Explore the heavens on your Mac.

If you’re looking for some free Mac astronomy software, download and try out Stellarium. As well as being able to overlay the constellation line diagrams, it can also overlay constellation artwork, switch to a red mode to help preserve your night vision, add or remove the ground, display nebulae, and more. Your Windows and Linux using friends (you do have some, right?) can use it too.

Inside /etc/authorization

The /etc/authorization file allows you to grant rights to some users to do more than they’d otherwise be allowed. For example, here’s Apple’s article about how to allow non-admin users to change the timezone (If for example you have a mobile workforce who need to change time zones but you don’t want them to mess with anything else on their laptops).

Intel Xserves dual Xeon versions

If you’re developing software that might get run on an Intel Xserve with Dual Xeons it might be useful to get one to test with. This Apple page about Intel build numbers show’s it’s using build 8N1215 of Mac OS X, which is (unsurprisingly) newer than all other builds.

Just to make things easier for those using Java, it uses build 1.5.0_06-113 and JVM build 1.5.0_06-68 (which is a JVM I don’t think ships on any other MacIntel boxes, and I’ve managed to crash :).

systemsetup on Intel xserves doesn’t work for setwaitforstartupafterpowerfailure via ARD

According to this Apple technote you need to specify /usr/sbin/systemsetup specifically if you are running systemsetup via Apple Remote Desktop 2.x, otherwise ARD winds up using its own version which doesn’t work for the -setwaitforstartupafterpowerfailure argument.

EMC to drop Retrospect 8.0?

According to The Register, EMC are not going to complete the much awaited Retrospect 8.0 backup software. Many people have pointed out that The Register is a highly reliable source of information, of course 🙂

Sadly whilst there are a few alternatives such as BRU, they don’t seem to be as easy to use as Retrospect, despite the many annoyances of Retro 7 (my copy always seems to backup up files I’ve told it to exclude).

[Edit – Finally got around to linking to this official statement about Retrospect from EMC via bynkii.com]

iPhone coverage

Personally I think it’s interesting that Apple Developer Connection is plugging its Dashcode beta now. Perhaps Dashcode widgets will run on the iPhone?