After months of putting off buying the Xbox360′s wireless adaptor due to it being overpriced, I finally just gave up and bought one. Happy to finally get rid of the Linksys Wireless-G Game Bridge that has been a problem since day one, it was just my luck to discover that I couldn’t connect to my wireless network. After about an hour of trying everything I could, I gave a quick google search and discovered others were having problems connecting to an Apple Time Capsule router also. I had waited so long to get the wireless adaptor for the 360 that I wasn’t going to give up.
My Time Capsule is basically an Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n Router with a hard drive built in. The router supports 802.11 a/b/g/n while the 360′s wireless adaptor supports a/b/g. My laptop is a/b/g and the only other device I connect wirelessly is my iPhone which is b/g. This left me with a few choices. Currently I run the Time Capsule in 802.11n with b/g compatibility running at 2.4Ghz.
I’ll spare the details of the hours of headache trying to get this to work by saying this: the Xbox360′s Wireless Adaptor does not work with Time Capsule…yet. Well thats not entirely true. Lets looks at what options we have:
802.11n (2.4Ghz) = Not Supported
802.11n (5Ghz) = Not Supported
802.11n (802.11b/g compatible) (2.4Ghz) = Not Working
802.11n (802.11a compatible) (5Ghz) = Not Working
802.11b/g (2.4Ghz) = Not Working
802.11a (5Ghz) = Not Working
802.11g (2.4Ghz) = Not Working
802.11b (2.4ghz) = Working
So out of 8 modes, 6 of which are supported, only 1 mode works. 802.11b is the only mode that allows the Xbox360 wireless to connect. Pretty worthless. Right now this looks to be a Microsoft problem as there are reports of the wireless adaptor not connecting to other draft N routers. Hopefully Microsoft will add support for Time Capsule in the Spring Dashboard update like they added support for Airport Extreme 802.11n routers in the Fall Update back in December. Until its fixed, you will either have to run your wireless network in 802.11b only mode or hardwire the Xbox360 using Cat5.
Anyone that follows this blog or my Twitter account knows I’ve been looking for a new job lately. My current job with Ann Taylor as a Help Desk Specialist is being outsourced in a few short months and I decided to get the hell out of dodge while I could. After 3 interviews, a tech screening, and some anxiety I’m happy to say I was offered a position at Apple as a Mac Genius in their Danbury, CT store last week. I happened to be on vacation last week so I didn’t put my notice in at work until this Monday. My last day at Ann Taylor was today. I’m going to miss the people I work with but I couldn’t wait to get away from that job. I hope to start with Apple next Monday and I’m very excited. I took a small pay cut but I’m going to be a million times more happy at Apple on my worst day than the best day at Ann Taylor. I should know some more details in the next few days but sometimes next month, I get to go to the Mothership (Cupertino, CA) for training.
With Macworld 2008 wrapping up, I thought I’d touch on some of the announcements made this year. I took the week off hoping to go to Macworld again this year but no such luck. Somethings came up, good stuff which I’ll touch base with in a future post, so I couldn’t make it this year. So like millions of other geeks, I loaded up my browser tabs with as much coverage as I could. Which didn’t go as well as planned. Iphonealley’s Ustream didn’t work out, Twitter buckled under the pressure and even Engadget had its share of hiccups. Macrumors was once again the winner with up to the minute coverage.
Lets start with the biggest announcement, the Macbook Air. New ultra-portable laptop that falls in between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro. Well, first off, I’m sure it’s a gorgeous piece of hardware (I haven’t seen one up close yet) but I’m just not the target market for this product. If maybe I had a Mac Pro or even an iMac as my main computer, the MBA would be a nice on the go laptop but thats not the case. So I’m going to pass on this one.
Now something that is right up my alley is the new Time Capsule. Since upgrading to Leopard I haven’t had a backup. Superduper isn’t compatible with Leopard yet and my only external drive is a 120GB WD Passport that’s too small for Time Machine to work. I’ve wanted an Apple Airport Extreme for sometime now but never made a move due to have a rev 1 Macbook which didn’t include 802.11n. I’ll probably opt for the 500GB one as I only have my Macbook to back up and 500GB should be plenty. As soon as they are available, I’ll be picking one up.
Apple TV and Movie Rentals
While iTunes movie rentals is no big surprise, the fact they have all major studios on board and HD movies was. I’m all for renting movies and I think Apple will do fairly well. Unfortunately I think only the people with AppleTV’s will really use this. Watching a movie on my iPhone or iPod just doesn’t appeal to me. When I had my AppleTV i loved it. The only reason I sold it was my HDTV died and I wasn’t planning on getting another one right away. I think once I get another HDTV, I’ll pick up a AppleTV again. The software update was nice and the ability to run without the need for a computer is epic.
