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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    smooth things out in that regard but I wish this wasn t the most consistent window to grace my screen Mac OS X 10 5 x Most Common Application Info Window Permalink Buy Mira Now 19 99 Download Mira Version 1 4 12 Mac OS X 10 5 Older Downloads Previous Mira Versions Syndication Follow News Blog Blog Archive 2011 February Blog Archive 2010 November Blog Archive 2009 December Blog

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/dec2008.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    of the country in the area province of Algarve on April 24th Yes this week In fact we re doing some last minute packing right now because we have to be on a plane in the next few hours After the ceremony we ll spend a few days in the area to unwind before driving off for a trip up the length of the country for our honeymoon That will take us through the next 9 days or so before we return to Lisbon my birth place and our final destination The trip will last 3 weeks in total and honestly I ve only really started getting excited about it this past week While it s been set up and a reality for a long time I just haven t had the opportunity to really let it sink in nor the idea of it to really take hold in my mind There s just been so much else going on keeping me running around and my mind completely occupied The GPS is loaded with the right maps and waypoints the camera gear is safely tucked away and the clothes are making their way into suitcases Wish us luck Permalink Buy

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/apr2008.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    own gallery web site I can hear some of you saying of course How could I not The current home of Twisted Melon is for sale The listing just went live last week and I m still putting the final touches on the 17gully com web site which I based on the page I made for my brother s stag earlier this year I ll try to update the blog with additional information about this process and my experiences as a private seller as time permits As a special bonus incentive we re offering a complimentary Mira Family Pack and Manta TR1 to whomever buys our house Permalink Permalink October 17 2007 Bruno Fernandes An unboxing pictorial I m generally a pretty patient person ask anyone just don t ask everyone When it comes to most purchases however I ll normally tear into the packaging to get to the objects inside as quickly as possible This was certainly the case with the last few machines I ve bought being in a hurry to set them up and get to work This past weekend I picked up a new keyboard My first Apple model In fact it s the first Apple peripheral I ve ever bought Truthfully I haven t been a fan of any of their keyboards since the small colored ones that shipped with the original iMac G3 and G4 machines And you don t want me to get started on Apple mice The packaging is especially effective with this diminutive product Its tight fit really helps show off just how small the product is About the only complaint I have is that it came shrink wrapped We can t recycle plastic film around here and I think a tamper proof sticker or two would have done the job

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/oct2007.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    on this topic not to mention the streams of comments following each one Mac OS X includes settings for font rendering in its Appearance Preference Pane This preference pane is the first icon in the top left corner of System Preferences At the very bottom of the window you can specify Font Smoothing Style to be either Automatic Standard Light Medium or Strong and minimum font size to be either 4 6 8 9 10 or 12 and above This part is important so read it carefully By default Mac OS comes set to Automatic Mac OS X 10 4 Appearance Preferences The automatic setting will as the name and description in the UI implies apply the optimum smoothing setting depending on what type of screen the text is being rendered to CRT LCD TV etc When you install or use your Mac for the first time there is no need to touch any font properties You don t have to know anything about smoothing at all it just works In Windows XP still the more prominent non Apple OS font smoothing is not turned on by default Read it again George Ou In Windows XP font smoothing is not turned on by default In fact to turn this feature on you have to do a little digging in Display Properties one of the Windows Control Panels A quick way to reach this panel is to Right Click on the desktop and select the last option from the pop up menu Properties Windows XP Display Properties Appearance Tab Effects Preferences Once the panel comes up select the Appearance tab in a similar vein to Mac OS However you won t yet see the option Now click the button near the bottom right titled Effects You should now see a check box allowing you to enable font smoothing and select the method Either Standard or ClearType there is no automatic option which will support both LCDs and CRTs equally well In Windows Vista Well if you re running Vista may I suggest you install Windows XP for sanity and usability s sake That covers the most basic concept of the saga how to actually turn on the font smoothing options if needed I don t want to get into the topic of pixel grids nor as I mentioned philosophy The fact of the matter is that Windows implements font rasterization pretty much the way it always has Most of what exists in Windows today is about legacy not about philosophy Things are written or done a certain way because that s simply the way they were originally done and no one wants to rock the boat Or the boat is so