The Mac OS X Walled Garden

I knew this was coming before the Mac App Store was announced. Few believed it back then. When Apple first announced its Mac App Store, more believed it. Now that Apple has set a deadline for sandboxing, some people still don’t believe it.

I believe that I should be allowed control over my computers. This is not dependent on the distinction between client and server, or between web and native. I also don’t buy the argument that it’s different when talking about so-called appliances like the iPad, which are really just crippled general-purpose computers.

One of the first things I’m going to do about it is to switch to something other than Mac OS X or Windows for desktop computing.

Twidge: a command-line microblogging client

After a friend recommended it, I gave Twidge a whirl. Twidge is a command-line microblogging client written in Haskell. It works with twitter and

Installing it on my mac was tricky at first, because I didn’t have instructions for installing it on Mac OS X, but once I figured out how to do it, it turned out to be really easy. I posted the installation instructions for OS X on the Twidge wiki.

So, how does it work? If you put twidge in your path, you can type twidge and it will provide a help screen. You can type twidge lscommands to get a list of commands. Of particular interest to someone who’s starting out is twidge setup, which asks for your username and password and puts them in ~/.twidgerc for later retrieval. Once it has your username and password, you can type twidge lsrecent for a list of recent updates by people you’re following, twidge lsreplies for a list of replies, and twidge update to post an update.

If -asu is specified on the command line to lsrecent, twidge will show all the updates since lsrecent was run. The -asu option has the same effect on lsreplies. In the Twidge HOWTO it shoes how to pipe lsrecent and lsreplies to less to enable checking all tweets with one command. I reversed the order so the replies would show up first, so I’ll see the replies even when I decide not to read all of the tweets. The command I put in ~/.bash_profile is here:

alias twidgecheck='(twidge lsreplies -asu; twidge lsrecent -asu) | less'

Now if I run twidgecheck, I can see all my updates. Nice! And once I’m done with them, I don’t have them showing up next time I turn to twidge. Update zero, if you will!

My main dislike with this system is that links are harder to visit with my terminal. If I was using the gnome terminal, I could just click them. Maybe I can find a way to make iTerm do that.