Archive for October, 2009

Caffeine menu bar add-in

October 21, 2009 Comments off

CaffeineAvailable from Lighthead Software, Caffeine is a small utility to prevent a Mac’s display from dimming, going to sleep or activating the screensaver – essential when a machine is being used to give a presentation or watch a DVD. Simply click on the coffee cup icon to activate Caffeine until finished or ctrl+click on it to bring up the application menu and activate it for a specified amount of time; when finished simply click on the icon again.

A couple of things to bear in mind are the power and security implications whilst the utility is being used.

Caffeine is freeware.

Categories: Mac OS X, Reviews >, Software, Tools

Network related menu bar add-ons

October 21, 2009 Comments off

Continuing in a similar vein to Macuser’s recent feature on Menu bar add-ons, two network specific apps in this category which may be of interest are IP in menu bar by MonkeyBread Software and John Schilling’s BwanaDik.

Both can report the local area network or/and wide area network/router IP addresses in use, however, whilst IP in menu bar displays one or the other actually on the menu bar, BwanaDik lists both when its icon is clicked upon; Both approaches have their advantages – in the case of IP in Menu bar the immediate access to this information was the primary reason for its selection at work to simplify the remote assistance of end-users whilst one of the design criteria listed by the author for Bwanadik was for it to be simple, small.

From a monitoring/troubleshooting point of view however BwanaDik has the edge as notification of any connectivty problems is more timely and is also augmented by the use of the icon’s colour coded status.

IP in menu bar is donationware, BwanaDik is freeware.

Categories: Mac OS X, Reviews >, Software, Tools

Teleport – Share a single keyboard and mouse across multiple Macs

October 20, 2009 Comments off


As featured in MacUser’s “Menu bar add-ons” article (25th September), Teleport – available from allows you to control multiple Macs from one keyboard and mouse over a local network connection.

Snow Leopard and Leopard compatible (with an older version available for PPC systems), simply install Teleport on each machine you wish to control, complete the straightforward configuration and then confirm access for/by each machine and you’re all set.

Teleport is donationware so there’s no set fee but compared to the cost of a physical KVM switch its a bargain.

Categories: Mac OS X, Reviews >, Software, Tools

Migration to MailChimp – Part 2

October 18, 2009 Comments off

Following the distribution of the second MailChimp based edition of the Apple Bites e-mail newsletter, the real benefits of the platform come into the foreground – reporting!

As well as confirming a number of basic but essential statistics e.g.number of recipients who opened the e-mail, bouncebacks if any it also provides statistics on what links people clicked on, reader’s geographical location etc. allowing for targeting of content. As well as scheduling functionality, campaigns can also be promoted by integration of MailChimp with twitter.

Categories: Opinion, Tools

Microsoft Security Essentials – Updated

October 17, 2009 Comments off

Just downloaded the above and applied it to a Windows 7 install under VMWare; small footprint, simple interface and did I mention its free?

Yes, it is limited to purely malware detection and removal but for home users who do not currently have a solution in place or one that is for one reason or another not being kept up to date, worth considering.

For another opinion check out PC PRO’s Darien Graham Smith’s – Can Microsoft Security Essentials beat Norton?

UPDATE: Microsoft Malware Protection Centre’s results for the first week of Security Essentials being available.

Safari Books Online Release 6.0 – Updated

October 15, 2009 Comments off

Having just viewed the related webcast it looks like an invaluable tool is going to get better with several welcome navigational improvements, the inclusion of subscriber ratings (in addition to the existing provided) as well as the ability to share content within a Safari Bookshelf online company account.

UPDATE: Site now upgraded to version 6.0.

Categories: Tools

Migration to MailChimp – Part 1

October 14, 2009 Comments off

As I have some time on my hands at the moment and after some previous consideration, I’ve taken the opportunity to finally migrate the Apple related e-mail newsletter I produce (Apple Bites) from a traditional production approach to that based around MailChimp’s e-mail marketing platform.

After a relatively short amount of time I’ve managed to replicate the existing layout of the newsletter (refined on an ongoing basis) across to MailChimp’s Campaign Builder and submitted the first “campaign”/edition.

Amongst its clients MailChimp counts companies such as Business Week, Intel, Mozilla and Mercedes Benz as well as a number of non-profit organisations and even in this short period of time I can say I’m very pleased with the results.

Total cost incurred – aside from the intial set-up time, nothing.

The only concession really being, as I’m currently using one of MailChimp’s free accounts having to include of one of their logos in each e-mail sent (which can be removed by upgrading for a small fee).

Categories: Opinion, Tools