Not Enough Watts
If you are suffering from some issues with your computer/device the root cause could be that your not allocating enough AC/DC power to the device. That is you think your sending 12 Watts to the device but in reality you are actually sending a lot less.
As a result of the device not having enough power you may encounter poor performance with the device and you may mistakenly blame the device for not working correctly. A couple of real world examples of this happening to me:
A few years ago I had a US Robotics modem that wasn't recording phone calls correctly. I checked every possible thing with the modem and couldn't understanding why it wasn't working. I discovered that I actually plug in the wrong power supply into the device, I plugged in a 5 watts power plug where the modem was expecting 8 watts. Once I found the right one everything worked fine.
More recently, I was having problems with my USB Satechi 12 Port USB hub. Every time I plug my iPhone or Amazon Kindle the devices would tell me that there wasn't enough power or the device wasn't supported. Turned out that the problem was I had too many things plugged into my power strip that all my devices were not getting enough power. To solve this, I simply removed the non-essential items and everything now works much better including my iMac Computer.
The life lesson here is that if your encountering any problems with your devices, you may also want to check to see if there's an issue with how much power the device is getting.
Last week Apple officially shipped the new 'Photos' application which will be the long awaited replacement for iPhoto. I have been waiting for this application because I really need to clean up my iPhoto library.
I installed the application last night and when to look into my Pictures folder in the Finder, I found the following listing:
This is all good, except that my hard drive is only 1 TB. Apple has once again managed to break the laws of physics they managed to double my physical disk space. In reality they didn't it looks to be a bug with how the OS is reading files.
The application does looks cool, but I still need to learn how it all works. I was disappointed that there's still no way to create a Smart Album based on a file size. This would make it super easy to remove very large movies.
It's time to clean up my iPhoto library. Currently it has 538.84 GB! That would take 114 DVDs to back it up! Since each DVD takes 20 mins to burn/verify, it will take 38 hours to backup my libary!
One practical alternative is to back up the photos/video to a USB flash drive. 64GB drives sell for about $30, and I can put certain events on each drive. For example, I can put 2012 photos on a couple of USB flash drive. (I expect to see a lot of deals during Black Friday!)
In iPhoto, If your trying to delete photos/videos from a Smart Album you may find that all the menu options for deleting are grayed out. (Even moving things to the trash can is not doable.) The way around that is to select the photos and they use the following keyboard combination: Command - Option - Backspace.
This will move the files to the trash. Empty the trash in iPhoto and then Empty the trash in the Finder to permanently remove the photos.
iMovie Audio Clips
If your doing a lot of YouTube Video Logs, there are many sites that offer great background sounds. You should know two of them that have excellent libraries for great background music aned effets when you need it. There's only so many times that you can use the Apple's Playful Sound Effect. Why not be unique and invest in something that will spice up your videos.
Pond5 - This is an open marketplace for buyers and sellers of royalty-free clips in all categories. Some of the clips can be pretty expensive. $34 for a 2 minute background music? Just make sure you know what your buying. After Effect text and Pre-Key Footage are really cool and really can add some professional touches to your videos.
Stereobot - Lots and Lots of background sounds. They can also be pricey but have a lot of good Playful alternatives to spice up your videos.
Audioblocks - A subscription service where you can download unlimited amounts of audio clips. Great selection and mix of music types.
Stuck DVD in iMac
Last night I encountered an issue where a blank DVD got stuck in my iMac computer. This happened because there was an clear empty disk stuck to the botton of the blank disk. Ya, it's hard to explain. I wasn't really paying attention and sort of forced the disk into the drive. As a results the computer wasn't able to eject the disk. I could here it try to eject the disk when I click on the eject button, but nothing was happening. Almost immediately I went searching online to find the solution to the problem.
Almost everything I read said that I was pretty much out of luck and would have to take it to a service center, or the Apple store to get fix. This of course means that it could cost a lot of money, since the computer isn't under warranty anymore. Also there's some risk that I could loose all the data on my computer. (Apple has a disclaimer that you should back up your entire computer before getting it service.)
