Safari 4 public beta released today

Today, Apple released a public beta of Safari 4.  I pulled the Windows version, and all I can say is ‘WOW’!  It definitely has some nice features, like the ‘Top Sites’ feature.  Coverflow for bookmarks is interesting IF it would automatically load the pages (I haven’t seen that behavior yet).  The tabs at the top is OK, makes sense, but does break a lot of UI conventions.  The Windows version looks like a Windows application, not a ‘Mac-skinned wanna be’.  Can’t wait to try the Mac version at home.  The new Developer tools are nice, as well.  The new Safari really rocks!

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First post from Scribefire!

This is the first post using ScribeFire…  I’m trying to find something that will work with my Mac to post to Windows Live Spaces.  So far, to my knowledge, none of the major Mac blog programs work with Windows Live spaces.  I ran across ScribeFire in a post of a review of the different Mac blog programs.  ScribeFire is a plug-in for Firefox.  I’m working off of a Windows computer now, but will try this from my Mac at home later.

My Mac just got a little bit ‘Logic’-al

I’ve written a LOT about Garageband, and how I really enjoy it.  I just upgraded to Garageband ‘09, and find it a nice upgrade, but I’ve been hitting some snags.  I have been trying to take my Garageband experience to the next level.  I work with MIDI a LOT, making backing tracks from MIDI songs.  I’m starting to get to the point where Garageband just can’t do what I need done.  The main thing is Multiple Time Signatures in One Song.  Anyone who’s ever looked at ‘The Ocean’ by Led Zeppelin in a MIDI editor knows what I’m talking about. 🙂

So, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Rick and I were over at the local Apple store.  It was relatively quiet (for an Apple Store), so I decided to play with Logic Studio and see how hard multiple time signatures were.  After a few minutes of figuring the time signatures out (it was VERY easy), one of the Apple Store employees came up to help.  I explained what I was looking for, and he went and brought over their Logic teacher!  He ended up showing me a BUNCH of stuff that I could do very easily with Logic that was taking a lot of time in Garageband.

I ended up ordering Logic Express and a PeachPit book on Logic.  Everything arrived, and I’ve been able to start playing around with it.  It is definitely a step up over Garageband, but one of the beautiful things about Garageband is it’s simplicity.  It was a good thing I ordered the book, there is a lot to learn about Logic, and the book is great.  Both programs are great tools, and I plan to continue using Garageband, as it is VERY fast to set up good sounding backing tracks.

Hotmail and Windows Live Mail free POP3/SMTP access seems to be live in the US!!! (At least for me it is!)

Well, it looks like Microsoft finally got the free POP3/SMTP access working for Hotmail and Windows Live Mail in the US.  This is one of the LAST pieces of ‘Windows Only’ things that I used to use. 

There are only 2 reasons I keep Windows around anymore… One is for Microsoft Money.  This is a major sticking point for me 😦  Quicken has not released a ‘DECENT’ version for the Mac, and I doubt Microsoft will ever port Microsoft Money to the Mac.  All I ask for in a program is that it connects to my banks/credit cards/401k and automatically downloads the information.  And, by automatic, I do not mean that *I* log into the site, download a file, then drop it into a program.  Several Mac programs say ‘connect to your bank’, but they require going through a very manual process.  If Quicken Financial Life will do true automatic downloads, I’ll switch to Quicken, but as I’m using the beta, automatic downloads really don’t seem like a feature that is implemented yet.  Come on guys, if Microsoft can do it, surely Quicken can.  The second reason is Visual Studio.  As I make my bread-and-butter with .NET, I have to keep a copy of it around.  Oh, and there is Windows Live Writer, from which I write this blog.  But, many things might be changing with this blog soon, so that might not be an issue 🙂

Sorry, got a bit off topic…

To set up Hotmail in either the Mac’s Mail or the iPhone mail, one will need the following settings when setting up a POP3 account:

Incoming Server: pop3.live.com

Outgoing Server: smtp.live.com

Use SSL for the outgoing server (port 587).  Use your full email address for the Username.

It should be fairly easy to set these up under both the iPhone and Mac’s Mail program.

One LESS ‘Windows Only’ feature!  Yeah!!!!!

Update on connecting Powershell to a remote, non-authenticated network share

Back in September, I wrote a blog entry on connecting to a remote, non-authenticated network share.  Unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes in my article.  😦

First off, there is no UnmapNetworkDrive method on the WScript.Network object.  I don’t know where I got that from.  I ended up finding the RemoveNetworkDrive method.  The only problem with that method is it will throw an exception if the drive letter doesn’t exist.  So, I ended up searching the PSDrives to see if the mapped drive already exists before unmapping it.  The last trick was to figure out if the resulting object is null.  To see if an object is null, all one has to do is do

Second, there was a missing parameter in the MapNetworkDrive.

Below is the new script

$pwd = convertto-securestring password -asplaintext -force
$cred = new-object System.Management.Automation.PsCredential "domainuser", $pwd
$net = New-Object -com WScript.Network

$mDrive = get-PSDrive | where-object { $_.root.StartsWith("newDriveLetter:") }

if ($mDrive)
{
    $net.RemoveNetworkDrive("newDriveLetter:")
}

$net.MapNetworkDrive("newDriveLetter:", “\123.123.123.123Share”, 0, "domain/user", $cred.GetNetworkCredential().Password)

Sorry for the confusion!