Apple Releases Snow Leopard

The latest version of Apple’s operating system will be available in two days (Aug. 28, 2009) and an upgrade can be purchased for $29. The full version runs only $49, which is still less than even the most simple commercial applications you would normally purchase. Of course, in order to use OSX Snow Leopard, you have to have an Intel Mac, so you’ve most likely already paid considerably more than you should have for your hardware. Therefore, the low price of the operating system probably still doesn’t offset the hardware costs.

I have to admit that I’m a little confused about why they are even offering a full version of the operating system. Are there really people out there that own Intel Macs without the Macintosh operating system already installed? I suppose there’s a remote possibility that people are still running Tiger rather than Leopard, but with Snow Leopard not supporting old PowerPC Macs, I suspect the possibility is rather remote.

Wired has posted a list of six important tips that people will need to know before upgrading to the new OS. I find the list very interesting, considering the warnings included in the post are very similar to the major complaints people have had about both Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Chrome for Linux Moving Along

Google Chrome ScreenshotWithin the last few days, the development build of Google’s Chrome Web browser has made great strides toward being ready for prime time use. Within Linux Mint, at least, the browser supports plugins such as Adobe Flash fairly well, the ability to import bookmarks, history, passwords and other information from Firefox has been implemented and is working properly, and the chrome (the appearance of the window – not to be confused with the name of the browser) is now consistent with the Windows version. When maximized, the tab bar moves into the area normally used as the title bar by other programs, allowing you to use almost as much of the screen as you would in fullscreen mode with other browsers.

If you are running some version of Linux on your computer and you have not yet tested the development build of Chrome, you really should check it out. At this point, the only real issue I am experiencing is that it’s difficult to enable the plugins. I had plugins working properly for a while, but then had to make some adjustments to my Flash installation, which stopped the plugins from working within Chrome. I’m assuming, though, that once the plugins are officially supported by Chrome, they will begin working properly (which will, hopefully, be very soon).

WordPress Security Tip – Change Your Theme Name

This is a quick tip – never use the “default” theme in WordPress. Even if you decide to use the default theme for your blog, change the name to something unique. I have started to think about my theme names like passwords and am using unique names for each site.

It appears that many times the hackers and exploiters will get into your site and edit the default theme. If you change it to something else, it can make it a bit harder to be exploited. It doesn’t mean you won’t be exploited, just that it might help a bit. Think of it as that little chain you put on your front door. It won’t stop a criminal from getting in, just make them kick the door harder.

Changing the theme is easy – here’s how I do it.

  • Login to your admin panel and select the appearance option
  • Select the themes option (you may already be on this page)
  • Now FTP to your blog and change the name of the theme from Default to something unique (e.g. sd2tge0)
  • Reload your themes page and select the newly renamed theme

Related: Our commentary on the good, bad and the exploited in our move from Drupal to WordPress.

The Five Best Free iPhone Apps

If you’ve got an iPhone or an iPod Touch, you should really check out the apps I’m going to highlight in this post. All of them are free, and all of them are great. I am leaving out some of the obvious ones, like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google, etc., as just about everyone that uses those services already knows about the iPhone apps that go with them. I want to highlight the fact that this post is strictly based on my opinion. I’m sure it will irritate some people, and others will wonder why such-and-such is not listed, but these are just the ones I enjoy the most. Therefore, without further ado, here are my top five free apps for the iPhone (in no real particular order):

TweetDeck in 64-Bit Linux

I updated my home computer the other day, installing the latest 64-bit version of Linux Mint. This is my first foray into regularly using a 64-bit version of Linux, so I was not really prepared for some of the issues I experienced. Most of my issues (Amarok not working properly) were easily solved by simply adding some of the default Ubuntu repositories that are disabled by default in Mint.

However, I still had problems getting Adobe AIR and TweetDeck (or Seesmic Desktop, for that matter) to work correctly. After a bit of searching, I found that this is because Adobe hasn’t released a 64-bit version of Adobe AIR, and 64-bit Linux isn’t really prepared, out-of-the-box, to handle the 32-bit version.

I found an article in the Adobe knowledgebase explaining how to get Adobe AIR installed. Unfortunately, the link to the getlibs package in that article is outdated, and it was really difficult to find the real location of that file. I finally found it. This is, apparently, only a termporary location for the package, so I don’t know where it will end up afterwards. There is a topic in the Ubuntu forums where the location is discussed.

Homesite is No More – Adobe Discontinues Development

My favorite text editor for as long as I can remember is Homesite. I still use it today to edit HTML, PHP, etc. Homesite began life as a product developed by Nick Bradbury. Nick sold the software to Allaire. Allaire was acquired by Macromedia and then most recently acquired by Adobe when Adobe acquired Macromedia.

Adobe has announced that it no longer will support Homesite and is pushing customers into Adobe Dreamweaver CS4. Adobe notes, “After careful consideration, Adobe discontinued development of Macromedia HomeSite software effective May 26, 2009. Field and channel sales of the product ended on May 26 and sales across all channels, including the online Adobe Store, ended June 18, 2009. Existing customers are encouraged to consider the development environment of Adobe® Dreamweaver CS4 software.”

A real shame as Adobe really has no product that is lightweight and works for raw coding. I will continue to use Homesite as it meets my needs for coding. You can read my last review of Homesite 5 from a few years ago.