Archive for the 'macintosh' Category

ShrinkIt (Smaller PDFs on a Mac)

If you find yourself trying to send a PDF file, and it’s “too big” to send, or if you just want to have smaller PDFs in general, try using ShrinkIt from the smart guys at Panic.

requires Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or greater.

I use a great little menubar item called Mail Unread Menu that has been telling me that there is an update available every few minutes all morning. The funny thing is that it “requires Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or greater” which isn’t even available until tomorrow…

And yet, every few minutes, it politely interupts me and tells me that there’s an update available, even though I can’t actually take advantage of the upgrade until tomorrow. WTF?

Fifteen Mac Applications for Affiliates and Affiliate Marketers

Here’s a quick list of applications I use on my Mac all the time as an affiliate marketer. Hope you find some use from these apps. I do:

  • BBEdit – is a catch all text editor for me. I use it for everything, from taking notes when talking to affiliates and advertisers, to debugging HTML, to writing PHP code. Truly the best money I’ve ever invested, and I’m not a developer at all anymore… but I’m hooked on BBEdit for sure. Super powerful multi-file find/replace (even using GREP patterns)… syntax coloring when looking at HTML and more (or in my case PHP)… if it’s related to text… you name it and I bet you BBEdit’s got it. If you’re too cheap to pony up to BBEdit, get TextWrangler for free. It’s not BBEdit, but has enough of the good stuff to be a lot better than TextEdit.
  • HTTP Client – bills itself as “A Mac OS X Leopard developer tool for debugging HTTP services by graphically creating & inspecting complex HTTP messages.” I love this program, because, while I’m technically savvy enough to understand the terminal and the concepts behind the power of curl and other programs, I really don’t want to have to learn those tools just to test a few things, or figure out what redirects are really involved in some of the tracking links I’m looking at, etc… I use it as a digital Sherlock Holmes type of application for the most part, following redirects so I can really find out who is involved in the different levels of online advertising: for example who owns an offer, and who are they running it through. Very handy.
  • Interarchy – My FTP client of choice. I’ve used Interarchy for about 10 years now, I guess. Back then it was called Anarchy, and it’s only gotten better with age. I use it to download lots of files from my remote servers on a schedule, so I have them when I get into the office. I use it to edit files on the server (combined with BBEdit, above, that is). I use it to download entire websites, when I want to keep a copy of them locally. I also use it to mirror certain directories on my compupter, and sync them up with a remote directory, so I’ve always got a backup of my most important stuff in one place.
  • JungleDisk – Remote backup, cheap and blindly easy. I signed up for this service after I lost my hard drive on my laptop the third time. Man, talk about easy remote backups of your important files. I now have it installed on all of my computers (my office iMac, my MacBook Pro, the wife’s MacBook, and our Mac Mini (that we use as a media center)). It’s brain-dead backups are super simple to set up, but more importantly, if I’m on one machine, and need a file from another machine, because I backup files once an hour on all of the computers, I can always find what I need, just by accessing the backups through my JungleDisk powered “network drive” that sits on my desktop.
  • AdiumX – This Instant Messenger client for Mac OS X, is like iChat without the hassle, and with 4 more cylinders. Adium supports all of the major IM services (AIM, MSN, YahooIM, GTalk, ICQ, MobileMe, Facebook, MySpace, and more) and puts them all on steriods, while keeping them in once place. It’s super configurable, and totally customizable, with oodles and oodles of custom “Extras” built by the community of users that use it. Get it, and take iChat out of your dock. You’ll thank me later.
  • NetNewsWire – The Best Damn RSS Reader for Mac. Period. I’ve used NetNewsWire since it was in early early beta, and have tried all of the other RSS Readers, and have always come back to NNW. I even paid for it back before the developer, Brent Simmons, sold it to NewsGator. Thanks to NewsGator syncing, I can read my feeds on my laptop, desktop or iPhone, and never get out of sync, or have to “re-read” a bunch of stuff I’ve already read. I use this to keep up with news in general, and with offers and blog posts coming from Shawn Collins, Jay Weintraub, or Sam Harrelson, or from networks like ClickBooth, etc…
  • Launchbar – I user LaunchBar to get to everything on my Mac without having to go find it. It’s an application launcher, address book interface, and more. Install it, configure it, and hit “command+space” to find someone’s contact info, launch an application, or find a file. Super time-saver.
  • ServerSiren – Need to keep track of whether your servers are up or not? ServerSiren does this for you, and tells you about it in your menubar. Totally a life saver that one time your server goes down.
  • MUMenu – This is a brain-dead simple to use menu bar that will check MacUpdate once a day for you, and tell you what software you have that is out of date, and let you get the update for it really easily.
  • LittleSnitch – Tells me when an application is trying to access something over the internet that maybe I don’t want it to, and let’s me stop it dead in its tracks. Great application for keeping your Mac from revealing too much information without telling you it’s going to do that.
  • VLC – Great for when you want to wind down a little bit. This media player supports everything Quicktime doesn’t, and looks great doing it. Also get Flip4Mac while your at it. It let’s Quicktime play .WMV files. Comes in handy for watching those video clips your uncle or cousin sends you that you know they’re going to ask you about when you see them next.
  • ImageWell – Need a way to quickly edit an image, upload it to a server, and give you the HTML code to put it into a blog post, etc? ImageWell does that and more. I use this app every day.
  • A Better Finder Rename – Ever need to rename a whole bunch of files quickly? ABFR has been around forever, and makes this a painless task. It can pretty much rename files using any method you want, including searching for patterns in file names, and replacing parts of the names using different patterns. Love it!
  • MAMP – A quick and painless way to set up Apache, MySQL and PHP on a Mac. Gives me a super configurable and easily installed lightweight development environment on my machine, so when I can’t get to the server, or don’t want to, I can do some work. If you don’t write code, you don’t need this.
  • SnapzProX – Best Mac OS screenshot and screen recording application out there. Only one thing it doesn’t do, Full Page screenshots. For that, I use Little Snapper which also creates a nice iPhoto like library of all of your screen shots.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a sweet deal on Mac software, check out MacUpdate’s latest MUPromo where you can get $500 worth of software for $49, including Parallels and Tech Tool Pro.

