Category Archives: Software

KDE 4 and the Dismal State of the Linux Desktop

There has been a lot of push over the past many years to get more Linux onto more desktops. That’s fine, as long as the pushers keep in mind that an Operating System is, fundamentally, a means and not an end. Similarly, desktop environments are neither the journey nor the destination—they are, at most, the steering wheel and the dashboard.

Continue reading KDE 4 and the Dismal State of the Linux Desktop

HighDef Keynote presentation via AppleTV looping on an HDTV

Create Keynote presentation @ 1280 x 720 resolution (this is the largest HD resolution AppleTV will play natively via iTunes sync)
File: Export
select QuickTime
Playback Uses: Manual Advance (will respect timing you specified for each slide and transition)
Enter full screen mode when opened: Yes
Formats: Full Quality, Large (you can check the custom settings, make sure movie exports at 24 frames per second!)
Audio: your call
Include transparency (watch for notification)

Video Compressor: H.264
Video Size: 1280 x 720
Frames per second: 24

Open in QuickTime Pro (yes, QuickTime Pro)
View: Loop: Yes (set this tag to Yes or on! I believe this only works while the movie is playing)
File: Save

Import file to iTunes
Sync file with or onto AppleTV

Play looped Keynote presentation on AppleTV

QuickTime will actually retain slide information as chapters and allow you to jump between slides. Please note, AppleTV does not have this capability.

Alternative RDP client for Mac

We’re looking for a replacement for the Mac RDP client.  We have one client whose clock is off no matter what in Outlook.  Using a Windows PC is not an option for various reasons.  Using parallels isn’t really an option.  This was tried and it created more calls for us than using something more native to OS X.  This user is on an x86 Macbook Pro laptop.  She has limited technical skills.  We are trying to make her life easier and simplify the process for her to connect to the terminal server farm where all of their data lives.  RDP6 for Mac (Remote Desktop Connection 2) is the best solution we have so far, but it still sometimes has issues with the timezone for her.  Lastly, using Entourage 2004/2008 or Mail is also not an option – the business owner does not want any local data to reside on any PC due to security concerns.

What we want to do is run the Windows binary of RDP5 or RDP6 on a Mac or more easily run the Linux rdesktop command with a GUI wraper.  I run this tool frequently from the command line or the GUI wrapper in Ubuntu or other distros and it works great.

Can someone with an Intel Mac try this: and let me know how easy it is to setup and use?  It replaces TSClientX, an opensource GUI wrapper of the opensource RDP client.  TSClientX was awesome – a GUI wrapper to rdesktop.  Unfortunately it isn’t supported in 10.5 and the 10.5.5 or 10.5.4 update broke it (changes to the x11 environment I believe).  We want to see how easy it is to setup and use RDP, either the Linux tool or the Windows binary for RDP5 or RDP6.

The other thing we’d like to try is WINE: with a walkthrough here:

The last time I looked, the Windows RDP5 binary worked.  RDP6 was not.  This may have changed as that was six months ago.

We have tried CoRD – – but it feels slower than Microsoft’s RDP method or rdesktop.

“Free” Windows XP Antivirus App?

Windows Users,
I am running XP Pro in Parallels on my Mac for occasional uses that require it. I’ve been using Parallels “free” Kasperky subscription, which is now coming to an end. For what I use it, I don’t want to pony up $60 per year for something like that. My two questions are 1) Do I really need to run an app like that (I assume the answer is a resounding “yes”) and 2) What is a low cost/no cost alternative to Kaspersky? Please advise. Thanks!

A plug for Airfoil

At the last GG it turned out that some don’t know about Airfoil. Rogue Amoeba’s little software tool allows one to stream any audio playing on a Mac or Win computer to an Airport Express base station. We use this quite a bit in our office to listen to Pandora through our networked speakers. The features I like are “link to system volume” and the ability to playback the same signal through both on the host computer and the Express base station at the same time. Check it out at:

Looking for a cross-platform remote tool

Any one know of a tool that does the following:

1. Allows a PC (host) to control a Mac (client)
2. Is very easy to use by an end user (especially on the client side)
3. Is inexpensive/free
4. Has to be able to work through firewalls and other security measures you see in a home office
We are seeing more users with Macs and I’m interested in finding a tool that works through the cloud that is very easy to use by them. Everything at the shop is running Windows, but if there is a great Mac to Mac tool, I’d be interested in learning more as well.

Third Party Applications on the iPhone (Repost)


Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.


P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch. [Oct 17, 2007]