Dont get time capsules!

Sigh. I really love apple equipment I really do but I have to say these time capsules are a big mistake. There are two huge problems

1. There is no permissions or security. I just accidentally deleted 100gb of photos because there is no way to make a directory read only. Ur either full access of not. If ur really using this to store valuable data fo corporate or home it is just too dangerous becase there is no real backup strategy. Doing an archive takes hours and u only have one copy and u have to do it manually. In my case with four time capsules u forget and u have to have four dedicated drives so your pretty time capsules look ugly.

2. Power supply failure. The oldest time capsules are failing. We have two from mid 2008 and they died with bad supplies Again unless u take regular backups ur toast. Apple will only do unit replacement so there is no way to recover data without ripping the things apart which voids all warranties and is a pain. Again u have to remember to do manual recovery. These things run mercilessly hot because of poor thermal design so I’m sure the rest will fail as time marches on.

So what to do.

A. If u have time capsules stop using the hard drives right away. Use them like expensive airport extremes.

B Buy a backup terabyte drive and archive them right away before they die. These USB drives are now dirt cheap.

C. Get a network attached drive set. Ideally one that has raid so u get data redundency, permissions on a folder basis so u won’t deleted data and ideally a trash can like scheme so a single delete doesn’t wipe out everything, gigabit Ethernet interface for those media files and with todays modern machines u need 4tb at least IMHO. Darrell recommends the drobo. I need to investigate.

New iMacs and MacBooks

AppleInsider | Apple predicted to release new iMacs, MacBooks in weeks

Also on tap, according to Wedge Partners, are likely price cuts. The company sees the lower prices as a competitive alternative to Windows 7 machines. Wedge Partners predicts that Apple will sell 3 million Macs in the holiday season, riding the wave of price cuts and new products.

More affordable Macs have been rumored for some time. In June, cuts of $100 to $300 were enacted on the 13- to 17-inch unibody aluminum notebooks, which have all been classified as MacBook Pros.

For comparison, in the June quarter, Apple sold 2.6 million Macs, a 4 percent year-over-year increase, and the best-ever June quarter. This quarter, Apple is predicted to sell 2.8 million total Macs.

Ugh deleting your photo directory don’t buy Disk Warrior, get Data Rescue II

Classic user error, I just deleted my entire photo directory from my time capsule. This is a real problem because there is no way to recover it without opening the Time Capsule and voiding your warranty. Also there are no permissions, so you can’t secure a folder to prevent this kind of thing. So it means that you need to (and I don’t) be religious about doing an archive to another drive that is USB connected. Of course, this is completely manual and the problem is that if your drive is nearly full, you need 1TB drive to get one full imagle and it takes the whole Time Capsule down too. So be careful!

As an aside, the top hit for file recovery for macs is Disk Warrior. Don’t Get This! The site says over and over, it recovers files. But this is only if the directory is bad, it actually doesn’t recover deleted files (which you’d expect). And they won’t refund you $100. So you need it only in the limited case that your directories are corrupting.

The product that works great is Data Rescue which searches the empty sectors looking for files. I will have thousands of strangely named files, but that isn’t as bad as losing 100GB of photos!

AppleInsider | Answers to Time Capsule reader questions

Yes, in addition to setting up a single password for all users, both Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme allow you to define a list of users, and assign each read only or full read and write permissions. However, there is no more granular controls to set up drop box (write only) permissions or to define different permissions on different volumes, files, folders or drives.

Arggh Xbox issues

I can’t believe it, Microsoft really does make expensive hardware. We have three PS3s and they work fine, but Calvin wanted an Xbox, so off we go to the store. First thing is that although the box costs $300, you need to spend $80 (wow!!!!) for a Wifi adapter, but it turns out, it is incompatible with Time Capsule Wifi. The best solution appears to be to buy a $99 Airport Express and use it as the Wifi adapter if you can believe that. Or if you want, get a $80 Netgear wireless n gaming adapter.

Time Capsule/Xbox 360 Help – Mac Forums

that des nt work with TC only air port. as of yet noone knows how to get it to work

Time Capsule/Xbox 360 Help – Mac Forums

you can get an Airport Express and set it up to Extend the Time Capsule’s network, Make sure you set the IPv6 mode under the advanced tab to “Tunnel” and plug your Xbox to the Airport Express via ethernet.