Advanced Search in Mail.app

Why doesn’t Mail.app have “advanced search” features?

I’d really really like to see Apple add a way to quickly search for a certain value in the “from” field, and another in the “subject line”.

I konw they have “smart mailboxes” and that’s useful for things I want to have quickly accessible over and over, but for quick one off searches, a way to do a quick advanced search would be really helpful.

Need Help: Connecting an iPhone to a Saab Stereo?

So this is my lazyweb request:

I bought a used 2005 Saab 9-3 Convertible this weekend (Yes, I love it and it goes well with our Volvo wagon in the driveway).

How can I connect my iPhone to the Saab head unit so that a) the iPod capabilities of the iPhone work though the stereo, and can be controlled by the stereo (and the controls on the steering wheel) and b) the phone part of the iPhone works through the Saab in-dash microphone and speakers work like they should, but with my iPhone?

I know I can use the AUX input to play music from the iPhone through the stereo, but I can’t control it from the stereo. I also still want it to work like a phone…

I’ve read about the Motorola Bluetooth connections that Saab sells, but I don’t just want Bluetooth phone connections… I’ve come to learn to not like bluetooth because the sound quality is usually horrible…

Anyone got any tips or thoughts? Comment on this post if you do please.

Thanks in advance.

Canon Pixima iP1600 Error 5100

My wife was trying to print something the other night, and she was complaining that the printer was broken. I figured out what the problem was for me, so I’m posting this in case others have the same sort of problem (the answers I found on the web weren’t all that readable, and I spent a good ten minutes reading bits and pieces of answers to piece them all together).

So, I trudged down to the office to check it out, and sure enough, it wasn’t printing.

It was giving me an odd error that I wasn’t used to… and said something to the effect of:

Error 5100: Please turn the power off on this unit and turn it back on, and if you still have problems consult the User Manual.

So, I turned it off, and then back on again, and tried to print. Same error.

So, off to Google I went (we got this printer three years ago, and I couldn’t begin to tell you where the user manual is).

I searched Google for canon pixima 1600 error 5100

And I read this results page, which looked helpful:

FixYourPrinter.com: Canon i550 Service Error 5100

And another results page that took me to a Yahoo! Answers page, which was only midly helpful.

Long story short, something was likely wrong with the printer carriage bar… or something was jammed that was causing the print head to not advance all the way across the bar like it should.

I totally believed that, knowing that I have a 3 year old that is most-likely playing with the printer from time to time when we aren’t looking.

So, I opened up the front cover, and sure enough, the print cartridges weren’t seated well, and one of them was hitting the underside of the cover about three-quarters of the way across.

So, I re-seated all of them, and then turned the printer off and on again, and did a nozzle-check print test. It printed fine. So, back to the computer to resume the print job, and viola… no more printer error.

On those other results pages, they mention things like “cleaning the carriage bar” or “checking for stuff jammed in the printer” so, if reseating your printer cartridges doesn’t work, keep looking for things that would cause the printing head carriage (the thing the print cartridges sit in) to not function properly.

Good luck.

Apple’s MagSafe Powercord Issues

I have an issues with Apple’s new MagSafe power cords. Specifically – they suck.

I have had to purchase four power cords for my MacBook Pros over the past twelve months or so… why? Because the stupid connection between the cable running up to the connector and the connector comes apart. And when you touch that connection while the connector is connected to the laptop, the damn thing shocks me. Why is that? Why does the connector shock me? Why can’t Apple make a proprietary connector that doesn’t crap out on me?

Also, the plane adaptor doesn’t seem to actually keep my laptop from losing power? Witness the phenomenon with the screenshot below:

In that screenshot, you can tell I’m watching a movie, and a “power adapter” is attached, but the battery is “Not Charging” … and the batter is at “92%” what you can’t tell is that the battery was a 100% about 30 minutes before that screenshot was taken. Why is that Apple? Why isn’t your airplane adapter actually keeping me from losing battery power?

Here’s another screenshot from the Airplane Adapter, just so you know this isn’t a one-time occurence:

I’ll be at MacWorld this year

I’ll be at MacWorld this year on Tuesday for about an hour… maybe two…

I just happen to have a business trip to San Francisco to meet with a few potential clients on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the only flights we could get that weren’t ridiculously expensive was the 6 a.m. Nerd Bird from Austin to San Jose on Tuesday morning, and our first meeting isn’t until 3:00 (the prospect moved it back from 1:00) so… I now have a few hours to kill. What better way to do that than to stroll through the Moscone after the keynote?

(Oh, and I’m going to purposefully leave my personal credit cards at home for this trip).

I haven’t worked for MacNN since 2001, so it’s been at least 6 or 7 years since I’ve been to a MacWorld… looking forward to it, and not having to work it this time ;)

And maybe, just maybe, one of my old contacts will hook me up with an invite to a party or two. Jason? Misha? Monish? anyone got an extra invite to the fun stuff on Tuesday night?

Time Machine Failure

I got an interesting error message today after trying to use Time Machine for the first time:


click for full size image

“Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while copying files to the backup volume.”

Thanks Apple. That fucking useful…

Why didn’t the error message just say:

“Sorry, something went wrong.”

How about telling what went wrong and how I can fix it?

The help documents for Time Machine are pretty worthless too. ugh… trying again, I guess.

update: looks like searching ‘/var/log/system.log’ for “backupd” with Console.app will get you the error messages that are causing Time Machine to fail. I just found this string “Nov 11 18:35:25 Macintosh-4 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[3488]: MDBackupIndexFile returned -1134 for: /Applications/Address Book Exporter.app/Contents/Info.plist, /Volumes/Terra/Backups.backupdb/John Engler’s Computer/2007-11-11-092541.inProgress/3B403D2E-A7F8-40F2-8552-C8FC6E608AF7/Intelligence/Applications/Address Book Exporter.app/Contents/Info.plist” in my log file. So, I’m deleting Address Book Exporter from the Applications folder now. Will try again… thanks to this post in Apple’s Discussion forums for the pointers.

List of stuff my Leopard upgrade screwed up

I’ve been living with Leopard since the day it came out. Here’s a random list of things I’ve lost, or changed since I upgraded:

Mail Tags and Mail Act-On aren’t Leopard compatible. Mail Tags is being worked on right now, according to the developer… no public news on Mail Act-On (I don’t really use Mail Tags, but have relied heavily on Mail Act-On up to this point).

My iCal calendar was empty the day I upgraded. This isn’t good… I have no idea where everything went… will investigate how I can get it back… On Monday when I synced my iPhone, all of my calendars came back… I’m still not sure where they went for the first 24 hours post upgrade.

