Windows XP

iTunes for windows can’t see shared mac library [solved]

For several months I have been trying to stream my iTunes library from my iMac to my wireless laptop in the living room on the same network. I’ve streamed iTunes with various software to other devices (other PCs, Windows Mobile phone, iPhone) using SlimServer, Simplify Media and Mojo, but for some reason it would not stream over the network.
I tried updating iTunes on both machines but had no luck. I tried using Simplify Media to share instead but that didn’t work either. I double checked the preferences on both machines. I disabled the firewall and AVG antivirus. Still no luck.
Finally, I solved it: I opened up Apple Software Update and installed the Bonjour update for Windows. So it was Apple’s fault but I couldn’t find any documentation anywhere. Oh well, it’s fixed now. Hurray!

Use a router with AT&T DSL [solved]

What a dumb sounding title. You’d think something like this would be easy. Sorry, I’m slightly bitter at AT&T after a week’s worth of phone calls to get my DSL up and running and to get a router on the network. Even after threatening to cancel service, after telling them that I don’t know anyone who has broadband and doesn’t have a router, and that I’d tried two routers that wouldn’t work, AT&T still wanted to transfer me to their ‘premium’ tech support service for my third party router to get more money out of me. Netgear? Linksys? Ever heard of these? Deaf ears.

I tried spoofing my computer’s MAC address but it wouldn’t work. I tried using my router to dial the PPPoE connection but that didn’t work either. Yet when I plugged any computer directly into the modem it worked fine.

AT&T told me to ‘bridge’ my modem and have the router dial the PPPoE connection. Fail. It didn’t work at all. The solution is easy enough, if any of them had access to the right information: Keep the modem dialing the PPPoE connection. Then, plug in AT&T’s DNS into the router:

Primary DNS:
Secondary DNS:

and that’s it! You’re good to go. If you run a computer with a static IP, plug those DNS entries into its network settings as well.

I tried using OpenDNS first, which worked ok, but it was a little slower, it messed with my VPN, and I didn’t like seeing advertisements when I typed in addresses wrong. This solution works best.

How to import contacts from windows mobile to an iphone with outlook [solved]

There seem to be a variety of ways to import your contacts from your windows mobile phone to your iphone. This is how I did it. You will need: Activesync and Outlook on Windows, and Address Book and iTunes 7.7 on OS X.

1) Sync your windows mobile phone with outlook with activesync.

2) Launch Outlook (I have v. 2006) and click on contacts. Your contacts should be listed.

3) To avoid syncing all 1000+ contacts I had, I scrolled right, and clicked on the ‘Mobile Phone’ column to sort by contacts with a mobile phone number. I then selected only contacts with a mobile phone number and right clicked and chose ‘Send as Business Card’. This step might take a while because it’s creating potentially hundreds of attachments as vCards to a new email.

4) I tried emailing this to my email account on my mac. My server basically said ‘Are you crazy?’ and blocked the entire message – one for having hundreds of attachments and two because .vcf is normally a hostile file format for email attachments (lots of exploit potential in ’em).

5) However, I still had a copy of my message in my Outlook outbox, and was able to right click on the attachments and choose ‘Save all’. Then I transferred the folder I saved them in to my mac.

6) Simply double clicking on one attachment opened address book and asked me ‘do you want to import 1 contact?’ I clicked yes. Then I selected the rest and dragged them to address book, and it asked me if I wanted to import the rest and I clicked yes.

7) Plug your iphone in, click sync in iTunes and you’re done!

Other options I can think of:

• Take your sim card and put it in the iphone with the sim card ejection tool and go to Settings > Mail, Contacts and Calendars > Import SIM Contacts. I’m not sure if it will let you get this far if the card is from another network.

This link says you can click on the ‘MessageSave’ outlook toolbar button and select ‘Save all messages in folder Contacts’ and choose vCard in the format field, but this didn’t work for me (I don’t have that icon).

Send and receive free faxes over the internet [solved]

I’ve used both the free and pro versions of efax for some time now:
Efax is a nice service to send and receive PDFs over the internet. When faxes come in they get forwarded to your email. You can sign up for a free account to receive faxes, though it costs money to send faxes or to have a local fax number.
I couldn’t justify paying a monthly fee just to send a couple faxes a year, so I just use the free account and this service:
Faxzero lets you send PDFs over the internet for free. They are supported by advertisements they put on your cover page. However, the fax does not look like spam because your cover page has your information on it and the rest of the pages are untouched. I have used this service for very professional applications (loan applications, etc.) and have never had a problem. You don’t need to register an account with them but do need to provide a valid email and confirm your address for each fax.

m3u files cause massive duplicates in iTunes [solved]

I have iTunes organize my library automatically, and also copy all imported items to its own music folder on my external drive.

I drag music into iTunes all the time, and then delete the original source, to keep my music organized.

If any of the folders you drag into iTunes are .m3u playlist files, which are common, iTunes will also copy any file they point to into its library. Often, you may have an m3u file in a folder with the same music; selecting all and dragging or dragging the enclosing folder will copy the same music twice. If you have an m3u file in your folder of music, either drag it in, or only drag in the music.

I find this to be a pain when dragging multiple folders worth of music, so I usually search for m3u files first and delete them before dragging them in.

iTunes, you’re on version 7! You should be smarter than this.

SIP Firewall breaks VPN [unsolved]

While clicking “Disable SPI Firewall” in my netgear router fixed iChat, it broke my work VPN. I’m not sure if this is because I’m using static IPs or parallels or what. But I actually had to enable SPI Firewall to get my connection to my work VPN working again. Oh well, so much for iChat.

Turn off contacts sign on and sign off audio notification in Trillian Basic [solved]

So you’re like me and love Trillian Basic and all the goofy noises it makes. All of them except for the singing on and signing off noises that it makes for all of your contacts. I have all of my coworkers on chat and I’m hearing those noises constantly. When I’m on the phone, my friends ask, “Is that a doorbell?” No…
If you look in Trillian preferences, the only options you have are to turn off sound effects all together or to mute notifications when you’re away. Neither of those are what I’m looking for. I’d turn everything off but I like to have an audio notification when my boss IM’s me.
Well, I found the .wav files of those two notification sounds and just replaced them with silence. You can back yours up and then replace the old ones with these in your program files\trillian\stixe\plugins\Tonal-Sounds\ folder:
After you’ve replaced the files, restart Trillian. No more annoying doorbell.

Use ActiveSync with Windows XP in Parallels (solved)

When you try and run activesync in Windows XP inside parallels, it always fails after a couple minutes and never completes a sync.
I don’t know who these people are or what they did to solve the problem, but the nice folks at Aspecto Software made a free app that you run before you sync and it works perfectly. You also have to run your device in serial mode, which for me (in windows mobile 6) meant going to settings > connections > usb to pc > Enable advanced network functionality. More info in this thread, app available here.

Triple Boot on an Intel iMac (OSX, Ubuntu, XP/Vista on Intel iMac) [solved]

Triple Booting (Mac OSX, Ubuntu 7.04, Windows Vista) on an Intel 24″ iMac (Core 2 Duo)

Boot Camp is all spiffy and whatnot, but for some reason, it only supports two OSes. If you’re like me, you’ve got to go a little bit further and install three. While all of the following is documented online in various places, I didn’t find one consolidated FAQ to explain the entire process. Plus, I wanted to remind myself how to do it incase it ever came up again. So this is the general process to install three OSes on an Intel iMac.

Things you’ll need:

  • An Intel iMac (other macs use a different type of boot loader/partition table, which I do not address)
  • A fast internet connection (to get the next two items)
  • Bootcamp (see below)
  • Ubuntu: (or whatever flavor of Unix you want to run)
  • A Windows Vista (XP) full install disk. (Apparently you need a SP2 version of XP.)
  • several hours of time (you’re installing two complete OSes, among other things)
  • if your iMac has a wireless keyboard and mouse, like mine, you’ll need a USB keyboard and mouse during the Ubuntu install later.


Back up -everything-. You never know what might happen. After all, you’re resizing your partition, messing with the boot record, and generally getting very intimate with your machine.

Download Bootcamp ( Install and run. Burn the Mac Drivers disk for Windows. This is really the only reason to get Bootcamp at all. You don’t need it for what follows.

In a terminal, run ‘diskutil’ to repartition your (Mac) drive. Something like the following:
diskutil resizevolume disk0s2 190G “Linux” Ubuntu 10G “MS-DOS FAT32” Windows 32G
My iMac has a 250 GB drive. Here I chose to resize it to 190GB and create a Linux-type partition of 10GB and a FAT32-type partition of 32GB. Do whatever you want size-wise. The basic idea here is that you’re re-sizing the existing partition (which was the full size of the hard drive) to something less and creating two new partitions, one for Ubuntu (Linux), the other for Windows. The command “diskutil list” is a good place to start and “diskutil resizevolume” will describe the syntax of that option.

