January 02, 2004

Batch upload to TypePad

In my efforts to finalise my move from Movable Type to TypePad, I found an elegant solution to upload batch of files to TypePad.

One of my problems was to keep old links (URLs) alive. TypePad doesn't permit you to use .htaccess configuration files with rewrite rules or insert php scripts to redirect a request elsewhere. The solution I chose was to create alternate individual archives with the refresh meta tag in their header. In that way, the old address would be redirected to the new one automatically. The problem was uploading the files .. Macinblog isn't what I would call a very busy weblog, but there is close to 200 posts, which means 200 individual uploads through TypePad's "upload file" interface. You quickly get tired of clicking-selecting-return-backspace..

While posting an entry with ecto (former Kung-Log), I remembered that the upload file interface allowed to select and upload multiple files by drag & drop, or file open dialog.

  • Select files to upload, and drop them on the upload interface,
  • set the upload path,
  • make sure "Apply to all" is selected,
  • uncheck all settings relating to image files (eventhough ecto will ignore them),
  • click upload and enjoy

It works like a charm. The Google SiteSearch box now works properly. Most of the search results returned MovableType style URLs. Now, they are all redirected to to the new TypePad ones.

Note: ecto will soon be available as a public preview version. Until then, use Kung-Log.

For those interested, here's my recipe (click images to enlarge):

1. Create a new Archive template
Login to the MovableType admin interface of your weblog, and select the template section in the left hand navigation bar, and create a new template (here named MT2TP)
[ MT template ]
The content of my template is inspired of David Ely's Redirecting MovableType permalinks to TypePad. Amend the following to reflect the settings of your MT installation.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">

<head>
<title>Macinblog redirecting to TypePad</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2; url=http://www.macinblog.com/<$MTEntryDate format="%Y/%m"$>/<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1" trim_to="15"$>.html" />
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" />
</head>
<body>
<p>
Slight address change. New address is: <a href="http://www.macinblog.com/<$MTEntryDate format="%Y/%m"$>/<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1" trim_to="15"$>.html">http://www.macinblog.com/<$MTEntryDate format="%Y/%m"$>/<$MTEntryTitle dirify="1" trim_to="15"$>.html</a></p>
<p>
Redirecting...
</p>
</body>
</html>
2. Configure your archive options
Switch to your weblog configuration, and select the "Archiving" option. Add an entry and select "Individual and the name of your new template (here MT2TP).
[ MT template ]
Make sure the selected radio button points to your new individual archive.
[ MT template ]
3. Rebuild your site
4. Download all the newly created individual archive files to your computer
5. Upload all the files to your TypePad weblog
[ MT template ]
Drop all the selected files on the image placeholder, uncheck all the parameters relative to image upload, make sure the "Apply to all" is checked and click upload. You're seconds away from Nirvana
;)

Important note: on the downside, you don't have any control on the eventual overwriting of a file. If the same file is uploaded twice, the second one is renamed with a trailing '_1' before the extension. Only the TypePad upload interface will let you overwrite a file.

10:22 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

From T to T3

Here are a few tips and hints if you need to migrate from a Palm T (or older) to the brand new Palm T3. Unfortunately this time, I ran into a number of problems I didn't encounter during previous upgrades.

[ palm backup plus card ]First, my Backup Plus Card didn't function properly. I was unable to restore the data on the card to the handheld. Hm, scary, no? I previously relied on that solution to transfer information and applications from one handheld to another, but this time it sadly failed with fatal alerts. I'd been using the card regularly this last month due to a battery failure of my Palm T which suddenly discharged itself completely, requiring a complete restore of all apps and data. I took the habit of launching a backup 2 to 3 times a day. Then suddenly, my Web Confidential database went corrupt. I would launch the application, enter the password, and my available memory would get saturated with an ever growing web confidential file until the system would halt. Hmm. That's when I started to get the creeps. My last desktop backup dated from more than a month ago. The problems I encountered with Palm Desktop/HotSync Manager and Panther delayed the proper reinstallation of Palm Desktop 4.1 and its related backups. So, I'd already lost data. I was relying only on one single backup source - a common mistake. Don't put all your eggs in the same basket, or your bound to loose them all one day..

