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January 19th, 2018

If Microsoft Created the iPod Packaging0


I originally learned of this hilarious video from Patrick’s post on geekgather.org. It was originally on youtube.com but was then removed. I subscribe to the macTV Video Podcast and they just released it tonight. Frickin’ good times.

Versamail and Treo 6501

As most of your know I am the proud owner of a Treo 650. Love it, use it… the thing OWNS!  That is until the 700p comes out in the spring and then the 650 will be a paper weight. In any case… Palm includes an email application with the Palm named Versamail. It’s a simple, lightweight application that allows you to setup POP and IMAP accounts as well as the ability to setup active sync for Exchange servers. You then connect to the email server over your cell providers data network.

Being in a business setting I have had to setup multiple accounts in Versamail for testing purposes. Especially with the new Exchange Server we have. Little did I know you can only have 8 accounts setup in Versamail. Now, you are probably thinking, no one would ever have 8 accounts setup in Versamail anyway so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the only way to clear out old accounts is to sync with the Versamail Conduit. So now you are thinking, so why don’t you sync with the Versamail conduit and S.T.F.U.? Well, I’m glad you asked, because the
Fu(k!n Versamail conduit is only on PC’s and not on the Mac. So once I had created 8 accounts it just doesn’t allow me to create anymore. Even though technically the only account I have in Versamail is my one .Mac account. The rest I have deleted. Instead Versamail gives me a nice error message telling me to sync with the Versamail Conduit to restore an old account… retarded.

So, the only way to be able to add my other email account in Versamail is to sync my Treo 650 with a Windows machine that has the Versamail Conduit installed. Screw you Palm, if I wanted to sync my Treo with a Windows machine I would have purchased a Windows machine. For the love of God man. I researched this topic online through Palms support and through a Google search and found no solution for fixing this without getting a PC involved (which wouldn’t be hard for me, but think of your average Mac user). I did find a lot of other unhappy Mac users with the same problem though.

I found a solution, and this is what I did.
1. Perform a sync with your computer and the palm.
2. Navigate to your Home Directory and drill down to:
/Documents/Palm/Users/(your user folder)/Backup
Find three files which are inconveniently not named anything to do with Versamail. These files are called:
MultiMail Attachments.pdb
MultiMail Disconnected.pdb
MultiMail Messages.pdb

3. Delete these files and empty the trash.
4. Perform a hard reset of your Treo which is holding the power button down and the reset button under the battery cover at the same time. Release the reset button but continue to hold the power button. When you see the blue splash logo for Palm release the power button. It asks you to press up on the directional pad to erase all data. I know it’s scary, but do it.
5. Sync with your computer again.

When you do this all of your data will come back on your Treo. The only setting that I found that didn’t come back was turning BlueTooth on. Now when I go into Versamail it sees not accounts and allows me to setup my two email accounts.

I thought about adding Palm to the no talent ass clown category that I have placed Dell and the Geek Squad. I think I will and I think they deserve it. There is no excuse to not have a solution for this on the Mac platform. I would think they would have a very high Mac user base for Palm.

Scottie’s Podcast, Episode: Web 2.01

I have just released the latest episode in my podcast. Please click on the Video Podcast link at the top of the page to have a listen. You can also subscribe to my podcast from that page by clicking on the RSS link. This will allow you to subscribe to my podcast in iTunes so you always, automatically get the latest episode.

Diagnosing a Dell that won’t boot0

My brother called me up a couple days ago and said that his Dell Dimension desktop would not start up. Being the fix-it type guy he is my brother dug right into the guts of the machine to take a look at the power button. Not understanding the workings of a computer he cut the wirings going into the power button and twisted them together thinking it would complete the circuit and the computer would come on. He did get my approval for that move. Of course it didn’t do any good because those wires don’t complete a circuit they just provide the “action” to the power supply to provide power to the rest of the machine.

Being the brother that I am (and the fact that I am in debt to him because he converted my loft into a bedroom for me for next to nothing) I offered to take a look at it. I knew The Geek Squad or someone else would charge $100+ an hour to look at it not including parts. I couldn’t let him be subjected to those prices and those no talent ass clowns.

