Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Migration Assistant vs. Easy File Transfer Wizard

The other day I had to transfer my entire computer from Leopard to Snow Leopard (all settings, files, user accounts and applications.) It was easy though because all I had to do was connect my old computer and click transfer. Migration Assistant doesn't have a huge learning curve while giving you the ability to customize exactly what you want to copy. On top of that is gives you more options and is much more intuitive than Windows Easy File Transfer Wizard.

I had the chance to test out the Windows Easy File Transfer Wizard when moving my XP stuff to Win 7. Unfortunately, it required you to first ask whether or not this was the first computer or the computer to be transferred to. Then, it made customization hard. Finally, you had to save the file like some XML file or RDP file. It wasn't a simple transfer from this computer to another. After going through a comparatively tedious process just to get it onto a flash drive or HDD you had to move the flash drive or HDD to the other computer and go through that process again. What was worse was that it requires you to get a big flash drive or a big hard drive or partition but that causes too much of a hassle.

In sum, Apple Migration Assistant prevailed over Windows Easy File Transfer Wizard.

Ejecting a Disk that won't eject -- MacBook

There are two things to do in this situation.

There are two hard ways and one easy thing.

The two hard ways are using a paperclip or terminal. You can use Terminal to quit any processes that are using your disk which replicates a system restart allowing your disk to eject. On the other hand you could just stick a paperclip into the proper part of a disk drive but why not do the easy way first?

On startup hold down the mouse button or the trackpad when you hear the sound play until the disk comes out. This is generally no longer than 15 seconds.

So, next time your disk drive won't eject restart and hold down the mouse button.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Snow Leopard Upgrade

I installed Snow Leopard the other day and since Leopard was my first Mac OS I didn't know how things would go. I expected to back up my files by copying them to a flash drive or external hard drive. Then, install Snow Leopard and manually put back all of those files. However, after researching a bit I found the easiest way to do it and it took an hour total (you would hear a 15 minute install but you'll understand my situation in a minute)

I disabled File Vault on all my user accounts (I will explain in the next paragraph). I made another partition(200GB). Then, I installed Snow Leopard on that partition. It took <27 minutes but I do have a large hard drive and everything is slower when you write and read on the same hard drive. Generally, twice as long in my experience. So my time makes sense. Also, many of my friends had had ≤15 minutes. Then, I used Migration Assistant to copy everything from my old leopard partition which took about thirty minutes. Then, I turned on Filevault and a few other tweaks.

One of the tweaks was that I had to use Dock Library again. Pretty much anything that involves different themes has to be re-done but the program and files will be there. Like I said before I had to turn off File Vault on my leopard accounts. This is because with File Vault on you can't copy user accounts with Migration Assistant.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Using a secondary monitor as a primary monitor on MBP with lid closed

This was tested on a MBP but probably will work on the other models.

First, download InsomniaX. On installation there will be a checkbox that says "Anonymous Reports" or something along those lines; uncheck it if you don't want the people who created InsomniaX to get reports on your system.

Next, start InsomniaX. An item will appear at the top right with the rest of the menu extras. CAUTION: DON'T click Enable Hibernation because this can cause serious problems and even break your computer if you have "Secure Virtual Memory" checked off in the security settings in System Preferences. Just click Enable Insomnia.

Your menu extras should look like the following. InsomniaX is the blue one. Processor is the one with the square and a number at the bottom right. Displays is the one that looks like a display. It doesn't matter what order they come in.
Then, download Fan Control. This will show up in System Preferences. Click on that and set the "Base Speed" slider all the way to the right so that it says 3500 RPM.

After, go to Finder and click Command + Shift + G and type in "/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras". Select and Double-Click the item named and the item named

Connect your external keyboard, mouse and monitor. Then click the Displays menu which popped up at the top right and click Turn on Mirror Displays. The next part reduces what could become a SERIOUS problem (overheating). It will reduce performance but the overheating could destroy your screen and/or the entire computer. Go to the CPU menu and click "Single CPU". Now turn the brightness all the way down on the MBP so that the screen goes black. Next, turn keyboard illumination down all the way so it is not lit up at all.

Close the display on the MBP and begin.

To go back to normal settings open the MBP and turn the display back on. Go to the CPU menu at the top right and set it back to "Dual CPU." Hold down command and click the CPU menu item and drag it off. Hold down command and drag off the Displays Menu. In the InsomniaX menu click Disable Insomnia and then click quit at the bottom of that menu. After, go to System Preferences --> Fan Control. Lower the "Base Speed" slider to 2300 RPM.

NOTE: I will be making a program that will quickly do this entire set up for you. I will include the download link when it is finished.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Samsung Blast Review

The Samsung Blast has a nice form factor(slide), is very thin and looks nice.

On the inside the Samsung Blast has 11 MB of RAM (disappointing when you look at the smart phone capabilities of 256 MB but not bad.) The RAM is sufficient though because I have never had any application crash on me. When compared to phones like the EN V and other Samsung phones the processor seems pretty slow but only really noticeable when starting the camera application otherwise it doesn't seem slow at all. Another hardware feature is the 1.3 Megapixel camera. I think that a theme of this phone is give you only what you need. But then again whenever it came out it could have been really advanced.

Call quality is pretty good and volume is nice. Unfortunately, it is hard to talk when slid closed because it blocks the microphone. Anyway, you can navigate the entire phone with it closed without opening until text-input is required. For the outer key input devices it has a shortcut key and quick access to the web. When it comes to the keyboard this phone is great. The keys are about the size of that of a Blackberry and it is QWERTY. However, it has T9 text prediction to help with typing because there are two characters per key. Nonetheless, I enjoyed texting, e-mailing and browsing the web on it.

