Friday, May 30, 2008

More iPhone

Things are still up in the air over at the Wireless Spectrum Auction. After ten rounds...well, I'm not sure exactly what's happening, actually. Companies are bidding on things, I've got that. But this is going to be a bit of a drawn out processs.

Meanwhile, ITBusiness says the iPhone will boost Canada's Wireless Service Market. To which I reply, "duh." I'm thinking about getting one, and I can't even use it from home, as I live in a GSM free zone. And I must say, I keep seeing "All you can eat" getting tossed around, which would be very nice....

,Mac is a-changin?

Cnet reports that other people are reporting that there are some changes deep in the code with 10.5.3 that suggests that Apple now has the ability to rename .mac to...

Well, that's just it. It isn't a change, it is a code string that gives them the ability to change the name. 

If they do change the name, I hope that's not the only thing that changes; I'm working on a post about .mac, with a few possible suggestions for fixes. Look for that sometime later next century. 

Daily Reading: I'm not the only one who liked 10.5.3

Macworld says that the recent upgrade is helping a number of third party developers, too. 

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Music, music...

This has nothing to do with Apple news as such, though it is about something produced on a Mac (albiet a Mac running OS 9; I'm supposed to be helping the sound tech upgrade his system at his soonest possible convenience, but that has yet to come to pass).

A few weeks ago, my band went into the studio and laid down some tracks. Last night we went back to do a mixdown. While we're not quite finished, we got it to a point where it is ready for public consumption. And since there are at least two people who read this blog regularly, I thought you might be interested in hearing what I am doing with my life. And I fully expect a comment from MS to the effect that it sucks, but that's why I have moderation set on. 

Nonono. If you have music related comments, feel free to leave them. 

You can find out about the band, as well as listen to the two new songs (Something to See and Acappella Bone) at our Reverbnation page. 

Wireless Auction Begins

Yesterday, bidding started in the Wireless Spectrum Auction. This is a good thing, because part of the mandate with this auction is to open up a fair swack of the spectrum to someone who is not Telus, Bell or Rogers. 

For iPhone users-to-be, this is a good thing. While down the US and the UK there are exclusive carrier contracts, stories have been springing up from around the world that the iPhone will have multiple carriers in a variety of countries. 

Canada, of course, is not one of these countries. But not because Apple wants to go exclusive here, it's just that they have no choice. 

However, if a couple more players enter the game, they are going to put an end to Roger's monopoly on the GSM band, because that, too, is one of the rules for this auction. 

For those of you who are passionate about your wireless, or at least curious about what's happening, the best place to watch the action is at Wireless North, where they are providing a play-by-play description. 

For those of you who think watching Wireless Spectrum Auctions is about as much fun as watching paint dry, have no fear; you shall be updated on how this affects your life as Mac users. 

Google Syncing

If you are a gmail user, as I am, rejoice. 10.5.3 adds Google Contact Syncing. Assuming you have an iPhone or iPod Touch. 

Lifehacker has an article on how to sync without these devices. Coolio. 

Me? I'm just glad 10.5.3 brought my apps back to life. 

CBC Goes Mobile

Folks over at ehmac are noting that the CBC web browser is defaulting to the Mobile Browser on Macs. Not sure if this problem affects Windows users, too, but it is a bit disconcerting trying to read a web page 50 characters wide....

Update: 11:00 MST. And now CBC is just down. 

Update: Like, a week later. It's back, if you hadn't noticed. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm back, baby!


10.5.3 has worked its magic. Things are back up and running....

And there goes mail, crash and burn. But at least it opened and I could check email. So we're back up and limping, at any rate. Still thinking about doing a reinstall of the OS, but first, when I get home, I'll see what I can restore by using Time Machine.

C'mon 10.5.3...

So, 10.5.3 is currently downloading over on my laptop. It's nearly 500 MB of upgrade goodness that, if the world was smiling on me today, would bring an end to my recent iLife/iWork woes

While it is chewing away, I'll bring you up to speed on what it does. This is, of course, from Apple. I'm not seeing my particular problem addressed, but there was also an iPhoto update pushed out....

The Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X 10.5 and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.  


