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Archives:


Efficient Gmail with OS X Mail.app

Greetings and Happy New Year. I am using Mail.app on OS X Lion, to retrieve mail in my Google Apps for Business Gmail account, and I wanted to blog about my setup, because I think it is relatively efficient and might help others. My goals are:To keep my inbox small, to allow Mail.app to perform well. This goes for any mailer, really. The larger the mail store, the slower it will get. To keep minimize
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Comments (3)

Switching Parts of a String in Excel

I had the need to fix mistakenly entered email addresses in Excel, and luckily the mistake was a recognizable pattern. They should have been firstname.lastname@domain.com but were entered as lastname.firstname@domain.com. This short post explains how I extracted the names and switched them.How to Swap Parts of an Excel StringFirst assume you have smith.joe@acme.com in cell A2, and that what you want
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Convert Line Endings with Aplomb

When transferring files from system to system, for instance, using csv files to transfer data from one db to another, sometimes there are problems where programs will not process a file because of its line endings. This happens especially if you process a file on one platform, say Mac, and try to use the file on another, say Windows. Even if you have saved a file as CSV from Mac Excel 2008, it will
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Comments (1)

Fixing a Mac OS X Spotlight Index, that Doesn't

After a spate of Mail.app problems probably related to having too damn many mail accounts and messages, I had to do the "Mail.app Reimport Samba" taking hours to let Mail.app reimport the entire mail store. After that got resolved, I found out that my Mail.app "Entire Message" selection in Search was greyed out. This turned out to be a symptom of a problem with the Spotlight index, since this search
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Comments (14)

Opening a Tab-Delimited "CSV" in Apple iWork Numbers

I like Numbers, from Apple's competent and beautiful iWork suite, but there are still things where it is different from Microsoft Excel, and hence it feels somewhat unfamiliar at times. For example, although Excel has never been good at handling text files saved in UTF-8 format (a big deal for those of us who work in Asia), it does have a nice Wizard for importing CSV or TSV text files. Some applications
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Comments (1)

Fixing an Unexpected Prompt Hostname in OS X

In Mac OS X, you may have noticed if you use the Terminal that OS X automatically picks up what it thinks your hostname should be and sets it. This is nice, but the problem with it is if any utility uses your hostname to set config files, you'll have a different config file every time. How to fix a "Strange Hostname" in an OS X Prompt If you are getting varied prompts that look like this...: rcogley@em60-123-194-6
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Comments (1)

Handle Leading Zeros in iWork Numbers

Apple's iWork '09 Numbers spreadsheet is a versatile app with a lot of power available if you open your mind and don't expect it to be Excel. It does not quite do everything Excel does, but it handles UTF-8 well (where Excel does not and has never), and I take advantage of that often. I also love the formatting options and the multiple-sheets-per-document paradigm, but that is a different post. One
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Comments (16)

Greylisting in Snow Leopard Server, or not

Apple's OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6 implements Greylisting, an anti-spam technique based on forcing sending SMTP servers to "slow down" before they can deliver. This is great for reducing spam, but it also has the perhaps undesired effect of causing delivery delays. Sometimes really, really loooong delivery delays. In SLS, when you enable anti-spam in your Mail server (which is postfix), greylisting
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Textmate Regular Expression Search and Replace

I use and love the text editor Textmate, which has some powerful functions. One thing that it can help with is quickly editing text files, and for example today I used it for searching lines in a mail system's "aliases" file. I wanted to remove 50-odd lines with the word owner in them, so I used the Find command with Regular Expression checked. The search string is: ^.*owner.*$ If you enter that
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Comments (2)

Linking File Types and Apps in OS X

If you are an OS X user, and you find files of a certain type, say PDFs, are opening in one applications but you want them to open in a different one, you can easily change the association using Finder. How to Re-associate File Types with Applications in OS X Here's how: Select a file in Finder and ctrl-click it. Select "get info" from the context menu. Find the "open with" section in the "get
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Safari Makes it Trivial to Download All Images on a Page

