Tag Archives: Mac

How to Determine Airport Speed on a Mac

I always use MenuMeters which is a great plugin that will allow you to see your network activity, cpu usage and so forth. I don’t know if my wife would find is so useful though, so it isn’t installed on her MacBook Pro (Amazon Affiliate Link) as it is on all of my machines.

Anyways, we just signed up for a new Verizon FIOS account and got the new Actiontech router to go with it. She’s the only one of us lucky enough to really take advantage of the new 802.11n features built-in though and I wanted to see if it was actually working. I was suprised that the Mac doesn’t show you the speed of your airport connection anywhere, so I had to search and found this great tip to just push the option button while clicking on the airport menu icon.

I hope you will find this useful as I do.

Happy Not So Birthday To Me

Well let’s see. I didn’t end up making it to Disneyland on Thursday. When the morning came around, sleep was sounding so good and since no one had volunteered to accompany me, I figured I’d take what I could. I would have loved to have gone and bought some Disney stuff, but I guess I’ll have to wait till next year if they’re still doing it.

It was a long day at work, but all went fairly well. The show went off without a hitch and everyone was happy with our work. I hope we’re able to get some more business out of the deal.

I ended up sleeping in a bit Friday morning as well and tried to get all sorts of things done in the office. Unfortunately it felt like I didn’t get much done. I was planning on going in today to get taxes done – or started – but I ended up with so much to do at home that I never left the house.

Last night I just kind of took it easy at home. The missionaries asked if we could meet to fill one of their spots that someone had backed out of, so we did that and then I watched the double header of 24. Before they came over I spent about an hour figuring out how to get the audio out of my DVR. I thought it would be easy to take the optical out, but apparently it is encoded and not just a PCM stream or something and the MacBook couldn’t recognize it. I tried all sorts of things to just get the stereo audio through and it just wouldn’t work. I finally came across a way through firewire to have the MacBook emulate a DVCR and then was able to capture the video and audio feed through VLC. It’s a bit hairy, but it worked and I was able to get the new Rascal Flatts song “Here Comes Goodbye” at least temporarily while I wait for them to release their new album.

I think I’m going to get the company to signup for Promo Only so I can get these new songs sent to me without having to wait for the album. The service doesn’t cost that much more than the songs themselves really do and while I won’t like them all, it could be beneficial in times like this. That will also help me at work to have the most current songs even if they are ones that I don’t particularly care for myself.

I spent the bulk of today cleaning. I finally got caught up on all the newspapers. Well, the big stacks are gone. There are a handful of sections that I saved to read longer stories in or for reference. I decided to toss all the sections I had been saving for Soduku since it seems that Maegan isn’t coming over anytime soon to play a bunch and I get two new ones each and everyday. I finally cleaned the carpet in the family room which had a few stains that I’ve found recently on it. It looks like the big stuff came out which is good. I still have a hard time believing sometimes how dirty the water is coming out of the carpet when it looks so clean. I guess it just goes to show that you never really are done cleaning. There are still lots of things that I need to do, but I’m very happy with the kitchen and family room being clean again. I also got my shower much cleaner than it was and did laundry today.

I had some extra chicken left over from Monday which I needed to cook or freeze so Ashley and I decided to make some chicken alfredo. I think it was the best I’ve ever made. The chicken was very tender and the seasoning worked out quite well. I’m actually kind of looking forward to those leftovers even though I know they won’t be as good as it was tonight.

Lauren had talked about possibly coming over tonight, but I never heard anything from her, so we went with plan B (above). Ashley and I then watched My Girl. I had forgotten how much I love that movie. The music is so great and I love so many of the lines and plots.

Well, I guess I’d best be off to sleep so I can make it though this heck of a day tomorrow.

P.S. Did I mention that Alison called me aged the other night?

What It Takes

So it has been a while since I’ve written. To some extent, I’d say that I’ve been busy, to some I’d say I’d been too bored to write. Tonight I’m just not quite ready to go to bed, even though I really need to get some sleep. I guess there are just too many things going through my mind that I’ve been trying to figure out lately.

