mini boombox stopped sending bluetooth connection

Another quick solution found via google,eh Duck Duck Go, thank you internets.

My usually wonderful Logitec Mini Boombox all of a sudden stopped showing up for my ipod touch (nor for a second device, nor for my macbook pro). This is why I keep a little speaker wire connector in my bag of tricks for work – just in case, and glad I did.

Anyway, it seems the Mini Boombox needed resetting of some sort. I read about one method and tried it: hold down the volume up and down at the same time for more than 10 seconds, then turn the speaker off and then on again. This worked, kind of. Maybe it’ll work for others.

What did work in the end was to press down on both symbols in between the volume controls, the ones that look like a phone and a bluetooth B. Held that for a bit, turned it off then on, and bingo, it worked. Yes! Back in action, no wires needed.

Posted in Uncategorized

sending an mms without getting charged for internet access

Being a low-budget retrophile, I waited a long time to jump on the smart phone wagon. And then only because sending text messages is such a pain without a touch screen. Plus, I wanted to finally be able to send photos/mms (old feature phone didn’t have that feature).

Lo and behold, my new cheapo smart phone, a Samsung 5360, couldn’t send or receive mms because I hadn’t activated data packets (internet access). When I did, mms worked. But I was told that I’d be charged for internet access with each mms also, as well as anytime the os or an app checked for updates automatically. What a scam.

After a bit of looking around I found out that it’s possible to set the phone to use data packets for mms only. Thanks to the user at the end of this forum discussion:

http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-y/549135-only-ever-use-wifi-data-internet-etc.html

Thank you to “crocodile” for these instructions:

1 Push the menu button and pick Settings
2 Pick “Wireless & networks”
3 Pick “Mobile networks”
4 Make sure “Use Packet Data” is checked (MMS won’t work if you disable it!)
5 Go to “Access Point Names”
6 On my phone, the only APN here was named “ATT (wap.cingular)”
7 Scroll down to the “APN type” setting.
8 On my phone, the original value for this setting was “default,supl,mms”
9 Change its value to be only “mms”.
10 Push the menu button and pick “Save.”

…I can now send and recieve MMS but cannot connect to the internet so no data charges.”

Posted in Uncategorized

share internet from ethernet over wifi

I’ve been enjoying using my ipod touch at home to play words with friends. I get the wifi from my mac, using it as a hotspot at home. The trick is in the System Preferences for Internet Sharing.

snow leopard refers to airport, lion calls it wifi: http://osxdaily.com/2012/01/05/enable-internet-sharing-mac-os-x/

My MBP with snow leopard didn’t have any issues. On a different machine running lion I had to change the channel from 11 to 9 when setting the password to get it to work. apparently lion has some wifi issues? anyway, that was a quick fix. :)

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blow job revives old g5. really.

We have an old Mac in the house, a Power PC G5 from sometime in 2004. Yesterday it gave signs of impending death: no startup, no chime, blinking lights were the only sign of life…

A google search led me to an old thread at the Apple support forums. The advice sounded crazy: use a blow dryer to warm up the area around the ram slots. Crazy? Sounds like it. Did it work? YES!

The old G5 started up again. It’s on its way out, clearly, no illusions there. But now we get to have proper closure with our old friend.

Closure is important, but back-ups are essential. Yes, we had back-ups, all set there. Closure means we can update our ipods one more time, finish up that last report and print it, and then go shopping for a new iMac.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the people behind the internets. Especially here:

BDAqua you rule!

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2541581?start=0&tstart=0

And thanks also to MacOSG on youtube. The video gave just the push in the right direction to open it up.

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Playing back a movie made in Picasa 3 on a MacBook Pro

I made a movie, or rather, I asked picasa to make me a movie out of an album of tagged photos. It’s based on photos of a friend in different situations, so the transition to pan and zoom to face works quite nicely. Thanks picasa.

Playback in picasa doesn’t allow looping the movie, unfortunately. It also gets the cpu and the fans going high blast (on a “mature” MacBook Pro). So I tried playback in VLC as well as Quicktime Player. Both allow looping, but VLC also tended to bump up cpu usage (and fan noise). Quicktime, not all that surprisingly, was quietest of the three. Guess it makes sense, as QT is an apple product and .mov a QT format.

So for this birthday party I’ll be setting up the movie to loop the movie full screen using Quicktime Player. Nice gift, if I do say so myself. :-)

Posted in people, fun, tech notes and tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mac App Store – not sure I like this

Apple just released the Mac App Store this week. I’ve been trying to get my head around the changes and what they imply for me as a consumer.

