Entries Tagged as 'MacOS X'

Bandwidth Monitoring If Time Warner Succeeds

Picture of my backlit G15 LCD Panal, taken at ...

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With the recent news from Time Warner Cable, Greensboro residents are up in arms about being a test site for tiered Internet services. Believe me when I say there’s a movement out there.
Don’t believe me? Take a look. Stop Time Warner Cable is already up garnering in over 1000+ diggs at the time of writing. It seems that the unfair practice has actually been sent in as complaints to the NY Attorney General as harboring anti-competitive means.
But just in case none of the complaints by these irate customers work and you’re one of the few people that just like to be bludgeoned by corporations that don’t care what you have to say? I recommend you implement this in your daily lives immediately.
I personally wouldn’t trust a corporation that tags you with a 40G high limit. Sorry, TWC, but you ruined any hope that you had any inkling of technical knowledge there by implementing something that some finance person probably put into place. And so if they tell you how much bandwidth you’re using, I would corroborate the story with something that runs on your system itself.
I recommend using some open source bandwidth monitoring like FreeMeter. This basically sits in your tray and you can monitor how much you use up and down and have something to show for it in case you have to go complain to customer service that their network is tracking something outside of what you use.
SurplusMeter is another open source goody that allows you to track your monthly usage by volume and can give you all sorts of useful statistics.
Do I really have to go over this, if you run a linux box? There are plenty of bandwidth monitors out there and most of them sit on the desktop along with monitoring your cpu/memory/etc.
In any case, good luck with this if you need to track it. Even with the three month grace period, you know that there will always be some issues that will stem from this tiered internet fiasco that grew from some bean counter’s mind (probably doesn’t use the Internet either to implement the 40G limit).

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MacOSX – Fluid

fluid_header.png Sometimes, there are applications that just work better with the online version versus the desktop version. But there’s always something about having a desktop icon and launching but with the functionality of the online version.
No problems. If you have MacOSX Leopard, you can run Fluid. This basically turns any website into a SSB (site specific browser) that has its own icon that you can place pretty much anywhere. I haven’t tested it to see if it generates more memory consumption than just having a tab open, but some people REALLY like to have that extra little bit where you’re not being distracted by browsing the web and such.
So if you’re looking for something to keep you on task, but you have online applications that you use, this is a great way to go.

MacOSX tip – Share your Internet connection

apple_logo.jpg If you’re looking to share your Internet connection, the Mac has this nifty really easy Internet sharing function.
Basically you go to your Apple logo then to System Preferences. Select Share.
Here, there are multiple items that you can share. Internet Sharing is one of them. Select that. There will now be a few choices. Select the input for your Internet. This would be where you’re getting the Internet from (wireless, ethernet, etc). Then select where it’s going. You can’t have the same device doing both, so if you’re sharing a wifi connection then you have to share via bluetooth or ethernet or something.
Either way, when you’re done with actual device selections, just click Share. It will basically allow other people to piggyback onto your connection without you having to do much of anything. Personally, it’s a great feature that I’ve used when I’ve been wanting to work on multiple systems for IT work but didn’t have enough ports to share on the switch. This gave me a great way to create temporary shared connections without having to do a whole lot of configuration.

One more reason to get Netflix: MacOSX streaming

Netflix, Inc. I love the streaming movies. I mean, it comes free with my Netflix subscription.
Mind you, that it’s a lot of the older stuff and not so much of the newer ones, but it’s still nice to catch Young Guns IIicon or some other movie on your browser. But for the longest time, there was only support for Windows due to the fact that there was no DRM that Netflix could wrap around the movie stream.
No longer is that true. As of today, MacOSX is now supported due to Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin. And that’s entirely awesome since that just increases the number of supported operating systems. I know there’s a linux version of Silverlight in the works, so perhaps in the near future, Netflix will also be able to stream to linux based computers.
Currently though, I’m a happy camper. This just became a huge value-add to having my subscription and made me an even more loyal customer.

Mozilla Minefield runs circles around competition

Minefield001.jpg When I first read this, I had totally bypassed the entire ArsTechnica article over a month ago.
But finally getting a little time to actually test it out, I can tell you that I’ve basically taken to putting my “butt to the grindstone” and replaced BonEcho with Minefield. It’s not the smartest move, but I’ve always been a big alpha/beta tester even on production machines.
Currently, I can tell you that TraceMonkey (which is the re-engineered Javascript engine) is super fast. We’re talking like Ferrari versus a Pinto. The bad thing? Because it’s an alpha, most of the plugins are not supported on it yet. The only one seems to be DownloadStatus Bar from the list of many that I use. Which really stinks. Oh well, that’s the price you pay for first adopting things.
In any case, if you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do. It seriously makes my Safari look … old. Lucky for Safari, I usually run multiple browsers concurrently anyways. In any case. Go check out the new build. And strap on some safety belts because you’re going to get blown away.

