Archive for the 'Mac' category

D80 from Nikon At the encouragement of my brother-in-law I started shooting all my photos in RAW on my Nikon D80.  Unfortunately this meant that each photo I shot was larger than 10 MB.  My MacBook has only an 120 GB hard drive so it didn’t take long to realize I was going to run out of hard drive space.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 The day of reckoning soon arrived when I noticed after my latest download of photos that Lightroom began to be noticeably slower.  This is either because Lightroom could not handle the added number of photos or because it needed more disk space.  I guessed it was the latter and this article seems to verify this.

I consulted my two experts in the hard drive field and was conviced not to buy Seagate which I had always thought was the best.  I apologize if I recommended Seagate to any of you.  The reviews on sites like Amazon and Newegg confirmed that Seagate is not as reliable.  Western Digital was recommended to me because they tend to be more conservative by using proven technology and not pushing the performance envelope.  The online reviews seemed to confirm that Western Digital was the way to go.

Western Digital 320 GB Scorpio Black SATA 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Notebook Hard Drive WD3200BEKTAfter more deliberation I ended up purchasing the Western Digital 320 GB Scorpio Black SATA 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Notebook Hard Drive WD3200BEKT.  I don’t know when Amazon began selling hard drives but I think Newegg, TigerDirect and others are in trouble because Amazon matches their best prices and they give free shipping so it’s a no brainer.

Unfortunately during my deliberation the price had gone up from $70 on Black Friday to $76 when I purchased it.  And now it’s $82 which is $1 less than the list price.  I am not sure what is going on but hard drive prices in general seem to be going up.

Anyway the hard drive arrived on my birthday and I could not wait to install it.  I started following the excellent instructions at iFixit for installing a MacBook Core 2 Duo Hard Drive Replacement and was almost done when I realized on the second last step I needed a T8 Torx screwdriver.  Sadly I undid everything and sent an email to my hardware hacker friend for help.

Fujitsu MHY2120BH 120GB SATA/150 5400RPM 8MB 2.5 The next day hardware hacker came through with not just a screwdriver but a screwdriver set!  Last night I resumed my project and replaced my old hard drive, a Fujitsu MHY2120BH 120GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5″ SATA 1.5Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive, with the new one.

Mac OS X 10.5 Help: Recovering your entire system Before removing my old hard drive I did a Time Machine backup and thought it would be a simple matter of restoring the backup to the new hard drive.  Unfortunately like another birthday boy it did not go as smoothly as I hoped.  According to Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 Recovering your entire system document when I booted from the Mac OS X Install Disk I should have seen a Restore System from Backup option.  However it was not there!

I did what the other birthday boy suggested and installed Mac OS X on the new hard drive.  When it was done and it rebooted I realized it had installed Tiger instead of Leopard.

I then put in the Mac OS X Leopard CPU Drop-in DVD for upgrading from Tiger to Leopard.  I double-clicked on the Install Mac OS X icon and when it rebooted I was able to restore my system from my Time Machine backup.

In retrospect I wish I had purchased a USB SATA hard drive enclosure and used SuperDuper! to clone the old hard drive like iFixit instructs.  That would have saved me a lot of time!

Now I have 320 GB to play with.  That should last me hopefully one to two more years unless I get into video. 🙂

Update: Lightroom is still slow. 🙁


Get iTunes Songs From Amazon

 | April 30, 2009 12:37 PM

Another tip from Mac Tricks And Tips.

The app is called Advantageous MP3, its a small iTunes script and application working in conjunction with the iTunes Store. Every time you search for a song on iTunes and go to the specific product page you can then you Advantageous to quickly send you to the Amazon Store. The script runs from the script menu (Duh!), once as you click it, it will take a couple of seconds for it to find the correct URL and open Amazon in your web browser where you can then download the MP3 for a lot less.

Get iTunes Songs From Amazon | Mac Tricks And Tips.


Today I downloaded more free audiobooks from as well as another one from  I realized though I rarely listen to my iPod.  Fortunately there is a way to burn audiobooks to CD.  iTunes: How to Create CDs From Audible Content and How do I burn my Audible content in iTunes using a Mac computer?


Nine-Year Old iPhone Developer

 | February 11, 2009 7:57 AM

My brother-in-law sent this to me and suggested I start getting Dylan to program.  I agree. 🙂

Nine-year old Lim Ding Wen from Singapore, whose Doodle Kids [App Store] application has seen over 4,000 downloads since its release several weeks ago. The free application, designed for his sisters aged three and five, allows users to draw on the iPhone screen using random shapes and colors and then erase their creations by shaking the device. 

MacRumors iPhone Blog: Nine-Year Old iPhone Developer Releases Application


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I got for free the audio book 7 Highly Habits of Effective People from  I was planning on listening to it on my iPod Touch whenever I strolled the kids.  However what kept happening was whenever I plugged in my iPod the sync process would complain that I am not authorized and erase the audible book from my iPod.  Then I would authorize manually in iTunes, sync again, and copy the audible book over.

Frustrated with this process I searched and found this page, Audible Re-Authorization, which pointed me to Audible’s own help page, Why am I prompted to activate my Audible account for iTunes on a Mac every time I open iTunes and attempt to play one of my Audible titles?

I then went through this process so that I would no longer have to authorize for Audible on iTunes.

  1. Logged into my Administrator account.
  2. Changed iTunes to use the same library as the regular users.  Note I kept getting messages that the files were locked.  I tried giving the Administrator read and write permission for the iTunes folder but that did not work.  Then I made the files world readable to fix it.
    $ chmod -R o+w iTunes/
  3. Went into my Audible account on the Audible site and then downloaded the free sample audiobook.  This caused iTunes to ask me to authorize.
  4. Logged back into my regular user account and saw that iTunes no longer prompted me to authorize for Audible content.

iStat pro and App Update

 | January 18, 2009 10:36 AM

Based on recommendations from Mac Tricks and Tips I installed iStat pro and App Update. I wasn’t sure how to install widgets but thankfully it’s quite easy if you download them using Safari.

App Update showed me there was an update for TechTool Deluxe, not that I ever use it but I updated it anyway.


Half Ratings In iTunes

 | January 13, 2009 9:02 AM


Using this tip from Mac Tricks and Tips I was able to turn on half star ratings in iTunes.  Now I was able to give God In This City 4.5 stars. 🙂

To access this setting close iTunes and open Terminal. Inside it copy and paste or type the following.

defaults write allow-half-stars -bool TRUE

Set Half Ratings In iTunes | Mac Tricks And Tips


MacBook Resurrected

 | July 30, 2008 6:12 PM

Not to sound sacrilegious but my MacBook has been resurrected.  On Tuesday, July 22 it died.  On Thursday, July 24 we brought it into the Apple Store and it was repaired rather quickly (simple repair, replace the hard drive and install a new operating system).  Today we finally picked it up and then following these instructions I was able to restore the MacBook to the state it was in when I last did a backup, July 13.  It looks like we did not lose any important documents and I am amazed at how easy Time Machine is.

These are my thoughts from this experience.

  1. I love Time Machine, it is the most pain free backup system I have ever used.
  2. I love the Apple store.  Having the convenience of driving somewhere and asking a live person to repair it is incredibly valuable.  I was so happy with my experience that I bought two monitor cables and a wireless keyboard for my MacBook.
    Apple Mini DVI to VGA Adapter

    Mini DVI to VGA Adapter

    Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter

    Apple Wireless Keyboard

    Wireless Keyboard

  3. I may not buy any other brands simply because no other brand offers the complete support experience that Apple does.  For example I have a support contract w/ Lenovo and I have no idea where to take it for service.

When I first got my MacBook I thought that I could change volume simply by pressing F3, F4 or F5. But after one of the numerous Leopard updates I noticed that button stop working. After awhile I realized that pressing Fn + F3, F4 or F5 allowed me to change volume so I just assumed I was not remembering correctly.

The other day I was playing with my dad’s MacBook Pro and realized on his computer that pressing F3, F4 or F5 by themselves changes the volume. Realized that my memory was actually correct I did some googling and found this forum topic about this, How to get back pressing ‘fn’ to change volume, etc.

To go back to using just F3, F4 or F5 for changing the volume.

System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard > uncheck “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys”