WWDC 2009 keynote releases

  • New 15″ MacBook Pro has built in battery lasts up to 7 hours, 1000 charges, approx. 5 years. 60% better colour gamut, 3.06 Dual Core CPU, 8Gb RAM max, 500Gbx7200RPM drive, or 256Gb SSD. Starts at US$1699 through US$2229
  • SD card slots added to models except 17″
  • 13″ Macbook is now a MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Air updated to up to 2.13GHz CPU

Snow Leopard 10.6:

  • Mail, iCal and Address book now support Exchange, with auto-discovery of Exchange Servers
  • QuickLook can preview Microsoft Office documents in Mail without MS Office being installed
  • Preview 2x faster, better PDF text selection
  • Exposé integration with Dock (“Dock Exposé”) for displaying an App’s windows
  • Chinese character input on trackpad
  • Mail up to 2.3x faster
  • Final version of Safari 4 released for Leopard, Tiger and Windows
  • Safari now sandboxes plugins to prevent them crashing the browser (IMHO this means you, Google 🙂
  • Stacks now have scrolling
  • Page through, magnify PDF thumbnails and movies
  • QuickTime X focuses on the content, overlays controls, lets you select from a visual timeline more easily and share it on YouTube, MobileMe or iTunes.
  • All Snow Leopard applications are 64-bit
  • Grand Central Dispatch supports multicore across all of Snow Leopard
  • Open CL (Computing Language) has been open sourced and allows for hardware abstraction of the video hardware for use in processing or display
  • Upgrade cost US$29 or US$49 for upgrading the Leopard family pack

There were some 16593 viewers watching the ustream live stream.

Time Crapsule

I’m not sure that Time Machine’s going to prove much use to me if it spends longer than a weekend “Preparing backup”. Maybe if I left the machine backing up all week and only used it on weekends? Contemplating nuking the backup and starting from scratch as that way at least it’ll not have to do any comparison with the existing backup.

Meanwhile Spotlight is claiming that it’s 3% done indexing the backup volume and has 49 hours remaining. Sigh. I just added the backup volume to the list of things not to index (Why doesn’t that happen automatically?), and I got an error dialog. But re-opening the Spotlight preference pane shows the volume was added anyway. Now it’s still indexing it, but claims it’s 1% done and only got 3 hours remaining.

I’m thinking it’s time to fire up Superduper.

Annoying Leopard Omissions

Today I was running out of disk space (I suspect this would later be the cause of my first Leopard kernel panic, in the firewall kernel module). So I used Spotlight to search for files of a specific type. Usually then I’d sort them by size and go from the biggest down, deleting files to free up some space.

Except, there was no ‘Size’ column in the Spotlight results.

So I go to the View menu and choose “Show View Options”

“There are no view options for the “Searching “This Mac”” Window.


Sadly Spotlaser uses the Finder, and Path Finder didn’t actually seem to display the file size (I have not checked against the latest Path Finder).

Perhaps this is the thing that has most annoyed me about Leopard so far.

Leopard’s new features

Apple have posted a list of some 300 new features in Leopard.
Looking through them, the interesting ones that I haven’t noticed being mentioned before (well, mainly) are listed below. Notable absence of mentions go to Java, iTunes and QuickTime.

