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Showing posts from October, 2010

Save yourself some trouble with iLife'11

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Just for testing it I installed the new iLife'11 on one of my systems. I mostly use iPhoto and I was happy with iLife'09. What I can see now is that iPhoto look has changed to be more similar to iMovie on the user interface. Some floating menus (like photo adjustment) are not embedded on the application window and general look is worse IMHO.

But this is not the only problem. Calendars are no longer available on iPhoto, so it seems they will be back soon.

The worst thing, however, happened when I was using the new iPhoto: Suddenly my system stopped responding to mouse click or keyboard. Pointer still moved with the mouse but that was it. I suspend the system and when restarted I've just got a blue screen. I power it off by holding the power button for a few seconds. On the next power up they system asked me if I wanted to send a report to Apple, which I did.

Whether this was caused by the new version of iLife or not, I do not know. But my system has been running rock solid for…

Multi-flavor remote access with TeamViewer

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Remote access is a cool feature, whether you are (still?) using telnet to remote desktop protocol it is something that is very useful. If you are like me, from time to time you get a phone call from a friend asking for help. Of course her explanations hardly match what you picture in your mind, so many times you cannot help them.

If you plan on supporting someone online you can install and configure the computer and networking gear (broadband router?) so you'll be able to connect to that system in the future when there is trouble.

Many different solutions can be used, but most of them are OS-dependent. You can do lots of cool things with SSH but mostly on a Linux or OS X system. Microsoft includes the RDP tool for remote desktop access to Windows computers.

I've heard about TeamViewer before from a client, but given it was a Windows-only solution I did not pay many attention at the moment. I've recently learned that many interesting choices were available: iPad & iPod…

Prototyping on the cloud

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I recently learned about an embedded design contest jointly organized by Circuit Cellar Magazine and NXP and mbed.
I signed in and I've got lucky as I've got one of the free development units. Having used Arduino platform before I was curious about how easy this thing would be.
Fear no more, I was setup in a moment. The funny thing developing with mbed is twofold: On the one hand, your computer will see a new flash storage drive when you plug in mbed. On the other hand, no compiler is installed on your computer. Instead, you use the mbed web. They host the compiler through a web interface. Once your code is compiled you just download the binary code to the flash drive and (now Arduino fans can smile) you manually press reset button for your code to be run.
I guess many complaints can be made if you dissect the service EULA, but definitely this way of working comes with many advantages too. Being multi-platform is not one of the least important ones.
Now I have to think about w…

Snow Leopard on your favourite virtual platform

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I've been using computers for quite a while and one of the things I like is to play with them. Since Apple moved away from PowerPC processors to Intel x86 processors many people thought we will soon have OS X on our PC hardware. Being Apple a hardware company, they have few reasons to make that happen (or so they think and act upon).

A few attempts from small hardware manufacturers of offering hardware that allows the install of OS X have faced a lawsuit that more or less kicked them out of business.

Some other people just made that same thing just for fun. What they call hackintoshcomputers are PCs running OS X that has been install after a more or less "hide and seek" game with several DVDs.

You need determination and the right hardware to get it working. Many times, a software update prevents your system to boot up next time. As a challenge it might be fun, but there is no fun on discovering your work is buried inside a system you can no longer boot-up. So the use of th…