Of course it should not be used for nefarious purposes, but Apple's Safari browser makes it trivial to download all the images or files on a web page you are visiting. I had The Logo Factory create a special logo for my company eSolia's 10th anniversary, and they prepared a page with the deliverables on it. I did not want to download each one individually, and I remembered that the Safari Activities
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Fixing EMobile USB Dialup on Snow Leopard

I just installed Snow Leopard OS X 10.6 with no problems after getting a replacement for a bad Family Pack install disk (the Shibuya Apple Store said that many people reported the same), and found that my EMobile Huawei D02HW USB Wireless Dialup card, which was fine in Leopard, died when Snow Leopard was installed. Reinstalling the EMobile Huawei D02HW on Snow Leopard Here's how I fixed it: Deleted
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Comments (21)

OS X Fonts, Managed by Linotype

If you pay any attention at all to typography, layout, type faces, fonts, leading, kerning, tracking and the like, and have ended up amassing a collection of type faces from the famous designers and font foundries, you'll end up needing some method of organization. The type face or font organizers that come with operating systems are basic, so vendors have channeled some Gutenberg and come up with
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Shared iTunes Music Storage

My family has a shared iMac G5 running Leopard OS X 10.5.7 and iTunes 8.2 (both the latest as of 13 July 2009), and recently I noticed we were running low on disk space, so I did some digging via du at the command line. I found that we were eating space by ingesting CDs into iTunes, which would get copied to our respective local user folders. After a little research, I found the Apple KB article
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iPhone OS 3.0 Tips on Parade

Apple released yesterday an updated iPhone operating system, iPhone OS 3.0, with a number of useful improvements. For me, the update itself was seamless, and took about 15 minutes after clicking the update button in iTunes. I upgraded first thing in the morning, but colleagues who tried later in the day had some delays. I guess it's to be expected when so many people try to download at the same time.
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Comments (2)

Restoring Mail, but not via MobileMe Account Backups

So much for MobileMe backing up my Mail account data! I had a another weird crash, which has been plaguing me since I upgraded OS X Leopard to 10.5.7. The crash happens when I wake the computer from sleep, and plug in my firewire then USB hard drives. When the USB hits the socket, sometimes I get the grey screen of death, in which the only way to recover is a hard reset. This happened again today,
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Color Management in Flock (and Firefox)

If you use anything but IE 7 you are still out of luck, but Safari users have had this functionality for quite a while. I refer to "color management", which is the concept of adjusting the color properties of devices, like displays, monitors, printers or scanners, so that colors mean the same thing across devices, and more importantly look the same. The adjustment can be done in the operating system
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Splitting Long Videos for YouTube in iMovie

iMovie, included among other excellent consumer applications in Apple's iLife 09, now provides an easy way to share your videos on Google's YouTube video sharing service. You just prep your video, and then use the Share menu to share it in various ways. However, YouTube has a 10 minute, 1GB limit. Using iMovie 09 with YouTube Here's a few tips to work with those YouTube limits: Confirm the total
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Comments (1)

Guerilla Collaboration with Mindtouch Deki?

Aaron Fulkerson, the CEO at Mindtouch - makers of the awesome mashable wiki "Deki" - writes about the state of collaboration in his post Three Decades Later. Revolt Or Die. As Aaron mentions, the current state of affairs with regard to collaboration is very much email centric. However, email is terrible for collaboration. If you have never given this much thought, sit a moment and really think through
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Comments (1)

Online Project Management Apps

Many people on Twitter ask for recommendations for a good online project management solution. There are many such web-based applications out there, and it really depends upon your needs and intended project approach - are you "agile", do you want to use "scrum" or "kanban", or are you PMI all the way. Do you want it SaaS, or self-hosted? Do you need time tracking? Should a wiki be integrated? The list
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Comments (23)

Mockup Mania!

If you do mockups of software interfaces, you might find this post of interest. Although I can write shell scripts and simple perl or ruby scripts well, I am not a developer. However, participating in a session with Pietro, a senior developer of the work management application "Teamwork" from Open Labs, I found the Balsamiq application refreshingly easy to use. I was able to open Pietro's Balsamiq
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Comments (7)

Easter Egg in Google Mobile for iPhone

In the official Official Google Mobile Blog post Ring in the New Year with Bells and Whistles, the Google Mobile for iPhone team points out an Easter Egg that you can use to get some additional features in Google Mobile. Just open the app, tap settings, then scroll past About. Eventually, you'll see the additional menu item "Bells and Whistles" appear, so keep trying. Nice!
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Comments

Collaboration Applications - What Have I Used?

I have used a number of applications for collaboration within my firm eSolia and with clients over the last number of years, and I thought I would share the experiences I have had with you. Groove - we used this before and after it was acquired by Microsoft, and it was promising. We stopped using it because of the lack of searchability and the fact that it was a memory hog. A real catch-22: the more
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Comments

Automated Twitter via Twautor (Gets You Banned)

Despite the unpronounceable name and confusing grammar here and there on the interface, Twautor is a useful service that will get you a lot of followers on Twitter in a short period of time, if that is what you are after. UPDATE - using this service got my Twitter account suspended and it is now under review. Hopefully they will be kind enough to reinstate me. Tread with care. It allows you to do
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URL for MobileMe iDisk Public Folder

MobileMe iDisk users can share files Publicly, but it's less than obvious how to do it. Further, the whole MobileMe experience is still a bit buggy as well, in my experience. Apple announced back in the summer when MobileMe launched, that easy sharing of public files via email would be "coming soon", and their site still reflects that notion. The MobileMe launch was not quite Apple, actually, and
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Comments (2)

Ping.fm - "update all of your social networks at once"

Ping.fm is an interesting service that lets you update your social networks simultaneously. You set up your social networks, such as Plaxo, Blogger, Twitter, Linked-in (30+ sites are supported), and then post to them in various ways. You can post from your ping.fm dashboard page, or via email or chat client. That said, I know I would be kind of irritated to get the same exact post from a person on
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Comments

Enabling the Script Menu in OS X Leopard

I use scripts such as Andreas Amann's excellent Mail Scripts, and to allow easy access to those, I wanted to enable the scripts menu in the menubar in OS X Leopard. I had done it before but promptly forgot how to do it. Here's how. Enabling OS X Menubar Icons All you have to do is visit: /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras ... and double click the appropriate menu file. The scripts menu is
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Comments

Excellent Hosting Services - LittleOak, Linode and OpenHosting

I have had a good experience with the following three excellent hosting services, all with different approaches yet outstanding performance and customer service: Little Oak Linode OpenHosting In this article I'll say a couple words about my selections for superior hosting services (all LAMP platform), which include both the shared, and virtual private server types of hosting. They are all three
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Comments (7)

iPhone Tap Tips

After (finally!) getting a new iPhone and contract from Softbank here in Japan, just like I did with Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, I struggled a bit with the "tap sequences" one needs to learn to be able to input text or navigate efficiently in this superior smartphone. How to Manipulate the iPhone with Taps and Button Presses For convenience, I compiled a list of iPhone "Tap Tips", or shortcuts for tapping
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Google Labs Adds Task List to GMail

Wow, Google Labs just keeps adding and adding functionality to the Google stable of apps. Now you can have a task list in your GMail or Google Apps Premier Mail, made from the incoming mails you indicate. How to Enable Your GMail Task List You can enable the GMail or "GAPE" Mail Task List by visiting the Google Labs tab in your GMail settings, and enabling Tasks. Enable your Labs Tab if you have
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Burning Audio CDs with Text Info in iTunes

If you use iTunes to burn audio CDs from your playlists, you might have been bitten by this problem: you burn the CD to later find that there is no "CD Text" indication of what the song or band is, despite your player's supporting the display of such text. Just a whole pile of "unknown artists". How to Include "CD Text" When Burning in iTunes Next time you burn, select your playlist or songs, click
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Error Handling in Rapidweaver Websites Tutorial

I created a tutorial about Error Handling in RapidWeaver Websites which explains how to make a custom 404 page with useful links to help your visitors when a 404 does occur, and how to use 301 redirects in your .htaccess file to assist with page renaming or re-pathing. A 301 redirect just points the visitor at the new file you specify, when they try to visit the old file. Useful for adds, moves and
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Upload Files via Email to Google Docs

