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Entries : Category [ mac ]
Macintosh computers are some of the betabugs preferred tools. Sometimes something comes out of it, this category is a container for such knowledge.
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07 January 2007

Sofa Mac Users


When the HelMUG people went to the cafe Dasein for todays meeting, they found it closed. Reason unknown. They moved over to another cafe on Exarheia square.

Here we see escape, hadderakk, and citylop (from behind). Note the relaxed ambiance. We were about 10 people.

Update: Dasein was just late in opening. Should have been open by 12:00, but likely they delayed a bit. Pity.

Posted by betabug at 14:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 February 2007

Board Meeting in Larissa

Organize me!

Here we see 3 members of the current board of HelMUG in Larissa: Argyris (argp), Theofanis (theogood), and me (betab...ut you knew this one).

Before we went down to the bureaucratical work of going through the financial paperwork with last years board, we enjoyed a stroll through the city of Larissa. A nice place with lots of pedestrian areas and spaceous "plateies".

Right now I'm back in a car's backseat, en route to Thessaloniki.

Posted by betabug at 22:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 February 2007

HelMUG @ Clocks

Meeting in Thessaloniki

The HelMUG meeting in Thessaloniki has started. We're sitting in the cafe "clocks", chatting about Macs and (i)Phones.

Next thing will be the new years cake. Jocker has assembled some prices to give away. We're about 20 people till now.

Posted by betabug at 16:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
06 February 2007

MacMade - το e-zine του HelMUG

Η kseni ετοίμασε το τεύχος 3!

Χτες βγήκε η καινούρια έκδοση του e-φυλλάδα του HelMUG. Το MacMade περιέχει άρθρα για το πρόσφατο Keynote του Steve Jobs, προγράμματα, Games, και πολλά άλλα. Έχει και ένα δικό μου κειμενάκι μέσα, το οποίο το μετάφρασε ο Στέφανος με την Jill. Πιάστε το σε μορφή PDF από ένα mirror κοντά σας!

Πάρα πολύ μου άρεσε ο τρόπος που φτιάχτηκε το καινούριο τεύχος. Για πολύ καιρό δεν είχαμε MacMade, κυρίως γιατί η Dina (aka kseni στο HelMUG) ήτανε απασχολημένη αλλού. Πρόσφατα το ξανασκέφτηκε και ρώτησε στο φόρουμ Εθελοντές για κείμενα. Εγώ της είπα για 2 κείμενα (το ένα έδωσα, το άλλο περιμένει μετάφραση...), και πολλοί άλλοι πρόσφεραν βοήθεια και (πιθανών με πολύ δουλειά από την πλευρά της Dinas) ένα-μισό μήνα μετά το έχει έτοιμο και ο σύλλογος μπορεί να προσφέρει e-zine ξανά! Αυτό που μου άρεσε είναι ότι η ενέργεια δεν ήρθε "από πάνω κάτω", δεν έλεγε το ΔΣ "πρέπει να κάνουμε κάτι" και έβαλε τους άλλους να τρέχουν. Η ενέργεια ήρθε από τους μέλους και το ΔΣ απλά βοήθησε τους μέλους να δημιουργηθεί κάτι ξεχωριστό.

Posted by betabug at 09:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
21 March 2007

Back when Steve and me presented the iMac

Those where the days
Me and Steve Jobs presenting the new iMac back then...

While slowly moving my digital stuff to the new MacBook, I came across this old picture of mine. Man, those where the days. Now I'll be giving a talk about PGP for HelMUG (see previous post), back then I presented the new iMac together with Steve Jobs. Next time I'll be sure to wear some flowers in my hair too when I come to San Francisco! (As usual, click on the image for a bigger view.)

Posted by betabug at 12:19 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
21 April 2007

Preparations and Adaptors

Busy preparing PGP talk

I'm in the last preparations for tomorrows PGP talk. Today I made another attempt at finding a "mini-DVI to VGA" adaptor for my MacBook. After weeks of weeks of "we ordered them, they should arrive in the next days", I still don't have one. I've been to and called a couple of Mac shops here (not to mention the "official" AppleStore from Rainbow, who would have sold anything anyway, but I wanted to know what other shops they might tell me to look at).

