Apple Memorial Wallpaper

I have a whole house full of Apple gear, we started with an iMac back around 2003, then an iPod shuffle, to now having 5 Macs in the house, two iPhones, Apple TV and I don’t know how many iPods. Oh, and an iPad & iPad2. Apple built some amazing equipment over the years with Steve at the helm; it’s odd to miss a guy I never met, but I am sure glad he stuck to his ideas, and gathered some of the best, and brightest, around him to make some of the most elegant, and refined, computing machines in the world.

I quick made a apple spinning wheel memorial desktop wall paper.

RIP Steve Jobs and thank you.

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Remove Nero Scout

Just a quick note to me. This actually works without breaking Nero 7 on Windows XP SP3.

Here’s how to disable Nero Scout:

open command window

After it comes up, run the command:

regsvr32 /u “%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Ahead\Lib\MediaLibraryNSE.dll”

Nero 7 is way cool, but Nero Scout is just annoying.

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Fun Free Virtual Drive Software for Windows 7

For nearly ever, ok, since 2005, I have been using Nero to make digital backups of my program CDs and DVDs and then using Nero image drive to mount them and reinstall the software after a drive crash. This has been an extremely reliable way of efficiently managing software for work and home, if all the drive images are in one safe place like a networked hard drive, then I spend less time searching for discs in a CD case, and more time rebuilding systems. In most cases, a total rebuild of a system after a crash is about 3hours.

With the advent of Windows 7, which is extremely popular over Vista around here, we ran into trouble where Nero stopped being useful. In a mad dash to find a quick fix we came across this software from Slysoft.com, their program called Virtual CloneDrive works perfectly on Windows 7 for us, and the best part is, it is free! If you are looking for a solution for system support for Windows 7, this may be useful, it is around here.

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We decided to try the iPad

We have a pretty decent home network, we pretty much have a computer in every room of the house. The problem is computing is getting more and more sociable. I mean, we as a family like to sit around and talk and be on the computer at the same time and watch TV or watch the kid play. I have a laptop, a Apple MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (15.4-inch) but it is not kid friendly, it has all our cool software on it and it is already finicky with LED banks not lighting on the display from time to time. Since it is not on warranty any more, the easy solution is to just let the adults work on it. We also have a couple old G4 Mac Minis, the Apple Mac mini (G4 – 1.42GHz) and the Apple Mac mini (G4 – 1.5GHz). The 1.42GHz G4 Mini is our home file server runs quietly in the basement all by itself. The 1.5GHz G4 is in our family room tucked away in a corner near our entertainment center. The problem with our setup is that there is a partial wall separating the entertainment center from the family room, and that partial wall acts as a barrier during conversations. There is a whole lot of “what, I missed that” and “can you say that again” going on as we speak across the room. Missing words during conversations happens but sometimes it helps to have proper flow and cadence during communication. We could have moved all the computers into one room but that would look messy and we are trying to sell our house. Other options we’ve done in the past involved moving chairs around my desk to view items on the MacBook Pro, or huddle around our 1.42GHz G4 Mini. We even sat around my laptop on the couch until the kid kicked it by accident. The wife has been complaining lately that the mini in the family room is slow, which it is, but it works fine like most Apple products it is like a toaster, you plug it in and it works until the day you decide you need a different color toaster. It has just enough memory to run OS 10.5.8 and the software we like, Office 2004 for example, and safari and email. It also video conferences with an old iSight camera.

We are happy but as a family we want to have a bit more utility, this is where the iPad comes in. It really doesn’t have any moving parts which makes it kid friendly and we found that most of the time we are searching the web, checking email and taking care of bills on the little mini. We can do all of that with the iPad, and now we can all cozy up on the couch, and do little activities together and be sociable as a family without missing words. With the exception of not having a built in camera, it is nearly a perfect consumer item for a busy modern family. It is simple yet powerful. I like that we can all be comfortable anywhere in the house and still monitor what our child does on the Internet.

Setup was easy, just plug it into a computer that has the latest iTunes, 9.1 (79) so far, and follow on the screen instructions and you are done. My six year old son could run the thing on his own after that. I am very interested in seeing how this style of computing takes off. Someday maybe a 42 inch wall mounted system with all of our favorite movies on it.

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Latest iPhone Software Update

I just had to grab this image. The iPhone software update 3.1.2 says it resolves the intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart. Gee I have had the iPhone since the fall of 2007 and this has always been an issue. Support would say just restart the iPhone. Well I hope it works with this fix.

iPhone update October 2009

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Outlook Auto-complete Making You Look Silly?

