Force Apple Mail to Display Incoming Messages as Plain Text #

While Apple Mail has a menu option to compose new messages in plain text (Mail > Preferences > Composing > Composing: Message Format: Plain Text), it is not apparent how to force incoming messages to plain text. Perhaps you want to disable annoying services like DidTheyReadIt, or maybe you just prefer reading your mail without being assailed by emoticons, background images, flashing text, etc, etc. Here's how:
  1. Quit Mail if it is open
  2. Open Terminal and execute the following command:
    defaults write PreferPlainText -bool TRUE
  3. Launch Mail. All mail will be opened as plain text. To view as Rich Text/HTML, just press the Command (Apple) key and ] (right bracket) - it will toggle between Rich Text/HTML and plain text.
  4. If you ever decide to switch back to the Apple default, run the command from step 2, replacing TRUE with FALSE.

UPDATE 1: This does not work if there is no plain text alternative (i.e., if the email is sent as HTML only). Unfortunately, there is no way I can find to force the initial rendering as "Raw Source".

UPDATE 2: Here is a workaround to force "Raw Source" display of one selected message without having to open it:
  1. If you haven't done so already, display the AppleScript Menu in the Menu Bar: Applications > AppleScript > AppleScript Utility > Check "Show Script Menu in menu bar" and "Show Library scripts"
  2. Highlight desired message in Apple Mail
  3. Click the AppleScript icon in the Menu Bar > Mail Scripts > Get Source of Selected Message
  4. A new message window will open with the complete raw source

/mac | Dec 17, 2006

How to retire with $1 million after working four summers at McDonalds #

Every young (and old!) person needs to read and understand this.

/misc | Dec 04, 2006

Three OS X apps added today: #

/mac | Dec 02, 2006

Jury Nullification #

American jurors must become cognizant of their power:

/misc | Nov 27, 2006

Fixing a broken digitizer #

If your Palm digitizer will simply not work correctly no matter how many times you try to calibrate it, check out AutoDigi. It fixed a digitizer for me which was otherwise beyond repair.

/palm | Nov 26, 2006

Bypassing the Palm digitizer calibration screen #

If your Palm digitizer is malfunctioning and you cannot successfully calibrate the device (that is, the message "Use stylus to tap center of target" will not go away), you can bypass this screen by holding down the up button and pressing reset. Of course, doing this incorrectly could possibly erase all of your data, destroy the device, etc, etc, so perform at your own risk (and joy).

/palm | Nov 26, 2006

Treo 600 LCD replacement #

My Treo recently suffered a smushed screen. Thanks to this video from and a newspaper review of the process, I decided to buy a used Treo 600 on eBay and swap the LCDs. It worked like a charm, and now I have a supply of spare Treo parts (extra battery, screws, keypad, cables, etc) to boot.

/palm | Nov 11, 2006

Secure password storage for OS X #

CiphSafe 1.3 beta 2 [255k] {S} Encrypted password storage. Uses system's OpenSSL for 320-bit Blowfish encryption. Export entries as CSV or XML (why can't Keychain do this yet?). Includes random password generator. (Previous version and source can be found here.)  📺

/mac | Nov 10, 2006

Desire and Discernment #

Before desiring something passionately, one should inquire into the happiness of the man who possesses it.
- Francois De La Rochefoucauld

/misc | Oct 26, 2006

Sony Vaio Take Apart Guides #

As previously mentioned in this space, Sony doesn't offer much help in taking apart Vaio laptops. Fortunately, there is: How to Upgrade, Repair, Disassemble a Sony Laptop or Notebook.

/misc | Oct 23, 2006

Akhenaton on contentment #

To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not.

/misc | Oct 23, 2006

The America We Believe in Would Preserve Fair Trials and Humane Treatment #

"Recently the Supreme Court struck down the President's Military Commissions and restored minimum Geneva Conventions protections to people in US custody, but now the President has asked Congress to authorize military commissions proceedings similar to those that were struck down. In addition, the President has asked Congress to codify the indefinite detention regime and to provide immunity for the CIA, civilian contractors, and Administration officials who may have violated the War Crimes Act. Act urgently to tell Congress to uphold fair trials and ensure those involved in human rights abuses are held accountable."

/misc | Sep 30, 2006

Letter From Intelligence and Military Professionals on Use of Torture #

(Original post from truthout)
Tuesday 26 September 2006

United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Arlen Specter, Chairman
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Democratic Member

Dear Senators:

We write as experienced intelligence and military officers who have  
served in the frontlines in waging war against communism and Islamic  
extremism. We fully support the need for proactive operations to  
identify and disrupt those individuals and organizations who wish to  
harm our country or its people. We also recognize that intelligence  
operations, unlike law enforcement initiatives, enjoy more  
flexibility and less scrutiny, but at the same time must continue to  
be guided by applicable US law.

