Monthly Archives: April 2005

Java 5 for OS X 10.4 Tiger is here

Apple released Java 5 for OS X today. (Also known confusingly as both “Java 2 SE 5.0 Release 1″ by Apple and as Java 1.5 to Java developers who are used to the 1.x versioning scheme.) It only runs on OS X 10.4 Tiger, so that’s a good enough reason by itself for Java developers on Mac to get Tiger. Of course, there’s tons of other reasons like Spotlight, Automator, Dashboard, etc.

Eclipse runs fine on it, with the exception of starting it from Spotlight. But just start it from Finder, command line, or the Dock and you’ll be fine.

Thanks to Marcello for pointing this out on the Eclipse-Mac group

Gauging market demand for different IDEs via SimplyHired.com

I was perusing the popular delicious links and found a new job site: SimplyHired, which bills itself as “building the largest job database on the planet.” Its pretty fast and lets you do searches without any commitment.

So, I searched for the different Java IDEs to see what came up. Here’s the results, ranked by most job matches to the least:
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Nice graphic on the cycle of blogging

I blog. I read blogs. I upload my blog posts from my PowerBook to a TypePad server via MarsEdit. I retrieve blog feeds from various web servers via NetNewsWire.

Here’s a great graphic that shows this cycle of blogging [via Ranchero]. It is from a presentation that Pat Chanezon is going to give at JavaOne about syndication.

By the way: I highly recommend using a dedicated blogging client for writing blog entries. Yes, it is nice to be able to author blog posts in a browser, but my friends and I have experienced the “Back Button of Death” that effectively kills your post. I highly recommend MarsEdit on OS X. On Windows, I’ve heard ecto is good. For Linux users, I highly recommend vi. ;)

Why Sun should join forces with the Eclipse Foundation

The Butler Group recently wrote an opinion article titled: Sun and Eclipse – A Marriage Made in Heaven. I think they make a good case as to why Sun should join forces with the Eclipse Foundation. They note that:

The Eclipse project is a runaway success, and this is now undisputed.

They also argue that developers now live in a polarized world, one centered around Eclipse and the other around Visual Studio. And that Sun has to make a choice. Of course, since Sun is definitely not a Microsoft shop, the choice is quite obvious.

I think their proposal of how to merge NetBeans with Eclipse is straightforward, though probably still controversial:

The logical step forward is for Sun to offer the option of a NetBeans plug-in to Eclipse, giving Java developers access to the excellent tools in NetBeans – the winner of the 2005 Open Source Tool of the Year, in Developer.com’s Product of the Year awards.

I think the big items in the proposed NetBeans plug-in would be the things that Developer.com cited, when they gave out the aforementioned award:

In addition to facilitating development of traditional GUI-based Java applications via a WYSIWYG designer, the NetBeans IDE supports development of J2ME wireless applications, Web applications, and Web Services.

These features would definitely overlap with existing Eclipse projects, but we should be able to figure out how to get the best of both worlds in the Java Community.

Why did I add Cocoa and Rails?

Astute readers may have noticed that the title of this blog changed this past month from “Eclipse/Java Programming on Mac OS X” to “Cocoa, Eclipse, and Rails Programming on Mac OS X”. Good thing I didn’t put in Panther in there, or else I’d have to change it pretty soon to Tiger. But I did drop “Java”. And I added “Cocoa” and “Rails”. What’s going on?

Well, its a combination of filtering my feeds, inspiration from Duncan, and other passions of mine coming up to the surface.

First, the filtering…
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Tiger World Premiere – Friday April 29th

Apple is throwing a big bash for their new OS, known as both Tiger and also OS X 10.4 to us geeks who like our version numbers. It’s called the Tiger World Premiere and its going to be going on Friday, April 29th from 6pm to midnight at all Apple Retail Stores.

According to the Tysons Corner Apple store website, you can “Win a PowerBook G4, an iPod and other prizes.” Like maybe a free copy of Tiger? :)

Here’s the official blurb:

Rethought. Reengineered. Reborn.

Attend the world premiere event at all Apple stores, Friday, April 29, 6:00 p.m. to midnight, for a hands-on introduction to Tiger. With more than 200 new features, it’s the most advanced Mac OS ever. Win a PowerBook G4, an iPod or other prizes.*

*For Official Rules, visit any Apple Store on Friday, April 29, 2005.

