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Ask TUAW: Carputers, Apple Remote, iChat, iCal, Safari, and more

In this Super Bowl round of Ask TUAW I'm still trying to get out from under the backlog, so we're tackling a bunch of questions about the Finder, iChat, Safari, building a Mac carputer, expanding the Apple Remote, getting iCal alerts in multiple Spaces, and more.

As always your suggestions are most welcome, and questions for next week should be left in the comments. And now, lets get started!

Thomas asks

How do I get my windows pc downstairs showing up in the 'shared' section of my sidebar? It used to show up flawlessly in the Leopard beta but ever since I upgraded to the actual release nothing shows up under shared. What's happening? I didn't set anything up before so why won't it work now?

In the Finder Preferences under the Sidebar tab you can choose what gets displayed in the Sidebar. Make sure that you have the entries under SHARED checked.

If those are checked then your Mac is not picking up the Windows machine for some reason. You'll need to do some testing to figure out the problem. For instance, can you connect to the Windows machines manually with ⌘-K? If not then your Mac can't see the Windows machine for whatever reason. Try turning off your Firewall just for testing purposes.


James asks

Just a quick question. When I first started Leopard I removed the time machine item from the doc. How can I put it back in? I am using VoiceOver for my access.

Time Machine is an application like any other. You can find it in your /Applications folder. Just drag and drop it onto your Dock. I'm not quite sure how the VoiceOver would affect this.


smitty asks

Is there a way (either a setting I can't find, or maybe an applescript) to wake my screen (not wake the macbook from sleep, just the screen) from screen saver or off when someone sends me a chat in ichat? Sometimes I have the sound off and can't hear when a message comes and I'm not near the macbook.

In Leopard you can set iChat to automatically run an AppleScript when a message is received. Look in the Alerts tab of the preferences. Among the built-in choices is an AppleScript to automatically accept text invitations. As another reader noted, Chax will also do this.



Luigi asks

Is there a way in safari to have a multiple tab homepage like in IE and Firefox?

I don't use either of those so I don't know exactly how they function. However, you can open all the contents of a Safari bookmark folder in tabs. So put all your "homepages" in one folder in the Safari Bookmarks bar, then click it and go down to "Open in Tabs."


Michael asks

Is there a good IR/RF remote that will work flawlessly with both EyeTV and Front Row? I'd like something with a numeral pad, for tuning the EyeTV. Would one of those fancy and expensive Harmony remotes work for me?

Yes, absolutely, any of the Harmony remotes will work perfectly and I highly recommend them. We'll be taking a look at the Harmony's integration with the Mac in the near future here on TUAW.


Lhasapso asks

Does anyone know if there is an app/AppleScript/whatever (preferably free or cheap) that would let me control online videos, such as fullscreen YouTube videos, with the Apple Remote? Is there some way to program a button on the remote to click the mouse in a certain place (like Automator's recording feature, except working)?

As one of the other readers noted, the only way to do this is with third-party software. I highly recommend Remote Buddy (€19.99) as perhaps the most flexible Apple remote software.


wdympcf asks

Most people already know that you can assign an application to a single space. Not as many know that you can assign an application to appear in every space. No one that I know is aware of how to assign iCal to one space but have iCal alarms appear in every space. I want to have iCal assigned to just one space, but I want the iCal alarms to show up in every space so that I will see them regardless of the space I happen to be working in. Any experts out there know how to do this?

I do not think this is possible. However, I have an alternate suggestion. Use Growl for the alerts instead and then you can set Growl to all Spaces. Probably the best way to do this is with OmniGrowl ($10) [MacUpdate link since it's difficult to link directly to the developer's site].


Michael asks

I'm installing a new mac mini into my car... The 'new' Front Row interface looks wonderful on, say, a 42" plasma, or even a 13" macbook. But, when you shrink it down to a 7" LCD screen with composite input, it's not so great. The biggest problem is the font size is way too small. So, my question is, is there a way to make the font size bigger for the new Front Row interface? ... Also, I know there are alternatives to Front Row out there (MediaCentral, iTheater, etc..), and I've looked at a few, but none seem to be quite as 'elegant' as the FR interface. Any suggestions? My only other option right now is to go back and install the older FR interface, which has a big enough text size to look okay on a 7" screen....

I don't think you really want to use Front Row for this when there is a dedicated carputer front end that does exactly what you want called AMP, which we covered a while back. You'll probably want to read around on that thread in the AMP forum, but it's likely your best bet in the long run.



Linkstari asks

I´m running leopard, at random times my macbook starts working at max power (the processors) because of ¨DirectoryServices¨ is this normal? is this some virus? this macbook is my first mac so i don´t even know tiger.

It is very unlikely that it is a virus (but never say never). If you look at this thread at Apple Discussions you'll see that a lot of other folks are having a similar problem. It seems to be caused by an application trying to access the Internet and failing. Perhaps you should look to see what you have installed that may be doing this. A possible solution is posted here, but not having this problem, I've never tried it.



In this Super Bowl round of Ask TUAW I'm still trying to get out from under the backlog, so we're tackling a bunch of questions about the...