Category Archives: Mac

Nice ReadyNAS Widget

Just stumbled over this little gem which in fact is a bit older already:

Gives a nice overview of the ReadyNAS‘s health for Mac users. Sorry for the Windows world though: still no widget for you.

ReadyNAS NV+: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

ReadyNAS NV+ And ReadyNAS NV
Today I received the ReadyNAS NV+ so that I could compare it to my trusty ReadyNAS NV. Except for the LC display on the front, there has nothing changed in terms of connectors or buttons. Also from a first glance, there’s no change to either the firmware nor the internals. As some tests revealed even the performance of both devices is almost equal with a slight advantage for my older ReadsNAS NV. But since that’s just a second for transferring one Gigabyte worth of data, I guess that’s well within tolerances.

ReadyNAS NV Frontpage

ReadyNAS NV+ Frontpage

What I found interesting is that my old ReadyNAS NV is equipped with faster RAM than the new ReadyNAS NV+. However, as the tests showed this doesn’t make a difference in any way. So, basically, there’s no need for me to upgrade but if you haven’t bought a ReadyNAS NV+ yet, I can safely say that the product is as fast and as reliable as the older one. And as much as I’d like to keep it, it’ll be repacked and ready to be on it’s way back to Netgear by this time tomorrow.

Apple Updates Safari Beta to 3.0.2

Safari Beta 3.0.2
After hurriedly releasing version 3.0.1 which should fix some rendering as well as localization bugs on Windows, Apple has now released version 3.0.2 of Safari. This version is available for Windows and for Mac OS X. As was reported on various forums the speed on Windows still is underwhelming. On OS X however I can’t really complain. For Windows users this version is supposed to finally fix the localization issued. Didn’t test that yet so I can’t say whether that’s true or not.

Netgear liefert ReadyNAS aus

Netgear ReadyNAS NV+
Ich zitiere mich ja eigentlich nur ungern selbst aber in dem Fall mache ich mal eine Ausnahme:

Netgear liefert ab sofort seine neue ReadyNAS Storage-Produktfamilie von Desktop- und Rackmount-fähigen Speicherlösungen mit vier SATA-Festplatteneinschüben aus. Die elegante Desktop-Variante für anspruchsvolle Heim- und professionelle Anwender ist in drei Konfigurationen erhältlich: jeweils 1 TB Speicherplatz bieten die Modelle RND4250 mit 2 x 500 GB SATA- und RND4425 mit 4 x 250 GB SATA-Festplatten. Die unverbindliche Preisempfehlung für beide Varianten liegt bei jeweils 1.200,- Euro inklusive Mehrwertsteuer. Die größte Desktop-Version RND4450 verfügt über insgesamt 2 TB, verteilt auf vier 500 GB SATA-Festplatten (1.900,- Euro UVP).

Ich hab’ das Ding ja damals noch direkt von Infrant bekommen und finde es nach wie vor Klasse. Weniger Klasse ist der offizielle Preis, aber wie Volker schon schreibt gibt es die 1-TB-Version bei Cyberport schon ab 899 Euro. Da kann man zwar immer noch meckern, aber nicht mehr ganz so viel ;)

Quote of the Day (Internal German Edition)

Hat der E-Mail-Junkie sein Gerät auf dem Nachtisch liegen, dann kann das durchaus zu Irritationen führen, […]

Jepp, definitiv. Und es zeigt, dass auch die Rechtschreibkorrektur von Word nicht alles findet, was gefunden werden sollte ;) Da kann man dann getrost auch Bean nehmen.

Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac – First Impressions

Smartselect with Parallels Desktop 3.0
Available since yesterday, Paralles Desktop 3.0 for Mac brings a lot of new features, mostly for former Windows users. First of all there’s 3D Graphics support – so now you can run all your favorite games in a virtual Windows machine, which wasn’t possible before.
More important for me is the SmartSelect feature. It allows you to select whether you want to open a file using a Windows app in the virtual machine or using a native Mac application. This is way cool since there’s a whole lot of superior editors available on the Mac platform. Well, at least I prefer them over the ones available for Windows.
With Parallels Transporter you can convert your physical Windows machine into a virtual disk for Parallels – something that VMware has been doing with the P2V tool for quite some time now is finally available for Parallels as well.
Using the new Snapshot feature you can freeze frame a certain state of a virtual machine. This is quite handy before installing new software so one can always revert the machine to its former state.
The downside is that even if you already bought Parallels Desktop 2.x, you’ll have to pay an upgrade fee to get the new features. Also, existing virtual machines of former versions have to be converted to the new format. That went without a problem here but you better have a backup handy. As I had to learn, suspended machines can be converted but will not start from the suspended state. Instead they will go through a fresh boot with the side effect of all data in open apps before the suspend operation being lost.
Also be warned that older keys from previous versions of Parallels Desktop won’t even work as a demo key for Parallels Desktop 3.0. So if you need your virtual machines to do your work, at least get a demo licence first.
If you want to learn more about what Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac can do, I suggest you watch the videos.

[ More >>> ]

Best of Both

Integrate remote Servers with MacFusion
When it comes to managing web sites, I prefer using SSH over FTP. Using SSH allows for direct changes instead of editing files locally, then uploading them and finally check the result. However, using SSH deprived me from using advanced editors like Textmate or BBEdit. No longer. Using MacFusion I can now integrate remote servers into my Mac’s local file system hierarchy. Way cool.
MacFusion essentially is a wrapper around Google’s MacFuse and gives you advanced options over using SSHFS. It contains a list of favorties and can store passwords in the keychain. Besides SSH connections it also supports FTP so it’s also usable on sites where you only have FTP access. A real “must have” – at least if you’re managing web sites or servers.

AirPort Fiasco in the N-th Dimension

Airport tops out at 144mbps
So you’ve got your new Macbook or even a Macbook Pro and this shiny new Draft-N-Router. But for the life of you they seem to refuse to work together. Or better said, they’ll talk to each other but when transfering data you could as well use a chisel and a stone plate to deliver the information faster.
The reason most likely is that you choose to use WEP to protect your wireless data stream. I don’t know how Apple made this happen but when using WEP at least the Atheros chip in my Macbook will transfer around 1 MByte in 10 minutes (no typo!) while when using WPA2 it will transfer around 1 Gigabyte in 5 to 7 minutes (depending on the Draft-N-Router I use).
Most interestingly this problem only occurs when connecting to Draft-N-Routers. Using my trusty old Netgear WAG302 I don’t have any problems whatsoever when using WEP to satisfy some of my older clients.
Also, as the screenshot shows, Apple could well add some more speed…

Running Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) using Parallels on the Mac

As some Mac users may have already noticed, installing Feisty Fawn on the Mac using Paralles isn’t easy. But there’s a way to do it:

To give credit where credit is due, you can find an excellent tutorial here.

Quick hints:
Use “Custom options” when creating the Virtual Machine. Chose “Solaris/Other Solaris” as operating system, disable Sound and USB. When Ubuntu starts give live vga=790 as startup command. This should get you started, for the rest I suggest you read the turorial.

Override DNS lookup on the Mac

Since I find myself looking for this over and over again, I might as well save it here for reference:

In case you need to manually specifiy an IP address for any given host, don’t forget to do a

lookupd -flushcache

after editing /etc/hosts. This command will flush the Mac’s local host name cache.

Obviously, you have to be using the root account to be able to do either.

MacBook Musings

One and (almost) a half weeks into owning a MacBook, I find myself still working on the iBook a lot. Now, why is that. First and foremost, it’s because the iBook already looks beaten by heavy use and I want to save the pristine look of the MacBook as long as possible. Aside from that, I also prefer the physically larger screen of the iBook. Sure, the MacBook has a lot more of pixel estate. But the screen is a tick too tiny for my liking. Maybe Apple should think about offering a 15 inch MacBook, I’d buy it instantly. And no, I still don’t want a MacBook Pro. Other than that, I now *really* experience the power of Mac OS X. I don’t care that it’s an Intel chip that’s driving Snow. Or to be more precise: I don’t feel or see any difference. Everything behaves like I’m used to. I can work just the same way as I do using Dust, use the same tools. Even when using Rosetta for PowerPC apps, I don’t feel any difference. So Apple definitely did it a good job there – something Microsoft hasn’t learned in so many years. And they didn’t even have to change the underlying hardware platform.
Now, is there room for improvement. I already mentioned the screen size. But other than that I can’t think of anything to make the MacBook more perfect. A better keyboard maybe. Not that I wouldn’t like the current one. It’s just that some keys have to pressed in a very precise way to trigger any action – the space bar being the most prominent. The time needed to charge the battery seems to be a bit on the long side, too. In essence: there isn’t much to really complain about. Still makes me wonder why I’m typing this on Dust, the iBook, while Snow, the MacBook, is sleeping on the desk. Three years of working together can’t be put aside that easily, I guess.

