Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sorry for the Lack of Updates Lately!

I'd like to apologize for lack of updates lately, I've been busy, in a kind of non-busy way... if that makes any sense. I've been trying to relax and enjoy summer and just haven't gotten around to post any tech-y blog posts. However, if you didn't already know, you can subscribe to, or check out, my Shared Google Reader Page and/or my Twitter.

This summer I plan to work a lot and get a few gadgets that I've always wanted and hopefully some write-ups will soon follow after purchasing these items!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Modern Life is War's Last Show.

Yesterday Dave, Abbey, Steven and I ventured off to Marshalltown to see Modern Life is War's last show ever. The main highway that goes into Marshalltown was completely under water so we were forced to take a detour. The road that finally did take us into town appeared to be just inches high enough so that it was not completely submerged as well. (I know Abbey was taking pictures of this, hopefully I can get some of those soon and post them on here!)

We met up with Dave at a Little Caesars located inside a K-mart. The food was great, and the price was even better. We got two, large one-topping pizzas, an order of crazy bread, crazy sauce and 4 small fountain drinks for like $16 bucks.

Shortly after finishing our food we left for the show. It was incredibly convenient because, since none of us really know Marshalltown all that well, the venue was actually located just a mile down the street from the strip-mall that the K-mart was in.

The show was crazy fun. So many people from all over the world (yes world, there was a guest book at the entrance and we were surprised to see that people outside of the United States were also in attendance)!

Anyways, it was an amazing show, and now on to the good stuff. I have found a flickr page, and a youtube page that have pictures and videos from the show! The flikr page I found appears to have some really excellent pictures of just how grand this show was. I'll update this thread as I find more links!

Pictures: ARTripoli's Flikr Page

Videos: Echoegko's Youtube Page

Sunday, April 20, 2008

BusySync 2.0 Comes out of Beta!

BusySync 2.0 has finally come out of beta! I'm still just in awe how god-sent this app has been for me. I jumped on board with BusySync very early in it's beta stages (beta 3) and have still yet to have a single issue with it. Interestingly enough, it appears that even though it has come out of Beta, BusyMac is still offering BusySync at the discounted price of $19.95 as a "limited time offer". So if you have ever wanted a Google Cal/iCal syncing solution, I highly recommend you pick this up before the price is bumped up to around $25 bucks!


Edit: just took a look over at BusyMac's Blog and turns out this discounted price is only valid until April 30th. Also if any of you out there are curious in trying out BusySync, I'd strongly advise you check out the final section of my original post where I link you to a blog post that explains how to easily backup your Google Calendars just incase something were to happen.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Impressions with Google Docs Offline. (a work in progress)

This morning I was excited to see that my account finally received the "Offline" feature update. I had been anticipating this feature roll-out since hearing about it in late March.

So naturally like most new software features/updates I installed it as soon as I was able to. Google's Offline Docs feature uses Google's Open Source "Google Gears" in order to bring you an offline experience to Google's Web-apps.

As you all already know, I love taking my web-apps offline. I love knowing that if there's anytime that I absolutely do not have access to the internet, that I can still access all my information. Plus this offline hard copy allows for assurance knowing that I have a back-up copy if Google's servers were ever to fail me.

So here's just a little bit from my first experiences with Google's Offline Docs:

Installation was quick and painless. Syncing was quick, though I don't have too many documents. It's kind of a bummer that you do have to install something to get this web-app feature to work, but it makes sense as to why you need to. My only beef so far with Google Gears is it's lack of browser support. According to Google's Help Center, Google Gears is currently only supported by Firefox when using Mac OS X. C'mon Google! (and all the open source developers working on this) Firefox is what I use the least on my Mac. At least make a plugin for Mozilla's very own Camino and hopefully support will come to Safari here in the near-future. There is hope, the page continues on by saying that more browsers will be supported soon.

Anyways, enough of my rambling, and onto the actual feature. After all my files were synced, I unplugged my computer from the network in order to test things out. Right away I noticed something that turned me off a great deal. Offline editing can only be used on word documents. That's right, as far as I can tell, there's no editing options for Spreadsheet or Presentation files. You can still view the Spreadsheets but you can't make any changes to them while Offline. Most of my Documents are Spreadsheets so this is quite a bummer. The disappointments don't stop there, you cannot create a new document when Offline. This goes for Spreadsheets, Word Documents, everything.

Second thing I noticed was pretty disappointing as well. When you do go offline (as easy as pulling out your ethernet cable or turning off, or disabling your network interface) and you point your browser to docs.google.com, I was surprised to see that it does not ask for your password, but simply just your Gmail Username. I'm not sure if I like this. So let me get this straight, if you're online and point to docs.google.com you need to authenticate with a username and password to access your documents, but if you simply pull your network cable out you just have to type in the email address and it pulls up the offline docs. Now I know the chances of someone getting onto your already logged in computer are pretty slim, it still is a little sketchy how easy it is to view them. But I guess if you think about regular word documents in non-web-apps, it's just as easy to view these files, so I'll let it slip for now, but it'd be nice to see this improved on in the future. However, I am curious as to if having to authenticate when offline would be a security risk as well. If you had to authenticate offline, that would mean it'd have to store your password somewhere on your system. And since it's just a browser plugin, I'm not sure if they'd be able to use encryption or anything to store your passwords or if it'd all be in plain-text (obviously a solution that I would not be too fond of as either).

There's one last thing that I heard that sounded a little off when I heard it. I haven't actually tried this but I read that if you make online changes and offline changes (two separate computers at the same time) when syncing the offline computer again, the online changes take priority over the offline changes. So if you edited a document offline and also editing it online, when you sync back up, you lose all your changes to the offline data and there's no warning what-so-ever, just throws away your changes. Not sure to what extent this is and I'll definitely have to test this out on my own since this doesn't sound very appealing.

But in the end, it is a web-app after all (well excluding Google Gears) and that means that improvements are inevitable. Let's just hope we see them soon.

If you are still curious about what the Google Docs Offline feature is exactly and you don't want to try it out yet, check out this youtube video that basically explains how it works.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Create an easy-to-remember URL for your Flickr Photostream.

I cannot get over how much I love Lifehacker. Thanks to Dave for first exposing me to this amazing Tech/Life blog. It's crazy how many times I've thought of a problem I had and then found a solution (see: opensource/freeware app) on Lifehacker. And today is no exception.

