Tuesday, September 30, 2003

HotSpots for 802.11b access in Nashville, TN

HotSpotList.com, a directory of public hot spots for finding Wi-Fi wireless Internet access network nodes

Bean Central West End Ave, Nashville, TN, 37203 Independent
2817 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203-1453
free 802.11b, near Centennial Park, far end of Vandy from the Courtyard Marriott

Bongo Java 2007 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN, 37212

Bongo Java Roasting Company 107 S. 11th St., Nashville, TN, 37206 independent

Plus a few more, but these sound interesting.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Windows XP shutdown from Remote Desktop

Microsoft TechNet
You can't (actually you can, but that's another story!) shutdown Windows XP from the GUI when logged in via remote desktop. Here's how to shutdown and restart.
Allows you to shut down or restart a local or remote computer. Used without parameters, shutdown will logoff the current user.

shutdown [{-l|-s|-r|-a}] [-f] [-m [\\ComputerName]] [-t xx] [-c 'message'] [-d[u][p]:xx:yy]

Parameters (selected)

Shuts down the local computer.
Reboots after shutdown.
Forces running applications to close.
-t xx
Sets the timer for system shutdown in xx seconds. The default is 20 seconds.
-c 'message'
Specifies a message to be displayed in the Message area of the System Shutdown window. You can use a maximum of 127 characters. You must enclose the message in quotation marks.
Displays help at the command prompt.

See also:

Enabling logon via RD in XP

PS. Remote Desktop Client for OS X can't handle the new XP "welcome screen", need to uncheck that from user logon options if you want to be able to connect after a reboot.

More tips on iBook batteries, and Lithium batteries in general

UPDATE 10/5/03: I think OS X 10.2.8 has improved the readout on the battery. Also the first thing I tried (see "First" below) seems to have worked. I only get about 1.5 hours from the battery, but it no longer dies with "30 minutes left". I think the estimate of power remaining is more accurate. The battery is clearly hurting and will need to be replaced ...
Six Log: iBook Battery Issues
First, with the machine open and running (running off the battery), leave it until the battery has reached 0%, and it forces itself into sleep.

Now, with the machine in forced sleep, close the lid, and attach the power. Leave for a few hours (make _really_ sure it's fully charged, by leaving it longer than normal).

Open the lid, and off you go!
You'll need to do this 1 or 2 times a month, after you've had the machine for 8 months or so, you'll need to increased that to 3 or 4.
But don't worry - you can continue to use the machine until you have to close the lid and leave it to recharge.
Already, after doing this 3 times, the battery has gone from 1hr 50 minutes after a full recharge, to a grand 3hrs 11 minutes!

I could explain the technical reasons; but bascially the Lithium Ion batteries that Apple uses, are super-advanced. The benefit is the longer life, and greater storage; but the downfall is the neccesity to 'refresh' the battery a few times a month.

I think battery problems with the iBook are a mixture of hardware/software problems and inherent issues with Lithium batteries. The iBook is probably about as bad as most computer/battery combinations. See also my earlier posts (one and two)

The above sounds only partly true, I had to follow a similar procedure with a Palm m515 that had a non-responding battery. The fix was somewhat similar, but first I had to drain the m515 LiIon batter, then reset the power management unit, then recharge.

I think what I'll try is:

1. Run the system until it powers off (battery 0%).
2. Follow Apple's PMU reset instructions (pull battery, reset button, insert power cord, etc).
3. Charge overnight

Second (if #1 fails)
1. Run the system until it powers off (battery 0%).
2. Follow the OpenFirmware reset directions per other posts.
3. Charge overnight

1. Go to Apple Store with iBook and receipt, see if I can get a return or a credit on a new battery..

1. See if my credit card extended warrantee will help!

PS. I did some experimenting with OS 9. Battery handling much better there! The lifespan is reduced, but the meter smoothly declines to 0%. I'm going to try charging it while it runs OS 9 overnight.

Apple Discussions has a pretty active and irate discussion on these issues. It does seem that a lot of iBook batteries go bad at about 18 months age ... same age as mine ...


Another ext firewire enclosure -- bus powered.

FireWire 1394a 1394b hardware - FireWire Depot: "2.5' PDS2GO FireWire enclosure"
These are catching on. Cheap enclosures for small ide drives, use for backup and moving data between locations. The next step up from a USB "thumb drive".

