There's been some past discussion of Mac compatibility with Sierra Wireless broadband PC cards, but there's a new speed leader: Verizon's BroadbandAccess plan, with sustained transfer speeds up to 500Kbps and bursts up to 1.5Mbit (at least if you dwell in a coverage area). $80 a month for unlimited access is the price of entry.
I had the opportunity to try one of the Sierra Wireless PC5220 cards in my PowerBook at the Verizon launch breakfast last week at the Waldorf=Astoria (yes, it has an '=' in its name) in NYC. Although you won't find mention of Mac compatibility in the Flash manual for the card, and though Verizon and Sierra Wireless reps were unaware of it, there are drivers for the card built-in to Mac OS X as of 10.3.5 (and available from Apple for 10.3.4). Just pop in the card, and a new network interface shows up automagically ... walk and surf at the same time!
I have a 17" Powerbook and wanted to use one of the 3G high speed PCMCIA cards from Orange or Vodaphone (up to 384Kbs!) However, none of them support Macs, what a surprise! (Actually, I think Vodaphone has something in the pipeline, but apparently the Orange coverage is much better?). Anyway, after some searching, I discovered Mobile High Speed for Mac OS - 3G Edition, an application that actually lets you use these cards. It's written by a company called Novamedia, and it's *very* expensive, but does exactly what it says and is really easy to use.
Media files aimed at one particular type of media player (often Windows Media Player) can be a nuisance if you cannot or do not wish to install that player. What often happens when you click those links is that a small file is downloaded to your system, as a preparation for the body of the media file to come through. After this, the process stops.
However, I discovered it is worth the effort to examine that small file with a hex-editor (such as HexEdit). Very often, the file contains the URL of the server that offers the (streaming) media file. Once you have obtained that information, most media players allow you to type in that URL and view the desired content after all -- not automatically, but with an acceptable amount of extra work.
I found it worked with a .vxw file containing an URL to an .wmv file, which I was able to play in Mplayer for OSX.
After much trying to work out how to protect a directory with PHP so that full URLs couldn't access any of the static images, I finally found a mod for Apache (mod_auth_mysql) that allows authentication against mySQL. While this means that I end up not using the nice PHP form I had created, it does secure the files. This is my first attempt at a how-to, so be gentle. Hope it helps.
How to set up OS X 10.3.5 Apache (built in) and mySQL for authentication via mod_auth_mysql. Why? Because I like gross overkill.
Firstly you will need to install mySQL if you haven't already. I recommend getting the OS X binary from this page at mysql.com. It's version 4.0.21 at the time of writing. Many tutorials online tell you how to install mySQL for OS X. Most of them tell you to set up a user called mysql in your netinfo. This is not necessary, as it is already there. Install the package and follow the Readme to setup your root password. Install the MySQLStartupItem.pkg as well.
Apple emailed me today letting me know that they are now giving us 250mb of combined iDisk and .Mac mail storage. I am sure others know this, but I never saw it on my .Mac account. It may be a new feature, or it's always been there, but I never bothered to login and click on Account, so I have missed this ... as I am sure others may have.
After receiving the email, I fired up System Prefs and clicked on .Mac. It said I only had 125mb of iDisk space. But wait that email from Apple just said I had 250mb of space. So I logged into my .Mac account, and it also showed the same 125mb for my iDisk.
But if you click on Account on your .Mac homepage (down near the bottom of the left-hand column of links), you will see a button for Storage Settings. Click that, and you'll have access to switching your iDisk and .Mac mail 250mb storage settings. In my case, that meant moving to a setting that was more agreeable with my setup of not using the .Mac mail for storing my emails online -- I pull them off the server everytime. So I set my iDisk and .Mac mail ratio up to be 230mb for iDisk and 20mb for .Mac mail. Hope this helps others.
[robg adds: The location of the Account link wasn't intuitive to me, either. I assumed it was somewhere in the header, so you could reach it from any .mac page. Instead, you have to be on your home page. So hopefully this will save others some frustration, and thanks, Apple, for upping the storage limits. While it's not quite GMail, it's more than enough for me -- I have my ratio at 235 iDisk / 15 email, and would go even lower on email if allowed!]
