bibliotechy

Posts Tagged ‘Macs’

Upgrading to Mountain Lion >Updated< and purring along …

In STT on September 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm

The fifth time’s a charm? Pretty much! With the side rant about calendars … UPDATED!!!

So this is the fifth time I’ve upgraded a Mac on OS X. I’ve gone from Tiger to Leopard to Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion. Not all on the same Mac mind you, although one of my older work MacBook Pros (which I will also refer to as MBP(s)), has gone from Leopard to Mountain Lion (which I will also refer to as ML), so anyway … that machine and its siblings in my keep, will have had four different versions of OS X and three upgrades.  

[UPDATE: writing these updates about two weeks after the Mountain Lion 10.8.1 update came out and essentially whatever magic was in that update, worked for me!  My MacBook Pro is running better then ever].

I turned Mac about six years ago on a white MacBook running Tiger and I was astounded and amazed my first upgrade oh-so-many-years ago going from Tiger to Leopard. And I continue to be astounded by the crazy notion that you can install a major OS upgrade, not lose anything in the process, not have to type in a crazy long key code, only have one re-boot, and be done within an hour. It’s part of turned me into an Apple fanboy.

This time around, I’ve upgraded 3 machines to Mountain Lion (as of this post) since ML came at the out end of July. Two have been 4-year-old MacBook Pros and the latest is a year old MBP. All these upgrades went smoothly. Two went from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion, the other went from Lion to Mountain Lion, specs listed below in order of upgrades :

  • Snow Leopard to Mountain LionMacBook Pro 15″ Early 2008 / 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo / 4 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 8600M 512 MB ( upgraded the afternoon SL was released, I’m a fanboy!)
  • Lion to Mountain LionMacBook Pro 15″ Early 2008 / 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo / 4 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 8600M 512 MB
  • Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion MacBook Pro 15″ Early 2011 / 2.2 GHz Quad-Core i7 / 8 GB RAM / AMD Radeon 6750M 1 GB (my current work machine)

The two older MBPs, seem to be working just fine, no discernible issues at all, zippy as ever, nothing crashes, all good. Other then a bum SuperDrive on one, I think these old guys will last forever. My only issue has been on the newest MacBook Pro, my main machine of course …. But, thus far I believe this stems more from the accumulated gunk in my account than ML per se. My OS X account has been transferred between two diffenent MacBook Pros and has gone through at least two OS X upgrades accumulating log files, caches, preferences, left-over bits from deleted apps, etc., etc. So I decided to use CC Cleaner to wipe out years worth of these accumulated log files and caches after the upgrade … and may have gone too far … and maybe should’ve done that before the upgrade eh? 😉  

[UPDATE: Yes, using CC Cleaner and cleaning a bit too well was a mistake, but luckily having a Google account and signing in to Chrome to restore things helped as did, as it always does, Time Machine(!).  I was able to restore a number of preferences and misecallany by copying over from my Time Machine backups, fixed many things and was reminded that maybe being too clean isn’t really such a good thing  😉]

On my 2011 MBP I find my boot-ups and shut-downs to be uncharacteristically slow, but once it gets booted, this machine works very smoothly and I’ve had no problems at all. I’m maybe going to experiment with creating a new admin account for myself and see if that makes a difference … Need to look into this though because OS X of permissions issues transferring documents and files from one account to another, but thinkin’ about it … I’ll post if I do. And anecdotally, it seems to charge its battery much faster now.

[UPDATE:  I did indeed create a new admin user account and was in the process of slowly moving files over to it.  I was finding that initially I had slow boot and that apps and the mouse cursor would freeze and disappear for a second or two, both noticeable and frustrating, but I wasn’t having that issue as much in my new admin account.  Then I went on vacation for a week and let my MacBook rest and when I came back, booted up, first thing it did was install the 10.8.1 OS X update and voilà! My MacBook was running better then ever 😉  … I will note that one of my suspicions of the freezing behavior I was plagued with was due to Outlook or Exchange, but I could never seem to pin it down.  Apple’s  notes for 10.8.1 update state that it will “Improve compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail.” Well it seem to do that and just make everything else run smooth as silk too.]