We are very concerned that the proposals now before the Congress,  
concerning how to handle detainees suspected of terrorist activities,  
run the risk of squandering the greatest resource our country enjoys  
in fighting the dictators and extremists who want to destroy us ? our  
commitment as a nation to the rule of law and the protection of  
divinely granted human rights.

Apart from the moral considerations, we believe it is important that  
the Congress send a clear message that torture is not an effective or  
useful tactic. As noted recently by the head of Army Intelligence,  
Lt. Gen. John Kimmons:

No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think  
history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last  
five years, hard years, tells us that.

Our nation was created in response to the abuses visited on our  
ancestors by the King of England, who claimed the right to enter  
their homes, to levy taxes at whim, and to jail those perceived as a  
threat without allowing them to be confronted by their accusers. Now,  
230 years later, we find our own President claiming the right to put  
people in detention centers without legal recourse and to employ  
interrogation methods that, by any reasonable legal standard, are  
categorized as torture.

We ask that the Senate lead the way in upholding the principles set  
forth in the Declaration of Independence and affirmed in the Geneva  
Conventions regarding the rights of individuals and the obligations  
of governing authorities towards those in their power. We believe it  
is important to combat the hatred and vitriol espoused by Islamic  
extremists, but not at the expense of being viewed as a nation who  
justifies or excuses torture and incarceration without recourse to a  
judicial procedure.

The US has been in the forefront of the human rights campaign  
throughout the 20th century, led by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow  
Wilson. The end of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust  
inspired the United States to take the lead in making the case that  
human rights were universal, not parochial. Until recently the policy  
of our country was that all people, not just citizens of the United  
States, were entitled to these protections. It is important that the  
world understand that we remain committed to these principles. In  
fighting our enemies we must wage this battle in harmony with the  
traditional values of our society that were enshrined in the opening  
clause of the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to  
be self-evident...."

Respectfully yours,

CIA Officers:

Milton Bearden, Directorate of Operations
Ray Close, Directorate of Operations
Vincent Cannistraro, Directorate of Operations
Philip Giraldi, Directorate of Operations
James Marcinkowski, Directorate of Operations
Melissa Mahle, Directorate of Operations
Paul Pillar, Directorate of Intelligence
David MacMichael, Directorate of Intelligence
Melvin Goodman, Directorate of Intelligence
Ray McGovern, Directorate of Intelligence
Mary O. McCarthy, DCI professional staff

US Military and Department of Defense:

W. Patrick Lang, (Colonel, US Army retired, Director Defense Humint  
Services, retired)
A. D. Ackels, (Colonel, US Army, retired)
Karen Kwiatkowski, (Lt. Colonel, USAF, retired)

US Department of State:

Thomas R. Maertens, Deputy Coordinator, Office of Counter Terrorism,  
US Department of State
Larry C Johnson, Office of Counter Terrorism, US Department of State

Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Christopher Whitcomb, Hostage Rescue Team

/misc | Sep 30, 2006

Finally! A fanless, silent NAS #

The Logitec HD-LANGE series of NAS devices:

/misc | Sep 27, 2006

AFP over SSH #

or, How to Securely Access Your Mac's Files over the Internet can now be found in Docs. I hope it is the first of several guides on SSH as a VPN replacement.

/mac | Sep 27, 2006

Two wardriving apps for Mac OS X #

/mac | Sep 21, 2006

Two open source, CLI apps for testing network throughput #

/windows | Sep 20, 2006

Bounce unwanted email #

/misc | Sep 20, 2006

Create a virtual lab with Virtual PC 2004 #

If you've downloaded the recently freed Virtual PC 2004 and are wondering about fun things to do with it (besides intalling BeOS), don't miss: How to Create a Lab Environment with Virtual PC 2004.

/windows | Sep 18, 2006

A DIY SSL VPN with SSL-Explorer #

Tom's Hardware has an excellent two-part guide to SSL-Explorer, "the world's first browser-based, open source SSL VPN". Part 1 - Setup server and router, Part 2 - Connecting from client / Tunneling TightVNC

/windows | Sep 17, 2006

fSekrit - Tiny encrypted notes app #

f0dder kindly informs us of fSekrit, a tiny encrypted notes app he coded for DonationCoder. It never stores un-encrypted data on disk, and uses 256-bit AES/Rijndael in CBC mode.