I brought the machine into work so turbo Tim and I could tear it apart and figure it out. Turbo Tim tried everything in his arsenal to diagnose the problem. I was more of a spectator at first because Tim loves this shit. And I don’t have the knowledge of x86 hardware like Turbo does. First thing Turbo did was solder the wires back to the power switch. Then he ripped the power supply out of the machine and plugged in a different one. That power supply worked but we didn’t get any video. So then he tried a different card in the same slot. Still didn’t work. He then got a PCI graphics card to try one of the other slots to rule out a pad slot on the board. Still no video. We tried my bros old graphics card in a different machine and confirmed that it did work.

Thinking that it was the motherboard I called Dell just for fun to see how much a new power supply and motherboard would be. Thinking that there mother board was probably proprietary. They quoted me a total after shipping and tax of $204. They told me how I should only buy there stuff to ensure quality and asked me about three times if I wanted to order the stuff. I told them I would think about it and to email me the quote. Tim and I stared one last time at the machine and we decided to take the heat sync off to reseat the processor. When Tim grabbed the heat sync it came right off without having to unlatch it from the board. Not good. Whoever put the thing together at Dell did a half ass job.

Since the processor was glued to the heat sync I used a blade to pry it loose. We then re-seated the processor properly, placed the heat sync back on top and properly clasped it back on. I hit the power button and…. WOOOSH, it fired right up with video! At this point we grouped the Dell person that put the machine together into the same no talent ass clown group as The Geek Squad. Knowing that all I needed now was a power supply I headed over to CompUSA and picked up a slightly better one than what Dell had provided for $24.99 (Dell had quoted me $48 not including shipping and tax). We put everything back together and problem solved.

How do you like them apples dork squad and Dell? Oh, and thanks a TON Turbo Tim for your help!

Infinite Loop!0

Tuesday, February 28, 2005 - 7:00pm
My good friend Patrick and I planned on testing the audio quality of iChat because we will be recoding a podcast Wednesday on Web 2.0. Patrick and I attempted many, many time to establish an audio iChat without success. Patrick tweaked a bunch of his firewall and router settings and I tweaked a bunch of mine and nothing was working. I packed up my laptop and headed upstairs to try and directly plug into my DSL modem instead of going through my Airport Extreme thinking that something in the wireless settings was preventing the connection.

7:45pm
No such luck. I logged into my DSL modem (provided by Frontier Communication her in MN) decided to turn off DHCP within the router thinking the public IP address it was getting would pass through the router and be assigned to my machine. I thought wrong. When I changed this setting, I couldn’t connect to the internet any longer and I couldn’t access my router through my web browser any longer to fix the damage I had done by turning off DHCP.

To rule out my DSL connection being the issue I connected with a Sprint EVDO high speed data card and initiated an audio chat with Patrick. It worked, Hooray!! Well, sort of. Now this means that the issue is with my ISP and not with anything on Patrick’s end.

8:15pm
I decide to switch between my 15” and 17” PowerBooks to try and get my DSL line working. In the process I hung up my 15” PowerBook to the point where I need to do a hard reboot (Ctrl+Command+Power Button). After the hard reboot the machine sat innocently at the login screen. I entered my username and password, it accepted it, the login window went away to start loading the desktop and the menu bar icons but it then returned to the login window. I thought to myself, hmmm, that was odd. I typed my username and password in once again and the same thing happened. My login window was staring at me as it had twice before.

8:30pm
I logged in as the only other user that was on my machine which was called Visitor. This user successfully logged in. I went to the Disk Utility to run the repair permissions feature to repair the permissions on my machine. It was grayed out. I unlocked the paddle lock with my admin account (the one I couldn’t log in with) successfully and the repair permissions button was still grey. With a suggestion from Patrick (who I had not realized had now become an active participant in my problem) recommended I start the machine in single-user mode and repair the disk. I did, and I did, but it took twice to repair the disk because it failed the first time.

