Saturday, November 29, 2008

Right Click for Remote Desktop Connection

The Remote Desktop Connection tool for Mac is one for connecting to Windows machine. The only problem for me is that each time when I run this one into Windows, I had to change my secondary mouse click to the right click, and change it back when I close RDC.

Today I figured out one way to avoid these changes. In the RDC's preference, I saw the keyboard settings:

The default is set Command+Shift Click to Secondary Mouse Button. That's great. It makes the Windows' right click available and it is different from the Mac' context menu click. There are more settings for keyboard mappings there.

SilverLight 2.0 for Mac

Just noticed that Miscrosoft's SilverLight 2.0 is available for Mac when I tried to open ASP.Net. I think I installed this (old version?) before. The SilverLight works in Mac. This new version may have more features available for web applications?

Actually, web browser handls HTML contents with JavaScripts very well. That's native advantages of browsers. However, there are so many plug-ins to add additional application specific features on web now. SilverLight is one from Microsoft. I posted a blog on my programming blog on SrouptCore framework. This is a nice tool and new trend, I think, for web based applications.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Dojo Widget not Working in Safari

I have tried to learn Dojo and Dijit (Dojo widget) recently. One widget, Rating by mindtrove's blog is a simple one as rating control.

The problem I encountered is that the keys are not working in Safari. I tried it on Windows IE and Firefox (both Windows and Mac), and it works fine. The problem, as far as I can get, is that Safari does not allow most HTML DOM objects to receive focus. Only button and text box are. Not sure if there is any way to change Safari's default behavior.

The widget only respond to mouse click. As a result, if you want to clear rating, you have to refresh the page. I think I read something about Mac. It is a mouse driven OS, and everything is UI with mouse interaction. However, in cases like this one, key events would be much desirable. Not sure if there is way to configure Safari's behavior, hope this "bug" would be fixed soon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great Free Mac Applications!

As I mentioned in my previous blog,'s new blog on 100+ Free Applications for Mac lists a wide range of great Mac applications. I have already used some.

I just browsed some of them and found some really attractive:
  • Sytem Tool: Onxy for cleaning system
  • Sytem Tool: Loginnox to change Login background.
  • File Management: Punakea to add tags to files.
  • File Management: NameChanger to rename files with easy UI.
  • Social Network: Syrinx to make Twit easy on desktop.
  • Porgramming IDE: NetBeans to provide IDE for multi programming languages in Windows and Mac.
  • Image Editor: Seat Home 3D Design is actually a cool application for home design with 3D view.

I have not install all of them. Just a peak of them I am very impressed with their features and UI.

Web Browser Not Responding

Recently, I have experienced some problems to browse some web sites such as gmail and cnet news. For the gmail, I could not do anything when I logged in, no mater what browser I am using: Safari, Firefox or Fluid. I also tried it in different account. It looks like a system issue. For CNET News, my browser FF does not respond any more when it is opened.

I had to Fore Quite them from Apple menu. It is quite annoying! Then I tried to find out a way to resolve the problem. I tried to google "Mac Browser Not Repsonding" but I found no direct solutions. However, some forums and Apple support page do provide some relevant suggestions. Basically, the problem might be caused by some plug-ins those web sites are using, web sites with some embedded JavaScript trying to detect if client side is active, or Java version issues.

I would not like to reinstall my applications to get them back to work. For Safari, I just cannot do it! Reinstalling OS would be the way back to Windows. Restore from Time Machine might be the last resolution. Those problems are just caused from those web pages. I can still use my browser to majority of other sites.

Anyway, cut it in short. I get my browsers back to those web sites. For CNET News web page, I know it is FF issue. I understand that the cache for FF is not critical. To remove cache from FF's Preference does not work. You have to do it from Finder. Locate the cache in ~/Library/Cache/Firefore/Profiles/[profile]/Cache, where [profile] may be different for each account. In my account it is "t896s3zg.default". ~/ is the home directory of your account. I did is to remove this Cache content. After it, I don't have any problem to CNET News. I think CNET News web page uses Adobe Flash plug-in and update it without any any notice.

For gmail Not Responding problem, it is much harder. It may be something located in /Library/Caches. I would not removing its content unless I know what I am doing. What I did is to use system cleaning tool: Onxy. This tool is recommended by blog recent article: 100 Free Applications for Mac. This is the tool which helps me to resolve the issue. I installed this one and use its Cleaning:

This is really great tool to clean my system. I just use the default cleaning settings. I did realize that the content of /Library/Caches/ has been cleaned after the running. One thing I have to do is to restart my Mac to get the problem of Not Responding out!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Set Screen Saver with a Shortcut Key

I got a very impressive screen saver from Wakaba's web page. The screen saver has so many options to select:

One question I have immediately is that how I can use shortcut key to invoke the screen saver? Unfortunately, Mac does no have a key available right from OS. However, this can be done in many other ways. I don't like hot corner from System Preference/Screen Saver. I often get my mouse jump around to a corner to activate it. I need a key like Windows Ctrl-Sht-Del key like.

