August 29, 2004

Longhorn Lite?

CNET is reporting on some developments, or lack thereof?, with Microsoft's new Longhorn operating system, the next generation of Windows software due out sometime in 2006. Apparently, Microsoft is busy slaughtering features to meat, er, meet, their deadline.

What this means is that by the time Mac folks have been running Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) for over a year, and are getting ready to buy the next upgrade to Mac OS, Microsoft may finally be getting close to shipping their OS, and by all accounts, it may well end up being a bum steer...

Posted by Jim at 1:18 AM | TrackBack

August 19, 2004

New version of MSU posted

I've posted a new version of MacSitelutionsUpdate, a little AppleScript for folks using the Sitesutions Dynamic DNS service.

I now have it talking to the CGI script that I wrote so it can keep track of the current version, plus some other enhancements.

Posted by Jim at 12:12 AM | TrackBack

August 13, 2004

Serving a WAN IP page

I've just posted another example page , this one showing how to set up server side includes under OS X and create a web page that will show a user's WAN IP address.

Basically, this is just an example to show that server side includes are working, but it can also be a useful page to serve, should you wish to offer such a service.

Posted by Jim at 12:27 AM | TrackBack

August 11, 2004

AppleScript CGIs

The last two days I've been working off and on to get a new CGI working on the web server here, built using AppleScript. And as with most oddball projects I think up in the middle of the night, it wasn't going as planned.

Turns out the magic key to making it all work is a slick piece of software called acgi Dispatcher, by James Sentman.

What this application does is allow Apache to pass AppleEvents to your CGI, actually an ACGI, which then allows the script to actually do something other than just sitting there.

An AppleScript CGI, like the one described here basically lets you use AppleScript to write some routines that can process information, return a web page, or even interact apps on your web server (potentially dangerous if you don't know what you're doing).

In the case of this sample app, it was returning a web page based on some info passed to it, but though the information on the page indicated that it was 'fully supported' with Apache under OS X Server, that isn't entirely true, and certainly isn't true for standard OS X. Apparently OS X Server 10.3 and up no longer included a necessary component for making these scripts function, but the official Apple workaround (according to their Knowledgebase) for OS X Server 10.3, and apparently for OS X 10.1 and later, is to run the acgi Dispatcher application, which acts as an interface between Apache and AppleScript.

Dispatcher has a 30 day demo, and is $15 for home/educational use, and $35 for commercial use.

Posted by Jim at 1:24 AM | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Star Trek: Enterprise in danger?

While surfing for something entirely un-Trek related, I came across a site today calledSave Enterprise. Apparently the UPN series is in trouble with low ratings, and the wieners in charge are thinking of cancelling the show, or were.

Enterprise has been renewed for a 4th season, but any fans of the show out there might want to look into doing some work to support the show if they want a 5th season.

Posted by Jim at 9:58 PM | TrackBack

August 7, 2004

Server Side Includes w/OS X

After stumbling around with this problem for a few days, trying to get server side includes working, I came across this article that solved my problem. This person was having the issue under 10.2.6, and it apparently still applies under 10.3.4.

Specifically, what I did in the httpd.conf file was to scroll down to where the web directory was actually defined, and added in the 'Includes' option there. Of course this was also after uncommenting the two AddHandler lines mentioned in that article.

I now have something like this:

# This should be changed to whatever you set DocumentRoot to.

# This may also be "None", "All", or any combination of "Indexes",
# "Includes", "FollowSymLinks", "ExecCGI", or "MultiViews".
# Note that "MultiViews" must be named *explicitly* --- "Options All"
# doesn't give it to you.
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews Includes

A test document with a .shtml extention worked as intended.

Posted by Jim at 1:55 AM | TrackBack

Mac users, a cut above

The Cult of Mac Blog reports on a finding from a LinuxInsider columnist that Mac users are smarter than Linux and Windows users, based on postings on the internet.

Windows users actually scored below the 5th grade level, which isn't surprising at all, since, well, they're Windows users...

Posted by Jim at 1:12 AM | TrackBack

August 5, 2004

.Mac addresses going fast...

The Cult of Mac Blog is reporting that since Apple began offering .Mac email aliases, the number of available accounts has been shrinking fast. Still more reason to get your own domain set up and run your own mail server. ;)

But as usual, I have a suggestion...

Part of the problem, if you choose to look at it that way, is that once an address has been used by someone, it is never recycled to another user. After all, you wouldn't want to set up a previously used account as your own and then have to deal with that person's spam now, would you? Speaking for myself, my .Mac account gets enough spam all on its own.

One thing that Apple could easily do would be to set up another domain level at .Mac for folks to use, for example,,, etc. Also possible might be for some of the domain names that Apple has aquired over the years that redirect to to also be used as email addresses, such as,,, etc, etc.

Opening up cool new domains for exploitation, er, use, by .Mac subscribers can only serve to add to the value of the service, and would most certainly increase the pool of available account names nicely.

Posted by Jim at 11:46 PM | TrackBack

August 2, 2004

John Kerry phishing scam

It looks like another scam email is making the rounds, only this one is designed to look like it is being sent from, and this phishing scam is designed to lead folks to believe that they're contributing to John Kerry's campaign when they're actually sending money to a bunch of scammers. That is, a different group of scammers that aren't part of the John Kerry campaign.

One of the mailing lists that I'm on had a report from one person who received four of these already, but so far none have made it through my spam filters here.

Posted by Jim at 11:30 PM | TrackBack

August 1, 2004

Liberals invade iTunes

MacMinute reports that speeches from the Democratic National Convention are now available for free download via the iTunes music store. Problems sleeping? Just grab John Kerry's speech. Want to learn a foreign language? Go download Teresa Heinz Kerry's riveting piece. There's something for everyone.

Conservatives, fear not, RNC speeches will be available following that convention, which kicks off on August 30.

Posted by Jim at 1:52 AM | TrackBack

And Ed O'Neill as Steve Jobs...

While flipping through channels tonight, I came across True Hollywood Story on E!, and started watching it as I was a fan of the show. I almost fell out of my chair when Ed O'Neill was shown, his greying unshaven face and black shirt (turtleneck?) instantly reminded me of Steve Jobs.

Forget Noah Wyle, if Steve Jobs ever wants someone to impersonate him on stage at MacWorld, just get Ed to walk out. Wish I could find a pic or screen capture of that show on E!, if anyone can find one let me know and I'll link to it.

Posted by Jim at 1:32 AM | TrackBack