A lot of what has been written emphasizes the impact on developers and the developer ecosystem. OK, fine, but what about the average owner of a mac? Especially the one who likes to have a little control over how things get in and out of that mac?

Before doing any serious research, my first impression is: whoa, wait a minute. The OS upgrade will include an application that is a store? A store will be installed on my computer as part of an OS upgrade? That feels creepy.

Do I have a choice? Doesn’t look like downloading the OS upgrade allows you to not install the Mac App Store.

To buy something from the store I would need to create an account (or use an existing iTunes store account). But…

…there’s a lot I don’t know yet. Is the OS and any updates to it now tightly coupled to software that stores my purchasing info (credit card? purchase history?). I’d kinda like to keep those things separate.

Will future OS software updates happen only through the store? The change in menu in this image from Cult of Mac’s review makes me wonder. Maybe the “Software Update” menu item would still allow OS updates. Who knows?

No trial versions, so have to go the developer’s web site to test before buying. That is, unless I’m ready to start stacking up some impulse purchases. Not really.

So far, it kind of rubs me the wrong way. I’m going to wait and see. Right now I see more negative than positive.

Posted in random thoughts | Tagged , , , ,

delete blank page after table in open office writer – and word 2011

This has cost me too much time too often, so I’m putting it here instead of googling it every time.

Problem: open office text document with tables ends up with a blank page at the end of the document if the last table fills the previous page. Why? A new line character refuses to be deleted on that last blank page. Here’s what I found on https://bugs.launchpad.net/openoffice/+bug/254655

In OpenOffice writer it seems that tables insist on being followed by a new line. This means that you cannot get rid of new line characters between tables. It also means that you cannot get rid of a new line character when it follows a table at the end of a document.

This latter case can mean that you need to reduce the size of the bottom page margin just to make sure then new line character doesn’t get printed on a new page.

What ought to happen is that there should be no new line of text after a table unless you actually want one.

RESOLUTION:

Not a Bug.

Go to end of paragraph in right bottom cell.
Ctrl+Shift+Delete.

Find other useful shortcut keys in the help in part “Shortcut Keys for Tables
in OpenOffice.org Writer” in chapter “Shortcut Keys for OpenOffice.org Writer.

On a Mac that’s cmd + shift + delete

update: Was having this same problem in Word 2011 for Mac, and found an answer at Tech Republic:

select the par symbol and change its font to 1. gawd.

Posted in tech notes and tools | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Snow Leopard and HP Laserjet 2100 Series Printer

(Update 21 Nov 2011: This issue seems to have been resolved by the latest software update for this printer. YEAH!!)

This week I updated to Snow Leopard, OS X 10.6.

Finally.

There’s a specific reason I waited a while before updating: to leave a bit of time for the rest of you to tease the bugs out and update my programs. Thank you for that.

And yet… I still had hours of frustration figuring out how to get the new system to find my HP Laserjet 2100 TN printer. You see, Snow Leopard doesn’t do AppleTalk anymore. Done. Gone. I guess that’s how Apple avoids all those pesky backward compatibility issues, they just keep pushing us forward, sometimes less gently than others. Anyway, I had to figure out how to get my network printer to behave like a real, grown-up network printer instead of relying on AppleTalk to automagically find it.

It was such a pain that I’m recording it here just in case someone else needs to go through the same thing. Or in case I do.

First do all the Software Updates, including HP’s updates of printer sofware. My system is up to 10.6.4.

The situation: internet through cable modem and then a ZyXel (not wireless) router to a small local network for our 2 macs and one printer. The key was to manually assign an IP address to the printer using the router configuration software, so that I could then add the printer by its location (found several discussions with this info, fortunately). Sounds easier than it actually was – thank goodness I was feeling adventurous today.

In the end I manually assigned IP addresses for both computers as well as the printer, just for consistency. Here’s how…

Open up router configuration in a browser and opt for advanced mode. Go to Network > DHCP Server > Advanced. Under the Client List tab, see which IP addresses had been given to the 2 computers. (The computers are identified by their MAC addresses, verifiable in System Prefs > Network > Advanced > Ethernet, then Ethernet ID.) Still in the Client List tab, check the boxes under “Reserve” and note down the MAC and IP addresses for the next step.