/windows | Sep 17, 2006

Securing Remote Desktop / Terminal Services #

2X SecureRDP for Windows Terminal Services allows you to accept / deny incoming RDP connections by IP, MAC address, computer name and more. A very clean and well-made app from the team who crafted DOSRDP (a DOS Client for Windows Terminal Services). Formerly $49, now freeware. Direct download page

/windows | Sep 17, 2006

Getting BGInfo to work for all users in Terminal Services #

A new page has been added to the Docs section: Getting BGInfo to work for all users in Terminal Services.

/windows | Sep 16, 2006

Cobian Backup looking for new developer #

Luis Cobian (creator of Cobian Backup) is looking for a Delphi developer to take over this excellent application.

/windows | Sep 15, 2006

Viewing registry files from other computers #

I was looking for an app to view registry files from other computers. Google quickly turned up Alien Registry Viewer, whose blurb read, "Alien Registry Viewer is similar to the RegEdit application included into Windows, but unlike RegEdit, it works with standalone registry files. While RegEdit shows the contents of the system registry, Alien Registry Viewer works with registry files copied from other computers." That sounded swell, but $69 seemed a bit steep for this type of app.

A little more digging turned up the freeware Windows Registry Recovery, "The best tool for crashed machine registry recovery". In addition to the raw registry data, it provides a host of information:

/windows | Sep 15, 2006

Open source BMP to ASCII art app #

Jeevan John kindly informs us of his open source ASCII Artist application, which turns bitmap images into color or b&w ASCII art. An older, installer-free version (just 90k zipped) is also available.

/windows | Sep 15, 2006

Stand-alone malware removal tool #

BugHunter runs on everything from DOS to Windows 2003 Server and does not require any sort of installation. However, it primarily detects executables, and does not address registry keys, cookies, etc. (via Jim)

/windows | Sep 14, 2006

Goodbye mouse and keyboard? #

Will Jeff Han's multi-touch interface replace the keyboard and mouse? Check it out and decide for yourself: QuickTime | YouTube | Entire presentation on YouTube

/misc | Sep 14, 2006

Ultrafunk's Popcorn email client freeware again #

Cesar kindly informs us that Ultrafunk has re-released Popcorn as freeware. Installer-free 7z file here.

/windows | Sep 13, 2006

Dana 1.3 - IRC client #

🌱 Dana 1.3 [121k] + Simple, skinnable IRC client  📺  (via Red)

/windows | Sep 11, 2006

When was my Mac made? #

Find out when and where your Mac, iPod, or other Apple product was made, either online or with the freeware coconutIdentityCard 2.1. Devices made in the last few months may not be supported due to the new serial number format.

/mac | Sep 11, 2006

VirusTotal - Scan individual files for malware #

VirusTotal offers free scanning of uploaded (or emailed) files using over 20 antivirus and antispyware engines:

/misc | Sep 10, 2006

Delete in-use files #

Several apps for dealing with locked files. Use at your own risk (and joy):

/windows | Sep 06, 2006

Tiny apps in C by Ilpo #

Ilpo kindly informs us of his tiny Windows applications coded in C: The interfaces are non-standard, but you've got to love that they are: installer-free, green (i.e., non-polluting), tiny, and free (though not open source).

/windows | Aug 31, 2006

TRENDnet TU2-H4PC and Windows 2000 #

I am happy to report that the TRENDnet TU2-H4PC USB 2.0 4-Port CardBus adapter works beautifully with Windows 2000 Service Pack 4's native USB 2.0 drivers. I decided to skip the manufacturer's instructions and driver, opting instead to just "plug and play" - worked like a charm.

/windows | Aug 20, 2006

Selected Chinese Proverbs #

A modest collection of Chinese proverbs has been added to the Docs page. Loosely organized into four categories: Speech, Conduct, Teaching/Learning, and Reminders.

/misc | Aug 19, 2006

Thank you Lt. Ehren Watada #

On June 22, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the unlawful Iraq War and occupation. Video message from Lt. Watada.

/misc | Aug 16, 2006

Numerimal & Converber #

Two handy apps (built with AutoIt) from Xyntec:

🌱 Numerimal v1.1.1 [135k] + Converts between decimal, hexadecimal, octal, binary and any other user-selectable base up to 64-base.  📺

🌱 Converber 1.4.0 [138k] + Convert between 924 various units of measure in 31 categories, from length and force to flow and temperature.  📺

/windows | Aug 05, 2006

Rid your new Dell (or other PC) of junkware #

PC De-Crapifier is an open source script that removes the following preinstalled junkware automatically (users can also select which apps to remove):

/windows | Jul 24, 2006

Why TV ratings are at their lowest ever #

Video Bomb is like YouTube + Digg, only better. Integrates nicely with Democracy, the open source Internet TV platform which looks a lot like iTunes. (Related: Worst week ever for television ratings)

