A good explanation of Facebook’s Places feature with a link on how to disable it. Via Slate.
Do I turn off the laptop when cleaning the keys? No. Do you?
Sometimes odd things happen on the desktop as I do this, but nothing particularly dramatic. This morning, I seem to have hit a happy combination of keys. The CD that has been stuck for a year or so popped about 1/16th of an inch out. Then it ducked back in. ‘No!’, I yelped. ‘Come back out!’
A son finally bought me an external CD drive since nothing could be installed. But I was determined to get this thing out. The famous orange juice spill may have factored into its stubborn refusal to exit. Seizing the opportunity, I hit the eject button. Then I grasped it firmly as it slid out the fraction of an inch. Sigh. At last. But I hesitate to insert another disk.
Maybe I should clean the keys of the old laptop where another CD is stuck.
The last time I tried to take a photo with my phone, it was the night of the glorious pink clouds/sunset/double rainbow at least a year ago. Of course, I didn’t get a decent shot. Sunday, I tried again.
On the last day of an estate sale, there’s usually not much left, and it’s all half off. I’m usually on the lookout for interesting vintage cameras, since there is a collector in the family. Generally, on the last day, all the good stuff is gone since eBayers stand in line, and get in during the first hour of the very first day.
But at this sale, the glass case holding camera gear was full. I decided to take pictures and send them to the family member. I took a camera out, and started shooting. A scruffy-looking gentleman came up, and asked if I was going to buy it. I told him what I was doing. He muttered something, then reached in for a different camera.
By this time, I had navigated to a point on the phone camera window that defied logic. I couldn’t see the photo I just took, and figured I had taken about four shots, which needed to be sent. I looked for the family member who accompanied me. He backed away from my request, and then the proprietor showed up, a big guy who wanted to help.
He pulled out his iPhone.
Big Guy: See here? I think it’s kinda the same on all phones. You take the picture, then see, it says ’send’. You press that, look up the address, and you’re done.
Me: I can’t find the send button.
BG: Here, let me see your phone (pushes a few buttons). Darn. Yours is sure different. Let’s start over.
Me (turning off the phone) Okay.
BG (laughing): Heh, so you do that every time something goes wrong, you turn it off? Haw haw.
Me: It gets me back to the beginning which I obviously can’t do from this window here.
BG (puts a camera on a sofa): Okay, take your picture.
Me: Okay. Got it.
BG: See, it says ’send’. That’s all you gotta do. Let me get you another one of these cameras to shoot.
Me: I thought you wanted to keep them in the case.
BG: Naw, I was just worried about that feller. Not you.
When I asked the family collector if he got the pictures, he said no. What he got were a couple of blurry videos. Haw indeed.
Last night after dinner, I ran some errands. When I got back, my laptop began acting strange, as in I couldn’t throw away the trash. Since I’d spent the day shooting footage, this was disturbing - there was a lot to toss. Not only that, but clicking on almost everything else didn’t work either. I was able to close down open applications.
At least I had Firefox, and doing a search on a lost finder was frustrating indeed. Most suggestions had to do with re-installs, which I didn’t want to mess with late in the evening. I was faced with calling tech support in the morning, which I also didn’t want to do since there was unfinished business on the stuff I had been working on.
I knew it had something to do with the many movies I had taken. But would I actually get my finder back if I restarted? What if I didn’t? Yes, yes, I have AppleCare. But I wanted things right so I would be set to go on everything by 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, not 8 or 9:00 a.m.
It was fine.
And of course I know I need more RAM. Which I will purchase (I know RAM is cheap) as soon as I get over how much I just spent on two 16GB memory cards. Because I found out very quickly that shooting footage eats up 4 and 8GB cards like nobody’s business.
When the boys were young, there was the occasional LAN party, usually on someone’s birthday. Food was not particularly important, and the present-opening tended to be anti-climatic, with everyone anxious to get back to whatever they were doing. The pizza and cake disappeared as the night went on, and the guys didn’t leave till morning, taking all their monitors and games with them.
Compared to the birthday parties of their younger days, it was easy. And thank goodness, no one had to resort to this at our house.
Gmail can’t access my contacts. iStock has 60 staff members working on their problems, and their site is up and down. And the market is tumbling due to weak housing data. The squirrels sent an email saying they’ve eaten all the baby zucchinis off the plants, what else is on the menu. I expect a message from the ants pointing out the difficulties of ingesting the Terro granules, and could I please put out the liquid form instead.
Out of the blue, the connection gets weak. My airport status bar only shows one dark band. Sure enough, when I check, I see that three of my neighbors are online. Do I know them that well? Uh, no, but their names show up on the list of networks being used. One uses their real name, the others I’m fairly sure are right across the way.
