Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Exceeding Expectations

With this post I make this my most prolific year of Blogging. Sure it might seem unfair to make a post about exceeding my previous number of blogs for a year the one that pulls ahead, but hey it is my blog I set the rules.

This year I refound the joy of taking pictures, so many of my posts were about this picture or that. Digital makes taking photos so much easier and cheaper in the long run. I think I grew weary of it in my film days mainly because of the cost of developing pictures. But being able to take multiple shoots to see what works at little to no cost is great.

The year of Geotagging. I'm addicted to geotagging photos now. I love being able to pull a picture up on a flickr map and go oh so that is where I took this.

This is the first year since 2002 or 2001 I have not bought a new computer. Well if I can just hold out a few more hours it will be :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Empty Mart

Empty Mart
Originally uploaded by reboot95
This is a photo that can only be taken one day a year.

It is so odd to see the parking lot of a Walmart complete and totally empty the doors all shuttered and the carts stowed away. I saw this a few years ago on my way out of town. This year I purposely drove by in the afternoon to capture this shot.

Incidently when I turned in to the lot three cars followed me. Each person drove by the door with a look of anticipation on their faces. They slowly left the lot in disbelief that a Walmart could be closed. While I was taking the pictures four more cars came through the lot and repeated the ritual.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Amazon the only way to Shop

I Had the occasion to go out to the local Mall on Friday. I and a friend both live pretty close and know the back ways in so getting into the parking lot is painless for this time of year. Also I had a great experience at the Apple store talking to a sales person about Aperture and the new MacBook Pro's. Barnes and Nobles check out line was a bit on the long side though. But that works as long as you are willing to get a Hot Coca and check out in the cafe. As painless as all this was I still really prefer to shop by internet.

It really is no surprise that I prefer shopping on the internet at Christmas I usually shop that way all the time. I sort of like coming home and finding boxes on the doorstep. When it comes to giving gifts I just go in pick out what I want to send, put in the shipping address and it shows up two days later at the recipients home. That way I can spread around some of the joy of finding boxes on the doorstep.

What makes Amazon the best for this? There are actually a number of things. One is the Prime Membership I have, free two day shipping, this includes items given as gifts. Amazon's selection of items is nearly unsurpassed buy anything. Their price is generally the best. The wishlist feature that allows you to view friends desired items. And when you need them their Customer Service is pretty customer focused. All of this combines to make Amazon the perfect shopping experience.

Oh and by the way I just ordered light bulbs from Amazon...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Lonely picture

Originally uploaded by reboot95
I'm really getting interested in Geotagging photos. This is accomplished by syncing the time between your camera and a GPS device. Then using the tracking feature of the GPS to keep a log of your coordinates. I then use Gpsphotolinker to match the log file with the pictures and presto you now know where your pictures were taking.

I took this particular picture of an old Baptist Church out in a rural area called Handy. This is near Doniphan MO. When I started to look at the map data on flickr I realized this was the only picture geotagged in a large area. Sort of cool to be the first someplace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Niagara Falls and the Scam.

Recently I was on vacation and ended up at Niagara Falls. There are a few things people really need to know about traveling there. As you get within 100 miles you start to see these little road side dumps that claim to be the "Niagara Falls Visitor Center" avoid these they are trying to sell you very over priced tour packages.

As you approach the State Park that is the falls you will notice a big glass building with an international food court. There will be some one with a tan shirt and a flag waving you into the parking lot. Pass them by... This is not the park these are people that are trying to make money on tourists. Once you have passed by you will see a nice paved lot that is part of the Park. It still costs $10 but I would rather my money go to the park.

Here is the other thing everyone will be trying to sell you some sort of tour package. Just walk past them go through the visitors center and take a look at the falls. After you have done that you can decide what sort of tours you want to take and then pay for them.

It is free to look at the falls it is free to walk over to Goat Island and get a much better look at both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. I would advise walking around the park and taking the grandeur of falls in before you fork over any more money. It is an awesome sight and well worth the trip.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mac OS X Your network has been compromised revisted

To see a description of the problem check out this old post.

Mac OS X Your network has been compromised

It appears one of the latest updates to Mac OS X has fixed this problem. I can now have my MacBook remember networks that have multiple access points under the same SSID.

I think the specific update that corrected the problem can be found here AirPort Extreme Update 2008-004

This has been a problem since around the First of 2008. Little bit slow on the old repair.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Road trips in the age of Starbucks

Let me start off by saying I don't drink coffee, I don't understand people that do. But I like a glass of Coke with my breakfast to each his own I guess.

But a few of the friends I like to travel with do drink coffee. I recently took a long road trip with one of those friends and witnessed what is like to travel with someone that really I mean really likes Starbucks. The first thing I started to notice was the intense attention to road signs and strip malls next to highway exits. There was the constant look from side to side the brow furrowing in frustration then their face lighting up, the look of calm when their eyes fell on a Starbucks sign. I'm sure if you think back you may have witnessed this too.

Maybe I exaggerate just a bit but I was astounded at my friends ability to spot any Starbucks within a mile of our route. Then there would be the sort of nonchalant "oh hey look there's a Starbucks, lets just swing by". Needless to say I never realized just how infested our country has become with these oasis's of coffee goodness.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Unsharp Mask I see Clearly now

Before Unsharp Mask

After Unsharp Mask
You really need to look at larger sized images to see results.

I have learned one of the most important aspects of taking photos with a DSLR, they inherently make soft looking photos. But I've seen pictures that people have taken that look crystal clear. I was always disappointed that my pictures were just a bit less clear. I figured I was just not very good at selecting the aperture or my focus was off a bit or I was jerking a bit when I pushed the shutter button.

Then I read this article Understanding USM started playing with Unsharp Mask in Photoshop and it was like a veil was dropped from my pictures. All of a sudden I too had those Razor Sharp images that I was so envious of.

Go ahead click on the link understand the mystery that is Unsharp Mask and you too will be amazed at the results.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Img_0232 and post processing

Okay here is something I've done more than once get my camera out play around with some settings on it then put it back in the camera bag. Soon after that I'll grab the camera bag to go out and shot some picutres. Usually after 10 or so shots I will figure out something doesn't look exactly right. The pictures might be a bit too light or a bit too dark. Maybe they are all a bit fuzzy or other some defect. This is usually due to the fact I left the exposure compensation a few clicks off 0, the iso some where around 1600 or I've gotten creative with white balance. While these little issues can be a pain they may not have to ruin a great photo especially if you are shooting in RAW format.

Here is an example of such a photo. The night before I went out to the St. Louis Zoo I was playing around with my camera in my office trying to see how exposure compensation effected my photos with a flash. I deleted the test photos and put the camera away forgetting the exposure compensation was a bit off.

Next day I walk into the zoo pull out my camera get the lens cap off and see a Grizzly Bear posing for photos. Here is one of the photos I snapped.

I bit over exposed this is the jpeg off the camera
Well that was not what I was hoping to capture.

Enter Adobe and Camera Raw here is that example.

Better I think.

Then tonight I was playing around with the photo in Canon's Digital Photo Professional. Here are the results from that tool.
The Best?

Something about the third photo just freaked me out. The Bear's eye seems to be penetrating right to the core of me. This is the emotion I wanted to evoke with one of these Bear images.

This was all made possible because I was shooting in RAW and had the best source to post process. I used to think that working with a photo after you had taken the picture was cheating. I'm quickly changing my mind about that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A trip to the zoo

Originally uploaded by reboot95
I took a trip to the St. Louis Zoo Saturday. Another opportunity for the Canon 40D and Geotagging. I had a great time and my friend turned out to be an excellent guide.

We started off on a trip to the Japanese Festival at the Mo. Botanical Gardens but there was just no parking what so ever. So I dropped some friends off at the entrance and the rest of us headed to the Zoo.

One thing of note about the St. Louis Zoo is the fact they do not charge anything to enter. This is a one of the great things about living in St. Louis. They also have a pretty good amount of free parking around the Zoo. If that does not work out there are some big lots that charge a fee.

You might think that a free Zoo would not be that good. Not so, from what I understand the St. Louis Zoo is on par with any other Zoo in the Country. So all of you that live in other cities, it is alright for you to feel just a bit envious.

If you would like to see some of the pictures I took head over to my flickr account

Thursday, August 28, 2008

St. Charles Photowalk 8-23-2008

Originally uploaded by reboot9I too5
I took Part in Scott Kelby's nation wide photowalk. Saturday Aug. 23. It gave me an opportunity to make use of my new Canon 40D (I bought it for my upcoming Birthday). It turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. I met some nice people from around the area, there was a group from the O' Fallon Camera Club.

