Little Coolnesses


This weekend in my Apple-world, I’ve performed some coolness, some of which I’ve wanted to do for a long time in Microsoft-land, and couldn’t quit get to.

First off, I’ve added an iSight-based webcam view to the sidebar. While I don’t expect you to see Elvis, Jimmy Hoffa or Visitors, I do expect that ocassionally, it’ll be fun to see me hacking my way through some thing or another. This comes from EvoCam, sold by the folks at Evological. It’s a neat interface, allows for all kinds of options and seems to do everything I need it to do. Just gotta get more creative with the iSight, and get the lighting a little better at my desk.

I’ve also added a piece to the sidebar that shows the last five tracks I’ve listened to with iTunes. That is something I always wanted to do with Windows, and couldn’t come up with a good way to do. I’m sure someone has skinned that cat in the Land of Gates, but for me, it wasn’t straightforward. However, with a little tool called Kung Tunes, I can bring this list to life, and put it right in the sidebar. Cool, cool.

The last big deal this weekend was a new enclosure for the 400Gb external drive. The fan in the ADS enclosure was making just a bit too much noise for me, so I replaced it with an Acomdata 3.5″ firewire enclosure that CompUSA had on sale this week. The Acomdata is a very nice enclosure, solidly built. The only thing of note is that there is no fan in the back of the enclosure — there’s a cutout however. So, if the drive seems like it stays hot, I’ll install a little fan in it.

So, what to do with the ADS? Well, a little experimenting. I installed the Sony dual-layer drive from Beck’s old machine in the ADS enclosure, daisy-chained it off the Acomdata, and OS X saw it with no problem. The biggest thing that it seems to help with is ripping my CD’s. This drive will rip easily at 18x, while the drive in the iMac only seems to rip at about 10x-12x max. That’s a big difference across 300+ CDs!

I guess the next thing to try to figure out is if I can rip from both drives at the same time — probably a challenge with only one processor. The other challenge is to get that goofy “One or more of the songs you have selected to import have already been imported” prompt to go away. There’s no way I’ve been able to find to set iTunes to default to always “Replace Existing”. Surely there’s a path for this, as I don’t wanna have to keep answering this for almost every disc!

Anyway, fun and games at the ranch this weekend, and some little successes. Next week, I’ll work on getting the automation for the photos completed. Then the Photo Archive can begin catching up.