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houltmac

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Posts posted by houltmac


  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.


  11. 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.


  12. When it comes to resizing or otherwise messing with partitions there is only one answer: backup and start over.

     

    Use something like SuperDuper! to get all the data off in a bootable state, boot to that backup, re-partition your drive from scratch in Disk Utility (this will erase all data) and then "backup" back to the drive (restore). It's the only safe way and if anyone else tells you it's not then they haven't done it enough.


  13. You are kidding me right? Did you read the story at all? Open DRM is a complete oxymoron. It's impossible. It won't work. It would be the armageddon of the music industry. It's not even an option. A complete lack of DRM however would be stepping back in line with customer expectation, the previous and otherwise current practices of the industry and make more money for everyone involved (viz. won't waste money for everyone involved).

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