All of my Unsanity Haxies are busted… but Slava says they’re working on them… Will keep checking their compatibility matrix. Sadly, I think my Logitech Controller software uses the Unsanity APE to work… will have to check that on Monday (at the office) to be sure. I only say that because I can “enable” or “disable” their software using APE. [Later] My Logitech mouse worked at work on Monday… and Gruber confirmed for me that the LCC uses APE. Stupid if you ask me.

Amazingly Default Folder actually works faster/better under Leopard than it did in the past for me under Tiger (specifically the menu item extra is faster and more stable … wonder if that’s related to APE too?) I don’t think I’ve ever said it before, but I love, LOVE, Default Folder.

All of my printer drivers are gone… which is fine thanks to Bonjour, but it requires me to get up and go actually look at the model of the printer, so I can make sure the printer driver is set up properly.

I lost Saft in Safari (which was a life-saver for me in the way it let me close Safari without losing the tabs I had opened). And I don’t know why, but the “Pop-up Blocker” in Safari doesn’t work nearly as well as it did under Mac OS X 10.4 did… wonder what they changed/fucked up there. [Later] Looks like Haoli has already released an updated Saft for Leopard.

Also, for some reason, I can’t delete email out of some of my IMAP accounts:

I’ll have to ask Dreamhost about that, I guess…

I didn’t like the “glass shelf” Dock, so I used these commands to get rid of it in Terminal.app [via Gruber]. (instructions also available here):

$ defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
$ killall Dock

You can also change the “indicators” in the dock if you want, following these instructions.

Mail.app’s Junk-mail filtering died on me after the upgrade. It’s not really fair for me to blame Apple for my junkmail problems. I work for an anti-spam company, so, I get a lot of spam (we don’t stop any of it at the server-level… we actually like getting it at that level). That said, I don’t want it in my [email protected] email box, or my [email protected] box… or my personal work email in-box… so, it’s back to SpamSieve for me (which was better than Apple’s system in the first place, but when I moved from Mailsmith to Apple Mail (I needed IMAP) I tried going without SpamSieve… and for the most part, it worked. Looks like that’s over. (Honestly, I’ve always wished Apple provided more insight into what their “Junk Mail Filtering” actually did… like SpamSieve does).

All of the above said, I really like Leopard after using it for three or four days now. Definitely worth the upgrade now that most everything is back to normal.

iPhone

This won’t be a “cool, the iPhone came out today” post. This is a “sweet ass – I got an iPhone today” post.

My sorta-boss (he hired me, but was the founder of the company that got bought, and I now work for someone else, but he still helps me run my business) told me yesterday that I should come stand in line with him at the Apple Store for an iPhone. I figured that it’d be cool, but wasn’t sure I’d actually do it.

Then, this afternoon when he called and told me he was 13th in line at the AT&T store, I figured what the heck.

So, I stood in line for 4+ hours, sweated and got sunburnt and dehydrated, and persevered. And, I got one.

Let me just say it’s totally kick ass. It’s the best cell phone I’ve ever had, and I haven’t even done anything with it yet other than play with Google Maps and make one phone call. I’m psyched about getting it synced up (it’s syncing now) and really playing with it.

Good job Apple.

Redirecting in Mail.app without Redirecting (Command+Shift+D)

If you want to “redirect” an email that you get, so that it goes to someone else, without looking like a forward, but also has your return address instead of the original senders, use Command+Shift+D when using Mail.app on Mac OS X.

Command+Shift+D

I don’t know what this would really be called (it’s not a redirect but it’s close, and it’s not a forward, though that’s close too).

Pretty neat little trick.

Letterbox

Talk about a cool Mail.app hack: Letterbox from Aaron Harnly will give you a three-paned Mail.app interface, ala Outlook (ie. side-by-side panes). Very very cool.

[via Zoom-In Online and Hawkwings]

AppleTV Delayed

Shit. My AppleTV was supposed to ship by Wednesday of this week. Now Apple has gone a delayed the shipment until “mid-March” because they aren’t ready. Shit. I hate it when a company pre-announces stuff. It sets expectations that usually can’t be met. Hope this doesn’t happen to the iPhone. Under-promise and over-deliver is always my motto.

Compare Mode in Aperture

Compare Mode in Aperture – nice little tip from O’Reilly.

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I just ordered an Apple TV

Yes, I did it. I ordered an Apple TV. Want to know why?

