iPod Touch and MacBook Updates

Well, the latest “macrumor”:http://www.macrumors.com/2008/08/12/ipod-touch-and-macbook-updates-for-september/ is that the iPod Touch gets refresh to look like the iPhone 3G and that the new MacBook and MacBook Pro’s are coming.

So unless you are a student and like the discounts on the old models, I’d say waiting makes some sense. The MacBooks will use the new Intel upgraded platforms and upgrade graphics.

Tell Bonzi to go browser independent!

Send your emails to “Bonzi”:http://www.bonzicentral.com telling them they should really go browser independent. Talked with a very nice woman from their customer support. They actually have people who call you back which is amazing!

But how could you be dependent on the browser object model. That is just so sad. I really don’t understand in the days of browser-independent AJAX.

Surround Speaker Systems

Well after picking out the Epson 1080UB Pro Cinema projector as the projector of choice and great for movie afternoons, what do you do about the all important sound system? Well, normally, you normally buy a big honking box that’s called an AVR (audio/video receiver) and then speakers that need big old analog wires. But if everything is digital isn’t there a better way to get 7.1 surround sound without the wires.

Ideally we need a set of wireless speakers that connect via some sort of USB connector to a MacBook to produce great sound and are ideally just use traditional Wifi to get the digital inputs. Each would then have their own amplifier and all you need is the power. So what’s a person to do if you don’t want dedicated A/V components and want to use just a Mac? Well, its a little hard to search for google:”home theater sound system”, but here are some choices that don’t require a wiring closet:

* “Yamaha YSP-4000″:http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/yamaha-ysp-4000-digital/4505-7868_7-32570630.html?tag=tpr. Well, one solution is a single speaker that uses signal procesing to get simulated surround sound. This is the top of the line $1800 all-in-one that is 40.5″x7.6″x575” and weighs 34 pounds. It mounts on the wall below your projection screen/flat screen TV. You then get a matching subwoofer YST-FSW150 for $280, run a calibration for your room and you are set! It processes all formats from Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS:Neo 6 and only misses Dolby TrueHD found on Blueray. The inputs are optical/coax digital and two HDMI inputs. So from a computer, you need a DVI/HDMI converter cable (cheap) and then you need some magic box and software that takes USB and makes it coax digital (need to find that one). The main issue is that even with a bigger subwoofer, it lacks punch (maybe a gigantic “SVS”:http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-cyl.cfmgarbage can 20-39 PC Plus subwoofer for $850 would help get you down to 20Hz!)
* “Thiel THIELnet”:http://www.engadget.com/tag/ip+speakers/ is brand new, but basically each speaker SCS4D has a 250-watt amplifier and the Subwoofer SSD1 area ll IP addressable. There is a magic box, the dB1 that takes traditional signals and convert them to internet protocol. There is just a “Thielnet.net”:http://thielnet.net website right now, but it is the rigth way to do things. There is a dB1 distributed processor that you put in your wiring closet. It knows where the IP speakers are and there is a Windows application that talks to it. You can have 8 zones for instance.

There are as an aside a host of really good internet only home theater folks I’ve used. You don’t need to buy in a store and the quality is amazingly good cutting out the middle man. Both “Axiom”:http://axiomaudio.com and “SVS”:http://svsound.com have been great vendors for me.

MDworker bogging Mac

Like Windows, the Mac has lots of processes running. My current nemesis is something called mdworker which stands for metadata worker. That means nothing to me. But, apparently, this is the process that indexes files for Spotlight. So you can get it to go crazy after bad shutdowns where the Spotlight data indexes are screwed up. It should spike a little, but mine is constantly running at 50-80% of CPU (for a dual core that is alot!) and disk activity is crazy.

100% CPU use on One Core Process mdworker – Mac Forums

I’ve been getting serious CPU spikes with a process called mdworker. Seemingly randomly, it will start using 100% of one core on my Macbook Pro 2.4ghz. This is on OS 10.5.1.

As a fix,http://www.macintouch.com/tiger12.html suggests stopping mdworker, deleting all the indexes and reindexing everything to get it to normal. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (Part 12)

1) Using the mdutil command-line utility in Terminal, turn off indexing for each of your drives. example:

$ sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_1
$ sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_2

2) Then use mdutil to remove the indexes from each drive

$ sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_1
$ sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_2

3) Physically remove the .Spotlight directories from the root of each drive.

$ cd /
$ sudo rm -fr .Spotlight-V100

(do the same for your second or third drive) BE CAREFUL WITH THAT RM COMMAND! One typo could ruin your day.

