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July 26, 2012

Mountain Lion Installation Time Estimated Goes Negative

Last night I installed Apple's latest OS, Mountain Lion. The download went well but the install was a bit scary.

It started off at 34 minutes to install but then when it ticked down to the end of the progress bar, it started to get weird. It said -1, then -2 and it went as far as -19.

Here is a screen shot from -2.

mountain lion install estimated time negative

I've never seen this with an Apple update before. So when it went to -12 I called Apple. During that call, the rep said it is fine, it should work itself out. Then while I was on hold with Apple, at about -19, it jumped back and went to +20 and the progress bar went back to the middle.

The Apple rep said I was the first to call in with that issue. I tweeted it and Michael Gray had the same issue:

Now I am up and running. I do like the notification center but everything else seems fine, not necessarily snappier but maybe it needs time...

May 16, 2012

Time Machine Backup To Be Completed in 50,000 Days

I have a new backup drive, this one works over FireWire 800. I haven't use Time Machine in a while, and was eager to get that going again.

I started the backup and Apple told me it would take about 50,000 plus days to complete.

Here is a screen shot:

time-machine-backup-time.jpg

So in that case, when I am about 170 days old, in the year 2150 - my backup will be done!

Normally back ups show you time in hours and minutes. For some perspective, 50,000 days is 1,200,000 hours and 72,000,000 minutes.

Lucky me, the backup is now at about 15 days from now - which is still wrong. I might reboot it and see if it speeds things up.

February 6, 2012

Upgrade: Down To Two Monitors

apple-display.jpgOur creative director at RustyBrick, Mabe, needed new monitors - her old ones were losing their color. (Although for someone like me who is almost colorblind, I couldn't tell.) So we ordered her the latest new Apple Thunderbolt Display - the 27 inch piece of art.

It came in today and she tried to hook it up only to realize that her Mac doesn't support thunderbolt.

So instead I gave her my two Apple displays, one was the 24 inch with a mini-display port connection and the old 23 inch with a serial like connection. I took the new thunderbolt display.

I am adjusting to going from two full displays and a laptop display (3 total displays) to a full display and laptop display (2 total displays). There is a lot more screen real estate on the new one I am using, so it is working out better.

The best part is that I no longer have that flickering issue with the Apple displays which Apple has been trying to fix for almost a year. Now, since my laptop is thunderbolt and the display I am now using is thunderbolt, I no longer have that issue - which is awesome!

The cool thing about thunderbolt is I technically can daisy chain more of these monitors with my laptop. Whereas before, if I wanted more than one external display, I had to use a software/usb hack, which was awkward and slow. Now it would just work well. I have no plans on doing this any time soon, but good to know I can if I wanted to.

daisy-monitors.jpg

Woot!

October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

Apple has just announced that their founder and leader, Steve Jobs, has passed away.

This is the Apple home page right now:

click for full size

When you click on it, you see this:

click for full size

This is so sad.

March 16, 2011

MacBook With Apple Display Flickers & Blackouts Over Thunderbolt Port

Apple ThunderboltEarlier this month, I bought a new MacBook Pro, the one with the new thunderbolt port which is 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It also works with the Apple LED Cinema Display, which I have.

Or so they say.

For some reason, I and others with my configuration, are reporting in a Apple Help Forum that our displays flicker and go black every now and then for a second or two.

The flickering and blackouts happen initially a lot when you first plug in the display to the MacBook. Then over time, it slows down and towards the end of the day it either doesn't happen or I do not notice it anymore. But when I notice it, it is annoying.

As I said, there are others with my configuration reporting the same issue at the Apple Help Forum.

Apple Display

They have an Apple Display connected to their new MacBooks over the new Thunderbolt port. If you have this issue also, submit it via the Apple Bug Report form, cause as of now, no fix is in the works.

I certainly hope it is a software fix...

Here is a video of me capturing the issue twice:


March 4, 2011

Selling My Computer: On Craigslist

So I bought the new one and erased the old one and now I am selling it.

I posted it on craigstlist over here. We will see if I get any bites.

Spec:

I bought this MacBook late 2008 as new, still has Apple Care. It is Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008) 2.8GHz 4GB RAM 320GB SD. The Part number is Z0G00003K.

The Apple Care expires on November 14, 2011.

It runs well, I just wanted a new one. :)

Comes in original box, power cables, DVDs to install OS and apps, and manual.

Pics:

Selling MacBook Pro Selling MacBook Pro

Selling MacBook Pro Selling MacBook Pro

Selling MacBook Pro

Want it? Selling it for $1,400 - Cash. Details on craigstlist over here.

March 3, 2011

Erasing My Computer!

Erasing Computer

The picture above is a picture I took of my old computer via my iPhone. I am erasing the whole thing. I picked the 7 pass method, as per Wesley's suggestions, and it will take about an hour for each pass. So I am erasing the computer completely seven times, I guess.

I got my Thunderbolt MacBook Pro just about 40 hours ago, transferred everything over about 30 hours ago and have been using this new machine for about 24 hours.

No major issues and I don't think anything was lost in the transfer, so I am wiping the old one clean. I'll then bring it to the Apple Store to be fixed up a bit and then sell it on eBay or Craigs List.

Feels weird to erase all that data - although I have it on several backups. :)

Good bye old Mac.

March 2, 2011

Got New MacBook Pro With Thunderbolt

macbookIt is coming up on three years since my last new MacBook Pro, so when the new MacBook Pros were announced, I decided to get one. Especially since my current MacBook Pro's display is flickering. I have Apple Care, so I plan on fixing my old MacBook and then selling it on eBay.

Yesterday, I picked up the new MacBook Pro for a very good deal at a local place called Micro Center. I don't know how they did it, but the price was $200 less than anywhere else on the web and with sales tax being only 3.5%, I still saved about $150 from the lowest price on the Internet. Plus I got it within 3 hours of ordering it. :)

Last night I put my old MacBook Pro near my new one, plugged them in via Firewire and let it move all the data over. It stated it would take over 20 hours, but it actually ran for about 4 hours. I was up and running with little glitch, as of 11pm last night. Of course, things like Bluetooth and minor things don't work until you reinstall, but not a big deal.

Here are some pictures of the transfer and box:

New MacBook Pro

New MacBook Pro

New MacBook Pro

Is it better? Actually, yes, faster but feels and runs exactly the same as my old one, except for the display not flickring. :)

October 11, 2010

Apple To Fix My Display

Apple Genius BarAs some of you know, the inside of my Apple Display is bent somehow.

Yesterday, my wife, kid and I all went to the Apple Store (my kid's first time being in an Apple Store) to show the Apple Geniuses the issue. Yes, I scheduled an appointment before going.

The genius guy looked at it and saw the issue right away.

He went to the back and came back and said they had to order the parts to fix it, for free.

They ordered a single part, the part is part number 661-4822. It is the LCD Panel, with LED backlight. Honestly, that is the the whole display without the frame. I looked up that part number on a retail site and it costs more than what the monitor sold for. It costs $961 for just that piece.

Of course, this is not costing me anything, since the monitor is less than a year old.

I am glad Jimmy caught the defect, because I tend to not notice things like that.

Plus, I think I have a dead pixel some where.

October 8, 2010

My Apple Cinema Display Is Bending Internally

While I was away at the SMX East event, Jimmy was sitting at my desk using my stuff. He was there because construction was happening in our office expansion plans.

While he was using my computer, he noticed something that I never noticed... My new Apple Display was bending from within. I am not kidding. If you look at the right side of the monitor, it seems to be warping internally.

Here are pictures from an iPhone 4 and a Canon SD1000 camera:

First picture I mocked up and drew a straight line down, so you can see how it starts to warp...

Apple Display Warping

Apple Display Warping?

Apple Display Warping?

Apple Display Warping

Crazy? I'll see about my warranty on this display.

April 12, 2010

I Made A Web Site In iWeb

Made on a MacI made a web site using iWeb. You heard me, I made a web site using iWeb, Apple's web site maker software. But don't I own and run a web development shop - yea - I do. So why did I make a web site in iWeb? Because I can.

A few years ago, around when I got married, I purchased the domains ucitydentist.com and ucitydds.com. I bought them for my father-in-law, a dentist. Like most doctors, he was/is a bit technology-challenged, but I knew he was missing out on acquiring some new patients via Google.

When I gave my keynote at Market St. Louis, I decided to finally put up a web page. Yes, a single web page at his new web page, University City Dentist. He has been servicing the St. Louis area since 1973 (yea, he is old) and his office is in a location of St. Louis named U-City or University City.

The main reason I made the web site was not to have the web site rank for U City Dentist type of keywords but to enhance his new and verified Google Maps Place page. All he needs is some positive reviews, like he has at Yelp already and he should show up in Google for keyword searches relevant to his services.

This is a major step for my father-in-law, so if you do drop a review, be kind.

Oh, and no making fun of the University City Dentist web page. I did use the "Made on a Mac" button, so it doesn't get any cooler than that!

December 31, 2009

Two Apple Cinema Displays With My MacBook Pro

Two Apple Cinema Displays on MacBook Pro

The above image is a picture of my new set up. There are two Apple Cinema Displays, one is the new 24" display and the other is the old 23" inch display (not the really old one). Plus, my MacBook Pro's display all the way on the right.

Didn't I have three monitors running off my MacBook Pro already? Yes, but there was an issue. The Kensignton adapter I original purchased, did not support the resolution I wanted to go with a wide screen solution. But after reading Danny Sullivan's 4 monitor setup solution, I learned he did everything I did - minus use the Kensignton. Instead, he purchased the Diamond BVU195 and it was both fast and supported his maximum resolutions.

So the other night, I purchased the adapter via Amazon and with a nice money gift from someone in the industry (won't name names), I bought the new Apple Display. Today, both arrived and I set it up.

As you can see, on the far left, I have the new Apple Display. It is plugged directly to the MacBook via the mini DVI port. I then used the Diamond adapter to plug the old Apple Cinema Display into the USB port on my MacBook Pro (I decided to plug it directly into the Mac, as opposed to a USB hub). I then re-installed (I uninstalled it when I went back to my old setup) the latest DisplayLink Mac Beta software and restarted. Presto - I was set up.

I am in heaven!

I am not yet set on how I will arrange the screens. Right now, I have my main monitor on the left and then go to the right from there. I am not sure which software, web pages, etc will go on which screens yet - time will tell. But I have so much more space to work with now.

I am in heaven!

December 15, 2009

Israel Shoots Up MacBook

I'm sorry but we blew up your laptop (welcome to Israel) from Lily Sussman is a crazy story. In short, Israeli security was suspicious about this person and decided to not just interrogate the person, but also place these gun bullets in this person's MacBook.

Here is a picture from her blog:

bullets in mac

The story she tells on her blog is pretty nuts. I have heard some pretty serious stories, but this one really moved me. If someone touched my computer, let alone put three bullet holes in it, I might go nuts or faint or something. I am so paranoid about my data that I back it up three different ways, every day.

Even so, I am so paranoid about my computer that I would never leave it in my car. Yea, I rather my car get stolen than my laptop get stolen. I have it backed up, but going through the restore process and not being able to have instant access to my machine would be upsetting. Yea yea - be in the cloud... I am mostly, but still - I still am paranoid (who knows, maybe in a few years, I'd get over it).

I just remember when the Israeli Consulate seized my computer and iPhone, I felt helpless. I know some SEOs that had an incident in the past. ;)

Interestingly enough, this is not the first time I blogged about a MacBook with a bullet hole. I did so back with MacBook Pro Gets Shot But Still Working in February 2007.

October 20, 2009

Mighty Mouse Disappears : Magic

mighty-mouse-apple.jpgI was one of those people who owned Apple's Mighty Mouse. Ultimately, it drove me incredibly mad that I replaced it with an Logitech VX, until I upgraded the VX to the MX revolutions mouse, which I currently use today. The mighty mouse stunk, it was far from mighty and it needed a refresh bad from Apple - in fact, they should have given all mighty mouse owners a refund. The scroll wheel constantly got stuck and caused a ton of aggravation. The MX mouse from Logitech is a huge time saver for me - it probably saves me 30 minutes per day (compared to the Mighty Mouse).

Today, Apple announced the replacement (a few years later) named the Magic Mouse. Yea, thank goodness they made the apple.com/mightymouse disappear! The magic mouse looks pretty cool. It has the multi-touch features that I have grown to love, built right into it. Plus it looks incredibly sweet.

However, there is one big feature which I can not give up now. I need "quick keys" to open applications on my computer. I live on my Apple Dashboard and I get there using a programmable key on my Logitech mouse. If the Magic Mouse had that, it would make for a really nice alternative.

I have not tested the mouse, but since the scroll wheel is not a physical ball, I doubt it will get stuck like the mighty mouse did.

If you want to buy me a present, I wouldn't mind getting this (hint, hint) but I doubt I would change my mouse to this one. Although, it would be nice for a conference room mouse.

August 31, 2009

Inquisitor & Kensington Adapter Not Working With Snow Leopard

snow leopard issuesOn Friday afternoon, I installed Snow Leopard which I pre-ordered early last week. The install took about an hour to complete, including restarts and so on. The install went smoothly, so no complaints on that front. Overall, the applications that take advantage of the 64-bit support are much snappier, much. So overall, I am happy with the upgrade.

However, there are a few annoyances that would make me reconsider upgrading again.

(1) My most favorite browser plugin, Inquisitor no longer works, and will likely not work anytime soon. I use it all the time, I really didn't realize how much I use it, until it went missing. I used it to do quick advanced searches to find things on this site, other sites or to remove personalized search from Google or search Wolfram Alpha and so on. I miss it!!!

But as the creator of the tool said (which is now owned by Yahoo), Apple doesn't allow these plugins anymore, at least not on the 64-bit version of Safari 4.0. He tweeted, "apple no longer allows safari extensions, unless you run safari in 32-bit mode." Do I miss it that much to go back to 32-bit mode? I might just create a search page and use two clicks, instead of one, to get my advanced search feature going again.

But Apple, either allow us to customize the search box or let us use plugins, please.

(2) In late July, I purchased the Kensington Dual Monitor Adapter in order to get a third monitor working off my MacBook Pro and it worked. Since upgrading to Snow Leopard, that monitor no longer works.

I am still with two monitors, my Apple Cinema Display and the laptop's internal monitor, but not the third. I can probably get away with just two monitors, until Kensington gets it working. That is why this item is number two.

(3) The finder hangs up a bit and works after a few tries. I am not the only one with this kind of issue. We got one, two, three and four threads with the issue. The fourth shows a screen cast of the issue, so I don't have to.

August 24, 2009

Pre-Ordered Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Snow LeopardI just pre-ordered Snow Leopard from the Apple Store.

Snow Leopard is the next version of the Mac operating system, i.e. version 10.6. Apple is selling it for only $29, because it is not a complete overhaul of the OS, so they decided not to charge as much.

You can learn more about the update at http://www.apple.com/macosx/.

Features include:

  • Better, faster, easier
  • 64-bit Next-generation technologies
  • QuickTime X
  • Out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange
  • Safari 4 (already have that)
  • and more...

July 6, 2009

Replaced My 5 Year Old Apple Keyboard With Logitech diNovo Keyboard

I finally purchased a new keyboard, so my typing is a bit sloppy right now, until I get the hang of the new one. I was always reluctant to get a new keyboard because of the slight learning curve, but I know I will pick it up within a day or so. My old keyboard was at least five years old. Since I only buy laptops, my computers never come with keyboards, so I used a hand me down from a desktop my brother likely purchased several years ago. It was a solid keyboard, but it was pretty nasty. It was old, the keys began to stick and it was filled with my mess, including hair from pulling out my hair at work.

Here is a picture of the old one:

Old Apple Keyboard

Ready for a close up?

Hair In Old Apple Keyboard

I guess you weren't... Hair, food, who knows what. And yes, I do use the air cans to clean it, but it doesn't always get everything out, as you can see.

My new keyboard replaces both the armrest and the keyboard itself. It uses the same software as my awesome MC revolutions mouse, which literally saves me an hour a day. The keys I have on the mouse and keyboard make things slightly faster for me and since I use them all day, the minutes saved adds up quickly.

I purchased the diNovo Keyboard Mac Edition instead of the more expensive diNovo Edge, Mac Edition because I wanted the full size keypad. A rechargeable battery would have been nice, like the MX has, but I am told this keyboard works for 3 years if you turn it off at the end of the day. This one is also 2.4 GHz wireless and not Bluetooth wireless, which is fine with me, in fact, I did not need the wireless at all.

So far, so good with this keyboard. I like how the typing feels, it will just take some time to learn all the keys and configure the extras exactly how I like them. It also looks pretty, here is a picture of it on my desk:

New Logitech diNovo Keyboard

June 1, 2009

Matt Cutts May Switch to a Mac Within The Year

Matt Cutts of Google is one of the few bloggers I know well that is still on a PC. I think he uses an IBM Thinkpad. In any event, I submitted a question to him via Google Moderator, when everyone else was submitting SEO questions, I submitted an Apple fan boy question.

Here is his answer:

January 15, 2009

Get Well Steve Jobs! Sign the Get Well Card

Steve Jobs Get Well CardThe news about Steve Jobs announcement that he is taking 5 months off for health reasons is overwhelming. Just see Techmeme for a small collection of the stories on the news. We are calling it "news" but really, this is a person, who is ill.