9pm
I tried to login with my main account again and it still wouldn’t work. I logged in with my Visitor account again and got the idea to run the repair permissions command from terminal instead of through the GUI in Disk Utility. I typed in the correct commands to accomplish this and terminal told me that I did not have permissions turned on for this volume. What?!?!? That made no sense to me.

9:15pm
In a last desperate attempt to attempt to repair whatever it was that had gone wrong with my machine I booted my machine into target disk mode and connect it via FW to my 17” PB. I started Disk Warrior and tried to repair the disk. Disk Warrior hung at the part where it tries to find the files the catalog is pointing to. That made my stomach hurt a little. I force quit Disk Warrior and attempted to boot my PB off the Disk Warrior CD instead. The CD caused a kernel panic on my PB and I couldn’t run DW. I tried to boot Norton Utilities from the CD and it also kernel panicked on my.

10pm
Thinking that I was screwed I backed up my 20+ GB home directory to my 17” PB so I could begin the rebuild process on my 15” PB. After 40 minutes it finally backed up and I attempted to boot off the OS X Tiger install disk. My thoughts were I was going to attempt to do an archive and install to preserve my data and just reinstall the system files. My PB would not boot off the install CD.

Midnight
I called it a night and decided I would bring it into work and boot the 15” into target disk mode there and wipe the drive and then load the image back onto the drive.

Thursday, March 2, 2005
7am
I strolled into work knowing it would be a long day of rebuilding my machine, installing the MANY applications back onto my machine and hoping the library in my home directory would behave itself and bring back all my preferences I had spent months tweaking to my liking. Not being one to give up so easy I once again was going to attempt to repair the permissions from the terminal. I googled how to accomplish this because I couldn’t remember the syntax. I stumbled upon a maintenance article on OS X that said you should use a program like Cocktail to do routine maintenance on my Mac. That triggered my to think of a company I heard about at MacWorld called Most. They make a product called Mac HelpMate that is designed to do routine “cleaning” using unix commands. I ran every cleaning utility they had (from my Visitor account) and then ended it with a deep cleaning option which would reboot my system.

8am
After the reboot I stared once again at the login screen for my Mac. I typed in my username and password for my account and…. graffiti poured from the sky, trumpets sounded and a choir sang… for my Mac was booting into my user account!!!

Note to self… I make a living at keeping Macs optimized running utilities like Mac HelpMate… don’t neglect your own machine.

Simple eMac combo drive replacement0

To make a long story short remember that if you have AppleCare coverage on a machine, take it into an Apple repair shop and let them do the work. One of the eMacs in my office had a Symantec issue which led us to transfer this particular user from one eMac to another. After transferring all the users data to this new machine I went to install Quark 6.0. I came to realize that the combo drive in the machine was not reading the disk and needed to be replaced. It’s at this point that there was a let down in the decision making process. I decided to crack open the eMac and take the drive out myself. 45 minutes later I did in fact get the drive out and was left with a mess of screws, computer guts and a wonderful eMac shell that can double as a helmet.

The good news is that I did in fact get the drive out of the machine and I did receive the replacement part back today. Tomorrow will be a fun experiment to see if I can assemble the eMac again and not have any screws left. To be continued…

My mention on the Podcast “The Mac Attack”0

The Mac Attack
As many of you know I am an avid Podcast listener. I have upwards of 10 Podcasts that I subscribe to through iTunes. I recently heard of a Podcast named The Mac Attack after listening to Adam’s Podcast over the The Mac Cast. After listening to an earlier edition of The Mac Attack I sent in an email comment concerning online collaboration tools. I recommended that they check out Collabits which is a web-based, cross platform collaboration solution. Not only did The Mac Attack read the email I sent them but they spent several minutes discussing Collabits. Head on over to The Mac Attack and check out the latest Podcast dated 2/8/06 to hear the review. If you want to skip ahead to the Collabits part start at the 17th minute.