Then go to the Advanced tab where there’s a static DHCP table – here’s where you can manually configure the IP addresses for each machine, provided you have the machine’s MAC address. For the computers it was simple, since they were showing up in the client list.

The router wasn’t showing the printer, so I had to hunt down its MAC address by printing a configuration page. Hold down the big round print button at the same time as the cancel button. It prints out 2 pages with tons of info. The MAC address is called LAN-HW-ADDRESS (local area network hardware address, I guess). I took that number and added it as the MAC address to the static DHCP table in the router configuration. For the IP address, I just took the IP address of the computers and added one more to the last part (they were XXX.XXX.X.33 and 34, so I gave the printer XXX.XXX.X.35). So far so good.

Turn the printer off and on again, maybe holding down the big print button while it turns on.

Then add the printer using the System Prefs for Print and Fax. At the top, choose the protocol HP Jet Direct Socket. For the printer’s address enter the IP address assigned to it in the router configuration.

And…

Bingo! Test print finally works.

Double checked the other computer to make sure I didn’t break it’s old-fashioned AppleTalk printing (still runs 10.4, just fine, thank you very much). Okey-dokey.

Whew. This experience justifies my hesitation to install new system updates the day after they come out.

Below are some links that helped a lot, but their stories didn’t seem to match my situation or solution exactly. See? Waiting for others to find and fix the problems of early adopters really pays off. Thank you again.

Maria’s Guides:

http://www.mariasguides.com/2009/09/03/using-an-hp-laserjet-2100tn-with-snow-leopard/

HP support document:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=c01844177&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=25469

How to find IP address on printer:

http://www.tek-tips.com/faqs.cfm?fid=6481

Apple Support Discussion:

http://discussions.info.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=11682448

Posted in tech notes and tools | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

learning photography through my ears

I’ve been getting into photography lately. That means I’ve been learning a whoooole bunch of stuff, from technical mumbo to creative jumbo. And get this: I’ve been learning through my ears. How? Podcasts. Lots of ‘em.

yellow fence

How do you learn something so visual by listening? Well, of course, it’s not 100% listening, but that is the starting point for many of my new neural connections. I listen on my ipod when I’m commuting home, or doing housework. (My ipod has done wonders for my household.;-))  For photos mentioned in the discussions I go to Flickr later on or even view them right away on my ipod (if the podcast producer has published photos into the sound file).

Not many people in my circle of friends are as into podcast listening as I am, and most just don’t get it. Podcast listening hasn’t really caught on like they thought it would. So it’s still like a little community, with fans of a certain podcast tending to feel a certain bond… well, I think I do anyway.

So it is with my current favorite photography podcast, Moni’s Motivklingel. Monika Andrae speaks to us every week (in German) about the creative side of photography, pushing us with challenging assignments every couple weeks or so. And I mean challenging. We don’t go out and shoot a photo on a simple, one-word theme – no, we usually have to (no, get to) come up with a photo that meets several requirements. The latest, for example, has to include these 3 elements: something we associate strongly with winter, a piece of summer clothing, and the color black.

I say “we”. That’s the feeling I get, like we’re a group learning together, with a little help from Flickr. Moni set up a Motivklingel group on Flickr where we submit our photos. That way we can see how the others took on the latest challenge, and comment on each others’ efforts, always in a friendly, constructive way. We watch and comment on other photos too, not just the ones made for assignments.

It’s like taking a photography class for free. Really! (For me there’s the added bonus of listening and writing in German – high motivation so no problem!) Even on episodes without a new assignment we get inspiration for creating pictures, as Moni shares her thoughts on what makes good photography. No clutter about technical toys or settings, it’s all about getting a great subject, the most elusive part of making good photos (imho).  After each episode there’s always new things catching my eye as I move through the day, new perspectives on “ordinary” situations, where I pause and think “that might be a photo there” – even without my camera along.

It’s real learning “web 2.0″ style: podcast, blog, flickr, sharing. No weighted-down “learning management system”, no exclusive login, just learning. Fun. Fantastic.

Got some basic German listening skills? Want to learn photography by learning how to see? Check out Moni’s Motivklingel.

Posted in e-learning, learning, people, fun | Tagged ,

wbtexpress – free authoring tool for learning content

This is another one for the list to check out in more detail.

WBTExpress

The need to find easy-to-use tools for instructors to create content for online consumption is not new; my own personal interest has recently become more acute after working *in* Moodle – where content stays,  in Moodle course format only.

Posted in e-learning, learning, tech notes and tools