Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

How to type foreign currency symbols on a Mac


This great post from OSX Daily on how to type currency symbols (British Pound, Chinese Yuan, Euro) on a Mac came in handy the other day:

European Euro Symbol: € – Shift + Option + 2
Chinese Yuan Symbol: ¥ – Option + Y
British Pound Symbol: £ – Option + 3

 

…and a couple of others:

Apple symbol:  — Shift + Option + K

Registered Trademark: ® — Option + R

Trademark: ™ — Option + 2

Cent: ¢ — Option + 4

Filed under: Uncategorized

How to get Sonos Desktop to work with OS X Lion


Do you have a Sonos and recently upgraded to Mac OS X Lion?  And, if your iTunes music library is stored on your Lion-based Mac, you can’t play your music, right?

I was in the same situation and here’s how I fixed it: I shared my iTunes Music folder by going to System Preferences –> Sharing.

Once I did that, everything worked.

Hope this works for you, too!

Filed under: How-To, iTunes, MacOSX, Music

Got my iPad this morning


Got home about an hour ago with my new 16GB iPad.  The whole experience of buying it was great.  Apple truly does a great job from product design –> retail.

Like all of the initial reviews have said (Pogue, Mossberg, Ihnatko, etc.), it really is a whole different ballgame after you start using one.  If you’re hesitant, I’d recommend going to the Apple Store and play around with one.  After that, you’ll know if you want it or not.

Filed under: Apple, Apple Store, iPad

How to subscribe to Google Calendars on your iPhone


Here’s a good article if you want to view other people’s Google Calendar on your iPhone:

http://www.ideaexcursion.com/2009/06/17/howto-sync-google-calendar-on-iphone-os-3-0/

Filed under: Calendar, Google, How-To, iPhone

Thoughts on Google Wave – Part 1


Google-Wave-logoJust got my Google Wave invite from Google this past Friday night and thought I’d share my thoughts on it over a few blog posts.  I won’t go into a lot of detail since you can get that info from all over the web (like here, here, and here).

Overall, at this very moment, I feel like a kid who got a very cool birthday gift but need batteries in order to use it.  Why?  Because you need people to wave with, which leads me to how Wave invites work: they’re not sent immediately and Google doesn’t tell you how long it’ll take for them to send the invite.

In my next post, I’ll post my thoughts after using it with some friends.  For now, here are some thoughts:

Choosing a Google Wave username:

Choosing your Google Wave username will be confusing and is a pain in the ass if you have multiple Google Accounts.  Here’s the deal: when you accept the invite and sign-up for Wave, you have to login with a Google Account. Then, you have to choose your Wave username…but here’s the catch: Wave reserves a username that is associated with a Gmail account so you can’t use the same username when signing up with a non-Gmail Google Account. Here’s an example of what happened to me:

  1. I have two Google Accounts – one is with my MobileMe email addy and the other is my Gmail account.
  2. I accept the invitation and login with my Google Account that uses my MobileMe email address.
  3. I try to choose a username that’s the same as my MobileMe username but Wave tells me it’s not available…and it doesn’t tell me why.
  4. Then, I try logging in with my Gmail account and – presto – my username was automatically set to be the same as my Gmail username.

Other thoughts:

  • As mentioned earlier, I got 20 invites with my Wave account but invites are *not* sent immediately.  Wave says, “Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.”  It’d be nice if they gave me an idea of how long it’ll take for my invites to be sent!
  • Usability can be a bit wonky (which is on par for Google).  For example, when I viewed a Wave, I was trying to figure out how to add myself to that Wave so I can find it in the future.  After messing around for a few mins, I realized that once you view a Wave it’s automatically added to your Inbox.
  • You can only interact with other Wave users.  You can only send/receive emails or Waves with other Wave users (xxx@googlewave.com).  An email sent from your non-Wave account (xxx@me.com) will not be received by the Wave server.

That’s it for now.  I’ll post more thoughts as I get to use it more.

 

 

Filed under: Collaboration, Google, GoogleWave

Hiking the Grand Canyon in June ’09


For those of you who are interested, I will be hiking through the Grand Canyon this June with my girlfriend, my buddy and his wife.  The four of us will be hiking from the North Rim –> South Rim –> North Rim.  Some people refer to this as the rim-to-rim-to-rim hike.

This will be my second time hiking through the Grand Canyon and I can’t wait.  I’m planning on writing another post about what you need to do in order to hike through the Grand Canyon – e.g, logistics of getting a backcountry permit, time of year to go, gear, etc.  So, if you’re interested in this info, leave a comment along with any questions you may have!