Let’s see if I can recount some of the recent highlights: The fireside with President Monson was great this past Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have watched it twice now and have two pages of notes. I never take notes. I hope to collect those thoughts into something more coherent soon.

My favorite song recently, and I don’t mean in the past two weeks, but the past few months, is definitely “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley.

The girls have been keeping me up way too late recently. Maegan and Larilyn came over on Monday night when I normally get to bed between 8 and 9 and I think were here till almost 11. Surprisingly I wasn’t all that tired at the temple the next morning. Lauren came over last night, I was able to bribe her with some brown rice pasta I found at Trader Joe’s, and I finally started watching 24 which kept me up late. It seemed like there was something all last week. I remember being somewhat excited with a Friday night off. I was going to get to bed early, but then I fell in love with the pink roses on my kitchen table and spent a few hours taking pictures of them.

Taking the pictures led to last weekends project of figuring out how to fix the picture problem. My laptop just hasn’t been cutting it with the pictures and it has taken all the fun and enjoyment out of it. So, I thought maybe it was the slow HDD and dug out some externals. That didn’t seem to make much of a change, but did help. Around 11 or 11:30 I gave up and visited apple.com to find out what time the Escondido store opened up. After an impatient morning, I was at the Apple Store and bought a new Mac Pro. It actually runs Apeture and it is really nice to have a desktop again. I want to burn some backups and then delete a bunch of the stuff that I have on my laptop. Actually, I’m starting to like the new OS (don’t remember the cat’s name) so I may wipe and reinstall.

Ryan got me playing with APRS yesterday. He told me the magic combinations I had been missing before. I now really want to get the weather station setup at the house and get it transmitting via APRS and get a GPS in the car that will talk to the 710 radio in there. I’ve also been toying with buying a truck and am considering doing it sometime this year. I think I might want to get it fully loaded with the radio rigs, scanners and other toys, so I might save the full scale gps integration for that bad boy and keep my car a little cleaner, i.e. no more toys in it. Now I just need money!

In any event, I’ve found myself depressed quite a bit lately that life just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Clearly I can buy all sorts of expensive toys, but it doesn’t progress me anywhere. I think I’ve lost touch with some things that I need to be doing. I haven’t been reading my scriptures daily. I’ve been very anti-social which only leads to being more anit-social. Something needs to change; I’m just not sure what or how and sometimes I just want to give up. I realize that we have to go through ups and downs in life, it just seems that the valleys are larger than the plateaus.

Oh yeah, I want to plant a garden. I realize I’m not the perfect person to care for it, but I think it would be great to have fresh fruits and veggies growing outside. I could totally go for having a huge supply of strawberries this summer. It would also help me accomplish the job of setting up a compost bin or at least a kitchen pill bug type compost.

I guess Adam Gregory is singing the song of this era of my life right now:

I want to know,
I want to understand,
what it takes to be your man

What’s your favorite color,
whats your favorite song
if i sing it to you,
would you sing alone
i need to know,
I’ve got to understand
what it takes to be your man
what you want,
what you need,
baby tell me everything,
there ain’t nothing
I don’t want to know
cause all I want,
all i need,
is just you here with me
baby let me know so that I can
do what it takes to be your man.

Adam Gregory - What It Takes - Single - What It Takes

More Cookies?

I had a pretty lazy day today. I pretty much just cleaned up my messes from yesterday and hung around the house. In fact, other than to get the mail, I never even left the house and I really don’t think that counts for much!

Sibonet tried to talk me into making chocolate chip cookies this afternoon, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it with snicker-doodles, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and fudge still sitting around. I think we can do it later in the week once some of the other items have disappeared a bit.

I am starting to like how downstairs is looking without all the junk that I’ve moved up to the office. It is kind of nice not seeing a laptop on the kitchen table, all my mail and church stuff everywhere. I’m sure the laptop will come and go, but I think I am on the right track. I was really eyeing a Mac Pro today, but I just don’t have the money for it. I priced out a comparable Dell and it was quite a bit more expensive, so I guess it is still true that you get more bang for your buck with Apple. The problem is they have no middle of the road machines. I don’t think I need a fully loaded Mac Pro to do my pictures, and have a hard time justifying $3,000 just to import and export pictures. My laptop just isn’t cutting it and there doesn’t seem to be much between my MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro in terms of real speed difference. Maybe I’ll have to start saving up and just make do with what I’ve got for now. It would probably help if I used a faster external drive and maybe that will be step 1.

