Archive for the 'Software' category

Amazon MP3 Downloader and iTunes

 | February 4, 2011 10:56 AM

I started getting MP3’s from Amazon because they occasionally have promotions that allow you to download a few for free.

Amazon MP3 DownloaderThe Amazon MP3 Downloader conveniently automatically adds downloaded MP3’s to iTunes.  After the MP3 is downloaded (typically in the Music/Amazon MP3 folder) a copy is made in the iTunes/iTunes Media/Music folder.

What is strange is that though the copy is the same size it is a different binary.  I posted a question about this on Apple’s discussion site.

Also I noticed that iTunes has some music under its iTunes Music folder and some under its iTunes Media/Music folder.  This is because iTunes 9 and later began using the iTunes Media/Music folder instead.

iTunes Folders

I decided I wanted everything under one folder so I used iTunes consolidate feature.

I then deleted the old iTunes Music folder after making sure everything was copied.  I did notice that some of the copies were slightly different sizes.

Another unproductive way to spend a Sunday morning. Smile


SugarSync - spread the word

Recently I read on The Simple Dollar an article suggesting free equivalents to Amazon’s 25 software bestsellers.  The program that stood out the most to me was SugarSync which was all the way at the bottom of the article.

I went to SugarSync’s site and watched the CNBC interview with David Pogue, “Letting your Blackberry talk to your Desktop and your Laptop.”  I love David Pogue so after listening to him rave about it I decided to try it.  David Pogue also wrote a column over a year ago about SugarSync titled “Synching Just Became a Cinch.”

I first installed it on my MacBook and then my ThinkPad and was immediately impressed for three reasons.

  1. Automatic remote backup of your important files.

    I already do backups on my MacBook using Time Machine and on my ThinkPad using SyncBack.  Time Machine is the best backup software I have ever used and saved me when my MacBook died a year ago.  However these backups are local, i.e. they are tied to an external hard drive that is in my home.  If my home burns down everything will be lost which is why it is nice to have a simple free service for backing up my most important files to a remote location.

  2. Easy synchronization between my MacBook and my ThinkPad via the Magic Briefcase.

    Previously moving files between my MacBook and ThinkPad was a bit of a chore.  But now any time I want to move a file between the two computers I just drop that file into my Magic Briefcase and almost instantaneously it shows up on the other computer.  This model can also be extended to mobile devices.

  3. Access to my important files on the internet.

    Now whenever I am not on my home computer but I need an important file I can get just go to my SugarSync account and access it.

SugarSync’s free account service is great but it only has 2 GB of storage.  But now SugarSync is running a promotion.  If you follow the promotion link and open a 2 GB free account then you and I get an extra 500 MB of space.  Please do it, I would love the extra 500 MB. 🙂


Lightroom to iPhoto export

 | October 7, 2008 9:27 PM

I downloaded and installed iPhotoExport plugin for exporting photos from Lightroom to iPhoto.  I plan on using Lightroom for most of my photo cataloging and editing but I will keep using iPhoto as a central repository for my favorite photos.  These photos will then be synchronized on my iPod Touch and can be uploaded to my website.


How the internet works

 | August 6, 2008 10:43 AM

My friend, a PowerPoint whiz and general genius, created this great diagram of how the internet works.

He also agrees with me to not use antivirus programs. 🙂


Do not use AVG for antivirus

 | July 4, 2008 7:39 AM

abstract virusPreviously I recommended AVG for a free antivirus program.  But now AVG is doing some slimy practices, AVG disguises fake traffic as IE6, and I would recommend against using it.

You might want to try Avast! Antivirus though I have not tried it myself.  I stopped using antivirus programs altogether, I found they either slowed down my computer or were a pain with all the frequent updates.

Or you could get a Mac.  But then there are other things you’ll have to consider. 🙂



 | June 30, 2008 9:26 PM

I always wanted to see more than just the time in the taskbar. With AlfaClock you can see the whole date or whatever you like and when you click on it you see a calendar with the month.


It’s configuration menu is a little bit on the nerdy side and not completely user friendly but otherwise I recommend this free tool.


I never appreciated receiving unrequested marketing. Recently I noticed Bank of America’s logo appearing on my Quicken splash screen.

Thanks to this Quicken forum I was able to figure out how to remove it.

First I found the Quicken splash screen with Bank of America’s logo at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Intuit\Quicken\06526\SPLASH.BMP.

Then I found this splash screen referenced in the init file C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Intuit\Quicken\Config\QUICKEN.INI in the Splash entry of the MarketingMessages section.

I changed the Splash entry to be C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Intuit\Quicken\Sku\Premier\Custom\splash.bmp. Fortunately that did the trick.

Overall I am quite happy with Quicken Premier 2007 which I got for free from a friend who works at Intuit. It has a nicer interface than Quicken Deluxe 2005, which I also got for free from another Intuit friend, and it allows me to download in the one step update from my Washington Mutual, ING Direct and Bank of America accounts. Previously I could only use web connect to download these transactions into Quicken. My life just got that much easier. 🙂

Update 02-06-2010: Another Intuit friend gave me Quicken Premier 2010. It’s great but today I noticed an unappreciated Chase logo on my Quicken splash screen.  Fortunately these instructions were just as useful for removing the bank logo from Quicken 2010. 🙂