I'm relatively new to Flickr and I'm currently loving it. One problem I had with it however was the randomness of the URL for my photoset ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/23641570@N05/ ). All other online services I use have a nice and friendly http://USERNAME.site.com or http://site.com/USERNAME formatting. Thanks to a Godly Flickr Advanced User Guide posted over two years ago I found this amazing little tip that directly links you to setting up your own personal and easier to remember URL for your photoset. Now I can simply go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathansmith68/ instead of memorizing http://www.flickr.com/photos/23641570@N05/ (hah like that was ever going to happen!).

What's really nice about this solution, is that the old link ( .../23641570@N05/ ) still works and is not a dead link! So if you have this bookmarked or hard coded into a document (such as flickr.jonathansmith68.com!) it will still take you where you want to go. Whether or not this will remain this way I'm curious to see and only time will tell.

Friday, April 4, 2008


So I finally took the dive and purchased jonathansmith68.com for one year from GoDaddy.com. Thanks to Chris Pirillo, an Iowa native, and University of Northern Iowa Alumni, I purchased jonathansmith68.com for one year for the low price of just $7.15 (see Chris Pirillo's GoDaddy Coupon's here).

As of right now I don't plan doing much hosting (if at all) with GoDaddy, since most of my online content is hosted on, I'm assuming, much more dedicated servers (and not too mention free!) but I will enjoy the little pleasures of being able to direct people to "blog.jonathansmith68.com," or "facebook.jonathansmith68.com." I did however happen to make a "homepage" or as I like to call it "an online portal" that you are redirected to when visiting jonathansmith68.com.

The Dock is written completely of Javascript and a few graphics. I must give credit to Safalra's Website for posting the great tip! I think it ended up looking pretty cool.

You'll have to check it out and tell me what you think!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Keep Dashboard Widgets on your Desktop.

Today Dale and I were talking about iSlayer's iStat App. Dale was messing around with the options and preferences and could not seem to get some of the functionality to work. For instance he wanted to see real-time temperatures and fan speeds and all that. After checking the appropriate boxes and even closing and re-opening the program we could not seem to get the fields to show up (though it did show up just fine in the iStat Pro Widget).

So like usual, when having a problem with a piece of software, I thought about it for a second. I had then remembered seeing a post about keeping your Dashboard widgets on your Desktop. Now personally I love the idea and functionality of Dashboard. I used to be a big fan of Konfabulator (now called Yahoo! Widgets Engine) because of it's ability to show the Widgets on your Desktop (rather than hitting a button to take you to the "Heads Up Mode") but now I see you beauty of Dashboard. For the most part, widgets are things that you need to see rarely, and in short durations (however this has exceptions), so I think Apple hits the nail right on the head with Dashboard. Another reason for my love of Apple's approach is the fact that my Macbook's Desktop's Resolution is nothing too special (coming in at 1280x800). Having so little space, I have no room to keep widgets cluttering my desktop. But this is merely personal preference and if I were someone like Dave, with his 24" iMac (1920x1200), I might think differently on this issue.

Here's where the solution comes into play. There's an awesome little hack to enable widgets to be on your desktop at all times. Simply open Terminal and then type in the following command:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES

After entering this command you'll need to restart the Dock by entering following command:

killall Dock

After you've down both commands you can simply open Dashboard (F12), click and drag/move around the widget, continue to click and drag the widget and hit F12 again. When you've got it where you want it. Drop it (let off on the mouse/track pad) and it should stay on your desktop. To get it back in Dashboard, simply do the same click/dragging in reverse order. The reason why I stressed the dragging is because after doing a few tests of just clicking the widget while attempting to do this, the widget seems to get locked and lost in a layer that is neither the Dashboard nor the Desktop, and the only way to be able to grab the widget again is to invoke another "killall Dock."

Try it out, hope you like it.

Note: I have not tried this out on Leopard yet, but works perfectly on our office Macbook with Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11. I'll have to try it out on my 10.5.2 Macbook later tonight. Turns out it does work on Leopard as well!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bi-Directional iCal/GoogleCal Sync with BusySync!

Over the last couple of years my uses for Google Calendar have increased exponentially. It's an amazing web-app that mimics the looks and functionality of iCal. Personally Google Calendar was god-sent and I've been using it since the initial release back in March of 2006. I store everything in my Google Calendar; school assignments and test dates, work appointments, family gatherings, birthdays, or just things I need to remind me self to do. Even when I got my Macbook in the Fall of 2006 I continued using Google Calendar over iCal because of it's convenience. If I'm ever away from my Macbook and yet I need to know the date and time of a particular appointment, I just pop open a web-browser at a friends house, and log into my Google Calendar. I've done this countless times and can't even start to think of how many times this has saved my butt.

Although I prefer Google Calendar over iCal, there are a few very cool things that you can do thanks to the integration of iCal in Mac OS X. For example, you can schedule events to run tasks, scripts, or even open certain apps. You can also use such apps as Anxiety to create and check off to-do lists extremely easy. Another big reason that I wanted iCal/Google Cal synchronization was for the iPod support. Some day, if I ever get an iPod, I can sync up all of my iCal events on my iPod. This would make things such as looking up appointments on the go so much easier. But even when I do get an iPod I won't ditch my Google Calendar. I highly doubt I'll carry my iPod everywhere I go so having Google Calendar is still an excellent fall-back option. On the other hand there are a lot of Google Calendar-exclusive features that I've grown to love, such as the SMS alerts. With Google Calendar you can setup your Calendar to notify you of events coming up via: SMS (Text Messages)! A practical example of this is for my Birthdays Calendar I have it set to text message me 12 hours in advance of anyone's birthday so I can make arrangements accordingly since I am terrible at remembering birthdays. So clearly, there are pros and cons to both iCal and Google Calendar, and I wanted so badly, to figure out a way to have the best of both worlds. My quest for a good iCal/Google Calendar Sync app started.

The first app that I stumbled upon was Spanning Sync. When I first found it I was so incredibly happy. I had no idea that apps like this even existed, but turns out there's a pretty big demand for such a service. I loved everything about it, loved the icon, I liked the website, but then I saw the price. $25 bucks for a 1 year license, and $65 bucks for a Full Lifetime License. Now personally, I'm the kind of person that hates buying "subscription" licenses. If I'm going to spend money on a piece of software, I want it for the lifetime of the product! However, after reading a little bit more into it, I do understand why the high price. Turns out Spanning Sync uses a Middle Man server to do the communications between your computer (the client) and Google's servers. At first I didn't think this was too bad of an idea, but then I started to wonder about privacy issues of having my personal data on this 3rd party server.

