Thursday, November 16, 2006

Make auto-login somewhat secure

Here's a great security tip for those who enjoy auto-login on their Mac. Use the screen saver password feature in a new way.

Macworld: Mac OS X Hints: Make auto-login somewhat secure

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A nice, tight font panel

A nice and tight font panel is a blog entry that gave me a simple piece of information I had lacked on making the font panel smaller for your work space.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Password Autocomplete Always On!

It's really quite annoying that some web sites circumvent Safari's integrated (very secure) access to encrypted keychains. What I'm specifically referring to is the tactic of preventing your browser from remembering web site login information and entering it the next time for you automatically, provided the keychain itself is unlocked.

It makes sense not to store your login information for banking and credit card sites, but even this doesn't really make much sense if you're a Mac user and enjoy the encrypted goodness of your keychain using Keychain Access--which lets you access tons of password and other critical information with ONE password.

However, certain sites, such as Yahoo, shouldn't have this ridiculous block. It's frustrating and annoying.

There is a way around it in most cases, though I have one particular site I visit that is extremely annoying ( - is a social networking site) in its method of preventing one from storing login information. All the work-arounds I've looked at so far are ineffective for this site, so they must be using another method of blocking.

Autocomplete Always On! is a little Applescript application that will do some hacking for you of the Webcore engine, allowing you to store login information for MOST sites (except sites like Nextcat). You can handle this hack yourself using the instructions here, but I chose to use the AAO app above. Make sure you back up your Webcore too with the Applescript, just in case (you won't really need to, but I'm a worry-wart).

There are some other methods for doing this, using a Python script run through Pith Helmet's Machete function. One must remember to save the script as a plain text file with the ".py" extension and then make it executable, which can be done simply through the Terminal using instructions here.

But the method described earlier using the AAO Applescript seemed like a quick, global fix for my personal situation.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Slow keyboard performance when using Word 2004 for Mac

If you experience slow keyboard response in Word 2004, here is a potential fix for you to nix the sluggishness. It worked for me!

1. Start Word 2004.
2. Click Tools, point to Macros, and then click Macros.
3. In the Macro name box, type ToolsAdvancedSettings.
4. Click Run.

Note: If Run remains unavailable, click Word Commands in the Macros in list.

5. In the Advanced Settings dialog box, click Microsoft Word in the Categories list.
6. In the Option box, type CACHESIZE.

Note: Make sure that you type CACHESIZE in all capital letters because this setting is case sensitive.

7. In the Setting box, type 1024.
8. Click Set.
9. Click OK.
10. Quit and then restart Word 2004.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Applejack: Getting New Features

Applejack, the command line troubleshooting utility for Mac OS X, is undergoing prerelease testing now for version 1.4.3rc3, which adds a new experimental expert mode. From the read me:
+ Experimental expert mode exists, but is currently hidden until it can be tested further. (see Appendix B). The only well-tested options at this point are the memory test using the included Memtest utility, and the option to disable auto login.
This is great, because among other neat features, it adds the memtest utility as well, which will save you the $1 download charge from its developer.

Memtest and Applejack are must-have utilities, IMHO. Memtest saved my butt on bad memory (via the GUI version in the form of rembr), whereas Tech Tool Pro told me my memory was fine. Wrong! Changed it out and my numerous problems went bye-bye!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nix Yojimbo: Journler plus Keychain Access


I tried to make Yojimbo work for me, but there were just too many problems with .Mac syncing. So, I moved all passwords and secure notes to Keychain Access that comes with OS X. I started a new keychain to store my stuff, and it syncs perfectly with .Mac since Tiger.

For everything else (i.e., PDFs, notes, scribbles, pictures, etc.), I went with Journler...a great, free (donation-ware) application that can also be used for your blogging needs in many instances. I gave the developer $10 for his work--very much worth every penny. It still has some problems, bugs, glitches, and quirks, but it's hard to beat the price.

Now, Journler has no .Mac syncing function. However, it's easy to use an Applescript or syncing application to keep your Journler items synced between computers, and it has a lot of features that Yojim-blow lacks. I'm sure the developer will add .Mac syncing later.