Use Hotmail with Mail in OS X

If you try to use your POP3 Hotmail account with Mail in OS X you will notice that the connection doesn't seem to work. For some time this has been a frustrating issue for people with web e-mail accounts, such as Yahoo, Gmail and others, that work perfectly fine with Mail, while MSN Hotmail accounts won't work.


Now, there's a new and improved hotmail plug-in for Mail, called httpmail, that allows you to retrieve your mail from MSN servers, and also allows you to send e-mail just like any other web-mail account in Mail. Unlike older versions, this one works with Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and Leopard.


Abilities

-Downloading E-Mail
-Sending E-Mail
-Deleting E-mail
-Folder synchronization
-Selection of transport encoding


Limitations

-Newer Hotmail accounts will more than likely have to be upgraded to Hotmail Plus
-There are a few bugs which cause Mail to crash sometimes
-Renaming folders
-Creating new folders
-Moving messages


You can find the version that matches your operating system and chipset here.

After downloading, there's a very easy point-and-click installation.

Create Ringtones in iTunes

Want to isolate a few seconds of a MP3 for a free ringtone without buying and using an audio editor? There's an ability to do this natively in iTunes, but it takes just a little bit of looking around to figure it out. You can select any song in your iTunes library and create a separate file of the portion you want from the original file for use as ringtones, or perhaps some other uses you might have in mind.



Choose time to split




Load up iTunes. Select the file from which you want to extract a portion. Listen to the song, and watch for the exact time you want to extract in the status pane. After that is done, with the file selected, type Command + I to Get Info. Go to the Options pane, and type in the Start and Stop times for the portion you want. Finish checking the boxes and entering the values, and then click OK.


Creating Ringtone File

Now, right-click the file and choose Create MP3 (or WAV or any other format you have selected in iTunes Preferences, where you can also set the bit-rate, quality, etc.). When it creates the new file it will use the Start and Stop times you selected for yourself in the Get Info pane. Name the new file and export it to your cellphone by using the software your cellphone requires, or by using the native OS X Finder to drag-and-drop to your phone. For iPhone users, you must go to Finder or Spotlight to search for your newly created MP3, and rename the extension to ".m4r" and drag it to your User/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Ringtones folder.


Reset Original File

After you are done creating the small ringtone file you will want to go back to the original file, and choose Get Info, and uncheck the Start and Stop values in the Options pane, so that you will hear the song normally from start to finish anytime you play it again in iTunes.

Free 802.11n Enabler for Mac


There's an update for $1.99 at Apple's website to enable 802.11n connections in addition to 802.11g/a/b. This Enabler works with the MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo, MacBook with Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac Pro with AirPort Extreme option, and the iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo (except the 17-inch, 1.83GHz iMac). It works very well with all of these Macs.


To my surprise, I have noticed it is included now as a free update when you upgrade your machine to Leopard 10.5.

There's an Apple Support page to look up if you already have the update installed on your machine. It is located here.

How to play WMV files in OS X

You might notice in your switch from PC to Mac that OS X has native playback for most video formats out there in MPEG and Quicktime MOV. But, you might still have some Windows Media Video files left that you want to play and notice that you can't play them! There's a few options out there.

Here are the best of the options:

Windows Media Player for the Mac

Microsoft did make a few applications for OS X, including a version of Windows Media Player, but it is not a very good video player in my opinion (on the PC or the Mac!), and it is not really worth the download.

Flip4Mac

This is a great free plug-in which allows you to view WMV files in Safari while web-browsing and lets you view WMV in the Quicktime movie player, and edit files in iMovie, Final Cut Pro and more. It includes conversion for iPod syncing and playback as well.

VLC

The VLC Player is probably the best video player out there for the Mac. It has the highest level of compatibility for videos that I've seen. It can play many many formats, including: WMV, ASF, WMA, DivX 4/5/6, AVI, MPEG, Raw DV, FLAC, FLV, MXF, MP4, MOV, 3GP and more.

In my opinion, the best combination is to download Flip4Mac for native viewing in Safari, and have the VLC app as your stand-alone video player for other videos as well.

Mail Tracking Dashboard Widget


There's a great free Widget called Delivery Status which allows you view the current status of tracking numbers for UPS, USPS, FEDEX, DHL, Royal Mail, DPD and many more with updates to come. This is especially handy because it eliminates the need to load up webpages and enter tracking numbers by hand or using copy-and-paste. You can set it up to show Growl notifications as well.

They also have a free version available for the iPhone and iPod Touch in the App Store.

