.Mac Upgrades & Goodies -- People who ponied up for Apple's .Mac service have been receiving a variety of deals that have more than eliminated the $50 charge for the first year of a .Mac upgrade from iTools. First there were 100 free prints you could order from iPhoto, and now Apple is offering a free copy of Aladdin's DropStuff compression utility, worth $30. That's available through 13-Apr-03, as is a half-off deal on Aladdin's StuffIt Deluxe. Add that to a variety of free games that have appeared (the latest is Gamehouse's Super Nisqually) and the .Mac membership fee is seeming more and more reasonable. Also be sure to download Virex 7.2 for Mac OS X, since it includes the eUpdate feature that automatically downloads virus definition updates for you. (But don't install Virex 7.2 if you're using the Unix package management program Fink; there's apparently a conflict between the two.) Now if only Apple would offer a deal on a real backup utility to replace the utterly lame Backup application that comes with .Mac. [ACE]
Shorten URLs in TextExpander
If your Twitter client doesn't automatically shorten URLs for you, you can use TextExpander to shrink those long links to tweetable lengths. First, add the Internet Productivity group by choosing File > Add Predefined Group > Internet Productivity Snippets. Then, to shorten a URL using a service like TinyURL, copy the destination URL to the clipboard, and type the abbreviation
/tinyurl to insert the shortened URL at the insertion point.