Google Ad’s move on a little?

So I know this isn’t particularly relevant to Mac’s but I thought I would post it anyway.

I just did a search on Google and got a new type of advert, seems like Google have added call-back advertising to the sponsored ad’s on the right hand side of a google search page.

See the little phone icon?

Google Advert

Clicking that gives a little animation hiding the text advert and replacing it with this:

Google Advert

Finally, click connect and the phone rings.

Google Advert

I bet they get a lot of calls today from people like me who don’t need any kind of insurance but are curious :)

The good news? This is no more obtrusive than a google text advert (well, after the first time you see it obviously) but it’s an interesting development, especially that some JavaScript effects/AJAX are now being used in quite a natural and unobtrusive way. The bad news? I tried it with JavaScript off and it degraded pretty poorly, only giving me the phone number of the company so that I could call them instead. There is no reason it couldn’t have just started with the “enter your phone number” prompt.

Interesting though… At least I thought so, I wonder if they will tie it in with some sort of VoIP in the future? Google Talk maybe?

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Slow SSH connections on Mac OS X

So, I have to spend quite a lot of time remotely logged into a unix server by SSH at the moment. Luckily Mac OS X comes with a nice SSH client already installed but I have been having problems with it taking forever (well, up to a minute) to connect which finally got annoying enough to fix this morning.

The first thing I did was to enable debug messages with the -v parameter.

dave$ ssh -v dave@

When I ran that, the long pause came just before this error message:

debug1: An invalid name was supplied
Cannot determine realm for numeric host address

A few quick googles and I had the solution, add a DNS lookup for the IP address and the speed issue goes away leaving you with a fast and responsive SSH connection process!

To add the DNS lookup, simply edit the /etc/hosts file (you will need to sudo this or type your password when it is saved) and add a line something like this to the bottom: myunixserver

Then you should be able to connect quickly using either the IP address or the new host name you assigned.

AFK again

Again sorry for the extended delay on blogging, I will let NetNewsWire explain the predictable answer to why I haven’t blogged for a while!

You know it’s not good when you get to that many unread posts :) Anyway, hang tight… There is a (short) post coming in about 5 minutes.

Hello BBC people

I was linked from the BBC web site this afternoon so hello and welcome to anyone who is visiting from there.

I had an e-mail from Darren Waters from the BBC this morning who had seen the photos on Flickr and asked if he could interview me about the faulty battery and my experience with getting it repaired, three hours later and its up on the BBC news site. Who said traditional journalism can’t keep up with the pace of blogs?

My original post about the bulging battery is here.

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You never stop learning

Unlike Dave I’ve owned a Mac for nearly three years now and thought that I was fairly adept with OS X and knew most of its secrets. This evening though I found out that you never really stop learning.

There’s a shortcut in Safari and the Finder that allows you to navigate quickly up a directory or website hierarchy. Command+click on the folder name at the top of the Finder window or in the web page’s name at the top of a Safari window and you’re shown the path of the file / web page you’re at and can quickly navigate back upwards. If you’ve got a three button mouse plugged in then a middle click will have the same effect.

It makes me wonder what else I’ve still not found out about OS X.

By Eifion

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Be my guest

A friend of mine recently came across something new and useful after almost three years of Mac use and wanted to share it with the world, so the next post will be by him and not me! This might happen again occasionally if inspiration strikes him, or if you feel you have something that would fit in with the content of this blog then please let me know and I am sure we can get it published.

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I really hope that the rumor of Apple adding a spreadsheet component to iWork is true.

I bought iWork fairly quickly after buying my Mac because I had to give a presentation on short notice, the iWork trial that came with the mac had expired and the price is right, being just under that invisible price limit that makes you think twice so I just plugged the credit card in and off I went.

I am glad I did as well, I think Keynote is a fabulous presentation app and Pages is perfectly adequate for writing small documents and to be honest I have been holding off buying Microsoft Office for my new business until I have to because I would rather not spend that money on software I will rarely use.

What it does desperately need though is a simple spreadsheet application much like ThinkSecret is describing:

[Charts is] a more consumer-friendly spreadsheet application that can handle the needs of home users and small businesses but not pretend to execute any of the more advanced functions of Excel.

I have my fingers crossed that it is true!

(… and I know, I could try Open Office or Neo Office, I just haven’t absolutely had to yet but I will before shelling out for MS Office :)

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