So my work these days is a bit more locked down than in previous engagements, which makes for some interesting problems. Actually, its not too bad, but unfortunately, some applications don’t play well with location proxy settings. Even Firefox 2.0 doesn’t seem to pick up the proxy settings from your system network prefs, so changing proxies is more than just changing your location in the apple menu in OSX. That shouldn’t be the case, but oh well.
One solution I’ve been playing around with today is Squidman, which is a simple OSX application that lets you run squid on your mac (there are other ways, but this was easiest). Basically, the idea here is that you can set up squid to run a local proxy, by default on localhost at port 3128. Then, create a new network settings configuration, and point your proxy connections to localhost:3128. This ostensibly allows you to leave your proxy settings the same everywhere you go, and if you need to hook into a new proxy server, just change it in the Squidman parent proxy preference.
I have yet to have luck with Transmit, unfortunately, which is by far my favorite FTP app for macs. I also had some trouble with my instant messenger accounts that I use through Adium. However, the trick for Adium is not too bad. First of all (though a bit tedious), change all your accounts in Adium to use a proxy and set it to the systemwide HTTP settings in the drop down menu. Then, in Squidman, go to the “Template” section of the preferences. Find the line in the prefs that starts with “acl SSL_ports port ” and change the entire line to “acl SSL_ports port 443 563 1863 8443 5050 5190 5222″. 5190 handles the AIM connection and ICQ, 1863 handles the MSN connection, 5222 handles gmail talk, and 5050 handles yahoo chat. Since Squidman is meant moreso for simple http proxy enabling, so I guess they decided to leave off the instant messenger ports by default.