30 Boxes0

There is a wonderful new calendaring program out in beta called 30boxes. I originally heard of this product from a blog post by Patrick on the geekgather.org blog site. I have been playing with it now for about 2 hours and I am impressed so far. This calendar makes it easy to share your calendar with “buddies” and have them share there calendar with you. I can see my wife and I using this service to keep our busy schedules straight. You can bring other services into 30 boxes such as your flickr account or a myspace account if you choose. You can also subscribe to the calendar in iCal on Mac OS X if you use that program. I highly recommend signing up for an account and trying out this service for yourself. It is a lot of fun!

Apple’s 1984 Ad Voted 3rd All-Time by CBS Viewers0

CBS just aired “Super Bowls Greatest Commercials Top 40″ this evening and Apple’s 1984 ad took 3rd place as voted on by the viewers.

My favorite Super Bowl ad out of the top 3 has to be “Terry Tate, the office linebacker”, man that was funny.

I also just discovered that after their 14th attempt, godaddy.com finally got approved by ABC to run a Super Bowl ad. You can read that story here.

MacWorld 2006 Recap0

I had the privilege of attending MacWorld 2006 in San Francisco, CA. This was my first MacWorld so it was very overwhelming for me. Luckily a good friend of mine Patrick also was in attendance and showed me the ropes. I would have been completely lost without him, thank you Patrick.

I flew Northworst into San Francisco in the afternoon on Sunday, January 8th. After getting settled Patrick introduced me to several Apple Consultant Network (ACN) members and we headed out for Sushi. It was not the best Sushi experience ever. We sat down in the restaurant for what turned out to be an all night experience. Our drinks took 45 minutes to arrive, our food took 3 1/2 hours and the check took 30 minutes. As many of the 13 ACN members said, it was laughable. Thank god there was a 50’s diner just down the road where we grabbed Malts and fries.

Monday came and I was surprised to learn that the breakfast buffet was free (normally $19) at the hotel. So I invited Patrick over and we both enjoy free breakfast. We then headed over to the Moscone for registration. There was a long line but it moved fast because Apple had a really nice barcode check-in process. Monday was filled with the Power Tools course of choice which for me meant OS X Server Administration. Very informative class however it was very expert level and very long.

Tuesday was the highly anticipated Keynote presentation by Steve Jobs. Where rumor sites were claiming everything for an Apple HD TV to a Mac Mini turned digital media center, both turned out to be false. Apple did however announce they were ahead of schedule on the intel machines and would immediately start shipping an Intel based Mac and would also be shipping a new laptop named the MacBook Pro with a Intel Core Duo processor in February. Apple also announced a big update to the iLife package where they upgraded all the current iLife applications and added a 6th application named iWeb. It is this application that allows me to share my thoughts through a blog so easily. It is a wonderful product! Among many other things Apple mentioned they sold 14 million iPods during the holiday quarter and earned total revenues for all channels in 2005 of $5.7 Billion (with a ‘B’). Wow, quite a year for Apple. After hearing the Keynote I was very unmotivated to be in the second day of the Power Tools course but hung in there as long as I could. The vendor showcase also opened on Tuesday where I was anxious to get my hands on the new Macs and play with the iLife suite.

Wednesday rolled around and I attended the Vendor showcase all day. There was lots and lots to see. I visited many Vendors including Mariner Software, Now Software, Maxtor, LaCie, Adobe, Belkin, Dantz and Microsoft to name a few. There were also many small companies that produce wonderful Macintosh products. Some of these products such as Project X looked to me to be an exceptional piece of project management software. Wednesday was also exciting for me because the Apple Store in San Francisco finally received there copies of iLife ’06 which I immediately ran out and got. The cool part was that while I was waiting in line to pay for my iLife ’06 an Apple employee was walking around with a hand held credit card machine where he was able to ring me up and email me my receipt. Very Cool!

Thursday was filled with more Vendor Showcase. This day I tried to sit in on as many demos as I could. I sat in on Demos from Apple, Maxtor, Roxio and Microsoft to name a few. I learned many things that I didn’t know especially from the people at Microsoft. The Mac Business Unit over there does a great job with Office for Mac.

Friday finally came and it was time to go home. I caught the 6:30am flight home and was happy to see my wife and 2 beautiful girls again. I hope my wife will allow me to attend again next year, I thank her for indulging me in my Mac geekness.

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