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An AppleScript to send iTunes info to a weblog Internet
There is a significant shortage of tools available for sending information about your current iTunes song to your blog. For Windows, there's iTunesBlogger, but for the Mac, there's not really anything that's simple and transparent. So I wrote an AppleScript that works in conjunction with a PHP script called TrackTunes (part of the CG-PowerPack) to get my currently-playing iTunes song to display properly on my WordPress blog. The script is here:

Blog Current Song.scpt

Further information about my research into this topic and how to install and run the script is available in this entry on my blog.

[robg adds: As the referenced blog entry is rather detailed, I won't try to repeat it here. As noted in the entry, there's a Mac app called Recent Tunes that will do this for you. It's what I've been using on my personal blog, but it is a bit flakey, sometimes not updating the songs when it should. The program hasn't been updated since 2004, and is unlikely to be updated in the future, so the above script/PHP code might be the best solution.]
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Use Google Notifier for more than one account Internet
If you have more than one account with Gmail (this works with Google for your domain accounts, too), you can use Google Notifier to notify you of your Gmail and Google Calendar activity by simply making a copy of the Google Notifier application in the application folder. You then simply change the name of the application to something relevant and, after launch, the applications will coexist in the menu bar.
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Create a TextEdit file of web clippings via script Internet
Mario_Dammann is an AppleScript for your web browser (Camino, Safari or Firefox) that copies selected text along with the URL and title into the same TextEdit file. At the end of the day, you have a collection of all your selections in one text file. Just download the script and place it in your web browser's Scripts folder.

After highlighting sections of web text, select Mario_Dammann from the Scripts menu, and the text will automatically be copied to a TextEdit file.

[robg adds: I have mirrored the source of version 0.9 onto the hints server, in case the original vanishes. I tried this, and it works as described.]
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Fix for typing lag in gMail reply boxes on slower Macs Internet
This hint is not specifically Apple, Mac, or OS X related, but I suspect it'll apply to quite a few readers. To anyone who uses a somewhat slower machine to access the internet and check a gMail account, you may have noticed typing in text-boxes, such as compose or reply are sluggish. On my 333Mhz Lombard, Camino will lag as much as a sentence behind my typing. As far as I can tell, this appears to be specific to Gecko browsers. I don't experience this lag with Opera, Safari, or OmniWeb.

For those, like me, who don't wish to launch a separate browser just to check email, switch gMail to the basic HTML view and the typing lag goes away. While you will lose some of gMail's whizzier features in this view, you will no longer feel like you're using Word 6.
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10.4: Run ASP only from IIS within Parallels Internet
I have an old web app that's using Active Server Pages, and I want to run it on my (Intel) Mac. This is basically not a big deal, because you can simply use Microsoft IIS under Parallels.

But I wanted to use IIS only for ASP files, and let Apache handle the rest. And here's how to make sure IIS only handles what it's supposed to:
  1. Make a share of your Webserver Root directory in Parallels.
  2. On the PC, in the IIS Control Panel, click on the default Website, click on Properties, then choose Home Directory, select that the content should come from A Share located on another computer and enter .PSFyoursharename as the network directory.
  3. Make sure you allow ASP under Web Service Extensions
  4. On the Mac, uncomment the following lines in /private -> etc -> httpd -> httpd.conf (remove the #'s):
    LoadModule rewrite_module     libexec/httpd/mod_rewrite.so
    LoadModule proxy_module       libexec/httpd/libproxy.so
    AddModule mod_rewrite.c
    AddModule mod_proxy.c
  5. Then you have to add the following code somewhere in your httpd.conf file:
        RewriteEngine On
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .*.asp$
        RewriteRule ^/(.*)$  http://1.2.3.4/$1 [P]
    where 1.2.3.4 should be the IP of the windows virtual machine.
  6. Run sudo apachectl graceful to restart apache.
Finished! Now you have full ASP support on your Mac!
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Create progressive-downloading Flash videos Internet
If you are seeking the largest audience possible with embedded streaming video, Flash video is a good choice, since it is allegedly supported by 98% of all browsers. One can easily create Flash video that can be downloaded progressively with a few open source or other freely available tools. The easiest way to encode the video is with ffmpeg (available through Fink) with something along the lines of:
ffmpeg -i movie.dv -f flv -r 12 -me full -subq 5 -mbd 1 -b 150 \
-qmin 2 -qmax 31 -s 360x240 -acodec mp3 -ar 11025 -ab 16 -ac 1 video.flv
This will create a Flash video with settings of 12fps, 360 by 240 pixels, 150 video bitrate, and a 16 bitrate mono audio track. Now to make the Flash video support progressive downloading in all the major browsers, we need flvtool2. Once installed, run the following command:
flvtool2 -u video.flv
At this point, all you need is to provide a SWF wrapper for your Flash video. There's a serviceable one here. Download it, expand the archive, and follow the instructions in the readme folder to install and link to your webpage.
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Integrate Gmail and Mail.app inbox and sent mailboxes Internet
It is easy to give Mail.app and Gmail something very close to synchronized inbox and sent mail boxes. Any message sent in Mail.app will be stored in Gmail's serverside sent box, any message sent through Gmail's web interface will store a copy in your Mac's sent mail box, and any received message will also be available through the web interface or on your own computer. This is most useful because it allows access of any of your email from anywhere through Gmail's nice interface, and it allows you to download your email and keep it offline and able to be read without an internet connection.

