August 02, 2008

Using OmniDazzle with Apple's Keynote Presentation Software on the Mac

Q: How can I use the Omni Group's OmniDazzle screen effects program in conjunction with playing Apple Keynote presentations?

A: By default, Keynote doesn't play well with other applications, as it intercepts all the keyboard commands. You can, however, convince it to play nicely very easily.

It is very easy to get Keynote to play nicely with other applications. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Open the Keynote preferences. This is in the program menu (or Apple/Cmd ,).

  2. Go to the "Slideshow" tab.

  3. Ensure that "Allow Exposé, Dashboard and others to use screen" is enabled with a checkmark beside it.

That's it! Now you can use OmniDazzle in your Keynote presentations.

Posted by Eingang at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 12, 2006

Using a Clié TH-55 with Palm Desktop on the Mac

Q: Sony does not officially support the Clié PEG TH-55 for the Mac which means no software out of the box for it. I know Palm Desktop for the Mac does synchronize with some Cliés. Is there anyway to get it to work with the TH-55 or do I need to use The Missing Sync?

A: With some careful work with a text editor, it is possible to convince Palm Desktop to synchronize with a Sony Clié PEG TH-55. Read on to discover how and why you might want to consider investing in the Missing Sync anyway.

Your PEG TH-55 doesn't work out of the box with the Palm Desktop because the model didn't exist the last time the Palm Desktop software was updated. As Palm has stated its intentions to not continue supporting the Palm Desktop, my recommendation is to switch to using MarkSpace's Missing Sync as it is supported and adds functionality not present in the original Palm Desktop synching mechanism, including synching profiles, Bluetooth and WiFi synching, and multimedia support for photos.

If you can't use the Missing Sync and still want to use Palm Desktop with its HotSync Manager, you'll need to get down and dirty with some of the configuration files for the Palm Desktop. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Locate the Palm Desktop folder.

  2. Make a backup of the HotSync Manager file in that folder by using the Finder's Cmd-D to duplicate the file. Store this backup in a safe place.

  3. Right-click on the HotSync Manager file and choose show package contents.

  4. Open the Contents folder and then open the Plug-Ins folder.

  5. Once in the Plug-Ins folder, show package contents of the USBNotifier file, then open Contents.

  6. Open Info.plst in a text editor. You can use TextEdit, BBEdit, or any other text editor that can save plain text files. I don't recommend Microsoft Word. TextEdit came with your Mac and is in your Applications folder.

  7. Go to the bottom of the Info.plist file and look for the last "dict" entry. A "dict" entry looks something like this:

    <dict> <key>USBVendor</key> <string>1356</string> <key>USBProduct</key> <string>218</string> </dict>

    Copy the last dict entry block and paste it above the "</array>" line close to the bottom of the file.

  8. In your copied block, change the USBVendor ID to 1356. Then, change the USBProduct ID to 324.

  9. Go through the same editing steps with the Transport Manager, including making a backup first! It's also in the same folder as your Palm Desktop HotSync Manager.

  10. Go through the same editing steps with the file USB, which you'll find in /Library/Application Support/Palm HotSync/Transports.

  11. Restart your Mac and then try to sync. With luck, you should be good to go.

    Basically, what all this editing does, is add the unique device information to the HotSync Manager (which does the synching) and the system which monitors the USB ports for known PDAs.

    If you ever update Palm Desktop or reinstall it, you'll need to go through the same sequence. It's tedious. I still recommend a href="" class="extlink">MarkSpace's Missing Sync. It's a lot easier and you can still use the Palm Desktop's calendaring application on your Mac.

    Posted by Eingang at 04:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Using Apple's iWeb to publish somewhere other than to .Mac

Q: I'm using Apple's iWeb from iLife '06 to create web pages. Can I publish the web pages to my own web site or must I publish to .Mac?

A: Yes. You can use iWeb to publish your content to a folder and then transfer the content to your own web site using regular file transfer mechanisms.

Apple is definitely pushing the simple one-button publish mechanism of iWeb integrated with their .Mac hosting/e-mail service. However, according an Apple iWeb Technical Support article, it is possible to have the content placed into a folder on your local computer. To do that, the article suggests the following:

  1. Choose File > Publish to a Folder.
  2. Choose a location to store your site, and then click Choose.

They also warn that doing so means you can't have password protection, the hit counter, or a slideshow with viewing controls. Depending on your web host, however, you may be able to add these things manually yourself.

Once you get the content into a local folder, you can upload it to your web host using the same mechanism you normally would. For most people, this is either via FTP or SFTP, although some people may use WebDAV (like for iDisks, for example).