large it s nearly impossible to rock For perspective as a long time dual platform user I still run multiple Windows systems to this day Mac OS X as many have pointed out is based on a number of older technologies and frameworks from NeXT along with plenty of new hooks designed to create the best operating and best looking OS The process was not an instant one and is much more comparable to building a house one brick at a time starting with version 10 0 Apple has very much shown a new invigorated focus on style from product design to advertising to user interfaces Text is most readable when one can most easily recognize the letter forms Typographers have spent hundreds of years perfecting the printed letter form with the most subtle of details many designed strictly to increase legibility Early computers with low resolution screens limited memory and slow processors weren t afforded the ability to use anything but bitmap fonts These pixel based fonts often had to fit each letter form into an 8x8 matrix using only a single color Detail of original Commodore 64 font at 400 magnification Imagine making letters using checkers on a grid These blocky fonts on some computers benefitted greatly from analogue displays that smeared their appearance on screen But blocky is still blocky Not to mention the need to print something you d written You would really have very little idea of what it would end up looking like on paper When given the opportunity artists creating logos and title screens for games and applications long ago started filling in the jaggy spaces with additional pixels that averaged the colors of the foreground and background creating a less harsh transition and appearance of smoothness to the eye This is anti aliasing and just one technique any respectable pixel pusher had to master Animated 5 second interval Original artwork hand applied Anti Aliasing 300 zoom of original and Anti Aliased versions Logo sample circa 1988 Originally created in DPaint in Amiga OS 16 colors The desire for smoothness and appearance of higher resolution has been in the hearts of computer enthusiasts for over 25 years With the desktop consumer revolution of the mid 90 s spurred in large part by Microsoft and the development of the Web these machines programs and technology were adopted by the masses The same masses who had looked at clunky machines and displays from years gone by and easily dismissed them as either toys or overly complicated calculators Consumers today expect high quality and high usability They don t need to learn the technicalities nor design philosophies of someone squirreled away in an office lab or studio on the other side of the country We want things to look good Shiny new smooth but of course recognizable and usable There s already so much to learn and keep track of that one shouldn t need to worry about whether or not two lines of text will print the way they re expected to The way they were typed on the screen for instance In the simplest form issues of disparity involve working with differing standards That is doing one thing at the time of creation and then doing something else at the time of viewing Whether the final medium be paper another screen or even the same screen in another application There are likely more font rasterizing and anti aliasing algorithms methods than people reading this blog right now You definitely encounter at least two of them on a daily basis some people confronted with some three or four right on their own screens Whether using Mac OS or Windows when you visit a web page that has employed any text as graphics such as this one you re seeing the font rendering engine of both your browser as well as that of the program the designer used to create the images In the case of this site all image based text was created and rasterized with Adobe Illustrator Illustrator s font handling is completely different than that of Photoshop and they re both from the same vendor Incidentallly both use their own custom font rendering and neither use sub pixel methods for screen display Your browser may likely be using a different font rendering engine than your operating system as well This is certainly the case for anyone visiting with a Mozilla based browser Firefox and others may be using the FreeType font rendering library or even QuickDraw Text Rendering in Mac OS which is apparently the case for newer versions of Camino So when browsing pages with such browsers you re not using your OS default font technology either Safari in Mac OS uses Mac OS Quartz Text Rendering a variant of which is also used in Safari for Windows but something I have not verified myself to be 100 compatible yet In Mac OS applications using the system s text services are also able to specify their own tweaks to the font and glyph layout normally used for special and other effects So as Windows users have noticed a difference with text in their versions of Internet Explorer and Safari so too will anyone running Mozilla browsers or any number of Adobe applications just as a small sample One last important item to consider is that font rendering and page layout are not the same thing more on this further down Actual font rendering and layout in Safari and Camino Mac OS 10 4 9 with LCD Safari 2 0 4 Quartz Text Rendering Sub Pixel Camino 1 5 QuickDraw Text Rendering Sub Pixel 100 and 300 unaltered image crops from BNET What s important here is that differences exist At the end of the day as a consumer one doesn t need to know the technology being used nor really the reason it was chosen just that the end result is what s expected and found to be satisfactory Apart from size screen fonts in Mac OS generally look as they would print on paper The effect of optimal smoothing is such that you