Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Hidden features in OS X 10.3 calculator

Mac OS X Panther (10.3.2)
Hidden capabilities in the Panther Calculator

Norman Palardy

* Navigate to where the Calculator is installed (likely the Applications folder.)
* Control click the application and select 'Show Package Contents.'
* Navigate to Contents/Resources in the Calculator Contents. In this folder you will find:
* Move these to the Contents/Plugins folder

Start the calculator and behold; 2d graphing, an expression worksheet mode, and a hexadecimal calculator with boolean operations.

Still not as neat as the little known OS 9 graphic calculator, but impressive nonetheless.

Apple's quality control problems: the bright side (iBook fiasco)

The Register:Dead iBook owners take protest to MacWorld show
One of the best reasons to buy Apple products is that your fellow consumers are savvy, demanding, and vengeful. Apple has the same quality control issues that curse the entire consumer hardware/software industry, but Apple can be held accountable. (BTW, in my personal experience Microsoft's software quality control is now superb, much better than Apple's.)

There are some advantages to buying a brand, especially a brand with a demanding community. I think Porsche may have learned similar lessons in the 1980s. The article has links to the Blackcider site that's managing the potential litigation.

Apple still has many things they can do to turn this from a potential disaster into a postive for the company. They can learn from recalls in the auto industry.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Apple LaserWriter Select 360 Printer Cartridges: DEC DecLaser 3500M (LN14X-AA) -zShops: DEC DecLaser 3500M (LN14X-AA) (1 Toner Cartridge Per Case) (4,500 Page Yield)
DEC DecLaser 3500M (LN14X-AA) (1 Toner Cartridge Per Case) (4,500 Page Yield)
Price: $76.99 s&h fee $5.50
Description: DEC DecLaser 3500M (LN14X-AA) ($76.99 Each) 1 Compatible Toner Cartridge Per Case (4,500 Page Yield).

I ordered an Apple LaserWriter Select 360 printer cartridge, part number M1960G/A, from an "z-shop". The vendor I dealt with corresponded under the name "Image Enterprises". The email was all UPPER CASE and rather loosely formatted. I imagine a one person shop.

Whatever lies behind the moniker the service was very good. They were unable to locate an Apple manufactured cartridge; I wasn't surprised as I knew the last supplies were all but gone. They offered me, instead, a DECLaser cartridge.

It turns out that the DECLaser 3500 series cartridge, part number LN14X-AA, appears to be completely identical to my original Apple manufactured cartridge.

[F/U 2/10/04 -- from usenet, which is back and better than ever ...

Xerox Laserprinter 4505 = DEC DecLaser 3500M (LN14X-AA) = Apple LaserWriter Select 360 printer cartridge, part number M1960G/A ?

Hmm. That's an interesting equation for LW 360 owners. Putting that equation into Google gave me this URL:

And this list of equivalent products

Apple Select 360 - Fuji / Xerox 5/10
OEM Part Number: M1960G/A
Compatible M1960G/A Laser Cartridge Guaranteed to meet or exceed OEM standards Fits the Following Printers:
Apple LaserWriter Select 300
Apple LaserWriter Select 310
Apple LaserWriter Select 360
Apple LaserWriter Select 610
DEC DecLaser 3500m
DEC DecLaser 3500n
GCC Elite 600
GCC Elite 600et
Star Micronics LS-5
Star Micronics LS-5EX
Star Micronics LS-5TT
Xerox 4505
Xerox 4505ps
Xerox 4510
Xerox 4510ps

Looks like it was a Fuji-Xerox engine initially.

MacFixIt - iBook screen problems: Injured wires, logic board failure

MacFixIt - iBook screen problems: Injured wires, logic board failure
Superb summary of the iBook design flaws. It looks like Apple outsourced too much of the design. Some argue Apple should lose its Quality certification -- not sure what that means.

iBook design defects: how to avoid them (Macintouch)

MacInTouch Home Page
David Shanahan offered some important tips for avoiding trouble with iBooks.

I recently had the video die on my 800 MHz G3 iBook for the first time when it was almost out of warranty. It was fixed, though apparently because of the high demand for iBook logic boards it took three weeks to get it back. So far it's working fine but based on others' experience this is unlikely to last.

