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About heydru

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    Mac Geek In Training

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    Hood River, OR
  1. So, I have a Nike Plus Sport Kit thing. I like it. I'm on my third sensor (bought it a week ago, only today found these instructions on changing the battery). I went to the track to recalibrate the new sensor, but after a few real runs on the road, it's definitely aiming too low (it said what I KNOW to be a 10k course was about 9.5k). I've had good luck in the past, so I figure I just need to re-calibrate. But before I go to the hassle of getting to the track, I dug around a little in the data kept on the iPod, and found a file called "calibration" under each sensor's data. e.g., /Volumes/Mr. Peepers/iPod_Control/Device/Trainer/Workouts/Empeds/4H917G3AVSX/calibration I had the bright idea to try and copy the calibration file from my last sensor, which I felt was fairly accurate, at least more accurate than my current calibration, over the new sensors file. But wouldn't you know it, the run I just did with that replaced file seemed to have exactly the same calibration as before, i.e., too low. It's kind of like that file doesn't really do anything. The iPod was restarted, at least, I had the iPod plugged into my Mac while copying the file, then unplugged it to go for my run, which necessarily rebooted the iPod. I also tried viewing the contents of the calibration file, but it's binary. The Mac says it's a Unix executable, but I assume that's just because it's binary and doesn't have a suffix. Trying to run it in Terminal is a no-go. I'm just wondering if perhaps the calibration file has information about which sensor it's tied to, and if that can be edited... Has anyone successfully managed to do anything like what I'm trying to do? Does anyone have any information on the calibration file itself? Thanks to anyone with helpful information...it's just a pain to get myself to the track to re-do a calibration. But maybe that's really the only way.
  2. Here's a weird one. I've written three AppleScripts, one to toggle the mute, one to increment the volume, and one to decrement the volume. These are included below, but the main key in these is to set a property to remember the last volume setting, so that when the volume is muted, running any of the scripts will toggle the volume back to the previous volume. These work great when run from Script Editor, but when I run them from a QuickSilver trigger, the property does not seem to be remembered. That is, they get set with the initial values, but then they never get updated when running the scripts. So, now my quicksilver triggers kinda work, but muting is wonky. Anyone know if I'm missing something, or is there something different with the way Quicksilver runs AppleScripts? Mute: property currentVol : output volume of (get volume settings) if (output volume of (get volume settings) is 0) then set volume output volume currentVol else set currentVol to output volume of (get volume settings) set volume output volume 0 end if Volume Up: property currentVol : output volume of (get volume settings) if (output volume of (get volume settings) is 0) then set volume output volume currentVol else set tVolume to output volume of (get volume settings) set newVol to round (tVolume - 100 / 15) set volume output volume newVol set currentVol to output volume of (get volume settings) end if Volume Down: property currentVol : output volume of (get volume settings) if (output volume of (get volume settings) is 0) then set volume output volume currentVol else set tVolume to output volume of (get volume settings) set newVol to round (tVolume + 100 / 15) set volume output volume newVol set currentVol to output volume of (get volume settings) end if Thanks.
  3. Thanks, guys. That makes sense and is in line with what happened when I tried to use the discs to install on another Mac. They're older Macs, and the OS is Tiger. The discs came with one Mac, which I've upgraded to Leopard. The other Mac is too old for Leopard (667 MHz G4 PowerBook) but I figured it can run Tiger, and since I"m not using it on my PowerMac G5 anymore, why not put it on the PowerBook? I <em>know</em> I read somewhere about how to remove the hardware check...it involved copying the discs but modifying a few files before making the burn...but it was a while ago and I can't find it with Google. Anyway...I did achieve success by connecting the PowerBook to the PowerMac in target disk mode, and then running the discs from the PowerMac, and just choosing the PowerBook's hard drive as the destination. That was simple enough, since I at least had the matching hardware for the install discs. Thanks!
  4. Anyone know how to, or have information on, use the discs that came with one Mac to install the operating system on another Mac? I remember seeing a blog post once about that, and it involved modifying a plist or something before copying the discs, but I can't find it on the Googles. Anyone? Thanks.
  5. heydru

    Removing flash cookies

    Huh. I just opened my Safari preferences, went to the Security tab, clicked the show cookies button...and found no less than 6 cookies for the forum.maccast.com domain. Surely, Adam must be up to no good! I have to think that if cookies really did pose a security risk then the browser-makers would pull that functionality out. Yes, that's a simplistic view of the world, but I guess all of this panic over cookies strikes me as something that Webkit and Mozilla would actually be paying attention to...if it were grounded. I'm not saying that Google can't match your searches to your Google account, or that the people behind Doubleclick shouldn't die slow and painful deaths, but as a web developer myself, the only times I need to use cookies are for things like "remember the log in" or "display this other image that was different from the last time they came here." It is, unfortunately, a few people who spoil it for everyone, though.
  6. Hey, I'm a Flash developer (www.summitprojects.com), and just wanted to provide a little more insight on these Flash cookie files. First, they are as harmless as your normal browser cookies; there's no privacy issues or anything to be concerned about, just like normal cookies. We typically use them to simply save something like "the last time the visitor was on the site, they saw this home page image" so that the next time they visit the site, we show them a different home page image. Second, Adam is absolutely correct in that deleting them directly from your hard drive, in the location that he mentions in the show (~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player/#SharedObjects/) is perfectly fine. All that will happen is that if you return to a site, and it tries to find a cookie that you have deleted, it will simply treat you as if it's your first time to the site. Third, it's also kind of important, or at least interesting, to realize that the a single Flash cookie for a site is valid for all browsers per user account. Unlike normal browser cookies, you don't get a per-browser cookie set. In other you go to a Flash site in Safari, it drops a cookie, then return to the site in Firefox (on the same computer), Flash will read the cookie and treat you as if you've been to the site already (which you have...the fact that it was in another browser is irrelevant). Because of this, and because Flash is a plug-in, it is necessary to clear your cookies from some global point rather than through your browser preferences. The point I'm leading to is that for one, if you delete your SOL files once, you're good for all browsers on your system, meaning that for two, if you want to use the Firefox extension to manage your SOLs, but do most of your browsing in Safari, then you can, and then propser and be happy.
  7. heydru

    Flash and the iPhone

    Regarding Adam's speculation the Adobe and Apple need to reach some sort of agreement to get the Flash Player on the iPhone, the issue isn't so much legalities. No one seems to know for sure (except, I suppose, Apple), but the reigning wisdom is that the Flash Player is processor intensive, that is, battery-draining. So rather than suck the life out of your iPhone, Apple probably made the better decision and just didn't support it. If I had an iPhone, I think my surfing would be "the necessities:" gmail, weather, etc. I'm having trouble justifying the need for Flash.* Sure, would be nice, but not essential. Having said that, do a quick Google search on "Flash and the iPhone" and the top of the list will we reports of the iPhone supporting the Flash Player before long. All speculation, and these articles all date back to the time of the iPhone's original release, but interesting nonetheless. * Note that my profession is Flash Developer.
  8. Thanks for the recommendation. That's a bit pricey, though. I just need a hard drive enclosure, not a USB and FireWire hub, et al. I was hoping for something along $50 lines...
  9. Hey all...looking for some product recommendations. I currently have an "Ultra" hard drive enclosure with a Seagate Hoozamacallit 250 GB drive. The drive works great. And the enclosure works great. But it's LOUD. The fan is way noisy, and that alone makes me want to get a new enclosure for my aleady-enclosed hard drive (doesn't usually work that way, I know, but...). So, something else that bugs me about the Ultra enclosure is that it's always on. I have a LaCie 120 GB extrernal drive that I still use, and I guess I was being stupid but I assumed all drives behaved the way the LaCie does: it spins down when the Mac goes to sleep or is shut off. That is wonderful...I can be assured that when I'm leaving my Mac for hours on end, that the drive won't be spinning needlessly. Well, not so with the Ultra enclosure. It spins and spins and spins (and makes noise, all the while). I have to remember to manually eject it, then power it down. So, I'm in the market for a new HD enclosure, and would love to know which products the Mac faithful use and which ones they hate...and in particular which ones are quiet and which ones spin down when the Mac goes to sleep (or is shut off). Thanks in advance. Dru
  10. If you don't listen to This American Life, well, you're missing out in general (in my opinion), but you particularly missed out with the most recent episode ("Nice Work If You Can Get It"). John Hodgman is a regular contributor to the show, and this most recent episode featured him explaining his life as a "TV star," because with the popularity of the "Get a Mac" ads, pretty much everyone knows who he is now. It's very funny and even if you don't listen to the rest of the episode, as a Mac fan you owe it to yourself to listen to Hodgman's story. The This American Life podcast has the most recent episode for free download, but it goes away with each current episode (which seems to get updated Sunday night or Monday morning). You can subsribe here: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore...st?id=201671138 You can also purchase past episodes from Audible (through iTunes). And you can listen for free online at www.thisamericanlife.org
  11. Hi all, I searched around for an answer here, but had no luck... So, here's the deal. I subscribe to a certain podcast that only puts one episode at a time in its feed, and I recently missed an episode because of being on vacation (iTunes was never opened during the window of time that that particular episode was "live"). Well, I managed to secure a copy of the mp3 file from a friend who also listens to the same podcast and managed to get that one. That's all well and good, except that when I added the file to iTunes, it showed up in my Podcast list as it's own podcast, right underneath the "official" entry that is the actual feed subscription. So now I have two entries for the same podcast, one that is the regular entry, but missing that one episode, and one that has only that one episode, and also has a big obnoxious "Subscribe" button on it. This happens to be a podcast that I keep all episodes of, so I want to keep these in my library. But me being the organizational nitpicker that I am, I'd like to just plop this one episode into the regular entry of the podcast, the one that will continue to download episodes, and just have a regular, complete set of podcasts, instead of two incomplete sets. I tried poking around in my iTunes Library.xml file, but I couldn't find anything that links a given file to a podcast entry. Is this possible? How do I go about this? Thanks... Dru
  12. heydru

    IPOD Volume

    See, the issue is that dB (by the way, the "B" is capitalized, because it stands for Bel, in reference to Alexander Graham Bell, so it's a proper noun) is a relative measurement. Now, Apple COULD calibrate the iPods for dBu, which most audio equipment is calibrated to. Then adjusting the volume and landing on "60 dB" (I'm assuming that noone really cares about the "u" in real life) would have some sort of meaning. But only for the signal coming out of the headphones. As The Professor mentioned, various headphones have various output levels. I have a pair of AKG headphones that have a high impedance, and I've got a pair of Sony headphone that I use for running that have a low impedance. What impedance is doesn't really matter. What matters is that the higher the impedance, the more "juice" it takes to get volume. So, if I turn my iPod up to a certain volume, then plug in my AKG's, I'll hear x dB(SPL) (if you refer to my previous post in this thread you'll see that dB(SPL) is the standard for referencing acoustical volume). Then if I plug in my Sony's, I'll hear x+y dB(SPL), because there's less "resistance" in the speaker elements to make acoustical noise with the electrical signal provided. Add to that that I could wear my AKG's properly, over my ears, or I could skew them slightly so they sit a an inch further away from my ear drum, or I could set them above my ears so that I can barely hear them. The point is that the same dBu coming out of the iPod and the same dB(SPL) coming out of the speakers can be changed into a wholly different dB(SPL) depending on how far your ears are from the source (a concept known as the inverse square law...look it up on wikipedia). So...there's really absolutely no way that Apple could provide a totally meaningful metric on the volume arriving at your eardrums. The best they could do is reference dBu, and/or assume that most people will be using Apple's ear buds, which would give an expected impedence to account for. What would be helpful, possibly, is a built in leveller (limiter), as Goatman hinted at. VolumeLogic by Plantronics does a superb job of normalizing the apparent loudness of every tune coming out of iTunes. It keeps things very consistent, so you're not reaching for the volume knob every time you go from jazz to metal. If a similar feature could be implemented on the iPod, at least you wouldn't have to worry about turning it up for that soft Mozart passage, and then getting an unexpected spike in volume when the next song in the playlist is by Gorillaz.
  13. heydru

    IPOD Volume

    Miche beat me to it, but here's even more info from wikipedia: "A 3 dB increase in the level of continuous noise doubles the sound power, however experimentation has determined that the frequency response of the human ear results in a perceived doubling of loudness with every 10 dB increase; a 5 dB increase is a readily noticeable change, while a 3 dB increase is barely noticeable to most people." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel ) Matt Hoult is right in that a decibel is technically a ratio. But if I'm not mistaken, when we say "the iPod can output 104 dB," we really mean to say "the iPod can output 104 dB(SPL)", the "(SPL)" designating where you reference 0dB (SPL stands for "Sound Pressure Level"). So, the chart provided by Miche is actually for dB(SPL), and we can move forward knowing that in reference to the volume output of an iPod, we're talking about dB(SPL), and any numbers thrown around can be considered an absolute metric, not a relative ratio. In the end, I agree with Miche. A 4dB increase is a 4dB increase. it's a bit more than twice the sound power. But if the law say "100 dB max" then Apple needs to heed the warning. Dru
  14. heydru

    Dual 2.7 G5 crashing

    I've got a Dual 2.7 GHz machine, and it's been crashing when left alone. Normally I leave the computer on when I'm away, and let it do its energy saver thing. But lately I'll come back to the computer to find that it won't wake up, and the fan is going wild. The only thing I can do (I can even look at the screen because the monitors have been turned off by now) is hold down the power button. I have a strange feeling that this is a hardware deal, because I JUST wiped the drive and reinstalled, and I'm still having the problem. I have updated to 10.4.3, as well. Anyone have any thoughts? Similar problems? Thanks...
  15. heydru

    Top 10 Reasons to Switch

    Well, it's not that Macs don't get viruses, it's that we haven't seen any Mac viruses since OS X came out, if not since before then. That's not to say that viruses won't ever crop up, but it kinda makes sense: why spend time writing a virus that will affect only 5% of the computing world (or whatever the percentage is)? As Apple gains more foothold in computer sales, the prosopect of a mac virus will seem more appealing to a virus-writer. If you're interested, ClamXav wraps a GUI front end to the open-source ClamAV Antivirus program. I've used it, but frankly, it had nothing to do, so I've since disabled it again.