Disable Apple Mail attachment defaulting to inline

Did you know that Apple Mail does the presumptuous thing of sending all images (and maybe other attachment types) as inline attachments, no matter what options you choose in the program, like attaching at the end of message, like making it “Windows-friendly” (as if it’s a Windows problem),…. Nor does any of the very typically low-quality “solutions” you’ll find by misunderstanding Apple users online help, like changing message type to plain text or running that one silly line on the command line

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

Just look at that and think about what it does! None of those do anything at all.
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on transparency, dynamic wallpaper, 3d desktops

With Windows 7 about to arrive, I’ve been thinking about supposedly “cool” UI trends of recent years that actually annoy me greatly.

Beginning a few years back, when graphics cards in computers not used for games became powerful enough to do something interesting, out came features that tried to take advantage of this power. I’m talking about things like circular windows, transparency, video wallpapers, flipping window previews, 3d desktops, like a cube or whatever…

Now trust me. Since I don’t play games, I’ve thought about using the idle GPU for other purposes, too. So I tried the above features. And they all suck. Greatly. (I also tried GPGPU but that’s a rant for another day.)
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biometric authentication

Now that I have gotten seriously addicted to Tablet PC (the faux paper templates in Windows Journal alone were enough to get me hooked), I’ve been pondering about some limitations of the platform. One is authentication. One of things you are not happy to do with a mouse — which the pen is, sort of — is inputting random strings that have become of modern-day passwords.

So I understood the point of the fingerprint reader option on this build. Swipe and you can bypass having to type passwords in tablet mode when the keyboard is hidden. But I didn’t get the option, and I believe there are other alternatives.

There are many modes of biometric authentication, fingerprint, face recognition, handwriting, voice, etc., and getting nearly perfect reliability in each case is a difficult problem when used alone. State of the art is just not good enough. But combined into a multifactored authentication protocol, it may just work. Here is something that should work today with existing hardware:

Look into the webcam, solve a quick reflexive cognition problem, and provide a handwriting sample.

That should do the trick for a quick keyboard-less authentication. Why hasn’t anybody written software to do this?

how to get NVTV tuner to work with MCE

This tuner card kind of sucks, but it is supposed to work with Windows Media Center Edition 2005.

It doesn’t work out of the box, though. The way to get it to work is to install the following:

  1. The driver, version 1.20.45, from nVidia
  2. Forceware Multimedia 3.62 from XFX (with these two, the card will work with nVidia provided applications)
  3. April 2006 update for MCE 2005 Rollup 2 (that makes the card work under MCE)

It still craps out occasionally, but it works. Image quality is pretty good.

Edit: Wow, a couple of days playing with MCE made me realize that PC’s these days can be woken from hibernation on schedule programmatically — that’s right, hibernation, not standby, and that’s right, by software, not via wake-on-hardware. I wonder how that happens… I gotta try this on an older PC now to see if it works there, too.

Vista blah

Memory management: Despite running on 256MB (actually 274MB is what it’s set to, to be precise), memory management in Vista seems to be working well. The paging policy is persistently keeping physical RAM usage at around 200MB, +/- 20MB. This isn’t too different from XP.

Disk management: There appears to be some rudimentary non-destructive repartitioning functions like “extend” and “shrink,” much like gpart. The disk is also versioned. Creating and destroying symbolic links, however, is still not exposed in the shell.

Network management: A crapload of changes in network management — too much to figure out what’s going on there right now. Most notable is probably exposing IPv6 support.

Privilege escalation: Windows itself now makes the request for administrative privilege if it is needed, instead of saying the current user privileges are insufficient. So far this is saving a lot of time.

Foreign languages: Display of East Asian languages are enabled by the default installation (I guess that just means the fonts and codepages are installed by default). The input methods I use are still the same, although there are a lot more input methods now, including a half dozen minority languages of China. That’s amazing. But, I can’t believe that the language bar is still having issues, not knowing whether to hide itself on the taskbar or how it’s supposed to be aligned.

Other stuff: There is this “Windows Cardspace” thing which seems to be a online accounts manager. There is also a “People Near Me” function that uses the Messenger social network. Some lame games and a “game manager.” BitLocker and ReadyBoost are nice, but kind of over-engineered. I doubt these will be used extensively.

In general, I think there are many good and needed changes here, but very little that I find compelling. From 2000 to XP, remote desktop, multiple user logon, system restore, and wireless support were compelling. From XP to Vista, the only thing I see is Media Center. But that isn’t in most versions of Vista. Add packet writing of optical discs, also, that might come in handy. Some of the other changes might have been compelling years ago (like Sidebars), but at this point are too little too late. If new applications turn up either from Microsoft or others to make a compelling case for the new graphics subsystem or anything else that has been included (pen input? speech recognition? text-to-speech? imaging/color codecs?), things may be different.

In other trials:

  • RDP 6 works fine. Sound quality seems better. Not much else exciting going on here. I thought there might be application publishing support, but that requires the server OS.
  • Office 12 is fine. XML file format and some UI changes. The thing seems to be the same to me. Outlook doesn’t use the new UI but has improved IMAP support including remote sent-mail folder and auto-purge support, but I had those working with scripts anyway.