Because I’m an Apple dork, and to be honest with you, I’m really not happy with the lack of content available on “standard” HD cable channels, and I’m going to pay another $50/month to get HD movie channels. I’m also tired of storing lots of DVDs in the living room near the TV, so, I’m planning on ripping all of the DVDs I want to watch (including the kids DVDs) and putting them on the Apple TV.

Despite what Robert Scoble said about 720p signals, the Apple TV will be more than capable for what I’m looking for (and it doesn’t matter that he is buying one too. He still shouldn’t be complaining about the specs for the Apple TV. Apple has built something that’ll see more Macs, I think, and more Airports, ad more music and video through the iTunes store. That’s why they built it too, I think, and I applaud them for that.):

What I’m looking for is “easy”.

I want to easily watch my Video Podcasts (Scoble Show, GeekBriefTV, RocketBoom, etc…) while I’m doing other stuff on my laptop at home. About the only time I watch those video podcasts right now, is when I’m on a plane, and that’s only about four times a month. While watching video podcasts on my iPod greatly helps me pass the time on the plane, it also interferes with work that I might want to get done, and there is still more content being produced than I have time to watch on my plane trips.

I want to easily watch movies from the comfort of my couch. I don’t want to have to get up to change the DVD in the DVD player. Sometimes I want to just be a fat lazy ass and grab the remote and browse my collection.

I want to be able to put on music when I want to just “turn off the TV” and play with my kids, and I’ve found having children focused music, or even jazz or classical music, playing in the background really helps the kids (2 years old and 3 months old) play better longer… that music in the background helps them fell more comfortable I think… probably because we play them music before they go to sleep each night. If I can get the music to stream from my iMac to the TV anytime I want it, that means I’ll have mosic in the living room whenever I want it, without having to deal with “what’s in the CD changer?” types of questions and then changing the set from “adult” music to “kid music”. Nothing like hitting play to find the CD changer has nothing but Metallica and Nine Inch Nails in it, when you’re looking for Anne Murray’s children’s albums.

Lastly, I want it to work. Apple products have a habit of “just working”. Sure, every once in a while they have technical malfuntions like the disks going bad, or RAM getting flaked, but, Apple has always fixed my technical problems in 3 or 4 days (max) and I’ve never been dissatisfied by their expertise and customer service. I have a strong feeling this thing will “just work” and I also realize I’ll be upgrading this bad boy once they come out with the 80GB version and then the 120GB version, etc.

I’m totally looking forward to it showing up at our front door. It’ll make the perfect birthday present for my wife.

update:And you should totally go read Ethan’s mini-review of the Apple TV here if you’re thinking about buying one of these. He saw them at MacWorld.

I want an iPhone

For one of the best summaries of what Apple has done with the iPhone, see the second page of this article from Time:

“The iPhone breaks two basic axioms of consumer technology. One, when you take an application and put it on a phone, that application must be reduced to a crippled and annoying version of itself. Two, when you take two devices—such as an iPod and a phone—and squish them into one, both devices must necessarily become lamer versions of themselves. The iPhone is a phone, an iPod, and a mini-Internet computer all at once, and contrary to Newton—who knew a thing or two about apples—they all occupy the same space at the same time, but without taking a hit in performance. In a way iPhone is the wrong name for it. It’s a handheld computing platform that just happens to contain a phone.”

The only thing I want it to do, that I haven’t seen it do yet is sync up with my iCal… if it does that, I’m buying the 8GB version… who cares if it’s $600… It’ll go along perfectly with the $300 Bose QC3 headphones I just bought ;)

Codec Pack for Mac

Codec Pack for all the new Mac Users! – Got a Mac? Download all of the codecs you could want for Quicktime. Good stuff.

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Word of the week: frigtards

I gotta figure out how to use this word spotted in a recent Daring Fireball ‘Jackass of the Week’ article:

frigtard – as in “socially maladjusted frigtards”.

Love it.

Intelligent design of playlists

Intelligent design of playlists

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New Apple Stuff in time for the Holidays

I just wanted to take a moment to recommend that you buy one of the new MacBook Pro’s, a new MacBook, or a new iPod shuffle for the holidays, if you’re shopping for a geek that’s looking for a new geeky item this winter.

I have an older MacBook Pro right now, and this thing is awesome. It’s soooo much faster than my old G4 PowerBook that it’s rediculous. I mean sick fast.

