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Posted on February 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

As Facebook chat becomes accessible by Jabber, you can use it with iChat, Adium or any other chat client – for free!

Ok, we’re all wasting our time on Facebook – and someone trying to build some biz on it too (by the way, check & become a fan of MacSwitching’s Facebook Page)!
One thing I really hate about it, is that FB chats just go nowhere, there’s simply no history, no way to call back just that important URL that you need the most right now.
Not anymore!

Facebook itself announced Jabber chat grand opening, so now you can use your iChat (or Adium, so to speak) to chat – even if you’re not using Facebook in a browser!

Let’s see how this is done.

facebook ichat

  • Open the iChat menu “Preferences”,
  • click on Account and then on the “+” button below,
  • select “Jabber” from the chat list,
  • insert the account name as follows: [your account name on facebook]@chat.facebook.com ,
  • your Facebook password,
  • click on “Server options” and type: Server: chat.facebook.com , Port: 5222, uncheck Use SSL.

    That’s all! Now all your friends will appear just as usual iChat contacts!

    Note #1: I love iChat but I’m still in love with Adium, since it works with a wider spectrum of IM services, and has lots of plug-ins.

    Note #2: By the way, this means to me that I can use Facebook chat even on my trusted ol’ Nokia E61, thanks to Talkonaut! Just waiting for the right iPhone app as well!

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    Posted on November 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Get 5 Mac really useful apps ($154 value) for free: 4 days remaining!

    The bundle that came for free

    MacHeist did it again!
    Usually their app bundles typically deliver a dozen Mac applications at a significant discount.
    The latest bundle is even more affordable: it delivers you 6 Mac applications ($154 value) for Free!

  • ShoveBox ($25) – easily capture important bits of information
  • WriteRoom ($25) – a distraction free writing environment
  • Twitterific ($15) – popular Twitter client
  • TinyGrab ($14) – quickly share screenshots
  • Hordes of Orcs ($25) – tower defense game
  • Mariner Write* ($50) – fast, streamlined word processor
  • * Mariner Write requires 500,000 total bundle participants to be “unlocked”.

    My favorites?

    writeroom macI love WriteRoom (in fact I’m writing this very post with WR now) for its simplicity and ingenuity: it’s really “distraction-free” writing – with some pluses.
    You get a Matrix-like editing screen that’s really good if you need to concentrate only on writing – and you ought to!

    twitterrific mac freeSince I’m an avid Twitter user, Twitterrific is a valuable tool!
    Just like WriteRoom, you get a full-featured Twitter window that requires very little system resources, stays quietly in the background, allows you to perform all Twitter operations.
    (regular price for this jewel is $ 14.95 – for free is a steal!)

    I’m intrigued by ShoveBox and still have to fully exploit its features.
    I love the idea of being able to stack up all tiny data (URLs, products, single news, snippets of code) that I get into all day.
    Hope Shovebox does it in a neat way as it promises: more on this will follow!

    Click there to download this free bundle offer from MacHeist but hurry up, offer end November 12th 2009!

    (Each application offered represents full licenses.)

    Remember that free is the perfect number!


    Posted on August 28, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Snow Leopard available today: catch the white feline on your Mac!

    Starting today, Mac OS X Snow Leopard is available for shipping.
    Current Mac OS 10.5 Leopard users are eligible to upgrade to Snow Leopard at the very low price of $29.

    Snow Leopard is a truly exciting addition to the Mac OS X line, with half the footprint of previous versions, great new features in Expose & Stacks, quicker Time Machine backup, and faster wireless network interaction. It’s the world’s most advanced operating system, finely tuned.

    Quicktime X and 64-bit support just to name a few features.

    I’ll be checking ’em out very soon and report about them!


    Posted on July 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Run Telnet and Watch Star Wars in full ASCII–high-definition!

    Terminal usage shouldn’t deserve a boring reputation: here’ one more reason!

    ASCII art has been with us as long as we’ve been using computers, and there’s a lot of great ASCII animation out there. How about watching the original Star Wars in ASCII animation?

    ascii animation star warsA telnet server out there on the Internet serves up this amazing adaptation.

    Just enter telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl and hit return.

    You’re definitely right: it’s Star Wars – Episode IV: A new hope!

    The guy behind this masterpiece is Simon Jansen: kudos Simon!

    Feel lazy?
    Get here and watch ASCII-Star Wars in video (losing a lot of the fun…)

    By the way, this is version of Star Wars doesn’t need any video codec and is fully compatible with any OS (maybe a Commodore 64 with suitable TCP/IP stack too!).


