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Mac DevCenter Articles

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Understanding Exceptions and Handlers in Cocoa by Jose Cruz
Learn how to use Cocoa to build an exception handling system. This article shows the classes and keywords needed, how to prepare and raise a Cocoa exception, as well as how to intercept and process the exception. 07/31/2007

The Good Easy on OS X by Giles Turnbull
Giles Turnbull examines Mark Hurst's "Good Easy" productivity tools and methods for Macs. Giles spoke with the author of "Bit Literacy" about his philosophy and choices for simplifying computing. 07/25/2007

Discover the Power of Open Directory (Part 3) by Noah Gift
In this final segment of our Open Directory series, Noah Gift introduces Manage Client for OS X (MCX) and shows how to use the OS X specific schema attributes for Mobility to synchronize laptops to a network profile and change Dock settings. Noah also demonstrates how Windows can use Open Directory for authentication and Home Directories. 07/18/2007

Smarter Ways to Work with PDFs by Giles Turnbull
Giles Turnbull examines several methods and applications for managing your PDF collection. 07/11/2007

Four Ways to Compress to H.264 with Elgato's Turbo.264 by Erica Sadun
Erica Sadun examines Elgato's new Turbo.264 graphics co-processor in a USB dongle. In this article, you'll discover whether the Turbo.264 is right for you and, if so, how to use it for your video compression needs using four handy compression methods. 07/03/2007

Discover the Power of Open Directory (Part 2) by Noah Gift
Noah Gift shows how to set up a Mac with an NFS home directory using Open Directory, integrate an existing Linux NFS file server for a cross-platform home directory, and authenticate a Linux client into Open Directory. 06/27/2007

Graphical Toolkits for Apple's OS X: GTK+ by Jeremiah Foster
In the latest installment in his series on windowing system options for Mac developers, Jeremiah Foster takes a look at using GTK+ on OS X. If you like living on the bleeding edge, this article will show you how to install and get up and running with GTK+ on OS X. 06/22/2007

WWDC Keynote: Oh Boy, Just What I Always Wanted by Daniel H. Steinberg
Learn about the new features announced in Leopard, Safari for Windows, and the way iPhone development is going to work. Daniel Steinberg reports from this year's WWDC keynote. 06/12/2007

Hit-and-Run: Launching AppleScripts with Keyboard Shortcuts by Jochen Wolters
AppleScript automation is one of OS X's most useful features, and it can be made even better with the use of keyboard shortcuts. Jochen Wolters examines three ways to assign a keyboard shortcut to an AppleScript, and digs in to FastScripts and Quicksilver in this detailed tutorial. 06/08/2007

Discover the Power of Open Directory by Noah Gift
Open Directory is one of Apple's best-kept secrets. Get the real scoop on Open Directory, and learn how to configure a very basic Open Directory system and set up an OS X Open Directory client. 06/04/2007

Indie Mac Development in the UK by Giles Turnbull
Giles Turnbull interviews a group of UK-based indie developers to ask them a little about their lives, how they stay in touch with Apple, and why international exchange rates make such a difference to them. 05/25/2007

Top Ten Mac OS X Tips for Unix Geeks by Brian Jepson
From starting up to shutting down, there are big differences between Mac OS X and Unix machines. Brian Jepson, coauthor of Mac OS X for Unix Geeks offers 10 tips he gathered while working on the book. If you're a Unix geek moving to Mac OS X, these tips will help smooth the way. Brian has recently updated this "oldie but goodie." 05/15/2007

Using Python and AppleScript Together by Noah Gift
In this hands-on article, Noah Gift introduces the major concepts behind using AppleScript with Python and provides some fun working examples. 05/10/2007

Building Custom iQuiz Data by Erica Sadun
iQuiz is a brand new, flashy iPod game from Apple that allows users to create custom games and run them using the iQuiz interface. In this tutorial, Erica Sadun shows how to create custom iQuiz files and provides sample code and files. 04/30/2007