Time went on and I kept putting off Spanning Sync. The price was a little discouraging and the Middle man server was a bummer. I then found gSync. I'm not sure exactly when gSync came out, but I can only assume that with it's lower price tag (about $20 U.S. Dollars) it released solely to compete with Spanning Sync. The cheaper price was much welcomed but I started hearing issues of duplicate events and also Leopard compatibility issues. That was enough to make me hold off even longer.

I then heard about BusySync joining the iCal/Google Cal bi-directional synchronization game. After seeing a very user-friendly video of BusySync being demonstrated at Macworld 2008, I started to get very excited. The first Beta of BusySync 2.0 (first version to integrate Google Cal synchronization) was released on February 8th, 2008. About a week later I went to their site to investigate and learn more about the people behind BusyMac and their product BusySync. I was very surprised to see that the developers (only two of them) had actually made a syncing calendar app back in the days of Mac OS 7. I was impressed! Also two developers meant that this could result in a higher quality finished product. I figure that the less people, the easier the two could collaborate and there wouldn't be as much confusion as their could be in a large development team. Lastly what I liked about BusySync was the fact that, not only was it an iCal/Google Calendar synchronization app, but it also syncs up iCal's across a LAN. This was very exciting, for if someday I get a second Mac, I know I'll want the calendars synced up! I was sold, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a (lifetime!) license and proceeded to download the latest beta.

After now having used BusySync for the past week, I love it! It just seems to work. Setup was so incredibly simple. I like how it's just a little icon that sits in your System Preferences Pane, and not some obnoxious dock or menu icon. It's one of those things that you can just set and forget, and with the icon residing in the Preference Pane, that is exactly what you can do.

Setting up Google Calendar synchronization was super easy as well. All you have to do is go to the BusySync settings in the Preference Pane, and then click on the "Google" tab.

You then enter your gmail username, your password, check if you want to use SSL or not, and then the interval in which you want BusySync to communicate with the Google Calendar Servers to see if there are updates.

Once you have that done simply check the Calendars that you want to sync with your iCal and it does the rest for you.

One really nice thing about BusySync is their "Log" tab. This shows you all the activity that BusySync is doing. This is a great tool if you're curious on how BusySync works and will be a great troubleshooting tool if I do happen to run into some issues (which I haven't yet!).

Another nice thing is the "Reset" tab. This gives you restoration options and the ability to completely reset all BusySync options and remove all Calendar subscriptions. I have not needed to use these since I've had a very enjoyable experience so far, but definitely a comforting feeling knowing that these features exist.

I had only one issue initially and it's so tiny that you're probably going to laugh. At first I saw no way of just plain registering the app right off the back. I already bought a single license for the app and was all excited to right away register it since I can be rather stingy (see: broke) and tend to lean towards freeware/open-source software. Right after installing the app I was notified that it was a trial and that i had 14 days or whatever and then I'd have to register. I searched a bit and did not see a simple "Register Me!" button. Well anyways, a few days after using BusySync a new beta (2.0b4) released. After installing it I was very excited to see a simple "Register..." button located right on the main page! This was my only issue of BusySync and I'm very happy that this was "fixed" (if you could really call it that) so quickly!

Overall I am more than happy with this app. This was the missing piece to my Google web-apps-loving, Mac OS X-using life. This is incredibly nerdy to say, but I can honestly say that I can now sleep better at night. I've spent a lot of time trying to find comparative reviews of gSync and SpanningSync and could not find much. I took a gamble with this very new to the scene app and I've had such a great experience. If these guys can make an app, that is so early in it's beta stages, work this well, they've got to have some mad programming skills.

Just wanted to write this short little review for anyone who is also wondering which iCal/Google Calendar sync app to use, this one definitely gets my recommendation.

UPDATE: Please note that BusySync is still in Beta and your experiences may not be as painless as mine was, especially if you're migrating from another app such as SpanningSync or gSync. If you know anything about me you know that I constantly backup my important data and some might say it's to an excessive, obsessive level. But anyways just wanted to drop a tip to all of you and show you a post which explains the easiest way that I've stumbled upon to backup your Google Calendars! The post actually explains how to them import these calendars into iCal, but ignore this if you are thinking about setting up a Bi-directional Syncing App since this would just be a redundant and dead (see: static) copy of your calendars since it would lack the actual "Syncing" functionality. Hope this helps some of you out!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Format War Officially Over?

Ladies and gentleman, it looks like Blu-Ray has finally won the High-Definition format war. According to this engadget post Toshiba, who was one of the pioneers of the HD-DVD format, is expected to discontinue the production of HD-DVDs and players in as early as the next coming weeks. This is great news for anyone who was holding off just a tiny bit more in order to see what was going to happen. This plus the Writer's Strike being over, has made for a pretty eventful week!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A few Useful Environment Variables for Windows.

Lately I've been doing a fair bit of scripting. I made several scripts for the Overseas Fair in order to make my life easier, when doing repetitive tasks such as, clearing Mozilla update Cache out and modifying C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Sure these aren't very challenging tasks by any means, actually most only require a few clicks and to type a few lines of code, but this can get very annoying if done over and over and over.

At work I've made scripts for app deployment, backup, checking logs, synchronizing files, pinging computers, and scheduling automated tasks such as Spybot to run once a week. One of the easiest ways to make these scripts general and not have to hard-code in many different cases is to use environment variables.

I've compiled a short list of environment variables that work with Windows XP, and I assume that most of these will work with Vista as well, but have not yet tested them out.

%APPDATA% - Returns the current user's Application Data folder path. This is really useful if you simply want to navigate to the current users "Application Data" folder, without having to turn on "show hidden files and folders."

%USERPROFILE% - Returns the current user's home directory path. Again incredibly helpful for scripting and/or simply navigating around. Use this in conjunction with the "Windows Logo + R" tip and type "%USERPROFILE%" to quickly open the home directory in a windows explorer window.

%COMPUTERNAME% - This one is pretty explanatory, but it returns the computer's name. This is extremely helpful when creating special case scripts that you only want running on a certain list of computers. You can implement IF-statements, to add logic to the scripts.