Apple's stock took the news pretty bad, but I thought it would be worse. Currently AAPL is down about 5-6%. But again, this news is about a person who is ill.

So if you have time, why not sign the Get Well Steve Jobs card and/or participate in the audio card at TUAW.

I personally signed the get well card, my signage is above on the right.

I have learned that these little signs of you care, can have a big impact on recovery for some people.

December 15, 2008

Apple Replaced Old MacBook Pro With Brand New One

MacBook ProRemember I told you that Apple fixed my old MacBook Pro? Well, I lied - they just replaced all the guts, but that didn't fix it. Instead, the computer overheated quicker and shut down more often.

So, when we called to complain, Apple offered to replace it with a new MacBook Pro. Yea, not an old model, but the new model, the one I just purchased a couple months ago.

This Sunday, my brother went to the Apple Store, sat down at the Genius bar and an hour later, walked out with the low model of the MacBook Pro. That is the $1,999.00 model, the 2.4GhZ. I have a 2.8 GhZ, cause I upgraded the middle model to a more powerful beast.

But still, my old laptop had Apple Care for like $350. It got us a brand new one, 2.X years later. Not only that, they threw in a $25 iTunes gift card - cause it took so long at the Apple Store. Not a bad deal!

December 11, 2008

Wild External Monitor Bug With MacBook Pros

Monitor Bug With MacBook ProsI seem to be an Apple bug reported here... In any event, I wanted to document a weird issue I started noticing two days ago. When I connect my MacBook Pro to an external display, in my case the Apple Cinema Display 23", and then wake my computer up from a quick nap (sleep mode), it gets very upset with me and goes crazy. It isn't every time, it is randomly, so I had to do a few takes to get it on camera, but I captured it.

Now, this is also being documented in a long Apple Discussions thread, but I think I may be the first to take a video.

Watch in the video below, how upset my computer gets when I wake it up... In you don't want to watch the video, I captured a still frame from the video and put it up to the right of this post.

You can see a higher resolution version at YouTube, but you need to click on "Watch in higher quality" directly under the video on the right hand corner.

December 10, 2008

The Simpsons Mock Apple Loyalists

The Simpsons here is basically mocking Apple loyalists, which include me...Here is the portion of that segment about the Mapple store (about 3 minutes) from Hulu:

Hat tip, AllThingsD.

December 8, 2008

Apple Fixes My Old Laptop? Shifting Screen & Freezes

Weird Graphics Issue on MacBook ProAs you know, I got my new MacBook Pro and that means, my old one is was sent to Apple for repair.

The old one use to randomly just stop working, and freeze up. I think it was due to some type of over heating, but I never confirmed that. I know there were virtual screen cracking on both monitors, when I used it and that issue became more and more apparent as time went on.

So we sent the old MacBook to the Apple store and they were unable to fix it. So we called Apple Support and they understood our issue. They mailed us a box and we sent it to them on Friday. This morning, at about 9:30am, we received the laptop back - yea, they worked on it over the weekend and shipped it to us on Saturday. I assume they expedited it, cause I am an Apple ProCare member.

They really didn't say what the issue was, all they said was that they replaced the following parts:

630-7754 PBCA, 2.16GHZ, 256VRAME(M1-RP) MBP 15"
593-0290 CBL, TEMP SNSR, RT FINSTACK,M1
593-0233 CBL, TEMP SNSR, HEATPIPE,M1
603-7893 FAN ASSY,RT,M1
603-7892 FAN ASSY,LT,M1

Seems to me an issue with maybe over heating? HEATPIPE, FAN, TEMP, and then something with the motherboard maybe?

We will give the computer a major test this week to see if it is completely operational.

If so, it goes to my brother, and then my brother's goes to my nephew.

December 4, 2008

Macworld Writes About RustyBrick's Menorah App But...

macworldYou don't know how excited I was to see the iPhone Menorah that we built at RustyBrick, included in a review at Macworld named Review: iPhone holiday apps.

Heck, Macworld magazine is one of the few magazines I read offline. And to see one of our apps mentioned, well - it is really nice.

However, yes - there is a but... Our mention is only at the wayyyy bottom of the article in a short two liner under the title of "Not just Christmas." The author, Ben Boychuk, wrote:

I would be remiss to not make note of a handful of Hanukkah-related applications. In addition to Andrew Grant’s Hanukkah Holiday List app, LilBros and RustyBrick sell Menorah lighting applications.

Not only that, we did not even get the privilege of getting a true Macworld review, you know, the ones with those little mice, from one mouse to five little mice. How sad...

But overall, I am happy!

November 26, 2008

Loving MacBook's Multi-Touch Trackpad: Here is Why

I've been up and running on my new MacBook Pro for just under two weeks now. Let me tell you... I am loving the new multi-touch trackpad with the new gestures.

I use both a left click and right click feature. I am a huge user of the two finger scroll, it is incredibly useful and saves me a ton of time. I also use the three finger swipe for the back button on my browser. I am a huge web browser user and being able to scroll up and down the page and go back and forth, via the track pad, is a huge time saver. The zoom feature, to be honest, is annoying on the MacBook (useful on iPhone). I also rarely use the rotate feature.

Here is a video demonstrating how it works:

November 14, 2008

My New MacBook Pro

I finally got it! My MacBook Pro arrived at my office yesterday. Today, I am back from Vegas, so I was able to unbox it. Yes, I have been waiting for it since April and finally ordered it in mid October and only received it now, about a month later. Why did it take so long? Well, it was a custom order. Here is a slide show of the first part of unboxing.

I am now backing up my old machine on Time Machine and will try the Migration Assistant from a Time Machine backup, if that works.

It looks so sweet!

The biggest difference is the boxes. The big black box is from my MacBook Pro from 3 editions ago (so I have a new one, then the one I am migrating off of now, and I had one before this one): Look at the difference:

MacBook Pro Box New vs. Old

October 16, 2008

Pick Me Up a New MacBook Pro : Soon

MacBook ProI have been eagerly awaiting the new MacBook Pros for about six months now. Between running out of space and having some serious slowness issues, I am ready for a new and clean machine. So, as you know, the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros were announced Tuesday. I was offline until today for holidays and read all about the new laptops last night. I made the decision to get the new MacBook Pro.

Thing is, they are hard to find. All the 3rd party resellers (MacMall, Zone, ClubMac, etc) don't have them for at least ten days. Apple Stores seem to be sold out, at least here in St. Louis (where I am temporarily). I will call again after 12ish, to see if they got a new shipment in.

But I am ready for a new laptop, asap.

The differences don't seem all that much. But the difference between my laptop and the new one is night and day. So looking forward.

September 22, 2008

Turned Spotlight Indexing Back On

Apple Spotlight IndexingWhen I started having my email issues, one of the first things I did was manually turn off Apple's spotlight indexing.

To do that, open Terminal and use this command:

sudo mdutil -i off [harddrive]

Replace [harddrive] with your hard drive's location.

Now that is has been a few days, and Mail has stopped duplicating my IMAP folders, I decided to turn it back on.

sudo mdutil -i on [harddrive]

Spotlight is basically the tool you use to find files on your Mac. I rarely ever use it, because I am filing nut, but I do use it on some occasions. So why did I turn it back on?

I think it is required for Time Machine to work. So I decided to give it a try. After about an hour of running, (it fluctuates between 4 - 6 hours of indexing time remaining), I noticed it gobbled up about 750MB of space.

I'll keep watching it and kill it again, if it eats up more than 2GB of space.

August 18, 2008

Time Machine To The Rescue

My Mac has been crashing a ton. I think I figured out what is was. Ever since I began working on the Hebrew files, my Mac would freeze up, completely. I would have to do a hard reboot (I hate doing those).

This morning my Mac froze up, and when it came back on, all my Safari (browser) preferences, were gone. I had a lot of preferences in there, to have Safari work fast with me. :)

In any event, I decided to use Time Machine to restore my safari preferences, which is under /Library/Preferences and then Safari.plist.

I fired up Time Machine, went back a day in time and clicked in Safari.plist and then clicked restore. It asked me, are you sure you want to replace it, and I said yes.

Time Machine

All my preferences were back in a matter of seconds!

This was the first time I really used Time Machine to restore anything, since setting it up in January 2008. I did restore off using SuperDuper in the past.

August 8, 2008

iPhone Tehilim (Psalms) Application Submitted to Apple iTunes Store

iPhone TehilimUpdate: This is now available at the iTunes Store, more details can be found over here.

We just submitted the iPhone Tehilim (aka Psalms or תהילים) (Wikipedia definition) application to the iTunes store. Note, Apple needs to approve it. So if you want notification of when it is available, make sure to go to the iPhone Tehilim or Psalms page and give us your email address. Everyone will ask, how much? We are charging $0.99, so enjoy!

Here are some screen captures:

iPhone t
By Chapter

iPhone Tehilim
English & Hebrew

iPhone Tehilim
You can pick defaults, i.e. default view (by chapter, by day of month or by day of week) and select language (english, hebrew or both english and hebrew).

Now, I have something to do while waiting for the elevator in the morning and when I need it. ;-)

August 7, 2008

My iPhone App Did Not Get Prime "New" Feature Spot

iTunes New AppsNot to complain, but just to point something out... My app went live officially last night, on August 6th. But the application was actually approved on the 4th. So when the contracts were approved on the 6th, the application was marked as "Released" on August 4th.

Since it was officially posted to the iTunes App Store on the 6th, if you were watching "new releases," in the store in via the unofficial RSS feed, then you would not have know the iPhone Siddur went live. Why? Because my app was on page 7 or so when it was posted to the iTunes Store, not at the top of page 1. Why? Because it was officially approved on the 4th but not legally approved until the 6th.

We submitted the next release of the iPhone Siddur today. So when it is approved, it should make it to the top of the list. The new features can be found in the version history page, it will be worth the wait.

August 6, 2008

Apple Replies: "Normal Turnaround Time is 21 Days"



I just received an email from an Apple "iTunes Finance" representative in response to the ETA of contract approval. He said:

We are in the process of setting you up as a vendor in our financial systems globally (SAP) to accept the sales postings to your account. Due to volume, we can only setup about 2,500 per week in five regions. The normal turnaround time for this process is about 21 days, but we are trying to get this down to 10-14 days.

Unfortunately, it takes time to establish your retail presence in more than 70 countries, but I can assure you this is a one time wait. After your contract(s) are activated, the process becomes more automated.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

So does that mean, Apple is setting me up right now? "We are in the process of setting you up as a vendor." Or in general, your in the queue, and it takes "about 21 days." If it is 21 days, then that would be as long as August 14th (a week from tomorrow). That is, if that is not business days.

As you can see, the wait is killing me.

So from the wording in the email, you think sooner or later?



Apple, The Wait is Killing Me!!!

Still "Pending Contract"I have a tab open in my browser, I refresh it like a hundred times a day. The tab is the page that shows the status of the iPhone Application we submitted, the iPhone Siddur, Zmanim, Minyain app and soon to have "Luach" (Jewish calendar).

As you can see, we submitted it on July 25th. On August 1st, it was rejected for a feature being missing. We then resubmitted it, with a batch of new features. The application was then approved on the 4th, but it is still pending the legal team to approve my contracts.

Now the contracts are all digitally signed documents, with EFT for banking. It is mostly automated. But it seems like an Apple legal rep needs to manually review each before the account is allowed to sell apps on the Apple Store.

So now, we wait for Apple to give us legal approval. I keep refreshing the page, over and over again. Why? Cause we want to push this version out so we can release the next version, which is awesome!

If you know anyone at Apple, please see if they can expedite it for me. Please? :)

July 28, 2008

WAV File Voicemails Work in iPhone

The one thing I really hated about the email client in the iPhone was that it did not let you listen to WAV formatted attachments. So, my office voicemail system and home voicemail, which both emailed me my voicemails could only be heard on a computer or via calling into the voicemail.

With the new iPhone 2.0 OS, that has changed. I noticed this soon after I first got the iPhone but I decided to blog it now...

When I get a voicemail, it shows the attachment. I then click, download and once it downloads, I see the file below the email, like in this screen capture:

iPhone Supports Voicemail WAV Files
(Oh, that was Dice calling trying to sell me some programmers. Listing their phone number, I assume, is not a big deal. I am sure if you need coders or IT staff, calling that number will be welcomed.)

Now, click on the file and it will open up QuickTime audio/video player and play the voicemail via the speakers on the iPhone:

iPhone Supports Voicemail WAV Files

This feature alone is awesome!

Cleaning Up Texts For iPhone Siddur

iPhone Siddur iconUpdate: To be notified when the iPhone Siddur is available, please go here and fill out your email address in the box at the top right of the page. Friday afternoon, we launched version 1.0 of the iPhone Siddur. We did so, so we can get it out there and get it approved by Apple, so we can work now on cleaning things up and adding features.

My brother, in Israel, has been working on cleaning up the texts, to make them look more readable. He has been doing an awesome job. Here is a screen capture of Shemona Esrei (or the Amidah) within Mincha, after he cleaned it up.

Mincha Amidah on iPhone Siddur

We got the header color going, we got small text for certain text, we got small italics for instructional text, we shade the background of holiday/special texts that aren't used daily. This makes it much easier to read and follow. So we are almost done going through all the texts to make them all clean. We still have a few more on the Ashekenaz side and then the Sephardi to go. It just takes time to go through all of it. If you want to contribute to the texts and add more, do contact us and let us know.

We also will be working on more features, immediately:

  1. More zmanim including alos, tzais, earliest teffilin, and more...
  2. Add explanations (on click event) for the zmanim
  3. Add calendar feature to zmanim (so it just doesn't show today)
  4. Add ability to change your location (so it just isn't based on your GPS location)
  5. Add more texts
  6. Add a settings feature for the siddur, so it remembers if you are Ashkenazic or Sephardi.

So we will continue to develop the application out. We do hope Apple approves us quickly. In fact, I do not want to change the application (i.e. add these improvements) until Apple does approve version 1.0. Once they approve 1.0, we will release a 1.x version.

July 25, 2008

iPhone Siddur 1.0 Uploaded to iTunes Connect

Update: To be notified when the iPhone Siddur is available, please go here and fill out your email address in the box at the top right of the page.

We have uploaded the first release of the iPhone Siddur to the iTunes Connect system. As you can see in the screen shot below, Apple now needs to review it. When Apple approves it, it will then be available in the iTunes Store for download.

iPhone Siddur in Review of iTunes Connect

I told you it was coming, and now it is here. We were able to get most the weekday texts in, they do need some cleaning up. We have someone working to clean up all the texts over the weekend. We were able to get most prayer times, but we are still working on "Alos Hashachar" and "Tzais." We cannot get Mizrach (which way is east) working until the rumored iPhone 2.1 software comes out, which is expected very soon. So we will work on that also.

We got the barebones up, including:

(A) Texts - Prayers

  • Shacharis, Mincha, Maariv and Brachos
  • Both Ashkenaz and Sfarad

(B) Times - Zmanim
  • Location Lookup for long/lat
  • Sunrise
  • Latest Shema
  • Latest Tefilla
  • Chatoz
  • Mincha Gedola
  • Mincha Ketana
  • Plag HaMincha
  • Sunset

We tested all the times in our local area, so we hope it works well elsewhere. If it doesn't, I am sure we will hear about it. Here is the official iPhone Siddur page.

Very excited about this and can't wait to show you more. Here are some screen captures:

iPhone Siddur Application

iPhone Siddur Application

iPhone Siddur Application

July 24, 2008

I Might Be an Apple Fan Boy, But I Am Not Nuts!

T3 reports that Creative Coffins has created an iPhone coffin! Here is a picture:

iPhone Coffin

Okay, I am an Apple Fan boy, I admit it. But I am not this crazy to put myself in one of these when I die.

In fact, I don't think it is in accordance with Jewish law to be buried in one of these. In any event...

I guess people say, who cares what people say about you once you die. Or is it the opposite? ;-)

July 23, 2008

Preview of the iPhone Siddur Application

Update: To be notified when the iPhone Siddur is available, please go here and fill out your email address in the box at the top right of the page.

Update: We submitted this to Apple for review, more details at this page.

As promised, I wanted to give you a preview of the iPhone Siddur application. I got it running on my phone, to test it. The icon was designed by our design and looks like this:

Preview of iPhone Siddur

We need to make the "S" capital.

When you load it up by clicking on the icon, it defaults to the actual prayers. You can select the sect (only two right now):

Preview of iPhone Siddur

Clicking deeper will then give you the actual options, morning, afternoon, evening, generic brachot, etc and then this is what an actual text looks like:

Preview of iPhone Siddur

Yes, you can expand it by using the touch expand feature and you can change to landscape view.

That is all pretty standard stuff. The cool stuff I demo later, but here is a hint:

Preview of iPhone Siddur

Siddur is what I showed above. Clicking on "Zmanim" will automatically figure out your location using the GPS tools. It will then figure out the various times you are allowed to say the specific prayers (earliest tallis, earliest teffila, mincha, etc.), automatically. And the "Mizrach" option is basically a compass, it will tell you which way is Jerusalem, so you know which way you should pray. That will come in handy when I go to conferences and I have no idea which way to stand.