In the end I'll be using my old PowerBook for the talk now. Takis made an incredibly cool poster for the talk, I'll get one for my room and I'll put a picture of it online. That's it, I'll be busy with more preparations now, cu tomorrow if you can make it!

Posted by betabug at 21:11 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
22 April 2007

PGP Talk went well

First HelMUG Seminar at the Dasein

My PGP talk at the Cafe Dasein went well. I did some last minute preparations at home, made some good old notes on paper. Then we packed up and left for Exarheia. We arrived very early, and the cafe was already open. I started setting up the hardware right away, somehow expecting that something wouldn't work with my (somehow funny) setup.

Since I hadn't found a VGA adaptor for the MacBook I was using my old PowerBook G4 for showing the presentation and demoing the programs. All the while the presentation was on the Zope server on the MacBook. I hooked the two together with an Ethernet cable and unlocked the firewall. The PowerBook was parked a bit dangerous halfway into a shelf, because the projectors monitor cable was too short. During the presentation Takis went to the next slide and demoed the programs at my command.

There were very few attendants (about 10, while the room could host 30 without problems), but they appeared genuinely interested and the atmosphere was relaxed. I talked for 1.5 hours -- with lots of questions from the audience. Christos had brought a video camera, so we'll likely have a video either online or available at HelMUG meetings. The presentation is already online at the papaki (in Greek).

Speaking of Greek: This was my first seminar I've ever given in Greek. I think it worked out fine (though it sure will be fun listening to my own language mistakes on the video), so I'm pretty proud of myself :-).

Posted by betabug at 20:42 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
01 September 2007

Greek Mac User Group Meeting Athens

HelMUG welcomes you!

This Sunday (September 2nd), 12 noon, a few people from HelMUG (the Greek Mac User Group) will meet at the Cafe Ethnikon at Syntagma square. (Athens meetings are usually on the first Sunday of each month.) Member or not, feel free to join us. There will be no talks or agenda, but a relaxed meeting to do the Mac chat and get your tech questions answered. We're sometimes hard to spot, so when you see a bunch of people sitting on a table all with Mac laptops, feel free to ask if it's us!

Posted by betabug at 20:15 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
29 September 2007

Put Your Virtual in a Box

Another way to run Windows on Intel Macs

With the Intel based Macs it's easy to run Windows on a Mac. Most people use "Parallels" for that (since that program was the first one around), while I had tried the beta of VMWare for Mac. Now that the VMWare beta program is over, I tried out VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a full alternative to the other two. It's not only free, it's open source. The Mac version seems to be in beta too, so I was right where I had left off. This afternoon I went and intalled VirtualBox and put (gasp!) Windows 2000 Professional on it...

I should say here, that I have only a very passing need for this kind of program: Practically all I do is check some web pages for browser compatibility with Internet Exploder. Most of that is even done at work, so my MacBook doesn't get much of it. But then it's also fun to have a tamed little evil operating system in a virtual cage on your laptop! Always something to show off to the average "a computer is this thing that runs windoze" person.

Why did I install Windows 2000? It's just that W2k is on this CD I have here. I'm not going to buy XP or Vista just for playing on my MacBook once a month. Besides, my new flatmate has Vista on his shiny, brand new laptop... a dual 2.6Ghz machine with 2 Gigs of RAM that starts up and runs about as fast as my gf's handed down, five year old "craptop". You can practicaly watch how the windows are drawn on the screen button by button when the machine boots up. The hard disk is thrashing constantly, as if it had to swap like crazy. Now if I was seriously into web compatibility checking, I'd get XP so I can put IE7 on that too. But I'm not.