I started reading the Apple support forums on the subject of video failures in iBooks while I was waiting for mine to be repaired. It seems there are two basic flaws in the white (Dual USB) iBooks (both 12' and 14' models) which Apple seem to be studiously ignoring despite complaints about them being widespread for over a year now:

1. The hinge design is faulty. Backlight, video and power cables pass through the hinge from the logic board to the screen and the holes are too small for the cable assemblies resulting in stress and friction on the cables each time the screen is opened or closed. Eventually one or more of the cables either break or the insulation wears through resulting in a short and the backlight/video fails. This is often accompanied by fuzzy lines on the screen or users finding that the screen fails when tilted at certain angles and works at others. If your video works fine when you plug the iBook into an external monitor then this is most likely your problem. There are links in the Apple support forums to a site describing in detail how to disassemble your iBook and replace such broken cables, though you'd want to be pretty confident to try this as it will of couse void any warrenty you have left.

2. The video chip on the motherboard comes loose when its solder gives way leading to video failures, usually with no warning. This may be triggered by flexing of the case putting strain on the chip until it eventually comes loose (some have suggested never picking up your iBook by the left-hand side alone as this is where the video chip is). If after a video failure you plug in an external monitor and it doesn't work this is most likely your problem and you need a new logic board. Some people have tried pressing down hard on the left-hand side of the case just below the option key to the left of the track pad and managed to get video back temporarily (apparently this reseats the video chip). Others have reported some success sticking rubber bands/thin foam insulation on the underside of the shielding over the video chip to protect it from flexing/pressure from the case. Seems like the case really needs to be reinforced to stop it flexing like this and/or the location and soldering of the video chip changed.

These problems appear to be common with every model of white iBook from the original 500 MHz up to at least the 900 MHz G3s. The new G4 iBooks may have the same problem(s) but they're so new it's probably too soon to tell for sure (the hinge design has apparently not changed). [...]

P.S. I'd advise readers to avoid buying 2nd hand white iBooks - many people seem to be selling theirs after the 2nd/3rd/4th logic board replacement and buying something else (not always another Apple product of couse, which has got to hurt Apple if they continue to ignore these problems).

In short:
1. Open and close an iBook as infrequently as possible, move it with both hands. In short, treat it like it's made of glass.
2. Apple should admit the problem and provide an out-of-warrantee solution.
3. Apple is not completely censoring these discussions on the Apple support forums.

iPod Battery FAQ

iPod Battery FAQ

Monday, December 22, 2003

Welcome to - The Wireless Node Database Project

Welcome to - The Wireless Node Database ProjectYet another view of Montreal accesss poitns.

Cafe Utopik -- free access, near Berri metro

Ile Sans Fil Montreal Internet WIFI free hotspots: "Utopik "

LocFinder Montreal Hotspots

Welcome to - The Wireless Node Database Project
This lists some that might be less pricy. Montreal HotSpots, Search Results
A pretty good list! I used to frequent some of those eateries and cafes 20 years ago. I'm amazed they're still around.

Blackcider site on Apple iBook Logic Board (motherboard) problems: Flickering screen? You're not the only one.

Apple iBook Logic Board (motherboard) problems: Flickering screen? You're not the only one.
Letter to Apple® CEO, Steve Jobs:

Dear Mr. Jobs,

You've got some serious problems with your iBook® machines...and your customer service representatives.

My iBook died after only 6 months of careful use. As it turns out my logic board failed...but you probably already knew that.

I sent my Apple iBook® in to be repaired but was told that the logic board was 'damaged' somehow and they would not replace it under my one-year manufacturer's warranty. I argued that I had never opened the case before (nor do I own the funny star-shaped tool required to open it even if I wanted to! I did open the metal plate that exposed the RAM module on the instructions of tech-support representative "CK". He told me to replace the factory installed RAM with the original RAM because the RAM might be the problem. I hope that you are not suggesting that you will not replace my defective motherboard because I followed the instructions of your tech-support staff!). I argued about it until the technical support person put me in touch with Sheila, your customer support person.

Sheila told me that she was 'not a technician' and didn't understand the 'technicalities' of the problem. Sheila also told me she was, indeed, looking at the report and that if the 'technical' people say they won't honor my one-year warranty, then that's the way it is. I told her that I was confused about the problem of the damaged logic board, again telling her that I had never opened the case, that it was only 6 months old. I asked if she could send me a copy of the report so that I could understand. At this point she laughed out loud at my request and promptly said, "no".