I used some of my Macintosh experience and was able to get the disk out. Here's what I did to fix the problem:
- First I restarted the computer
- When the computer came back up I could hear the disk try to eject, but it wasn't coming out of the computer far enough for me to try to get it out.
- I opened up the Terminal Application and then typed in this command three times:
- drutil eject -drive internal
- The disk ejected just fine.
I am not sure exactly why restarting and then attempting to eject worked. But that's what it took to make it work. After I ejected it, I put in another DVD in the drive and was successfully able to burn data.
Delete iMovie Event
In iMovie, when you delete an event, have you seen the dialog box that says 'All media files an d projects in this event will be deleted. Clips used outside this event will remain in your library.' Do you wonder if the original media files get deleted too?
In other words, when you delete an event in iMovie are you deleting iPhoto movies too?
Well your not, when you delete iMovie events the original iPhoto movies that you may have used/linked to are not touched.
After your done with creating your masterpiece in iMovie and you share it to YouTube, you are safe to remove the event without destroying the original video source. This will save a lot of disk space and iMovie Memory.
Apple Keyboard Space Issue
Recently I was experience problems with my aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard and my iMac. For some reason the spacebar would be clicked multiple times and cause space to be inserted for absolutely no reason. This would happen when I use the computer and caused the computer to wake up from sleep. As, a result this made it extremely to use the computer, especially when typing and trying to fix the problem. This is because no matter what I tried the space would be typed multiple of times. In the Console logs, I would see entries such as:
...Type selection took over 1.000 seconds. Stopping early....
I tried different things to fix the keyboard, I notice that the battery level was low, so I replaced the batteries with fresh Energizer ones. I also tried disconnecting and reconnecting the keyboard, but that would work for a while but then the space problem would return.
I found the following information on Apples site, 'Avoiding radio frequency interference.':
Nearly every electronic device is subject to radio frequency (RF) interference from external sources if inadequately shielded, designed, or otherwise configured to be compatible. As a result, iPhone may cause interference with other devices.
This got me thinking, near my computer keyboard, I had my iPhone 5s. When I moved it away from the keyboard, I notice that the space issue stopped! Very strange. For some reason it appears that the iPhone was causing some type of interference with my Bluetooth keyboard.
So if your experiencing issues with your aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard try this:
- Replace the batteries.
- Tip your Keyboard upside down and shake anything that might be stuck.
- Move away anything that might cause interference with the keyboard.
- Bring the keyboard to the Apple store and see if it works on another computer
Cool Texts in iMovie
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been using iMovie 11 a lot. I have been getting really good at learning all the tips and tricks to be more efficient and building better Vlog video clips. Once you learn some of the key keyboard shortcuts you can cut down production time and focus more on creating better videos.
From the beginning I have been frustrated with making really cool text in videos. Apple includes a bunch of template text formats, but they don't really seem to be enough. I have found that Apple's Keynote application actually works hand in hand with iMovie. It makes for an excellent text toolkit for iMovie, I found this online:
If I need to do some complex typing and use it in iMovie, I will create it in Keynote, then Export it from Keynote as a QuickTime Movie in timed advance mode (not manual advance). I will then use it in iMovie. With Keynote, you have total control over the font, the background color, the size, and hundreds of text effects.
The key thing to remember is to always export the Keynote sides in timed advanced mode. There's lots of great slide making examples on YouTube, all of these slide types can easily be exported to add some cool effects in your movie.
Macintosh users should be aware of any file that from gophoto-it. This is a pretty bad hijacking software and will control Chrome, Safari and Firefox on your computer.
If you have been experiencing any strange behavior when your clicking on any websites, such as strange popups saying you should install an update utility software you may have a bad browser extension. You should see if you may have inadvertently installed the gophoto-it software.
Basically what 'GoPhoto.it' does is add an extra bit of code to every webpage you load in your browser and they can manipulate what you do. For example, you may want to go to product page on Amazon.com, but GoPhoto.it will send you to another page or product on Amazon.
Here's a sample of the code in the page: (Click for the full size version.)
Don't be fooled! You don't want to have this software on your computer. This is really bad spyware and should be removed. Here are the simple steps on removing the extension that get's installed:
- Click Shift-Command-A to open Firefox Add-Ons.
- Click on the Extensions on the left side
- Look for anything that says, GoPhoto.it and then click Remove
- Restart Firefox
- Under the Windows menu, select 'Extensions'
- Look for anything that says, GoPhoto.it and then click on the trash can
- Restart Chrome
- Under the Safari menu select Preferences
- Click on Extensions on the Top Bar
- Look for anything that says, GoPhoto.it and then click on the Uninstall button
- Restart Safari
iMac Memory upgrade
If you purchased a iMac in 2012, chances are that you have an iMac Mid-2011 model. You should consider getting more memory to help performance and allow you to do more with iMovie and iPhoto. Most likely that you didn't add memory when you purchased the computer and only have 4GB of memory.
Apple made the Mid-2011 model easy to upgrade the memory, so you don't need to bring it to a dealer or the Apple Store. Certainly if your uncertain about adding memory to the computer, you should consult an expert.
However before you do, watch this video to see how easy it is to install.
This is the memory that is supported in the Mid-2011 model:
DDR3 1333 MT/s (PC3-10600) CL9 SODIMM 204-Pin 1.35V/1.5V Notebook Memory Modules
Crucial is one of the highest rated manufacturers that makes the memory. You can purchase them at Amazon Prime, MacSales.com or BestBuy.com.
Data Rescue 3
This weekend we experience a serious hard drive crash with our 2T Buffalo DriveStation. Basically the drive stopped working in the middle of coping over large amount of data. As a result, when we re-mounted the drive the drive showed up empty in Mac OS Maverick and Windows 7. The drive is using NTFS format, which isn't 100% supported by Apple, but should be fine for coping data.
When the drive would mount, I saw that at least 300 GB of data was being used, but I couldn't see any files, in Finder, Terminal or in Windows 7 using Parallels 9.
I tried to run chkdsk on Windows 7 and it wouldn't work in the Parallels environment. Under Parallels, Windows see's the connected external drive as a Network drive. Turns out that the chkdsk app doesn't work with network drives. When we connected the drive to a laptop running Windows, it came back as not able to fix the disk.
I tried numerous times using the fsck tool on the Macintosh and it came back as saying that it couldn't connect to the drive. I checked various options that Apple and other users suggested, but they didn't help. First Aid wouldn't work since it's using the NTFS format.
We were able to fix the problem by downloading Data Rescue 3 by Prosoft Engineering. After running a Deep Scan for 12 hours, yes for 2TB it would take that long, we could identify some of the files on the disk. (Note: A lite version of Data Rescue is available in the Apple store but it doesn't work in Maverick.)
We are not finished yet. We need to buy another hard drive, as we no longer trust the integrity of the Buffalo DriveStation. Once we get another hard drive, we'll copy the recovered files to the new hard drive.
Recently I notice that the application/service 'com.apple.medialibraryservice.xpc' was bouncing in my computer dock. I did a quick search on the internet to see what was going on. I wasn't able to find a firm answer.
I did discover that this was happening when I was importing some photos via iPhoto. Some of the import were movies and some of those movies were using the new 'Slo-Mo' feature on the iPhone 5s.
I am guessing that the application was bouncing because it was rendering the 'Slo-Mo' movies as it was importing them.
Practical Powerbook ideas
If you have a an old Powerbook G4 laptop in your home, you may still be able to put the computer to valuable use! Here are three things to do with an old Powerbook G4 laptop that you may not have thought of.
First off, having a Powerbook G4 on at idle uses 21 Watts per day which will cost you .04 cents per day or $16 a year. So there's very little cost to having the computer plugged in.
