Security Update 2006-003

So I just got around to updating the iMac and iBook with Security Update 2006-003 for OS X (10.3.9). And I have found an excellent “side effect” of the update. The update contains fixes and updates to Apple’s WebKit, which is the technology that Safari uses to render web pages. As those of you know who like to use Safari to create posts on our blog (like I do, you can’t beat OS X’s built in spell checker that works in Safari but not Firefox), Panther’s version of Safari didn’t used to display the helpful authoring buttons found just below the Title area when creating a post. Well, as seen by the picture below, those buttons now show up correctly after applying Security Update 2006-003.

WordPress Post screen

So if you are running 10.3.9 and like to use Safari to post to our blog, what are you waiting for? Download and apply the update to see what all those Firefox users have seen for a while now.

! UPDATE – 8 JUL !

Scratch this whole post, I got up this morning and noticed that the buttons weren’t showing up anymore. Oh well, back to the choice for posting, check as you type spell checker (Safari), or buttons (Firefox or Opera, Opera’s latest release is pretty cool if you’d like to try an alternative browser).


I was talking to Mom last night and she was mentioning her new eMac at the school. She said Matt was playing around on it and had really liked the Dashboard feature of Mac OS 10.4 (aka Tiger). Well, Dashboard was most likely born from a previous widget concept made popular by a program known as Konfabulator. I believe that Konfabulator used to be about $25. But it was recently bought by Yahoo and as a result is now free. It runs in Mac OS 10.2 or greater, Windows 2000, & Windows XP.


Konfabulator ships with several useful widgets like Analog Clock, Calendar, and Weather. But here is a list of some other interesting/useful/fun widgets.

iTunes widget for Konfabulator based on iPod shuffle design.

Sing that iTune!
A lyric fetcher Widget for iTunes which can also handle radio streaming titles. The lyrics are saved in “Documents/Sing that iTune!” folder and you can also add your self-made lyrics in there. Sync the folder with iPod’s Notes folder to bring it.

NCAA Football liveSchedule
An updating desktop football schedule for NCAA division 1A schools. Schedule will update as game-times and scores become available.

mini iTunes Remote
The eighth Widget in the mini Widget series. mini iTunes Remote is a complete redesign and coding effort of the iTunes Remote that ships with Konfabulator. This version features a compact design, the ability to change your ratings, and and set your iChat status to your current playing track.

A novel Widget where HAL9000 periodically speaks.

Stack ‘Em!
A classic time waster is now available for Konfabulator! Can you keep pace with the falling blocks? Good luck! (Basically it’s Tetris as a widget)

Finally, get more useless and useful widgets from the Konfabulator Widget Gallery. vs. Thunderbird

I’m this close to switching over to Thunderbird in OS X. I’ve already been using Thunderbird on all my Windows machines for email. But I’ve stuck with OS X’s Mail ever since we we got our iMac in 2003.

First up, I actually like Thunderbird’s looks over Mail in OS X. Where the opposite is true with browsers (Safari looks much more refined and polished than Firefox), Thunderbird in OS X actually looks every bit as good as Mail. In fact, I’d like to find a OS X-ish theme to run on my Windows Thunderbird. Thunderbird looks so much better in OS X than it does in Windows.

Second, Thunderbird handles cross-platform attachments just a tad better than Mail. I don’t have to worry about whether an attachment I send from OS X to an unfortunate Windows user opens without any problems.

Then there’s the junk mail filter. Mail’s junk mail filter is superb. And as Thunderbird uses the same type of filter (Bayesian), I assume it filters mail every bit as good as Mail does.

So what’s holding me back? Two minor quibbles and one killer show stopper. I’ll discuss the minor problems first.

Let’s start with the dock icon. You can see below Mail’s icon first, then Thunderbird’s icon second. Both initially show the number of unread messages in the dock. However, Mail’s icon updates. So if I read one unread message, the number in the icon decreases by one. Thunderbird’s acts a little different. If I start to read any of the recently downloaded unread messages, the number counter disappears altogether and all that’s left is the normal Thunderbird dock icon.

Mail’s Dock icon –>mail dock

Thunderbird’s Dock icon –>thunder dock

The second minor quibble is with the organizational display of the accounts and mail boxes. Again, Mail’s example is first, Thunderbird’s is second. Mail groups boxes by type, so all the inboxes for each account are grouped together, all the sent boxes are grouped together, etc. Thunderbird is the opposite, it groups boxes by account. All the boxes associated with a single account are shown grouped with that particular account. So the problem this brings is that when you have Thunderbird checking many different accounts ( like, more than 3), you may have to scroll through the mailboxes panel to check a different inbox. I find I spend more time switching between inboxes than any other action, so having all the inboxes grouped together for each account as Mail does works tons better for me.

Mail’s mailboxes –>mail boxes

Thunderbird’s mailboxes –>thunder boxes

Finally, the BIG ONE. Thunderbird has it’s own address book and doesn’t interact with OS X’s Address Book at all. Sadly, I’ve got all my contacts nicely organized with OS X’s Address Book, not having direct access to those from within Thunderbird (as Mail does) is the show stopper for me. You can go about exporting the information from Address Book and then importing that data into Thunderbird, but the whole process is much more difficult than it should be, and doesn’t always work as desired.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Bottom line, there is no reason you shouldn’t be using Thunderbird for email if you’re running Windows. In OS X though, you call the shots.