%USERNAME% - Returns the current username that is logged in. Just like the %COMPUTERNAME% variable, the username variable comes in good use when making special cases to allow scripts to run only if a particular user or users are logged in.

%DATE% - Returns the current Date (example of output: Tue 02/05/2008).

%TIME% - Returns the current Time (in 24 hour format).

%HOMEDRIVE% - Returns the Driver letter that the current logged in user's home directory resides on. (in most cases this will be C:).

%WINDIR% - Returns the location of the WINDOWS directory (such as C:\WINDOWS). These last two are great for making sure your scripts are generalized and not so specific, that they don't function correctly if thrown into an environment where the WINDOWS drive is actually D: or E: and so on.

Most of these I knew from previous scripting and Windows XP experience, but a few I just found out about thanks to this post.

Hopefully some of these you didn't know and hopefully you can put these to good use sometime.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A few Windows Tips and Keyboard Commands.

This week + weekend marks Career Service's 32nd Annual Overseas Recruiting Fair and I've been back and forth all week helping maintain the technical parts of it. To say the least it's been quite a headache, the computers don't really seem to be cooperating. We found a few write-ups on the internet about changing a value in the Registry to "3" to keep the computers always on and not go to sleep, but unfortunately about half of them have been doing this properly. However the tech part of the fair hasn't been a complete nightmare. My scripts to temporarily block Teachers from the database system, and then revert back worked seamless and I've really enjoyed the new information that I gained from creating such scripts. Another plus is that I have acquired a few new tips and keyboard commands that I find incredibly productive.

First keyboard command that I'm starting to use religiously was actually shown to me by Dale. "Windows Symbol + R" prompts you with a "Run" window. From here you can quickly open up something like cmd.exe, which I opened probably a million times over the last few days.

Another thing that I learned is the fact that you can open a folder location from this. For instance, say I wanted to check the current "hosts" file to see what is being blocked, I simply push "Windows Symbol + R" to open a Run window, and then type "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\". This is much quicker than using the mouse to go to My Computer, then clicking on C:\ then clicking on WINDOWS, then system32, etc., etc., you get the idea. This is is very similar to why I love Terminal in unix/linux/Mac OS X because you can very quickly just cd into any directory. Though you can cd in cmd.exe, you don't get the convenience that you get in *nix/Mac OS X. For example, in Mac OS X, I can simply enter the command "open ~/Documents/School" and it will open the School folder. Unfortunately Windows' cmd.exe does not have this open command, but I do also like this "Run" alternative.

Another keyboard command that I like a great deal, and use along with the tip stated above is the "Ctrl + W" keyboard command. In Mac OS X this is an amazingly powerful and extremely quick command. It essentially closes the current in focus window/tab. For instance, say I have 5 Safari windows open. Say I'm done reading the article I'm currently looking at and just want to close the window, but I don't want to completely quit out of Safari because I have more items in my Google Reader. Simply push "Apple + W" and it will close the current Window. This also works with Tabs in Safari. Say you have a 20 tabs open and you're done with that page, simply push "Apple + W" and Safari closes out the current tab. As far as I know, it works with just about every App on Mac that I've come across. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Windows. It seems to work in most apps but not all. Still the fact is it works with Windows Explorer windows. Personally this makes the "Run" technique a million times better because you can simply open, view the contents of any folder you want and then close it all without touching your mouse. Obviously this comes in handy when you are doing a lot of repetitive tasks such as the ones I was doing yesterday.

This last one I've always known about, but always seem to forget the exact syntax. After doing at the fair probably more than any other command, I don't think I'll ever forget it but just feel like posting it for kicks. It is a very powerful command, especially when you're working in an environment where the computers are incredibly locked down and you don't want to deal with logging off, then logging on to an administrative account, then logging off, and logging back on, over and over. So without further a due the "runas" command is as follows:

runas /u:administrator "cmd.exe"

Obviously, change "administrator" to whatever user you want, though administrator maybe what you want. And lastly change "cmd.exe" to any command you want to do. You'll then be prompted for the administrative (or username that you choose) password and then should be good to go.

Tip: If you do happen to get an error saying "... is not a valid Win32 application." such as when attempting to "runas" compmgmt.msc (the Computer Managment window), or desk.cpl (the Display Properties window) simply do the "runas" command and run "taskmgr". From here you can then go to "File," and then "New Task," and type "compmgmt.msc" or "desk.cpl".

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A short little Apple rant.

Update (2/24/2009): Since writing this rant a little over a year ago, Apple has finally adopted a new technology, though not HDMI, which I was hoping for. Apple has implemented this new MiniDisplay port into it's new line of laptops (as well as their NEW Cinema Display which I ranted about in the original post) and says that they plan on implementing the new Mini DisplayPort into their entire line of Macs soon. It's nice to see that Apple finally adopted a new technology over the aging DVI spec. The new Mini DisplayPort supports higher bandwidth, than DVI and HDMI though it does lack the convenience of having both the audio and video in one connection like HDMI. Though the more I think about this "convenience" the more I think it might not have been so convenient. For example, yes for TVs and Home Theater applications, HDMI is incredibly convenient. Both audio and video over one cable is both elegant and easy for your average consumer to hook-up. However, I mostly use a set of 2.1 or 5.1 speakers combined with my computer setups and having the audio and video streamed to my monitor may just add another bit of confusion into the setup, and that is how to get the audio then from the monitor, to output to the speakers.

Lastly it's nice to know that Apple is continuing it's tradition with adopting industry (and often times open!) standards. According to this Ars Technica post, Apple is offering free licensing for the new Mini DisplayPort spec. This is exciting news and hopefully we'll start seeing some third party cables, adaptors, and monitors that will start integrating the spec!

Original Post (1/30/2008): (As mentioned in earlier posts, one of the greatest parts about Apple is the fact that they are constantly raising the bar when it comes to being the most up-to-date with the latest industry standards. Whether it be AAC, h.264, USB, Firewire, Flat Panels, Bluetooth 2.1, the list goes on. So WHY Apple, WHY have you not implemented HDMI into all of your products yet?! You'd think that, Apple, who's often been criticized for putting form before function, should be all about implementing HDMI. HDMI is a single interface that can carry both High Definition video, as well as 7.1 surround sound audio, all in one tiny package, that is remarkably smaller and sleeker than it's predecessor DVI.

