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Aug 04 2010

Mac OSX Keeps Restarting On Its Own?

Published by under Others

Ever since I first started using Mac OSX, I have been haunted by this strange behavior. On Windows, if I leave the machine to take a much needed break, or to take a phone call, go for a run, take a shower, etc. I can return to the machine later, with my work-in-progress intact, safe and sound. Or downloads in Firefox completed. Or whatever tasks that were left running, either still running or completed.

On the Mac, I have lost much work and time due to the Mac OSX intrusively restarting on its own. Drafts not saved? Say farewell – lost forever. Downloads disrupted – start over (unless resume miraculously works). This is especially exasperating, considering that Apple requires you to update the iPhone SDK/Xcode by re-downloading the whole package. Not patching, but re-downloading a 2GB+ file.

So, why exactly is the Mac restarting on its own, even when it is not idle such as having a download-in-progress?

Turns out that this is due to a rather useless Security feature. Ridiculously, the “Log out after 30 minutes of inactivity” setting is the culprit. So, to save yourself some agony, make sure you turn it off:

If your Mac has been suffering from this problem, hope the above helps!

Seriously, I have no idea what purpose this Security feature serves, other than to make you lose progress in your work. By comparison, on Windows, if the OS logs you out due to inactivity, it actually restores your session with your work-in-progress intact the next time you log in. You can even safely switch between user accounts on Windows, and log back into an account with its last session intact.

P/S: As far as security goes, you should just check the “Require password” option.

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Aug 04 2009

[AS3] Hiding the Built-In ContextMenu Items

Published by under Flash,Flash AS3,Tips

UPDATE: You may also refer to Hiding the Built-In Native MenuBar (And ContextMenu Items).

In my opinion, the native right-click context menu is an odd legacy from the Flash Movies days. It may be useful when Flash is used as a video player, for animations and cartoons, in the absence of any proper custom UI.

If you are developing Flash applications, you should consider always hiding the native right-click Flash Player context menu’s built-in items. Sure, you cannot get rid of the context menu completely, but you should at least hide the built-in items. It makes the application look a lot more professional because the long list of built-in items are mostly irrelevant.

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Jul 21 2009

[UX] Slider Mouse Wheel Support

Published by under Aspire UI,Flash

In sliders where the track is small compared to the number of steps available in the range, it is often difficult for end-users to set the exact value they desire. This is because the value is derived from the thumb position on the track and sliding the thumb of a small slider, even minutely, can result in adjustment of a few steps.

In order to improve end-user experience, the uiSlider from the Aspire UI library (v1.1.5+) implements mouse wheel support. When a uiSlider instance has focus, the end-user may hover the mouse over the instance and use the mouse wheel to adjust the value up or down step-by-step (by moving the mouse wheel up or down). This is implemented on top of the usual keyboard support (UP and DOWN keys).

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Jul 16 2009

[UX] CTRL+SHIFT Non-Contiguous List Selections

Published by under Aspire UI,Flash

To improve end-user experience, I would think that multiple non-contiguous selections in lists should be made possible by left-clicking while pressing down CTRL+SHIFT (ie, holding down both modifier keys while clicking).

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