Is this how your Apple® customer service representatives are trained to handle distressed laughing out loud at them? I am furious over this lack of consideration and professionalism. I am furious that I owned this iBook® only 6 month before it broke due to a foreseeable, thus preventable problem. And I am furious that you won't honor your warranty and replace this defective equipment.

So. I now own a 6 month old, $1600 paperweight due to a faulty logic board. You still market this equipment and still, apparently, deny that the problem exists at all. Is it cheaper just to fix them one at a time rather than to announce a recall on the entire iBook line? Is it that an official equipment recall would cause a public relations black-eye for Apple®? Or maybe, just maybe, if people got wind of the fact that these laptops are a problem, no one would buy them, and it would affect your bottom line...then you'd have to explain yourself to your shareholders instead of just to me. I don't know the answers to these questions. I don't want to know.

Apple customers get mad, and then get even. There's been an even bigger furor about iPod battery replacements. I suspect Apple's quality control is inadequate (certainly their OS X releases have been spotty) -- but no-one's is great. I think price pressures have pushed quality down on most consumer goods, but especially laptops. I think digital cameras will start to suffer this year.

AppleCare is probably a necessity, not a nicety. So when pricing Apple products, always include the AppleCare cost as part of the product price. Some credit cards will also extend warrantees on defective goods, typically for up to one year. We'll see how or if Apple responds.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Using a PC to burn a Mac Disk Image (DMG) to a CD

Whirlpool Forums - Thread: .dmg Image file:
I just burned a DMG of OS X 10.2 6C115. I used NERO to do it. I made OS X convert the DMG to a 'CDR.DMG' which is equiv to an ISO then I burned it. It even booted the Mac and installed the 6C115.

You can install the full OS x from that upgrade CD;
1.Insert your MacOS X 10.1 Update CD
2.Fire up 'Disk Copy' from /Applications/Utilities
3.Select from the Menubar 'Image | New Image from Device...'
4.Select your CD-ROM drive's contents from the resulting dialog
5.Image it as a 'DVD/CD Master' type (this will take a little while)

Modifying the CD contents
1.Control-click (or right-click) on the resulting disk image
2.See that it's mounted
3.Navigate with the Finder to System/Installation/Packages on
mounted image
4.Select the 'Essentials.pkg' file... right-clicking on it and select 'Show
Package Contents'
6.In the pop-up Finder window, navigate to Contents/Resources/
7.Drag 'CheckForOSX' to the Trash and close all these Finder windows

Burning your new Install CD
1.Go back to Disk Copy and select from
the Menubar 'Image | New Image from
2.Select the mounted volume you opened
up above and make another 'DVD/CD
Master' image
3.Now select from the Menubar 'Image |
Burn Image...'
4.Select your newly modified .dmg file
5.Burn it to CD and enjoy

This took some detective work to find. The post is actually describing a technique sometimes used to change an OS X update CD into an effective OS X new install CD -- Apple might not approve. There are legitimate uses however. I used this technique to create a 10.2.8 boot CD for my iBook. Worked great:

1. Create CD sized .DMG file using Disk Copy on OS X. (In this case I
used BootCD to create the .DMG file -- a bootable OS X 10.2.8 system
2. Put whatever you need on the .DMG file
3. Use Disk Copy convert to CD/DVD master.
4. rename the .cdr extension to .iso.
5. move to PC.
6. Open with Nero (File menu, burn image) and burn the CD.

Mike's Mac OS X Management Software and Tips: Recovering from a Blinking "?"

Mike's Mac OS X Management Software and Tips: Recovering from a Blinking ?
The simplest tip is to hold down an X on startup. I think that will boot OS X if it can be found. I wish I'd known that tip when an OS 9 boot failed, instead I booted off another CD. Mike also talks about using Open Firmware to change the blessed drive -- a maneuver strictly for the brave.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

How to restore an iPhoto Library from and iPhoto Disc and recover from a corrupted iPhoto Database

Apple Discussion Posting

To restore a library from an iPhoto Disc open the disk in the Finder. You'll see a folder called iPhoto Library. Copy it to your drive. Rename it what you want and put it in Pictures.
Now you can use iPhoto Buddy, or iPhoto Library Manager, or iPhotos 'find library' function to open this. iPhoto will treat it as a standard library.

