Articles posted in August, 2004

Mac OS X applications: A troubling lack of focus

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004 • 10:43 pm

Take a look at the following window in Safari: The actual web page doesn’t matter. What matters is the user interface in the window. Can you tell, just from looking at this window, where the focus is? It seems that there is no visible focus. Nothing is selected or highlighted with the blue halo effect. […]

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Mac OS X Security updates: Yet more confusion

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004 • 12:40 am

The Apple people who put together the information regarding Mac OS X security updates really have a way of making you feel dumb. I’ve already discussed serious issues about the way Apple shared its information regarding previous updates. It’s not getting any better. Today, Apple simultaneously released the Mac OS X 10.3.5 system update and […]

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Mac OS X: Bug with ‘Format’ menu in ‘Save As’ dialog boxes in certain Carbon applications

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004 • 12:12 am

One of the useful things about Acrobat Professional 6.0 (part of the Adobe CS package) is that it does a pretty decent job of exporting existing PDF files as RTF files or Word documents. (If you try to copy text from a PDF file to a Word document using the selection tool in Preview or […]

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Mac OS X: The weird behaviours of Mail’s ‘Activity Viewer’ window

Monday, August 9th, 2004 • 4:29 am

Take a look at this Mac OS X window: It’s Mail’s “Activity Viewer” window. Now take a look at this one: It’s the “Find/Change” window in InDesign CS. They are both what are called “utility windows” in Mac OS X. The problem is that they don’t behave in the same way when it comes to […]

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Word 2004: Scrolling wheel is not aware of mouse pointer context

Monday, August 9th, 2004 • 12:44 am

I’ve already described problems with scrolling wheel support in Microsoft Word 2004 here and here. Here’s another one. In Safari, as an example, the behaviour of the scrolling wheel varies depending on the position of the mouse pointer on the screen. If there are several things that can be scrolled through in a given window, […]

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How to force drivers to use their blinkers when turning

Sunday, August 8th, 2004 • 10:54 pm

I don’t have to do much driving. I live in the country, and my daily commute is a 10-second walk down the hall to my home office. But the little driving I do is enough to make me ponder whether we are really doing everything we can do to make our roads safer for everyone. […]

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Athens 2004: Where’s the critical coverage?

Sunday, August 8th, 2004 • 10:34 pm

Unlike billions of people on this planet, I have next to no interest in the Olympics. To me, the whole thing has been irreparably tarnished by doping issues and commercialism. What I find really disappointing, however, is the abysmal media coverage. Yesterday evening, for example, the BBC News reports on BBC World praised Athens for […]

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Word 2004: Flaky behaviour when switching to next style

Saturday, August 7th, 2004 • 7:35 am

In Word, as part of a style definition, you can specify what style should be used for the following paragraph, i.e. when you hit the Return key. By default, the setting for the style of the next paragraph is the same as the current style, but in the case of styles for headings, you don’t […]

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Word 2004: Needs a ‘Keep With Previous’ option

Saturday, August 7th, 2004 • 4:30 am

The so-called “Keep” options available in Word 2004 (and in other word processors and page layout programs, including Adobe InDesign) are very important, because they let you control — to a certain extent — the way your text flows across several pages or columns without having to use ugly tricks such as forced manual column […]

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Apple applications: Access for All?

Saturday, August 7th, 2004 • 3:20 am

MacWorld UK reports on the fact that Apple has just published extensive documentation to “encourage developers to add Universal Access features to applications“. This information is available on Apple’s Developer Connection site. Cool. Maybe someone could send a polite reminder to Apple regarding support for Universal Access in their own applications. (I’ve sent enough reminders […]

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Mac OS X: Making scrolling even more intuitive

Friday, August 6th, 2004 • 4:01 am

Mac OS X has several features that help make scrolling up or down a document window more intuitive — such as Live Scrolling and Smooth Scrolling. Live Scrolling is now the default behaviour in most applications and cannot even be turned off. What happens is that, when you grap the scrolling slider in the scroll […]

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More on QuickTime Player freezes

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004 • 9:21 pm

Two days ago I wrote about a problem that I was experiencing with QuickTime Player freezing my entire system. I’ve since found reports at that seem to indicate that the problem is not limited to QuickTime Player. iTunes is affected as well and, by the sound of it, the freezes could be caused by […]

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Online music stores: more restrictive than online stores selling CDs

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004 • 10:47 pm

Here’s a thought. Jean-Louis Murat‘s latest album (with Fred Jimenez and Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields) is coming out on CD at the end of August. But it’s already available now in downloadable form through various online music stores, including the iTunes Music Store — along with the entire Jean-Louis Murat back catalogue. There’s a […]

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Mac OS X: How to force the system to update a file list in an Open/Save dialog box

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004 • 4:08 am

A while ago, I wrote about this long-standing flaw in Mac OS X where file lists are not in sync between applications. For example, you might use the “Save All…” button in Mail to save message attachments in Folder A, and then go to Microsoft Word, choose “Open…” in the “File” menu, go to Folder […]

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QuickTime Player: Freezes when playing MP3 files

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004 • 12:29 am

The one thing that I don’t like about using iTunes as the default application to open MP3 files (and other types of music files) is that, as soon as you open an MP3 file with iTunes, it gets added to your iTunes music library. I often want to be able to preview a file before […]

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