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Showing posts from 2011

Warning - iOS5 Update Restore Error - Wait to upgrade

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I patiently waited for the actual release of iOS5 - since I can't get myself an iPhone 4S for a little while without paying a premium. When I saw that iOS5 was available, I decided to update my 32GB iPhone 4 to the latest and greatest.

First off, Apple wanted me to upgrade OS X to 10.7.2 and iTunes to 10.5. That took the better part of an hour in itself, between downloading a pretty hefty collection of bits, installing them and then running a subsequent back up, I was a full hour in before I could even begin to upgrade my iPhone.

Once that was out of the way I tried updating the iPhone 4. Here's where the fun began.

First, an error
After sitting there for a very long time—I didn't pay close attention—iTunes reported this little error. Not good. When I clicked OK (it's not really OK but that's the one to push), I pulled my iPhone off the USB connector and the phone itself seemed fine. Still running iOS 4.3, and all of my content was sitting there fine.

I Googled up t…

Remembering Steve Jobs

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We mourn the loss of famous people—our entertainers, our leaders, our athletes—even though we never got a chance to meet them in person. They entered our lives through popular media and became part of it. We would watch them act or sing and it would engage us. They would speak about the important challenges we face and we would be inspired to address them. We would watch in awe as they performed incredible feats of skill, wondering how anyone could pull that off.

When one of those famous people die young, it's notable. That small window in our lives that they occupied goes dark and we miss them for a time.

Steve Jobs was different.

He wasn't an entertainer, yet he could capture the attention of the public and engage us. He didn't give many speeches, but the few he did were inspirational. Though he was not the classic business CEO he created multiple businesses that enjoyed extraordinary financial success. While these are all great accomplishments, it's not the main rea…

Things I learned from my mom

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Hug Frequently
A hug costs nothing yet gives a huge return. Spend them on family and friends as though you have an unlimited supply, because you do.

Enjoy Family Time
My mom was happiest when we were all sitting at the dinner table, swapping stories and making one another laugh. I am happiest when I am sitting at the dinner table with my own kids, making each other laugh.

Laugh Easily
Open yourself to laughter. Try to find the humor in things, even if it sometimes comes at your own expense. When frustration is about to lead to anger, try laughing about it instead.

Protect Ferociously
If you attempt to harm my child I will personally introduce you to the afterlife. No, I am completely serious.

Marry My Child, Become My Child
When I married my wife, my mom didn't treat it as though she lost a son but that she finally gained a daughter. She gave her love unconditionally and always treated my wife as her own child.

Say “I love you”
Don't assume your family and close friends know that y…

First Impressions of Lion

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I've been playing with Lion fairly steadily now since its release and have some initial impressions I'd like to share.

Gestures
The changes to the gestures in OS X are dramatically different. I can deal with the change to scrolling direction on a page (up is down, down is up) - that's really not that big of a deal. After less than a week I've completely adjusted to it. You can switch it in settings if you like, however you are better off just adjusting to it if you are exclusively a Mac user since it matches up with how actual touch screens like the iPad work. Apple wouldn't be making a change like this just for consistency, I believe it's to prepare Mac users for the future when a hybrid device that is a merger of iPad and Mac is released.

What is a big deal is that the default behavior for going back in a browser (three-finger swipe left) is changed, now it's two fingers and only works on Safari (not Chrome). I'm hoping I can get this to work in Chrome…

Upgrading Multiple Macs to Lion

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Like many Mac users I am in the process of upgrading my Macs to Lion today. With 8 Macs in our house downloading 3.7GBs of installer seems like a huge waste of bandwidth. You only need to purchase the upgrade once for all of the machines you own or control so here's a technique that may help you only download Lion just once:

1) Purchase Lion on one of your Snow Leopard Macs
The download is about 3.76GB so depending on your connection speed it may take a while. You'll need to be current with Software Update if you aren't already.

2) Once the download is complete you will be presented with this screen:
3) Do not click Continue! Press Command-Q (or quit from the menu) instead

4) Open Finder and navigate to your Applications folder
You should see the installer with the Lion icon titled "Install Mac OS X Lion". Copy that 3.76GB file to portable media device (like a Flash drive or external hard drive).

5) Copy the Installer application to the Applications folder of the Macs…

Vibram FiveFingers - Getting started running barefoot style

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After reading Born to Run, Christopher McDougall's best seller on long distance athletes, I became convinced that I needed to make the switch to a barefoot style of running. Based on everything I've read the human body has evolved over millions of years to be optimized for running, yet it's only in the last 40 or so years that we've had heavily padded running shoes and the number of injuries caused by using them has skyrocketed. I won't delve into the details here, encouraging you to either pick up McDougall's book or Google yourself up some background on it.

The bottom line is that if you want to go with a more natural barefoot running style you have a few choices. Since the bottom of my feet are about as tough as the South bound end of a North bound baby, actually running in bare feet didn't seem reasonable. I've done it on the beach in soft sand but that's pretty much where I draw the line. The first thing I did was lace up my heavily padded Nike…

Three iChat Features You Should Know About

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As I wrote up my last blog post on Skype alternatives I started seriously looking at iChat again. Since I had been using Skype for my video chats and Adium for my IM communications, iChat never seemed to have that little blue orb beneath it in the dock bar to indicate it was running.

When I first switched to Mac over three years ago I played with iChat and relatively quickly dismissed it as a cute toy. The cartoon bubble discussion was cute but not compact enough for my relatively heavy IM usage. The video chatting was cool but after playing with the effects button and carrying on a video chat while riding a moving roller coaster I quickly concluded that this was a fluffy consumer novelty and moved on to other applications for my business needs.

Researching alternatives to Skype changed all that.

The more I played around with iChat, the more I learned about some interesting features, especially if the people I was communicating with also had iChat available to them. More and more of m…

Skype Alternatives for Mac Users

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Microsoft has agreed to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. As a long term Skype user I've had Skype loaded on my Macs for years now. It serves for video chats with my family and business associates and also as my desk-bound IP telephony device. This model has worked well for me. By combing a couple of cool AppleScripts with Launchbar I can call people without my fingers leaving the keyboard. So if everything works so well, why would I need an alternative?

Skype's Mac Client
I was more than a little concerned when Skype released their last Mac client and it was, well, not very good. Skype's never really been a company that embraces the Mac user interface well, though version 2.8 is serviceable from a user experience standpoint. With the announced acquisition my confidence in Skype putting any money into "embracing and extending" the Mac client in a way that makes dedicated Mac users happy is... well... compromised.

Microsoft
My confidence in Microsoft's abi…

The Mac applications I run all day, every day

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When I bought my new MacBook Pro I used the applications I had running on my previous MacBook Pro to help me determine what I would need in terms of horsepower. It was an interesting exercise, mainly because it gave me a good sense for all of the things I need my Mac to handle throughout the day.

I'm a software developer and do some of the development for SharedStatus, so my needs are a little biased towards that. I've broken down what's running on my Mac into two sections, Basics and Development. To give some perspective on how many apps I have loaded up as I write this, here's a snapshot of my current Spaces window zoomed out:


I've always been fascinated by these types of lists because it helps give people exposure to some apps they may not know about. Here are the ones I nearly always have running:

BasicsSafariI love the speed of Safari and this remains my default browser. Nice and fast, Safari does have a tendency to crash on me if it's been running for a lo…