4) Use mdutil again to turn indexing back on for each drive

$ sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_1
$ sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_2

5) Spotlight will now re-index all drives and should behave in a normal fashion. (No longer uses 60%-80% of your CPU)

iPhone and iPod Touch Firmware 2.0.1 available

It is a 256MB download, so hope you have a fast connectionApple Releases iPhone Firmware 2.0.1 – Mac Rumors

Not clear what has changed, but early claism are

– Backup process for the iPhone is much faster.
– Netshare still works
– SMS typing faster

Apple releases iPhone 2.0.1 Software Update – AppleInsider has a forum thread and here is what users are seeing:

-Contacts are now more responsive.

Sync problems are fixed. It will backup the first time you sync after the update. The updates after that for me have only synced data in about 15 seconds rather than requiring a backup on every sync before.

fixed the lagging keyboard in e-mail and texting

iPod lags are much improved as well.

Email loads appear to be quicker.

Browsing names in the address book, switching between the keypad, addressbook, voicemail is instantaneous. Thank God! Much faster all-around. The camera boots up in half the time it used to.

Mariners come back from 1-6 to win 10-6

A great game and 7th inning. Love section 227 next to the press box too. Garlic fries are just upstairs and there is a sit down restaurant nearby… and what a game. just goes to show, you can never give up!
Mariners | For a night, Mariners live up to early hype | Seattle Times Newspaper

It didn’t work out for the Twins on Monday, but for the Mariners, it was truly, uh, bingo bango.

Leading 6-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Twins self-destructed as Ibanez broke Ken Griffey Jr.’s record of five RBI in one inning (April 29, 1999, vs. Detroit).

The big blow was a grand slam by Ibanez, who came up with the bases loaded again in the inning. With visions of Fernando Tatis dancing in his head — or not — Ibanez “settled” for a two-run single.

Tatis is the only player in history with two grand slams in an inning. He did it with the Cardinals against the Dodgers on April 23, 1999.

Escaping Verizon Early Termination Agreement

A good point on how to escape Verizon. Either live in California where early termination is illegal. But the point is that Verizon can change their rates at anytime and there is a “material adverse” effect on you, then you can leave within 60 days. So you have to wait for Verizon to change a fee. It happens alot. A few month ago, it was text messaging, but the Federal Universal Service charge changes all the time and they don’t have to pass along.

There are a bunch of counter arguments of course. They will argue that Universal Service Charge isn’t a tax, but it actually says the fees that they set are a charge that Verizon sets. They will claim Material Adverse Effect has to do with coverage, but it says they can change prices in that paragraph. Then they will say this isn’t Material or not. But the point is that they can say it is Material. Argue that a 40% change every single month. Final argument, will offer you a credit for what you are losing. You need to point to the contract, it doesn’t say you negate an effect and then you lose the right. Second, they are admitting the effect happened, so there must be a Material Effect. Now it is just that they can’t change the rules of the contract.

The truth is that early termination does makes sense when it is pro rata. T-Mobile does this, but AT&T does not nor does Verizon.

Another note is that AT&T let’s you out if you are moving out of the country and can prove it via a formal job offer letter and/or an aprtment in your name.

How to get out of your mobile phone contract | 9 to 5 Mac

In case you don’t live in California where early termination fees are “illegal”, this guy has a fool proof way to get out of your phone plan (and possibly into a iPhone plan with AT&T?).

Disable iPhone Backup Process

Disable iPhone Backup Process to Speed Up Slow Sync Process » My Digital Life

iPhone mobile device with firmware OS version 2.0 (including iPhone 3G) will make a full image backup of the iPhone device with all installed applications, instead of just documents and library data to computer (Mac or PC) during the synchronization process, each and every time when there is a change to the installed apps and games

Disable iPhone Backup Process to Speed Up Slow Sync Process » My Digital Life

iPhone users have to manually cancel the backup in iTunes when iPhone backup process is in progress to skip and bypass the slow backing up of iPhone, but terminating the backup process halfway may result in corrupted backup,

Disable iPhone Backup Process to Speed Up Slow Sync Process » My Digital Life

he workaround is to use the following hack to force iTunes to disable backup process and skip backing up the complete iPhone image.

1. Quit iTunes.
2. Open Terminal.app.
3. Type (or copy and paste) the following command, and then hit Return:
_defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true_
4. Open and run iTunes.
5. Plug in and connect iPhone 3G or original classic iPhone on version 2.0 OS to computer for syncing. The backup process should be bypassed and skipped now, and only music or podcasts are synced.