All the rest
It seemed to be very quiet otherwise at Macworld this year. The iPhone update nice but expected. I would have liked to see something about the iPhone SDK that’s being released next month. Eye-Fi announced iPhoto support. Too bad my camera uses XD cards. Office 2008 was released which is finally a Universal Binary. I installed it this morning and its a nice upgrade to 2004. Other than that, I didn’t hear anything else that really caught my attention, well except a rumor than Panic is working on blogging software!
One feature missing from the iPhone and iPod Touch is Flash support for MobileSafari. Go to a page with an embeded YouTube video on it and all you get is a broken plugin icon. iTransmogrify! is a browser bookmarklet that allows embedded YouTube videos to play in the native YouTube player on the iPhone and iPod Touch. You can see it in action in the video above. Until Flash is officially supported, this is the best way to view embedded YouTube videos.
The MacHeist II bundle sale has been underway for the last few days. I purchased last years bundle and it was well worth it. This years apps seems less appealing to me but I made the purchase anyways. Pixelmator, which is still locked at the moment, and AppZapper are the only ones I’m really interested in but the donation to the Humane Society is well worth it.
If you plan on purchasing the MacHeist bundle, I’d appreciate it if you could use my link.
Digital comic files come in two flavors, CBZ and CBR. They are just renamed ZIP and RAR files containing JPG files. While Quicklook can look at JPG files, it cannot look into a compressed file for them. Over on the arstechnica forums, a user named gheritt has whipped up a Quicklook plugin that allows you to view CBZ files. It displays them inline similar to a PDF file. Only CBZ files work right now. There is no built-in support for RAR compression in OS X 10.5 so CBR files will not work, yet.
Download the file directly from here and install into /Library/Quicklook.
Leopard is a milestone, not just for Apple, but for me too. Leopard is my first operating system I’ve ever purchased. I’ve played with a few beta’s, both fresh installs and upgrade and it was something I was excited to see. When it was delayed, I let out a collective “sigh” as it was one of the things I’ve been looking forward to this year. Well the time has come and Leopard is my new operating system.
The biggest decision with any new operating system is to update your current setup or do a fresh install. While the beta’s updated without an issues, I decided to go a fresh install. I always welcome fresh starts and it would give me a chance to streamline my application needs. The couple days before Leopard was released I spend time cleaning up my hard drive so it would fit onto a 120GB external drive. After making the room, I used SuperDuper! to clone my Tiger install. When installing Leopard I did a Erase and Install and planned on using the Migration Assistant to copy my information back.
After Leopard installed, I decided I wasn’t going use the Migration Assistant because I didn’t want all my old settings back. I still needed some data thought and I just copied stuff like my iTunes and iPhoto libraries back. My goal is to try and streamline my computing needs so I’m only installing programs as I need them. I hope to move to online services like Google Documents for some of my needs instead of keeping 2 or 3 different word processors on my hard drive like before.
After getting some essentials installed, it was time to play around with the new features. To be honest, there wasn’t too much right off the bat for me. I haven’t tried Time Machine yet as my external HDD still is housing a image of my Tiger install. I moved back to iChat but I don’t do any video chats and I still prefer Firefox over Safari. Obviously some of these might be useful in time but for now, I just don;t use them. That being said, the things I do use have made this upgrade well worth it in gold. First off is Spotlight. I used spot light as an application launcher and Apple has tweaked it so it now shows Applications before searching. This makes it on par with Quicksilver in application launching and with no software to install. But my favorite thing is the new Finder. I love this thing. Quicklook is by far the best feature in Leopard. The new iTunes like source list in Finder is much better than its predecessor. The fact you can see network shares in the source list is epic, very 1990′s, but still epic to see in Finder finally. I’m loving the new iCal thought RememberTheMilk’s feed does not seem to be updating now.
I’ve not been without my problems. Mostly minor like applications such as Popcorn not running. One thing that got me worried was last night. I shut my laptop lid and my laptop went into sleep. About 10 minutes later I keep hearing the sound the DVD drive makes when it checks for a disc. After about the 4th time I got up and looked. After a few minutes, the DVD drive would check for a DVD like it was waking up and I’d see the Apple light up. For some reason, the laptop was trying to wake up then go right back to sleep every few minutes. I opened the lip and shutdown the computer and left it. I’ll see what happens tonight.
Overall I’m very impressed with the update. Stuff like Time Machine I know I’ll love when I start using it and as more applications are released to support it, the application compatibility issue should go away. As soon as Google enabled IMAP on my account, I’m going to start using Mail and kick the tires on that for awhile. There is some stuff that still doesn’t make since to me like iChat not being about to handle AIM and Jabber lists in one window and Safari not being about to open links in tabs. Stuff like that was fixed with 3rd party apps in Tiger and I’m sure those apps will be updated for Leopard soon.