Since, I found on the following support article on PalmOne that shed a little light on the Expansion Card problem:

<http://www.palmone.com/us/support/downloads/64mb_backup_other.html>

Palm offers an update to correct the problem on Zire and Tungsten models (Macintosh download). I was more cautious now. The restore function of the card failing, I reverted to the standard HotSync solution. Hotsynched my Palm T, and synched my Palm T3 - sounds simple, no ? The catch here was that most of the data was saved on my Mac, but not the essential, namely the Address, Datebook and To Do list .. No matter how I did it, the synch went well, the logs were clear of errors, but Palm Desktop displayed an empty Address and Datebook. Damn. By that time I was really getting worried.

After tinkering around for 2 or 3 hours, checking iSync, looking for a way to send all my contacts by Bluetooth, etc. I finally examined the HotSync Conduit files. I discovered that the main applications had changed name between Palm OS 5 (T) and 5.2.1 (T3)

  • Address Conduit becomes Contacts Conduit
  • Datebook Conduit becomes Calendar Conduit
  • ToDo Conduit becomes Tasks Conduit
  • Memo Conduit becomes Memos Conduit

The picture got suddenly clearer. The conduit weren't working. I was trying to backup a device with the incorrect conduits. Luckily, my desktop Mac at work still had an older version of Palm Desktop 4 installed, and I quickly transfered the old conduit files to my PowerBook at home.

[ palm conduit files ]

With the proper files installed, the HotSync functioned correctly. Switch the files, and I was ready to sync back the data onto the T3. The only other thing to check is the all the files that have accumulated in the Backup directory.

~/Documents/Palm/Users/your hotsync name/Backups/

Chances are you'll find a large number of files there. Some that will ring a bell, some other that just won't. Be conservative, and remove all unknown. Several apps brought my T3 to a halt when restoring them, including my DateBk5 DB. Once I got all my contacts, tasks and appointments back up, I reinstalled the other applications. Beware to use the same HotSync ID or most of your registered applications won't register anymore.

I thought I'd share this info with you - might come in handy. All this is surely available elsewhere online, but I'm not too accustomed with Palm forums and weblogs. Send me your pointers and comments.

05:22 PM in Frustration, Tip | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 31, 2003

Panther: caps lock warning and automount

A couple of cute ones:

A caps lock symbol appears on the right of the password field when running Safari under Panthers.

Automount a network volume at startup (or login) by simply dragging the mounted volume to the list of your startup items. Check the "Add password to keychain" option and the volume will automatically mount at each login.
This one's for you Enrique ;)

10:56 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2003

Panther: a couple of discoveries

Network configuration: while checking the Network Preferences, I discovered under the Network Port Configuration the possibility to add IP over Firewire

Address Book: if you double-clic the image placeholder while editing a record, a window very similar to that of iChat opens instead of the Open dialog box. If you have a webcam attached (iSight) you can take a snapshot and resize it. The iChat status is displayed on the left of the image too.

10:01 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 26, 2003

Panther: up and running

I received my copy on Friday afternoon, and couldn't resist to have a go at installing it. If you've resisted the temptation, here are my few tips, and first impressions:

  • Backup: and backup again. Take care to have extra copies of off your documents and setting - especially your Mail folder and other personal settings located in your ~/Library folder (but you do that anyway, don't you?).
  • Check your login items: remove those which aren't compatible, or check for an update via VersionTracker. The ones I know of are DefaultFolder (1.9.1 is compatible), Transport Monitor (part of Palm Desktop 4.1 - crashes on load). There's an update available for USB Overdrive and Retrospect 5.1 Client.
  • Desactivate your haxies : typically the Unsanity ones.
  • Check your activated software: such as Macromedia Studio MX 2004 products, or MacAnalysis e.g. Uninstall Macromedia licenses prior to upgrading, and reinstall the license after. Mac Analysis required a new serial number - and crashes at load.

The installation as such is a breeze (well, it was for me). Just make sure not to forget the folowing points,

  • Check your startup disk permissions: run the Disk Utility to repair the disk permissions before booting on the install CD
  • Check your startup disk from the CD: run Disk Utility from the install CD before launching the install process, and select Repair from the First Aid tab.
  • Install Panther: I used the Archive and Install option which worked like a charm and prevented me from reinstalling most of my applications - and preserved most of my settings. I reconnected to my Airport network without a glitch. The whole process took a little over 30 minutes on my G4/1000 MP and eMac, and around 50 minutes on my TiPB/800.
  • Check your startup disk again: recheck your disk and permissions after (yes, I am a little paranoiac, but installers do screw things up).

