Elizabeth and I went to Cinetopia with Tom to see Frank Miller’s 300 this weekend.
The story of the Spartans refusal to bow to Xerxes and in fact, hold off an army of millions with just 300 men is very compelling and based in history. This is a beautifully shot movie and while it is very violent, the use of matrix-like bullet-time special effects really enhance the physical abilities and skills of these warriors.
You can read about the graphic novel, watch the movie trailer in HD or, if you are a fan of Frank Miller’s work (my brother will remember him from the Dark Knight, as well as Sin City) you can support Steve Riggins by shopping at Amazon:
Amazon has some very affordable ($9.95 at time of this writing) Kingston 1gb keychain drives
They also have 2gb and USB versions linked from the same page.
Unsanity, whose products I stay away from, seem to have come across some very useful information regarding Apple’s Installer process and a major flaw in it.
You can read about the flaw and check out their software, but personally I’d stay away from anything that requires “APE”. Kudos to them for uncovering this flaw however!
In a nutshell, if “Optimizing System Resources” runs on two or more processors at once, say triggered because you were using your mac while it was updating, some files, randomly may be deleted, zeroed out, kaput, gonesky.
Back when I talked about Apple’s Smug updating reference in Calling Apple to Task several people said I did things a little too cautiously, or they were always lucky.
This nasty multiprocessor bug just verifies the steps I take on each update as sane:
- Run Alsoft's $100 DiskWarrior 4 prior to installation
- Download a "combo" updater if available
- Quit all applications manually, including background applications (Unsanity said to "step away from the computer as if it were a swarm of bees")
- Run the combo updater
- Reboot immediately after installation
I’ll stick with my process as I know it works and I wish you the best of luck in future updates until Apple nails this very nasty bug!
As a bare minimum, obey step 3
This screencast covers columnar selections with TextMate as well as the Markdown tagging language.
Matt Riggins writes:
I upgraded a machine in my office to Vista to get a feel for the OS, how it works, etc.
I use both a variety of Windows and Mac boxes and the first thing I noticed after upgrading to Vista was that I was unable to connect to the Mac’s SMB File Sharing. Typically in the windows address bar under XP pro I would type:
\IP Address\username (the username being the short name on the OS X user account)
It would prompt me for a username and password, which I would type. (The os x username/pw) The share would come up (the user’s folder) and I was done.
This did not work in Vista. It would ask me for the username / password, but typing it didn’t work.
I googled it and came across this great post:
There are a couple of things to try on this post. The first being from Vista using the command line trying to login using IPAddressUsername together. I tried that, with no luck. The 2nd step is a registry edit in vista. I make this change and it now allows me to share to OS X again:
- “Click Windows Visa Start Orb
- In search box, type “regedit” and return
- Once regedit opens, click File -> export to make a backup copy
- Navigate to Computer HKEYLOCALMACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Lsa.
- In the right pane, right-click the “LmCompatibilityLevel” key and select “modify”
- Change the value from 3 to 1
- Exit regedit and you should now be able to properly authenticate to your Mac OS X (or other Samba) share.”
Matt Riggins writes:
Why I’ll never use the Amazon Unbox / Tivo Service again. (after only using it once)
Tonight I got an automatically generated email from Tivo regarding the Amazon Unboxed / Tivo deal and how I can rent or download movies from Amazon directly to the Tivo. This seemed like a nice option as having a young child my wife and I have not really gone to the movies in 2 years. Having them on my Tivo seemed like a nice option.
Here are my experiences.
The Amazon Unbox web UI is horrible. They list out x amount of movies per page, out of over 5,000 something movies and tv shows. You can search, but the overall ease of use is the worst I’ve ever seen. Episodes are mixed in with rentals and those are mixed in with full movie purchases. One slip and you could be buying a movie, not renting one.
It mentioned that if I “signed up” prior to late April, I would receive $15 for purchases. I signed up which was free, and then proceeded to rent a movie. It asked me for my credit card information. Never did it ever state I had a $15 credit on Amazon’s website. Eventually after the “rental” purchase, I received an email showing the subtotal of the rental which was $3.99, minus discounts/promotions of $3.99 and total for his order $0.00. The email gives me no running balance. Very lame.
It then starts to transfer the movie to my Tivo, which is connected to my network via the wireless adapter. As we know, this is no way to transfer large amounts of data. 2 hours later, I had the rental movie on my Tivo.