Then I completely lose the connection. This is aggravating. I go back and unplug the airport base station. Plug it back in. This has worked the last few times. But it’s so annoying.
My sons the software engineers tell me this shouldn’t happen. Why does it persist? During school hours when the kids across the street are otherwise occupied, and the other neighbors are at work, no problem. Most of the neighbors are elderly or maybe they’re pc people. Is it just an airport thing?
Sometimes the Seagate 1-TB mounts, sometimes not. Sometimes it dismounts, sometimes not. But I think I’ve figured it out.
A few months ago, it refused to mount on the powerbook. A son worked on it, extracted all my data, made adjustments, got it to show up again on my desktop. Then the thing got temperamental. But a little tinkering here and there, and I think the drive and I are friends again, although with flashes of hostility from time to time.
The artist explores a new medium. The results don’t look like your average computer art samples.
From India, promise of an amazing product, one that could indeed change the world.
I got it a couple of days ago, not used to its thinness and chiclet attributes. But a forkful of turkey dredged in candied yams landed on the x, c and command keys and part of the spacebar. At least, that’s over with, and I can relax.
Do you find Netflix’s suggestions to be less than satisfactory? Have you quit looking at the recommendations because they fall short of the mark most of the time/all of the time? For example, if I liked Foyle’s War, I will also like Ghosts of Rwanda: Frontline. Or I will love Reservoir Dogs since I rated Raising Arizona highly.
If you can make Netflix recommendations more accurate, you could win a cool million. Quite a few programmers, computer scientists and psychologists are trying to do just that. Because the problem involves very high math skills, some tap into their offspring’s calculus abilities.
Some of us have more time to spend on a costume than others.
It happens. I tripped over the cord, and if it had been my newer MacBook, it would have stayed put with the magnetic cord breaking away. But everything seemed to work fine afterward.
Till I tried to close it for the night. It won’t. I can live with that, but it’s annoying.
Why not cover the whole age spectrum? Fertile ground for ads, no doubt. Before you know it, there will be a fetal network as well. (Hi, do you have toes yet? Is that a twin I see? Post a recent photo!)
Gee, I sound a little cranky. It has been, at best, a most trying week. Today, I tried to catch up with all the things I was too distracted to do during the last few days, but the bumper crop of tomatoes has been piling up in the back bedroom. Partly because I had to empty the kitchen of clutter with our unexpected company last weekend. And every day I pick some more.
So I spent part of the day prepping the smaller ones for freezing. The last time I had this many tomatoes, the kids were still in junior high. Maybe elementary school. It’s wonderful, but labor-intensive.
It doesn’t like this 90s+ weather any more than I do. Now it’s getting audible about it, because it’s hard to get my attention otherwise. For the past few days, there’s been random static. Low, but annoyingly there. Today, it popped out a sparking noise (I’m rehearsing what to tell the Mac Geniuses), and set me to checking the Mac forums. Where this seems to be a fairly common problem coming from the left speaker.
As someone who is alarmed by the loud beep that sometimes occurs when the Mac restarts, I got worried. I hurriedly bought the AppleCare. Then I turned on the a/c.
Then I switched work areas. Someone mentioned checking the power supply, maybe something’s amiss with the outlet at the other desk. So far, no more popping.
Interesting that my old Macbook Pro had none of these problems.
So there I was, unwrapping year-old Christmas candy for some photos, pondering the difficulties of salvaging the big, expensive candy canes that partially melted into one sticky mess. My Mac had fallen asleep after many hours of PhotoShopping, and I hit the spacebar to wake it up.
And got the screen you see. It took a bit of talking to, and a restart. All is well. It has been a long day. And yes, I lost at least three hours of work.
A panel of experts at the Center for Environmental Oncology (University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute) have drawn up a list of precautions. Most of them have to do with keeping the phone as far away from the body as possible, suggesting the use of the speakerphone function or a Bluetooth headset.
Usually, I complain about the heat coming from my Macbook Pro. Once in a while, when a giant fog bank comes in overnight and cools down everything, the laptop works well as a handy source of warmth.
Are you going to line up at the Apple store tomorrow for a new iPhone? Do you keep the packaging that Apple products come in because they are so well designed? Did you know that packaging for said iPhone is made from potato starch?
I won’t be there, although the heat is supposed to ease off, and even though I know there is this device in my future. But I do keep the boxes of all things Apple.
Info via Popgadget.
Maybe I’ll start drinking coffee after all. This is kinda scary. But relax, it’s still just a rumor.
