Apr 27 2009
In defense of Apple’s .Mac debacle, a columnist in the last issue of Macworld, declared that “the Internet was not free”. Of course, the only reason he said that was out of fear that objecting to anything Apple would incur the wrath of Steve Jobs and would mean getting kicked off the free t-shirt list.
We here at MacMerc don’t get any free shirts from Apple, and don’t really mind too much. As such, and as the Freeloader, I feel it my privilege and obligation to prove that free is alive and well on the Internet.
As such, this week’s Freeloader is a tribute to the oldest free service on the Internet, after the NSCA’s What’s New page. When Steve Jobs introduced .Mac as the first service that allows you to keep your personal calendar and address book on the Internet, he failed to mention that Yahoo! Internet had been doing it for years and for free.
But you know this. You also know that Yahoo! hasn’t always been good at getting Mac versions out on time. However, if free is for you, here are a couple tools to make your Yahoo! account more useful.
This little AppleScript allows you to set Yahoo! Mail as your default email. This means by selecting this AppleScript in your Internet Preferences as your default email program, that clicking on mailto links will open your browser and start a new message addressed according to the link. Now your system can point you to your Yahoo! Mail account when you click on an email address on the web, Palm Desktop or Apple Address Book.
Now that we have your system adapted to your Yahoo! mail, lets work on another disadvantage of web-based email: notifications. Although chatting on the Internet is a great way to meet strange people, Yahoo! Messenger was originally intended as a notification system for arriving email. In fact it was originally called Yahoo! Pager for that reason.
By setting up Yahoo! Messenger to notify you when new email arrives, you can monitor your inbox as well as your weather, news and sports. Use the preferences to determine how your mac alerts you. Alert windows include the new mail’s sender subject and a link that brings up your message in your browser.
While Yahoo! also offers free Address Book, Notes and Calendar features, syncing these with your mac can be difficult. While Address and Calendar syncing is supported for PC, it is not for mac.
I hope this week’s tips were enough to restore your faith in all that makes the Internet great (and free). Until next week,