The texting setup was great except for the fact that it was not organized as if it were a chat, like the iPhone.

E-mailing had a nice interface but was a little slow because it is on an EDGE network.

Web browsing was as good as any other phone of the kind. Of course it had limitation but it was good that the screen was a little larger then normal. Overall it was a fully-functioning browser. This seems like a pretty good office suite beside the fact that there were no word processing applications.

Unfortunately, many SD cards were not recognized by the Samsung Blast. But, I didn't have a problem because transferring music through bluetooth was VERY easy.

For battery life, my phone died at about 5 o'clock. It lasted from 7 in the morning to 5 o'clock.

Lastly, voice control was ok but not good enough to the point where it is actually worth using.

Overall, this was a nice phone and satisfied my technological needs. If it had an office suite and a better battery I might never have upgraded. (Hopefully, by Saturday I will have a review of the Samsung SGH-T439 and the iPhone)

4G Network Thoughts

So, I will start off with some of the objectives of a fourth generation cellular network. It pretty much is going to accommodate the Quality of Service rate requirements set by MMS, VC, Mobile TV, HDTV content and DVB on an Anywhere, Anytime basis. This means that it pretty much will allow those technologies to work at their best at an location and an time of day.

Unlike other technologies like smart phones the 4G has standards, they are:
1. Spectral Efficiency: the information rate transmitted over a bandwidth and how efficiently that is used over whatever protocol. HTTP, FTP etc.
2. High network capacity
3. If a cell user is moving at high speeds relative to the cell tower they will receive 100 Mbit/s faster then the lousy 7.2 on 3g. Also if they user is still they will get 1 Gbit/s.
4. A smooth data rate (no packets dropped, etc) at 100Mbit/s from any two points in the world. a VC with QoS from anywhere.
5. Smooth handoff between heterogeneous networks, no delay when leaving a zone to access another carriers tower
6. Seamless connectivity
7. The high QoS for next generation MM Support (stated in the first paragraph)
8. Interoperability with existing wireless standards
9. An all IP, packet switched network

Some possible problems that I see:
Besides us not having the preparation for an Anywhere network would be Battery and RAM necessary to operate big downloads. With these abilities battery will be used in huge amounts. So, batteries need improvement unless we could get Tesla's free wireless electricity (somewhat implemented in the Palm Pre.) Second, even though people don't make more then 400 MB's on average. You won't actually get that speed because to be written to the storage it takes some time and on a cell phone the most RAM I have seen is 256 - 300 MB's of RAM. So, assume that you have 70% usable space you still have to write to RAM, to storage, add new data to the RAM. What I am trying to say the network won't be that hard to make it's the cell phone hardware that is the problem. Now, laptops on the other hand or more precisely, netbooks could use this technology really well. Especially for speedy cloud computing.

Two Ideas about the iPhone; One about jailbreaking

Number One:
I think that facebook makes money from Mobile Texts. It might set up a deal with the service provider and say that it will help people go over their texting limit and make the company more money. This money of course supports facebook's servers and programmers, etc. Without that it would slowly "fall" off the web. So if push notifications were integrated into Facebook for iPhone they would lose a lot of people that would use mobile texts. iPhone makes up something between 25 and 50 % of Att users. That would be huge losses and that could havev prevented them from purchasing friend feed and losing that great technology.

Number Two:
There haven't been major upgrades in batteries for a while. So there is a limit to what we can do hardware wise. The only thing to do is use software "hacks". FOr example, if processors never sped up there are only a few software ways to artificially speed it up. RIght? well, cell phone's have to frequently (on a second long basis) contact with tower which EATS your battery. So to save battery life iPhone can only go so far because it is limited by hardware. So it communicates with tower less frequently to save battery. That is why it takes an extra second to connect when calling. So I see a correlation between battery life limitations and the phone service on the iPhone. They inverse.

Jailbreaking Idea:
To make the iPhone a fully functioning computer. It would require a jailbreak so you can edit the keyboard, multitask, have a file navigation system and then allow a little programming for some add-ons (add-ons would be limited based on how much power can go through the phone at once.)

Some Web Stuff

I have composed a list of web browsers and search engines in that order. can you guys look over it and see if something was improperly ranked.

Favorite Web Browsers:
1. Safari 4 (simple and it has all the features necessary with 3 add-ons)
2. Firefox (Second only because it quickly becomes bloatware with one afternoon at and it starts at 45 Mb's 3 times larger than the other browsers)
3. Opera (lacks add-ons and has a harder to use interface which doesn't maintain certain features depending on what OS you are running, does include mouse gestures but every other browser supports mouse gestures with add-ons)
4.Google Chrome (fast rendering but it still lacks many important features but it will get there; I can see it tieing with or surpassing Safari 4 in the next year)
5. Internet Explorer (bloatware with a messy interface and good anti-phishing security)
6. SeaMonkey and Camino(simple UI but very few add-ons, not bloatware, poor-ok security)

Search Engines
1. Google - the new version is intuitive and actually finds what you need (I don't want to go into it now but it works well)
2. Clusty - helps pinpoint your search with clustering
3. MetaCrawler - only when Google and Yahoo work well it comes first
4. Yahoo - helps pinpoint your search with selecting related words and all but not as good as clusty
4. Bing and Ask - small list of related searches but not that intuitive

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