Maccast 2008.04.08

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

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MC20080408.mp3 [63.5MB 01:09:18 128kbps]

A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 222. TV hits iTunes in Germany. New TV Ads for iPhone and Macs. Apple Updates iTunes 7.6.2, QuickTime 7.4.5 and Front Row 2.1.3. Apple gets #1 music retailer spot in the US. Uncle Walt says 3G iPhone in 60 Days. Redesigns for future Mac notebooks? AirPort Disk Time Machine support off again? FinalCut Server now shipping. iPhone Developers hit with Pink Screen O’ Death (PSOD). EFI firmware updates. Follow-up on CD read errors and labels. Accessing non-Mac supported sites. Making System fonts bigger. Automatically disconnecting from servers. Remotely access a PC from your Mac. Moving Outlook to Mac. Using user accounts and sudo. Hate cable clutter? So does Jack.

New music, Wakeup by Once Just

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I never did one thing right in my life, you know that? Not one. That takes skill. — The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

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There are 15 comments on Maccast 2008.04.08:

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  1. Paul | Apr 09 2008 - 04:18

    Just listening to the PodCast.

    Regarding automatically dismounting drives/external servers. For the past week or so I’ve been using SleepWatcher from – install this and its StartupItem, create a script to dismount Volumes (or any other action you want to do on sleep) in a file called .sleep and another script for waking up in .wakeup both in your home directory.

    It works pretty well. I found it via –

  2. Paul | Apr 09 2008 - 04:36

    Me again …. no, no, no, don’t recommend anyone to modify the sudoers file.

    If you need to do tasks as an administrator from the Terminal, just log in using (assuming the administrator account is “admin”):
    su – admin

    Then you can use the sudo command as admin.

  3. Peter | Apr 09 2008 - 05:55

    Hey Adam – just a quick note about Safari and the Debug menu: the latest version added the option to turn on the debug menu from Safari’s preferences, so it’s actually a lot easier now to turn it on (at least easier for those of us who don’t stray into command line territory)!

    Keep up the great work!

  4. Adam Christianson | Apr 09 2008 - 05:21

    Thanks. I was unaware that was there. I see it now in the ‘Advanced’ tab of the Safari 3.1 preferences. That is much easier.

  5. brainscan | Apr 09 2008 - 09:19

    Earbud Jack didn’t appear to be one of your sponsors, so I figured that it was OK to tell you about an even better alternative. They’re free and most of us carry two of them around with us every day: your hands!!!

    Go to to see how to wrap earbud cords without worrying about tangling, and even better without carrying around a funny-looking blue guy in your pocket. I’ve been using this method with my iPod earbuds for the past two years with no problems.

  6. Adam Christianson | Apr 09 2008 - 10:51

    Thanks brianscan. I actually use that same technique and found out about it from a Lifehacker video in January of ’07. I even shared the tip on the blog,

  7. Zach | Apr 10 2008 - 07:26

    Listen to Paul! Don’t modify your sudoers file just to get privileged access to system files!

    Adding somene to the sudoers file is the unix-level-equivalent of making them an administrator. I’ll bet the’res more to the administrator-accounts in the higher levels of the OS, but I’m sure that at least one of the things that happens when you add an administration account in the accounts-preference panel is that the account is put in the sudoers file.

    What you should do to get access to edit /etc/hosts is the unix-level-equivalent of the “please provide an administrator user name and password”-dialog. Which is, as Paul points out above: “su account” where ‘account’ should be replaced by the short name of an administrators account.

    This will make you an administrator for that shell session (hence not affecting other running applications – keeping you secure) Since the administrators account is in sudoers, and you are now a n admin, you can now do: “nano /etc/hosts”. You will need to provide the admin-account password a second time. (the first time to get into the admin account, the second time to use the sudo command).

    A trick which is sometimes useful (although generally frowned upon) when you need to do several operations which may require root access and you don’t want to be bothered typing “sudo” in front of everything is:

    1) Get into an administrations account: “su admin”. Enter administration password
    2) Type “sudo su”, enter administration password again.
    3) Now you are logged in as the root user, with full system privileges – no need for sudo.
    4) AS SOON AS YOU’RE DONE, type “exit ” once to get from root back to the admin account, and then “exit ” again to get back to your normal account.

  8. Zach | Apr 10 2008 - 07:00

    ammendment to the above – it should be:

    “…you are now and admin, you can now do: ‘sudo nano /edit/hosts’. You will…”

    (note sudo in front of nano)

  9. Zach | Apr 10 2008 - 07:00

    ammendment to the above – it should be:

    “…you are now and admin, you can now do: ‘sudo nano /edit/hosts’. You will…”

    (note sudo in front of nano)

  10. Pawel Juraszek | Apr 11 2008 - 11:51

    For managing PC systems over the web (much like vnc, remote desktop, etc), the is great. I can confirm it works for Macs too. i’ve been using it from my PC, MacBook, also from office (firewall) to connect to WindowsXP, the Vista AND (yes!) MacBook.

    The performance is really ok even on relatively slow internet connection. what you need to do is install a little plugin on the target machine (yes, it is good to do it when you visit your family member).

    if you check the website you will also find the phone version. i loaded it on my Nokia E50, but the screen was undreadable. I wonder how would it look like on the iPhone (which we’re not getting any time soon here, in Poland, unfortunately :-( )

  11. Bob | Apr 12 2008 - 10:26

    HI Adam,
    I tried the Safari trick using Tinker Tool. For some reason my version of Safari 3.1 did not have the feature in Preferences to turn on or off ‘Develop’ menu. Selecting IE 6.0 as the agent worked on my employer’s site which usually would not play in Safari. It worked as will as it does in Firefox.

  12. Bob | Apr 14 2008 - 02:21

    Upon closer inspection (putting on my reading glasses), I found the button in Safari preferences to activate and deactivate the ‘Develop’ menu. I am going to keep Tinker Tool, for it’s other interesting functions. Thanks for turning me on to this piece of software.

  13. steve | Apr 15 2008 - 03:19

    adam – please direct the real estate caller to this link – – it explains how to install IE6 on your mac using X11 and darwine… i tried it and it seems to work…

    …it may be useful for you too – for testing web pages.

    great show! – i have been a fan since the beginning!

  14. Sakthi | Apr 16 2008 - 08:54

    Hi Adam,

    Just wanted to comment on Remote PC Access to support family members. I’ve used TeamViewer for this and am very impressed with it. It works across firewalls and no need to worry about IP addresses etc., Good when we are helping my non-technical family members.

    It’s free for personal use. And no installation necessary. And they’ve recently released a version for the Mac.

  15. Tom | Apr 18 2008 - 10:09

    Hi Adam,

    A bit late on this but wanted to just mention another way to remotely control another PC from the Mac (sort of). I help my Dad by using MSN Messenger in a Parallels VM. This requires that both parties have a Messenger account obviously. Usually, we’ll start with a Skype call and he’ll ask some question or have some problem where we determine it’s easier for me to just show him how to fix rather than describe. So I have him login to Messenger while I start my Parallels VM. Once I’m in Windows, I start Messenger and we start a text chat. Then I have him right-click me in Messenger and choose “Ask for remote Assistance”. Messenger goes through a bit of handshaking and permission dialogs and after a bit, I have his desktop on my screen. I can take over control if needed as well. Seems to work pretty well.