Also on my 2011 MBP I run Windows XP & Windows 7 in Parallels 6 which does not work with Mountain Lion, I’ll need to upgrade to Parallels 7, so that’s that. And I have a Boot Camp partition on this machine running Windows 7. I had created this partition in Snow Leopard and now under Mountain Lion it work just fine. I’ve had no problems on my Window Boot Camp side of this Mac, a bit of kumbayah luv between Apple and Microsoft … so far … 😉

[UPDATE: Did indeed upgrade to Parallels 7, and again upgrade happened without a hitch, was able to activate both my WinXP and Win7 virtual machines, no problem with the addition of now having my Boot Camp Windows 7 install also accessible via Parallels 7.  I’ve gone through 3-4 upgrades of Parallels and am always impressed how smooth they go and how they keep making the virtual OS experience work better and better.]

So far I like Mountain Lion. It seems a nice refinement to Lion, as Snow Leopard was to Leopard. I knew enough about Lion to know what to tweak in Mountain Lion: the silly upside down scrolling; adding the Save As menu; finding my Library folder. And I’m excited by the new dictation features and the iCloud integration as I use my personal iPad for so many presentations now at work. So in all, another successful upgrade, but I may be shopping for an analog paper calendar in the meantime.

Calendering… Which I knew would an issue, but I upgraded anyway 🙂

I use Exchange in Outlook 2011 for my work calendar. And I’ve been using an Outlook 2011 On-My-Computer calendar for my personal calendar. Thus I can look at one calendar in Outlook 2011 and see both my personal as well as work appointments and it syncs nicely with my iPhone too. In Snow Leopard my Outlook 2011 personal calendar synced with iCal and then with my iPhone via iTunes, sounds convoluted, but it works! Or rather worked …. In Mountain Lion, iCal is now Calendar (to match iOS) and that syncing ain’t going so well. So <sigh> … I may have to switch my personal calendar to iCloud, wait for some luv, or at least détente, between Apple and Microsoft to make Calendar and iCloud work with Exchange and Outlook 2011.

Now how did Palm get calendaring and syncing so right over a decade ago(!) while Microsoft with their Exchange and Apple with iCloud can’t seem to work out quite that same efficiency? I never had serious calender or syncing issues in Mac or Windows on my Palms! It’s 2012 for goodness sake! Okay, so maybe not exactly Mountain Lion’s fault as an OS, but certainly enough blame to go around here for both Apple and Microsoft. I guess I could try getting Google calendar to sync with Exchange and iCloud and my iPhone and my MacBook … Is it too much to ask, really!? 😉

[UPDATE:  Switched my personal calendars to iCloud, kept work with Exchange/Outlook (don’t really have a choice on that <LOL>), I turned off Outlook’s sync with Calendar on the MacBook and I don’t sync my iPhone or iPad with MacBook at all anymore (other than for a backup). I depend on syncing through the clouds of iCloud and Exchange and I’m a happy happy camper.  Apple’s Calendar app syncs with Exhcnage, so I can see my work and life calendars in once place in my MacBook in Calendar or on my iPhone or iPad on the Calendar app.  On the mobile devices I just needed to activate an Exchange account and that calendar will then appear in my Calendar app.  It’s simple and elegant and works!]

The original post was created using Blogsy and iOS 5.1 Dictation on my iPad 🙂

The Virtue of Many Browsers

In STT on May 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm

This overdue post (I got sidetracked by the iPad) is a result of …
1)a co-worker trying to get to a PDF document to show up in their browser (fixed with a Firefox plug-in, here) and…
B) watching the Winter Olympics on the web, or rather attempting to watch them on the web via my favorite browser, Firefox…

Both incidents brought to mind the necessity of having to use more than one browser if one is attempting to utilize all the features that the wonderful internet has to offer.  And I don’t mind this, really I don’t.  It’s second nature to me and I’m here to say it ain’t going to change anytime soon (see: Adobe Flash vs. HTML 5 video support).

Now I’m a big fan of Firefox, always have been, and probably always will be (I tried to switch to Chrome, but it only lasted an afternoon, I missed Firefox too much).  I like how I can customize Firefox, add plug-ins for better handy features, it’s speed, it works on Windows and Mac and Linux.  And Firefox was all about apps before apps were cool and everyone (maybe even you?) had an app store.

