Macintosh Blog Posts

November 10, 2004

Smultron

I have been using BBEdit for at least 5 years on a daily bases. Recently someone told me about Smultron, a powerful text editor for the Macintosh.

This is a pretty cool app, that could easily replace BBEdit if it incorporated one feature, the ability to Zap Gremlins. Gremlins are strange bits of characters that usually appear when I copy text between Windows and Macintosh.

I really like the Code Snippets in Smultron. This makes reusing code a lot easier. In BBEdit, there isn't a way to store code within the app.

I am working on a way to integrate Smultron with Interarchy, its not working as I would expect. But if you use BBEdit, I would highly recommend checking out Smultron.

Oh, Smultron is about $119 cheaper than BBEdit, its free!

July 29, 2004

Apple's 2 GB Limit

If you are using Peak LE, iMovie, or Photoshop and you are experiencing problems dealing with files greater than 2GB, you may need to reformat your drive. If the drive is formatted as HFS or FAT32, then filesize on external drive is limited to 2GB.

You need to format the drive as Mac OS Extended. This will eliminate the 2GB limit problems.

July 22, 2004

Radio Shark

Last year at MacWorld in NYC Griffin Technology announce a new tool called Radio Shark. It like a TIVO for the Radio. I saw a couple of prototypes on the show floor and it seemed like a cool tool. I liked it because it the only audio program that you can set to schedule a radio show. The only other Macintosh audio program that can schedule recordings is Audiocorder.

Its been 1 year since Griffin Technology announced Radio Shark, and the webpage still says it 'shipping soon'. They are about as bad as Microsoft in announcing a product well before its finished.

July 13, 2004

MacWorld Boston 2004

Today I was lucky and had the opportunity to get away from work and at least checkout the exhibit floor at MacWorld Boston. This was a far cry from the days when they split the show between the World Trade Center and Bayside Expo.

There were only 80 exhibitors this year, a much smaller than the last show in Boston. While everyone knows that Apple wasn't there, there were some other notable exhibitors missing from the show floor.

  • Adobe
  • Microsoft - They could have capitalized on Apple not being at the show!
  • Aladdin Systems
  • Macromedia
  • Bare Bones - Makers of BBEdit, this is their home town!
  • MacSoft
However, the there were lots of attendees and the exhibit floor was filled with people looking to buy software/hardware. I heard over and over again, that this is only a beginning, and the success of this show will only lead to a bigger show next year.

One of the Town Hall panelist said that Apple didn't need to be at the show since 80% of the American population lives within an hour drive of an Apple store, so if they wanted to see the latest Apple hardware and Software they could goto their store. The show was an opportunity for other developers to show their stuff.

Anyway the next Boston MacWorld is July 18, 2005, we'll see what happens next year.

June 24, 2004

Ipod Playlist

I uploaded my daily commute playlist that I have on my iPod. Many of the songs are ones that I put together from my own music collection.

I typically select this playlist when I drive to work every morning, and sometimes on my evening commute, if there isn't anything exciting on any of the local Boston stations.

The Child Stars song comes right from the DVD. Instead of buying the soundtrack for Dickie Roberts for one song, I used Ambrosia's WireTap. If you are a Macintosh user, you can download Wiretap for free from Ambrosia Software website.

The Airplane sound is pretty funny, and this is usually the first sound I select when I leave in the mornings. This is a short sound byte that I captured before an airplane crew was about to open the cabin doors. I'll put it in my sound library shortly.

June 16, 2004

120 GB Hard Drive

I was thinking of getting a new hard drive for my desktop computer. So this evening I spent a few minutes looking around the web at some electronic stores near me to see who had the best pricing for a 120 GB internal hard drive. (Since this is to be for storage, the speed of the drive didn't matter.)

Best Buy Maxtor $113.99
Comp USA Maxtor $119.99
Micro Center Maxtor $139.99
Staples Maxtor$119.98

It appears that Best Buy had the best pricing option. Not only that BestBuy.com has the ability to order online and pick it up at the store, so you'll know it will be there when you arrive. (It isn't fun going to the store and finding out that they don't have it in stock.)

However looking online, I noticed that MacSales.com has a Maxtor 160GB drive for $117.99. So if I am willing to wait a couple of days, I can get a 160GB drive for about the same price of 120GB drive.

I'll probably go for the MacSales.com option.

June 8, 2004

Itunes Problems

I am in the process of making my new apartment to be pretty high tech. Right now I have a wireless network and a webcam setup. In fact, you can see the latest photo online.

In order to do this I have one of my old Macintosh computers, Powermac G3 400Mhz, in my living room. So I thought I would take advantage of the computer and use it as a personal stereo. I have run into two problems:

  1. The speakers I wanted to use are not working, this is probably because I have the wrong input connector, and buying an adapter at Radio Shack should fix this.
  2. The more serious problem is that I can't see other Itunes libraries from my two newer computers. This seems to be a 'known' problem since other people are encounter this.
So, once everything is successful, I'll be able to stream music from my office to the living room and the dinning room. Apple just announce a cool new adapter, I'll have to check that out to see if it will fit into my network.

May 20, 2004

MacJournal

For the past few months I have been using MacJournal by Dan Schimpf Software. This is a great Macintosh application that allows you to store data in a Journal form.

Does this mean I am writing a book? No, I am logging all my PHP, ASP and Cold Fusion code so that I can use them again. This application allows you to store the data in an organized way and the find it easy.

For the past 2 years I was using BBEdit, and saving the files in a Library folder. However, this makes searching hard, and BBEdit doesn't support images.

If you do any development on a Macintosh, you should check out MacJournal.

March 24, 2004

Carbon Copy Cloner

A year ago I mention a neat Mac OS X utility called Carbon Copy Cloner. Well once again I need it again since I'll be install a new 60GB hard drive into my laptop. Most of the software I'll be installing will be from scratch, but Carbon Copy Cloner will help with migrating some other programs.

Carbon Copy Cloner is an easy way to copy one hard drive to another. Its a great backup utility for people who have laptops and want a complete backup of the system.

March 7, 2004

MSNBC and Apple

If you use a Macintosh and visit MSNBC you'll discover that you are not able to utilized their website. All the video content checks the operating system and will not play the video if you are not using a Window's system, even thou Windows Media Player is available for the Mac.

I was also getting errors when I was clicking on several news links. It appears that MSNBC is using some special HTTPD redirect commands that are not industry standards.

This isn't a major issue since there are lots of sites that offer news on the Internet, but it just goes to show how Microsoft tries to force people to use their technology even if its not the best.

December 30, 2003

Make Directory in PHP

Since March, 2002 I have been keeping track of my daily work by creating a folder on the desktop. This folder has the current date, so its easy to find something work I did for any particular date. This also handy for DVD and CD backup of my work.

This morning I decided to automate creating a daily folder by installing some PHP code into my index.php file. This way everytime I open up my web browser, a new folder is created on the desktop only if there isn't already one created.

<?
// Create a Directory for Today's Work
$name = date('n.d.y');
if (!is_dir("/Users/$user/Desktop/$name")) {
mkdir("/Users/$user/Desktop/$name", 0777 );
chmod( "/Users/$user/Desktop/$name", 0777 );
}
?>

November 21, 2003

Panther Upgrade

For the past 29 days, I have been using Mac OS 10.3 (Code name Panther). Some of the features that I really like are:
  • Updated Finder. Making it easier to navigate to frequently use folders.
  • iChat Video. Cool idea, just have to know mac users in order to use it.
  • Easy to Install and view fonts.
  • Exposť, the fastest way to get to any open application's window.
However I have run into a few problems:
  • The desktop frequently crashes whenever I move files on the desktop to a folder that is also on the desktop.
  • Mail's Junk Mail feature is not working.
  • iMovie frequently crashed whenever I open the application.
The following are features that I would like to see in future upgrades:
  • The ability to lock your computer, like the ctrl-alt-delete feature in Windows.
  • Better database integration. (Apache, PHP, and Perl are installed by default. Why not MySQL?)
  • Printing all the Fonts that are installed in your computer. (A font info sheet)
  • The ability to view the current month calendar when you click on the clock in the menu bar.
  • Better FTP integration from the finder.
Overall its a nice upgrade, but I wouldn't put it in the category of a must have upgrade. You bet bet is to wait for next year since that release will probably cost $100. Unless Apple decides to give a discount to customers who bought Panther.

July 22, 2003

Powerbook Problem

According to Apple Computer, the problems that I have been having with my laptop is due to a bad third party memory. I installed the 512k memory about a year ago, so I don't think it had to do with the memory.

I have learned that an external Firewire hard drive works faster than an internal hard drive in a Powerbook. So I am going to put my newly purchased 40 GB hard drive into my Firwire case and use that as backup storage.

Powerbook Problems Summary:
For the past couple of months the computer was having problems booting the internal hard drive. I was able to boot the computer using a Firewire drive and the internal CD-ROM drive.

July 2, 2003

New Hard Drive installed

I installed a new hard drive this morning on my Powerbook G4 500 series laptop. I upgraded from 20 GB to 40 GB hard drive! I found the Torx T-8 tool at Sears yesterday for only $2. There are some places online that are selling it for $5 plus shipping! You need this tool to install a hard drive in a powerbook. So far everything seems to be working fine.

I also discovered that parking at the Fleet Center is $1 cheaper than the 'GARDEN GARAGE' where I would normally park. This is just a little longer walk to the Museum of Science but since it is underground parking it might be better for the warm summer months!

June 26, 2003

New Hard Drive

I just purchase a new hard drive for my laptop, since I am using it more now. However, I can't use it since I am unable to find my Macintosh OS 10.2 CD. So I went to CompUSA and purchased a Mac OS X 10.2 CD at $129.

However, today I found this niffity program called Carbon Copy Cloner.

This application allows me to copy the contents of my hard drive to another drive. The cool thing is that this is FREE! So, I am taking back the unopened Mac OS X CD to CompUSA and will use