Jun 23

speed
You’ve made a webpage, but people are complaining that it’s too slow to load.
It may be that they have a slow computer, or it may be that your webpage has too many large files in it, and it should be made smaller. Safari can tell you how many files it needs to load, and how big they are. Here’s how. Continue reading »

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Mar 29

I want a calendar that I can edit on my iphone AND on my home computer AND have one of my co-workers edit on their computer, and they all sync up automatically without me having to remember to plug my iphone in. This post explains how to set it up so that your iPhone calendar and iPhone are automatically synced up all the time via Google calendar.

MobileMe doesn’t achieve this. iCal shared calendars via itunes doesn’t achieve this. After much experimenting I found the best way is through Google calendar.

Google calendar allows editing and viewing from iCal on your mac and from your iPhone, plus you can let anyone else edit your calendar if you want them to. So Google calendar becomes the hub. Here’s how it all works:

gcal ical iphone
Continue reading »

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Mar 27

G4 ibook motherboard fault.

There is a problem with the logic board in the Macintosh G4 ibooks. It can appear after a year or more in some machines and the symptom is that after being on for a few minutes, the screen goes black (it looks blank, but the light has gone off) , the fan turns on, and the computer freezes. You might think it is a problem with the display but it’s actually a problem with one of the chips on the main motherboard. This article describes the problem and how to repair it.

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Mar 26

This is the results of a survey I conducted over a year to see what different models of the G4 ibook are affected by the logicboard fault.

The symptoms of the fault are as follows:

  • After being on for a few minutes, your ibook gets a blank black screen, the fan turns on, and the computer freezes.
  • You can’t do anything at all except power down the computer by holding the power button.
  • You restart and it doesn’t boot up.
  • You squeeze the bottom of the computer tightly together just to the left of the trackpad, and it boots up.
  • It tends to boot up when it is cold, but then stops working when it warms up.

Here are the results of a survey I conducted here on macintoshhowto.com over a period of 6 months regarding the affected models. It appears all models are affected.

In this article I described the fix for this G4 logic board fault. This survey was to test what models were impacted.

 

 

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Nov 09

I’ve been having a problem with mail – I can’t do a search on ‘entire message’. It is greyed out. There are all kinds of ‘fixes’ available on the internet, but most of them didn’t work. Finally I fixed it and here’s a summary of the most useful advice, try it in this order:

1. Have a look in ~/Library/Spotlight and make sure there are no plugins that might be causing problems. For example, I had an old Mailtags Plugin that was 2 years old, so I deleted it.

2. Make sure you haven’t excluded your mail folder in the spotlight privacy tab (spotlight preferences)

3. Reset the entire spotlight database by opening a terminal window and typing 

sudo mdutil -E -i on /Volumes/*

(It will ask for your password)

4. Open Mail and click on Mailboxes:Rebuild.

That resets spotlight and mailboxes, which I think just about covers all options.

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May 30

This is a little bit advanced, but useful.

1. Insert the DVD/CD into your drive.

2. Run the TERMINAL application (In your Appplications Utilities Folder)

You will get a little window with a prompt something this: Macintosh:~ wayne$
Continue reading »

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Mar 28

I’ve been playing round with getting good quality compressed speech with LAME. (See here for iTunes.) Here’s what I’ve found.

1. SMALLEST FILE SIZE ACCEPTABLE QUALITY.
For very small file size (3MB for 20 minutes) and acceptable quality, use the LAME encoder with the following arguments in the ‘Encoding options’ Box:

–abr 16 -q 0  -m m  (gives very small file size but some artefacts audible)

Here are some better options, note that the higher bitrate does not always sound better! I think a lower bitrate decreases the frequency of the lows pass filter so in some cases lower bitrate sounds better as it takes of the harsh tops, depends on the person and how their voice sounds.

–abr 24 -q 0  -m m (gives small file size but you can only just tell it’s compressed)

–abr 32 -q 0  -m m

–abr 48 -q 0  -m m

abr 16 means a bitrate of 16kbps

-q 0 means best quality available at that bitrate

-m m means mono

You can hear some low pass filtering on the above speech, the highs are missing, but this can make for a better listening experience with spoken word, it can be less harsh.

 

3. BETTER QUALITY AND ACCEPTABLE FILE SIZE.
For about twice the size files (8MB for 20 minutes of speech) but very very good quality try this in LAME encoder:

–preset voice

OR

-V 8 –vbr-new -h -q 0

4. BEST QUALITY. Use iTunes. Although LAME is better for music, and lower bitrate spoken word, iTunes is great for 40kbps spoken word and above. CLick here to read about the best settings on importing spoken word into iTunes here.

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Jan 01

apple_ipod_color

Last year I bought 5 non-working ipods from ebay and fixed up 4 of them. It was not to hard, but there was a couple of tricks. I’ve finally found some time to write up the hard bits, just in case anyone is interested, so here goes. This is not for you to try at home, lest you break your ipod! Continue reading »

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