But Firefox doesn’t play Microsoft Silverlight video (and I just double-checked, still a problem in Firefox 3.6.3).  Yep, this winter I couldn’t watch curling or biathlon on the internet if I tried to use Firefox to access the NBC Olympic website.  The International Olympic Committee (IOC), NBC, and Microsoft had an exclusive agreement to use Microsoft’s Silverlight video format as the only video format for internet broadcasts (instead of the ubiquitous Adobe Flash).  Incidentally the Silverlight video looked great, even at full-screen resolution the images of curlers and skaters and snowboarders were pretty darn sharp and vivid.

So… to watch Curling Team USA, first I had to download and install Microsoft Silverlight (this was true with both my Macs and PCs). Than due to a bug in Firefox that made using Silverlight impossible no matter if you used a Mac or a PC (and all parties can be blamed for this, Firefox, Microsoft, Apple, the IOC…) …Anywho, to watch curling or biathlon, I had to switch to the browser that is made by the same company that makes the computer’s operating system, get it?   So….
-on a Windows PC I’d switch to Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
-on a Mac to Apple Safari

Both IE and Safari are the “native” browsers that are built by Microsoft and Apple to work well and take advantage of Windows and OS X, their respective operating systems.   Oh so many years ago I tried to uninstall IE from my Windows PCs, which in theory you can, but why bother?  It still comes in handy and makes you appreciate Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera …you get the idea.

Here’s my rundown of the browsers I use on an almost daily basis, with one exception, but the geek in me felt compelled to mention it, see below:

Firefox – I could go on and on and gush about what I like, which I kinda laready have, but suffice it to say it like it, I know how it works, and I need my add-ons and my search engines.  As a former refernce librarian and now a library consultant, I have something like 2 dozen+ in my search engine drop-box (everything from Google Images to NOBLE to Wikipedia).  You can find a listing and links to my favorite, got-to-have-them, Firefox add-ons here: http://delicious.com/bibliotechy/addons

I use it for pretty much everything on Mac or Windows, including MassCat as Internet Explorer does not play nice with the Koha ILS.  I don’t use it when a page doesn’t load correctly or a plug-in doesn’t work.  This hardly ever happens anymore, but some recent examples:
InfoTrac – couldn’t get scroll-menu to work in Browse Publications menu
Winter Olympics –  Silverlight plug-in didn’t work

Safari – Apple’s built-in browser for Mac, now available for free download in Windows too.  I use it when something doesn’t work in Firefox on my Mac.  A handy feature in Safari on the Mac is in the Develop menu, called User Agent.   This allows you to render any webpage as though your Mac’s Safari browser was in fact any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (which doesn’t run on a Mac, talk about proprietary!),  or any version of Firefox, or even Opera.  Pretty neat, but it’s a feature many Mac users don’t know about because it’s buried in the Advanced settings (Go find it Mac users! Nice step-by-step here.).  I gotta admit I like the look of Safari in Windows better, there are subtle layout differences and I like ’em, but it stills works the same in Windows or Mac.

Other than that it’s kind of boring with very few apps to add on, it just works…  But, I do absolutely luv the homepage option of showing a thumbnail gallery of frequently used pages.   Also Safari is the built-in browser on the iPhone and iPod Touch, so I use it daily on my iPhone without even thinking about it (even though there is now another choice in Opera mini).

Opera – I want to like. I want to use it.  I’ve downloaded it a dozen times in both Windows and Mac and try it for about 15 minutes and then go back to Firefox, Safari and Chrome.  And then I end up up deleting because I never use it again and really have no reason to.  The same has been true of Opera mini on my iPhone.  It’s free and has a mini version of that thumbnail-gallery-of-frequent-sites as your homepage, but has nothing else really to offer.  “Opera, you’re OK, it not you, it’s me…”

Google Chrome – I use mainly when testing a how a webpage looks (if it will work on other browsers), or just for fun, or because it’s FAST! It works equally well on Mac or Windows, it looks fun, has lots of neat “skins” to change it’s appearance, it has that handy thumbnail gallery of frequently used pages like Safari mentioned above, and it’s fast, like WICKED FAST! This last feature is ever-so-useful on ye olde Windows XP computers you might have hanging around.  It’s almost like having a whole new computer on these old machines. How does Google do that???

