Sep 7, 2008

New site: Changing it up!

I'm moving this blog over to Wordpress under my domain. Time
for something a little (lot) more modern, and I'm very pleased about
it. I think I'm going to keep the Mac Whisperer title, even though
Carlos hates it.

Hopefully Sunday will see the end of my redesign. Thanks for visiting!

Sep 5, 2008

Logos in emails

When I see that someone has a graphic in their email signature, I try
to encourage them to ditch it. It always implies that each of their
email messages has an attachment, and sometimes I search for or sort
by messages with attachments.

It's not what email is best at, and nobody in the world will think
your organization less professional if you don't have your logo in
your signature. And there are ways of formatting your signature so it
will look good.

Aug 27, 2008

Finally ported to Google Apps

My email, calendar, and docs are now all managed by Google Apps. I'm pretty impressed. Setup is easy. They even gave specific instructions for GoDaddy's domain manager. And things like syncing calendar (with Calgoo) and address book (with Apple's iPhone-Google sync) make business so much easier. I've also signed a couple of other folks up on it, too. 

So if anyone has been using my j2worldofmac-at-gmail address, please delete it and stick with It's official!

Aug 9, 2008

Aug 3, 2008

Disable backups to speed iPhone/iPod touch syncing

Anyone who has iPhone 2.0 software is faced with the gi-normously long backups that iTunes performs almost every time the phone is plugged in. I'm grateful for the idea, of course; I spend a lot of time customizing my phone, and I would like all my settings, and logins, and game levels, and data backed up. Problem is, Apple's implementation is terrible. Here's the Ars Technica article about the issue, but in a nutshell: 

~ The backups can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
~ The backups are not "incremental," i.e. they backup all the data on the phone.
~ If someone calls you, the backup is interrupted. 
~ Whenever the backup is cancelled or interrupted — when, y'know, have to use the phone — that backup data set is corrupted.

So here's a solution. I recommend reading the whole post.

I have several (more than 30) applications installed in my iPhone 2.0 (some of them are over 10MB). I've been a bit disappointed with the oh-so-slow syncs in iTunes due to the required backup process. Searching a bit, I found that I could disable the backups by setting a hidden iTunes preference. Quit iTunes, open Terminal, and enter this command:
defaults write DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool YES
From the comments:
Also check out the free Backup Disabler, which is probably just a GUI for this hint.

UPDATE: iPhone firmware 2.0.1 dramatically sped up my backups! Yaaaaaaaay! We'll see if it fixes the other stuff. In brief testing, the phone feels less crashy.

Jul 31, 2008

The new iPhone SHUFFLE!

This might be ancient, but after watching my phone stuck at the Apple logo all day, I appreciated the levity.

Confirmed: Only install apps via iTunes

The guys on MacBreak Weekly back up what I've experienced: Installing
apps via App Store on the iPhone just spells trouble. Do it only
through iTunes.

Keep your surfing secure

This is a tiny but important tip: When you go to Gmail or Yahoo! Mail or any other personal web-based service, you can make your connection less hackable by changing the "http://" to "https://". The "s" stands for "secure," and it means that traffic — the 0s and 1s — between your browser and the online service will be encrypted.

"Using an https: URL indicates that HTTP is to be used, but with a different default TCP port (443) and an additional encryption/authentication layer between the HTTP and TCP. This system was designed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide authenticationand encrypted communication and is widely used on theWorld Wide Web for security-sensitive communication such as payment transactions and corporate logons."

Getting in this habit is especially important for laptop and mobile users. It's easy to store the https:// in your bookmark. When you use a secure link, you'll see a little lock icon in one corner of your browser window.

Jul 28, 2008


Jerked with Google Apps & Calendar today for an hour. Several
roadblocks, making it basically unusable as a collaborative tool. And
today, Google Calendar just got CalDAV. And it shows up in iCal!
And ... it doesn't sync from iCal to the iPhone, over MobileMe or


I don't want 3rd-party, $$$-eating shareware conduits. I don't want
miscegenatin' web services. I just want to have one calendar that me
and a partner can edit and share.

I'm so sick of this, I can't see straight. (SSX Blur snowboarding on
the Wii might have something to do with that.)


Bra Power: Can Bouncing Breasts Charge an iPod?

This one's for real!