  • Fixes a font issue that could result in Helvetica Narrow being used in applications instead of Helvetica.
  • Addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices.
  • Resolves stability issues with Word of the Day, iTunes Artwork, and Slideshow screen savers.
  • Fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.
  • Addresses an issue with .Mac syncing of Dashboard widgets over multiple Macs that use different screen resolutions.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.
  • Improves the accuracy of the Software Update progress bar indicator.
  • Addresses an issue in which Finder may not be available if the computer name is blank in Sharing preferences.
  • Improves Active Directory binding and login.
  • Eliminates a delay when logging in as an Active Directory user in a .local domain.
  • Improves Spotlight searches on a AFP file server volumes.
  • Clients can now change their password at the login window when bound to a Mac OS X 10.4 Open Directory server.
  • Improves Safari reliability when connecting to the Internet through a Microsoft ISA proxy.

Address Book

  • Addresses reliability issues when searching for contacts using built-in search.
  • Resolves issues with mapping addresses that contain an ampersand character (&).


  • Improves 802.1X behavior and reliability. 
  • Improves reliability when using Time Capsule.


  • Addresses an issue in which some actions may not work with the "Show When Run" option enabled.
  • Resolves an issue in which the "New iCal Event" action may not work.
  • Resolves an issue that prevents workflows from being saved in the Finder's contextual menu.
  • Fixes reliability issues for Automator scripts that search for files by date. 
  • Resolves an issue that prevents workflows from being saved in the Finder's contextual menu.
  • Addresses an issue in which Automator workflows as Finder plugins do not work when the workflow begins with the "Get Selected Finder Items" action.
  • Fixes an issue in which the "Copy Files" action does not reliably work when added from Automator’s warning dialog.


  • Addresses potential privacy issues by allowing events to be marked as private.
  • Resolves an issue in which the inspector does not show capacity and availability info for conference rooms within a building.
  • Addresses an issue in which the current day could appear in the left-most column of the weekly view.
  • Addresses reliability issues with meeting alarms, invitations and attachments.
  • Resolves issues with reliability when restoring from iCal backups.
  • Fixes accuracy issues with auto-completion, availability data and location names.
  • Resolves an issue in which iCal may send cancellation notices for events in the past after a calendar is deleted.
  • Fixes reliability issues with iCal syncing.


  • Addresses reliability issues with screen sharing.
  • Resolves an issue in which saved chat transcripts may reported as "still in use" after opening and closing them in iChat.
  • Resolves an issue with group chats not being indexed in Spotlight.
  • Only the last 250 messages of an active chat are saved.  Fixed to save unlimited number of lines.
  • Addresses issues with echo cancellation that may occur on portable Macs.


  • Resolves an issue in which Mail may prevent idle sleep when set to automatically check for new messages every minute.
  • Addresses stability issues that may be encountered when dragging large attachments into an email message.
  • Fixes an issue that could occur if two compose windows are open when dragging a file to the Mail icon in the Dock.
  • Addresses reliability issues when changes are made to a mailbox while offline.
  • Resolves wrapping issues that may be found with consecutive spaces in plain text.
  • Fixes issues with certain web pages appearing garbled when emailed from Safari.
  • Fixes an issue in which the Sent, Drafts, and Outbox mailboxes incorrectly list the "cc" recipients in the "To" column.
  • Addresses reliability issues with attachments added to plain text notes.
  • Fixes reliability issues with authenticated RSS feeds.
  • Resolves an issue in which attaching an alias to an email message may not send the actual file.

Parental Controls

  • Addresses reliability issues with application logging and time limits.
  • Resolves an issue in which Parental Controls may prevent forced sleep. 
  • Addresses performance issues with web content filters.
  • Fixes an issue with managed accounts in which iChat transcripts may not be created.
  • Addresses issues with 4-byte files and whitelist. 


  • Resolves an issue in which switching to a different space and returning back to the original space may reorder the application windows with a different active window.
  • Resolves an issue in which activating an application from the Dock switches to a different space, even if there is a window for that application in the current space.
  • Fixes an issue in which Command-Tab may incorrectly switch to a new space.
  • Addresses reliability issues with Spaces when syncing preferences over .Mac.