I'll be showing off more previews soon, I hope.

Oh, I have a few more features in mind - that I won't be telling you just yet. But they will make this application a must have for all Jewish orthodox iPhone users.

July 22, 2008

We're an iPhone Developer But...

iphone-dev-logo.pngUpdate: To be notified when the iPhone Siddur is available, please go here and fill out your email address in the box at the top right of the page. We, RustyBrick, is now an iPhone developer, and the first thing we plan on releasing is a Siddur with a lot of cool features. A siddur is a Jewish prayer book. It is mostly built, but we have a few neat feature we want to add. I'll blog about that when it is live.

But we are having an issue. The computer that is running the code is bugging out when we try to connect the iPhone to it to load the app directly on the test iPhones. We get an error that reads, "XCRemoteIPhone isBigBear" - yea, descriptive.

Here is a picture:

XCRemoteIPhone isBigBear Apple iPhone Developer

We are not the only ones with this exact error, another developer posted this issue at Apple's Discussion Forums. I hope we get a response soon.

In the mean time, we keep developing. This Siddur is going to seriously rock.

July 21, 2008

Almost Ran Out of Space on My Apple MacBook Pro

Hard Drive Packing - ErrThis weekend, I kept on getting warnings that my disk was almost full. The warning said I should delete files that I don't use, because it can seriously impact my computer's speed.

So, first thing I did was break out my external video drive and set up a symbolic link in iMovie. So now, I will be 100% running my videos off this drive. In the past, I just moved the "iMovie Events" to the external drive, but now I set up the "iMovie Projects" to be on the external drive. For that, I had to set up a symbolic link from my local folder to the external folder - the iMovie Event thing was drag and drop, this required some UNIX knowledge.

So I freed up 3GB that way. I then remembered that I don't use parallels anymore. And I remember that file took up over 7GB, so I moved the "winhd" file to the video drive, just to archive it and Now I have ~11GB of space available.

I keep pushing off getting a new laptop, this one is just about two years old. But it runs very slow, especially with all the videos I do. I hear new MacBooks are coming soon, so we will see. I really don't want to upgrade just yet, so I need a big excuse.

Saying Goodbye to My Original IPhone

My iPhoneToday is the day that I say goodbye to my original iPhone. I am shipping it out to my brother, who lives in Israel.

I had my original iPhone 376 days. I had my new iPhone for only 10 days. In fact, I got my old iPhone on July 11th and my new one on July 11th - just realized that now.

In any event, I don't think Israel is a supported country for the iPhone. So what he does with it there, is up to him.

I know people in Israel have the iPhone and use many of its features. I do hope Israel begins to support the iPhone officially, soon. I hope I can get AT&T at a normal data rate when I travel there sometime in January 2009 - for SMX Israel. ;-)

Goodbye original iPhone. I am sending you to a better place now and I am sure you will be treated well. ;-)

July 18, 2008

Just Kidding, Again: This Time AT&T

Ugh, AT&T Told Us they would be giving us free Wifi to all iPhone users. Well, that was a mistake.

AT&T mistakenly announces free Wi-Fi for iPhone users...again from News.com reports that they made a mistake.

But Wes Warnock, an AT&T spokesman, told CNET News that the notice was published in error.

"We have not made any announcement regarding free Wi-Fi and iPhone," he said in an e-mail. "The Web page was posted in error and is being removed."

Crazy thing, this is the second time they did this. And the second time I was fooled this week.

Free Wifi From AT&T For iPhone Users

iPhone Wifi FreeIt is about time! AT&T has thousands and thousands of wifi hotspots nationwide and they are finally opening up those networks for iPhone users, for free.

Free is relative. Yes, we pay AT&T for phone service, but I have been paying for a year without the free wifi. So now, we have free wifi, which should help if I am not in a 3G network and don't have my own wifi connection.

You can see AT&T's hotspots over here and this also includes all Starbucks locations.

July 15, 2008

I Told You So, Danny! You Apple Fanboy

Danny is an Apple Fan BoyDanny Sullivan, I am disappointed, disturbed and a bit ashamed to hear you had a change of heart.

Time and time again, both on the radio and via personal and private communication, Danny told me he would not be getting an iPhone. Not until it gets a keyboard and/or you can tether.

Danny, the iPhone can not do either of those things yet, I hear via Twitter, you will be getting an iPhone. And I quote:

dannysullivan heaven help me, i think i want an iphone of my own now. 04:15 PM July 14, 2008 from twhirl
dannysullivan @sugarrae i know! but with 3G, the phone seriously makes sense. and crash nitro cart. and twitterific is awesome. and safari's cool. and and 04:18 PM July 14, 2008 from twhirl in reply to sugarrae
dannysullivan verizon kindly offered to cut my termination fee in 1/2 to port over to at&t so nothing stands between me and my iphone tomorrow. cept stock about 1 hour ago from web

But this is the same Danny who said he won't be getting this phone. Why do I care so much? I don't - I just want to rub it in, because I told him I would when he gets one.

Honestly, I thought it would take at least 3 months to convince him. But 4 days! Only 4 days!

I told Danny, and I quote:

when u move, ur so getting an iphone

In reply, Danny said:

nope

I then replied:

i give u 6 months from when u move

I was so wrong! 6 months! This is 4 days!

So Danny, you are now the ultimate fan boy...

This post is just a joke, meant to *rub it in* as an "I told you so. I am sure Danny will pay me back some day. In reality, I am very happy he is getting an iPhone. It should make my life a bit easier, in terms of the blogging we do together.

Dropped Parallels For Remote Desktop Connection to Dell PC

Apple Remote Desktop Connection ClientI have been using Parallels since August 2006 on my MacBook Pro but time has come for me to trash it. Over the course of the years, Parallels has slowed my computer down tremendously.

I recently switched to a real PC. I bought a cheap Dell computer for maybe a couple hundred dollars more than the Parallels software. I stuck the computer behind my desk, plugged it into the network and then I leave it on. I then use the Apple Remote Desktop Connection Client to connect to the Dell.

This is so much faster then running Parallels. I can connect at work or at home, via the VPN. I can print, copy and paste between Mac and PC and always email documents back and forth. Just as my Mac (which is still less than two years old) gets older, Parallels slows down and it takes forever to do the tasks I need it to do.

Goodbye Parallels. :(

July 14, 2008

What Was That Song? Shazam for iPhone Tells You

Ever listen to a song and forget who sings it? Ever listen to a song and want to buy it but have no idea who sings it? Shazam will tell you. If you have an iPhone, just load up Shazam via the iTunes store and run it. Here is a YouTube demo of me playing Stevie Ray Vaugn's Little Wing and Shazam listening to it and giving me the artist's name, song name and where I can buy the song. Amazing:

Here is the output of Shazam, after it finds the song:
Shazam in Action

July 13, 2008

iPhones Sold Out at Palisades Mall Apple Store

Happened to be in the Palisades Mall, cause wife needed to return some stuff. So I paid a visit to the Apple Store to see this sign at the entrance.

Palisades Apple Store Sold Out of iPhones

I hear they get nightly shipments and most stores are sold out. So hopefully, those who didn't want to wait, will get one soon. I am in love with mine.

So check out local stores at apple.com/retail/, to check availability before going.

July 11, 2008

No Third Party Push Email with on iPhone Using MobileMe

MobileMe & Non-.me Accounts Wont PushDamn, I just learned from an Apple rep that the only push email available is at a me.com or .mac address!

Here is the chat transcript:

You are chatting with Craig, a MobileMe Support Representative
Hi, my name is Craig. Welcome to Apple!
Barry Schwartz: I have the new iPhone 3G 2.0, I am on MacBook Pro with latest OS updates, I use Apple Mail, I also have mobileme and I am syncing contacts, bookmarks and calendars just fine. But can I also sync and push my gmail account?
Barry Schwartz: hi btw
Craig: Hi Barry, how are you?
Barry Schwartz: good
Craig: Give me just a moment to take a look at your request, please.
Barry Schwartz: k
Craig: Thank you.
Craig: I do know that Gmail offers Push and IMAP email access, but you will have to contact Gmail for that issue. Unfortunately, I can't provide support or directions for third party email accounts.
Barry Schwartz: on the iphone i mean, right now when i add a calendar event, it automatically is pushed to my iphone
Barry Schwartz: your saying, mobileme won't support push email for gmail accounts?
Craig: Hold please.
Craig: I'm taking a look for this information. I'm not sure and don't want to give you an incorrect answer.
Craig: Thanks for your patience.
Barry Schwartz: no problem,
Craig: Thanks.
Craig: I'm sorry for the delay. Thanks for holding. I'm still looking.
Barry Schwartz: no rush
Craig: I appreciate your understanding.
Craig: Barry, it looks like this won't be possible through MobileMe. If Gmail support Push email, you'll have to contact Gmail about setting it up with your iPhone. We only support push email through @me.com or @mac.com email addresses.
Craig: You can also consult with iPhone support through AppleCare at 1-800-APL-CARE.
Barry Schwartz: thanks
Craig: You are very welcome, Barry. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Barry Schwartz: that is all
Barry Schwartz: good day

iPhone Can Now Take Screen Shots

One thing I always wanted for my iPhone, was the ability to take a screen shot of the application I am using. Why? Cause I do a lot of demos of search apps and social media apps and taking pictures with a camera is just not as good.

Now You Can! How? Hold down the home button and then press the power button at the top of the iPhone.

The iPhone will flash, like a camera, and place the image in the Photo's Camera Roll folder. Then you sync it to your computer or MobileMe or where-ever and you can include that screen shot anywhere.

Here is a video demo of it in action:

Here is a screen shot of this blog using this method:

iPhone Screen Shots

Gyutae from Winning The Web informed me of a recent MacWorld article named Taking screen shots with iPhone 2.0 - that is where I got this from.

Got My iPhone 3G

I got my iPhone 3G. I got the black 16GB version. Everything is pretty much set up minus some MobileMe things that are having issues.

Here is me walking into the store:

Here is me playing Super Ball on my iPhone:

In Line At Apple Store at Tice's Corner

I am currently on line at the Apple Store at Tice's Corner, waiting for the iPhone 3G. I stopped by last night at 8pm and noticed only one person was waiting. In any event, I got here at about 4:30am on Friday morning and I am about number 20 in line.


Here is a picture:
Waiting on Line at Apple Store Tice's Corner, NJ

If you are in the area, stop by. :)

Only got 2 hours, 47 minutes, 27 seconds left until the store opens!

More pictures at 2 hours, 30 minutes, 24 seconds to 8am:

iPhone Line at Tice's Corner

iPhone Line at Tice's Corner

1 hour, 22 minutes, 20 seconds until iPhone, the line behind me:

iPhone Line

July 10, 2008

Scoping Out Apple Store Night Before

Slight change of plans... I am switching stores and going to a different one. About an hour ago, 8pm (EST), I drove by the store to see what is going on. There was only one person waiting and I know he has been waiting there since 5pm. So I plan on hitting this store at about 5ish in the morning.

Here is a picture:

Scooping Out iPhone 3G Line

You can kind of make out the guys head behind the shrubs.

So the count down continues...

July 8, 2008

Rules of Line Waiting? More Prep for iPhone 3G

So, I just got an email from Apple, confirming the rumors that the Apple stores will also start accepting orders for the iPhone 3G at 8am on July 11th.

Apple iPhone Sale 8am July 11

So, I am still up in the air on sleeping over at the mall or just going to the mall really early on Friday morning. I honestly do not want to sleep over, really. In any event, either way, I am expecting to wait in a line. And part of planning for iPhone day, is what to expect.

So I know that I will wait in a line, I also what to expect once I do get to a sales rep. Just go see apple.com/retail/iphone and you will see 8am, is when sales begin and credit card, social security number, valid government-issued photo ID and my current wireless account number and password.

But questions I have is what is the proper line waiting rules? If you need to use the bathroom, I assume your place is saved? What about getting a bite to eat? Does anyone know the rules for line waiting?

July 2, 2008

Planning For iPhone Day

I am really working myself up about getting the iPhone on July 11th at 8am.

I called the mall to find out if they are open 24/7 and they are. So now I need to decide if I dare sleep in the mall or just get there extremely early.

The mall does have both an Apple Store and AT&T store. I prefer to go to the Apple store, cause that is part of the whole experience. So that will be my first choice. The Apple Store is F1 (labeled with the green bow), the AT&T store is H1. They are both on the same level, each about 5 minutes from each other.

Palisades Center Mall Floor Plan

I'll have my computer and wireless broadband card with me. So I will do my morning blogging from the mall. I will also provide cover the iPhone day event from the Palisades Center Mall.

I still have several decisions to make:

(1) Sleep over?
(2) If not sleeping over, what time to I get to the Apple Store?
(3) If Apple Store is a zoo, do I take the risk of trying the AT&T store and lose my spot at the Apple Store?
(4) If it is a long wait, do I pack food?
(5) Do I get the 8GB or 16GB version? White or black? (probably black).

July 1, 2008

iPhone Goes on Sale at 8am, July 11th

AT&T released a press release stating that the iPhone will technically go on sale at 8am at AT&T stores.

AT&T Inc. today announced iPhone 3G pricing for new and existing AT&T customers, several attractive voice and data plans, and tips on how to be "iReady" when iPhone 3G goes on sale at AT&T retail stores at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, July 11.

Yea, that is 8am local time.

So I just emailed the guy I had a meeting with on July 11th to postpone. Hope he is cool with that.

As of right now, I will be a line waiter, waiting for the iPhone, on July 11th.

If you want to wait with me, please do let me know.

Update: Meeting officially postponed!

June 24, 2008

Oops, Scheduled Meeting for July 11th - iPhone Day

The iPhone is available for purchase on July 11th. I was strongly considering waiting on line that day. Today, I realized I accidently scheduled a meeting for that day.

I just heard rumors today that they go on sale at 8am, local time. This comes via Boy Genius, who has the rumor. But 8am make sense, being that you have to activate the phone in the store.

So, I'll likely move the meeting to a different date.

June 11, 2008

I Don't Like Sharing My Gadgets

flickrWhen it comes to sharing my gadgets, I am a bit of a germy. I just don't like people touching my laptop, my iPhone or any of my gadgets. I am very possessive about them and I admit, it is a bit selfish.

Why don't I like sharing my gadgets?

(1) I am very protective over them, very (see my cartoon above, it has my bag, I always have my bag of stuff with me).
(2) Fear of breaking it
(3) Fear of losing it
(4) My life is on my gadgets
(5) I need to always be able to use my gadgets at any time, even if I won't need it a 100%

Last week or so, I found a study that shows I am not alone. Spotted via Science Blogs reports that Mac users are way more possessive then PC users. Yes, I am a Mac user and I guess I fit in that group.

The poll found "there's a dramatic and statistically significant difference between how much PC and Mac users let friends try out their new devices."

So TUAW posted their own poll:

How willing are you to let others use your new gadget?

  • They must not touch said 389 Mac users (12.3%)
  • They can hold it, but not press any buttons said 159 Mac users (5.0%)
  • They can try it out for a few minutes while I supervise said 2166 Mac users (68.5%)
  • They can try it out for up to an hour, unsupervised said 362 Mac users (11.4%)
  • They can borrow it for a couple days said 65 Mac users (2.1%)
  • They can have it -- I didn't really want it anyway said 20 Mac users (0.6%)

I replied "They can hold it, but not press any buttons."

May 29, 2008

Syncing My Contacts from Apple's AddressBook To Google's Email

Google Contacts Apple SyncNot sure if I told all of you, but I made the plunge and switched not only my corporate email to Google Apps, but all my clients (several hundred) email accounts to Google Apps. In fact, via Slashdot, DreamHost who hosts 700,000 web sites, is encouraging their customers to switch email from them to Google Apps. Honestly, I switched for the same reason I switched off PHPAdsNew to Google Ad Manager. I don't have to patch for security, I have no server load for hosting it, the data is up in a cloud, I don't have to worry when there are issues and it has awesome features. So, I switched. Kind of scary.

Now, back to my contacts. I use Apple's Address Book application for managing my contacts. Of course, it syncs with my iPhone. But I also wanted that data in a cloud, just in case I need to access it when I don't have my phone or computer (yes, extremely rare for that to ever happen). In addition, it is backed up in a cloud (yes, I am obsessive about running backups with my computer, but still...). I was waiting on SpanningSync to come out with their tool to sync my address book to Google Apps, but last night, Apple released OS version 10.5.3, it came with support to sync your address book to Gmail (Google Apps).

I followed the instructions at the Google Mac Blog and I was set. Oh, if you are not an iPhone user, Lifehacker has a hack to enable you to sync your stuff to Gmail. I am not sure why it was restricted to iPhone users only but it is, without this hack.

Schedule wise, I do sync some of my calendars to Google Calendar, but not all. I might begin syncing my full calendar to Google Calendar, so I can easily share it with everyone in my office.

I can't believe I am giving over virtually all my data to Google. But in exchange for the convenience, piece of mind and ease-of-use, I couldn't resist. Good job Google!

May 21, 2008

Who Will Wait In Line With Me for New iPhone?

LinesSo it really looks like the 3G iPhone will be released and available as soon as June 15th.

