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Remove the Arrows in iTunes

terminal application
There used to be a preference to remove the arrows that linked to the iTunes store. That option disappeared from the preferences in iTunes 8, but you can still reach it through the magic of the terminal. And don’t worry it is easy. Open the Terminal application (look in the applications folder, then the system utilities folder). Then just paste this line into the terminal and hit return:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes show-store-arrow-links -bool FALSE

Want those goofy annoying arrows back? Easy.
defaults write com.apple.iTunes show-store-arrow-links -bool TRUE

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mac, tips

Living with Leopard's Firewall


I made the plunge and upgraded to Leopard. A CompUSA rebate of $30 (bringing Leopard down to a mere $99) was too much to pass up. I like a lot of Leopard and I haven’t had many problems so far, though I do see a good amount of room for improvement. One place that needs serious improvement is Leopard’s new Firewall system. I’d heard that you could now choose to open the firewall on the application level, and I thought that was nice, but I hadn’t heard that you *had* to do on the application level. That’s dumb. Application level rules are fine if I have a simple application I want to open a port for, but if I want to open a port for something like a custom build of apache it can’t be done.

Thankfully you can still use the terminal to open ports in the firewall for Leopard. Not as easy as using the firewall in Tiger, but it gets the job done. Here’s a few helpful tips:

to add a port:
sudo ipfw add allow [udp or tcp] from [port] to [port]
So, if you want allow port 80 with tcp you’d type sudo ipfw add allow tcp from 80 to 80

to see your rules:
sudo ipfw list

to delete an open port:
first type sudo ipfw list, you’ll get something like this

33300 deny icmp from any to me in icmptypes 8
33400 allow udp from 0.0.0.80 to 0.0.0.80
33500 allow tcp from 0.0.0.80 to 0.0.0.80

take the number proceeding the rule you want to delete and type sudo ipfw deletem [rule number], so if I wanted to delete the rule “33500 allow tcp from 0.0.0.80 to 0.0.0.80” I’d just type
sudo ipfw delete 33400

Hopefully Apple will realize that giving users no advanced options is dumb. But until then, start loving the terminal!

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tips, whatnot

Batch Converting to MP3 with Lame

I had a folder of .wav files that I wanted to convert to mp3 using lame. I thought I remembered an easy way to have it convert the entire folder but I couldn’t make anything happen. So I came up with an easy system using the mac’s terminal. All I have to do is go into a folder and type mp3ed and I get mp3 conversion just how I like it.

Here is how to do it:

  1. open the terminal and type “nano .bash_profile”
  2. type or paste to the end of the file (or as the first line if it’s a new file):

    alias mp3ed=”find *.wav -exec //usr/local/bin/lame –vbr-new -V0 ‘{}’ \;”

    (If you have a lame setting you like better you can change the “–vbr-new -V0” part of course.)

  3. hit control-x, then y at the prompt, then return at the last prompt.
  4. restart the terminal

Now, all you need to do to convert a folder of wav files is go into that folder (cd myfolder) and type mp3ed.

Of course for this to work you’ll need lame installed. If you are even just a tiny bit comfortable with the terminal that is easy enough (hint: decompress and paste cd ~/desktop/lame-3.97; ./configure; make; make install). To install lame you’ll also need apple’s free xcode, which you can download or install from the disks that came with your mac.

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