How To: Save Money on your next computer purchase
Us computer geeks always looking for ways to save money, especially since a recession is very likely. After all, upgrading to a bigger hard drive or more RAM is an expensive but sometimes very needed upgrade!
Luckily in the 21st century there are plenty of choices when it comes to buying computer hardware and accessories. Online services such as Newegg.com and BestBuy.com are good choice if you do not have a decent local store available. In addition to those though are literally hundreds of retailers who’ve taken advantage of the global economy potential in the Internet. Worse yet, they’re all having sales, rebates, and special offers on a daily basis.
Fear not though, there are plenty of online services to help you track down the best prices in hardware. Some of the best are:
In addition, many forums have good buy/sell/trade sections. These are especially good places to get really good deals, plus you’re usually able to post a want list to find the parts you need. Some good forums are:
http://www.nekochan.net (good for obscure parts)
http://www.markeedragon.com(good for Game Consoles and gaming hardware)
Other resources such as Ebay and your local Craigslist are great choices. But remember, try to hit your local retailer first. Just because we live in a Global Economy, it’s not a reason to stop supporting your friends and neighbors.
How To: Enable Disk Mode for iPod
This is a cool little hack. Enabling Disk Mode for iPods allows it to become just that, a nice USB Disk drive, or a way to get those MP3’s back after a hard drive crash.
In Terminal type: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
Then type: killall Finder (make sure to capitalize Finder)
When the iPod if plugged in it’ll automatically mount on the Desktop like any other USB drive and your files will be accessible.
How to fix: “10.4.11 Broke my Mac!”
A lot of people have been complaining that the 10.4.11 Software update broke their Mac, especially those running bootcamp.
Users experienced problems such as Blue Screens when the login screen was expected, a screen that switched between a black and a blue one, or simply the mac whirly-thingy is sticking. A lot of people have ended up simply reinstalling the system.
A bit of Googling brought me to this post about 10.4.9 doing the same thing. The author claims it is because the system got interrupted while it was pre-binding after the install was done. I encountered the problem on several machines that had been forced to run software update via Apple Remote Desktop and all upgraded to 10.4.11. Nobody was actually using the machines, but it’s possible they were running processes while prebinding was happening.
So from terminal on each affected machine I ran: sudo /usr/bin/update_prebinding -root / -force -debug
And now each machine boots happily!
Leopard: Print Sharing to Windows
For those of us who run multiple different machines it can be a pain to share resources such as printers. Most of the how-to guides I’ve seen on the Internet tell how to share a Windows based printer to OS X. I’m going to show how to share an OS X based printer to Windows.
The first step is to make sure your printer works in OS X. If you’re looking for a new printer, try here for Tiger (OS X 10.4) or here for Leopard (OS X 10.5). Any printer on this list is going to be Windows compatible. There are a lot more printers then this that will work, but be sure to check the manufacturers web site for updated OS X drivers. On the Windows box make sure to download and install the Windows drivers too. They might fail, but it’s easier to have the driver preinstalled.
On the OSX Machine go to System Preferences then Sharing. Simply click on Printer Sharing and exit out of the screen.
In Windows go to Start -> Control Panel (or All Programs, then Ctonrol Panel.) Click on Printers and Faxes, then “Add a Printer”. Choose Next then “A Network Printer,” next again and make sure Browse for a Printer is checked. A list of computers with shared resources will come up. Double Click on the one that is your OSX box and hit next yet again. The OS X name may be something like MAC00123456, this is the EtherNet card’s unique Mac address. A list of available printers should come up, highlight the one you want to install and hit next again.
The next step is a bit complicated, when you see a message saying that the printer drive will install automatically and it could be a security risk, go ahead and say Yes to the message. The next message may says “The server for the printer does not have the correct printer driver installed.” Click Ok, as this is why the printer driver was already installed. If the printer driver isn’t on the list, then browse to the printer driver that you installed earlier. Hit OK, perhaps do a test page just to be safe, and enjoy printing!
How to: Run Gimp from Linux Machine and display on Mac OSX
Unix machines are known for their great versatility in configuration, and their “power”. Traditionally Unix machines were “headless” or without a monitor or other display device except for Terminals. These days another whole computer can replace the terminal. But Unix machines as the whole tend to be pretty beefy machines when it comes to CPU and RAM. Instead of just using it as a glorified File Server, with a few simple commands they can used to run pretty complex pieces of software such as the Gimp.
On the OS X side make sure you’ve got X11 installed. Follow the XCode Install Directionshere.
Once that is done, launch an X11 window and type ‘xhost +’ or optionally ‘xhost +machinename’ or ‘xhost +username’ xhost allows other computers to use your X11 program as the display instead of their own display. The + means everybody which might be bad for security, but good if you’re going to be using a lot of different machines. Looking at the man page it can be limited to just machine name or even specific users names.
Login to the remote machine using ssh or telnet.
type ‘setenv DISAPLY :0.0’ in a tsch or csh shell. Bash will not work. This tells the remote machine to redirect it’s display to your machine.
Launch software! In this case just type gimp, but you may have to type in the full path to the software.