Filed under: Backpacking, Camping, Grand Canyon, Outdoor, Travel

iPhone 2.0 Software Update Released


Apple has officially released the 2.0 software update for all iPhone 1.0 and iPod Touch owners about 10 minutes ago – only about 30 minutes after the 3G iPhone went on sale.  ;)

Connect your iPhone to iTunes and it should automatically ask you to upgrade.  If not, click on your iPhone in the left pane and click the ‘check for updates’ button on the general tab.

Filed under: Apple, iPhone

iPhone 3G Upgrade Articles


Thinking about buying or upgrading to the iPhone 3G?  Well, here are some articles that let’s you know what to do or expect.

One thing you should know: if you have the base iPhone 1G plan ($59.99/mo) and want the equivalent plan for the iPhone 3G, the cost is $74.99/mo – $10 extra for the 3G data plan and $5 extra for the 200 text messages (which was included in the 1G plan).

Personally, my girlfriend may buy my 1st gen iPhone.  If she does, I’ll upgrade to the 3G model.  Of course, if this occurs, I’ll post how the process went for us so you all know what to expect.

How to transfer 1st gen iPhone to someone else [AppleInsider]

Buying an iPhone 3G for current and new AT&T subscribers [AppleInsider]

How to migrate your iPhone data [Apple]

How to buy an iPhone 3G walkthrough videos from AT&T [MacRumors]

AT&T iPhone 3G plans and pricing info [AT&T]

What you need to buy an iPhone 3G [TUAW]

Filed under: Apple, AT&T, Cellphone, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

Need to sync files across multiple computers? Here’s your solution


dropbox-logo.gifI just came across Dropbox, which is an online service that automatically syncs your files across multiple computers (Windows & Mac). This is EXACTLY what I and several other people that I know need! The thing that really peaks my interest is that there will be a sync client for Mac OS X and Windows that will auto-synchronize all files in the targeted folders. In addition, you can access the files via their website. To top it off, Dropbox also keeps version history so you can rollback to a previous version.

Anyways, Dropbox hasn’t launched, yet, but they do have a nice screen cast on their site so you can see it in action.

I’m pretty excited to see how well their service works because I’ve tried to synchronize files across two Macs with .Mac and it’s flaky, at best. I also wonder how much the service will cost – if anything.

Update: GigaOM has a great write-up on Dropbox…and it looks like the beta started today.

Filed under: Software, Storage, Technology

iPhone SDK & 3rd Party Apps


Wow…some very cool details that Apple has released about the iPhone SDK (beta) today. I won’t go into the details since you can read them yourself (link below). The most important thing: an iPhone software update enabling 3rd party apps will be released in June, 2008. So, it looks like we have a few more months to go before we can start buying and installing 3rd party apps w/o jailbreaking our iPhones.

There were some very cool demos shown at the press event, too.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Mobile Software, Smartphone

New MacBook Pro vs. Old MacBook Pro


If you’re debating between getting the new MBP (i.e., the ones with multitouch and Penryn processor) or the old MBP, you’ll find AnandTech’s benchmark tests very informative.

The net: Penryn’s biggest advantage is in battery life. Performance is a tad better (depending on the test) but not a lot. So, for some of you, the reduced prices of the old MBP may be the right option for you.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Reviews

Want to save money on a MacBook Pro?


refurbed-mbp.jpgWith new MacBook Pros (& MacBooks) released yesterday you can save some serious cash on the previous generation models. As I’m writing this I see the following in the refurbished section of the online Apple store:

  • MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,449
  • MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,649

These laptops were originally selling for $1,999 and $2,499 so these are some steep savings…especially on the 2.4Ghz model.

If you’re looking at buying a MacBook you should seriously consider the 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro at this price. I say this because the Intel Penryn processor in the MacBook (& low-end MBP) only has 3MB of L2 cache whereas the previous Core 2 Duo chip (aka Merom) has 4MB. To be honest, I’m not sure if the additional 1MB of L2 cache cache will net any noticeable performance gains but the option to get a MBP for less than the black MacBook ($1,500) it’s definitely worth considering.

There are some additional benefits to Penryn: supposed better battery life (reportedly by 8 – 10%)  and the SSE4 instruction set (this will make application run much faster provided they are designed to utilize it).

Personally, if I were in the market for a high-end MacBook, I would seriously consider getting the 2.2Ghz MBP. In fact, if a friend was going to spend $1,300 or $1,500 on a MacBook, I would most likely recommend getting the refurbished MBP.

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Deals, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook

New iPhone firmware released (v.1.1.4)


Apple has released a new firmware for the iPhone (1.1.4) .  Apparently, all the release notes say are, “bug fixes.”

