Writing on Mac

Using a British/UK Windows keyboard with an Apple Mac in OS X (1)

UPDATE 4: (20 Novermber 2005) This page has been superseded by these instructions.

This page was originally at http://www.gyford.com/misc/windows_keyboard_mac01.php

UPDATE 3: (2 February 2003) This page is now out of date. See this page for the latest instructions.

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In Mac on 1 January 2002. Permalink

Fun with firewalls

I've spent more than several hours attempting to configure the firewall on my new ADSL router. This post, I admit, is not likely to win me any prizes for riveting content, but it might be very useful to a few people. Especially given that the forum I've been contributing to is poorly indexed by Google. By the way, go up a directory from there and you get the only decent guide to configuring the Alcatel Speedtouch 510 firewall anywhere. Given that ADSL routers are fast heading towards the realm of consumer-level kit, this is pretty shocking, especially given the close-to-useless guide offered by the manufacturer (PDF). Anyway, on with the fun...

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In Mac on 14 November 2002. 20 comments. Permalink

"Sounds secure to me!"

Tom's helpful advice there. This morning I installed the 2002-11-21 Mac OS X Security Update. All went well and I restarted the PowerBook only to be confronted with a BSD login screen. Black background, white text and login prompt. The login and password of the only account I've created on the machine don't work. Yes Tom, it's pretty secure. Nnngggghhhhh.

In Mac on 25 November 2002. Permalink

Up and running

Two weeks later and my PowerBook's running again. If you're not interested in the gory details, which are more for my therapy than your entertainment, you can stop reading here.

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In Mac on 8 December 2002. Permalink

Encoding with LAME in iTunes

Last time I did this I didn't write this down anywhere so I've had to find all the pages again. Next time it'll all be right here. It's possible to encode MP3s using the LAME encoder directly from iTunes without too much hassle...

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In Mac on 8 December 2002. 13 comments. Permalink

Using a British/UK Windows keyboard with an Apple Mac in OS X (2)

This page has been superseded by these instructions as of 20 November 2005.

This page was originally at http://www.gyford.com/misc/windows_keyboard_mac.php

For more background information, see also the even older instructions.

If you have a Mac and want to use a keyboard that's designed to be used with a British Windows-based PC, you'll notice that some of the keys don't produce the expected characters. @ and " are generally swapped, for example. In addition the Command (Apple), Option and Control keys may be swapped round. Each of these problems needs to be tackled separately...

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In Mac on 2 February 2003. Permalink

Aqua on Windows XP

AquaXP.com is devoted to making your Windows machine look like Mac OS X. There's a distinct lack of any explanation about how, or what some of the downloads actually do, but it's interesting. In a "why on earth do I need to do this" kind of way. After a bit of playing, which has given me drop shadows, transparent menus and not one, but two docks (this is the best one), I can report that my PC does indeed now run as slow as my old Mac.

In Mac on 19 February 2003. 3 comments. Permalink

Sieving spam on the Mac

Spamfire is the most often mentioned spam filter for Mac OS X. It connects to your mail server before your email client and removes the unwanted spam. This makes me a little nervous, perhaps unnecessarily. I really wanted something that would filter messages once I'd downloaded them into Eudora, rather than jumping the queue and deciding what I could download. I wanted something more like the spam filter in Apples' Mail.app.

SpamSieve does the job. It works with most Mac email clients and uses de rigeur Bayesian filtering to weed out spam once it's in your inbox. Running a second application alongside Eudora seems clunky but it does work. I trained it on an archive of 12,000 spam emails and an inbox of 3,000 non-spam emails. In the past three weeks it's looked at around 2,000 messages left behind by my mailing list filters and has divided them roughly 50/50 into spam/good emails. It's made 21 mistakes, an accuracy rate of 98.9%, and it feels wonderful to open an inbox containing nothing but things I want to read. Certainly worth $20.

In Mac on 21 February 2003. 2 comments. Permalink

Set beats-per-minute in iTunes

So I'm in deep with my Mac. I've turned my back on Mozilla and Camino and am loving Safari; I'm slowly turning to the bubblesome cuteness of iChat over Fire; I'm loving iTunes 4 and new improvedness; I've just gone wireless; my ageing PowerBook seems faster than ever; I'm drinking Steve's Kool Aid in huge splashy gulps.

