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Four short links: 28 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 28, 2012

MS Office Exploit In The Wild, Targeting Mac OS X -- This is one of the few times that we have seen a malicious Office file used to deliver Malware on Mac OS X. (via Hacker News) Please Do Not Take Down The Sality BotNet -- best responsible disclosure ever. 3Difficult -- I’m an industrial designer at heart, and...

Four short links: 6 December 2011

By Nat Torkington
December 6, 2011

How to Dispel Your Illusions (NY Review of Books) -- Freeman Dyson writing about Daniel Kahneman's latest book. Only by understanding our cognitive illusions can we hope to transcend them. Appify-UI (github) -- Create the simplest possible Mac OS X apps. Uses HTML5 for the UI. Supports scripting with anything and everything. (via Hacker News) Translation Memory (Etsy) --...

Four short links: 30 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 30, 2011

Data Monday: From PC to Tablet (Luke Wroblewski) -- some great stats here. Sales of Apple's iPad pulled in 30% more than all of Dell's consumer PC business in just the first half of the year. Munki -- munki is a set of tools that, used together with a webserver-based repository of packages and package metadata, can be used...

Four short links: 21 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 21, 2011

Rubular -- a way to write and test regular expressions interactively. Very cool. (via Adam Fields) gitx -- OSX ui for git. (via Marc Hedlund) Open Source Critical to Competition (Simon Phipps) -- DOJ and German Federal Cartel Office see danger for open source in Novell's patents being acquired by a consortium of Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, and EMC (fancy!)...

Four short links: 4 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 4, 2011

Find The Future -- New York Public Library big game, by Jane McGonigal. (via Imran Ali) Enable Certificate Checking on Mac OS X -- how to get your browser to catch attempts to trick you with revoked certificates (more of a worry since security problems at certificate authorities came to light). (via Peter Biddle) Clever Algorithms -- Nature-Inspired Programming...

Four short links: 6 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 6, 2010

Apple I Basic as Mac OS X Scripting Language -- great hack. The “apple1basic” executable is a statically recompiled version of the original binary. All code is running natively. It plugs right into UNIX stdin and stdout. You can pass it the filename of a BASIC program to run. You can run BASIC programs like shell scripts. (via Hacker...

The Watering Hole - Taxonomy for Dummies

The Watering Hole - Taxonomy for Dummies
By James Turner
November 21, 2010

Actually, all the OS X releases so far have come from subfamily Patherinae (yes, lions are panthers, evidently). There's only two members of the subfamily left after Lion, from genus Neofelis, and they're both mouthfuls. Maybe Apple will move outside the subfamily, Cougar sounds pretty cool...

Announcing O'Reilly Answers - Clever Hacks. Creative Ideas. Innovative Solutions.

Announcing O'Reilly Answers - Clever Hacks. Creative Ideas. Innovative Solutions.
By Allen Noren
November 4, 2009

We're launching the beta of O'Reilly Answers, and I'm inviting you to be part of it. In brief, O'Reilly Answers is a community site for sharing knowledge, asking questions, and providing answers that brings together our customers, authors, editors, conference speakers, and Foo (Friends of O'Reilly). O'Reilly is at the center of an amazing exchange of knowledge sharing and idea generation, and we want you to join us in changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators.

Snow Leopard Is Location-Aware

Snow Leopard Is Location-Aware
By Brady Forrest
October 15, 2009

Shortly after installing Snow Leopard I saw the first evidence of the new location services built into the operating system. I got the new version of Clarke, a Fire Eagle updater. After the install a window appeared that asked me if I wanted to share my location with an application. Finally! So how is Apple doing it? The same they do on the iPhone.

Snow Leopard, 10 Days In - No Major Problems, But No Rush to Upgrade Either

Snow Leopard, 10 Days In - No Major Problems, But No Rush to Upgrade Either
By James Turner
September 8, 2009

A week ago last Friday, Apple unleashed Snow Leopard (aka OS X 10.6) on the world. So far, there haven't been many rumblings either way, although the trade press has been generally kind. We thought it might be a good idea to check in with Chris Seibold, author of the upcoming Pocket Guide for Snow Leopard, to get his take on how things have been going.

Lightroom and Snow Leopard

By Gene McCullagh
September 1, 2009

Snow Leopard, the latest iteration of Mac OS X, arrived on August 28th. Whenever a new operating system arrives we have to research our applications before upgrading. (Don't forget that Windows 7 is coming at the end of October so our Windows colleagues will be facing this very soon as well.) Luckily, it seems, that Lightroom 2.4 and the Creative Suite 4 applications will run under Snow Leopard. John Nack has posted an FAQ regarding the Creative Suite 4 applications on his blog. Click here for the PDF.

