Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Best Date Ever - A Picture!

In February I posted a story called The Best Date Ever - I was just going through my high school annual and came across this picture:



* My girlfriend & I / 1992


I'm wearing a Mickey Mouse tie & cumberbun (the tie lit up with two lights in each triangle) - a geeky Radio Shack mod I did.

That picture was taken right here where you see the circle at Littlejohn basketball coliseum in Clemson SC.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Audecom Bluetooth Speaker - Bluetooth Pairing Code



In case any of you have an Audecom Bluetooth Speaker and need the bluetooth pairing code - it is 1234.

When you call the toll free customer service number ... it gives a "number no longer in service" message.

When you call the California area code number - you have to choose the operator number which gives you a receptionist for a new business. This receptionist informed me Audecom went bankrupt ... but she mangaed to "find" a stray manual. She informed me that 1-2-3-4 is the pairing code for all Audecom products.

The majority of www.audecomintl.com is incomplete or missing information

I lost my manual and wanted to make sure I had the pairing code before I got my iPhone. These bluetooth speakers are excellent and were on clearance at Target a few months ago.

I sold a few of them on eBay and kept one unit for myself.

* if this post helped you out comment below and click on an advertisement - let it load - it cost you nothing.

When you get that message and you can't figure out why

While dealing with a very odd problem in Final Cut Pro with a customer in my daily Apple Tech job, I came across what seems to be a common problem that has many people in dozens of forums seemingly dangling for an answer.

Final Cut Pro (4.5 and HD) displays this:



When Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Pro HD displays a "Preview Disabled" error message with a color bar in your log and capture window - the fix is just to reinstall Quicktime.

Just go to:

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/mac.html

Other troubleshooting that I tried before I arrived at this conclusion:

* Searched the web ... Googled for "Preview Disabled Final Cut Pro" <-- no clear answer

* Tried a different firewire cable going to the DV camera <-- always good to do

* Made sure I had only the DV camera plugged in to firewire <-- worth a try

* Turned off capture hard drive <-- try to eliminate hardware problems

* Toggled various settings for NTSC & firewire within Final Cut Pro <-- this was useless & unnecessary

* Ran Disk Utility - Hard Drive/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility <-- always good to do

* Made sure all updates were applied - Apple Menu/Software Update <-- always good to do*

* Before you download any software it's best to do your homework first. I usually go to XLR8YourMac.COM and read the notes from various commenters and Mike's excellent followups for about a week before I download ANY operating system or iTunes updates.

This problem is very odd because you can see the time code running and you can control the camera, but nothing happens on your "log & capture" preview screen after pulling it up from the file menu. It seems at first as though it were a hardware problem. Forum after forum suggested that it was a settings issue.

It seems this is a common problem that crops up after users download updates. The 10.4.8 update seemed to have a few threads after it was released and the forums seemed to have new activity starting two weeks ago when the 10.4.9 update came out. Don't forget that all iTunes updates usually carry a Quicktime update or at the very least alter Quicktime in some way ... so even if you update iTunes ... make sure you REINSTALL the latest version of Quicktime. It's best to just bookmark the link above and have it handy.

9 times out of 10 I have discovered that if you are experiencing problems with iMovie, Final Cut Pro HD, or any video editing program .... reinstalling Quicktime seperately (even if you recently updated) is always good to do. It's also good to run Disk Utility after you run the installer.

If you are having any problems with Final Cut or Final Cut Pro ... please don't hesitate to post a message here ... I'll see if I can help or ask one of my many Video editing customers.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Admitting infringement ...



In reference to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo

Well ... it seems someone has admitted to "creating the 1984: Obama Good Hillary Bad" advertisement.

The creator? Phil De Vellis of The Huffington Post (now formerly of)

Thing is ... it IS an infringement as it is NOT satire ... it's essentially "overlay" of someone else's work.

But seeing since Al Gore is on the Board Of Directors at Apple and Steve Jobs is a Democrat ... I doubt seriously that anything will be done about it.

But shouldn't Ridley Scott (Original 1984 ad director) or Chiat-Day Advertising be upset (concept/marketing firm for the original 1984 ad)?

[Correction via reader email] Phil De Vellis didn't work for The Huffington Post. He worked for a company named Blue State Digital.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

To Pair Or Not To Pair With Your Apple



Via a link on XLR8yourMAC.COM I found this article about pairing memory in your Mac to increase performance.