So let's recap here, smaller connection, no screws making it look like an old legacy connection (see: Parallel Port), higher bandwidth, single cable rather than two, it just makes sense to me.

An argument that one could make about part of my last statement could be the move to Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI. If you take a look at Apple's line of computers, the iMac, Macbook (though not Pro) and Macbook Air all incorporate a physically smaller connection than your regular old DVI connection. These models incorporate Mini-DVI (iMac and Macbook) and the newly announced "Micro-DVI" (Macbook Air). While this is a nice attempt at making DVI small and pretty, (and thank god it loses those screws!) this is still a pretty crappy solution since this means shelling out an extra $20 bucks for an adaptor. Some might say that these interfaces are proprietary, I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that much, but they definitely do seem to only be found on Apple computers (which I guess you could say is essentially proprietary). So c'mon Apple, what happened to industry "standards."

Another argument that some people say is that this might cannibalize or discourage sales of apple's own AppleTV, since the new Front Row 2.0 resembles and functions very similar to that of the first generation AppleTV (generation that existed during the release of Leopard). But I think that now Apple has released AppleTV "take 2," which offers a lot of new functionality, such as "Computer-Free" downloads, rentals, etc.. This furthers the gap between Front Row 2.0 and AppleTV, and this almost completely destroys this argument.

Lastly, Apple's Cinema Displays are so out-dated it's pretty sickening. Back when I was shopping around for an LCD, back in March of 2006, I lusted for an Apple Cinema Display, but knew that I couldn't afford the hefty price tag. At the time the price for the introductory 20" Cinema Display was I believe $799 but I could be wrong on this. This compared to the Dell 2005fpw which I ultimately ended up with that could be picked up for as low as $500 at the time, the choice was pretty much obvious, considering both displays used the same LG panel inside. I could go on and on explaining why I chose the Dell over the Cinema Display, and I could even write an entire post about my beef with Apple's Displays, but that will have to wait for another time. Anyways, Apple's prices and specs of their displays are outdated. Where's the built in iSight? I'm hoping that sooner rather than later we see a revision to this Cinema Display line and then maybe, just MAYBE this will finally push Apple over the edge and adapt HDMI, if even only just as an option.

Wow that ended up being a little longer than I had expected.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Macworld 2008 Recapped.

Well Macworld 2008 came and went, and overall I was pretty satisfied with everything announced. I was extremely happy to see that 2 or 3 of my hopes/predictions did end up coming true!

-First Solid State Disk Options

I was extremely happy to see that Apple FINALLY introduced Solid State Disk as an option when configuring the new MacBook Air. Though a little steep price-wise, this is definitely a step in the right direction, and slowly but surely will start to see high capacities, which hopefully will result in price drops. I truly believe that Flash or Solid State Disk's are the future and I recommend going this route if at all possible in any sort of portable device.

-Ultra Portable Macbook

Apple released the Macbook Air on Tuesday, and it looks pretty slick. It's a bit on the pricey side, coming in at $1,799 but I truly believe that this is mostly because of the such small form factor. I love where apple is going with this. Apple's always ahead of the game when adopting and killing off standards; USB and Firewire standard before most PC's even had it, Killing off the Floppy Drive with the translucent iMacs, Bluetooth Standard across the whole Mac line, the list goes on and the Macbook Air is another perfect example. One of the reasons why the Macbook Air is so sleek and tiny is because it's lack of ports. The transition from the iBook to the Macbook, meant killing off the 56k modem, and now Apple has done it again by killing off the Ethernet Port (optional USB adaptor). Once 802.11n is finalized later this year (hopefully!) I don't think people will even miss the Ethernet port.

However there are a few things I do not like about the Macbook Air. For starters, the memory is soldered into the motherboard and therefore can not be upgraded. Again, this is probably just a form factor issue, also this would make the Macbook Air a little less seek. Lastly, the battery is not user-replaceable, so whenever the user is going to want a brand new battery, they'll have to ship it in and pay $129 bucks for a new battery. Thank God there is no cost for labor.

-iPod Touch Updates

Unfortunately there was no updates to the iPod's capacities, but there was an update that is almost equally as exciting. Apple FINALLY updated the Apps available on the iPod Touch (-not iTouch!). Apple has now included the following Apps into the iPod Touch; Mail Client, Google Maps, Stocks, Weather, and Notes. As if I didn't already want an iPod Touch pretty badly this pretty much sealed the deal for me, and I will hopefully be getting one of these as soon as possible.

-Time Capsule

One thing that was a complete surprise to me was the introduction of "Time Capsule." Time Capsule is essentially a NAS. It is aimed towards users who want to use Time Machine to back up their entire family of Macs wirelessly. I think it's a pretty clever name. It is an Airport Extreme Base Station (Apple's Wireless B,G,N Router) with a "Server Grade" hard drive inside. Personally this was one of the more exciting announcements of the whole entire keynote, since I'm currently in the market for BOTH a new wireless router and an external hard drive. I was quite surprised with the prices as well. The 500GB Time Capsule will cost you $299, and the 1TB model will cost you $499. If you do the math these are pretty good prices considering the Airport Extreme Base Station was $179 prior to the release of Time Capsule. This mean's that they are throwing in an external drive for $120 bucks for the 500GB model and $320 bucks for the 1TB model. Doing a quick search at Amazon shows that this is an amazing deal, not to even mention that it's all integrated into one product!

With Leopard being quite a big success right out of the gate, the iPhone SDK just around the corner, and the latest Mac lineup transformation, I think 2008 will be a pretty exciting year for Apple.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Allow your Mac to sleep after a DVD has finished playing.

I find it easiest for me to go to sleep while watching something on TV or a DVD. If I'm watching TV, I have a very conveniently located "Sleep Timer" button where I can specify how much time I want the TV to remain on before automatically turning off. I find this great for so many reasons. This saves my Samsung 23" HDTV from possibly getting image burn-in (if say it was left on an annoying, non-animated, or slightly animated DVD menu). This also saves my TV from the possibility of it overheating (and yes flat panels tend to get VERY hot over extended uses). And lastly, plain-and-simple, this is a very energy-saving-friendly feature.

