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About gekko

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    Mac Geek

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  • Location
    Thunder Bay, ON
  1. Hi everyone. I just moved to Australia and have set up wireless broadband with virgin mobile. It works through a little USB stick that is actually a GSM / HSDPA modem (internet through the cell network). It's working great, but I can't convince iPhoto that I'm online. When I try to look at the new places map, or when I try to add new locations, iPhoto just gives me a big blank map with the message "your computer is not connected to the internet. iPhoto needs an internet connection to show where your pictures were taken." I'm not sure if there's a network setting I can change to convince my mac that I'm connected, or what. Any help would be greatly appreciated. gekko
  2. gekko

    Odd iBook Problem

    Hello, My sister's iBook G4 is having some very odd problems and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas. A few weeks ago she tried turning it on and nothing happened - battery was full, power adapter working fine, but no startup chime, no fans, no disk activity, nothing. I reset the PMU, it booted fine, I told her to back everything important up just in case and figured the problem was solved. A few days later it refused to boot again (no chime, no fans, no hard disk spin, nothing). This time resetting the PMU did nothing. I eventually got it to boot after leaving it unplugged, battery out for a few minutes. Although it once again appeared to be fixed, I was now worried there might be a serious problem, so I dug out the hardware test CD and tried booting from that. The iBook refuses to boot from this disk. It returns a RAM error (sorry, don't have the exact wording on me at the moment, I'll try to grab it tonight). But it ONLY returns this error when booting from the hardware test disk. There is no added RAM in this machine - just the built in stick. The iBook WILL boot from other disks - at least from the OS X install disk, anyways. And it is booting into OS X just fine, at least at the moment. I've also tried resetting open firmware, repair disk and disk permissions (from the OS X install CD) and zapping the PRAM. Any ideas/suggestions?
  3. gekko

    Traveling through Europe

    Hi everyone! I'll be traveling through Europe for most of May and am looking for advice either from locals or other travelers for things I should be sure not to miss. I'll be seeing the following: London* Amsterdam Rhine Valley (St. Goar) Lucerne Innsbruck Venice Rome Florence French Riviera Monaco Lyon Paris* *This is predominantly a group tour, though there will be plenty of free time for exploring. My girlfriend and I will be spending extra time on our own at the start and end of the tour in London and Paris, respectively. I'll be receiving a detailed itinerary in the next week or so for the tour portion. We'll have a little under a week in London and Paris and one to two days in each of the other cities. We're focusing on planning our time alone, since we'll want to remain as flexible as possible when we're on tour with other people. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  4. gekko

    Travelling in Europe

    Hello, I'm going to be traveling through Europe in May and am looking for some help with my cell phone options. Basically I'm looking to have an unlocked phone I can use in London and Paris at the beginning and ending of my trip, respectively. I'm not too concerned with the countries in between because I won't be in any one place long enough for a cell phone to be very useful. I live in Canada and my cell phone is with Rogers. I may ALSO bring this phone with me to use as an emergency use only phone - it will work almost everywhere I go but I'd be looking at about $2 per minute (and up). My two choices (as I see it) are to unlock my phone before I leave (or pick up an unlocked phone) and get a pay as you go SIM card when I get there, or pick up a phone when I get to London. Does anyone have any experience with pay as you go providers in London (and Paris)? Are there any providers or shops you can recommend? If I decide to buy a phone when I get to London, is it easy to get an unlocked phone (or get one unlocked after I buy)? I've unlocked a few phones myself but don't want to bother with it while traveling. To sum up, I'd like to pick up an unlocked quad-band GSM cell phone that I can use as a pay as you go phone while in London and Paris, then as well when I return home to Canada. I don't need the phone to play MP3's or take pictures (a 2 megapixel+ camera would be an asset but is not truly important). I would prefer a bar phone (no slider or flip, though I will consider either). Any advice would be appreciated.
  5. gekko

    Gamecube Zelda on the WII

    Gamecube games require the use of a gamecube controller.
  6. gekko

    Good gaming PC's?

    I would definitely build it yourself, especially if you know someone who can help you out if you get stuck. It's cheaper, you get far more control over where you spend your money, and you'll learn more about computers than you might think is possible. If it's your first time building your own rig, I would try to keep it a little cheaper than you want to spend. That will give you some wiggle room to upgrade or change your mind, or even fix mistakes if you screw something up that can't be returned. I would also suggest spending some extra money on getting a solid case, especially one that's easier to work with. Having a case that's constrictive or otherwise difficult to work with is not fun when you're inexperienced working with PC components.
  7. gekko

    Sync to two iTunes libraries

    I had a similar problem: I wanted my music and podcasts on my laptop, but my movies stored on an external drive. Here's how I managed: I have only one library, stored on my laptop. My music and my podcasts are imported/stored/synced as if they were a self-contained library. When I want to add a movie, I manually move the movie file to my external drive, in a folder I've created and organize on my own (movies, TV shows split by show and season, etc). The trick is that when I import those movie/tv shows into iTunes, I first go into preferences and un-check the "copy files to iTunes music library when adding to library." This tells iTunes to add the video files to the library but without moving the files themselves. When I sync my iPod, if I don't have my external drive connected, iTunes lets me know it can't find the files (! next to video files and a warning message if it tries to add a "new" file to the iPod) but doesn't delete them from iTunes or from my iPod. Quitting and re-launching iTunes gets rid of the !'s if they're bugging you, while the "missing" video files will get synced properly if I connect my external drive and sync again. The only problem I run into is forgetting to re-check the "copy files..." option before adding music files to my library.
  8. gekko

