OS X Lion scrolling now upside down

The appearance of touch pads and screens in the world of computing has caused a strange situation for Mac users. The latest OS reverses the way scrolling works. Used to be, if you wanted to scroll down a page, you would drag downwards or press a down arrow key. Made sense and we all got used to it.

But that downward direction makes less sense if you are swiping the screen with your fingers. It feels more natural to push the page upwards with your fingertips, revealing more of the lower part of the page.

An awkward confusion ensues. Using the old, familiar drags and arrow keys doesn’t do what we expect. Press a down key and the page goes up. Kinda weird.

What feels right on an iPad feels wrong on a mouse-controlled iMac. Gestures on a laptop with a trackpad and arrow keys falls somewhere in between.

Of course it’s possible to make the adjustment with a bit of fumbling, but it’s not elegant. Recognizing the problem, Apple threw it back to us. We can choose which way we want scrolling to work. By default, scrolling in Mac OS X works the same way as it does on an iPad. If you want to have it work the old way, you can change the behaviour in your System Preferences.

Not a perfect answer. You can wind up with two different scrolling behaviours, depending upon which device you are using. You never get used to either method and have to fumble a bit each time you change machines.

I guess I’ll switch over and use the up arrow keys to scroll down pages. And I won’t laugh anymore at Windows users who must press the Start key to shut down their machines.

A CD was stuck in my iMac and would not eject.

The thing wouldn’t mount, either, so I couldn’t drag it to the Trash to eject it. Restarting with the left mouse button down did not work. Restarting with the Eject key held down did not work either.

The only thing that worked for me was opening the Terminal app (it’s in Applications/Utilities) and typing in the following:

drutil tray eject

Then I pressed the Return key and the CD ejected.

HP printers not a good choice

My HP Laserjet 5650 is hardly used. I refuse to buy refills for the expensive cartridges that “expire” and cease to work, even though they are still full of ink.

More than that, HP didn’t bother to provide a driver that would work with Snow Leopard, so their printer is now landfill fodder. Waste.

HP feels no shame about this and even amuses us with the suggestion that we might want to buy a newer HP product.

“We are sorry to inform you that there will be no Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) support available for your HP product. Therefore your product will not work with Mac OS X 10.6.
If you are using the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system on your computer, please consider upgrading to a newer HP product that is supported on Mac OS X 10.6.”

Not likely, HP.

HP Laserjet 4MV with Snow Leopard MacOS X 10.5.6

YES! Your trusty old HP Laserjet 4MV will work with Snow Leopard.
If you are lucky enough to have a HP Laserjet 4MV postscript printer, you won’t want to lose it just because your Mac OS 10.5.6 machine won’t talk to it. Appletalk goes away in Snow Leopard, so you have to reconfigure your printer to connect via an IP address.

Snow Leopard comes with the printer driver for the HP Laserjet 4B/4MV Postscript, so you can set up your printer to use it when you are adding your printer in the System Preferences>Print & Fax pane. Continue reading

Local web testing with MAMP

I know that MacOS X comes with its own Sites folder for testing web pages, but frankly, I can never remember how to set up a new database to install a temporary WordPress blog. So this time, I am setting up in a nice, free copy of MAMP and if I forget anything, I’ll just watch this screencast again.

The items I want to test go into the htdocs fplder inside the MAMP folder in my Applications. It comes with its own copy of phpMyAdmin, so that’s available to create a new database to feed to a new WordPress installation.

Here’s a YouTube movie about installing WordPress locally for use with MAMP.

Lion Mac OS X a bit of a yawn

I spent over an hour today watching Steve Jobs and company make a small presentation to introduce iLife 11, a new MacBook Air and Mac OS X (Lion). My strongest impression was that the guys at Apple have moved on to other interests and that the Mac isn’t important to them now.

Except for the money. Apparently, Mac sales generate a third of Apple’s revenue, so it gets a nod for that.

The name for X.7 suggests the King of Beasts. Is this the last of the blg cats?

Mac OS X has been through a huge number of very major developments (all those cats) and maybe it has been more or less completed now. That’s fine with me. It’s a great system to use and does ‘way more than I need.