Convert MP3 to AAC in iTunes

There is a way to use iTunes to convert to Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) in iTunes. There are several music players which only use this format or that work better using this format instead of MP3 or WAV. The new upcoming Nintendo DSi is coming out soon and many are scrambling to find a way to convert their music files to AAC for playback on the new portable system. It is easy to convert music formats in iTunes, but not quite obvious how to do so.


Open iTunes. Go to Preferences, and under the General pane choose Import Settings.

From here you can choose which format you want for conversion. You can choose Apple Lossless Encoder, AIFF, MP3, WAV, or in this case we are choosing AAC. Specify the quality you want for the file. Click OK.

Now select one or more of the files you want in the main Library window.

Go to the Advanced menu, and choose Create AAC Version. Now it will quickly convert the file or set of files for you.

Sync Safari Bookmarks Without MobileMe

The ability to sync between Safari, Firefox, and IE bookmarks across multiple machines is very handy. Especially if you have to view certain content within different browsers and you want to access your bookmarks easily without creating more than one bookmark archive. Also, it is much easier for backup purposes to consolidate all your bookmarks to one archive.

There have been many attempts using Terminal commands and Automator to try to make this work, but the most easy, efficient and free way to do this is Foxmarks. It's a great little app you can install on each machine you want to sync. It has a nice feature which lets you edit your bookmarks on the fly from the web on a remote machine. You can view any of your bookmarks immediately from a cellphone or handheld device with a web browser. You can also decide which bookmarks you want to sync with certain computers if you do not wish to sync everything. The best part is that it is free.

Currently, there are downloads available for Firefox 2 and 3, IE 6 and 7, and Safari 3.

Backup iTunes Playlist

It is a good to routinely backup your iTunes playlists to an external drive or network drive, if you don't already have Time Machine running or a remote backup service. You might also want to use your playlists on another Mac. In any case, it is very easy to do this simple backup.


Backup/Export:

Open iTunes. Select the playlist you want to save. Click on File, Library, and choose Export Playlist.

Choose the XML format for easy compatibility. Name the backup file and Save.

You can repeat this process for all the other playlists that you want to backup.

Import:

Open iTunes on the machine with which you want to import your saved playlists.

Go to the File menu, and Library, and then choose Import Playlist. Select the XML files that you saved before.

Note, if you want to backup your entire iTunes library, which takes significantly longer, then you will have to make sure that you have the sufficient space to accommodate the size listed at the bottom of the main iTunes window. If you have enough space, you can go to the File menu, Library, and choose Back Up to Disc.

Search Partial Filenames in Finder


Unfortunately, there is currently no ability in Spotlight to search partial filenames. For instance, in the file: Janeplayingwithjack.jpg we can type any of the beginning letters of the filename, like "Janeplaying", but we cannot search with any of the characters in the middle or end of the file name, like "playingwithjack.jpg". There are times when you can only remember part of a filename, or you have a set of files with particular numbers or letters grouped with different titles before the end of the filename, or many other examples when this feature would be very handy.

Although you cannot find this in the Spotlight menu, you can do partial filename searches in Finder. Here's how to do it:

Open Finder.

Type Command + F

Search "This Mac", and choose "File Name". Then choose to search by "KIND", then select what type of file it is you want to search.

Now, when you type partial filenames like "withjack.jpg", it will display the file "Janeplayingwithjack.jpg" along with any other files containing "withjack.jpg" in the filename.

Boolean Logic in Spotlight

There are a few things you can do with Spotlight that you might not be already utilizing. In addition to being able to search by filename, content, metadata, or by date created, last modified, and file types, you can also use boolean logic in the search phrases.


Here's some uses of the commands:


NOT
You can search for files that contain the word "andrew" but not "alex" in the filename or content, by typing "andrew NOT alex"

OR
You can use this to find files that contain either "andrew" or "alex" by typing "andrew OR alex".

AND
Typing "andrew hikes at night AND alex goes to sleep early" you will find files that contain both phrases within a file.

iTunes Shuffle Frequency

Before iTunes 8, there was a great feature in Preferences, allowing users to set the frequency of how often you hear artists in Shuffle. This was a very nice feature to use because sometimes iTunes will play several songs by the same artist in a row or after one or two songs, and there's no other way to control it but to create your own playlist and shuffle from within that.

You can download the previous version of iTunes which has this feature at the Apple website. However, if you try to install it while you already have iTunes 8 on your machine, it will tell you that you cannot downgrade iTunes. There's a few things you can do to get around this and have iTunes 7.7.1 again.

Here is the process:

First, go to your iTunes music folder and move the iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml files to a safe folder somewhere.

Go to the Applications folder, and throw iTunes.app into the Trash. Empty the Trash.

