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J&P Group > J&P InfoSol > Technologies >Mac (Apple Macintosh Computers)

(Apple Macintosh Computers)

Miscellaneous notes around Macs in general.

Introduction <top>

just a place holder for now.

Must Haves <top>

Smaller utilities that simply are that good that you just have to have them.

(10.6 refer to compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 - see also a separate list of compatibility of some software.)

Product Cost 10.6 Type Notes
* Google Desktop Free No (see next) Utility appl. (desktop.google.com/) - personal preference - prefer Google Desktop and its access to the whole Google-world of features normally available via Google search field. (Free)
* Google Quick Search Box Free Yes Utility appl.

For 10.6 replaces Google Desktop (at least per 2009-09-05). More about Google Quick Search Box (QSB) in Desktop Search.

* HierarchicalDock Free No*

Utility appl.

- better folder handling than Mac OS X's own (Free) More info at J&P.

*10.6: (20090904) Latest available is v1.2 (385) and it doesn't work. (Can't drop created folder into dock. Existing folders doesn't open.)

Oh, after the fact... This is sad - such a great utility... Just hope developer will fix it soon.

An alternative - for-pay - is Quay.

* Quay $10 Yes Utility appl. Features as HierarchicalDock above but more! Though costs it's worth it. Aside does work in 10.6, it actually extends existing folders and one doesn't have to create these by application. More info at J&P.
* PDF Browser Plugin Free* Yes (2.3.2) Browser plugin (schubert-it.com/pluginpdf/) - view PDFs directly in Mozilla Firefox browser (4.5 Mouses by MacWorld) (*Free for non-commercial use)
* Little Snitch 2 $30 2.2 beta 1 Background appl. (obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/) - firewall that alerts you when applications want to/tries to 'call home' - and control if to allow or not (4.5 Mouses by MacWorld) ($30; note that trial version can be restarted every 30 minutes).
* iStat menus Free 2.0 Finder menu

(islayer.com/apps/istatmenus/) - a much better calendar (among other things, capabilities) directly in the menu bar. (Free)

10.6: (20090904): When trying to open pref pane, get "To use the “iStat menus” preferences pane, System Preferences must quit and reopen."

Doing it brings up the pref pane config interface but can't enable any features.

Googling islayer istat menus mac os x 10.6 -


(* MenuMeters Free


Finder menu

(ragingmenace.com/software/menumeters/) - also using as prefer this menu addon for displaying CPU activities) (Free)

10.6: (20090904) Opening pref pane works but when trying to enable some feature (.e.g. Display CPU Meters) get

"Menu Extra Could Not Load

 For instructions on enabling third-party menu extras please see the documentation."

*Googled this and found note on http://www.ragingmenace.com/ that there is a 1.4 beta

in progress that shall work on 10.6.

2009-12-15 update: 1.4beta releases support Snow Leopard. (Latest per Dec 15 is MenuMeters 1.4b4. released on November 15, 2009. "It is compatible with Snow Leopard and contains many other changes. See the history for a complete list of changes."

* Flip4Mac Free* background add-on

(telestream.net/) - Windows Media Components for Mac (*Player is free; multiple variants).

10.6: (20090904) Download Flip4Mac WMV - Supports Mac OS X Snow Leopard build 10A432
* Perian Free 1.1.4 seems to background add-on

(perian.org/) - 'The swiss-army knife for QuickTime' - enable QuickTime to handle more/most common - and uncommon - video formats. (Free)

10.6: (20090904) Seems to be working

Buy Them! <top>

The ones we like so much that we buy them:

  Application ~cost Per date
* 1Password $40 2009-04
* Flip4Mac WMV Player Pro $30 2008-04 (actually paid $19, $29-$10 promotion rebate)
* Little Snitch $30 2009-08
* Quay $10 2009-09
  Total $110  

Find Info, Files, ... <top>

How To's <top>


Mac Gems <top>

MacPorts <top>

"The MacPorts Project is an open-source community initiative to design an easy-to-use system for compiling, installing, and upgrading either command-line, X11 or Aqua based open-source software on the Mac OS X operating system." [macports.org]


  • sudo port list| grep -i docbook



Sharing <top>

See also Sharing your computer with others on your network in built-in help system on Mac.

