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Socoder -> Hardware and Technology -> Jay Gets a Macbook

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Posted : Saturday, 28 November 2020, 09:45
Jayenkai
Been working around issues, today, mostly involving the pre-installed PHP, which doesn't include any font support, or zip support.

Haven't entirely worked out the font issue, but I have figured out how to add files to a zip, via PHP. A simple shell_exec("zip my.zip myfile.txt"); will add a file to the zip.
Now my AGameAWeek wallpaper bundles should be up to date! Huzzah!!

Next, figuring out the font support..

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Posted : Saturday, 28 November 2020, 16:01
Jayenkai
"It's easy!" says the interwebs. "Just install the Brew command, and install your own version of PHP!"
.. my arse!!!
Brew isn't yet M1 ready, and I sure as hell ain't trusting anything as "base level" as that, if it's not quite up to spec..

Instead, then, I wrote a secondary PHP script to run on the server, where I know it can do ttf font stuff.
That's now up and running.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a little smoother in terms of my morning posting. Although.. I'm still looking for a good image editor!!

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Posted : Saturday, 28 November 2020, 21:38
Jayenkai
New Art Tool of choice.. Pixelmator Pro

Hunting the AppStore for tools to try, and this showed up with a price tag of £40, which I sure as hell wasn't about to pay for a trial run..
Tonight I headed to their website, and they have a free trial run. Why that isn't available on the AppStore, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing "Apple Rules" about time limited trials..

Anyway, gave it a shot, and .. for the most part it seems to replicate PSP7 fairly well. There's a distinct lack of effects, though, so I might still end up faffing about to find things for lighting effects and the like. But otherwise, it's looking gooood!!

A proper stress test oughta unveil all the many issues that I'm sure will crop up.

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Posted : Saturday, 28 November 2020, 21:43
Jayenkai
Win to MacOS Pitfall : Changing a file format's default app.

Rightclicking an icon, choosing to open with a different app, and telling it "always open" doesn't do it for ALL the files of that format.. Only that one.
Instead, you need to rightclick the icon, choose Get Info, and in the panel, there's an "Open With" entry, along with a "Change All" button.
Do that!!

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Posted : Sunday, 29 November 2020, 02:03
rockford
D'oh!
Posted : Sunday, 29 November 2020, 10:41
Jayenkai
Struggling with coding, today. I know what I "need" to do, but my mind's turned to mush.
The goal, make a spritesheet fixer-upper, that takes a magenta=transparent sprite sheet, chops it up, adds true transparency, and puts it back together with pixel-gaps between all the sprites.
Simple enough, but something I've never tackled in php!
Complicated, and slow, and .. My brain's fallen asleep!!

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Posted : Sunday, 29 November 2020, 12:14
Jayenkai
Note : This is a repeat rant!

Everything developer targeted, and I pretty much mean EVERYTHING, seems to install using a thing called "Brew" / Homebrew installer.
Everything is layer upon layer upon layer, and it's incredibly fucking frustrating.

The most annoying thing, right now, is that "Brew" isn't fully M1 compatible. It does kinda work, but it can be glitchy with it being as core-based as it is, so I'm purposely avoiding using it.
Today I've had to avoid installing about 5 or 5 different "would be really useful" tools, as they're all expecting Brew to be installed, first.

God damnit, developers, just make a sodding download. How hard is that!?!

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Posted : Monday, 30 November 2020, 06:16
Jayenkai
Still not quite used to the new keyboard layout. I keep trying to type on a none-existent numpad!
Today's my fifth day with the Mac, and tomorrow's the start of the Advent of Creativity. .. Not sure where that's going to end up, this year, if I'm honest. Can't do MOD music, for starters, since ModPlug Tracker's stuck in the world of Windows.

Thank god that my natural instinct, over the past couple of decades, has been to double-click the little icon in the top left, to close a window, because that would DEFINITELY be doing my head in, right about now.

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Posted : Monday, 30 November 2020, 07:24
Pakz
Fasttracker 2 clone and milkytracker are both pretty good. There's also bassoontracker on web. I still use modplug tracker and fasttracker 2 clone and bassoontracker sometimes.

Edit: I think I'm going to start spriting for that advent. I have been studying those dan malone chaos engine tiles
Posted : Monday, 30 November 2020, 14:00
Jayenkai
Just noticed that windows "latch" on to each other on MacOS..

Was moving a "copying file" dialogue, and noticed it clasped to the outside edge of the main window, as I was shifting it out of the way..
Neat!

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Posted : Wednesday, 02 December 2020, 16:01
Jayenkai
Gotten so used to hitting Alt (Squiggly circles) and Q to close things, that .. at least 3 times today .. I've chosen an album to play in the Music app, then hit Alt (Squiggly circles) and Q, and quit the music app, ending all the music.
Bah, humbug!

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Posted : Thursday, 03 December 2020, 03:28
Jayenkai
I cannot stress enough, just how much better this trackpad is.
I can swoop away at things.. Pinch zoom, two-finger scroll, and more. And it damn near always happens.
Compare that to my previous.. .. Every laptop I've ever owned.. And the difference is remarkable.

If you have to buy a new laptop in future, make the trackpad's functionality a top priority*!


(* and maybe a numpad, too, because .. damn.. I'm missing that..)

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Posted : Thursday, 03 December 2020, 08:33
rockford
I ALWAYS turn my trackpads off. Hate'em. I'd rather just use a wireless mouse with my lappy.
Posted : Thursday, 03 December 2020, 09:02
Jayenkai
I've barely used a mouse since 2012.
The few rare occasions that I wrangled the MacMini into submission, being about my only mouse usage!

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Posted : Friday, 04 December 2020, 09:23
Jayenkai
I appear to have a couple of nasty habits..
1. Tapping away to the music that's currently playing, on the trackpad, leading to things randomly zooming in and out, unexpectedly.

2. When typing two brackets with a couple of line-feeds in-between, my fingers seem to go...
.. Hold Shift
.. Hit Left-Squiggly-Bracket
.. Hit Return a couple of times
.. Hit Right-Squiggly-Bracket
.. Release Shift

This isn't normally an issue, but on TextMate, holding Shift and hitting Return seems to insert a "handy" function enclosure..
That's already getting rather tiring. I'll have to see if I can disable it.

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Posted : Monday, 07 December 2020, 06:31
Jayenkai
Coding Issues.

1. MonkeyX "kinda" still works, but unfortunately if you try to compile a "all in one" Mac/iOS app, it falls at the first hurdle.
MacOS does NOT support OpenGLES, which is the code that MonkeyX translates to for iOS compiling.
Damn..

2. The Safari/Browser/Javascript caching issue has returned in MacSafari. For the most-part this is completely ignorable, but when trying to code a new browsercade game, it's frustrating as all hell.
Change the code, refresh the page.. ... Uses the old code..
I tried half-a-dozen tweaks, but .. nada..
Fuxake.
Instead, I've had to install Firefox, and use that whilst dev'ing, since it at least bothers to refresh things when you ask it to.
Bloody browsers!
Grrrr...

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Posted : Tuesday, 08 December 2020, 05:50
Jayenkai
FreeFileSync's folder sync seems to be taking longer and longer each morning.
If you watch the file scanning, it leaps to about 250,000 within about a minute, due to the Mac's SSD, but then spends about an hour scanning the NAS's sync'd files.
Bottleneck!!

I wonder if there's an easy solution to that?
I did think about getting an SSD based NAS, but that probably wouldn't last very long. NAS's are supposed to be archival, and (traditionally) that's why a HDD is better.. Right?!
Hmm...

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Posted : Tuesday, 08 December 2020, 09:49
rockford
I'm not sure about the SSD reliability issues nowadays. Both MS and Sony have bet their farms on them for their new consoles, which will be doing a lot of loading and saving all the time. I think SSD tech is probably on par with HDD in terms of longevity.
Posted : Tuesday, 08 December 2020, 12:25
Pakz
I turned on an old laptop with no ssd. It took an hour before it became responsive and I could open up the browser and file explorer. Syncing dropbox and google drive and that virus scan takes a long time.

