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Archive for January, 2009

DrawIt

January 31st, 2009 No comments

Having a little fondness for design, I always feel like I’ve just eaten lemon when I look at somene’s hard work in coding, and the design was just an afterthought. One of these areas that are usually lacking in database development is icons. You can buy icons or download free sets that never really communicate the point. Or you can design your own, but it’s a it of work. Now anymore! I just found this beautiful application for drawing: DrawIt. I will certainly buy it, especially now that the Euro is affordable. For all of those who cannot afford $37 (with today’s conversion rate of 29 Euros), there’s a DrawItLite version for free.

The company’s other application is Fontcase that let’s you view fonts like you’ve never seen them before, preview paragraphs, tag your fonts and even share them on your network, sort of like songs with iTunes, but it let’s you preview and download fonts from another vomputer on the same network. Currently on sale for 35 Euros.

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A New Place to Find Out About Mac Apps

January 31st, 2009 No comments

Envato has been a great place to find all design-related resources. The have given us the psdtuts.com, vectortuts.com, flashden.com for tutorials and free graphic downloads, themeforest.com for downloading beautiful themes (see my website: www.zerobluetech.com)  and now they have launched appstorm.com, a Mac Apps Blog. They introduce you to new and exciting apps, and you can follow them by RSS or on twitter.

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Tought Times For Credit Card Companies — And Us

January 30th, 2009 No comments

From The New York Times:

In recent months, American Express has gone far beyond simply checking your credit score and making sure you pay on time. The company has been looking at home prices in your area, the type of mortgage lender you’re using and whether small-business card customers work in an industry under siege. It has also been looking at how you spend your money, searching for patterns or similarities to other customers who have trouble paying their bills.

If AMEX is doing it, other credit card companies are doing it, too. I noticed my JCREW card credit limit dropped overnight to 1/5th, and I was on time with payments and way below the credit limit.

Maybe it’s wise for us to check on our credit limits and report strange credit drops to the Better Business Beaurou. Maybe it’s best for us to pay our credit cards off and not use them anymore. It’s just a sad thing that in this country buying a car or a house is based on whether you have good standing with these companies. What about whether they have good standing with us? They spy on us, scrutinize us if we are a little late with our payments, treat us like criminals if we manage to default on our agreements, even though we might be sick or laid off. They certainly don’t deserve our business.

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OS X Malware Found in Pirated iWork 09

January 23rd, 2009 No comments

From ZDNet

Researchers at Intego have intercepted a Mac OS X malware threat circulating in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork 09 software.

The malicious file, dubbed OSX.Trojan.iServices.A, was found on BitTorrent trackers and other sites containing links to pirated software.  The booby-trapped version of the iWord 09 productivity suite is complete and functional but the installer contains an additional package called iWorkServices.pkg, Intego said.

When installing iWork 09, the iWorkServices package is installed. The installer for the Trojan horse is launched as soon as a user begins the installation of iWork, following the installer’s request of an administrator password (in older versions of Mac OS X, 10.5.1 or earlier, there will be no password request). This software is installed as a startup item (in /System/Library/StartupItems/iWorkServices, a location reserved normally for Apple startup items), where it has read-write-execute permissions for root. The malicious software connects to a remote server over the Internet; this means that a malicious user will be alerted that this Trojan horse is installed on different Macs, and will have the ability to connect to them and perform various actions remotely. The Trojan horse may also download additional components to an infected Mac.

Now, what’s important to learn from this is no matter how well-protected you think you are (have anti-virus software installed, it is up-to-date, etc.), if you download pirated software, you are exposing yourself to threats. With trojans, the perpetrators can really have access to your computer, and they can do harm. One example would be getting keystrokes from your computer and analyzing them. They will know which bank you visited and your log in information. You don’t need to have a vivid imagination to figure the rest out.

Be prepared; be smart. Don’t try to save money by not paying for a $99 app; you might end up paying $-400 for repair.

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Inauguration Week in pictures…

January 20th, 2009 No comments

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Controlling a Remote Computer

January 15th, 2009 No comments

For all of those out there, who need to connect to a remote computer, I’d like to review some of the different choices that are out there. This article’s purpose is just to give you some ideas about controlling a remote computer.

1. VNC (multi-platform)

VNC has been around for a long time. You can connect from Mac to PC, PC to PC, Mac to Mac and PC to Mac. Connecting to a Mac OS 10 computer (at least Tiger and Leopard) is very easy. All you have to do is enable incoming VNC connections in System Preferences/Sharing.

You can also set your computer up as a VNC Server (whether Mac or PC) and allow incoming connections. The other party wanting to control your computer will have to use an IP address or DNS name and a password.

Do a Google Search for suitable VNC software for your operating system. I like Chicken of the VNC for Mac and some people swear by RealVNC for Windows. Again, there are choices and you can always try one software and if you don’t like it, try another one.

2. Apple Remote Desktop (Mac only)

ARD Client is built into every Tiger and Leopard system, which means that you can connect to a Mac with either the ARD application or a VNC client (if you have it enabled in System Preferences).

Apple Remote Desktop app is not a free program. You’ll have to buy it from Apple or a reseller. If you have to control more than one Mac at a time, issue commands, copy software, etc., it’s worth getting it. It has some really nice features.

3. Remote Desktop Connection(Mac to Windows)

You can control a Windows computer (it might require set-up on the client first) from a Mac by using the Remote Desktop product by Microsoft. They have just released v2 in 2008. There are some improvements over the very simple v1, which include sound from the PC on your Mac, making Mac drives available on the PC and you can even print from the PC to your chosen printer attached to your Mac.

4. iPhone (multi-platform)

You can use Moccha VNC Lite to connect to computers. It’s a very nice free app, and if you are okay viewing large computer screens on an iPhone, you can control computer on the go.

5. LogemeIn (multi-platform)

LogMeIn is a web-based solution for accessing computers. They have free, as well as fee-based services. They even have an iPhone app, that just came out called LogMeIn Ignition. How this one differs from the other solutions listed here is that you have to create an account on their website, download a piece of software to your computer then allow access for different users.

I hope this was helpful.

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