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iPhoto supports (some) unsupported devices Apps
Yesterday, after nearly four years of great service, I retired my Olympus D-500L. Although it worked well for us, it was starting to feel its age, with a maximum resolution of just 1024x768. In addition, it was quite bulky and as a result, sat at home instead of going with us on many trips.

So as I started looking for replacements a couple months ago, portability and higher resolution were two key elements. After a bunch of reading and testing, I thought I had my mind made up. Then iPhoto came out last week. On the iPhoto compatability page is a list of supported cameras, card readers, and printers. When I looked at that page, the camera I was interested in was not listed. Others by the same manufacturer were, but not this model nor even one in the same family.

The camera was supposed to work with Image Capture, though, at least according to the manufacturer's website. So I decided to go ahead and make the purchase, since the camera offered all the features I wanted. If I had to go camera -> Image Capture -> iPhoto, it still wouldn't be too bad. When I took the first test picture and connected the camera, I was very happily surprised when iPhoto launched and correctly identified the camera!

Oh yea ... which camera did I purchase? I picked the Canon S30 PowerShot, a 3-megapixel camera in a very portable body with some nice features and a good price point that has gotten some good reviews. If you're in the market for a digital, I highly recommend a visit to dcresource.com, which features a very thorough collection of reviews and an interactive buyer's guide that's quite good.

In addition, my Epson 890C printer also works just fine through the simplified print dialog in iPhoto, despite it also not being mentioned on the iPhoto page.

Anyone have any other cameras, printers, or card readers not on the list that are also known to work in iPhoto? The PowerShot S30 (and S40, too, I would guess) and the Epson890C are the first two that I can add to the list...
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Two security analysis programs Apps
In my never ending quest to replace my other computers I use and make my OSX TiBook more than a cool machine and a full replacement of all my other machines ... I begun replacing my Linux stuff (having completed replacing my PCs). In the process, I found some really good security analysis software for OS X that I thought I would share.
  1. MacAnalysis - A really nice shareware security analysis tool that seems to be coming along nicely (IMO worth the $50 fee). It has a plug-in architecture where you can update its database automatically (a must for analysis sofware) and a really nice OS X interface. A little lite on the doc, but seems to be coming along.

  2. Nessus - This one requires a little explanation. Nessus is the open source security analysis software IMO. I would not attempt this one unless you are comfortable with the UNIX command line :). Regrettably the old version did not seem to compile on OSX even with XFree and GTK+. However with a little work, I was able to get the latest image from CVS to compile. In order to attempt it, you will need to have a X server (I suggest using fink to get the XFree rootless server), the GTK+ libraries (again, I would use Fink, makes it trivial to do), the OpenSSL libraries (it claims to be able to compile without these - it does - but I wasted most of the part of a day to try and get it to work without these and I couldn't ... save yourself the trouble). Once you have all these pieces, it compiles and works like a charm :) I would also suggest for piece of mind (and eyes) using OroborosX - this software interfaces the XFree windows and the Aqua windows so well that you sometimes forget you're using X software :).
If anyone has any good security analysis software they use on OSX, please let me know :) Always looking to expand.

[Editor's note: Although these programs can most likely be used for bad purposes, they are also important in determining whether your own network is secure or not. As such, I think it's in the general interest to make people aware of these tools. After all, if the Bad Guys know about these programs, wouldn't you like to know what vulnerabilities these progarms find on your own systems in order to close the holes?]
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Mouse speed control via a preference panel Apps
Although there have been previous tips published about speeding up your mouse (one, two), neither solution was perfect. The first tip required replacing an Apple kernel extension; the second didn't change the settings in real time and was often reset arbitrarily.

Ben Hines has just released MouseZoom 2.0, a freeware solution that handles both issues. This system preferences panel installs and removes easily, and (as of version 2.0) the changes made are reflected immediately in the speed of the mouse tracking.

MouseZoom 2.0 is a more flexible solution than replacing the stock Apple mouse driver, as it is very easy to revert to your original setup - just remove the preference pane if you don't want to use it. Thanks to 'greggomer' for telling me about the updated version.
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iTunes alarm clock with speech Apps
The following Bourne shell script elaborates on some elements used in other people's tips to provide a wakeup service with music and voice. It uses AppleScript to tell iTunes to play a random song of a specified artist.