The Photowalk in St. Charles only had about 18 people sign up for it so it was a very small intimate affair. I think that worked out a bit better than the other walks that were full to the brim.

If you get a chance to go on a photowalk take it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sigma 18-200 OS

I've been using the Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS since June now here are some of my thoughts.

Optic Stabilization
Lowish Cost
Comes with Lens Hood
Great Zoom range
Compact size.

A bit heavy
Slow Auto Focus
Can't nudge the Auto Focus

With an 18-200mm zoom range this works well as a lens that can stay on the camera most of the time. This is a good thing with the "dust on sensor" problems inherent in a DSLR. The lens ends up being a number of compromises. The price on Amazon is great, the Optical Stabilization works well and is a real plus in shooting. The Autofocus is sort of slow and hunts a lot in low light. The lens could be a bit faster but all and all for the Amazon price of around $462 it is a good buy, and has become my primary lens. Oh yeah, and the pictures turn out pretty good too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shooting Raw

Originally uploaded by reboot95
After hearing over and over again just how versatile shooting in RAW can be I decided to give it a try. Friday 8-8-08 I headed up the river road with a friend to do a bit of photography and outdoor fun. I purposed to shoot all my photos in raw format and try different things in the editing process.

I've been using the Digital Photo Professional software that came along with my Canon EOS Rebel XTi. It has a few features that I like. And works really nicely with raw images that come out of the canon. The software allows you to choose different picture styles that mimic the ones available on the camera. The feature I've liked the best is to switch the picture to monochrome and then apply filters to give it different "Black and White effects".

Another thing I have noticed shooting in RAW with JPEGS turned on sure makes a 4 Gig card seem small. My 8 Gig card arrived a few days ago.

With this picture I selected monochrome added a red filter which really made the clouds look great. I then added a bit of blue tint to it. I sort of liked the effect and the way the picture turned out. A number of people have looked at it with puzzlement and asked why it was Blue.

This photo started life as a Canon Camera Raw image with these settings.

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/9
Focal Length: 154 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It is all Black and White

Originally uploaded by reboot95
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/9
Focal Length: 200 mm
While on a road trip I happened upon this cemetery in IL. The starkness of a Tombstone with the word Wedding on it captured my attention. I felt it would look better in Black and White. I used Canon's Digital Photo Professional to create the Black and White image.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Photoshop Recipes

Originally uploaded by reboot95
I've taken a class in Photoshop I've played with photoshop, I've read blogs on photoshop and listened to podcasts about it. Yet I have no clue what I'm doing. Still I like the way this turned out even though it was mainly a photoshop recipe I followed.

Take a look at this post from the Photowalk pro blog. If you would like to try it yourself

I did not follow his recipe exactly I exercised some creative license and I'm sort of happy with the way it turned out. I sent it to a friend and he thought I had gotten a pinhole camera.

Still on the quest to be comfortable in Photoshop. But for now I am happy to follow recipes.

Know any good ones?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Canon Rebel XTi one year later

I have now owned the Canon Rebel XTi for a year now. Here are some thoughts.

Features both full automatic modes and a full manual mode with various in between modes.
Self cleaning Sensor.
Wide array of available lens.
Takes very good Pictures.
Good Battery life.
Widely used.

It is like a gateway drug to more and more accessories, lens, bags, etc.
Could be a bit more rugged.
Tends to get bits of stuff on the focus screen.
Did I mention you end up spending a lot of money on it.

Nutshell: Despite it's expensive care and feeding this is a very good starter Camera for the aspiring/consumer photographer. It allows you to stretch your creative side but you can rotate the dial and have all the automatic features of the best point and shoot available. There is the instant satisfaction of looking at a photo on the 2.5 inch LCD and going "oh yeah nailed that" or thinking ick glad I can delete it.

This is no lite weight point and shoot when you start toting it around with you. You will want a nice Camera bag. I've become a big fan of the Lowepro Slingshot series of bags I went with the 100 model since it forces you to stay sparce. You will still want a stick it in your pocket so you can snap photos whenever, compact.

With the new Rebel XSi prices should be dropping on this model. If you are wanting a camera that allows a lot of creative options here is a purchase you won't regret.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drobo + Droboshare

This is my new Drobo sitting on my poor mans computer rack in my office. I've had it about two weeks now.