By the way, if you’ve been eyeing my PowerBook or my Mac mini, yes you know who you are, April 29th would be a good time to get one just like it, since you’ll be able to get it with Tiger and iLife ’05 pre-installed.

64 bit JVM, here we come

I’m planning my WWDC trip and I noticed that the preliminary schedules are up now. BTW, if you’re planning to go, I’d book soon, since the early registration is ending soon.

One of the sessions caught my eye: “64-bit Java Virtual Machine Exposed“.

With the new 64-bit Java Virtual Machine you can now access a larger Java heap from your high-performance Java server application. 64-bit Java enables Java heaps much larger than the current 2Gb limit. We will focus on the changes required to use 64-bit Java and the implications associated with it.

Ah yes… this is why I need to buy a G5 with 8GB of RAM. I wonder if Eclipse will be supported on this configuration. I know that Eclipse already supports Linux/GTK on 64-bit AMD64.

Also scheduled at the same time (5:00-6:30 on Friday) is “The Next Phase of Eclipse’s Development“.

Eclipse has quickly become one of the most widely used cross-platform Java development environments. In this hands-on session, we’ll show you how to get started on your next Java project, get over the initial hurdles, and become comfortable with Eclipse. Learn from other experienced developers who are using Eclipse to build Java applications today.

I’d like to go to this session too, not so much to learn about Eclipse. I’m still processing stuff from EclipseCon. But I’d like to get developers excited about using Eclipse on OS X and let them know that there is a community around that combination. It’s too bad these two are at the same time. Moving one of them to the 2:00-3:30 time slot would be good us developers who are doing Eclipse on OS X and also wanting to take advantage of the 64-bit JVM.

Put your Mac to sleep with this keyboard shortcut

I like to put my PowerBook to sleep when I’m done using it, but when I’m at home and “docked” (hooked up to my mouse, my power adapter, my firewire drive and firewire audio interface), then I don’t like to make it sleep by closing the lid. Instead, I use a nice undocumented keyboard shortcut:

Cmd – Option – Eject

(you could also call it Apple – Option – Eject or Command – Option – Eject)

This puts my PowerBook (and any other Mac) immediately to sleep, even from an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard. Now if I could only make it wake up from that same keyboard…

How to upgrade a Mac mini by yourself

I read the enjoyable “Forcibly Test-driving a Mac mini” by fellow Mac user and Northern Virginia resident Tom Bridge recently on OReilly. Tom’s PowerBook died suddenly one day and he started using his Mac mini for his daily work. It turned out to perform quite well.

So now I’m wondering, what if something bad happened to my PowerBook and I had to send it in to AppleCare? Or maybe hand it over to one of the nice guys at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store? Well, of course, just run everything off of my cloned backup from my external firewire drive, along with my Mac mini!

But there’s one problem, I think: my mini still has only 256MB of RAM, which is fine when my kids want to play Little Bill or my wife wants to check her web-based email. It would be a different story if I wanted to program in Eclipse or do my 24 bit audio editing.


So, I go to my favorite third-party Apple vendor, MacSales otherwise known as OtherWorldComputing (OWC). They came highly recommended by my good friend Rodney. And I’ve been happy with the RAM and firewire drive I bought from them almost a year ago. It turns out they’ve got a 1GB RAM chip for $129 that fits perfectly in a Mac mini.

But how to install it? I’ve seen some “putty knife” videos floating around the web, but the one by OWC tops them all! Check out the Mac mini DIY installation video at the part of the page that says “…Do It Yourself?” and “Quicktime Installation Videos.” I’m not sure exactly how long it is, but it goes through:

  1. opening up the mini (with the ubiquitous putty knife and a nice terry cloth so you don’t scratch the shiny top)
  2. taking apart the chassis (which holds the optical drive, fan, and hard drive)
  3. removing and then replacing the optical drive
  4. removing and then replacing the hard drive
  5. removing and then replacing the RAM
  6. putting the case back on properly (with the help of the putty knife, which was a surprise)

Note that the mini in the video doesn’t have Airport or Bluetooth, which would make the disassembly/reassembly harder.

After watching this video, I’m thinking that maybe I should stick a Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 7200RPM drive inside the mini… ;)