As much as I have been going crazy with all this time off, I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to getting back to the nitty gritty tomorrow. I know it isn’t work tomorrow, but Sunday’s and all the church stuff tends to make it quite a day.

I watched War of the Worlds tonight. I remembered that Nathaniel had loaned it to me and I didn’t remember watching it. Well, as soon as it started playing I remembered the film, so either I did watch it and just forgot to give it back, or I’d seen it before and couldn’t remember it when he asked me if I wanted to watch it. In any event, I’ve seen it now, and now it needs to go back. I didn’t mind watching it again, it’s a decent enough movie and since I had nothing from Netflix, I had to resort to watching something I had in house or risk going out to find something. I actually recorded a few things on TV as a backup plan just in case too.

Apple – Support – Discussions – ‘Your network settings have been …

Apple, I’m appalled that this problem hasn’t been fixed yet. My trust is being lost quite quickly in the recent months. There is no excuse for this to have not been fixed the week it was discovered.

Apple – Support – Discussions – ‘Your network settings have been ….

I’m not about ready to delete my network setups just because someone at Apple is too lazy to solve the problem they created with a security update.


I’ve been so lazy the past two days I can’t even think of what to report today. I still need to catchup on Maui, but I’m too tired to do that tonight. I’ve enjoyed a lot of relaxing time lately. I’ve managed to catch up completely on my major tv shows on the DVR and am down now to the extras that I record just for backup.

I started working on clearing out iPhoto so I could get new pictures in there. I learned that if you command-delete something from an album it will delete it from the library as well which will be very useful to me in the future. A normal delete will work with smart albums too, which might be useful if I started doing things with smart albums, although I’m not sure how that would work.

I got a letter and picture from Tara today which was greatly needed. She said the fruit bouquet came just when needed, as it seems her letter did to me. She sent a picture of her eating the fruit which is just awesome. I’m glad the timing ended up working out so well when I dragged my feet for so long. She said she has been learning more patience which is surprising to me because I think she has a lot of patience already. I’d say she certainly has more than me, but that isn’t saying much. I can’t believe how long she has been out and therefore how long it has been since I’ve even heard her voice or seen her.

I’m totally ready to go back to church tomorrow. It feels like I haven’t been in forever. I’m also anxious to get home teaching fixed (again) so we can keep pushing towards 100%.

Cleaning Floors

I had fun today cleaning floors. I got a steam cleaner to do the carpets, and it also said it did hard surfaces. I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning all the hard floors in the house. I didn’t think it was doing that good of a job at first, but I noticed the water was fairly dirty. Later I realized walking around that the floors felt really clean. I don’t know what that is worth, but I had been noticing that my feet were getting really dirty walking around the house. I’ve vacuumed so many times that I figured there was just dirt that didn’t want to come out of the carpet and such so it needed a deep cleaning. I got the only Hoover model that they had at Best Buy, and used my 10% off coupon for moving on it.

The family came over for dinner tonight. Well, they came over to eat Papa John’s pizza. I have a feeling my dad really likes having a place he can come and eat it and I think I’m going to be seeing them every three weeks. They also brought some stuff from the house – as I figured they would – that I promptly threw away most of. I can’t figure out if the Apple posters are worth anything. I tried searching online for ipod lisa poster and such regarding the 2004 remake of the 1984 Lisa poster/ad and couldn’t find anything on eBay or really much talking about it. I guess if I make an Apple museum I’ll want to keep at least one of them – and if I put them all in one container they wouldn’t take up that much room.

Kenny and I watched Definitely Maybe tonight. I thought the movie had a good premise and liked the story telling of his life, and the interactions from the daughter. It kind of reminded me of Princess Bride with the story telling. While not a fan of some of the things they did in the movie, I thought it was funny how intertwined the lives of these women were and how you supposedly couldn’t see what was coming – and definitely didn’t know who her mom was. It was clear early on how the movie would end, as with most. It was enjoyable through the end though and that is what matters.

