Mac OS X Reminders

For future reference:

To view a folder of jpegs, select a photo within Finder and hit the space bar. Use the arrow keys to navigate up and down thru the folder.

Or select the files you would like to view, and right-click Open. Preview displays the photos. Use the arrow keys to navigate from one file to the next.

Type Alt + 3 to get the hash symbol #.

Opening .MHT Files on a Mac

Executive summary:
Best tool to open .mht files on a Mac is Opera for Mac.

I regret deleting Windows Vista.

Last week I was sent a .mht file. And now I’m searching the Internet for a solution how to open this proprietary Microsoft file (my perception, but according to Wikipedia it is actually a proposed standard).

MS Word 2004 for Mac said something like this “is not a valid archive”.

I found this forum entry at Mac OS Hints.

The GraphicConverter way didn’t work for me. Only a small graphic file displayed. The rest of the content did not display. BTW, I’m not too fussed about GraphicConverter anyway. Maybe you use GC, if you only want to extract the images…

Convert & Modify

I’d recommend the Stuff It Expander way:

  1. Get the free version of Stuff It Expander and install it.
  2. Drag and drop the .mht file to the Stuff It Expander. Stuff It will create a folder with the same name as your file. Within this folder, there’ll be several files with the endings 00, 01, 02, etc. The first of these files is usually the .html file, while the following are image files.
  3. Add the ending .html to the file labeled 00 and open with your standard browser… é voilà . Funziona.

phpinfo().mht Folder

Another (probably simpler) way is to get File Juicer.

The easiest way to read .mht files is to install Opera on your Mac. Open the file to see the contents directly. No further renaming or converting required.

Opera browser: Home page

Executive summary:
Best Tool = Opera for Mac

Useful Mac Tool: Skitch

It’s been one year and one month since I moved to Mac. And in line with the underlying concept of this post, I’d like to recommend a Mac OS tool which I find very useful:


If you have a look at my Flickr stream, I tend to post a number of screenshots to collect ideas and illustrate blog posts. Skitch is great for this.

I found that Skitch is more intuitive than Apple’s Grab. By default Grab creates TIFFs, which I find more cumbersome to handle and an overkill for quick notes.

I like the Skitch annotation features (text, arrows, circles, squares). This helps to interact with external contractors much faster. And I can easily send the screenshot via Apple Mail.

I post to my Flickr account directamente without a detour to Flickr Uploader. And Skitch keeps a history of recent photos and screenshots, which I can easily drag to a desktop app like Powerpoint.

A productivity tool to consider!


Today’s attempt to use the USB modem GlobeTrotter Connect with my MacBook failed. I had the right PIN and the right software. But couldn’t connect.
The preferences revealed a dialog box with input fields for an APN, a username and a password. I checked the help. There was no explanation what APN stands for… and whether it’s required or not.
And I was offline so i couldn’t search either.


APN stands for Access Point Name.

The user manual can be downloaded here.

But I don’t know if that’s the missing puzzle piece I need to connect. Or if it’s optional.

Weekend Thoughts

I just installed GIMPshop on my (no longer new) MacBook. And the interface looks a lot simpler.

And I received a Skitch invite. I don’t like the pink heart icon much. Kitsch.
But I somehow managed to get past that and watch the introductory video (!). The features look very useful. It offers a direct upload to Flickr. Looks like a good tool for quick screenshots. OS X’s Grab only offers TIFF, which isn’t recognized by the Flickr Uploadr for some reason or other. And which means opening GIMP or GraphicConverter or Preview. 20 clicks more.

BTW, I’m sitting in a train to northern Germany and there are quite a number of free seats for a Friday evening… (and a power plug right next to me: hope it works). I guess, the strike warnings caused a lot of people to reschedule.

(Insert pause to take a snapshot of setting sun near Karlsruhe, will be uploaded when I find adequate WiFi access)

Quite a few regional trains have been cancelled. The official reason given via the pa is “wegen Notfall” (Translation: cos of an emergency).
Why not say strike? Emergency sounds like accident or natural catastrophe (can’t spell, too much German on my brain).

Wondering out loud:
Would the new PR approach be more direct and advise the German railway company to use the word “strike” or would it find a roundabout way to describe the situation?

(I forgot to take “The New PR” book with me.)

(I like the size of my 13″ MacBook. Just right for travelling.)

Anyway, “the new PR” book has got me thinking a lot more about buyer personas.

Who am I writing my marketing collateral, company blog posts, and technology announcements for? What kind of things are they interested in? How does a buyer persona search for a new service provider? Keeping your target audience in mind while writing is nothing new. Buyer personas, though, are on a more detailled level, describing a character and a typical work/leisure setting.

And it also reminded me of Bogo’s talk at the STC Transalpine conf in Zurich last April. He stressed the importance of agreeing on personas to develop adequate tech. documentation and user interfaces.

I signed up for a couple of days ago. It offers a service to upload, sell and print artwork via the web all-in-one. Payment is transferred by Paypal or cheque. There’s a minimum price for the printing and production costs. And you as the seller of the artwork can decide on the markup (i.e. your gain/income/profit). I stumbled across this service via Ozczecho’s Flickr profile. My first impression of is very positive and IMHO this could develop into a viable Flickr and Etsy alternative.

Still on my list of fun to dos:
Buy a DSLR
Set up an Ubuntu laptop
Learn more Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts (zoom in and out with command + option and ^ or ‘)
Install WordPress 2.3
Try out Pixelmator
Write a book (LOL)
Go on vacation

Disclaimer: at times is my personal online thinktank and my half-geek playground.


