You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘computer’ category.

Yes, it’s been a while since iWork apps got updated and everybody must have noticed this: Mail-merge is gone.


But well, telling me why doesn’t help me get things done. The only workaround so far (if you wanna stick with Pages and Numbers) is to get Pages ’09 and Numbers ’09.

And even with the ’09 version, I found that Pages could only pull in the FIRST column of the FIRST sheet in a Numbers ’09 file.

So, it’s basically dead. Whoever is responsible for removing mail-merge is crazily stupid.

Broken again.

Upon setting verification, everything was verified except Safari 6.0. Tried to launch Safari 5.0 but failed. Mountain Lion does NOT allow older version of Safari to launch.


So switched Firefox 3.x (Sorry, I forgot). It couldn’t even get pass the verification page.

So, nope, doesn’t work…again. I just hope that IRD will make it compatible with Safari 6.0 by the time we have to report tax for next year.

[Update 7/28/2012: BROKEN again! OS 10.8 Mountain Lion with Safari 6.0 Read this post for details.]

[Update 7/7/2012: It WORKS again! OS 10.7.4 Lion with Safari 5.1.7 Read comments for extra notes.]

Got an email from IRD that I should login to eTax and fill out the tax form. So I headed over to eTax…just to find out that it is…

NOT working again.

Lion is too big a cat that our government can deal with.

I used to use Safari on Mac. Occasionally I’d use Firefox but since it isn’t any faster than Safari and its latest version doesn’t work with HKToolbar, Firefox is mostly idle on my Mac.

I used read news on I’d been a subscriber for years – probably among the first subscribers as Mingpao launched its online service. However, Mingpao is getting more and more  disappointing in both its contents and its reporting approach. I finally did not renew my subscription this year.

Then Chrome came along. After beta1, 2, 3… I eventually got beta 4 which was pretty neat. Now using beta 5, I have to say it’s way better than Safari. (Though individual experience does vary. I’ve got friends who find Safari running smoother on their Macs.)

How about reading news online then? There’s this extension called “Feedly" that I find extremely handy and beautiful as well:

And I find myself spending hours on reading various kinds of news… Sometimes I wonder why I’m reading that many news but I’m having fun in it.

Finally, finally… (drum rolls please..)
Our “mighty" HK Government has made IRD website work on Safari!
Yes! We can login IRD for eTax on Safari! (applause!)

Now I am waiting for Immigration Department to make its online passport renewal application work on Safari! (Somehow two fields on the form are not fillable on Safari…)

Yes, I’ve bought the MacHeist nanoBundle! And the sweetest part is I’ve got the company paid it for me 😀
The company is willing to pay this for me because I told them that I need RapidWeaver to build the website but my post there is actually the “secretary”. Or to be more precise, I am the “part-time secretary”. However, it is also my job to maintain, update and build websites. Of course, I don’t build “pro” websites but still… a website is a website LOL

[UPDATE: THIS DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE. However, Hans, one of the commenters below, has found a workaround:

Ok, there is a workaround for the issue I have described above.

You have to follow the relevant steps on the hard road here:


1. creat a standard Workflow *not* an iCal event
2. save it as app and remember it’s location
3. crate a new event in iCal and select as notification the app you have just created via automator

So you have all the time you need.

Hope this helps! And if you have other ways to make things easier, please feel free to leave a comment below.]


As OS X updates over time, some functions don’t work the same anymore. Some commenters have provided solutions in the comment section. Make sure you check them out if things don’t happen the way as described in the post.
Found an easier way to schedule mail on Mac to send it later at a specific time I want by using Automator iCal Alarm.

When you open Automator, it immediately asks you to choose what you’re trying to build:

Building an iCal Alarm will automatically set a new event in iCal with the alarm action set to be whatever you design in the Automator.

So I want to send an email at maybe 9am tomorrow morning, I can open Automator and build an iCal Alarm like this:

  1. Get Specified Finder Items
  2. New Mail Message (type your mail here – leave recipient blank if you’re sending group mail and add the two extra steps below)
  3. Send Outgoing Messages
  4. Save

You may skip step 1 if there’s NO attachment. You can also send group mail (with/without individual salutation) at a later time by adding these steps between steps 2 & 3 above:

  1. Find Address Book Items (find Groups)
  2. Group Mailer (check “add greetings" for individual salutation)

Then in iCal, you’ll see a new event set at the time you hit “save":

Then edit the date and time of the event and the alarm time to whenever you need it.


However, from experience, attachment doesn’t work for Group Mailer. So, if you wish to send a mail with attachment to a big bunch of people, stick to the 4-step solution. The only drawback is it can’t take group name as recipient, i.e., all email addresses are disclosed. If you wish to keep mailing list confidential, you’ll need to add your group to Bcc list.

You may also set the alarm to be repeated periodically and have the same mail sent to the same recipient(s), say, every month. This would be really handy to someone who needs to send out reminders periodically.

I’m still working on getting Apple Mail to send all drafts at once so that I can incorporate Serial Mail and Apple Mail and Automator. The problem is Apple Mail seems to be incapable of sending more than one mail at the same time. It can send 100+ emails consecutively very quickly (like really immediately one after an other) but just not when you “select all" in drafts box then hit “send" in file menu (or shift+command+D).

(I found an easier way… see this post)

I wanted to send groups mails with individual salutation at a scheduled date and time. There’re several free scripts / apps out there to do this. I’ve tried probably all of them but none really worked (I’m running on Snow Leopard).

There’re paid apps to do this but then I don’t wanna pay. (Yes, I proudly admit I’m cheap in this sense.)

Ok, if I only wanted the individual salutation part, Serial Mail is a good one and it’s free. It doesn’t only support names as placeholders but also other fields in the Address Book. It’s also got an iPhone app! One very good news for iPhone user as the built in mail app in iPhone doesn’t support group mail.