While I was not in line, technically speaking, I did have to lean against a display table while waiting for my repaired laptop to be brought from the back. It took a while because I decided to ask why the purchase date on the invoice was August of last year instead of January, which was when I bought it this year. Obviously they knew it was still under warranty because there was no charge.
The display was of iPhones. A customer was peering intently at one model, hunkering down to get at the right eye level. He wore an expression of intense delight. One of the geniuses was manning the greeter position at the door while the greeter was seeing to my laptop. I truly hoped the customer bought an iPhone, he was quite beside himself as he tried them out.
The answer to the odd date? It was probably the day the online store (not Apple) got a shipment of Macs. When I buy AppleCare, I need to bring this up so they will change it.
On the way to the car, I heard someone upstairs at Zibibbo’s singing in Italian. It was a balmy night, and my option key was fixed.
So there I was again at the Genius Bar, and it was a much busier night than Monday. When it was my turn, I had to lean in between a couple who continued their conversation as I tried to explain my laptop woes to my genius. I couldn’t hop up on a stool due to my back being thrown out of whack over the weekend. Sometimes I wish I were a larger person with extra jumbo elbows. The genius listened patiently as he fooled with my laptop while he monitored the talkative couple’s machines. He was annoyed but trying hard not to show it.
A family member picked this moment to ask the genius, ‘Say, can I get one of those Genius shirts?’
‘No!’ barked the genius. No glance up, no smile.
Apple stopped selling the shirts a while back. If you want one badly enough, you can find it at eBay and such.
My new but already beloved MacBook Pro is at wherever the Apple Store sends them to get repaired. The old PowerBook G4 is stepping in today, but since I took a heavy duty painkiller for my back, not a lot will be done other than to finish up the taxes.
Meanwhile, it’s going to get hot this summer, a few days anyway, and the G4 tended to heat up fast. If you have similar problems, here are some DIY ideas from Lifehacker via Engadget. A binder, a towel rack and a few corks - your laptop and wallet will both be happier.
The option key on my new MacBook Pro didn’t work right. It’s the closest I’ve come to pounding on the keyboard, and productivity plummeted.
So there I was in line with my name up on the big screen. My first time, but sadly, not the last. The genius pried off the top of the key, showed me what he thought was wrong, fixed it as best he could. It was higher than the other keys, and a part underneath was bent slightly. However, if the problem persisted, he said the Mac would have to go in for an extended stay.
This is actually okay, I have a backup, the older G4 laptop. Next time, maybe Cho’s will be open and I can get potstickers as part of the whole Palo Alto thing.
And I got to mess with the Air. Wow. But I do believe that the air (the kind we breathe) is better in an Apple Store.
I’m sure there were many preorders for the MacBook Air soon after it was announced. For a few minutes I thought about doing it myself. Such is the power of hype. Now that things have settled down a bit, some, like Paul Boutin at Slate, are saying the Air should have some of the features of the iPhone, including its ability to access the web with tremendous ease.
My old G4 Powerbook is showing its age. I need something that will process my ever-increasing photo processing needs, so I’m going with the 17″ MacBook Pro. The smaller screen of the Air would mean I would have to spring for a separate monitor. Don’t want to lug around a monitor from room to room.
It fits in a mailing envelope, and weighs three pounds less than my current Powerbook G4. Mighty tempting. Mighty. Tempting.
If the future isn’t here now, it’s coming very soon. The price? Why, compared to the Mercedes SLR McLaren (just under a cool half mil), it’s a steal. While some might argue that the Mercedes does indeed fly, we are talking flight in the aeronautical sense.
Buyers are apparently lining up. In case you’re reaching for your wallet, make sure you have a pilot’s license.
Looking to cross a few items off your list re headsets? Here’s a review of some of the top choices, courtesy of Slate.
So you think your workspace is cramped and airless. (Mine has termites chewing through the ceiling above my head.) Check out the 12 winners in the Wired News Saddest Cubicle Contest.
Give them a pile of construction paper, a pencil, and wow. I love my Mac, but it has neither a ‘Food’ nor an ‘imediet Buy’ button.
The Andy Rubin phone perhaps.
An NYT look at the career moves of the man at the helm of the Google phone development .
In the previous post, I mentioned tirefly lights, which I learned about from the evilmadscientist site via a tip from son Chris.
Like the author, I found the lights at Target. ( Amazon is out of stock at the moment.) Aside from their Halloween uses, they seem to be handy aftershock detectors. Once in a while, one will start flashing, and I’ll assume it is telling me we are experiencing one of the numerous - 40 at last count - aftershocks of that quake we had.
It happened last year. The UK businessman was on vacation in Spain. Thanks to the pricey security system (16 CCTV cameras), he found out via a text message that a robbery was in progress back in his very expensive house. He watched the drama unfold on his laptop after calling the cops.
