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!

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.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Connect to a samba server running on SuSE Linux from OSX

After couple of painful attempts I have managed to connect to my Samba server running on a PC with 5 operating systems. The operating systems running include SuSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva and Windows XP. Now that the Samba server is perfectly running I am able to connect to windows partitions through Samba server running on SuSE linux (SuSE Linux & Windows XP installed on the same PC) with my iMac. Here is how you do it.

In SuSE Linux

First you have to configure Samba server. Click on Yast configuration tool and enter the root password.
Go to Network Services and select Samba Server. Then Yast will guide you through, easy to understand, Samba configuration. Once it is done Yast will activate the Samba server.
If you want it to start during boot up you should activate it through System -> System Services, still in Yast. In System Services select Expert Mode and search for smb service. Choose “Enable Service” by clicking Set/Reset button. Now you should re-start the service by clicking "Start Now" button.

One other service you need to activate is the nmb. This can be activated exactly the same way you activated smb.

Now you should see the folders, which can be access through OSX under Network. However I had difficulty logging in using the Samba password which I have given during the Samba configuration. So I had to create a Samba user in /etc/samba//smbusers (in SuSE Linux).

Open the Linux terminal, type su and press enter. Enter the root password.
To edit smbusers use the following command.
gedit /etc/samba/smbusers Press enter.
When the file opens on gedit you can add a user.
nobody = guest (Of course you can give some other name you like)
Now save the file and close gedit.

Still in terminal use the following command to give a password to the user you have added.
#smbpasswd –a guest
Enter the password twice.

You are done.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

How to install X11 in Tiger?

I wanted to install Mathlab but it wasn’t possible because it couldn’t find X11. I knew that I installed X11SDK but there seems to be something else missing. First thing I did was to download the latest X11 from Apple site but surprisingly I couldn’t install it because it says that I’ve got a newer version already installed. Now what?

I had to dig deep in the Apple installation DVD to find the missing piece. It took me quite a while but I finally made it.


After installing the above package everything was fine.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

C++/C Books

After researching on the net I finally found some cool books to learn C++/C. The "C++ Primer" is, in my opinion one of the best books for a C++ programmer whether you are a geek or a novice.

I considered couple of other books before deciding for this particular book. “The C++ Programming Language" by Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++ language is one of the widely known books among programmers. However as a novice it is way too complicated for me and there are hardly any complete examples.

On the other hand “C++ A Beginner’s Guide” by Herbert Schildt is one of the easiest books to start with. But it has little to offer for an intermediate or advance programmer.

For C, I considered “The C Programming Language” by Brian W. Kernighan & Dennis M. Ritchie. It is a wonderful book no matter what your level of knowledge is.