I rented the movie on 3/12/07. Upon looking at the Now Playing list and clicking once on the rental to look at it, in very small and (not aligned) text across the entire middle of the screen it stated this movie would be kept until 3/14/07 and deleted on 4/11/07. How confusing is that? I tried to figure it out, ok maybe it’ll be kept in Now Playing until 3/14/07 (so, two days rental time, for $3.99 weak!) and then get moved to deleted, where I can retrieve it up until 4/11/07? Who knows, I had no clue.
And to top it all off, after spending 10 minutes on number 4, trying to figure out how long I could keep the movie, I hit Play. It then shows me another screen that says to this likes… Due to copyright restrictions, this movie can only be kept for 24 hours after the first initial play of the movie. Once the timer starts, you can play the movie as much as you want for 24 hours. After that it will be deleted.
This is by far the most lame dvd/movie/rental/dvr setup I’ve ever seen, for all the reasons above. I’ll never buy another Amazon Unboxed rental/movie again for my Tivo or PC. It’s back to my nice iTunes account, which I can play forever on my machine and sync to my iPod. I’ll buy an Apple TV and have all my purchases ready for play, when ever I want, on my TV.
Matt Riggins email@example.com
A little demo of associating actions with frames in Sophie (Soon to be RC3)
This is how it should work!
I am subscribed to the Red Sweater Blog because the author is an Apple Developer, just as I am. Recently he acquired the wonderful MarsEdit RSS publishing software, which I used until I switched to the geekier TextMate.
Lo and Behold, MarsEdit has an update, life is good and in the process, he mentions his other software, FlexTime. So I take a peek and $19 later, I own it, because:
The price is very affordable. I love <= $20 utilities (That is why BetterHTMLExport Standard Edition is still $20)
It fit a task I needed today - I just replaced my $800 Mirra chair with a $45 inflatable ball to strengthen my back, but I need to switch every 30 mins. So now I have a “Routine” that every 30 mins speaks to me saying “Go sit in your chair” or “Go sit on your ball” hehe.
Its cool software! The dude even added a feature to export your Routine to an audio file, which you can sync to itunes. So lets say you were doing yoga, you could have a routine that said “Time for exercise 1” and then in 30 seconds “time for exercise 2” etc, etc. Have that recorded to your iPod and then take it to the mat, literally. Very nice.
I love small Mac developers. Way to go, Red Sweater!
I am going to start producing short screencasts (A term I first saw on the TextMate site) with video tips and tricks.
The first screencast shows how to use the Omniweb form field editor!
MailTags was updated to 2.0b8 today and wow it is fast!
What is MailTags? MailTags is a bundle extension for Mail.app that lets you:
- Add any number of keywords to mail
- Add a project tag to mail
- Add todo events to mail, complete with alarms. This integrates with iCal
- Add notes to mail
And much more. Why is this cool? Have you ever made folders in mail like:
- My Project
- Web Stuff
- Money Stuff
- Documentation Stuff
- Bugs with UI
- Bugs with Feature Foo
If you have, you may also have many mail rules to try and file all of this mail. This form of categorization, which we’ve used since 1984 and the consumer advent of folders on the Macintosh 128K, is a simple form of embedded keywords. Each folder name is a keyword, and the hierarchy denotes projects or parents.
With MailTags, you can create a Project Tag named “My Project” and assign all emails with that project. You can then search for that project and have simple categorization. Need more? Add keywords! Add a “Web” keyword, or a “Money” keyword, or if you have money coming in from ads on your website, add both the “Web” and “Money” keywords!
MailTags also lets you search for keywords using the simple mail search box. If that is not enough power, you can make a Mail Smart Mailbox. MailTags extends the Smart Mailbox criteria to allow you to search for Project “My Project” AND keywords “Money” and “Web” Very nice!
This is a great little utility and now with IMAP support, it may become a essential tool to my daily mail usage.
I often want to password lock my screen, but not log out. OK, I can set the security preferences to lock the screen when the screen saver kicks in, but I don’t want to do that every time the screen saver kicks in.
Thanks to FourOhFour on #macintosh, I have a solution.
Open Keychain Access, open Preferences and check “Show Status in Menu”
You’ll now have a little lock icon in the menu which you can select “Lock Screen” from!
Updated: I have added a screencast to show how to set this up. Watch
A very nice font named DejaVu is available and the Monospaced version is a very nice looking font.
Thanks to Mike at SHO Parts NW I have new NAPA tie rod ends and 4 new Bosch O2 sensors.
Now to run a tank in town and see how, if at all, the mileage changes. The car seems to idle smoother, but that could be just me :)
The new tie rod ends have a grease nipple so now that can be repacked whenever I have the alignment done.
