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About TimothyMDean

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    Uber Mac Geek

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    Minneapolis, MN, USA
  1. TimothyMDean

    Apple TV Hardwire Question

    The Apple TV doesn't have to use a wireless router: Any ethernet connection will do. However, if you need to buy a router anyway (assuming you don't have any router right now), then it might make sense to buy a wireless one. It gives you a lot more flexibility in the future, while still allowing you to wire the connection between the ATV and the router if you wish since most (all?) wireless routers have at least 1 ethernet port as well. - Tim
  2. TimothyMDean

    Configuring subnet within extended airport network

    Normally I would agree with you. However, when in bridge mode my understanding is that a router simply passes packets through at the link level, and that the IP-level tools like traceroute that use ICMP messages would never be aware of any bridges it is going through. A quick google search led me to this FAQ which suggests the same: Of course it is possible that Apple base stations configured in bridge mode are not truly acting in this way, but I've seen numerous posts on the web suggesting that it does. As a result, I wouldn't expect traceroute to show my intermediate base stations even if packets have to be transmitted through those base stations.
  3. TimothyMDean

    Configuring subnet within extended airport network

    So you're saying there's no reason to try and have my streaming content stay on the wired portion of the network rather than unnecessarily flying through the house wirelessly? There's no possibility that the need to transmit/receive wireless packets through 3 wireless routers in each direction is the reason why my performance is unacceptable when streaming from one basement computer to a basement AppleTV? Is there another explanation that fits the symptoms?
  4. TimothyMDean

    Configuring subnet within extended airport network

    I just realized that one other detail might not be obvious in my description above: In order to avoid Double-NAT problems in the Airport Express that creates my wireless network, I have to set it up in bridge mode. When the other base stations extend that network, they also must be in bridge mode. Based on my limited understanding of bridge mode, I think that means that none of the router actually do any IP routing. They just pass packets directly to the wireless router upstairs. That is why I believe that I need a separate network or a subnet of my main network: I need to make sure that the basement router can route traffic from basement device to basement device.
  5. TimothyMDean

    Configuring subnet within extended airport network

    I've checked all the IP addresses and confirmed they are all on the same network right now. IP addresses are all 192.168.30.X, with subnet mask of Wireless router from ISP is I've done the iStumbler survey and I don't have channel overlap issues. I'm on channel 1 using an 802.11n-only network. Only other networks in the area are on 11. I've also tried switching to the 5GHz frequency range to avoid interference from any devices in the 2.4 GHz range, and see no differences (I've since switched back to 2.4GHz because I get slightly better signal range with it) Bad router or cable connections don't make much sense because traffic going only one direction (Internet, through upstairs wireless routers, down to basement) works just fine. Only when I have bi-directional packet transmission (basement computer, up 2 floors to wireless router, back down 2 floors to basement TV) do the problems come up. What I want to do is make sure that packets going from one wired basement device to another wired basement device don't need to be transmitted and re-transmitted wirelessly up 2 floors and back down again to get to their destination. I'd like the ability for the basement router to realize that it is wired directly to the destination device and send packets to it directly, rather than transmitting wireless packets unnecessarily. One way to do this would be to just set up my basement router to assign its own IP addresses and then access the internet by a DHCP assignment from the upstairs wireless router. However, I think that would result in double-NAT issues. The subnet approach I was considering was something like this: Change the subnet mask from Define the upstairs devices (network 0) with IP addresses between - Define the basement devices (network 1) with IP addresses between - Set up the basement routers default gateway as, so that packets destined for upstairs nodes would be routed there I think this (or something like it) would work in theory, but I'm not sure if it can be done with the way my ISP assigns IP addresses. I also don't know if it would create double-NAT problems when I introduce these manually assigned IP addresses.
  6. TimothyMDean

    Configuring subnet within extended airport network

    Thanks John, but I don't think that's my issue. I'm not trying to download anything through iTunes or via any other internet location. I am trying to stream video directly from my Mac Pro to an Apple TV sitting 5 feet away from it. My suspicion is that my network config causes the streamed data to travel wirelessly (and unnecessarily) throughout the whole house and back again. My network downloads via iTunes and NetFlix streaming have been acceptable (although not as fast as when I was using Comcast cable internet) I've got a tech support request into my ISP to see if they have any advise on setting up subnets within my house, but I'm not expecting much. -Tim
  7. TimothyMDean

    I've got TWO Mail Apps on my iMac!