I know I can hirea professional line waiter but I honestly want to totally geek-it-out and wait on line, myself.

So, if you want an iPhone or just want to hang out online at an Apple Store with me, let me know...

So, if the iPhone is for sale starting on Sunday, June 15th. The Apple Store near me is the Apple Store Palisades in West Nyack, NY. Typically, the Apple Store opens at 11am on Sundays. If it opens earlier for the iPhone rush, that is cool - if not, then I would get there as soon as the mall opens to wait on line there. Anyone want to wait with me? :)

I am not sure why I want to wait on line for it, but I do... Last time, when I bought the iPhone, I waited three weeks until after it was released and then gave it to temptation. Now, I can't wait. In fact, I heard 1 in 4 iPhone owners will buy a new iPhone, not sure where I heard that, so don't quote me.

Tick, tock, tick, tock....

May 12, 2008

My Screen Virtually Cracks: MacBook Pro & Cinema Display Issues or Graphics Card

Every now and then, but typically daily, my monitor looks like it is going to break in half. It only happens when I have my laptop hooked up to my Apple Cinema Display. But I don't think it is a hardware issue. I am convinced it is a graphics card issue, associated with a software OS update.

When I use programs and they overlap, and my computer runs slow. Sometimes the windows skid on each other causing parts of the screen to look like they are tearing apart, or sometimes even a white TV screen fuzz look. Here is a picture of the weirdness:

Weird Graphics Issue on MacBook Pro

Honestly, it doesn't bother me that much. It goes away as soon as I move another window on top of it.

May 7, 2008

3G iPhone Coming June 15th?

iPhoneIf so, I am so on that. Yes, The Boy Genius Report has an internal email to AT&T employees that implies that Apple will be releasing the 3G iPhone on June 15th.

In short, the emails tells AT&T employees to not take vacation between June 15th and July 12th in anticipation for "an exciting product launch." Everyone and his dog are buzzing that this "exciting product launch" has to do with the 3G iPhone coming out.

Will I get it? I certainly will, unless something comes up where I can't. I did buy my iPhone on July 11th, so it would be just under a year from when I first got it. It honestly feels like I got my iPhone a few months ago, but not, it has almost been a year. I've written about the iPhone dozens and dozens of times. I honestly have no regrets in the iPhone purchase. I will also likely be one of the first to order the 3G iPhone, pending on my schedule of availability.

Note, the Apple Developer Conference ends on June 13th, two days prior to the June 15th announcement. Now, I fully expect the SDK to go live then, but everyone else thinks it will also be the 3G iPhone.

April 2, 2008

Funny Mac "Switcher"- "Oh, Yea!"

I found this to be hysterical. Someone unboxing his Apple MacBook for the first time. Watch this video (it may not be appropriate for children). :)

Via Valleywag.

March 28, 2008

Quickly Open New Tab in Safari

Spotted via MacWorld, you can open a new tab in Safari 3.1 by simply double clicking in an open space in the Safari window. Let me demonstrate:

Safari New Tab

See the arrow in my picture of the open space near a tab? Double click and you got a new tab. So if you are out of a keyboard, then that is how to do it.

I was hoping for this feature for a while. I know saft plugin did it, but I didn't want to add saft to Safari.

March 25, 2008

Mac & Virus Software: Not Needed Says Security Expert

mac & virusesShould Mac Users Run Antivirus Software? by security expert, Rich Mogull at Tidbits.com basically says, if you got a Mac, no need for virus software at this point.

I'll blockquote his conclusion:

In short, at this point in time, I don't recommend desktop antivirus for the average Mac user. You only need to deploy it if you engage in risky behavior, need to protect friends on Windows, or comply with corporate policies. It's quite probable this will change in time, so it makes sense to take some reasonable precautions today and stay aware of the world around you. Better yet, let's continue to pressure Apple for stronger security so we can completely avoid resource leaching desktop antivirus in the long term.

Are Apple machines immune? No way! The deal is, there are hundreds of thousands of viruses designed for Windows operating systems, but "less than 200 are known to target the Mac," said Rich Mogull. So, yes, it is possible you get hit by one of the 200, but at this point, it is not very likely.

Just be a savvy Internet user and hopefully you can avoid viruses.

Oh, if you run Windows on your Mac, yes, you need anti-virus software for the Windows portion.

March 7, 2008

First Video with Real iMovie Effort

I trust the content in my videos are fairly okay but I never really put in any detail into the movie part. I think I bore people when they watch, so this time I put in about an hour of time to adding captions, pictures, screen captures, music and other tidbits - besides for me speaking.

So here is the latest Weekly Search Buzz Roundup video:

Would seriously love your feedback on ways to improve it. Things I got so far include:

- Your head looks like it's getting cut off
- Make sure not to right align the text in the captions (YouTube logo cuts it off)
- Move picture behind me
- Move more (hard to do with built in iSight so maybe ill get a video camera)

That is what I got so far...

Google Reader for iPhone Error?

Since last night, I keep getting the "invalid stream name" when I visit Google Reader on my iPhone. Going directly to Google Reader works fine, it is when I click on the "Tags" tab, when I get this error. I closed it out and tried again, but still doesn't work. Here is a screen shot:

Google Reader iPhone Issue

Matt Cutts, did you notice this as well? I am a huge Google Reader mobile user and this is painful. I don't see anything reported on Google Groups yet, so I posted my own.

March 6, 2008

iPhone SDK Seems Solid: So Solid, I'll Build an iPhone App

iPhone SDKSo today, Apple held their iPhone developer thing...

I watched several blogs live blog the event, but for you, I think Engadget does a great job if you are just catching up now (they use the oldest to newest format, so it reads the right way for you guys not watching live.

In short, the SDK seems to rock. Rock so much that if you have an idea for a cool iPhone application, let me know and I will try to build it.

So leave your suggestions for the iPhone application you think would be cool and we may just build it for you.

Some ideas I had include:

- Prayer book for Jews (current one I use only works when you are online)
- QuickBooks application to look up customer balances, invoices, etc.

Any other thoughts? It is hard for me to think of desktop based applications. I am more about web based apps...

More info can be found at iPhone Developer Connection and iPhone Enterprise (which I didn't mention here).

iTunes Movie Rentals: We Need More Selection!

iTunes Movie RentalsApple, I know your not listening, cause I know you want to offer as many movies as possible, but hurry it up.

I fly to Yahoo next week, and I wanted to rent a movie for the trip there (I am preparing for a bad movie selection offered by Continental). So I went into iTunes, and sorted the Movie Rentals category by new releases. I counted 19 movies released in the year of 2007 and 2008.

19 movies. I don't want to watch cartoons, so that eliminates about 7 movies. Down to 12. Now I already flew twice, and watched three movies - down to 9 movies. I don't want to watch something that I might watch with my wife.

So I downloaded "War."

I have no movie for the way back, but that is a good thing - I hope to sleep on the red eye.

Apple, need more movies fast!

March 5, 2008

For Hard Core Apple Fans : iWipe

iWipeNow that more and more people are buying Macs, there are more and more hard core Apple fans.

Now, if you are extremely hard core, you might create an iWipe out of an old Mac.

Give an old Mac new life by turning it into an iWipe from Shawn Morton demonstrates how you can build an iWipe out of an Macintosh SE case and about $15.

The perfect bathroom accessory.

Hat tip goes to bro-in-law.

March 3, 2008

iPhone Stop Watch Hits 1,000 Hours & Keeps Ticking

I love this. These kids document what happens when the iPhone stop watch goes beyond 1,000 hours. They kept it going for 1,000 hours! And I thought I was geeky, these kids rule.

Watch it, watch it and then keep watching it. Shall we try 10,000 hours?

Apple Macs Are Everywhere!

apple logoIf there was one non-search trend I saw at the SMX West conference it would have to be Apple Macs. It seemed like almost everyone had Apple MacBooks or Powerbooks at the event.

I remember the days when I was doing live blogging in 2003 and I was like the only one with a Mac. In fact, the paid wireless didn't even work on my Mac cause it wasn't supported. Those days are long over. It really seemed like the majority of those in the conference were using Macs.

The Search Engine Land team had a meeting and three of the six of us had MacBooks on the table. Vanessa Fox, Rob Kerry and myself all had Macs. Tamar just purchased a 17" MacBook Pro. Danny Sullivan just told me he caved and purchased a MacBook Pro. What has the world come to?!

Heck, even Louis Monier (the man behind Alta Vista) took out his iPhone during his keynote at SMX.

Now, get this. Last night, my brother-in-law called me to tell me he is also going to cave. He said he is going to buy a 17" MacBook Pro tomorrow (today), fully loaded. He plans on doing the dual boot and run Windows mostly and mess with Mac OS X for fun. It won't be long until he switched to Mac as the primary, imo.

My main concern -- are you guys all really ready? ;-)

If you need any support, you know who to call... Not me, by Apple Care ;-).

I am afraid I can't say, "Buy a Mac" anymore when people have computer issues. Now they will buy a mac and call me for help!

Update: Danny blogged about hell freezing over just a few minutes ago.

February 20, 2008

The Dreaded Kernel Panic on Mac OS X

Apple's Mac OS X operating system is a flavor of Linux. So us Mac users have the privilege of rarely experiencing what are called "kernel panics." A kernel panic is as described by Apple "a type of error that occurs when the core (kernel) of an operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly."

Yesterday, I received my new external travel hard drive to solve my SuperDuper backup issue. I plugged it in and my screen was hit with this huge message:

Kernel Panic

Tip to Apple. First time I saw this, I almost fainted - well maybe not but... Imagine this message coming on your screen by the screen slowly being overwritten from top down with this message. At first, it looks like someone is hacking your computer. But this is the Apple kernel panic warning.

Apple users get this message in a couple situations:

  1. The operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly.
  2. The operating system is not able to recover from a different type of error.
  3. Damaged or incompatible software or, more rarely, damaged or incompatible hardware was detected by the OS.

I guess the way the "Western Digital Passport 160GB USB 2.0 Portable 2.5" External Hard Drive - WDXMS1600TN" was formatted, when I plugged it in, I got this message. Thing is Western Digital says the hard drive is Mac OS X compatible. So I restarted with the hard drive plugged in and then used Disk Utility to reformat it to the Mac format. Everything was smooth sailing after that.

I ran the first back up last night on the drive. It took about 3 hours and 20 minutes to make the bootable copy. From now on, I suspect it will only take 30 minutes or so to do copies. SuperDuper has this "SmartUpdate" feature that makes complete bootable copies by just updating the changes. Saves me about 3 hours.

I will give the SmartUpdate a try tonight.

I am so glad to have two backup solutions, in two different locations, doing two different solutions. Time Machine does incremental backups and SuperDuper does mirrored bootable copies.

February 13, 2008

SuperDuper Is Leopard Compatible Finally! But...

SuperDuperWhile I was in Israel, SuperDuper announced the release of their Leopard compatible backup solution.

I have been obsessively awaiting the release of this backup solution for a long long time. Yes, I do have use Time Machine to backup but Time Machine is not a bootable copy (or exact clone), it is great for restoring files but not for when a hard drive crashes and you need to get going on a new bootable version.

I have been using SuperDuper as a backup program since August 2006. I am so glad it is back.

I ran my first update Sunday, a full backup. It worked well. But now when I try running the "Smart Update" feature that only copies changes, it tells me that I have run out of space. My Super Duper hard drive is the same exact size as my Mac hard drive. If it is a clone, it should not run out of space. I am not sure what is up with that, especially since I have about 15GB of space on my Mac hard drive.

I may just have to buy a larger hard drive, something I am not looking forward to doing. But I will do it, if that is the only solution.

January 30, 2008

Macbook Air Song By Israeli Yael Naim

Something I didn't know until now. But now, I go... Oh, I hear the Israeli accent a bit....

This MacBook Air commercial:

Has a song by an Israeli artist named Yael Naim:

Now, do you hear the Israeli accent? A little?

January 29, 2008

Office 2008 Changes My Safari Fonts?

I told you I ordered Office 2008, well - yesterday afternoon I installed it. After the install, Safari, my browser, starting displaying weird fonts and characters. So I rebooted and everything seemed fine.

Well, not everything...

The fonts for the post titles at Search Engine Land seemed to have become more of a rounded font from what I remember seeing. I just wish I had a picture of how the fonts looked at Search Engine Land before installing Office 2008. But I don't.

Here is what it looks like now:

SELand Font

Much more rounded then I remember.

Outside of that. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint were both tested and seem to work fine. Excel does also.

January 24, 2008

Ordered Office 2008 for Mac: Word & Excel

Mac Office 2008I recently ordered Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. I should be getting it early next week. I will be using two of the five applications on there. And I will be using only one of those applications daily.

I use Word every day for proofing some things and reading Word attachments. Word is still a really powerful application. Of course, nothing comes close to Excel - so that is a must have. I hear 2008 has no issue with those .docx files, so that is a good thing.

I no longer use Entourage, the email program that comes with 2008. I also recently stopped using PowerPoint, and I am now using Apple Keynote for my presentations. It exports to everything, but when you export to certain formats, it loses some of the special effects. So for my Israel presentation, if I have problems connecting my Mac to the system at the university, I will have a fully functional QuickTime version as a backup. The QuickTime version runs perfectly and should run on 90% of PCs.

In any event, I should be getting Office 2008 on Monday. Looking forward to testing it out. Leopard compatible, so it should speed up Word and Excel. I hope!

January 21, 2008

iPhone Now With 75,000 Text Messages

iPhone SMS Messages Almost Full!Remember how upset I was that I was about to reach my iPhone text limit of 1,000 text messages? I actually had to delete a bunch of those text messages, and they are now forever gone.

Then the Missing Sync for iPhone came out, and enabled me to save all my text messages to my computer. This way, I can delete stuff from my iPhone and still have it on my desktop. Great!

Now, with the latest iPhone update, 1.1.3, Apple has allowed up to 75,000 text messages to be stored on your iPhone. That is 74,000 more than we had with version 1.1.2. I wonder how long it will take me to fill that up. :)

January 18, 2008

Israel Trip is Soon: More iPhone Usage Thoughts

I keep talking about taking my iPhone to Israel.

On one hand, I want to be able to check emails throughout the day when I am roaming the streets and doing tourist-like things. On the other hand, I don't want to be hit with a huge bill when I get home. Since AT&T has yet to support an international plan designed for Israel and the iPhone (they have for the Treo and Israel), I don't plan on making calls from my phone or using data.

But what about the wifi option? Can I get away with using just that?

The iPhone Tips for International Roamers describes how you can use Wifi to get data on your iPhone while traveling internationally. But what scares me is the language is not very encouraging...

When I go ahead and look at Keep Data Roaming "OFF" section under Settings > General > Network > Data Roaming, it reads:

When abroad, turning off data roaming may avoid roaming charges when using email, web browsing, and other data services.

The word "may" is what concerns me. Here is a picture:

iPhone Keep Data Roaming "OFF"

If I was in Israel today, I bet I would follow the instructions, and try to just use Wifi only and make sure the data roaming is off. But I know I would check my AT&T account the day after to see if I was being billed.

January 17, 2008

I Can Now Hook Up Two Monitors to Your MacBook Pro

Kingston sd200v Notebook Docking StationEvery single other workstation in my office has two displays, except for me. I do have a sweet 23" monitor, as you can see here, I have the Apple Cinema Display, but due to using a laptop, I was never able to easily hookup an additional monitor. Or at least, I don't think I can pop in a second video card in this laptop to hook up a second monitor.

Electronista reports that Kingston's sd200v Notebook Docking Station with Video now supports Macs. That means, technically, if I buy this for $130 and then get the Dual Monitor Adapter for a $100, I can then buy a second monitor for $1,000 or so and be like everyone else.

Yea, kind of steep in price and I doubt I will do that. But it is good to know I now can.

So, I am an AFF at Buy.com, which actually happens to have the product for $95 after rebates, plus new Google Checkout customers can get it for $10 less. Here is the product from Buy.com with my AFF:

Not a bad deal... Anyway, its good to know you can now do this...

January 16, 2008

How To Make Your Own iPhone WebClip Bookmark Icons

Yesterday, I showed you how to add bookmark icons on your iPhone's home screen. Today, I am going to show you how I added support for custom icons on Search Engine Roundtable and RustyBrick.

As per the iPhone Developer Center, it is very simple.

Step 1: Create custom icons that are 57x57 and save them as PNG files. They can be larger, but Apple will scale them for you.

Step 2: Rename the file to apple-touch-icon.png

Step 3: Upload them to your root directory on your server.

STOP - what if you don't have access to your root directory? Well, you can add a <link> element similar to <link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/customIcon.png"/> within the <head> element of the page.

Then you go to your site and follow my directions on how to add bookmark icons on your iPhone.

Here are the three I added:
Cartoon Barry Apple iPhone Icon Search Engine Roundtable Apple iPhone Icon RustyBrick Apple iPhone Icon

Here is what it looks like on my iPhone:

iPhone WebClip Bookmark Icons

Pretty slick, don't you think?

OK, I am obsessed this week with the iPhone - sorry.

January 15, 2008

Shaky iPhone Home Screen Icons

Along with the iPhone Google Maps Triangularization, there is this new feature that let's you customize your home screen.

