Macintosh Blog Posts

June 28, 2007

Mouse-in-a-Box

I use the Kensington #72123 Mouse-in-a-Box as my computer mouse on my Powerbook computer every day. At home I use Logitech MX518 Gaming Optical Mouse. The Logitech is a great mouse, just seems a little "over powering" at times.

What amazes me is how simplifies the Kensington mouse is compared to the Logitech mouse. I really don't need a fancy mouse to perform simple tasks, clicking, right-clicking and scrolling. The Kensington mouse performs the task very well and a good mouse to have.

I purchase Apple's Wireless Mighty Mouse when it first came out, thinking it would be cool to have a wireless mouse. Today, the mouse is sitting on a shelf on my desk at home. Why? Well I had some problems with the mouse loosing the Bluetooth signal even thou it was inches away from the computer. I do bring it with me on business trips but very rarely do I use it.

This got me thinking about Apple's new iPhone that is going to be release this week. Sure its cool, got the latest technology, awesome graphics, and probably the best sound in wireless phones. But, is that something I really need? Am I better of just using a simplified solution? Earlier this year I got the LG VX8300 phone, and signed up with Verizon for 2 years. So I won't be jumping ship just yet to get the iPhone. However, I'll be checking out the phone the next time I goto the Apple Store.

In the meantime, if your looking for a good mouse, goto eBay and pickup a Kensington #72123 Mouse-in-a-Box. Currently you can get one for around $25.

June 14, 2007

Journler

To add content to this Blog, I am now using Journler, By Philip Dow, as my primary writing tool. Journler has a great writing environment and sophisticated tools that I need, such as tagging, organizing content by categories, custom labels, and a pretty good search engine.

I also like the default font that Journler uses: Cochin Regular 14n. However, sometimes I'll switch to Georgia Regular 14. If you use any Journal tool, try using Cochin or Georgia. When writing code I find that Monaco Regular 9 is better font to use, this is due to using BBEdit so much.

I still use TextMate to clean the code prior to going live since it has excellent HTML tools such as Google linking capabilities and entities converter. TextMate has quickly become an important part of my application development.

My day-to-day note-taking tool is still DEVONThink. I use this to store my source code examples and code references. All my personal and business documents are stored in Journler. This decoupling my personal life from my work life.

If your undecided between various Journal/Notetaking applications, I would encourage you to consider using more than one application. Consider one application for you business needs and one for your personal needs.

April 26, 2007

Macintosh Journal Tools

On my laptop I have both DEVONthink, MacJournal, and Journler. At one point in time I saw some value in each application and have purchased a license.

However, having mulitple tools is not very productive and can make finding information difficult. So over the next few days I am going to pick one application and use that as my default Macintosh Journal tool.

Top 5 functionality that I am looking for:

  1. Search Functionality - not only within the application but also using Spotlight.
  2. Label Content - Easily identify importaint content in the listing
  3. Usibility - An application thats easy to use.
  4. Sorting - Ability to organize content
  5. Back up - Ability to do a complete backup and remove information as needed.

April 20, 2007

iSync Error Message

With the iPhone soon to be release, owners of any LG Phone, including my LG VX8300, will be seeing the following messages in iSync for a while.

LGVX8300 Message

An alternative solution is to use BluePhoneElite. For some reason the Address Book works fine when importing contacts. However the first name and last name get reversed when it goes to the phone, so on each import I have to change the order of the name.

March 2, 2007

VX8300 Wallpaper

I recently upgraded my cellphone and purchase a LG VX8300. I really like this phone over my Samsung A670 since it has Bluetooth capabilities and a better sound, including a speaker phone.

The screen is a little bigger, and I with that I needed create some new Disney World Haunted Mansion wallpaper. If your a Haunted Mansion fan, and have a LG VX8300 download these wallpapers that I created.

HauntedMansionNight  HauntedMansions  HauntedMansionSign

I am working on some ring tones. For some reason, Disney isn't providing any Haunted Mansions ringtones as they did when I purchased the Samsun A670 a couple of years ago. I think this is a big mistake since there are plenty of Haunted Mansions fans that would like to have Grim Grinning Ghosts as a ring tone. Once I am done with it, I'll put it up here so others can download it.

