Coming back in September

While I'm writing this post I'm exiting an intense exams session that prevented me to follow my ongoing projects with the usual steadiness. This Saturday I will begin my summer vacations, which will continue for about six weeks. In these six weeks I will often not have an internet connection or my Mac, it is therefore improbable that I'll develop a lot.

Beginning from September, on the other hand, you will see some news on these pages…

The projects
As you undoubtedly already know, in September the next version of Apple's Operating System, Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" will be released. Mac OS X 10.6 will be a direct evolution of Leopard, aimed to enhance, refine and speed up the system, discontinuing support to older hardware and and representing a solid starting point for future evolutions. The system has been improved a lot "under the hood" and will run now completely (or almost completely") in 64 bit mode. Many developers will have to update their softwares to have them run in the best way on the new OS.

Of my projects the only one that will be influenced a lot by the new OS is indubitably multiXFinder, which will need a major compatibly update. multiXFinder 0.4 will run in 64 bit mode on 64 bit Macs running Snow Leopard and will be fully compatible with the new OS. It will also solve a couple of minor bugs. Thanks to Stéphane Madrau for his much appreciated help in the conversion process.

A second project, known as MacsterHide has been in beta for some time and will be released during autumn. MacsterHide, a Cocoa application mostly written in AppleScript Studio (with a little of Objective-C), is a software that will be useful in some particular situations. MacsterHide has been (and, maybe, will be again) a sort of test bed to experiment some new techniques and can be considered finished, although I'm sure it will receive some updates in the future.

SuspendNow! should run fine as it is on Snow Leopard.

After the release of MacsterHide I will start the development of a new, ambitious, project, currently codenamed "Drunal", that will surely not see the light until 2010.

And more…
There is a good chance that this autumn will see a new release of OpenArena, as I did with the past releases, I will likely build the Mac engine for this one as well.

As usual, once returned, I will be available here and elsewhere. Mails arriving in this period may not have an answer for several days.

Some software
As a farewell-for-now hint, I'm pointing out a couple of Apps that I like and use often. All of them are freeware and useful (at least to me)…

With Spark you can easily create system-wide shortcuts to launch applications, execute scripts or do many other things. Apple is developing something vaguely similar in Snow Leopard, but for the moment (and, probably, after the release of the new OS anyway) Spark will remain in my list of indispensable software.

Launchd is a powerful service management framework, but it is not exactly easy to master. Lingon is a graphical user interface to it.

Smultron is a text editor designed specifically for Mac OS X. It is open source, supports many languages and is capable to save working sessions (as "projects").

Another text Editor, TextWrangler is a well known program for Mac OS X (it is the free version of the blazoned BBEdit), some of its features, like the multi file search, can be extremely useful even if you prefer to use another application as your main editor.

Maybe the most used FTP client on the Mac these days, Cyberduck offers a reasonable speed and an excellent user interface.

Almost a newcomer on our platform, this FTP client is noteworthy for its extreme speed. Too bad, the GUI isn't exactly thought after Mac OS X…

Open Source 3D content creation suite, with Blender you can model and animate almost anything…if you have the needed skills, of course.;)

Mactracker provides a database containing the specs for every Mac, iPod, iPhone (and some other Apple related products) ever produced. It is available also on Windows and iPhone/iPod Touch.

Software that gives access to your Adress Book contacts directly for the menubar. Currently for PPC Macs only (runs fine in Rosetta), an Intel version is under development.

The ideal companion for SuspendNow!, SmartSleep provides an easy way to permanently modify the sleep settings. It offers also a "smart" mode that will modify the settings on the basis of remaining battery power.

That's all folks, have a good summer,
Jack Overfull

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