Say you are sharing a computer with a number of people (say your family), and you want to be able to share a common mailbox. It turns out that with a little work, this can be done using MacOS X (PB) and Mail.app. But it does take a little work, some time with terminal.app, and the root password.
Read the rest of this article for detailed instructions on how to set up a mailbox that can be used by more than one user. [Editor's note: I have not tried this on my machine yet, but it looks fairly straightforward.]
While looking for interesting OS X apps recently, I happened upon a program called InstantLinks, available from Subsume Technologies. InstantLinks, shown in use at the right (click on the image for a larger screenshot), is a system service that is available in any application that supports OS X services (such as Fire and OmniWeb, to name two).
What does it do? From a services-aware application, you highlight a text string that you're interested in, such as a word, an address, or a URL. Then simply activate the InstantLinks service menu, and pick the action you would like performed on your selection. You can look it up in a dictionary, map the location, open the URL, search the web, or check a thesaurus.
It's an amazing example of some of the really neat stuff that I think we'll see coming out for OS X in the next few months. Highly recommended, if for nothing more than a peak at the future possibilities of OS X. Read the rest of the article if you'd like a detailed explanation for how to install and activate the progam (it's a bit different than a typical application).
If you logon as any user other than 'root' and you find that you are unable to launch an application, check the permissions on the Applications folder. The quickest way to fix the problem is to give the group 'Everyone' Read&Write access and copy this to the rest of the folders. Even though the permissions are correct further down the tree, the permission at the top level seems to matter.
The Apache web server includes the ability to process CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts. By default, this functionality is disabled and needs to be manually enabled in order to function. Read the rest of this article for step-by-step instructions on how to enable CGI's (enabling SSI (Server Side Includes) is also covered. SSI is a way of using environment variables to return some variable information on a web page.
Most CGI's are written in Perl, but you can also find a few in C, C++, and some of the UNIX shells (sh, ksh, csh, etc.). The CGI Resource Index (see below) also lists six CGI's written in Applescript!
Once you've enabled Apache, you'll probably want some scripts to run. Here are a few of my favorite sources:
There's an interesting thread in the MacFixIt Forums about bringing Eudora mailboxes into the OS X mail application. It turns out it's possible, but requires a bit of file editing and directory structure creation.
Basically, you need to convert the Mac line-endings in each mailbox file to UNIX style line-endings, and then create a directory structure that matches what mail.app expects to see.
If you hold down the option key while resizing a "new-style" open panel that uses column view, the panel will switch to a single column mode that somewhat emulates Classic open panels (except that you navigate up the filesystem by using a horizontal scroller instead of the pop-up menu at the top of the window).
I think this just works for Cocoa apps, but I haven't checked any Carbon apps to be sure. I also can't figure out if this is a bug or a feature...
If you're running a spellcheck-aware application (such as mail), then you know misspelled words show up in red. Sometimes, though, the word is right, it's just not in the dictionary. "Dalgo" pointed out over on this MacNN forum that you can add any misspelled words to the dictionary by simply control-clicking (or right-clicking) on the word. You'll be given a menu with options to Learn spelling or Ignore spelling (among other choices). In all my mucking about with the beta, I'd never tried a right-click on a misspelled word! Thanks Dalgo!
If you've enabled Apache to serve web pages, and want to see what's been going on with your site (hits, visitor sources, etc.), then you need a web log analyzer. Analog is considered one of the best, and it's free. There are two versions available for the Mac that I'm aware of. The first is a PowerPC app that would (probably, I haven't tested it) run in the Classic environment. You can find the package on this page at summary.net.
There's also a UNIX version available, which Chris Pepper has compiled for the Public Beta. You can find the download and instructions on his site. He's also ported a couple other UNIX apps over to the PB, and you can find those on the mosxsw.com web site.
Although I don't use the built-in mail client every day, I do like how well it integrates into the system. For example, the new message count in the dock is a very nifty feature. However, as installed, the mail client (for some unknown reason - bug?) will not allow you to search for text within the messages.
In order to make this feature work, go into the preferences (Mail -> Preferences) and select the Indexing option. Click on the Enable full-text searches in mailboxes checkbox, and make sure the When opening mailboxes dropdown menu reads Always create an index.
You can now search for text within messages. There are some other features (such as filters) that are hidden in the preferences as well, so browse around while you're there!
This morning, I was editing some of the site files in jEdit, and transferring them to and from the server using RBrowser (both jEdit and RBrowser are described in articles elsewhere on this site). At one point, I needed a version of a file from the server which was newer than the version I had open in jEdit.
I had RBrowser download the file to my editing directory, and then I returned to jEdit. When the RBrowser download completed, I received the following message within jEdit:
I'm not sure if this is a native feature of OS X (doubtful) or something that is written into jEdit (probably), but whichever it is, it's very cool and useful! No longer will I edit and save a file, only to then remember that I had downloaded a newer version sometime earlier.