/misc | Jul 23, 2006

All that we need to be happy... #

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about." -- Charles Kingsley

/misc | Jul 22, 2006

The Fonzie school of iPod repair #

Whack your sad iPod back to happiness. (via internationally-acclaimed artist/ping pong champion Curtis Cost and his award-winning filmmaker son Elliott, for whom this method rescued a $399 60GB iPod)

/mac | Jul 18, 2006

Stand-alone Flash player #

I was researching the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP and wanted to view the two Flash presentations offline. I grabbed the swf files out of my browser's cache, but they would not play in IrfanView, Firefox, IE, etc. That's when I stumbled upon Flash Movie Player - it worked like a charm. Runs under everything from Windows 95 to XP (which is sadly becoming increasingly rare). Oleg was also kind enough to provide an installer-free version:

🌱 Flash Movie Player 1.4 [333k] + ShockWave Flash (SWF) player with animation rewinding, advanced full screen mode, playlists, browser cache integration, snapshot creation, more.  📺 💾 🌎

/windows | Jul 18, 2006

Two files in the same directory with the exact same name?! #

What's up with this?

Let's find out. ls | od -a reveals:

Doh! Missed that space after the filename extension. (Thanks to Edgar Holmann & Tom Ivar Helbekkmo who posted to this thread back in 1990.)

UPDATE 1: See also Zhitao Zhou's Can we believe our eyes? which examines two "hosts" files in %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc caused by malware replacing "o" (Unicode 0x006F) with a nearly identical Cyrillic character (Unicode 0x043E).

UPDATE 2: Delete a directory with a trailing space in its name

UPDATE 3: These files both seemingly have the same filename and, though lacking file extensions, are identified in the "Kind" column as Word documents (DOC and DOCX, respectively):

Is there some kind of metadata/extended attribute magic going on here to allow this? Nope - just that durn trailing space again:

/nix | Jul 14, 2006

BeOS under Virtual PC 2004 (which is now free!) #

  1. Microsoft's Virtual PC 2004 is now free (though it can still be purchased on Amazon for $115 if you prefer). Alas, this largesse does not (yet?) apply to the Mac version.
  2. Knowledgeable users are raving about this version of Virtual PC, with good reason - it "just works" right out of the tin.
  3. Loads of guest OSes are supported, including BeOS!
  4. After installing BeOS, download and install Vesa Accepted (local cache) to enable color video (otherwise you'll be stuck with grayscale).

/windows | Jul 12, 2006

Ahh, no more IntelliTXT ;-) #

If you're running Mozilla Firefox, you probably already know about the excellent Adblock extension. However, you may not know about Filterset.G, a set of filters for Adblock that will save you significant time and hassle in establishing an ad-free environment. It has a surprisingly restrictive license, but is free for personal, non-commercial use.

/misc | Jul 09, 2006

How effective is your firewall's outbound filtering? #

The folks at Firewall Leak Tester (mentioned a few years back) have tested the outbound filtering efficacy of 16 firewall apps against 18 leak tests. Long story short: Jetico Personal Firewall takes first place.

/windows | Jul 03, 2006

Microsoft *hearts* Apple #

I stumbled across this birthday card from Microsoft to Apple today... nice to see they are such pals. Here's a local copy in case they decide to pull it.

/mac | Jun 27, 2006

Zeroshell released! #

Zeroshell, the network server Live CD administered via web browser (and mentioned several months ago), is now available for download.

/nix | Jun 25, 2006

If you do nothing else today, #

be sure to watch the happiest video ever. You may also want to download a copy for posterity.

/misc | Jun 23, 2006

Ping on through to the other side #

Ping Tunnel allows you to tunnel TCP using ICMP echo request and reply packets.

/nix | Jun 14, 2006

Make your needs few #

and your wants fewer.

/misc | Jun 12, 2006

JAJAH - VoIP via POTS and mobile phones #

JAJAH allows you to initiate VoIP calls through your web browser which are then carried out over regular land lines and mobile phones. | Review

/misc | Jun 01, 2006

Suriyan - serving made simple #

"Suriyan is a Linux-based 'instant server' system for small and medium-sized companies. ... It is easy to install, configure, and manage; it has a browser-based user-interface and never asks you to configure things during installation that can be configured the normal way."

/nix | May 30, 2006

Wiki + Google Maps = Crazy Delicious #

WikiMapia allows users to add blurbs for just about any place on the planet via Google Maps.

