Archive for April 2009

Arlen Specter should retire

Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic Party is troubling because he is only looking out for himself. Doesn't anyone care that our politicians only care about themselves, and not the people they represent?

Mr. Specter is 79 years old and has been in the senate a very long time. Why not just retire? I was on a flight with Mr. Specter from Philadelphia to Chicago last year and I was shocked at how old he looked. On TV he looks good, but in the airport he walked very slowly and was hunched over like an old man. Why can't he just let go and retire? Ego, lust for power, and greed come to mind. In any other profession people would expect him to retire but in politics, we accept just about anything.

Mr. Specter admits that he was about to lose a Republican primary race so he simply switched parties to save his own butt. Joe Lieberman did a similar thing last year when he switched to become an independent. Why do the American people put up with this kind of behavior? We need to stop electing people on celebrity and popularity. We need to elect leaders with skills. We've already elected a President based on celebrity and now we have an ex-Senator as President, an ex-Senator as Vice President, and an ex-First Lady who became an ex-Senator as Secretary of State. What have all these senators brought us? A big mess. We need people who have actually run something to lead our government. Instead we just settle on a popularity contest.

Oh well, Arlen Specter is just another example of a politician looking out for himself. I have an idea for all the politicians out there. Get a real job like the rest of us.

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Obama agrees with Bush after blasting him in the campaign

What can I say, Obama is just like every other politician. He's full of it. After blasting President Bush and accusing him of "undermined the Constitution," President Obama now realizes that President Bush was correct in keeping the secrets around the Terrorist Surveillance program and is fighting the same lawsuit that President Bush fought. What does this prove? It proves that we cannot trust what candidates say in a campaign. Obama did not have all the facts in the campaign yet he chose to blast Bush for things he now agrees with. He took cheap shots at Bush for political gain.

Read the article for the particulars, but the bottom line is we need to stop electing people based on celebrity, and what they say in a campaign. We need to elect people who have a record of accomplishments. Most Senators don't have to run anything so they don't make good managers. We need to elect someone who has done something like run a state, or a military department, or a small or large business. Someone who knows what they are doing.

Whether you are conservative or liberal, please vote for people based on a record of accomplishments and not celebrity or campaign rhetoric.

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A Few Things Mac Should Do Like Windows

I know what you're thinking. "Are you crazy? Mac is so much better than Windows." That may be true, but there are a few things that I wish my Mac could do the way Windows does it.

1. Alt + Tab
I really miss my Alt + Tab keystrokes in Windows. I got it to work on my Mac with a third party program called Witch, but it should be built in to the OS. You can do a Command + Tab in Mac OS X, but that doesn't bring up a program that may be running but is minimized to the Dock.

2. Apple Menu as Start Menu
Wasn't there an Apple Menu in the old Mac OS's that acted like the Windows Start Menu? Sometimes I want to be able to launch a program from a menu and not from the Dock. I downloaded a program called Butler to make it happen, but again it should be built into the OS.

3. Menus appear in Window
I don't like the way Mac has one master menu at the top of the screen that changes as you change applications. I think it makes much more sense to have a menu in each window.

4. Ability to Move the Apple Menu
This may be possible, but I don't know of a way to do it What if I want the menu on the bottom of the screen? I don't, but somebody might want that.

5. Stop relying on applications like iPhoto
I prefer to browser my pictures in the Finder window and not in iPhoto. I can do that on my Mac, but if I'm trying to import a photo into an iMovie project I can't just grab it from a folder. I have to import it into iPhoto first. That's lame.

6. Write to NTFS drives natively
I really wish Mac would support writing to NTFS drives more easily. I can write to them with a third party hack, or by placing the drive on my network but it would be much easier to be able to plug in an external drive and write to it.

7. Permanently delete files without the trash
There is no easy way to delete a file from your desktop (or anywhere else) without first placing it in the Trash. I like to keep some files in Trash in case I need them, but other large files I want to delete immediately. There's no easy way to do it on the Mac. The way I do it now is to drop it on the Shredder, but that takes awhile. I also launch Terminal and type the command:

rm -f -r

and then drag the file that I want into the Terminal window. That gets rid of the file but it shouldn't be that difficult. Holding Shift +Del in Windows gets rid of the file immediately.

8. Delete Key
I don't like that there is no delete key in Mac. Holding down Function with the Delete key works, but that's an extra stroke that would be made easier with a delete key.

