Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Parallels RC and OPENSTEP works!

I know that there've been mixed results in trying to get OPENSTEP booting on Parallels Desktop RC, but it Works For Me^{TM}. In case this is a particularly special piece of information, I upgraded directly from beta 4 (which I'd previously been using because 5 onwards were breaking the VBE driver). Both immediately after the upgrade, and following a reboot (I remembered that Parallels installs a kext, and thought it best to verify this), OPENSTEP boots up in glorious(?) multicolour.

Eww, although there's a graphics glitch displaying the "please wait until it's safe to turn off your computer" screen.

Update 2006-06-01 11:08 GMT: and so does RC2.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New c.l.o-c alternative FAQ

So there used to be an alternative comp.lang.objective-c FAQ, but that never really got going.  I've been working on a new c.l.o-c FAQ listing with Mike Ash from Rogue Amoeba.  Why an alternative FAQ?  The official one is maintained by someone who refuses to take gcc ObjC and the various frameworks for it seriously - in fact anything which isn't his own (buggy, seldom-used) ObjC preprocessor.  We've just been a bit more accepting in what we talk about.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

This so goes on my CV

Today's sysadmin skills involved rescuing some ALGOL code from an 8" floppy, accessed from CP/M on an RM380Z:

Amazingly although the disk hadn't been accessed in over a decade (though was stored in a Cool Dry Place^{TM}), everything worked first time.  The little jobby with a keyboard and built-in screen on the left is a Cambridge Z88, being used as an emergency VT52 terminal in this case.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Today's broken user interface award...

...goes to printing on OS X Server. You'll notice that you can add or remove printers via Server Admin: however, if you do add one via that route then the system will try and get the printer to emit its PPD at it. If the printer doesn't do this, then it's a "Generic Postscript Printer" and there's no way to change that.

Unless, of course, you log in at the console (Xserves make that so easy and snappy to achieve) and use the same Printer Setup Utility you'd otherwise have used on the client OS. You can then go back into Server Admin to set up whether a queue is quotad, set up sharing and so on.

Great, so far we've used two apps to configure our printer. Let's just add a third (although this does make sense), because you now have to go into workgroup manager to set up the per-user quotas for the print queues. Fine, and while we're here we'll use managed config to define which printers appear in which print panels. Only, we can't. Shared printers can't be added to the MCX print menus...even if they appear in my print menu.

This is so confusing it's almost fun...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Complex things possible

I was once told by a local Human-Computer Interface luminary (who claims to have in-depth knowledge of the way NeXTStep's UI works) that it's not possible in any existing GUI to have lines connecting separate windows.
Allow me to introduce a decade-old piece of scotch mist.