Scrolling Ad Infinitum:

I discovered a new Flickr tool called Flickriver…
It loads all images into one long html page, i.e. you simply scroll down to view all pictures for a tag or group:

My contacts

My faves

Malawi group

Canon ImageBrowser to FlickrUploadr:

BTW, I’ve found a shortcut how to add photos from Canon ImageBrowser to Flickr Uploadr. In the ImageBrowser, open Preferences and add Flickr Uploadr to the list of external editing applications. Once you’ve added it, you can send images to Flickr Uploadr while in preview mode using Edit > Edit with Registered Application > Flickr Uploadr.

Alternative to Satellite:

I stumbled across lumis Gallery. The concept is similar to Satellite, i.e. you can host photos on Flickr and reload them on your own server within your own layout. It seems to have more features…. It requires PHP 5 and a Flickr account.

Today’s personal faves:

helmet required


bridge detail

schoggi-kuchen mit lychee glace

MAMP or pre-installed Apache

For local WordPress fun, I might install this package:

Although Apache is already available.

The pre-installed Apache can be accessed like this:

  • Go to System Preferences > Internet and Network > Sharing
  • Select Personal Web Sharing or click Start.
  • Copy & paste the URL listed in the lower part of the dialog box into a browser. The corresponding HTML and image files are located in Sites.

Installing Tomcat on a MacBook

Today I installed Tomcat on my MacBook. In order to run a website with Java servlets locally.

Here are my non-developer notes, for my own future reference.

To check if Java is installed, open Terminal and type:
javac -version

In a previous session, I had already installed the Apple developer tools, which includes JDK 1.5.

Note: you’ll need to list the location where Java can be found:
export JAVA_HOME=/usr

Download and unpack the Tomcat zip files to a directory.
Open conf/tomcat-users.xml and change the user and password settings.

Go to your Tomcat directory and type ./bin/

Open a browser and type http://localhost:8080 to see a Tomcat welcome screen.

In the final step, I modified conf/server.xml. Luckily I had my Windows setup to refer back to, or I would have been really lost at this stage…


GIMP and GraphicConverter and more

The newness of my MacBook is decreasing rapidly. I’ve installed GIMP (works nice and zippy), GraphicConverter (useful for quick resizing of images), TextWrangler (an editor), MS Office 2004 (although I’m considering to install NeoOffice and use MS Office via Parallels only).

I had a look at the websites of Scribus and Inkscape, but I think I’ll wait before installing them.

I’ve installed the Subversion command line client and a little plugin (aargh, can’t remember the name) that allows you to upload and commit files from the finder. I didn’t like SvnX much.

I like the size of my MacBook. Much easier to lug around. Quicksilver is very useful.

(update) The SVN plugin is called SCPlugin.

CVS and CVL and others

Here are some quick notes on installing a CVS client on my MacBook (for my own future reference):

  1. Install CVS, if you haven’t done so already. It’s part of the Apple developer tools on Mac OS X Install Disc 1 called XcodeTools. To test if it’s installed, open Terminal and type cvs to get a typical Unix app welcome screen.
  2. Install a GUI for CVS. I’m trying out CVL which is available for download here.
  3. Select Tools > Repositories. Click New… and add your CVS repository details.
  4. Click Modules to see all CVS modules available to you.
  5. Click Checkout… to get a local copy of the CVS files.

ਠvoila. A console window shows the files being checked out to your hard disk. Work Area shows you an overview of the new or modified files.

First impression: It’s more like WinCVS and less like TortoiseCVS.

Disclaimer: I’m a low and humble content developer and use CVS and Subversion for versioning at my day job. If I get something very wrong or if you have useful tips, please leave a comment. I’m moving from Windows to Mac and documenting my experience.

Regarding version control:
I used an older version of Visual Sourcesafe a couple of years ago and IMHO, CVS and Subversion are easier to use once you’ve got past the install hurdle. Subversion’s next on my install list.

SSH is pre-installed on the Mac: Open Terminal and type ssh followed by your username@hostname.

As you can see I’m having a lot of fun.

Mon Mac à  moi

My new MacBook arrived last Monday. And I’ve started installing software and exploring. Slowly. A new laptop is like getting a new exercise book at school. An empty book equals an empty hard disk. And a new operating system is a new learning experience.

Software installed so far:

  • Firefox and Thunderbird
  • The latest version of Safari
  • Quicksilver – looks like a really powerful tool. There’s a whole series of articles at Lifehacker.
  • Cyberduck
  • Parallels and MS Office 2000 for Windows
  • Skype
  • Canon digicam software – ImageBrowser, EOS Utility, CameraWindow
  • Flickr Uploadr – I’m missing some kind of integration into a file viewer and the possibility to rotate imgs before uploading them. Any tips regarding a photo viewer with integrated Flickr upload functionality? Would be cool if I could use Flickr upload functions in an image browser. What are you using?

And here’s the list that I’ll still need to add:

  • Subversion and CVS tools
  • GraphicConverter (by Lemke Software)
  • MAMP or XAMP for Mac (see also this thread at
  • Tomcat
  • GIMP
  • TextWrangler
  • TextMate (maybe)
  • NeoOffice (maybe)

I found some useful articles at Tao of Mac, which I’d like to share:

BTW, I’m planning to set up an Ubuntu laptop soon… on a separate machine.

Photo credit