I discovered the other night that I have a broken sprinkler line. I’d like to say the neighbors probably did it when they poured concrete, but i can’t be certain. I picked up the stuff to start digging today and maybe can get out there and get going on Monday night. I need to start working on a food list for the housewarming party next weekend so I can start doing some form of planning ahead.

Apple sued over iPhone price cut

This moron needs to get a freaking life. You paid an early adopter fee. It happens with everything. So the price came down earlier than you expected. You didn’t get your 8 gb model you wanted, but you were too impatient to wait so you bought the 4 gb model.

AppleInsider | Apple, Jobs, AT&T sued over iPhone price cut, rebates

If you really want a reason to sue Apple and AT&T, why not sue them for having a horrible network and not being able to support the phone

I think Apple was fair in giving customers price protection in the past two weeks and giving a $100 store credit to previous  purchasers. That’s more than most other companies would do – especially in the mobile phone market!

Top 25 Most Played Songs

I only recognized, or rather could think of the tune, of one of the songs on Larilyn’s Top 25 Most Played list. That was “Killing Me Softly,” which I don’t even have in my iTunes library! I assume you’ll be able to do better with mine:

Name Artist Count
We Danced Brad Paisley 302
Your Song Ewan McGregor and Alessandro Safina 227
Crazy For This Girl Evan & Jaron 226
Amazed Lonestar 225
Things I’ll Never Say Avril Lavigne 222
The Reason Hoobastank 221
I Can’t Be Your Friend Rushlow 220
Big Yellow Taxi Counting Crows & Vanessa Carlton 219
Before Me And You SHeDAISY 217
Here Without You 3 Doors Down 216
What a Beautiful Day Chris Cagle 213
Hotel Paper Michelle Branch 213
Naked Avril Lavigne 209
My Immortal Evanescence 209
With You Jessica Simpson 208
Unwell Matchbox Twenty 208
Don’t Tell Me Avril Lavigne 204
Thinking Over Dana Glover 204
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You Bryan Adams 202
Breathe Michelle Branch 202
I Can Only Imagine MercyMe 200
Yes! Chad Brock 198
BareNaked Jennifer Love Hewitt 198
My Front Porch Looking In Lonestar 198
Fall to Pieces Avril Lavigne 197

The only real problem with iTunes counts is that all the older songs are going to dominate the list.

Surprisingly there aren’t really any songs I am too embarrassed to have on this list either, as long as you keep in mind that some of these songs have just been around for a while. Every one of these songs lists a date added of 2/12/05, which must have been the date of an update or a corrupted iTunes DB file, so no recent songs are anywhere near the list.

I wish Apple would incorporate a recent play count timer in iTunes so that you could get a list of your top 40 for the week/month. I do see they incorporated a “skip” count and a last skipped which is pretty cool! I’ve requested that a few times so that I could see what songs I was constantly skipping and remove them from playlists to eliminate the hassle of having to skip them.

I’d be interested to see if anyone else has some tastes as “old” as mine…

Windows Domain Fun

I’ve spent most of this week dealing with trying to setup a domain for GT. Batch has been tugging along with me as well. We got Mac Server running and got the domain up on Monday. We got the basics working, but found that users really wanted to be able to travel with their setup, so spent a good amount of time making sure that everything, including their backgrounds would travel with them. Finally on Wednesday, we pretty much had everything going. I was going around to machines and inspecting to make sure everything was working and I was cleaning up the installed printers. All of sudden, one of the computers I had just removed some printers from, would no longer pull network profiles. We tried some things, but couldn’t figure it out. I continued on my trek and we started having the same problems with the next computer. We struggled with it for a while, and I finally decided that after 3 days of working to get the domain setup and working, it was time to admit defeat for now. I don’t know where the problems were coming from, but I know they weren’t fun.