Read the rest of the article for the script...

[Editor's note: There was a previous thread about iTunes as an alarm clock, but this script is a little more interesting and we have the source now stored on macosxhints, in case the MacNN thread referenced in the prior article goes away at some point...]
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Use PreEdit to edit preference files Apps
I see very often hints requiring changes to system or application preferences from the command line. This may be difficult to some...

This hint is just to remind people of Marcel Bresink's PrefEdit, which makes easy to edit XML-formatted preferences files, including those from Apple. This usefull tool is free and has recently been updated for OS X 10.1.2

[Editor's note: I think PrefEdit has been mentioned in a comment before, but never in a separate hint. It's a great little application which is especially useful for those who don't have PList Editor, which is only installed with the Developer Tools package.]
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Debugging an Office v.X crash problem Apps
On my machine, Word, Powerpoint and Excel in Office v.X kept crashing/quitting on launch and even after deleting plists, prefs and identities, they still kept bugging out (strangely, Entourage was fine).

It turned out to be a corrupt font in the OS9 system folder. You can test this by quitting Classic, putting the OS9 font folder in the wastebasket and logging out. When you log back in again, you should be able to launch Word. Now all you have to do is find which font is corrupt before you put the fonts back.

[Editor's note: I believe there are some OS 9 utilities that help find corrupt fonts, but I can't recall any names at the moment ... anyone know of any?]
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Get Maya for free! Apps
I received an email (and a tip submission; thanks ppmax!) with a press release from Maya about a new free version of Maya, a $7,500 animation system. Here's a snippet from the release:
San Francisco - January 7, 2002 - Alias|Wavefront today announced that it is developing the Maya Personal Learning Edition which will provide users of Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows with unlimited, free access to Maya. Maya Personal Learning Edition will give 3D graphics and animation students, current industry professionals, and those interested in breaking into the world of computer graphics (CG) an opportunity to explore the award-winning Maya Complete software, in a non-commercial capacity. Maya Personal Learning Edition will be available in February of 2002.
If you've never seen Maya in action, it's simply amazing. I spent quite a bit of time near their booth at MacWorld, just watching what this software can do. It's certainly not something you'll pick up in five minutes' usage time, but it is a very powerful package that can create some very powerful visuals. This new Personal Learning Edition is a great way to get your feet wet without first writing a very large check!

If you're interested, Alias|Wavefront has an information page on their site where you can sign up for an email reminder when the Personal Edition is available for download. I can't wait to try this package out for myself...
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Use 'touch' to organize pictures for iPhoto Apps
touch, a terminal command, is a useful utility for changing the create dates on files before importing to iPhoto. By changing the create/modified date, you can change the date information that will display in iPhoto and where it will put the photo once imported. Open a terminal and type:
  touch -t [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.SS]] FILENAME
Used in conjunction with wildcards such as * or *.jpg for example this can make it easy to get photos imported with the proper dates.

This can be quite useful for changing the file dates on files that were burned to CD at a date much different than when they were shot. Fine tweaking of the time will impact the way the photos sort if you sort by date.

From my experience you can't simply move photos within iPhoto's structure. If you get them in with the wrong date you'll have to copy them out to another folder and then re-import them.
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How to create a scrolling About Box Apps
If you're a developer, CocoaDevCentral has posted an article that you may be interested in reading. Scrolling About Box explains how to, well, create a scrolling about box for your application.

[NOTE: The above URL did not display properly in Mozilla; it worked fine in IE, though, and there is a "printable" link that does work once you get to the page.]
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Change the default iPhoto library location Apps
iPhoto has a default that can be used to change the location of the photo library in a fashion similar to the way iTunes can change the location of the music library.

For iPhoto, this is of critical importance in that any image added to iPhoto is copied into the library (unlike iTunes, which simply stores a pointer to the original file). Considering what can be done with an image in the library, this makes a lot of sense -- it will make more sense once Apple supports multiple libraries in a more traditional multi-document application approach.

To change the default file store location, go to terminal and type:
  defaults write com.apple.iPhoto RootDirectory /path/to/desired/location
To remove the change default:
  defaults remove com.apple.iPhoto RootDirectory
If anyone wants to implement custom exporters and formatters, it isn't hard....

[Editor's note: Congrats to bbum for the first iPhoto tip, a mere 12 hours after its introductiion!]
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