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In Mac on 1 May 2003. 14 comments. Permalink

Eudora 6 beta fights spam

There's a beta version of Eudora 6 out for Macs (Windows coming soon). I've been using it for a day so far and it's working OK for me. It features:

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In Mac on 13 May 2003. Permalink

As the Apple Turns

I have a slight addiction to Mac rumour sites. Nothing life-threatening, but I need my fix of lustable yet mythical hardware and software every few days. The sites all seem much of a muchness, but As the Apple Turns is a more substantial and fun read. It's not Old Man Murray funny, but it's refreshingly sarcastic and thoughtful after all the po-faced "we're a real growed up news site" attitudes of the rumour peddlars.

In Mac on 29 May 2003. 1 comment. Permalink

Removing languages

My Mac's been getting gradually slower and more horrifically crash prone for the past week, to the point where it was unusable. So I'm spending the weekend reinstalling everything which, so far, is making it feel much zippier. In the process I've lost email for most of Thursday and Friday, so if you sent me something and I don't reply, that might be why.

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In Mac on 27 July 2003. Permalink

Encoding with LAME in iTunes revisited

If you ever followed my guide to encoding MP3s with LAME in iTunes, you may find v2.x of iTunes-LAME Encoder better than the old AppleScript version I originally pointed to. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks nicer and apparently has the LAME code built in.

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In Mac on 27 July 2003. Permalink

iCal time zones

In a strange temporal coincidence a discussion started in The Well's Mac conference the other day about the way iCal handles time zones. It appears to have exactly the same kind of problem Movable Type has (discussed in my previous post): If you change the time zone of your Mac, via the Date & Time preferences, then the times of all your iCal appointments change in a way that is, shall we say, less than optimal.

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In Mac on 26 August 2003. 2 comments. Permalink

Eudora 6, inching slowly forward

Six years ago I wrote a review of Eudora v4.0 for MacUser. As I suggested, Eudora had been the only sensible option for anyone remotely serious about email on the Mac, but version 4 marked the point at which Qualcomm began slipping behind.

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In Mac on 4 September 2003. 1 comment. Permalink

Viewing iChat logs

When I switched to iChat from Fire one of the things I missed (apart from my ICQ and MSN friends) was the ability to browse my chat logs. But I just found Logorrhea, a beautifully simple and free app for browsing iChat logs. Start it up and it just works, allowing you to browse or search your logs. Or you can export the whole lot to a single text file, ideal for when the men in black force you to hand over evidence of your subversive communications.

In Mac on 23 September 2003. Permalink

T610 calendar having problems with winter

Last week I got round to syncing my Palm Vx, my Sony Ericsson T610 and iCal for the first time. Apart from a few oddities in the first couple of syncs it seems to have settled down a bit and, amazingly, all works (although there seems no way to sync only outstanding To Do items with the phone, resulting in its 80 slots filling up with old and "done" tasks -- useless).

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In Mac on 26 October 2003. 5 comments. Permalink

Moneydance

I've been playing with Moneydance recently, a personal finance package for Windows, Mac and Linux. So this is the kind of deeply uncool activity companies used to market computers in the '80s, along with "Helps kids do their homework." Rock'n'roll!

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In Mac on 1 November 2003. 2 comments. Permalink

Installing DBI and DBD::mysql on Mac OS X Panther

A more technical entry than I'd usually post here, but this is for the benefit of anyone who is having problems installing DBI and DBD::mysql on Mac OS X. I needed it to get Movable Type using MySQL on my PowerBook and spent far too long trying to get this to work. I should, however, say that I really don't understand what any of this is or does, only that it makes Movable Type's mt-check.cgi script tell me DBD::mysql is installed. Whatever that is. Follow these instructions at your own risk!

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In Mac on 7 June 2004. 14 comments. Permalink

Disk Inventory X

View of my Documents directoryI downloaded Disk Inventory X some time ago but I only tried it for the first time today. It creates treemaps of your drive, or directories within it, enabling you to see how much space files take up.

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In Mac on 14 July 2004. 1 comment. Permalink

Encoding with the very latest LAME in iTunes

A couple of years back I wrote about how to encode MP3s using the LAME encoder, which is (or can be) superior to iTunes' built-in option. This all got rather simpler last year with a newer version of the iTunes-LAME Encoder software.

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In Mac on 23 September 2004. 2 comments. Permalink

Ten days of Tiger

After ten days of use, a few initial thoughts on Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4, and whether it's worth upgrading.

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In Mac on 10 May 2005. 5 comments. Permalink

Using a British/UK Windows keyboard with an Apple Mac in OS X (3)

If you have a Mac and want to use a keyboard that's designed to be used with a British Windows-based PC, you'll notice that some of the keys don't produce the expected characters. @ and " are generally swapped, for example. In addition the Command (Apple), Option and Control keys may be swapped round. Each of these problems needs to be tackled separately...

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In Mac on 20 November 2005. 133 comments. Permalink