Over break, I've been living back at my Mom's house and have been without my beloved TV. Unfortunately, Apple has created Mac OS X so that the Mac DOES NOT sleep at any time that a DVD is playing. Now this make sense for quite a bit of reasons, it'd be rather annoying to have to switch the power settings whenever you wanted to watch a DVD, or use something like Caffeine. However, it appears that, by default, Mac OS X's DVD Player goes back to the looping DVD Menu (as does most Standalone DVD players) after the episode(s) or movie is over. Since this means that DVD player is still technically "running," OS X does not put the display nor computer to sleep at all.

For obvious reasons, this can both be annoying, and could possibly cause image burn-in, so I searched for a solution! First I wanted to investigate HOW Mac OS X does it's Autmoated Tasks.

Possible solution #1: A "cron" is a time-based scheduling service for Unix based computers. I first heard of crons back in October when many Mac sites released a Mac OS X Trojan Warning. I then planned on learning how to correctly schedule one of these cron jobs to tell my Mac to Quit the DVD Player at a certain time of my choosing. Soon after doing a little more googling I found this little app that had a funny name (CronniX), but after a quick look at the comments, I found out that Apple actually recommends the use of "launchd," saying that it supersedes previous commands such as cron. This led me to possible solution #2.

Possible solution #2: ANOTHER comment found on that Lifehacker post was one that directed me to an app called "Lingon," that simply gives you a GUI to help you create these "launchd's." Anxious and excited, I quickly downloaded this and ran it. I was a little scared and overwhelmed since this app showed you the tons and tons of system related launchd's that had been previously set. I was scared that I was going to mess something up, and thought this was a little bit overkill just to do something as simple as closing DVD Player at a specified time. However I'll definitely keep this app in mind, when the day comes that I DO want to mess around with some more powerful automated tasks.

Possible solution #3: A little more googling around led me to a way of scheduling an automated task by using iCal, creating an event, and then setting an alarm for that event. You can then set the alarm to do one of multiple things; prompt you a message, message with sound, email, open a file, or run a script. I was pretty excited about this! This would be much easier to configure quickly, and it wouldn't be dealing with such important core files, just to schedule DVD player to turn off. So I created a quick little Automator Workflow App (save as... Application) that simply "Stopped the DVD Player." Tested it out, and it worked perfectly! This was great and I was excited to finally have closure on this problem that had long annoyed me!

Possible solution #4: While ranting on to my friend Dave about how ridiculous I thought it was that I had to go to all this work just to get my Mac to sleep after watching a DVD he sent me a URL to an app he found in about 2 seconds. iSleep was EXACTLY what I needed. It was simple a Mac Sleep Timer and Alarm clock. The app allows you to fall asleep listening to music in iTunes, or watching a DVD, and then after a certain amount of time, will sleep your Mac. I was all excited, and was so close to downloading until I noticed one thing... it said that iSleep was shareware, and that you are allowed to try it for 30-days, and then if you like it, you can register it for about $9 USD. This isn't a bad price, but I absolutely despise shareware. It reminds me of those crappy trials often found on Windows. Whether or not iSleep FORCES you to register or if it pulls a "WinRAR" and just pops up an annoying "Register Me!" window that can simply be exited out of, I wasn't sure. However, the fact that iSleep was shareware was a huge turn off for me.

Possible solution #5: I had about had it, I googled one last time, in hopes that I'd find something new. Sure enough I did. In this thread, posted just a few days ago, someone asked this exact question that has been bugging me for quite some time. I read the responses and discovered the easiest solution yet. A million kudos goes out to "Jory," who states that Tiger (or later) contains a Sleep Timer (Command + T) that allows you to; Quit DVD Player, Sleep, Shut Down, or Log Out at either a specified time, OR (and this is the best part yet) at the end of the current title. Tested it out, and sure enough, works perfectly!

Sometime's it's funny how you'll go to such great depths to find an app or a way to do something, when Apple has already thought it out and included it in their Operating System.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Modifying Terminal's Prompt String, Revisited.

Soon after modifying my prompt string in Terminal, I wasn't too happy about the excessive length that this added to each Terminal Prompt. I also didn't like how it wasn't exactly 100% consistent with the look of Tiger's Terminal. So after a few days I decided to go back to the post that I originally saw this tip from and actually read it a bit more thoroughly this time.

After taking a glance at the table of environment variables, I quickly constructed a string, that I believe is identical to the prompt string that appears in Tiger.

export PS1="\h:\w \u\\$ "

The only thing that I am a bit confused with is the double "\\" near the end of the string and the use of double quotes. Some examples on the blog post use double quotes, whereas some use just single quotes. I'm assuming that these are interchangeable.

Another one I like, is even shorter, and I'll probably be switching in between these two depending on what I'm working on.

export PS1="\h:\w\\$ "

Add a "Message Of The Day" to Terminal.

This one is super simple and can be done in both Tiger and Leopard. I was curious how to do this because I wanted to add the "Welcome to Darwin!" that I missed so much from Tiger's Terminal.

To add a Message of the Day:

1.) Open Terminal and enter the following command.

sudo vim /etc/motd

Since we are not logged into the Root User, we have to precede the command with a sudo, this then prompts you, asking for your administrative password.

(Also Note: that you can use any editor of your choice, now that I know a few of the shortcuts for vim, it is starting to grow on me. "Nano" is also a very easy Text Editor, and the shortcuts are all displayed at the bottom of the screen for your convenience.)

2.) Once you have entered vim, press "i" to enter the "Input mode" and type whatever you'd like for your message of the day. Example: "Welcome to Darwin!"

3.) Push Esc to exit out of "Input mode" and type: ":wq" (explained in this post) to save the file.

4.) Now close and re-open Terminal and you'll now see your new Message of the Day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Shred a Hard Drive with Linux.

Windows does have a handy hard drive formatter built into it's OS, but chances are it only does one pass of "Zeros." Also this built in formatter is pointless if it's your boot disk that you want to erase. This is where Linux Live (bootable) CD/DVDs become extremely helpful.

Knoppix was the first Live Linux Distribution (Live meaning you can boot and run Linux right from the CD or DVD) that I knew of, but now it seems that almost ALL major Linux Distro's have some sort of Live CD feature. This tip should work on all Linux distro's (such as Ubuntu and so on) but I've only tested it on Knoppix.

At work we do a lot of shredding of our hard drives in order to dispose of sensitive data, and it's incredibly easy using a Live Linux CD.

First off, I'd just like to make a note that this will delete ALL your data, so use at your own risk.

1.) Acquire the latest Knoppix or Ubuntu.

