Friday, February 22, 2008

Plasma Tube


About Plasma Tube - Motion Light Widget
Engineered Like No Other. The Plasma Lamp Leaves your grampas old Motion Light in the 60’s! We’ve filled this sucker with a material patented exclusively to innermindMedia. This Plasma is like no liquid you’ve ever seen and it simply defies the laws of gravity and physics. This is the ultimate Eye Candy for your Os X Dashboard.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

MACWORLD 2008





Macworld 2008 is upon us. Let us know what products you would like to see on January 15. You can head to www.engadget.com for live commentary during the launch. Some photos doing the rounds as the sub notebook is here.

I'm Back

Ok Let's see its been more than a year since my last post. But i'm back for good. You will see more posts and interesting news here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How to extend your battery life

Battery life is an important aspect to any traveler who needs their laptop to last as long as possible. Sometimes you just need to get work done, but you don’t have an available power source nearby. A list of things you can do to help squeeze every last minute of battery life from your computer. Some of the tips will help out a great deal, while others will only provide a small benefit. Either way, read on to extend your battery life to its limit.

1) Turn off Airport
As long as there are no 802.11b/g/a networks within range, or you don’t require Internet access, turning off the built in Airport can help with battery life quite a bit. If you do need Internet access, and you can connect via ethernet cable, that would be much more energy efficient than using wireless.

2) Turn off Bluetooth
This option is likely more practical that turning off Airport, but it won’t provide as much of a benefit. Most of your Bluetooth devices aren’t needed while on the road, so it makes sense to turn that feature off, and just use the built-in input devices and wired connections when battery life is more important than being cool.

3) Avoid using the built-in iSight camera
The Apple MacBooks and MacBook Pros sport a built-in iSight video camera. While taking pictures with Photobooth, conducing video iChats, and making sure you hair is straight might be fun when you are connected to an outlet, they can be a real drain on battery life when you’re not. Therefore, keep that camera off to save a little juice.

4) Keep discs out of the DVD drive
One of the few motorized parts in any laptop is the optical drive. The motor required to spin DVDs and CDs can use a lot of power. Thus, keep the drive usage to a minimum to keep battery life at a maximum. If you insist on watching DVDs, rip them to your hard drive before your trip with a utility such as MacTheRipper.

5) Turn down the screen brightness
Those cathode tubes lighting up your laptop’s screen are one of the biggest power draws in the computer. Turn down the brightness of the screen to as low as you can comfortably work, and your battery will thank you.

6) Invert the screen colors
Keeping with the theme of reducing power consumption via adjusting the display, many users have reported extended their battery life by inverting the screen colors. This can be accomplished by navigating to System Preferences -> Universal Access and choosing the radio button next to “White on Black” (or alternatively use the keyboard shortcut Control+Option+Command+8). The theory is that every pixel (of which there are over 3 million on the 15 inch MacBook Pro) requires a small voltage to twist into a state that allows light to pass through. By inverting the screen, more of the screen in covered in dark pixels, which should take less voltage to twist.

7) Turn down/off the backlit keyboard
The other major light source in the MacBook Pro is the backlight in the keyboard. While you don’t have to worry about this in a bright environment (because of the ambient light sensor), if you are working in a dimly lit area, then the backlight might just turn on. Like any light source, it requires energy. Turning it off will prevent it from using any power, and turning it down will make it use less power.

8) Turn down the volume level
Moving the little magnets back in forth in speakers can take a surprising amount of electricity. Although the speakers in laptops are small, they still require energy to operate. If you don’t need iTunes blasting away, turn off the sound. If you do need to listen to the audio your computer is creating, plug in some headphones. They will likely require less juice than the built in speakers.

9) Run fewer applications at once
Mac OS X is an operating system built for multitasking. Because of that, it uses a paging scheme which will move unused parts of memory to the disk when other applications need that memory. The hard drive is another big draw on the battery, so avoiding any hard drive usage is a good idea. By running less applications simultaneously, or installing more RAM, you reduce your risks of having memory paged.

