The MacCast » 2006 » November

Soho Notes – Managing Little Pieces of Data

Written by: Chris Christensen

Categories: Reviews

foldersWhat do you do when you have a lot of little pieces of information: passwords, notes, ideas of what to blog for MacCast, show ideas for your podcast, frequent flyer numbers, receipts, etc. The shoe box under your bed has gotten full and using the Stickies application only gets you so far. One option for managing this collection of information is SOHO Notes from Chronos. SOHO Notes is an updated version of an older program from Chronos called Sticky Brain.

The simplest way to put information into SOHO Notes is to open up the application, choose a folder in your hierarchy and then select new note. You can then find this note again by browsing the hierarchy of folders you have created or by searching for it (very quickly) from the SOHO Notes search icon on the menu bar of your Mac (or using Spotlight). So far so good, but not worth the $40 that this program will cost.

But SOHO Notes will allow you to store and retrieve more than just rich text notes. You can also store bookmarks, web archives, PDFs, images, movies, audio, and other attachments. But, you say, I can already create all of those types of files in the file system and search for them using spotlight. Go ahead say it, I’ll wait.

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Second Gen Nano is “stunning”

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Reviews

syncdockconnector20060912.jpgSo yesterday I went out and bought a Blue, 4GB second generation iPod nano. I am stunned.

The first thing of course was the packaging; dramatic change. The whole thing feels much more finished, much more professional and much more Apple than the really “nice”, but still cardboard, cardboard boxes of the first generation Nanos. The whole thing is encapsulated in a small transparent box which somehow brings to mind the 5th Avenue NYC store. It’s held out by two clasps (top and bottom) from a clear backing which “hides” a fold out cuboid of very silky card, in which the headphones, dock and USB cable reside. Overall the design of the packaging is much smaller (due to it not coming with an iTunes install CD), simple, more elegant, cleaner and more refined.
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Apple wants to fix your Mac, for FREE.

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial

…but you need to tell them it’s broken.

Editor’s note: When Matt sent me the following piece I was grateful because the timing could not have been better. Just this week I answered at least 3 to 4 emails from listeners who had issues with their systems that were covered by one of Apple’s Repair Extension Programs(REP). I agree with Matt, it is amazing how many people don’t know to check for these coverages. It is even more amazing how many people choose NOT to take advantage of them. In my 3 to 4 cases at least 2 people said they would not contact Apple to get the repair because they “could not afford” to be without their Mac for a a few days to a week! Seriously!? So, you would rather have a broken, annoying and less productive Mac than one that actually works like it should? If you rely on your Mac that much to make a living you should consider keeping an old system around, getting a used Mac or purchasing a bottom of the line Mac Mini as a backup system. Combine that with a good cloned backup regiment using a product like SuperDuper and you are covered.

A word to the wise folks… if you have ANY defective product and the company has a program for you to get it fixed free of charge… run, don’t walk, to the service center.

One of the most under-utilized offerings from Cupertino is theRepair Extension Program(REP). This model allows different "known issues" with certain Macintosh computers to be rectified even on out of warranty machines as a courtesy from Apple, meaning it’s absolutely free. Now before I divulge any more of these secrets it has to be said that this is not in any way a service to be abused; if you don’t have the fault linked with these machines you won’t gain anything but higher future pricing by entering the program; if however you are experiencing the issue then you have it all to gain and Apple will be more than willing to help.
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Speck Canvas Sport Case for iPod Nano

Written by: Dave Cryer

Categories: Cool Stuff, Reviews

speck-canvas-sport-nano-3.jpgWith so many different iPod cases available on the market it is important to stand out from the crowd… with style. The Canvas Sport case from Speck for the iPod Nano tries just that with ‘Converse’ type styling.

This case is designed to accommodate both the 1st generation and 2nd gen iPod Nano. It is available in a variety of colours: light green, pink, black, silver and blue, all with contrasting white detailing. The combination of canvas and rubber grip areas around the edges make for a nice quality feel. On the front there is a hard plastic screen protector stitched in, with contrasting stitching around this and the click wheel. On the back of the case is a nice strong belt clip, again with stitch detailing.
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Back to Basics: Safari and RSS

Written by: Alex Curtis

Categories: Hints & Tips

You know all about surfing the web. You’re a power-surfer! You keep in touch with your favorite websites every day. You open links in new background tabs to maximize your time and screen real estate. But do you know about RSS? This post is a quick glimpse at how you can keep up with your favorite websites far more efficiently, all within Mac OS X’s built in browser, Safari 2.0.

What is RSS?

Depending on who you talk to, RSS can stand for “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication,” and I think both help to describe what RSS does—respectively from two different perspectives: readers and publishers.
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MacCast 2006.11.04

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

Download today’s show here! podcast-mini2.gif
MC20061104.mp3 [36.4mb 01:19:25 64kbps]

A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 164. Apple re-launches .Mac Webmail. Apple updates DVD Studio Pro to 4.1.1. 2G iPod Shuffle now shipping. Apple releases iTunes 7.0.2. Apple releases new Boot Camp BETA 1.1.2. First Apple Store in Scotland? New macBook Pro loses iSight indicator, sorta. Apple tech doc typo stirs the iPod video pot. Apple offers a 30-day Aperture 1.5 “test drive“. Bigger (RED) Nano. 7th Son Promo. Additional tools for locating large files on your Mac. Zip compression built into OS X. Confirmation from listeners on MacBook cosmetic issues. More iTunes Store “workarounds”. What are permissions and why do we need to repair them? Formatting an old mac or hard drive for sale. Make album art stick on 4th Gen iPods. Advanced subscribing to Podcasts in iTunes. A new store in the UK for Apple products. Speeding up Photo Booth picture taking. Ways for remotely accessing your Mac. Tip for incrementally backing up iTunes using smart playlists.My other Podcast, Mac Roundtable.

Patchwork by Plank63

Promo for the Gadgetboyz podcast.

I play hockey and I fornicate, ’cause those are the two most fun things to do in cold weather.Mystery, Alaska(1999)

Shownotes: HTML or OPML
Subscribe to the Podcast Feed or Get the MP3

I’m a proud owner of both an Intel iMac and MacBook, while my girlfriend is still quite fond of her iBook G4 12″, and plans on keeping it for awhile. I previously owned a 14″ iBook, and when the Intel iMac arrived, one of the first questions I had was “Can I boot both PPC and Intel machines from a multiple-partition drive?

I was wondering if I could still use the external drive which had multiple partitions and served as my backup drive. I use SuperDuper!, and would make regular backups to the drive from the 3 PPC machines we had.
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Stuff, Guts, and Video 003A

Written by: James Alguire

Categories: Mac Pro

The ability to work with 99 tracks of video and audio is a tremendous feature of Final Cut Pro. Editors are able to build projects vertically as well as linearly for richer, deeper content. When working with multiple clips (on a single track or on multiple tracks) it’s sometimes necessary to apply the same filter, or motion effect to a group of clips, for example to burn timecode across a whole sequence or to rotate several clips as a group. While it’s possible to apply the filter or effect to each clip in the group and adjust the individual settings, that’s a rather tedious task made simpler using FCP’s Nest Items feature. Nesting lets you treat several clips as if they were a single clip.
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No one expects the Apple inquisition! (update)

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff

Listener Richard just sent me an email to a funny “Easter Egg” in Mac OS X. I have verified this exists in 10.4.8 and it may have been there for a while, but who knows. Here’s what you do:

1) In the Finder, choose ‘Go to Folder’ from the ‘Go’ menu
2) Copy and paste this path into the dialog box, /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.3/lib/python2.3/test/, and hit ‘Go’.
3) Locate the ‘’ file and play it. You can open it in QuickTime, play it in the preview in the Finder, etc.
4) Have a laugh.

Now I am not sure if this is an Apple Easter egg or something that has been a part of the Python project for a while now, but either way it’s fun.

Update: We’ll thanks to Adam for pointing out what should have been obvious to me, but wasn’t. Since the reference is to a Monty PYTHON quote this Easter Egg is part of the Python distro and not Apple’s. I am told there are numerous other references like this to be found in Python.

Switched Again, Again (Part II)

Written by: scottmc

Categories: Editorial

As a longtime Windows user who has owned, built and used hardware with pretty much every version of Windows OS (starting from 2.1 I think), one of the most impressive features of the Mac for me is the Migration Assistant. The first night I had it, I started up the new Mac Pro, connected my MacBook over Firewire and when the assistant was done; I sat down at the Mac Pro with every application, preference and desktop tweak from my MacBook fully installed and was ready to get to work. (OK, I did have to reauthorize two applications, but all my settings were migrated for those as well).

I have never moved from one PC to another without at least a week of pure hassle—hunting for key codes, reinstalling applications (even if restored from backup), reinstalling preferences, figuring out how to get Outlook to find and use old mail files, ad infinitum. In fact, my Windows laptop at work suffered a hard drive crash right around the same time I was installing my new Mac – some dark cloud of technology karma was hanging over my head there for a few weeks – and it took 3 days to recover even with a current backup. I’m still missing a few apps for which I need to hunt down the old versions before upgrading again. Not just a time sink, but a time sink with a genuine soul drain at its center.
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