Codeweavers Crossover for MacOSX and Linux free today only

codeweavers_logo.jpg I wouldn’t expect anyone that isn’t familiar with linux, to even understand what the open source package called wine is, but basically the long and short of it is that it’s a way to run windows applications without having Windows itself.
The open source version can run some things, and the commercial version usually can handle a lot more applications because of certain tweaks they implement. From games to pretty advanced applications on MacOSX and Linux.
In any case, apparently due to some goals set by the CEO that were met, they’ve decided that today there will be free licenses for everyone! (one license per user).
So if you don’t have a copy of this, or you’re just looking for something to run applications and you don’t own Parallels or the like or just want to try it out, go and get yourself a copy and a serial. Having used Codeweavers and Transgaming versions of wine in the past, I can say that you can only be surprised how many things are supported without having actual Windows around.


1_blists_t.jpg If you’re looking for a client that can do everything1, then Digsby might be your key to a bright bright future.
It can do all of your major IMs (Yahoo, AIM, Microsoft Live, ICQ, and more), and it can check email and connect up with Facebook, Twitter, and keep track of several social networking things all from one single client.
This is actually pretty neato skippy, although I have to say that with all of this, I’m actually surprised that it doesn’t support IRC at all like some other IM clients. Sort of important if you’re actually trying to do the whole all-in-one thing (of which I totally approve). It supports Windows, MacOSX, and linux, which is great and I have to say that it really takes all-in-one clients to a new level. Remember back in the gaim and trillian days? Oh yes. It was nice wasn’t it. This just makes it that much better.
1 – Everything is is slightly relative isn’t it.

Trend Micro HouseCall

housecall.gif When Trend Micro first came out with HouseCall, this online antivirus scanner was only IE enabled. Very annoying, but also pretty useful considering it was one of the few if not only online enabled antivirus scanners. This meant that as long as you had an Internet connection, you could work on an infected system without having to worry if your rescue media had the latest and greatest antivirus definitions.
Well, they’ve come a long ways. now support Firefox and even MacOSX, it now has a lot better support. In fact, it can even scan in linux and Solaris. Goodness gracious. Unix online virus scan? Wow. Maybe Clam has a bit catching up to do.
While it now does have the two different engines that run (the ActiveX one that used to be the only one) ActiveX and Java, I have to say that there are a couple cons to this product. The first would be the fact that it doesn’t seem to have support for Firefox versions 2 or later. What’s with that? Firefox has got to be one of the more dominant browser types. And what about Opera or Safari? Well… no matter. The second is that if I remember correctly with the older ActiveX engine, it took a dang long time to load. Why didn’t they just implement it directly in the Java engine and throw away the ActiveX? java does actually work in Windows you know.
Regardless? I do love recommending this when someone thinks they are in need of antivirus and I’m not there to help them. It’s easy enough to run yourself and there’s less worries that there will be a virus smart enough to actually detect a Java or ActiveX engine antivirus scanner. Perhaps they might, but the likelihood would be more so on an attack of the offline scanners if anything. Just take a look and bookmark it for the next time you might need it.

Air Icon Generator

air_icon_generator.jpg If you’re looking for a quick way to create icons for your Air applications, the Air Icon Generator is a great way to do it.
Air applications are basically things that are written with Adobe Air, which is something kind of like Flash. It allows you to create some of these pretty basic icons for the applications and get you started. All you have to give it is the background color, the text, and choose if you want the star shape or the square. Either one actually looks pretty decent for a quick application.
I can’t translate a lot of the things from the blog, but as far as I can tell, this application does have some decent reviews of it and helps beginner Air developers along without having to hassle with icon generation.


iBackup.jpg I recently used iBackup as a freeware alternative to Time Machine, since I haven’t had time to go and get a Time Capsule yet. And boy does it work. You can backup pretty much everything as long as you can mount the drive, regardless of if it’s locally or on the network. You can’t burn to DVD but it’s definitely totally worthwhile for a network backup.
What’s interesting is that you can schedule it and select what you want backed up. The bad thing is that it does create a copy of everything first, and then sends it over, so you have to have the extra space involved in actually doing a mirror copy. Outside of that, it took me somewhere around a couple hours to do a full scale backup which isn’t too bad considering I was doing everything else under the sun while this was going on.
Definitely worthwhile for your MacOSX system if you’re looking for something that allows you to select the files that you need to be backed up. Again, it doesn’t do burn to divisible DVDs, but it works very well for network backups.