Monday, April 29, 2002

Tonight, My wife needed to print out a few graphics laden multipage PDF documents. Unfortunately, her Mac OS 9 box can't print PDF without crashing. No useful error messages and no idea why.

So, of course, she asked me to print the documents.

I figured that I might as well give printing from OS X on my TiBook a shot as it would, at least, spew an error code at me if it failed.

So, go to Brother's Web Site and download the OS X driver for the MFC-8300 (printer / fax / scanner - 600 dpi laser printer - very cheap).

Double click the package and installs without even requiring a reboot.

Bring up the two PDF documents in Preview and select "Print..." on the first one.

Of course, the print panel comes up with no printer selected (because I have never actually printed from the TiBook since the last time I rebuilt it).

I plugged in the printer's USB cable and by the time I had moved the mouse up to the popup in the print panel to select "edit printer list..." to add the printer, the system had already detected the printer and automatically selected it in the print panel (as it was the only one)!

All of the custom features of the printer were also immediately available!

So, I printed both documents and they happily spewed into the queue for the printer.

Then I rolled my chair back a little too far and the USB cable pulled out.

(This is the part where anyone who is reading this is probably thinking a kernel panic is next.)

The Print Center put up a panel telling me that communications with the printer failed, do I want to stop the job, stop the queue, or delete the job.

I stopped the queue, plugged the printer back in and restarted the queue.

It printed. It just worked. Computing the way it is supposed to be.

(I know that printing in OS X has been a huge pain for a lot of people-- myself included. However, it has improved and the move to CUPs can only make it better. Right now, if and when it works right, it is a completely painless experience.)
10:29:10 PM    

As Nicholas Riley noted, RSS feeds from my weblog seem to be broken. I tracked it down and I believe it is a Radio UserLand bug. In particular, the blurb I posted for this...

...seems to break Radio's rendering of the XML in the RSS feed. The top right image is rendered via this content:

<a href="<%radio.macros.imageUrl("/images/SideWalkPlants001.JPG")%>"><%radio.macros.imageRef("/images/SideWalkPlants001-small.JPG")%></a>

Unfortunately, that is exactly what is also emitted into the RSS stream which leads to invalid HTML (because the < character cannot appear within an attribute of an object-- the href=, in this case). If Radio had processed the macros before rendering the XML, then the RSS stream would have contained the actual URL and would have been valid.

[Nicholas also noted that I didn't mention Mozilla in a recent story that discusses various browser for OS X (among many other things). The first time I tried Mozilla for OS X, the installation of it completely killed my system -- I had to reformat and rebuild. I'm certainly not 100% certain that the two events were anything but coincidental, but I must admit some lingering fear related to trying it again. Given the rave reviews and no signs of any kind of corruptive trend, I will do so...]
1:44:57 AM