/misc | May 28, 2006

OllyDbg #

🌱 OllyDbg v1.10 [1085k] + 32-bit assembler-level analyzing debugger for Microsoft Windows with intuitive interface. Emphasis on binary code analysis makes it particularly useful in cases where source is unavailable. It predicts contents of registers, recognizes procedures, API calls, switches, tables, constants and strings, locates routines from object files and libraries, allows custom labels and comments in disassembled code, writes patches back to executable file and more.  📺

/windows | May 27, 2006

Dimio's Tools #

Dimio has written a number of stand-alone freeware utilities in Visual Basic:

/windows | May 26, 2006

PGP 8.1 - Last freeware version #

PGP 8 was the first "official" release to support Windows XP natively and the last version to: support Windows 95/98/Me, be freeware, and operate without a proxy. The current 9.x trialware reverts to freeware mode after 30 days.

More PGP links:

/windows | May 18, 2006

MyPage Bookmarklet #

MyPage is a must-have bookmarklet for those who print or save web pages. It allows you to edit or remove page elements (ads, graphics, etc) and preview your new version before printing. JavaScript source available. Tested in Mozilla Firefox 1.0, Safari 1.2, Opera 8.5, and Internet Explorer 6.

/misc | May 13, 2006

PrintBrush, where are you!?! #

How much longer must we wait for mobile printing at the wave of a hand? [ video | print examples ]

/misc | May 12, 2006

Open Firmware Password "hack" #

Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition is a swell book for Mac newbies. But I'm surprised by the following passage found on page 448:

"[T]here is one way to secure your Mac completely: by using the Open Firmware Password program. ... This password is deadly serious and unhackable, and there's no back door. If you forget the Open Firmware password, you can't change the startup disk ever again. Even Apple can't help you out of that situation."

That's not exactly true. In fact, it's not really even close. Here's what Apple has to say about it in Technical Note TN2062: Guide to Creating Kiosks on Mac OS X:

"The Open Firmware Password will be reset if a user changes the amount of the physical memory in the machine and reboots."

So, the big scawy password can be reset by swapping out some RAM? Not exactly "deadly serious and unhackable" for anyone armed with a screwdriver.

UPDATE 1: Chuck Waggon had to experiment a good deal before this tip worked. After removing a stick of RAM, he had to reset the PRAM 3 times, holding down the Command and Option keys on the right side of the keyboard along with P and R.

UPDATE 2: As of the MacBook Air (Late 2010) and other 2011 Mac models, this workaround no longer works.

/mac | May 11, 2006

Switch - audio file converter #

Switch 1.05 [924k] Batch convert sound files (wav, mp3, ogg, flac, aac, wma, au, aiff, ogg, msv, dvf, vox, atrac, gsm, dss, and more) from GUI or command line. Windows, Linux, and shareware versions also available.  📺

/mac | May 06, 2006

VCE_Remote #

Yannis kindly wrote in to share VCE_Remote, his TightVNC wrapper that makes reverse VNC connections easier. He has also generously provided the source.

/windows | May 04, 2006

Logitech mic error #

Two different Logitech QuickCam devices on two different Windows XP workstations had the same installation error: the mic driver would simply not install. The first tech recommend Answer ID 2202: How Do I Uninstall and Reinstall the QuickCam Software, which didn't help. The second tech suggested Windows was to blame for "corrupting" the mic driver every time the installer was run (?!) In tech2's defense, he moved up the chain of command to have his manager reveal the sacred wisdom cleverly obscured in Answer ID 909: Fix for Windows 95 INF Issues. Here is what worked for us (use at your own risk and joy):
  1. Backup the registry (and know how to restore it if something goes wrong).
  2. Unplug webcam from computer
  3. Copy wdma_usb.inf from the i386 folder (found on Windows XP CD or hard drive) to %windir%\INF (if the filename is wdma_usb.in_, it will need to be expanded - instructions)
  4. Open regedit and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\
  5. Delete any keys under USB that begin with: VID_046D
  6. If "Access is Denied" appears, right click on USB and choose Permissions. Check "Allow" for Full Control. Click OK.
  7. Reboot. Plug in camera. It should install normally.
If you need tech support with your Logitech webcam, call them directly: 1-702-269-3457.

/windows | May 03, 2006

Soldering tutorial from NASA #

Set of six video clips (in MPG format) demonstrating good soldering technique.

/misc | Apr 09, 2006

Over 320 mini pixel icons #

mini pixel icons Nick La over at N.Design Studio has generously decided to give away his mini (14x14) pixel icons free for personal or commercial use. (via - you guessed it - Mike Mills)

/misc | Apr 09, 2006

Text chunk storage #

🌱 ScrapBook 2.20 [240k] + Cardfile-like app for storing chunks of text.  📺  (via Chris Hulbert)

/windows | Apr 07, 2006

Mozy on the move #

Mozy (the zen-like online backup service) has been mentioned once or twice in this space. These guys continue to outdo themselves with phenomenal service, support, and updates. Check out their latest press release or this recent email:
1. Mozy 1.6 is here, and it's MUCH better than the previous version! 
- Auto-upgrade support
- Faster application load times
- Smarter backup scheduling
- Smarter open file support
- Smarter network connectivity (auto-retries, etc.)
- Unicode support
- Documentation

2. Mozy pay option is here - best priced backup anywhere!
- $19.95 per year for 5GB
- $29.95 per year for 10GB
- $39.95 per year for 20GB

3. The Mozy referral program is here - help save the world!
- Get +1GB of quota for every 4 referrals. (See website for details.)
Sadly, I have no stake in Mozy (financial or otherwise), but heartily recommend it to friends/family/clients on a regular basis.