    Want to back up Mac with Super Duper

    You can also tell Super Duper to save your data to a disk image which you store on the external drive, rather than partitioning it (requires registered version). To do so just choose as the backup target "disk image" and make sure you save it to the external drive. This disk image can still be made bootable, though I assume it's more difficult booting from it in an emergency than from a dedicated partition on an external drive (never tried). There are programs that allow you to partition hard drives without losing data, but I'm not aware of any for the mac. The PC program I have used is Partition Magic from Norton. Lots of neat features. gekko
  9. gekko

    Mac Question, wma files.

    I would second the recommendation for VLC. Freeware that plays virtually all file formats, and does a good job. If you prefer the Quicktime player, you could also get Flip4Mac's WMV component, now available for free, which adds WMV support to Quicktime. gekko
  10. gekko

    iPods, iTunes and DRM

    Second that. I don't overly mind Apple's DRM because it's far less restrictive than most and easy to get rid of if necessary (burn songs to CD -> rip songs back to hard drive -> bye bye DRM). Still annoying however, especially if you like to buy lots of music. I've been a very satisfied subscriber to emusic.com for about a year, and they've really won me over. I can do things like re-download any song I've previously paid for from any computer as many times as I want. This was extremely useful because I accidentally erased about 50 songs without backing up. No problem, no cost - just find the songs I'd erased (either from the master list of songs purchased with my account or just by searching for the artist), download and my account doesn't get charged. Simple and useful. They treat me like a customer and not a potential thief, and that's the way I like it. gekko
  11. gekko

    Apple Store Down

    Coloured iPod Shuffles. Pink, orange, blue, green. I don't see anything else new. gekko
  12. gekko

    Apple TV & Widescreen TVs

    The jump in resolution is completely watered down when virtually every TV on the market just takes the increased resolution and scales it down to 1280x768 anyways. If you actually own a native 1920x1080 TV, or you're planning on buying one alongside your appleTV/mac mini/whatever, then 1080p support becomes important. In another year (or five, depending on your acceptable price range), 1080p support may be far more important. But right now it's like taking pictures with a 5 megapixel camera so you can scale them down to email. Is a picture any better taken at a higher resolution then scaled down than simply taken at the lower res to begin with? My point would be there's no point in worrying about whether your $300 set-top box will support the TV you might buy in 2 years that will cost $2000. If you're willing today to plunk down the money for a 1920x1080 TV, then the appleTV isn't for you. But that will only apply to a tiny percentage of even HD TV owners, which is a small percentage of the population (admittedly a growing one). The appleTV five years from now will certainly support 1080p. That's fine for me. gekko
  13. gekko

    Apple TV & Widescreen TVs

    1080 is over-valued. There are only a handful of TV's that actually have native resolutions above 1080x768 (roughly 720p). The vast, vast majority of supposed 1080 TV's actually just mean they accept 1080i/p inputs and downgrade it to the TV's actual resolution. If you own a 1080 TV, go check out the actual specs. I was blown away when I found out how rare TV's with actual 1920x1080 resolutions are, and I've been selling TV's for almost 5 years (admittedly TV's is not my work place's focus; they're more "on the side"). gekko
  14. gekko

    Apple TV questions

    A week ago I would have agreed with you over the 720p/1080p debate, but I found something out recently that shocked me. There literally only a handful of TV's on the market today that actually have native resolutions of 1080p (1920x1080). Well over 90% of "1080p" TV's just mean they accept 1080p signals and downgrade it to their native resolution, usually 1280x768. The point is that 1080p is in fact overblown. Unless you own one of the few, very expensive sets with an actual resolution of 1920x1080, you almost certainly won't tell the difference between 1080 and 720. Progressive scan is much more important than accepting and then downgrading higher resolution. The mac mini alternative is much more tempting for me. From what I gather online, the appleTV has a USB port that cannot be used to connect external hard drives for more storage... WTF? ONLY for tech work they say. The appleTV does not have a DVD burner or even a player... WTF? So I still need a DVD player. You can't purchase content from the iTunes music store from the appleTV interface... WTF? Oversight? I assume some of these features will be added/changed via firmware update or second iteration, but as it stands, $349 (CAN) is too much to pay. A mac mini, while still not perfect, would offer far more flexibility for not a whole lot more. gekko
  15. gekko

    Hey Apple, how about some real XMASS bus. cheer

    Most retail stores are tightly locked into one of two set ups: either all employees have the ability to lower prices or otherwise make deals, or none are. Apple generally controls their prices very tightly, and it's almost certainly not left up to the sales associate or even the store manager to be "more accommodating." I'm not really sure I understand why a free iPod dock would be a deal breaker for a purchase that includes a maxed out iMac, either. Your friend would have saved more money purchasing and installing third party RAM, for example, than by getting a free dock. gekko