Snow Leopard

It is interesting to note the varied experiences with Snow Leopard. For what it is worth my installation time was 43 minutes. A single disc and a couple of clicks affair – if I had a five year old to hand I could have left them to do it without any problems.

Space saved
Space saved

I regained nearly 23GB of disc space. Perhaps I should delete some of my accumulated junk and gain even more disc space. The original Leopard screenshot was named “Picture 59” (59! Perhaps I should delete some of my accu… ) but the shiny new one is called “Screen shot 2009-08-29 at 13.41.54”

Although most things seem to work fine I am constantly lost without FinderPop but I suppose the Turly fellow has some kind of an excuse and we can wait a while longer. Meanwhile I dragged my FinderPop Items folder into the Dock so at least some familiar stuff can be quickly found amongst all the clutter. Perhaps I should delete some of my accu…

To make 1Password version 2 work you need to drop Safari down to 32 bit mode from it’s Info pane:

32 Bit option
32 Bit option

But the Snow Leopard friendly version 3 is currently being tested and should be with us soon.

Another trusty assistant is Spell Catcher which does seem a little tetchy at the moment but I shall follow their advice and see if I can make it a little happier.

The swanky Services looks like it will be quite useful once it is configured for the individual’s needs.

Services menu
Services menu

I have not noticed any real problems so far. Even my creaky old PhotoShop 8 (the first CS version) seems to work fine. Things certainly seem snappier. Scrolling through a long list of stuff (Perhaps I should delete some of my accu… ) in a Finder window is notably smooth and fast. Spotify takes a long time to connect but I am not sure if that is a Snow Leopard thing or a Spotify thing.

I did do a full bootable backup of the old Leopard disc before the update so it will be interesting to go back after awhile with Snow Leopard and see just how different it feels.

Itching to programme?

Someone asked yesterday how to make sprites move up and down when using Scratch. I have not done anything with Scratch for a while so I was inspired to download the latest version and give it a whirl.

Scratch logo
Scratch logo

Scratch was developed at the [W:MIT Media Lab] Lifelong Kindergarten (doesn’t that sound like a great place to work?) and it provides a simple drag & drop means of building a [W:Java applet]. These can uploaded to the Scratch website and shared with others.

If Scratch is too basic for your needs then I can commend Greenfoot which is a step closer to proper Java programming. Another option is the RunRev’s RevMedia which uses an English like language. All of these options are free.

Although there are a lot of examples with Scratch there still seems to be a need for an introduction to creating a simple game. So here it comes 🙂

My infallible guide to Scratch page will answer some if not all of your questions.

Library Books software for Gloucestershire

Harold Chu’s Library Books software for Mac OS X tracks your borrowings and reminds you when they need returning/renewing. I had messed with an earlier version but never managed to get it to connect to the local library service. A new version was in today’s MacUpdate listing but as Gloucestershire was not included in the preset UK libraries I had another go at getting it to work. Success 🙂

So if you live in [W:Gloucestershire], are a member of the library, have a Mac and a tendency to forget to return stuff this is what you need.

Install and run the Library Books software. It only appears as a star icon in the menu bar. Click on the star icon and select Preferences. Select the Logins section and click the + button to add a new library.
From the Library drop down menu select Generic Catalogue Systems – TalisPrism / Talis Catalogue System.

The Library Books Settings Pane
The Library Books Settings Pane

In the General settings add a Name and your Borrower numbet. PIN can be left blank.

In the Catalogue section add:
Catalogue host: http://www.searchourshelves.gloucestershire.gov.uk
Library Web Page: http://www.libraries.gloucestershire.gov.uk/
Date format: dd/mm/yyyy
Click the Save button.

That’s it!

Click on the Star icon and select Update and it will fetch a list of your borrowed items. The number of items are displayed next to the star. You can make the star change colour the day before an item is due to be returned and/or add the dates to iCal so that it will also remind you.

The software is free and no more late return charges 😉

Update: The details were sent to Harold Chu the developer who says that they will added to the Preset list in future versions.

Final Cut Studio upgrade

It was quite fortuitous that the day I decided I would order an upgrade for my creaky old antiquated version 1 of Final Cut Studio was the very day Apple updated the software to the new version 3. It only took 4+ hours to install! Which was not quite as long as the 17 hours it was predicting.

17 Hour update!
17 Hour update!

So now I have a whole lot of new toys to play with and distract myself from actually finishing any of the numerous projects I have on the go 😉