Nice site for XP tips and repair -- pretty concise


Windows XP Backup and Recovery Console

Back Up and Recover Your Information

I'm still fighting with Retrospect and getting increasingly disgusted. Considering using Apple Backup 2.0 to backup the iBook to the LAN, then using XP backup to backup everything, including backup the Apple LAN store offsite every 1-2 weeks.

This article reminds me that I need to install the Recovery Console on XP -- I've done this before for win2k.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

OS X 10.2.x and battery problems

Laptop Batteries: "I was having the same problem mentioned where my iBook would go from a 90% charge to nothing very quickly and what I did was turn off the battery status monitor in the menu bar. My battery has been fine ever since. I have not tried turning that status indicator back on since. I imagine the code that causes this error may be in the menu bar widget code. Just a thought."
See discussions at:




I'm seeing a similar thing, battery gets to 30% then dies without warning. I've seen a few mentions implicating bad bugs in the menu bar status indicator.

I've also seen mention of improvements with booting to OS 9 then charging there. I'm going to try removing the battery status indicator from the menu bar. (I've already tried Apple's tip to reset the PMU.)

OS X Power Management: Using PMSET

macosxhints - Get the most from X!: "Authored by: serres on Sun, Nov 17 '02 at 03:04AM

pmset - modify power management settings

since 10.1.4 (?) we have a command line utility called 'pmset', see

% man pmset

with it you can modify the relevant power manager related settings available in mac os x (i looked at the source intensively). it even has some commented out stuff for future use like the 'wake from sleep at some date' setting we had in mac os 9. for some non-understandable reason these are not implemented in the mac os x power manager library :(

you should also use this utility to modifiy the PowerManagement.xml file.

i think what's *very* important to save battery power is to enable the 'Reduce Processor speed' setting."
pmset must be run as root. If you type pmset alone you get a helpful example.

Locking Windows XP

Different Ways to Lock Windows XP

Parents with kids need a way to lock the PC -- stat. This page says how to do it in XP, it was easier in NT and 2000!

NAV subscriptions: moving between machines

If you move to a new machine, you lose your NAV subscription. The only way I know to move it with the machine is based on the following. I've not verified it yet.

First uninstall NAV/NORTON PRODUCT and then delete this file: 'Catalog.LiveSubscribe' It can be found in one of the folders below.

For Win 9x/Me go to this folder:
C:\WINDOWS\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\LiveSubscribe

For Win Xp/2k users, go to this folder:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\LiveSubscribe

Now re-boot and re-install your NORTON PRODUCT, that's it... your LiveUpdate subscription is back up and running for another year!'"

Thursday, September 18, 2003

RagTime Publishing software for OS X

RagTime GmbH, Home of RagTime

So, instead of a word processor maybe I should go all the way to a German cross-platform desktop publishing tool?

Friday, September 12, 2003

DVD drives used by Aple in their machines

MacInTouch Home Page: Apple/Macintosh news, information and analysis

Purchased an eMac from a CompUSA in West Des Moines, Iowa. two weeks ago during a financing special. Checked the demo eMac's system profiler to make sure it had a (4x) superdrive, thought it came back as a Pioneer A105 mechanism.

Well, to my suprise when I got home with the 1GHz eMac I purchased, the system profiler came back with a SONY DVD RW DW-U10A mechanism. (device serial EA41CD16 and device revision A13d)

Looked up this drive on the Sony website and it shows that it is a DVD-/+R -/+RW 4x mechanism.?

Tried a DVD+R and it recognized the disc, but as CD-R disk. DVD-R's worked fine.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Photo to Movie 2.2 for Mac OS X

Photo to Movie$50 -- for Peter.

New Windows box: notes with post-assembly comments

Update: 9/03

Assembly and delivery went very smoothly. Everything came sooner than expected. The Antec case is truly amazing, lots of very fine engineering touches and exceptionally good documentation. The Intel MB is ok, but the documentation had a few errors and was internally inconsistent in a few areas. More significantly, Intel's web site and the newer docs say the mb has 1GB/sec ethernet on board. It doesn't on my version, evidently that's a later rev. Intel updates it's mbs but keeps the same identifiers. Annoying.