Being on a budget myself ... I was having a hard time justifying two "exact same" 1 GIGABYTE SODIMMs (laptop memory) for my MacBook. After consulting with a friend that I consider an expert in such knowledge ... he made the case that "more memory is always better" than "less paired memory". So ... when I downgraded a recent MacBook that came in for repair and ended up buying ... I decided to put the 1GB DDR2 from it and add it to my 512MB (replacing one of the 512MB SODIMMs).

After reading the short but sweet and backed up by benchmark analysis that Other World Computing did - I can see why my friend was right - more memory is almost always better - especially if you have integrated graphics like some Macs do - that share system memory as VRAM.

Take a look - one of the best explanations/recommendations for memory I've read:

To Pair Or Not To Pair

Monday, March 19, 2007

Anti Hillary Clinton Ad Made From Apple's 1984 Ad


* The YouTube video ends with this picture


In some ways I don't get it ... but in some ways it's funny. The Obama campaign is claiming it didn't sponsor or produce the ad - but ... well ... just take a look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo

* for some reason YouTube videos do not work with the blogger software switch at this time - so just follow the link

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Only CompUSA would think of a promotion that associates with a horror movie


* click for larger image *

I have to be honest ... I detest CompUSA.

I used to work there ... I'm forced to shop there on occasion ... I'm forced to submit ridiculous amounts of rebates ... I'm forced to deal with cashiers that treat you like cattle ...

Really ... I'm forced - sometimes there's just no alternative .... sometimes they have good deals that are hard to pass up. Sometimes they have stuff that no local competitor has ... like Apple stuff.

Only CompUSA would come up with the brilliant idea of promoting a 23rd Anniversary - when a HORROR FILM called The Number 23 was out in theaters!

Who publicy celebrates 23rd anniversaries anyway?

... 25th yeah

... 20th yeah

... 23rd?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dictionary: plagiarism - see Bill Palmer


eMail sent to iLounge:

Hi,

Hope you guys are doing well.

Please take a look at this:

http://ipodgarage.com/article.php?id=2590#comments

and

http://fixyourthinking.com/2007/03/zune-heavily-discounted-officemax-good.html

and let me know what you guys have done or pursued as far your efforts against Bill Palmer and what your response to him thumbing his nose to your cease and desist has been.

Thanks!

Philip
www.fixyourthinking.com

The Real Apple Intel Development Board

An eBayer that emailed me said I should post this picture:



* Picture from Think Secret


This is a picture of the ACTUAL development Intel Macs that Apple seeded. THE ONLY ones they seeded!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blogger Is A Bugger This Week

A few of you have noted that the comments for certain stories have been disabled - check them again ... for some reason they had been turned off by default.

A number of things haven't been working right.

Two days ago pictures wouldn't upload in Safari.

Zune Heavily Discounted @ OfficeMax / Good Indication Of Low Sales


I mentioned this previously when OfficeMax had the Zune on sale for $20 off ... now at $70 off - it almost has to be true that the Zune is not selling well at retail.

One "immoral consumer" on DIGG posted that you COULD buy this from OfficeMax, return it to Walmart, and use the money to buy an iPod, saving you $70 off an iPod (which cough cough is NEVER discounted)

[UPDATE] An Anonymous Reader found this at Office Depot:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

HeadProng Ahead Of It's Time?



Could it be possible that Bill Palmer was actually way ahead of the curve and saw a new trend coming where people by the millions would wear their iPods on their head?

Thanko of Japan seems to think so.

Thanko's Vonia:

From Gizmodo:

There has to be something weird about this Vonia Sports Headband from Thanko, our favorite manufacturer of all things tacky and wacky with USB ports in them. That or maybe some people get strangely happy when they think they look like Olivia Newton-John.

The Vonia is no ordinary 80s headband, though: you can connect an iPod shuffle, put it inside the sweatband's small pouch and start listening to your disco music using bone-conduction technology, which allows you to listen to sound using vibrations, which travel from the emitter to your inner ear using your skull. In theory, this gives you clear sound even in loud environments. And probably a strange tingling pleasure and some liquified neurons too.


Bill Palmer's HeadProng:





* yes ... it really is called "HEADPRONG"

More On The The Drama Eye Sensed

On Monday El Gato - makers of the EyeTV hardware and software solutions for TV reception on Macs - released a statement that they were terminating their license agreement with Miglia.

