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Posts tagged “tips

Resize Boot Camp without destroying data with Camp Tune

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Mac users using Boot Camp to dual-boot into Windows now have a new tool coming their way to let them adjust the size of their Boot Camp partition without destroying any data.

How does it do it? By running off a Linux-based boot CD. Once booted up and in the tool, Camp Tune lets you reallocate disk space between your Mac partition and your Boot Camp partition.

It’s currently pre-release software and while it is you can grab a copy for free. Keep in mind that while I’m sure it’s tested pretty well if it’s being publicly released, you’re going to want to backup both your Mac and your Boot Camp partitions before you start because if something goes wrong there’s a decent chance both will be messed up.

For more info about Camp Tune check out the product page here.

[Via TUAW]

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Speed up iPhone syncing [UPDATED]

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If you have an iPhone 3G or have upgraded your original iPhone to the 2.0 software you may have noticed that syncing takes a LOOOONG time.

A user by the handle Lightbrazer at Howerforums has found that while the addition of applications from the App Store does add a little time to syncing while new apps are copied over, but the big problem has to do also with iTunes sending crash data to Apple when backing up your iPhone.

To change how your iPhone syncs and disable this, follow these steps and see how it works out for you:

  1. With your iPhone connected to your computer, select it and on the Summary screen make sure that “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” is NOT checked.
  2. Unplug your iPhone, then plug it back in.
  3. When your iPhone shows up in iTunes again, right-click (or CTRL+click if you’re using a Mac) on the iPhone and in the menu that opens click on “Reset Warnings”.
  4. Now sync your iPhone again by clicking the Sync button and when the message appears that begins “Your iPhone contains diagnostic information…”. If you want to be able to choose whether you send this data to Apple each time you sync, uncheck “Do not ask me again” and click on “Don’t Send” (so it won’t send the data this time), or if you want to never send this data make sure that “Do not ask me again” is checked and click on “Don’t Send.”
  5. On the Summary tab, go ahead and recheck “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected”.

Done–it will won’t be super fast (there’s still a lot of data to sync) but it should be better.

To see pictures of these steps, check out this post at Gear Diary.

UPDATE: Just tried syncing after running through these steps with my first generation iPhone and honestly I don’t really see the difference. If it’s quicker I don’t really see it, but maybe you’ll have better luck. Something that DID seem to help a bit is to delete old backups in Preferences > Syncing. Keep in mind that backups are usually a good thing to have so you’re on your own if you decided to delete them, but doing this did speed up syncing though I’m not sure why.

To say that the crash reporting is the big reason syncing is slow isn’t quite accurate in my own experience. Syncing apps is slooooow–way slower than it needs to be. Hopefully the next iPhone firmware update will fix this.

[Via BGR]


See what’s new in the App Store via RSS feeds

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Looking for an easy way to see what’s new in Apple’s iTunes App Store without having to view the complete list of applications from within iTunes and sorting by release date?

Good news–the folks at Pinch Media have put together a few RSS feeds you can watch to see what’s new, what’s updated, and what the top 100 free and paid apps right now are.

To see the new apps, subscribe to this feed.

To see which apps have been updated, subscribe to this feed.

To see the 100 most popular free apps, subscribe to this feed.

To see the 100 most popular paid apps, subscribe to this feed.

[Via TUAW]


Backup your Windows drivers with DriverMax

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Having recently reinstalled Windows on a couple of different PC’s I can tell you first hand it can be a pain getting your hands on the right driver for your sound card, video card, network card, etc., not to mention all the rebooting you’ll be doing while installing them.

To save yourself some trouble after you’ve formatted your drive and it’s too late to see what drivers you’ll need, check out a program called DriverMax which can take care of everything for you.

Using DriverMax you’ll be able to easily export a copy of the various drivers your Windows PC is using (to a drive you’re not formatting, of course), then once you’ve formatted things and need your drivers again, install DriverMax and import your drivers back into your computer and you’ll make sure you have the same drivers you started out with. Plus, you’ll just need one reboot for all drivers that are imported instead potentially needing a different reboot for each driver you install.

I haven’t used this program first hand so I can’t say from experience how good/bad it is, but next time I reinstall Windows I’ll definitely check it out.

This free program is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 2003 (server). For more info check out the product page here.

[Via Download Squad]


Easily install Android on Nokia N810 thanks to Android Installer

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If you’ve got a Nokia N810 Internet tablet and are anxious to play around with Google Android but holding out for an easy way to get it setup, check out the new Android Installer.

With just a few clicks you’ll have your very own copy of Android running (if all goes well) without first needing to know a bit about Linux.

Once installed you’ll be able to launch Android from within the N810’s Extras menu.

For more info check out the installation instructions here.

[Via Engadget]


Temporarily stop Windows Update restart nagging with Leave Me Alone!

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Windows updates are good–they help keep Windows secure-ish and stable-ish, but the constant nagging when Windows Update wants to restart your computer can be a real pain.

You can hack at your Windows Registry to try and get it to leave you alone (which will also require a restart) or you can try a free program called Leave Me Alone! which will temporarily turn off the nagging.

Just run the app and click on the button labeled ‘Leave Me Alone!’ and these message will be suppressed so you can finish what you need to finish and restart when you’re ready.

