Magento site had weird characters in the top of Magento Connect

These files are mostly likely meta-data files for OS X's HFS+ file system. See this entire thread on the Apple Stack Exchange for some good starting points if you're interested in the details.
Oversimplifying things, when you create a tar archive on OS X these files are included along with the "real" file. This allows Macintosh specific meta data to survive the trip into a file format that wasn't created specifically for the Mac. If you untar the files on a Mac, the meta-data is preserved. If you untar the files on a non-Mac, the ._ files are generated in case the meta data is needed.
My guess is, at some point someone tared up those files to move them to the production server from their Mac, which brought along the the ._ files for the ride. You can avoid this in the future by running
from the terminal prior to copying the files. Details on this here.
(It's pretty bizarre that PHP would attempt to include those files instead of the correct files — did you debug this far enough to know why/what connect through it was doing?)

Using Boot Camp to run XP and MacOS on the same computer

Boot Camp is software included with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard that lets you run compatible versions of Microsoft Windows on an Intel-based Mac.I will be guiding you guys through how to setup Boot Camp in Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard. Boot Camp is a utility that comes with every new Macintosh and can run on any Intel Macintosh. It allows you to natively boot and run Windows XP (SP2 or later), Vista or Windows 7 (Not officially supported yet). Here goes the tutorial:Step 1: Navigate to Applications>Utilities>Boot Camp Assistant and open it. Read the introduction and click continueStep 2: Pick a partition size and select “Partition”. Allow the assistant to partition your hard drive for you.Step 3: Follow the rest of the Boot Camp Assistant instructions, ending with inserting your Windows Installation DVD/CD.Step 4: For the rest of the steps in setting up and installing Windows on to your Mac, follow this Apple Boot Camp tutorial: 

Subscribe to Macintosh