Friday, December 25, 2009

New Airport Extreme Crashes Wireless Tiger Clients

I've spent most of Christmas Day trying to figure a way out of this mess. I even downgraded my old Powerbook G4 to Panther, only to discover that it--initially--had no support for WPA security (doing the normal upgrades to it now via Ethernet). Not sure why it seems that every time I buy a new piece of Apple gear, it doesn't cooperate very well with older Apple gear. I understand that time moves on (and Apple wants us to as well), but one expects things like basic wireless in a working Mac to continue working with newer Apple wireless routers. But no.

I initially thought the problem might be my new WDS setup, but that's not the case. The kernel panics persisted, whether I disengaged WDS or not.

The Airport Extreme Base Station in its current firmware incarnation (7.5) causes kernel panics on ALL wireless clients running Tiger 10.4.11. This is confirmed by multiple users on the Apple Support Boards:

My Apple Tech confirmed (early November) that there is a known problem with the new Airport Extreme Dual Band Base Station causing kernel panics on computers running Tiger (only when connecting wirelessly via an Airport card -- not when connected via Ethernet cable). Apple Engineering has been notified and has not -- as yet -- released a software update to Tiger. Based on some customers' reports, we tried disabling the Guest Network on the base station, but that didn't work for me. Has anyone figured out a work-around besides 1) the ethernet cable and 2) upgrading to Leopard?

[From Apple - Support - Discussions - Kernel Panic when Running Tiger ...]
One user managed to get Apple to send him a Leopard install to address the issue:

Here's my experience. Ran two iMacs with Tiger 10.4.11 and a new iMac Intel Core Duo with an Airport 801.g Extreme. Alls well. I upgraded to an Airport 801.n and all **** broke loose with Unresolved Kernel Traps (UKT) on both Tiger machines. I managed to obtain Leopard from Apple and will upgrade each Tiger machine a couple of days apart to be sure I don't have any more UKTs. Then I will reinstall the Airport 801.n and see what happens. If I can believe what Apple Support has told me my problems should be solved. I should know by end of this coming weekend.

[From Apple - Support - Discussions - Kernel Panic when Running Tiger ...]

So I put in a service call to Apple and spoke with a rep today; the rep didn't offer a Leopard install like they did for the other user, and they didn't even admit that there was a known problem:

No dice. Just got off the phone with Apple and their solution for me was to go into the Apple Store. He said it was a computer issue...not the AEBS. I even brought up this thread (i.e., Tiger incompatible with new AEBS) and that other users said that Apple had acknowledged this problem. He said he had not heard that and that it was my computer?

Keep in mind that I told him that both my G4 machines are running Tiger (Powerbook and Mac Mini) and both are kernel panicking with the new AEBS.

So, I obviously didn't get the good support that you received...

[From Apple - Support - Discussions - Kernel Panic when Running Tiger ...]

I've basically tried everything (including doing Leopard installs using Target Disk mode), and nothing is really working (the G4 versus Intel architecture creates problems--i.e., the GUID versus APM). I either must get a Leopard Retail disc from Apple or wait for them to officially acknowledge the problem and issue a firmware update. Arggggghhh! My Powerbook is now running 10.3.9 (Panther) after the updates and is doing fine on the new AEBS, so this PROVES it's Tiger that is not compatible with the new Airport Extreme Base Station (802.11n). The Mac Mini is dead in the water at the moment in terms of wireless connectivity (I have the Airport turned off...and no more panics). I have ordered some cheap Cat-5 cable, which should be here soon and keep the Mini running until the firmware update shows up. Apple, your users really shouldn't have to go through such nonsense.

FOLLOW-UP on 26 DEC 2009:

As a follow-up, my issues were solved by installing Leopard on my G4 machines, which was not easy. See my post below on the Apple Discussions thread:

I can confirm now--as have others here--that it is definitely the Airport Extreme Base Station (802.11n) that is causing the kernel panic problem with Tiger. It will also not cooperate with Panther 10.3.9, IF you install the AirPort Extreme Driver Update 2005-001 update:

I downgraded my Powerbook G4 Aluminum 15" to Panther and had it working well at 10.3.9 until I installed the above driver update, so this driver (or some code within it) is the culprit; obviously, it hung around in Tiger but changed in Leopard and Snow Leopard (hint, hint, Apple).