I use it everyday at work, and on the road, and I even run Windows on it inside a virtualization application called Parallels. With that combination, I use Outlook to manage my work email, and my work documents, which, actually also live harmoniously on my Mac OS side of the machine, so that I can work natively when I want to.

Apple’s really doing a great job with hardware right now, so take a look, these latest machines are truly awesome, and are not only some of the best laptops Apple’s ever built, they’re quite frankly some of the best laptops ever made, in general.

MagSafe Airline Power Adapter

Interesting. I went to the Apple Store to custom configure a new MacBook Pro now that they’ve gotten speed bumps, and include Firewire 800, and I saw this on the options that you can add-on:

A MagSafe Airline Power Adapter.

Looks like Apple’s building one now (finally) and they’re selling them as add-ons through their online store, but you can’t buy them individually yet.

Interesting though. Now, I’m wondering if all four of the stupid iGo power adapters I own will ever be useful again, or if I spent $600 on those things and will never use them again… figures. Apple and their damn proprietary parts.

I’m also curious: Is it “MagSafe” or “Magsafe”? You can see in the image above, Apple isn’t sure, either.

update: Looks like you can buy it online at the Apple Store. Found the link at TUAW.

Gave my father-in-law an old iBook

I gave my father-in-law an old iBook this weekend. It was a white iBook G3 with a 700MHz G3 processor and 640MB of RAM. He’s in love with it. Read his first post about the iBook here. Heh, I love it when you can introduce people to Macintosh…

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Aperture vs. Lightroom

Aperture vs. Lightroom – great read, and interesting since I spent my last flight from Austin to LA sitting next to one of Apple’s Aperture sales reps (he is responsible for training resellers to sell Aperture). I got a great lesson from him in the 2-3 hour flight, and look forward to seeing him again to learn even more.

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Good deal for iPod owners

My buddy Misha sent me an email with a link to these Factory Refurbished iGroove Speakers from Klipsch. Talk about a steal… originally sold for almost $300, now going for $130. Figured I’d pass on the link.

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losing an aquaintance

I read Michael Bartosh Passes by TUAW today, and I though “man, that sucks.” Back when I helped run MacNN I used to call Michael every month or so, to learn what was new with Apple. At least that’s what I was trying to learn… typically, Michael would tell me he didn’t know, or couldn’t tell me, and then we’d talk about other stuff. Michael had gone to school at the same school I was at, and had gone to work for Apple at a really young age, cause he was one of those really smart people that Apple needed… he never had a huge role at Apple while I knew him, but he was a great guy that contributed where and when he could. It’s sad to hear that he’s gone, and at such a young age.

Will You Marry Me Apple?

Heh… Go watch the “05:00″ hour on Apple’s Fifth Avenue Retail Store web page, and you’ll see a young Asian man use Apple’s web cam to propose to his girl.

Apple’s Fifth Avenue Store web page

Funny.

On Apple Repairs

Wanda's GirlRecently, I took my Powerbook (15″ 1.25 Ghz G4) and iBook (12″ 700 MHz G3) into the local Apple store for repairs.

The iBook was effectively a doorstop, in that the machine wouldn’t boot up at all, and it wouldn’t charge the battery. It’d been busted for a few months now, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get it fixed.

My Powerbook was having problems with reading PC Cards (I’d bought two PC cards to read CF cards from my camera and neither of them worked on the Powerbook, but they worked fine on my Thinkpad, so I suspected the Powerbook had something wrong).

The process of getting these things fixed was pretty nice, though my wallet was lighter after my visit to the store.

Basically, on Saturday morning (May 6th) I went to the local Apple Store web page and signed up for a slot at the Apple Genius Bar. My slot was 2:20. Then I spent the day mowing the yard, playing with the kid, etc… and then left for the store at 1:45.

I got there a little early, and waited on the Genius to finish with another customer. Then he called my name.

He diagnosed the iBook first, while I booted up the Powerbook. The iBook had serious problems (I knew that, but he had to confim it) and to fix it, it would cost a flat fee of $280 plus tax to fix whatever was wrong with the iBook. Cool, I told him to “do it.”

Then we checked my PC cards in one of the store 17″ G4 Powerbooks. The PC Cards worked… so we looked at the PC card slot on my Powerbook. It didn’t look broken, but something was wrong. I knew I’d bought AppleCare for this Powerbook, but I hadn’t registered it… so they helped me call CompUSA and get a copy of my receipts, so they could put the Powerbook under the AppleCare agreement, and whammo = $0 to fix the Powerbook under warranty.