/windows | Apr 06, 2006

Buffalo LinkStation fan noise #

Despite Buffalo's claim to the contrary, some LinkStation fans are LOUD. Thankfully, they can be replaced with standard 40mmx10mm 12V fans (though a little soldering is involved). For detailed take apart guides, see: Disassembling the Buffalo LinkStation (which is hosted on a LinkStation!) and How to take apart a Linkstation. Of course, opening your LinkStation will void the warranty, and may prove lethal, so proceed at your own risk.

/misc | Apr 05, 2006

Zeroshell scheduled for release this month #

Zeroshell is a Linux-based Live CD/CF card image which provides a host of network services (NAT, DHCP, SPI firewall, VPN, Kerberos authentication, etc). As its name implies, administering Zeroshell can be done entirely from a web browser (no shell required).

/nix | Apr 02, 2006

OpenVPN for Windows tutorial #

It's A Tech World (love the clean, simple design) has an excellent guide to setting up OpenVPN under Windows 2000/XP. I would only add that when editing vars.bat, be sure to use a text editor (like metapad) that has support for Unix line endings (unlike Notepad).

There is also a new OpenVPN book by Markus Feilner entitled OpenVPN: Building and Integrating Virtual Private Networks. The blurb reads in part: "This book is an easy introduction to this popular VPN application. After introducing the basics of security and VPN, the book moves on to cover using OpenVPN, from installing it on various platforms, through configuring basic tunnels, to more advanced features, such as using the application with firewalls, routers, proxy servers, and OpenVPN scripting. While providing only necessary theoretical background, the book takes a practical approach, presenting plenty of examples." Publisher | Amazon

/windows | Mar 26, 2006

burnatonce #

burnatonce is a cdrdao / mkisofs GUI for Windows:

/windows | Mar 24, 2006

Uncover system changes #

What Changed v1.05 searches for modified files and registry entries by comparing before & after snapshots. (via Mike Mills)

/windows | Mar 24, 2006

Clean and simple backup app for OS 9 #

SimpleBackup 1.61 "is a very simple and easy to use file backup utility that offers an elegant and quick-and-easy way to back up all those files that are spread out over the hard disk; in the preferences folder, in the documents folder, certain folders and files in the applications folder, etc... For personal, non-profit use, a simple 'thank you' email is adequate." Screenshot

/mac | Mar 23, 2006

DROP++ #

Jorg Kliemann has generously crafted DROP++ (source available here) using AutoIt (itself a mostly open source project) to address the drag & drop overwrite problem mentioned recently. Simply drag and drop a group of files from search results or any other Explorer window onto its icon; DROP++ will copy the files and autoincrement the resulting filenames. If you're tired of seeing "Confirm File Replace - This folder already contains a file named foo. Would you like to replace the existing file with this one?", give DROP++ a try. (By the way, holding Shift while clicking No to the above dialog behaves like "No to All", which is otherwise not provided.)

/windows | Mar 17, 2006

XYplorer - Windows Explorer replacement #

XYplorer (formerly TrackerV3) is a tabbed file manager with a slew of features. While it does require VB5 runtimes and GDI+, XYplorer's installer-free version does not write to the registry or any directory outside of its own, which makes it perfect for a BartPE CD or USB thumbdrive. Free for noncommercial use. UPDATE: The freeware "free-for-non-commercial use" version will be discontinued (but still available) as of March 21, 2006.

/windows | Mar 15, 2006

OpenBSD Live CDs #

/nix | Mar 06, 2006

Question about drag & drop with auto incrementing of filenames #

Is there a method for dragging and dropping a list of files with the same name into a new folder and have them automatically increment the filenames rather than give an overwrite warning? Two instances where I've seen this work: when dragging files from a search result window into Nero (screenshot) and when dragging email messages from Outlook Express into Explorer. I'm not looking for a renamer to change the original filenames, but rather a way to create new files with incremented names. Answers sent to "mail AT tinyapps DOT org" will be appended to this post.

UPDATE: Jorg Kliemann has kindly crafted a solution.