But I find the bookmarks in Chrome a bit cumbersome to organize and use, and the add-ons are not as polished or reliable as those in Firefox.  Again, as I mentioned above, luv that thumbnails of frequently used sites as a homepage feature as well as it’s speed!

In sum, my feeling towards browsers is:

  • The more the merrier!
  • There’s something for everyone in each browser!
  • Your desktop is a melting pot!  (Coincidentally, it turns out my Mac’s motherboard was a just plain melting, but that’s for my next post…)

See, browsers made by Apple, Google, and Microsoft can all live together, even if they are ruthless competitors in the marketplace.  It’s all good!

BTW – I finished editing this post in Google Chrome.  Why?  Just because… I happened to have it open and editing WordPress works pretty much much the same in any browser …although I can’t vouch for Internet Explorer, never have tried that ;-)

I'm in print! And a handy WiFi tip you already know.

In STT on May 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I got a letter to the editor printed in the May issue of MacWorld magazine.  It was in response to an article about wifi hotspots and free ways to get online.  They suggested McDonald’sI suggested you get online for FREE at your local public library!

Find the original article here:
How to Get Online from Anywhere.
Glenn Fleishman. Macworld 27.3 (March 2010)

Find my letter to the editor here:
in print: Macworld 27.5 (May 2010): p13(1)
find it online: InfoTrac OneFile

Thanks to Greg Pronevitz for noticing the letter!  …I’d  already read that issue and hadn’t noticed myself 😉

iPad you pad we pad they pad … oohh, Pad Thai!

In STT on January 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm

UPDATE – The wifi version of the iPad is out and for sale online or at an Apple Store or Best Buy near you!

I have yet to see one or touch one at a store, but plan to soon!  I will give my readers any further impressions I have once I get the chance to do just that.

In the meantime, here are two nice round-ups of the media coverage as well as reviews from the major media outletsNew York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today): (

Incidentally, if you happen to have one, let me know what you think …and when you’ll let me borrow it 😉

Original Post
I gotta use the word iPad right in the title, it’s required for all tech blogs the day after Apple’s BIG announcement …and I finished this just before lunch.  Here’s my take on the iPad thus far, after I was OK with the name of it …until I started hearing all the jokes…
Helpful must-see links on all things iPad are below.

Steve Jobs is a master at presenting,
if only I could learn his presentation secrets

It’s one heck of an e-reader!

  • That color touch screen.
  • The elegant page turning for ebooks.
  • That faux wooden bookshelf for all your digital editions, this ain’t no Nook.
  • And that New York Times that looks like a real paper newspaper with the columns, nice.
  • Oh, and it uses a real browser and email and maps and games and everything app-wise an iPod Touch/ iPhone uses.
  • And yes, yes, yes, probably another incompatible ebook format with the new iBookstore and more DRM. It’s a pain in the neck for consumer and libraries and readers in general.  Not that I like it one bit, but it’s to be expected for some time to come until publishers and big media figure out how to make sense of the new digital world (who woulda seen this comin’!?).

It’s a big beautiful iPod Touch

  • iPad has a much bigger touch screen (9.7″) than an iPod Touch (3.5″).
  • iPad has same memory specs as Touch (16GB – 64GB).
  • iPad can use almost all the 140,000+ apps in iTunes available to iPod Touch & iPhone users.  Facebook to games and games and games, Apple demoed a lot of games for this the iPad
  • And interesting price points as low-end iPad is $499 and high-end Touch model is $399.

It’s not-quite-a-netbook

  • no hard drive bigger than 64GB
  • no physical keyboard (which I’m use to on my iPhone as are millions of kids (and grown-ups) on their iPod Touch & iPhones).
  • iPad doesn’t have a built-in camera, a mic yes, but no camera … that camera would be real handy for Skype or video-conferencing or taunting friends when playing games or scanning in barcodes for LibraryThing (saw this on LT Twitter feed!) or even just taking pictures!
  • But it does have access to Google Docs online and Apple iWork and other productivity apps thru iTunes.
  • So you could kinda use it as a laptop replacement. But you can do the same thing with an iPod Touch & iPhone, albeit on a smaller screen, but those devices you can take anywhere in your pocket, and the later also makes phone calls … I’m not ready to give up my iPhone.