I have now managed to update my old G4s (through much effort) to Leopard and both are cooperating nicely now with the Airport Extreme Base Station. I suspect Apple will update the driver eventually, but if you're having issues...go back to Panther (w/o the aforementioned driver update) or upgrade to Leopard if your system will install/run it.

FWIW, I installed Leopard on my old G4 Mac Mini (with 512 MB RAM) using Target Disc mode from the Powerbook running the install DVD. Leopard would not install any other way on that machine. Good luck all!

[From Apple - Support - Discussions - Re: Kernel Panic when Running Tiger ...]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Extend New Airport Extreme With Old Airport Express

So maybe you're like me and bought a new Airport Extreme Base Station (802.11n) and want to extend your wireless network through an older Airport Express (802.11 b/g). After Googling this, I discovered I wasn't the only frustrated user. Apple wants you to buy a newer Airport Express with 802.11n to make extending your network easier. However, you can still use the older Airport Express with a little work and a hidden trick.

For some reason, this took me SEVERAL hours to figure out. It didn't JUST WORK. LOL! Fortunately, I learned that using the Option key while selecting the Wireless Mode popup menu in the Airport Utility (Version 5.5 (550.29)) returns to the user the ability to set up a WDS (wireless distribution system).

A nice user named Bob on the Apple Discussion forums confirmed the Option trick I had learned elsewhere. However, I still had trouble getting the WDS to work properly. Here's what I tried that seems to do the trick:

Thanks Bob. Yes, I found that trick elsewhere. Still had trouble, even though I went through all the proper motions (i.e., making the AEBS(n) the WDS base station and the APX the WDS remote...including entering the correct MAC addresses for each).

However, I think I've discovered the fix that allowed my old APX [Airport Express] to work with the new AEBS [Airport Extreme Base Station] in a WDS network: I set the radio mode on the APX to 802.11g ONLY! The radio mode on the base station was kept at AUTOMATIC. And I used Channel 1 for the 2.4 GHz frequency on both and left the 5 GHz frequency channel selection at AUTOMATIC on the base station. WDS wasn't working until I made those changes (don't know if one or more of those steps is important...but it's working now).

[From Apple - Support - Discussions - WDS set up problem ...]

Apple Aluminum Keyboard Low Power Warning

If your Aluminum Apple keyboard suddenly tells you it can't power a USB device anymore (that it once did power without issues -- WTF Apple?!?), try unplugging the keyboard for 30 seconds and then replugging it. My SD card reader works again after doing that, though the LED no longer lights up. My Logitech camera (that once worked plugged into the keyboard) seems to not work anymore. I wonder if this was a change from Leopard to Snow Leopard?

Apple makes great stuff, but they'll just randomly change things sometimes, seemingly unconcerned with the problems those changes will cause to their uses. Rakin' frakin'...

Just had this problem on my late '07 Alu iMac. never had any bother before, it was always possible to have the wired MM and 5th Gen iPod attached. Today got a low power warning on just the iPod! (wireless MM now)

I unplugged it and reconnected after 20s - was all fine again. How odd.

interested on the power discussions here, the system profiler says the ipod is drawing 500mA thru the keyboard, and the keyboard itself only needs 20mA

[From New Apple keyboard, doesn't sync or charge ipod nano - Page 5 - Mac Forums]

iPhoto '09 Flickr Uploader Weirdness

If you run into weirdness with the Facebook or Flickr Uploaders in iPhoto '09, try this. Keep in mind that if you share your Snow Leopard account and someone else is signed into their Facebook, Flickr, or Yahoo! accounts under your SL account, you'll have problems. Try logging them out and yourself in before deleting these keychains.

I found this post last week when I had the same exact problem. Today, I finally just did a Google search and found a post in the Apple discussion threads ( It says all you have to do is go into the Keychain Access application on your Mac and delete the iPhoto key from your computer.

