Mac tips part 3

ejectBack on the trail of helpful Mac tips. Just two quickies this time round:

First, I had a CD that wouldn’t eject from my MacBook drive.

It was really stuck; the drive was spinning up and down but nothing in Finder, not even an icon. I was getting an occasional colourful spinning CD mousepointer, but nothing else. Pressing the eject button showed the eject icon on the screen but didn’t actually have any effect.

Not only that, it pretty much ate up the resources preventing starting of other apps etc. or even get to display the dock.

I searched around, and while there were a number of suggestions, none of them worked for this particular disk, but the following did…

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Modern measure of a man

measure-manIn days gone by, the measure of a man was perhaps in his hunting prowess.

Going out into the wilderness, facing daily danger to bring food back to his tribe and family.

As the years have gone by, the measure has changed. With the advent of shops and supermarkets, modern man no longer has to stalk and hunt his prey.

So other measures have variously been used; His educational status, the money he earns, the clothes he wears, the car he drives. You name it.

Now I reckon there’s a new, modern-day candidate for the measure.

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Next 5 things for your mac

Mac LogoHot on the heels of the similarly titled post, I have a few other gems I’ve come across or been pointed towards to make life on the good ship MacBook that little bit more simple. Not that it’s difficult in the first place, just different if you’re used to Windows.

Note: Feedback from the family, who are a mix of casual and regular PC users, would suggest the Mac is easy to use. So fear-ye not Mac virgins, this is not a platform (only) for the uber-geeks.

That said, if you *are* an uber-geek, there’s lots (and I mean lots) to float your boat here.

So, what do we have in the bag this time?

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First 10 things to put on your new Mac

Mac OS X LeopardAs you may heve read from previous posts, and at the risk of boring any regular (aye right!) readers, I got a MacBook a short while back. It’s a bit of a migration for me, having uset a PC for most of my career. I published a list of keyboard shortcuts previously and heres a list of other things I’ve hunted down as ‘essentials’ for day to day work/play.

I know there are alternatives to all of the below, but these are the ones I plumped for. One prevailing factor influenced the choices below; they’re all open source/freeware. My budget for toys is dry following the arrival of the MacBook, so it’s cheapies or freebies for me for a while.

So here goes:

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There is indeed an app for that

apple-iphone-3gAccording to the iPhone adverts, regardless of what you want to do, “there’s an app for that’. Now, I’ve always been a bit cynical to marketing blurb, especially from the big companies. But having had an iPhone for a while now, I can honestly say, I think that claim may actually be pretty close to the truth. There seems to be a limitless number of apps out there to do just about anything.

It’s quite simply the best phone I’ve had. Looks good, nice and slim in the pocket, fantastic UI and the apps, well, that’t where this phone sticks out in front of the rest.

If you don’t have an iPhone, this post will either be of no interest to you at all or may ust convice you to get one.

It already comes with some great apps, like Google Maps But you’re not stuck with just that, of course, there’s a wealth of apps you have to pay for, but in these economic times, let me run through a “Top 5” of the coolest free apps I’ve downloaded so far…

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The Leopard has landed

apple-logo-black-xsanNo posts for a while, partly because I’ve been on holiday and busy with other things, but also because I have a new toy. I’ve gone over to the dark side, as a few of my friends have commented, and now have a foot in the MacBook camp.

So I’ve been spending time getting to grips with the myriad of differences between Windows, which I’ve used for the last 20 years or so, and the platform of choice for the creative world. The butterfly finds another flower to alight on, so to speak.

So, how’s it going so far?

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Posting from iPhone

Just enabled WordPress posting from the iPhone. So this is my first quickie mobile post. You can even include a pic, which is cool.

Here are a couple of Arrow Frogs, at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry, which was good for passing a couple of hours on a cold and windy afternoon.

In the wild, each one of these little blighters contain enough poison to kill 200 men. That’s where they got their ‘arrow’ name from,; the natives used to utilise the poison on their arrows for more effective hunting.

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An Apple for the teacher

appleIt’s been a long time coming, but I finally got myself an iPhone 3g at the weekend. It’s only available on the O2 network here in the UK, so that meant having to transfer away from my long term contract with Vodafone.

Not something I was looking forward to, because I was sure the process was likely to be fraught with grief. For the record, if Voda had been able to offer the iPhone, I would have stayed with them.

I knew it was going to be a good device, I’ve read the reviews, considered the main things that are supposed to be ‘bad’ about it compared to ‘equivalent’ handsets on the market…

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New boots and panties

My new theme: AspireFor those of you old enough to remember Ian Dury, you’ll recognise the title.

But this post has nothing to do with Ian Dury, or indeed music. Its about a new look for the blog.  I decided that after sticking with the iNove theme for a few months, it was time to move up a gear.

So I hooked myself up with a new, free WordPress theme from, it’s called Aspire, hope you like it.

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