Managing Podcasts in iTunes

Picture 10.pngI subscribe to quite a few podcasts. Since I have virtually no commute time, I only get caught up listening to everything on my iPod when I go on a long trip every few months. I’ve found that the default setup for listening to podcasts doesn’t work very well for this type of listening. Out of the box iTunes and the iPod work well if you are listening to all of your subscriptions a few times each week. If you only listen once each month the podcasts can be hard to manage. Here are two tips that will help manage your podcasts in iTunes. Continue reading Managing Podcasts in iTunes

Click to Call with Vonage

Vonage LogoVonage offers an interface that allows you to setup calls using a simple web urls that make calls to There is software that makes use of this interface like the add in for Outlook that lets you click on a number and dial it. In this article we are going to look at how this works behind the scenes and make a simple address book where you can click on a number to have it dialed. Continue reading Click to Call with Vonage

Why I won’t buy an Intel Mac (yet)

Bi PlaneA farmer and his wife visited the fair each year. One of the attractions was a pilot who would give passengers a short ride in his bi-plane for five dollars. The farmer wanted to ride the plane, but every year his wife would say, “five dollars is five dollars”. After 7 years, the pilot offered the farmer a deal. He said, “If you and your wife can go the entire ride without making a sound I’ll give the the ride for free.” The farmer and his wife were delighted with this offer and climbed aboard.

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Sony Ericson T610 and Mac Bluetooth

In the past I’ve been stuck using Nextel for mobile internet access. Nextel service seems to work ok, but it is very slow, has limited coverage, costs $79 per month, doesn’t support Bluetooth, requires third-party software to work with OS X. So when I had an opportunity to switch to a different carrier I went with T-mobile because they have Bluetooth phones and because they offer unlimited internet access for $20 per month when added to an existing cell phone plan. Continue reading Sony Ericson T610 and Mac Bluetooth

Blackberry 7100t with OS X

7100t BlackberryThe other day I was talking with my mechanic about cell phones and asking him how he liked his Treo. In the conversation it came up that he had a Blackberry 7100 sitting in the drawer and would be willing to sell it, so I decided to buy it and try it out. I was particularly interested in using the device for it’s email capabilities. Currently I use a Sony Ericson T610 which is a nice small phone with Bluetooth. The thing I like about the T610 is the fact it works with OS X on a Mac. I can easily sync my contacts and calendar using Bluetooth and when traveling it works as a digital modem allowing me to check my email without dealing with any wires. However the T610 is very hard to use for sending email or browsing the web from the device itself, so I was curious if the Blackberry would be any easier with it’s funky two letters on each key keyboard. Continue reading Blackberry 7100t with OS X

Finding and Freeing wasted space in OS X

It doesn’t seem to matter how big of a hard drive you have, it will eventually fill up. Many times just seeing which directory is using the most space can help you find space that can be freed. For example, the other day I was running low on drive space, but looking at the size of several directories, I noticed that my download directory was over 10 GB. I turned out that I had downloaded several Linux ISOs and burned them to DVDs, but forgot to erase the downloaded files. Just seeing that the size of the directory was abnormally large made it easy to free up the space. This article is going to look at several ways to look at the size of directories in OS X.
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Hacking Quicken to Import QFX Files on OS X

Quicken LogoIntuit is not a Mac friendly company. They make an OS X version of Quicken, but it is artificially crippled in order to try to get banks to pay them money. Intuit will only let you import files from banks that pay extra to let their customers download transactions into Quicken for Mac. The fact that you paid for Quicken and the bank paid for a Quicken server isn’t enough. They want the banks to pay another fee for their Mac users–even though there is no additional hardware or software involved. The end result is that Mac users get a product that will only work with a handful of banks. This article discusses a method to get around this limitation. Continue reading Hacking Quicken to Import QFX Files on OS X

Travelling with Movies on a Mac

DVD Player IconThere are several situations where you might want to dump a DVD to your hard drive to watch later. For instance, I get significantly better battery life when watching a video from my hard drive than I get when watching it from a DVD. If I’m stuck in a plane for several hours, having my movie on the hard drive can be the difference between finishing the show, or running out of power halfway through. I use a PowerBook and in OS X 10.3 and earlier you could just use the built in Disk Utility to copy a DVD to your disk, but it stopped working in 10.4. However with a few free tools you can accomplish the same thing and more.
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Keeping a Hot Backup of Your Mac Hard Drive

Disk UtilityYou don’t really understand the importance of backups until your hard drive crashes. With most backups, you’ll need to reinstall the operating system and then restore all of your data. OS X comes with a handy tool that will let you create a live copy of your hard drive that can be started up and run just like it is your computer. Continue reading Keeping a Hot Backup of Your Mac Hard Drive