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Archive for the ‘Mac OSX’ Category

Amazing Multi Touch demo from Jeff Han

March 28, 2007 Comments off

Watching this wordless demo was definitely a jaw-dropping experience for me

Is this part of the secret features of MacOSX Leopard 🙂

Categories: Mac OSX

Early thoughts on NewsGator Online Beta

February 28, 2007 1 comment

My RSS newsreader of choice is NetNewsWire. I had purchased it a few months before Brent Simmons sold his company to NewsGator and as a result of that purchase, I was able to obtain a premium NewsGator Online subscription for 2 years which allowed for synchronization of my desktop Mac with the web-based reader.

The web-based reader NewsGator Online whilst functional was not known for its performance, an area touched upon by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch in a recent post which analysed market share of various online readers

Newsgator online, a feature fantastic service long plagued with deal-breaking performance problems, is trailing in third place with a mere %3 of views. The company’s desktop feed readers, NetNewsWire and FeedDemon, probably have a much larger percentage of views as they are older, more stable products.

After reading an editorial on ajaxian wrt newsgator perceived slowness, I wrote to a few newsgator employees and investors about some ideas I thought which might improve performance

I had discussed these in my community blog a while back

Brian Kellner (GM consumer) wrote back to me that they were going to launch an ajax version of their online reader which would reduce page refreshes and was optimized for client side caching. Today, I received instructions on how to access the beta site. The email from Brian indicated that it was okay to blog about it (yeah, no NDA unlike the Joost invite I got)

I fired up Fiddler and tried to analyse the network traffic. As someone who lives in a different continent to NewsGator servers in a city with tremendous local connectivity, web traffic analysis via a sniffer is a regular excercise

Some early disappointments

Looking at the traffic sent out by Newsgator Online beta via Fiddler , I see that there is a lot of request/response for content with type image/gif and image/jpeg coming from http://www.newsgator.com without any cache-friendly headers (Expires, Cache-Control)

Some Suggestions for performance improvement

Always send images with a Cache-Friendly header

Move the images to either a separate domain or a new sub-domain. Currently because the images are sent from newsgator.com, there is an unnecessary Cookie: header sent from the browser for all images. It should be easy for newsgator to buy a new domain and use that exclusively for image/static content serving.

An example of a request for http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/reader/img/folderopen.gif generates a request of size 1025 bytes (dominated by the Cookie: header) for a response of 677 bytes which is further divided into an actual payload (image size) of 353 bytes and 324 bytes for the header. Remove the Cookie header and the request becomes only 334 bytes. One could tune the image server a bit and reduce the bytes used by the response header

Also, one would expect all html/javascript to be sent via Content-Encoding: gzip for all responses of those Content-type but there are quite a number of responses of those content type sent without being gzipped.

I can understand some reluctance with gzipping Javascript since there are quirks with IE (though if I remember correctly, IE6 SP2/IE 7 handles this correctly). Even use of jsmin would give around 25-30% reduction in size

On the bright side, page refreshes are reduced a lot in the beta.

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David Pogue iPhone FAQ

January 12, 2007 Comments off

David Pogue of the Missing Manual fame has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Apple iPhone

FAQ is available at David’s blog

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Categories: General, Mac OSX

Was it MacWorld or iWorld ?

January 11, 2007 Comments off

As someone who regularly follows the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) emanating from his Steveness, I was looking forward to yesterday’s keynote with particular interest on what would be announced for Leopard (MacOSX 10.5) and iWork (whether a spreadsheet app would show up or not)

Though I was personally disappointed with the keynote (only the AppleTV and iPhone) was announced (I thought the one more thing would a Quad Core iMac 🙂

I can see why Steve Jobs decided to keep the entire focus on the iPhone. I don’t know how the impact of having the phone exclusive to Cingular would be and the phone is arriving in Asia only in 2008. The lack of 3G of the phone might also hurt its chances in Asia.

What I think is going to be very intersting is that the phone is stated to run MacOSX, now it’s not clear if this means that standard MacOSX programs will run on it. If it does then its a major thing.