Graphical Toolkits for OS X: wxPython by Jeremiah Foster
In this new MacDC series, Jeremiah Foster presents an overview of graphical toolkits for Apple's OS X. This first article looks at wxPython, including installation instructions and breaking down some sample code. If you've been wanting to use your Python programming skills to develop for OS X, you'll want to learn about wxPython. 04/24/2007

Customizing TextMate by James Edward Gray II
TextMate is one of the most popular text editors among Mac developers, in part due to how much you can customize the powerful program. James Edward Gray II recently wrote TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac and presents this article on creating an RPN calculator in TextMate as an example of how to do complex TextMate customizations. 04/18/2007

Introducing Google Desktop for Mac by Giles Turnbull
Giles Turnbull takes an in-depth look at Google Desktop for the Mac, putting the recently released OS X version of Google's desktop search product through its paces. Learn what Google Desktop can do for you, how it does it, and why it needs to install itself with high-level permissions on your system. 04/09/2007

Apple TV: State of the Hacks by Erica Sadun
Erica Sadun has been hacking away on the new Apple TV and presents this "State of the Hacks" roundup of what people are doing with their Apple TV boxes. Discover what kinds of mods are out there and whether they're the right fit for your needs and abilities. 04/02/2007

A Chat with Nobi
Chris Stone interviews longtime Japanese Mac journalist Nobuyuki "Nobi" Hayashi. Nobi shares his thoughts on this year's MacWorld, gives hints for Mac developers wanting to cross the Pacific, and explains why Apple TV won't be the next big thing in Japan, but what might instead. 03/15/2007

MacFUSE: New Frontiers in File Systems by Scott Knaster
MacFUSE takes something that was incredibly hard--adding new file systems to Mac OS X--and makes it much, much easier. In this article, Scott Knaster explains why file system support is generally hard, how MacFUSE makes it easier, and why you should care. Follow along in the code as Scott develops a simple FUSE-compatible file system. 03/06/2007

Replacing AppleScript with Ruby by Matt Neuburg
Matt Neuberg describes how to use rb-appscript to manage Apple events without Applescript. Learn the basics of rb-appscript usage, with example scripts, including a rewrite of the Ruby-AppleScript example from Matt's book AppleScript: The Definitive Guide. 02/27/2007

Stream Live HDTV from Your Mac by Erica Sadun
Erica Sadun shows how to stream HD EyeTV video from a Mac using VLC in five easy steps, even as it records. Learn how to build this remote video streaming solution by accessing EyeTV's raw MPEG transport streams and using VLC to stream that MPEG and watch the video on another computer. 02/20/2007

A mini Mac Solution by Vicki Brown, Rich Morin
Rich Morin and Vicki Brown describe how they replaced their home FreeBSD server with a Mac mini. 02/13/2007

Building a Game Engine with Cocoa, Part 3 by Matthew Russell
In this third and final installment of Matthew Russell's series on building a game engine with Cocoa, we learn how to implement a game tree search called negamax--a variant of minimax that uses alpha-beta pruning to reduce the search space. 02/02/2007

Modding Apple Sample Code by Erica Sadun
Erica Sadun dives into Apple's sample code archive and shows how to modify MovieVideoChart to create a comic-book-like video layout tool. Learn a structured approach to taking advantage of the wealth of sample code that Apple provides for developers. 01/23/2007

My Favorite Macworld Product: Indigo by Adam Goldstein
Each year Adam Goldstein likes to search out the cool new products at Macworld. This year Adam takes a look at the powerful Indigo home automation system. 01/18/2007

Macworld Keynote Report 2007 by Daniel H. Steinberg
In this podcast we talk to MacDevCenter editors Bruce Stewart and Chris Stone about this year's Macworld Expo keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. 01/16/2007

Macworld 2007: 1984 All Over Again by Daniel H. Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg reports on the Macworld keynote. From the big iPhone announcement and demo to the startling lack of Mac and Leopard news, Daniel shares his impressions and provides detailed analysis of the year's largest Apple event. 01/12/2007

Building a Game Engine with Cocoa, Part 2 by Matthew Russell
In this second part of Matthew Russell's series on building a game engine with Cocoa, we learn how to program the logic for generating valid moves and improve the overall usability of our board game by highlighting squares on the board that correspond to valid move locations. 01/05/2007

Building a Game Engine with Cocoa by Matthew Russell
Matthew Russell shows how to use Xcode and a little artificial intelligence to build a small game engine for playing board games like Checkers and Lines of Action. This first article describes how to build a generic, minimalist framework for setting up a board and moving pieces around using a standard Cocoa design. 12/19/2006

iPod Notes: Above and Beyond by Erica Sadun
In this follow-up article to "Building Interactive iPod Experiences," Erica Sadun shows how to use iPod Notes to create a "notes-only" museum mode, reuse already existing HTML source material, create custom menu presentations, control navigation, and more. 12/12/2006

O'Reilly Happenings at Macworld SF 2007 by Bruce Stewart
Macworld SF 2007 is shaping up to be a busy show for O'Reilly Media. We have great specials, lots of books, a full speaker lineup, and a menu of activities. Here's a comprehensive overview. 12/11/2006

Building Interactive iPod Experiences by Erica Sadun
The interactive multimedia presentation is one of the least-trumpeted features of the iPod. In this article, Erica Sadun introduces the basics of interactive iPod design by showing how to use the iPod Notes feature to create presentations that include text, links, images, music, and videos. 11/28/2006

Peter Green's Modded Macs by Giles Turnbull
Giles Turnbull recently visited hardware hacker and composer Peter Green to check out his homemade Mac laptop and tablet computers. Learn what inspires Green and how he made these machines, along with images and video of these inventive Mac mods. 11/21/2006

How to Write a Cocoa Web Server by Jürgen Schweizer
Learn how to use NSSocketPort, NSFileHandle, and Cocoa notifications to write a server application without having to create a multi-threaded application. Jürgen Schweizer also shows how to use Core Foundation APIs to deal with the low-level details of the HTTP protocol in this working example of building a Cocoa web server. 11/14/2006

Making a Smooth Move from .Mac to Google by Matthew Russell
Matthew Russell presents a practical approach for a smooth move from .Mac to a Google-centric web experience. Getting your email, address book, calendar, online storage, online photos, and blog squared away are all covered in this detailed transition plan. 11/01/2006

What's The Big Deal About Making Music Players Social? Microsoft Zune and the Big Idea by Erica Sadun
Why does Microsoft insist that a social music player, its upcoming Zune, is the wave of the future? Zune social networking manifests itself through its Wi-Fi-based music sharing and its PC-based (and presumably MySpace-inspired) Zune Marketplace. Microsoft gambles that these two spheres are sufficient to define a new and unique Zune space. Erica Sadun takes a good hard look at the Zune and tries to figure out if it is the wave of the future--or just a pipe dream. 10/17/2006

Text Tricks and More Text Tricks by Giles Turnbull
We've covered text editors here before. We know, from various posts at the Mac DevCenter blog, that our readers are often as fanatical about using plain text as we are. Tips on using your editor of choice are easy to find, but we thought it would be fun to gather a whole bunch of them together for the first time; not only to spread the word, but to invite our readers to add their own tips and time-savers. We've also asked a handful of Mac users to contribute their own favorite text tricks. 10/10/2006

Burn Your New iTunes Movies to DVD (and Protect Your Other iTunes Purchases) by Erica Sadun
How much money have you spent at the iTunes store? And what do you have to show for it? An iPod full of music? TV shows? Those new games and movies? Too many people forget how much cash they've put into their digital media. And when bad things happen--house fires, computer theft, iPod loss--they're not always prepared to be able to recover those digital assets. Erica Sadun shows you archiving techniques to preserve your (hefty) iTunes investment. 09/19/2006

Miglia TVMicro and EyeTV: Easy TV on Your Mac by Matthew Russell
The Miglia TVMicro is a small USB device and comes bundled with a remote control and the renowned EyeTV app, which makes it trivial to pull up program listings, schedule recordings, and more. Costing roughly $100, this is a purchase that might just pay for itself sooner than you think. Matthew Russell reviews. 09/12/2006

A Briefing on Syncing by Michael E. Cohen
The idea behind synchronizing, or syncing, is simple: take information you collect on one device, like the contact lists you keep on your laptop, and combine it with similar information on other devices so that the two sets of information match. Sounds easy enough, but there are a few tricks to understand. In this Take Control excerpt, Michael Cohen provides an informative overview for getting your info in sync. 09/05/2006

Email Protocols: Where Do We Go Now? by Giles Turnbull
Having established that email has a complicated history, tends to drive people crazy, has had entire books written about keeping it under control, and is broken beyond all repair for some people, let's try to work out what we can do--practically speaking--to make using it less of a hassle. Giles Turnbull explores our state of email and provides a few glimmers of where we may be headed. 08/29/2006

Unify and Synchronize Your iTunes Libraries by Matthew Russell
Last June, David Miller published an article that explained how to synchronize playlists on iTunes. Today, Matthew Russell extends this idea by investigating and presenting three different ways to synchronize the actual contents of your iTunes music libraries when they are scattered across multiple machines. Then in the second half of the article, Matthew lays the foundation for a custom Python script that you can extend across multiple platforms and in various other ways. 08/22/2006

The Three Faces of Steve: WWDC 2006 by Daniel H. Steinberg
After welcoming the audience of developers at WWDC, Steve Jobs let the audience know that others would help him on stage. This, in and of itself, was unusual. There are often supporting roles in the WWDC and MacWorld keynotes, but only one featured artist. Not only did Jobs share the stage with Bertrand Serlet, Phil Schiller, and Scott Forstall, but he allowed them to make many of the morning's announcements. In a way they represented the three faces of Steve. Daniel Steinberg reports. 08/15/2006

Understanding the NSTableView Class by Jose Cruz
This article will provide you with an in-depth introduction on how to use the NSTableView Cocoa class to display tabular data. You will first learn how to add an instance of that class to your application project using Interface Builder. Then, you will learn how to properly implement the data-source process used to retrieve the data to be displayed by the instantiated table. Jose Cruz shows you how. 08/08/2006

How Does Open Source Software Stack Up on the Mac? by Matthew Russell
Apple does a great job of providing elegant software for its platform. But there are plenty of good offerings beyond the fruits of Cupertino. In this amazing survey of proprietary and open source software, Matthew Russell attempts to organize what's available on both fronts and even dares to assign grades. Has he missed anything? 07/25/2006

So! Intelligent Tagging for the Mac User by Giles Turnbull
It's time to learn about, a glorious, minimalist, tag-tastic bookmarks database. It was designed to be a "large-scale outboard memory," with added sharing smarts. It works like this: you take all your digital stuff and throw it into your account. Thanks to tagging and searching, you can find your stuff easily later. And you can find other people's stuff, too. Giles Turnbull shows you how. 07/18/2006

What Is Vim (It's Easier than You Think) by Matthew Russell
If you've had a less-than-agreeable experience with Vim in the past and are willing to give it another shot, please ponder these points: 1) there's generally a learning curve involved with any powerful tool, 2) Vim is much more than just your run-of-the-mill text editor, and 3) the effort required to become a proficient Vimmer isn't as much as you'd think: it's comparable to that of learning to touch type. Matthew Russell explains. 07/11/2006

Parallels Desktop for the Mac by Todd Ogasawara
The short version of this discussion about Parallels can be summed up in a single word: amazing. Nothing is perfect, of course, and there is room for improvement as Parallels moves this product beyond version 1.0. However, if you have an Intel-based Mac and need or want to run Microsoft Windows, some version of Linux, or some other supported operating system, read on. Todd Ogasawara reports. 06/27/2006

Wireless Security on the Road Without a VPN by FJ de Kermadec
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure way to connect to web sites and email while using wireless networks. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a VPN, so what do you do? In this article you'll learn how to secure your online activities without a VPN. 06/20/2006

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