Tag Archives: Mac OS X

TextMate for SQL

Just going on record as saying TextMate is my best friend right now. Writing SQL with this thing is a snap. Select column of field names with Option key, press backtick, and it snaps the backticks around your field names. Go on – continue typing. Typing is matched for all columns. I have a lot of varchars here – varchar(30) to start with, and the comma. This gigantic table is almost done – just modify my data types as needed, finish up my primary key, and go on to the next task. This was way faster than typing everything out…

University of Denver Recommends Against Vista, Office 2007

I received this email today from the University of Denver. The essence of it is: Don’t upgrade to Vista or Office 2007. I thought I’d repost it here, with my own emphasis added for flavor:

To: University of Denver Students
Fm: Ken Stafford, Vice Chancellor for Technology
Re: Microsoft Vista and Office 2007

As most of you know, Microsoft has now distributed the new Vista operating system. Vista has a completely new and different look and feel than Windows XP. It has been designed to look much more like the Apple Mac interface. UTS has been testing Vista for several months. At this time, UTS is recommending that you NOT upgrade to Vista. UTS is NOT supporting Vista at this time. There are many incompatibilities and many computers are not able to run the program. Currently, Vista does not work with the following:

Symantec Antivirus
The Wireless VPN
DU Webmail
Pharos public printer system

There are many other programs that will not work with Vista without updates if available. If you install Vista, you will not be able to use the DU wireless network, Blackboard, the public printers and other systems. We are working with the Vendors of these systems to get compatible drivers, but at this time, we strongly recommend that you not upgrade.

Office 2007

Office 2007 has a completely different interface. There are no longer drop-down menus. Menu choices are offered in “ribbons of information” on several rows at the top of the screen. Office 2007 files are also not compatible with previous versions of Office. While there are patches of Office 2003 that will allow people to read 2007 files, you will probably need to save files created by 2007 as 2003 files before you send them to faculty or others who do not yet use Office 2007. At this time, there is no patch for Mac users, so if you are sending a document to a Mac user, you will need to save the file in the 2003 format.

At this time, we see little advantage to installing either of these products.

Please see http://www.du.edu/uts/software/newsoftware.html for more detailed information.

Couple of things. First of all, this illustrates the uphill battle that Microsoft faces in convincing people to upgrade. The features are generally all there for the average to advanced user, so a few extra bells and whistles for some exorbitant sum of money is not going to convince a lot of users to upgrade.

The comment about Vista being more “Mac-like” was just hilarious, especially in the context of how self-concious and testy Bill Gates got when this issue was pointed out.

And here’s one for the University. How long do you think they can hold out on this recommendation. What about all the new machines that students will be buying on their way to school in the coming quarter, all pre-loaded with Vista and Office 2007?

Finally, here is yet another glaring example of why any organization should absolutely without fail focus on building their enterprise architecture on open standards. Things change. The only way to be prepared for such changes is to base things on open, widely-accepted standards, so that when you decide to change your VPN system or everyone upgrades to a new operating system or web browser, things will continue working. The incompatibilities for web sites are inexcusable in this day and age – standarads-based web design is cheaper and easier to implement than bloated, junky, proprietary markup practices of the days of yore. Fix it. Stop paying people to build non-standard websites that will break in a few years.

Entity Relationship Modeling Tools for Mac OS X

In my Database class this evening we were watching the instructor do some database modeling using Visio. I was playing along using Omnigraffle, but after a while it didn’t go as far as Visio did in terms of automatically creating relationships, foreign keys, and that sort of thing. I wanted something more developer oriented. So I did some quick research on what is available:

MySQL Workbench

Supports MySQL, obviously. I might wind up using this just because I almost entirely deal with MySQL. The only variable in that is my forays into Oracle lately.

Aquafold Data Studio

Supports Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Sybase, Informix, PostgreSQL, MySQL – code generation looks powerful.
Free version 4.7, 6.0 costs $399. 4.7 looks dated compared to the 6.0 version, but man the price jump!

Visual Paradigm

Many interesting and compelling variations. Community Edition is free. This one looks pretty nice to me – my cup of tea. Lots of related products and editions, so there are options for most modeling needs, budgets, and scopes.

ConceptDraw VI Pro

Standard $149, Pro $299

So far I’ve cracked open MySQL Workbench and Visual Paradigm for UML Community Edition. I am only at the beginning of exploring these tools, so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Up in smoke

The original power supply for my October 2004 12″ PowerBook caught on fire last night. It was pretty interesting. First I smelled a bit of smoke and wondered where the hell that could be coming from. Then I saw the crackling where the cable joined the power converter unit. Apparently all that movement over the years had worn out this stress point, and it shorted out. It made a little puff of smoke and a minor flame before I quickly unplugged it.

The power supply I’m using now is Yingwen’s – this one has survived many abuses from the kids, but still sort of fits in the socket.

Boy a new MagSafe-enabled MacBook sounds nice…


CrossOver Mac was just announced, and this software should allow Mac OS X users on Intel machines to be able to run most Windows applications on a Mac without having to bother with installing a Windows operating system on your machine.

This is interesting if you don’t need ubiquitous compatability and only need to run a few apps in Windows. Mine are IE6 and Microsoft Project. Really, I don’t see any need to install a full-blown Windows instance if these two items could be satisified by CrossOver.