Here's how we're using this technique to restore a trashed iPhoto Library [1]. In this case the trashed Library shows only a single image in the Library view, but the Albums are intact.

1. Burn albums to CDs. Since the library is 1GB we'll split it between 2-3 CDs. Each will become a future new library to be managed by iPhoto Library.

2. Rebuild the library (Option-Shift click iPhoto, hold Opt-Shift until see rebuild dialog. Create new rebuilt library. This rebuilt library has a FULL library, but there are many duplicate images (with import date = time library is rebuilt) and some images have incorrect attributes (dates, names, etc). All the role information is gone of course.

3. Run the 'find unassigned' AppleScript against the rebuilt library. [2] Sort this and delete duplicates. When ready burn the 'Unassigned' album to CD

4. Using the restore technique outlined above, create hard disk based iPhoto Libraries from the CD iPhoto Library. As needed, open these and then insert the 'Unassigned' CD. Copy images to the appropriate Library.

iPhoto: A Potemkin Application?

Apple - Discussions - Restore from iPhoto Disc: Not Truly Possible?
I'd naively assumed that when one burned albums to an iPhoto Disc (CD/DVD) one could then restore the albums to iPhoto.

Today I actually tested that. I was stunned by the results, so I turned to Adam Engst's excellent book and a number of web searches. They all tended to confirm my fears.

Yes, one can drag and drop images from an iPhoto Disc into an iPhoto Library. But one can't drag and drop albums. If you drag and drop the SAME photo from two iPhoto Disc albums (one photo appearing in two albums), iPhoto stores TWO photos. The data relating a photo to an album is not transferred.

Please tell me I'm wrong. I've reviewed help files and online references and my iPhoto books. They all point in the same direction. The iPhoto help file suggests one can restore albums, but it doesn't say how. I suspect this functionality was scheduled for the release but didn't make it in.

Burning a CD from iPhoto 2 apparently does not, contrary to common perceptions allow one to restore an iPhoto Library. It's commonly known that one cannot restore roll information, but it is not widely understood that one cannot restore the relationship between a single photo and one or more albums that 'reference' the image file.

Backups of an iPhoto Library must be done using standard methods, such as Retrospect and Backup. Given the very high frequency of occult corruption of iPhoto databases, and the size of the Librarires, these are not ideal solutions.

iTunes is a very good application. I can't comment on iMovie. iPhoto 2 is infuriating. It has aspects of genius outweighed by great flaws. Database corruption is commonplace and hard to detect. Performance is laughable. (I overheard an Apple store employee trying to claim that 1000 records was a lot to handle, thankfully he was not a "genius bar" worker.) Then this -- the primary "backup" modality for iPhoto doesn't support a full restore of the work done. It's primarily a modality for sharing individual images.

Bottom line: iPhoto 1 shipped 6 months too soon, iPhoto 2 shipped 4 months too soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Batteries in a Portable World. A handbook on rechargeable batteries for non-engineers

Batteries in a Portable World. A handbook on rechargeable batteries for non-engineers

SimpleSpeaker for iPod Alarm Clock

MadsonLine Portable Power Devices
Piped music with SimpleSpeaker for iPod.
SimpleSpeaker is a very small and light stereo loudspeaker which works without batteries. It can be connected directly with the headphone jack of your iPod without using any audio cable.
The foldable design of SimpleSpeaker allows it to use the ipod both in horizontal and vertical position.
The SimpleSpeaker packs and travels easily and enables to use the iPod even as a travel alarm clock.

This sells for $10, probably cost $2 to make. Authentic Chinese packaging, I think this was made for the Chinese marketplace. Horrid tinny sound. Comes with two speakers, one would be plenty. At maximum iPod volume this unpowered speaker puts out just enough music to awaken a light to medium sleeper. It is compact, though the sound jack always protrudes.

For the price, weight, and size it's worth sticking in luggage so the iPod can be a travel alarm. There are much nicer speakers for a bit more money and heft. I think for this purpose a "Lollipop" mono speaker of a bit better quality with sound jack that rotated internally would work better and could sell for $12.

Monday, December 15, 2003

macosxhints: Eject stuck CDs using open firmware or muouse

macosxhints: Eject stuck CDs using open firmware
I had a CD get stuck in my slot-loading superdrive Aluminum Powerbook, running 10.3. The CD became unresponsive and not recognized by my computer at all! Here is the fix.