The following programs allow you to use either FTP/SFTP to upload files to a remote host:

For any SFTP/FTP transfer, you will need know the following things from your web host:

  • Your user name and password to login;
  • Whether you should use FTP/SFTP, WebDAV, SCP, or something else;
  • The address (URI) you should use for connecting to your web host to do file transfers;
  • The starting directory where you should upload your content. For many web hosts, this is "web", "home", "html" or something similar. Everything under "web" is accessable to the web.


  • The folder you choose to create your iWeb site shouldn't itself be uploaded, just the stuff inside it.

  • Most web sites use index.html or index.htm as the default starting point for a web site, but not all do. If that doesn't work, try renaming the index.html page to index.htm, default.htm, or default.html, or ask your web host what the default starting page is.

Posted by Eingang at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2004

Party Shuffle shows every song in my iTunes library

Q: After weeks of working flawlessly, I have this problem where the Party Shuffle option in iTunes 4.6 won't show any songs other than my entire library, no matter what I choose as the source.

A: While this is very frustrating, for most people there's a quick and easy fix, which doesn't even require trashing any preference files. All you need to is is go into the Party Shuffle list, select all of the songs in the list, and delete them. Click "Refresh" and your list should work fine after that.

Posted by Eingang at 06:04 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 10, 2004

Disabling Display of HTML In Eudora

Q: I use Eudora Lite for e-mail, and sometimes it crashes when opening e-mail with images (typically spam). I'd like Eudora to only show me text, so that spam with images would look like HTML and I'd have to click deliberately before I'd actually see the images. Is there a preference I could toggle to get that as my default view?

A: Yes, there is. You'll need to do some delving into the innards of two categories of Eudora settings, but your wish can be granted.

Eudora has problems with some HTML mail. I've never bothered figuring out if it's because there's something actually wrong with the HTML or if Eudora just has a poor HTML parser. Anyway...

To turn off displaying HTML and images rendered in Eudora, you need to adjust two sets of settings:

  1. Open Eudora's Settings. Scroll through the list of setting icons until you see "Fonts & Display". Uncheck the following: "Automatically download HTML graphics", "Animate animated GIF images", and possibly "Display graphics in messages". Try out the first two and see if that's enough to solve your problem. The last one is for graphics actually attached to the message itself rather than referred to on a remote web site. Most spam e-mail accesses graphics remotely so you can be tracked and doesn't attach graphics to the actual message. If you're still not happy, continue on.

  2. Find the Styled Text settings. Under the section "When receiving styled mail, pay attention to", uncheck everything you'd like to get rid of. This isn't an all or none kind of thing, so feel free to play a bit.

Click "OK" when done to update your settings. I think they take effect immediately.

Posted by Eingang at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

eBook/document readers for Palm OS Devices

Q: What app do I need to read ebooks and text files on my Treo 600?

A: You'll need a document reader for the Palm that can read Palm doc files as well as a converter program for your Macintosh to change RTF or text files into Palm doc files prior to transferring them via a hot sync.

Now that my beloved Handera is 3 years old and still running Palm OS 3.x, I haven't looked at reading software in ages, but here's some general commentary on programs I know about or use regularly.

For e-books/text, I primarily still use a version of TealPoint's TealDoc software. TealDoc can read plain text and .doc files, and supports landscape mode and scrollwheels on devices which have those. It also can deal with documents stored on cards rather than in RAM. It does not render HTML; however, version 6 can strip out HTML tags. TealDoc is $19.95 US. I've read hundreds of books on my handheld with my trusty copy of TealDoc. Good investment for me.

If you need a reader which renders HTML, people used to suggest MobiPocket Reader. I haven't used it in ages, so I can't really comment on it. Baen Books' online subscription service recommends using MobiPocket as they distribute their books in HTML (but it's really basically just paragraph tags, which are easy enough to visually ignore for me in TealDoc). This is also $19.95 US.

Palm also offers eReader (used to be Palm Reader) for both your Palm and for your Mac, so you can read Palm .doc files on your Mac. It supports some kind of digital rights management. It is possible to buy DRM books from somewhere for it, but it will also handle just regular text files converted to Palm doc format. While I don't use this on my handheld that often, I do use it on my Mac. It has a nice visual page display. The desktop and Palm versions are available in a free version.

Most of these programs would go quite handily with PorDiBle for your OS X box. PorDiBle converts RTF and text files to Palm doc files (.pdb) which can be read with most document readers for the Palm.

Posted by Eingang at 11:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack