Manage Mac disks, drives, and other storage devices!

Learn the best ways to store and manage large amounts of data
with Take Control of Your Digital Storage by Jeff Carlson.

MobileMe

Apple has announced that as of early July 2008, the new MobileMe service will replace .Mac. Among other things, this means that you’ll be able to receive mail at your-.Mac-member-ID@me.com in addition to your existing mac.com address. More significantly, changes you make to email (as well as calendars and contacts) will be immediately “pushed” up to Apple’s servers and, from there, back down to your other Macs, iPhone, iPod touch, or even Windows PCs, meaning (I hope) the end to many syncing problems. The webmail interface will get some useful new features, too. Until MobileMe is officially released, I can’t say for sure how, if at all, it will affect the use of Mail, but my suspicion based on what I’ve read is that almost everything will continue working just as it did before. If that turns out to be incorrect, I’ll add new information here when the time comes.

Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

MyFonts.com: A Great Place to Shop

Ebook reader G.M. recently wrote in to tell us about his experience shopping with MyFonts.com, one of the vendors that Sharon recommends in her various Take Control ebooks about fonts. He wrote, “I have purchased numerous fonts through this site over the past several years. They have a policy (which may apply to only some vendors, but perhaps to all) of providing notices about free updates to any fonts that you have purchased. The most surprising such update came not too long ago for a font family (Rayuela) which had been upgraded with several additional weights, all of which was free, even though those weights did not exist when I purchased the family several years ago. Kudos to this online vendor.”

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Update to Take Control of Switching to the Mac 1.5

Take Control of Switching to the Mac version 1.5 covers Vista, Leopard, and more, while retaining information about Windows XP and Tiger. Look in the Read Me First section for a more detailed list of what’s new, complete with clickable links and page references for some of the new content.

Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

Make Sure Your User Account Password is Leopard-Ready

If your user account has no password, or if the password has 8 or more characters and was originally created in Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, you could be unable to log in after installing Leopard. To prevent this problem, follow these steps:

1. Open the Accounts pane of System Preferences.

2. Select your account in the list on the left.

3. If the lock icon in the lower left corner of the window is locked, click it and enter your password to unlock it.

4. Click Change Password. Then:

  • If you previously had no password, leave the Old Password field blank; enter and verify a new password, and click Change Password.
  • If you have a password with 8 or more characters, and you think you might have created it in Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, enter your old password, enter and verify a new password with 7 or fewer characters, and click Change Password.

<

p>You can change your password back to what it was previously, after upgrading to Leopard. (This information was taken from Take Control of Upgrading to Leopard.)

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Make Sure Your User Account Password is Leopard-Ready

If your user account has no password, or if the password has 8 or more characters and was originally created in Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, you could be unable to log in after installing Leopard. To prevent this problem, follow these steps:

1. Open the Accounts pane of System Preferences.

2. Select your account in the list on the left.

3. If the lock icon in the lower left corner of the window is locked, click it and enter your password to unlock it.

4. Click Change Password. Then:

  • If you previously had no password, leave the Old Password field blank; enter and verify a new password, and click Change Password.
  • If you have a password with 8 or more characters, and you think you might have created it in Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, enter your old password, enter and verify a new password with 7 or fewer characters, and click Change Password.

<

p>You can change your password back to what it was previously, after upgrading to Leopard. (This information was taken from Take Control of Upgrading to Leopard.)

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

Various Sharing Facts & Tips

I just learned a few facts which might aid readers of this book regarding a few semi-related areas. These are noted below.

Sharing Only Users Limited to AFP

In the current edition of the book, I don’t made it clear that Sharing Only users can only access volumes over a network via AFP (Apple Filing Protocol). Only full account users can access volumes via FTP and Samba, as well as AFP.

FTP Doesn’t Restrict Access to Shared Folders

While this might be obvious, I never stated in the book that Leopard’s FTP server doesn’t limit access to those users connecting via FTP to just the volumes and folders specific in the Shared Folders list. FTP doesn’t have a mechanism that allows a selection from among multiple volumes. Thus FTP users who connect can traverse all hard drives and mounted volumes on a system through paths that they have at least read-only access to.

This is another reason to not use Apple’s FTP server - or to use FTP at all, in my book (figuratively and literally).

Guest Users Have No FTP Access

<

p>While mentioned in the book in passing, I have confirmed with Apple that the lack of access to a computer via FTP using the password-free Guest account is not a bug; it’s intentional.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman (Permalink)

Free update to Take Control of Digital TV 2.1

The current version of this ebook is 2.1, which includes a number of changes, including details about high-def cable and DirectTV channels; updated coverage of products from Elgato, Miglia, and Apple; and more. However, since we have no plans to release further updates to this ebook, we’re no longer charging an update fee; feel free to download the latest version (from December 2007) using the link in the Downloads tab (it claims it’s version 1.3; that’s a little white lie to fool our content management system).

Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

Minor Update Info

Relatively little has changed in Apple’s approach to sharing files in Tiger since the last release of the ebook. However, there are changes in some third-party programs I wanted to make readers aware of.

File-Sharing Management Programs

Two of my favorite pieces of software for managing file sharing services under Mac OS X achieved Tiger compatibility. PureFTPd Manager, the graphical interface for the excellent Pure-FTPd FTP server software, reached Tiger compatibility back with version 1.4.4; it’s now at 1.6.3.

And SharePoints went up to date for Tiger in mid-2005; it’s software that lets you bypass Apple’s simplified and missing configuration for AppleShare and Samba file sharing. Version 3.5.2 is Tiger compatible; the developer hasn’t released updates since May 2005.

Both tools are donationware, so please remember to contribute to the developers through links on their sites if you find their software part of your regular routine.

New File Transfer Programs

In 2006, two interesting new options for exchanging files emerged that work across multiple platforms and employ good security. Both options rely on a special set of text that’s sent to a recipient that uses that to “claim” the file. Files are transferred using good, strong security. The week link in both systems is that anyone with the claim check can retrieve a file without any additional authentication.

Civil Netizen works on a peer-to-peer basis, in which the software turns your computer into a kind of FTP server with none of the complexity. The software is free and in beta. The only centralized element is a registry in which information is stored that allows a recipient to pull up the right details to access your computer to retrieve a file.

Pando works more like a repository, in that you upload your file to their servers, and send a recipient a retrieval note that allows them to pull down the file. Pando allows files up to one gigabyte (GB) in size during its beta period; it will remain free, apparently. In March 2007, I wrote a TidBITS article about using Pando for one-to-many downloads.

Better Control for AppleShare-over-IP with Old Systems

If you’re still running versions of System 7, or Mac OS 8 or 9, and want to add or get better control over AppleShare-over-IP, purchase and install Open Door Software’s Shareway IP. This software used to cost $79, but the company reduced the price to $39 after Tiger shipped, and just $29 for educational users.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)