A fraction more detail is provided here.

Miglia made no press release on Tuesday as most websites were reporting (instead it was a very brief statement). The Miglia website was down as of the writing of this update. [UPDATE: Back up - might have been due to traffic]

Miglia statement:

"The licence agreement between Miglia and the software supplier for EyeTV has not been renewed, Miglia will no longer ship products that contain this application in its TV solutions. Customers that use this application with their Miglia TV product should have no concerns about ongoing support or upgrades, for updated information, please check the support section of our site. From time to time we have chosen to bundle other manufacturers software with our own hardware where it has been appropriate, this policy will continue."

eBayersTHATsuck.com website is down


...at least at the time of this writing and for the last 24 hours.

Here's a really good writeup about how the site started and it's founder.

It's a really great place to see some really bad eBay experiences and sellers.

I was heading over there this morning to add a few deserving eBayers to "the list".

I have had more bad eBay experiences in the last month than I have had in ALL of my previous 9 years on eBay combined!

First ... I have a seller ship me a hard drive in a padded envelope (no box/no static bag) ... (I paid $14.05 total for it) ... he offered a purchase price refund of $10.00 if I shipped it back at my expense. ( costing me $7.34 to mail & netting me a $2.66 refund = loss of $7.34 )

Then, I have a buyer post positive feedback with "As discribed" (his misspelling) then 2 days later say he wants a full refund because of some obscure thing he found wrong with ONE of the items in a 35 piece computer bundle. He starts emailing me day and nite signing his emails with 5 different names (yet it was the same person) - I try to use the eBay contact system to call him - the phone number listed was the Mental Patient Ward at a VA hospital. He starts making crazy reports to Paypal and eBay. Saying things like "This guy is foooooool" <--- exactly as typed.

Third - I have been selling an ethernet adapter on eBay for two years now ... I sell 3-4 of them every week. For the first time in 1500+ transactions I get something other than a positive for this adapter - the guy posts a curse word on my feedback saying it didn't work and that it was old and outdated. [Fortunately ... I got the comment removed by eBay]

Finally - yesterday ... I comment on a guy's eBay blog - he starts cursing at me through the eBay question & answer system ... then calls me an hour later and starts threatening to come to my home (naming my street)

The Mysterious Auction For The Mysterious Apple / Intel Development Motherboard On eBay



* Actual picture in auction


Some of the auction wording ... full auction can be seen here (unless removed by eBay):

You are bidding on an Intel Apple Development Platform motherboard. This is a software development kit used to create and run Apple Macintosh Applications for Apple's new Intel based computers. It's an ADP 2.1 board that was used to develop applications for use on all late model intel based macs (Including Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, Macbook, and Imac, Mac Mini) Its position in the firm has since been filled by a Mac Pro desktop system for further development. It has been used originally with an intel Pentium 4 CPU, and then later a dual core Pentium D CPU (the 945 'presler' model) The board is manufactured by intel and features the intel 945G chipset with an ICH7DH southbridge. It features Intel gigabit ethernet, a TPM or Trusted Platform Module, and Realtek ALC880 Intel HD audio. It uses the same GMA950 graphics as the macbook, imac and mac mini systems, but also features a PCI-Express video slot to upgrade to either an ati radeon based or Nvidia based graphics solution for development. I have personally tested this to work with an Nvidia Geforce 7300GT board by biostar, and one by PNY. The board is made in a pico BTX form factor, so be aware that you will need a BTX Apple Development Platform case or a custom case to mount this to. This board is VERY SMALL [a mere 8.5 x 10 inches], and would make a great Small Form Factor Mac. One important thing I should note about this board: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ILLEGAL APPLE COPYRIGHTED SOFTWARE OR DATA INCLUDED IN THIS SALE This sale encompasses the hardware portion of this development kit only, no software whatsoever. How you use this board is at your own discretion, and providing a development install of Mac OS X is entirely up to you. The board is also fully capable of running Windows or Linux, and drivers are readily available on the intel site.


The most interesting part of the auction is that this is all very very poorly presented. What you see above is 80% of the ACTUAL text and formatting of this auction.

I sent this message to the seller - interested to see the response.


_____________________________________________________



Q:Are you warranting that the Mac OS will A) run on this board or B) provide some means to get the Mac OS running on this board.