There were a few other minor surprises:

1. I initially installed Windows 2000. Until I disabled hyperthreading in the bios the machine could lockup in testing. This is a known problem, hyperthreading is not supported under Win2K.

2. After I upgraded the mb BIOS to the latest version, it didn't recognize my mouse and kb under win2k! I went into the BIOS and set it allow the OS to do PnP management. The problem resolved, but recurred when I switched to another IBM keyboard. Finally I switched to a more modern Micron kb (with a Windows key). I think support for the old IBM kbs is pretty marginal

3. The mb doesn't hook up to the case speaker, it has a small on board speaker for error beeps.

4. The Antec's front firewire cable is designed to attach to a motherboard post-style firewire connector. The Orange Micro card has a standard internal firewire connector. I ordered a $6 replacement cable ($7 shipping) from Antec, it replaces the original firewire cable. You have to remove the front of the cable -- watch the location of the white wire and keep it the same after the switch!

5. Intel's documentation is all over the place about which connector is for the a sound card audio and which for a CD audio. I think the black one is for the CD.

Our medium term plan is to have a single always-on XP Pro machine that will also be the home server -- for now. We have an older Win2K machine, a games-only non-networked Win98r2 machine, an iBook (my primary machine) and expect to add a G5 next year.

My system
All purchased from NewEgg.com, except the DRAM from mwave.com. I have keyboards, mice, floppies, etc. Total cost about $850 when shipping is included.

CPU: 170
mb: 110
case: 110
drive: 95
firewire card: 70
memory: 200
CD-R/DVD viewer: 70

ANTEC Performance PLUS Model PLUS1080AMG-with
Antec Original TRUE 430W P4 Power Supply
ATX12V Retail N82E16811129115 $105.00

Intel Pentium 4 (800 FSB) Motherboard Model
N82E16813121192 $106.00

Intel Pentium 4 / 2.4CGHz 512k socket 478 Hyper
Threading Technology 800 MHz FSB - RETAIL

Kingston 1GB DDR400 (kit of 2 x 500MB)
Model KVR400X64C3AK2/1G

Seagate 120GB 7200rpm EIDE Hard Drive
Barracuda 7200.7 ST3120022A - OEM
N82E16822148020 $95.00

Samsung CDRW/DVD Combo Drive (Beige) 8mb
Cache, Model SM-352BRNS - RETAIL BOX
N82E16827151024 $69.99

OrangeLink+ USB 2.0/FireWire PCI, 4 port USB 2.0 and 3 port IEEE 1394 addon
card Model# 70HTL00110 $70

Antec 80mm fans (two)

Some comparison/alternative systems

Bruce S's system

Case: Antec Performance Plus 1080AMG
Motherboard: MSI 865G Neo2-LS
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 / 2.4C 512k socket 478 Hyper Threading 800 MHz FSB
Memory: Kingston 1GB DDR400 (kit of 2 x 500MB) Model KVR400X64C3AK2/1G
Hard drive: Seagate 120 GB 7200rpm EIDE Barracuda 7200.7 ST3120026A - OEM
CD/DVD ROM Drive: Sony DDU1621(DD1611) 16X DVD, 40X CD-ROM -OEM
Floppy Drive: Panasonic 1.44 MB 3.5 inch Model JU-256A798P - OEM

An alternative package, from usenet w/ the 8KNXP
Kingwin KT-424 case in black
Gigabyte GA-8KNXP 800MHz FSB Motherboard
3GHz Pentium® 4 Processor with 800MHz FSB
2 gigabytes of Mushkins Black DDR400 memory
Antec True550 550 Watt ATX power supply
Seagate 160 SATA hard drive
Radeon 9800 PRO 256 meg video card
Creative Labs® Audigy 2 Platinum sound card
Sony 16X DVD

Update 5/6/09: Replaced the NIC.

Boa Slim DVD-RW: mac/pc firewire/usb portable

EZQuest - The EZ Solution People

Neat web site for storage solutions - Mac/Windows - Wiebetech

WiebeTECH Micro Storage Solutions

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

HeadWize - Headphone FAQs

HeadWize - Headphone FAQs

A fascinating resource! Excellent discussion, the sort of thing that's now very hard to find via Google.