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Everything posted by houltmac

  1. When you are away from home, you should see your Airport Extreme listed in the Finders sidebar. You shouldn't find it listed in Airport Utility when not local though. It can take a while to show up once your are online, 15 minutes or more some times.
  2. houltmac

    built in cam issues.

    For reference: System Profiler will list it as an iSight under the USB section.
  3. houltmac

    Techs do it too

    I work for an ASAP, repairing Macs all day and warning customers to backup their machines, be careful of drinks near their machines and so on. All the usual nuggets of common sense come through automatically - it's the same few speeches over and over. Well don't think for a second this doesn't come from experience. About 5 or 6 years ago I was sat on the couch sending emails on my PowerBook. It was only 6 months old and I had carelessly left the power adapter cord strewn across the room. The mail came, the dog went nuts and when running for the door, tripped over the cord, ripped the laptop from me and smashed it on the floor. Expensive, but repairable. A few years ago, Chris, one of our techs got married. He took all the honeymoon photos off the camera (deleted them) and stuck them in iPhoto (pre-Flickr integration). 2 days later his hard drive died - no backup. We tried for weeks to recover those photos but to this day his wife hasn't forgotten his incompetence. Yesterday, I was sat at work, minding my own business. I reached over my desk and grabbed my headphones. Somehow, the headphones brought with them a giant mug of tea (ironically, it was a Microsoft Office branded mug). My MacBook Pro fizzed and popped. I managed to get the hard drive out in time to save it (though dropped it and damaged the motor I think). Oddly, my backups were in a state of transition and I failed them (all 4 of them). I'm recovering the data now and a new laptop is on order. The point is that we don't lecture for no reason - we've been there. We've paid the money and felt the pain. That's why we are so cautious with customer machines.
  4. houltmac

    Entering flights in iCal

    ICal now has Timezone support, though you need to turn it on for some reason. Head to the preferences and you will find a checkbox at the top of the Advanced tab. With this feature turned on you can change the timezone you view in the upper right corner of the iCal window. You then add the flight in Chinese time say, and yet it shows as your home timezone so you can see when you will arrive home. Any used timezones will automatically be added to the drop-down so you can view that time instead in the main iCal window. It's really hard to describe this feature, but using it will make it plainly obvious. Just remember you have 2 controls - one in the main window, one in the edit pop-up. Hope that makes sense eventually.
  5. houltmac

    Unable to delete the trash

    Great to hear. Thanks for letting everyone know - perhaps this will show up in future searches.
  6. houltmac

    Techs do it too

    For reference - I have 3 backups in 3 locations at any given time and all important things are also backed up to the cloud. That said, I managed to end up with no current backups for the first time in maybe 6 years. As always, Sods law takes over. It was just an unfortunate circumstance.
  7. houltmac

    Replacement Batteries for MacBook

    While I generally trust OWC, I have to advise against any third party batteries or power adapters. I have seen these used many times and it almost always ends in disaster. I can't state highly enough how much happier most of those customers would have been if they'd bought an official part in the first place. I also have to say that if a battery isn't lying flat on the desk (on both sides) then it should be removed and no longer used. Damaged batteries (including any bulges, no matter how small) are potentially dangerous and should be treated as such.
  8. houltmac

    Techs do it too

    When you end up working with computers and spend 18 hours a day within 3 feet of one you end up having no choice but to eat and drink near them. It's just one of those things. In the mean time - I highly recommend Griffin Elevators.
  9. houltmac

    Markdown Mail

    The iPhone has long had a shortcoming in Mail and that's rich text. Emails are sent by default in full HTML and so if you copy and paste you can see that they are in fact rich text. What you can't do is enter rich text yourself. It's not often I want to add bold or headers to my emails, but sometimes it's good to make lists, or to italicise something. Enter, Markdown Mail for iPhone. It's a very basic app that allows you to create draft emails using Markdown. If you are familiar with Markdown then you don't need to know any more, just download it. If you aren't familiar with Markdown then it's simple to explain. It's a very simple syntax (by the famous John Gruber). It allows you to type in plain text and easily convert that to valid HTML (which the iPhone Mail app can read and send). The syntax is pretty simple to learn and there is a great website for playing with it here. It's all very simple, but highly effective. Well worth the download.
  10. houltmac

    Spotlight Search in System Folder Locations

    This is a great tip. Additionally, if you know you want to find something in your ~/Library for example, you can navigate there and then search (Cmd+F) to search only that folder (and it's sub-folders).
  11. houltmac

    I've got TWO Mail Apps on my iMac!

    Is this still an issue for you John? I haven't personally seen this issue before, however I might be able to give you some pointers on sorting this out if you haven't resolved this yet.
  12. houltmac

    iPhoto locks up

    The first thing I'd suggest is to hold Command+Option while opening iPhoto. This should bring up a window which will allow you to rebuild the photo database among other things. Use this to do the basic library maintenance and see how that goes. The Activity Monitor can show >100% CPU usage is that you have 2 cores which can each peg at 100%. It's a little confusing until you know.
  13. houltmac

    Unable to delete the trash

    This sounds to me like a permissions issue with ~/.Trash. Check that you have full access to this directory and that everyone else is set to No Access. Mac Geek Gab show # 293 had some great info near the beginning about trash problems that might also help.
  14. houltmac


    I have just finished reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and I have to say it's one of the best techno-thrillers I have ever read. I am now looking for more (preferably available on iTS). Anything semi-realistic about hacking (cracking), ethic of underground techno-geeks and so on. I know I started reading a great book about reverse engineering a few years ago and never finished it, but that would be great also. Any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated.
  15. houltmac

    iPod nano 2G

    So yesterday I went out and bought a Blue, 4GB second generation iPod nano. I am stunned. The first thing of course was the packaging; dramatic change. The whole thing feels much more finished, much more professional and much more Apple than the really "nice" but still cardboard, cardboard boxes of the first generation nano's. The whole thing is encapsulated in a small transparent box which somehow brings to mind the 5th Avenue store. It's held out by two clasps (top and bottom) from a clear backing which "hides" a fold out cuboid of very silky card, in which the headphones, dock and USB cable reside. Overall the design of the packaging is much smaller (due to not coming with iTunes install CD's anymore), more simple, more elegant, cleaner and much more refined. The nano itself is wonderful. Harking back to the long gone days of only last year when we all crowded around the iPod mini the exterior is again a refinement of the era. Rounded sides, white end caps, one piece all aluminum casing... Even the color choices are the same (Pink, Green and Blue). It feels much sturdier than before, much more like it won't break, dent or squash too easily and the anodized metal doesn't feel scratchy at all (not that that stops me from being cautious). In terms of feature it's fully packed too, although I don't think I will ever use the ever pointless "Search feature". The main thing for me really is volume; the first generation nano didn't give good volume. This however does. The new nano bursts ear drums at a thousand paces, providing the kind of volume at around one third the bar indication that the previous nano achieved (my 1G was always on max and still I often couldn't hear it). Also bundled are the new headphones. I'm not sure if these play a part in the volume increase, but they are certainly more comfortable. While they are ultimately very similar to the original headphones I have been wearing them all day today and my ears are only just starting to hurt; that's nearly 12 hours as opposed to 12 minutes. I don't think I will need to buy more headphones for a while at least. Not the most in depth review, but I will say that overall this is a massive improvement on the original nano and if you liked the mini you will be blown away. Great price point, colors, design and features all that's missing (forever I fear) is the FireWire cable (and of course a couple of small software upgrades). Very impressed, well worth the money and wish they had had the PRODUCT (Red) in stock because that's what I went in for (couldn't resist). This is the personal music player for those who don't need 2TB of songs at all times. Well done Apple.
  16. houltmac

    CSS/HTML Coder Wanted

    This is probably a really simple job and only pays US$10 because I am poor. I have some templates that need editing. Anyone up for it?
  17. houltmac

    Is it possible to open an iMac Core 2 Duo

    That's as far as a consumer can go with an iMac with a built in iSight camera. It's much harder to get into one of those machines and RAM is the one and only user accessible component.
  18. houltmac

    Anyone around?

    Hey guys If anyone is around and wants to save me from my boredom, then I am both iChat and Skype with the same username as here... Dang I am bored.
  19. houltmac

    Macbook (non pro) rumors!

    I call BS. Not only is there not a gap, but it would completely negate the point of the MacBook being around at all. The 13.3" display, at such high resolution is a perfect filler for the gap of the great 12" models of the past and the gastly 14" models which really didn't sell. The sizes are perfect right now and there are only a limited number of people unhappy with them and they want 12"ers back, not 15" MacBooks.
  20. That machine will work with any Apple Airport product; Express or Extreme of any age. The new Extreme is highly recommended however. I have had mine a week and I am more than happy with it.
  21. houltmac

    Mac OSX Boot Screen Customization

    You might want to check out Visage, pretty cool if you are into that kind of thing.
  22. houltmac

    Airport Extreme Setup

    So I got my new Airport Extreme and managed to spend the entire afternoon setting it up; but it's up and I love it. While I don't have full "n" functionality and blah blah blah... it works great and has almost completed my setup (maybe just a couple more Extreme's, an Apple display and I think I am done). Setting up the hardware was tough. Really it was all about my old Express' not wanting to reset, not showing up at all for no apparent reason and so on. They were a nightmare. Once I had those done (about 2.5-3 hours just on Express') it was time for the Extreme. I tried every conceivable way of setting up the Extreme and the right one was last. Take my advice; set up the Extreme (or main base station) manually in this new software, it's far easier. If you don't then you could end up like me; set it up, restart it to make changes and add WDS stations and although it lights up green it never shows anywhere (although the network was working and I had a WAN connection... Setting up the main station manually worked like a charm and adding more satellites after that was simple as hell. I'm not sure why the LaCie didn't show up sooner (possibly another side effect of the mistaken attempt of using the new Assistant for the main station) but eventually it just showed up and worked. Very cool. You can see how it all fits together and how simple use is in the screenshots here. All in all the Apps are great. Simple, more intuitive, more responsive and they even find base stations on other networks (I set up the main as my own SSID and then it found all 4 "Apple" default SSIDs of the Express') during setup. Any questions throw them at me, right now I am just dizzy with geek excitement.
  23. houltmac

    Airport Extreme Setup

    Sadly they are on opposite sides of the room, which is an extension (brand new and decorated) so it's kinda hard to run a neat enough cable. Good idea though, thanks. For now I am quite happy with the network speed as it's a shared NAS which basically contains music and some PDFs. More than adequate for the time being. I also have to consider that there is a Core Duo MacBook and a WXP (eeew!) laptop in the house.
  24. houltmac

    Manual Backup

    Pretty much everything is vital if you want to be able to get your Mac back exactly how it was. Your best bet by far has to be SuperDuper!. This is an application which backs EVERYTHING up for you, in a single click. There is a free version (not a trial) which allows this (and makes the backup bootable, so if your hard drive fails you can boot to the backup until you get a new drive) and then there is a pay for version which allows smart backups and scheduling. Well worth checking out.
  25. houltmac

    Airport Express and Windows??

    For the sake of reference; the Airport devices all use open standards that are completely cross platform. The only difference between them and standard routers in terms of technology (apart from AirTunes) is that you have to use Apples utilities for configuration instead of a web browser, but as stated above they are available for Mac and Windows. Cross platform at it's finest.