Time Machine

  • Includes fixes for Time Machine compatibility with Time Capsule.
  • Resolves certain issues when backing up a portable Mac that is on battery power. 
  • Addresses compatibility issues with Aperture 2.
  • Addresses reliability issues when performing a full restore from a Time Machine backup.
  • Fixes an issue in which certain function keys may be disabled after using Time Machine. 
  • Fixes a possible alert message that incorrectly states a backup volume does not have enough space. 
  • Updates Time Machine to reliably restore attachments and messages in Mail.


  • Includes Braille Update 1.0 which enables GW Micro, HandyTech, HIMS, Nippon, and Papenmeier Refreshable Braille displays.
  • Addresses an issue with Braille dot 7 and 8 underlining.
  • Fixes an issue in which HTML page anchors may be ignored by the VoiceOver cursor.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented Hot Spots from being used in text areas.
  • Resolves an issue with spell checking in which VoiceOver may only announce the first misspelled word if there are multiple words spelled incorrectly. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tip Tuesday: Drag and Drop easy

Here's a quick one. 

Uploading a file to a website using Safari? Say via yousendit

Instead of clicking on the browse button to find the file, if you already know where the file is (if it is on your desktop, say, or in an open finder window) why not just drag the file onto the browse button, and bam, file is attached and ready to upload. 

Fear! Fire! Foes!

So, last night as I was working on a post for this here blog, my MagSafe adaptor gave out a puff of smoke, and died. 

I'm only assuming that it is dead, cuz I didn't really feel like plugging it back in after yanking it out of my computer and unplugging it from the wall.

Now, the adaptor has been giving me issues in the past; the charge light had been flickering, and lately, when I'd plug it in, it wouldn't always start charging unless I got the cable just so.

I know. Get it fixed, you say. But when I called Apple support they said "bring it in to an authorized repair centre." (This is after my post about bringing it in to an Apple Store.)

However, while the nearest Authorized repair centre is not as far away as the nearest Apple Store, it is still three hours away and one province over. I was going to bring it in to get looked at next time I made the trek to Grande Prairie, but before I could go, the adaptor completely fried.

So, I called up Hi-Tech. They said "We can get that replaced for you. It will take three weeks."

Three weeks? Three weeks! This is my work computer. I can't have it go down for three weeks!

"We can rush that for you. It will only cost $49..."

Thanks, but no thanks. 

So I called up Apple again. Yes, I know my complimentary phone support has expired. It's a hardware issue I am calling about. 

So, after about an hour talking to Apple, they're getting a new adaptor shipped to me. Will be here in a couple of days. Guess what? No extra charge. 

So, does that mean that I am completely screwed until the adaptor gets here? No. Because the nice folks at my local Authorized Apple Reseller (not repairs, though), are letting me charge my computer there today. Not one to name names, but if you're in Dawson and looking for a place to go, Software Emporium has some of the nicest people you could ever meet. And tell em the Macanuck sent you. And they'll look at you all puzzled and have no idea what you're talking about and you'll try and explain yourself, and just get them more confused, and it'll be great. 

This raises an issue, though, of the competition between the apple stores and the Authorized Retailers. I can't verify (as they won't answer my question at the Apple store), but I suspect if I walk in with this problem, they'd have a stack of replacement parts in the back. Authorized Repair shops, on the other hand, have to order parts in from Apple. Three weeks might be a little overlong, which might have to do with the fact that this is not a major centre. But do the Apple stores have an advantage in the repair department, because they can carry the stock and the retailers can't? 

Anyway. I've got a new charger on the way, and I'm happy. Now if I can just figure out this iLife issue, I'll be happy....

Monday, May 26, 2008

If it's not one thing...


Let's see. 

I tried installing an older version of iPhoto, and rendered all my iLife and iWork apps useless (because System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ iLifeMediaBrowser.framework/Versions/A/iLifeMediaBrowser was not found). 

As I was dealing with that, the Magsafe on my laptop started to smoke. 

And now, to top it all off, I was going to apply 10.5.2 again and see if that fixed the first issue, and it won't apply. Turns out that other people are having the same problem

Sigh. It never rains....

I can reinstall system software from the ground up. Except I am out of town for a couple days, and my disks are in town. 

And I am about 200 km from the nearest Apple Authorized Repair 

Here comes the ...?

Electronista says Apple Canada staff are prepping for "something".  What that something is, nobody is saying, but eyes sort of dart over towards the iPhone poorly behind a stack of papers...