Also are you guaranteeing 100% that this is an Apple board - most Apple dev kits are marked with an Apple logo and or say "For a certain purpose ONLY- not for resale". Are you able to provide ANY documentation that this is truly an Apple board if it is not marked.

_____________________________________________________


The reason I ask this is because I've seen an Apple dev unit - units like these have NOT shipped for development of 10.4.4 & higher - the unit is pictured as being able to run 10.4.8. Apple would have just sent a Mac Mini with standard Mac ports rather than PS2 and serial ports. Furthermore ... I was able to see a dev unit at MacWorld Expo 2006. They did contain P4 CPUs but the motherboards were full size motherboards and NOT pico-itx like this one appears to be.

And interestingly enough ... developing for this board would not assist in ANY WAY whatsoever with MacBook MacBook Pro or iMac development as the description implies - as the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo are completely different from the Intel P4. This board, if real, would only be able to be used for software development.

Another interesting note. As far as I know ... the iMac, MacMini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro all have (2) RAM slots not (4) like this picture illustrates. Again, without firewire and the proper RAM addressing - no hardware development could be done on this unit (although I may be wrong).

A reader noted this page: Mac OS 10.4.8 running on ANY PC.

But if you read the article it says that 10.4.8 runs WITHOUT a user interface. It runs the Mac OS in a command line format called Single User Mode. (No Desktop. No Finder.)

I do know that the full Mac OS can hacked to run on a generic PC that contains the right parts, but this auction is essentially promising a "ready to go" generic board. Apple has recalled ALL dev kits so that they would not be distributed like this. It wouldn't be possible for anyone to have this item for sale.

[UPDATE] I received this response from DanielK (the seller):

I offer no returns of any kind. i can run mac os x on it. i have a dev disk. if you were to have the same disk or a copy you could too. i offer no documentation because i wish to avoid all liability. all serial numbers have been removed.


So in other words ...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Eye See Some Drama Developing: Miglia & ElGato Cat Fighting!

As reported by MacMinute:

Elgato Systems today announced it has terminated the licensing agreement for EyeTV software with Miglia Technology. Miglia can no longer ship, sell or advertise TV Tuner solutions bundled with Elgato's EyeTV software. No explanation was given for the move. The company notes customers using EyeTV with a Miglia TV tuner product are not affected by this change. Elgato EyeTV will continue to work with existing Miglia products and the company will continue to support existing Miglia/EyeTV customers with software updates and improvements.


I've sent El Gato an email requesting clarification. I'll let you know if they respond.

Here is a link to the press release on the ElGato Systems website.

I love my ElGato TV Hybrid! - I also think the guys at ElGato are pretty cool. There must have been something pretty feather ruffling for this to go on. I think Mike over at XLR8YourMac knows a few contacts at ElGato - so I'll email him too to see if he can get some dirt about this.

A fraction more detail is provided here.

Miglia made no press release on Tuesday as most websites were reporting. The Miglia website was down as of the writing of this update.

iPhone generated 400 Million + in free advertising?

Gizmodo is reporting that a Harvard Professor has concluded that the iPhone generated $400 million plus in free advertising for Apple.

This Harvard professor also notes that it is an unprecedented product launch. He even hints that it may be the biggest in history.

I have to agree. The other factor here is the advertising dollar it generated for web sites that reported on it. My November-January totals were way up - to an astounding above average $36 per month through my affilaite links and Google ADsense!

If they would reveal the statistics I would love to see what the major Mac Blogs and news sites generated because of the buzz as well.

If I were to take a guess ... I would bet MacRumors traffic/advertising/revenue were up for the November-January quarter 500% or greater. Just a guess.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I could see this 300 times .... in a row!



I went to the midnight showing of The 300 last night. This is a visually stunning movie. I highly recommend it! If you are a creative type (graphic design/artist) you owe it to yourself to see this movie.

My two favorite scenes:

King Leonidas [Gerard Butler] is standing over literally dozens of dead Persians after a battle - eating an Apple he says "... we fought well Spartans!"

King Leonidas is standing in front of a deep water well facing a messenger of the Persian army (whose back is to the well) ... Leonidas disagrees with the messenger and kicks him into the well. This is dramatically shot in slow motion - it's so visual and empowering.



Here is the High Def trailer at APPLE.COM: The 300

Almost every second of this movie frame by frame - is worthy of an art gallery.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Paid reviews?