Just search for "iPhoto" in Keychain Access, and if you have more than one key for iPhoto permissions (I have Facebook and flickr), just double click them until you find the one that contains "flickr" in the "Account" text box and delete it. I just did this, and after I restarted iPhoto, when I clicked the flickr button in the lower right, it asked me if I wanted to setup iPhoto to publish to flickr. AWESOME.

[From Flickr: The Help Forum: iPhoto '09 flickr uploader Permissions]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Using Preview to Merge and Save PDF Documents

Neat trick for Preview! Changed a bit since Leopard.

For Snow Leopard 10.6.0, Apple changed the way this feature works in Preview Version 5.0 (501) and made it more cumbersome. Here’s how it’s done in Snow Leopard:

Open a PDF.

Expose the Sidebar.

Drag the PDFs you want to include in the Sidebar area.

Note B: The PDFs all retain their name in the Sidebar (contrast with Note A).

Select all but one of the PDFs in the Sidebar.

Drag and drop the selection into the unselected PDF recipient.

Note C: You only get one chance at this or you’ll need to start over. You can only drop one set of PDFs onto the recipient.

Note D: After doing so, the recipient icon changes to include a Binding Comb on the left edge. Moving the arrow cursor over the combined PDF exposes a circle-left-turn arrow on the right edge.

Save or Save As the PDF. VoilĂ  – one PDF.

[From Snow Leopard Changes Preview’s “Combine PDF” Behavior «]

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guide to Cleaning Your Mac

Here's what you do when the little air can isn't enough...

But sometimes a bit of compressed air isn’t enough. So, here is our guide to cleaning everything from mice to laptops.

[From Complete Guide to Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Mac ]

Friday, November 27, 2009

iTunes Refuses to Store Your Password?

Does your iTunes program keep 'forgetting' your password. If so, this fix may work for you. Basically, go into your iTunes account via the program (yes, you'll have to put in your password) and click "Reset Warnings" down at the bottom. You can also try Deauthorizing and then Reauthorizing your computer via iTunes, but this didn't work for me.

What seems to have worked for me (in addition to resetting warnings) is to delete the SC Info folder as detailed below.

After iTunes 9.0.1 was released, a number of users were annoyed that the check mark button for saving their password no longer worked. As a result, each purchase or app-upgrade triggers iTunes to prompt for a password.

[From Fix for iTunes 9.0.1 refusing to save your store password | iPhone Atlas - CNET Reviews]
Quit iTunes and any other open applications until only Finder is open.
Choose Go > Go to Folder.
Type /Users/Shared/SC Info and click Go.
If Finder is not already set to column view, set it by choosing View > as Columns.
Select the SC Info folder and move it to the Trash by choosing File > Move to Trash.
Restart the computer and open iTunes.

Authorize your computer to play your purchases. Note: If you have multiple accounts you will need to authorize your computer for each account. For more information on how to authorize your computer, see this article.

[From iTunes repeatedly prompts to authorize computer to play iTunes Store purchases]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Careful Musicians: Apple Denying Service for Tobacco Smoke

Apple touts Logic's Mainstage 2 and its portable Macs as a performer's must-haves. Problem is that performers mostly work in clubs, and many clubs throughout the world still allow smoking. So, how can a company legally deny warranty service to musicians using its product as the company intended, simply because a venue employer's customers smoke? This sounds like a class action in the making. How can Apple tell the difference between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco smoke from the Mac's owner? Will they really claim that musicians should only work in clubs that don't allow smoking?

According to the Consumerist, Apple has denied computer repair to at least two known Mac users after they took in their computers for repair. The reason? They're smokers and according to the Apple repair technicians, the problems may have been a result of second-hand smoke.

[From Apple Denying Support to Smokers | Mac|Life]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Microsoft: Windows 7 design inspired by Mac OS X

Finally, an admission. Although, Vista itself was inspired by OS X! They're not admitting that here. Any idiot could figure that out. However, Vista sucked. I hear Windows 7 is a better ripoff of OS X...LOL! The really funny line is when they claim that their copy of OS X is more STABLE than OS X. I'll believe that when I see it.

When it looked to redesign its dominant operating system after the struggles of Windows Vista, Microsoft reportedly turned to Apple's Mac OS X for the "look and feel" of Windows 7.