So… what to do?

After many trials and errors, my final solution is “Automator + iCal".

There’s this built-in app in Mac called “Automator". Honestly, I didn’t have a clue what it is for the first two or three years I switched to Mac. I don’t use it that frequently until very recently. Anyway, to the steps:

To send GROUP EMAILS WITH INDIVIDUAL SALUTATION with Automator immediately:

  1. Launch Automator: New workflow
  2. Mail: New Mail Message (add by drag and drop) – For group mail, leave “To:", “Cc:" and “Bcc:" blank. Do fill in the Subject line, write your mail in “Message", choose account if you have multiple accounts set up. NO ATTACHMENT. If you want individual salutation, don’t write “Dear xxx" at the beginning of your mail.)
  3. Contacts: Find Address Book Groups – Find people / groups and define it
  4. Mail: Group Mailer – check “Add Greeting" if you want to have individual salutation. Otherwise, uncheck it.)
  5. Mail: Send Outgoing Messages

If you want to send your mails immediately, click “Run" on the top right corner. But if you want to send your group mail later at a specific date and time… go on with the following steps:

  1. Save as application (remember where you’ve saved it. You’ll need its path soon.)
  2. Open iCal and set up a new event at the time you want you mail to be sent
  3. Set alarm -> open file -> choose the application you’ve just saved two steps ago
  4. Done

If you don’t want the new event to stick in your calendar, add the following steps after step 5:

  1. Find iCal Events (Find events, All of the following are true, Title is “title of your new event"…)
  2. Delete iCal Events

But it’s probably easier to just delete it from calendar afterwards 😛

What about if you just want to SCHEDULE ONE SINGLE EMAIL?

  1. Launch Automator: New workflow
  2. Mail: New Mail Message (add by drag and drop) – Type your recipients’ email address in “To:", “Cc:" and “Bcc:" as needed. No auto-fill here. You may click the vCard icon on the right to choose recipients from Address Book. Before hitting “Done", remember to hit “To" after choosing. Do fill in the Subject line or it’ll ., Write your mail in “Message", choose account if you have multiple accounts set up. NO ATTACHMENT.)
  3. Send Outgoing Messages
  4. Save as application (remember where you’ve saved it. You’ll need its path soon.)
  5. Open iCal and set up a new event at the time you want you mail to be sent
  6. Set alarm -> open file -> choose the application you’ve just saved two steps ago
  7. Done

Important notes:

* It’s VERY IMPORTANT to save your workflow as APPLICATION in scheduled email. If you save it as workflow, it’ll only call out the workflow without running it, which means… it won’t do anything.

* NO ATTACHMENT: Someone said here that we may add attachment to group mailer in Automator but it never worked for me. And even if it works, it won’t work with scheduled mail anyways – it requires manual input when mails are being generated. My workaround is to upload the file to a server / website, then paste the link in the mail body. The “New Mail Message" in Automator does recognize URL so if your recipients can see HTML mail, they should be able to just click and see your file.

[UPDATE: NOT on LION either.]

I wrote last year that we can use e-tax on Mac with Firefox 2. Just an update: NOT ANYMORE IF you’re using  SNOW LEOPARD!

Right, you heard me… NOT ON SNOW LEOPARD.

I got to say that I haven’t tried it for a couple months (who’d keep trying out e-tax everyday?). Anyway, I tried to access e-tax after getting an email from IRD and I’d already installed Snow Leopard already but still kept my Firefox 2. So I accessed it with Firefox 2 but it either failed to open the login page or it crashed as I clicked the login button.

I called IRD and this lady gave me the following advice:

It’s better to use hardcopy.

Got it! I’m switching to hardcopy. All you need to do is to write a letter stating clearly your identity card number and request for cancellation of e-tax account plus switching to hardcopy from now on. The letter should be sent to…

Inland Revenue Tower

5 Gloucester Road, Waichai

Hong Kong

Attn.: Taxation Officer

Everyone who’s using Mac and has no access to PC… switch to hardcopy. I know it’s not environmental friendly but… face the reality: our freaking stupid government is doing nothing to protect the environment. Donald thought he is promoting energy saving bulb but in the end of the day, all our government thinks of or cares about is making money… no matter how.

Have been using the Magic Mouse for over a month. I love it very much until very recently…

The default functions come with Magic Mouse are very limited… Well, let’s say it still has everything a mouse should have but then it’s nothing really magic. That’s a major drawback.

But a friend recommended BTT (BetterTouchTool) to me and that really makes MAGIC! The Magic Mouse can do so much more with BTT. There’re many more gestures to be used on the mouse now, e.g., pinch in / out, x finger tap (x can be anything from 1-4), x finger click, x finger swipe up/down/left/right… so on. Each gesture can be assigned to a certain command that works globally or app specifically. I dare to say BTT is the indispensable companion to Magic Mouse.

Now… how did I say I love my Magic Mouse until very recently? Well, I still love my Magic Mouse but temperature has dropped recently. The Observatory has even issued Cold Weather Warning. Ok… it’s not really that cold… we’re still way above zero at around 12C. The problem is… except the top surface, the entire mouse is covered by aluminum. And aluminum is very a good conductor… especially for coldness. My hand is not that big but not small enough to have all my fingers rest on the top surface of the mouse all the time. And if I have to move the mouse, it’s inevitable to touch that icy cold side surface of the mouse.

It’s really icy cold…

So, I’m wearing a glove on my right hand… It’s good that I have really slim fingers. So, even with gloves on, no fat finger syndrome problem 😛

Conclusion: Magic Mouse with BTT makes MAGIC!

七月 2020


Top Posts