This release rocks. The Finder feels more responsive and the sidebar is brilliant. The fonts seem slightly different. The Finder's second line (show item info) is smaller and can display more text. Expose rocks, especially if you can program a button of your mouse to activate it. I also like the new Connect to Server, or the Navigation dialog boxes. Software Update is accessible directly from the Apple Menu, and can be set to install automatically "important" updates (we'll have to think about that one..). Mail.app is faster eventhough it needs to reindex all your mailboxes (only when you open then). The new features (threading, etc.) are cool and work generally as advertised (still no smart views though).

These are just a few early considerations, but this release feels good. Really good. I'll post more info tomorrow after a real day's work. Oh, one more thing: beware if you're using an external Firewire/USB drive. There's quite a lot of reports about people who've lost all their data after upgrading. Apple Discussions have several threads on the matter. The current workaround is not to reboot with the drive mounted. Unmount the drive and disconnect it before restarting. I have not tested that one ...

Updates are in the extended body section

Update 031027 08:39: just a few words before I begin my day's work: I had a couple of surprises this morning when I booted my G4 in Panther, hooked on my LaCie DataBank which I use for file sync between my different computers, and launched a sync. There are a few new files related to the Address Book which might create you problems if you're not careful.

  • I was careful to copy a fresh copy of my Mail folder [~/Library/Mail] to preserve the new indexing Panther introduced, so I renamed the existing one and created an empty folder before sync. As planned the entire folder was copied over. What I didn't notice was that two invisible files (namely lock files) were copied over into the Address Book folder [~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook]
  • They are called .database.lockN and .skIndex.ABPerson.lockN. Eventhough I don't know exactly what they do, I can imagine their role. Nevertheless, they must be computer related because they prevented Mail from loading (crashed immediately), Address Book generated a strange error as well as iChat which tried without success to recreate its preferences and an iChat account.
  • All these applications being linked to the Address Book, I immediately suspected omething of the kind, and discovered the two new files which I added to my sync exclusion list. Once removed, all went back to normal. I still had to manually copy the Mail preference file [~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist] which somehow got overwritten with the default one in the process.

Mail.app new spam filter seems to generate more false positives than previously. I fished out several yesterday and today by running a search through my Junk folder. This hadn't occurred for a long time, and I'd lost the habit of checking - guess I'll have to be more careful. A cool Mail feature is the addition of the "Load Images" button located over the message headers in the same location the the "Junk" button.

I don't load inline images when they are not attached to the actual message. More and more messages come formatted in HTML with complex layouts which loose their meaning if you don't load the images (sigh). The function enables you to load the images of valid e-mails on a case-per-case basis.

Reinstall Contextual Menu and Internet plugins: "Archive and Install" dowsn't preserve CMM. You either have to copy them over, or reinstall the application if you're not sure. Personnally, I reinstalled PGP 8.0.3, but simply copied over PDF Browser Plugin.plugin [/Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins] and StuffItCM.plugin [/Library/Contextual\ Menu\ Items] from the archived copy. Logout and login again (or relaunch the Finder) and you've restored their functionnality.

10:21 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 07, 2003

Proxy scripting

Paul Bissex (e-scribe.com) has developed a nifty bit a code that acts as a proxy script from any browser:lazysearch.php.

Use Safari for keyword searching or to view html manual pages. Search airport codes, or weather conditions all from the location box of your favourite browser (Lynx included).

You need to have your Apache server up and running, and fiddle a bit with its configuration file, as well as with NetInfo. But all that is taken care of in the installation instructions. If you know where to look, it'll take you 90 seconds to be up and running.

The commands look like http://s/foo search for "foo" (search default is Google) or http://s/X/foo search of type X for "foo".

Among the accessible databases, you'll find Amazon, eBay, IMDB, PHP, SourceForge, or VersionTracker. Other functions include calendar, locate, man, top, etc. A complete list is provided with http://s/help/ [screenshots].

You're going to love this one.

PS: Paul help develop the interesting weblog on "Migrating to Mac OS X": Forwarding Address: OS X.

