Monthly Archives: May 2005

How could Mark Cuban let Nash go?

Last summer when I read Mark Cuban’s explanation of why he didn’t resign Steve Nash it seemed perfectly reasonable. But after Steve’s MVP season and his showing against his former team you’ve got to figure there are a lot of doubters in Dallas. But all things considered, I don’t think Nash would have had this kind of year had he stayed in Dallas. His game is the perfect fit for Phoenix’s style of play and there’s clearly a synergy going on that simply did not exist in Dallas. The Mavericks didn’t really drop off that much (if at all) without him, yet he completely transformed the Suns. His numbers during the regular season were pretty similar to the last year or two in Dallas accept for assist and turnovers which are up 3 and 1 per game respectively, but his performance in the last three playoff games have simply been off the charts and defied all prediction. I can’t wait for the Western Finals to begin.

On a related note, Dirk Nowitzki really, really disappointed me this series. The Dampier comments should have been saved for the locker room and the way he whined to the refs and ripped his teammates at the end of Game 6 was pathetic. Suck it up, take a long hard look in the mirror and figure out what it takes to raise your teammates’ games without tearing them down. That’s what players that are truly great do. Just ask Steve.

iLife Fun

Mary’s parents wanted some video footage to show Eawyn off to some of their relatives and it seemed like a pretty fun project to finally put all the video and pictures we’ve been taking since September to use. In just over a days time I managed to whip up a fairly large slideshow and a small video compilation of Eawyn using the iLife-fu that I developed a couple months back for my big Ferris Basketball season highlight project. I used Boinx Fotomagico to do the slideshow portion of the project since it allows for cool spins and zooms that go beyond the typical iMovie Ken Burns effect and integrates nicely with iPhoto. The only tricky part was taking the .img file that iDVD creates and moving it over to my PC for dvd burning purposes. I was considering using the command line program hdutil until I realized that while Nero doesn’t support .img files it can create Video DVDs from the individual vob files if I mounted the .img and put them into a folder that the PC could access. In the end Mary was impressed and her parents seemed to like it as well.

Gmail Pop Support

I finally realized today that the Gmail’s free pop support not only allows email downloading, but also provides an smtp server for your email client of choice to use. So I’m going to use Apple’s Mail client regularly again for the first time in over a year. The added bonus of using Mail under Tiger (MacOS X 10.4) is that all my email will be immediately accessible through Spotlight.

I also noticed that Gmail supports setting your reply to email address as something other than your Gmail account which is cool but not something I’ll be using in the near future since I’m perfectly happy with my Gmail address.

Bazaar-NG

This week I stumbled across a python based vcs (version control system) called Bazaar-NG and I think I may actually start using it. I’ve had a passing familiarity with version control systems and their basic concept for quite a while now (I mean, open source software as we know it could not exist without these prograams), but I’ve never successfully used one beyond checking out the occasional package manager port setup or latest release using cvs. CVS is probably the most commonly used vcs in the open source/linux/unix world and it actually comes installed on MacOS X1.

I came upon Bazaar-NG (or bzr) by way of a posting about the Bazaar (or baz) vcs which is actually a fork of the Arch (or tla) vcs, with changes to the user interface designed improve its usability while keeping the same backend storage format. Bazaar and Arch are interesting and quite different from CVS in that they don’t rely on one centrally managed repository. Instead anyone can download a copy of the original project and then check in their changes to their local branch. Once changes in the local branch are ready they can then be merged back into the original project using a built in merge command. Bazaar-NG appears to be aiming for a similar distributed approach to version control, but with simplicity, platform portability and ease of use as the primary goals (and currently areas of weakness in Arch and Bazaar).

Initially I thought I would try out the original Bazaar vcs since it was a mature product that handled things in a way I liked, but after some investigation on the MacOS X side I discovered Darwin Ports didn’t currently have a port and the Fink package was not up to date. I briefly considered making my own port file, but then decided to take another look at Bazaar-NG. Downloading and setting Bazaar-NG up for testing in my home directory didn’t end up being very difficult althought the start.py installation script doesn’t seem to work properly under MacOS X 10.4 (mainly because of an ElementTree module depency). I had no problem running the installation out of my home directory though when I set bzr up there and updated my .bash_profile file to support a few more executable directories..

At the moment Bazaar-NG is fairly early in its development life and hasn’t yet implemented all of the branch merging functionality that will allow it to be used for larger scale distributed projects. That being said, it’s perfectly usable as a basic vcs at the local single user level and fully supports typical commands like add, committ, diff, export, move and remove (plus a few more). It’s already being used as the vcs for its own development tree. I’m looking forward to playing with it more and following along with the development process as the merge features are added because I think this project has a lot of potential.


  1. I once actually tried setting up a cvs repository for my Nanowrimo entry a couple years ago using Aaron Swartz’s helpful tutorial, but it didn’t take. 

Tiger Is Here

MacOS X 10.4 arrived in my campus mailbox today. Well, more accurately on the floor beneath my campus mailbox (like it really matters). Now I need to decide on what approach I want to use for installation and do some system cleanup and general preparation upgrade work like finding all my various serial numbers in case I have to reenter them once the update is done. Thank goodness I have a nice big hard drive I can use to back everything up during this process too.

Let the fun begin… nownownownownownowwwww!