January 25, 2007

Apple Bugs

Google it...

Apple Tiger Bugs: 1,300,000
Microsoft Vista Bugs: 28,100,000

Oh, Vista doesn't officially come till next week. Lets see where the numbers stand Tuesday morning (January 31, 2007), once users installed it and start blogging it.

January 9, 2007

iPhone for $499

Wow Apple announced the iPhone for $499! The bad news is that it runs on Cingular network.

Apple would have been better to make a couple of these for different providers. In the northeast, Verizon pretty much has the most coverage. After all, they will have to make a different phone for Europe and for Asia.

more later...

November 16, 2006

Quicktime Feature

I have been working on the features section of this website and looking to take advantage of using Final Cut Express HD that I purchased last year.

I have my VCR connected to my Sony DCR-TRV720, as a pass-through and connected to my desktop computer using firewire. I got this working in Final Cut Express, so that I can record video, by using File > Easy Setup and selected DV-NTSC DV Converter. The only downside is that the audio doesn't play through the speakers.

Final Cut Express HD is a great piece of software, and one of the cool things that I didn't know that was included is Apple Compressor. This allows me to compress multiple Movies at the same time! Very Cool!

I currently have Media Cleaner 5 for all my compression, and its a great tool. But its a little out of date and I am unable to compress using the latest H.264 Codec. I am not sure if its worth getting the upgrade to Cleaner 6.5 since that costs $179. I think the key advanage would be the RealMedia and the popular Flash Movie Format that is not available in Apple's Compressor2.

I'll investigate other options, as there might be some plug-ins that might work with Quicktime or Compressor, such as Helix Producer.

October 5, 2006

Installing Oracle

I am in the process of Installing Oracle on my Powerbook G4 and G4 Desktop for development purposes. Here are the steps I am currently using.

First download Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1.0.3) for Mac OS X Server

Then perform the following commands from the Terminal:

Oracle
su -
sudo nicl . -append /groups/admin users oracle
sudo gcc_select 3.3
sudo nicl . -create /groups/dba
sudo nicl . -append /groups/dba gid 601 
sudo nicl . -append /groups/dba passwd "*"
sudo nicl . -create /users/oracle
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle uid 601
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle gid 600
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle shell /bin/bash
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle home /Users/oracle
sudo nicl . -append /groups/dba users oracle        
mkdir /Users/oracle
chown oracle:dba /Users/oracle
sudo nicl . -append /users/oracle gid 601
nireport . /users uid name | more
mkdir /opt
mkdir /opt/oracle
mkdir /opt/oracle/product
mkdir /opt/oracle/product/10.1
chown -R oracle:dba /opt/oracle
cd /Users/cryan/Desktop
mv ship_mac_db.cpio.gz /opt/oracle/product/10.1/
cd /opt/oracle/product/10.1
gzip -d ship_mac_db.cpio.gz 
cpio -idmv < ship_mac_db.cpio

That's where I am at for now...

April 27, 2006

iPhoto Image Sizes

Here's a little tip for insuring that your pictures look high quality. Note that if you have a consumer type camera you may not have enough pixels to have very large prints made that look good. Use the following general guidelines when sizing images to aspect ratios":
  • For a 4 x 6" print, the image resolution should be 640 x 480 pixels minimum
  • For a 5 x 7" print, the image resolution should be 1024 x 768 pixels minimum
  • For an 8 x 10" print, the image resolution should be 1536 x 1024 pixels minimum
  • For a 16 x 20" print, the image resolution should be 1600 x 1200 pixels minimum
  • For a 20 x 30" print, the image resolution should be 1600 x 1200 pixels minimum

April 24, 2006

Safari and TextEdit

A really cool feature in Text Edit is the ability to save Graphics inside the documents. This works well with Safari.

So I can select a text on Boston.com, Yahoo.com and then paste it into a TextEdit document and then save it as a 'rtfd' which is a Rich Text With Graphics Format. This makes saving stories with photos a lot easier...

March 29, 2006

Workout Songs

The following is a list of workout songs that I found. This list was create in early 2001. I am sure that there's some additional songs that could make this list.

