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Homemade Dot-Mac with OS X, Part 2
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BrickHouse vs. Jaguar

I wanted to compare the use of BrickHouse to the default Jaguar options, so I asked Brian Hill, who wrote the BrickHouse application, to give me a more technical description of why you might choose to spend the $25 for his shareware program. Here are his thoughts:

"BrickHouse has the ability to create filters for non-TCP traffic, as well as specify host and network addresses in the filters. This allows you to allow traffic from a certain host, or network, but not others. BrickHouse also has an integrated firewall Log and Firewall Monitor. In addition, the IP sharing interface in BrickHouse has facilities to handle more complicated environments, including multi-homing and port redirections.



The upcoming BrickHouse 1.2 version, currently in pre-release, has the ability to automatically associate firewall configurations with Network Location/Active Interface pairings, so that the firewall configuration will switch when you go from Ethernet to Airport to Internal Modem, for example.

In addition, the 1.2 version has a fully searchable firewall log database, which will automatically archive new firewall log entries throughout the day. The 1.2 version can also export log files in a variety of formats compatible with other firewall analysis tools.

Finally, the upcoming 1.2 version of BrickHouse takes advantage of the new 'stateful' functionality in the Jaguar firewall, so that many of the filters that used to be required for some types of UDP traffic will no longer be needed, in addition to preventing certain types of stealth port scans."

Whew!

Create and Post Your Site

There are literally hundreds of applications and options for creating Web pages. The tools necessary for your Web site really depend on your needs. Since this isn't an article on HTML or design, I've included a basic list of some solutions, sorted by price/power:

Free

  • iPhoto -- Image archiving application from Apple that can build nice, simple Web pages from photos, but not a good solution for creating a large hierarchial site. Perfect for creating fast online photo albums and a decent application for preparing images for the Web.
  • BBEdit Lite -- What can I say, the best text editor available for the price.
  • AppleWorks -- Free with the purchase of many Macs, and chances are that you have a copy of this application right now. AppleWorks can create more advanced Web pages than iPhoto and gives you much more flexibility. However, editing pages with this application can be a bear. We're talking about very simple stuff here.

Easily Affordable

  • Adobe Elements -- A toned down version of Photoshop, Elements gives you more control over image adjustment than iPhoto, but then again, it isn't free.
  • BBEdit -- Not free, but price/value is unmatched.
  • MS Word -- OK, not affordable for simple HTML editing, but if you already use Office or Word for other tasks, you already have an HTML editor on your computer. Like AppleWorks, Word is capable of creating Web pages and has some good formatting tools for building quick tables.

Professional

  • Adobe Photoshop/ImageReady -- A tour de force of graphics programs, the combination of these two applications is the professional equivalent of a Swiss imaging knife.
  • Adobe InDesign/PageMaker -- Many of the publishing applications also have some built-in Web tools. If you use these applications for page layout, you may find them useful for doing basic HTML work. Especially handy if you want to convert your print documents into Web pages.
  • Adobe GoLive/Macromedia Dreamweaver -- The pinnacle of Web design, most professional Web-designers have one or both of these applications in their arsenal. I personally use GoLive for creating advanced Web sites and for maintaining sites that require constant attention. I prefer this tool because of how well it works with the Adobe graphics applications I use.

There are tons of HTML applications out there, and since I can't name them all, go ahead and leave suggestions at the end of the article. For the sake of this article, I want to use something everyone has access to, iPhoto.

iPhoto

My wife loves this application. There just isn't a better solution to quickly archive a bunch of graphics, format them for the publishing, export them into an HTML document, and post them on the Web. A classy application with all the grace you expect from Apple.

When we first launch iPhoto, we are confronted with our image library. Let's start by:

Screen shot.

  1. Creating a new album.
  2. Selecting a few images from the Library and placing them in the album.
  3. Once in the album, we can edit our images (cropping/contrast/brightness).
  4. Title them and place them in the order in which we would like them to appear on our Web page.

Next ...

Screen shot.

  1. Click on the sharing tab down below and then Export.
  2. Select the Web Page Tab.
  3. Now title the page, adjust columns, background color/image, image size, etc. I'm going to leave the default settings, but I want to select "Show Title."
  4. Hit "Export."

Note: There is a nice little freeware application called BetterHTML Export that gives you more control and options over iPhoto's exporting abilities. I highly recommend it. If you want to learn more about using iPhoto, I also recommend iPhoto: The Missing Manual, written in part by our own Derrick Story.

Location, Location, Location

The location of the WebServer folder (where we export our Web pages) is located in YourHardDrive -> Library-> WebServer. We can move this location, but that requires a bit of additional knowledge that we'll cover in a future article.

Screen shot.

In the WebServer folder we find two additional folders, one for CGI-Executables and another for Documents. Let's ignore the CGI folder for now. When we visited our Web server in the last column, we saw a Web page with the Apache logo. This is where that page is located. You can go ahead and remove all of the current contents since you won't need them any longer.

Export your iPhoto Web page to this location, and you should be ready to view your new Web site. Once again, go to your browser, type in your "virtual domain" or IP address, and hit return.

Ta da!

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