Nov 19 2011
If you are like me and have installed Mac OSX Lion on a computer and need or want to create a bootable OSX Lion USB Drive, Apple have released an official tool to accommodate you.
Its pretty basic, download the tool, run the file inside the .dmg file and follow the prompts. You will need a 8Gb USB thumb drive (I believe 4GB won't quite be enough). Now you can simply plug the thumb drive in, and on boot hold down the [option] key and select the recovery drive from the menu. I can verify that you can use this installer to create clean installs of lion without having to first install Snow Leopard and on machines other than the one that created the recovery drive.
Jul 28 2011
If you are like me and love using a Mac for your development tasks, and want a way to get Git to ignore any file (like those pesky .ds_store's) forever and for EVERY repository there is a very simple way to it.
Open Terminal and type:
git config --global core.excludesfile ~/.gitignore
echo .DS_Store >> ~/.gitignore
This will work for anything you want, just modify the second command as appropriate. And you can run the second command as many times as you need.
Sep 23 2010
Back in March, the Mac gaming world got excited when Valve announced their Steam gaming software was coming to the Mac -- along with Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half Life series. I was shocked at just how quickly the Valve catalog was being ported to OSX, but then, the announcements stopped as suddenly as they started; alegedly sue to a number of graphics and OpenGL bugs issues that Valve helped Apple sort out. Today, I found this little gem:
We’d previously heard tell that now that those graphic issues are fixed, Valve as hard at work to bring Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 to OS X by October… and now, if a casual mention over at Macworld is anything to go by, it looks like that date might have been further locked down to October 5th, along with the latest Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 add-on pack, “The Sacrifice.”
So only a few more sleeps until all Mac users can help keep the hordes of zombies at bay with their Windows buddies.
Sep 9 2010
Listen up, all you Boot Camp’in Mac users … Can’t find Windows drivers for the Apple USB Ethernet adapter? Want to use use the adapter on another Windows machine? Are you crazy? Well, it turns out it CAN be done, with a little bit of trickery.
There is a lot to be said for Apple's simplicity of design. Even their adapters and cables look as if they were pain stakingly and lovingly hand crafted by an eccentric, gay, Swedish man. Everything just looks better.
Recently, after the onboard NIC died in my Acer Aspire L3600 (which runs Windows 7 x64, and I use as a dedicated Windows Media Centre). After flashing the BIOS and jumping through several hoops with no avail, I needed to go looking for another way to get a wired >=100Mbit/s network interface into the machine. Since its ultra-compact form factor makes an internal PCI option impossible, I needed to go looking for an external (USB) option. It didn't take long to realise that my options were going to be extremely limited and after checking out my nearby computer retailers, I had only two options. A reasonably generic SWANN adapter, or Apple's USB Ethernet Adapter - both were in stock at my local Dick Smith Powerhouse. The problem with the SWANN adapter, is that its a single solid block, and since my Media Centre lives very close to the wall, it wasn't desirable, while The Apple adapter can be flexed to a right angle.
Problem is, the Apple adapter says (on the back) that it can ONLY be used with an Apple MacBook. But the adapter's drivers ARE included as part of BootCamp, which means it can function when running Windows on a MacBook. So with a little trickery, you can get it working on any old Windows 7 or Vista PC (32 or 64bit editions).
- First, you need to download the driver for the adapter, either the 32bit or 64bit version.
- Next, extract the zip file and locate the file Ax88722.inf. It needs to be altered in order to get the device drivers to be installed. In order to simplify the process, I've simply got the tweaked version here, for you to download. Just replace the original Ax88722.inf file with this one inside this zip file.
- Next, attach your USB ethernet if you have not done so. Launch device manager (right-click on "computer" and select "Manage"). Locate the lonely unknown device "Apple USB Ethernet" and right-click it to select "Update Driver Software".
- Select "Browse my computer for driver software" and in the file browser dialog select the folder of your recently modified .INI file and continue the wizard. This should bring your Apple USB ethernet to life!
Apparently there are drivers for 32bit versions of Windows XP, put together by the BootCamp community, if you're an XP user and feeling lucky you can try your luck with this link (but like the rest of this post, use it at your own risk).
Jun 12 2010
I have had iiNet ADSL for a very long time, and as a result of one of their acquisitions, the 3FL game servers now count as "freezone" for all iiNet customers. Whats really great about this, is that 3FL has official steam content servers; so steam downloads from 3FL are "freezone" too! This is great, if like me you are a die-hard valve/steam fan boi.