I also headed over to Schucks and picked up some Silver Star headlamps from Sylvania which are a very bright white (not that awful blue). The ultras (normally $50 a pair) are on sale through the 18th: $10 instant rebate and $10 mail in rebate.
Finally I picked up a paint pen matched to my car’s color and will fix up the key scratches I have had for a couple of years.
Here is a tip to easily double, if not triple your Mail.app speed!
I’ve been having some odd performance issues and have been trying to track them down. A Verizon technician came out, checked my jack, my light and it all looks good.
Then he heard I was still on PPoE and said “We should get you moved to DHCP” which I agreed with.
This afternoon he called me saying his supervisor said “no” and that the only way to switch me would be for me to call in, cancel my service and then sign back up! How ridiculous is that?
But there is a method to their madness - I’m still on the early adopter rate and canceling would get them out of that contract.
How sleezy is that?
My car has been creaky lately, really creaky, so along with my milage woes, I’ve started tackling issues.
First I checked the tire pressure and it was low, around 28psi. Increased to 34.
Next, I took the car up to Mike at SHO Parts NW who did wonderfully on the cam sprocket welding. In the process of checking out the squeak, we noticed the positive battery terminal was corroded badly. He spent about 30-40 mins cleaning that poor thing - It even copper coated his tools, but we got the car starting again. That lead to a new battery today at Sears, which I would suggest because they looked up my current battery which I got from them 50 months ago and gave me $38 back. Now the car cranks instantly - Diehard Gold seems like a winner.
Anyway, Mike took off the left wheel and after some tests decided it was the tie rod end. He popped off the tie rod and yep, the aluminum shaft was grinding inside the aluminum bushing, which it should not even be moving. He worked the tie rod end around, loosening it up, and put it all back together. The noise was better, but still there, so we did the right side and it was worse.
Now, the car is quiet again and next weekend we’ll be putting brand new tie rod ends on, as well as changing all four O2 sensors (they are factory original still) and getting an alignment done.
Between the O2 sensors and tire pressure, I should see some improvement in mileage.
Along with this security issue, Font Book ran into corrupted fonts which I removed as noted earlier. I had also tossed my Caches and byHost folder to see if that would help.
As a side effect, Mail.app was drawing its from field on top of the subject field. Safari and OmniWeb had the wrong display font. Even though Times, a system font, showed in User A’s font book, it did not show in mine.
So on a lark I tried selecting all fonts in /System/Library/Fonts/ and did File->Open. Then I quit font book and now Mail, Safari and Omniweb are happy.
For awhile I would get issues about certificate errors, etc. Today, I could not go to my webmail, check mail nor go to say godaddy.com in Safari, Omniweb nor Mail.app.
After 90 mins of mucking around, deleting corrupted Fonts (now my TextMate font is all messed up, later issue) I found this thread on apple discussions
In short, deleting com.apple.security.revocation.plist from ~/Library/Preferences/ and relaunching Omniweb/Mail cured the problem!
USC makes me fill out this interactive PDF for expenses. Preview does not handle these, and the damned PDF has 0s in place, so I can’t really edit it unless I buy PDFPen and put blanks over the 0s.
So I download Acrobat Reader. Excuse me, I download the Acrobat Reader Downloader. Install that. That then downloads Acrobat Reader. Install that.
Open this form. It warns me that I cannot save my changes and I must print to paper and file it. So I make my changes, choose Print and using the PDF menu in the print dialog, choose “Save as PDF”
Now to preface, this works in any, any, any OS X application that supports printing.
Adobe patched that nice little button and put up a dialog that said “You can’t save this way -> use File menu save”
Of course they had already told me that won’t work.
So John Warnock’s paperless office is forcing me to print to paper. Yes, thats right. I receive an electronic form, fill it out electronically, which updates the subtotals and totals electronically, then to email back I have to print to paper and scan
I’ll just take a screen shot. Thanks, Adobe.
Update: Barry told me to send this to Adobe, so I filed a bug against Reader:
Bug: Adobe Decision Making is flawed.
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As noted in the linked Ars Technica article, Apple messed up and left the IPv6 firewall off. Oops.
Out of the box, the router will connect you to the IPv6 Internet using an automatically configured tunnel. This means putting IPv6 packets put inside regular IPv4 packets. Those of you who really want to test IPv6 (you know who you are) are better off manually configuring a tunnel to your ISP or a tunnel broker, this is faster. If you don’t want IPv6 and don’t want to turn it off on all MacOS X and Windows Vista systems connected to the AirPort Extreme, you can select “Link-local only” as the IPv6 mode. If you leave IPv6 turned on, you may want to select “Block incoming IPv6 connections” to turn on the IPv6 firewall or your network is wide open over IPv6, even if it’s firewalled over IPv4.