Apple – Support – Discussions – Time Capsule and my XBox 360 …

I replaced an Airport Extreme and Airport Express (used as a booster) with the Time Capsule. Everything is working great, even my printer, but my son is having a Cow because his Xbox 360 won’t work now. Would anyone know how to use either of the above or any other suggestions to get his Xbox working again? Thanks

Apple – Support – Discussions – Time Capsule and my XBox 360 …

The problem is not wit the xbox and it is not with the TC. The problem is witht he OEM microsoft wireless reciever. It has a problem connecting with the wirless n from the time capsule.

Apple – Support – Discussions – Time Capsule and my XBox 360 …

I have a 1tb TC and my xbox would not connect either. I tired for days before I finally had a Idea to go buy a wireless n gaming adapter. I bought a netgear for 80 dollars and plugged it in via the ethernet and it works WONDERFUL. It is actually alot better than the microsoft unit.

Cool accessories

A list of things I’ve always wanted to fix things…

iTwinge. This is a ittle sleeve you stick over your iPhone that gives you a real keyboard. Kind of a cool idea.

FRAGnStein. This is a wireless mouse for a PS3. Really good for those of us from the PC who like the mouse for FPS games. I really don’t like the thumb controller

Jabra HALO. This is a really slick looking bluetooth headset that let’s you listen to music wireless. Works with iPhone and looks great for working out. Cnet liked it. With multiuse, it connects to both a PC and a phone so you can answer either your phone or Skype. Most importantly the mike works well and it sounds good. Its great for using an iPhone on a treadmill or in the gym. It definitely has bugs. The volume control is unreliable

MoGo Talk. A Bluetooth headset that is very flat with a backpack for your iPhone. It chrages from it.

Mophie Juice Pack wraps around an iPhone and has a battery inside. The juick pack air is super thin and the regular juick pack doubles battery life. Engadget liked it. Main strangeness is that to charge the juice pack itself, you use micro USB to regular USB to connect it to the computer. For a little more bulk the Juick Pack 3G doubles the life.

New Jawbone…ugh maybe BlueAnt Q1 and Motorokr T505

I want to love the new Jawbone, but I agree. I have terrible problems with adjusting it. It doesn’t fit super well and all the little metal loops have now snapped at the base. Also, any adjustment and the idiot designer who made the whole front face the hang up button should be shot. Everytime you adjust the thing, you hang up the call!

Net, net, I’m still in search of a decent bluetooth headset. I liked the first Jawbone, but it was big, but at least loud enough. It eventually failed when I dropped it so much it shattered ;-(

Folks seem to like BlueAnt alot, so maybe time to try something different. Like a good speakerphone in the car that is actually loud enough or a decent headset that doesn’t break and sounds good. Sigh. Hard to get. The Q1 is  their latest. Has voice control so no more small buttonsand if you have two phones, it apparently will switch to the one that is ringing (great for those of us with a US and another phone). It also appears to work with the iPhone which is nice. Its $99 from J&R. Also if you don’t care about looks Cnet thinks the Plantronics Voyager Pro is the best sounding headset they’ve every used.

Finally for the car, having a handsfree kit or a bluetooth car speakerphone is terrific because you don’t need to insert a headset. likes the Motorokr T505. It is clear and very loud. It actually plays the audio on your radio via FM so it should be good.

Re: Poor Quality Sound – Jawbone Community

I agree with the comments above. I used the first Jawbone and always loved the sound quality. I did, however, find it a bit too bulky and I had problems with the rubber ear buds constantly falling off. That is what inspired me to move to the New Jawbone.

I had an instant love/hate relationship with the product. It fit like it was custom designed for me – snug in the ear with the sensor tight against my cheek, with no need for an ear loop. Several times I thought I had misplaced it, only to find it was still in my ear.

That was the love part. The hate part is all about sound quality. While using the original for some two years, I never once had someone complain about how I sounded. With the new model, it was almost daily. And it wasn’t much better on my end. The sound was tinny and too soft. It was passable in a quiet room, but with any ambient noise (including road noise) you couldn’t make out what the other person was saying.