The upcoming iPhone launch is the Elephant in the room here, but I'd be just as happy for movie rentals on iTunes. Of course, that wouldn't need staff to fly in to Apple Canada HQ for a secret meeting, but it'd be nice....

The Sun doth shine, and the Apples do grow

A variety of sources (basically people who get their kicks from reading patent filings) have reported that Apple has filed for Solar Cells on Portable Devices.  Which is kinda cool. Except my iPod lives in the deep dark hole that is my pocket, and is rarely out in the sunlight. Not sure how this would affect any current product Apple has. 

There are other, quite interesting ideas that can be spun out from here, and Apple might be looking for something more than just a way to keep the power up on an iPhone. What it could be, I have no idea. 

This is not to say that this feature couldn't be incorporated into these devices, but it seems that getting the fraction of a charge that you'd get in the time it took you to pull out your iPhone and change songs is thinking small. Apple (probably) has something bigger in mind. More life changing. Steve Jobs is still looking for ways to change the world. Having a sort of solar powered iPod? Not revolutionary enough for him.

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of small scale and micro scale power generation; I've long argued (in my head, I don't actually associate with people) that they need to take and coat the Tesla Roadster in solar panels. Again, it might provide only a fraction of a charge, but that's a fraction that you won't have to draw from the system. And 1% a day adds up fairly quickly if the car is left parked in the sun.  I'd love to see system that eked a few milliwatts of power out of all sorts of things. Shoes that collected energy from walking. Floors that collected energy from walking. Solar Powered Paint. 

Anyway. We'll see what comes of it. And if it is merely a solar powered iPhone, I shall be disappointed....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

COD4: Fall Back!!!

I have a friend who is eagerly awaiting Call of Duty 4 for the Mac. Looks like he'll be waiting a bit longer, as they just changed the ship date from "May" to "Summer". 

It has been noted by Pallaxo that instead of putting out a new press release they revised the old one. So if this one gets changed, it really does say summer the day I wrote this. 

Friday, May 23, 2008

$1649 for Air

Okay. The Refurbs are starting to roll in on the Macbook Air and probably right out again. If you've been lusting after one of these sweet rides, but found the price a bit much, the refurbs come with a year warranty, as well as $250 off. Not too shabby.

The Refurb program is great; I've got two computers from it and no problems with either of them. Well, there is one. It's ust that the  key doesn't always work when I am typing. But if I hit it hard, I can get it to work. J. See? It's a minor quirk. 

Postal the Movie

Far be it from me to climb into the ring with acclaimed director Uwe Boll. But I see other people have been trashing the new Mac-influenced movie Postal

Uwe, in his typically restrained manner, has posted a note on the front page of the Postal Movie Home Page. I am not going to comment on it, simply because it does such a good job of providing its own meta-commentary. And because I don't want a well-oiled Boll to come knocking at my door to challenge me to a boxing match. (Seriously, that's how he deals with critics). 

Although I am thinking that he should just forget about trying to be a serious movie director, and  go work for Troma....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

...And then again...

So, it's after hours and I'm trying to start an Apple Repair Claim. But when I try and walk through the menu, it tells me to go to the nearest Apple Store. Well, let's see. The nearest Apple store currently is 3211 km away.
Gee, good thing that Vancouver store is opening up. That'll cut my drive down to a mere 12 hours....

Guess I'm waiting until tomorrow to call someone....

You learn something new every day

The gold standard of Mac troubleshooting and repair software is Tech Tools. So I was a little shocked to see "Download Tech Tools Deluxe" on the side of the Support Window at Apple (I'm having issues with the power plug on my computer. It's currently plugged in, but running on batteries. If I get it plugged in just so, it works, but if I don't... there's something wrong with the magsafe plug.)

Anyway. Tuns out if you have AppleCare Extended (I don't) you get a complementary copy of Tech Tools. Cool. I never knew that.  

Napster Music Store Opens, but not to you

So, I've been reading about this new Napster Music Store. Largest repository of DRM free music, they say.

Knowing that Napster is one of the few music services available in Canada, I was interested to see how it worked.

It doesn't.

Music store is not available in Canada. 

Napster doesn't work with Macs.

Napster doesn't work with iPods.