You basically hold press down one of the icons for a second and then the icons or buttons on the screen begin to dance and shake. Here is a video...

Gotta love how those icons shake...

So I set up a new page on my iPhone home screen just for certain web bookmarks I use very often. In the past, I left about 5 bookmarked pages open in my iPhone's Safari tabs. I believe this solution may be a tad quicker. Here is that screen devoted to just web bookmarks, at least for now...

Customize iPhone Home Screen Icons

FYI, I got to give myself credit for taking such a great picture of my iPhone. Normally, these pictures come out all shaky and hard to read. I got so lucky with this one...

How Accurate is iPhone's Google Maps Triangularization?

I installed the latest iPhone update, which was released just a few hours ago. The first thing I tested out was the Triangularization technique for the iPhone to figure out your location and then plot it on Google Maps, within your iPhone.

This is a video of the first time I tried it:

Measuring from one side of the circle to the next, is about 1 mile long. Now, the pin, which represents my real location, is probably a few hundred off the center of the circle. But at the same time, I have horrible reception in my office with AT&T.

I tried it a second time and the pin was smack in the middle of the circle, which is what you want to see.

I know this feature will be useful when I am out and about and not in my car (i.e. without a GPS).

Update: I ran this at home and the radius was maybe 300 feet and the center of the circle was dead on!

Disappointed by MacWorld Keynote

Apple Time CapsuleWell, the Apple MacWorld Expo Keynote is now over. I am a bit disappointed with it.

Let's go through my predictions even thought I normally don't do predictions...

(1) The "Tablet MacBooks" I predicted is actually a MacBook Air. Although you can't touch the screen, the touch pad, is a "multi-touch." That means "you can pinch, swipe, or rotate to zoom in on text, advance through a photo album, or adjust an image." So it is somewhat tablet like, with that feature and it being extremely thin.

(2) Apple Cinema Displays with iSight's built in :: I was dead wrong

(3) Something with an iPhone (bigger space, maybe 3G?) :: They have a new software update out, 1.1.3. It pretty much covers the rumored version. It is free, unlike the iTouch update which is not.

(4) A Mac pet to walk around your house, call it the iApple or something (kidding)... I was joking about this...

They did come out with Time Capsule, Apple's answer to the lack of NAS support for Time Machine. So, you have to buy an Apple storage device to allow other Macs to back up on a single drive. The wireless is cool. They come in two versions, 500GB for $299.00 or 1TB for $499.00. I am happy with my solution and don't plan on buying Time Capsule. Cute name...

Live Coverage of MacWorld Expo On Twitter

TUAWIf you love Apple or even hate them, but want to get live coverage of the MacWorld Expo, where the keynote is happening today, you can get that via Twitter.

One of my favorite Mac blogs announced they will be providing live coverage of the event via Twitter. Their Twitter account is at TUAW, so just follow it and make sure you have a solid Twitter app to be on top of it.

The coverage should start at about 12 EST today.

My predictions or more of a wish list?
- Tablet MacBooks
- Apple Cinema Displays with iSight's built in
- Something with an iPhone (bigger space, maybe 3G?)
- A Mac pet to walk around your house, call it the iApple or something (kidding)

January 10, 2008

Time Machine Running With Western Digital My Book

Time MachineI try to be a nut when it comes to backing up my computer and office computers. My office computers are backed up on an NAS device, plus backed up off site on at least one other computer. Our production servers are backed up so often, in so many different ways, you would think I was a nut.

Personally, I use to back up my laptop a few times a week using SuperDuper. SuperDuper does a direct clone of my hard drive, onto an external hard drive. This way, if my hard drive blows up, I can theoretically pop in this other hard drive and get going from my last back up. The thing is, SuperDuper has not yet come out with a Leopard compatible version and it has been stressful to say the least.

So I finally took the plunge and bought a new hard drive so I can run Time Machine on my Leopard OS. Yesterday, I got the drive from Buy.com, a Western Digital My Book Essential 500GB version, and started the backup at about 2pm. It finished the 90GB backup at about 6:30pm. That was my first backup. Now every hour, when this hard drive is connected to my laptop (only when I am in my office), it backs up every hour. It stores hourly back ups for the past 24 hours, daily back ups for the past month and weekly backups until this drive is full. The UI is amazing for restoring lost or old files, simply amazing.

My hope is that when SuperDuper releases a Leopard compatible version, which I am excepting within a week or two, I will run both SuperDuper and Time Machine as backups.

SuperDuper will give me the bootable clone of my hard drive from my last run of that backup. Time Machine will give me the file by file capability to restore files historically. I think I will feel completely at peace once I run my first SuperDuper backup on Leopard.

January 7, 2008

I'm An Apple ProCare Member

Apple ProCare CardI feel like I joined this exclusive club for Mac geeks. I am now an Apple ProCare member.

Apple gave me this black card that looks like a credit card, almost like the black AMEX card. But it only costs $99.

What does it get me?
- It guarantees my computer to be fixed within 24 hours
- It got my computer fixed within 2 hours
- I guess because of the Next in Line, First on the Bench policy
- I get Yearly Tune Up that I will never use
- Backup Consultation that I will never use
- Advanced Reservations that I will rarely ever use

But I get cool status as being an Apple ProCare member!

My Apple MacBook Pro Keyboard Now Fixed

design_keyboardanim20070208.gifI dropped off my laptop with at Apple Store Friday at about 2pm, after getting it back Apple ProCare for $99, I would be guaranteed to have it within 24 hours. So, I signed up.

I came home and I received a call at about 4:15pm, ten minutes before I had to go offline for Shabbos, that the computer was fixed. I told them I would come by Saturday night to pick it up, since I was unable to make it there and back before Shabbos.

I am also very glad they did it before Shabbos actually started. I was hoping they would do it either before or after Shabbos, this way I know a Jewish person did not work for me on Shabbos... So I am relieved about that.

It was weird typing with the keyboard. S, tab, esc, X and cutting text, all worked. I was so not use to it working. Glad to have those keys back!

January 2, 2008

My MacBook Pro Keyboard Not Fixed - Errr

design_keyboardanim20070208.gifI am no back home, typing thi blog entry on my broken MacBook Pro keyboard. Apple hould of fied it by no, like I mentioned at MacBook Pro Keyboard Issues or did I?

Try to figure out hat I am riting, and hich key are broken from ho I type thi blog pot...

Anyay, I brought my laptop to the Apple tore after convincing one of the Geniue to replace the keyboard on my laptop the ame day. He aid, bring it in no and e ill fi it the ame day. o I brought it in and he did the paper ork and I aked. ill you be here hen it i fied. He aid no, he leave at 5pm. o I aid, are you ure it ill be fied. He promied me, it ould be fied by the end of the day, by 9:30.

By 7pm I a getting nervou. I decided to go back to the Apple tore, ince I had to make a return at Macy' for my ife. I made the return and then ent to the Apple tore on the 1t floor of the mall. I aked for an update on the tatu and the oman aid, you jut brought it in today - thee take a couple day. I then eplained that Keith promied me it ould be done today and one of the geniu guy confirmed hearing that. But it a already 8pm and they didn't have time to finih. o I decided to take my laptop back.

A you can ee, many key imply don't ork. It i incredibly frutrating, incredibly!

Tab key, ec key and the key that are miing in my glaring typo don't ork....

Can you gue hich key don't ork?

An eternal keyboard ork fine, o at ork I am fine. Jut hen I get home and type do I have problem. I.e. on the laptop keyboard.

Tomorro I'll call Keith and ak him hat he can do. I can't be aay from my laptop for a full day, I jut cant.

Good night folk and ih me luck!

iPhone SMS Limit Resolved with Missing Sync for iPhone

missing sync iphoneRemember my problem with maxing out my iPhone text messages limit? It was a huge bummer having to have to delete some of those text messages.

Well, I didn't delete them all and now I have a way of exporting those SMS messages to my Mac, through Missing Sync for iPhone. It not only gives me a way to back up all my text messages and SMS messages, it also allows me to quickly browse them on my Mac and even search for them. Not only that, I can also reply to SMS's via email, if I want to. More on that over here.

Included is also a way to organize and search iPhone notes and search call logs.

So now I can delete more SMS messages off my iPhone and not worry about them being gone forever.

FYI - this isn't a real sync, it just pulls data from the iPhone over to your Mac.

MacBook Pro Keyboard Issues

design_keyboardanim20070208.gifFor the past month or so, my MacBook Pro's keyword has been acting very funky. The S, W, X, 2, tab, esc and some other keys simply don't always work (they work sometimes but mostly not) when pressed.

Now this only happens when on the laptop's keyboard. It works fine when I use my external Apple keyboard at my office.

I cannot express how annoying it is to type without having those keys functioning. Guess how I am able to type those keys? I surf to a web site, and use the copy and paste function. So if I need an S, I find an S on a web site, highlight it, copy it, and then paste it into the place I need it. Very very very annoying.

At first I thought it was a bug related to Bug ID# 4333743 but Apple released a software update that was supposed to fix the issue. It did not fix my issue.

I called Apple today, and they recommended that I replace the keyboard. I said, I can't be without my computer for a week. So I called the local Apple store and they said they can replace it while I wait. I am not waiting for them to call me back with a time when they will have all the parts and man power on hand for this replacement to happen.

For some reason, I don't think it is a hardware issue. I have a feeling that they will replace the keyboard and it still won't work. I will keep you all updated, like you care.. ;-)

December 24, 2007

The Truth Behind my iPhone Popcorn & Goldfish

Remember my posts on the iPhone popcorn and goldfish on my iPhone? Remember those?

Well, it is time for me to come clean. I really can't make real popcorn on my iPhone. Nor are there any real goldfish swimming around in my iPhone. I am so sorry for lying to you all. I feel ashamed and I feel like I stole from you. So it is time for me to come clean!

These are all tricks. They come from a company named HotTrix. They are basically iPod movies you download to your iPhone and then play. Here is a video demonstrating how to play these videos after you download them to your iPhone.

Steve, the CEO of HotTrix emailed me asking me if I wanted to test more tricks. Why? Well, because my video has way more views than his video. Why do I have more views? A Google search on iphone popcorn returns my video at the top:

iPhone Popcorn Trick

He has many more tricks, so check them out at HotTrix today!

December 20, 2007

I Got a Goldfish for My iPhone

One of my best presents for the holiday season, a new goldfish. This goldfish lives on my iPhone. Take a look of it playing and eating:

December 19, 2007

Safari Feature: Pop Open Tab Into New Window

I was messing around with my browser and I accidently clicked on a tab and pulled it down. The tab opened in a new window. A neat feature, which is useful, that I discovered by accident. Here is how I pop open a tab in my Safari browser, into a new window:

December 12, 2007

TIME Magazine Calls iPhone #1 Gadget of 2007

Not much to say here, let TIME do the talking:

The iPhone changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform. The design is exceptional inside and out: It's got a slick glass-and-stainless steel case and an elegant touch screen loaded with eye candy. It's an iPod and a 2-megapixel camera. Images and video clips display vertically or horizontally — they reorient themselves depending on how you hold the thing. When the phone detects a wireless network within range — your own home wi-fi set up or somebody else's — it lets you tap once to connect, and then proceed with your Web surfing, Google mapping, emailing and other activities that can otherwise be painfully slow over AT&T's cellular network — the only one, unfortunately, that carries iPhone calls.

December 11, 2007

Classic MacWorld Bloopers

Gotta love these:

December 10, 2007

My iPhone SMS Message Limit is Almost Full

This past week, I started noticing this message pop up.

iPhone SMS Messages Almost Full!

"Your SMS mailbox is almost full. Please delete some messages."

So yesterday, I finally deleted some messages and then looked up the info at Apple.

Apple says you can have a max of 1,000 SMS messages. Doesn't seem like enough. I don't want to delete my SMS messages. In 5 months since I got my iPhone, I used about 1,000 SMS messages. I guess Apple is afraid someone might fill up their 8GBs with text messages?

There is a large thread at Mac Rumors about this and how many people are upset. There is a hack to download your SMS messages, but I'm not going to use that. This is a bit upsetting, to say the least.

November 27, 2007

Apple MacBook Power Button Earrings

Apple Power Button EarringsI was thinking up the best present for my wife this Chanukah and then I saw these puppies.

Silver post PowerBook earrings reported by Tuaw. You can buy them at 925Works.com and they come in earrings, as shown above or bracelets, or Cuff Links.

Now that is style!

Pretty sweet.

November 21, 2007

Upgraded to Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac

parallelsWell, I have finally taken the plunge to upgrade my Parallels Desktop for Mac from 2.x to 3.x yesterday. I have been using Parallels 2.x since August 22nd of this year. It worked wonderfully and that is why I did not upgrade.

But since upgrading to leopard, Parallels 2.0 had an issue. The "pause" feature stopped working, but luckily the stop and start worked, so I continued to use that. I figured, let me give 3.x a try, it might speed up Parallels and fix the pause issue. So I backed up 2.x and the files that went with it (about 8GB) on my network drive and then upgraded using the free copy I got with a new Mac Pro we ordered here.

Now I can pause, but honestly, it does not seem all that much faster.

Will I switch back to using Remote Desktop and switch to using a cheap Dell to run the few Windows applications I need? I may. But I'll give this a bit longer, since I do like being able to run Windows on my Mac when necessary.

November 14, 2007

Dreaming About SuperDuper

SuperDuperIt has been two and a half weeks since I did a backup on my computer. Why? Well, I upgraded to Leopard on October 26 and my backup utility, which clones my hard drive on an external hard drive, is not yet Leopard compatible.

The tool is named SuperDuper and I have been religiously using it since August 22, 2006. It simply rocks.

Every day, a few times a day, I check the SuperDuper page to see if a new version came out that supports Leopard. Every day I see the same thing:

SuperDuper! 2.1.4 is not yet fully Leopard compatible.

But it won't be long.

I know these things take time, and I know this is a freelance project for the developer. I shouldn't complain.

There are actually a few threads in the forums over there about the release date. Here is the most active and recent one: When will SD be ready for Leopard?

The answer is the same, respectful but yet lacking response:

We're working on it -- testing and tweaking. We want it to be right, so we can't rush it out the door...

I just hope it comes out soon.

Why don't I use Time Machine? Well, it currently doesn't support my NAS device in the office. People feel it will in time. Is it worth buying a new hard drive to run Time Machine? I already have a hard drive I use for cloning my mac with SuperDuper - just waiting on it to work with Leopard. I also have an NAS in my office with plenty of space, waiting to work with Time Machine. So I am in wait mode.

I think about it so much that I dreamt SuperDuper was out for Leopard last night. I got issues, seriously.

November 6, 2007

My Apple Cinema Display Screen Is Burning Out

I have been noticing when I start up my Apple in my office, that my Apple Cinema Display is starting to burn out in certain areas.

I always put my hard drive icon, which is a RustyBrick logo, in the top right corner of my screen. So when I move the icon, it shows a faint imprint, even though it is not there.

Here is a picture, look at the top right of the picture.

Apple Cinema Display Screen Burn Out

You see, I just moved my icon slightly down and to the left, so you can see the outline it formed in my screen.

How crazy!

This screen is not cheap. Does it bother me? Not at all, I think it is cool.

Temporarily disabling comments, sorry...

November 5, 2007

AT&T Upgrades Me to Non-iPhone Plan (Bill Spikes)

AT&T Upgrade my iPhone PlanLast week, I noticed my text messages were going to go over the alloted minutes I signed up for. So I called AT&T, and asked for more text messages.

I described to the customer service agent that I am about to go over on my minutes. He asked if I had an iPhone, I said yes. I said, I need a plan that gives me more text messages, the next tier up. He said no problem and updated my plan.

I look at my wireless usage over the weekend and notice my "Internet" usage was in the red. I thought to myself, I better call AT&T and find out why. So just about an hour ago, I called, while prepping the SearchCap.

Here is part of that convo:

Barry: It appears that I am over my Internet usage, but I should have unlimited. I think it might be due to me having you guys upgrade my text messages last week. Can you look at my account and tell me what is wrong?
AT&T: Let me have a look.
AT&T: You are on an non-iPhone plan. Why?
Barry: I don't know why. I called last week and said I need more text messages and he upgraded me.
AT&T: You should of added more text messages when you activated your phone.
Barry: But I didn't know I would need more text messages then. So now, I know I want more text messages and I asked to upgrade my plan.
AT&T: Why didn't you do it on iTunes when you activated?
Barry: I activated months ago, I can upgrade my plan on iTunes also? Cool!
AT&T: No, you can't upgrade your plan on iTunes. I understand now, let me look.
Barry: Thanks!
AT&T: Wow, you eat up a ton of data. iPhones do that. I better back date your plan and fix this.
Barry: Thanks!
AT&T: Um, it seems like you went over last month due to this issue. In the 6 hours between the time you changed the plan and the time your cycle ended, you accrued over $60 in data fees! In just 6 hours.
Barry: Cool!
AT&T: I'll credit you for that and back date the other plan.
Barry: Thank you.
AT&T You are all set now, sorry for any confusion.
Barry: Not a problem, thank you so much for your help!

I enjoyed that call. I was able to do blogging stuff while having the customer rep deal with the issue the right way.