    Posted on July 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    How to fix Adsense Notifier under Firefox 3.5.x – Mac OS X and PC version

    The AdSense Notifier add-on for Firefox has always been one of my favourite extension for FF.

    Starting from Firefox 3.0 although, it had several problems.

    Now, with FireFox 3.5 release things have gone even worse; moreover its developer, a guy named Allen G. Holman AKA Mincus, has no longer supported its creations nor updated it blog: where are you Allen?

    So, no more support from developer, Firefox 3.5 no longer installing it: what else? Living with no Adsense notifications?
    No way!

    So… I came up with a solution and a way to get it running like before with some help and workarounds both on Mac OS X and Windows.

    First let’s get back to basics.

    Here is where it all started: AdSense Notifier add-on for Firefox, and here’s the author’s web site Mincus Code.

    The first help I got was LancelHoff’s blog which give some good instructions on how to operate on XPI add-on packages.
    [thanks Doug Poire AKA dcphosting_services for posting it on Mozilla.org!]

    Let’s open it: call Gil Grissom for Adsense.XPI!

    Step #1: in first place, get yourself a copy of Adsense.xpi and save it on your desktop.

    [Note all instructions from now onwards will be the same for Mac OS X and Windows]

    Step #2: rename the downloaded Adsense.xpi file as Adsense.zip and unzip it as usual, preserving directory structure, in a directory called Adsense.

    This is the directory structure that you should see:

    adsense notifier directory structure

    Step #3: fire your favourite text Editor (on the Mac I’m in love with Smultron) and open the Install.rdf file within the Adsense directory;

    Step #4: check line #33 and replace the Firefox version number according to the line below:

    <em :maxVersion>3.5.*</em>

    we need to fool Firefox into believing that this plug-in is compatible with any 3.5.x version.
    [Note: if you aren’t willing to get into this when FF 3.6.x comes out, just put a 3.6.* version number and forget about it!]

    adsense notifier code

    Step #5: open nsAdsensenotifier.js under the Components directory with the text editor;

    Step #6: look for line 103, replacing the following line of code:

    var passwd = "";

    with this code (replacing your actual password):

    var passwd = "password";

    This step will eliminate the annoyance of being asked again the Adsense account password;

    Step #7: save all text files and close text editor;

    Step #8: zip (or compress) the Adsense folder into Adsense35.xpi: beware not to include the Adsense path into the zip file! That is: no sub-folders or it will not work…

    Check here the correct zip file directory structure:

    adsense notifier zip file directory structure

    Step #9: open Firefox and uninstall any previous Adsense notifier; restart Firefox;

    Step #10: open the Adsense35.xpi directly from Firefox (CMD+O on the Mac or Open File – CTRL+O on Windows) and proceed as usual installing the plug-in.

    There you are! Adsense notifier is up and running as usual!

    Hope this helps you as much as it helps me!


    I found this notable quotation:

    “Anyone who uses Google ads on their blog and web site spends a lot of time checking in to see how they are doing. This has been called GAD or Google Adsense Disorder, and I definitely suffer from it.”

    I definitely sign it!

    Further readings: about GAD – Google Adsense Disorder and the notifier.

    Please note: The following fix worked for me, however, I am offering no warranty for this information. Proceed at your own risk.


    Posted on March 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Wget – a must for all Mac-geeks!

    Let’s face it, when it comes to quick-and-dirty missions, there’s no better place than Terminal.
    Provided you know how to use it, what to use and which parameter to feed in, you can do almost anything…

    Take wget for example, that incidentally is not part of the standard stuff that Mac OS X comes with.

    You can bypass almost any browser problems, you just give it a feasible URL and, boom there you are.
    It’s by far the best way to get files, updates, SVNs or stuff like that.
    It’s also the best way to hack your way through embedded flash videos so popular these days.

    Syntax at the lowest level goes like this:

    wget [URL]

    You can specify a horde of options in between, output dir, HTTP auth options and so on.
    My favorite is -b which runs the process into background-land and gives me command line back.

    Fact is, as most *nix commands you get source code and so need to compile it.
    Here’s a tip: Quentin Stafford compiled a wget so you get binaries comfortably running with Leopard.

    Check his page on wget here and download wget Mac OS X-ready binaries from here.


    Posted on October 30, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    It’s Leopard showtime, everywhere!

    Just attended Apple’s presentation of Mac OS X Leopard: impressive.

