Archive for the Mac OS X Category

Picking Journal Software

Posted in Mac OS X on January 7, 2011 by Mike Procario

I decided to start a personal journal on January 2. It was not a New Year’s resolution. I just felt it would be nice to write down somethings so I could remember them. I was particularly motivated by a trip to airport with Megan. She had brought two large suitcases home for Christmas and was worried they might be overweight. The weight limit is 50 lbs. per suitcase. Megan ended up have both suitcases right at the limit. I wanted to remember this for the next time she flys and try her be a lighter packer. 

I use a large variety of computers. I own a Mac laptop and I have both Windows 7 and Ubuntu desktops. I also have a Windows XP desktop at work. The simplest solution would probably be to put a Word file in my Dropbox folder. I have Word on all the machines but the Ubuntu, but that has OpenOffice which can read/write Word files. The only hangup is that I cannot install Dropbox at work. I would have to go to the web and download the file, make my edits, and upload it again. 

Instead I decided to try doing it Google Docs. I could edit that from my browser on all of the platforms. I used it for a few days, but I was a little bothered by the spellchecker it flags misspellings but does not offer corrections. It is certainly not very full featured. I remembered that I dad a Zoho.com account. I had used it for awhile and then stopped. It had a nice post to blog feature and it seemed better than the blog editing software at the time.

Zoho Docs is definitely more full featured than Google Docs, but I had some formatting problems. On the good side, the spellchecker offers suggested corrections and has a custom dictionary to store those names and acronyms that I use. The formatting problem seemed to be related to its different views. There is a normal view which uses the whole web browser window even if it that wider than the page I have defined. You can then switch to page view and see roughly how it will look printed. There is also a print preview view that gives even more accuracy. When I flipped back between these views I seem to have affected the word wrapping. Sometimes a line in the middle of a paragraph would start with a space. Also I tabbed over to put a date in the righthand corner. These would then be wrong in page view. I tried to fix them but they would look fine in normal view and still be messed up in page view. 

I ended up using Memoires, which does meet any of my initial criteria. It is a Mac only program, but it is designed for journal entries. It provides a calendar view. I can make multiple entries a day and it was $14.99 on the new Mac App store.  

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Mac to Vista Printing Working

Posted in Mac OS X, Technology and Software on September 27, 2008 by Mike Procario

When I upgraded to Vista, I had trouble seeing printers on my Vista machine  from my Mac. On Tekzilla today, they were discussing Mac to Windows sharing and they mentioned macs.about.com as a good source for info. I checked and found this article. It required some seriously obscure steps like editing the registry. This section caused me some problems

lmcompatibilitylevel. If it does, perform the following:

  1. Right-click lmcompatibilitylevel and select ‘Modify’ from the pop-up menu.
  2. Enter a Value data of 1.
  3. Click the ‘OK’ button.

That is fairly clearly an ‘”l” at the beginning using a serif font, but the website uses a sans-serif font, and I thought it was an “I”. This step seems to just be Microsoft making it hard to work with Macs and Linux.

The second section involved using URLs to select the printer.

smb://user:password@workgroup/ComputerName/PrinterName

But once I jumped through these hoops I was able to print again. Now one to file sharing.  

Jolly FastVNC is Fast Enough to Use

Posted in Mac OS X, Technology and Software on May 8, 2008 by Mike Procario

I have tried to use VNC to access my Windows desktop box from my MacBook Pro. My main use case so far is controlling my iTunes running on Windows, since I have a much larger collection of music on my desktop and it is connected to my stereo. I had previously tried Chicken of the VNC as the VNC client on my MacBook Pro and TightVNC server on the Windows box and using Wifi for the connection. It was painfully slow. It seemed to take minutes for the cursor to follow the mouse. It was too painful to even try a pick a playlist in iTunes.

I just heard about JollyFastVNC a new OS X VNC client and I tried it today. It is jolly fast. It certainly is more than fast enough for my major use case. I saw the occasional lag of the cursor following mouse. I may try to use for a few other uses.

Time Machine Works

Posted in Mac OS X, Technology and Software on February 14, 2008 by Mike Procario

I used Time Machine today to restore a file I mistakenly overwrote. I have a laptop so my backups are not every hour, but more typically just one or twice a day when I connect my external disk after I get home. Nevertheless, I found a copy that was more up to date than the one I accidently copied over my good version.

Testing MarsEdit

Posted in Mac OS X, Technology and Software on February 1, 2008 by Mike Procario

I saw this review of MarsEdit, so I decided to try it out. It is not a WYSIWYG editor, but it does a a very quick preview function. It can almost keep up with my typing.

I have been using ScribeFire which is a Firefox extension, but I have been moving towards using Safari. MarsEdit is a Mac standalone blogging client.

Macs, Macs, and more Macs

Posted in Mac OS X, Technology and Software on February 1, 2008 by Mike Procario

I attended a meeting of physicists yesterday, and I was surprised to see the distribution of laptop brands. It was 14 Macs, mostly MacBook Pros, 4 Dells, and 2 Thinkpads. It reminded me of this photo.

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Upgrade to Leopard

Posted in Mac OS X, Technology and Software on January 22, 2008 by Mike Procario

I upgraded my MacBook Pro to Leopard yesterday. I have had the disc since Thanksgiving, but I have put off doing the upgrade. First I was worried about some of the reports of incompatibilities, then I was just too busy. I had off yesterday so I decided to go for it. I did an upgrade instead of an archive and install that many websites have recommended.  Almost everything went fine. The only problem I have seen is that macports is not working due to a compiler problem.

Leopard looks good. The new dock that many have complained about looks good to me. I am using Spaces and it works quite well. The finder now looks like iTunes and has coverflow, but the thing that I liked best is that in list view the background color alternates with each line. It looks like a ledger and it works to guide the eye from one side of the line to the other.

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