Category Archives: Applications

docx converter and pptx converter for the Mac

Microsoft has released an updated beta of their Open XML File Format Converter which now supports .docx, .docm, .pptx, .ppsx, and .potx. Still no sign of an Excel (.xlsx) converter.

Download the latest version of Microsoft’s Converter for Mac.

Note: You will need MS Office 2004 or MS Office v.X.

Alternatively, you can download the free NeoOffice, a Java-based office productivity application which can read/write in the open XML format.

Microsoft Beta Release: docx converter for mac

Microsoft released a public beta of their docx to doc converter. docx (along with xlsx and pptx) are the new XML structered format for Office 2007 (windows). Office 2008 for Mac, which should bring the Mac version back to parity, is scheduled to be released later this year.

Download docx converter.

docx converter

Release notes indicate an xlsx and pptx converter will be coming shortly. In the interim, you can download the free NeoOffice which is already utilizing the XML format.

8/19/07 – Microsoft updates their beta to include PPTX

Lylina Patch for Dreamhost

If you are using Lylina (the open source RSS aggregator) and are hosting with Dreamhost, use the following code fix to enable functionality on Dreamhost.

Open discovery.php in your text editor of choice and jump to line 46. Remove the following:

$get_feed = file_get_contents($url);

Replace with (remove the spaces from ‘e x e c’):

$ch = curl_init();
$timeout = 5; // set to zero for no timeout
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, $timeout);
$get_feed = curl_e x e c($ch);

Save and upload discovery.php and you should be all set.

Reasoning: Dreamhost disable file_get_contents() as a security precaution (mainly to thwart clueless webmasters from calling files via querystrings) and relies upon cURL to achieve the same effect. My fix makes that change and should have little to no effect on overall Lylina performance.

*Please note: I am not a developer of Lylina. Please direct any support issues to the Lylina SourceForge project forum.

Serverskine: My New Best Friend

The Sentinel Design Group has offered up Serverskine, an internal tool they use for keeping track of the wide range of usernames & passwords that come with being a web development firm. For Mac OS X.


At your fingertips, instant access to all of your web server, domain name, and hosting accounts. Serverskine allows you to keep everything straight in a way that’s intuitive, easy and useful. It even includes one click access to web control panels and integrates with for sending off info at the click of a button.

Price: Absolutely Free

Personal Finance Web Sites

With two kids under 2 years old, we’ve started planning for their futures. My wife and I think it is important to make sure a college fund is set up for each of them and to instill upon them personal finance habits that will hopefully keep them from making some of the mistakes we made growing up.

On my feed reader lately:

Get Rich Slowly
The Simple Dollar
Conquer Your Debt

Cha-ChingOn a related note, I ran across a personal finance application for the Mac today: Cha-Ching. It shows some promise of eventually giving the only real application for the Mac, the horribly bug-ridden Quicken, a run for their money. It is currently in beta (0.4 release) but they are running special pricing of $14.95 to fund future development. Purchasers during the special beta pricing will receive free updates forever. I bought mine and I’d suggest others do the same if your in market for such a program.