/windows | Mar 05, 2006

Yet another useful web service # is an online file storage and sharing service. Basic accounts are free and offer 1GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth per month. Features include:

/misc | Mar 03, 2006

Samorost2 - Funky Flash game #

Samorost2 is a rather odd but compelling Flash-based adventure game similar to Pokku's Friend. There is even a fan page with walkthroughs, cheat codes, etc. Chapter 1 of the game is free (and provides a complete, satisfying game in and of itself); to enjoy Chapter 2, the full version must be purchased for $6.90.


/misc | Mar 02, 2006

Play with an Internet router #

The Clack Graphical Router is "a network education tool for teaching Internet infrastructure and protocols... Clack lets students analyze how changes in router functionality or configuration impact traffic flowing through the device." Java 1.4+ plugin required.


/misc | Mar 01, 2006

Export Your Treo 600/650 Call Log #

The Treo Call Log's database (PhoneCallDB.PDB) appears unreadable by PDB Explorer 1.3. Here are three apps which might help:

/palm | Feb 28, 2006

SavageEd - Open source text editor #

🌱 SavageEd [23k] {S}+ Open virtually any size file (limited only by available memory), optionally save settings to an INI file or the registry (uninstall function included), search/find/replace, more.  📺

(via the indefatigable Mike Mills)

/windows | Feb 27, 2006

Print to virtually any printer from DOS-based programs #

DOSPRN is a shareware app that enables printing from DOS-based programs to normally unsupported printers (USB/network printers, print-servers, PDF virtual printers, etc).

/misc | Feb 25, 2006

Simplicity #

When the solution is simple, God is answering.

—Widely attributed to Albert Einstein, though the quote appears apocryphal.

/misc | Feb 25, 2006

Open source double-entry bookkeeping app #

Ty kindly wrote in about Ledger: "... installation requires compiling (most likely on *nix or OSX), but Ledger is a robust console double-entry accounting app. Small executable, and uses a simple text data file for storage. Secure remote accounts query/data entry on a home server is obviously easy via SSH."

/nix | Feb 19, 2006

Tarn Filter Designer #

Jon kindly informs us of his new Tarn Filter Designer, which allows you to design analog and digital filters quickly and easily. Free for non-profit use.

/windows | Feb 15, 2006

wget for OS X #

Quentin Stafford-Fraser has kindly provided OS X users with a wget binary which works under 10.3 and higher.  📺

/mac | Feb 08, 2006

Listible #

Listible is sort of a digg/Technorati hybrid that allows users to submit, comment, and vote on resource lists. Some current popular lists include: online file storage, online calendars, disposable email addresses, and many more.

/misc | Feb 05, 2006

Freeware tool for mounting ISO images as virtual CD-ROM drives #

"Fuzz" wrote in to inform us of Microsoft's unsupported Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP (direct download link) which he found here.

/windows | Feb 03, 2006

Burning ISO images in OS X #

Unlike Windows (which requires third-party software like ISO Recorder), OS X can burn ISO images to CD-R from the command line: hdiutil burn filename.iso


UPDATE: Garrett kindly wrote in to share a GUI method for burning ISOs:

  1. Insert a blank CD.
  2. Click "Ignore" if prompted for an action.
  3. Double click on the ISO file you wish to burn.
  4. It will mount the ISO on your desktop and open a Finder window (which you can close, but do not unmount the ISO image).
  5. Launch Disk Utility
  6. In the left column, click once on the name of the ISO image that you double clicked and mounted.
  7. Click the "Burn" icon at the top left of the Disk Utility program.
  8. A dialog will offer a few last minute options/settings, then click the "Burn" button.

/mac | Feb 02, 2006

BarracudaDrive update #

Wilfred kindly informs us that his BarracudaDrive (mentioned last year) has been updated to include support for international character sets.

/misc | Jan 29, 2006

Goodbye Google Ads #

I have loved Google from the earliest beta days and am deeply grateful to Larry and Sergey for creating such an accurate search engine. However, the company has clearly lost its moral compass. Google claims "Our informal corporate motto is 'Don't be evil.'" while at the same time covering up the Tiananmen Square Massacre to please China's communist government. They would clearly have no problem hushing up the Holocaust for the Nazis, so long as it meant more market share.

So while Google ads have helped pay for maintaining TinyApps.Org, it is time to say goodbye. I strongly urge web publishers to remove Google Ads from their sites, as well. If you own Google stock, please consider selling it. Those of us who still enjoy the benefit of freedom (for the moment, anyway) have the duty to defend it.

UPDATE: There is apparently a rather large backlash against Google forming.

