July 13, 2009

Jun - 29 2009 | By

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Glenn reminds people to back up. External media is so cheap now — Paul has seen 8gig flash below $20. And do a dry run in restoring the data so you know everything is working ok.

Glenn got a used iPhone. You need iTunes to be able to interface with the iPhone. Even if you want to use it as an external hard drive, you'll need iTunes and check the box for that. This needs to be done only once, then you can access the iPhones flash memory anywhere else.

You can't, "routinely", synch to more than 1 machine at a time

Paul's most useful gadget for the iPhone is a video cable that has composite out. Be careful to get the cable specifically for the equipment you have.

At Fry's Glenn found a Philips SDV2710/27 Passive Indoor Antenna (for digital TVs) on sale for $16.99. He got it for a friend who lost channel 10 & channel 6 on the June 12th conversion date. It's a directional antenna and it solved his problem. An outdoor antenna should work even better.
Paying more for an antenna gives you diminishing returns — doubling the price does not give you twice the signal strength.
Those having trouble receiving the KVMR signal may use a TV antenna to improve FM reception. See here for helpful tips.

Paul is impressed by the EVA9000 media server by Netgear which comes with a 500gig drive. It's able to store and deliver any multimedia — pictures, movies, music, .gif, .pdf, you name it — except for DRM media (digital rights management). You can connect it to your TV with HDMI, composite video, component video, or S-video. It has an Ethernet port, wireless port and infrared controller. Once you get it networked, it becomes a network access storage device — the 500gig is shared on the network.
It can also play an ISO image of a DVD (decrypted).
You can connect your iPhone, or even an external hard drive, to one of it's 2 USB ports.

For capabilities similar to the EVA 9000 see the Linux project called MythTV.

MobileMe comes with iTunes. It stores your contacts & emails on the web and synchs the info on various platforms. It comes on a trail basis and works with the PC, Mac and iPhone.

Tips for iPhone users, when you see you've pressed the wrong key, don't lift your finger but drag it toward the key you really wanted, when its image shows up then let go.
If you want to correct something you've typed further back, put you finger on the text and hold it there for a second. A magnifying glass showing your cursor comes up and you slide your finger back & forth.
In your home window, go left a few times and a search window comes up that allows you to search for anything on the phone.

Glenn talks about someone who didn't have secure wireless at an RV park but it was secure at the library across the street. This person would use the library connection to do banking.
– Such "secure" connections are meant only to get access to the library's router and has no bearing on your security on the internet itself.
– Such "secure" connections do make it harder (not impossible) to snoop on the wireless signal itself.
– Beware of people looking over you shoulder in any case.
– In the case of a bank which uses a secure protocol, it doesn't matter which type of network you're on, it will be secure end to end.
– Problems occur, even if you're using a secure connection, when a bunch of people share the same network and your computer has security issues like the firewall is turned off or it's set to share files.

A local caller has an old TV and asks if the mentioned antenna would allow her to pick up local channels.
– There are no local stations in Nevada City.
– She'll also need to get a converter box, coupons are still available.
– If her TV doesn't have a coax antenna connection, she's out of luck.

<There used to, and may still, be a twin lead to coax converter (aka a 300ohm to 75ohm converter, or Balun), so even really old TV's can go digital.>

Someone called to say he tried a couple of DTV converter boxes for his mother in Meadow Vista with no luck.
– Try the Roku Netflix box. Though not live TV, it may satisfy. It's talked about in a previous show.

Ellen called to say she's trying to use the Mac Disk Utility to partition an external hard drive. She can't find the "partition" button to click on, as per instructions.
– Various revisions of OS10 have different instruction to do this.
– Find out which revision you have by clicking on the Apple logo in the upper left and click "about". Then google the phrase: Apple disk utility 10.xx partitioning. Where xx is the revision number that "about" reported. That should get you the correct instructions.

Mikail called to add that Ellen should select a drive not a partition. Disk utilities won't allow you to partition an already partitioned drive.

Mikail goes on to say there are many alternatives to the Roku Netflix box:
LG BD300
Samsung BDP2550 & BDP2500
Sony just announced all their new HDTVs will be Netflix compatible
The Playstation

A caller has more suggestions for Ellen. If she has an old or off-brand external hard drive, be sure to install any needed drivers.
Also, Paul says he's gotten a Mac to recognize a drive by simply going to:
Apple logo –> about –> system information

A caller says he's decided to get an iPhone because of tethering and the free app Shazam.
Shazam identifies music by "listening" to it and then gives you the option to buy it.

A caller says he tried to send a playlist, from a Mac, to a someone by taking a screen shot in iTunes and attaching it to a Word document, but the recipient couldn't receive it because the software warned that it needed to be decompressed. Is there another way.
– Go to the File menu –> Print. In the lower left select PDF so the playlist will be printed to a PDF file.

He continued by asking how to transfer the entire iTunes library to a laptop.
– Get a dual Firewire cable that goes between machines
– On the machine that has the library, start it up while holding the T key down (that turns it into a target Firewire drive).
– Start the other machine, and you'll see an external hard drive, which is laptop #1. Under your login profile you'll see "music", under that you'll see the iTunes folder. Drag it to the same place on the new machine (it WILL WIPE OUT everything under iTunes). Also the target machine should not have its iTunes running. Now everything iTunes will be identical on both machines. This also works with the PC.
<I think I heard that right but it could be the 2 machines should be reversed. To be safe, please back up what ever you don't want to lose. And you may want to confirm the order of hookup by writing to zen at kvmr dot org>

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