Images not showing up

November 19, 2006

I know that a bunch of images are broken. It’s a WordPress problem and I have reported it several times. I’m sure they’re working on it, but I hope it gets fixed soon.


Bring your DVD’s on the plane

November 19, 2006

I really wanted to bring my DVD’s on a recent cross-country flight. I was familiar with backing them up using a PC, but I had never done it on the Mac. I played around with several options and decided that Handbrake is the best solution if you want a file for your iPod or in iTunes while Mac the ripper is the best if you want a dvd image file at full quality.

You can find a complete description of the process here and here while Macworld also has a nice write up here. This seems pretty satisfying, but I think I would still prefer to remaster the disk like I did on the PC. I was able to strip out the multiple languages, menus and extras to produce a much smaller DVD image that I could load up in any DVD playing software (including windows media center player in the living room ).

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Don’t do it!

November 19, 2006

I tried out a trick making the rounds on many of the Mac news sites. Supposedly, it is possible to enable Apple’s Front Row on the MacPro.

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This sounded like a great idea. I’d love use my Mac Pro as a media machine but for some reason Apple chose not to include an IR remote with the Mac Pro. The hack seemed easy enough. Just modify the AppleHIDMouse extension to allow the mighty mouse to control Front Row.  So I backed up my file and applied the hack. I then tried to install Front row from my installer CD but got the usual error. So I downloaded the updated installer from Apple. This time it claimed to install the package, but I couldn’t find the application anywhere on my machine. So, I gave up and pretended nothing happened.

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Well, my Mac wasn’t going along with that decision. Within a few hours I was having kernel panics just about every hour. For no particular reason. Sometimes when I was using iTunes. Sometimes in Safari. No specific cause.

I tried to just replace the modified extension and delete the cache files. This, of course, required me to rebuild my privileges as well. No good. I was starting to think that I would have to do a new system install. I finally resorted to running Onyx, restarting, and then running Applejack. Everything seems fine now. No kernel panic for the past hour. I’ve been pushing it with Safari, Aperture, Devonthink, and now Ecto.

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The wonders of Apple Hardware Test and Console

November 19, 2006

It seems that Disk Warrior is not going forward to support Intel macs. It’s pretty disappointing because I was a big fan of this software for the PPC macs. Unlike the Windows world, there are few system diagnostic tools for the mac. Maybe that’s because there are fewer issues with incompatible third party hardware. However, sh*t happens and sometimes you need more than Apple’s disk utility program to figure it out.

As I mentioned previously, I had some serious issues with kernel panics on my Mac Pro. Coincidentally I had installed a third set of 512MB ram cards just a few days earlier, bringing me to a grand total of 3GB (Aperture is finally feeling a little more peppy). I was concerned that the new chip was the origin of my problems.

Luckily, Apple includes a Hardware Test application on my system install CD. I only had to restart my machine with the “D” key held down. The Mac Pro booted right into a diagnostics program. Ran the extended diagnostics which took about 12 minutes. It tests the RAM, CPU and motherboard. It also provides some info about the machine.

Since it is not possible to do a screen capture from the hardware test, I’ve added a link to a larger camera shot.

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Bouncing

November 18, 2006

This is a little gem from the last Digg videocast. I’ve totally ignored this option in Apple’s Mail application for the past couple of years. You can select a message that is spam and bounce it back to the sender as if your address no longer exists. This is a great way to get off of those spam email lists. If you do this enough times the spammers will conclude that your email address no longer exists.

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Worth a visit

November 12, 2006

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The new Aperture web site from O’Reily is definitely worth your time. It now includes the great website Aperture tricks.

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Image sucking with Automator

November 12, 2006

Here’s a quick Automator script to pull all of the image links in the frontmost Safari window into iPhoto. I use this when I stumble across a web page with great photos I want to add to my gallery.

Notice that what this script does is download to the desktop and then import to iPhoto. After completion, it deletes the originals from the desktop. This way I am sure to get the full resolution images rather than the lower resolution web thumb nails

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