Napster is dead to me. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Updating the update

After reinstalling the firmware again (this would be the second time), both drives are back up and visible on my G4. But I'm not trusting it, so I've turned the computer off and waiting for the drobo which was last seen in...Edmonton. That was two days ago. C'mon. Step on it. I don't want to put any more pictures on the other drive, but I have a wedding to shoot this weekend. 

I'm feeling particularly vulnerable today....

Not only are Phishers starting to target iTunes, but there's another report of not one, not two, but three iCal vulnerabilities that can be exploited. 

So don't be going and opening up any strange .ics files, and if you wind up on, for heaven's sake, don't be giving them your credit card number...

Any thoughts?

I mentioned in the previous to this post that I have a Drobo on the way.

And I picked up an extra 500 GB drive. 

Here's the issue. The drobo reformats drives when they are stuck into it. I've currently got two 500 GB drives that I was using in my NAS; one was the main drive, one was the backup. 

I'm trying to figure out a way to get all the information off that system and into the drobo if the controller is knackered. I restored the firmware, and now I can see my backup drive. Which leads me to suspect that there might be something wrong with the cable or with the drive. I've gotta do a bit more rewiring to see if I can get things up and running. 

I have two external drives. Right now both of them have partial backups of what's on my NAS. They may or may not have files on them that are unique to them (they shouldn't, but because I am paranoid, I don't want to flush any data off them). 

And, because I am not rich, I was planning on recycling the two drives from the NAS into the drobo. 

In a perfect world, both drives would be working. Because I am simply using Super Duper! to Clone Drive A to Drive B (Main to Backup), I could pull Backup Drive B, stick it into the drobo with my new drive, let Drobo do it's formatting magic, then copy everything off Drive A to the Drobo. Once Drive A was clean, I could take it out, stick it into the Drobo, and Bob's your uncle. There would be a brief moment there when the information only existed in its fullness in one place.  I have a mostly complete backup on one of my portables, but not fully.

So yes, this is a problem of my own making. I'll think further upon it, and see what I come up with, but if you have any suggestions....?

Canada Post....

I just went and looked at my Drobo delivery dates; it has taken four days to get from Edmonton to Calgary. I know there was a long weekend in there, but still, people. Four days to go 300 km? I could have biked that distance in that time....

The Death of a Dream

So, I've mentioned in the past how I've taken my old G4, stuck in a Sonnet Tempo SATA card which allowed me to stick a couple 500 GB drives in there. I may have even mentioned how much fun it was to get things up and running, since the Firmware on the card didn't like the fact that my G4 was running 10.2. After a week or two or troubleshooting, I figured that out, upgraded the machine  to Tiger and everything worked great.

Or at least, it did, until last week, when it decided to go down again. And suddenly, I am left with no network storage, and most of my files are inaccessible. Yes, I have a backup and a backup to my backup, the trouble is I was still getting things running the way I wanted them to, and my backups backup hadn't been backed up in a month or two. My backup is still accessible, but for now I've turned off the machine and am just waiting for my new Drobo to arrive. 

As much fun as I had cobbling something together, I need reliability more than I need cheap. And the Drobo is nothing if not reliable. When doing these sort of projects, I want to spend all my time figuring stuff out up front, and then, once things are figured out, I want them to run smoothly from now on. Taking down my storage for a week, just at the start of the busy season? That's one strike and you're out. The trouble right now with the Drobo is that I didn't spend the $199 to get the Network attachment, so my wife won't be able to use the system. But I've got a new drive waiting to be installed, and as soon as the drobo is up, I'm taking and dropping all the files off my old portable drive onto it, so she can have her own portable drive for back-up.  (All the files from the old portable should be on the new portable as well as on my backup, so it's just a matter of verifying that there's nothing on there that is unique to it and then wiping it; that's actually what I was doing when the G4 conked out).

Is turning a G4 into a NAS drive a bad idea? If you need 100% reliability? Maybe. And I'm still not sure if it was the drive or the controller that went. If it the drive, I have to apologize to the controller. If it was the got sum splainin' to do....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To all my friends living in Vancouver reading this post...

...please go fetch me a tee-shirt saturday. Thank you. Thank you very much. 

Tip Tuesday: Forgotten Passwords

I love 1Password from Agile, because it means I only have to remember one password. 