Simon Aldous, partner group manager with Microsoft, told PCR that the graphical style of Windows 7 -- which he calls "Vista on steroids" -- was inspired by the look of Apple's Mac OS X. The new Windows operating system launched in October.

"One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it's very graphical and easy to use," Aldous said. "What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 -- whether it's traditional format or in a touch format -- is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics. We've significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it's built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance."

[From AppleInsider | Microsoft official admits Windows 7 design inspired by Mac OS X]

Monday, November 02, 2009

Tweetie Avatar Cache Faux Pas

Tweetie is probably the best Twitter client out there, but it has an annoying bug. Yes, the dev says it's Twitter's fault, but it's frustrating to the average user and no other Twitter client has this problem. Even deleting my entire avatar cache did nothing to bring on my new avatar. Yes, I uploaded a 640x480 profile pic (people should be able to see a larger version when they click on your avatar).

I just tried uploading a smaller avatar to test (<200 x 200 px), however, and it did nothing. Deleting the cache again did nothing. Come on dev...fix this BS. I shouldn't have to reinstall the app to get my avatar back. You're charging for this app, so please do your work.

Twitter has been having issues with profile images recently. It turns
out, if you've updated your profile image in the last week (and it was
a big image) it wouldn't be scaled down properly.

[From Twitter Profile Images - atebits - random stuff ]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SL Mail Fix: Copy Address w/o Carrots

Open the Terminal, type or copy and paste this in, and hit RETURN. Say bye, bye to the less-than and greater-than signs you see when you copy and paste an email address in Mail. If you prefer, use TextWrangler or some other editor to edit the file directly, though using the Terminal is easier.

defaults write AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -bool NO

[From Mac Daddy World » Blog Archive » Fixing “Copy Address” in Mail on 10.6]

MS Copies Apple Again: Store w/"Guru Bar"

Can these guys come up with anything on their own? Do they even have an R&D department? They copy this and copy that from Apple. And then they lambaste Apple. Probably shouldn't criticize your unpaid, external R&D department there, Steve Ballmer.

All of this image and distribution re-imagining on Microsoft’s part is great news for one company: Apple. There’s no better sign that you have your main competitor on the ropes than when it resorts to parroting your moves. All Apple needs to do is continue to set the trend, and watch as Microsoft tries to follow it.

[From Microsoft Becoming Apple With First Retail Store, Online PC Sales ]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Now Firewire Gone in New Unibody MacBook

Same price for the new polycarbonate MacBook; some features enhanced and others lost, including the Firewire 400 port. Bad news for us musicians and video editors who NEED that Firewire port. Guess we'll have to fork out the extra bucks for the MacBook Pro (by design).

Just like the unibody aluminum MacBooks released last year, the latest version of the plastic MacBook has no Firewire port. This also means that the last Firewire 400 port in the Mac lineup has vanished – all new Macs, save the Firewire-free new MacBook, now have Firewire 800 only. Farewell, Firewire 400, we hardly knew ye.

[From New unibody MacBook loses two ports]

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Post-SL: Use Your Contextual Menus Again

One unfortunate consequence of upgrading to Snow Leopard is that Apple tossed contextual menus onto the Abandoned Apple Technology dungheap. Not much help to those of us who've grown dependent--dare I say, addicted--to the use of these right-click wonders. The replacement? A greatly improved Services system that has a contextual component. We'll have to wait for developers to catch up. In the meantime...

Here's one way to keep using your 32-bit CMs, though not a very elegant solution; it's better than nothing.

What is it?

Shortcuts is a Mac OS X application to assign hot keys to contextual menu items. It works only with menu items added by contextual menu plug-ins. Version 2.0 also allows you to display a menu with items added by CM plug-ins.

[From Abracode Shortcuts]

Great iPhone Power Management Tips

Running out of juice too early? Here are some great ways to manage your battery between charges. I do all of these, but my greatest advice is to TURN OFF features you're not using--like Bluetooth, WiFi, Notifications (like Push notifications), auto mail fetching (do it manually), Location Services, and 3G. Unfortunately, some of these are spread out and need a little tapping to turn them all off. If you just need it to be a phone and iPod, turning off the previously mentioned services will greatly expand your battery mileage.

If you only need the features of an iPod or PDA, Apple makes it easy: Just flip the Airplane Mode switch under Settings.

Every iPhone user knows that the battery life isn't fantastic. Well, us heavy users anyways. If all you do is type out 10-15 texts a day or maybe make a phone call the iPhone will last easily. For those of us using WiFi, and browsing the web, and constantly reading our feeds, checking emails, testing out applications, and who knows what all day, the battery life can be a little bit on the lacking end. Here are a few of my personal tips to help you get a little bit extra out of your battery.

[From iPhone Battery, How To Help Make It Last | iGadget Junkie | iPhone App Reviews & Giveaways ]

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Why MobileMe ISN'T Worth It

Once upon a time, MobileMe was called ".Mac" (pronounced dot-mac). I bought this service for one year, and though it was cool having an exclusive email address like, there wasn't much else that justified the $100 I paid. For one (then and now), the storage space was too minimal (you can get free space using DropBox that's the equivalent of MobileMe's paid space). For the same $100 a year, I have a business-level web hosting account with ixweb.

The real deal-breaker for me with MobileMe was the syncing between computers, which NEVER WORKED. My understanding is that it still doesn't work right. The iPhone now makes that irrelevant for me. If you don't have an iPhone then a normal cellular phone or Google probably makes that irrelevant for you too.

It's true that the Find My iPhone feature is tempting, but if Apple was smart about this, they'd recognize that most features they're selling with MobileMe are available free online. They should sell just the Find My iPhone and Back to My Mac features for a cheaper cost; they'd make more money. I'd subscribe for those features, if the price was right.

“Is a MobileMe subscription worth the money?”

Umm… It’s complicated.

[From Why MobileMe is really worth it | Web Services | MacUser | Macworld]

Monday, August 31, 2009

100 Tips, Tricks, and Features of Snow Leopard

Self explanatory. Go there, read, and be happy with your new, fast kitty.

After installing Snow Leopard on our Macs, the Mac|Life staff began scouring the inner crevices of 10.6 looking for all the features we can. While Snow Leopard has been advertised as more of a speed increase and "tightening of screws" of the OS, it still has some great features that'll help you work faster.

After spending the weekend with the new OS, we found 100 features, tips, and tricks that should help get you up to speed and make you a Snow Leopard power user.

[From 100 Snow Leopard Tips, Tricks, and Features | Mac|Life]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Slow iPhone YouTube Over WiFi Workaround

I discovered this problem on my iPhone too and it's annoying. Fix it Apple! Changing my Airport Express settings each time isn't an option.

Currently, the wireless network is set to G-Only since this was the best setup for our office. It was only when I switched the Wireless Network Mode to B-Only that YouTube videos began watchable again. None of the other settings had any effect.

[From YouTube Slow on iPhone through Wi-Fi - RESOLVED » Media and Internet Marketing Blog]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Apple's Snow Leopard Has In Store

I'll be going for it once I know my recording gear and software will behave with this kitty.

Here’s a look at how three of these additions to Snow Leopard—64-bit computing, Grand Central Dispatch, and OpenCL—work and how they could improve your Mac experience sometime soon.

[From Inside Snow Leopard's under-the-hood additions | Mac OS X | Macworld]

And then, the smaller stuff...which in some ways is more exciting than the major stuff:

[From Snow Leopard's smaller changes | Mac OS X | Macworld]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HandBrake + VLC = Movies on iPhone

Chris Breen gives some great advice for users wanting to move some of their DVD movies over to, say, an iPhone or iPod. Free software makes it easy.

If you’re a Mac user interested in ripping your commercial DVDs to a format playable on an Apple TV, iPod, or iPhone, the free video transcoder, HandBrake 0.9.3, is one of the easiest ways to go about it. With a copy of the free VLC installed on your Mac, HandBrake can rip most DVDs made today, and the results it produces are quite watchable.

