My 1st Apple Mac

I bought a Mac Book Pro last week. 10th August 2009. I’ll probably write up some notes about how I get it to do a job of work. The first set of notes I need were the HTML editor. despite having already installed Open Office, which has an editor. This page is demised.

User Switching

Sue’s started to use the Mac, and so we need “Fast User Switching”. This is quite well hidden until you know that its called “Fast User Switching”. Then both Google and the Mac’s Help tool become quite usefull. Theres a switch in System Preferences – Accounts that turns it on, and a new widget appears on the top panel documenting the current user and permitting a quick switch to another user, if you have the password or to the login screen. I’ll need to remember to switch to the Login screen before closing the lid, but “jobs a good ‘un”.


In order to install WINE, I have already installed git, but it seems that I need Mac Ports as well. Since I may try Bluefish as I have an industrial web editing project, and this needs macports as well, I will try to install it. I only hope the Mac version of Bluefish works better than the Windows Vista version I have just uninstalled for crapness reasons.


Finder has this functionality, together with an ftp favourites list, although might be worth downloading if I need more functionality. Its got a cool name anyway. Finder offers read only for some reason. Unbelievable!

HTML Editor

I need something to replace Hot Metal Pro, speaking with Constantin give me the following ideas

  • Expresso, which is €60, so pretty steep for an individual
  • iWeb, part of the Mac’s personal productivity suit
  • Netbeans
  • Bluefish
  • Taco, which isn’t free
  • W3C Amaya

Hot Metal’s chief benefit was the tag editor view, which almost allows one to drag and drop the tags onto a page. I am still using it with WINE.
Graham Fletcher pointed me at
Try Google: free MacOSx HTML editors
I returned to this in Feb 2010, and it seems that Bluefish needs macports to install.


So iMail looks quite cute, but I am a BT Connect customer. I can’t get the SMTP server to work. Malcom Coles writes about it on his blog, in article called btconnect….on an Apple Mac, and he advises some bizzare process. I tried just configuring the smtp server but it doesn’t like that, I tried adding the btconnect pop account, which it will login to, but still won’t send. I have tried following Malcom’s advise but it’s still not working. This now seems to work on 10.9 Mavericks Jan 2014.
I have also found the following additional resources

  • BT’s how to connect a Mac, this is bog standard, and as far as I can tell I have done what they said, except I did it in the wrong order and installed an additional pop3 account.

Thunderbird works! Although BT won’t forward mails from any account other than their own. So the BT Connect account has to be configured. Maybe the answer is to configure one’s own SMTP server. I now have a private smtp server. June 2013.
I have spoken to one colleague who never uses the BT smtp server, and one colleague who uses Thunderbird.
If I insist on fixing this, I need to delete all accounts and install just the BT Connect mail accounts and see if that works. Currently the tiscali account has no smtp server assigned. I am expect to loose the use of this account on Wednesday, so I expect I won’t fix it.


I got this working with IDLE. See Python & Leopard on the front page. The outstanding questions are how do I get the terminal session to end? How do I associated an icon with the script file that does the work?


This is meant to work eh? Well, I have a printer locally attached to my XP box. Getting this to work is not intuitive but is bloody awesome. These are instructions on how to use lpr over tcp/ip. I had problems getting the thing to work any other way. I did not have the port re-director software, part of ghostscript on my XP box; I do now.
It is probably possible to install a raw print filter on the Mac and connect to the Windows hosted print queue using smb or lpr, but I am grateful for this pretty simple ‘howto’.
The two bits I found unclear, were related to assigning and using names. The names on the windows machine are the names in the Windows print control panel. This includes the name argument to gsprint.exe. My servers don’t use dhcp so I used private ip addresses and don’t have to worry about windows & macosx doing the name translation correctly.

Address Book Sync

I have moved on, with the amount of IT I use, address book sync is harder than I need. Here are some links about sync’ing the address book with googlemail.

Now all I have to do is make imail work with BT Internet.

Moving on to Snow Leopard

Lifehacker, on how to move forward and my page on Upgrading.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. iMail and BT Connect | Well Red
    [...] couldn’t get these to work together and so am using [...]
  2. Mavericks |
    […] the article My 1st Apple Mac, I identified a fault such that BT consumer customers could not use iMail s a mail composer. Since […]

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