First, enable POP access in Gmail. Next, set up Mail.app to use gmail's POP server and SMTP server. (Using your ISP's SMTP server instead will not allow messages sent from Mail.app to be stored in Gmail.) Finally, add a rule in Mail.app and put it toward the very top of the priority list:

If all of the following conditions are met:
  • From Contains your name
  • To Does Not Contain your name
Perform the following actions:
  • Move message to mailbox: Sent
  • Mark as Read
  • Stop evaluating rules
In Mail.app, using Gmail's SMTP server stores the sent message on Gmail's server for later viewing on gmail.com. In Gmail, sending a message leaves a copy on the gmail account which is retrieved through POP3 by Mail.app, which is routed by the mail rule to your sent box. Thus, all your sent mail is backed up on gmail's server and stored locally on your Mac.
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Load a web page on a set schedule Internet
With the recent launch of Moosejaw's Tha Lowdown, and sites like Steep and Cheap that offer one-day, while-supplies-last deals on outdoor gear, I have been in need of a way to load these pages at their scheduled update times without forgetting. Both have RSS feeds, but they have proven problematic.

I did some searching and found a post on the MacNN forums that suggested I use Cronnix, a cron GUI, that can be used to launch a simple script whenever you want. The following script will load a page in your default browser:
osascript -e 'open location "http://www.macosxrumors.com"' > /dev/null
Now that I have it set up to load ThaLowdown.com when the deal changes, I am going to explore using this same concept to have the Boulder, Colorado GPS-tracked bus schedule loaded for me every day when I wake up. I can think of a lot of individual applications of this idea as well.
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Keep spam email from reaching the inbox via Gmail Internet
While this is not a specific hint for MacOS systems, it may be of interest of MacOS users, so here it is. The problem with most anti-spam systems is that you have to download all messages to your computer, including spam, in order to filter them. But what if you could download just the non-spam messages?

If you have a Gmail account, you can! Here's how:
  1. Configure your Gmail account to allow reading/sending emails using POP/SMTP.
  2. Configure Mail.app (or other mail application you may use) to read your Gmail account.
Since your Gmail Inbox is filtered against spam, you will be reading just valid (mostly) emails. All spam will be held in Gmail's Spam box, far from your computer.

[robg adds: A simple hint, but worth consideration if you don't mind using the @gmail.com address as your main point of contact. Obviously, this will work with any online mail service that moves spam out of your inbox via automated filters.]
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Temporarily freeze moving web ads on certain laptops Internet
I sometimes find the moving web page ads annoying when trying to read an article. With the arrival of Mac OS X 10.4.7, you can easily put a temporary stop to the motion while reading a page on your MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Simply set your trackpad to "Tap trackpad with two fingers for secondary click" (in the Trackpad tab of the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel). Then, to stop a motion ad, click on an unused portion of the page with two fingers to bring up a contextual menu. This freezes all web page motion. Read your page in peace, and then tap with one finger to release the menu and resume normal display of the page.
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