[From Beyond HandBrake's defaults | Entertainment & HDTV | Playlist | Macworld]

Saturday, August 08, 2009

ACL Found But Not Expected Weirdness

If you see a bunch of these messages when repairing permissions, here's how to deal with it:

if you try to repair permissions and get a bunch of acls found but not expected

to fix this some chmod commands need to be executed in the terminal.

Essentially open up a terminal and do the following:

cd /
ls -le

look at the Applications and Library folders in the listing and you should see they have specific ACLs. On one of my machines the Applications folder had 2 and the Library had one. On the other both had just one.

to remove these ACLs do the following:

sudo chmod -a# 0 "/Applications"
sudo chmod -a# 0 "/Library"

[From InsanelyMac Forum > How to repair "ACL found but not expected" message in disk utililty]

MacBook Freeze and Heat While Sleeping

I was having this issue while deployed and it was driving me nuts. Basically, Safe Sleep is a pain in the butt and causes this problem in the newer Macs. Also, there's more on Apple's Discussion Forums. A widget is available (called Deep Sleep) that will allow one to avoid using the Terminal. Also, more info about disabling Safe Sleep here on; Apple really needs to rethink this one.

So, To Disable Safe Sleep:

Type these two commands in the Terminal, and hit return:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

sudo nvram "use-nvramrc?"=false

Presto, instant fast sleep, and no more crashing!!

Now if you want to reclaim some hard drive space, an amount of space equal to the amount of RAM your computer has, do the following:

In the Finder, choose Go To Folder... from the Go menu

Type "/var/vm" into the prompt and hit return

Don't touch the swapfiles, they are important. But if there is a file in that folder called 'sleepimage', just drag it to the trash and you're good to go.

[From MacFixer - Does Your MacBook Freeze When You Close It's Lid?]

Friday, August 07, 2009

iPhone Updating Same Songs Fix - UPDATED

The bottom contains the original post that I THOUGHT had fixed the problem; turns out that it didn't fix a thing. However, my frustration was apparently the frustration of many others, and the solution was forthcoming.

It turns out the culprit is jacked up ID3 tags. The solution is right in iTunes. Right-click on the offending files and select "Convert ID3 tags..." In the dialog, select the latest version of tags and then resync. Problem solved!

I updated the ID3 tags of my continuously re-synced 24 songs to the latest version 2.4 (you can do this in iTunes by right-clicking on the songs). It worked in 23 cases (1 song could not be updated as it is in .aac format because I had bought it in iTunes).

I must admit I didn't figure this out myself, this guy actually did it:

[From Apple - Support - Discussions - iTunes keeps syncing the same 4 songs ...]

::ORIGNAL POST:: (ignore doesn't work)

This hasn't worked for everyone with this problem, but it did the trick for me. Once I reset Sync History, I stopped updating the same 20 songs from iTunes with each sync, which had been adding to the sync time and had ticked me off. All better now!

Thanks to Lynn at Apple Support

Basicall I had to reset the sync history. To do this:

Open iSync in applications
Menu item iSync / Preferences
Select Reset Sync History

The next time I sync'd my iphone it worked flawlessly (and didn't reload all my content, which I thought it might do).

[From why is my iphone "updating files"? - Mac Forums]

Professional Musician Switches From Apple to Ubuntu

A sign that Apple should pay attention to. If people can "switch to Apple," they can also switch away from Apple. It's not impossible to make good, lucrative art with other machines. Making a great, easy-to-use system more difficult to use by subtracting documentation (or changing a great iMovie program into a stupid one) isn't the way to go. Those kinds of decisions aren't what made you strong, Apple.

Then, during my 2009 spring tour, my PowerBook G4 exhibited signs of age, with missing keystrokes, intermittent backlighting, the failure of a RAM slot, and reduced performance. As an alternative to repairing the PowerBook, I investigated what a new MacBook Pro and upgrades for all my software would cost.

[From Create Digital Music » Linux Music Workflow: Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone]

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

iPhone/Wii Video Streaming from Netflix

Coming to an iPhone, iPod Touch, or Wii near you!!! This is great news for my family. Will likely only be WiFi, however.

A new player is about to enter the arena: Netflix itself, who intends to bring "Watch Instantly" video streaming to the iPhone/iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii. At present Netflix streams over 12,000 movies and TV shows over a large variety of devices including Intel-based Macs.

