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Screensavers for the 21st Century

Unsatisfied with Leopard’s standard screensaver selection? Fear not! There’s a whole world of interesting screensavers out there, ready to customize and enliven your idle screen. I went searching for the best screensavers I could find, and reported back on my favorite ones in the TidBITS article Top 10 Screensavers for the 21st Century. Enjoy!

Posted by Doug McLean (Permalink)

Where’s AirPort Admin Utility?

If you’re using an old graphite or snow base station and thus need the older AirPort Admin Utility, but you can’t find it, note that it may still be on your Mac, but with a new name. When you install AirPort Utility or upgrade to Leopard, the original utility gets renamed “AirPort Admin Utility for Graphite and Snow” (find it in /Applications/Utilities).

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Microsoft Office and Spaces

If you’re having trouble with Office 2008 in Spaces, you’re probably not alone. Erik Schwiebert, Senior Development Lead for Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit recently wrote a blog post discussing bug fixes in Office and - toward the end of the post - talking about how Microsoft has handled problems with Office 2008 and Spaces. You can read it at Erik also linked to a fairly cut-and-dried description of common problems you might encounter with Office 2008 and Spaces; you can read it at

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Old News for “Take Control of Your iPhone,” First Edition

(odd date placement due to conversion to new back-end system, sorry)

Fix 5002 Error When Updating iPhone Apps

For the last week or so users have been experiencing an App Store error when updating their apps in iTunes 8. Apple’s discussion boards have discovered several fixes for the problem. You can read about it in my _TidBITS_ article, Fix 5002 Error When Updating iPhone Apps.

Power Adapter Recall for iPhone 3G

September 22, 2008 – Apple has recalled the subcompact power adapter that ships with the iPhone 3G. You can read about it in Glenn Fleishman’s _TidBITS_ article, Apple Recalls Its Supercool iPhone 3G USB Power Plug. Apparently the new plugs will have green dots on them, in order to differentiate them from the old ones.

Free SMS on Your iPhone via AIM

July 29, 2008 – If you’re contending with paying for text messaging on your new iPhone 3G, check out Jeff Carlson’s recent _TidBITS_ article, Send SMS for Free via AIM on iPhone, to learn whether iChat/AIM could keep those messages flowing at no charge.

Review of iPhone Headsets

July 28, 2008 – _TidBITS_ recently published Hands-Free iPhone Options for the Car, which looks at headset options from Apple, Plantronics, Belkin, Monster, and Parrot.

Dealing with iPhone/touch App Crashes


p>July 28, 2008 – If you’re having trouble with your iPhone, and if you think it’s app related, check out Ted’s recent Macworld article, Bugs & Fixes: Dealing with iPhone app bugs and crashes. He tells you when (and how) to restart, advises you to stay up-to-date, and suggests that you get rid of problematic apps (by deleting them; he explains how to delete ‘em and notes that you can get a deleted app that you paid for back later for free).

Wi-Fi Security Tip

April 30, 2008 – According to security expert Rich Mogull, you should consider the security implications of letting your iPhone “know” about Wi-Fi networks that it has previously connected to, especially if your iPhone memorizes a Wi-Fi network configured with a common name, like tsunami. To remove a Wi-Fi network from an iPhone’s list of known networks, go to Settings > Wi-Fi, tap the More Info icon for any listed known network, and tap Forget this Network. For more info, see Rich’s recent article, iPhone Security Tip: Never Memorize Wireless Networks.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Explore Using the iPhone App Store with Ted Landau

The App Store isn’t hard to use, but as with so many things Apple does, the devil is in the details. Ted Landau, author of Take Control of Your iPhone, has been hard at work figuring out everything about the App Store. You’ll learn how to install apps, share apps with a friend, delete apps, reinstall deleted apps, update apps, and get answers to a wide variety of questions about how the App Store works. Ted has written the equivalent of 15 ebook pages on this topic, and although those pages will end up in the second edition of Take Control of Your iPhone, for now they are available to anyone who has the first edition, via the Check for Updates link at the upper right of page 1 of the PDF. You can even ask questions and leave comments in this excerpt! Also, if you buy Take Control of Your iPhone now, you’ll get the second edition free. Rumor has it that another chunk of draft content is coming soon, since we know that iPhone users out there have lots of questions that need answers.

Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

Sharing Update in Mac OS X 10.5.5


p>Apple made a minor change to how the File Sharing service displays shared volumes, along with the accompanying explanation, in its Mac OS X 10.5.5 update that incorporated Security Update 2008-006 on 15-Sep-2008. Before this update, the list of Shared Folders excluded Public Folders in other user’s home directories. Those now appear.

Apple also improved the text that explains what’s shared. An user account with administrative access enabled can access any mounted volume, including the hard drive from which Mac OS X started up. This wasn’t indicated prior to 10.5.5, and is a minor security flaw by omission.

The view before 10.5.5:

The view starting with 10.5.5:



Posted by Glenn Fleishman (Permalink)

Converting between Word 2004’s .doc Format and Word 2008’s .docx Format

I’ve been working in Word 2008 for a few months now, and I’ve had good success in saving my files in .doc format so that I can work easily with people who are still using Word 2004. However, if you’re working in a mixed Word 2008/2004 environment, you may find that it’d be nice to have a .docx converter for Word 2004. To get that converter, you need to do two things first, update your copy of Office to version 11.5.0 and, second, install the Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.

Alternately, for a quick conversion without doing all that installing, check out Zamzar, a Web-based file-conversion service. (Thanks to TUAW Tips for the Zamzar suggestion.)

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

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.

Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

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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