A while ago I installed Mac OS X Panther on a iBook G4 along with the “Classic” environment. I was interested in trying out some programs from the past. It came with software such as Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape browsers. I had some other software I was able to run: the first version of Photoshop Elements and Myst.
MYST was a major hit when it came out in the 1990’s. It was a game that came on CD-ROM (new for most people at the time) and took advantage of Apple’s HyperCard and QuickTime technologies. The game involves solving puzzles as you make your way around various “ages” and learning about the unfolding story. Sequels to the game came out later as well as a book trilogy.
Cyan, the company behind MYST, continues to make it possible to purchase versions for modern computers. Playing on the iBook today is interesting for me as it involves a CD-ROM from 1993 on a 2004 computer while having an iPad for taking notes. For some more background ArsTechnica wrote a story recently with a video interview with Rand Miller, a co-creator of the game, looking back on its development.
With some of the news these days it sure seems like Back to the Future. With reports of flying hoverboards and flying cars what else could be happening? Today we have a blast from the past as Apple subsidiary Filemaker, Inc. now known for its database program of the same name is changing its name to Claris International which reminds many long time Mac users of the former company that made ClarisWorks. AppleInsider provides some more background into the history of Apple/Claris/Filemaker.
One of the early Macintosh computers in the classic all-in-one style was the Macintosh Plus. The illustrations were made with CADintosh X and Affinity Designer.
Learn about the computer here: Apple website and Low End Mac
GraphicConverter provides a great selection of features including browsing and image editing. For those occasions where you need to use another image editor it is easy to send the picture from the browser to open in your desired program. There are two different ways to do this.
- Right click and in the menu select “Open With”.
- Add the “Open With” button in the toolbar.
The external editors need to be set up initially to make them available. The editors are set in the preferences.
Opening from the menu
Preferences -> General -> External Editors
Add external editors in preferences
In the window add any photo editors you have available here using the + button. More than one program can be listed here. In the browser right click on the image, select “Open With” and the list of applications will be shown. It can also be accessed from the main menu Edit -> Edit With.
Opening from the toolbar
Preferences -> Browser -> Misc
Add preferred editor in preferences
For the option “Open With” Application set your preferred program.
Right click on the toolbar to customize it and add the “Open With” button to the toolbar.
Affinity Photo is the program chosen here, which means that clicking on the “Open With” button on the toolbar will open a selected image in Affinity Photo. The setting here will also affect when opening from the menu by placing the chosen program at the top of the list.
Today the Internet Archive, an important resource documenting the world wide web, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. A key feature has been the scanning and archiving of websites over the years. Using the WayBackMachine you can type in a URL and see what the website looked like in the past.
The Internet Archive also provides access to a large number of contributed text and multimedia resources. Below are a couple links to some Apple related resources.
On the weekend I updated to Yosemite and the process went well. Here are some tips to reduce some of the drastic changes to the user interface and bring back a couple items that are hidden in Safari.
- To reduce the transparency added with Yosemite there is an option by going to System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and selecting “Reduce transparency”.
- One of the options that Mac OS X has is to change the blue colour for highlights in menus to grey. I find it especially helpful in Yosemite to minimize the overly bright nature. In the System Preferences -> General ->Appearance and selecting “Graphite”.
- Yosemite brings a new version of Safari and one of the changes made was that URL is reduced to the domain name. To view full URLs go to the Safari Preferences and selecting “Show full website addresses”.
- Safari also takes away the title for the current page. This can be shown by making sure that the tab bar is always shown by selecting from the menu View -> Show Tab Bar.
Update 11/11/2014: MacWorld includes an article with information on why you might want to keep Apple’s new URL behaviour.
This morning Apple previewed the next versions of OS X: named Yosemite and iOS 8. Changes to OS X include a redesign of the user interface. While I think that they finally got things consistent throughout Mavericks and so not what I would say would make it a high priority, it will provide the option of a light or dark look to the UI. One of the major new features is Continuity that will allow one to move from working with one iOS device or Mac to another.
Some features for the camera and photos app will be access to all photos on all devices, via an enhanced iCloud service. One will be able to search photos and new editing controls within the photos app. Third party developers will also be able to extend with their own filters. In addition a Photos app that will be coming to the Mac next year.
The new updates will be available in Fall and look like they will have much to offer.
In the process of moving photos that were originally on an older Mac onto my current Mac with Mavericks and iPhoto 9.5.1. When I first opened the library there weren’t any images showing. To help in this situations Apple has a Library Upgrader available. The upgrader is for iPhoto libraries that you want to use from iPhoto ’08 (version 7) or earlier. iPhoto will still go through the upgrading process when you open the library after that. This worked for a couple different libraries when I used the upgrader.
To open a library other than the default one, use the option key when starting iPhoto. There is also a shareware program called iPhoto Library Manager that is useful when you are working with multiple libraries.
Update 17/04/2014: Unfortunately I found the upgrader doesn’t work in all cases and the pictures still don’t appear in iPhoto. iPhoto Library Manager can help in these cases by using the “Extract Photos” menu item. This will search for the pictures in the library and put them in a folder on your hard drive.
Unfortunately after today Filemaker will be no longer offering the easy to use database program Bento. If you use the Mac program and the iOS app one ends up with problems syncing after upgrading to iOS 7. The fix is to setup syncing as a new device. Check the Bento forums, i.e. this thread for info.
Bento continues to work at the moment and hopefully Mavericks won’t cause any serious issues. That is what I find so problematic about Filemaker quitting development at this time, it is right at the same time as major operating system updates. If you want to check for other programs available, Bento users have posted a list of some of the options available.
In addition to the big news of iPhone 4 and iOS 4 Apple also released a new version of Safari. Added to Safari are some of the new HTML5 elements and improved performance. Another addition is an official extensions capability to Safari. One of the most interesting features that has been added to Safari is what Apple calls “Safari Reader”. When Safari finds an article in a webpage and you select “Reader” from the menu Safari will pull the main content into a window, without adds and other items that may distract from reading. This is similar to when sites create a simpler “print” view.
To see some of the HTML5 capabilities in action check the HTML5 web pages Apple posted last week.