I ordered a copy of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 today. While I don’t necessarily think the Mac was the total cause of the problems, it probably isn’t helping in some areas. Hopefully this will fix the problems and the domain will work out there like it is supposed to. If not, it looks like we’ll be using the RIS services to reformat a handful of computers! The other cool thing that SBS could offer will be an Exchange server, which could make a lot of our emails problems much easier. I’ll just have to figure out how to make Exchange work for them – which may mean they need to get a static IP for the DSL. I think I can configure it to just check their existing accounts and then hold the mail locally, but it should make roaming easier and would allow them to share contacts and calendars, so it could be a big asset.

Other than that fun, I’m not sure what else has been going on. The computer troubles had kept me out of the office until today, and even kept me from my stress management class yesterday. We got through our first group case analysis for management on Monday, but I still think it was a stupid waste of time. I’m not sure what else to report, so I think I’m going to leave it here and get some sleep!

Apple Fashion Valley Being Renovated

From AppleInsider:

Meanwhile, a tipster notes that the Apple Store Fashion Valley in San Diego, Calif. will be closing for approximately three weeks in the middle of March for remodeling.

As the tipster notes, the store is often ranked among the top 10 Apple retail stores in sales volume. Therefore, it would seem unlikely that the Cupertino-based company would plan any hefty product launches around the same time.

According to the same tipster, the store will open in limited fashion after the three-week partial renovation, then close down once again six weeks later for a final round of renovations (which will also last three weeks).

I wonder what this means to us locals. Maybe they are just going to give it a face lift, or maybe it will be something brand new…

Save $20 on iLife ’06

So I just got this email from Apple:

As a .Mac member, you can now get a $20* instant rebate when you buy iLife ’06 at the online Apple Store or Apple retail store (via mail-in rebate elsewhere). You’ll get iWeb and the newest versions of iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand, so you can do more than ever with photos, movies, blogs, websites, and more. And sharing it all with .Mac is a snap. Hurry, rebate offer ends December 13, 2006.

So basically, for those slackers that haven’t bought iLife ’06 yet, you can buy it now, just months before Apple will release iLife ’07 and then you’ll be mad at Apple for making you buy the software in the final months of production!

I guess as an investor I should just be happy that they are trying to raise revenues/profits.

Using VPC’s XP with Parallels Desktop

I bought a new MacBook Pro about a month ago. Within the first couple days of getting it, I tried really hard to make the copy of Windows XP Pro that came along with Virtual PC work with the program. I followed instructions and tips all over the Internet and got lots of support from Nathaniel. Unfortunately, we always got stuck at a screen asking us to insert the disk labeled Windows XP … into drive A. I found other people having the same problem, but no one could offer up a solution that seemed to fix it.

I eventually just gave up. Fortunately, we had a copy of Windows XP Home that came with a Dell box that seemed to work with Parallels and allowed me to test the system for a few weeks. Well, Windows had been bugging me about product activiation being required in a few days so I figured it was time for a more permanent solution.

After hours of searching today and building a dozen or so ISO images, I finally decided to try putting the following files both in the root of the CD and in the i386 folder:

  • win51
  • win51ip
  • win51ip.sp2
  • win51ip.spx

I don’t know which files are actually required, nor do I care. It works!

Brother Reset After Power Failure

We lost power Saturday morning – and what’s worse – It was actually a brownout, so we were getting like 52 volts when we should have been getting 120! Apparently, my Brother MFC-8840DN MultiFunction Fax/Copier/Printer wasn’t very happy with this and went into some service protect mode.

After spending 26 minutes on hold with Brother support, they finally decided to disconnect me. So I went through a bunch of crap to make a support ticket online while waiting through the more than 15 minute hold time for a support agent. After about 16 minutes I finally got an answer, but the code the guy kept telling me to try didn’t work – but I found that the machine still seemed to be working as it tried to send a fax!

Well, to make a long story short, here is the procedure in case it is helpful to someone else!

Turn the machine off. Push and hold Menu, then turn the machine on while still holding menu. Despite what tech support may say – keep holding menu until the screens starts flashing. Then type 91 which will take you into some maintenance menu. Then type 99 and it should do something and reset the unit!