Hold Control-Command-Option-Eject Button; this will shut down your computer. Turn the power on with the power button and hold Command-Option-O-F -- this will boot you into open firmware. Now type eject cd and wait until the CD pops out. Type mac-boot and you are ready to rock!

[robg adds: As mentioned elsewhere on the site, you can also try holding the mouse button down during boot to force the system to eject any inserted CDs.]

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Very neat 3 port travel USB hub -- semi-powered

FDr. Bott's T3Hub Portable 3 port USB Hub, Ice

History of special education in America

EDFA 200 - Rud - Places to just skate through life - Places to just skate through life
NorthShore Marathon
Duluth, Minn.
Running 26.2 beautiful and mostly flat miles along the shore of Lake Superior,
"this race was selected as the top skating marathon in the USA by
With more than 4,000 participants and growing, it is the largest skating event
(scheduled for Sept. 13) in the country." Difficulty: advanced beginner and

Friday Night Skate
This is "an incredible skate through the streets of Paris — at night and with
about 12,000 of your closest skating friends. Even though 'night skates' now
take place all over the U.S. and Europe, Paris ranks as the grande dame of them
all. Escorted by police and organized by volunteers, this is a skating experience
not to be missed." Difficulty: intermediate and better.

Mineral Belt Trail
Leadville, Colo.
The MB Trail is a 12.5-mile ribbon of smooth pavement that circles Leadville,
offering views of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak. "Much of the trail,
which boasts significant hills and an average altitude of over 10,000 feet,
winds through the town's historic mining district." Difficulty: advanced.

Venice Beach
Venice, Calif.
"Although it's a mecca for roller disco, hip-hop skate dancers and those wishing
to see and be seen, the roll along Venice Beach's waterfront bike path is for
everyone. While the path in Venice only runs several miles, you can continue
through other areas to make it a day of sun-drenched skating." Difficulty: advanced
beginner and better.

Pennsylvania Amish Area
Lancaster, Pa.
Although it is rarely billed as such, the Amish area here is a fantastic place
to skate. "On the back roads outside Lancaster, children play near one-room
schoolhouses, farmers work in their fields and buggies set the speed standard.
Rolling hills make this suitable only for those with good braking skills." Difficulty:
intermediate and better.

Withlacoochee Trail
Inverness, Fla.
On 46 paved miles along the Withlacoochee River from Citrus Springs to Trilby,
"the trail is mostly flat and quite scenic. The cute town of Inverness splits
the trail in half, allowing for a good overnight spot or a starting point for
an out-and-back skate." Difficulty: advanced beginner and better.

Rhône River Valley
Skating in Switzerland? Some of the greatest long-distance skating paths in
the world are here. "One of nine official bike routes and three official 'skatelines,'
the Rhône River Valley skate runs on paved paths and side roads from the German-speaking
town of Brig down to the French-speaking Lake Geneva region. With views of the
Alps, the path itself is mostly flat and superb for a multi-day skate." Difficulty:
intermediate and better.

Central Park
New York
"New York's most famous skating scene takes place in its most famous park. A
6-mile loop in Central Park is closed to automobile traffic twice daily and
makes an outstanding location for a recreational roll. It is even possible to
get a free braking lesson from the Central Park Skate Patrol." Difficulty: intermediate
and better.;

Berlin Marathon
"This is the biggest inline skating marathon in the world, with 12,000 inline
skaters expected on Sept. 27. The race accompanies the Berlin Marathon, a major
event on the running circuit, Sept. 28. The course is flat and fast, and the
weekend includes a pre-race pasta dinner and a post-race party." Difficulty:
intermediate and better.

A2A Road Skate
Athens, Ga.
"The Athens-to-Atlanta Road Skate (Sept. 28) is the premier distance skating
event in the U.S. Running 87 miles along country roads, this event is not for
the inexperienced or under-trained." Difficulty: advanced intermediate and better.

