10 Essential Mac Apps

A list of ten applications every new mac user should download along with descriptions for each as well as a download link. A great resource for any new switchers that might pick up a Mac this holiday season.

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Fixed the Z3

Matt & I were able to fix the Z3 today. The intake boots were a bit difficult to remove at first, but since they were not going to be used again we ended up cutting them out. Installation wasn’t too bad either.

After about 50 miles the performance went up a bit, then the ‘Service Engine Soon’ light went out. I think because of the excess air the car was running too lean and knocking a bit, which caused the computer to pull back some timing. Now the engine is much smoother, plus I don’t get a whistle when at partial throttle from the vacuum leak.

I did discover a new problem though – the thermostat most likely needs to be replaced. It is stuck in the open position which causes the car to run too cold. I’m looking to see if this is covered by a recall or not…

Real Estate made easy

Matthew and I just finished a site for a local customer. You can check it out at WestMarkBrokers.com.

At first, a real estate site seems kind of complex, but thanks to the folks over at Open-Realty, we were able to come up with a workable design and very functional site. There were a few bugs that we had to iron out, but after that the design went pretty smoothly.

Of course, this is all being hosted with my web hosting company.

Full Screen and tsclient

When using tsclient, a remote desktop/terminal services/vnc client, if you connect in full screen mode to a server it can be difficult to disconnect or switch to another application because there is no ‘control bar’ at the top.

To toggle full screen mode, use the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Enter.

PPTP and L2TP Ports

Today I was setting up a VPN server and had to figure out what ports and protocols to enable on our Cisco PIX 515E firewall. Here they are:

To allow PPTP tunnel maintenance traffic, open TCP 1723.
To allow PPTP tunneled data to pass through router, open Protocol ID 47.

L2TP over IPSec
To allow Internet Key Exchange (IKE), open UDP 500.
To allow IPSec Network Address Translation (NAT-T) open UDP 4500.
To allow L2TP traffic, open UDP 1701.

Here’s the Cisco access list: (gre=Protocol ID 47, pptp=1723, isakmp=500)

access-list OUTSIDE permit gre any host OUTSIDEIP
access-list OUTSIDE permit tcp any host OUTSIDEIP eq pptp
access-list OUTSIDE permit udp any host OUTSIDEIP eq 1701
access-list OUTSIDE permit udp any host OUTSIDEIP eq 4500
access-list OUTSIDE permit udp any host OUTSIDEIP eq isakmp

(edited to update UDP port 5500 to 4500 as noted in the comments)

My Z3 needs work

I had been noticing what sounded like a vacuum leak lately when driving the BMW. Also, the colder the weather has gotten, the worse the car has been idling in the morning. Sometimes it would even die after starting up. Eventually it lit up the ‘Service Engine Soon’ lite.

After a little inspection, it was found to have two fairly large tears in the intake ‘boot’ – the tubing that guides air from the air filter down to the throttle body.

This item is separated into two separate pieces, and I found both with a great website (RealOEM).

I will be ordering the parts soon, and replacement should be fairly easy.