I just discovered that you can upload files to Google Docs via email. Get your special email address at this URL when you are logged into your Google account: http://docs.google.com/?action=updoc There are some limitations as to what you can upload, both from a document type and size standpoint, but this feature sounds useful to me.
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HTML Signatures in GMail from BlankCanvas

I found a very useful Firefox plugin from "Blank Canvas", that enables your GMail to have HTML signatures. Because it is a Firefox plugin, I thought it might work in Flock, and sure enough, it does. Once you install it from this page on Blank Canvas' site, and restart your browser, you can create your signature in GMail's Compose window. This had been a GreaseMonkey script but the author converted
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Post Delicious Bookmarks to Your Blog

Delicious has an experimental service that allows you to enter information about your blog, and have Delicious post a summary of your latest bookmarks to your blog. Assuming you are a Delicious member (free) you can get to the Blog Posting Interface via this URL: https://secure.delicious.com/settings/blogging/posting In the interface, the "out_url" section is where you put the so-called "XML-RPC"
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Comments (14)

Consolidated RSS for this Site

I have RSS feeds from all different sources - my blogs, my topics Glossary, Flickr, SmugMug, Facebook and so on, and I imagine that this is not an uncommon problem for people using the latest technologies and social networking sites. I wanted a way to let visitors subscribe to the updates of my personal site, without complexity, and via either RSS if they are familiar, or, via the old standard email.
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Listing Open Directory Users on OS X Leopard Server

If you want get a list of your users on Open Directory in Leopard Server, you need to use the dscl command from the Terminal. SSH to your server, and do a sudo bash or su - to get into root mode. Then you can run dscl directly with arguments, or, enter its interactive shell mode. Listing Users with DSCL Here is how to list users from the command line in Leopard Server: myhost:~ root# dscl localhost
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Enable Google Labs in Google Apps Premier

If you read my post about enabling Google Labs in GMail, I'm happy to report that the trick also works in Google Apps Premier Edition "GAPE". Go to the Labs tab via an URL like this (edit it so that it has your own GAPE domain). https://mail.google.com/a/your-gape-domain.com/?labs=1#settings/labs Now you can have that Google Labs goodness in GAPE. Enjoy!
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Comments (4)

D90 Support - Apple Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update

Now the Nikon D90 RAW format is supported by Aperture and iPhoto. You can get the update by going into Software Update in your OS X "Apple Menu", or, at Apple's Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 2.3 page. The supported cameras are: Nikon D90 Nikon Coolpix P6000 Canon EOS 50D Sony DSLR-A900 Thank you, Apple!
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Address Book vCard to Windows User - Garbled Japanese Fonts etc.

Apple's "Address Book" is included with OS X and is part of the "triumvirate" which also includes Mail.app and iCal.app, gives you the ability to drag address cards to Mail, where they are automatically pasted in their vCard, or VCF, form. Problems Sending vCards to Windows Users In trying to send VCFs to Windows Outlook users, I discovered two problems by trial and error. First, the Windows users
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Comments

Word 2007 Performance Optimization Tips

A Windows user colleague asked about optimizing Word 2007 documents because he is having no end of problems working with 100 or 200 page documents in Word. If you are pushing the envelope in Word use, you might like to keep in mind several recommendations. Here are some Optimization Hints for Word 2007 Defragment your hard disk regularly. This is not necessary on a Mac but for Windows, you definitely
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Comments

Upload Photos in Specified Order to Flickr from Aperture for Better Visibility

Pro photographer Thomas Hawk gives good advice in his article about getting attention on Flickr (whether that's a good thing or not is a different matter!) that you should upload fewer shots with the best one last. So if you're an Aperture user, how do you accomplish this sort of forced upload order to Flickr without having to upload each photo individually? I'm using the Connected Flow FlickrExporter
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New Google Gadgetry in Gmail

You might have noticed a couple of new Google Labs features available in Gmail. If you have your Google Labs tab enabled, you can go there, scroll to the bottom, and check the new Google Gadget-related features out. Now you can get a Calendar view or a Docs view via Gadgets right within your Gmail, or specify any Gadget URL as well. Google moves so fast sometimes it is hard to keep up. Nice to have
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Comments

