30 June 2009

HeroQuest 2nd Edition Now Shipping!

HeroQuest Core Rules are now available for sale as a physical book or PDF! We were able to clean up a few production problems that were in the Tentacles prerelease, so this is the best edition ever. If you’re at all interested in roleplaying games, check it out! “Anything you can imagine, you can play…”

29 June 2009

iPhone 3GS

As I hinted before, I upgraded my original iPhone to an iPhone 3Gs. Apple made it real convenient, shipping it to arrive on the day of release, so I didn’t have to wait in line like 2 years ago.

Since I’d already upgraded the software to 3.0, some of the changes weren’t quite as dramatic as they might have been (frex I already had Spotlight search). But overall, I’m pleased with the new phone.

Although some people said the 3G was too slippery, I haven’t yet found it that way, and I’m still carrying it with no case. The curved back definitely feels different in my pocket though.

The oleophobic screen really does seem to make a difference — it gets less dirty and is easier to clean.

One unexpected plus is the new earbud remote. It’s now possible to change volume without pulling out the phone. (It had already been easy, since the volume button is easily located by feel.) Also, you can start music just from the remote — with my old iPhone, I had to first wake the device.

Speaking of volume, this phone is a lot louder than the 2007 model.

The GPS and compass are nice, though their accuracy doesn’t seem quite as great as I had expected. While sometimes I’ve seen it accurately track me as I walked down a sidewalk, it put me on the opposite corner of a downtown intersection.

Web browsing is a lot faster. It’s harder to tell the difference with other applications, though one that always crashed (Glyder) no longer does — presumably the extra RAM makes a difference here.

So far, I’ve gotten a 3G signal almost all the time. It took over a week before I saw my first EDGE symbol.

I have had some problems with it attaching to my AirPort — when it wakes it sees the base station, but doesn’t use it. (After a few minutes it does, and I’ve got an open bug with Apple I need to gather more data for.)

Basically, it’s an incremental improvement over the original. And for me, enough of an improvement to be worth it.

I’m not pleased that AT&T is going to charge me more for 3G, and that the basic plan no longer includes text messages.

28 June 2009

Review of Opal

Nicely detailed review of my Opal outliner at The Mac OS X Guru. He concludes, “It is fast, extremely responsive and very intuitive.”

Xcode comments

I knew that if you specified certain strings in comments, Xcode would put an entry in the function popup. But I just discovered there were some I didn't know about. Here’s the ones I now know of:

// TODO:


// ???:

// !!!:

// MARK:

24 June 2009

Mouse Repair

I had an Apple Mighty Mouse whose scroll ball stopped working in one direction — I could scroll down but not up (or the other way around, can’t recall). I happened to have a spare, and used it for a fair while. But then it stopped working in one direction!

Desperate, I decided to push the scroll ball button (which I never use). When I did so, I could scroll both directions. I got out the old mouse and did the same, and it too now works. It happens to have a shorter cable, which I preferred, so I’m now back in operation.

19 June 2009

iPhone Release Swamps Yahoo?

Apparently there were some problems with AT&T activation when the iPhone 3G S went on sale today. (It took about half an hour to complete when I did mine.) But what I haven’t heard anything about is that apparently the Stocks and Weather applications don’t work — I haven’t done a big survey, but two other people (who didn’t upgrade) were unable to access them. And I couldn’t on either the new or old iPhone. What both have in common is that they connect to Yahoo:

I managed to connect once, but now it’s failing again.

13 June 2009

New MacBook Air

I upgraded my original MacBook Air (1.8 GHz, 80 GB hard disk) to the latest model (2.16 GHz, 128 GB solid state disk). I was happy with the old one most of the time, but sometimes it felt too slow.

I’ve only been using the new machine for about 3 days (and on vacation, so not at all heavily), but so far so good. The Xbench rating for the old machine was 54.2, the new one 144.88. I’ll have to do some real world tests once I’m home, but if it’s really almost 3 times as fast, I’m happy.

Facebook ID

I’m now http://www.facebook.com/ddunham on Facebook. If that matters…

09 June 2009

Fixing the Safari 4 toolbar

Safari 4.0 comes configured (on the Mac at least) with a toolbar that incorporates the seldom-used Add Bookmark button with the Address field. And there’s no apparent way to turn it off via View > Customize Toolbar — there’s no Address Field item without Add Bookmark attached.

There is, however, a separate Add Bookmark item. To get rid of Add Bookmark, you need to drag in the separate item (which makes it disappear from its attached position), and then remove it from the toolbar.

(I had filed a bug against the beta build for this limitation; I don’t know if the workaround existed because I didn’t think of it until the final release.)