should forget you re looking at pixels and left with very readable and clean type Viewing distance is compensated for by variable type size another small detail many people forget about and likely the subject of a completely different post It s obvious from some recent content on the net that this has caused some surprises for those not used to reading clear type no pun intended Windows font rendering produces characters in which individual pixels are much more pronounced and where the weight seen as darkness or thickness of type at different sizes is not quite proportional I know some readers are thinking but it s becau Well let me stop you I know why the fonts are rendered this way Again that s not the point I think some of the most shocking examples pitting one platform against the other have been unfairly composed some of them I d go so far as accusing of using doctored or false image samples The biggest factor surrounding these stories not being the superiority of one implementation over the other nor education but simply page views advertising and revenue Buzz plain and simple Maybe it s the reason I m whoring this post right now Actual font rendering and layout in Safari 2 0 4 in Mac OS 10 4 9 Standard No Sub Pixel Best for CRT Light Sub Pixel Medium Sub Pixel Best for LCD Strong Sub Pixel 100 and 300 unaltered image crops from BNET As an admirer of letter forms a part time student of typography and having worked with digital type of all kinds for over 25 years I have a small bit of perspective And to be honest it just bothers me when someone like George Ou tries to make something of nothing by using completely baseless comments a serious lack of education or fact checking and possibly fake images Again there s clearly no attempt to report on facts or make any type of factual analysis It s a simple smash and grab for page hits and it s worked Over 69 of visitors to his story in fact prefer Mac OS treatment of screen fonts obviously not by looking at the terrible and non real world examples George has pasted up in his article He states at the top of his piece Windows XP had an older version of Clear type sic that I was never satisfied with so I always ended up using zero font smoothing technology The fonts in XP were either too thin or too thick and it just didn t work right with Clear type Is this the right person to be making any observations about type Judge for yourself with the samples included below XP s ClearType though supplanted by that of Vista clearly has some purpose and shows distinct benefit when used on an LCD Actual font rendering and layout in Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP Pro SP2 Off No Anti Aliasing Standard No Sub Pixel ClearType Sub Pixel 100 and 300 unaltered image crops from BNET When using XP s Standard smoothing I ll agree the fonts end up looking like a jumbled mess in many instances Just look at the word Courses below where the weight of each letter seems to have been chosen at random Actual font rendering and layout in Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP Pro SP2 Off No Anti Aliasing Standard No Sub Pixel 100 unaltered image crops from BNET George does mention that XP also uses sub pixel anti aliasing but obviously missed the fact that Mac OS does too Instead including some hideous image that clearly doesn t match any actual crops see above and below He s right of course in saying the Mac OS sample used didn t use sub pixel precision Jumping to the conclusion that it s just the way it is in Mac OS is fairly irresponsible though I suppose he assumed it was like XP and only offered a basic setting Samples of Mac OS Windows XP Windows Vista posted by George Ou Supposed Mac OS No Sub Pixel Windows XP ClearType Sub Pixel Windows Vista ClearType Sub Pixel 100 and 300 image crops from BNET The next good point made is that font technology greatly enhances readability and usability of a computer If true why does George prefer the rendering in Vista It s clearly not plagued by as much color fringing and aliasing as XP but there s still a shimmer and glimmer caused by the contrast of the colored pixels against the often thin base font glyph and white background Go look at a Vista system for yourself if you don t believe me or can t see it in the image crops Windows Vista using sub pixel rendering clearly has the best font rendering technology Clearly those polled don t agree with George My own personal opinion is that both XP and Vista produce unrealistic looking type at small sizes that is practically waiflike If it weren t enough to jump and trumpet these flawed examples the expensive Mac tidbit is thrown in to sweeten the bait When you re done reading go over to dell com and configure a notebook to match any MacBook Pro default configuration Start with a simple Latitude model which is already a lower end machine and then put things into perspective with better matches using the Precision and XPS lines Not even half way down his article and it s already painfully obvious that there s no technical coverage or analysis at all just shoddy reporting and head up the assness Completely contradicting his earlier points and forgetting all about usability and readability I can understand prioritizing the font size and typography for something like PageMaker or QuarkXPress but do it there and leave the desktop and browser fonts alone Respecting the viewer s eye has nothing to do with respecting pixel grids It has everything to do with making type clean and legible A designer has a further responsibility to set sizes and positioning appropriate for the context Remember by and large we don t care how we don t care why We re interested in the final result and what it tastes like That s the consumer mindshare and it s catered