ImageSome of the more popular webmail installs (Horde, SquirrelMail) are a bit slow and not very good looking. Yesterday I installed RoundCube and was very impressed. It really behaves like an online application and looks wonderful. It’s responsive and quick with searches.

Roundcube is quite easy to install and runs on a standard PHP/MySQL configuration. Change a few lines in the code, create a database and you’re ready to go.

You can download the projects at the Roundcube project page and the install instructions are there too.

ImageMac OS X has a built in TFTP server, but it’s not real simple to get it going. This application makes it easy. It provides a GUI to start/stop the TFTP server and also change the working path.

So next time you have to update your Cisco Router or your 3Com Switch, just fire this up on your Mac and you’re ready to go.

The program is free. It can be downloaded on the developer’s website.

ImageIf you’re going for more of a media server, Remote Buddy will be a great tool for you.

It has been around for a while allowing you to control nearly everything on your Mac with a bluetooth remote. Just recently, it also provides a really nice AJAX interface for you to use with your iPhone. Once the server is started up, you can load the interface into your iPhone browser.

Front Row now allows an interface for a lot of these features, but if you’d like to work with more than media this application comes in handy. Also, older Macs without the infrared remote can work via bluetooth.

A demo of the application can be found at the IOSpirit homepage.

ImageWhether you are running a Mac server from home or have it in a data center, cough someone is going to be interested in how much bandwidth you are using. If you want to keep an eye on it so you know before you get the bill, unhealthy Surplus Meter is a good way to do that.

Just start up the application and it will monitor everything that goes thru your ethernet port. If you have a pre-determined limit, cheap it will also help you break down how much you can use per day to stay under that limit.

SurplusMeter is free and can be found at the skoobysoft site.

ImageHamachi is a VPN application that will allow you to set up VPN connections thru firewalls easily. HamachiX is the Mac OS X front-end for it.

I’ve used this connection on the road to be sure that my data was transferring securely. This will also allow you to connect to network drives or printers that may be on your home or office network.

HamachiX is free and can be downloaded from the HamachiX website.

ImageJust as important as getting a server running is keeping it running.

Lithium is an incredible monitoring platform that will check on your servers, their connectivity, and their throughput. You have “Core” running on one of your machines checking that server and any other servers that you select. Then, you are able to access the information thru the web or with “Console.”

Licensing depends on the amount of machines you have, but there is a 30 day demo. I’ve used this application extensively and I can say that the support from the development team is top-notch. Download it from the Lithium Corp site.

ImageWhen it comes to deploying a new server or website, internal testing is critical. The easiest way I know to do this is by using MAMP.

The abbreviation MAMP stands for: Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP. With just a few mouse-clicks, you can install Apache, PHP and MySQL for Mac OS X! It is all contained in one folder and doesn’t alter any settings in the OS. Turning on the MySQL and Apache servers takes just one button and you’re ready to go.

I find this most useful for testing a new site. For instance, you can use MAMP to install a local copy of WordPress and yo can work on your new site design quickly and privately.

MAMP is free, though they also offer a paid version with more options. You can download it at the MAMP website.

ImageSometime ago, a challenge was put out for someone to replicate the syncing and integration of .Mac into a free alternative. This was called the “notMac Challenge” and carried a prize of over $9000.

Just a few days ago, it was decided that a winner has been chosen. Ben Spinks has put together a package of apps and scripts that you can run on your Mac server to act as dotMac.

To give it a try, head over to the project page on Sourceforge.net and download the disk image. The set up is really quite straight forward.

One word of caution is probably necessary. This software is still in the initial stages so you’ll want to be sure and get a good backup of your server before giving it a go.

ImageDaylite is a very capable project management application. It helps you manage your projects, calendars, contacts, billing, mail, etc.

A couple years ago, a friend of mine asked me to design the network/software for his law firm. I decided to go with the Daylite database running on a Mac mini with all the iMacs in the office running the client to connect to it. Three years later, the employees and the clients have grown bigger and bigger but Daylite continues to meet the needs. The employees are able to collaborate on different clients and also able to sync data to their iPhones and PDA’s for access on the road.

Daylite is $149 for a single user. It can be downloaded and purchased from The MarketCircle website.

We’ve had a lot of customers use Mac minis in our data center to host their Daylite databases. Read our Top Ten Reason For Hosting Daylite With Macminicolo.net

ImageA few months ago, I started usingĀ Yojimbo to organize quotes on my Mac. The product works wonderful. My one complaint was that I’d really like to access my database from other computers. Enter Webjimbo.

Starting Webjimbo will run a small web server on your Mac. So, if you start this up on your Mac server, you’ll be able to access and manipulate your database via the internet. They’ve taken careful consideration to make sure that the data is secure and safe as it transmits. You log in with a password and also have the ability to set up a secure connection.They’ve promised a iPhone interface soon. That will be neat.

The program is $29.95 and can be downloaded at the Webjimbo site.

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