October 2007 Archives

In Mac OS X 10.5, the X windows server is started automatically on demand by launchd.

This is pretty cool, but there are a couple of issues.

1. If you used to start X11.app from the dock, you'll probably want to no longer do that (as you end up with two icons in the dock, one which seems to bounce forever).
2. On demand launching doesn't work for remote X sessions (so you have to run a local 'xterm' or something to get X11 started before you try to have your remote X windows applications connect to the local X windows server).
3. If you have the DISPLAY environment variable set in your login scripts (.cshrc or ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist for example) you'll want to remove it, as it messes everything up.


My copy of Mac OS X 10.5 has arrived!

Time to geek out.
Initial post-install impressions:

- Application launch feels faster (haven't timed it).
- The VPN client we use for work doesn't work (although the kexts load just fine)
- The installer moved aside /usr/local/X11R6 instead of deleting/upgrading it (which is odd, since it was from the Apple X11 install)
- The installer appears to have trashed my crontab (fortunately I have a backup).
- You can't specify an AirportDisk as the backup target for Time Machine (which is a disappointment, hopefully that feature will return soonish), so I had to move my disk from the AirPort Extreme to connect to my mac.
- Mail disabled GPGMail, I haven't attempted to determine if it's just being paranoid (like with Mail 2) or if GPGMail will need to be updated ("defaults write com.apple.mail EnableBundles -bool true" and renaming ~/Library/Mail/Bundles (Disabled) to ~/Library/Mail/Bundles allows the plugin to load, but it doesn't appear to work).

Joel on Software is an excellent blog to read if you're interested in software development.

His latest entry on evidence based scheduling is a good read.

Software scheduling is a hard problem, but this entry describes a method that looks much more promising than anything else I've read about. There's enough detail here to create your own system too (which is a big plus). Of course, after looking at the FogBugz pricing (and having some casual conversations with a few very satisfied customers), I'm not sure I would bother implementing it myself (it probably makes more sense to just purchase a license).

Joel on Software is a good blog, but in his most recent post he makes an unfortunately common mistake.

He call's his ISP (peer1) a "tier 1 provider".

Now, that sounds impressive (and so lots of marketing departments like to call the network they represent "tier 1"), but there's actually a precise technical definition of tier 1. Peer1's network information page says that they have four tier 1 upstream providers but tier 1 networks, by definition, have no upstream providers. This means that they're not running a tier 1 network. This doesn't mean that they're not running a really good network (in fact, there are experts who would recommend connecting to good tier 2 networks instead of tier 1 networks to avoid problems that can happen when there are peering disputes between tier 1 networks).

Good summary of where we are now:

"Americans are a practical and generous people, with a tolerant streak a mile wide. But there is a combustible strain of nativism in this country, and it takes only a handful of match tossers to ignite it."

Ain’t That America - New York Times

| 1 Comment
Powered by Movable Type 4.34-en
Creative Commons License
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.