The set has been on for about 5 hours and we can hear the fans now. Am not sure we should be hearing the fans in a 71 degree room after 5 hours of use. Am going to check into it.
Its a low to medium hum and it colors the audio from my center speaker.
Wow. The set arrived on time from Video Only today. The delivery guys were quick, made sure it worked and took off.
I immediately adjusted the basic settings to get rid of the sharpness and overbright out of the box settings and it looks incredible, even without ISF calibration.
I watched some ESPN and noticed the “ticker tape noise” but its not a big deal.
I played Elebits, Rayman and Madden on the Wii. All look great and I did not notice any game lag. I used the Rayman Dance game as a test of that.
I watched some of The Incredibles with my Samnsung upscaling DVD player and it looks fantastic.
I took some photos and a comparison photo with the old set: Look
Well I took the plunge and bought a Mitsubishi 57732 today. Its a 57” DLP rear projection set which will take up the same space as my current set, but is shorter, which is nice for viewing, but will make playing the Wii more interesting (depending on viewing angle)
I am concerned about RBE (Rainbow Effect) so I got Video Only to give me a 5 day refund policy (30 day in store credit) which was nice of them.
It comes tomorrow and is replacing my TW56X81 which has been a workhorse for 7 years but the power supply is going (has to re-power it on almost every time I turn it off now) and it got reset poorly years ago, so its time.
I wanted to hold out for SED because of RBE and gaming issues, but with the 5 day trial and 1 year no payments/interest, I think its a safe bet.
The floor model looked good - not great, but they split the component signal 800 ways and of course not calibrated.
I’m thinking of skipping ISF and getting myself a Spyder TV so I can tune friend’s sets as well. Comments welcome.
The set arrives tomorrow!
This hack uses your web browser to log in to your router using the default password and reprogram your router to use the hackers Domain Name Server! This means when you type in say www.citibank.com you are taken to the hacker’s server, not your banks!
(Mom, you are fine, we’ve changed your password)
I’ve often commented on the fact that while default passwords are necessary, a router should not function until the password is changed from the known default. Your web browser should take you to, minimally, a screen saying you need to change the password.
On Macs with Airport, Apple could insist this as well and then popping up a nice dialog at any internet access attempt.
Change your router password if you have not!
Roxio rejected my $20 Toast Titanium rebate for my DOWNLOADED Toast due to “missing upc proof of upgrade” (even tho I had to supply my old serial number).
I got a nice little postcard in the mail, so i called the rebate center and the dude looked up my rebate and immediately oked it. What a joke. They just reject them now and hope you never respond.
Apple’s new Airport Extreme N base station has a neat feature called AirDisk. You can attach drives to the USB 2 port on the base station and share them with users on your network, or over the internet apparently.
Installation is easy. With the Airport Utility, you click Disks and choose how you want to share the drives you might attach. You can simply use the same password as the base station, assign a password to access the disks, or create disk accounts with privileges.
I chose to assign a single disk password. I pressed Update to save my changes and the base station rebooted. I found this fairly poor, as if I want to do basic disk administration, I have to knock off other users who might be using Skype, etc. You should not have to reboot the base station to change anything other than WAN settings.
I attach my drive and my laptop says “hey, I see new drives!” because I had installed the Airport software. I told it to mount the drives and gave it the password. Instantly they showed up.
Disk performance is poor. Over gigabit ethernet to the base station (which only has 100/10) I got roughly 700K/s to the drive. I don’t know how this compares if the drive is attached directly to the computer, but I will test later and update.
I do however think this will be nice for Time Machine in Leopard. What one could do is have one time machine drive per computer in the house. Attach it directly via firewire and let time machine do its full backup. Then attach it to a hub in the base station and let the nightly backups happen, slower of course, but they should be much less data.
This way, the drives won’t need to always be on the machine, which in the case of a laptop, is nice.
I got an IM today and was told my new Aiport Extreme N basestation was in at the Mac Store! So I headed on over and picked it up.
After I finished work, I plugged it into the laptop via ethernet to configure it. The Airport Assistant was easy to use and it even told me the ethernet to WAN was not plugged in when I was setting it up, so I would not get internet access!
After setup, I connected over wifi and all worked fine. I then reconfigured the Express to connect to the Extreme, again that went fine.
Finally I moved it, plugged it into my Verizon FIOS ethernet port and powered it up. Instant internet access!
I ran some speed tests and whereas under the linksys I would get 1.8mbps up, 8mbps down over 802.11g, I was now getting 1.8/14.65! In other words, my 802.11g performance is now equivalent to the lan speeds when connecting out to the internet!