Auto complete, great technology in the hands of a well versed techno nerd, but out there in the world, it just starts to make good people look silly. What am I talking about? Well on professional web email servers, yes some people still do this, every once in a while, someone will post a personal message to the professional list which gets flamed by the list users and apologies from the offender.

How do you stop Outlook auto-complete from making you look silly? Try these steps:
First off check your email before you send it. Sometimes the obvious can be elusive.

You can also tell outlook to stop giving extra auto-complete suggestions on an instance by instance basis, just by doing this, from an auto-complete tab, do the following:

Delete a name from the AutoComplete list:
Select the unwanted name using the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW.
Press DELETE.

Or:

Turn off AutoComplete name suggesting completely in Outlook:
On the Tools menu, click Options.
On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail
Options.
Clear the Suggest names while completing To, Cc, and Bcc fields check box.

Step 1: On the Tools menu, click Options.
On the Tools menu, click Options.

Step2: On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail
Options.

On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options then click Advanced E-mail Options

Step 3: Clear the Suggest names while completing To, Cc, and Bcc fields check box
Clear the Suggest names while completing To, Cc, and Bcc fields check box

Happy Outlooking.

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Going to a Greener Home Network

For many years I have used Linux and SAMBA to share files across my home network. I had this beast of an old AMD Athlon CPU machine with a 650W power supply droning away in my basement with 6 hard drives giving me a bout 400GB of nearly worry free storage. Back then, my network consisted of one Apple iMac and three Windows XP boxes all tied together and sharing files via SAMBA. Everything was pretty great, then we started buying more Apple computers, and eventually had two Mac Minis and a 15″ MacBook Pro. We gave away our old iMac and all the old Windows boxes except for one XP box. We held on to the Linux server until the MacBook Pro arrived.

Issues started to rise when the new MacBook Pro came that came with Leopard (OSX 10.5.6) installed did not readily work with SAMBA and since we decided to upgrade the Mac Minis Leopard, the end result was a bipolar network again where Windows saw the share easily to our old Linux server and the Apple Leopard systems did not. I really wanted everything to work easily and together again, so I thought it was time to ditch the Linux box and use the oldest Mac Mini as the file server. This was not my first option, before I tried out the mini, Apple marketing drew me into the latest and greatest Airport Extreme saying I could attach a USB drive to it and share files. That was a flop. They wanted me to add more software to my Windows box (Bonjour) and then it would see the USB drive on the Airport long with all the Macs in the house. This option was miserable half the time no computer, Mac or Windows, could see the Airport USB share. Fool me once Apple… OK fool me alot besuae I am still buying your stuff.

The only benefit to this Airport Extreme mistake was that I had a nice new Western Digital MyBook with 500GB of storage and a very quite basement with the old Linux server turned off. This got me thinking, I like quite. I was not using the oldest Mac Mini much any more so lets stick the USB drive on the Mac Mini and share it via SAMBA again. That ended up being a flop. I wanted easy. Instead, I got all the data on the Mac Mini being visible to everyone on the network I did not want that. I also did not want to hassle with the smb.conf file. So I eased back into whatever the default sharing for Apple wanted. (System Preferences > Sharing > File Sharing) I then loaded Bonjuor (Grumble grumble…) to the Windows XP machine. I am pretty OK with how things on the network work now.

The green part is that I use a Mac Mini that is ON all the time at ~75W instead of 650W. It has an old LCD monitor which is off all the time. I have two Western Digital 500GB MyBooks, one fire wire eSATA USB and one just USB. The MyBook with all the extra ports is also our digital photo storage since it has enough different ways to connect in case USB and Fire Wire are not available in the future. Anyway, I also added a 1TB Mybook to use with Time Machine. It backs up the mini (80GB) and all the USB drives attached we only have 400GB total I just spread it out across the two drives. All those MyBook USB Drives go to sleep when they are not being used., which also lowers power consumption a bit. I know, Apple recommends the Mac Mini not be left ON all the time, because it uses a laptop hard drive. If the Mac Mini pukes out, it is only $600 and some change, to quickly replace the it at the local Best Buy, or a hundred bucks and some change for some putty knives and a new hard drive to slowly fix it. With Time Machine, I no longer fear the loss of the server anymore. The whole thing is pretty simple to manage inside OX 10.5.6, I access the server via built in VNC, on those days that I have to check for updates or mess around. The file sharing is not fast, but is very stable. The weakness of OS 10.5 is the wireless, it seems to shut off even if the machine is on all the time, my solution was to connect the Mac Mini directly to the Air Port Extreme with an RJ45 connector (network cabling CAT5e) and now the system shares are always available. I am very happy with this setup.

My old Linux box has been unplugged and is about to be donated. I feel a bit greener too.

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