MacPro trazia era também um WD, mas uma versão mais “corriqueira” de 250GB. Eu achei-o suficientemente rápido e silencioso, mas depois de ouvir os dois a trabalhar no MacPro, o novo 640GB é mesmo fabuloso! É muito rápido, mas principalmente não se ouve (e lembrem-se que o MacPro practicamente não tem isolamento acústico, uma vez que as partes frontal e traseira da máquina são totalmente “abertas” em grelha)!

95€. Recomendado!