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CFNetwork Versions

Sometimes it’s important to know what version of Mac OS X your users are running, especially when making decisions on what versions of OS X to support in future software releases. In the case of Seasonality 2.0, I have decided to take advantage of all the developer changes in Leopard, both to make Seasonality a better application, and to shorten my development time (thus giving me more time to work on additional features).

Previously, I haven’t performed any OS statistics on user data. It would be easy to do, since Seasonality downloads forecast and image data from a web server here at Gaucho Software, but I haven’t written the code required. However, some of these Seasonality data requests are using the typical CFNetwork methods of downloading data, and these connections provide the current CFNetwork version in the HTTP UserAgent, and thus will show up in my web server logs.

The problem is that I have been unable to find any kind mapping between CFNetwork versions and the corresponding version of Mac OS X. I decided to take it upon myself to generate (and hopefully maintain) such a list here. Most of this data is from viewing the Darwin source code on Apple’s web site, but some of these are just from personal observations, and some are educated guesses (marked with a question mark).

HTTP UserAgent Version of Mac OS X
CFNetwork/454.4 Mac OS X 10.6.0
CFNetwork/438.14 Mac OS X 10.5.8
CFNetwork/438.12 Mac OS X 10.5.7
CFNetwork/422.11 Mac OS X 10.5.6
CFNetwork/339.5 Mac OS X 10.5.5
CFNetwork/330.4 Mac OS X 10.5.4
CFNetwork/330 Mac OS X 10.5.3
CFNetwork/221.5 Mac OS X 10.5.2
CFNetwork/221.2 Mac OS X 10.5.2 Developer Seed?
CFNetwork/220 Mac OS X 10.5.1?
CFNetwork/217 Mac OS X 10.5?
CFNetwork/129.22 Mac OS X 10.4.11
CFNetwork/129.20 Mac OS X 10.4.9 – 10.4.10
CFNetwork/129.18 Mac OS X 10.4.8
CFNetwork/129.16 Mac OS X 10.4.7
CFNetwork/129.13 Mac OS X 10.4.6
CFNetwork/129.10 Mac OS X 10.4.4 – 10.4.5 (Intel)
CFNetwork/129.9 Mac OS X 10.4.4 – 10.4.5 (PPC)
CFNetwork/129.5 Mac OS X 10.4.3
CFNetwork/128.2 Mac OS X 10.4.2
CFNetwork/128 Mac OS X 10.4.0 – 10.4.1
CFNetwork/4.0 Mac OS X 10.3 or earlier

Edit: A more modern list of UserAgents can be found here.

Mac360 Reviews Seasonality

I’m a bit behind on this one, but a few weeks ago Jack Miller over at Mac360 reviewed Seasonality

It’s one thing to know if it’s sunny or cloudy, cool or cold, warm or hot. Many Mac utilities give you quick access to the weather.

Seasonality becomes your weather center. It does everything but control the weather.

Experience Colombia

Logtar posted a pretty cool video about the country and culture of Colombia. It’s part of Proyecto Colombia, a website he created to inform people of the finer aspects of Colombia and to counter negative portrayals of the country made by the media.

Gaucho Software News Feeds

Ever since the beginning of Gaucho Software’s web presence, the index web page has displayed general news items about software updates and other miscellaneous items. I decided it was time to offer an RSS news feed to make it easier for users to keep up with what Gaucho Software is doing. A few weeks ago, I came across an excellent RSS generator called Feeder created by Steve Harris through his software company, Reinvented Software. Feeder finally gave me an easy way to create RSS feeds and post them on my website. So here it is, the Gaucho Software news feed:

 Gaucho Software News Feed

A general Gaucho Software news feed is great and all, but each individual app has their own news items. I’m planning to create feeds for each of them starting with Seasonality, which has an update coming soon…

  Seasonality News Feed

I’ll be adding feeds for Dash Monitors and XRG when I work on porting them to Intel in the coming months. In the mean time, any app updates for either of them will be posted to the Gaucho Software news feed.

Pandora

Flip pointed out this very cool new online music streaming site, Pandora.

Pandora is a music discovery service designed to help you find and enjoy music that you’ll love. It’s powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Just tell us one of your favorite songs or artists and we’ll launch a streaming station to explore that part of the music universe.

I’ve been trying it out this morning, and I’m pretty impressed so far. The stream is a reasonable quality (128kbps) and the songs picked have been pretty accurate so far. Best of all, it’s free. I guess they plan to pay for the music licensing by selling ads for free account users. If you purchase a paid membership, you can ditch the ads for $36/year.