UPDATE 2: Lawmaker: IBM aided Holocaust, Google following same path

UPDATE 3: YES!!! Google does the right thing four years later: We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

UPDATE 4: Apparently this was all talk, no walk: Google co-founder: Maybe we'll stay in China after all - A month after storming the moral high-ground over China's hacking activities, Sergey Brin has declared the firm is happy to get off its high horse and kick its heels in the country a little longer.

UPDATE 5: Finally some real action: So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services - Google Search, Google News, and Google Images - on Users visiting are now being redirected to, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong.

/misc | Jan 28, 2006

ViewSourceWith - Firefox Extension #

If Firefox's featureless page source viewer has got you down, use your favorite text editor instead with ViewSourceWith.

/misc | Jan 27, 2006

Freeware ISO burning and creation #

ISO Recorder creates and burns ISO images under Windows XP. (via Mike Mills)

/windows | Jan 24, 2006

DaveProxy - free and easy proxy server for anonymous browsing #

DaveProxy is a free internet proxy, that allows you to surf the world wide web safely and anonymously. Due to the nature of proxy servers, this also allows you to bypass company firewalls and proxies, allowing you to browse your favourite websites at work or school... Simply enter the web address of the site you want to visit in the text box and click go.

/misc | Jan 24, 2006

More on Alito from a former classmate #

Andrew Napolitano is a former classmate of Alito's at Princeton and a former New Jersey Superior Court judge now working for Fox News. He tells The Daily Princetonian: "Sam Alito is just what George Bush is looking for: a big government conservative who will almost always side with the government against the individual, and the federal government against the state."

That may be what George Bush is looking for, but what American in their right mind would ever want a Supreme Court justice who will "almost always side with the government against the individual"?

That reminds me of a qoute from a certain German politician of the 20th century: "It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole... that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual."

/misc | Jan 22, 2006

Why Alito must be stopped #

"With the fate of the U.S. Constitution in the balance, it's hard to believe there's no senator prepared to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, whose theories on the 'unitary executive' could spell the end of the American democratic Republic... Under this government envisioned by Alito and Bush, Americans would no longer have freedoms based on the Constitution and the law, but on Bush's tolerance and charity. Americans would, in essence, become Bush's subjects dependent on his good graces, rather than citizens possessing inalienable rights. He would be a modern-day king... As strongly as many people feel about Roe v. Wade, it would detract from what is of even greater importance in the Alito confirmation, that he would help consolidate the precedent of an American strongman Executive with virtually no limits on his powers." (from Alito Filibuster: It Only Takes One)

Call or email your senators today and let them know how you feel.

/misc | Jan 22, 2006

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime. #

This is insane.

/misc | Jan 09, 2006

Swell OS X freeware from Lobotomo Software #

/mac | Jan 07, 2006

Your blog can be about anything, so long as it's Chairman Mao #

You've no doubt heard about Microsoft faithfully serving China by quashing free thinkers and the like. Michael Connolly defends his employer with the following logic:
In China, there is a unique issue for our entire industry: there are certain aspects of speech in China that are regulated by the government. We've made a choice to run a service in China, and to do that, we need to adhere to local regulations and laws.
The next day, he follows with:
When we look at adherence to local law, we are only concerned with the Spaces associated with the particular market the official has jurisdiction over. So, if Germany has issues with Nazi propaganda on a Space that is set up by a German user in Germany, we need to pay attention to that, since Nazi propaganda is illegal in Germany.
By the same logic, if the Nazis still controlled Germany, Microsoft would have no problem hushing up that troublesome little holocaust issue, I suppose. To be fair, even that holiest of holies, Google ("Don't be evil"), sees fit to omit "contentious" news stories from search results in China. I wonder if they mean "contentious" as in, "Chinese protesters report a massacre"?

/misc | Jan 06, 2006

Freeware console SFTP client #

MOVEit Freely is a free command line FTP/secure FTP client for Windows 95 to 2003 systems. Convert existing batch-driven, non-secure file transfers into secure file transfers. Direct link to portable (green) version here. (via Jonathan Lampe)

/windows | Jan 05, 2006

Batch convert TIFF to PDF under OS X #

Paul Thompson kindly responded to my question on how to convert multiple TIF files into multiple PDF documents:
You can create pdf files from a tif file by using the console program: sips

% sips -s format pdf input_directory/*.tif --out output_directory

ignore the warnings it renames the files for you.
to get more information on sips type:

% man sips

UPDATE: Combine all of the PDFs into a single PDF file:

/System/Library/Automator/Combine\ PDF\ Pages.action/Contents/Resources/ -o merged.pdf *.pdf

/mac | Jan 04, 2006

scanR #

scanR is an online service that turns your camera phone (1 megapixel or higher) into a scanner, copier and fax. (via Will Stevenson)

/misc | Jan 02, 2006

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