Trouble in the terminal

So, today was the day I started working on getting my development environment up and running. I needed to install Apache, PHP, MySQL and memcached. MySQL was a breeze. I just used the prebuilt package from The others were a whole other story.

We run a pretty customized setup for Apache and PHP. My coworker that has been on the Mac for almost two years advised me to install them from scratch and to ignore the versions already on the system. Compiling on the Mac was not as easy as on Linux. I had installed XCode, but something was not right still. I was getting linker errors when I tried to configure Apache. Had trouble with fink too, but I will post that in the next story.

So, I spent a good part of the day hunting all over the internet. The answer that kept coming up was to install XCode. I had done that and starting the installer showed all the default checked packages would be "upgrades" meaning they were already installed. Finally, I just started the XCode installer and checked every box, 2.2GB of stuff. Something in there did the trick.

The other thing that slowed me dow was having to adjust to the BSD way of things. Things did not install where I was used to them being. apachectl was in sbin for example. On Linux, it goes into bin. Those are no big deals. I will have scripts to start and stop my whole dev environment.

At the end of the day, I got it all working. Luckily, this was a one time annoyance. My annoyance with Linux had become day to day.

Tags: apple apache php mysql macbook

Mouse Tracking

I have had some trouble getting used to the mouse in Mac OS X. Both windows and Linux offer two settings for mouse movement, speed and acceleration. OS X only offers Tracking Speed. It seems to be a combination of the two. I am sure I will get used to it, but for now, its a bit difficult to get used to.

And so it begins...

Well, this is my first post from my new MacBook. So far so good. I have already been noticing the little mac things. Like no page down button on the keyboard, no right mouse button on the track pad, etc. I knew what I was getting into though.

I have already installed Firefox, Thunderbird, Adium and jEdit. Those will be my core applications. I was using all of those but Adium on Linux. I have heard from several sources that Adium is the best multi-network IM client available. I may look at others, but I will start with that. I will be able to bring over eSVN and X-Chat from Linux as well.

I will post more after I have been using it for a day or so.

It's in Indiana!

So, this is my intro. Like most of the free world, I have been a Windows user for most of my life. I was lucky enough to find Linux when I got into the world of building/running web sites. My early attempts to use it as a desktop OS were unsuccesful. I always felt I could do my job with Linux, but I could do it better with Windows.

Two years ago, it was time for me to buy a new laptop for work. Our CEO is a Mac user and wanted me to try a Powerbook. I took one home and used it to work for a week or so. There were so many things I liked about it. The intuitive interfaces, the simple application installation and other things were very attractive. However, at the end of the day, I still felt more productive in a Windows environment. Also, the Powebook G4's were not powerhouses. Even my CEO used a Windows machine for some things that were not fast enough for him on his Mac.

About a year ago, after having some problems with coliding code bases, I plunged with my coworkers into using Linux as our desktop OS of choice. This had its advantages for us. Our servers are Linux. Using Linux on our desktops made developing on our local machines much easier. We no longer overwrote each other's changes and everything was much smoother. One coworker however decided to take the plunge. He moved cold turkey to a 12" Powerbook. He could still do the things we were doing. He could run Apache/PHP/MySQL all on the Powerbook.

So, fast foward one more time to January 2006. Steve Jobs announces the MacBook Pro. An Intel based Mac. I found myself acting like a school girl over this announcement. After a year on Linux, I had started to wonder about moving to the Mac. We had been at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in 2005 and the number of Powerbook's we saw was staggering. The market share for Apple in the portable, open source world is much higher than the general market.

So, as of April 1, I ordered my MacBook Pro. I checked today and its in Indiana. The other Linux users on our team will soon follow. In fact, soon, only 3 of our 13 full time employees in our once Windows dominated company will be running Windows full time. Our IT department (3 people) will all be using Mac OS X exclusively.

OMG, I can't wait for my Mac to get here.
( what is wrong with me =)

Apple Safari reminds me of darker times

Apple released their own web browser back in January. The Apple faithful were delighted. The good news IMO was that they decided to adopt and open source project for their base. The bad thing was they went after a project that they knew they could dominate and control. The result is a browser that takes me back a few years when you had to test and re-test and make small changes just so your website would work in all the browsers out there (at that time it was really just Netscape and Microsoft IE).

In the last year, both Microsoft and the Mozilla project (the open source project that powers Netscape's Browser and newer versions of AOL) had made huge leaps toward standards compliance. So much so that the recent redesign of the dealnews web sites required almost no special changes for one browser versus the other.

Well, enter Safari. It was released as "beta" which means, not ready for everyday use. But the Apple faithful ignored that and jumped right on it. I immediately started getting reports from our users of that our site "did not work" in Safari. The truth is that Safari does not work right. The problems ranged from cookie issues to small cosmetic flaws. One odd thing was that certain ads we displayed would cause the right side of our site to "hang" off the page to the right in Safari. Very annoying. There is nothing wrong with the page. I had to basically refuse to "fix" our page on the basis that it is still beta software.

Now it seems Safari has some problems on some interal pages. Well, I have just recently been able to slim down that code to not care what browser the user was using. We do require our employees to use a "modern" browser when using our internal systems. But, it now seems that even more hacks and exceptions will be introduced to handle the poorly written, beta software.

Maybe Apple will get it together, but I doubt it. I have already seen one quote from and Apple developer claming that the other modern browsers do some things wrong and he is doing them right. I find that hard to believe. If Microsoft and Mozilla agree on something it is likely the correct way as they like nothing more than to prove each other wrong. I did find this blog from one of the Safari developers. I will follow it and see what we can get out of it.

So, if you are an Apple user and you are reading this, I encourage your to not use Safari. For all reading this, I reccomend using Mozilla for web browsing. It is faster and more reliable than any browser I have ever used.