OS X Install FAIL

By Erica Sadun
April 13, 2009

Eric Mock provides today's "Chuckle of the Day". How long does it take to install iDVD? Maybe you should go get a few thousand cups of coffee.

OS X Tip: Opening header files from the command line

OS X Tip: Opening header files from the command line
By Erica Sadun
April 13, 2009

Want a quick tip about searching for header files from the command line? Here's a how-to you can use.

An AppleJack a Day

By Jochen Wolters
January 13, 2009

In the comments to my near-desaster story of last week, several readers suggested I should have a look at a utility called AppleJack. In hindsight, I cannot tell whether AppleJack would have been able to fix the problems that caused my Mac to refuse me access to my main user account. I sure wish, though, that I had it installed so I could at least have given it a try.

An Apple Genius Saved my Visit to Macworld Expo

By Jochen Wolters
January 10, 2009

In recent months, my MacBook has occasionally slowed down to a sleepy snail's crawl: applications would respond with a major lag, switching between applications would take a few seconds, and the time for launching another application -- including Activity Monitor for hunting down the culprit -- could be measured in minutes. I still have not found a general root cause for this behavior yet, but force-shutting down and rebooting would always get the machine back to its proper performance without any further problems. The last time I had to apply this remedy, though, I could no longer log into my main user account after the machine had rebooted. And this was just minutes after I had left Phil Schiller's keynote, looking at a full week of Macworld Expo '09 still ahead of me. Bad timing, really bad timing...

Everyday Automation - Processing Downloaded Files

By Jochen Wolters
December 30, 2008

If you live a highly Internetworked life, there will likely be certain types of files that, after downloading them from the 'Net, you perform the same regular tasks on: say, archiving bank statements to a folder, printing electronic invoices, etc. You can highly automate processing such files by using Folder Actions attached to your downloads folder.

Mac OS X 10.5.6 Update Doesn't Like my MacBook

By Todd Ogasawara
December 17, 2008

The recent huge Mac OS X 10.5.6 update happily, if somewhat slowly, updated my iMac. My MacBook, on the other hand, was another story...

Is Apple OS X More Secure than Windows?

By John Viega
December 1, 2008

OS X Security is a pretty fun topic for me, because I love watching the carnage when people fight. Before I register my opinion, I need to be clear that I've been operating almost exclusively on a Mac since OS...

Take Control of iCal Invitation Replies

By Jochen Wolters
November 25, 2008

In the comments to last week's post on the caveats of using invitations with iCal, a reader pointed out John Maisey's iCal Reply Checker. As it turns out, that little utility delivers a set of useful options that should have been built into iCal all along.

When Not to Send iCal Invitations

By Jochen Wolters
November 18, 2008

Making travel reservations online has come a long way, and some airlines now even include standard vCalendar files in their confirmation emails, so it takes just a few mouse clicks to add all flight-related information to your digital calendar. One such airlines is Lufthansa, who include vCalendar _invitations_. And that, I daresay, is a bad idea.

Griffin iTalkSync: Sync iPhone Voice Recordings to Your Mac

By Todd Ogasawara
November 12, 2008

The free Griffin iTalkSync app makes the process of copying an iPhone (or 2nd generation iPod touch) iTalk audio recording simple and painless. I have lost yet another excuse for not having a regular podcast.

A new version of Mail Act-On is in the mail

By Jochen Wolters
October 21, 2008

Indev Software's Mail Act-On extension for Apple Mail has been updated to version 2 last week. Among the new features are an improved user interface, support for undo, and applying rules to outgoing email messages.

Playing Pan's Flute to Twitter From my Mac

By Jochen Wolters
September 23, 2008

Two weeks ago, I was still searching for the "perfect" Twitter client for the Macintosh. In the meantime, I've been testing yet another client called Syrinx, and I am so impressed with it that it is now the only remaining Twitter client on my Mac's hard drive.

Still Looking for the Perfect Mac Twitter Client

By Jochen Wolters
September 9, 2008

Little more than four months ago I signed up for Twitter. While I am still not able to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes this webservice so appealing, I have since used it regularly to keep up-to-date with what some of my friends are up to, learn about 'net-related news that lies beyond my own radar, and find the odd gem of wisdom as inspiration. As much as I like Twitter per se, I am still a bit disappointed by the Twitter clients that are available for the Mac.

Mac vs PC: Does it matter anymore?

By C.K. Sample III
August 15, 2008

Is Mac vs. PC becoming irrelevant because of the maturing of the internet as a platform and cloud computing?

Dude, You Get a Dell IM Service Now!

By Jochen Wolters
July 1, 2008

With a little help from their friends at SightSpeed, Dell have launched their own video chat service, aptly named: "Dell Video Chat." It's a nice touch that a Mac client for this service is available. But is there a good reason to actually use it?

