Recently I have found my self at the mercy of my ISP and diabolical download speeds in an attempt to download the massive (2+ GB) download that is Apple’s xCode. Which is where my latest blog article stems from, and the latest software review.

Back in october last year I posted a blog about some sync software from Eltima software, whilst online shopping for the sync software I noticed they offered a download manager solution. Now being a big heavy user of Getright on my previous windows boxes I considered it at the time. However, being new to the world of Mac’s I held off. Until now! 
Revisiting Eltima’s site I grabbed my self a copy of Folx their download manager. Folx comes with some pretty nifty features. (all of which normally found in download managers, but non the less… Nifty)
Tagging – Folx gives you the ability to ‘tag’ your download’s to help you keep track of what it is you are downloading, and makes it easier to find once it arrives into your downloads folder.
Faster Downloads – if you chose to go for the ‘Pro’ version of Folx you get the option of splitting your downloads. Which breaks the download down into smaller chunks which it downloads and then reconstructs once the download has finished.
Torrent Search – The ability to search for and download .torrent files direct from the Folx client.
Scheduled Downloads – The ability to schedule download tasks.
Speed Control – The ability to control the speed at which Folx download’s your files. Which the added extra of being able to pause and resume downloads.
Download Priorities – The ability to prioritise downloads to ensure you most important files finish first.
Growl & Spotlight Integration – Seamless integration into OS X’s spotlight search engine and growl notification engine.
Floating ‘wise’ window – a unique status window which is small enough not to get in the way but clever enough to provide quick and easy access to all the main features of the application.
…. there are plenty more features besides the above, all of which can be reviewed on Eltima’s ‘features page
Folix is compatible with OS x 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6 and most major OS X web browsers.
Click here to download your copy now. (Approx 9.2Mb)

News has started to hit the various mediums about invitations to an ‘unveiling’ ceremony for Apple’s latest version of it’s iPhone operating system. iPhone OS 4 has been rumoured to contain may new features and exciting updates. However the only features actually confirmed to date have been a refresh of the home screen (what ever that may mean) and an update to the syncing of the calendar and contacts. There are strong rumours around the ability of multi tasking in OS 4. Which so far have not been fully confirmed. Multi-touch gestures will also be making an OS wide appearance..

As with all previous releases, peoples wish lists are vast, and no matter how good the release is there’s a good chance there will be a lot of disappointed users.
The update will only be released to iPhone 3G’s and 3GS’s, with iPod touch users having to wait that little bit longer for the possibility of a refresh!
Over the last few days Apple have send out lots of invites to the iPhone OS 4 event, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday. With the OS not being too far behind.
One things for sure, unless you never venture out onto the scary place that they call the internet, you are going to find yourself bombarded with information and new articles all about the OS between now and then.
Hopefully the servers will be able to handle the mass update traffic this time, not like when the first OS 3 update came out and they fell over under the load! 
No doubt you will find me updating my phone as soon as the release is made public, and once done I will post my findings.. 
Until then, let the countdown commence to Thursday!

MAMPIf, like me you spend a lot of time developing websites both on webservers and locally then this tool is perfect for you! I was recently passed a project which required lots of SQL and PHP development. So I took on the task of trying to set up an apache server and a MySQL server. This rapidly became very frustrating thanks to all of the config changes required. 

I then went on a hunt for a simple solution – which is where MAMP came in. ‘MAMP’ (Macintosh, Apache, MySql and PHP) is a fantastic application which needs very few mouse clicks to get it up and running. After a 165Mb download the DMG file offers you two MAMP solutions. The normal MAMP installs which is an Apache server with PHP and MySQL support (among others) with the least amount of fuss or configuration. Which is perfect for the end users who just need a standard, single site solution. 
The second option is an MAMP Pro Trial which is the professional ‘advanced’ MAMP instance. Which offers all of the features of MAMP along with access to some more advanced features such as hosts management, advanced config, selectable users for Apache and MySql, configurable log storage locations and much much more. 
A licence key for MAMP Pro will set you back £39.00, which is fantastic considering it’s capabilities. 
Personally I have chosen to use the standard MAMP implementation, as I generally develop one site at a time and all of the advanced config is already complete of the live servers. It took me approximately 35 minutes to download, install and config my Apache and MySql servers. With most of the time being swallowed up by the download time of the file. MAMP comes bundled with the very popular phpMyAdmin interface, which is an excellent tool for administering and maintaining your MySQL databases.
For a more in depth view of the different features offered by the standard and pro implementations check out the MAMP features matrix.
Once the installation has completed, MAMP presents you with a GUI dashboard view of the services current status, and quick access to some of important functions of the MAMP server implementation.
On the left hand side of the panel, there a quick and easy red/green light notification system. A brilliantly simple way of checking the status of your implementation. On the right hand side you have the options of stopping the services, open the start page (summary page), changing your server preferences and quit’ing the application. Which also stops the services. (unless you change the default option in the preferences.)
The ‘start page’ offers a slightly more advanced overview of your implementation, with links to the bundled tools and links to the MAMP homepage etc.
So, if you want a webserver for your Mac but don’t want the hassle of complex server management MAMP is for you!
You can grab a copy of MAMP here.

EDIT: This post is very old, and someall of the information may now be out of date

For all of you Windows to Mac converts who are missing Windows Media, player here’s something you may be pleased to know. Windows Media Player 9 has been tested and proved fully functional in Mac OS X 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard).

You can download Windows Media Player 9 for Mac from Microsoft’s download site, however if you do so you will also need to download ‘Stuffit‘ as the download is an SITX archive file.
If you would rather just download the installer and not mess around downloading Stuffit, check out the link in my Downloads section.
However, this is a fairly minimalistic version of Windows Media Player, in that you don’t get any of the library functionality which you find in the Windows version. In fact, all you do actually get is a small video playback window with fairly limited menu options.
I suppose it’s still handy if you use webbed media sources that only provide Windows Media Player compatible links. Or if you really do miss the Windows logo that much..
Personally I think I am going to stick to VLC and iTunes.

Luscious SMSLuscious SMS is a desktop based mobile phone communications management solution, aimed at those who send large volumes of text messages or who would just rather use their computers keyboard instead of the phones keypad.

Luscious is able to extract SMS message folder contents including your Inbox, Drafts, Outbox, Sent and Trash folders direct from your mobile phone using either bluetooth or a cable connection. It even supports Apple iPhones, and they don’t even have to be jail broken!
Luscious is capable of sending SMS messages direct through connected mobile phones….. UNLESS of course you have an iPhone, for which SMS sending does not work! Which is a major pain. However Luscious offers a solution to that issue, it’s capable of sending SMS messages through one of several free online SMS services, or through it’s own professional SMS gateway.
Luscious has an ‘in-app’ store allowing you to purchase SMS packages of 100 SMS messages at €10 each. Enabling easy cost control over your mobile messaging.
The application integrates seamlessly with the native OS X address book, even providing autocompletion of names. Allowing the fastest possible solution for text messaging! It also contains a built in mini address book where you can store contact groups for batch messaging. 
Luscious has a feature rich and very liquid GUI interface, which doesn’t look out of place running next to my many other native Mac applications. Not only does it download all of the SMS folder contents, it also displays the senders name and not just the number. (unlike many similar applications)
The app is currently capable of supporting
Apple iPhone – SMS Receive
Sony Ericson Phones – SMS Send & Receive
Sagen Phones – SMS Send & Receive
With Nokia phone support coming soon!
If you are a Mac lover, and heavy SMS user then this app would be perfect for you!
To use Luscious you will need to be running Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and have either an active internet connection of a phone capable of supporting both send & receive from the list above.
You can download a 15 day trial version of Luscious from their website, and for a full version visit the ‘in-app’ store and purchase a license for €19.90

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