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Cisco VPN client for Mac OS X is available! Network
For those of you using a Cisco VPN server, they just released the Mac OS X version of their VPN client software. Ask your VPN support person, whoever that may be, for the specifics.

[Editor's note: I can't find any reference to the OS X Client on the Cisco web site, so it does appear you'll need to talk directly to your Cisco rep. If someone has a URL with more information, please pass it along as a comment to this article...]
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OS X's free drawing program - Sketch Apps
Some people may not have noticed the free drawing program which comes with OSX. It's located in Developer/Applications/Extras and it's called Sketch. It's only installed if you do the developer install. It's a simple drawing program, with lines and circles and type, similar to Microsoft Draw. It's nice for simple diagrams when Illustrator is just too much work. The only catch is you have to save your work as a Sketch file (.sketch) before you can Save As a TIFF or PDF file.

[Editor's note: You'll also find (a program to show that a dying program won't affect the system) and (a TextEdit replacement with some nicer features) in the Extras folder - it's worth a look if you've installed the Dev Tools.]
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Empty the trash via the command line UNIX
Opera was crashing on me constantly, so I decided to trash my Opera preferences. Little did I know (until I was emptying the trash) that my Opera prefs folder contained 38,000 items! After waiting for about 10 minutes, I still had 35,000 items left to empty. I decided to bail out and do it from the command line, where it took approximately 15 seconds! A simple rm -r * to empty my .Trash folder did the trick.

[Editor's note: If you're new to the terminal, be very careful with the 'rm' command. There is no going back, and there's no confirmation (by default). To do this safely, you should first type cd ~/.Trash (to make sure you're in your trash directory) and you may want to use rm -ri * which will ask for confirmation on each file. Although this won't be fast, you'll be confident you're deleting the right files before they're all gone! A wise friend once said to me that there are two types of UNIX users ... those that have "rm -r *"ed the wrong directory, and those that will...]
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OmniWeb UI slowness in Graphite theme Web Browsers
Ken at Omni Group just posted a quick note in this MacNN forum thread to let everyone know that OmniWeb's UI is much slower than expected when using the Graphite OS X theme. Switching to the Aqua theme will resolve the issue in the current release, and Ken writes that he's fixed the bug in the next release.
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Replace the built-in FTP server Apps
Apple's built-in FTP server, which is started by clicking a button in the Sharing prefs panel, is probably sufficient for most users. It gives easy access to your machine via FTP, but has some limitations. If you wish to allow others to FTP to your machine, you need to create an OS X account for each user. If you want those users restricted to their home directory, you need to create an 'ftpchroot' file that limits their access. Other more advanced tasks, such as space limitations, require further tweaking to the FTP server.

If you'd like an easy way to put a more robust FTP server solution in place, check out CrushFTP by Ben Spink. CrushFTP is a Java-based application that runs on OS X (and OS 9!).

It has a wealth of options, including:
  • User (add/delete/modify) management within CrushFTP
  • Set disk quotas and other privileges by directory
  • Set maximum idle and connect times and bandwidth limits
  • Limit max downloads per session
  • Easily specify which port CrushFTP will serve from
  • Control which days a user may connect
  • Limit or allow connections based on IP address
  • Generate detailed usage reports
I ran a very simple speed comparison this afternoon (transfer one 7.9mb file from my Mac to my Win2000 laptop), and I was surprised to find that CrushFTP beat the built-in FTP server (444K per second vs. 440K per second). A more extensive test would have to be done on multiple files to verify the results, but CrushFTP seems to be just as speedy as the bundled FTP server -- at least in a single-user scenario.

CrushFTP is a $20 shareware application, and it's a fully try-before-you-buy package. If you're looking for a more advanced FTP server package, check it out.

NOTE: I am not a registered CrushFTP user, as my FTP needs are simple. It just seems like a well-developed alternative to the bundled OS X FTP server, with easily defined options. As with anything that allows direct access to your machine, please make sure you're comfortable with the product and its background before installing or using it!
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tcpflow packet sniffer Network
If you're interested in seeing what things get sent out by your machine (for example, hidden data sent out as part of a software install or what cookies are getting set while browsing), check out tcpflow. tcpflow is a packet sniffer for unix-based operating systems. It's got more features than tcpdump (which is included with OS X). Marc Liyanage has created a Mac OS X installer package, which is available here:

The home page for tcpflow itself is here:

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PostgreSQL and PHP install tutorial UNIX
If you'd like to get PostgreSQL and PHP running on Mac OS X, the following tutorial should help. Please refer to my previous instructions on installing Apache, PHP, MySQL in this web site to make these instruction clearer.

- Vip Malixi.

[Read the rest of the article for the step-by-step instructions]
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Unable to login System
I tried to reset the password with the CD, didn't work. I tried the method mentioned here, boot into single user etc. When I used this method, the computer couldn't find the file, ie no such user root, or System Administrator, or my login name. I am currently using X from my second (slowwwww) drive and am trying to avoid doing a new install. Any help would be appreciated.


[Editor's note: Anyone seen anything like this? It appears that the Users data is either missing or damaged, based on James' description of the symptoms...but that's a semi-wild guess on my part...]
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Finder file rename bug identified System
Over in this MacNN forum thread, 'JoeyA' identified a rename bug in the Finder, which I've verified on my machine.

If you have a filename that is less than six characters in length and starts with a number, then you cannot modify the name to start with a zero. If you try in the Finder, the name will revert to the previous setting. The only workaround in the Finder is to lengthen the name to at least six characters and then add the zero (this can be one step). After the change is made, then you can re-shorten the name.

Alternatively, you can rename the file in the Terminal with (for example) "mv 3abcd 03abcd" and it will work fine.

Admittedly, this bug won't hit most of us, but if you're having trouble renaming a file with a leading zero, this appears to be the cause.
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ADSL USB Modem connection Network
I' m about to get an Alcatel ADSL modem in two weeks; the connection is PPPoA going through the USB modem. As far as I can find there are no drivers yet for this (a link here which is a BT unoffical FAQ.) So has anyone got a USB ADSL Modem working (PPPoE seems to be built into OSX already?, but of course BT requires me to use PPPoA via USB)

On the alcatel website there are drivers for Win32 Mac (Classic) and Linux. Any idea if the Linux can be compiled or another workaround?
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