This is the older USB 2.0 only model. When the new model with Firewire was introduced this model had a price cut. I was all ready to buy it off the Drobo site with a promo code when I realized that once that added shipping on I could still get it cheaper from Amazon. I also purchased the Droboshare attachment to turn it into a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. I ordered two 750 Gig drives from Newegg to complete the set. Newegg has consistently had the lowest prices for drives. I've since added a 640 Gig drive to give me a bit of boost in redundancy. I've also added a Dlink Gigabit Network switch to try and improve transfer rates. The one computer I have with a Gigabit card in it only saw modest speed increases.

All my experiences have been with the Drobo in conjunction with a Droboshare so keep that in mind. Expansion of the device is really the hallmark of it's simplicity you just add an additional SATA drive and you increase your redundancy protection and over all disk space. With two 750 Gig drives and one 640 Gig drive I have access to 1.26 Terabytes of redundant data storage connected to my home network. Any one drive can fail and I will have no data loss. This is a comfort since if I have a single drive failure in my Linux server the whole data volume is gone.

One important item with the SATA drives you place in it. Make sure the are set to work at high transfer rates. You might have to fiddle with jumpers to turn this on. SATA drives come in 1.5 and 3.0 Gigabyte transfer rates. Some of the 3.0 Gigabyte SATA II drives are configured to run at 1.5. So make sure you are getting your moneys worth and get the jumpers right. Honestly I did not see a difference in transfer rates but I feel better now.

My purpose for this device was to provide redundant storage from my digital pictures. A 10 Megapixel camera can eat up storage fast. And a place to protect all my music library. I have started using the Drobo as the primary storage device for the pictures but just a backup up for the music. I want to keep the music on the Linux server for now as the primary source.

Transferring vast amounts of data over the network takes time. My transfer rates are much slower than I would have expected I'm not sure if this is because they are coming off a volume group in Linux of if I have an issue with my network. The data is moving at 10 Megabit speeds even though I'm on a 100 Megabit line for the Linux server. The iMac is transferring at acceptable speeds but it is on Gigabit and should be faster. Maybe the USB 2.0 connection to the droboshare is issue.

Pros: Setup is easy, expansion if totally easy. Footprint is small and you don't have to worry about configuring a RAID array on your computer. Your data is protected from hard drive failures. You get a lot of usable storage considering it is also providing redundancy. The set up was fairly easy but some of that will make it into the cons. The tool to manage the device is pretty straight forward and effective. To your computers it shows up as a standard SMB (Windows) file share pretty easy to access. I have a mixed environment to so my Mac's, Linux Boxes, and Windows machines can all see it, use it, and share files. Double plus good.

Cons: You still have to understand about drive formatting to get it up and going but you can get a geeky guy or girl to help if needed. You should just plug it into the network and the client tool supplied with the Droboshare is supposed to find it. I had to plug and unplug and reset and fiddle a while before it finally came up. I have the same problem if I place it in standby mode it really does not want to come back to life. I've had one power outage where it can back fine I had an accidentally unplug where I thought I would have to send it back but it finally woke up and the client was able to see it. That has been the biggest issue I've had with it. Also the Drobo client install keeps wanting to make it load on startup I don't want it to and have to convince it of that every update. Oh yeah it really is an expensive solution.

Needs to have: The Droboshare really really needs to support some type of rsync capability. It based on Linux and they just released an SDK someone really really needs to compile rsync for it. This would make transferring files to it so much easier. My 100+ Gig music library takes over 26 hours to transfer. This is due to the slow transfer speeds off the Linux server but rsync would really fix that.

Nutshell: If you have digital bits of data that you want to share and protect this is the device to buy. It excels at simplicity (when compared to other solutions). Allows you to maintain control of your media. If you are buying music, movies are taking hard to replace photos go buy one today. With today's hard drives it is not if you will have a failure it is when. Remember though it is just an onsite backup if your house burns so does your data, to be truly secure you will also need some sort of off site backup. Like Jungle Disk or Mozy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Computers are hard

I've been working with computers since the Apple IIe. I've owned more than I will take the time to count up. My circle of friends all have some bit of computer literacy and yet day after day I'm amazed at just how hard it is for people to use computers.