The only thing better would have been The Tick answering the call, and pounding the burglars before they were carted away.
Did you take awesome shots on your vacation, only to have some of the views marred with unnecessary clutter or obstructions? Maybe you got a breathtaking pic of a tropical sunset with your beloved in the foreground, and now he’s your ex. Whom you never, ever want to see again, especially blocking a nice sunset.
Help is at hand from a Carnegie Mellon research team using online photo library databases (like Flickr) and that algorithm.
Why is this necessary, you might wonder. Perhaps the reason lies in the fact that many California drivers leave their brains (but never their phones) at home before getting in their cars.
Some call it browsing. Others might say drifting or wandering. But getting lost on the internet is now known as ‘What was I Looking For’ or ‘wilfing’, and we all know what that’s like.
Why, just now I was shopping for camera memory, and here I am at the Telegraph in the UK reading about Prince William and his ex-girlfriend. Isn’t that what makes the web fun?
A real possibility, according to Briefing.com, citing AppleInsider.
Serious dark smoke starting coming out of the brick around lunchtime, and I unplugged the thing. Then I got on the phone again, talked to two more Apple store people. The one in Palo Alto said the Valley Fair store usually had a few ‘refreshed’ adapters around. Did that mean the same as ‘refurbished’, I wondered. They assured me these had been opened by customers but returned unused. Now why would they do that?
A call to Valley Fair: they had two refresheds this morning, but they were gone now. Time to try Fry’s.
A very helpful salesperson (either they’ve all been whipped, or the old staff was fired, or they’ve been completely retrained) spent a large part of his afternoon searching for something that would work on my G4 laptop. First he found an adapter with too little wattage, then one that seemed awfully powerful. Finally, there was the Goldilocks moment. He would leave it at will call. Thanks, Jay!
Tonight I dashed over. There was no adapter at will call. My heart sank at the idea of doing this all over again with a different clerk, because wouldn’t you know it, Jay was gone for the day.
A guy in a suit tried to help. I could remember part of the name of the manufacturer and the price. He took me to some shelves where the products looked familiar from Jay’s descriptions earlier. Nothing. Then I said the magic word: universal. Jay had mentioned that it would work in cars and airplanes. The suit headed for the laptop section and within seconds, it was in my hand.
My battery was at 0 when I got home. Now it’s up to 43% and life is looking okay again. Micro Innovations. $70. I still have an Apple adapter on back order, I’m thinking it’s a very good idea to have two.
I decided it would be prudent to call ahead before showing up at the Apple Store. Good move.
Turns out there’s an unexplained shortage of their Powerbook adapters. The person at the Apple Store suggested I go search the shelves at Fry’s or buy the Kensington one that costs more. He added that he personally had gone through four (!). And that I should stop using my adapter because “it could burn my house down”.
Scary words. Real scary.
So I’ve had my nose to the grindstone without much relief for the past few weeks, hence the lack of posting. Before that I had the awful upper respiratory. That is still not gone, but I don’t cough at night. Not unless I’m out in the weather for more than a few minutes at a time.
My Mac started making slight crackling noises from time to time. Poor thing, it hasn'’t had much rest lately. Then one day in the thick of work, I saw that the adapter was not lit as it should be when it’s charging, and that the battery was really low. That’s when I noticed that where the cord goes into the adapter (brick, it’s called), there was some fraying. Yesterday, a couple of sparks appeared. After jiggling it a bit, the charging light came back on. I couldn’t stop working due to a deadline or two.
It gets worse. Soon I had to keep manipulating the cord to keep the light on, and the part of the cord going into the brick was disintegrating more each day. Sometimes when I picked up the brick, it was really, really hot.
Today after I moved the brick a bit, a puff of brown smoke came out. Tomorrow, I’m going to the Apple Store to see what they can tell me.
That’s the name given by U.S. intelligence to the Russian ekranoplan, a behemoth of a plane based in the Caspian Sea during the Cold War. It reportedly had the capacity to carry a staggering 1000 tons, and relied on the ground effect for flight.
Thanks to Google Earth, the folks at The Register have spotted a Chinese Sea Monster. Also discussed is the monstrous Boeing Pelican.
The obligatory video (lengthy) at YouTube is here.
Does your laptop or cell phone make you feel sick? Do you feel strangely warm, dizzy or nauseous around electrical equipment?
Perhaps you have electromagnetic hypersensitivity, the subject of a new study by the University of Essex. People who suffer from EHS find it next to impossible to work at their computers or use mobile phones without distress. Some resort to viewing their monitors with binoculars from a distance.
As we adapt to our high-tech lives, was this bound to happen?