My experience with VirtualBox so far: Free lunch (yeah...). It's feels snappier than VMware, especially in respect to scrolling. The VMware user interface is more polished, while VirtualBox has a bit of that "ported app" feeling about it. VirtualBox also crashed a couple of times, but kept on going (good thing I had a "savepoint", because Windoze didn't take the crash so lightly). For the moment I'll stay with it and see how it will keep up.

Not to forget: I had learned about VirtualBox in this great e-book by Joe Kissel (of Nisus fame): Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, of which I learned through being the press contact for HelMUG (the Greek Mac User Group).

Posted by betabug at 20:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 October 2007

HelMUG Meeting on Sunday

Mac chatter

Tomorrow (Sunday) is another HelMUG (Greek Mac User Group) meeting. Time: 11:30. Place: Cafe Ethnikon on Sintagma square. I'll be there for some friendly Mac chatter.

Posted by betabug at 23:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
14 October 2007

HelMUG, Wetter, programmieren und Die Katze auf dem heissen Stoffdach!

Vom einem zum andern

Das HelMUG-Treffen heute war ganz nett. Zwar sind wiedermal nicht allzu viele Leute dagewesen, aber wir konnten nett über die Befindlichkeit des Vereins reden. Im Grunde läuft alles ganz gut, kein Krach, kein Streit, keine Katastrophen. Aber eigentlich könnte etwas mehr laufen (nein nein, nicht von Krach & Katastrophen). Nur, wenn die Leute nicht wollen, dann wollen sie nicht. (Weiter geht's übers Wetter, Programmieren... und die Katze...)

Katze auf 2CV

Seit dem (zumindest von mir) lang erwartetem Regen ist es einiges kühler geworden, 17° ist ganz schön kalt. Bins halt nicht mehr gewohnt. Obwohl gestern war's noch wärmer, fand auch diese Katze hier. In unserer Strasse war ein fetter, roter 2CV [1] geparkt. Katzen lieben 2CV-Dächer, da ists schön weich zu liegen:

Nach dem HelMUG-Treffen [2] gings dafür zum Barba Yannis nach Exarcheia, was feines essen. Von da nach Hause, wo ich an Zwiki weitergewerkelt habe.

Dabei ist mir wiedermal aufgefallen, dass die bekannte 80-20 Regel auch bei Open Source Software gilt - und sie dort auch eine ganz banale Grundlage hat: Die Leute (laut Faustregel 20%) die den grössten Teil der Arbeit (laut Faustregel 80%) machen [3], bringen das ganz einfach deswegen zu Stande, weil man im programmieren "drin sein" muss. Wer viel Programmcode schreibt, dem fällt es leicht viel Programmcode zu schreiben, er/sie muss nicht jedes irgendwas nachschauen, jede Verzweigung nachvollziehen, weil alles "erst grad schon gesehen" noch frisch im Gedächtnis ist.

Mich selbst seh ich an der Grenze von der grossen Gruppe die wenig macht, aber nach oben strebend. Um da hin zu kommen nehme ich mir vor immer etwas mehr zu machen, irgendwann werd ich die kritische Masse schon erreichen :-)

[1]der 2CV wohnt hier in der Nähe und aufgrund der Parkplatz-Situation steht er mal hier mal da im Quartier.
[2]HelMUG ist die Griechische Mac User Group.
[3]Code schreiben, Bugs fixen, Dokumentation schreiben... also "Arbeit machen" nicht im Sinn von "Arbeit verursachen".

Posted by betabug at 20:39 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
31 October 2007

Black is the New Black

Concentrating in black space

While friends and fellow Mac users around me already start to install Leopard, I'm holding back till 10.5.1 or 10.5.2 - I'm way too conservative. Rodolfo mentioned this morning that he's glad about "spaces" (which provides "virtual desktop switching"). I'm using a different approach. When I want to concentrate on working on a single task (usually in the Terminal, hey, I'm a programmer!) I start up Backdrop and MenuShade, then I hide the dock. I have configured Backdrop and MenuShade to provide me with a completely black screen. I bring the Terminal to the front and voilà! instant concentration. Or so.