Think Free

ThinkFree Office 3I just discovered what looks like the solution to one of my major problems: ThinkFree Office 3. For those who don’t know it already: It’s an application that allows you to work with documents in Microsoft’s format but without all the overhead. ThinkFree Office 3 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. So, what major problem did it solve for me? Well, I have to work with documents in Microsoft’s format. Word mostly but Excel, too. Now, other than for example OpenOffice.org on the Mac, ThinkFree Office 3 is able to work with documents that are stored on my central server. So far I really like the look and feel of the ThinkFree Office suite. At a price point of $50 US I might just buy it. But first I’m going to make the best of the 30 days eval period.

Introducing „Snow”

My Macbook „Snow”So I did it. I helped myself to a brand new MacBook. Which is a first because I never before bought a notebook without actually seeing and touching it. Now, do I like it? You bet. The screen is a vast improvement over the one that came with my iBook G4 (aka „Dust”). And although it’s a glossy screen, I didn’t have any problems with reflections so far. What else? The keyboard of course. While many folks seem to be shocked by it, I actually like it. I like it. Ymmv. It’s not just the feel of the keyboard. I also like the fact that the letters aren’t painted on anymore but lasered into the keycaps instead. No more “clean” keys from too much typing.
Next on the list: speed. Well, since Dust was an old 933 MHz model, Snow obviously is a lot faster. Not only when executing programs but also when loading them. Ok, having an SATA drive and 2 GB of RAM instead of PATA and 640 MB helps a bit. Even the apps that have to use Rosetta are a lot faster on Snow than before.
Best feature until now: the new trackpad. Now it’s possible to emulate a click by tapping on the pad – something I had to use third party software for until now. Even better: tapping with two fingers will open the context menu. Great.
Lastly: the heat. Yup, the Macbook is getting really, really hot. But nothing I’d call a problem. It’s not that could cook on the machine. You just have to be careful to not put the machine on your legs when wearing shorts ;)

Turn your Mac into a Jedi weapon

The Cause:

Using your Mac’s sudden motion sensor, this software turns your computer into a Jedi weapon almost worthy of taking on the real thing by making authentic lightsaber sound effects. It senses speed for the lightsaber movement sounds and acceleration for different levels of striking sounds. [ Get the software >>> ]

The Symptom:

mobile-macs sucht immer noch Blogger

Wie bei mobile-macs.de nach wie vor zu lesen ist, suchen die Jungs einen Fulltime-Blogger. Der soll sich bitte mit Macs auskennen und natürlich mit Mobilthemen. Warum ich das nicht mache? Naja, die Bezahlung ist etwas “undefiniert” und daher nicht wirklich geeignet, zum Unterhalt einer Familie beizutragen. Aber der eine oder andere meiner Leser wäre da doch geeignet, zumal es sicher genug Gadgets zum Testen geben wird. Also husch, husch, bis 14.4. eine Mail an info at mobile-macs.de mit der Bewerbung schicken, oder hier mehr lesen.

Legal FM transmitter for the iPod

The Belkin Tunecast II mobile FM transmitter is the first of its kind that comes with a CE certificate that makes it legal to operate the device in the European Community. It allows you to broadcast the songs from your iPod (or any other MP3 player) on an FM frequency range between 88.1 and 107.9 MHz so you can listen to your music on your car’s radio for example. Aa nice feature is the Auto-Off function which will automatically shut down the device after more than 60 seconds of silence are detected.