    When in doubt, use the terminal to check for links. You can "cd" into the various directories of the Mail app (/Applications/Mail.app) and use "ls -aF" to list all files with special suffixes for different file types. Files that are links to other files are shown with an "@" at the end. -Tim
  8. TimothyMDean

    I've got TWO Mail Apps on my iMac!

    Since you were coming from a G5 iMac I assume you were coming from a much older version of Mac OS and the Mail app. Is that true? I wonder if the migration was across significantly different mail versions made it tricker, requiring some bizarre sharing of resources in order to make things migrate cleanly. Have you looked to see if any of the folder structure within "Mail" are just links to the equivalent folder structure in "Mail (original)" ? That might start to explain how deleting the original app folder could impact the newer application. I would especially look at the Mail.app/Contents/Resources/AccountTypes/com.me.mailaccounts folder to see if one app's accounts are linked to the other. -Tim
  9. I recently switched to a municipal WiFi service to get rid of Comcast in my house. It works reasonably well for me, but because the wireless modem had to be placed upstairs rather than downstairs, I had to extend my network using multiple Airport and Airport Express base stations. Here is what I have: - Wireless modem managed by ISP. Has NAT-assigned IP address, and I have no access to change how that is configured. - Airport Express #1 in vicinity of modem, connected via ethernet. Creates local Wifi network in my house. Internet connection sharing configured to use bridge mode. IP address is presumably being assigned by wireless modem's DHCP. Router address is, presumably the local IP address assigned to the wireless modem. - Airport Express #2 one floor down, wirelessly extending local WiFi network created by AE #1. IP address presumably being assigned by wireless modem. Router address is - Time Capsule in basement, wireless extending local WiFi network created by AE#1 (and extended by AE #2). IP address presumably being assigned by wireless modem. Router address is - Mac Pro in basement, wired via ethernet to TimeCapsule. IP address presumably being assigned by wireless modem. Router address is - Apple TV in basement, wired via ethernet to TimeCapsule. IP address presumably being assigned by wireless modem. Router address is - 2 iPads in use throughout the house at various times This setup works for most purposes. I have access wherever I need it in the house using one extended WiFi network. I realize that the multiple extensions of a single network slow things down, but for most of the things I do I am OK with that. NetFlix streaming delays for a minute to buffer before starting, but once past that it runs smoothly. The only time I have a problem with that is when I want to stream content from the basement Mac Pro to the AppleTV sitting 5 feet away from it. It sometimes works, but often is so horribly slow that it is unusable. For example, It can sometimes take an hour or more for a program to start while it buffers the content enough to get going. My initial thought was that I had something wrong with my home sharing setup, but then I never had this problem before I changed ISPs and introduced this extended network. My current theory is that the slowness is being caused by (a) the way I've extended the network multiple times and all the overhead that introduced, and ( the fact that the streamed data probably needs to travel from the Mac Pro source, up multiple floors through multiple base stations, and then back down again to the Apple TV. Streaming from the internet "one-way" down through the house is usable, but once you throw in the up-and-down transmission it seems to break some threshold and becomes unusable. Does this theory make any sense, or is there a more logical explanation I'm missing? Assuming my theory is correct, I am wondering about the best way to deal with the problem. I think what is needed is for the basement to be configured as its own subnet so that traffic between nodes in the basement (i.e. the MP and the ATV) can be kept local without having to travel upstairs via an extended wireless network. The path upstairs would still need to be configured for internet-access, but for basement-to-basement traffic it wouldn't be used. Does that make sense or am I looking at it the wrong way? If I go this route, are there specific configurations I should be using? Do I need to manually assign IP addresses and subnet masks to do this or is there a straightforward way to configure this using Apple Airport Utility? Thanks for any advice, -Tim
  10. TimothyMDean

    Strange but recurring iPhone problems

    I currently have a 32GB iPhone 3GS, and before that I had 2 different 1st generation iPhone. I've gone through numerous kinds of headphones during this time, but in general I use the cheap Apple earbuds with the inline microphone and pause/track control/volume controls. I've had a recurring problem that has happened on all 3 phones and with all of the headphones I've used that have these inline controls. It's been intermittent but I've finally managed to predict the pattern and how to fix it: 1) After listening to something from the iPod application on the phone, I am interrupted so I click the inline control to pause what I'm listening to. 2) After a few minutes of being in pause mode, I want to resume what I was listening to so I click the inline control one more time. Nothing happens. 3) After a few seconds, I try to click the button one more time. My music starts playing again but stops after a few seconds. If I watch the screen while this happens, the iPod controls go from paused mode to play mode and then back to paused mode during this time 4) If I press the button again nothing happens. If I press play on the iPhone screen it starts playing again. 5) After a couple more seconds, the playback then stops again. However, this time the iPhone screen shows that the iPod app is still in play mode. The pause button is visible, the time remaining of the track keeps ticking away, etc. I can pull out the headphones and it pauses playback, but pressing play still doesn't work. The program starts ticking away again, but there is no sound output either from the iPhone's speaker or from the headphones. I can stop the app and jump into something else and then come back to the iPod app, still the same. It acts like the program is playing, but there is no sound output. 6) For a while, the only way I found to fix things was to power down the iPhone and restart it. However, I eventually detected another workaround: Pressing the button to jump back 30 seconds in the program seems to get it out of this bad mode, and everything works again. When I first saw this (and before I managed to understand the pattern), I assumed I had a faulty iPhone or headphones. However, this has happened on 3 different phones and about a dozen different headphone sets. I also considered it might be a software bug, but 3+ years and several OS revs later I still see the problem. My best guess is that it's a problem that involves both software and issues with the Apple headphones, but I can't confirm that. Has anyone else ever seen similar problems?
  11. TimothyMDean

    Strategy for verifying backups?

    Thanks for all the tips and background info. The position I find myself in is this: I understand the limitations of Time Machine, and I never had any intention on depending on it's hard drive for my long term backup solution. My assumption has always been that when its hard drive died (as all hard drives do), I would use the TC only as an Airport Extreme base station and connect an external drive to use for backing up. The key point here is that I want to backup multiple machines wirelessly if at all possible. Even with all of its weaknesses, the convenience of setting it up and forgetting it is worth it for me. To mitigate the risk of that strategy I want to manually check the backups on a regular basis. So basically, I'm doing a poor-man's NAS solution and using manual checks to help mitigate the risk of using a less-than-100%-reliable NAS solution. I will seriously consider getting external drives for each computer, but I'm not sure I can get my wife to follow a routine that would involve plugging in the drive on a regular basis so that a backup can happen. Other than that, I'm trying to figure out the next best thing for my situation. I'm hoping that using external drives off of the TC might still be a viable option. Thanks, -Tim
  12. TimothyMDean

    Strategy for verifying backups?

    That's unfortunate. Getting an external hard drive for this is less preferable because I've got 3 different machines I want to back up and moving a backup disk around (or getting 3 different hard drives) is not something I care to do. Would it be possible to instead connect an external USB drive to my TimeCapsule and do my cloneable backups to it via the TimeCapsule? Perhaps then I could just pull the USB disk off the TC and connect directly to a Mac to boot from it when I want to verify that everything is OK?
  13. TimothyMDean

    Strategy for verifying backups?

    Thanks John - Is there a way to boot from a TimeCapsule disk to try it out, or will this only work if I've got the bootable clone on a disk that I can directly connect to my Mac? -Tim
  14. TimothyMDean

    Strategy for verifying backups?

    Over the past 2 weeks, I've had to replace 2 different Macbooks: One had a display problem that would've been prohibitively expensive to fix. The other one was in good shape and still under warranty, but a major coffee spill put an end to that. Apart from the obvious expense of replacing 2 computers, I was hoping the process of upgrading would be relatively painless. Unfortunately that didn't happen. I had numerous problems and it took a long time to get both computers back on their feet. In both cases, I had multiple backups that were relatively current. I had bootable clones of each, created via SuperDuper, that were about a week or two old. I also had a time-machine backup of one of them. In the case of the laptop with a display-only problem, I also had the existing functional laptop that I could hook up in target disk mode to the new computer using the migration assistant. In both cases I had serious problems getting everything moved over. The cloneable copies were on a time capsule disk that I was having a lot of trouble keeping mounted so I could use it. I was able to copy the images off of there onto an external fireware, but then the images seemed to be somewhat corrupted: Disk utility and other apps seemed to be having trouble finding mountable file systems. Even when I hooked up the working computer in Target disk mode, migration assistant was saying that the disk did not contain a Max OS X installation. Eventually I was able to get everything moved over, but it was using a variety of different methods that took a really long time to get done. I'd like to avoid that in the future. What I'd like to do is plan on doing a monthly "backup status check" to make sure my backups are in a usable state. However, I'm not sure of the best way to check on the status of a backup without actually restoring. Does anyone else do anything to regularly check on their backups to make sure they're still useful? Thanks for any suggestion -Tim
  15. TimothyMDean

    Safari 5!!

    Looks like the Top Sites view has been tweaked to include a history view as well. Nice touch... I think cover flow views of history was available before but this seems like a more compelling usage.