Cleaning my Apple Mighty Mouse Ball's

I have a couple of Apple Mac’s and with each of them, I have a Mighty Mouse.
I have one I carry with my with my Mac Book Pro, this is getting quite old now, It was the first release of the Wireless model, I pre-ordered it as soon as they were announced and have used it on almost a daily basis since.

I also have one on my iMac which gets a daily use also.

These mice are Great ! there are 5 buttons, the 5th is the 360 degree scroll ball. The wired model is very light and agile, while the wireless model is slightly heavier due to the batteries, but if you only use one AA rather than two, it is only ever so slightly heavier than the wired, and still not as heavy as most.

The only Issue I with these mice are the Ball’s get dirty from your finger being rolled over them on a continuous basis. Apple have an article and QT Movie on how to clean them, and plenty of discussions on the Apple forums, but the simple method is rolling it on paper.

Roll to Clean your Balls !

A way to clean the mighty mouse ball that I have always used, is turn it off ( or un-plug ), and get a clean sheet of paper, and upside down, and firmly roll the mouse around on the ball.

Cleaning the Mighty's Balls
Cleaning the Mighty's Balls

Changing the RSS refresh rate in Apple Mail

I use Apple’s Mail App as my primary mail client on both my personal and work mac’s, and for both machines I have various RSS Feeds subscribed.
I use apple mail as an RSS Client for a couple of reasons,

1) I just like how it works
2) its not just one more application I have to have open.

Recently though, I have found that none of the 30 or so feeds I am subscribed to were pulling any new posts.
I found this Odd, espically I know that multiple of them update daily. I did a bit of digging around, and have found a simple terminal command to alter the refresh rate that Mail will check for feed updates.

The default time is 30 minutes, admin the preferences you can set it to manually, 30 minutes, hourly or daily.

Apple Mail RSS Refresh Rate
Apple Mail RSS Refresh Rate

I changed these around then back to 30 minutes, and waiting an hour, but still NO feeds were updating.

After a little more digging, I found a terminal command that you can specify and refresh rate.

Specify the Refresh rate in Terminal !

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Open Terminal – /Applications/Utilities/
  3. Type:
    defaults write RSSPollTime xx

    ** Replace the ‘nn’ with minutes, EG:

    defaults write RSSPollTime 20
  4. Open Mail

This worked for me, and within the next 20 mintues, I had all the posts that I was missing for the last week that I didn’t get any.

Pretty lucky, as I was missing out some some pretty good stuff!

Hack Safari to open links in new tabs, not new windows

Safari (by default) will open certain links (e.g. target=”_blank”) in a new browser window instead of a new tab even if you have your preferences set no too. Fortunately, there is a hidden preference you can set to force Safari to behave.

If you run this command in Terminal /Applications/Utilities/

defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

to disable this afterwards, change the true on the end to false.

I have tested this on Safari Mac 2, 3 and 4 Beta.

Force Eject a CD/DVD in Apple Leopard

Today I had to help a friend force eject a stuck DVD in his iBook, there are a couple of methods we tried and I thought that hey may be helpful for others.

I would recommend trying to eject your stuck CD/DVD in this order;

1) Hold the ‘Eject’ Key for up to 30 seconds.

2) Stop the CD/DVD spinning

Stop the CD/DVD from spinning by gentle pushing in a thin piece of cardboard ( not to soft, nor hard ), thin packaging cardboard from like a battery or toy packet.
This will stop the CD as it is always spinning slightly, then hold the EJECT key for 8-10 seconds.

3) Restart holding the Mouse Button

Restart your mac, and once the machine chimes, hold the mouse button down ( external mouse or trackpad button ). This should eject the DV/DVD in up to 8 seconds.
If not, restart your mac again.

4) Restart in to Single User Mode

Restart your machine, and hold down the ‘Command ( apple )‘ + ‘O ( o for orange )‘ + ‘F ( f for fred )‘ keys.
This will boot you in to single user mode.

Type the following Command:

eject cd

Then press the ‘enter’ key

This should eject the CD/DVD.

Once the CD is ejected, type;


Then press the ‘enter’ key to boot back in to your Mac OS.

Force Eject a CD/DVD in Apple Leopard
Force Eject a CD/DVD in Apple Leopard

CSS Fix for SPAW Editor & Safari

Over the last couple of years I have used the SPAW WYSIWYG Editor for my site management and clients sites CMS systems.

Ryan Stemkoski and I used it in our Zipline ZLCMS Package that is now in use in over 300 sites and have found it to be a great editor, and now I am using SPAW for CodeIgniter in a CodeIngiter CMS Site.

How ever I have found that SPAW doesnt really fit in the Safari Frame, and all the toolbars span on one line causing usability and scrolling issue.

Today when implementing it for a MAC Safari only based client I went and dug for the fix.

I have always used the Spaw2Lite theme, which is much lighter than the standard theme, if you edit the theme CSS file located at


and alter these two sections of code.

( I’m sure the same fix will apply for the standard theme. )

Add the CSS attribute ‘float: left;‘ to the selector ‘.spaw2litemaintoolbar‘.

	float: left;
	border-bottom: 1px solid #cecece;

Remove the ‘white-space‘ attribute from the selector ‘.spaw2litetoolbar‘.

  white-space: nowrap;

Let me know if this helps, or doesn’t, or you have other fixes for SPAW.