10) Turn off logging
The same logic from the last hint can be applied to log files. Some log files on your system can gather a lot of data, keeping the hard drive active, and running your battery down faster. If you can, turn off some of the logging abilities to reduce hard drive usage. One such log that generates a lot of entries, and is easy to turn off is the firewall log. Open System Preferences -> Sharing, click on the Firewall tab, and click the Advanced button. In the sheet that pulls down, make sure that “Enable Firewall Logging” is unchecked.

11) Turn off Spotlight indexing
Since the hard drive is such a heavy power user, it makes sense to have another method for reducing the usage. If you don’t use spotlight often, or feel you can live without it while traveling, turn off the indexing to prevent it from keeping track of all hard drive changes. To do this, open System Preferences -> Spotlight, click on Privacy, and drag your hard drive to the indicated area.

12) Turn off background notifications
Various applications provide a method to notify you of a change, even if the application isn’t active. To accomplish this feat, a background daemon must be running at all times. This daemon will use a small amount of memory and possibly the hard drive/CPU at times. By turning off these notifiers, you will deactivate the daemons, possibly saving a small amount of power. One example of a program that provides this functionality is iCal, which can display its calendar alarms even when iCal is not running.

13) Turn off some of the services in Directory Access
There is a program in your Utilities folder called Directory Access. It is used to enable/disable certain services including Bonjour, Samba, and AppleTalk. Some of these services will constantly be polling for active devices to connect to, which can incur another very small drain on your battery. I would recommend never turning off Appletalk, Bonjour, and SLP, but the rest are fair game. If you don’t know what one of the acronyms stands for, Wikipedia probably knows.

14) Do NOT disable a CPU core
The MacBooks and MacBook Pros all feature CPUs with two cores instead of the much more common one. These two cores provide for a huge speed increase in all multi-threaded applications (nearly everything these days). Because there are two cores running, it is logical to think that turning off a core (using Apple’s CHUD tools) will reduce the power requirement of the CPU (at a cost of processing power). Actually this is NOT the case. These chips were designed to run most efficiently with both cores active. Disabling one not only requires more power, but also generates more heat, a double whammy! Some users have reported losing up to 40 minutes of battery life by turning off a core!

15) Keep it cool
The fans in the MacBook and MacBook Pro are designed to turn on, or speed up, at certain thermal thresholds. If you are able to keep your laptop below those thresholds, you will keep the fans off, and conserve battery power. One way to keep it running cooler is to perform less CPU intensive tasks. That’s not always an option, but using a laptop riser is. Something like the RoadTools Traveler CoolPad (I receive no compensation for that link, or for clicking on it) will keep your MacBook running cooler at all times.

16) Calibrate the battery once a month
Finally, if your battery is showing signs of shorter run times, you may want to calibrate the battery (Apple recommends once a month, but I would say once every three months would be fine, depending on your usage patterns). To calibrate the battery, follow these steps:
1. Fully charge your MacBook/MacBook Pro.
2. Once fully charged, leave it plugged in for at least another 2 hours.
3. Remove the MagSafe power adapter, and use your computer until you get the battery level warning message.
4. Ignore that message and keep working.
5. Eventually the machine will go to sleep.
6. Do NOT plug it in. Instead, let it sleep for at least 5 hours.
7. After the time has passed, plug it back in, and let it fully charge.
8. Once fully charged, your battery has been properly calibrated.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Extracting winmail.dat files in Mail.app


Apple has updated its technote on dealing with winmail.dat files.

After pointing out that winmail.dat files the result of emails containing rich text information sent “from a Microsoft email application (such as Outlook and the Microsoft Exchange Client)”, the technote advises:

To avoid seeing these attachments in the future, you ask the sender to deselect the email’s “Send to this recipient in Microsoft rich text format” checkbox or preference setting in mail client before they send the message.

Fortunately more immediate help is at hand.

OMiC is a plugin that can extract the files from a winmal.dat attachment on the fly.

It now supports Panther (10.3), winmail.dat files with the wrong MIME type and Outlook’s iCalendar format.

It’s the kind of functionality that should be built-in to Mail.app but isn’t.

OMiC is shareware (5 euros = USD 6.30) and is available from the developer's website. If you live in a Windows world, the money will be well worth it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Flipping through iTunes 7's 3-D covers

The new 3-D cover browser (it’s the rightmost button of the three wedged between the song info window and the search box at the top of the iTunes window) in iTunes 7 is a great way to work with your music collection. There’s just something soothing about flipping through virtual CDs, much as the older amongst us in the crowd used to flip through our 33-rpm album covers to find the next record to toss on the (snap-crackle-pop) turntable.

As you might expect, there are a number of ways to use the cover browser to flip through your music. There’s the obvious one, of course—you can click on or drag the slider below the cover art. You can also click on a cover in the display area, and iTunes will jump to that cover—and automatically select the first track of that album in the song display area below the cover browser. If you then double-click that cover, the selected song starts to play. You can also use the left and right arrow keys to move from cover to cover, though this can be tedious for large collections.

So here’s the nifty way to browse your covers—use your scroll wheel mouse. You don’t even need a fancy horizontal-scrolling-capable Mighty Mouse; any old mouse with a scroll wheel will work. Just position the mouse somewhere in the cover browser area and roll the mouse’s wheel. Down will move the cover view slider to the right; up moves it to the left.

This trick also works on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops via two-finger scrolling, although it’s even more intuitive—you can two-finger-scroll horizontally, so just drag your fingers right or left across the trackpad to scroll in those directions.

I find the scroll wheel gives the best balance of speed and control while flipping through my moderate (3,500 song) iTunes collection. The only possible gotcha has to do with third-party software that controls your mouse’s scrolling speed. If you have it set to a faster-than-normal speed, you may find that the cover scroll feature jumps multiple albums for each single movement of your scroll wheel.

If you find this to be a problem, most mouse control software, such as the Microsoft Mouse software that came with my Wireless Laser Mouse, will let you create application-specific settings. Create a setting for iTunes and set the scroll speed to the slowest setting that will let you move one cover at a time.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tip of the week - Quickly set the system alert volume

Wouldn’t it be great if it were easy to set the system volume and the alert volume to different levels? You can do this by opening the Sound preference pane and adjusting the two to different volumes, but there’s a quicker way to do this in OS X 10.4.

Make the Volume control icon (a small speaker) visible in your menu bar if you haven’t already. To do so, open the Sound preference pane and select the Show Volume In The Menu Bar option.

To adjust your system’s overall volume, click once on the icon in the menu bar and then move the slider that appears. If you want to change only the system’s alert volume, hold down the option key when you click on the speaker icon. Move the slider as you normally would, and you won’t notice any change in your overall volume level. If iTunes is playing, for instance, your tunes won’t be affected. But your alert sounds will now play at the new level.

If you’re using OS X 10.3, you’ll have to take an extra step to make this work. When you option-click to change the alert volume, your system volume will also adjust. So you must click on the speaker icon once more (without holding down the option key) and reset your system volume back to the desired level.

Widget of the day - Virtual Talking Friend


This is the first widget with Personality, a program that simulates a human friend, and talks for real! You are going to have fun with this new friend. Ask him and he will answer you back, say, iTunes and it will tell you the last song you have played on your computer, ask about movies, music, new stuff. He is smart an very well actualized.

Download

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Widget of the day - Widget of Change


Looking for ways to live a little healthier? The Widget of Change provides a new idea every day for eating better or getting more exercise.

The ideas are provided by people who visit www.changesomething.org. Log on to submit your own idea. Or just download the widget and receive them directly on your desktop.

Download

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.4.8 Update

Apple Computer on Friday afternoon released the eighth maintenance and stability upgrade to its Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger operating system in just 18 months -- Mac OS X 10.4.8.

Mac OS X 10.4.8 Client

The Cupertino, Calif-based company said the update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for connecting to wireless networks using the EAP-FAST protocol, using OpenType fonts in Microsoft Word and connecting with 3rd party USB hubs.

Mac OS X 10.4.8 also improves broadband network performance, RAW camera support, scanner performance and Apple USB modem reliability.

Other enhancements in the release include improved performance of the Translation widget and better support for printing documents with Asian language names.

Mac OS X 10.4.8 also bundles previous security updates. It's available as 149MB Combo update or 31MB Delta update for PowerPC Macs. For Intel Macs, Apple offers a 294MB Combo update or 206MB Delta package.