Eye of the Tiger Survivor
Physical Olivia Newton-John
Stronger Britney Spears
Come On Over Christina Aguliera
Rollin' Limp Bizkit
Rocky Theme Phil Conti
Baby Got Back Sir Mix-a-lot
Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) C+C Music Factory
Bye Bye Bye N'Sync
Express Yourself Madonna

March 20, 2006

Airport Card

Apple has discontinued the Apple Card for the Apple Extreme card. However not all computers can use the new card.

You can search ebay for Apple Cards, but they cost $129+. Which is a lot of money to spend to make your desktop computer wireless.

I found a cheaper solution this weekend. I bought a DLINK USB Adapter (DWL-G122) for $45. I downloaded some third party driver and was able to connect with no problems. (Search for Macintosh USB Wireless for the Driver.)

This is a short term solution, over the next few months, I'll be building a home network that will replace the wireless connection.

February 21, 2006

Linksys modem Connection with Comcast

[Download a PDF Version of this for easy reference.]

I was able to get a Linksys Modem connected to a Comcast using the following steps:

  • I called Comcast (888) 633-4266 to register the Modem Mac address. (This can be found on the bottom of the modem.)
  • The 'DS' Light was flashing non-stop, indicating that it was not getting a signal. I had to try a different cable wall jack. Turns out the one I was using was not set up correctly.
  • Once I got connected I just went through www.comcast.net instead of using the CD installation. For some reason on my Mac, Comcast kept disabling the Ethernet port.
Once I was able to surf the Internet, I connected a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router:

First I needed my computer Mac Address:

Finding the Mac Address on a Macintosh OS X:
You will need this for Comcast Cable.

  1. Open up System Preferences.
  2. Click Network
  3. Under the 'Show' Menu select 'Ethernet'
  4. Select the Ethernet Tab (Its the last tab.)
  5. The Ethernet ID is what you need.
Then I started the process:
  1. Shut down the computer, and unplug the power cables to both the router and the Broadband modem.
  2. Disconnect the Ethernet cable from the computer and plug it into the Internet or WAN port of the router.
  3. Take another the Ethernet cable and connect it to the computer.  Then, take the other end of that same cable and connect it to Port 2 on the back of the router.
  4. So you have at this point the Modem cable going into the 'Internet' port of the Router and a cable from your computer to the Router second ethernet port.
  5. Plug in the Broadband modem's power cable and wait for all of its lights to stop blinking.
  6. After the lights on the Broadband modem stop blinking, plug in the router's power cable.
  7. Start up the computer.
Now your ready to configure the router:
  1. I used Firefox instead of Safari, since I was experiencing some problems submitting Linksys Settings. (I was seeing the raw HTML code after submittals)
  2. When the browser window opens, go to the Address bar and type in the router's IP Address and click on the Go button (192.168.1.1 is the default IP address of Linksys Routers).
  3. A window will appear prompting for a "User Name" and a "Password".  Leave the "User Name" field blank, and type in the router's password and click on the OK button to login (admin is the default password).
  4. The router's web-based "Setup" utility should then load.
  5. From the "Setup" page, click on the MAC Address Clone sub-tab.
  6. In the "MAC Clone" section, set the option to Enable.
  7. Click on the Clone Your PC's MAC button.  Once this is done, the "User Defined Entry" will show MAC Address of the Ethernet Adapter of the computer you are using.  Verify this address with the Mac Address" observed in earlier steps.
  8. To make the Wireless Work, click on the 'Wireless' tab, then click on the green button. It will instruct you to click on the Cisco Systems logo on the Router.
  9. Be sure to use a cool Wireless Network Name!
[Download a PDF Version of this for easy reference.]

February 9, 2006

Create a Rule Line in InDesign

To create a rule line, similar to rule paper:
  1. Create a line the length that you want.
  2. Change the line stroke weight to .5 (Standard Line weight)
  3. Select Step and Repeat (Edit -> Step and Repeat)
  4. Put in the number of lines you need in Repeat Count
  5. Put in .2 inch or 1p2.4 Vertical Offset (Standard College Rule)
This is great if you are creating custom index card or custom cards for the scan card system.