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About cw

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    Mac Geek In Training

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  1. cw

    iPhone: Reporting from...

    ...Houston, TX I took off from work early yesterday, at around 4:30 PM, and took the shuttle home to drive to the Apple Store in the mall at Houston Galleria. There were exactly 156 people (excluding friends and family) in line when I got there at around 5:15 PM or so. No, I didn't count them one by one, but learned it from the sign-up sheet the mall security had me signed--I'm #157. It feels a little bit like waiting for an Apple Store opening (except for the sign-in part, of course). Although I brought my iPod and PowerBook to kill time (but forgot to bring the camera... Too bad!), eventually ended up chatting with people there. An Apple-fanatic 8th grader was right in front of me. He said that he spent a lot of time on his friend's SketchUp 3D model to lay out all possible routes from all entrances in the mall to the Apple store. He also said that he has been coming to the Apple store everyday since the beginning of this week, and that he had to work really hard at school to get good grades so that his parents would let him get an iPhone, which is the single most expensive device he has ever been allowed. (Yes, I asked; he doesn't have a PlayStation 3.) The mall security stopped by to chat from time to time. She said the first in line arrived at 4 AM Friday morning, but had to wait outside one of the mall entrances. (Question: How did those people know which entrance to start the line with?) It wasn't until 8 AM did they move the whole line of 20+ people from there to the hall in front of the Apple store. For Friday, the Apple store, after the 6 PM opening, will open until midnight, or until iPhone is sold out. The security also did a small survey and found out that the first 30 in line all plan to get two iPhones each, and those from 70+ to 100 or so also want to have two each. Still, we were all very hopeful, while keeping our fingers crossed. The guy behind me also got off from work early to get in line. He said he did the same thing when Tiger came out, though the line wasn't as long. He believed people in the Apple store will probably do the same thing as what they did when Tiger was released to speed up the process: They will stop selling all other products for the night, and will use their mobile device/scanner to perform credit card check out. 5:50 PM, it's show time! They started early, like in some Apple store openings. And, like an Apple store opening, it started out with Apple employees running out from the store, doing the cheers, clapping, and high fives. They let people enter the store in batches, 5 people at a time. At the very front of the store, ~10 iPhones were set up on the table in demo, but the line moved so quickly that people only got to play with them for less than a minute. Some Apple employees were there to answer questions, but most of the time we were sharing each other's excitement for the product. They also handed out brochures for AT&T service plans while people were waiting. At one point, they split the line into two, one for people paying with cash, the other for those paying with credit cards. When I finally arrived in front of the pyramid, or the wall, of stacked iPhones, they asked what kind of iPhone and how many I want, scanned the bar code, swiped the card, got my signature, and e-mailed the receipt. That was it. It was a little past 6:30 when I walked out of the store with an iPhone, passing another line for iPhone accessories. But WHY would I sit down to write all these, instead of playing with my iPhone on this beautiful Saturday morning? Because I haven't been able to activate my phone yet. Oh, well, last time I switched to a new phone, it took nearly a day. At least I can still use my old phone. But really, I so wish I can have my iPhone activated NOW!
  2. Since we were recently on the topic of recycling our old Macs, I would like to share my recnet experience with my broken iPod. It's a 4th gen iPod, most of the time sitting on my Hi-Fi as an alarm clock. What woke me up this past Monday wasn't the usual playlist I had set up, but rather, some unusual noise from within the iPod -- as if the disk head wasn't moving properly in the hard drive. I tried to reset the iPod, connect it to the computer, switch HOLD on and off... etc., but nothing worked. It sounded like the iPod had been trying to reboot itself, for the next 2.5 hours, until it ran out of battery. I took it to an Apple store, and they confirmed my speculation that it was a hard drive problem, and there was really not much they could do other than replacing the hard drive. (Sigh. I just had the hard drive in my PowerBook G4 died on me the week before. ) The good news, however, is that, if I decide to get a new iPod, I can bring in this broken one in exchange for a 10% discount on that purchase. I think this is part of Apple's effort in recycling their old products. It will be interesting to know whether Apple provides a similar mechanism for broken Macs. (That 10% discount, though not that much, has already made me feel less heartbroken over my old iPod.)
  3. One of my professors has trouble running, or even opening a gigantic Word document on his G5 (with plenty of RAM, though I don't know the exact size). Now they want to increase the amount of memory designated to Word, so that this application has more accessible memories. I was told that you could do so in OS 9 on the info menu for the application. The question is, how do you do it in OS X? (I thought such application-memory issue is taken care off by the OS itself?) To further troubleshoot this problem, do you think perhaps it is just (1) there is not enough HD space left in this G5 machine, or (2) it's just the nature of MS Word to work clumsy on large files? Your advise and suggestion are greatly appreciated.
  4. cw


    Because of this roll-out, TESCO in Taiwan now has a pomotion on iPod video 30G and Belkin AV cable combo for NTD.10,900 (~USD.330). The deal also includes a free iPod case and a NTD.1,000 TESCO coupon. (You can use the coupon immediately, meaning that the iPod and the AV cable would cost only ~USD.300. I think it's a good deal.)
  5. cw

    OS X hacked in minutes

    Here is a quote from the Mac OS X Security Test site (The testing period is closed now.): "There were no successful access attempts during the 38 hour duration of the test period." Yay! And, also from the site: "the general architecture and design philosophy of Mac OS X, in addition to usage of open source components for most network-accessible services that receive intense peer scrutiny from the community, make Mac OS X a very secure operating system." Well said! 8)
  6. cw

    Web Geek Comics!!!

    Geeky grad students, and lots of them are Mac geeks. 8) http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive_list.php
  7. cw


    What is the padlock, the icon between coconut battery and Flock. The silver padlock in between Safari and iTerm is Secure FTP. The one between coconut battery and Flock is Quicksilver's icon.
  8. cw


    Here's mine. Nothing unusual. (It's really fun to see people's dock though.)
  9. Thanks for the link, Jane. In an e-mail from our system admin today, it suggests that we should disable the automatically open the "safe" files after downloading function in web browsers, particularly with Safari. The e-mail also includes the following three links for further information. http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?N...age=1&pagePos=2 http://secunia.com/advisories/18963 http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/69919 I also tried out the vulnerability test over at Secunia's web site. In order to make the Calculator app up and running on my computer (with an admin account, and using Safari with the automatically open "safe" files function disabled, or using Firefox), I need to download the ZIP file, unzip it (after which a .mov file appeared, or at least what seemed to be a .mov, but a shell script rather), and double click on the .mov file.
  10. cw

    IPOD Volume

    Wow, cool! Thanks, Tony. (Hey, another Pittsburgh Mac Geek!)
  11. cw

    IPOD Volume

    Hey, I was playing around with the GarageBand just now, and saw that the "Set the master volume" slide bar has the unit of 'db' as well. Is that the same 'dB' we've been talking about? (Though the b is not capitalized.)
  12. cw

    iPhoto & Photoshop CS

    I have Photoshop CS Version 8.0, and the "edit in application" function works fine in mine.
  13. cw

    I could really use some help with iweb

    I don't think your Delicious web pages can be easily integrated into your iWeb; for instance, you probably can't add a "Delicious" button on every iWeb page of yours by adding a new "Delicious" page. I guess the easiest way to add the Delicious library to an existing iWeb page is by inserting a hyperlink that links to your Delicious index page.
  14. cw

    iPhoto '06

    I am not sure if it's just a problem on my machine, but my iPhoto doesn't seem to be able to save the "Music" setting for slideshow -- it saves other settings, such as transitions and other slideshow controls all right, but not the music setting. As a result, I need to uncheck "Play music during slideshow" manually every time when I start a slideshow. (I remember in one of the old versions of iPhoto, there was a button at the lower left-hand side that allows you to bypass the settings window and start the slideshow directly. Somehow it's missing, or moved to somewhere else that I cannot find in iPhoto '06.) Someone has mentioned earlier that the file organization in iPhoto library is significantly different in iPhoto '06 (with a Modified folder, and organizing the files by rolls v.s. by dates). I am not sure if I like it the new way or not. Maybe I just got too used to the old way. One function I do wish to have though, is to be able to right click on a photo, like what you can do with a song in iTunes library, and choose from the menu to "Show song (photo) file", so that you don't have to dig into the iPhoto Library folder to find the file. One last thing. I think iPhoto '06 does check on duplicate photos during import and asks what you wish to do with the duplicates, like in old versions; but if you have manipulated the photo, such as rotating it, it wouldn't consider the photo as a duplicate. (I mention this, because I thought I heard Adam talking about his experience otherwise in the show.)
  15. cw

    WHat email client do you use?

    I use web mail, and... PINE (to minimize the chance of getting hit by viruses, back in the old days when I still used the Windows machines -- now I switched OS but not the mail app.)