USA Today has a collection of "great places" in several categories.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Friday, December 12, 2003

Zip-Linq cable for Tungsten E sync AND charging: buy the Zip-Linq mini-USB mouse

rom: (John Faughnan)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot
Subject: Zip-Linq cable for Tungsten E sync AND charging: buy the Zip-Linq mini-USB mouse
Message-ID: <>

Google Groups Posting

The Zip-Linq (USB 1.1 ONLY, not high speed) cable is my favorite 2003 product. A single mini-B cable works with

- the Tungsten E
- some digital cameras
- some cell phones
- the Zip-Linq mini-USB travel mouse
- the Zip-Linq travel charger / power adaptor

If you have a Tungsten E, I'd recommend buying the Zip-Linq mini-USB mouse and getting a very portable sync cable and a very portable optical mouse for $20.

For my other postings on the fabulous Zip-Linq devices, plus URLs, see:


Since Palm doesn't provide a standard replacement or travel charger for the T|E either a Samsung phone charger [1] or the Zip-Linq charger are good alternatives.

I'm now buying devices in part based on their integration of the mini-B adapter so they work with the Zip-Linq cable family and other similar devices -- including shared power adaptors.



"The port is a standard 5 volt/1 amp port, the same one used by many
Samsung cell phones. While I'm sure the E will sell in sufficient
numbers to spawn a line of chargers of its own, for now you can pick up
chargers for the Samsung A460/A500 and use them with the E. I've got a
Belkin car charger that works great. I use the car charger whenever

This quote is in the middle of a pretty decent, comprehensive review.

meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, USB, standard, device, integration, travel, compatibility, Zip-Linq, PalmOne, Tungsten E, TE, T|E, Tungsten/E, mobile, cellphone

About WinXP User Accounts: Summary of what accounts have what privileges

About WinXP User Accounts - Help Article

Thursday, December 11, 2003

PalmOne page on cell phones and palm devices -- a bit hard to find!

Palm Wireless Solutions - Bluetooth® Products and Solutions

Apple - Discussions - Changes to the iBook power supply

Apple - Discussions - Changes to the iBook power supply
I own a 1.5 yo G3 dual USB 600MHz iBook. I have recently replaced the battery (down to 40 min life) and the power supply (crummy cheap plastic sheath came off the end).

The only replacements offered are the G4 power supply and battery. A few comments

1. the new battery is much higher amperage, on a G3 it's good for about 4-5 hours depending on whether one uses wireless or note.

2. The new power supply looks very similar to the old one, but it is improved. The plugs slide on and off and fit both power supplies, but the new power supply does not come with the international plugs that I think my iBook came with. The new supplies power cord is very heavy and has a 3 pronged plug, the old power cord was delightfully light and had a 2 pronged plug. The new cord will NOT fit on the old power supply.

The new 65W power supply outputs higher current.

The old supply was 24V 1.875A.
The new supply is 24.5V 2.85A

I'm a bit surprised that the higher Amp power supply will work with my iBook, but that's what the box and web site say.

The new power supply replaced the frail tip on the old one with a sturdier looking plastic cover, and the the plastic post on the old supply is now metal.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Panther supports JPEG 2000 with iPhoto?

MacInTouch Home Page
Tom Kornack shared some notes about JPEG 2000 and Mac support for it:

Large JPEG 2000 files in 16 bit format with a specialized color profile store my photography. It's the only compressed format that doesn't throw away 4 of the 12 bit dynamic range that comes out of my camera. On this subject I have three related points:
* iPhoto: I was floored when I plopped one of these files into iPhoto on my machine running 10.3 and saw it appear flawlessly, ready for manipulation, classification, etc. This was not possible using 10.2.
* SIPS: sips is a command line program that provides access to all of OS X's image manipulation routines. It is the only command line program that I know of that can handle JPEG 2000, high bit depth images, color profiles and everything else that one could want. All the images on my web site ( - while you're there, note the drop shadow css tag in effect if you're on 10.3 in Safari) are generated using this method. I believe that this is the single most powerful yet unadvertised new feature.
* Photoshop: I was surprised that the JPEG2000 plug-in that is provided with Photoshop CS produces files that do not open correctly in Preview or Graphic Converter. To see this effect, you must save a file for which the pixel dimensions are greater than the tile size.

This is quite extraordinary. It will be interesting to see how this will work with my Canon G2. I may start shooting G2 RAW images, then importing them and using GC to convert to JPEG2000 for import into iPhoto. Of course with an iBook with limited disk pace, a G3, and USB 1.x this would be strictly for test purposes. However if Apple does put out iPhoto 2.x or 3.x in the next few months, and especially if they put out the rumored thin client slate, I may have to buy a G5 sooner than I'd expected.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Using USB charging for multiple devices: iPod, Tungsten T PDA, cellphone and Zip-Linq

From: (John Faughnan)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc
Subject: iPod, Cell, PDA: sharing an external USB power "standard" charger
Message-ID: <>

Keyspan and Zip-Linq sell the same devices, all produced in Taiwan.