9. Clicking in the address bar of an Internet browser
I don't like the way Mac selects text in my Internet browser. In Windows, if I click in the address field the entire field is selected automatically so I can simply type a new address. I Mac, I click in the address field and the cursor is at the beginning of the line. A double-click then selects what Mac perceives to be a word and I have to triple click to get the whole thing selected. Lame.

10. Home Key
I miss the home key. Sometimes I want to select a line of text and in Windows I can hold down Shift + Home to do it. In Mac you can do it with Shift + Command + Arrow Key, but I've found that it doesn't always work. It seems to be application specific and some apps don't support it for some reason.

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Default apps reset in Mac OS X Leopard

I noticed my default applications were getting reset in Mac OS X Leopard every time I reboot. It turns out that FileVault has a bug in it which causes all default applications to be reset. I found the answer at the Related Link below.

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Deleting files in Mac Trash without permissions

I've had a situation where large files are in my Mac's Trash folder, but I cannot delete it because I do not have sufficient permissions. I tried to create a new folder on my desktop and move the files there but I couldn't do that either. I searched and finally found this snippet from Apple's Support site.

Emptying the Trash

In some circumstances, folders for which you do not have write permission can end up in the Trash; and you will not be able to delete them or the files contained in them. Remember that in Mac OS X there is not a single Trash folder. Instead, each user has a Trash folder in their home directory (named ".Trash"). There is also a Trash folder for the startup volume, and Trash folders for other volumes or disks. When a user throws away a file on a local non-startup volume, the name of the folder on that volume is "/.Trashes/UID", where UID is the user ID number of the user (which may be seen in NetInfo Manager). In either case, all Trash folders are hidden from the user in the Finder. In these situations you can either start up into Mac OS 9 to locate the files and delete them, or you can use the Terminal application. Issues with emptying the Trash are much less likely to occur in Mac OS X 10.2 or later, since the Finder empties the Trash as the root user. However, issues may still occur with files on remote volumes for which your local root user has no special privileges.

Warning: Typographical error or misuse of the "rm -rf" command can result in data loss. Insertion of a space in the wrong place could result in the complete deletion of data on your hard disk, for example. You may wish to copy and paste the commands below into a text editor to verify spacing. Follow these steps to delete Trash for the logged-in user:

1. Open the Terminal application.
2. Type: sudo rm -rf
Note: Type a space after "-rf". The command does not work without the space. Do not press Return until Step 6.
3. Open your Trash.
4. Choose Select All from the Edit menu.
5. Drag all of your Trash into the Terminal window. This causes the Terminal window to automatically fill in the name and location of each item in your Trash.
6. Press Return.

All of the items in your Trash are deleted. As an alternative method, you may execute these commands. The second and third commands will delete Trash belonging to other users. The commands are:

Warning: Typographical error or misuse of the "rm -rf" command can result in data loss. Insertion of a space in the wrong place could result in the complete deletion of data on your hard disk, for example. You may wish to copy and paste the commands below into a text editor to verify spacing.

Important: There is no space between "/" and ".Trash" or ".Trashes" below.

sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/
sudo rm -rf /.Trashes/
sudo rm -rf /Volumes//.Trashes/

Note: To end the sudo session, you should either execute the exit command, or log out of Mac OS X and then log back in.

Respectively, this permanently deletes all files in the current user's Trash, the startup volume Trash, and the Trash for other volumes (if any). These commands cannot delete locked files. You have to unlock them first.

Note: The sudo command can be used to temporarily obtain super user status and change permissions on files that otherwise could not be changed. However, it is only available if you are logged in with an administrator account, and it requires an administrator account user password for authentication.

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Connecting to my iDisk in Windows XP

I've been using FileZilla lately after FTP Voyager started to give me problems. FileZilla is okay, but it does not support WebDAV. I need WebDAV so I could access my Mac iDisk from my Windows PC but unfortunately not many FTP clients support the WebDAV protocol.

I finally found BitKinex which supports WebDAV quite nicely. It turns out they used to charge for BitKinex but now it is freeware.

Finally a client that allows me to connect to my Mac iDisk from Windows, without using Explorer. This is much faster!

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Tumblr is Blogging 2.0

I've been messing around with Tumblr tonight. I can't believe how interesting it is. It's like Twitter for Blogs. You follow other blogs in the same way you follow people on Twitter.

You can also post to your blog in a variety of ways. You can go to the Tumblr web site of course. You can also post via a Mac dashboard widget. You can email or IM a post to your blog through AIM. How about calling in and recording an audio post for our blog? You can do that too. I predict great things for Tumblr.

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