In the days before the Internet people could get a computer take it home put their check book in an application keep track of lists and print out letters. The computers all did that pretty well. There were problems getting the printers hooked up sometimes and you would have to buy an application or two for the balancing of your check book and the keeping of that list or two. Computers were expensive and not that many people had them. Software was expensive too.

Today a computer is a much more versatile tool. It is a digital dark room, a high tech video phone, a music studio, an entertainment center. They cost a fraction of the old one's their power is astronomic compared to what we had in the 80's or the 90's and we are connected to the world.

And there in lies a large part of the problem. We have to get them connected to the world. This entails cable modems, dsl modems, home routers, home switches, wireless access points, wireless cards, network cards, firewalls. Then all this has to be configured to work together and allow communication in certain directions and block communications in other directions. This has happened to me over and over someone says hey this does not work. Heck I've said hey this does not work. And realized hey that can't talk to that, I wonder why? Duh somehow a firewall got turned on. This happens over and over again. And I understand networking. To most people it is something akin to brain surgery or maybe rocket science.

Here is another common occurrence. A hard drive eats a file (consider this hard drives now rely on error correction to read files back) maybe it is a little file may seem unimportant, but too Windows it is one of those critical files required to get going. And there you have an expensive door stop that goes into a blues screen that isn't even animated or it reboots over and over again. If it is under warranty the maker might give you a new drive. But you will have to surrender your old drive and you will probably be told there is no way to get those 10,000 family photos off of there.

How do you keep that stuff safe then. Well there is external hard drive's I've had a friend that has had three of them fail and I think I have had one fail and another is acting strange. There is the Drobo. Wonderful bit of tech I will be writing about later. It is easier than some things to use and offers data redundancy. Here it is in a nut shell if you have digital items that are important get a Drobo and figure out how to store those important digital bits over on it. But then if your house burns down it is not going to be much help.

What about apple one might ask. Well Apple makes a very nice, powerful computer it has a lot of great features and they have done some very smart things. But honestly it is really not that much easier to use than a Windows machine. Sure there are some things that it does to help you out but it is still a mystery to a lot of people. But a geek moment here Unix is cool and OS X is based on Unix. So therefor it is cool.

So how did we get here and where do we go. Computers have a lineage that goes back to when they were used by very geeky people that understood the inner workings of them and they based there development on that understanding. Knowing the end users had the same understanding. Today it is hard for people that have an in depth understanding of how computers work to design things in such a way as to make sense to those people that don't live bits, bytes, or and xor's . Sure we have trained people to use them a certain way and like Pavlov's Dog people have come to expect a certain result from a certain action. If that doesn't work then turn it off and on again.

However computers are still very hard to use, set up and get connected. These things are all done in a way that is not very geared for common people. The terminology while correct means nothing to people outside of the discipline.

Maybe some day we will have devices that can self configure and can be worked with in a more natural way where the interface will make sense with out training. My hope is it won't be through voice commands though. If you think your office is annoying now with just the clicky click of keyboards wait till everyone is trying to talk their computer into doing what they want. Yeah, especially that guy that sits two aisles over is hard of hearing and rattles the windows when he talks on the phone. Yeah that is going to be fun............

Monday, June 02, 2008

Fountain at Tower Grove Park St. Louis Mo.

Originally uploaded by reboot95
I've changed the balance of this photo using photoshop express. It did a nice job but did not copy any of the Exif information so I lost the Geo Tagging. This is the same photo as img_3015 from this set.

So what did I do to get this. I set my camera on an old cement railing set the timer so I would not jar the camera with the shutter button. Set the shutter speed to as slow as allowed by light went to where the F-Stop Flashed then back a notch and took the picture. It was washed out some so I used photoshop express to fix it.

Oh yeah the the Gorilla Pod was in the Explorer. Duh


I've been playing around with the orginal picture a bit in Photoshop Elements. I know I needed to adjust the levels to darken it a bit. Now I really don't know much about how to use Photoshop Elements but I was never really able to make it look as good as the image that Photoshop Express produced. Go Figure.

Still really disappointed that Photoshop Express killed all of the Exif information especially the Geotagging stuff. But I was able to use flickr to at least get back the location stuff but placing it on the map.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Laptop Quality

I was reading this post When buying a laptop, make sure to look for build quality at the digital kitty blog. She talks about how great the Apple laptops are in form and function even though she is not crazy about the GUI.

