Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My most used Mac applications

Below are my most used Application List in Mac:

1. jEdit

Actually I have tried many editors, including Textmate, TextWrangler, BBedit, Smultron. But I settled with jEdit for its powerful plugins, including sftp support (which is a must for me), customizable and extensive syntax highlighting support and customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Another big reason is its multi-platform support. It's a very painful experience to use another editor whenever you need to change OS environment. As jEdit is in Java, it can be run in Windows, Mac and Linux.

2. iTerm

A great alternative to Terminal. As compared with Terminal, it has multiple tabs, and fast shortcut to bookmarks. Previously versions of iTerm has problem of screen refresh slow down when a session is opened for a long time. Recent versions has fixed this and quickly become my favorite app. (Well, note that starting from Leopard, Terminal will also have tabs. Wow!)

3. muCommander

A great sftp/ftp application. Another cross-platform application. Beside sftp and ftp, it also support SMB and http. One of its killer feature is, you can perform file transfer across different servers directly, no special requirements on the remote servers! (as opposed to some ftp programs in Windows in order to achieve this). Though you can only have 2 columns opened for 2 servers in one window, you can create more windows of this app and connect to more servers. Files can be drag and drop across diff. windows (and hence different servers!). Another feature I like is its keyboard oriented navigation, which allows me not to touch the mouse at all.

4. VLC

A great media player which support huge list of video formats. It can be a great alternative as a music player also. One thing I don't like iTunes is that it force you to add the music files to its library before they can be played. But not every music file (mp3 etc) you would eager to add to the library. For this case, I willl drag the files to VLC.

5. CotVNC (Chicken of VNC)

Best VNC client in Mac. It even supports Bonjour to discover VNC servers in LAN. Together with ssh tunnelling (using ssh command), I can perform VNC connection to many remote PC/Mac behind firewalls. Oh, for Mac VNC server, you can try Vine Server (Vine)

6. Parallels

I don't think I need to tell you what it is. Actually I think it is a killer application for Mac, which drives many people to use Mac hardwares. Being a programmer, Parallels allow me to run a Ubuntu server inside Mac, not to mention to use IE7 for testing web page layouts.

7. Skype

For video conferencing, I think the quality (especially voice) is even better than iChat.

8. Thunderbird

Add-ons support and more fine-tuned settings is why I keep using Thunderbird instead of Apple Mail. Besides, it's also a good RSS Reader and newsgroup reader too.

9. NeoOffice

You can also try OpenOffice. But NeoOffice offers a much better Mac user experience.

10. QuckSilver

Hands down the killer app. for Mac. Apple Spotlight even not comes close. You won't believe you can do so many things with your keyboard.

11. Journler

If you look for well categorized notes application, this is it. But it can do much more than that. It has Smart Folder, tags, super fast keyword search, blog support, iLife support, embbeded browser..... If you know how to sync its data files to multiple Macs, then your essential information/notes/ideas is always with you.

12. Camino, Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Flock

You may not believe me. But I do use All of them. Each serves its own purpose, and has its own strength for different purposes. Camino is a fast, mac oriented UI and mozilla rending engine browser. Firefox provides huge of addons, and hands down the best browser. Netscape (only v9 or later!) provides a fine-tuned firefox experience, it feels a little bit faster (at least for start-up) and add some good tools by default. Opera is the fastest browser, plus you can use it for BT too. Flock provides great integration with Flickr (and other photo services) , blogs, bookmarks services. It's also mozilla based too.

You should try every of them to see which one suits your needs most.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My brand new iMac 20" arrived

DG Group told me Apple unfortunately has delayed once again my iMac 24". As I really don't know when will the "true" shipment will be, I finally decided to switch back to 20" iMac. So here I go, I am using it right now. :)

I saw from Apple forum that many users don't like the glassy display, and the display has a typical problem of being too bright on the bottom while too dim on the top. Well, in my eyes, it's acceptable to me. Just not so sure how to correctly calibrate the display yet.

This iMac just took about 1.5 hour to transfer about 80G files from my Macbook. So far so good.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Haha photo blog again

This is tc station

Mac + Parallel + Ubuntu + wm6 net access

My major web development platform is Kubuntu, which I installed inside Parallels. Since I want to freely test the web application in any of my machines, I choose bridged networking (both macbook and Kubuntu are set to using static IP addresses). On the other hand, my Macbook can access the net through shared networking of my U1000, which provides the HSDPA connectivity to it. I have two problems to solve for the above setup:

1. When I am on the go, since my ethernet is unplugged, my Macbook cannot ssh to my Kubuntu.

2. And of course, my Kubuntu can't access the net, even my Macbook is connected with my U1000.

Recently, I have found a solution. But before this, I need to say something about my home networking configuration first. I have Linux server at home, acting as NAT gateway for all the machines inside my house. The Linux server has 2 ethernet cards, one connected with modem from ISP, the other connected to internal LAN. I don't have DHCP server setup, as I want to have more control on IP on each machine. Say my network is, my Linux server is having IP So every machine in my LAN is setting as gateway and DNS server. This includes the setting for my Macbook and the Kubuntu VM.

You may wonder why I need to setup my home networking this way instead of all set to DHCP. The major reason is this setup is exactly the same as in my working area. So my Macbook (or whatever mobile devices that I brought between my working area and home) doesn't need to change anything for joining the network of two places. Another reason is I usually like to remote access any other machine from another machine at home (mostly due to my physical laziness). So I don't want my home computers to change IP time to time.

Anyway, Below is my solution on the go:

1. During on the go, change the Kubuntu networking inside Parallels from "bridge networking" to "host guest".

2. In Macbook -> Preference -> Network, Create a new location profile, say "OnTheGo". In this profile, edit the "Parallels Host-Guest" device to have the IP address of the gateway address being used by Kubuntu. (In my case, it is

3. In Macbook -> Preference -> Sharing -> Internet, set

Share your connection from "Bluetooth PAN" to ethernet Adaptor (en?) of "Parallels host-guest"adapter.

After the above is set, you should already be able to perform any networking operations from Macbook to the Kubuntu. After you have connected the Macbook with wm6 through BT PAN, the Kubuntu will be able to access the net also.

When I am back to home, I just need to change the Location setting back to default (or whatever used at home), and Parallels setting back to "bridge networking". This way, the "Parallels host-guest" adapter's IP address won't get conflict with my Linux server.

Testing mail posting!

Can you see this?

I am waiting for my iMac 24" :)

Well, many guys don't like the new glassy screen, but I like it, just as I like my prev. VAIO glassy LCD.

My iMac spec.:
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB memory
  • 500GB hard drive1
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
I never have a LCD as large as 24". Will this make my programming faster? :P