Yesterday, my wife surprised me with a new iMac. Wow! What a fantastic gift! I am very excited to have a new computer! My existing computers are about 8-10 years old, so getting a new computer is a very welcome surprise!
As tempting as I was to rip open the box, I decided not to open the box right away. I know of a website that tracks when the best time to purchase an iMac and recommends if it's a good time to purchase.
Sure enough when I checked, I discovered that Apple is overdue on refreshing the iMac product line and new iMacs could be announced as soon as next Monday. So, I decided to wait on opening the box and see what happens on Monday at the WWDC.
Its so hard to wait. Knowing that a new iMac is sitting in the living room, waiting for me to open it and explore all the new features. Intel Processor, Mac OX Lion, Facetime, Thurderbold, AMD graphics, and a nice quiet machine that starts up really fast.
Meanwhile I can start planning...
New Computer, Dual Monitor
When I set up my new iMac, I want to connect my 20" Apple Cinema Display as a second monitor. Fortunitate for me that the Cinema Display uses a DVI port so all I need is a Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter which costs about ~$20 at the Apple store or about $15 in other retail stores online.
Hard Drive Docking Station
The new computer comes with 1TB hard drive, which is pretty much bigger than anything else that I have right now. I'll have to get a hard drive docking station to moved some of my old data to the new computer.
I'll have to checkout the advantages/disadvantages of various Window emulators such as Parallels, VMWare or Bootcamp. I have some old Virtual PC instances that I may want to merge over to the new computer. However, since I haven't run Windows at home for many years, it may not be worth the effort.
I'll have to update several of my applications to use the latest Intel technology. Here's the list of applications that I'll probably upgrade:
- BBedit - $39 upgrade (Better than getting Textmate.)
- Transmit $19 or Interarchy $29.95 upgrade - Haven't quite decide which one wins. Leading towards Transmit.
- Audio Hijack Pro - Looks like no update is needed.
- Fission - Looks like no update is needed.
- Snapz Pro X - $40 upgrade
- Toast - Toast 9 to 11 upgrade cost $79.99. Not sure it's worth the cost.
- DiscLabel - $15 upgrade at some point.
- Textexpander - $15 upgrade at some point.
- Indesign - CS2 to CS6 at some point.
- Photoshop - CS2 to CS6 at some point.
That's all I can think of for now. Very excited about getting a new iMac!
Record Comcast DVR Video to Powerbook
Recently I had to pull off a video that I recorded on my Comcast DVD, I found the following link to be very helpful:
The page mentions downloading the 'FireWire SDK 22' from Apple. Apple only has the 'FireWire SDK 26' version available. You need to search the Apple Support database to get the file.
I had no problems getting the Video onto my Powerbook computer. Once it got on the computer I had to convert it to mp4 format, as the default video format isn't supported by many applications. There's all sorts of Commercial Applications (ie Quicktime Plugins) that can do the conversion. I found that 'Handbreak' did the converstion fine, and its free!
Using X11 and LinuxHere are some basic instructions on getting X11 on Macintosh to work with a Linux server. These particular instructions should work with Mac Tiger, Leopard or greater - which have X11 already installed and configured.
These instructions assume that you are connecting to a remote server via SSH, using Telnet or other protocols require different instructions.
Using SSH, you simply pass the -X command when connecting to a remote server:
1. Open up Terminal
2. Type the following command:
ssh -Xl root linuxserver
3. Enter a password
To test, you can just type in:
You should see a new window open and a couple of eyes watching you! This means that you have the power to use any x11 application on the remote server. (You add the ampersand to have the window open as a separate process.
Congratulations and have fun with x11!
Enable agent forwarding on OSX
Here's how to enable enable agent forwarding on Macintosh OS 10.5 (Leopard)
In this example, I am on the machine name "computer-5" with the username sjobs and want to get to apple.acclaim.com using a host server called aspen.acclaim.com without having to type in a username/password. This is done using agent forwarding, a cool feature of SSH, so
I emailed the administrator my id_dsa.pub file and they put it in the home directory on aspen.acclaim.com. I then ran the following steps. Items in blue is what I actually typed in when I opened up the Terminal application:
computer-5:~ sjobs$ ssh-add .ssh/id_dsa
Identity added: .ssh/id_dsa (.ssh/id_dsa)
computer-5:~ sjobs$ ssh -A aspen.acclaim.com
Last login: Fri Oct 23 18:56:24 1998 from root.netscape.com
[sjobs@comp ~]$ ssh -A apple.acclaim.com
The above is a short step of what needs to be done. Hopefully this helps you into the right direction.
A few months ago I got an iPhone, a few days after they were available to Verizon users. I have been waiting a long time for the phone and it everything that I could hope for in a phone. I haven't had any problems with drop calls or using the data portion of the phone.
I have had better phones work with my hearing aids, but this phone does an alright job. There are plenty of external hands free options, so I am not really concern about the hearing aid compatibility functionality.
Attached to this posting is the default screen that I have on my iPhone. (Click on the image to see a larger view of the home screen.)
I have it set up so that the most popular Social Media Apps are on the bottom of the home screen; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Evernote App is on the home screen with the intent to use it, but I don't use it that much on the iPhone as I do on my Desktop or Laptop.
The most popular game I play on the iPhone is Words with Friends, thus it's the only app to make it on the home page.
I am thinking of getting a new iMac 3.2GHz Intel Core i3. The question is what am I going to see in performance from my current Dual 1.42 Ghz PowerPC G4 Macintosh 3.2GHz (Mirrored Drive Doors)
According to benchmarks the Power Mac G4 scored 1230 while the iMac scored 5924. An improvement of 4694! This appears to be a good reason to get another computer. My Powerbook G3, which I still use, scored a low 215 on the Benchmark test. Yikes!
The downside of the iMac is that I wouldn't be able to expand the computer any more. This isn't really a problem since the only thing that I would add would be additional disk space, and I think I would be better off using an external drive than an internal drive.
I am still on the sidelines of if I really need a new computer right now. But the benchmark testing clearly shows the power advantage that I'll see when I get the new computer.
I need to make some space available on my Powerbook G4 for upcoming vacation. There's very little space available for pictures and video that I'll be on taking on our trip. I am not sure what's using up all the disk space on my laptop, my initial guess is a lot of small files and not a few large files.
Here's the plan on freeing up disk space on the laptop:iPhoto Library
Clean out all the old photos that I don't need, back them up to a DVD and remove the orginals from computer
Remove all old pod casts. There's no need to keep archive of old podcasts. I can always goto iTunes and get the old recordings at any time.
Search the computer for large files greater than 2MB. Backup any files that haven't been used for a while and delete them from the computer.
All my mail is archive on my desktop computer. I can go through my mail and delete anything I don't need. This means cleaning out the SPAM directory, there's zero reason to keep any spam mail. Pretty much the only valuable mail I have is the sent mail.
Backup all unused Application and removed them from the laptop. This includes games that I don't plan on using. I have plenty of cool games on my iPod touch and won't be taking the laptop out on the airplane to play games. Is there any reason to even have IE on my computer any more?
Using the above guidelines, I should be able to have enough space for my photos and video that I'll be taking on my vacation.
Apple has announced the latest OS will be available earlier than originally schedule. Apple consumers can get 10.6 (Snow Leopard ) this Friday. However, I found this little note on ClubMac's website:
Upgrade Information for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard:
Please note, that only Apple OS X 10.5 Leopard users are eligible for the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard upgrade. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger & earlier OS users will need to purchase either versions of the Mac Box Set. Also, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard requires a Mac with an Intel processor.
This means that I won't be standing in line at the Natick Collections getting the latest OS software. All my Macintosh computers are using the old processors. Maybe this is the time to start thinking of getting a new computer?
I am working on getting some wallpaper pictures on my LG vx8360. Here are some of the specs that I have found:
Main Display: 240 x 320 pixels
Front Display: 96 x 96 pixels
I'll put up some wallpaper on this blog once I put it on my cellphone.
Real Audio Player
If your looking to produce streaming audio, you should look into using Real Networks. While the technology is a little old, its certainly a good place to start learning the process of setting up streaming audio and video on any website.
The only downside of using Real Audio is that there isn't a Producer application for the Macintosh. They use to make a plug-in that worked with SoundEdit Pro. That's what I used when I first started putting audio on my website.
To get started you'll need the RealProducer, there's two version: RealProducer Plus and RealProducer Basic. Since your just starting out, I would recommend using the RealProducer Basic, its Free!
When linking to the RealAudio file, I would recommend using the rtsp:// format instead of http:// that you may be use to. Using rtsp:// forces the browser to open up RealAudio and play the audio as a stream media. Using the http:// will only download the music file and play it after the audio has been downloaded.
Selecting the Right Audio
One of the things you should consider in picking your audio is what makes it unique from every other site that's out there. Why would people want to visit your webiste to hear your audio files? You need to find audio in your collection that is worth putting on your site.
The most popular audio file today isn't music, its Podcast. Podcasts are audio clips, usually about 5-10 minutes long talking about various topics. One of the advantages of Podcasting is sharing your expertise with other people. Think about a topic that you know very well that you could talk about
Just because you have a audio file doesn't mean you have the right to share it. You need to be aware of the copyright laws in your community to understand what you can put on your website and what's for your ears only. There's plenty of sites, in the United States the best site is Title 17 of the United States Copyright Laws.
No matter what audio file you put on your website, have fun with the process and be creative. Think of some creative audio that isn't online yet and challenge yourself to do something different than what everyone else is doing.
If you are looking for a way to change the text from "Revolution Chapters" to something else on the second page of the Revolution Design in iDVD 2008, Here are the steps I took:
- Goto the page that is displaying the "Revolution Chapters" text.
- The top text will say something like "Chapters 1-6"
- Click the text and make a change to it, For example put in two "!!"
- Click outside of the field
- You should see that "Revolution Text" has changed.
- Removed the above "!!" and you'll see it gets updated.
The Green iPhone doesn't exist. I got the about graphic in a Spam. I believe the concept came out of a rumor site and hasn't made it to production.
Perhaps the Apple rumor community expect that Apple to have an environmental friendly iPhone? Sorry but its not available.. yet...
Never trust rumors, and more importantly never trust SPAM.
Delicious Library on iPod Touch
How to get your Delicious Library 2 library onto your iPod Touch.
This is how delicious monster describes how to put your library on your iPod Touch:
If you have an iPod touch or iPhone, use one-click web publishing to publish specially-formatted versions of your library for viewing on your device. Now when you go to the store, your shelves go with you. iPod Sync Print your library using one of our very beautiful built-in templates, or create your own if you have mad HTML and CSS skills.
Here are the steps that I took:
- Open up Delicious Library 2
- In the bottom right of the .Delicious Library Window you'll see Publish, select the configure option
- Under the "Publish To:" section select Folder
- Select Everything or Selected Shelves, depending what you want to put on your iPod Touch
- Library Shelves is cool, so use that template.
- Click Publish Now and a new folder called deliciouslibrary will appear on your desktop.
- Now the tricky part is getting it on your iPod Touch.
I am still looking on the best way to get the library onto the iPod Touch.
If your looking for a way to convert a bunch of images to use numeric format, such as 1.jpg, 2.jpg, 3.jpg etc.. You should look at iWaterMark by Script Software.
iWatermark has lots of cool functionality, but I just discovered the renaming functionality. This is great for testing images in applications where you don't want to type in long names. Also useful for renaming lots of files downloaded from the internet.
Apple Releases 10.5.2
On February 11, 2008, Apple released a patch to Mac OS X 10.5, the latest patch brings the OS X to 10.5.2. According to the release notes, this fixes many problems/functionality issues reported by users. Including issues that I have encountered with 10.5:
- Airport not connecting to WEP access points
- Dock Folders not using the listing method
- Menubar not being transparent
I am still having issues with accessing WEP access points. This first happened when I went to visit PayPal in November and wasn't able to connect to their network. It made training a little difficult, but I was able to get things done by using a cable. I don't have any problems connecting to an existing network prior to the upgrade, or to a network that doesn't require WEP authentication.
I am now having problems getting my Powerbook to sleep. The problem has to do with "The IOUSBFamily was not able to enumerate a device." I had a USB flash drive, but ejected it prior to putting it to sleep. The computer doesn't goto sleep when I close the computer lid.
Given the problem that other users are reporting, I assume that Apple will probably be releasing another patch soon. It would be great to get the Airport problem fixed.