If you have been reading here you might realize that I've personally had a very different experience with the build quality on my Consumer grade Macbook. My iBook was a bit better but something flipped out in it's logical board rendering it unusable so maybe it is not as good as I thought it was.

This has brought me to the conclusion most Consumer grade laptops are really junk. Even though we are paying upwards of $800 to $1200 for them they really do not hold up very well. Cracking cases, dead pixels, failed hard drives, memory failures, logic board failure, driver issues, etc. I have come to the point where for laptops the extended warranties are a requirement. Pushing up the cost another $200 or more. Extended warranties are generally a rip off for the consumer though.

My experience on Business model laptops is a bit limited, being mainly Dells. But then again they have not been the most robust. There were the C series latitudes that continued to break the latches. The other C series I bought off of e-bay with the keyboard that continually repeats characters. The C Series at work with the failed sound card on the logic board.

As I write this the conclusion I reach, is that modern laptops (since 2000) are just not built very well at all, Consumer and Business. They are just not made to stand up to the stress of being dropped in a bag and carted around every where.

Given the widespread use of laptops in today's world manufactures need to do one of two things price them as truly disposable items that are meant to last for a for a year or two and be trashed. That is a pretty stupid plan given how they need to be disposed of. Or match the build quality to the price and the consumers need, make sure they last about five years and can handle being carted around everywhere.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Lord's Prayer

Could be the cutest thing ever..

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Now Why did the Bible Gateway have to make this today's verse?

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:6-7)

I really wanted to not like today you know April 15.....
Oh yeah, I guess that is why.........

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Extreme Annoyance MacBook Cracks

Have any guesses as to what this is? Yep it is a big old crack on the palm rest/edge of my Apple MacBook. The thing that has pushed this into Extreme Annoyance is this is really the third problem I've had with cracks, dents and such on the MacBook. First there was the crack on the hinge for the screen and then the micro cracks around where the hinge attaches. When I had it in for repair there were also dents forming on the front of the palm rest from where the screen closes. Now I have this big old crack in the palm rest where the screen closes and micro cracks along the front of the machine. These are all parts that were replaced during the first go around with cracks less than a year ago.

Just to head off some thoughts you might be having right now. First Google cracks macbook and see what comes up. This is a laptop, a device designed to be "portable" so I take it pretty much every where with me. Inside a nice "incase" designed specifically for this particular laptop. So yeah it does not set full time on a desk it gets used like a laptop is meant to be used. I have an iMac to set on the desk.

I have the suspicion that the magnets designed to keep the lid closed, cause the lid to slam down to hard every time I close the laptop. This is starting to really annoy me.

Otherwise I really like the OS X operating system. I like the technical performance on my MacBook and the price was in the park with a similar Dell but the build quality is really lacking. Or perhaps it is a design flaw in using the magnets.

I suspect this will be covered under Apple Care but I'm hoping the parts hold up a bit better this time around. Oh and I will be back to using my old Dell for the week the apple store will want to keep it. ICK.

One other thing, the dark spots on the palm rest seem to be more of a stain or discoloration since everything I've tried well not clean it. And the Apple Store said they would clean that up when I took it in for a non-ejecting Super Drive. And guess what, it came back with the discoloration still there. There is also some discoloration around the apple logo on top as well.

Oh did I forget to mention that the power cord burned through the insulation right where it connects to the little power brick.

Great laptop from an Operating System and performance standpoint but not put together very well.

The MacBook will be out for repair for about a week. They were sort of like oh yeah crack on palm rest and cracks in bottom case. Fill this out, have you backed up your data. Should have it back in a week.

Macbook is back appears to be repaired. I think the area impacted is a different plastic.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Panorama of the Concord

Originally uploaded by reboot95
Here is a panoramic picture I took off the Concord at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2 Gig

I just updated the memory in my iMac and Macbook. The physical process is fairly easy except the macbook needs a really really really small Phillips screw driver. I used one of the blades on a multi-tool but it was not ideal.

The performance increase with 2 Gigs of memory over 1 Gig is nice but most noticeable in the Parallels Virtual Machine. Before if you were running one of the Virtual Machines it pretty much locked up the rest of the machine. Now the rest of the machine is running just fine and the Operating System running in Parallels is very snappy.

Purchased the memory from Crucial. I was just poking around and looking at what the price would be to upgrade. When I realized it was really not that much I decided to go ahead and purchase the memory. Cost about $21 on the iMac and $46 on the Macbook. I had to replace both memory chips in the Macbook. The iMac only needed an additional 1 Gig chip.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Nearly a Foot

Well I'm sort of thinking that Spring might get skipped this year. This is probably the most snow I've had at one time since I moved into this house in 2002 nearly as much as we got in 1989. Take note this is March 4 !!! All I can say is yikes.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Is Spring coming

Well here we sit in the month of March. Looking forward to the
flowers poking through and coloring our world again. But wait we live
in the mid-west so we are going to have our world colored but it is
going to be a different color than most people had in mind. It is
going to be white. Yes a major winter storm is winding up to hit us.
Go figure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Apple Store and Genius Bar

I've had to have my Apple Macbook in for a few repairs in its first year (Great OS and features but build quality is lacking). There was the issue with micro cracks in the case. Ok right now go look at your Macbook in good light and see if you can find any hairline cracks in it. Go on I'll wait....... Then there was the issue with the Superdrive, it stopped ejecting disks. You know Apples really don't have a mechanical release I can find. I finally had to resort to turning it sideways and shaking it while repeatedly hitting the eject button. Then the latest was the power adapter burning a hole in the wire. OH FUN.

Here is the problem, each of these were a definite visible hardware issue. Yet each and every time I had to go to the silly Genius Bar to get the privilege of leaving my Macbook with them while they fixed it. This is really really annoying. The one in St. Louis West County Mall really seems to be backed up. You usually have to schedule the meeting a day ahead for the next afternoon or evening then you have to wait while the two Genius' on duty wade through iPod problem after iPod problem with a couple of iPhone problems thrown in. The list for iPod is like 10 people long and there are three of us waiting to get our computers looked at. Hey I got an idea I'll tell the iPod folks this is how you reset it, or you need to let the battery run all the way down then recharge it all the way to full, or you just need to resync it. Then the Genius could do the paper work so I can drop my laptop off.

Apple needs to rethink the way they are doing the Genius bar for hardware issues. The Genius bar is okay except for the wait and the fact they really have never given me a definite answer when I've asked questions.. But if each and every item that is any sort of repair or issue has to go through the Genius bar they really need to increase the staff, maybe promote a few of the floor folks to Genius, they don't usually seem all that busy. Or if it is a hardware issue that requires leaving the computer give me somewhere to just drop it off, hey you are going to be keeping it a week or so why do I have to wait 45 mins to an hour just to drop it off. UGGHHH!!!

Has anyone else had this issue.??

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mac OS X Your network has been compromised

Gee so glad to know that my network has been compromised. I now need to jump up and run around in circles going crisis crisis crisis. Wow I feel much better now.

This has been plaguing my Macbook every time it wakes up from sleep since Leopard 10.5.1 came out. I have not tested 10.5.2 yet to see if it fixes the problem. It seems to occur when I am connecting to WRT54G's running the DD-WRT firmware using WDS. This allows multiple wireless access points to look sort of like one access point and extend the range of your access point. It also appears to be centered around using WPA.

My solution. Well running around in circles going crisis crisis crisis can be fun but it really did not solve the problem. Rebooting would fix it but gee that takes a bit. Googling came up with a forum on Macrumors that suggested deleting the saved password. I can't remember if I found another link or just did it wrong but here is what I did.

Removed the offending network from the list of preferred networks. Now when I put the Macbook to sleep it wakes up and asks which network do I want to connect to, I double click on the one I was using and bam I'm on the network again no silly error.

Nope 10.5.2 does not fix the problem.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Let it snow let it snow

And man did it snow.

It actually snowed enough I did not have to go to work today how cool is that.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Adding Verse of the Day to your website

You might wonder where the Verse of the Day is coming from that is included on this blog. I'm using a free bit of HTML code provided by the BibleGateway project. If you use the following link you can easily generate a snippet of html that can then be included in your blog or website.
How to do that is an exercise left up to the student. Build custom Verse of the Day HTML code

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rocky Creek Falls

Originally uploaded by reboot95
Yes believe it or not that really is a falls in the State of Missouri. This is a little out of the way place in the Missouri Ozarks outside of a little town called Winona