Even I am not this much of an Apple fanboy

Wow. I mean, wow. This guy freakin’ loves Apple. He must have a giant poster of Steve Jobs in his bedroom. Either that or he owns a mountain of Apple stock.

Whatever the case, Tom Yager finds Mac OS X Leopard to be without flaw. Not only a “10” but a “Perfect 10.” There’s no way that even I can say that.

Granted, my gripes with it are petty and purely visual: the translucent menu bar; the glossy, glassy Dock; the stupid Stacks icons. I love its functionality and performance, and haven’t run into any actual problems using it (other than the fact that iPhoto is flaking out on me, but I’m running an old version and I have over 7000 photos in my library, neither of which is Leopard’s fault; and I had to upgrade Photoshop for compatibility, but with CS3 I’m glad I did that anyway).

But still… perfect? Come on. And it gets even more nauseating as the article goes on.

So yes, if you have a Mac, by all means buy Leopard; it’s $129 far better spent than on Vista. (Not that you can get a usable version of Vista for that price… but if you could, you could run it on your Mac too.) If you don’t have a Mac, now’s a great time to give one serious consideration. But if you’re still on the fence, don’t read this article first; with friends like Tom Yager (and of course the ever-insufferable Guy Kawasaki), Apple needs no enemies: this kind of sycophantic Apple-can-do-no-wrong drivel only proves the point for people who think Apple products are just for the fanboys.

For an antidote to this sickening lovefest, check out this anti-Leopard rant a former coworker just emailed to me.

WordPress is great, but the documentation leaves a little to be desired…

Alas, the woes of using open source software rear their heads. WordPress abounds with undocumented, or at least very poorly documented, features.

My dilemma: the default function for displaying a list of page links (used on this site to populate the Points of Interest panel in the sidebar) sorts links alphabetically, and there isn’t any obvious way to make it sort by the database’s menu_order field, which logically, to me at least, should be the default especially given that this is how they’re sorted in the admin tool.

Finding little help in the documentation or by my usual means (Google), I decided it couldn’t be done without modification. In my previous installation of WordPress I actually modified the core code itself to change the sort order, but when I upgraded to version 2.1.1 today, it overwrote that change. This time I decided to try the plug-in approach, so my changes would actually stick through version changes, and so I could get familiar with the powerful but arcane plug-in system WordPress uses for extensibility.

After poking around futilely trying to get my plug-in to work (to the point where it was sorting all of my blog posts the way I wanted the pages to be, but not the page list), I stumbled upon a relevant post in the WordPress forums, where a snide jab at “theme designers” (which seemed to be such a broad swipe that it included me) happened to mention an input parameter in the function that calls the page list!

Silly me… the system has built right in a very simple way to sort the list by whatever field you want, and all you have to do is pass in the right parameters in your theme files. The change couldn’t have been simpler… but learning that it was possible certainly could have!

Mac does Windows…

It’s old news that Apple‘s new computers all run the Intel Core Duo processor (or the unimaginatively — yet redundantly — named Core 2 Duo), and that thanks to Boot Camp, or a third-party app called Parallels (which I didn’t bother to buy, so I’m also not going to bother to track down the link), Apple’s computers can now run Windows natively.

Ultimately for no other reason than that it can be done, I naturally had to install Windows on my new MacBook. Tonight the “dream” (and I use that term without implying any positive connotations) became reality.

Sure, it’s great to have Windows, I guess. It benefits me mainly in that I can test my work in that most unpredictable of environments, Internet Explorer. I suppose it would also be handy for running Windows-only software, if there were any Windows-only software I actually wanted or needed to run.

The most striking characteristic I’ve noted so far is how obnoxious Windows software installers are. Installing a new application on Windows feels a bit like forcing your way through a crowded flea market, with aggressive hawkers pushing their wares on you. (In fact, come to think of it, that’s basically what it is.)

So far I’ve only installed 3 programs, aside from the OS itself (a harrowing experience in its own right), those being Adobe Reader, Firefox, and AOL Instant Messenger. I tried to install the latest version of Flash Player as well, but for some reason the installer just starts and then vanishes mysteriously. Ah, Windows.

Among those 3 installed programs, only Firefox did not accost me with multiple offers to install other, unwanted programs… or that perennial favorite, the browser toolbar. No thanks! I’m just coming for Adobe Reader. I really don’t care to also litter my hard drive (and desktop… and Start menu… and taskbar) with the likes of a 30-day trial of a watered-down version of Photoshop. And I definitely am not interested in the Adobe Yahoo! toolbar, nor can I even imagine what purpose it could possibly serve, other than to surreptitiously alert Adobe to the fact that I’ve surfed on over to my own website, wherein I’ve then proceeded to write and post a rant on the topic of invasive spyware.

It doesn’t have to be like this, people! (In fact, I am writing this once again having returned to the comfort of an operating system that just gets the hell out of the way and lets me do what I want to do thank you very much!)