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iWork in iCloud – Free Web-based Productivity Suite from Apple

iWork from Apple

Although we do not hear the name “iWork” pronounced anywhere any more, it was the name for the trilogy of the full-blown productivity suite from Apple featuring word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications alternative to Microsoft Office. The “hard-client” version of these applications – namely “Pages“, the word processing app, “Numbers” the spreadsheet app, and “Keynote“, the presentation app – are usually available for free exclusively to Apple customers who purchased at least one of Apple hardware product such as a Mac computer or an iOS-based smart device such as an iPhone or iPad or at what I would call a reasonable price to be purchased separately by old-timers and early-adopters like myself.

iWorkHowever, Apple has also made web versions of these applications back in 2011. As of 2012, the software set was free to any purchaser of a new Apple product – a perpetual license is automatically granted to the associated Apple ID of such a customer so that they can download them for any of their Apple devices from Apple’s App Store.

Very few people know that the web application version of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are actually free for everyone who just signs up to obtain a free Apple ID and get access to iCloud.com (which is also for free) via this Apple ID even if they didn’t (and won’t) purchase anything from Apple. And because the iCloud versions of these applications simply run inside a web browser, you do not necessarily need a Mac or an Apple smart device to use them.

PagesAs mentioned above, the alternative “Office” productivity suite consists of “Pages” the word processor which is pretty much compatible back and forth with the files created with Microsoft Word, “Numbers” the spreadsheet Numbers iconsolution with artistic style so that aside from creating and working with traditional spreadsheets, you can also create ones which look like product brochures with stylish tables and formatting with an impressive (but not extreme) compatibility with Excel, and the last but not least is the “Keynote” application which is a presentation application that works the “Apple way”. These three applications can import and export most MS Office files (except those loaded with VBScript macros), and they are even capable of producing PDF outputs. With Pages, it is even possible to export your document as an ePub file – great news for self-publishing book authors!

Apple Keynote iconTo use these applications, all you need is a browser and an “Apple ID”. Very few users know that on any computer, be it a Mac, Windows PC or Linux/UNIX machine – especially one freshly set up with any applications not yet installed except a default web browser coming along out-of-the-box, one can just log in to www.icloud.com and start working on .doc(x), .xls(x) and .ppt(x) files (or create them from scratch), share them by e-mail (with no e-mail client set up on that very computer) and even export them as PDFs – all just using a compatible browser.

Pages on iCloud screenshot

Exporting a newsletter from Pages word processor running in a web browser connected to iCloud.com

At the time of this writing when Safari 10.1 is a month old since its release, iWork page on Apple’s web site acknowledged that iWork for iCloud works with Safari 6.0.3 or later, Chrome 27.0.1 or later, and Internet Explorer 10.0.9 or later. Although a recent version of Firefox should do fine as well, Apple does not seem to officially support Firefox, neither guarantees iCloud will work fine on it.

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How to Convert .daa Disk Images to .iso

.DAA to .ISO ConverterIf you ever run into a disk image in .daa format, and you need to access its contents on Mac OS X, DAA Converter for Mac OS X is what you need.

DAA Converter for Mac OS X is a free utility for converting DAA & GBI disk images to ISO format so they can be accessed on your Mac.

DAA Converter is a native GUI application which wraps the command-line tool, DAA2ISO / GBI 2 ISO, by Luigi Auriemma.
It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther or later. I have tested it on Mac OS X Leopard which works just fine on 10.5, too.

Just drag the icon of any .daa or .gib disk image onto the application’s icon, and the conversion process will instantly take place – an .iso version of the disk image will be instantly created on the same directory as the source image file.

You can download DAA Converter for Mac OS X (105 downloads)  here or visit the downloads page.

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How to easily open UIF disk images on the Mac and convert to .iso format

UIF2ISO MacPopular among Windows PC users .Uif is an alternative disk image format to others like .iso.img and .bin-.cue couples.

You can open and convert UIF disk images on Mac OS X using one of the following disk image utilities:

  1. Uif2iso which is a cross-platform command-line tool developed by Luigi Auriemma.
  2. Uif2iso4mac a GUI application by Torsten Curdt . Uif2iso4mac is built upon  Luigi Auriemma’s uif2iso command line utility with a Mac graphic user interface adding basic functionalities of a real Mac app like drag-and-drop and a menu bar i.e. choosing an image using the File > Open menu.

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How to maximize Safari windows to full-screen on the Mac? * updated *

One of the most annoying and frustrating thing especially for the so-called Windows-converts (i.e. people who “switch to the Mac” from Windows) on Mac OS X is that the maximize button (the small round green button with a ‘+’ sign on the upper-left corner of every window) acts differently on Mac than Windows in most cases. In fact, the maximize button behavior varies from application to application on the Mac, and unlike on Windows, it does not necesseraly maximize the window, but just change its dimensions. (See below and the rest of the article for details and for a couple work-around solutions to making windows full-screen on web browsers such as Safari).

On windows , the maximize button – where the term “maximize” is inherent from Windows operating system anyway – simply enlarges a window to almost full screen except that the window’s title bar, menu bar and the task bar remains visible and the remaining space is allocated to the window and its contents. On the Mac, however, this may not exactly be the case – especially when using Safari.
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Windows 7 Comes to the Rescue

Toby Turner a stand-up comedian, actor, songwriter and a YouTube personality has composed and performed a song about Windows 7 coming to the rescue after what we all have suffered from Windows Vista. It looks like he likes Mac OS X better, though, and he probably uses Windows only rarely on his MacBook Pro via BootCamp. Here’s the music video:

You can support Toby by visiting and subscribing to his YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/tobuscus




All About VNC


What is VNC?

VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing, and it is a desktop sharing system with a graphic user interface which allows you to connect and control a remote computer over a network or the Internet. Thanks to the RFB (Remote Frame Buffer) protocol it’s using, VNC applications send the keyboard and mouse events to a remote computer on the network (or the Internet) who’s screen is being shared, and it relays back the updates.

RFB (Remote FrameBuffer) is a simple protocol and since operates at the framebuffer level, it can be used on all operating systems with a GUI including Windows, Macintosh (Mac OS X) and Linux. Although RFB started as a very simple protocol used by VNC and its derivatives, it has been improved so as to support file sharing, advanced compression and security techniques in its development cycle.

Why VNC is used and How

With VNC you can display the screen of a remote computer on your own computer in a window or in full screen mode, and using your own keyboard and mouse on this screen, you can control that remote computer as if you are sitting in front of it. All actions taken on the view of the remote desktop on your computer are performed actually on the remote computer itself.

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Ability to write to NTFS volumes on the Mac


Thanks for visiting this – well, sort of – ancient page. As the rules of the game of enabling writing on NTFS on the Mac has dramatically changed over the past years, I published a new article titled How to both WRITE to and read from PC [NTFS] Drives on macOS which you might rather read here. If knowing how people used to write to NTFS volumes on the Mac more than 10 years ago is still interesting to you, then feel free to read on.

You can add the possibility to write / modify NTFS files on Mac OS X now thanks to MacFUSE from Google Code and NTFS-3G from Erik Larsson. MacFUSE allows you to extend Mac OS X’s native file handling capabilities via 3rd-party file systems. As a normal user, installing the MacFUSE software package will let you use any 3rd-party file system written on top of  MacFUSE, such as NTFS-3G from Erik Larsson which will allow you to not only read NTFS volumes, but also give you the ability to write (finally) to NTFS volumes. In order to have the functionality MacFUSE and NTFS-3G must respectively be installed on your Mac (and the system be rebooted after respective installation). MacFUSE can be downloaded from the following address: https://code.google.com/p/macfuse/ or the cross-platform utilities section of OzarWEB downloads.

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