Then I bought a “refreshed” battery for the iBook at half price (refreshed means someone bought it and brought it back in 14 days) of retail, because that machine is about 5 years old, and a new battery should couldn’t hurt it. I’m thinking we’ll sell the machine on eBay in 6 months anyways, and we’ll get $500 or so for it.

Overall, my Apple Genius Bar experience was great. I got the iBook back in working order on Tuesday the 9th, and the Powerbook came back today (they were waiting on a part to fix it) and I’m very pleased.

Oh, and I bought a ProCare card, just so I can learn more about Aperture from a Genius some day this summer.

Thanks Apple for making it easy to get my stuff fixed.

Switch from Windows XP to Mac OSX with Ease

Switch from Windows XP to Mac OSX with Ease

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Membership has its priviledges

I just became a Daring Fireball member. I did so because I hadn’t done it before, though I wanted to… just didn’t feel like John was putting out a product that was worth it as a part time job.

Now that he’s doing it full-time, I’m super excited about reading his full-time posts… and I figured I should support his efforts.

I even bought a t-shirt.

Good luck John. And thanks.

Got $20? Go become a member. Got $30? Buy a t-shirt too. Support a good cause.

BootCamp Reaction

My favorite reaction to Apple BootCamp announcement is this one from FuckedCompany.com:

Hell’s doors are now open

Apple’s new Boot Camp software will allow Mac users to run Windows XP.
When: 4/5/2006
Company: Apple Computer Inc
Severity: 30
Points: 130
Discuss in the Happy Fun Slander Corner

Yes, I still read F’dCompany… you don’t? It reminds me of the good old days… ;)

update: Don’t miss these pieces on Boot Camp too:

Boot Camp First Look: Half Life 2 Video + More from Cabel at Panic.

Obligaory NYTimes article

Mac’s Moment

Mac’s Moment from the WSJ – an interesting article talking about how now may be the time the Mac makes a move into more businesses… not sure I agree or disagree, but who knows. I’m linking to it because I interviewed with Chuck, who’s quoted in the first section, back when I got out of the Army some 5 or 6 years ago… cool… Chuck’s a great guy.

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My Journey to Macintosh

My Journey to Macintosh

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Hidden iPod Commands

Hidden iPod Commands – great little reference for the hidden commands on your iPod (all generations).

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OS X Sudo vs. Root

OS X Sudo vs. Root: The Real Story

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Lazyweb request: PCMCIA Compact Flash Card Reader for OS X

Anyone know where I can buy a PCMCIA card that’ll work in my PowerBook and that’ll let me read Type I and Type II Compact Flash cards? I need one to get data off my camera’s CF cards more easily than carrying around the USB adapter I have. I just want to plop the CF card into my Mac and then eject it… I hate peripherals when I’m on the road.

15″ Aluminum PowerBook G4, running Mac OS X 10.4.5 (currently)

(I ask because I bought one from Amtron after calling them to make sure it’d work in my PowerBook, and sure enough, they said “yes, it’ll work”. I got it today, and guess what: It doesn’t work with my PowerBook. Works fine with my Thinkpad, but not the Mac. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I knew better than to trust the sales person… now I’m going to be out shipping both ways, which more than doubles the cost of the stupid thing, and I still don’t have what I want. Argh.)

Blogroll addition: BBEdit Gems

BBEdit Gems – a blog/site about BBEdit. All your text are belong to BBEdit.

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Apple features EchoStorm

This is too cool: Apple has posted a case study about EchoStorm which just happens to be run my David Barton and Jason Barton… old friends from my Mac Web days. Congrats Jason and David. Nice feature… and nice little business you guys are building there!

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OS X Virus

MacRumors.com: First OS X Virus – it had to happen sometime.

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menubar vs. dashboard

Great little read for Mac OS X users: JeweledPlatypus on MenuBar items versus Dashboard Widgets – lots of great links to nifty little software packages.

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PhotoDesktop

PhotoDesktop – very cool way to put multiple photos on your desktop for Mac users.

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The Most Downloaded Konfabulator Widgets

The Most Downloaded Konfabulator Widgets – good list if you’re a Konfabulator fan.