I don’t know about you all but ever since I upgraded to 1.1.3 (released during MacWorld ’08), I’ve had Safari crash several times.  Prior to 1.1.3, Safari crashed only a handful of times in 6 months.  Maybe this new firmware will make Safari more stable.

[via AppleInsider]

Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile Phone, Smartphone

MacBook Pro & MacBook updates…FINALLY!!


Apple has finally updated the MacBook Pro and, suprisingly, the MacBook.

I’ve been waiting for over 1 year to replace my Powerbook so I am absolutely ecstatic. I placed my order for the $2,500 version of the 15″ MBP and should have it next week. Cost: ~$1,999 (+ tax) thanks to the Apple Dev Connection discount, which is 20% off on MBPs).

Side note: I love how Apple still showcases a Ducati 1098 motorcycle on the MBP product page! 

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing

It’s official: HD-DVD is dead…Blu-ray is the victor


bd-hddvd-logo.jpgToshiba officially put the last nail in the HD-DVD coffin – today, Toshiba announced they will cease HD-DVD player production and replication. They will phase out HD-DVD by the end of March 2008. Warner Bros. decision to go Blu-ray exclusive this past January was one nail in the coffin. The second nail was delivered by the retailers (Best Buy, Netflix, and Walmart). After these two it was only a matter of time before Toshiba raised the white flag.

As most of you know, I was an early supporter of HD-DVD but when WB went BD exclusive, I was ready for this format war to end so we can all unite under one HD format. Do I regret my decision in buying an HD-DVD player? Heck no. I bought the Toshiba HD-A1 for it’s excellent ability to upscale SD DVDs to 1080i and looked at HD-DVD as a ‘bonus.’ The HD-A1 was also appr. $300 cheaper than the Denon DVD-2910 that I was contemplating on buying.

Anyways, we’ve already gotten an announcement from Universal Studios (one of the two HD-DVD exclusive studios) stating that future titles and catalog titles will be released on Blu-ray disc. Although Paramount hasn’t officially announced anything it’s obvious they will support Blu-ray (again).

Now, let’s hope the BD association starts lowering the prices of players and movies. The next battle for BD will be against HD movie downloads/rentals.

[via Format War Central]

Filed under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, Home Theater, Movies

MacBook Pro inventory low at Apple Stores?


FWIW, I was at one of my local Apple Stores today and asked them if they had any of the $2,500 version of the 15″ MacBook Pros in-stock.  The answer: no.  Hmm….could the updates be coming this Tuesday or next Tuesday (Feb. 26)??  Man, I hope so!

Post a comment if your local Apple Store is also out of stock.

Filed under: Apple, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook, Rumors

Blu-ray Deal: Buy 2 get 1 free


Amazon is having a buy 2 get 1 free deal on select Blu-ray titles. There are approximately 180 titles that qualify – just make sure you view each genre (action & adventure, drama & family friendly, etc.) by clicking on the tabs on top of the page.

I bought Black Hawk Down, House of Flying Daggers, & Underworld: Evolution for $38 ($12.66/title) – a pretty darn good deal.

The price varies so if you’re buying a lot of discs make sure you divide your purchase into separate orders. For example, all $15.95 discs in one order and all $23.95 discs in another because Amazon gives the cheapest disc to you for free.
Not sure how long this deal will last so buy ‘em if you can!

Filed under: Amazon, Blu-ray, Deals, Home Theater, Movies

Rumor: Reason why MacBook Pro updates have been delayed?


Here are two interesting posts from someone named “Tailpipe” on the AppleInsider forums (post 1, post 2).

Take it for what it’s worth: a dude posting in a forum for Apple rumors.  ;)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, MacBook Pro, Notebook, Rumors

AppleTV HD video review round-up


promo_appletv_box20080115.pngThis week Apple finally released version 2.0 of the Apple TV software that was demo’d by Steve Jobs at this year’s MacWorld. This is a big deal because it finally makes the Apple TV a lot more functional – adding the ability to buy and/or rent movies (SD or HD) and TV shows. However, the one question I had was, ‘just how good is the HD video quality compared to Blu-ray/HD-DVD?’ Answer: it’s surprisingly good…ranking #2 – right behind Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

It’s def worth reading the reviews as they have screen shots comparing AppleTV, Blu-ray/HD-DVD, HD Cable, and standard DVD:

I haven’t had time to rent an HD movie on mine, yet, but I’ll post a review of my experience when I do.

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Reviews

Video: First look at the 1098R


Man, watching these videos and hearing the 1098 really makes me miss my bike…winter can’t end early enough!

My favorite part is how Michael Neeves (MCN reviewer/rider) is speechless for a second after he gets back into the pits.

Filed under: Ducati, Motorcycles, Reviews, Video, YouTube

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