Posted by betabug at 09:26 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
02 December 2007

HelMUG and Reading Sunday

Kafka on the Shore

For this Sunday I had planned to prepare the upgrade of my server. But as I had a bit of wrist problem again the last days, I decided to do a reduced-computer-day today. Instead I was reading. "Kafka on the Shore", by Haruki Murakami. I had picked up this book when I was in Munich. I can't give a final word on the book, but I'm glued to reading it all day. It's intricating (yeah, I had to look up that word too).

Well, one thing I did today is to go to the HelMUG meeting. After many times with only 2-4 people, today there were something like 12 people there. It was nice, with nice discussions and mac-chats. A lot of the people I hadn't seen before and some regulars too.

Posted by betabug at 23:20 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
03 June 2008

What happened on June 2nd to and port 993?

Give me a time out!
Hairy flowered tree in a little park in Athens

When I just had a glance at my web stats, I noticed a lot of accesses to an old post of mine about IMAPS setup: Please wait for to time out suddenly getting lots of hits. Usually I know which posts still get attention, and if a not-so-interesting post starts to get traffic, it means a new kind of bot got through my defenses. Not so this time.

Apparently at about 2008-06-02 19:16 (CET) a lot of people started to have problems with timing out on port 993 (which is for IMAPS, the secure / encrypted variant of the IMAP protocol). Since then google refers them (amongst other pages) to that weblog post of mine. Leaves me curious. What happened? Some Apple upgrade wrecked imaps? Some service ( which is used mainly by Mac users had problems with imaps? Comments welcome!

Semi-update: graffic suspects the 10.5.3 update..., also I've added a picture to please the discriminating Mac user crowd.

Posted by betabug at 13:37 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
05 June 2008

Web Developer wanted in Athens

What's with those PHP guys hiding?

My friend Manos (aka "scud" from HelMUG) is looking for a web developer. He's looking for a while already. I know him for a long time now and I know from experience that he's a serious guy to work with, so I can really recommend him. I've been to their new offices, which are very nice, close to the sea (ok, not really next to the sea, but close enough to be able to get to the sea for a stroll after work), decently reachable by public transport.

The job he offers is for someone for full time, working in their offices. They have various projects for clients and some of their own stuff. The catch: It's apparently mostly PHP. You can go and check out his JobAd (in Greek, on my wiki for now).

So what's it with programmers in Greece? Heck, PHP isn't rocket science! There ought to be some people around who know decent PHP (or other web technologies, personally I don't like PHP at all, but don't let that stop you) and are looking for a good job. But so far... no, he's still searching. There are lots of kids who know zilch, nothing out there. BTW: No, knowing "Dreamweaver" is not a substitute for knowing the underlying HTML and that's just one example of the kind of stuff he got. Anyway, if you are interested or know someone who might be, check out the ad (in Greek).

Posted by betabug at 15:23 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
03 October 2008

Drug Tests at Apple!!! NOW!!!

Anybody thought of the children?

Since I don't seem in the spirit to write something serious on this filthy blogz0r, I might as well vent some steam with a little RANT here. So, one of our applications is using the file(1) command to identify what certain files on the file system are. And what does Apple do with the 10.5 (Leopard) update? They change the command line parameters... where -i was documented as "Causes the file command to output mime type strings rather than the more traditional human readable ones" now it's "If the file is a regular file do not classify its contents". It's doing more or less the complete contrary to what it did before. This change apparently happened from version 4.10 to 4.17 of the file utility (and possibly the hopefully soon drug tested Apple guys innocently picked up that ugly change without looking... DAMN, YOU SHOULD HAVE LOOKED!!).

The solution is to use the long option version --mime, which (probably by a comical accident) the loonies didn't change.

Next Apple employees up for drug testing: Whoever is responsible for that ssh authentication f*up in 10.5. WTF? Typing the ssh keyphrase into the terminal wasn't good enough for you? If I needed a fancy popping up window, I probably wouldn't be using the Terminal in the first place you luserz!

Posted by betabug at 11:49 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
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