Widget Checks Your Apps for Updates

By David Battino
June 30, 2008

Here's something I've missed since OS 9: a wee program that checks if your other programs are up to date. The App Update widget compares your programs against the listings at Apple, Version Tracker, and MacUpdate, and then offers download links to the programs that are outdated. It generated a few "false positives," but also reminded me of a...

Another Round of "Next Action" Hide-and-Seek With OmniFocus

By Jochen Wolters
June 24, 2008

Two weeks ago, I complained about something not being quite right with the way OmniFocus -- a task management application based on GTD -- handles repeating actions, which may cause most of a project's actions to be hidden from you. In the comments to that blog post, a reader suggested three possible workarounds. Here's how useful those workarounds turned out to be, plus an official view on the topic by the OmniFocus developers.

ScreenFlow Wins Two Apple Design Awards

By Jochen Wolters
June 16, 2008

The bottom line I gave to my review of ScreenFlow, Vara Software's screencasting studio software, last month was that " ScreenFlow does deliver on the promise of providing a one-stop-shop tool for creating high-quality screencasts with excellent visual effects, and it does so in a polished, modern, and totally Mac-like user interface." Apparently, ScreenFlow also appealed to this year's Apple Design Awards jury.

SmartSleep Makes "Safe Sleep" Safer

By Jochen Wolters
June 16, 2008

When, three weeks ago, I blogged about Patrick Stein's "SmartSleep" preferences panel, which lets you configure a Mac laptop's sleep and hibernation (aka "Safe Sleep") settings, I explained that I wanted to use this software to switch off Safe Sleep altogether, because that feature had failed on my MacBook so many times that it was basically useless. I didn't expect SmartSleep to restore Safe Sleep's usefulness, but it did.

When OmniFocus Plays Hide-and-Seek With "Next Actions"

By Jochen Wolters
June 9, 2008

One of the fundamental concepts used in OmniFocus is that of "Next Action." Each project has a Next Action, and it is the very next task you have to get done in order to keep that project moving. Being able to focus on such Next Actions is tremendously helpful for managing a large number of projects without losing track of what literally needs to be done next. Due to a curious problem with the way OmniFocus determines what a project's Next Action should be, however, you may overlook some tasks without even noticing that they are being hidden from your view.

Make Your Mac Laptop Lose Some (Safe) Sleep

By Jochen Wolters
May 27, 2008

The Safe Sleep feature in more recent Apple laptops is a good idea in theory: every time the computer goes to sleep, the entire contents of its RAM are written to disk so that the machine's state can be quickly restored in case the computer runs out of juice while sleeping. No data loss, no waiting for the computer to reboot, and very handy for exchanging batteries without having to shut down the machine, too. In practice, though, this feature may not work quite as advertised, so you might just as well want to deactivate it, and you can.

Mac-compatible vs. Mac-like

By Jochen Wolters
May 20, 2008

Thanks to cross-platform GUI libraries, writing an application that can be deployed on more than just one computing platform is reasonably straight-forward. But there is more to making an application truly Mac-like than just compiling it for Mac OS X.

Get Info on a Mac Without Logging in

By Jochen Wolters
April 21, 2008

To find out a Mac's serial number, don't bother hunting for the tag on the machine's enclosure, as it's right there in the "About This Mac" dialog box. But what about looking up this information without being logged in?

Don't Panic Just Yet

By Jochen Wolters
April 8, 2008

At the "PWN 2 OWN" contest during last month's CanSecWest, which claims to be the "world's most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security," a MacBook Air was the first of three laptops to be "pwned," i.e., to be broken into. The other machines were running Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux, and only the latter managed to withstand all attacks until the contest's end. Is it time for Mac users to finally start panicing about malware on OS X?

See you in June

By Daniel H. Steinberg
April 4, 2008

Why should you go to WWDC this year?

Command-S has to go!

By Jochen Wolters
March 11, 2008

Have you ever kept track of how often you hit Command-S on an average day? However you use your Mac, whatever kind of apps you are using: chances are that hitting that comforting key combination every few minutes has become a subconscious habit for you. For me, it's so bad, I sometimes hit Command-S while filling out a web form, wondering where the heck that Save As… dialog box came from. The question is: Why? Why do we do this? Why isn't there a better way? Oh, wait, there is!

OS X 10.5.2 Update May Cause Wireless LAN Problems

By Jochen Wolters
February 12, 2008

If you're using a non-Apple branded WLAN router and value your wireless freedom more than a non-transparent menubar and improved Stacks, installing the recent Mac OS X 10.5.2 update may not be such a good idea just yet.

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