Record your morning radio show
During your morning commute, have you ever heard of a joke that you would like to hear again. What was that song you heard for the first time? Was there a time you wish you could replay that broadcast? Well now you can.
Using Audio Hijack Pro and a simple audio cable hook up to your radio, you can set it up to record your radio show that you listen to every morning. You can set it up so that it only keeps a week's worth of clips. Basically set it and forget it. You can get the clip that you need when you need it and not have to worry about running out of disk space.
Advanced Macintosh users can even set it so the audio file is emailed or placed in a dropbox folder to access when your away from home.
Maintain active backups of your files
Don't waist valuable space on Dropbox for common files that you use at home! Put some common library files on your Powerbook and keep it on the network. Some common library files may include manuals of appliances in PDF, Microsoft Word letter templates and others.
This is great way to keep a single resource for the entire household. It's better than a shared drive since you can encrypt the drive and perform some productive actions. For example, you can set up a folder action to convert any Microsoft Document to a PDF file.
Archive your CD collection
If you still have a large collection of music CDs around your house, keep a digitized version on your Powerbook. This will make it much easier to find your favorite music collection. Why keep Christmas music on your main computer all year long?
Using the Powerbook G4 as your central music hub is great for playing music on the network tv too.
Powerbook G4 Laptop Hard Drive
If you have a Powerbook computer, in storage or use it frequently for files, you should consider getting a USB Flash drive to copy the data on the computer. This will make it very easy to have an off line backup of your data should something happen to your computer or hard drive. This is also handy for those times when you want something off the computer and don't want to have to boot it up.
For about $100 you can get a 128GB Flash drive, which is more than enough space to use backup most Powerbook computers. My Powerbook G4 came with a 80 GB hard drive. I suggest using the SanDisk Cruzer Glide USB Flash Drive
Apple's Disk Utility has the ability to create a complete copy of your Hard Disk as a Disk Image. This is practical way of backing up your computer since everything is copied, you won't miss a critical library file or anything. You can then open this disk image on any Mac computer, such as a newest laptop or iMac.
Before you start the backup, you should clean up your computer - get rid of anything you don't need. You may want to delete already back up photos, music and other files. Don't forget to empty the trash, in your applications, such as iPhoto and the Desktop. You may save additional space by deleting the browser cache from Safari and Firefox.
Since this backup will take hours, ;I suggest running this at night:
- Connect the USB drive to the computer.
- Launch up Disk Utility. (Search for the Application is the fastest way to get to it.)
- Click the Hard Drive in the left navigation. (Most cases it will already be selected.)
- Click on 'New Image' in the top tool bar
- I suggest calling it 'PowerbookG4-Backup' Tip: There's no need to add the date to the name because it will have the time stamp.
- Compression is the best image format type for back up. The other options would be good if you plan to modify the disk image later. For example change a file that you commonly use.
- If you have any sensitive tax or government data, use one of the encryption. Keep in mind that this will add additional time and size to your backup.
- Click Save and the process starts.
After the backup is completed, you should validate that the backup is done by opening the disk image in another computer.
Once the process is completed, label the outside of the USB drive so it will be easy to find later.
Getting iPages Free
This afternoon I stopped at the Apple store on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay with a question about the new Pages application. Basically, how do I get the latest updated version for Free.
Let me briefly explain my situation:
A couple of weeks ago Apple announced that along with giving the latest version of MacOSX away for free, that they would also give away the entire suite of iWorks products. The problem was that I haven't been able to get it for free since in the App Store on my iMac it still says that it's $19.99. I did have the iWorks '08 on my computer.
The Apple employee suggested that I try the following:
- Open up the Apple App application on my iMac.
- Sign out of the Apple Store.
- Restart the computer
- Open up the Apple App application
- Sign back in.
Then the prices in the store should be updated to reflect that I am eligible for the free upgrade. I'll have to try this out tonight to see if this infact works. If it doesn't he suggested that I call the Apple Store at 1-800-676-2775.
Let's see if this works!