Then, when your computer reboots, it’s back to normal and an update that requires a restart will nag you as before.

How does the program work? By stopping the Windows Update service, which is responsible for Windows checking for updates automatically and nagging about reboots. Obviously you’ll want to reboot your computer so the update can be applied and things can return to normal.

Leave Me Alone! works for Windows XP and Vista. For more info check out the product page here.

[Via Download Squad]


CoolBook: Possible fix for freezing MacBook Air’s

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MacBook Air’s look great, but underneath that slim, sexy exterior is a problem that for some users is causing their precious to hiccup and/or freeze.

For some users EFI updates from Apple have helped, while others can’t do much of anything without their MBA hanging.

Some users are saying its the result of overheating caused by misapplied thermal grease as with the MacBook Pro overheating problem from last year. (As you may recall, Apple was in the news for a similar problem last year and some users were shocked at how much thermal grease was slathered onto their MBP’s logic boards.

Apple hasn’t admitted anything regarding thermal grease and the MacBook Air’s, but some users are blaming overheating and the problems sound consistent with an overheating computer.

You could try to trying your MBA to a Genius at your local Apple store, or you could try a $10 software application recommended by Chip Chick called CoolBook which did the trick for them.

What CoolBook does is allow you to reduce the heat and load on your MBA’s CPU cores, memory, etc. by allowing you to easily dial down the clock speed and voltage going to your processors, giving you a cooler running, quieter computer while extending your battery life a bit.

Chip Chick tried it out and their MacBook Air is “running great” and they are “no longer experiencing those super aggravating freezes and chokes.”

Sure, it sucks to have to spend $10 to fix something that Apple should fix to begin with but if you can spend $10 now and maybe get a fix or wait a few months and hope things get better, I’d spend the $10.

[Via Chip Chick]


Colibri, nice Quicksilver alternative for Windows

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Many Mac users already know and love Quicksilver but some, myself included, just recently discovered it.

What is Quicksilver?

The website calls it “a unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music, and other data.”

Okay, so what is Quicksilver?

Quicksilver is an application launcher that makes finding and launching/opening your applications, email messages, URL’s, etc., about as easy as possible. Just press the hotkey to turn on Quicksilver’s listeners and then just start typing the name of what you’re looking for.

Want to open Firefox? Just type part of the name and matching apps, emails, etc. will start to show-up on screen. Find the one you want and press enter and it will open. I’ve never had to type a full app name–it finds what I’m after nearly instantly and yes, partial names are okay.

Quicksilver purists will say its a lot more than an app launcher. That’s fine, I believe you, but that’s how I’ve used it so far.

Okay, back to Windows.

So if you’re looking for that same sort of thing for Windows there are a few alternatives but the one I’ve been using for a couple days now and plan to keep is called Colibri.

Colbri works pretty much the same as Quicksilver does and its nice and fast. Instead of putting shortcuts on your desktop or into your Quick Launch bar only to still have trouble finding the app you want check out Colibri–its free and you just might like it.


How to read and write to external NTFS drives from a Mac

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If you’ve ever taken a USB hard drive that had been working just fine on a Windows computer and tried to use it on a Mac you may have had mixed results.

Sure, when you first plug it in you see the drive show up in Finder and everything looks great, and largely it is. You can open the drive, browse the folders, even open the files. But, when you try and save to that drive is when you see thing’s not quite right.

What you’re running into is a difference between the file system that the Mac uses versus the one the PC uses.

I won’t bore you with what the differences because for most users it really doesn’t matter–you just want your drive to work.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Download and install MacFUSE Core from Google Code. I used the file MacFUSE-Core-10.5-1.3.1.dmg which was the newest version for Leopard available at the time but if there’s a newer version available on the download page go for it. They have a version for Tiger too, just remember–all you want is the MacFUSE Core.

  2. Download and install NTFS-3G from here. I used NTFS-3G.1.2216 [stable] but if there is a newer stable version available use that one.

After installing NTFS-3G you’ll be prompted to restart your computer. After you’ve restarted, that’s it–all done.

When you plug in your USB hard drive nothing will look different so you won’t necessarily know that anything is different. Even the icon that shows up when the drive is connected is the same.

As soon as you try and write to the drive you’ll see right away what’s different–it now works.

Its not going to be blazing fast, but its also not slow. For me, I copying a 2GB file from my MacBook to my USB hard drive took about 10 minutes.


Hate the Office 2007 menus? Change them with Addintools Classic Menu

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Some people like the new look and feel of Office 2007, some don’t. Those that don’t really, really hate it.

Microsoft doesn’t give you a way change the look and feel back to, say, Office 2003, but an add-on I just found by Addintools looks like it will do the trick.

Classic Menu for Office 2007 is an add-on that will let you replace the ribbon bar with the style of menus you’re used to so you don’t have to spend so much time trying to find what you’re looking for.

I don’t have Office 2007 myself or I’d try it out myself, but if you do and more or less hate it, try checking out Classing Menu and see if it makes your life a bit easier.

A free trial version is available and if you like it you can buy it for $29.95. For that price, it will let you change the menus for Word, Excel, Access, Outlook and PowerPoint.

Don’t need all of those? You can buy Classic Menu for just one of the programs in Office 2007 for just $15.99.

For more info check out the product page here.