    Time Machine, Quicklook, new Finder, Shared computer access, improved iChat and some 300+ new features.

    Will try all (at least the more important of them) and report to you all! Now, let’s install it!

    By now, just one suggestion: for the first time ever, more RAM available is not enough.

    Time Machine alone, requires an external drive to hourly backup all your valuable data.


    Posted on October 1, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Upek Eikon: Fingerprint Scanner for Macs

    Don’t really feel like I needed one…

    Mac users tend to smile when they hear about Windows’ security issues. Whatever the reasons might be, OS X has proved to be a very secure computing platform, with a lack of viruses, and critical exploits usually getting shut down by Apple before any damage is done. Physical access, however, is another thing. If your computer isn’t locked down tight, anyone sitting at your Mac can do exactly what they like, from stealing your data to a scary rm -r in the command line.

    Full story here.


    Posted on June 26, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Friendspotting in the MIT campus with iFind and WiFi

    How do you meet when you’re at MIT campus?
    Imagine you’re using one the many hotspots around and have to meet mates (or professors), you’re supposed to be using already a chat system but…
    does it aloow you to locate other users?
    Enter iFind from MIT, a Java-based IM (available thus for Win XP and Linux users too).

    ifind mit campusWhat is exactly?

    iFIND is a location-aware application that puts you on a map of the MIT campus when you start the program. That is, it puts you on your own map of campus, and not other people’s, unless you give them permission.

    As usual with MIT, iFind has its roots in a previous project way ahead if its time!

    iFIND spawned out of iSPOTS, a project at SENSEable that began in 2005, and concerns over the privacy implications of real-time location data. Our response was to develop an application that would allow users to share location information in real-time, with the ability to start and stop sharing information with any users at any time.

    Under the hood, the main features…

    Positioning – we don’t have fancy positioning technology beyond what we found from PlaceLab. We just put PlaceLab to good use. Your location is derived from the signals that your laptop’s (for example) wireless card detects in its vicinity. Thanks to the high density of WiFi access points on the MIT campus, the software can compute your location accurately (we’d say within a few meters).

    Distributed Data – we spent a long time deliberating over our privacy scheme. Our premise was, suppose some malicious person wanted to stalk some user and seized control of our server somehow (we would never let that happen, but just suppose), they should not be able to find logs of users’ locations. Thus, taking the extreme view of giving users control over their data, we implemented an architecture that does not collect users’ locations centrally. Instead, the only way to see a user’s traces is to get the user’s permission, and be logged on to iFIND at the same time.


    Posted on June 15, 2007 at 10:27 am

    RakWeb offers Web-based VoIP that runs on Mac OS X

    VoIPstage.com reports:

    Raketu is offering a Web-based VoIP calling service that works with Macs.

    Raketu on Wednesday launched RakWeb, a new Web-based Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony service that runs on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. Right now, RakWeb is the only way Mac users can use Raketu, as the company has only released a Windows version of its client to date.

    Calling other Raketu users is free, and the company offers low rates if you wish to call other landline or mobile phones. The technology works over any Internet connection, broadband or dial-up, and features free calling to locations in over 40 countries around the world. The service also offers the ability to connect two people using landlines or mobile phones.


    Posted on January 9, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    MacWorld expo first round: Apple TV and iPhone announced!

    iTv farewell, meet Apple TV!
    Some sort of Airport Express with a 40 GB hard disk, USB2, Wi-Fi 802.11/B/G and N!
    Up to five connected PCs (Macs, sorry) can access this true digital hub!

    iphoneiPhone: the most expected widget in history….
    This time is for real!
    Touchscreen, innovative interface and multiuser device – as well as smartphone.

    By the way, Steve dislikes the ‘smartphone’ tag…

    A really thin device, with 8 GB memory, a huge 3,5″ display, WiFi, EDR Bluetooth, quadband and… runs Mac OS X!!!
    More details upcoming!


    Posted on December 8, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    Calling out all Mac Skype users: check your Skype account for free minutes/SMS on Fridays!

    Skype-lovers to-do list:

    – go & check on www.skype.com,
    – log in with your account data (unless you’re already logged in or you use Firefox)
    get some minutes (or SMSs) for FREE!, should be 15 minutes (but check effective call rates!)

    As stated on Skype web site, this will work on Fridays for the full month of December!

    Mac users only 😉

    Update: some users pointed out that this offer may be related to selected countries only.
    UK, France & Italy seem to be working fine…