all about macs


This is an attempt to share the daily experience with my new apple imac. In doing so I will be adding some interesting information either I find on the net or create by myself. Obviously I have neither any influence nor control over any of the external links you find on this blog. Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Website

Please visit finiteloops for more comprehensive coverage. You will find all sorts of Apple related articles, news and forums. Take time to register yourself for added benefits.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

.Mac Alternatives

For many Mac users decide on .Mac service doesn’t need a second thought given the fact that multitude of features it offers. However there are others who may think $99/Year price tag is bit too much for what they get out of it. I have tried to find out some alternatives offered by third party venders either for no cost or for comparatively low price.

Free Alternatives
gDisk is a software that turns your GMail account into a portable hard drive so you can always have your important files accessible across the Internet. To use this software you need a Mac with Mac OSX 10.3 or above and a GMail account. You can download the latest version of gDisk from here.

iBackup is a simple to use backup/restore utility for scheduled backups of files, folders, applications and your system preferences like the dock, deskop picture, time settings, firewall, bluetooth and system applications like AddressBook, Mail, Stickies, iChat, iTunes and more. You can edit these preferences settings and add your own.It is is 100% FREE, which means it is a freeware product (both for personal and commercial use) that does not contain any form of malware, including but not limited to: spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors.

Commercial Products

Spymac is a fast-growing online service, offering both free memberships and premium (Club) memberships. With nearly one million members, they are one of the largest Mac sites online, with a team of about 25 spread throughout the US, Germany and Canada. Spymac lets all of its members email, blog, socialize and network, share pictures and other files and chat in real time around the world and around the clock. Spymac's premium online service, Club, includes a powerful collection of applications that combine the magic of Spymac with the power of Mac OS X. With Club, you can manage and write in your blog from your desktop, upload photos to the Web directly from iPhoto, share files right from your desktop, show others your iTunes music and much more! Spymac and Spymac Club work with both Windows and Mac operating systems. However, some features of Club -- such as the desktop software -- is currently only available for the Macintosh. Comparison of free and premium membership can be found here.

The following services are also sound interesting and in my opinion they are some of the closest competitors to .Mac. Unfortunately their market segment is German-speakers.



I will try to find out more of similar services in the coming days. Let me know if you have better suggestions.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

XBench Tool

Here is a nice tool for those who are interested in measuring the performance of their Macs. After getting the results you will be able to send it to a central database or even copy it to your HDD. On the XBench website, there are tons of previous test results from other users available for comparison purpose.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Alternative Web Browsers

For Apple users’ no further boasting is needed about Safari. Having said it is also not a bad idea to checkout some alternatives available for free.

I have been using Firefox, the biggest competitor of Safari, for a while. I started enjoying it from day one. It offers most of the features Safari does. One of the coolest thing about Firefox is the amount of free plug-ins available for various functionalities. As I am using Firefox in various computers I use Foxmarks to synchronize my bookmarks. That way I will be able to add/delete bookmarks from where I work and load them from somewhere else. Isn’t that great. Of cause Safari does the same with .Mac but with an extra cost. Firefox offer tab browsing and it is very stable. You can even download optimized versions of its latest .dmg from here. One negative thing about Firefox is the non-aqua looking appearance. There are plenty of themes to choose from but I had problems to find a bug free theme, which would smoothly integrated to Apple operating system. For those who are concerned about security this could be a good choice.

Camino is a simplified version of Firefox. Unlike Firefox it offers much more Apple looking user interface. The Camino developer team released the latest version (Camino 1.0) not so long ago. You could download it free from here. Since its compactness Camino runs very fast on my iMac G5 (OS 10.4.5).

Workaround for flaws in Safari and Mail applications


Open Safari and select Preferences. You will find the following window in “General” section. Uncheck the “Open “Safe” files after downloading” option as demonstrated in the accompanying screenshot.


The problem is Automatic execution of attachments, which may contain executable shell scripts. It is good practice to download mail attachments to the hard drive rather than double click to open. If the file has executable file permission “x-unix-mode=0755” this may cause a threat. If you have detailed view selected in Finder you could see the content of the attachment and see the permission. If it contains a file with "0755" permission it should be avoided opening even it looks like a harmless "*.jpg" file.

By the way, open source mail application, Thunderbird has no such threat if you ever want to consider an alternative to Mail.

More information about the above flaws can be found here.

Original Heise Article can be found here.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mac Security

After last week's news about the malware and growing concern about the viruses targeting macs, it is the time to step up security measures to keep your system safe. I have found the following links for anyone who is interested in mac security.

Security related articles
Ultimate Guide (some links are not working)
Apple Developer
Princeton Uni.
Securing Mac (pdf)

Anti-virus software
ClamxAV (free)
Norton AntiVirus

News Updates

Maximum OS X security

Happy reading

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Looming threat of viruses

After all no operating system is safer today. This applies to OSX as well.

Just heard about “Leap -A” virus targeted at OSX 10.4.X. According to many anti-virus software firms the threat which course by this virus is not regarded major as it requires user intervention in several stages before it attacks the system.

But this could be the beginning of a new era for virus developers. I guess their understanding of intel processors are much more than PPC processors. Therefore writing a virus targeting future generation of intel based macs can be way more higher.

For more information about this topic can be found in following sites.


Security Hub

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Install Apache2, PHP5 and MySQL in OSX

It took me almost a day to figure out how to install Apache2, PHP5 and MySQL on my iMac. Lack of proper guidelines for OSX users makes it harder for someone to decide what to install and how. If you search on the web you will find all different versions of each of the above software. The question is which version is secure and easy to install. After googling I have found the following two links. After following the instructions I have succeeded in installing Apache2 but due to some reason PHP 5, I couldn’t install.


At last I found an easy way out. I downloaded MAMP from here and copied it to the Application folder. That’s it. It is for free and all three apps. Preconfigured.