Monday, September 29, 2008

SQLite and SQLite Database Browser

SQLite is an excellent Opensource database. Today, I tried it in my iMac. It is pre-installed in my iMac. In a Terminal console, you just type sqlite3 . Then you are in SQLite with the database opened.

You can use create table, select, insert SQL statements to create table, select data from a table and insert data to a table. There are some internal commands to view tables and schema such as .table .schema. There are more information in the SQLite web page's document.

I prefer to use a UI tool to manage my database. There is one called as SQLite Database Browser. It is very simple but provides all the functions for creating tables, browsing data with editing and deleting rows, and modifying tables. I really like this tool. I think this one is also available for Windows.

SQLite's database is file based database. You can use SQLite console or browser to create a database. The file is binary file. Apple's Objective-C provides framework APIs to SQLite database and it is also available for iPhone development SDK called as libsqlite3.0.dylib. I think .Net must provide framework classes for SQLite as well.

I can see there are many great potential uses for SQLite. The database file is a SQL database. It can handle massive data with great performance. I think I'll use it in my applications.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PaintBrush for Mac

I use Grab to take snap-shot of my screens and save it as graphics file (tiff). Today I took one of my XCode screen. I need to add some highlight lines to it. Then I need a PaintBrush like application for Mac. I googled on web and found one quite similar as Windows PaintBrush. It is also called as Paintbrush 1.1 and it is an open-source one.

The application is quite like Windows one. However, if I choose a image size in small scale, and tried to paste my Grabed one, and image does not automatically expand to the original image size. The Windows one handles this very well. Maybe I have not used Mac Paintbrush very much or maybe the new one would enhance this pasting feature.

I found another very good one: Seashore. It is also open-source code application. It has layers. I have not got much chance to play it. I think it should be very good one.

By the way, when I Grab a screen selection snap-shot, there is a window with information about the size of selection. I could use it to create a new graphic file. I tried to paste to Seashore. It does not crop image and I can move the image if the size is smaller than the original one. However, it does not have Windows Paint feature as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TextEdit in Plaint Text Mode

Max OS provides a text editor called as TextEdit. I thought it is the equivalent of Notepad for Windows. Actually it is very smart. The default setting is to open a file in its desired format.

I need a not so smart editor like Notepad to edit, view or do search for a html file. The smart mode made me so frustrating. The TextEdit displays a html file like browser or rich formatted layout.

Finally I figured out a way to solve the problem. You can change preference so that a html file can be opened as a plain text file. Here is my setting:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Web Sharing and Web Server

As I mentioned in my experience with iTouch, I found several interest sharing features in System Preference. One is Web Sharing. After I enabled it, I have two websites: computer website and personal website. I also find out that each user also has a WebSites folder and it is not restricted for accessing.

By default, Max OS X installs Apache web server. I don't know where the computer website is. This may not be very important since each person already has one for test, development and fun. For me, I have no idea what I am going to do and what tools I am going to develop my web project. Dashcode may be the one I'll try out. It is a web based application.

Adobe CS 3

It is very time consuming to install Adobe CS 3. I tried to help my daughter to install it today. It took me about 4 hours to install it. Actually, this 4 hours include sometime to reinstall previously installed trial version.

She has to install the trial version since she needed it for her class and her teach told them so. That's OK to get some trial versions first. However, when she received the licensed package, She tried to install it. It did not give any warning about trial versions installed already, but Illustrator and PhotoShop would not been installed. Her classmate told her that the trials have to be completely uninstalled before the licensed one. I don't understand why the installation process does not say that.

My daughter does not sure what have been installed and she is too busy with her home projects. I took the installation over. I browsed information about the installation issues on web. There are some conversations on this issue. Some warn that dragging Adobe applications to Trash would not completely uninstall them, and it would leave some components which would be hardly removed out.

Then I tried to install all the trials first. Some I had to download again. After the trials installed, I uninstalled them. There is only one component, Adobe Premiere Pro CS Functional Content, could not been removed. I could not find any way to do that. Finally, I started to install the licensed version. This time, except the Premiere one, all the other applications are available for installation. After the installation, it looks like that all the packages she needs are there.

That's very painfully process. I would recommend to keep the trial versions on DVD in case you want to remove them later. This could save you some time to download again, you have a list what have been installed.


When I purchased one MBP for my daughter's school, I got a free iTouch. That's the first generation iTouch. Apple just announced the second generation iTouch on September 9, 2008. As my colleague's guess, Apple tried to get rid of existing ones for the new model.

Anyway, there is no big difference between them. I just played the iTouch in the past week. It is new for me. Syncing my music songs, videos and podcast from iTunes on my iMac went very smooth first time. Then yesterday after I updated to iTunes 8.0, I got some error messages about not being able to play some videos in my iTouch. Not sure if I should update my iTouch to 2.1 or not.

iTouch 2.1 provides a way to sync or get iTouch application through iTunes. However, my iTouch does not have this function. It costs 9.99 to update software. I think I have to do it since I'll spend sometime to learn software development on iMac.

I have downloaded iPhone development kit and training videos from Apple. It is very impressive. Mac or iPhone development will be based on Objective-C or Java. It is quite difference from Windows .Net framework, though, there are some similarities. I'll do some iPhone/iTouch development first.

One thing I realized that all the web browsing, emails, and YouTube require wireless connection. I have all wired connection in my house. I was going to get a wireless router, then my friend remind me to give it a try on iMac's AirPort sharing feature. I tried to this feature from System Preference->Sharing. I opened Web Sharing and Internet Sharing with AirPort, FireWire and Ethernet. I think I don't need the later two methods, since I don't have anyway to connect to iTouch by wire. Anyway, after that, I can browse web and YouTube and get emails on my iTouch. That's really cool!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Remote Desktop Connection and Network Settings

I have a router as the main gateway to connection to Internet from my house. From the router, I set up one line to each room and get all the rooms connected to the router. Therefore, I can access to Internet from each room and all the computers in all the rooms are connected in a network. I mentioned that I could use Microsoft's Remote Desktop for Mac from my Mac to see my Windows XP comuter in other rooms.

So far so good. Later on I moved two Windows computers to one room. Since the room has only one Ethernet plug for network connection, I need to gateway box to connect two computers together then to the plug. Here is the picture of the layout:

Initially I tried to use a router as a gateway in Room 2. There was no problem to connection to Internet from Widnows XP computer; however, I could not connect from Mac to Windows XP any more. The Router is actually a firewall to break my network into two areas. Room 2's computers are sub-network, while Room 1 and the Gateway router is the upper level network. When I realized that two networks are not in the same level, I changed the router to a switch box. That makes my Mac be able to see my Windows XP comptuers again.

Actually, a switch box is a device to expend network in the same level to more computers. That's great experience. I was googling information how to see a computer behind a router. It is possible but much more complicated configurations to be done to open IPs or ports. I already have a router as a main gateway to Internet. I don't need more complicated network areas in my house. A switch box is what I need to expend my networks in my house!

By the way, I like NeoOffice very much. It includes a drawing program. I drew my above network layout by this program. The draw program is very comprehensive application with various shapes, lines and property settings. Best of all, NeoOffice is a free package with a bundle of applications!

I drew the network picture and then use Grab to take a snap-short of selection of my screen. Then use Mac's folder Actions to convert pictures to jpg file.