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Windows on Intel OS X

Run Windows on your Intel OS X Box – at near native speeds supposedly. Cool!

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Wozwear t-shirt

This Wozwear t-shirt is too cool.

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Don’t buy an Apple product…

This is response to a Jason Kottke post about buying a Macintosh three weeks ago.

Everyone prospective Macintosh buyer should know three things about buying a Macintosh and the timing of that purchase:

1. Don’t buy a Macintosh one month before: a) A Apple Expo, c) WWDC.
2. Use the MacRumor’s Buyer’s Guide to guage when products were announced and when they think new products will be announced based on a product line’s history.
3. Don’t buy a new Macintosh when you don’t have to have one. If you have to have a new machine, buy one, and never look back. New hardware comes out all the time, and there is always something better soon after you bought your last machine (soon is relative there folks, but it’s bound to happen).
4. (okay, I said this was a list of three things, but this can’t be over looked) Don’t buy a new Mac on the first version. Wait for the second version of a new model, as those first versions almost always have a bug or two in them.

Enjoy your Mac the day you buy it. If you don’t think you’ll enjoy it in a month, don’t buy it… wait for the next great Mac product to come out… it might take 6 months, you never know with the great Steve.

Comparison Shopping

Apples to Apples and Apples to Oranges – a comparison chart showing the new MacBook Pro (stupid name) to the latest Powerbook version, as well as to an Acer with pretty comparable specs. Interesting. update: you should also read this little post noting all the new stuff that’s missing on the MacBook Pro (did I mention that’s a stupid name?)

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Google Earth for Mac

One announcement that I haven’t heard a lot about today is that Google Earth is now avaialble for Macintosh users. Cool, downloading now. (Sidenote: the funny thing is that I have a IBM Thinkpad that I use for work that runs Windows, and I’ve never been interested in downloading Google Earth for the PC, but I’m all about using it on my Mac… weird)

Waiting on the Keynote

coffee cup

Tomorrow morning I’ll have my coffee in hand tomorrow morning, just waiting to hear what happens at the keynote.

Here’s a list of predictions from ThinkSecret. Let’s see how accurate they were after the keynote.

Free up Hard Drive space on a Mac

This post is also for Scott, but I broke up these two entries because they really are two seperate subjects.

I’d also highly highly recommend that you free up a lot more space on your computer. You should ideally have at least 10 Gigs free of hard drive space on your computer. It’ll just work better if you do for lots of reasons…

First we have to find where the space is being used and for that we’ll use WhatSize. Use it to figure out what directories on your machine are biggest, and drill down to start deleting what you can delete that’s hogging up all of your disk space.

Here are some applications I’d recommend that can help you trim down the various file hogging applications on your Mac:

  1. Monolingual – very handy way to free up a gig or two of space that you won’t use unless you converse in more than one language on your machine.
  2. Garageband Anywhere – I personally just deleted the entire Garageband application after I realized I’d never use it.
  3. ShareIpod – cool little application that let’s you listen to music on your iPod through your computer, which is helpful when your iTunes library is taking up lots of space. Manually move songs to your iPod, then delete from iTunes and save some disk space on your laptop.
  4. iPhoto Diet – I saved 2 Gigs of space getting rid of crap in iPhoto with this app.

Oh, and to fix your Firefox problem, Scott. Drag the entire app to the trash, and reinstall.

Graphics Editors on the Macintosh

nip for ScottThis post is for Scott, in response to his questions about a good graphics editor for the Mac.

List of good stuff for you on the graphics side:

1. Graphic Converter (cheap, easy, but very powerful if you want to get into it) and it’ll probably feel a lot like PaintShoPro when you start using it (it always felt like a crappy windows-only graphics editor to me back when I used it ;)). And your Mac might have come bundled with it. Look in your Applications folder for it.

2. ArtRage – works well for “painting” if that’s what you’re into.

3. LiveQuartz – very simple, totally free, and built on top of a lot of the CoreImage stuff in Mac OS X. It might not perform that well for you if you have an underpowered machine (ie. an iBook, but check it out and see… I don’t have an iBook to test it on anymore).

4. Image Tricks – freeware image editor based on Core Image again.

YMMV.

I personally always use Macromedia Fireworks for web graphics work that might need animation at some point, and Adobe Photoshop for real graphics work… just so you know. I use Graphic Converter really only for batch graphics conversion and other batch work.