By Collin Allen


August 7, 2005

Chatalog is a new application from Freeverse Software which archives iChat logs in, of all places, your email program. While it may seem odd at first, storing messages in Mail (or any other Mail program) makes searching your iChat history very easy, making use of Spotlight to quickly find what you’re looking for. You can also apply Mail rules for even finer-tuned sorting and labeling. Chatalog is a great little application for keeping things organized, and I’m sure I’ll be registering it in the near future. [via] I suggest disabling Spotlight searching of your iChat archive folder (in System Preferences) so you don’t end up with duplicate results if you use the system-wide Spotlight icon to search for chats.

Update: I’ve switched to Chat Transcript Manager. It’s a separate application, so it works differently than Chatalog, but it meets my needs better. Definitely worth a look.

Mighty Mouse Inside

August 5, 2005

The crazy people at ArsTechnica bought a brand new Mighty Mouse from Apple and immediately dissected and documented it. Taking apart Apple products is always fun, and there seems to be an unspoken race to be the first to crack open new hardware shortly after it’s arrival. I usually use new technology for a while before hacking it, waiting at least until the novelty wears off, but details and photos of new products are always appreciated – especially when the disassembly is irreversible.

iPod Evolution

August 5, 2005 has an interesting article on the evolution of the iPod scroll wheel, and how it developed from a physical control to the popular touch-sensitive interface it is today. Personally, I prefer the current click wheel, as it provides a nice balance between the trackpad-like behavior, but still maintains the clickable button feel.

GPS Goodies

August 4, 2005

If you’re interested in developing applications which make use of GPS hardware, be sure to check out Sparkfun. They sell all sorts of parts, including tiny GPS receivers, cellular and Bluetooth communications modules, development boards, LCDs, and tons more. What suprised me is how affordable most everything is! Usually hardware in that area is expensive and complicated.

On a related note, a clever hacker adapted a GPS module to communicate serially with a Nintendo DS, and integrated it with Google Maps, so you can now view maps on the DS. The Nintendo DS wi-fi protocol has not been reverse enginnered yet, so the maps must be loaded prior to execution, however I’m sure it will all come together in time.

Mighty Mouse

August 2, 2005

Today, Apple released a multi-button mouse for the Mac, dubbed Mighty Mouse. While others have been available since the dawn of time itself, Apple held out until they could conjure up a clever solution worthy of the glossy white plastic look that we all know and love. Not only does the mouse have two buttons and a scroll wheel, it takes everything a step further. The button on the top of the mouse, like previous models, is still just one piece of plastic. However, it is pressure sensitive on either side, allowing for two button functionality with a one-button look. The scroll wheel has also been rethought, and is now a clickable scroll ball atop the mouse, providing the ability to scroll in any direction without using the keyboard (side tip: for now, you can hold Shift and scroll in most areas to move sideways). Force sensitive buttons on the sides can launch applications or run any other Dashboard or Expos̩ feature Рevery button is programmable.

I’ve been waiting for a mouse like this for years from Apple, and they’ve finally come through. I can’t wait to test drive this new little device, which is priced at $49. It’s going to be a tough sell, as I’m tied rather tightly to my Logitech two-button mice. Apple’s mouse has all the features I want and more, so they may end up making a convert out of me yet.


Update: Here’s a screenshot of the new Keyboard and Mouse preference pane, showing the controls for the Mighty Mouse.