If you have fast network access, there's now a quick and easy way to have total remote control over your OS X box, including the GUI. A protocol known as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is the key, and it offers servers and clients for nearly every platform.
There have been a couple of clients for X released (which allow you to connect to other VNC servers), but there hasn't been a server (well, there's one you can run if you install X Windows on X first, but that's a big project in itself!). There is now, however, an OS X VNC server package available which runs native under Aqua, and takes about 30 seconds to get running.
If you look closely at the screenshot (or look at the larger image), you'll see that it's my Aqua desktop being viewed from a Windows98 machine. Over my LAN, this was nearly as fast as working locally on my desktop. To work remotely, though, you'll want a fast internet connection on your X machine.
Getting this working is incredibly simple. Here's how:
Update: osxvnc.com is no longer a Mac-related website; the domain expired and it's now run as a porn site! Do not try to visit there!]
Install the program and launch it.
Get a client (viewer) for another machine (or even for your OS X box). You can pick a viewer for common platforms or less common platforms. You could also try searching macosxapps or VersionTracker for VNC clients for OS X.
Launch the viewer and enter the IP number and port of the server. You should now have remote control over your OS X machine!
For more information on the server (including a script to launch it at startup and some speed tips), visit [see Update note above!]. With VNC and SSH, I now have complete remote control over my OS X system, from nearly any platform available -- cool!
An anonymous tipster told me he had the Citrix java client running on X. Citrix is a remote access server that's used in many offices (including mine!), and it usually runs on an NT box. There's a Mac client, but I couldn't get it to run in Classic.
The tipster (sorry, no name given) stated that he had it working, but that it needed a couple of scripts to work right (which he would provide via email). Unfortunately, the email address he provided didn't work! With a bit of digging on Citrix site, however, I figured out the scripts (not too hard!), and now have a working client!
So if you'd like a native Citrix java client for remote access to your corporate network, read the rest of this article...
I often have several terminal sessions going - a "man" page window for reading about some command that I'm trying to use in another window, a "top" window showing current processes, and perhaps an "ssh" window for connecting to another host. By default, each window has the same properties - title, background, font size and color, etc. This can make it somewhat tricky to remember which window is which.
However, Terminal has a "save" command which will let you save the changes in any given window to a file. This lets you set up customized looks for different tasks. Simply open a window, set all the properties you like, then hit Save and give it a name and location. Now, when you double-click that file in the finder, that window will open with your customzized settings. I've set custom titles, fonts, and colors for my main 'terminal' tasks (top, ssh, man, and general default) and saved them each for quick and easy access.
Since my 'top' window is always running top, wouldn't it be nice if you could just double-click the terminal file and have top come up already running? Thanks to a tip on the X4U mailing list, you can! Read the rest of the article for the details.
Everyone is talking about installing GIMP,an image editor in the X-Windows environment [Editor - Which requires a long, complicated install of first X-Windows then the Gimp], but another quite good application is TIFFany 3, from caffeinesoft. Written in Cocoa. They are also building a server for imageprocessing in batchmode (T3-server) and some other small apps.
NetInfo can occasionally get cranky, especially if you have been mucking around with it. If you have hosed your netinfo database you can force the machine to rebuild it.
In single-user mode (boot while holding down command-S, or see the tip here on how to quit into single-user mode), remove /var/db/local.nidb, which is your local netinfo database. Also remove /var/db/.AppleSetupDone, then reboot. You will see a registration page again and can create a new admin account and go from there. Be careful to remap your privileges if necessary.
Also, if you are having problems with the database, but don't want to trash the whole thing, you can just remove /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and reboot. Go through the registration and create a new account with a DIFFERENT name than any you already have. This doesn't recreate the database, it just adds a new admin user to it.
I received several replies to the query on the Help Wanted page regarding IE and the 'wrong' (Classic) version of Stuffit Expander launching after a download. In no particular order, here are all three replies:
Download the latest version of Stuffit Expander, version 6.0.1 from Aladdin Systems and dump the pre-installed version that comes with MacOS X. The newest Stuffit Expander and DropStuff are FAT Carbon applications that run under MacOS 9 or MacOS X.
Try a symbolic link:
1) Begin a terminal session
2) Type (on one line; replace [space] with an actual space character):
ln -s '/Applications/Utilities/StuffIt Expander.app'[space]
3) Go into IE and choose the symlink as your new 'helper app.' The symlink should be available.
And finally, submitted by my friend Jim, a very easy to implement solution:
Simply go to Log In on your Systems Preferences. Put Stuffit Expander in there to start at login and all is well. It will run all the time (but who cares - it takes 0.01% of the CPU while open). This little trick insures that Stuffit Expander will open in OS X and not go back to Classic just to unstuff.
Not one, not two, but three separate solutions -- I'm impressed!
In Mail.app, you can drag and drop a folder from the finder onto the body of a new mail message. Mail will ask if you want to copy the entire folder, or make an alias. I made an alias of a folder, and sent the message to myself. When I got the message and clicked on the folder alias, it popped up the finder window of the folder!
Warning-- If you try this with a folder containing lots of items/subfolders, the resulting mail message will be HUGE. It seems as though mail tried to attach everything in the folder--even tho the folder itself was an alias.
I'm wondering what would happen if you sent a folder alias to another OS X user? Probly just a broken link would result? What if the folder exists in the same place on the recipient's machine?
Read the rest of this article if you'd like to see the mail.app messages from this aliased email.
I recently installed OS X and it's great. I installed apache, php, and mysql so I can develop and test locally. I love it, but I've been missing one thing. A good text editor.
I've downloaded pepper, jEdit, and several others. But I still preferred the classic app BBEdit. Pepper was great, but it doesn't have support for PHP and it costs $45(unless you can handle waiting 10 seconds every time you save). jEdit is even better. It has syntax coloring and everything. However the interface lags and the lack of drag and dropping files into the app sucks. Maybe your experiences were better, but I ended up going back to TextEdit. But it has it's problems too. Some files can't be opened to text and I just don't like it for what I'm doing.
Anyways I was looking through the developer examples and messing around with Project Builder and decided to try open my php files with it. It's great! There's no syntax coloring for php, but there's many other useful features. I even created a project file for my php program that I'm working on. Then I have access to any of my files with a click. The find feature is really good and lines can be found by cmd-L since it doesn't show line numbers. I like the indenting features too. If your doing any type of web developing and don't have a good text editor, try this.
Now only if Apple would add support for more programming languages.
The installer for XTools 1.0.2 erased my Applications folder, /etc, /usr, and root home directories, and much more! Other users had experienced such problems with earlier versions, and Tenon promised to re-release the application only after resolving the issue. I installed on Mac OS X 10.0.1 over XTools beta10 when Mac OS X started to fail during the system optimization step.
The Tenon XTools discussion board at www.tenon.com has more information about similar problems suffered previously by other users.
[Editor's note: Please see the comments for a response from Tenon; the install issue is particular to those who installed OS X over the PB and then upgraded to 10.0.1; thanks for the clarification, Tenon!]