I am still amazed I used $60 of data in about 6 hours. I wonder what would of happened if I did not call AT&T and waited until I got my bill at the end of this billing cycle. 6 hours = $60. I use my phone 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

$60 * 2 (for 12 hours per day) = $120 per day
$120 * 6 days per week = $720 per week
$720 * 4 weeks per month = $2,880 per bill.

Not bad.

November 2, 2007

My iPhone is my Light Source: Shows Me The Way

My iPhoneSeriously, my iPhone is my light source when it is dark.

In the early AM, when I leave the house and there is no light, I use it to show me my way. It is just so dark outside and no light at all is in the house. I can turn on some lights, but I don't want to disturb my sleeping wife (I am so nice).

So instead of turning on a light when I need to walk down the stairs, I use my iPhone to light my path.

I can't tell you how I am looking forward to switching the clocks tomorrow night. It is wayyyy toooo dark in the mornings.

October 31, 2007

Flickr's New Upload Form Doesn't Work on Safari 3.0

Flickr Upload FormI am a huge Flickr user and I have grown accustomed to the faster and smoother Flickr Upload Form.

Ever since I installed Leopard, which upgraded me to Safari 3.0, the Flickr upload form no longer works! I have to resort to the old basic form which is slower...

Flickr, can you make it work in Safari 3.0? Please!

Remember when I was so excited with the new upload picture form? Well, I am almost as disappointed that it doesn't work in Safari 3.0...

What happens? I select the photos link, then it pops open the browse box, and I select my photos, but nothing is added. It just shows "Photos". An AJAX JavaScript issue I would guess...

October 30, 2007

I Am One of Two-Million Leopard Owners

leopardApple PR team released a release that says Apple Sells Two Million Copies of Mac OS X Leopard in First Weekend. So that makes me one of two-million!

This may make for the most successful new OS Apple has ever released. Time will tell if they break that record.

Engadget has a nice compare and contrast Leopard vs. Vista: feature chart showdown.

I am just thankful that all my applications are running as they were before Tiger. I tried using Time Machine on my NAS device, but it would not recognize the drive, as expect. The big question is... Do I wait for Apple to support the NAS devices or do I go out and buy an external hard drive?

SpamSieve Saves Barracuda Time & Time Again

spamsieveEmail spam stinks, really stinks. I personally have the Barracuda spam filter sitting on the server level, which is supposed to block email spam. It does block a lot of spam, but simply not enough.

Sitting on my email client, Apple Mail is a desktop based spam filter named SpamSieve. It works absolute wonders and blocks what Barracuda doesn't block. Here are stats I pulled from SpamSieve just a few minutes ago.

Filtered Mail
33,789 Good Messages
12,826 Spam Messages (28%)
42 Spam Messages Per Day

SpamSieve Accuracy
122 False Positives
185 False Negatives (60%)
99.3% Correct

Corpus
2,348 Good Messages
2,871 Spam Messages (55%)
233,887 Total Words

Rules
486 Blocklist Rules
4,562 Whitelist Rules

Showing Statistics Since
1/1/07 1:17 AM

Not bad for 11 months of work.

Thanks SpamSieve!

Now, if you could only work on my iPhone. :)

October 29, 2007

Leopard Running Well - Time To Play Later

index_spaces_20071016.pngAfter installing Leopard, I was upset to find that some things simply did not work. But after probing the forums and blogs, I was able to get everything that did not work, working again by this morning. Now that I am now up and running, like I was with Tiger (previous Apple OS), I can not begin to experiment with the new features.

Today I hope to have time to play with Spaces. Spaces are just one of those things that I may never use or find myself using all the time. At this point, I have no idea.

Over the course of this week, I would like to try to get Time Machine working over my network storage device, but that might not happen until the end of this week, at the earliest. Until then, I am hoping SuperDuper confirms that their backup solution does indeed work in Leopard. I would still like to use both SuperDuper (mirror copy) at nights and Time Machine (for incremental copies) throughout the days as a backup solution. We will see.

Here is a neat feature in Safari I may use often. You know how those text boxes are just never big enough? Like in this window I am typing now? See the little drag icon at the bottom right of this window?

Safari Text Box Expander

Notice how I just dragged it to make it bigger:

Safari Text Box Expander

October 28, 2007

Safari Now Working in Leopard

safariWhen I upgraded to Leopard on Friday, Safari would not open for me. It would not open at all.

I tried calling Apple Support, but they were unable to help me.

This weekend I found out how to reinstall Safari at an Apple Discussions thread:

  1. Open the Applications folder and drag Safari to the trash. Don't empty the trash yet.
  2. Insert the Leopard install DVD
  3. Open the Optional Installs folder
  4. Start the Optional Install mpkg
  5. Continue through the Install steps until you reach the point where you can select Applications. Expand the Applications tree and select Safari. Action will change from Skip to Upgrade. Continue with the install until it is complete.
  6. Start Safari

Yes, now I am typing and using Safari.

My main problem now is that my awesome inquistor plugin won't work anymore, due to security issues with input manager. How annoying... Time to switch to Firefox?

October 26, 2007

Leopard Installed: Screen By Screen Installation

I recently installed Apple's new OS, Leopard. I decided to take screen caps of the whole installation process. Before I post them in a flash slide show below, I wanted to recap everything in text.

  • 10:15 - Started Installation
  • 10:30 - Said 5 hours and change remaining
  • 10:35 - Dropped down to about 2 hours remaining for install
  • 10:40 - 1 Hour remaining
  • 10:50 - Less than 30 mins
  • 10:55 - 15 minutes
  • 11:15 - The install was complete

I started up, everything came up fine. The only thing that does not work, that I am aware of is Safari. I spent an hour or so on the phone with Apple, only current solution is to do a clean install. So instead, I am using Firefox.

I tested and they work:

  • Firefox
  • Apple Mail (with SpamSeive)
  • Adium
  • Snak
  • Parallels Desktop
  • iPhoto (with Flickr Export)
  • iCal
  • iTunes

That is what I tested so far. I'll report bugs on other applications, if I find any. Safari, like I said, is gone. For now, at least. It is probably best I use Firefox anyway.

For the screen captures, I made a single tag at Flickr named installleopard and here is the slide show below (Flash is required):

Going to Install Leopard Today: I Hope

Apple LeopardI am like a child waiting for a present to come my way. Leopard is so close now, I pre-ordered Leopard a week ago today and today is the day it arrives.

Last night I received the tracking number, I plugged it into my Delivery Status Apple Dashboard widget. It shipped from Ontario, arrived in Newark this AM and is now at my local FedEx facility. It should be delivered within an hour or so of this post.

Last night, I made sure to do a full mirror backup of my computer. So that is ready.

When I get it, I think I may just install it right away. I can work off my iPhone for the 30 minute installation. If something goes wrong, then I might cry. But I will make sure to do a few things before installing.

(1) Repair disk permissions
(2) Shut down computer
(3) Disconnect computer from all peripherals
(4) Start up computer
(5) Quit all applications
(6) Then install

I once tried installing a new OS when I had all my peripherals connected to my laptop and it didn't work too well. I was told to try again without peripherals attached and it worked.

Wish me luck!!!

October 24, 2007

Mail To Dos: Most Useful Feature of Apple's Leopard

Leopard Mail To DosAs you know, I preordered Leopard and as the days come closer (Friday), I am more and more excited to install the new OS.

The main thing I am excited for is the new feature in Mail that lets you assign To Do's via a mail message.

Simply highlight text in an email, then click the To Do button to create a to-do from a message. Include a due date, set an alarm, or assign priorities. Every to-do includes a link to the original email or note, and to-dos automatically appear in iCal, complete with any changes you make. And since to-dos are stored with your email (when using an IMAP mail service), you can access them from Mail on any Mac.

When I switched from Entourage to Apple Mail, the major feature I missed what that calendaring via email. This is exactly what I needed to fill that void.

Of course, there are tons of other features I am looking forward, such as Time Machine. I am hoping to hook up Time Machine via the network to my office's Systemax Mini-Vault NAS 1000 Case, even though I make mirrored backups via SuperDuper on a separate hard drive a few times per week. I am just not sure if Time Machine will support the NAS, I guess I will find out soon enough.

Leopard, here we come!

October 19, 2007

Pre-Ordered Apple Leopard OS 10.5

Apple LeopardI pre-ordered the new Apple operating system, code named Leopard.

It is version 10.5 of the OS X family. The features are incredible, with over 300 features including:

  • A whole new desktop
  • A new Finder
  • Time Machine: A new way to back up your computer
  • Improved Mail, iChat, & Safari
  • Spaces, multiple desktop environments
  • and so much more
So I pre-ordered it and should get it around October 26th. Weepee!

October 17, 2007

How Do I Convince My Wife We Need a Mac II Couch?

Tuaw wrote about a place that built a couch out of Macintosh II computers. Here is a picture:

Mac II couch

So, now that I have an empty living room, how do I convince my wife we need this couch in our living room?

October 2, 2007

Gold Plated Apple MacBook Pro

How about one of these fancy Macs?

Gold MacBook Pro

Spotted via Tuaw.com, Computer Choppers has gold plated a MacBook Pro with 24kt gold. Soon you can buy one yourself from them.

The service will run about $1200-$1500 and not only includes gold plating the cover, but also will gold plate the keyboard and trackpad. It takes about 2-4 weeks, and the price may change based on the price of gold. Oh, year, you need to buy the MacBook Pro first.

Gold Plated Mac Keyboard

Amazing but crazy, no?

October 1, 2007

My iPhone Got a New Button: WiFi Music Store

iPhone iTunes WiFi Store ButtonOver the holiday, Apple released the iPhone 1.1.1 update. So I was able to read a lot of the reviews telling me not to upgrade, if I hacked the phone.

I did not hack the phone, so I upgraded.

The upgrade failed and I had to restore my iPhone to its factory settings. I did not panic. I restored and then it automatically put back most of my settings. I then synced once more and all my data, music, etc were back on the iPhone. The one thing that was not back to the way it was, were my wireless pass-codes for my various locations. So that is annoying, but the backup and restore, worked well otherwise.

So what is new with this upgrade?

The big thing is I have a new icon on my iPhone for the iTunes WiFi store. Yippi, not! :) I think the calendar icon is now a bit more colorful also, just compare it to an older picture and you can see that. Outside of that...

  • Louder speakerphone and receiver volume
  • Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites or music controls
  • Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space (will use often)
  • Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape
  • Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered
  • Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar
  • Support for TV Out
  • Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally
  • New Passcode lock time intervals
  • Adjustable alert volume

That is about it. Fun.

September 17, 2007

$233 Credited to AMEX Card for iPhone Purchase

American Express LogoI got a letter over the weekend from my new favorite company, American Express.

They politely informed me that they have credited my account $233.00 for the claim I filed over my iPhone. $33 more than I had initially expected, was credited to me based on the "Purchase Protection Plan." In fact, AMEX noted the credit as a "GOODWILL CREDIT:PURCHASE PROT CLAIM" on the statement.

Not only did a get $233 back from AMEX, in pure cash. I also got a $100 credit from Apple for the iPhone purchase.

So the iPhone that cost me $599 now cost $333 less, or $266. that is about $35 less than it costs to buy an iPhone now. Pretty sweet.

Now who is looking smart?

September 11, 2007

And We Are Back - Hacked iPhone Ringtone

That was quick! I just described how to make an official iPhone ringtone and that it killed my hacked one.

Within the hour, TUAW reports that this Mac application now works with iTunes to make these hacked ringtones.

Convert the file to ACC, open the application and drag it on the icon.

Make iPhone Ringtone

My iPhone ringtone, with the iPhone commercial theme song, is back on.

Making an Official Apple iPhone Ringtone

Alright, so the other day I hacked a bit to get an unofficial iPhone ringtone, now that Ringtone is dead, due to an update. I am sure I will be able to get it back later. But I wanted to test out getting a ringtone the official way, for 99 cents.

The initial tricky part is knowing which songs you can put ringtones on. You have to change your iTunes view preferences to show the ringtones column. Then click on the ringtone icon and presto.

Here is a list view of some of my songs, some that have the ringtone icon:

Apple iPhone Ringtones

Click the ringtone icon and then agree to this:

Apple iPhone Ringtones

Then you get the music selection tool, to pick which part of the song you want:

Apple iPhone Ringtones

I picked this part of Neil Young's Down by the River:

Apple iPhone Ringtones

I clicked "buy and then it showed up in my ringtones section in iTunes:

Apple iPhone Ringtones

It also showed up in my iPhone's Rintones tab:

Apple iPhone Ringtones

I then hit the "sync" button and the song was now on my Ringtones list under Settings > Sounds:

Apple iPhone Ring Tone - Neil Young

Here is another picture showing the song selected:

Apple iPhone Ring Tone - Neil Young

And here is a video of me calling myself:

Cool...

Now I need to get that other ringtone back on my phone!

September 10, 2007

Reminder: Don't Take iPhone to Israel

iphone israelI plan on going to Israel early February for my nephew's bar mitzvah. But I do not plan on taking my iPhone with me to Israel.

Hewlett Harbor man racks up $4,800 iPhone bill from Newsday reports Jay Levy took his iPhones to Israel, but did not turn them on, and still managed to receive a bill from AT&T for $4,800.

Jay Levy and his family took their iPhones on a Mediterranean cruise. Now the Hewlett Harbor entrepreneur feels as if he got taken for a ride, receiving a 54-page monthly bill of nearly $4,800 from AT&T Wireless.

Supposedly, if you turn off the phone, it doesn't mean the phone is really off. The iPhone continues to check back at home base to see if you have email messages, even while off.

I do suspect this is not the case if Airplane mode is turned on, but I do not want to be the test bed for that theory.

AT&T charges $24.99 for 20 megabytes in that region. Apple's statement:

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the company adequately discloses the potential charges on the Web site and when the phone is activated.

Note to self, do not bring iPhone out of country.

September 7, 2007

Free Custom Apple iPhone Ringtones

Apple iPhone RingtonesSpotted via Mac Rumors, you can convert your iTunes files for free into ringtones for your iPhone.

How? Really simple and I did it.

Convert your ACC iTunes file to a M4R file (just duplicate the source music file, change the extension to .m4r) and then readd that file to iTunes.

I personally opened a file in Apple QuickTime, then clicked export to to ipod and renamed it there. Then I double clicked on the file and presto, I was able to add it to my Ringtones.

I just did this for the iPhone commercial theme song. I will have no patience to make other songs into ringtones.

But nice to know this is a way to do it.

September 6, 2007

Apple Comes Through: $100 Credit + $200 AMEX = $300 iPhone

Steve Jobs came through also, offering a $100 credit to iPhone buyers. Sweet!

Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple's website next week. Stay tuned.

So, now with the $200 from AMEX and the $100 from Apple, I got myself an 8GB iPhone for only $300!

Beat that!

AMEX Comes Through: $200 Back for iPhone Purchase!

I can't believe it. AMEX, American Express, just gave me $200 back for my iPhone purchase.

Tuaw updated us saying that AMEX is now giving iPhone customers, who used their AMEX card, the $200 back.

I just got it back!

I called the American Express Return Protection line at 1-800-297-8019 and the nice customer rep said:

Do you want a credit or a check in the mail?

I said a credit is fine!

I should get the credit in about 14 days!

AMEX, you finally came through for me!

Digg users, I turned off comments - the comments were killing the server. So go back to Digg and comment there. Thanks.

Am I an Apple iPhone Sucker?

If you were stuck in a hole yesterday and missed the news that Apple dropped the price of the iPhone by $200 bucks only after 60 days of it being released then stop reading. Ok, you can continue to read.

As you can see by my first two lines, I am a bit disturbed with Apple. But I guess I have myself to blame. I bought an Apple iPhone about 1.5 weeks after it was released. I paid about $600 for the 8GB iPhone. 55 days later, the iPhone's price dropped by $200. The same exact phone. So I lost about $200.

Of course, owning the iPhone early, as an early adopter, gave been bragging rights. It also gave me a lot to write about at this blog. But I am out $200.

Tuaw offered possible ways to get your $200 back. I personally tried the AMEX price match reward, but AMEX wouldn't let me use yet another rewards, because they discontinued that program. I feel used once again by AMEX.

Apple, well, it was expected but not so soon. This morning I wrote at Search Engine Land, Google Fight: Nokia & Apple Ads Trade Blows Over iPhone Price Cut. Yes, Apple and Nokia go at it using Google AdWords Search Ads:

Nokie & Apple on Google over iPhone

Very funny, oh make sure to check the comments on the SEL post. Some good ones. ;-)

So I am an Apple sucker, so?

Update: See AMEX Comes Through: $200 Back for iPhone Purchase!

September 5, 2007

iPhone Alarm Helps Make For Happy Marriage

iPhone Alarm ClockSome times, my wife asks me to give her a wake up call.

Back when I had my Treo, that required me to make a new event or use a 3rd party alarm application. This resulted in me often forgetting to call my wife to wake her up at the time she specified. She learned to not trust my wake up calls.

But now, that I have the iPhone, I am now a trustworthy wake up call specialist. She gives me a time, I plug it in, it buzzes and me, I call and we are all very happy.

The iPhone, a device that makes for happy marriages.