Clearing your DNS Cache in OS X

Anytime you visit a website or do any other kind of DNS (Domain Name System) lookup, the IP address conveniently gets cached. Well today a Graphic Designer I was working with to finish up a site, just couldn’t access the site to see that changes.

He could access every other domain on ether of our servers, just not our staging domain. I remote connected to his computer, and ping’d first our primary domain and got the expected IP in return, then I ping’d our staging domain and got ‘’ which was the machine I was using. I reset the DHCP, with no help. So I figured it was a DNS Issue.

Flushing your DNS cache in Mac OS X is actually really easy, and there are two different commands to use, one for Leopard and for Tiger. Depending on your version of OS X, open your Terminal and follow the appropriate directions below:

Flush your DNS Cache in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Launch Terminal and issue the following command:

dscacheutil -flushcache

All done, your DNS has been flushed.

On a side note, the dscacheutil is interesting in general and worth taking a look at, try the -statistics flag instead for some stats.

Flush your DNS Cache in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Type the following command in the Terminal:

lookupd -flushcache

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. Now your DNS settings should be as you intended them to be.

Installing PHP5 and mySQL on Mac OSX Leopard

There has been a lot of posts on a lot of sites that explain how to get PHP and mySQL working & talking on OSX Leopard, but none that are fully step by step. So with thanks to The Busy Geek ( ), Here is a comprehensive guide.

You will need a very basic knowledge of using OSX Terminal ( Command Line Commands) and your root password.

Step 1:

Go to and download the copy that matches your Machine. In my case because I am on a G4 PowerPC iBook, I had to download the 10.4 version (Mac OS X 10.4 (PowerPC, 32-bit)) as there is no 10.5 version for PPC.

Once you have downloaded the package, install all 2 packages, and the preference pane.

Installing the MySQL packages.
Installing the MySQL packages.

Step 2:

Open Terminal ( Applications / Utilities / ) and log in as root;

sudo su

Enter your root password when prompted.
Navigate to your mysql directory;

cd /usr/local/mysql

If you view the directory you should see something like the following;


COPYING			data		scripts
INSTALL-BINARY		include		sql-bench
README			lib		support-files
bin			man		tests
configure		mysql-test

Next we start mySQL.

./scripts/mysql_install_db --user=mysql

It should run a whole lot of commands, starting with…

Installing MySQL system tables...

Once that has finished we add the mySQL User permissions

./bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql &

Which will ( or should ) give this..

Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /usr/local/mysql/data

Now the mySQL root user’s password. and then confirm password and database location.

./bin/mysqladmin -u root password '**PASSWORD**'
./bin/mysqladmin -u root -h **IP_ADDRESS** password '**PASSWORD**'

Now, All going well, Lets hope you get this error:

./bin/mysqladmin: connect to server at '**IP_ADDRESS**' failed
error: 'Host '**IP_ADDRESS**' is not allowed to connect to this MySQL server'

Thats good news, This means mySQL is running and that is step 2 finished.

Step 3:

Next Step, We will install PHP, You think huh? Apple already has a copy of PHP pre-complied in OSX?
Yeah, true, but ( No Offense Apple ) its shit.

Still as root user:

cd /usr/local/

We want to download the newest build of PHP from Marc Liyanage’s site. Thank you to Marc, who has openly releasd and supported Great PHP builds for years! And totally for free!
* Make sure this path represents the newest version.

curl -O

We have used cURL as OSX does not support wGet. Remember the -0.

You will see if download like this…

 % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
 51 85.2M   51 43.4M    0     0  47790      0  0:31:10  0:15:54  0:15:16 52563

Once the download has completed, uncompress it with this command:

tar -zxvf php5-5.2.5-6-beta.tar.gz

Making sure that the file name represents the downloaded file name.
(z = gunzipp, x = uncompress, v = view, f = force ).

View the dir;


You should get a directory looking like this;

OpenSourceLicenses	include		mysql-5.0.51b-osx10.4-powerpc
OpenSourceVersions	lib		php5
bin			mysql		php5-5.2.5-6-beta.tar.gz

Go into the PHP5 Directory; Then view the dir.

CD php5
bin			etc		info	php.d
entropy-php.conf	include		lib		man		share

Then Copy the entropy-php.conf file in to the Apache2 Dir installed by Apple.

cp entropy-php.conf /etc/apache2/other/

Now we need to tell Apache to use our new version of PHP and not the original Apple build.

cd /etc/apache2/

Open the httpd.conf and comment out the following line.

LoadModule php5_module        libexec/apache2/

by placing a # in front of it.

#LoadModule php5_module        libexec/apache2/

To Save your changes press “ctrl x”, there will be a prompt to save, press “y”, then press “return” to save with the same filename.

Now restart Apache with this Command

apachectl restart

And we are done.

Installing PHP and MmySQL Summary

Begin writing your PHP/mySQL applications.

You can access your local Apache environment at two locations:		/Library/WebServer/Documents/

or for your User account:		/Users/username/Sites/

Enjoy :)

I love apple

I love Apple,  I love their products,  their ideas and their beauty.  I have used them for as long as I have used computers.  I started as the only ‘Mac’ fan in my group of friends and have slowly converted a few and am always trying to convert more.  Even some of my die hard windows friends who would never own a mac hae them,  And others are looking to switch.

This makes me very happy.

I read and have read for a long time an Online Comic Least I Could Do  and today I read this post.  To see more and more people realise that apple is great,  not just for their iPods makes me,  an avid Mac fan, Smile :)


Least I Could Do Comic
Least I Could Do Comic