Thursday, November 27, 2003

Slashdot | Review of inMotion iPod Speakers

Slashdot | Review: inMotion iPod Speakers (updated)
The reviewer has a good point. For the price they should come with a standard iPod power adaptor and a firewire cable, and it's disappointing the speakers can't be angled. The iPod power adaptor is a marvelous travel companion, the inMotion speakers use a typical cheap wall wart.

These are popular, but if they came with an iPod power adaptor and iPod cable ... wow.

Maybe SONY will adapt their superb travel speakers in this way ...

OS X SMB networking '-36 errors' when connecting to Win2K servers

macosxhints - Avoid '-36 errors' when connecting to Win2K servers
Good discussion. I get these when my iBook goes to sleep, wakes up, and can't connect to the win2k server.

Wireless Internet access through cellular/PCS networks

Wireless Internet access through cellular/PCS networks
Rather nice and honest discussion of personal experiences with WLAN services on cell phones.

Usenet/Google Groups: "Why is Palm Desktop Mac so superior to Desktop/Windows"

Google Groups: View Thread "Why is Palm Desktop Mac so superior to Desktop/Windo..."
I'm one of a very small number of people who use Palm Desktop 4.1
(only available with T|E and T3, supports Date Book/Calendar
categories) on both Mac OS X and Windows. So I can pass on something
that may come as a bit of a surprise.

There's no comparison between the two applications, which look nothing
alike. Desktop/Mac is far superior to Desktop/Windows. One minor
example -- there's no way to export all appointments from
Desktop/Windows, in Desktop/Mac you have 3 export formats, as well as import
and "merge". On Desktop/Win you have a few paltry task filters, on
Desktop/Mac there are filters and views galore.

Turns out the Palm Desktop/Mac started life as Claris Organizer - a well regarded second generation Macintosh PIM from the 1990s. 3Com (just after US Robotics days, before Palm) bought it and created conduits for it. It's a pleasure to use compared to the clunky Windows Desktop app.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Updating an iBook to Panther -- the paranoid approach

Updating Panther with Classic
Last night I decided that prior to panther I should upgrade 9.2.1 to 9.2.2 (Panther doesn't contain Classic, you need a prior copy.) Booted Classic, ran update, got updates. Looked fine, booted up, put iBook to sleep, woke it up --- white screen. Had to restart -- got the evil folder with the question mark of doom. Booted off classic boot cd (came w/ ibook), found system folder on hard drive and switched startup disk back to os x. Restarted ok. Bad sign on several fronts. Reaffirmed my dark opinion of Apple's QA capabilities.

Now I'm leaning towards the Panther migration strategy of doom, which will also free up a GB or so of HD space. I'm guided here by a Tidbits ebook I downloaded for $5 (highly recommended), this is the kind of ultra-paranoid path the author took.

0. Do a full Backup 2.0 backup of the iBook to my server in addition to my usual Retrospect backups.
1. Put classic on a disk image (
2. Refresh my iPod, cleaning it out totally (so I've got a 30GB external drive). Move classic disk image to iPod. (Maybe try moving iMovie 2 to iPod to see if I can keep it.)
3. Do an archive and install on iBook, then move archive and home folder and applications, etc to iPod.
3. Do a complete HFS+ journaled reformat of iBook, including classic drivers, from Panther.
4. Clean install Panther on iBook then apply updates and install Retrospect client into Panther.
5. Move items back from iPod, refresh iPod and sync to restore music. Keep copy of the classic folder there for future use.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Canon i900D Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer

Steves Digicams - Canon i900D Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer
Considering the low cost of this printer, I might as well buy it when my HP depletes its next cartridge. I'll see if I can find someone to donate the HP to!

iPod: The Battery Status Indicator Is Approximate, testing battery

iPod: The Battery Status Indicator Is Approximate
Apple will service an in warrantee (1 year) iPod with poor battery performance. This tells you how to test.

Also, AppleCare for the iPod is $59 and extends the warrantee to 3 years. Since the battery will need replacing before 3 years have passed, this is a pretty good deal -- unless you lose or sell your iPod.

Sunday, November 23, 2003 Panther Maintenance Tips [Nov. 21, 2003] Panther Maintenance Tips [Nov. 21, 2003]

Macworld: FireWire DVD-R Drives - May 2003

Macworld: FireWire DVD-R DrivesI think there may be a newer set of revidews coming out ...

Formac Electronic: OS X DVD, Pioneer or Toshiba internals

Formac Electronic Inc.Uses their DVD burning s/w

OS X Compatible storage device and DVD

Apple - Mac OS X - Upgrade - Devices - Storage

DVD Formats

DVD Wars: Cooling Down?
from the article and others: See

DVD Forum: (backed by Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba, and others): DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM recordable-DVD formats. Apple is in this camp.

DVD+RW Alliance (Sony, Philips, and others)


DVD-R specification: had been split into two variants—DVD-R for General and the professionally oriented DVD-R for Authoring ... most new DVD-R drives are designed to read all three types of disc

DVD-R and DVD-RW are essentially write-once and rewritable versions of mass-replicated DVD-Video discs, and both initially targeted video storage and DVD-authoring applications. Compatibility with set-top DVD players and DVD-ROM drives was essential.

DVD-RAM: designed for data-oriented tasks such as computer backup and archiving. This format works more like random-access computer media than a sequential-read DVD-Video disc. Since it requires a different-wavelength laser than other DVD formats, it's rarely supported by DVD-ROM drives or set-top players.... DVD-RAM's robust defect management and error correction features make it a popular archiving and record-keeping platform in niche markets such as libraries, movie studios, and the medical community.... (but it is becoming a niche solution?)

DVD+RW: Similar to DVD-RW, but newer DVD+RW drives may include a random-access mode (CAV) that competes with DVD-RAM.

DVD+R: newest format, 2003 debut? Writes to 8-9 GB.

MCE Lucid SuperDrive Portable FireWire DVD-R/RW Drive

MCE Lucid SuperDrive Portable FireWire DVD-R/RW DriveWill it work with a PC? How much as the AC Adaptor?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

PowerBook and iBook: How to Calibrate a Battery for Best Performance

PowerBook and iBook: How to Calibrate a Battery for Best Performance
1. Plug the power adapter in and fully charge your computer's battery until the battery indicator lights turn off and the adapter plug ring goes from amber to green, which indicates that the battery is fully charged.
2. Disconnect the power adapter and use your iBook or PowerBook. When your battery gets low, you will see the low battery warning dialog on the screen. Continue to use your computer until it goes to sleep. At that point the battery has been sufficiently drained for calibration.
3. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.

I think one has to folow a similar procedure with the iPod too. On first use Apple also recommends draining to sleep then charging to full.

When an iBook or iPod really loses its battery calibration, one may need to do a reset (standard reset on iPod, PMU reset on iBook) after plugging in the discharged device.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Burnz Features - CD burner for OS X -- looks very promising

Burnz Features: "-- Including Firewire burners. You can buy a Pioneer DVR-105 for about $150, drop it into a $60 firewire case, and have an external 'Superdrive' for your FireWire capable iMac, iBook, PowerBook or burner-deprived B&W G3 or later minitower. "