It is pretty cool how it works. You go to the clock application, then click on the alarm icon at the bottom. Then you add a new alarm and you can schedule it to repeat on specific days, customize the alert tones, add if you want a snooze option and then scroll the little time pad up and down to the time you want the alarm to go off.

It is pretty neat.

September 4, 2007

iRing: I Ring I Not Only Would Wear, But I Want!!!

This guy is a genius!

A bluetooth ring that allows you to control your iPhone!

iRing

Now, I know I told you I would wear a binary ring or a reminder ring, but I didn't have a strong desire to wear those.

This one, well, it is Apple!

Need I say more?

I found this via My iTablet.

August 30, 2007

17-Year-Old Unlocks Apple iPhone & Sells it for Car

George Hotz Unlocks iPhoneMajor geek factor here.

A teen hacked the iPhone so that it is now unlocked and working on a non-AT&T network. The teen is 17-years-old and Glen Rock, N.J. Which is not too far from me.

Teen Trades Hacked IPhone for New Car from the AP writes:

The 17-year-old Hotz said he will be sending the three new iPhones to the three online collaborators who helped him divorce Apple Inc's popular product from AT&T's network. The job took 500 hours, or about 8 hours a day since the iPhone's June 29 launch.


View Larger Map

His name is George Hotz.

George made a deal with CertiCell. CertiCell is giving George a Nissan 350Z plus three 8GB iPhones, in exchange for the unlocked iPhone.

He unlocked the iPhone on Friday, Aug. 24, 2007.

Now that is one killer summer gig.

August 20, 2007

My iPhone Movie Was Aired on Airplane!

iphoneSo, I am all excited to play movies on my iPhone for this trip. I download an undisclosed movie, a get ready to start up the movie on the plane yesterday. The overhead screens come down and show the featured presentation.

Guess what is playing?

Figure it out yet?

Yes, the movie I downloaded to my iPhone!

What a waste! So I opted to listen and watch the movie on the plane screens. Why waste the iPhone's battery?

In any event, I did listen to my music and music videos on my iPhone after the two movies aired. But I was laughing inside.

I thought to myself, wouldn't it be funny if the movie on the plane would be the movie I downloaded to watch. And then seconds later, they showed the movie.

Too funny.

But at least the Bose earphones kept the snoring sound on my left out of reach.

August 14, 2007

iPhone Thumb Surgery

ThumbTalk about crazy...

Surgically alters thumbs to better use iPhone from North Denver News reports Thomas Martel, a 28 year-old, had his thumbs surgically altered in a form of "whittling." This surgery allowed him to easy type on his iPhone, since he had large thumbs.

"From my old Treo, to my Blackberry, to this new iPhone, I had a hard time hitting the right buttons, and I always lost those little styluses," explains Martel. "Sure, the procedure was expensive, but when I think of all the time I save by being able to use modern handhelds so much faster, I really think the surgery will pay for itself in ten to fifteen years. And what it's saving me in frustration - that's priceless."

The surgery involved "making a small incision into both thumbs and shaving down the bones, followed by careful muscular alteration and modification of the fingernails." The Doctor said "We're turning plastic surgery from something that people use in service of vanity, to a real tool for improving workplace efficiency."

August 9, 2007

Mock iPhone Demo: "I Love You" Ending

Check out this mock demo on how copy and paste should work on an iPhone... The best is the ending, where he said, "I Love You." Made me really laugh...



iPhone Copy and Paste from lonelysandwich and Vimeo.

Via Via Via Engadget..

August 7, 2007

Google Analytics Mac Dashboard Widget: Dashalytics

Robert Scriva created Dashalytics, a Google Analytics Mac dashboard widget. It is pretty sweet...

It shows you time frames from one day, one week, one month, 3 month, 6 month and one year. You get visitor traffic overviews, details on visitors, pageviews, bounce rates, averages, time on site, new visit percentages, browser types, connection speeds, top pages, referring sources in percentages and actual sources, top keywords and much more.

Here is one screen capture of stats from this site:
Dashalytics

Here is the Apple Site download page.

Spotted first at Googlified.

Play Super Marios Bros on Your iPhone

Yes, there is now an NES emulator for the iPhone, just amazing.

Here is a video of someone playing Super Mario Bros on their iPhone:

There is still some way to go, but this is just amazing.

Smart Phone --- yea.

July 26, 2007

Speed Dating for iPhone Users: iDating

idating

Too funny... iDating Goes Warp Speed with iPhone via iphonesavior.com.

Just when you think you've seen it all, singles groups across the country find new hope for romance via iPhone speed dating."iDating" parties have become so popular in some cities like San Francisco, California, adding multiple nights and still packing in standing room only crowds. "The iPhone makes speed dating more user-friendly, because you're rejecting a photo not a real person." said Niko Atuna who co-hosts her own iDating parties in the downtown San Francisco area for $25 a person.

So now we have speed dating made for iPhone lovers. :)

More coverage at MyiTablet.

July 20, 2007

iPhone סידור - Jewish Prayers on iPhone

Update: I have launched an iPhone Siddur for the iPhone / iPod Touch 2.0 software. More at http://www.rustybrick.com/iphone-siddur.php or search at the Apple iTunes store for Siddur.

Practicing Jew? Got an iPhone? Stuck in an airport without a pocket Siddur (prayer book)? No worries.

Jewish Prayers on iPhone

Say your תפלות on your iPhone סידור by just going to mincha.com.

To bad, isiddur.com is taken...

July 19, 2007

My iPhone Can Make Popcorn

This phone keeps getting cooler.

I actually learned how to make popcorn with it. Check out the video to see how it works.

Pretty cool, eh?

July 18, 2007

Quick Way to Delete Email on Your iPhone

I know I have been posting a lot about the iPhone, but I am still amazed by it. Anyway, today, I accidently found a new way to delete email while using your iPhone's mail program.

When you are in your list view, displaying your emails... You simply glide your finger from left to right over one email message. Up comes a delete button.

Here is a video demonstrating it:

This saves you a step or two.

Either you have to click on the email and then click the delete trash can button at the bottom of the email. Or you can click the "edit" button at the top right of the list view and then click the red circle icon on the left of the email and then click the delete button on the right of the email. So this is a third way to delete email.

July 16, 2007

Your Finger Print on the iPhone

When I first tried iThumbPrint on my iPhone, I thought it might be real. But then I got smart. Try it on your computer and you get the same thing. :)

iThumbPrint

At least it makes for a conversational piece, when people get bored of the iPhone itself.

My iPhone Bookmarks

iphone-bookmarks.pngBookmarks are critical when it comes to using your iPhone. :)

I have set up iTunes to sync my Safari bookmarks with my iPhone. Right away, I set up a folder named "i" as the first folder within my Bookmarks Bar. Then I began adding bookmarks within that folder both on my iPhone and while I am surfing on my Mac.

These are the bookmarks I have come up with so far.

I subscribe to a few blogs where I find these new iPhone Safari web applications. Two that I like are iPhone Application List and My iTablet. But there are some good static links at BarCamp / iPhoneDevCampApps.

Have any to share?

July 13, 2007

Happy Stats on iPhone

iphoneiPhone buyers have no regrets from USA Today reports on a survey by market researcher Interpret of Santa Monica, Calif. The survey surveyed 1,000 cellphone users between July 6-10th. It found good things about Apple's new iPhone.

  • 90% of 200 owners said they were "extremely" or "very" satisfied with their phone
  • 85% said they are "extremely" or "very" likely to recommend the device to others
  • Three of 10 buyers were first-time Apple customers.
  • For 40%, iPhone is their first iPod.
  • Half the buyers switched from another carrier.
  • Of those, 35% paid an average $167 to break a contract.
  • IPhone owners surveyed expect to pay about $35 more in monthly service fees compared with their previous cellphones.

Very interesting statistics. I personally am a fan of my iPhone. I am already typing with two thumbs after a day. Also, I am typing with one thumb while driving (don't tell anyone).

Here is a picture of my iPhone on my desk, near my Apple MacBook Pro.

iPhone Pics

Annoying Interference on iPhone from External Speakers

iPhone StaticI use to have this problem with my original Treo 650. When I got my Treo 700, the problem went away.

For some reason, the iPhone causes interference with my external speakers. Now, I am not even connecting the iPhone to the speakers. The interference is random sometimes and is also triggered by when I get a phone call or text message or when I sync with my Mac.

I am far from the only one who is experiencing this interference. There is a large thread at Mac Rumors on this topic. Also, MacWorld covered the issue.

The image at the top right is an setting you can configure when you hook up your iPhone to speakers. Note, I do not get this option, because I am not hooking up my speakers to the iPhone. It just causes crackling and popping noises that come out of my speakers. Turning off the speakers don't help. I can turn on the airplane mode feature, but then I won't get calls, text messages, emails and web.

One person said, you will just get used to it...

blackberries do this all the time. After a while you just get used to the sound

I try to put my phone a good distance from my speakers, which helps a lot.

July 12, 2007

Video of Me Playing with my New iPhone

Here is a video of me playing with my iPhone. I recorded it with sound, but for some reason, it did not come through.

In short, I show several iPhone applications and how I am using them. Hope the silent video shows enough...

July 11, 2007

Got the Apple iPhone

I got the Apple iPhone, as many of you encouraged me to get.

All synced up and ready to play. My number even transfered within minutes...

Here are pics, more details later, I need to go play.

My iPhone

My iPhone

My iPhone

My iPhone

My iPhone

My iPhone

July 10, 2007

iPhone The Musical from NY Times

This is cute:

Via NY Times.

June 27, 2007

iPhone Reviews Are Out; Mostly Positive

The iPhone reviews are out and overall, the reviews are mostly positive. Here they are:

The iPhone is Breakthrough Handheld Computer, Wall Street Journal

Expectations for the iPhone have been so high that it can't possibly meet them all. It isn't for the average person who just wants a cheap, small phone for calling and texting. But, despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use.

The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype, New York Times

But even in version 1.0, the iPhone is still the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years. It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles. In other words, maybe all the iPhone hype isn’t hype at all. As the ball player Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t bragging if you done it.”

Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype, USA Today

The mania over Apple's iPhone launch has created stratospheric expectations that are near impossible to live up to. Yet with a few exceptions, this expensive, glitzy wunderkind is indeed worth lusting after. That's saying a lot. After months of hype, Apple has delivered a prodigy — a slender fashion phone, a slick iPod and an Internet experience unlike any before it on a mobile handset.

At Last, the iPhone, Newsweek

Certainly all those people lining up to buy iPhones will find their investment worthwhile, if only for the delight they get from dazzling their friends. They will surely appreciate the iPhone’s features and the way they are intertwined to present a unified experience. But in the future—when the iPhone has more applications and offers more performance, with a lower price—buyers will find even more value. So smart consumers may well wait for that day. But meanwhile they can only look with envy as the person sitting next to them to them on the subway, or standing ahead of them in the Whole Foods line, is enjoying the phone that finally fulfills the promise of people-friendly palm-top communication and computing.

Crunchgear is updating with these reviews often.

June 26, 2007

I'm First for the Apple iPhone

apple iphoneYou guys know I am having second thoughts on the iPhone...

Appleinsider is reporting that there are two guys already on line at the Apple Manhattan store, since Monday - four days before the iPhones go on sale, to get themselves an iPhone first.

Gizmodo has posted a video of an interview with the first two people who camped out for the iPhone.

Supposedly, this guy is a "veteran camper" who was one of the first to get the PS3 and so on.

Vicarious Music has a picture of the guy with a sign.

Now that is dedication - or simply crazy.

June 20, 2007

Second Thoughts on Apple's iPhone

apple iphoneI was so upset when I learned Verizon turned down Apple as a provider for the iPhone.

Then, I couldn't imagine leaving Verizon, because of their solid network. But after hearing all the buzz, watching all the demos and learning that the phone does support a high-speed broadband wireless network - I am having second thoughts.

It is just a really cool phone. Really cool. I am a native Mac user, so I suppose all the applications on the phone would sync directly with my Mac. I assume Mail, iPhoto, iTunes, Safari, Address Book and so on would all sync natively. But I am not 100% sure if that is the case.

So I seriously want it, and want it now. But I know deep down inside, I should not get a first generation product. Why? because there is always something buggy and wrong with gen 1 products. So, I will try to be a good boy and wait it out, until gen 2 comes out.

Don't get me wrong, I still love my Treo. Heck, I wrote about it enough! But there is something very appealing about the iPhone.

By then, maybe, just maybe Verizon Wireless will support the phone. If not, goodbye Verizon and hello AT&T.

Here is a quick poll for you:

Feel free to also comment! Oh, I bet the image aligned left really threw off frequent readers. :)

June 15, 2007

OpenSearch for Safari? Nope. But Inquisitor Comes Close

I was jealous today when Joost de Valk released an OpenSearch plugin that enables you to turn off personalized results on a per query basis right from your toolbar.

It is Friday at 6pm here and things cleared off my plate. I have a search toolbar plugin for Safari (not the beta) and I thought I play with it to get the same thing working here. And I did, plus I did a lot more.

(1) First download Inquisitor at http://www.inquisitorx.com/safari/, trust me, it is a time saver.

(2) Next, go to your preference under the Safari menu.

(3) Then click on the Search icon at the top right of that context menu.

inquisitor

(4) Then click on "edit sites" and you should see this:

inquisitor

(5) Click on the plus sign and you will see more options. First add the other search engines you want. Wait a second, your favorite search engine isn't there.

(6) To add a custom search engine, just click on the "New custom search shortcut..." option.

(7) Then double click on the Site Name area and enter in Ask.com.

(8) Then double click in the URL and enter in "http://www.ask.com/web?q=%@" (note the %@ is your search query.

(9) Then click done.

What if I want to add custom search engines, like to search this blog? No worries! Just add this string "http://www.cartoonbarry.com/search.html?cx=002396771074467716933%3Aj9829rsyocs&q=%@&sa=Search&cof=FORID%3A11"

What about the Search Engine Roundtable, sure add this http://www.seroundtable.com/searchinternal.html?cx=002396771074467716933%3A9winkv77liu&q=%@&sa=Search&cof=FORID%3A9

Ok, wait a second, what if a site doesn't have a Google Custom Search Engine like Search Engine Roundtable and Cartoon Barry has? Oh, you mean Search Engine Land? And you want to search Google but restrict it to Search Engine Land? No worries, use this string http://www.google.com/search?q=site:searchengineland.com+%@

You can do this for any engine. The trick is to do a query at the engine and simply replace your search phrase with %@.

What does it look like?

You type your query in the search box and click the arrow down and you should see this:

inquisitor

I am glad I added these, will save me some time through the rest of my searching career.

As An Apple Enthusiast - The Keynote Was Disappointing

All I have to say is big deal on making Safari PC compatible. They did it out of convenience.

I was disappointed with the keynote.

I am excited for Leopard, but not for the time machine feature.

I would love to try the iPhone, but its wireless speed does not support a broadband network. So that is that.

June 7, 2007

Added World Clocks to my Dashboard

Not sure why I didn't add this earlier. I am always counting up and down to figure out what time it is in California and Israel and London and many other places.

So I finally added several world clocks to my dashboard on my Mac.

I have seven of them across the top of my dashboard, but I broke them up in two here so you can see them all.

world clock
world clock

Don't know how I lived without these clocks.

I.e. I get news stories that are embargoed at 9PST or 9EST etc, this makes it a whole 5 seconds faster.

May 17, 2007

MacBook Pro is Made to be Hot; 160+° Hot

macbookpro-temp.pngNathan Weinberg was complaining his CPU spiked to 147 degrees fahrenheit. Come on! That is not hot.

On average my CPU is at about 160 degrees. MacBook Pros are made to run hot.

If my CPUs were in your laptop, your case would melt.

Actually, I keep my laptop on a coolpad which helps it say at the coolest possible temperature. By keeping it elevated, air circulates around the machine and flows through.

How do I know how hot my Mac is?

I use a Mac Widget named iStat Pro from iSlayer.com which shows you not just temperature, but tons of other details on:

  • CPUs (up to 8 cores)
  • memory
  • hard drives
  • IP and external IP
  • bandwidth
  • battery
  • wireless keyboard
  • mouse battery
  • uptime
  • temperatures
  • fans

To name a few. So Nathan, you keep your laptop in the freezer. I'll blog a bit more. ;-)

April 25, 2007

Bill Gates on Mac Ads

Bill Gates on Mac CommercialsAdvertising Age interviewed Bill Gates (chief Microsoft). At the end of the interview, they asked Mr. Gates about the Mac Ads. This is too funny.

GARFIELD: I want to ask you one more thing: Those Mac ads -- how do you feel about the John Hodgman character?

GATES: I can't comment on someone else's ad.

GARFIELD: OK ... but he's you.

GATES: Yeah, I'm not gonna comment on someone else's ad.

GARFIELD: OK, well, Bill Gates, thank you so much for joining us.

(Silence)

GARFIELD: Can I just have a clean goodbye?

(Silence)

GARFIELD: OK, can you just say goodbye? Thank you or goodbye or something like that?

GATES: Goodbye.

LOL - thanks for sending this to me Judah...

April 23, 2007

The Cartoon Barry Mac Icon

I finally tried to convert my Cartoon Barry icon into a proper Mac icon.