Using this technique, you can download and read your Gmail account mail in your GUI-based mail client. This article is written for Apple's Mail.app, but it is basically the same for all mail clients once you get the POP3 proxy software installed.
Download FreePOPS for OS X from the OS X Downloads page. There are packages available for Panther and Jaguar. These are standard OS X style installer packages that will install a single directory named "FreePOPs" into your applications directory.
Since this is basically a command-line binary and has no GUI, and also because I wanted it to be accesible as a startup item, I decided to move the FreePOPs directory to a more suitable location -- /usr/local/. You can do this manually after running the installer package, or you can use something like Pacifist to extract the package contents directly into /usr/local/.
I am a NetNewsWire junkie, and have recently discovered the del.icio.us website -- an online bookmark storage system (actually it's a bit more than that, but that's a quick explanation).
Since I do most of my reading in NetNewsWire what I really wanted was the ability to grab headlines while reading in NNW and post them to my del.icio.us account. I created the following AppleScript to do just that. Create the AppleScript below and save it to your NetNewsWire scripts directory. Then while reading in NNW, select any headline (unfortunately I have been unable to figure out how to get it to snag the pertinent info while actually viewing content) and choose the script from the Script menu.
tell application "NetNewsWire"
set u to (URL of selectedHeadline) & "&title=" & ¬
(title of selectedHeadline) & "&extended=" & ¬
(description of selectedHeadline) & "&tags=" & ¬
(subject of selectedHeadline)
tell application "Safari"
open location ¬
Or just click here to open the above AppleScript in a new Script Editor window.
The following are step-by-step instructions for getting your Motorola V600 from T-Mobile working with OS X.
Call T-Mobile and turn on the $19.99 internet service if you haven't already, then wait 24 to 48 hours for activation. Before continuing with the Internet setup, you need to download the proper modem scripts. You can get them here. Use Stuffit Expander to extract the Scripts, and put all of them in /Library -> Modem Scripts/.
If you've paired your phone and laptop already, delete them from both. It's easier to start from scratch.
On your Mac, choose System Preferences -> Bluetooth -> Settings. Check Discoverable and Support Non-Conforming Phones. Click on the Devices tab, and then Set Up New Device. Click Continue.
On your Motorola, go to Main Menu -> Settings -> Connection -> Bluetooth Link -> Setup -> Find Me. This will make your cell phone discoverable for 60 seconds.
Read the rest of the hint for the remainder of the steps...
Whenever a user enters non-ASCII characters in a new message (accented latin vowels or Japanese letters, for example), Apple's Mail will try, by default, to encode the text in Unicode character encoding. The user still has the chance to overwrite that default behaviour and choose another character encoding for the new outgoing message by selecting another one from the menu (translating from Mail's Spanish localization) Message -> Text_encoding.
It might happen though, that Mail does not offer the specific character encoding the user is looking for. In order for Mail to expand the list of possible character encodings, quit Mail and then go to System Preferences -> International -> Language tab, and then click the Edit... button. In this dialog, check the specific language that the missing character encoding is intended for. Click OK, quit System Preferences, and open Mail again -- the new character encoding options will appear in the drop down list. For example, in order to be able to choose Shift-JIS as a character encoding in Apple's Mail, add Japanese language to the International preference panel.
This hint is not actually mine, but was gently revealed by macosxhints' forum poster "bedouin" in this thread. So thanks bedouin!
If you are so inclined, there are a myriad of mp3blogs popping up that offer legal, free MP3s. Most of these are out of date, public domain, free, odd, and just plain whacky tracks ... but I happen to like these. Keeping up with them all can be a hassle though.
There are also quite a few blogs popping up with audio postings (much like a radio show). Adam Curry, who produces one of these audio blogs called The Source Code, has created a nice little script for automatically scouring your favorite mp3blogs, downloading the MP3 files, and placing them on your iPod for your morning drive, etc. This is a great utility, and it's not just for iPods! From Adam's site:
iPodder automatically downloads new MP3 files when they become available from any of 5 sources (you can change these if you wish) and copies them to playlists in iTunes based on the channel name. If you have an iPod, connecting it to your computer will load the songs automatically.