Todd Spangler of speculates, and I agree with him totally, that when released, streaming will be limited to Wi-Fi only.

[From Netflix expected to release a Watch Instantly video streaming app]

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why We Use Macs

Unix is 40 Years Old

Thanks goodness Dr. Thompson did what he did. My Mac thanks you, sir!

In August 1969, Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T Bell Laboratories, saw the monthlong absence of his wife and young son as an opportunity to put his ideas for a new operating system into practice. He wrote the first version of Unix in assembly language for a wimpy Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor and an assembler.

[From Unix turns 40: The past, present and future of the OS | Mac OS X - Page 1 | Macworld]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

MS to Copy Apple's Genius Bar With "Guru Bar"

What a shocker. First, Windows...then ultimately Vista, a poor OS X knockoff. Then the Zune, a hideous iPod copy. Then the decision to make a Microsoft store to copy the successful Apple Stores. Now, Microshaft plans to copy yet another Apple innovation. They're hapless and devoid of ANY original thinking. I'm waiting for the ZunePhone or something.

A leaked presentation has exposed Microsoft's tentative plans for its retail stores -- and the high degree to which they'll imitate Apple stores, down to their layouts and even the presence of a dedicated "Guru Bar" for help.

A leaked proposal for Microsoft from design consulting firm Lippicott immediately provides hints of an Apple connection with a bright, open layout where the center and edges of the store are dominated by computers showing the "seamless" link between Windows PCs and peripherals. Themed areas would push specific products, such as home theater PCs, netbooks or Windows Mobile and Zune devices.

[From AppleInsider | Microsoft stores to mimic Apple's with "Guru Bars"]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ballmer: Macs are a $500 Logo?

This moron just won't get it, will he? Being notoriously WRONG about Apple (especially his blundering iPhone prediction), Ballmer continues failing to understand the nature of true innovation that his company must alway plagiarize and pass off as their own. There's a lot more under the hood with the Mac OS--far more than Windows has, including that latest OS X copy called Vista. The hardware is irrelevant; the little bitten apple logo is irrelevant, though admittedly stylish.

America is a consumer culture that buys a logo; Americans will also pay more if they GET MORE, dumb ass.

Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction," Ballmer said, via webcast. "The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be."

[From Ballmer: 'Tide has really turned' against Apple in computer market - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ballmer to Apple: Don't Act Like Microsoft!

Yes, this is dripping with irony. Ballmer is actually asking Apple to delink it's software from hardware. I guess when a company is successful and you have no answer for their innovations, you should just accuse them of wrongdoing while ignoring your own transgressions.

Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple

"At the Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer took aim at Apple's closed iPhone ecosystem with an ironic plea for openness: 'Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice.' Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox), its history of vertically integrating software (tying SharePoint into Office, IE, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc.), as well as years of illegally tying Windows to Internet Explorer that only the US Justice Department could undo.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Here's Ballmer's Sign

Here you go! I pointed out this stupid bumble months ago. Why not go ahead and admit this for OS X and the Mac. Here's your sign, Steve: "I'm stupid."

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who once laughed off the iPhone, has now conceded to Apple's edge in the market while hinting at a very different future for his company's Zune players.

Ballmer told the Financial Times (registration required) that the iPhone and BlackBerry have "clear market momentum" in the smartphone business.

Shortly after the iPhone was announced at Macworld 2007, Ballmer lambasted the Apple handset as the "most expensive phone in the world" while noting that Microsoft sells "millions and millions and millions of phones a year" while "Apple sells zero."

[From AppleInsider | Ballmer changes tune on iPhone, says no Zune phone]

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Apple goes 'nickle-and-dime'ing'

I do find this a bit troubling. Guess I'll wait for a pissed off developer out there to write code that will remove the DRM from my iTMS purchases for free. I would have to pay Apple a lot of money to remove the DRM from what I've bought, and since I've given them a lot of money this year already for new hardware and software, I'm in no mood. }:-( There are other convoluted solutions, of course, but many don't retain the original file's quality.

