2D Dock in Leopard

The new 3D styled Dock in Leopard is looking very stylish, but I think the 2D style which is used by the Dock when located on the left or right screen border is more functional. It is also possible to change the Dock on the lower screen Border to the 2D look. To do this you need to open the terminal and enter:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
killall Dock

To switch back to the 3D style, you can use the following commands:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean NO
killall Dock
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Howto enable WebDAV in Apache

Time for another enhancement for the Apache web server. If you followed my other 2 Apache postings, you will have a secure web server configuration which has SSL enabled and is monitored by the mod_security application level firewall. Now it is time to setup the WebDAV module so that you can use your web server as an external file storage.

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Coupon for german Amazon store

This might be interesting for all of you, who want to order Leopard in Germany. If you use the following coupon code during the ordering process, you will get a 10 Euro discount on Leopard at amazon.de:


This offer is valid until November 1st.

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Leopard is coming

Today Apple officially announced that OSX 10.5 alias Leopard will hit the stores on October 26th. Leopard has more than 300 new features compared to 10.4. Take a look at the link for a nice summary of the new features. I do especially like the new Xcode features.

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Layout PDF documents in Java with iText

iText is a free Java library for generating PDF documents inside your own applications. The library is easy to use and can produce great results with only little programming. The basic usage is pretty simple. Let’s take a look at a small “Hello World” application:

Document document = new Document();
try {
    PdfWriter.getInstance(document, new FileOutputStream("output.pdf"));
    document.add(new Paragraph("Hello World"));
} catch (Exception e) {

Creating a new document object will initialize a new PDF document with A4 dimensions. The PdfWriter will be used to write the resulting document to an OutputStream, which is in the above example a file. After opening the document you can just add new paragraphs to the document.

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Back from vacation

Just a quick note to let you know, that this blog is not dead 😉 . I have been on vacation the last 3 weeks and just got back. As soon as things settle down a bit, you can expect regular postings again.

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Finally Logic 8 is here

It was a very long wait. Logic 7 was released in November 2004. Since then there was only one major update when releasing the Intel version of Logic 7. Rumors about a new Logic 8 have been floating around the Internet for at least the last year. People felt abandoned because of the lack of updates in the past. But these dark times are over. Today Apple released the new Logic Studio 8.

Logic Studio 8

The Logic Studio 8 package not only contains Logic Pro 8, but also the fantastic audio editor Soundtrack Pro 2, numerous effects and software instruments and the new MainStage application. Everything comes at a price of $499, which is basically half of the old price. Considering what you get for the price, this is an unbelievable bargain. There is not a single competitor who can match this pricing.

I am primarily a live musician and 90% of my music making consists of preparing and performing for concerts. Until now I have been using Brainspawn Forte on my Macbook running in Bootcamp. This works flawlessly, but I do not like having to boot into Windows to run Forte, but there were simply no suitable alternatives on the Mac. Now MainStage which is part of Logic Studio seems to deliver exactly the live capabilities I need. Including complex Patches with multiple instruments which can be organized into Setlists. It seems a dream is coming true.

I guess this will be a must-buy for me for Christmas or at least in the near future. I really hope that MainStage will deliver what it currently promises.

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Apple revamps iPod lineup

The iPod product line was the focus of yesterdays Apple keynote event. I think it was a overwhelming event, as they have replaced every iPod except the shuffle with a new model. Here you can see an overview of the new product lineup.

new iPod lineup

iPod shuffle

The shuffle did not change in regards to price and features. The only change is, that now you can get more colors.

iPod nano

Now things get interesting. Pictures of the new nano leaked to the Internet a couple of days ago and this time they were spot on. The nano does no longer have this nice slim design, which in my eyes is a bit disappointing, but I see that the wide (fat) design is a necessity of the new display, which is definitely a big big “thumbs up” feature. Now you can watch podcasts with the same quality as on the old iPod. This is exactly what I have been waiting for: a small iPod with video features. The new operating system which is based on OSX does also look nice. The new game features on the other hand are something I do not really need on a small mp3 player. The capacity of the nano players was doubled to 4 GB and 8 GB. I think this was really necessary with the addition of video features. 4 GB is ok for a music-only player but once you start watching podcasts, you need more memory.

Overall I think the new nano is the most interesting product of yesterdays keynote.

iPod classic

The iPod classic is the right product for people who want to have their complete music library handy. With a capacity of 80 GB or even freaky 160 GB you don’t need to change playlists often. The new capacity is certainly a step in the right direction but I prefer a small form factor over big harddrives.

iPod touch

This is the new kid in town. It is basically an iPhone without the phone. It has all the nifty features of the iPhone, including the new display, user interface, a Safari browser and WLAN connectivity. So it is a real multimedia beast. But the big downside is the memory capacity. The iPod touch comes with 8GB or 16GB memory, which is ok for a music / video player, but the touch has so much more capabilities screaming for memory and then you are stuck with a maximum of 16 GB. I think one should wait for the next generation of the iPod touch to really benefit from the new possibilities of this product.

The bottom line is, that I am really impressed with the new lineup and I think the I will replace my old mp3 player with the new iPod nano in the near future. Congratulations Apple!

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NSToolbar basics

Building a Cocoa based user interface using the Interface Builder is really easy and produces great results quickly. But when I wanted to add a toolbar to a window, I had to realize, that Interface Builder does not support toolbars. So I started reading the apple developer documentation regarding the NSToolbar class and found out that it is actually easy to work with toolbars. There is just no Interface Builder support for them. So here comes a small howto about NSToolbar and its use in your applications.

Cocoa works with distinct toolbar identifiers to distinguish between multiple different toolbars in one application. The toolbars can be fully customized by the user and changes to a toolbar are synchronized to all toolbars with the same identifier. For example in an application with multiple edit document windows, all these windows would have a toolbar with the same identifier. If a user would change on toolbar, alle currently opened edit windows would synchronize their toolbars to the new changes.

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Importing SSL certificates into svnX

I just wanted to connect to my subversion repository with svnX via the https protocol. Guess what, svnX did not want to connect because it did not trust my selfsigned certificate. The only way to continue was to dismiss the error message with no way to import the certificate.

Turns out that svnX is using the command line svn client to communicate with repositories. So you need to mark the SSL certificate as trusted in the command line client and then svnX will work automatically. To do that, fire up a terminal window and just list the contents of your repository:

svn list https://whatever.server.com/repository/

Now svn will print a certificate validation error and ask whether you want to dismiss or accept the cerificate. Accept it permanently to get rid of that warning. Now you can access the repository via svnX.

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