Feb 26, 2008

FTP client, and how to find Mac software

I need to FTP some files and I was wondering if you had a recommendation for a cheap program to use on the Mac (or maybe there is something already on here?).  I used to use Cute FTP, but the version I have is for Windows.

Pardon a longer response, but there's some more general info below that may help in your mastery of the Mac:

Whenever I need software for the Mac, I go straight to Versiontracker or Macupdate, and search for the thing I need, in this case "FTP." Then I sort the results by "Product Rating." The user reviews are so helpful. Then I might sort by "License" to see if any of it's freeware, or at least cheap.

Even though I had a recommendation for you already, I just tried that search at Versiontracker, and found I needed to narrow it down a little further to "ftp client." (In software terms, "client" is one side of a "client/server" relationship, where a server provides services, such as FTP, web, email, what-have-you, to clients. The terms could refer to the application itself or to the computer it's running on. Examples: "We have a file server in our office." or "The FTP server software needs to be updated.")

You'll see that only four of the top 10 packages fit the bill precisely by having "FTP" and "client" in their description and are "freeware" or "shareware," and only Cyberduck is free. (Plus, its icon is a frickin' cute rubber duck, and you just want to squeeze it. One of my other oft-used Mac apps is a chicken. Y'know, you can't call many Windows programs adorable.)

I also found that Yummy FTP got good reviews, and I also know Transmit is very very popular. You'll see both of those list "advanced features," which you may not need, but if for whatever reason you find Cyberduck lacking, you may find those features, or just their interface or organization, worth the $25 or $30, respectively.

So, all you have to do is click on the link to one of those programs, and click "Download Now" over on the right. Your web browser will download and extract the installer. (Since you're in Leopard, you'll find the file in your Downloads folder, which is in your home folder and shortcutted in the Dock.) You want to make sure you install the app properly, which may mean just dragging its icon to the Applications folder, or double-clicking an instaler. After that you can throw out the installer file if there's one left in Downloads.

Feb 21, 2008

Type alphabetically to search Mail.app messages

By accident, I started typing when I was in the message list, and it
went to the nearest best guess. So if I wanted to find "Rodney" I can
type R O D. Sweet!

Feb 13, 2008

Why I hate syncing

Here are a couple of screenshots from iCal. In each case, one event on
one calendar got duplicated a gazillion times between four different

It happened a couple of different times. one time I fixed it by doing a search for the title, selecting all results and deleting; the second time I just deleted the offending calendars, which got spuriously created by the syncing process anyway — between iCal, Entourage, Plaxo, .Mac, a Treo, an iPhone, and maybe some other devices or services. Having this mass of baloney records in a database just makes syncing go slower and worse over the course of months.

I hope somebody (everybody) fixes this soon. There should be warnings or alerts or errors or something when potential duplication is going to happen.

Feb 12, 2008

Leopard finally updated to 10.5.2

As I mentioned in my last newsletter, since 10.5.1, Leopard has been fairly stable. But a couple of computers I manage, especially servers, have run into some pretty dire problems with Leopard.

So I've been waiting for this with baited breath:

Leopard finally updated to 10.5.2

Basic info here, and there's a complete list of fixes here. But what I really want you to know is that, as with any major OS X update, you should download the combo update, rather than letter Software Update do the work for you. I promise, it does a much more thorough job, and keeps your Mac happy.

The 10.5.2 Combo Update can be found here. And the one for OS X Server, here. Just click the blue-underlined file size over on the right.

Macfixit.com, the go-to site for Mac troubleshooting, hasn't released any reports about 10.5.2. Please let me know if you have questions about the update.