  • Transparent overlay of DVD playback in DVD player (ala TransLucy)
  • Screen sharing from the Finder (sort of a poor man’s Apple Remote Desktop?)
  • Share any folder (just like in the days of System 6,7,8,9…). The cool part is that you can authorize people in your AddressBook to use the shared folders
  • Braille support (presumably external Braille ‘displays’?)
  • DVD playback in Front Row
  • 20 new CoreImage Filters, CoreImage enhanced for multicore processors, support for colourspace information from EXIF tags
  • iChat – Recording, Screen Sharing, Low Delay AAC-LD codec, iChat Theatre, SMS Forwarding
  • Image Capture – More tethered camera support, more Canon and Nikon models supported, Wireless image importing, Sharing of scanners over Bonjour.
  • Instruments – (Originally called X-Ray I think), lets developers analyse performance metrics and record and replay user interface events.
  • Mail.App – Data Detectors – Another System 8 technology back from the dead. Photo Browsing of your iPhoto Library. Sync Mail Notes via .Mac. Archive your Mailbox.
  • International – Russian, Polish and Portugese, better multilingual Spotlight indexing, Pinyin and Zhuyin input methods, Russian and Danish Spell Checkers.
  • Networking – New Airport Menu, Automatic TCP buffer size adjustment
  • Parental Controls – Set time limts for kids, violate their privacy by logging websites and applications used, list people who have chatted and keep a transcript (I hope nobody uses it on adults!) Control parental controls remotely, and filter profanity from the Wikipedia (That should prove amusing).
  • PhotoBooth – Make video clips, add backdrops, export animated GIFs for use on your website.
  • Preview – Better leverage of Core Animation. Add better annotations, including links to websites or other pages inside the PDF. Highlight text. Save your annotations (really wouldn’t be much good without that last feature would it?). Relevancy ranking of PDF searches. Automatically add your name to annotations for collaborative work. Remove Alpha background or select irregular shapes. Adjust white and black levels automatically. Re-order PDF pages. Perform batch image operations. Send images to iPhoto. Use GPS Metadata support to open a photo’s location on a Map or in Google Maps. Woohoo!
  • Printing – Simplified by making common settings presets (Yay!). Kerberos authenticated printing. Location-aware printing (so it doesn’t print your home porn to the work IP printer over the internet 🙂 Support for printer driver updates via Software Update.
  • Safari – Presumably you’re already using the Beta 🙂
  • Screen savers – Arabesque, Shell, Word of the Day, Clock Overlay, Collage or Mosaic from your Picture screen savers.
  • Security – Downloaded applications are tagged and you’re prompted when you open them. Apple Applications are signed (Hmm… That could make modding stuff more difficult!). Application specific firewalling. 256-bit AES encryption (previously only 128-bit) for disk images. VPN client supports Cisco Group Filtering, DHCP over PPP. Sandboxing of applications (Bonjour, Quick Look and Spotlight indexer are sandboxed) to restrict what they can do. Multiple user certificate support. Smart cards to unlock FileVault volumes and the keychain. Supports PIV standard for Feds and contractors to them. I hope FileVault is finally ready to use without hosing your files! Library randomisation to frustrate hacking attempts (and cause developers to find more bugs :). Windows SMB packet signing.
  • Spotlight – Search any Mac on your network (woohoo, great for those of us with big numbers of documents on a central server). Now understands boolean searches, dates and category labels. Also (like Google) does dictionary definitions and calculations). Recently visited web pages are indexed too. Search by Filename (ala System 6, etc.). Search system files.
  • System – Icon mode in open and save panels (Yay!). iLife browsing from open panel. Live partition resizing in disk utility (assuming you’ve got space 🙂 Auto-purging guest accounts (Yay!). Grammar checking. Scroll non-active windows (yay! Although we move ever closer to focus follows cursor). Empty Trash button (Yay!) Eject some or all partitions of external USB or FireWire volumes.
  • System Preferences – Hot corner for sleep display. Control click accounts for advanced (ie dangerous, unixish) account options (User ID, login shell, home directory)
  • Terminal – International character support (Use vi on your Mandarin 🙂 Save multiple terminal window locations and settings as a workspace.
  • TextEdit – Autosave. Open Document and Word 2007 formats. Hyperlinks. Go to Line. Print header and footer. Smart quotes. Smart copy and paste (meaning it now confirms to Apple’s HI Guidelines?)
  • Time Machine – Asks you if you want to backup to a drive when you connect it (My, that will get annoying when you want to copy one file and disconnect!). Automatically stops and resumes. Browse other time machine disks. Use Migration Assistant to move users from a Time Machine backup. Manual Backup if you can remember to hold down the control key and cilkc the Time Machine icon in the dock.
  • Universal Access – Braille support during OS install. Support JAWS and Windows-Eyes numeric keypad commands. Portable VoiceOver prefs via flash drive (Hmm… I wonder if that could be parlayed into a security problem). Notification of changes in screen hotspots. Drag and drop via keyboard only. Audio misspelling alerts. Audio positional cues. Enhanced VoiceOver accessibility in new Leopard Apps.
  • UNIX – AutoFS to mount/dismount network filesystems, Separately threaded (Yay!). Wide Area Bonjour. Streaming IO (Is this TCP streams?)

Commandline Spotlight tricks

So you can list the information about a file by using the commandline tool ‘mdls’ (ie metadata ls). This will give you a big list of everything the system knows about the file (try it on some QuickTime movie files or images).

You can also use it by specifying an attributeName to list. For example to get the version info of a file from the commandline you can look for the kMDItemVersion attributeName

>mdls -name kMDItemVersion /Applications/Safari.app
/Applications/Safari.app -------------
kMDItemVersion = "2.0.4"

You could of course use mdfind to search the Spotlight database for items with the same key, ie

>mdfind "kMDItemVersion == '2.0.4'"            

Of course this assumes that your Spotlight database is currently up to date. Which really it should be, as Spotlight monitors disk file updates, but frequently it seems that it isn’t.