Both of Elizabeth’s Windows XP laptops are only getting 3.x mbps down and i have not determined what that issue is yet.
I plugged in my Canon ip4200 printer, which wasn’t seen by the Mac Book Pro. I then realized that I didn’t have the drivers on this machine and they are not part of Tiger. When the printer was connected to the G5, it had the drivers and thus no other machines needed them. Now, the basestation acts more like a direct connection to the printer and thus all machines that want to print will need the drivers installed.
I have not tried AirDisk yet.
The first major issue came up trying to use a corporate VPN client from Windows. No go. After some research, its a widespread problem. One solution is to set up a reserved IP address for the computer needing VPN access and then set the “default host” (dmz) to that machine’s IP. This lame workaround works, but exposes the machine to non-firewalled internet access. Hopefully a fix is shortcoming.
However, while the dmz was set up routing all ports to the PC, Erick video chatted me and it worked fine! Instant connection too.
- Fast 802.11g performance with Mac Book Pro Core Duo (full 15mbps down)
- Easy setup
- AirDisk fast reads
- Stronger signal than Linksys WRT54gs
- Need default host work around to make Windows SonicWall VPN client work
Windows 802.11g performance very slow (3 vs 15mbps) - Wired speed is fine- Same performance on WRT54GS!
- Need to reboot after making any changes, such as to add a new user to AirDisk
- Updating/Rebooting does not reset FIOS PPOE connection -Base station thinks it has a connection, but it doesn’t. Have to pull the power plug.
I, like every other microwave oven owner, has had to deal with the buildup of smells in their oven. I clean mine, and will even more now that I’ve gone back to scrubbing sponges thanks to new data showing that nuking a sponge for 2 minutes kills all bacteria in them!
However, thats still not enough to cure that popcorn odor, or last three frozen dinners odor. Enter baking soda.
I use Arm & Hammer refrigerator baking soda (which is just baking soda in a box with open sides to allow more surface area to contact air) in my refrigerator and freezer. It works incredibly well and I replace mine every 3 months or so.
Thus I decided to try a box in the microwave oven as well. I take it out while cooking of course and each time I put it back, I turn it upside down to shake up the baking soda some.
My oven is now 98% odor free. Whoot!
Don’t buy any music from the big four labels. None of it. No iTunes music, no CDs, and best of all, don’t pirate it. Don’t listen to it. Don’t tell your friends about it.
If the RIAA wants Apple to license DRM so they can cram it down our throats even deeper, I say a big “Screw You!” to the RIAA.
Now, is there a site where you can enter a song and find out who will be paid if you buy that song?
In the end, we the consumers control the music business. The sad reality is, we’re all dolts and go along with the crap they feed us just so we can listen to some artist they have deemed worth of their promotion.
Buy only open and free non-big four music. See how they like them Apples.
Over at the get a mac page is a wonderful new “Security” ad discussing Vista’s over zealous firewall.
On the same page is this text:
- No upgrade nightmares. Before you can even think about Vista, you’ll likely need a new PC. Or upgrades for memory, hard disk, and graphics card. Why go through all that hassle, when you can just get a Mac?
Well, I for one have experienced upgrade nightmares on OS X. Such as:
- Installation does not upgrade every component, leaving broken apps
- Upgrading from Panther to Tiger left cache crud in my user library folder causing all sorts of grief
- Failure to reboot after a system update upgrade
I have personally found that in order to have a good upgrade experience, I must:
- Run Alsoft’s $100 DiskWarrior 4 prior to installation
- Download a “combo” updater if available
- Quit all applications manually, including background applications
- Run the combo updater
- Reboot immediately after installation
Because OS X does not force you to quit your applications, or check the disk first, I feel it leaves a lot of room for improvement in this regard.
Sure, OS X upgrades probably go much smoother than Windows upgrades, but to claim “No upgrade nightmares” is simply false.
Bert has gotten Sophie running on the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) hardware (which runs linux). Performance is not great, but that can come later.
Pretty exciting for such complex software running on such affordable hardware. I wonder how Michael’s anti-aliased text works? :)
Tonight was a good night in the World of Warcraft. I got two new chest pieces and this really nice dagger for killing a uber boss in Shadowmoon. Thanks to Nobunaga and Stormfist for letting me tag along. They were on the same stage as I was so we five manned the boss.
On CNN.com a story titled “Gates: Vista all about the Wow” had running right next to it the video for the Apple Get A Mac “Surgery” ad.
I love it.READ MORE...