Mac OS El Capitan Now Public Beta

Mac OS El Capitan is now public beta. That means, you can now download and play around with the latest Mac OS. Apple plans to release El Capitan sometime in the Fall of 2015. If you’re curious about the new features of El Capitan, check out the video by DetroitBORG.

Spotlight looks really promising. The new Mission Control and split screen view is the feature we’ve all been waiting for. How about the pin tabs for Safari, or the muting audio from a single tab or all tabs? And no more spinning beach balls. What’s up with that?

Finally, they should have an official theme song for El Capitan when it comes out later this fall. I suggest they play this song containing this lyric, “Soy capitan. Soy capitan.”

Mac OS Mountain Lion

Apple announced today, the Mac OS X Mountain Lion is due to ship in July for just $19.99. That’s about the same as 5 Starbucks lattes. The new OS will bring in a slew of applications and features available on the iPad and iPhone to the Mac.

Some of the new features will include “dictation, a Power Nap feature which updates your streams while the Mac sleeps and a tabview feature associated with the Safari browser, which allows you to zoom in and out. It will also get deeper integration with iCloud” according to Mashable.

Finally, here’s a video of the new features of the Mac OS Mountain Lion.

The New MacBook Air 2011

Apple is just about to release a newer version of the MacBook Air (sometime in July). This is the third release of the MBA. As most remember, the last MacBook Air release was back in November 2010. I bought one shortly after the release. So, what’s new with the new MacBook Air 2011 edition. Here’s the list of features:

  • MacOS X Lion
  • Thunderbolt data port
  • Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
  • New GPUs (most likely)
  • iCloud (no more MobileMe)
  • Better integration with iOS (iPhones and iPad)

Essentially, it’s a hardware refresh. Same design.

CSS Font Order

When designing web pages, using the appropriate font for your design does wonder to the overall look, feel and layout of your page. Unfortunately, web designers are quite limited to the fonts they can use. Most web designers stick to the tried and true “web safe” fonts.

If you take all considerations including operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix, and browsers: IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc, then you are really stuck with just 3 of the safest fonts on the web. They are: Arial/Helvetica, Times New Roman/Times, and Courier New/Courier.

Other fonts that work across platforms are: Palatino, Garamond, Bookman, and Avant Garde.

Fonts that work in Windows and Mac OS, but not in Unix+X are: Verdana, Georgia, Comic Sans MS, Trebuchet MS, Arial Black, and Impact.

If you like to consider all OS platforms in your design, then the order of your fonts in CSS is important. I recommend this sequence.

Establish a Baseline

At the very least, you need to establish your baseline font. Choose whether you want “Serif or Sans-Serif” font. The CSS would look something similar to this:

html { font-family: Serif}
html { font-family: Sans-Serif }

Choose a Web Safe Font

Next, choose a “web safe” font. Your choice comes down to either taking Arial/Helvetica, Times New Roman/Times, and Courier New/Courier. Most people don’t use the monotype Courier font except when displaying code. So, you are essentially down to four fonts, Arial/Helvetica or Times New Roman/Times. Helvetica is very popular. Arial is not far behind. New Times Roman is better than Times. In our example, will now look like this:

html { font-family: Times New Roman, Serif }
html { font-family: Arial, Sans-Serif }

Choose a Cross-Platform Font

If you must, you can choose a “cross platform font.” Again, our choices are: Palatino Linotype, Garamond, Bookman, and Avant Garde. The first 3 are Serif fonts. Avant Garde is the only Sans-Serif font.

html { font-family: Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman, Serif }
html { font-family: Avant Garde, Arial, Sans-Serif }

Add Other Fonts

If you must, you can choose other fonts, although they do not work in Unix+ systems. They are: Verdana, Georgia, Comic Sans MS, Trebuchet MS, Arial Black and Impact.

html { font-family: Georgia, Palatino, Times New Roman, Serif }
html { font-family: Verdana, Avant Garde, Arial, Sans-Serif }

There you have it. A safe way to implement CSS Fonts across all OS platforms.

Lin-X 1.1

If you want a Linux desktop that looks and feels like a Mac, you should take a look at Lin-X 1.1, a Linux distro based on rock-solid Ubuntu, but made to look like a Mac. When you login to Lin-X, you’ll be greeted with a Mac look-alike wallpaper. Navigation is done using a Doc like-panel at the bottom of the screen. The distro comes with most standard Ubuntu applications , but with a couple of non-standard applications thrown in the mix. The only gripe I have with this distro; there seems to be little activity with development. I can’t imagine trying to get support. If you are still curious about this distro, you can download it from Softpedia.

Snow Leopard

For Mac OS fans out there, here’s a list of enhancements and refinements of the new Mac OS Snow Leopard. What happened to the word `features`? Maybe, it’s not as hip as enhancements and refinements anymore. I guess it’s outdated. I always laugh how marketing folks come with old words and make them new again. Enhancements and refinements. Next up. Polish. Check out the new `polish` of the new Mac OS at the Apple store. Snow Leopard looks really good. I’m not much of a Mac user, but when I do, I’m always impressed. If you want to pre-order, you can get one for only $29. Compare that to another operating system I know that’s about 5 times as much.

Open Office 3.0

If you have not been living under a rock, you probably heard by now that Office 3.0 was released to the general public on October 13th. If you have not heard about the Open Office 3.0 release, it’s time to get familiar with the Open Office 3.0 application.

Open Office is an open-source Office Suite of Applications. It’s the free, open-source equivalent to MS Office suite of applications. Open Office 3.0 contains a Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentations, Graphics, Formula and Database capabilities. The biggest feature for this release; Open Office is now available to the Mac.

Other prominent features are Open Office can now open files saved in Microsoft 2007 or Microsoft 2008 for the Mac. The new suite plays nicely with Visual Basic and Microsoft Access 2007 formats. Users can also create Web 2.0 documents in XHTML and MediaWiki formats.

With third-party addons, more capabilities are available including an Impress presenter console, support for business analytics, PDF import, and the creation of Hybrid PDF documents.

The Open Office website is currently experiencing high traffic due to huge amount of downloads. It seems like a popular site at the moment. If you want to check it out, visit the Open Office website.

Adeona Service

Adeona is a Roman goddess of safe returns. It’s appropriate that a new open software service under GPLv2 is named after it. Adeona is an Open Source system for tracking the location of lost or stolen laptops. It does not require a proprietary or central service, but rather a free one.

The system is privacy-preserving meaning that no one besides the owner has access to Adeona for tracking a stolen system. Unlike other systems, Adeona users state-of-the-art cryptographic mechanisms to assure users their laptop information is secure.

Adeona uses a remote community storage facility to store a system’s information. Adeona client software is available in three platforms: Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The Mac OS version is capable of capturing iSight pictures accessible only to the laptop’s owner – for later access if recovered.

Give it a try. It’s a free service.