Bran Halmkamp posted a nice blog on this topic. What he did is to create a link to the screen saver program (far away in /System/...) in a Terminal, and to add trigger to the link by using Quicksive's Trigger.

Here is the command to create the link:
$ sudo ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework
/Versions/A/Resources/ /MyApplications/Screen\ Saver.lnk

I would like to add some comments to the command:
  • sudo is a command to allow the supperyser to execute the following command.
  • ln -s is a command create a symbolic link from source to target.
  • the '\' in the target is the a scape key to allow a space in the target link file name, so that 'Sacreen Saver.lnk' is created in the folder "MyApplications"

I think that I mentioned in my previous blog that I have created a MyApplication folder in the root. This is folder where I put all the applications I found from Web or other sources. They are not part of Mac OS Applications.

The last step is to define a hot key in Quicksilver's Triggers. This can be done by adding a new one and drag the link file to the Command column. Finally assign a key to the trigger.

This is a really great experience to bring my UNIX commands back. If you cannot remember or don't know the command, you can always get manual information by the command man [topic].

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

root user: Equivalent of Windows Administraor user

By default, iMac disables root user for none-Mac server OS. I did not realize it. I thought my name has administrator privilege. But it is not always true. For example, my user name account cannot access to other user's account data or folder.

When I tried to learn to write Dojo web application with PHP server, I encountered one problem. My PHP server by default was not available. It was not loaded by Apache. I found out that I have to change httpd.conf file in /private/etc/apache2 to remove the comment out for the line of loading PHP module.

I tried to use VIm to modify this file, but I could not save it. The file is actually owned by "root" user, which is equivalent Windows Administrator user. On Apple's web site, there is one page about how to enable root user.

The steps are very simple. I followed the instruction, logged out. Then I see "Others" in the log-in list. Type "roor" and the password, I can log in to the root account. As a root user, you can access all the files, including httpd.conf file I mentioned above. I made a change, and logged in to my account again. My test php page is working as expected.

This information is not intended for normal users. As a programmer, you may need this to configure the system. In this sense, iMac OS is very secured OS.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Zip Quick Look

By the default, iMac does not display the content of a zip file when you use Quick Look to view it(select a file and then press space key). I found a tool to do the job, called as Zip Quick Look PlugIn.

To install it, download first. Unzip the file. Copy or drag the Zip.generator to /Library/QuickLook/, make a QuickLook folder if you don't have one.

Then restart the Finder. Here I learned a new tip to restart Finder:
  • locate the Finder in Dock,
  • press Ctrl+Opt+click or Opt+right click;
  • you will see a list of context menu, and select Relaunch.

It will relaunch Finder. Now you should be able to view the content of a zip file.

Show/Hide Hidden Files

In Unix system, you can make files/folders as hidden by using . before a file/folder name. iMac is Unix based OS, so there are many files/folders are arrange in this way.

The problem is that by default, hidden files/folders are not visible in Finder. Then if you want to view or copy a file to a hidden folder, you have to go to Terminal to use cd to the folder. For example, I obtained a Vim plugin and need to install it to from my download folder to the .vim/pugin foler. I can't do it in the Finder. In Terminal, I have to know the name of download folder which is very long. I need something to enable Finder to show hidden files/folders.

I found one from web: Show/Hide The program is very simple to use. From Spotlight(Command+space, type Show), you launch the program. Here are some snapshots of the application:

You have option to show or hide hidden files. After you make your choice(show for example), you will see the second window.

Normally, you should select "Restart Finder" to take the immediate effect. This will restart Finder to make hidden files visible. Click the last window to close the application.

The last picture shows an example of my .vim/plugin folder in Finder.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

VIM The Best Editor

I just started to learn VIM. It is the best text editor. The main reason I need a good editor is that I am doing programming in both Mac and Windows platforms. VIM can handle the text files in both system very well.

VI has been used for so many years. It was started as UNIX text editor. Its UI interface looks very simple and plain. I remembered that when I first used UNIX or IBM ACS system, I was lost the first time in VI. I was told that VI is very powerful tool and programmers just love it when they know how to use it. However, I have never got chance to learn it. One thing about VI is that it is a Muscle Memory tool.

Anyway, I am convinced to learn it since I started to use VIMPERATOR add-on for Firefox. I love it so much. I have to admit that it takes some time to learn it. However, when you know and memorize most common keys, it is so convenient with keyboard. You don't need mouse.

VIM is a Vi Improved text editor. It brings more power to VI. After about 2 weeks using, I just used a iceberg of its power. I am totally convinced that it is the tool as a program cannot be without. There are still many things to learn. I think when I repeat these commonly used features, my programming work will be more productive for sure.