The trouble is, it only works within web browsers, so I still have to remember all manner of other passwords scattered about the computer.

Or do I? It's not exactly convenient, but Keychain Access remembers all the passwords that your computer remembers. In fact, 1Password is little more than a nice front end to Keychain Access, which does all the heavy lifting. (Okay, before Agile writes me and gives me heck, it is a lot more than a nice front end to Keychain Access, but the fact remains that it is Keychain Access that does the work of securing the passwords)

As long as you remember your User password, you can get access to any of the passwords stored in the Keychain. 

Say I had a password to ftp into my Eye For Detail Photography Site, but forgot what it was. Maybe I decided I didn't want to use Cyberduck anymore, but wanted to use Transmit. Cyberduck may have auto-remembered passwords, but Transmit doesn't. 

I can open up Keychain Access (under Applications:Utilities), and find the name of the item I'm looking for, in this case www.eyefordetailphotos (while it is ftp access, my host uses a www prefix, not ftp). Double clicking on the name brings up an attribute window. Name, Kind, Account, where, and a blank line with a checkbox "Show Password."

Click on Show Password. Now you'll be prompted to enter in your account password (it's the one that is associated with the User (System Preferences: Accounts: My Account). Assuming you remember this password, type it into the box and choose whether to Deny access (a bit silly), Allow Once or Always Allow. I choose Allow Once so the password is only accessible this once. 

Once you click on that, the password shows up in the formerly empty box. Simply copy and paste this information over into transmit, and you're good to go. 

If you are worried about people using your computer without your permission while you are away, you can deal with that here, too. Under Preferences:General is the option to Show Status in Menu Bar. 

If you click this, a little lock appears in the menu bar. Clicking on that gives you the options to lock and unlock keychains. It also gives you the option to lock screen. This will cause your screen to go black with a dialog box asking for your password. If someone tries to access your computer while you are going to the bathroom, they will be unable to, unless they know your password. And if everyone in the office knows your password, why bother?

Another "There's news happening and it don't affect you"

Roku has got a new $100 set-top box out set to challenge Apple TV by offering movies from Netflix. Click on the movie you want to watch, and this new box will stream the movie to your TV.

Hold it. Stream?

Yes. Stream. As in no hard drive stream. As in "we don't trust you with our precious movies" stream.

As in you st






and it needs to buff


All the f

lipping time.

Okay, so maybe I'm cynical because I live in the land where high speed is promised to be 1 mpbs, but usually ranges down in the 56 K range, and so my experiences with streaming has been less than spectacular. Maybe in San Francisco, this works wonderfully. And they're certainly not targeting the Tumbler Ridge market (Netflix, of course, is not available in Canada. Again, who said that Mac hates Canada? I'm not seeing much love from anyone these days...) so what right do I have to complain. 

But I'd just like to point out to all those people that are predicting that this is the big Apple TV killah....streaming. 

That is all. 

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rumours upon innuendo

The newest iPhone rumour? Three weeks and $7, says Electronista

The rumors all seem to be built upon the rumor that Apple is announcing a 3G phone at WWDC, however, I have seen other rumors that say the phone will be as late as Sept....

As always, this means nothing to me until Telus starts carrying a CDMA version of the iPhone, which won't be for quite a while....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Speed Download goes to 5.0.3 and adds YouTube support

So, say you're wasting time over at youtube, and you come across Ladies of the World, by Flight of the Conchords, and you think to yourself "Boy, wouldn't that be nice to have to watch later because you never know when the internet will implode, leaving us without the 24/7 access to cats playing piano that I've become accustom to."

And you think to yourself that you may have to go and download one of a hundred programs that are designed to download youtube videos.

But then you see that Speed Download has added Youtube downloads to the latest version. And you were one of the lucky people to have got Speed Download as part of the last MacHeist (and you took advantage of the free upgrade to version 5).

Having all these conditions met, you download the latest version of Speed Download, and...

Nothing. It says youtube support is via "contextual menu", but doesn't give you any clue as to what contextual menu they mean. 

But I have the secret. Which I shall reveal to you here publicly for the first time (it's a scoop! Whehew!)

Restart Safari. 

That's it. That was the problem. And it took an email to tech support to figure that out. 

