Software review a day (?)

In Apple, General, Microsoft, Open Source, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

It seems like recently, probably due to the holidays, that I have not been posting regularly. So last night, I made a decision (who knows if it will stick) to try to review one piece of “software” a day. I realize that it is ambitious, but I would rather make the attempt than have my blog turn stale. So, I’m going to try this. Luckily there is so much software out there, I won’t be at a loss for content, however, installing and reviewing something does take time. Software reviews will range from Mac to PC or SaaS (Software as …

Install Apple’s Front Row on Mac OS 10.4.8

In Apple, General, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

This is one of the “neater hacks” for those of us who cannot normally run Front Row (e.g., you don’t have a Built-in Infrared (IR) receiver). For the most part, it’s any of us with the “older school” Macintoshes. It basically allows you to have a mini-media center (Music, Photos, Videos and DVD). More info here on Apple’s Site. So, first the legal stuff. I got all of my information from I am not authorized by nor do I have any affiliation with Apple Computer, nor do I really condone hacking your Macintosh unless you are willing to assume …

Dual-boot: Mac OSX and Ubuntu (Part II)

In Apple, General, Hardware, Linux, Open Source by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Well, I’m making this post from my 12″ Powerbook G4, wirelessly connected to the internet using Ubuntu. Yep, you guessed it, I got the wireless working. Not the most elegant of solutions, but it works. I have have a fully functional, dual-boot, Mac OSX 10.4.8 and Ubuntu 6.10 system. So, here is what I did…and the guides I followed: Step 5 – Getting Wireless Working Dual-boot: Mac OSX and Ubuntu (Part II) was last modified: April 30th, 2007 by Michael Sheehan

Dual-boot: Mac OSX and Ubuntu (Part I)

In Apple, General, Hardware, Linux, Open Source by Michael Sheehan10 Comments

OK, I admit it…I was bored. And a bit envious of those Intel-macs that can dual boot to Windows (or run Parallels). So, I figured that I would have some fun with my 12″ Powerbook and set it up to dual boot with my favorite Linux flavor (next to OSX, of course) Ubuntu. Yes, don’t forget, OSX is unix ((Please see this comment for some clarification)) with a lot of great eye candy. So, with Google as my friend, I quickly embarked on this journey this afternoon. I had already installed many different versions of Ubuntu on another machine that …

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Installed the keyboard myself!

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael Sheehan6 Comments

Well, I figured that I would try to save a little bit of $$$ and get some more notches in the tech belt and install the new keyboard on my Powerbook myself. I used the great guides (as previously mentioned) at I definitely recommend them. Anyway, the installation went relatively well, but I had to do it twice (the second time was a lot easier). One thing that was left out of a few of the install guides that I looked at was the fact that on the replacement keyboard, there is some nondescript black tape that should be …

Powerbook unboxing – Part 3

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

So, I got my wonderful Powerbook back from Apple Care yesterday. Yes, they fixed the issue of the ALS (Ambient light sensor). Now I’m shopping around for a good local vendor to help install the keyboard that I purchased on eBay. I have found a couple of local candidates and I’m just checking prices now. I would have tried to do this myself, but after reading through the Apple Tech Manual as well as the wonderful guides at, I felt that it might be better to have someone who has the tools and knows what they are doing, to …

Apple Care – Part 4 – back for more repairs (ALS broken)

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

Well, I must say that I have been getting to know Apple Care a bit more that I really would have wanted to. Where I last left off, Apple had totally “styled me out” by fixing my case with new parts…however, it looks like they forgot to connect the Ambient Light Sensor (ALS) when they put it all together. For those who don’t know about the ALS, it basically allows certain Powerbooks to have a back light keyboard light up under dark environments (e.g., typing in bed when you are supposed to be sleeping – grin – ). Normally, there …

Helper apps for the Mac (specifically Remote Desktop Connection)

In Apple, General, Open Source, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’m sure that if you are a mac user and you use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop (RDC) to connect to other PCs, that you have become frustrated on how limited the capabilities are. I found a couple of tools that may help with that lack-luster experience. First, there is RDC Menu. ” RDC Menu adds an icon to your menubar, allowing you easy access to launch the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client. Helper apps for the Mac (specifically Remote Desktop Connection) was last modified: October 13th, 2006 by Michael Sheehan

Apple Care came through with flying colors!

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

OK, it looks like the saga is over. Today, I finally received my laptop today (see all of the previous posts). Actually, I was pretty impressed with this round. I shipped the laptop this past Monday, it was received and fixed on the same day (Tuesday) and shipped back on Wednesday. I missed the delivery on Thursday, but today, I got it. And let me tell you, Apple Care really came through! The “unboxing” was the biggest scare…just from remembering last time. However, this time, I was really pleasantly suprised. The first thing that I noticed was that my laptop …

MORE Apple Support madness!!!

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

So…the madness continues. After all of the fun as outlined here and here, and thinking that “all was well” when I received the laptop package yesterday…all hopes were shattered when I started reading the form letter in the repair box! The words “RETURN: CUSTOMER DECLINED REPAIR” jumped out at me and I wanted to cry. Quickly booting up my “fixed” laptop, I found that it was not fixed, just as the letter said. I had one hour before they closed to call Apple Care to find out what was going on. I called the numbers listed (800-APL-CARE)…tried the path through …

A happy ending to the Apple Support Vicious Circle

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

Well, I didn’t think it would happen…but it did. Finally, I was able to talk to someone live…after being on hold for 35 minutes. This time, when I went through the SAME status line, there was an option to talk to a representative. So, I got that option, was on hold then, nicely, pleaded my case to the rep. I have found through experience that if you act calmly and nicely, yet articulate and clearly present your case without yelling or screaming, you have better success (than being belligerent). The support guy read through the file history…lots of “Ok’s” and …

Stuck in a vicious Apple support circle

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Ok, I just have to vent for a bit here…but first I want to say that I have always loved Macs and Apple computer…I endorse them, support them, fix them and use them. I’m encouraged with their recent decisions, intel chip, dual boot, fun with Parallels, etc. Wish I could get a new Intel-based one….some day. But I digress… Here’s the background of my “hellish” support issue with Apple. I was reading the Apple Support site trying to figure out if one of my 2 G4 laptops were affected by the battery recall (1 yes, 1 no). Then I read …

Cookie Monster killed my Safari

In Apple, General, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Over the past few days, I had been having issues with Safari simply crashing every time that I launched it. No matter what I did (Disk Repair, Repair Permissions, etc.), I was unable to correct. I had to resort to using Firefox (which I actually now kind of like a bit better). So, on a whim, I posted to the User Discussion groups on the Apple Support page and within a day, I got an answer that seems to have worked. So, I figured that I would share it, in case anyone else is encountering similar issues. No promises though …

The blame game

In Apple, Gadgets, General, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Macs rule! Simple, elegant and the stuff just works. Prime example: new digital camera. After our old digital camera died and we purchased a new one, we, of course, wanted to see how well it worked. The test: take a picture and get it off the camera and on to a computer. For the Mac: a matter of minutes with zero configuration needed. iPhoto did it all perfectly The blame game was last modified: September 21st, 2006 by Michael Sheehan