It goes on sale in March, I’ll see you at the Apple Store
I’ll  just be browsing

The Must-See Links!!!

First Impression Hands-on Reviews

BTW

I “watched” the Apple news conference at home with a sick child (Me, excitedly “It’s for Daddy’s work and it’s historic!”  Child’s response … “Can I play Nintendo?”).
So I “watched” on my laptop using the decades old technique of reading updates / viewing photos on various tech blogs (lots of tabs open) from reporters at the conference (found Engadget had the best feed).  And then a Twitter post led me to a link on Ustream of another tech blog reporter (Leo Laporte, TWiT) using an iPhone 3G S with built-in video to broadcast the event live … with tinny sound and choppy video … which in turn I watched on my iPhone (even over 3G), until I couldn’t stand it anymore and went back to reading on Engadget … a mash-up, if you will, of the old and the new …

iPad = and another word to add to my custom dictionary so it stops underlining it in red! 😉

FREE ebooks for Kindle & Sony Reader

In STT on January 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Today a guest blogger on STT!
Shelley Sloboder, Reference Librarian at Burlington (MA) Public Library.
This post comes from a series of emails back & forth between us on where to find free ebooks.  Shelley did some great research and I asked if I could share it here as I thought it quite useful.
~
Information about free ebooks…

The largest list of FREE Kindle ebooks is at Irreaderreview:
http://ireaderreview.com/2008/01/19/free-books-for-the-amazon-kindle/

Irreaderreview is a blog written by someone who identifies himself with just one name––abhi and abhi doesn’t have an “About this site or about me section.” Still, there does seem to be a lot of information here. He says he does make money from Amazon when people click through to products that Amazon advertises on his site through the Amazon Associate program. He also authors www.booksummit.com, another blog that is a “Kindle Forum, Kindle Social Network.” It seems to be a Facebook for Kindle users.

Kindle is now offering FREE software that lets you read Kindle books on your PC, Mac, and iPhone / iPod Touch.

The discussion that I came across was interesting. One article said that because Amazon only makes books that work on Kindle readers and Kindle Readers only read Kindle books (now pdfs too), Amazon is positioning itself as Apple did.  The other ereaders work with several formats.

I read this on irreaderreview: “Another free source for ebooks is the Sony bookstore. They are in ePub format, and the Sony software needed to access the store runs only on Windows, but these titles be easily converted to Kindle friendly MOBI format with a free program such as Calibre or Stanza. Sony accounts are free, you don’t need a Sony reader.”

Stanza converts ebooks for use on the iPhone.
Calibre converts for several readers including Kindle.

Boston Public Library offers free ebooks in the Adobe ePub format via OverDrive. These are NOT compatible with Kindle. These free ebooks can be checked out using a Boston Public Library eCard, which doesn’t require a visit to a BPL branch.

Adobe ePubs are read via Adobe Digital Editions – a FREE download to your PC or Mac. It also works on a supported Sony Reader.
~
Shelley Sloboder, Reference Librarian
Burlington Public Library
22 Sears Street, Burlington, MA 01803
ssloboder@mvlc.org / www.burlingtonpubliclibrary.org

In my crystal ball I see a RedLaser

In STT on December 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm

So there’s this nifty iPhone app called RedLaser ($2) which is touted as the best barcode reader for iPhone available (consistently high ratings and sales rankings in iTunes). And I have it from reputable sources that it works great on the 1st gen iPhones as well as the iPhone 3G and the new iPhone 3G S. I luv it! I’m scanning anything in the office that sits still … and has a barcode … RedLaser website: www.redlaser.com

RedLaser uses the iPhone’s camera to scan barcodes so you can do on-the-spot price comparisons. It works best on books, DVDs, CDs (who buys those anymore?) and even paper towels and breakfast ceral. But you can also create a link to a custom database so that when you scan a barcode it will link to this custom data source to retrieve results. Yaaawwwnnn…. But what if that custom database was like say a library’s OPAC!?
ooowww aaaahhh ooohhhh!

I’ve heard from fellow iPhone geeks in MVLC and NOBLE who tried this successfully and I created custom database links myself for MassCat, MVLC, and NOBLEand they work! … It’s slooow, as the iPhone is connecting to your custom data source via a web link thru the iPhone’s browser (Safari) and then doing some RedLaser magic (the RedLaser app without a custom setup is pretty pretty quick).

When you set up a custom database what happens is you scan the ISBN from a book and it takes you right into the OPAC’s public record/circ info! Now when I’m in B&N or Borders I can look up books and see if I can get them at my library for free, except those books I really really need to own myself. It’s like my iPhone is saving me money, the iPhone really pays for itself 😉

To create the custom data source, which is actually the URL for ISBN searches, you follow the step-by-step instructions from RedLaser linked below. They are concise, not detailed as to all the possibilities you may encounter, so it may take some time. And it turns out all OPACs are different! The MassCat (Koha) set-up was easy as the parameter was the same as the example RedLaser gives, whereas NOBLE (III) and MVLC (SirsiDynix) were totally different, so it took a lot of trial and error to get the parameters set correctly.

The good news for you dear reader, who happens to use the MassCat, and/or MVLC, and/or NOBLE networks, is that along the way I realized I could do this on the my laptop’s browser. Email the URL to my iPhone, and save my work as I went along by bookmarking. And then I realized I could save these bookmarks to delicious.com and share with this with other iPhone users! Now you can goto my delicious.com site, email URL to your iPhone, and add link to your homescreen and not spend time figuring this out!

Crystal Ball Alert! I see the future, in a couple years when everyone (or lots of people … or everyone) has an affordable app-phone w/camera (Droids, GoogleFon, iPhone, whatever), the way people search and access OPACs is going to change and this could be really good for libraries and tech-saavy patrons (incidentally you have a slew of tech-saavy patrons already, they’re called kids).

It’ll will get even more exciting when librarians or vendors develop new Evergreen-Koha -III-Sirsi, etc. mobile app that will allow you to do this and place a hold/request an item in one fell swoop! Being a library user in the 21st century is going to be cool!

Hey, it already is the 21st century, let’s get with it!

Snow Leopard-Whaddya know? It just works!

In STT on October 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Windows 7 party-hype is cranking up so  as a Mac user I gotta tamp that down a bit. So,  I’ve been a very happy Snow Leopard 10.6 user since early September, installing it days after Apple’s unexpected early release of their new OS X operating system in late August.

It has a lot of hidden gems and nice visual tweaks as well as navigational tweaks.  It seems to work in a much more friendly manner with Windows networks too.  Both the Preview and QuickTime have new and easy to use editing features.  I keep discovering more nifty tricks every day.  MacWorld‘s website is a great source for all this.  Discovering new things in an OS that make you smile is a good thing 😉  … this ain’t Vista …

I’ve installed Snow Leopard on our Macs here at NMRLS which had formerly been running Leopard 10.5.  I installed it first on our venerable olde white 2006 MacBook (the first NMRLS Mac), no problem and ending up gaining hard disk space, that’s right recovered a good 11-12GB, which is important on an older 60 GB hard drive (that also need sroom to run Windows in our lab). This was true on every install, I regained hard disk space after the upgrade!

Next were our two circa 2007 Mac minis in the lab, worked like a charm.   And then staff circa 2008 MacBook Pros.  Nary a problem here either.  The install process couldn’t be easier.  You pop in the disk, click yes to the EULA and that’s it! No installation key codes, no clicking yes-yes-yes to re-boot seven times, it just does it’s thing, reboots once and it’s ready to use.  I know it such a crazy concept for upgrading an operating system … some helpful links below.