Double-Duty Lumiquest SoftScreen |||amp; IR Filter

I am beginning to read through the outstanding and extensive off-camera lighting tutorials on David Hobby's "Strobist" blog, so that I can take better photos with my Nikon D90. The way I understand it, Strobist is a philosophy of DIY, using found or inexpensive materials over bespoke, and no-brand over brand. Lighting is a complex subject, and it takes a while to study up on the terminology and terms.
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Enabling Labs Tab in Gmail

If you would like to use some of the Google Labs features in Gmail but cannot find the Labs tab, you can enable it by visiting the following URL after you log in: https://mail.google.com/mail/?labs=1#settings/labs Now you can just click the Labs tab and start selecting the Labs features you want, like "Advanced IMAP Controls" to avoid downloading the entire All Mail folder. Gmail will remember you
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Comments (4)

Save Local Disk with Gmail "Advanced IMAP Controls"

I outlined "Setting up Leopard Mail.app with Google Gmail IMAP" previously, and Google Labs has released a new feature for regular and Google Applications Premier Edition Gmail - Advanced IMAP Controls. This tip shows you how to avoid having to sync the GMail "All Mail" folder, thus saving a considerable amount of local hard disk space in many cases. Before enabling Google Labs features, note the caveat
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Auto-update Presence Info and Twitter

One challenge a person who uses various "Social Networking" web-based applications to network and share information faces, is how to keep them updated. Often, they have application programming interfaces or API's, that a programmer can use to automate various aspects of the system. A good example of API use is Google's "Statz" application. Statz allows you to update the status or presence information
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Mac Keyboard Shortcuts Updated

See the updates in Mac Keyboard shortcuts. I added some more beef on the explanations for startup commands especially.
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Mail.app - Downloading Attachments or Not

If you set up Mail.app in OS X to download attachments for an IMAP account, and then later decide you do not want to store a copy of each attachment locally, you can change the account settings so that only the headers are downloaded. You can make the setting in Mail.app Preferences, but, it takes a while to synchronize. Sometimes a good looong while. Assuming OS X 10.5.5 and that all your mail is
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Rick Cogley's Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Check out my new list of Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, especially tasty for beginning Mac users.
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OS X Leopard Upgrade to 10.5.5

I upgraded my system to OS X Leopard 10.5.5 via Software Update (not the combo updater), and there seem to be no overt problems with the upgrade. This was a double-reboot upgrade, and it took some time to restart afterward probably due to whatever cleanup was being done. I noticed that the upper OS X menu bar was displaying incorrectly, in that the "bar" part of it was not visible - I could see only
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Exporting Google's "My Maps" as KML

I have been spending some time making Google Maps in "My Maps", such as this bike route down the Sakai river, then along the Shonan coast, and back home. Some applications, like Google Earth, use KML data to represent map routes. There is an easy link now, in My Maps, to click and open the map directly in Google Earth. But if you need the KML data for importing elsewhere, you can save it this way: First,
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Comments (10)

Saving Downloading FLV Files using the Safari Activities Window

If you have a YouTube video you covet, you can save it to your hard drive using the videodownloader Firefox extension, or using other websites such as KeepVid. For sites that do not work this way, you can grab the file from Safari's "Activities" window. Here's how: 1. Load the page with the video and let the video start playing. 2. Select Activity from the Window menu. 3. In the list of all the URLs
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Open Source Project Management Software - OpenProj

Wow, a full-blown opensource project management app from Projity. Check out OpenProj.
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Emacs GUI Version for OS X - Aquamacs

Found an interesting Emacs GUI - Aquamacs. Works with Japanese as well. Now if I can only get over my allergy to all those keyboard shortcuts.
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TextMate Japanese Input Bundle

I use TextMate for text editing in OS X and love its clean interface and features, but the defaults do not allow Japanese input and choosing Fonts has been problematic. Never fear. Hetima san, the developer of SafariStand, released a bundle called CJKInput for TextMate to allow Japanese input, and has a font to boot. I searched a few times for this in English and Japanese, but for some reason never
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Comments (3)