Now, run the downloaded DMG file and install iTunes 7.7.1.

Once it is installed and running, go to the File menu, and choose Import. Choose the iTunes Music Library.xml you moved before. Now it will rebuild all of your library, playlists, etc.

Now in Preferences you will find the ability to set the frequency in how often you hear a particular artist on Shuffle!

Upload iPhoto Pictures to Flickr

Many times there needs to be a direct link between the apps we often use and the personal or professional websites we upload to on a regular basis. Flickr has their own uploading app for the Mac, but now there's a good free plug-in allowing you to upload pictures from your iPhoto albums to Flickr.

After installation you can access the plug-in within iPhoto itself under the File menu, and clicking Export. There will be a FFXporter pane available for exporting. You can resize your images, add titles, descriptions, and tags. You can set your privacy preferences: whether you want your photos to be public or private, from there you can choose to make them visible to friends or family. You can type in the Latitude and Longitude. You can choose the content type, and what quality of export you would like to use.

FFXporter0.4.4 is currently only compatible with iPhoto '05, '06, and '08.

Different Desktop Image for each Space



Want to assign a different Desktop to each of your Spaces?

There's a very cool app that runs well which allows you to do just this.

Space Suit 1.1 allows you to choose any images you would like to have on up to all 16 of your Spaces in Leopard.

Other features include:
-Assign a name to each Space
-Change Space from Spacesuit Dock menu
-New menu option lets you change the current space name and background color for images that don't cover the full screen
-Growl notifications on Space changes
-Sparkle support
-Fixed French translation
-Images now default to Fit to Screen

Getting more out of Spaces


There's plenty of ways you can utilize Spaces in OS X Leopard, but sometimes few people know how to get the best out of their experience with it. You might even be so accustomed to not using Spaces that the very idea puts you off so much that you might be left wondering what you would even use Spaces for on a daily basis.

Different kinds of Spaces:

iTunes: I call this my Music Station. I like to have a Space only for iTunes so that I can have it fullscreen and not worry about moving the window around. I can just double-click on the icon in the Dock to go straight to iTunes in its own Space if I want (this action works with any other app).

Mail: In this Space I like to have my Inbox fullscreen and ready to view, along with any open e-mails that I might be working on. I like having a Personal Mail Space as well as a Work Mail Space.

Web: It is also great to make a Work Web Space and a Personal Web Space so that I have easy access at anytime to multiple open windows in Safari or Firefox. I can use Exposé in this Space without having to worry about the screen being cluttered by other application windows.

Windows: I like having a Space dedicated to just Windows XP. Since there is a maximum of 16 Spaces, I could easily subdivide XP into its own E-Mail and Web Spaces.

Documents: In this Space, it is running Pages or Microsoft Word or Office. It is general text editing for all my open documents.

Spreadsheets: I like having a fullscreen just dedicated to spreadsheets. There's absolutely no other clutter, and I can go back to it at anytime just as I had it before.

Web Design: In this Space, I like to work on things with iWeb or Dreamweaver. Just general HTML or XML editing.

Photo Editing: This Space is all about work on photos. Using Photoshop or any other application for getting images ready.

News: In this Space, I like to have windows of all my RSS news feeds open, as well as Google News.

Miscellaneous: I always like having an open Space for odd ball files that I have recently downloaded or an App that I am temporarily running.

I hope this little example gives you some ideas on how to use Spaces in a much more effective way.

Custom Time on Desktop Image Change


In order set how often background pictures change for your Desktop, you only need to edit only one file in OS X. You can even change the time between pictures down to the exact second you want. Sometimes the default settings are just too long or too short; and perhaps you would like to see a picture for a little longer than 5 seconds or somewhat longer than one minute.

First, start up System Preferences, go to Desktop & Screen Saver. Choose the folder you want to use for pictures by selecting it on the right, or by adding it with the plus sign. Then click on Change picture to: "Every 5 Seconds".

In Finder, browse to your User Folder, go to Library, and go to Preferences.

Find the file "com.apple.desktop.plist". You want to use the Apple Developer Tools package to edit this file. If you don't already have that, you can use a free app called Pref Setter.

Once you have the file open, click on Background to expand, and under both Default and the other expandable table, change the value of ChangeTime to the exact amount of seconds you want. For example, if you want one minute and 20 seconds, you type in 80 seconds.

Now save the file. If it says you cannot access the file, choose Save As and save it as "com.apple.desktop.plist", in the ~/Library/Preferences folder, of course.

Now, restart your Mac. You should immediately see the background change according to the time interval value you assigned.

*Note that you must enable the changing of the Desktop images in System Preferences before editing the .plist file so that when you save the file it keeps your changes. Also, If your Mac goes to sleep and wakes, the settings for your custom time interval will still be in effect, however, if you restart your Mac, it will revert back to every 5 seconds.

How to use Spaces in Leopard



Enabling Spaces

First, click on the Spaces icon in the Dock. If you do not see the icon in the Dock, you can search for spaces.app in Spotlight.

Next, if you see the window saying "Spaces is not set up. Would you like to set it up?", choose "Set Up Spaces".

Check the "Enable Spaces" box. You can also make a Menu Extra for Spaces if you like.

In this window you can also decide how many rows or columns of Spaces you wish to have. You can also make assignments for Applications you would like to only open in each Space assigned its own number. You can add them by clicking the plus sign and choosing the space number to which you would like the application assigned.

You can choose shortcut keys for activating Spaces to bring up all your spaces (note, when using this feature, you will need to hold the Function key in combination with which F# key you want). You have three choices of Command, Control, Option to combine with any other keys. or switching between Spaces so that you can use the arrow keys to move from space to space, and you can set a key combination to directly select which space number you want to see.

Moving Windows Between Spaces

To move one window from one Space to another, click and hold the window while using a hot key to directly select the space number, after you do this you will see the window move to the new space. Also, for example, you can click and hold on the window title bar as you move all the way to the right of the screen to go to the adjacent Space. Another alternative is to activate the Spaces window, which displays all of your Spaces on the screen, by using your hot key you assigned, and you can simply click and drag one window from one space to another. You can collect all the windows from every space to one by typing Command -C. Typing the same shortcut will send the windows back to where they were previously.

Dedicated Screen Corner

Go to System Preferences. Go to Exposé & Spaces. Now from the four corners you can select which corner you would like to show all your spaces, so in the future when you move your mouse to that corner it will pull up all your spaces for you to choose from allowing you very quick access.

Disable Safari 4 Cover Flow Bookmarks



If you wish to get rid of Cover Flow and have your traditional listing of Bookmarks, giving you more visibility and easier drag-and-drop. You can easily do this by using a simple Terminal edit.

Run Terminal, and type the following command:

defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4IncludeFlowViewInBookmarksView -bool FALSE

Of course, replace the value with TRUE, if you wish to reverse this Terminal edit.

Local iTunes Library Sharing

There are several methods to sharing your iTunes Libraries across computers in your local network. The easiest method of them by far is for connecting any Macs in your network, connected by Ethernet or WIFI connections.

Start iTunes on the computer with the Library you wish to share.



Go to Preferences. Select the Sharing pane, and check the "Share my library on my local network" box. Along with checking "Look for shared libraries" for good measure. You can then decide if you want to share your music, movies, etc. or all of your Library.

Now, on your other machine, start up iTunes. You should be able to see the username of the computer with the shared Library in the left side along with your Library and Playlists.

If you do not see the Shared Library listed, or you try to connect to the Library and it does not fully connect. Go to Preferences, under the Sharing pane make sure you have the "Look for shared libraries" box checked. If that does not work, go to System Preferences and depending on your version of OS X, look for Firewall, or go to Security and choose the Firewall pane. Click on "Set access for specific services and applications". Click on the plus sign and manually add iTunes.

Now, if you wish to have sharing from your Mac to Windows XP machines or a Windows XP machine to Macs is not as easy to do if you have a Firewall enabled. It involves using an interface that is not very intuitive.

After you have enabled Sharing in iTunes as written above, you want to do the following on both the Windows machine hosting or receiving the iTunes Library:

Click on the Start button, then go to Control Panel. Click on Network Connections.



Double-click on the Ethernet or Wireless connection that you use. Click on Properties, then click the Advanced tab, then click Settings, and click Advanced, and then select your internet connection (wifi or ethernet) and finally choose Add. Type "iTunes Sharing" for the description. Both Internal and External Ports should be 3689. Select TCP. Click OK to close.

Now Add one more Service. Name the description "Multicast DNS". Both the Internal and External Ports should be 5353. Select UDP. Now click OK for the Service, then click OK again and exit.

Now your iTunes Library will show up on the left side of your iTunes in Windows XP or the Mac on the local network.

Control Mac fans with smcFanControl 2.1


A new version of the great app to control your fan settings has been released. The new version of smcFanControl is compatible with more MacBooks, including the new aluminum one. It is also compatible with other desktop Macs. It neatly displays your fan temp and speed in the menubar.

The nice new feature for MacBooks is that it allows you to have auto-settings for different power sources on your MacBook or MacBook Pro.