Once Safari has restarted, simply go to the page you want to download the video from, and right click anywhere on the page (that isnt' the actual video; click there and you get the Flash Player contextual video).  Now where it said "Speed Download: Disable Speed Download, there is a new option to "Download YouTube video".

That's it. 

Once you have it on your machine, you still have to figure out how to play it (I'm using the sometimes finicky Adobe Media Player which works great for playing videos that reside on your own machine. )

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daily Reading: Apple and Adobe

A while back, Mr. X Cringley suggested that Apple was shopping the pro-apps around, because it needed the money to buy Adobe. Everybody's favourite Gruber has an interesting response to that theory. 

Apple blinks!

Steve Jobs is the iron bulldog of negotiations. It is a rare day when Apple does something that other businesses want them to. They've been good listening to their customers (usually), but when, say a music company wants them to jack the prices? Jobs tells them where to go and how to get there. 

That's why the recent announcement that certain HBO shows are going to be priced at $2.99 is so interesting. Is this a case where Apple blinked? Is this a case where HBO shows are considered premium content, and so are priced between movies and TV shows? And what will this mean to Apple/NBC, who are rumoured to be in the process of making up? 

In other news, none of these shows are available in Canada, although they are offering shows from Fashion Television. It's not quite Lost, but at least its something....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Go Mac!!!

There's a couple of new Get A Mac ads out, including a PC Pep rally. While I still like watching John H (and it's nice to see Justin Long on a regular basis; I was a huge fan of Ed), the ads are coming dangerously close to running their course; they peaked with the first Vista ad, and, while there have been some great ads since then, that was the high water mark. 

And is it me, or has Mac's role been getting smaller and smaller? He used to give the sell lines, but lately, it's been PC delivering not just the punch lines, but the sell points as well. 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Open Office goes native

Open Office, everyone's favourite free Microsoft office alternative, has gone native for Mac. And there was much rejoicing. Open Office has been available for the Mac for a while now, but had to run under X11, which wasn't exactly the most user-friendly experience. 

It's in beta, but it is free. So go on over and check it out.

Daily Reading: And you thought Apple didn't like Canadians

If you're a Canadian, Apple is offering a $45 credit. Of course,  you have to own a first, second or third gen iPod, bought before June 24, 2004 and can prove it. 

Okay, so it's not a gift, it is a court settlement to a class action lawsuit. But hey, it's $45.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tip Tuesday: Sharing your internet connection

So, I'm not at home right now. For the last few days, I've been at a hotel with free wi-fi, but yesterday we went to visit friends.

Great people, but are not set up for three computers in the house. Fortunately, he was able to dig out an old router and a pair of ethernet cables, but that was still one cable too few.

But no problem. We plugged in the wife's laptop, turned on Internet sharing in the System Preferences (in Tiger, on her computer, it has it's own tab under Apple Menu:System Preferences:Sharing. In Leopard, it's just another check box in the list).

She's plugged in through ethernet, and sharing over airport. Once that was set up, all she had to do was go to her Airport menu (accessed by clicking the airport icon in the menu bar), and select create network. Voila, instant wireless network. 

It's not the most stable network I've ever used, but good enough to check email and whatnot. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

eMusic is coming to CAnada

More music news. eMusic is coming to Canada. 

It's the second biggest on-line retailer, and has been selling music for five years now.

Five years, and finally coming to Canada? And nobody is sitting there screaming about how eMusic must hate Canadians, because it took more than six months for them to get their services here....

Anyway. Make of it what you will. I'm excited, but at the same time, I barely have enough time to listen to all the podcasts I subscribe to in a week, let alone actual music, these days....

Daily Reading: ten meellion dollars...I mean, songs.

iTunes had 10,000,000 songs there for a few days, but was downgraded to a mere 6,000,000 songs, according to this MacNN story. I'm willing to say typo, or rather, one department not communicating with another department.

As a consumer, they're trying to say they have a lot of music, but as a musician, I must say, that's pretty depressing. 6,000,000 is a fair number, and it's easy to get lost in. Not that we have anything on iTunes yet, but someday we will, and then what happens? You say write good songs, but most of my favourite musicians write great songs, but few people buy their stuff, either. 

Sigh. Anyway. I've gone and made myself all depressed. Hope you're happy.