to quite well in the case of Mac OS font settings Vertical alignment of of text in a web browser is not strictly an issue of the operating system s font rendering In addition to some products having their own font rendering as mentioned earlier web browsers have their own layout engines that must deal with information present in web markup as well as Cascading Style Sheets CSS It is more likely that a particular page s vertical alignment has more to do with a browser s specific layout engine and the page designer s CSS than anything to do with its or the OS font rendering Try taking the text from the bnet site and paste it with the same style into a Rich document in Mail or Word for example the screenshot I got from my colleague who uses a 24 LCD with default Mac settings it s still not as clear as the Vista rendering But why should a Mac user have to turn this on when Apple only sells LCDs Soundn t things just work on a Mac They do of course The image posted in the article is clearly not from any current version of Mac OS running default settings Default in Mac OS is Automatic font smoothing and in fact there s no way to even turn off the feature from the UI On LCDs that means you ll be seeing Medium smoothing which includes sub pixel anti aliasing I m not sure any of the examples shows a word rendered in a more exaggerated state but rather in a more realistic state The improved settings still doesn t look good because it s too thick and the word Insight looks very exaggerated This gem from ZDNet s Technical Director oh boy This ZDNet story just doesn t fit or make any sense because it was penned by a douche He revised the story four different times each time digging himself into a deeper hole in terms of credibility But each time bringing in more traffic over 4500 votes in the poll at the end as of this writing I hope no one is going to argue the importance of font rendering as an accurate representation of the printed page for design work but this whole recent mess is simply one of subjective judgement of style as far as screen rendering in a web browser goes It s my subjective opinion that the Mac OS font rendering including sub pixel anti aliasing is the most realistic and pleasing looking At the same time making it the most readable If your opinion is to think otherwise then you re wrong Maybe instead of titling his article Vista puts Mac OS X font rendering to shame it should have been called Rehashed Vista shilling here or perhaps My name is George and

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/aug2007.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    his future wife all the best for the day and the future I d also welcome Gaby to the family though it s been long enough that s she s been a part of it for years He s he s off to a good start by choosing a spectacular bride and of course the best best man money can t buy yours truly After all do you know many people that would make a website for their brother s stag Complete with online ticket sales and gift processing no less I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my own recent engagement to Erin Hawkins my beautiful fiancée and recent Facebook addict I m sorry I didn t invent it first baby I m still getting used to that word it s been girlfriend for the past five years Coincidentally this week is also our anniversary Remind her that all good things take time and come to those who wait We re not done yet This past weekend we celebrated with friends Ryan and Julie Marshall at their beautiful outdoor wedding And when the summer finally winds down we ll be with other friends Jakub and Khoa for their sunset ceremony I m just thinking aloud here but I have no doubts that sooner rather than later there will probably be a baby themed season So please spread word of the sale around these weddings are pretty expensive and I d like to give my brother and his wife more than a 10 gift and maybe buy my fiancée a ring Buy Mira Now 19 99 Download Mira Version 1 4 12 Mac OS X 10 5 Older Downloads Previous Mira Versions Syndication Follow News Blog Blog Archive 2011 February Blog Archive 2010 November Blog Archive 2009

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/jun2007.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    Hollywood content were of no concern to Mac OS And therefore Hollywood mandated HDCP while a worthwhile topic for the future was simply not of high enough consequence to devote resources to during a very aggressive product cycle No one will argue that 2006 s release schedule was a pretty ambitious one for Apple They definitely succeeded in surpassing most consumer expectations and analyst predictions at the same time So now here we are AppleTV is a reality and by all accounts selling rather well Implementing HDCP is not trivial But thankfully for newer adopters most of the hard work has already been done by the hardware component vendors Your Intels Nvidias ATIs Silicon Images etc What s left is bits of software at the OS and application level for managing the encrypted content shuffling keys around and such Oh and a huge minefield of legal red tape and loops to jump through for certification and licensing This is probably where it gets really sticky With huge amounts of work on various Apple projects now nearing the completion stages it s unlikely that Apple cannot devote manpower to accomplish the engineering needed to add HDCP to their product line They ll have to work with Intel Nvidia and ATI of course to make sure all their display drivers are ready to go The display hardware in newer Macs as hinted above fully supports the ability to turn on HDCP with software work Some people will argue about restricting output until such time as a full implementation can be released However dealing with non HDCP displays is one thing that s done by both HD DVD and BluRay by down sampling the video to DVD SD quality But lacking HDCP support in the first place doesn t even get you onto

