Category Archives: Software

New WordPress Plugin – Paul’s Latest Posts

I’ve written a new plugin for WordPress called Paul’s Latest Posts. This sidebar widget pulls your latest posts and displays them with an excerpt. I’ve just gotten confirmation from WordPress Plugins that it’s been approved for hosting on the official WordPress Plugins page. It’s not showing yet, but when it is I’ll provide the link and you can tell me what you think.

Mac OS Password Assistant

Mac OS has a useful utility for generating secure passwords – Password Assistant. While it’s certainly useful, it’s only accessible from within preference panes that require you to enter a password.

I spent some time with Activity Monitor to see if I could determine if Password Assistant was a separate program being called. No joy there, so I turned to my old friend Google.

That’s how I found a utility from codepoetry that calls Password Assistant directly. It’s small, it works and best of all it’s free.

Using GIMP Brushes with Seashore

I use Seashore as my main image editor on Mac OS. I’m not a graphics designer so I don’t need an uber-powerful, all singing, all dancing graphics editor.

While Seahorse fits my needs, one thing it does lack is a comprehensive set of brushes. However, because it is based around GIMP, you can use brushes created for GIMP.

To add brushes to Seashore you need to do the following:

  • Locate Seashore in your Applications Folder,
  • Cmd-Click on the and select “Show Package Contents”,
  • Browse to “Contents -> Resources -> brushes”,
  • Drag and drop your GIMP brush set into this folder.

There’s plenty of free GIMP brushes available on the net, but deviantART is a good place to start.

“The connection was refused”Error Message When Using Leopard’s Web Sharing

I came across this problem when trying to enable Web Sharing on my Macbook:

Connection Refused Error

Connection Refused Error

Seems that even if the Sharing Preferences Pane shows that Apache is running, it’s not. A simple Terminal command will show you:

$ ps aux | grep httpd
pmac 1796 0.0 0.0 599820 464 s001 R+ 12:52pm 0:00.00 grep httpd

After a lot of searching, I found the solution. There’s an issue with the Leopard Apache upgrade that somehow forgets to create the log files that Apache needs to start. To fix the problem, type the following commands into Terminal:

sudo touch /var/log/apache2/access_log
sudo touch /var/log/apache2/error_log
sudo chmod 600 /var/log/apache2/access_log
sudo chmod 600 /var/log/apache2/error_log

Restart the Web Sharing Service by unticking and ticking the box is System Preferences or by running the following command in Terminal:

sudo apachectl restart

Apache should be up and running and you can test this by clicking this link: http://localhost. If everything goes to plan you should see the following page:

Apache Start Page

Apache Start Page

Cool iTunes Grid View Tip

I’ve spent the last couple of days updating my iTunes library. Updating track and album info, finding album art, that kind of thing. Took me quite a few hours to get everything organised the way I wanted it, but it’s finally done.

One thing I did notice is that if you use the Grid View and go to Genres, you’ll see the iTunes default logos for each genre of music that you have in your library.

iTunes Genres Default Logos

iTunes Genres Default Logos

That’s not the cool thing though. Move your mouse left and right over the logo, and iTunes will display the album art for each album in that genre.

iTunes Showing Album Covers

iTunes Showing Album Covers

See? Cool!

Enabling Remote Desktop Connection in Vista Home Premium

I had reason recently to try a Remote Desktop Connection with a PC running Vista Home Premium. While Vista HP allows you to send Remote Invitations, it doesn’t allow Remote Connections to be initiated from the client computer.

I played around with using VNC, but the connection was much more flakey and slower than a RDC session would be. It was with some relief that I found this post from “Fran Goes Blog” with a solution. It worked a treat. Thanks Fran.