Quick Slideshow from NELA2009 with info on what Librarians like about Macs, where to buy & save, and cost comparisons Mac vs. Dell:
– Macs, OS X & the Library at NELA 2009
– Blog Post on OS Smackdown form NELA2009

Helpful Snow Leopard links from Scott:
http://delicious.com/bibliotechy/snowleopard

Below is link to a  great Snow Leopard compatibility wiki listing what versions of software work with Snow Leopard by real-world users who have tested it!  Also lists what needs to use Rosetta to run.  I even contributed to it ’caused it a wiki!  http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/

Apple’s list of compatible printers with drivers included in Snow Leopard.  For older HP printers I just went to the HP site and downloaded the most recent driver for each and worked like a charm: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3669

Find same post, but with slides in full living color at http://stt.posterous.com/

Windows 7 is coming to a PC near you this Fall!

In STT on July 24, 2009 at 11:10 am

I gotta say this new Window 7 is very slick and quite an improvement over Vista (and even XP), I think it might just catch on!  Windows 7 is due to hit store shelves in at least four editions on October 22. Up until mid-August you could get a FREE release candidate” of Windows 7 licensed through June 2010.  The license key was good on up to three PCs too! But, Microsoft  shut this down August 20.

Very Helpful Windows 7 Links:

Q: What if you want to try Windows 7 and see how it works?  See if it’s worth the upgrade and expense?

A: You could borrow a NMRLS Mac mini with Windows 7 installed!
All you need to provide is a monitor, we supply the unit, keyboard and mouse.  The Mac mini has both Apple OS X 10.5 and Windows 7 RC (with Office 2007) installed, it can boot to either.   It also has wifi built-in so it can join a public network in your library flawlessly (I promise!).  And I can set the mini to boot directly to Windows 7 and avoid all the Apple stuff (but, you won’t know what you’re missing!).

  • Just contact me if you’re interested: scott@nmrls.org.
  • NMRLS has lots of stuff to Loan! Find out more HERE.

It seems so mundane … until you don't have one! The exciting world of Apple laptop video adapters.

In STT on March 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Have you ever had an eagerly awaited presenter come to your library with their Mac laptop and not be able to hook up to your projector and thus deprive the audience an exciting multimedia presentation!?

I’ve had just this problem, or potential problem, come up twice in the past 24 hours, so if nothing else this is sign I need to write something for STT!  One of the pleasures of using a Mac laptop is that they don’t have good old standard VGA video connectors.  You know, that blue connector-port you plug your LCD projector in to on most Windows laptops.  But, Macs don’t have those … it’s an added bonus of having a Mac!

Experienced Mac presenters always carry their adapter with them, and buy an extra one too … it just takes one time and you never forget it again  … you never leave home without one! Mac laptops come with an adapter cable (sample here) and I bought extras which I keep with the NMRLS staff traveling projector.

The problem is that Apple in their infinite wisdom switched from a DVI connector (which is also found on many flat panel LCD monitors) and now use a totally new connection called Mini DisplayPort, see Wikipedia article here if you’re hankerin’ for more on this.

So, if someone buys a new Mac, than they’ll need a Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter to hook up to a LCD projector.  If someone has bought a Mac before 2009, than that Mac (like ours at NMRLS), need either a DVI-to-VGA (MacBook Pro)  or mini-DVI-to-VGA (MacBook), and I have extras of both on hand at NMRLS!  Confusing isn’t it!? The adapters are usually  about $20-$30, you can find them at an Apple Store and sometimes even Best Buy.  Someday other laptops may use DisplayPort or DVI connectors too, but it’s going to be a long while as VGA are so entrenched …

Q.: So what to do if you want to be prepared for these connectivity issues vis-a-vis Mac laptops!?

A.: Your best bet is to ask the presenter what kind of laptop they’re using ahead of time and remind the Mac owners to bring their video adapter! Otherwise you would need at least 3 Mac adapters on hand, and who (other than me) wants to do that!?

  1. Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (all NEW Macs, laptop and desktop)
  2. DVI-to-VGA (MacBook Pro, pre-2009)
  3. mini-DVI-to-VGA (MacBook, pre-2009)

As a NMRLS member library, the good news is, if you find out ahead of time that your presenter has lost, or misplaced, or doesn’t know what you’re talking about ( … those Mac users!), then NMRLS can loan you an adapter by contacting Scott!

If your an Apple fan(!?), the good news is that all the new Mac laptops and desktops use the same video connection, Mini DisplayPortAt least for now!