They're doing some very interesting things, leveraging USB charger standards.

Note this universal charger: [1] with a USB connector. If one bought the USB accessory cable for an iPod, I wonder if one could charge with this. Note it emulates a USB power supply, the only "standard" low voltage power source. I also travel with a cell phone and a Tungsten T. Keyspan/Zip-Linq sell USB cables that work with this charger.

So, one could travel with a single charger, a set of Zip-Linq cables, and charge a PDA, Cellphone, and iPod (though not all at once, maybe rotating them one night at a time ... a bit tricky but I think I could do it ...).

Anyone want to try it out and report back?

Come to think of it, another way to so something similar might be to buy a compact powered USB hub. That would also have only one charger, but it could have 3-4 USB connectors. Or combine a passive USB hub with this device to charge multiple things at the same time. Interesting ...

meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, charger, iPod, PDA, Tungsten T, cellphone, mobile phone, cell, charger, adaptor, adapter, travel charger, lithium, battery

[1] AC Wall Plug to 5V USB Adapter
ZIP-PWR-AC / UPC# 724580610137 / MSRP $19.99

This AC power adapter allows you to easily adapt your Ziplinq retractable charging cable to work from any 110VAC outlet. Provides 150-450mA output for super fast charges, even while using your phone. This portable and lightweight adapter rapidly charges NI-Cd, Ni-Mh and Li-Lon batteries in about an hour*.

• Works with any USB charger cable
• Input: 110-240 VAC 50/60HZ (compatible for international travel)
• Output: 5 VDC + 5%
• Min: 150 mA / Max: 450 mA

Friday, December 05, 2003

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Installing Panther: bug in 10.3.1 breaks .dmg file mounting on some machines?

MacInTouch Home Page: "My sister just got a new iBook G4 and asked me to configure it. So the first thing I did after going though the setup stuff was to update it 10.3.1. I then tried to mount a .dmg file but it failed. Checking the boards I found this to be a known issue with no fix from Apple. One of the threads put me on the path to the solution, at least for me.
What I found from the threads is that there's a plist file that gets created the first time you mount a .dmg file. This file is called When I search for the file it was missing. That got me thinking, could this be the problem. The .dmg file won't mount because the plist is missing.
So to test my theory I reinstalled 10.3, but this time before upgrading to 10.3.1, I first mounted a .dmg file. Then I checked to make sure the file was created, which it was. Then I updated to 10.3.1, and now .dmg files mount just fine. So before upgrading to 10.3.1 make sure you have mounted at least one .dmg file so the plist is created.
It looks like I found a bug in 10.3.1 plists; if they are missing they are supposed to be recreated, like 10.3 did, but 10.3.1 failed to do so."

Cat lovers and rare beef eaters may be easy prey for automobiles ...

BBC NEWS | Health | Eat worms - feel better
One third of Britons carry the toxoplasma parasite in their brain.

Its natural home is the cat and it's spread in cats' faeces. It can be picked up by any mammal, from rats to cattle. The main way we get it is by eating undercooked meat (which is why 80% of the French are estimated to have it, with their love of rare meat).

Once we have it we have it for life, there's no way we can get rid of it.

Research shows it somehow manipulates rats' behaviour - it makes rats attracted to cats - their natural predator, so they're more likely to be eaten by a cat and the parasite can complete its life cycle.

For years scientists thought it had no effect on our behaviour, but now the parasite's changing their minds. Recent research suggests that people with toxyplasma have slower reaction times than those without and are also more than twice as likely to be involved in a traffic accident than those who aren't carrying the parasite.

The BBC news story is a tie in to a BBC broadcast. The broadcast sounds gruesome and fascinating. I've been following the UC/hookworm studies for years and I'm looking forward to the study publications. This Toxoplasma data is new to me though, and it's rather unsettling. It's not good news for people who have pet cats or who like their meat rare. Personally, I'm switching to well done, though it may be too late for me! Good news for dog loving cat hating vegetarians though ... (I think dogs don't get toxoplasma ...)