I am actually amazed that a company that put out such a high performing product would follow up with something that works so poorly. It is a headset, after all, so it needs to deliver decent sound quality before anything else.

Re: Poor Quality Sound – Jawbone Community

The sound probem is annoying. they need to increase the volume of the headset. If there is any background noise it is hard to hear. My second problem that was mentioned is the shaft for the earpiece broke off accross the hole that the earloop uses. too bad they don’t do upgrades. I would like to see if the sound quality is better on the prime version.

BlueAnt Supertooth Light Review – page2 (Phone Arena Reviews)

The most important parameter in a handsfree is most probably the quality and strength of the sound during conversation. Therefore, we tested the BlueAnt SuperTooth Light several times to determine its performance in real life conditions.

The built-in loudspeaker is powerful, as the sound is very strong and you will not have problems with hearing, even in heavy traffic with your car windows pulled down. When you use it in an office, you have to know that by increasing the sound to the maximum the sound is heard even through the wall.

Lego NXT and Tetrix

Got a great comment from a friend as I was about get to Vex. There is a new system called Tetrix which are essentially stronger metal components that are compatible with Lego Technics and NXT. That means you can build big metal structures and still use the NXT and program it. What a great idea! Where can you get it?

  • Pitsco makes the system and their base set is $400 and it is just the metal parts. 500 of them 🙂 Y
  • Tetrix and Mindstorms Starter Set with the NXT. Seems like the best buy. Get both the NXT 2.0 system which has the plastic parts and the NXT brain and then there is the Tetrix metal components. The pricing seems decent, but mainly there is free shipping and no sales tax.


The Tetrix pieces are very strong – and the variety is awesome. They’ve developed a really nice little hole pattern that gives a LOT of flexibility for connecting Tetrix AND Technic pieces as many angles. They have a special name for the little piece that allows connection between the two but I cannot seem to recall it (another item for my To Do list). This piece is required because, as I understand it, the law of the land is “LEGO pieces shalt not touch its unpure metal brethren”

Pitsco About Us

What gives the Pitsco TETRIX™ Robotic Design System an edge over other robot building systems is – of all things – its holes.

The system’s patented hole pattern enables structural pieces to be connected at many angles, not just 90º and 180º. “To get creative with it is very easy because of the way it is connected,” said Paul Uttley, Pitsco Research and Development Manager and TETRIX designer.

Pitsco designed the TETRIX system for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), which includes TETRIX in its 2008 competition kit.

“We wanted a true robotics prototyping platform that would allow us to challenge teams with problems faced by real-world robotics designers,” said FIRST Tech Challenge Director Ken Johnson. “The strength of the building materials, the ability to configure and reconfigure the kit multiple times, the metal gears, all work together to form a kit that is tough and flexible.”

Made of heavy-duty aluminum, the structural pieces come in shapes that lend extra strength to the system. Plus, metal gears and strong drive motors and servos provide above-average power to robots.

“This system enables students to experiment and build robots on a real-world scale,” Uttley said. “They are working with structural elements like those they would use if they were a robotics engineer.”

Students can operate a TETRIX robot by remote control or they can add other electronics to create an autonomous robot. The TETRIX Base Set comes with 600 parts, including structural pieces, servos, motors, wheels, and hardware. The included user’s guide covers building robot subcomponents, leaving students’ imagination to discover how to reconfigure and combine these into their own unique robot design.

And in January 2009, robot builders can use the unique TETRIX hole pattern to attach the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Intelligent Brick, sensors, and any other LEGO® Technic element to the TETRIX system via a custom connector.

Learn more about TETRIX or call 800-835-0686. Learn more about the FIRST Tech Challenge.

# # #

Note to media: Visit the Pitsco Web site or contact Communications Manager Tom Farmer. High-resolution images of the TETRIXTM Robotic Design System are available upon request.

Pitsco About Us

And in January 2009, robot builders can use the unique TETRIX hole pattern to attach the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Intelligent Brick, sensors, and any other LEGO® Technic element to the TETRIX system via a custom connector.