Area General description*, Between Macs MS Windows PCs, and other systems  
DVD or CD Sharing This allows users of other computers to use this computer's DVD or CD drive remotely. [2] ? Wonder if possible...  
File Sharing You can set up your computer to share your entire computer with everyone, or restrict the sharing service to allow specific users access to only certain folders. You can share files using Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), or Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. [1] Yes - SMB  
Screen Sharing You can set up your computer so that others can share your screen. While your screen is shared, a user of another computer sees what’s on your screen and can open, move, and close files and windows, open applications, and even restart your computer. [1] Using some VNC client. Must enable VNC option on Mac  
Printer Sharing If you have a printer connected to your computer, you can allow other users on your network to print to it. [1] Not tested but don't see why it should be some possibilities to share printers also to/from Win PCs.  
Web Sharing If you have a website on your computer, you can allow other users on your network to access it. [1] Yes - http is standard technology, not Mac-specific.  
Remote Login If you allow remote login, you can use Secure Shell (SSH) to log in to your computer from another location. [1] Yes - ssh is standard technology, not Mac-specific.  
Remote Management Remote Management allows other users to access this computer using Apple Remote Desktop. [2] Don't think so... Not researched further yet.  
Remote Apple Events You can set your computer to respond to events sent from other computers on a network. [1] Don't think so... Not researched further yet.  
Xgrid Sharing

Xgrid allows computers on a network to work together in a grid to process a job. [1]

Requires at least on computer running Mac OS X Server in the network.

Don't think so, unless there's some project out there... Not completely unlikely though.  
Internet Sharing If your computer is connected to the Internet, you can share its connection with other computers on your local network. [1] no comments yet  
Bluetooth Sharing If you have a Bluetooth module installed in your computer or have a Bluetooth USB module connected to your computer, you can share files with other Bluetooth enabled computers and devices. [1] no comments yet  

*) From Mac Help [1] or Sharing preferences panel [2], in Mac OS X 10.5).

File Sharing <top>

From OS X integrated help (OS X 10.5) - Sharing files on your network:

"You can set up your computer to share files and folders with other users on your network. You can set up your computer to share your entire computer with everyone, or restrict the sharing service to allow specific users access to only certain folders. You can share files using Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), or the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.

With file sharing turned on and permissions set, users on your network can browse for your computer on the network or type your computer’s address into a “Connect to Server” window and connect to your computer and share files. Users can access files and folders on your computer depending on the permissions you’ve assigned them."

QuickLook <top>

(First introduced in Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard.)

An very convenient feature that allows viewing content of files (documents) w/o need to open them.

  • View content of files directly from Finder
  • Scrolling of long/mult-page documents
  • Even look at different tabs in Excel spreadsheets
  • Hypertext link in documents works.


Also previewing extremely convenient)

Why OS X costs twice as much as Windows <top>

Why OS X costs twice as much as Windows (ZDNet April 9th, 2008) - why Mac users willingly pays more for Mac OS X than MS Windows users for, yeah, MS Windows...

Mac OS X MS Windows
Got your Mac w/ OS X 10.1 (rel. Sep 2001)   Got your PC w/ Windows XP, released Oct 2001  
* Jaguar 10.2 released August 2002 $129


* Panther, 10.3 released Oct 2003 $129 waiting  
* Tiger 10.4 released April 2005 $129 waiting  
* Leopard 10.5 released Oct 2007 $129 Upgrading to Windows Vista, rel. Jan 2007 (retail) $219
total spent if all 'upgrades' $516 total spent $219
"Less than 2 years after Tigers release, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO,
announced that 67% of the 22 million Mac OS X users were using Tiger.
Compare that to Vista’s 15% penetration 14 months after announcement. Ouch!" more...

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