Apple has dropped DRM from iTunes — and is offering to remove their DRM from music you already bought for the low, low fee of $0.30 per song.

[From Apple: Give Us Money And We'll Remove DRM From Your Music]

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Forget Vista and Zune flaws, Apple products impose 'tax'

When your OS market share is falling to a superior product (because your fallible copycat product--Vista--doesn't work), it's time to pull out the big guns and slam the competition. Here's the scoop: Do Macs cost more than PCs? Yes. Are they worth the price difference? YES, YES, YES. I just retired a G4 after 8 years of faithful service. How many PC users can say that?

By the time a PC user buys add-ons, security software, upgrades, downgrades to XP, and wastes hours troubleshooting the most banal OS issues that Mac users never confront, I assert that they've SPENT MORE than a Mac user! Clearly, the Mac is the better deal, in the long run, and it's just a better product. Otherwise, why would Microsoft keep copying--albeit poorly--EVERYTHING Apple does?

Microsoft again pitted Mac prices against similarly-configured Windows PCs from the likes of Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft's comparisons put Apple's hardware at a disadvantage, with the "tax" ranging from 16 per cent, or $100, for the entry-level Mac mini to 25 per cent, or $300, for the lowest-priced iMac desktop.

Microsoft also played the recession card as it knocked Apple's prices. "We're in the midst of difficult economic times - declining retail sales and lower consumer confidence," a Microsoft spokeswoman said. "People are...demanding more substance with their style in a computer. They simply do not have the luxury of spending more for less.”

"Windows PCs are offering the best value on the market," she argued, "while Apple continues to impose high price premiums on their Mac designs, offering only modest discounts of 5 to 10 per cent."

[From Microsoft bangs 'Apple tax' drum once again as Apple announce new products - Mac - Macworld UK]

Maybe this is Microsuck's attempt to make you forget about their crappy OSX copy called Vista (since the Mojave campaign isn't working), or maybe they're trying to make you forget that the Zune recently stopped working because of bad programming.

Here’s the deal. Microsoft botched the code in the firmware for its Zune30GB handheld players. Like a ticking time bomb, the problem started exploding for Zune owners once 2008 started transitioning into 2009. Users worldwide quickly found that their Zunes were completely locked out. Locked out as in "completely inoperable," that is: Zunes began resetting without warning or completely turning off. When a user flipped the power back on, the Zune operating system would begin to load and freeze on the actual loading screen. And no amount of begging, pleading, or cursing could fix the issue for a hapless user.Microsoft was quick on the "solution," which I’ve paraphrased thusly: Wait it out.

[From ZuneGate ’08: What really happened | Macworld]

Monday, January 05, 2009

Silent Keynote Exports

If your Keynote exports are all fury and no sound, follow the instructions below to fix them.

After recording your narration, move to the Finder, Control-click on your presentation file, and choose Show Package Contents. In the resulting window, locate the narrationTrack0.m4a file. This is your narration track. Make a copy and move it to the Desktop.

Open both the narration and video files in QuickTime Player Pro. Select the audio track, select everything in it, and copy. Now select the video track and choose Edit -> Add to Movie. The audio track will be added to the video track.

With luck, the two will be in sync. If not, you might wish, instead, to import the video track into GarageBand and then place the audio track in a separate track and move it around so the two are in sync.
[From A fix for mute Keynote exports | Mac 911 | Macworld]

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Leap-year bug kills Zune

To quote Star Wars: Now Ballmer's failure is complete.

December 31, 2008 (IDG News Service) Microsoft's Zune 30GB music player just wasn't ready for a leap year.

That's what owners of the devices discovered Wednesday morning when they awoke to find their players frozen and unworkable.

The problem turned out to be "a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year," Microsoft Zune spokesman Matt Akers said in a posting to Zune forums Wednesday. The issue does not affect all Zune players, but all models of the Zune 30GB are potentially affected, he said.

Zune is Microsoft's alternative to Apple's popular iPod devices.

The bug disabled the players on Dec. 31, the last day of a leap year. Microsoft expects that the bug will resolve itself by Jan. 1, when the device's internal clock will reset itself.   [From Zune chokes on leap-year bug]