Forwarding Address: OS X

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

If you are just about to install the iTunes 4.0.1 update, please take note that Internet sharing is squashed in this release. Sharing is now restricted to the same subnet. Discuss

If you're looking for a monitoring firewall for Mac OS X (something like Windows' ZoneAlarm which asks if a given app should be allowed to access a given remote host/port), check out Little Snitch. (Symantec's marketing literature implies that they've added this functionality to the latest version of Norton Personal Firewall, but it was just released and I haven't gotten to play with it yet.)

Monday, May 26, 2003

A novice-user friend asked me recently about places to get stuff to customize her Mac. I sent her the following and thought they might be useful to others:
Mac OS X Hints
Mac OS X Apps
Eye Candy
Icon Factory
Pixelgirl Presents Icons and Desktops
Share your suggestions in Discuss.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

VERY IMPORTANT!: We've got a new RSS feed. Update your newsreaders to grab

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I've hacked together a little search proxy, lazysearch.php, out of frustration at Safari's lack of a Mozilla/Camino-style bookmark "keywords" feature. It was also inspired by a recent entry at

So what does it do? Basically it allows you to enter search queries like "s/foobar" (to search for "foobar" on google) or "s/n/apple" (to search for "apple" on google news) right into the location box of your browser. Because it's implemented at a system level, it should automatically work in all browsers on your system, unless they are too clever for their own good.

This requires that you are comfortable with a little Netinfo and Apache configuration. If you want to customize the script, you'll need to edit strings in the PHP source. I'm definitely looking for feedback and suggestions. Enjoy! Discuss

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I've been playing with MPlayer OS X 2, an updated and (apparently) actively maintained port of the Linux MPlayer software. A few crashing bugs aside, it's handled nearly every media file I've been able to get my hands on. The UI still "needs work", but it's approaching tolerable. Media file addicts should definitely add this to their arsenal.

The VersionTracker crew overhauled their comments system to make it a little more powerful. They're still working out some bugs and UI issues, and the new page layout is a little clunky, but on the whole it looks promising. If you're not one for promises, there's always MacUpdate.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Since e-mail clients and spam filtering options are always of interest to migrators, it's worth mentioning that there is a Eudora 6.0 beta available now (Mac only, interestingly) that has built-in spam filtering. I've been using it for several days and am very impressed.

Leaving aside minor new stuff like the mysterious "Content Concentrator," the big deal is spam filtering. It seems to incorporate some combination of header-scanning and Bayesian keyword filtering. (If you have inside info on the specifics, please post!) It works quite well out of the box with no explicit training. Results for my first three days and 1200 messages are very good -- it's catching 97.5% of my spam. Giving it feedback on what's spam and what isn't is easy (you can assign the Junk/Not Junk commands to function keys). Filtering is virtually instantaneous. Old stuff in the "Junk" mailbox can be automatically cleaned out after X days. Plus, they fixed the crazy memory leaks I was seeing with 5.2. No detectable stability problems. This is the most hassle-free and effective spam filtering I have ever used. Just say No to endlessly tweaking spam filter rules. Discuss

Saturday, May 03, 2003

I just released another version of Au which gives you Rendezvous-based email using an assortment of DJB's tools. In need of beta testers...

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I just used Software Update to update iTunes and QuickTime. After downloading and installing, it forced me to reboot my computer. Not log out, reboot. For two entertainment programs. This smells so much like Microsoft's update procedures. C'mon Apple: it's a Unixish operating system. I shouldn't have to reboot unless I futz with kernel-level items.