Anyway, as you can see, you get about 100+ aluminum parts (I believe the name they are giving to these components is Tetrix, but don’t hold me to that). In addition, you get the NXT Education Base Set, 3 software packages (NXT-G, RobotC, and NI LabView), 2 Li-Ion battery packs, 8 wheels (2 different sizes), numerous gears (some about 1/4″ thick), remote control, 8 motors (2 distinct types), 5 NXT sensors, special connectors for connecting Technic to Aluminum (see photo), and 2 special devices from HiTechnic that connect the electronics to the Brick

Xbox 360 Jasper vs. Falcon

Calvin finally had me have a look at the Xbox 360. As usual, buying these things is incredibly confusing. There is the Xbox 360 and then the Pro and Elite versions. And of course the new Jasper chipset I sure hope that the model I ordersed from Newegg today is Jasper. Apparently you can check to see if the manufacturing date is August 2008. So beware. It is sad that companies have to do this kind of thing. Obviously lots of excess Xbox inventory around.

Whats the difference between different xbox models? – The Game Forum

The console is same in all the models. Accessories are different. Like in elite model you get HDTV cable, Hard disk, wireless controllers

Xbox 360 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Xbox 360 Arcade[18] is the entry level for the Xbox 360. On October 23, 2007, it replaced the “Xbox 360 Core” and maintained the price of $199. It incluees HDMI output and 5 xBox Live Arcide titles. Xbox 360 Console: Video Games

I purchased this Xbox from amazon, they shipped me a console with the old Falcon chipset and a manufacturer date of early 2008. BE WARNED THE “NEWEST VERSION” tag IS FALSE. I called amazon, and they shipped me a replacement which was also a old Falcon chipset still manufactured in early 2008. Just so it is clear, if you order this from Amazon you are NOT GETTING THE NEW VERSION despite how it is listed here. This version “The falcon chipset” is prone to the red ring of death error, and I would reccomend you stay away from it and go buy a console from a physical store. After talking with amazon, it was evident they did not understand the difference between the chipsets and didn’t understand that what they were selling was not the newest version by any means. The customer service individual i spoke with assured me they would remove the “Newest Version” tag after I pointed out the error, but chances are that it will not be removed.

United offers double EQM, Continental now Star Alliance

In case you’ve forgotten here are the United program levels:

MP Registration: Double elite qualifying miles (EQM)

Double elite qualifying miles (EQM) gets you to the highest level faster. So if you are booking a flight. Far better to pay for it and then upgrade. Check your miles now. You need 50K EQM to make it to 1K traveler. It is strange don’t you think that 50,000 EQM gets you 1K which is really 100,000 mile traveler. They need to work on their math!

United Airlines Mileage Plus Program Review by

Premier Level – Flying 25,000 EQM a year or 30 segments on either United or Star Alliance partners gets you a Premier level status. An EQM or equivalent miles is your actual miles adjusted by whatever bonus. Having a double EQM means, you only have to fly 12.5K to make it to Premier!

Premier Executive Level – If you have flown 50,000 miles or 60 segments, you would qualify for the Premier Executive status.

1K Level – You achieve a 1K Level status when you have flown 100,000 miles or 100 segments in one calender year.

Continental and United Airlines Announce Plan for Global Cooperation; CO to Join *A – FlyerTalk Forums

Continental Airlines and United Airlines Announce Comprehensive Plan for Global Cooperation; Continental Plans to Join Star Alliance.

CHICAGO, June 19, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — Continental Airlines (CAL) and United Airlines (UAUA) today announced a framework agreement to cooperate extensively, linking their networks and services worldwide to the benefit of customers, and creating revenue opportunities and cost savings and other efficiencies. In addition, Continental plans to join United in the Star Alliance, the most comprehensive airline alliance in the world.

Conor’s Web Log of Esoterica: United’s Global Services

I can’t tell you exactly what the qualifications are (although they did come out last September and state in letters to current members that flying 50,000 miles in full fare coach, business or first was one certain way to qualify).

Conor’s Web Log of Esoterica: United’s Global Services

UA’s 2005 numbers (yes, a bit dated), show:

18,000 Global Services members
46,000 1K
239,000 Premier Executive
535,000 Premier