The problem is that Steam uses a "BitTorrentesque" download technique and despite any settings you make inside Steam, it will not guarantee that it will limit its downloading from that server. Windows users for a while now have had an app called SteamWatch which monitors Steam, and when it trys to download from another server, forcibly closes the connection on Steam. Sadly, mac users dont have anything so easy, yet. However, here is a shell script which adds a number of rules to the OSX firewall to stop steam from downloading from non-free servers:
- /sbin/IPFW -f flush
- /sbin/IPFW -f add 3000 allow tcp from any to 184.108.40.206 27030 out
- /sbin/IPFW -f add 3001 allow tcp from any to 220.127.116.11 27030 out
- /sbin/IPFW -f add 3020 deny tcp from any to any 27030 out
Just save these lines into a text file (mine is called 'rules.sh') and then in the terminal (and from the directory you saved the file) execute:
- sudo bash rules.sh
In this case, I have setup the rules for 2 servers, 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 which are the 2 servers which correspond to free content servers for iiNet. If you are not iiNet, and can find out the IPs of your free Steam servers, just remove those lines and add/edit accordingly.
Now, this is not a silver bullet. When these rules are on, it may restrict or otherwise affect online gaming and some Steam games may not download at all (because not every Steam content server has 100% of the steam catalogue on it!). However, when you reboot, its reset, or you can run this command at a terminal prompt:
- sudo /sbin/IPFW -f flush
...and the rules will be reset. Happy free downloading!
May 1 2010
Someone over at the Steam forums, made some wicked high-resolution (high-definition) versions of the new Steam for Mac teaser image Valve released a few weeks ago. I thought I would post them here in case the root link goes missing for whatever reason. "...and I'm a PC" and "iSandwich".
Mar 9 2010
Its been speculated for some time now, but it turns out that sometimes rumours that seem too good to be true, do materialize after all. Steam is coming to the Mac.
And not just im some crappy pseudo lameness through a dodgy emulation or some-such, but real honest to god native application which is, according to Valve to be considered a tier-1 level platform with simultaneous releases for PC, Mac and XBox 360 from now on. Also, Mac and PC builds will be concurrent, patches will be released to both simultaneously as well. The source engine, also gets the native treatment, now that Valve has incorporated OpenGL into its award winning, modular engine.
Portal 2 will be Valve's first simultaneous release for Mac and Windows. "Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step," said Josh Weier, Portal 2 Project Lead. "We're always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac."
This means that all steam games will be theoretically available to Mac users. Steam and Valve's own library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available as soon as April (next month).
But looking at the bigger picture, I think this is a huge industry changing announcement from Valve. I think this will be the event all Linux and Mac users had been hoping for to finally bust the lid off the "Windows is best for games". This is a great idea from valve because it means that they're going to have access toa huge market of new potential gamers. I suspect that many OSX users will flock to Steam as their de facto games delivery platform, since historically only very large titles were ever ported to MAc, and generally years after the PC launch.
What's more, if Valve is to be beleived, it may be more than just Source games coming, Gabe Newell, President of Valve said:
"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients, the Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."
"Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac," said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve. "Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."
Given the lack of enthusiasm for Windows Vista, and given he number of people I know to be making the move from Windows to Mac, I think this will only lessen the ties people have with Windows. Especially that source game licenses are granted for either platform. Blizzard has done this too, for the record. Its not quite as elegant as steam, but battle.net was (to my knowledge) the first way to get dual platform licences which could be downloaded from the web.
In summary, this is such exciting news for me, I am positively elated. And I think that this will cause quite a stir in the games industry, in that games that support only one platform may finally be a thing of the past.
Mar 2 2010
ordinary people just want something cheap that works. And that’s how the iPad will seem to them. Many will never make a conscious decision to switch. They’ll get an iPad as well, then find they use their Windows machine less and less. When it dies they won’t replace it.
I think this is totally true. And interestingly, I think its the same reason why the MacBooks have taken off recently. I am one of the converted. Mac "gets" mobile computing. They seem to understand that when I am on the move, I dont want headaches with network connections and I just want my Laptop to work!
This being said, the iPad is a disappointment for me because I really wanted something a bit more. I wanted something that run OSX, and had a stylus with multiple sensitivities. I also wanted it to have a conductive touch interface and I wanted it to be as thick as the air. THAT would have blown my world - however, I am convinced that this may actually be coming (at least in part) in the future.
I do think that the iPad was rushed and I do think that its uninspired (the iPhoneesque interface is starting to show its age). But I also think that this wont matter at the till. I also think that it opens up some interesting development ideas, specifically in the area of table-top gaming and traditional board games - especially when coupled with 'linked' iPhones.
I am very hopeful that the iPad succeeds in creating a new category of applications that use it unique feature set. I truly think that limiting it to Web browsing and Book Reading would be a terrible shame. And a waste.
Jan 6 2010
As I've indicated earlier, I am a massive fan of Apple's Magic Mouse. While it does carry a heavy price tag, I thought it was completely worth it. But a sad draw-back was that under Windows (pecicially Boot Camp), the mouse only works as a standard 2 button mouse.
But thanks to a little hackery from Apple’s Bluetooth Update (located here) the Magic Mouses driver was extracted via WinRar resulting in a 32bit version and a 64bit version that you can install on any ordinary Windows PC that will enable all the scrolling ‘magic’ of the Magic Mouse.