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.
iCal calendar publishing is pretty darned handy. It lets you view shared calendars by subscribing to them directly in the iCal application. Unfortunately, unless you have a .Mac subscription, Mac OS X Server, or some other WebDAV-enabled server at your disposal, publishing iCal calendars is impossible -- iCal publishing requires WebDAV. But now there's a way.
Box.net offers free 1GB accounts, and their servers run WebDAV. So here's what you need to do, in a nutshell:
Set up your box.net subscription (easy and fast!).
In iCal, publish your calendar (Calendar -> Publish) to https://www.box.net/dav, using your box.net account name (email) and password.
Subscribe to the calendar in iCal (Calendar -> Subscribe) at http://www.box.net/dav/Your_Calendar.ics. NOTE: Do not use https here.
That's it! Your calendar will be automatically refreshed and synced between computers. I use this to sync my Home and Work calendars. It's great, and it's free. What could be better?
With AOL's move to being a content provider, and slowly but surely dropping the already-abysmal support of the AOL 'client' software for Macs in favor of a few simple stand-alone apps like the Connect dialer, AOL Radio, and AOL Pictures, I was concerned about how to access my member 'webspace' or 'filespace'.
Previously, the webspace/filespace could be accessed via FTP, but only if you were logged in via the AOL client for authentication into their system. Third-party FTP programs used a backwards-type of authentication, where one's AOL username was left generic (such as "anon"), and the password given was your full AOL email address. AOL then checked to see if you were logged in via their client software (on the same computer) and if so, would grant FTP read/write permissions to your file space.
AOL tech support said that was still the only means of authenticating to the member webspace for direct FTP, so I assumed that FTP had become another internet dinosaur protocol that they would no longer be supporting.
By accident while trying a new FTP client that supported SFTP, I clicked my old AOL FTP bookmark. Rather than the typical "directory not found" error message, I got a new one saying that the password didn't match the user name -- it had tried to authenticate, even though the AOL client wasn't launched. So in the SFTP connection fields, I just replaced the old "backward" username and password style with my regular AOL username and password. I accepted the Host Key fingerprint and had full, authenticated SFTP read/write access to my AOL file space, without even having the AOL client software running.
Google has a free 3D modeler, Google SketchUp, but for the moment it is Windows only (the Mac version has been announced but is not yet available). However, although Google doesn't mention it, OS X users can get a free viewer to view and manipulate existing models directly from the sketchup.com site.
People have made many nifty 3D objects that Google is hosting in their
3D warehouse. With the viewer installed, you can download and examine any of these models.
For non-English speakers, this hint allows you to change the country that Google uses when searching from Safari. Whenever you enter a search into the Google search field in Safari, the search is made on the US Google. But if you want to search on your country's Google, such as, in this example, Switzerland, you can create a bookmark such as the following:
Put this bookmark in your Bookmark Bar, then click it after you've run your Google search. This reloads the search for the appropriate country.
[kirkmc adds: We've run a hint about changing the country for Google searches in Firefox, but not for Safari. While this won't change the initial search, a single click changes the country for the search, then lets you continue to search within that country on Google. Note that, in the above code, you need to replace "CH" with the country code you want to use. ]
Although many tips exist about getting Hotmail mail into your email client, using the HTTP Mail Plugin didn't work for me, because my account with Hotmail was too recent, and paying this external service didn't make me happy. Although a solution called hotwayd is available, it is for advanced computer users, so here is my solution for normal people. Also, you can use any webmail service that don't offer POP as a free option, like Yahoo or FastMail (I think), with this solution.
First, you have to download the free utility MacFreePOPs, part of an open-source project. Open MacFreePOPs and click 'Start freepopsd server.' If I understand correctly, MacFreePOPs does the same thing as hotwayd: it emulates a POP3 server.
Next, go the your preferred email client (I use Apple's Mail), and create a new POP account. Provide your normal username and password, but for the Incoming Mail Server field, type the red number that appears at the bottom of the MacFreePOPs window. For your Outgoing Mail Server, you'll have to use something else (I use my ISP's SMTP server). When you're done, locate the Port Number field in the Advanced tab (in Mail.app), and replace 110 with 2000. If all went well, you should receive your webmail in your email client!
About the server: according to my experience, you can quit MacFreePOPs with the server running and it'll continue working. If you log out and log in again, it should still be running (even though MacFreePOPs won't be open). However, if you shut down your computer and open it again, you will have to open MacFreePOPs and start the server again. That's why you might want to include it in your login items.
I bought my son a NintendoDS this weekend along with Mario Kart. I searched Google for a while, trying to figure out why I couldn't see my AirPort with the DS and Nintendo's wifi support site doesn't work from a Mac-based browser.
Anyway, all I had to do was set the Multicast rate to 2 instead of 11. Just figured I would pass this on in case anyone else runs into this.
I leave my PowerBook G4 (running OS X 10.4.5) mainly unattended, and I want to be able to access it remotely; to do that, it has to be always online. From time to time, my Internet connection drops and I've come up with an AppleScript which reconnects to the Internet by performing all the necessary tasks. The script is launched automatically every half an hour by iCal (a crontab would be an excellent alternative ... maybe I'll try it later on).
The multi-step procedure to reconnect is the following:
Open the browser (if not already connected, it is redirected to a login homepage).
Select the "user" field and type the username.
Select the "password" field and type the password.
Select the "provider" field and choose the provider from a list (it is enough for me to type the letter "O").
Select the "OK" button and hit the enter key.
In the Universal Access preferences pane, I checked the box at the bottom that says "Enable access for assistive devices" to enable the "System Events." The code I came up with is the following:
set CR to ASCII character of 13
tell application "System Events"
tell application "Camino" to activate
keystroke tab & tab & tab & [username] & tab & ¬
[password] & tab & "O" & tab & CR
tell application "Camino" to quit
I am using Camino as browser. The Tab keys are used to navigate through the fields of the login homepage; [username] and [password] in the script are replaced by my real username and password. The O is the key to digit after selecting the field containing the list of providers. The script is my first attempt to use AppleScript. It works.
I am pretty sure that there are many possible improvements and alternatives -- which I will be glad to learn from you.
In the past, I have jumped through a number of different hoops to digitize streaming audio (e.g. NPR's Car Talk using RealPlayer). I've used WireTap, but you can't set it to a timer and it won't encode MP3s. I also used Soundflower or Jack to route the output to Amadeus II, which has a timer and does MP3s, but it's such a hassle to set up when I don't use Soundflower for anything else. Or I've tried the trick of patching the output mini-jack to the input mini-jack, then recording in whatever app I choose (make sure Playthrough isn't selected). This is also a hassle (finding the cable, checking levels to make sure it's set up correctly, etc.).
But here is the easiest and quickest solution, bearing in mind I'm not going for high quality audio, just intelligible voice: Speaker to internal microphone. Connect to the website stream and, as soon as it begins playing, launch your favorite audio recording program (Audio Companion, Amadeus, Sound Studio -- I usually have one of them running all the time), and start it recording. Bingo, done.
Turns out that the internal microphone, which is usually my default setting, does an acceptable job of recording the built-in speakers. No additional routing required. Record with a timer (Amadeus II) set to the length of the stream, encode to MP3 in real time or on save. Much easier.