Design Stencils - Yahoo! Design Pattern Library

I occasionally search for design stencils and keep an eye out for them via Google Alerts and so on. Yahoo has a library of stencils available at Design Stencils - Yahoo! Design Pattern Library which has a set available in Visio, Photoshop, Illustrator and OmniGraffle format. For OmniGraffle stencils, there is also GraffleTopia. If you are not familiar with the concept, design stencils are an illustration
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How to - Remove Leopard Wiki Mailing List Spam

If you have group mailing lists set up in Leopard Server, these conveniently link to the Leopard Wiki page for the group. However, spam can sully the look of your page, so you may need to perform some routine maintenance at some point. Here's how you can do this. SSH to your Leopard Server as admin, then "sudo bash" to log in as root. Navigate to group mailing list folder:bash-3.2# cd /Library/Collaboration/Groups/itsystems/mailinglistUse
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Comments (3)

Flushing DNS

When accessing websites or mailservers, your DNS resolver caches the request so that future lookups are fast. However, sometimes when a zone on DNS is being changed while you work, you want to be able to clear the cache to force the resolver to get the latest name:IP address pair mappings. Here are some command line commands for flushing the DNS cache on your local machine: On Mac OS X Tiger: lookupd
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Tip - Get the OS X Version from CLI

If you are logged into OS X as usual, you can get your system version from "About This Mac" in the Apple menu. This is not helpful when you are remotely connected to a server via SSH, however. So how do you do it? You can get OS X's version from the command line, like this:jrclt2007:~ rcogley$ sw_versProductName: Mac OS XProductVersion: 10.5.1BuildVersion: 9B18
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Tutorial - Make a "Reference Times" Lister

In my job as a consultant, I often need to schedule meetings across timezones, and sometimes do not want to struggle with cross-platform incompatibilities between calendar software. There is some excellent software out there for this purpose, namely 1stClock on the Windows platform, or Vela Terra on Mac, but I thought I would roll my own quick solution with Automator channeling some shell script. Here's
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Tip - Making Mail.app Messages Readable

I have a Macbook Pro, and I noticed upon upgrading to OS X Leopard, that the default message size for Mail.app messages was too small to read. Sure, you can add a button to your toolbar to increase font size on a per-message basis, but this gets old after the 1000th time. Some Terminal magic will fix the problem: To increase the minimum font size for HTML messages, do the following: Open Terminal.app.
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Failed Reinstall of Adobe Creative Suite CS3 - Disk 2?

I installed some software that overwrote some vital portion of Adobe Acrobat, so when I try starting that app, it complains, asking for a reinstall. So, embarking on the obvious course, reinstalling using the "refresh" function of the install DVD, I find out that half way through, the installer prompts for Disk 2, ExtendScript Toolkit. That would be fine, except there is no disk 2! Much frustration
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Getting Things Done with David Allen himself

Check out this YouTube video of David Allen himself. A good speaker, and self-effacing.
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Convenient "Snippets++" Code Collector Pro

Ed from the RapidWeaver forum tipped me off for CodeCollector Pro. Looks like the perfect little app to collect up snippets of javascripts etc.
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Mail.app 3.x in Leopard - Rule to Tag Mail as "Expiring" Takes Advantage of Address Book Groups

As a New Year's project, besides biking a lot up and down along the Sakai River on my new Centurion, I decided to try switching from Entourage 2004 and its monolithic mail store file, to the Mail.app that comes with OS/X Leopard and use Gmail IMAP. One thing I have set up in Entourage is a rule that runs an AppleScript to search a long list of sender email addresses from which comes mail I want to
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Meet Your New Favorite Browser - Flock 1.0!

I had been using OmniWeb and Firefox on Mac OS X, but read an interesting review about Flock, a browser based on Firefox but geared more toward the Social Web. Here's what Shawn at Flock had to say about the 1.0 release: It is my sincere pleasure to announce the release of Flock version 1.0. The Social Web Browser is now available to download from www.flock.com. This event marks a significant milestone
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