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2Oct/080

Multi-Tasking – Humans Can’t Do It

If you think Multi-tasking makes you more efficient… think again.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95256794

Listened to this on NPR this morning, reminded me of meetings  with laptops in them, and really we don’t multi-task, we page in current things we are working on (focus, and quickly refocus on the topic in the room).  We can’t do two things at once... we swap.  So in the case of talking to a boss, or a co-worker, and you start reading email... you have just SHUT THEM OUT.  Same when you look at your blackberry/text message... (yes, I'm guilty of this).  The reason is, reading, and speaking use same part of the brain, so you can't have it "working" on two things at once.

Please take the time to read the whole thing.  For those that don't like to read, you can play the 7 minute NPR segment at the top of the web page. 

Also check out... The Myth of Multi-Tasking

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29Jul/080

iPod 2.0 hung at Apple Logo

Well I have had my iPod for just only 2 weeks, and have been plagued with hangs while installing applications, only to have to reset the device (holding Power/Home for 5 seconds) several times a day.  To the point, it just no longer would boot up, and sat just at the Apple Logo.  So digging around I found out how to restore your iPod Touch to the factory default... and for me, it restored to my already purchased 2.0 version of the iPod.

You could always try restoring your iPod to factory settings:
1) Press and hold both the Home button and the Power button for a couple of seconds. It should reboot and show the Apple logo. Do not let go.
2) When the logo comes up, release the Power button. You should only be pressing the Home button now.
3) After one or two seconds, the original image that was presented on the iPod when you turned it on for the first time will show up: the iTunes logo with a sync cable underneath it.
4) Connect the iPod to iTunes. It will ask you to restore the iPod. Say yes and begin the whopping 150MB download for the iPod restore app.
5) Wait a couple of minutes until it does it's thing, then rejoice.
PS: I suggest you get yourself a drink and a snack while it downloads and while it installs.
Good luck!

Originally posted by Ramcosca on discussions.apple.com

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30May/080

Centual… the Blood Elf Paladin on Gul’Dan hits Level 70

Here Ye Here Ye...

Let it be known that on Thursday May 29th, at 11pm, Centual, a Blood Elf Paladin on Gul'dan, reached level 70.

In an epic battle in the Shadow Labyrinth the group battled through all the Orcs and Demons and on the last Orc before battling Murmur, Centual *dinged* to 70.  In addition to completely murdering Murmur, several nice blue items were picked up and given to Centual.

The great work of the members of Evil Reincarnate really made this possible.

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19Feb/080

HD-DVD is Dead, Long Live Blu-Ray

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/japan_toshiba

Ways Sony Plans to Celebrate Their Blu-Ray Victory

11. Add rootkit code to all Blu-Ray DVDs.
10. Send solid gold fruit basket to Time Warner.
9. Change name of Blu-Ray to something more meaningful. Like HD-DVD.
8. Get unused "Victory for Betamax" banners out of storage. Edit them for the party.
7. Call guys at Toshiba, and play Beck's "Loser" over the phone.
6. Watch Rising Sun on their HD-DVD player.
5. Release next generation of Higher-Definition video.
4. Get T-shirts printed up that say, "The HD stands for Hopeless Despair" and send them to engineers at Toshiba.
3. Raise price on Playstation 3 by $100.
2. Release Gigli on Blu-Ray.
1. Savor the brief moment of victory, while preparing for the next embarrassing defeat.
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6Feb/080

RSS Feeds and Alerts

I found an interesting article about turning your GMail into a nerve center, and it seems to have some relevance to my work email as well.
 
I've long been a fan of www.rssfwd.com as a way to have blogs and sites I don't visit often, show up in my inbox.  But it also looks like Yahoo! is also offering an 'Alert!" service that is in beta that does relatively the same thing, in addition to doing email notification for other things like weather, stocks etc.
 
The Yahoo site is: http://beta.alerts.yahoo.com/main.php?view=blogs&nep=rssi
 
The original article: http://www.micropersuasion.com/2007/02/transform_gmail.html
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5Sep/070

Macintosh Grey Screen of Death

Well at some point over the last week, I updated my mac, and now it won’t boot.

I get a “unable to find driver for this platform: “ACPI”” I have tried the non-invasive steps from this article . (reset pRam, single user mode, etc) all steps result in a panic. And am now thinking I need to go through these steps and re-install the full update?

Does anyone have experience doing this? Can I use a 1GB thumb drive to hold the patch that needs to be applied? Any other tricks people can suggest?

==Archive and Reinstall==
Fallback if below doesn't work... If all else fails, it’s generally recommended to do an archive and install, which is basically a full OS reinstall, but preserves most of your settings. You may have to do things like set up your printers again or enter a few application codes, but other than that, your settings are for the most part intact. The old system folder is renamed to another folder, but is now unbootable (which it was anyway), and can be deleted.