10:41 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2003

Disable your touch-sensitive switch

My 17" Apple Studio Monitor has started to play up recently. The Display switch suddenly lights up, and the System Preference Panel pops up out of nowhere to the front of screen. Most annoying. I suspected an USB problem, but it seems it is linked to a harware problem that occured in the first generation of 17" (and Cubes) that where produced. The switch and cell need to be changed all together.
:(

Roaming around MacOSXHints I found the tip I was looking for. Back in Mac OS 9, you could disable the switch through the Control Panel. I thought that feature had disappeared in Mac OS X. Wrong. It is only hidden.

Hold the shift and command keys while opening the Display panel, or pressing on the front button, and a hidden tab will appear with a checkbox to disable the switches.

10:43 AM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2003

Send SMS messages from iChatAV

This MacOSXHint explains how to send SMS messages to mobile phones from the latest version of iChat AV:

&quote; To utilize this cool feature in iChat, simply type Shift-Command-N for a "New Chat with Person," and enter the phone number in the above [+16175551212] format. When you send the message, you'll receive confirmation from AOL that it was sent. &quote;

Update: only works in the USA :(

01:50 PM in FYI, Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2003

Virex eUpdate .. outdated

Have you noticed that Virex's eUpdate function reports the May 12, 2003 definitions are the latest available ? Accordingly, that the one you find on .Mac in the Virex section. But since those are over a month old, Virex keeps notifying you that they might be out-of-date ..
:(

Check MacAfee or VersionTracker, and you'll notice that the latest version was released on June 1, 2003 (hum).

So what's up with .Mac ? After all, isn't it for not having to worry about matters like theses that we pay a subscription ? (thumb down Apple). A workaround is to configure Virex to download the definition updates from MacAfee instead of .Mac. I found the following solution on .Mac's Virex discussion board.

&quote;
  • Launch Virex.
  • Under "Virex 7.2" menu, select "Preferences..."
  • Toward the bottom, under "Virus Updates," click-on the checkbox "Customize my eUpdate server settings"
  • Immediately below this and to the right, click the "Server Settings" button which just turned from gray to black.
  • A new window named "eUpdate Server Settings" appears.
  • For the pop-up menu named "Type" select: FTP
  • Fill in the remaining text boxes as follows:
    Server URL: ftp.nai.com
    Port: leave blank
    Username: anonymous
    Password: leave blank
    Account: leave blank
    Directory: /virusdefs/mac/virex7/
  • Click OK to enter these settings and close the "eUpdate Server Settings" window.
  • You return to the Preferences window where you must Click Ok again.
&quote;

09:54 PM in Frustration, Tip | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

March 11, 2003

Lithium-based battery usage

This might interest PowerBook / iBook / cell phone users. According to a paper on batteryuniversity.com,

&quote; [..] a lithium-ion battery provides 300 to 500 discharge/charge cycles. The battery prefers a partial rather than a full discharge. Frequent full discharges should be avoided when possible. Instead, charge the battery more often or use a larger battery. &quote;
Lithium-based batteries have a lifetime of two to three years, and the speed at which the they age is function of temperature and state-of-charge.
&quote; If possible, store the battery in a cool place at about a 40% state-of-charge. This reserve charge is needed to keep the battery and its protection circuit operational during prolonged storage. The most harmful combination is full charge at high temperature. &quote;
The bottom line is to avoid full discharges, recharge more often. Keep the Lithium-ion battery cool but do not freeze. Avoid a hot car.

2003-03-15 update: MacOSXHint has a very interesting article on how to give your PB battery a checkup
2003-03-24 update: Batteries in a portable world, another interesting article

03:46 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 12, 2003

Editable Share {i}Calendar

How about a shared calendar that iCal can subscribe to, and all users whatever their operating system can add items to from a Web interface ?

Sounds groovy, no ? Okay, iCal can only view it, but it can come in handy.

The actual calendar is stored in a MySQL database, and the actual iCal is dynamically generated on the fly. This solution requires access to a web server, PHP and MySQL.

Check out Joel Rennich's article on afp548 for full instruction details. I'll let you know later how I got on..

10:50 AM in Code, Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2003

Browse all your PDFs in Safari

Here's a good tip found on MacOSXhints.com: How to browse local PDFs with Safari.

Drag a PDF over Safari, or open one from the File menu, and it opens instanly ..
:)

01:23 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2003

Safari's default FTP

Safari uses the Finder as default FTP client. A cool feature.

