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Take Control of Mac Basics by Tonya Engst!

Read Adam Engst’s Advice on Buying the Right Mac at the Right Time

Deciding that you want to buy a new Mac is easy, but embarking on the project immediately raises questions like “What Mac will best meet my needs?”, “Should I buy now or wait a month?”, “How do I move my files from my old Mac to my new one?”, and “What should I do with my old Mac?” Mac guru Adam Engst has answered these questions countless times, and he has distilled the answers into the 98-page Take Control of Buying a Mac.

Worksheets in the book help you match your needs and budget to the right Mac model, and a chart of Apple’s model launches over the last 5 years helps predict when new Macs will appear. Adam also explains when you can purchase to get the most bang for your buck, compares different venues for where to shop, gives advice and step-by-step instructions for transferring files from an old Mac to the shiny new one, and offers thoughts about how to get the most out of the Mac that’s being replaced.

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Several Sites? Several Servers? Multisite for iWeb to the Rescue!

iWeb is great for publishing one site to one server; preferably a MobileMe server. But what if you’re trying to use iWeb to create a number of Web sites that are hosted on multiple servers? It’s not easy—you have to save each site to a separate folder, then upload or synchronize those sites to the server with an FTP client one at a time. [iWeb ‘09 is vastly better at publishing multiple sites to multiple servers, and at FTP-based publishing. June 25, 2009 —Tonya]

Clarkwood Software, LLC has an answer: Multisite for iWeb 2.3. This Mac OS X application works with iWeb ‘08 and older versions as well. Use iWeb to build multiple sites, and then fire up Multisite for iWeb. It takes care of putting the sites into individual files, which means that you needn’t publish every site every time you want to publish one.

In my ebook about iWeb ‘08, I talk about how to create separate Domain files for individual sites. Multisite takes care of that work for you. You can use Multisite to duplicate, delete, and create sites, import or export sites, and even create separate Domain files to send to other people.

You can try Multisite for iWeb before you buy. A fully functional 30-day demo is available from the Clarkwood Software Web site. A license for Multisite for iWeb is only $19.95.

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Publish iWeb Sites to Any Server

One of the common concerns of iWeb users is the difficulty encountered in publishing iWeb sites to servers other than MobileMe. Mac developer Scott Finney of Plyxim has a solution for you. Scott’s Easy iWeb Publisher 3.0.3 makes uploading an iWeb site to another server as easy as dragging a folder and dropping it on the program’s icon. Unlike most FTP clients, Easy iWeb Publisher uploads only those files that have changed, so your iWeb updates are as fast as if you were hosting your site on MobileMe. Easy iWeb Publisher is shareware with a $7 suggested donation.

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Making iWeb Work with Firefox 3

If you recently updated your Firefox browser to version 3.0, you may have experienced some issues with Photo Album pages, Photo Slideshow pages, and with blog comments. Fortunately for iWeb ‘08 users, there’s an easy fix—make sure you’re running version 2.0.4 (or later) of iWeb ‘08. You can check the version number by choosing iWeb > About iWeb. If you don’t have the latest version of iWeb ‘08 installed, use Software Update on your Mac (available under the Apple menu or in System Preferences) to check for and install the update.

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Changing the Size of Things in the Sidebar

I recently received an email message asking, “Does your new ebook about customizing Leopard show how to increase the size of the icons in the Finder sidebar? Thanks.” Unfortunately, as far as Matt (and I) can figure out, there is no way to increase the size of the icons or of the text. However, if a way of customizing them does come along, we’ll certainly want to mention it here and in any future versions of the ebook.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Syncing in Tiger with MobileMe

In order to take advantage of MobileMe under Tiger, you need to update to Mac OS X 10.4.11. (Yes, Tiger now goes to 11!) On top of that, to use MobileMe’s Web applications, you should run Safari 3 for Tiger or use Mozilla FireFox version 2 or 3. You can read more details about MobileMe, syncing, and Tiger in the TidBITS article, MobileMea Culpa: Apple Apologizes and Explains Tiger Situation. Scroll down a little to find the heading about Tiger.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Giga Designs Kaput

On page 11, I mention Giga Designs, manufacturers of CPU upgrade cards for Macs. The company has apparently gone out of business, and the URL I included no longer works. Therefore, I would not recommend trying to install Leopard on a Mac that uses a Giga Designs processor upgrade, as you may have trouble getting it to work initially and will be unable to get any support in the future.

Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

More Custom iWeb Themes

Are you bored with the 26 themes that come with iWeb 2? You might want to consider trying some of the new third-party themes that are available:

  • In early June, Jumsoft announced ten new iWeb themes that can spark your Web design imagination. The themes are priced at $9.99 each, or you can buy the entire pack of themes for $69.99. My personal favorite themes from this collection are the sparse, paper-like Simple Info and the pastel-and-plastic Business.
  • iPresentee has a well-designed set of five new themes, each priced at $10 ($20 for the set of five). I liked the happy and bright Playable theme, and the animated Orange Light theme could be useful for a number of businesses.
  • Lamiavia has expanded on their line of custom iWeb 2 themes, now offering a total of 20 excellent designs.

All these third-party themes come in a number of page styles (usually six or eight per theme), and have special installer programs to make adding the themes to iWeb a snap.

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Transferring Files with iChat

Reader Jack B. wrote in recently to remind us that you can transfer files via iChat, though not with the iChat screen-sharing feature. To accomplish a transfer, just drag a file from your Finder and drop it on a buddy’s name in the AIM Buddy List window. (Presumably you could also drag a file to a name in the Bonjour List window.) In our email exchange, I commented that I’d found the iChat file-transfer feature to sometimes not work. Jack noted that he has to zip folders before he can transfer them and that JPEGs don’t seem to be working for him under Leopard, though they did previously. He also suggested if the drag-and-drop method doesn’t work, choosing Buddies > Send File or having one or both people involved in the chat quit and relaunch iChat.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)