How did I do it? I followed the instructions on Macapper.com. In short:

(1) Used Photoshop to edit my image into a PNG file with transparency.
(2) Used Icon Composer in Apple Developer tools to create a ICNS file file.
(3) Used Icns2Rsrc to convert that file into a RSRC.
(4) Pressed Apple key plus I and then copied the image to my folder.

Here it is.. You can download it if you like also.

The icon looks like the image in the picture below.

cartoon barry mac icon

February 26, 2007

MacBook Pro Gets Shot But Still Working

Via Digg, over 2,200 Diggs at this point, a MacBook Pro got shot but it still works.

MacBook Pro Shot

The picture was originally hosted at Flickr but it seems to have been deleted. I suspect due to all the traffic that photo received from Digg.

Wired posted a copy of the picture, which I then posted here.

Supposedly, the MacBook Pro got shot while in a Brazilian mugging, saving a life. I doubt it.

February 15, 2007

I Deleted My AddressBook on my Mac & Restored It

apple-addressbook.jpgThis sucks, I downloaded a program named Email Merge X, ran a CSV import into it, and then sent out a bulk mailing and the next thing I knew, my whole address book was deleted.

So I then tried to restore it via my Palm Treo but there was no option to write from Treo to Computer. I can choose only Computer to Treo or synchronize. I selected synchronize and bam, all the addresses on my Treo were gone also.

Very upsetting.

I have a complete mirror back up of my hard drive from Tuesday night. So I hope to be able to restore from that. I will drag the contents of the Library/Application Support/AddressBook/ files into the current one I have on my hard drive. If I mess this up, then I will be very upset.

Wish me luck! I guess that will teach me, never use these types of programs again.

Update: And I am back... I was freakin out so went home early to restore the file. Took me a minute and I am back to where I was. So happy.

February 14, 2007

My Logitech VX Mouse Battery Lasted About 1.5 Months

Logitech VX - My MouseNot sure if you remember, but I love the logitech vx mouse. I got it late December and I used the battery it came with (Duracell).

That batter died today.

Not bad, about 1.5 months later.

And I use the mouse around 12 hours per work day. So figured I used this for about 400 - 500 hours on one battery.

A thumbs up!

February 7, 2007

Windows Vista Versus Apple's OS X

David Pogue of the New York Time has posted a video comparing the new Windows Vista to Apple's OS X operating systems.

I wish I could embed the video here, but I can't.

So go to NY Times to watch it.

Very funny.

February 6, 2007

Apple Mac Hater

get-a-mac-people.jpgI am a Mac user, but I found Charlie Brooker's I hate Macs rant to be very entertaining.

I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.

Charlie, I am a Mac user but I don't hate PC users.

Charlie argues, "Ultimately the campaign's biggest flaw is that it perpetuates the notion that consumers somehow "define themselves" with the technology they choose." So you hate me, because I choose a Mac? Or you hate me because you think Mac users feel they are superior to PC users?

In any event, I love you. But, like you, I hate those Mac commercials.

January 31, 2007

My New Mouse Rocks - The Logitech VX

Logitech VX - My MouseFor a while I have been using the Apple Mighty Mouse, but it was working against me. After a few months of use, I had to constantly (several times a day) clean the little scroll ball, because it got dirty and would scroll. So I gave up on the cool looking, simplistic mouse for a more functional and sturdy one.

I bought the Logitech VX Revolution and after owning it for a couple months, I can say, I love it. Of course, like any new mouse, it took a couple weeks to get used to. But the features and durability rocks.

I am able to configure the dozens of buttons on this mouse on a per application basis. I actually just set them all to do the same thing for all applications. My most favorite features outside of the scroll wheel working are:

  • Side buttons that allow me to use it to go forward or back in my browser - huge time saver
  • Find button that I programmed to bring up dashboard
  • Pressing the scroll wheel, does Expose on my Mac
  • Left and right scrolling is neat in Photoshop
  • Zoom buttons are nice
  • Wireless is nice, no cords to trip over
I use a mouse all day, and for it to work against me and not with me was no longer an option. I am very happy I made the switch. This is a great mouse, I highly recommend it. Also check out the MX, if you are very feature happy.

January 29, 2007

Verzion Turned Down Apple's iPhone! Say It Ain't So!

Verizon Wireless and Apple's iPhoneWhen I read, USA Today's Verizon rejected Apple iPhone deal, I was begging the article was not true. I so want the iPhone, but I would not switch to it, unless two conditions be met.

(1) It runs on the Verizon Wireless network
and
(2) It has the high speed broadband network

Right now Cingular is the exclusive wireless provider for Apple's iPhone. Plus, it won't support the EVDO network.

But when I read that Verizon turned down Apple, "almost two years ago", because Apple "wanted a percentage of the monthly cellphone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers." It made me sad.

I honestly, would jump at this phone if it was on Verizon and used the high speed network. But I guess now I will have to wait probably two years to get it. Which is probably good anyway. Right now, I am very happy with my Treo, it does everything I need.

But as a Mac guy, this phone fits perfectly with my applications and style. It does not currently fit with my need for speed and wireless provider.

Why Verizon, it works best in my area here - plus it is solid where ever I travel. I am loyal.

November 9, 2006

Mac Guy Dropped From Apple Commercials

mac-guys.jpgI, for the most part, always hated the Mac commercials, and I am a hardcore Mac user. Well, as I stated in that post, I felt that the Mac Guy makes "Windows users look dumb and like victims." I personally thought the message did get across but it was a low blow to PC/Windows users.

Last night I saw an article on Radar Online named Apple Ditches 'Mac Guy' In New Ads. So the Mac guy won't be in the future "I'm a Mac" campaign. Why?

Perhaps for striking people as a "smug little twit," in the words of Seth Stevenson, ad critic for Slate. Long, he adds, is "just the sort of unshaven, hoodie-wearing, hands-in-pockets hipster we've always imagined when picturing a Mac enthusiast.... It's like Apple is parodying its own image while also cementing it."

So long Mac Guy.

For the commercials, go to http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/.

October 12, 2006

Success With Treo 700P & MacBook Broadband Connect

verizon-broadband-connect.gifI had a meeting this afternoon in the city, I am actually still in the city (NYC), and I was able to connect via my Treo to my MacBook over the broadband wireless Verizon network, finally - when I needed to. It is weird, because when I went to LGA last week, I was unable to connect in the airport, even after thinking I figured out the issue and with having all bars and the EVDO network connection.

In any event, a few seconds after connecting at the client. The Treo switched from the high speed EVDO network to the dial up network on me and it was sloooowwwww.

Hope it continues to work, at least a little. I fly this Monday and it would be nice to have it at the airport (EWR) and at Yahoo!

October 10, 2006

Finally a "Get a Mac" Commercial That I Like

I am a Mac Guy that Hates "Get a Mac" Commercials but Mac just released some new Get a Mac commercials. I in particular like this one, named Better Results, I YouTube'ed it to get it on here, I am not sure it is allowed, but I think I linked to the source in enough places?

That one I think is funny.

September 18, 2006

Back on Verizon Wireless Broadband But Not Without Sacrafice

Last week, for some reason I was unable to connect via the Broadband connect service that worked originally. It was upsetting. So tonight I had some time to call Verizon and Palm.

End result, I had to hard reset, and when I tried restoring off my backup, it did not work. But I was able to overwrite all the crazy data from desktop to handheld. Still all my apps and preferences were lost, a huge pain.

But after all is done, I am not able to connect over my phone on my laptop to high speed wireless.

Worth it? I'll let you know...

But I think what caused the original conflict was the ChatterMatrix add on. It is gone for now.

As an FYI - the connection dropped as I was typing this. But I think it will connect again when needed, maybe I had a poor signal or something...

Overall, I have mixed emotions about this. I just hope it works this Friday, when I will need it again.

September 8, 2006

Hiding Images in Safari Browser is Too Easy

All it takes to turn off images while browsing the web on Safari is pressing the apple key and the Y key at the same time. I do this too frequently by accident, without knowledge, throughout the day. And presto, I am surfing the web and the graphics aren't loading. So pages rendered like:

imageless-browsing-safari.png

Actually, when it first began happening, I thought it was a problem with a web site, or my DNS or the browser. So I may have restarted the browser or my computer. But all it takes now is a combination touch of the apple key and the Y key.

I feel that this should be made harder, a three combo key.

Heck the T key is right near the Y key and Apple + T opens a new tab, and I use that a billion times a day.

September 1, 2006

Bob Dylan Convinced Me To Download Modern Times via iTunes

bob-dylan-modern-times-itun.jpgI rarely buy music on in iTunes store, if I do, it is normally from store credits. I have loaded up my music collection from CDs and songs I have collected since I was a kid, so I have plenty of music. But when I saw the Bob Dylan/iTunes commercial last night on my high definition TV, the commercial was in HD, I just had to get it. Of course I saw the commercial on Apple's site before, and yes, I almost bought it then. I figured, heck, I have 4 songs in as credit from booking a Continental trip to San Jose, so use 4 and pay the remaining 9 songs.

So now I sit here listening to it.

You can view the commercial at apple.com/ipod/ads/dylan, you can view the album at bobdylan.com and the here is the Rolling Stone review.

August 28, 2006

Mac Guy That Hates "Get a Mac" Commercials

get-a-mac-people.jpgI am a Mac guy, if you didn't know by now. But I really hate the "Get a Mac" commercials.

They make Windows users look dumb and like victims.

Is it just me that dislikes these commercials?

More ads at http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/.

August 24, 2006

Windows Fully Set Up on MacBook Pro

I am happy to say that I have finished setting up my necessary Windows applications on my MacBook Pro. Tuesday I set up Parallels Desktop for Mac, activated my Windows XP Pro license, and let it sit. Today, I configured the settings of the OS how I like it, transferred over the applications I need, and tested them out.

I also "installed parallels tools" which in affect made everything run smoother between Mac OS and Windows XP. Such as:

  • Setting up a shared folder between the two OSes
  • Enabling copy and paste between the OSes
  • Ensuring all drivers work (mouse, printers, internet, etc.), mouse even runs as smooth as it does on Mac, which is huge.
  • Don't have to click off the Windows screen to use OS X, it just scrolls off like two different screens.

Here is a screen capture of my desktop state on both OS X and OS XP. I blurred stuff out on the larger version, such as my buddies screen names...

desktop-win-mac-s.gif
View Larger Image

So now I can trash my Dell!!!

August 22, 2006

Ran 1st External Backup on MacBook Pro :: Super Duper!

I am proud to say, I am 99.999% done with my migration to the MacBook Pro. The last item, outside of setting up my Windows Apps was to configure a backup utility to run.

On my PowerBook G4 I used Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to backup all my data as a bootable drive on an external USB hard drive. I ran the utility about twice per week. But it often wasn't able to back up everything, it did prompt me with errors every now and then. When I was ready to backup the MacBook Pro, I noticed that CCC was not fully supported with the Intel based Macs.

So I found SuperDuper, an other popular utility that creates a bootable version of your computer at any state in time. I tried it out tonight, while at ball and it ran without flaw. With CCC I had to do a bit of configuration to get it working, with SuperDuper, it just worked out of the box. Plus it has a sweet user interface, something anyone can appreciate. The full process from start to finish took a total of one hour and forty-five minutes (about 60MB of data).

super-duper-backup.gif

You can use it for free or upgrade to add features like scheduling, Smart Update (only updates changes), Sandboxes, scripting and more. I'll probably upgrade.

Next step is to finish up moving Windows applications (really only one application) to my Mac.

Running Windows on MacBook Pro in Parallel

Many of you know I got a new MacBook Pro and I have been giving some updates on migrating over from the PowerBook G4 to the MacBook Pro. One of the big +'s of the MacBook Pro is that it is Intel based, which means you can run virtually any OS on it, including Windows.

I downloaded and installed Parallels Desktop for Mac, which enables me to run Windows on my Mac. It is now set up and it runs pretty well. I am still tinkering with setting up a shared folder, so I can drag and drop between the two OSes. Ultimately, I would like to move over the one application I need a PC for, to this parallel desktop solution. I also hear that Apple's next OS Leopard may switch the BootCamp software to run both OSes in parallel, so this application may no longer be needed then.

running-windows-on-mac-s.jpg
View Higher Resolution Image

So a few more days of testing and then Ill move over the application and trash my PC.

Exciting...

August 21, 2006

Update on MacBook Pro Upgrade :: 95% Done

Just giving you guys, mostly noting for myself, an update on my last Update on MacBook Pro Upgrade from PowerBook G4.

- Started working magically, speed tests here. Still need to figure out how to tether the MBP to the Treo 700p, it failed several times last night, Ill keep trying. If it continues to fail, Ill call Verizon Monday.
- Need to set up the Mac to run Windows in Parallel
- Need to install some new software, Intel based versions, and find old registration codes that happened not to work after migrating
- Set up my palm sync software, the Missing Sync (excellent software)
- Set up * Phone & iTunes integration script
- Set up local server passwords
- Need to configure Carbon Copy backup solution with new MBP
- Go to all the sites that require passwords and reenter them (shouldn't be a big deal).
- Need to install Windows software that I use on Parallels on Mac.

Everything else seems to be running well.

Tethering Verizon EVDO on Treo to MacBook Pro Works

speakeasy-speed-graphic.gifThis morning I decided to try the EVDO connection on my MacBook Pro via the Treo 700p and it worked. No idea why it worked today, and not Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I assume that Verizon just updated my plan to work with the tethering option.

It was fast, but let me get you the numbers from the Speak Easy Speed Test page.

My normal connection via T1 and Cable (I have both in the office) runs at:
speakeasy-speed-test.gif

My connection via the Verizon EVDO network connecting over Bluetooth to my MacBook Pro runs at:
evdo-speed-verizon.gif

So there is a huge difference but honestly, the speed is pretty quick, quick enough to not purchase temporary Internet while in airports and possibly quick enough to not buy Internet when in hotels (which typically are slow and block several ports I use).

August 20, 2006

Update on MacBook Pro Upgrade from PowerBook G4

As many of you know, I got my MacBook Pro this Friday. Towards the end of the day on Friday, I tried transferring all the data over from the PowerBook G4 (PB) to the MacBook Pro (MBP) using the migration assistant. That failed three times, even after calling Apple Support.

So Saturday night, I spent a few hours manually moving files and applications over from the PB to the MBP. I booted up the PB into a FireWire drive mode, and then mounted the PB drive to the MBP via the FireWire ports to drag and drop files over. Firewire is soooo quick!

Most everything went over smoothly and I was able to ditch a lot of apps and files I no longer need. I even spent a lot of time moving over preference files, this way I had some of the settings I first had on my PB. Moving over the mail files and address book and iCal events wasn't too bad either.

I am now writing this on my MBP and the MBP is now my primary computer.

What remains:
- Still need to figure out how to tether the MBP to the Treo 700p, it failed several times last night, Ill keep trying. If it continues to fail, Ill call Verizon Monday.
- Need to set up the Mac to run Windows in Parallel
- Need to install some new software, Intel based versions, and find old registration codes that happened not to work after migrating
- Set up my palm sync software, the Missing Sync (excellent software)
- Set up * Phone & iTunes integration script
- Set up local server passwords
- Need to configure Carbon Copy backup solution with new MBP
- Go to all the sites that require passwords and reenter them (shouldn't be a big deal).

I plan on holding on to my PB for at least a week, to make sure I moved everything over.

Then I completely reformat the PB, and give it to a family member for them to use.

Almost there... But I am able to work efficiently now.

August 11, 2006

Just Ordered New MacBook Pro

index1520060424.pngThis week was Apple's developer conference, WWDC2006 and they announced new MacPros (i.e. desktops) but not new MacBook Pros (laptops). So I have enough of waiting and decided to order the MacBook Pro. I got the 15.4" screen, the 17" is way too big. I also got the top of the line version, i.e the 2.16GHZ. I wish it came in black, but oh well...

I then also purchased Apple Care for it, since I always forget to get that. I also ordered a Mac Mini 1.66GHZ and a SlimTouch wireless keyboard for the Mac Mini.

Love getting new toys, it should be shipped out today!

July 30, 2006

Track Pad on PowerBook G4 Annoying Sometimes

index1520060424.png Sometimes, when the track pad is moist from the moisture in the air, the moisture on my fingers or just some heat, the mouse control is unbearable. Just before writing the entry before this one, the whole entry was deleted because of a track pad issue, accidently hitting the refresh button at the top of the window, when I was pointed at the middle of the screen window.

Normally, I dry my fingers and the track pad and it fixes itself. But sometimes I need to reboot the computer. This is one of those times.

Anyway, I hope the new MacBook Pros don't have this issue. I suspect when the developer conference happens the second week of August, the new MacBook Pros will be released and then I will be able to purchase the 2nd generate MacBook Pro. A stage of MacBooks that I have been waiting for before making the purchase.

I have this thing where I try not to buy a first generate laptop from Apple. Let the first batch of consumers, early adopters - you may say, work out all the bugs, kinks and quirks with the V1s and then let me buy the V2. I hope the V2 MacBook Pros have a black version, like the MacBooks do. I may be crazy enough to spend a few more dollars just to get it in black.

Ok, and I hope they fixed the track pad issues.