Thanks enrique

11:48 AM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 03, 2003

Encrypt your mailto:

You're going to love this. Hiveware have just come out with Enkoder, a free Mac OS X app to encrypt your mailto: tag and wrap it up in JavaScript to prevent robots from harvesting it..

[quote]

Instead of merely breaking up and printing out a standard mailto: tag, The Enkoder generates a unique and random key and ties that to an ecrypted array containing your address for even better protection.

[/quote]

A web form version and command-line versions for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X are also available.

09:23 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2003

Toggle HTML graphics on/off in Mail.app

HTML formatted e-mail may be pleasing to the eye, but they are one of the spammer's main tool to help them validate your e-mail address. Two recent Apple KnowledgeBase articles explain what the risks are and how to toggle the graphics on and off.
A previous Checkbox article (March 2000, in French) explains in detail how you can loose your anonymity simply by reading your e-mail.

A recent MacMegaSite tip provides you with an AppleScript to automate the operation:
tell application "Mail"

	set showgfx to not (download html attachments)

	set download html attachments to showgfx

	if showgfx is true then

		say "Graphics on"

	else

		say "Graphics off"

	end if

end tell

10:39 AM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2003

Add your vCard to your Mail.app sig

From MacOSXHints.com:

[quote] I don't know if this has been submitted before, but I just noticed that you can attach your vCard from Address Book to your signature in Mail.

Open Mail -> Preferences -> Signatures and select Add Signature, then open Address Book and drag your vCard to the open signature window. Add whatever other text you want and hit OK to save it. This is a great feature that I wish I'd noticed before.
[/quote]

09:11 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 20, 2003

Burn multi-session CDs from the Finder

This AppleCare Knowledge Base article might be useful for those of you that don't own Roxio Toast or a similar application that enables you to burn several sessions on the same CD.

Up until now, CDs burnt in the Finder were single session, meaning you could only burn a CD once.

From the original article:

The Disk Copy utility in Mac OS X 10.2 or later allows you to burn to the same disc two or more times until it is full. This is known as creating a multi-session CD.

To create a multi-session CD, use the Disk Copy utility to create a disk image file from which the CD is burned. Follow these steps:

  1. Drag the item or items you wish to burn into a folder.
  2. Open Disk Copy (/Applications/Utilities/).
  3. Drag the folder onto the Disk Copy window. The Image Folder dialog appears.
  4. Choose a location for the image file using the Where pop-up menu. For simplicity, you may choose Desktop.
  5. Click Save. Wait for the image to be finished.
  6. Choose Burn Disc from the File menu.
  7. In the navigation dialog that appears, select the image you just created, then click Burn. If you have not already inserted a blank disc, you will be prompted to do so now.
  8. In the Burn Disc window, click the disclosure triangle.
  9. Select the checkbox for "Allow additional burns".

A disc burned with this setting will remain open to subsequent multi-session burns.

Additional burns on same disc
When performing additional burns on the multi-session disc, simply repeat Steps 1 to 7. The "Allow additional burns" setting selected in Steps 8 and 9 should automatically be retained for that disc on subsequent burns. Each new burn session on the disc will appear in the Finder as a separate disk, and it will have the name of the disk image file from which you burned it.

May sound a little complicated for some, but it works ..

04:52 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 11, 2003

How to get iSync to work (part 1)

Okay, I know .. I'm a real geek .. but I was itching to try this combination for a while now.. and as Apple isn't supporting other phones (yet) I switched to a T68i. (Why did Nokia give up local SyncML on their 6xxx serie anyway!?!)

isync.jpg

Firstly, I worked on my Address Book. Made it into my primary contact source by importing all the records from Palm Desktop. Needless to say that it took a fair amount of time to clean the Address Book up, remove old entries, amend and complete current ones etc.

Note: that's where Chimera's tab browsing is a life saver: I had the Swiss white pages in one tab, the yellow ones in another, as well as the French and English Directories in their own. All of them in own single window! Come one Safari .. get your tabs ..

Secondly, I selected all the contacts I wanted to upload to the phone by adding them to a group called "Cell", and then loaded them all into the phone via iSync with success - first go. Okay, the Address Book got all messed up because I forgot to "Reset all Devices" before the sync, but I had a backup handy, and the previous state was easily restored.

I've got an operational phone now. Next I'll be attempting to sync the Palm, phone and Mac. I'll keep you posted.

02:46 PM in Tip | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack