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The Professor

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Everything posted by The Professor

  1. The Professor

    USB Bus powered Enclosure

    It is not possible to power a typical 3.5" hard drive from a properly designed USB interface. The USB interface provides a 5VDC output that is current-limited to 500ma per port. This means that a maximum of 2.5 watts is available. A typical modern 3.5" hard drive requires about 6 watts of power just to keep spinning, and up to about 14 watts when seeking. (source). In summary, Matt is right again.
  2. There is no characteristic of an iPod that would make it any more or less likely to attract lightning than any other similar piece of plastic, wires, and silicon chips. It is very unfortunate that this young person was injured, but it is not the responsibility of Apple. No other maker of MP3 players would be able to make a product that would be less susceptible to a lightning strike. It is unwise to be in contact with any metal object while outside during a thunder and lightning storm. I do not believe that the lightning bolt was attracted to the iPod so much as it was to a 5 or 6 foot tall bag of water, which may describe loosely the electrical properties of a human body. A golf club or a hunting rifle are much more likely to attract lightning because of their mass and shape. The thing to do is get inside a building or a car during a lightning storm.
  3. The Professor

    FTP Program?

    After using Fugu for a while, I have recently switched to using Yummy FTP. It supports SFTP which is a protocol like FTP but with a secure session being established *before* sending user names and passwords. Yummy FTP presents an interface similar to Wormware Explorer in that there are two panes and you can drag and drop files from one panel to the other. Yummy FTP is also a Universal Binary. While FTP is certainly very widely supported, it does have a gigantic security hole in that it sends the username and password in PLAIN TEXT when you connect. Anyone sniffing an Ethernet port or LAN/WAN segment through which your FTP traffic passes can easily harvest your credentials. Whenever the opportunity exists, I use SFTP instead of FTP.
  4. I've been touring Ireland and Scotland for the last few weeks, traveling with my Canon EOS 5D digital SLR and my lovely little MacBook. Even though I'm still not home, being in Glasgow right now 200 yards from the airport, I've been able to use my lovely little MacBook to iPhotoize and webify nearly lebenty-thousand photos. Well, quite a few photos. You're invited to have a peek at Steve's Photos. Click early and click often!
  5. The Professor

    Touring Ireland and Scotland: Photos and MacBook

    Absolutely right about the weather. We find that a summer day in July in Scotland is very much like a winter day in January in Palm Springs, except it is 150 times more likely to rain in Scotland. Those islands are green for a reason :-)
  6. The Professor

    Smart folders ?

    Avoid exercise for 3 days, you'll feel better
  7. The Professor

    IP address

    Whenever you access any website your computer must provide its IP address or else you'll never get the web page or other object that you requested. All web server programs log each access by default. You should always assume that every time you access anything on the web your IP address is recorded. On the other hand, if you were simply downloading album art images then you were not in fact stealing music. Based on your description, and using the magical problem solving capabilities of Occam's Razor (Google that!), it seems abundantly clear that you were simply the victim of an unkind joke. If downloading album art to add it to your iTunes collection is the worst thing you ever do, you're more likely to be a saint than a criminal. Relax, enjoy life, sooner or later you'll be dead.
  8. The Professor

    Do all you Gmail users pop to clients?

    It was crystal clear to me that no offense was meant, and none was taken :-) I do get out once in a while. I might even be going to Scotland and Ireland before the summer is over. One reason I stay home so much is that it is very dangerous for me to eat in a restaurant. I am vegan strictly by choice, but I also have a rare autoimmune disorder which causes my body to react in a most unpleasant and dramatic way to even the slightest trace of wheat, rye, or barley. Just a single crumb of bread, and I'm out of service for 4 to 24 hours. I do not recommend it. Try ordering a gluten-free vegan meal at your favorite restaurant sometime. For more information on celiac disease please visit my only successful website: the sensible celiac.
  9. The Professor

    Do all you Gmail users pop to clients?

    Yes. If you are using Apple's Mail program, in the account settings dialog, choose Advanced, then select the Use SSL checkbox. Gmail uses the typical port 995 for POP over SSL. With this setting enabled your mail client will set up a secure encrypted session with the Gmail server before it sends your username and password. This ensures that nobody sniffing your LAN or a router carrying your traffic will be able to intercept your credentials.
  10. The Professor

    Do all you Gmail users pop to clients?

    I POP all my Gmail and only occasionally use a web browser, for example if I'm not at home. But since I work from home, eat 95% of my meals at home, and often go 6 or 7 days without leaving my property the web access is quite rare. I like that you can use a secure session to pull down your Gmail. Not that I have anything to hide, just because it frustrates the minions of Our Glorious Christian Leader.
  11. The Professor

    10.4.7 Update is Out!

    I upgraded the following computers to 10.4.7 this evening, all with no problems noted: 1 Mac Mini G4 1.42GHz 1 Dual G5 Power Mac 2.0GHz 1 15" PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz 1 20" Intel iMac Core Duo 2.0GHz 1 13" MacBook Core Duo 1.83GHz It is to be expected that it will take a long time to reboot. My Power Mac seemed to reboot twice, no doubt as expected. The same thing happened with the 10.4.6 update IIRC.
  12. The Professor

    Wireless network adaptor for Mac Mini

    I think you can do it, but it might require some persistence. If you don't mind doing business in a shark tank, check out this eBay search.
  13. The Professor

    Wireless network adaptor for Mac Mini

    I fully expect the suggested devices will work seamlessly, but setting up the Asus device is not easy. Read the instructions and look at the little slide switch. This switch changes it from being an Ethernet bridge, the mode you'll want, to being a WAP itself. It's a versatile little gadget.
  14. The Professor

    Wireless network adaptor for Mac Mini

    Professor, the ones you mention for under 20 dollars, they say Windows only but will Mac OS X support it? If you use the Asus gadget as an Ethernet bridge it absolutely does not matter what operating system your computer has. The computer uses TCP/IP over Ethernet in exactly the same way that it would on a wired network, the Asus gadget handles all of the radio activity. The WAP does not know a Mac is using it, and therefore it cannot interact differently with the Mac than it would with a computer infested with Wormware. Because the Asus gadget is a true bridge the operating system is completely irrelevant. As far as the cheap WAP is concerned, if it actually does support 802.11b then it will work with a Mac that supports 802.11b, for example a Mac with an airport card, or a Mac with the Asus Ethernet bridge. It may well be that the manufacturer employs technical support personnel that will refuse to assist a person using a Mac, but that has no bearing on whether or not it will work wth a Mac. It will, 802.11b is 802.11b. Macs with airport cards support 802.11b. Pay no attention to what the stupid manufacturer says.
  15. The Professor

    iMac or MacBook? PLEASE HELLP ME!!!!!

    Well, it's a very naughty little notebook, isn't it? I'll still take it with me on vacation, and then deal with its misbehavior when I return. I recall Adam talking about a certain batch of MacBooks that exhibited similar behavior and required replacement of the motherboard to correct them.
  16. The Professor

    Wireless network adaptor for Mac Mini

    I used one of these to setup WiFi on my Mac Mini. Note that the link goes to one of my stores. You can buy an 802.11b Wi Fi WAP for under $20 here. 802.11b offers a top speed of 11mbps, which is prolly why these are so inexpensive.
  17. The Professor

    iMac or MacBook? PLEASE HELLP ME!!!!!

    I own both a 20" Intel iMac and a white MacBook. All in all the iMac is the better choice for getting serious work done. The larger display size and the higher resolution (1680 by 1050) is great for using word processors and HTML editors. The MacBook is superior for those who need the portability. If I were a college student I'd value the portability of a notebook very highly. As far as reliability and stability go, my MacBook does occasionally kernel panic when waking from sleep, while my Intel iMac is as steady as a rock. The iMac is an unusually attractive computer, I think of it as nearly a piece of art, and using it is a joyful experience. The MacBook is a very nice full-featured notebook.
  18. The Professor

    MacBook Pro Electric Current Leakage?

    In order for electrical current to flow through you there must be two connections. You touching the notebook is one, but if the current is flowing through you there must be a point where the current can return to its source, often an earth ground. Are you touching anything else that is metal or damp or otherwise might conduct electricity? Also, I'm surprised that you report you were able to reverse the electrical plug in your outlet. I would have expected the AC cord to be a 3 prong affair or one with two blades and one wider than the other. In modern homes in the USA I'd expect you would not be able to reverse the plug. Electrical codes in the USA require that one side of the AC service coming in to your house be connected directly to a local earth ground. If that local ground connection is missing or defective the neutral side of your AC wiring would be above ground and a safety hazard. Try reproducing this problem at a different address. If you are able to reproduce the problem in a different building I'd talk to Apple about it, if you find it only occurs in your home I strongly suggest you have an electrician check your wiring.
  19. The Professor

    MacBook storage (gigs)

    Thank you for confirming my earlier comment. This was a red herring right from the beginning.
  20. The Professor


    No doubt your microphone is producing a microphone level output signal in the range of some number of millivolts. But the audio in jack on your Mac expects a line level signal. If you have a preamplifier laying around it would no doubt raise the signal to a high enough level to drive the audio input on the Mac. Most people simply use USB microphones, and the ones from Logitech are very popular. I use a Logitech AK5370 for Skype and it is very clear. Logitech also make some popular USB headsets too.
  21. The Professor

    AppleCare related questions peritinent to the Intel iMac

    Apple provides printed instructions telling users how to add/replace RAM, so it is clear they do not object to users doing this. In legal terms they can hardly tell you how to do something and then complain later if you do. This could change if you harmed the computer doing an upgrade, or if you installed defective RAM and then asked Apple to fix the resultant problem. Opening up an iMac to replace a hard drive is a horse of a different color. I'd expect it might void warranty/AppleCare, but I'm not certain.
  22. The Professor

    how u chose your name

    Good News Everyone! I'm quite fond of Futurama. And the character Professor Farnsworth reminds me of myself. At the age of 4 I made a flashlight with package sealing tape, batteries, and a light bulb. At the age of 7 I built my first radio. No doubt this was all influenced by the fact that my father was an electrical engineer and patent holder. I was a TV repairman in my neighborhood at the age of 12. I'm, well, geekish by nature. And of course I am very, very old, and I do have serious health issues. In fact before some surgery I had in April I could sometimes be heard off stage yelling "Oooh, my tract!" So The Professor was a natural for me.
  23. The Professor

    Pre-purchase questions regarding iMac 2.0GHz 20inch

    Very, very quiet. Mine is directly above a Dull Computers desktop. I always thought the Dull was quiet, and it is, but when I shutdown the Dull I can't hear the iMac at all. Apple generally does a great job of making their desktops quiet.
  24. The Professor

    Pre-purchase questions regarding iMac 2.0GHz 20inch

    I agree with AppleGeek about adding your own RAM after you buy the iMac. I happen to have bought my RAM from NewEgg, but Other World Computing (OWC) is a good company to deal with, and they do support the Mac community. I've been very pleased with OWC prices and service.
  25. The Professor

    Pre-purchase questions regarding iMac 2.0GHz 20inch

    I did with mine. I ordered it stock and removed the original RAM, then put in 2 1GB SODIMMS. I have not and I suspect I won't. I'm not adverse to working on my own computers. Between my iPhoto and iTunes collections my original 250GB hard drive is starting to get pretty full. Of course it is trivial to connect an external hard drive, but I sometimes wish I'd gotten the larger drive. It's a great machine, and I really enjoy using it. I bet you will too.