Monday, November 24, 2008

Ballmer: Vista will run on your Granny's PC!

Okay, I'm stretching it with that entry title. But you can see in this article that the doof, Ballmer, appears to be trying to market Vista to certain unsuspecting users, knowing it won't work for a lot of their systems.

Steve Ballmer Must Testify In 'Vista Capable' Suit -- InformationWeek:

Consumers Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen sued Microsoft for consumer fraud last year. They contend that Microsoft intentionally duped customers by advertising as "Vista Capable" computers that lacked the horsepower to fully support all of Vista's features, such as its 3-D Aero interface. A judge earlier this year granted the case class-action status.

In requesting Ballmer's testimony, the plaintiffs entered into evidence e-mails -- unsealed by the court last week -- in which Ballmer appears to have been informed of changes to the Vista Capable definition that allowed inclusion of an underpowered Intel (NSDQ: INTC) graphics chipset.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Office 2008 Update Problems

Microsoft continues to have issues with its Office 2008 updates. Don't use Monolingual until they can sort this out!

Office 2008 12.1.2 (#2): More fixes for problems installing; Word bugs - MacFixIt:

Users continue to report issues with installing Office 2008 12.1.2. MacFixIt reader David Badovinac has discovered a somewhat kludgy fix, as follows:
Download the standalone Office 2008 12.1.2 updater
Mount the disk image then control-click the updater file and select "Show Package Contents"
Navigate to Contents -> Resources
Open the script "package_updatable" with TextEdit or another plain text editor.
Remove these lines:
  • if not found_valid_version:
  • sys.exit(48)
Save the file then close it and reattempt the update.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Changing the login background

Neat for when you get tired of looking at the same ol' image. - 10.5: Change login panel background:

While attempting to get rid of the gaudy pink and purple Aurora login picture, I found that it is no longer enough to simply rename your picture of choice to Aurora.jpg and drop it in Desktop Pictures a la Aqua.jpg in previous releases.

To change the picture behind the login panel in 10.5, one must name the picture of choice DefaultDesktop.jpg, and drop it in to /System » Library » CoreServices. Doing this as the admin user is required for authentication purposes.

[robg adds: It's the simple things that can make using one's OS of choice more pleasant :). I used Terminal to create a backup of the original image first, just in case. After cding to the CoreServices directory, I then did sudo mv DefaultDesktop.jpg DefaultDesktop_old.jpg, then moved my new image in.]

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ballmer: Google Android no competition

We all know that Steve Ballmer emanates endless assertions of accuracy, such as when he said here that the iPhone was-a nuthin'. And we can also see how M$ failed to recognize Google as a threat in other ways, such as searching.

Let's hope Ballmer continues as CEO of M$, so that he continues screwing he did with Vista.

Ballmer doesn’t see Google Android as competitor yet | Macworld:

Google’s Android mobile platform doesn’t “bubble up to the top” of Microsoft’s list of toughest competitors to Windows Mobile in the market for smartphone OSes, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said this week.
Speaking at an investor day hosted by Australian telecommunications carrier Telstra on Thursday, Ballmer said that it’s too early to tell if Android will ever be a serious competitor in the mobile market, where others have already marked considerable territory.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Powerbook Memory Slot Suit

It has finally happened! Please see my previous posts here and here on this exact problem and Apple's lack of assistance. I'm jumping onboard this lawsuit as soon as it gets class-action status. Why doesn't Apple just fix crap that they screw up? Seems like it would be a lot cheaper.

Apple faces lawsuit over defective PowerBooks | Macworld:

Editor’s Note: This story is excerpted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

A New York man has sued Apple in federal court over flaws in the PowerBook G4 and has asked the judge to grant the case class-action status.

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in San Jose, Calif.,, Giorgio Gomelsky accused Apple of refusing to repair his PowerBook G4 notebook, which he said has a defective memory slot that has prevented him from adding more memory to speed up the system.

Apple’s refusal, Gomelsky charged, was particularly galling because the company had previously acknowledged problems with PowerBook G4 memory slots and had set up a free-of-charge repair program for a limited number of systems.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Netflix opens 'Watch Instantly' for Macs

Finally, though we've considered dropping this service. This is a beta test for which you'll have to opt-in. To do so, following this link:

Opt-in for Silverlight Movie Player Beta

Get the Silverlight Plug-in here.

Netflix opens 'Watch Instantly' to Mac owners who opt-in - Engadget:

Mac owners who have been waiting for Netflix to open up the 'Watch Instantly' option just got a little something to light up their day -- the service is now available to the public; or at least members of the public who opt in via a web form. It's all based on Microsoft's Silverlight, so you'll need to download and install the plugin for your web browser, but please mind the six device limit if you've got a small cadre of 'Watch Instantly' devices in use. So if you can live with the fact that Microsoft tech is the lynchpin to your Mac streaming enjoyment, hustle on over and sign yourselves up for that non-HD, but ample selection of streaming content.

Hack Google, download an mp3

LogoLooking to download an mp3 from your CD collection (ahem)? Don't want to use BitTorrent for fear of the RIAA busting down your front door? Use Google! Of course, don't forget about either!


Copy / Paste the code below into your Google search box:
-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) "<BANDNAME/SONG>"

FireWire-to-USB for new MacBook?

Though not yet supported on OSX, this (or a product like it) could help assuage the angry Apple hoard, upset over Apple's decision to nix FireWire from the latest MacBooks. You guessed'll have to buy it, even if it does happen, and don't expect true FireWire sustained speeds either.

FireWire-to-USB: MacBook Redeemer? | TheAppleBlog:

Apple’s decision to axe FireWire from the MacBook line is not sitting well with many users, to say the least. For high-quality audio and video transfers, FireWire is the standard for professionals and hobbyists alike. Though USB is technically capable of faster transfer speeds than FireWire 400 (480 Mb/s vs. 400), FireWire has greater effective speed and power distribution because it doesn’t depend on a computer host port.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Order cheap prints online and pick-up local

Need to make some quick prints of your latest photo masterpiece? Just order through snapfish and pick them up at Walgreens. Of course, Apple finally got smart and lowered their stinking prices, so they are now competitive too.

How to print digital photos cheap at

How much do you pay for printing your digital photos? If the price is more than $0.07 for a 4"x6" glossy print then you pay too much. Here is a list of web sites that I used in the past with very competitive pricing and good service. In addition at the end there is a table with pricing stats on other alternatives.


If you are in a hurry then Snapfish is the right service for you. You can order your prints online and pick them up at any local Walgreens store in your area (expect to pay a sales tax if you do so). Besides Snapfish often runs promotions of different kind which is why I happen to use them a lot. I suggest you to check current Snapfish deals before ordering your prints.

Snapfish pricing might not be as good as the other two services but it is still very competitive: 4"x6" - $0.12, 5"x7" - $0.79 to $0.39 (based on quantity), 8"x10" - $2.99. Shipping in the US is from $0.99 and up. Make sure to check their pre-paid printing plan. If you sign up the price for 4"x6" prints will come down to $0.10. More pricing details here.