But this does mean that developers will have to seriously ramp up Safari/Webkit testing since this browser/rending engine is getting some serious uptake.

MacOSX + Parallels/Vmware Fusion is the way to go for software development/QA. I had already purchased Parallel’s last December when they were offering the one-year upgrade protection plan. Haven’t decided whether to go for an iMac or a Mac Book Pro. I am inclined for the 20″ iMac with 2GB RAM.

However, this post is being edited with Windows Live Writer beta 🙂

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Categories: Mac OSX

Query By Example via HoudahSpot

June 16, 2006 Comments off

My review of HoudahSpot as seen on MacZOT.com

One of the coolest features I liked about HoudahSpot was it’s use of Query By Example. Basically, one has to drag a file to a criteria and it will reflect the file’s property. I seem to have a found a bug in HoudahSpot with this though, dragging a file when the criteria is “Kind” wouldn’t switch the criteria over to the appropiate file type. e.g, dragging a PDF file over to Kind would just keep Kind as “Any” and not switch it to PDF as I would have expected

NOTE: If you’re seeing this on June 16, 2006 head over to MacZOT, you might be able to get a Free copy of HoudahSpot

Search easily in Tiger, Mac OS X, with HoudahSpot

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Categories: Mac OSX

interesting viral marketing campaign for SubEthaEdit by MacZot

April 25, 2006 Comments off

I came across this very interesting viral marketing campaign run by MacZot (think of it as the Woot for Mac users) for SubEthaEdit from Coding Monkeys (the collaborative text editor)

MacZOT and TheCodingMonkeys will award $105,000 in Mac software

This is how they are doing it

BlogZOT 2.0 on MacZot

BlogZOT! uses the power of blogs to create value for all Mac users. In today’s example: Each qualified blog entry reduces the price of SubEthaEdit from $30.00 to $0.00 by $0.05 per entry. For each entry, that’s $166+ given back to the Mac community.

BlogZOT instructions. Please READ them as we won’t have time to answer emails about BlogZOT until after it’s over.

1. You can purchase SubEthaEdit on MacZOT.com at anytime today using the Buy button above at the current price.
2. If you’d rather pay less, you can help by getting bloggers to post a comment about SubEthaEdit being the BlogZOT 2.0 on MacZOT.com
3. BlogZOT 2.0 will run until the end of the day 11:59 pm in California or until 3,000 copies of SubEthaEdit have been awarded to BlogZOT participants.
4. Bloggers who participate and enter a working email will receive a SubEthaEdit registration if the goal of reducing the price to $0.00 is accomplished.

I’ve been using SubEthaEdit 2.2 on and off. This is the last version which was free for non-commercial use. It’s a nice text editor but I really haven’t had the chance to play with the collaborative side of things. I think this viral marketing campaign will go a long way in improving SubEthaEdit’s reach

Categories: General, Mac OSX

Updated to the latest NNW beta

March 17, 2006 Comments off

Brent Simmons has posted beta builds of the latest NetNewsWire beta. I wasn’t one of the really early worms but I snagged myself 2.1b7. So far, it’s very spiffy and snappy.

Love the NewsGator syncing. I’m really looking forward to the 2-yr subscription of NewsGator online I get for being a NNW customer. Posting to blogs via MarsEdit rocks also.

iLife’06 is the underestimated star of MWSF

January 11, 2006 Comments off

There have been lots of blog posts about the new Intel Core Duo based iMac and MacBook Pro released at Macworld San Francisco yesterday. Personally I think that iLife ’06 is a very significant upgrade and people might be underestimating how many users will finally get to effectively use their digital cameras, digital video cameras. I’ve ordered my copy and look forward to playing with it

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Categories: General, Mac OSX

iLife'06 is the underestimated star of MWSF

January 11, 2006 Comments off

There have been lots of blog posts about the new Intel Core Duo based iMac and MacBook Pro released at Macworld San Francisco yesterday. Personally I think that iLife ’06 is a very significant upgrade and people might be underestimating how many users will finally get to effectively use their digital cameras, digital video cameras. I’ve ordered my copy and look forward to playing with it

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Categories: General, Mac OSX
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