This was the step that gave me the most trouble of the whole process. I ran diskutil several times and each time got some message about there not being enough space, though I had some 80GB free on the drive. After seeing something online, I shlepped my Parallels harddrive files (each 10-25GB) off to an external drive. After that and an Empty Trash, diskutil ran without a hitch. I don’t really understand whether macs actually do not get fragmented, but freeing up another 60GB of space (for a total of about 130GB) did the trick.

I choose to go with rEFIt ( instead of the Bootcamp loader. It looks good, is customizable (can change the icons and timeout, etc.) and handles three OSes well.

Install rEFIt. Very straight-forward, just run the package installed.

Put your Windows Vista (XP) disk in and reboot. Hold down “c” after the boot chime to boot from the CD/DVD drive.

Install Vista as you would normally, except be sure to choose the correct partition. If you followed my diskutil suggestion, it will be the fourth partition. Go by the size of the partitions. It’s the fourth because there were already two partitions on your original computer, the first being some 200 MB and containing the EFI (mac boot loader junk).

Insert the Mac Drivers disk that you created using Bootcamp. Run it and reboot. Now your mac keyboard and whatever else (iSight camera?) should work splendidly with Vista.

Have your way with your new Vista system (install updates, play games, admire Aero effects, whatever). You should be up and running with it now.

Eject the Mac Drivers disk and insert your Ubuntu disk. Reboot and hold down “c” again. You should boot into the Ubuntu Live CD system.

Install Ubuntu.

It’s possible that at some point the rEFIt loader gets hosed. Scary, yes, but nothing was lost for me. Just reboot into OSX (hold down “alt/option” at boot to get the Mac disc selector and choose your OSX disc) and re-install rEFIt. It’s very light-weight and easy to put back.

Reboot, choosing Mac OSX now. There is some little bug whereby Ubuntu won’t boot the first time. From the rEFIt menu, you select the Penguin (Ubuntu), it dims, and then the system hangs. Someone pointed out that this resolves itself after you boot into OSX and/or turn the computer off. I didn’t identify the issue because it indeed disappeared when I did those two things. So goof around in OSX (look, you haven’t hosed your original OSX system!), then reboot.

On this boot, select the Ubuntu drive from the rEFIt menu. (Once the Dim Penguin problem goes away, you will be able to boot into Ubuntu from then on.)

Ubuntu isn’t too bright about some of the iMac hardware, so this part’s a pain. Depending on your priorities, you’ll want to do the following in whatever order. This is where you’ll need that USB keyboard and mouse.

Ubuntu doesn’t install Bluetooth by default so plug in a USB keyboard and mouse (if you’re really dorky, or strapped, you might be able to do this with just a mouse). Initially, your wireless keyboard and mouse aren’t supported, so even though the system is up and running, you’ll be dead in the water. You will need to use the package manager to get “bluez-utils” installed and activated. [–terminal command to enable bluetooth and the edit to the config file to enable it at boot–]

The display will default to VESA 800×600 (which drives me batty). You want to run “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg” in a terminal and choose the right driver for your display. On my 24″ iMac, it’s Nvidia, so I chose “nv” ( This is key, as the VESA driver can’t display above 1024×800. Then just choose the display modes that your screen supports (I went back into OSX and wrote them down from the Display preferences, since no one seems to have this documented online). For my 24″ intel imac, they are as follows: 640×480, 800×500, 800×600, 960×600, 1024×640, 1024×768, 1280×800, 1280×960, 1344×840, 1344×1008, 1600x1000x 1600×1200, and 1920×1200

That’s pretty much it! You’re up and running with whichever OS you choose at the rEFIt menu at boot time.

Label a mix before import on Itunes [solved]

So your friend makes you a CD mix, and it’s great, but when you want to import the CD it’s a pain in the ass because the mix doesn’t exist in the CDDB database, so Itunes can’t automatically label your songs.

I try and make people make me data MP3 mixes or at least CD mixes with CD text for this reason.

Nonetheless, you probablly still have CD mixes that don’t have the artist, album or song data on them that you want to import.

As far as I know there’s still no automatic way to do track-by-track detection on MP3s.

Here’s a tip though – before you import, click on the CD, select all, get info, and fill out the mix name in the album field. Then hit save and then import. Now at least you can group those tracks by album in your library, and you have half a chance of finding that track later and asking your friend what the heck it is. Better than a million TRACK 01 TRACK 02 files in your library that you don’t know where they came from.

I thought you wouldn’t be able to label the tracks since CDs are read only and won’t save an ID3 tag on the CD, but here’s where Itunes’ use of its library XML file comes in handy. If you know the artist and album info for some of the tracks, go for it, it is possible to label the artist, title, and other fields of the tracks before you import them.

label album before import cd mix

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