Tag Archives: Mac

The Patient Survived!

Doc Oc has his new OS and apps loded. Yahoo! In this entry, I’m gonna try to capture the things I’ve modified/augmented, so next time I have to do this, I can deal with it from a documented position.

My basic plan was to keep things clean, only installing things I use, and trying hard to avoid importing settings and drivers from the old boot drive, which takes the Migration Assistant out of the mix… generally.

  • >Documents and Stuff : I have loads of this kind of thing… ya know, Apple commercials, some images (not my photo library; that’s on another spindle), genealogy stuff, etc. Migration Assistant seemed like it would move all this, but I really wanted to do it myself, as I’m not comfortable with Migration Assistant’s scope, and knowing just much it would copy.
  • Mail : Mail is a biggie for me. I archive waaaaay too much mail in my mailboxes, and it’s always been one of those things I’ll fix “one of these days”. Today is not that day. So how to get my mail setup manually? I copied /Users/me/Library/Mail and /Users/me/Library/Mail Downloads to the newly installed OS image. I also copied /Users/me/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist, and after getting everything over, I opened Mail, and there was everything. The only thing that wasn’t in place was my passwords, which isn’t a big surprise.
  • Adobe Applications : I fully expected CS3 to bark about being reinstalled on the same machine, but apparently it was smart enough to figure it out. I saw several other apps that somehow knew their license serial numbers, and worked well. In fact, the only app that I had to “deactivate” and “reactivate” was Genuine Fractals 6.
  • iTunes : I have had challenges in the past with moving my iTunes library around. This go ’round though, I had no problems. I use an alias to point to the library location, and once I repointed that, iTunes was all smiles.

At this point, Doc is happy again, although I’m sure I’ll run into things here and there that aren’t quite as they were. However, all things considered, I’m happy with where things are right now… Especially given all the “learning experiences” that were part of this!!

Duplex is Good, But Sometimes It Ain’t

With Charter starting to do some network upgrades around town (for their home users; not sure if I’ll get any boost out of it yet), I decided to see how my line speed was doing. I check it occasionally, but it’s been a while. Ya know, if it’s working, don’t bother it.

When I ran the speed test (from Speakeasy), I noticed that my downlink speed was about half what it should’ve been, which wasn’t what I expected. Charter’s gotten very active on Twitter lately, so I popped a tweet to Eric (@Umatter2Charter), who was quick to ask for some details. This was way before he gets in, but I check Twitter via my iPhone pretty frequently, so I saw his response later in the morning. He though that I’d need to be home to help troubleshoot, so I figured I’d pop another tweet his way once I got home… assuming there was still a problem.

I got home, found there was still a problem, and tweeted Eric about it…. and that’s when I thought to try the test from a different machine on the network. Sure ’nuff, the other machine was just fine. I was about to send Charter on a wild goose chase for something that was on my end. Not good. I tweeted Eric, and got him off the hook just in the nick of time before he called out the dogs. 🙂

As it ends up, my MacPro was sitting at an MTU of 1500, which is not the way it should’ve been set — everything in the house is using jumbo packets instead. Dunno how it got changed, but that wasn’t the culprit. It was my duplexing settings. Again, for some reason unknown to me, the MacPro was sitting at “full-duplex, flow control” instead of “full-duplex”, and through the arcanity of ethernet protocol compliance, that was slowing down my connection as the MacPro saw it. Once the settings were what I would’ve expected, all was well.

I sure wish I knew how things got ugly, but I’m just glad to get ’em fixed!

A Tale of Two Displays, Part One: What Are They Thinking?

This week, Apple has announced that the new delicious 24″ monitors are ready for ordering and shipping. These are the brilliant-looking monitors that will only attach to MiniDisplayPort enabled devices, which means you can only attach this new beastie to one of the new laptops from Apple. There’s no love for the MacMini or MacPro, both of which are DVI-based machines, nor for the older laptops out there.

On the heels of that announce, Apple also announced that they are discontinuing the 23″ Apple Cinema Display. While this isn’t a huge surprise, the things that are missing are.

What this seems to mean is that if you have a DVI-based Mac — essentially any recent Mac before the latest laptop announcements — the only two monitors available from Apple for you are the 20″ Apple Cinema Display ($599) and the 30″ Apple Cinema Display ($1799). The 23″ ACD came in around $899, and was a nice compromise for folks like me that wanted more real estate than the 20″, but didn’t want to spring almost two-kilobucks for the 30″. For some folks with twenty Benjy’s burning a hole in their pocket, it might’ve made sense for those in the MacPro crowd to put a pair of 23″ ACD screens on the desk for the same price as the 30″. That’s all personal choice however. 🙂

The key log to breaking this display logjam is a DVI to MiniDisplayPort adapter, something Apple hasn’t announced, and something that no one seems to have created (although it appears Amazon may have some third party dongles). From what I gather in reading other folks’ interpretation of the specs, this kind of dongle is possible, but was just never something anyone needed before. That’s the only way an Apple laptop older than a month will be able to connect to the new 24″ display.

For MacPro users, this would work, of course, but I suspect that the best path here would be a new video card. However, Apple has also not announced any DisplayPort-based cards, and even if they were available out there, I don’t know if they’d be compatible with the MacPro or OS X. And then there might still be the DisplayPort to MiniDisplayPort question — is there an adapter that will go between these two sizes of the same video standard?

If anyone from Apple is reading this — and I know Uncle Steve checks this blog daily — please, please, please get your collective product lines together so I can put the new panels on my MacPro!!!! Doc Oc needs new eyes…

Crossing the Streams

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been battling printing issues, trying to print some contract work on canvas through my Epson R1800. To say it hasn’t gone well is giving the experience too much positive light.

As I researched the issue, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one seeing dark prints with the R1800, and not just on canvas. I’ve seen that with other media, but I “band aided” the problem by increasing the brightness of the ready-for-print images. Not elegant, and shouldn’t be necessary, but it worked… generally. However, that process didn’t translate well onto canvas, and after blowing through a roll of canvas, and a lot of ink, I was still no closer to printing canvas correctly.

One of the interesting things I noticed was that the Windows-based folks weren’t having this problem. In fact, some folks would bring the same image up on their Leopard-based Mac and a VM-based Windows XP environment, see exactly the same thing on the screen, but get different print results. And the results on the Windows side were spot-on.

The more I read, the more I decided it was time to put VMWare Fusion and Windows XP on my MacPro.

A quick run up the road, a little time spent installing, and I’m close to having XP on my Mac. For printing. Crazy, eh? I truly have crossed the streams! 🙂

Garmin and the Mac

One of the challenges with relying on my Macs for almost everything has been the lack of support for my GPS — not by Apple, but by Garmin. I have a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, and had planned to pick up Windows XP and VMWare’s Fusion in order to use my GPS on my MacBook.

As it ends up, Garmin may have caught up with the Mac wave.

After having bought the North American map suite, I started looking around to see what the state of the Garmin-Apple relationship was, and was surprised to find that there was some kind of big announcement at the last MacWorld. I started poking around and found the Garmin and the Mac page off Garmin’s site. On it, I found a utility to convert my maps from the PC to the Mac, and a new software project called Bobcat. From what I can tell from a few days of playing with it, it sure looks like it’s able to pull everything I’ve been using on my GPS to my Mac. Way cool.

And, since the only thing I was gonna buy XP/Fusion for was my GPS, that means I saved about $140!!!