How do you organize your feeds?

Let me just say this right now, if you aren’t using some kind of news aggregator to read this, then get one. The amount of time you’ll save is priceless, and almost half of my web browsing now happens in NetNewsWire, not Safari.

So Mike Zornek brings up a good Question of the Day: how do you manage your RSS feeds? Well, my feed list is grouped in the categories listed on the right. The first three are pretty simple, everything happening relating to the Mac I can keep track of here. Good to keep tabs on the market.

Next is Development, which includes feeds like updates to Apple’s online documentation and articles on MacDevCenter. Other Tech has news feeds relating to any other platform, stuff like Slashdot, Ars, and Wired

Blogs, well not much to say here, but I do split some blogs that post very often out into another group. I’ll always read the blogs group, but if I’m running short on time I’ll skip over High Traffic Blogs for the time being. Media has Flickr and Podcast feeds which I see as a kind of extension of the idea of a blog.

Searches are custom NNW search term feeds. Weather isn’t what you might expect, it includes feeds by the National Weather Service to keep me updated on changes in their data sources and a few other weather sites as well. Seasonality keeps track of my weather for me, so I’ve never really had a need to use RSS for that. Finally, below that is any other subscriptions that don’t fit anywhere else (or are temporary). Right now I just have Autoblog there, because it doesn’t fit into any category, but is still an interesting read.

So this is what works for me. I’m not sure what I would do without feed grouping… There are just so many feeds out there that having one large list just doesn’t make sense.

Password Guide

Fellow Mid-Michigan blogger, Logtar, posted a nice guide for password management and selection. I think it’s important to inform people of ways to choose good passwords because so many people pick easy passwords that are simple to crack. It used to be that someone could just compromise a system if a user selected a bad password, but now with online banking and stores like Amazon storing your credit card information by default, there is a lot more to lose.

I try to change my passwords every 6 months, but with the number of servers I would have to go through and change, it doesn’t always work out that way. 🙂

Google Error Page

Looks like even Google isn’t perfect. Check out this screenshot Rich Wareham took when he came across an internal server error while searching on Google. I’ve never seen an error on their site before, so it’s pretty amazing to see this…

WordPress

Well the switch is complete. I moved everything over to WordPress and put in some web redirects. Hopefully you didn’t notice anything different if you are using a newsreader. I’m using NetNewWire here, and not only did it pick up the new RSS file and recognize that the posts were the same, but it also reset the feed URL to the redirected link. Very smart programming by Brent…

Anyway, if you’re reading this in a newsreader, be sure to visit the actual page to check out the new interface. I used mostly the default view, but I changed the graphics so they were a little more custom. Also, as I mentioned before, WordPress hopefully will have better comment SPAM protection, so commenting is enabled again. If you have anything to say, go for it. 🙂

Blogging Software Switch

Since I started this blog in November 2003 I’ve been using Blosxom. Blosxom is particularly easy to set up, is written in Perl so it’s easy to customize, and it’s post database is a directory structure of text files making for an easy backup. Lately, I’ve been wanting to add things to make the site more complete, such as re-enabling commenting with protection against comment spam, RRS 2/Atom syndication, and a better archive calendar to name a few. All of these together would be enough work for me to start considering other blogging platforms.

Then Joe mentioned WordPress in one of his posts a few days ago, so I looked into it and gave it a shot. Since I have a FreeBSD server here, configuring it through the ports system was a piece of cake: cd /usr/ports/www/wordpress ; make ; make install. It uses a MySQL database to keep track of postings, users, etc, so I created a tablespace for it on a local MySQL server. Then I hit the setup page for the software, told it what database to use, and away we went. Setting up WordPress is a 2 step process, with step 2 being “There is no step 2.”

WordPress has import scripts from a variety of other blogging software. The useful port was from Movable Type. Marc Nozell has created some flavor files for Blosxom that will create an output file compatible with Movable Type’s export feature. Importing my postings into WordPress from that file worked pretty well, with only the small drawback of no previous writebacks getting moved over.

So far, I’m really impressed with the entire system. Since there are multiple users, you can restrict commenting to only come from people with accounts (which I might do), or have multiple people post stories to the blog (probably won’t do). All administration is taken care of from a web admin interface, which seems pretty intuitive accept for a slight learning curve when it comes to user permissions.

The one drawback is that WordPress is written in PHP, which many won’t consider a drawback at all, but I’m a Perl guy, so Blosxom will be missed in that respect. I’m hoping to finish configuring it and customizing it to my needs sometime later this week. I’m sure I’ll post more about it then…

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