New toys – MacBook Air

Well my wife finally got her new notebook/laptop. She opted to get an MacBook Air. I must say I am very impressed so far.

Job for tonight is to do a reinstall and remove the extra install items that we don’t need so we free up some space. Then I will move over all her data which is currently sitting on my iMac.

Unfortunately, the 1Tb Time Capsule I ordered with it has been delayed. It appears Apple are having troubles making enough of them for demand. So the reseller is filling orders as they arrive. So eventually we will make it to the front of the order queue. I believe they said they got 5 units in stock earlier in the week and fulfilled 5 orders. I am looking forward to this item arriving, then I will be happy to know the MacBook Air is being backed up every so often (without the need to manually do it each week).

VMware Tools, still the best for Linux Virtual Machines

If it wasn’t for the VMware Tools package being as good as it was, then running Virtual Machines would be alot more difficult.

Below is a screen grab from my Xubuntu install which has since had the VMware Tools installed, thus the resolution of the Virtual Machine is running at the resolution I dictate. Could make it full screen, but I still like to be able to see my desktop for other tasks.

Click for High Resolution version.

HOWTO: Disable the Apple remote control infrared receiver.

If you wish to disable the Apple remote control infrared receiver, then you need to enable the option “Disable remote control infrared receiver” option as found in “System Preferences -> Security“. See example screen capture below;

If you find this entry useful then please leave a comment.

Very poor form from Electronic Arts (EA)

Electronic Arts (EA) need a swift kick. The reason why is that if you purchase a game from them, create an online EA account to track your progress of said game then associate/register the CD-KEY from the game when prompted. It registers the CD-KEY for the game against this online EA account.

They provide no means to remove this registration of the CD-KEY, so if you sell the game some months later, the person who buys it will not be able to use the CD-KEY with an different online EA account. They will be forced to either buy a new CD-KEY for the product at the cost of US $10 or obtain the user name/password of the online EA account the person registered it against previously.

I think this is very poor form. They provide tools to manage this at, however the tools do not allow you to remove the registeration.

Having been caught in this situation just lastnight, I asked the person who sold it to log a support ticket with EA, and I also mentioned the support ticket they logged in my own support ticket. The response from EA is below;

“Unfortunately the registration code can only be used to create one account. Since if you have previously created an account using the Registration code, you cannot use it again to create a new account. Also, the account registered once cannot be unregistered, removed or re-registered. You will need to login to the game using the same account name and password with which you have registered the game.”

As you can see, Electronic Arts (EA) will not provide you an option to remove this registeration of the CD-KEY from your own online EA account, even though you legally own it and wish to remove it.

I’ll be thinking twice about making any sort of game purchases to which Electronic Arts (EA) is associated with. This in my honest opinion is just WRONG.

PS. Valuable Lesson: Anyone buying an EA game, please don’t register the copy when prompted. Especially if you think you’ll be very likely to sell it onto someone else down the track when your sick of it.

iMac under load

All I can say is that the iMac I have certainly gets a bit of a pounding, below is a screen grab from the Menubar showing some key stats of the system.


Although, the machine was certainly doing some heavy processing. Ripping a DVD image, running VMware Fusion, Adium, FireFox and using HandBrake to convert some DVD vob files into another format.

Not to mention it was dialed out to the internet via Three X-Series plan on my wife’s Three mobile, then sharing it out via wireless to her MacBook nearby.

It’s great when things just work.

Upgrade success

Upgraded WordPress over the weekend. It seemed to upgrade without much issues, the only mistake was on my part in the options used to upload some files. So I fixed that and the upgrade then took place.

Finally native tag support, without the need to install a plug in to provide the tag functions. Very impressed, all I need to do now is do more work on the layout and other associated things. Don’t be surprised if it takes me a while.

What’s with the RAR compression on torrents

That is a good question and was answered somewhat by a post by Simon Rumble.

Those explanations are certainly good and related to the question, however it all stems from scene rules. All the groups who actually distributed those things, called scene releases. All follow the same rules for packaging things, if you do a google you will see what I mean. The multiple part files actually come from originally the BBS days of when you’d upload them to a scene board. It’s alot easier to upload many files vs huge file on a modem.

Take a look at this Wikipedia entry which gives a good outline about it.

iPhoto ’08 fresh install shows Events with wrong font

When I reinstalled my iMac recently I opted to leave out any iLife ’06 applications and then install iLife ’08 as a fresh install after MacOS X was reinstalled from the restore media. It all went perfect with one exception.

After the install of iLife ’08 onto the machine, my iPhoto ’08 was showing all the Events with what appeared to be an incorrect font type. On a machine that went from iLife ’06 to iLife ’08 the font used to describe events was bold and clear. However fresh install version was not.

I knew it was a font issue, possibly a missing font. So after a bit of investigation I found the missing font.

The missing font is “HelveticaCY.dfont” and if you drop a copy of it into “/Library/Fonts/” then restart iPhoto ’08 everything will appear like it should.

I’ve not done further research, but I can only imagine the above font is included on iLife ’06 only, or due to my custom install of iLife ’08 where I didn’t install certain applications, namely GarageBand. I’ll investigate further when time permits, in the meantime. Thought I’d post about it incase someone else has similar issue. I like my bold font for Event titles.

Below is example pictures showing the problem first hand.

iPhoto - iLife 08 upgraded from iLife 06.jpg
iPhoto upgraded from iLife 06 to iLife 08, and the event font is bold.
iPhoto - iLife 08.jpg
iPhoto – iLife 08 straight install showing events in an incorrect font.

Reinstalled iMac and tested out new Apple Keyboard

I decided 2 nights ago that I would backup my iMac and reinstall it. It didn’t really needed it, but I was in the mood to give it a good tidy up. I’d managed to clutter it up a little in recent weeks and wanted to give it a fresh bit of life. This time I will be more aware of what I install on it.

Further more I also wanted to test out the new Apple Keyboard, so I hooked it up and was using it. Needed to install Keyboard Software Update to get the special keys to work. But it seems to work fine, I don’t mind it at all. If I had to pick something about it, I would have to say the location of the USB ports on it. I prefer the location of the USB ports on the older model keyboard.

I’ll do a post in a few weeks time with all the fancy applications I use. Some of them are free, which is good. I’ve found applications in the past only by chance or by someone recommending it. So hopefully by doing the same, I can enlighten someone else.

New Apple hardware and software

It would appear the rumors of new Apple items was indeed correct. Of course no new iPod’s so I guess these will happen sometime sooner or later.

What we did get was the following changed items;

Airport Extreme Basestation (now has gigabit ethernet)
New Apple USB and Bluetooth keyboards
iWork 08
iLife 08

So in all, a few changes. After just purchasing an iMac 20″ I don’t feel bad that it got changed. I love my machine and hopefully it will get me a good 2-3 years of use with MacOS X updates.

We’ve ordered a copy of iLife 08 from Apple, as I couldn’t find a copy at the local reseller. It appears Apple never shipped copies earlier then announcement plans. Of course they had no demo units on the new stock. Oh well.