This is definitely in "the absurd news of the year thus far" category in the Mac blogging world.

The Apple Blog announced yesterday that it would start CHARGING to write reviews on it's website for companies.

We get literally hundreds of software and hardware review requests each month. We love trying out new products, so this usually works out pretty well.

The problem is that we just can’t review everything (obviously).

So, for the remainder of this week we’ll be offering a discounted price to review your Mac/Apple related software or hardware.


First of all ... I doubt seriously they get hundreds of requests even each year. The Apple Blog is a pretty obscure blog. Don't believe me ... just look at their ALEXA ranking page. They get roughly the same traffic as this website.

This would also make this statement pretty boastful:

From The Apple Blog:

"We’re currently read by well over 20,000 people each day, so you’re sure to get some exposure."


Second, John Gruber of Daring Fireball [credited for this find] points out:

The idea is that you review the best and most interesting products. Not the ones that pay you. It’s totally cool to let developers pay you to get their app mentioned on your web site, but there’s a word for that: advertisement.


Besides this ... I have reviewed dozens of products for this website ... I have yet to have a company tell me I can't keep the review product. There's some compensation for a review right there. If you review hardware and don't like it - sell it on eBay. This is what Bill Palmer does on the iProng website.

UPDATE:



Geez ... that didn't take long.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

If a picture ...

A good quote found on Aint It Cool News:

"If a picture’s worth a thousand words, this is one of the wordiest articles I’ve ever published here."


The one thing I dislike about the medium of news that is BLOGs - hardly any pictures. I think pictures help the readers get into the imagination of the author ... particularly if the art work is done (gathered or created) by the author.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Windows Vista On An iBook? WOW!

Engadget gave a funny headline to a snapshot of a Windows Vista in store advertisement:



Engadget: The funny thing about marketing Vista with a stock photo of a MacBook is that these days the Mac could actually be running Vista. Too bad that's an iBook.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Prestige

Apple iTunes


I wanted to do a review of The Prestige when it came out ... then again when it came to a video a few weeks ago ...

The Prestige and The Illusionist ( also released last year ) were released relatively close to each other and I think this caused some confusion ... with many people thinking they were the same movie or that The Prestige might be trying to copy The Illusionist. That couldn't be further from the truth. The plots are not even remotely similar ... so don't let the similar topics of magic dissuade you from renting (or downloading) BOTH of these movies ... even to watch back to back on a rainy weekend.

I particularly like The Prestige because of its complete irreverence to political correctness - so far a hallmark of Chis Nolan films (The director of The Prestige and Batman Begins). The movie has a sub-plot involving Nikola Tesla - a contemporary electrical engineer of Thomas Edison who was unjustly mistreated by the US government in order to diefy Edison as an American hero. The story presented about Tesla in the movie is very uncommon. Most historians portray Tesla as a crazed Mad Scientist - almost turning him into a Doc Brown from Back To The Future.



It's hard to really speak of the plot without giving anything away. The movie centers around two magician's assistants who later become fiercely rivaling theatrical magicians holding their own. Animosity arises between the pair of magicians, who were formerly good friends, when a tragic accident occurs on stage. The larger plot of the movie is discovered through flashbacks as the two magicians read each others personal journals - one reading from jail ... the other reading during an obsessive mission to find the ultimate trick. If you like plot twists ... this movie definitely has that. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale star with Scarlett Johansen and Micheal Caine in supporting roles. David Bowie plays a perfect cameo role as Nikola Tesla.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Post Office Becomes A Casino!



The Consumerist is reporting that The United State Post Office has decided that a way to "reduce wait times" is to remove clocks in plain view of customers standing in line.

The only other business that I know does this are Las Vegas casinos.

That really speaks volumes about the Post Office logic.

I'll update this story with a personal story about the post office - a constant source of laughter for my best friend and I.

Friday, March 02, 2007

eBay Hacker



Maybe this is why I've been having such horrible responses from customer service at eBay recently:

Romanian hacks eBay, poses as Customer Service Rep"

I'm not one to be paranoid ... but this is a kinda frightening.

eBay has basically just added a lot of filler and fluff on their website recently (stupid contests and giveaways) and really not paid attention to keeping sellers and focusing on account integrity and security. In the mean time they just had a huge fee increase that makes it very difficult to sell small items at a bargain vs retail.