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Access AOL email via IMAP in mail clients Internet
For this of you who didn't know, as of today AOL has opened its mail system to IMAP access. just use imap.aol.com (inbound) and smtp.aol.com (outbound) from Mail (or your preferred IMAP-capable email client) and you're all set.

[robg adds: This is good news for me, as it means I can finally remove the AOL software from my wife's machine -- reading her email is the only reason we have it installed...]
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Editing configurations in Internet Connect Internet
When you select "Connect automatically when needed" in System Preferences -> Network -> Show: Modem Port -> PPP -> PPP Options, you won't be able to edit or select your configurations in the Internet Connect application (which can often be found through the telephone symbol in your menu) -- the dropdown options in "Configuration:" are grayed out.

So deselect the System Preferences option mentioned above, edit and select your configuration in Internet Connect, and select the option again. Discovered under 10.3.3 on an iBook G4 and a G3 b/w.

[robg adds: I can't confirm this one, lacking a dial-up connection...]
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Load Mapquest directions on an iPod Internet
My fiancÚ and I recently acquired an iPod so we didn't have to tote her booklet of CD's with us on every road trip. Then while looking for add on software I came across Podquest, an application to load Mapquest directions to your iPod. While a nice app and worth checking out, you can do the same thing with a little work, and save yourself a few bucks using software you already have.

Simply go to Mapquest and get your directions. Copy and paste your directions text into any text editing software, such as Textedit. Save this document in text format (.txt). Now ad this document to your notes folder on your iPod. You now have a portable direction system. The most important thing to remember is you must use .txt files, .rtf will not work (but it would be great for Apple to add that in).

Happy Travels!
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Easily install the SpamBayes proxy server Internet
SpamBayes is a really neat little proxy server that adds a spam header to all the mail that passes through it; you can then use this to filter things with your mail client. Why do it at all? Well, Mail's bayesian filtering is OK, but not that good. The training system for SpamBayes is much better, IMHO.

Anyway, I put together a little installer package to put a self-contained version of SpamBayes in the Library and run it on startup. You can get the package, and more info about it here.
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Backup your iDisk to CD using Apple's Backup Internet
If you are a .Mac subscriber, you know that Apple's Backup utility will allow you to back up data to your iDisk. However, if you've ever tried to back up your iDisk to a CD, you'll find that Backup will tell you that it cannot backup remote volumes.

Well, under Panther, it is now possible to back up your iDisk if you have automatic syncronization on. To do so, tell Backup you want to add a new item to backup. Navigate to ~/Library -> Mirrors -> SOMETHINGRANDOM -> YOUR_.MAC_USERNAME.dmg. Backup will happily burn this file to a CD, and you will have a complete backup of everything on your iDisk. Backup will remember the location in the future, so you only have to do this once.

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A fix for an iSync Error - E_FMS_FILE_FOUND Internet
My PowerMac started giving me an error when trying to sync to .Mac: (E_FMS_FILE_FOUND), but my iBook would sync without a problem. I could not find anything on this site or Apple's relating to this error. After a quick Google search, though, I did come across this posting by 'Michael' on VersionTracker, and it solve my problem. Here's the essence of his solution:
  1. Start on a machine that has the initial data (my iBook in this case) ready to be synched.
  2. Open iSync on that machine.
  3. Go to Devices -> Reset All Devices.
  4. When asked what you'd like to reset to, choose "This computer."
  5. After it's done, go to the troublesome machine and re-sync, choosing to use .Mac to overwrite the local computer.
Not sure if this hint will work without a second Mac, but it solved the problem I was having and hopefully will save others from having to go elseware to find a solution. Thanks again to Michael who figured this one out (and read the initial posting on VT if you need additional details).
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A script to remove Real Player's .RAM files Internet
I got tired of having my desktop filled with tiny Real Player files left behind everytime I watch NasaTV. I decided to solve the problem using Folder Actions. I wrote a small AppleScript, which I added to my Desktop Folder as a folder action. Everytime a .ram file is copied onto the Desktop, the script waits 10 seconds and then it moves the file to the trash. The 10 second delay is necessary so Real Player has time to read the file. Here's the script:

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
  try
    repeat with i from 1 to number of items in added_items
      set this_item to item i of added_items
      set the item_info to info for this_item
      if the name extension of the item_info is in {"ram"} then
        do shell script "sleep 10"
        tell application "Finder"
          move this_item to trash
        end tell
      end if
    end repeat
  end try
end adding folder items to
This script can be extended to remove other annying files from similar applications. Just add their extension in the curly brackets that now contain {"ram"}.
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Disable Rendezvous' tracking of non-customized home pages Internet

The standard httpd.conf file installed by Apple has mod_rendezvous_apple directives that turn off Rendezvous advertising for the default site, but turn it on for user sites that have been customized. The test for whether a site has been customized or not involves comparing its index.html file to the one in the user template folder.

Unfortunately, it appears that users' index.html files are not (always?) replaced during software installs and updates, so that the system thinks users have customized their sites when in fact they haven't. This can result in useless clutter in the Rendezvous menu in Safari and elsewhere.

The solution is simply to copy /System -> Library -> User Template -> English.lproj -> Sites -> index.html to your Sites directory.

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Enable the EarthLink dialup Accelerator over AirPort Internet
I guess I was asleep and did not notice that EarthLink now has their EarthLink Accelerator released for Mac OS X. The Accelerator works by having the EarthLink servers grab web pages first and compress text and (optionally) reduce graphics size before sending them to your computer. This, along with caching techniques, can dramatically speed up dialup browsing.

However, if you are using an AirPort base station which dials into the 'net for you, the default settings do not work. I went back and forth with EarthLink "support" with no success -- they didn't even seem to understand/acknowledge what I was trying to do.

Apple Support forums to the rescue! I found someone looking for the answer to a different question, and he casually mentioned something that is probably documented better on the PC side. Accelerator works as a proxy on localhost (127.0.0.1 port 8080). So, install Accelerator on your machine, then set its network HTTP proxy to 127.0.0.1:8080, and you are set.

Currently, I cannot get multiple machines to work -- this may be an intentional limitation that EarthLink has designed into it, though. Anyone got further?
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Install ASSP to filter spam at the SMTP level Internet
I've really been enjoying ASSP (Anti-Spam SMTP Proxy) since I installed it about a month ago. Basically, it can be used by anyone who has access to their SMTP daemon and has perl installed (ie, OS X, Linux or Windows), which probably includes anyone running their own server.

The ingenious bits about it are:
  1. Works with pretty much any SMTP program that can change the port it runs on (ie, Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, etc).
  2. Rejects spam at the SMTP port, before it ever gets saved to your hard drive. No weird bounces to deal with, etc. plus you get the chance to communicate directly with the bulk mailer program and tell them they were rejected as unsolicited mail.
  3. Easy configuration via web interface, many many bells and whistles such as auto-whitelisting of anyone you email, ability for any user on your system to forward spam messages that got through to help keep the filter trained, training mode to get it up and running well before beginning to actually reject (ie, throw away) unwanted mail.
Before using it, I was dealing with around 1,000 spams a week sometimes, and Mail's junk filter was barely keeping up. Now, I get one to five spams a week, and don't have to pay bandwidth charges on all that junkmail that Mail used to have to download.

Actually, I guess this is more of a pointer than a full-on hint since I'm not including install instructions (if you already have your SMTP connection set up and functioning, odds are you can set this up too. :)
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