==Solution==

1) Follow steps to re-install the update 10.4.10 from a external hard drive you will need:

  • an external HDD (or a USB Thumb Drive, or CD-R *should* work)
  • your installation DVDs (mine were Tiger v 10.4.5)
  • the latest comboupdate DMG file from http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/ mine was called "Mac OS X 10.4.10 Combo Update v1.1 (Intel).dmg" approx 220 Mb of download! Using a working computer, download the comboupdate file and copy it to the external HDD (You can do this from any machine, Mac or PC, etc). On the mac with Kernel Panics,
  • insert the install disk 1 and reboot,
  • holding down the "C" key until you reach a language menu;
  • choose english.
  • plugin the external HDD, and wait until you think the external HDD has been loaded.
  • select Utilities > Terminal from the menu at the top of the screen.
  • work out what where your internal and external HDD's have been mounted to:
    df -h  /dev/something1 -- -- -- -- /Volumes/My Book << this is my external HDD  /dev/something2 -- -- -- -- /Volumes/MacBookPro HDD << this is my internal HDD
  • mount the comboupdate DMG image; type:
     hdiutil mount /Volumes/External HDD/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.10Intel.dmg
  • where was this mounted to? type:
     df -h

    or

     ls /Volumes

    mine was mounted to /Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.10 Combo Update v1.1 (Intel)

  • install the new update
    /Volumes/Internal HDD/usr/sbin/installer -pkg /Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.10 Combined Update...pkg -target /Volumes/Internal HDD
  • if this finished successfully, exit terminal
  • Select Utilities > Startup disk > Choose the internal HDD and hit restart a few times. 2) Reboot in single user mode -S 3) /sbin/fsck -fy 4) GUI restored - no reinstall
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    16Jul/070

    Twitter

    I've started to Twitter (http://twitter.com) IM or Email me to get my address.

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    16Jul/070

    Notify

    I've installed the Notify module to see if its a good module to allow users to be notified of new content. There doesn't seem to be a 'default' setting that will apply to new user accounts. ;(

    http://drupal.org/project/notify

    1. Extract the notify module directory, including all its subdirectories, into your drupal/modules directory.
    2. Enable the notify module on the administer >> modules page. The database tables will be created automagically for you at this point.
    3. Modify permissions on the administer >> access control page.
    4. Go to administer >> settings >> notify and modify the settings to your liking.
      Note: e-mail updates can only happen as frequently as the crontab is setup to. Check your crontab settings.
    5. To enable your notification preferences, click on the "my notify settings" on the "my account page". Or, similarly go to another user's account page at user/<user_id_here> to modify his or her personal settings.
    6. Additional options can be set at administer >> users by clicking the "notify settings" tab.
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    16Jul/070

    ComiCon 2007

    Just a quick update, as I said before last week they have sold out of
    all 4 day passes for the Comic-Con.  That means you will have to
    stand in line every day that you want to go.

    They are also now making noise that the Saturday only tickets are
    probably going to sell out in advance, so if you want to attend the
    Comic-Con on Saturday check out:

    http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_reg.shtml

    You can pre-reg for the specific days.  I STRONGLY recommend you do
    this right away if going to this event is important to you.  They are
    limiting attendance and once those tickets are gone they are gone.

    Since they sold out so far in advance I will be unable to get comp'd
    passes for people this year unless you were on the setup crew for the
    event.  So again, go pre-reg NOW if you want to attend a specific day!

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    2Jul/070

    iPhone – the cheap review

    OK I have to jump in and say that I got to spend 5 minutes with one over the weekend at a party.  I have to say I’m very impressed.  As with any ad you see, you know that the situation is very controlled, and things are loaded up to make the product work as they want it to appear.  So my friend hadn’t had much time to fill the device up before meeting up with us, but he had music, video, family photos, YouTube, contacts and the calendar all populated.  Here are my bullet points.

    1. The UI is as fast as the ad, except when rotating.  You rotate the phone a couple times and there is a delay… but it only seems like a delay because the rest of the phone UI is fast.  This delay is the NORMAL speed on my SmartPhone… its delays are measurable in 5-10+ second range.  iPhone was 3 seconds max.
    2. Navigating and zooming with finger gestures was fun, not sure how much I would like it over time.
    3. I spent some time watching the video on how the soft keyboard works, and feel frustrated it didn’t work as well as I hoped.  I wasn’t trying to type anything complicated and it still didn’t do a very good job predicting my key strokes.  But I only spent 5 minutes with it, I’m sure after a day, it would have trained me to type better.
    4. YouTube looks like … um.  YouTube was not very good on the iPhone, because of course of source material.  The display is beautiful, and when higher quality stuff is uploaded I’m sure it will look better.
    5. iTunes integration was apparently a breeze for my friend.  His purchased TV shows came over as well as music and album covers.  It all shows a well thought out strategy by Apple to prepare media for their devices.  The TV shows looked very good (in contrast to YouTube).
    6. There is a lack of applications, which is frustrating, but with 12k+ Apple employees with the phone, I am sure there will be web based applications a plenty soon enough.
    7. The phone is dense… compared with my MotoQ, it had a bigger screen, about the same size, but was a tad bit heavier.

    That’s as far as I got before I started to drink and lost interest in the device.  My friend on the other hand was IM’ing people all night.  I couldn’t see what he was typing, just iChat like balloon windows on the screen.

    Oh, one last thing…

    Web browsing… “This isn’t a trimmed down version of the web… it’s the real web”… that really sucks to read on a small screen.

    I’m getting old, and having to zoom to make the fonts bigger on web sites was difficult, and time consuming.  I have really enjoyed web apps that ‘know’ about mobile devices, and smartly render a more friendly experience.  If anyone hasn’t checked out Gmail from a smartphone (I use the MotoQ), it has a trimmed down UI, which focuses right on what you want to see, fits the screen, and support numberpad shortcuts (press 4 to archive this email, 0 to return to inbox at any point in the UI).

    I know future apps will be written to take advantage of the iPhones display.  And being able to see the real web site when in a pinch is better than not being able to go to sites (which I can’t do at all on my MotoQ). 

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