Monday May 16, 2011

Bulk deleting from Previous Recipients

If you use on OS X, you're probably aware of the Previous Recipients list that you can use to autocomplete email addresses. You're probably also aware that it's a pain to edit the list, as the search box at the top only matches email addresses that begin with whatever you type, which is next to useless. Bad Apple.

A lot of us legacy Sun folks at Oracle have a lot of addresses in there that are no longer relevant, so it would be handy if there was a quick way to clear those out, right?

With a little inspiration from this discussion that Google turned up, it turned out to be a simple task, with a single SQLite command:

% sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/MailRecents-v4.abcdmr

sqlite> delete from ZABCDMAILRECENT where ZEMAIL like '';

sqlite> .quit

Sorted :)

Thursday Sep 04, 2008

Virtual Box 2.0

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0.0 was released today, and is available for download from New features include 64-bit guest support, host interface networking on Solaris and OS X hosts, support for nested paging on modern AMD CPUs, and a native front end for the OS X client (and a move to Qt 4 for the others).

More detailed changelog here.

Thursday May 15, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 in VirtualBox

Seamless OpenSolaris

Congrats to the VirtualBox team on being the first (that I know of) to provide a working Seamless/Unity/Coherence mode for OpenSolaris 2008.05 guests on OS X. (I don't know how long this has actually worked, I only tried it last night, in VB 1.6...)

Obviously a bit of work to do before it rivals the sort of integration that Windows guests enjoy in Fusion and Parallels, but it's a good step in the right direction...

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

Media at your fingertips

Was just pondering in the shower at the weekend (as you do) about what still makes, say, MacOS X feel like a more cohesive desktop experience than even the latest and greatest GNOME in Indiana/Nevada.

One thing that came to mind was its integrated management of your media-- in pretty much any Mac app where you might want to insert or edit multimedia content, you can immediately access your entire music, photo or video library in a familiar-looking window and drag it over from there. It's built into the file selection dialog, too. media browser PulpMotion media browser iMovie media browser Open File dialog

Of course, Apple only really let you manage your media library with their own software: iTunes, iPhoto, Aperture, iMovie, Final Cut etc. But it did get me wondering if there was a place for a freedesktop 'media library' spec, that would offer our users the same sort of quick, searchable access to their media content (be it local, remote, stored on Flickr, split across three DVDs, or any combination of the above) in any application that required it. And, of course, to do what Apple doesn't, and allow any app to manage that content, if it needs to do so :)

Wednesday Nov 14, 2007

Four Gigabytes, Four OSes, One Mac

Upgraded my MacBook Pro to 4Gb yesterday, and was eager to play around and see how much it would help. What better way than to fire up all my virtual machines at once and see how it performed? Here's the video... sorry it's a nasty .mov file, but in my defence, it really is encoded as a Theora movie (a plugin for which you may need to install from here, if you're watching on Mac or Windows).

I haven't tried to see if I can trick it into playing in Totem et al. yet on Solaris / Linux-- let me know if you have any joy. For the record, the OSes are OS X 10.4.11, Solaris Nevada b77, Ubuntu Gutsy, and Win XP, all running in VMware Fusion 1.1.

EDIT: Here's a more Solaris-and-Linux-friendly OGG/Theora version.

Thursday Aug 02, 2007

VMware 1, Parallels 0

I'd been using Parallels 3.0 for the past few weeks to run SXDE 2 on my MacBook Pro, but started having problems when I upgraded to Solaris Nevada build 69-- the X server wouldn't start any more, and I just couldn't get it going at all.

I took the opportunity to try out the VMware Fusion Beta instead, and so far it's the clear winner. It does feel a trifle slower than Parallels (even with debugging turned off), and its snapshots aren't as flexible, only allowing one per VM. But its VM tools for Solaris are way ahead of Parallels' non-existent offering-- clock sync, on-the-fly desktop resize, copy/paste/drag+drop from Solaris <-> OS X... nice. (Haven't figured out if shared folders are supposed to work on Solaris yet or not-- the settings are available which suggest they should, but the folders I've nominated don't show up anywhere obvious, so I'm guessing they don't.)

Assuming it's just as happy at full screen on my Sun 24" display when I get into the office, I'll be sticking in the VMware camp for now.

Edit: Oh, and did I mention that Solaris sound and networking work out of the box on VMware too?


I am a Principal UX Engineer in the Systems Experience Design team, working at Oracle (via Sun Microsystems) since the turn of the century. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.


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