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/apr2007.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    Thankfully something was worked out with a new label and it hasn t beeen difficult to buy their albums in Canada Though I did pay a hefty 30 for the last one Simpatico after tax That s what you get for an impulse purchase in the suburbs from HMV Sadly I m also behind in ripping encoding by about 20 albums right now so today it s old school CD spinning Give them a listen I m still getting into this new album and will save a better and more rounded music related entry for another time Permalink August 22 2006 Bruno Fernandes Is no news really good news I didn t promise to make this a daily blog did I Ok that s good I ve been so wrapped up with work lately that my sharp focus has left me with little more to think about than the tasks on my to do lists We re wrapping up Mira 1 2 which I would have liked to have in your hands early last week Hopefully the extra quality is worth the wait Most of the web content has been updated and currently sits on my local machine waiting to be pushed live The same goes for the built in help files which let me tell you aren t so fun to keep up to date I m glad everyone seems to be getting along with the software at least that s what I m taking from the slow down in help support requests Like I ve said before though we still love receiving mail from customers The unfortunate development in the past two weeks has been a significant ramp in SPAM It s to be extpected because there are currently multiple email addresses listed in plain text right on the site They ll have to be replaced with an online form soon to prevent automated address harvesting You ll still get a real reply from a real email address when you write of course and your replies can all be done in email too Most of the SPAM this past week seems to be in Japanese which likely has something to do with a recent listing in a Japanese web gallery So far however I can t tell if they re trying to get into our PayPal account selling prescription drugs or just peddling p0rn Permalink August 10 2006 Bruno Fernandes Burrito of the Union That extra long weekend was just the perfect amount of time off and even though I didn t have any down time for reading the great outdoors did provide some fun and relaxation There was even a bit of excitement thrown into the mix with a mid day water rescue I had to rescue a couple of friends who were stranded with a canoe due to changing weather wind and a lot of waves And of course there s nothing like a couple of severe thunderstorms while on a kayak trip in the middle

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/aug2006.html (2016-04-27)
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  • Twisted Melon : Apple Remote IR Receivers and Software for Mac OSX and HTPC/Boxee
    and especially interns who d already been on the job for half the year But now it s seems like I ve made one of those innocent oversights by forgetting to update upgrade the defaults included with Mira 1 1 Specifically we only pre added Front Row to the Launch Menu you can add more applications of your own of course And we left the initial trial limits at three active application profiles Still enough to do some testing but what s the real issue you ask Front Row isn t in the first three items in the profile list That means it s not enabled by default Oops So if anyone has noticed that Front Row exits as soon as they press any remote button it s because you re in fact using the Global Profile Front Row like any application profile needs to be enabled to use its own settings For now just turn on the check box next to the Front Row profile in the Mira Buttons Tab We will release a small update that will change the default active profiles add more entries into the starter Launch Menu list as well as increase the number of active items you can use during the trial evaluation period Hopefully we haven t scared you away from Mira with this really newbie oversight Please give the update a spin when it s available Permalink July 24 2006 Bruno Fernandes Every silver cloud has a black lining Or at least a black drop shadow unless they aren t in style anymore No matter how hard you try some little issue will always slip through the cracks That s true in life let alone software development If you look to the right at our sidebar there s a news item about Uninstalling mira Some people didn t know how to do it and some others unfortunately couldn t get it to work So the first issue is easy you can ask us and we ll send you a nice reply or you can click the Help button right in Mira for the answer or now you can also read the new FAQ entry The second part isn t as easy for us You don t want to know how many times Mira has been installed and uninstalled on the machines here in the office It s even had its turn on currently unsupported machines just to make sure everything would run smoothly But the solution to the second problem for now is also to ask us and we can guide you through it or check out the new FAQ entry for manually uninstalling The short answer of course is to just delete the mira prefpane from Library PreferencePanes and then restart the computer In the FAQ we also detail every file Mira uses just so you know your system is 100 clean and the way it was before installing We re working to try and find out why the uninstall doesn

    Original URL path: http://twistedmelon.com/blog/jul2006.html (2016-04-27)
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