2.) Boot the computer that you want to shred (completely erase) the hard drive of. To avoid confusion, I recommend to have ONLY the hard drive that you want to shred installed. However this is not required, whereas you can invoke several commands to figure out which hard drive is which.

3.) Once you have booted into the Live CD/DVD, open Terminal.

4.) Enter the following commands:

fdisk -l

The first command lets you become the Root User, or "Super User," and gives you permissions to do commands, such as fdisk and shred. The second command will list all of the hard drives currently mounted.

If you followed my recommendation and have only one hard drive installed, you should only see either "Disk /dev/hda" or "Disk /dev/sda" (hda for the old ATA drives, and sda given to newer SATA drives). However if you happened to have multiple hard drives still in your computer, you will see hda and hdb (and so on) AND/OR sda and sdb (and so on). This output is very important to you if you do infact have multiple hard drives installed because this will show you statistics on these hard drives (size, partitions, etc.).

So find out which hard drive you want to shred and continue on to Step 5.

5.) You should still be logged into "Super User," but if not type su (note: this won't hurt if entered a second time).

6.) Now for the shred command, make sure to type this 100% since this will erase everything.

7.) The command you will need to enter is:

shred -vfz -n 3 /dev/hda

-The -v argument stands for "verbose" and this means that you will be prompted with the progress of the shred.
-The -f argument tells Terminal to force the command.
-The -z argument is telling the shred command to add a final overwrite of all zero's (this means that the hard drive will be completely erased).
-Finally the -n option is there so you can specify the number of iterations that the shred preforms. The more the better... well kind of. All moving parts (hard drives OBVIOUSLY included) have life spans, and making the hard drive do more intensive work, such as shred, logically would limit the life span of the hard drive that much. Most people say 3 to 5 passes are plenty.
-Lastly, make sure to change the /dev/hda to either (/dev/hda, /dev/hdb, /dev/hdc, /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc.) to make sense with your situation.

Once completed, you'll be able to format the drive (most OS'es do this automatically for you when installing their OS) and install a fresh copy of an OS of your choice!

Spoofing your MAC Address in Tiger.

Spoofing your MAC (Media Access Control) address can be a very handy tool. Most people argue that it is only used for not-so-legit things, but I beg to differ. A very common case where spoofing your MAC address could be both helpful and education is in the area of network trouble-shooting.

Many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) tie the customer's IP address to the MAC address of the computer (or router) connected to the modem. The Physical Layer (Layer 1) is always the first layer that you should check when trouble-shooting a network. This layer includes, modems, routers, computers, cables, etc. So in order to be able to more thoroughly test your network, being able to swap out your current device connected to your modem is key. This can obviously be very tricky when the ISP has locked the IP address to a single MAC address.

Here's where spoofing your MAC address comes extremely handy, and doing it on Mac OS X Tiger, (unfortunately this command does not seem to work in Leopard) and I'm assuming most Linux/UNIX system, is by far the easiest I've ever seen.

1.) Simply open Terminal and type in the following command:

sudo ifconfig en0 lladdr aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff

(where aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff is the new desired MAC address)

After entering that command, Terminal will ask for your password and now all connected devices connected to the wired ethernet connection should see this new MAC address. And as if this tutorial couldn't get any easier, to revert, simply restart your Mac.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Have Terminal show "ls" Colors by Default.

Working in Terminal is very tedious. And it doesn't help much when all of the files, folders, etc. are the same color. There is a simple way to make it so that when you invoke the "ls" command, it is always color-coded.

Adding this functionality is super simple, and is almost identical to the process I explained in the "show entire path of current directory" post. I was screwing around, trying to get this working at work on our Tiger machine and Dale gave me a few tips on using Vi. He actually suggested that I use Vim (Vi IMproved). Thankfully this is part of Tiger as well as Leopard so I gave it a shot.

In order to add the colors to ls we have to add another line to our .bash_profile file.

1.) Open Terminal

2.) It should start you off in your Home directory, just to make sure type "cd"

3.) Type the following line:

vim .bash_profile

4.) If this file has not been created yet, it will then display a blank screen, however if you've created this file before (maybe you did my post about showing the entire directory path!) then it will show you the previous lines that you have entered

5.) Press "i" to enter "Input mode"

6.) Now enter the following line:

alias ls="ls -G"

7.) Press the escape button. This will take you out of "Input mode"

8.) Type ":wq" and then press Enter (The colon prompts you to enter commands and the w and q commands stand for "Write," and "Quit")

9.) Finally, quit out of Terminal and re-open it. Now when you invoke the "ls" command, it should return the list of files and folders, but this time color-coded!



I got most of my information about this tip from this blog, however Leopard differs and does not seem to look at the ".profile" file. After a little bit of experimenting, I found out that instead Leopard seems to be looking at ".bash_profile". However if you are still running Tiger, the blog that I just posted works perfectly! Also see that blog for additional information on what all the color codes mean. Thanks again Dale for a lot of the hints!

Putting Gmail's Filters to good use.

I honestly have no idea how I lived before I used Gmail's filters and labels. I feel without them your inbox is extremely unorganized and messy. I have filters for all kinds of things; differentiating emails from work and school , trashing automated time card notifications and University quarantined emails, and labeling newsletter subscriptions. However, one of the "set-and-forget" filters that I often overlook is my "Spam mark as Read" filter. My friend Dave happened to show me this tip, and I give him the credit, however I cannot for the life of me find the link that he showed me.

What this filter does is, rather than being notified by a Spam counter, the email is instantly "marked as read." This essentially means that you will no longer have the Spam count sitting in the left column mocking you every time you log into Gmail. To top it off, Gmail automatically deletes all Spam that is over 30 days old. This is nice because if you are super paranoid about Gmail incorrectly marking Spam, you'll still have 30 days to catch it before it's gone. Later on I will show how you can avoid such situations.

The filter is incredibly easy to set up, here's how:

1.) Up at the top of you're Gmail page, click on "Create a filter."

2.) In the "Has the words" box, enter "in:spam" (minus the quotation marks)

3.) Click "Next Step." You'll get a Warning saying that "in: will never match incoming mail" however, Spam is an example where this is wrong, because Gmail automatically places Spam mail into the Spam Folder. So you can click "OK" and ignore this warning.

4.) Last, simply click on "Mark as read," and if you'd like, apply this filter to all current conversations below by checking the appropriate box.

Other Notes: After a few weeks of running this filter, I noticed, just a few emails that were not actually spam, but were being marked as spam. Since this filter disables the notification of new spam, you'll have to make sure to check back periodically at first to make sure it is not throwing away stuff that is actually intended for you!

Soon after realizing this, I decided to modify the Filter (go to "Create a filter" and then click on "Show current filters") by adding (again without the quotation marks) "my first name, my last name, my school, and guitar hero" (since google seemed to be marking my RedOctane newsletters as spam) this tells the filter NOT to mark emails containing these words as read, and instead will show you the Spam Count. You can then view the supposed Spam and modify the filter accordingly.

Good luck! Tell me if you have any ideas for filters.

Edit: I found the original blog post that I got the information found here.

Make Leopard's Terminal show the ENTIRE path.

There are quite a bit of changes to Leopard's Terminal, one of which, I am not too keen on. In Tiger, when you were using the Terminal, navigating deep into folders and directories you could easily check the latest prompt to see where exactly you currently were. However soon after messing with Leopard's Terminal, I was saddened to see that it no longer did this, but instead only displays the current name of the directory that you are in.

At first, this didn't bug me to much, however it gets really annoying typing in pwd every-other time just to make sure you are in the right directory

"...am I in /usr/bin/ or am I in /usr/local/bin/... am I in /Library/, or /System/Library/, or am I in ~/Library/?!"

This got old quickly so I decided to ask my Linux mentor, who also happens to be my boss, if he had a solution. He did a little research, we found a solution, and I was so happy to have figured this out I thought I'd post a blog in hopes that I can help other people out who are also bothered by this.

First things first: You'll need to know what "~" means. ~ refers to your "Home" folder. You're Home folder is located in the /Users/ folder in Leopard. A lot of times this is your full name. In my case, my Home Directory is jonathansmith68. The tilde comes handy when you want to cd to your Home Directory quickly.

-Simply enter the following command into Terminal at any time in order to cd (or changedirectory) into your Home Folder.

cd ~

Also note that anytime you open Terminal, by default, it places you in your Home Directory.

Now that we've discussed what the Home Directory is, explaining how to add this functionality will be much easier.

First you'll have to create a file named ".bash_profile" inside your Home Directory. It is under my impression that most, if not all Linux distros already have this file, but it appears that Leopard does not, so you'll have to make it yourself.

Note: Files and Folders that begin with "." are hidden in Leopard. In terminal in order to see these hidden files and folders you must enter the "ls" (list) command along with the "-a" (all) option. This will show all the files and folders located in your current directory.

You can create the ".bash_profile" file in any kind of text editor, whether it be Vi Editor, TextEdit, or TextMate. I'm lazy and didn't want to learn Vi so I decided to just create the file in TextEdit.

1.) Open TextEdit and Enter the following String of text:

export PS1="[\u@\h \w]\\$

2.) Go to File --> Save As...

3.) Uncheck the Box that says "If no extension is provided, use ".txt"."

4.) Name the file ".bash_profile"

5.) Make sure to save this to your Home Directory, this can be found in the sidebar and/or the drop down box and is represented by a small Home Icon.

6.) A Dialog box will pop up telling you that filenames that being with a "." are reserved for the system (hidden files) and asks if you are sure that you want to use the "." in the beginning. Simply click "Use ".""

Once the file has been saved into your Home Directory, all you need to do is quit out of Terminal, and reopen it.

You should now be able to see the full Directory Path at all times!

Before (only shows the current directory, not entire path)

After (shows the entire path of the current directory)

I'd like to give credit to this website for most of the information. Thanks to Mac OS X's Unix roots, it was possible to adapt this to Leopard.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Finally some good news about the HD Format War.

According to this post I saw on Mac Rumors, Warner Brothers has officially ditched HD-DVD for Sony's Blu-Ray format. Personally this is both good and bad. I'm excited that a lot of the critics and pundits are saying that this MAY end the format war, but at the same time, I was hoping Sony's format would fail miserably and go the way of ATRAC3, MiniDisc, and UMD Movies. Oh well, I'll let Sony have this one as long as they can promise the type of advances that they are claiming (Multi-Layer 50+ GB Disks).

On a related note, I made my FIRST edit *gasp* of a blog post. In my first post I said that I was eagerly awaiting/hoping that Apple adopts a High-Def format at Macworld. This news about WB and the fact that Apple is on Blu-Ray's Board of Directors makes me think that they will adopt the Blu-Ray format and I'm hoping we see this as early as Macworld!

Replace Leopard's 3D Dock for a simple 2D one.

Well since my life is not incredibly entertaining, I've decided to make this Blog mostly about technology. For my first batch of posts, I'm going to be posting little tid-bits of information that can be applied to Apple's very own Mac OS X Leopard (10.5). Immediately after I installed Leopard along with installing the 10.5.1 Update, (which I cannot stress enough that you do immediately after installing Leopard!) I wanted to swap out the 3D dock for a more Tiger-looking 2D dock. My main beef with the Leopard "3D" dock was that I felt it was a tad bit choppy and slow responding at times. This could be all in my head or it could be due to the fact that my first generation Macbook sports the weak Intel GMA950 GPU.

I could continue rambling on about reason why I don't like Apple's 3D dock, but I think I'll save my time and just show you how simple it is!

1.) Simply open Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and enter the following code.

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES

2.) Now all you have to do is kill the dock and you should now see the 2D dock.

killall Dock

Leopard 2D Dock

Leopard's 3D Dock (default)

Other Notes: It is incredibly easy to reverse this if you want the 3D dock back. Use the same command shown in step 1, instead using NO at the end.

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean NO

Feel free to post your opinions on the 3D dock in the comments section.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hopes and Wishful Thinking for Macworld 2008.

In no particular order:

-Blu-ray and/or HD-DVD
-HDMI standard on all Macs (this would mean the Mac Mini's specs would have to be bumped up to the Santa Rosa platform and include the new Intel x3100)
-First Solid State Disk options
-Ultraportable Macbook
-Updated iPod capacities!
-More news about the iPhone SDK
-Possibly news about a touch screen ultra portable
-Possibly news about a that rumored and relatively new patent for a dock-able Macbook

In case you didn't know, the Macworld 2008 Keynote will be on Tuesday January 15th, starting at 11am Central Time.

If even 2 or 3 of these things will be announced I'll be super stoked! What are you guys thinking?