I have 3 ssd's that are 3 years old and stil work as they should. My new laptop only has a 1tb ssd. I read that a number of ssd drives with new tech have less life in them but should still last years with lots of activity.
I think if you buy a quality ssd it should last.
Posted : Tuesday, 08 December 2020, 12:49
Jayenkai
Had a nosey at the prices of a "large enough for all my stuff" SSD based NAS .. then screamed a bit.. then remembered I still have 4 months of MacBook Air to pay off.

I think I'll leave it as is, for now!!

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Posted : Friday, 11 December 2020, 05:42
Jayenkai
In Windows, you could drag a file from one window, hover it over a taskbar item, then that window would pop up, and you could continue the drag into that window..
MacOS does that, but it seems to take sodding ages before anything happens, and I'm just sitting there, waiting..

I swear, if I did this as much as I used to on Windows, I'd end up wasting 156 hours a week, waiting for different things to happen.

I wonder if there's a option for that delay, somewhere?
Probably not. It's likely one of Apple's "This is just how it is.. Deal with it" things.

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Posted : Wednesday, 16 December 2020, 07:18
AndyH
I haven't booted my Macbook for a long while, but I did use it for a time and got used to it. Some things I liked quite a lot, others were frustrating by their restriveness. However, I did get used to it. The worst was when I first got it, OSX at that time was still using the bottom right corner to resize windows. I got a blasting from the fan base when I asked if it was possible to just move the mouse to a windows edge to resize it - why on earth would I want to do that? It came in about six months later.

Anyways, the reason I'm replying is I used Parallels (a virtual machine) that had superb integration. I'd run Windows (7 at the time) on one screen (you know the slide between desktops thing) and Mac on the other. They shared the host drive so all data was seamless and it ran really quickly, and this was on a standard MacBook - with a HD, not the Pro or an SSD. Get full Windows and full OSX - best of both worlds.

Downside, it costs some £££ (although not hideous) and you need a Windows license.

Upside, it just worked great for me and you get the advantages of a VM with snapshots, etc. Could spin up copy of Windows to try some software on and just discard it if it was no good, main Windows install left clean and untouched.

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Andy H
8-bit games at hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Posted : Wednesday, 16 December 2020, 09:29
Jayenkai
I have my old MacMini still running Windows (10!) and both my iPad and the new MacBook can happily jump into Windows-Remote Desktop for minor tasks.

As it is, though, I've been trying to avoid using it, and going "full Mac!!"
I'm no longer reliant on my many BlitzMax tools, switching a lot of my short scripts to PHP instead. Newsletter compiler, spritesheet padding and more. All now working via PHP!

I'm "trying" to get used to Mac tools instead of Windows ones.
And .. for the most part, it's actually working out. I think!!! Maybe!!

There are still a couple issues that I haven't yet Mac'd, but for the most part I'm barely touching the Windows Remote at all. (Most notably, my "scan folder for new wav, convert to mp3s, tag, upload to server" BlitzMax script is nowhere near functional on Mac!)

The hardest part, is learning all new keyboard combos for .. everything!!!!

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Posted : Wednesday, 16 December 2020, 10:17
AndyH
That's fair enough. I couldn't / didn't want to go fully Mac so Parallels slotted in nicely. Partly because some things I wanted to use were Windows only but also some replacements just felt like compromises, too many 'apps' back then were like 'apps'. That said, it went the other way too, I found some very creative apps that were OSX only.

I'm betting you have more choice today and for HTML / Javascript etc there are millions of options.

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Andy H
8-bit games at hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Posted : Wednesday, 16 December 2020, 11:38
rockford
I got Parallels when I used my Mac Mini. It was great. Then Apple updated the OS and it no longer worked. I stopped using my Mac soon after... Coincidence?
Posted : Wednesday, 16 December 2020, 12:18
Jayenkai
My MacMini was used as nothing more than a compiler box. It had little or no purpose other than that.
I figured, if I'm spending MacBook prices, then I'm going to make damn sure I use the bloody thing!!

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