Thursday, May 28, 2009
If you're like me, you do a lot of your personal computing on a Dell Mini tricked out as a Mac. While this setup is terrific for the most part, there are sometimes some challenges. One such issue is with streaming Netflix movies.
It seems that Netflix hearts Silverlight, and Silverlight does not heart Power PCs. Or, more correctly, Silverlight only hearts particular Intel devices. Whenlight plugin the Silverlight plugin is installed, if you're running a Dell Mini, you see the error to the left.
Now, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why this would matter, so I checked the package contents for clues. I found this:
Installation check? How quaint. I removed that file, and voila... we have Netflix on the Dell Mini running Mac OS X.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Today was a pretty rotten day as days go.
The morning at work presented some issues caused by typical ineptitude. When I arrived at my office, I discovered that I had forgotten my breakfast. An email from our credit union loan officer disclosed to me that mortgage rates are .6 % higher than when I started my refi application only days prior. A billing snafu led to us having our water turned off until tomorrow... sometime. My Speedpass wouldn't work at the local Exxon. And my dog barfed on the carpet for the second time in 24 hours.
Indeed, days have been better. However, days have been much worse, and could be. Cases in point: one of our beloved church members died this weekend at the age of 50 of a sudden heart attack. Another had a leg amputated and is still sick in the hospital. Another friend has a child not much older than my oldest who has been diagnosed with three types of leukemia, and his survival odds are limited.
It was not that long ago that my own grandmother lay dying in a hospital, while my newborn son struggled in the NICU to take a single breath on his own.
Somehow, I don't feel like I have the right to complain. By the standards set above, I had a pretty fabulous day, I think.
Perspective. It's all in one's perspective. Don't forget that however bad your day is, someone else's is likely worse. Keep that in mind the next time your dog pukes, or your water gets cut off, or you get cut off in traffic.
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Some friends of mine in the MIS world were discussing home computing issues this past week, and one that we all encountered was how best to access old emails from previous accounts. The traditional thing is to archive old email within the confines of a desktop client, whether that is Outlook, Express, Eudora, or something else.
Several years ago, on April Fool's Day if I recall correctly, Google changed all of that by introducing GMail. GMail gave the user gigabytes of storage, and coupled that with their well-developed search feature. At the time, GMail was web only, and had no real facility for interfacing with the desktop. Since then, Google has given the end user both POP3 and more recently an IMAP implementation (albeit somewhat quirky).
Of course, many users have stuck with their old ISP email, which ties them to a single provider unless they archive it. Once archived, email is often handled within the email client, which is most likely a proprietary format.
So the discussion topic that evolved from all of this was - how can the end user move old email from PSTs, Eudora archives, etc. into GMail? Gmail already has the feature of importing existing POP3 mail from active accounts, but we're talking about archive files here.
Lots of tools exist to accomplish just such a thing, but require a new app to be installed (which is platform dependent, naturally), or require translation of the archive file into another format.
But the solution we liked best was simply to use the tools we already have. If you combine your existing email client, its archive files, and a separate mapping to GMail as IMAP, the process is pretty straightforward.
Sounds easy enough, and I wonder why I never gave this much thought in the past. Now, I have an archive of about 6 GB of mail dating back to 2004, all searchable, all labeled, and all accessible from any browser on any major operating system, not to mention the space freed up on the network.
- Open up the archive file.
- Copy the emails that you want to move to GMail.
- Paste into the appropriate folder in GMail.
My only hope is that Google keeps expanding the size of their mailboxes. Otherwise, I will have to create alternate usernames for storage.
UPDATE: Someone asked me about offline access. In this case, I would either use GeeMail, an Adobe AIR client that runs on Linux, Mac and Windows, or enable Google Gears for offline Gmail access.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It has been... oh, about ten months since I last posted to my blog. This after being a prolific poster for most of the last seven years.
I know some people blog for money, others for fun, still others for vanity. Me? I did it because I had something to say and wanted to say it. But...
I have to say that a lot of what I opined about was political in nature, as the lion's share of blogs seem to be. But standing on the political fence and yelling, and being yelled at, is so arduous these days. Society has become so polarized due to politics. There's a lot of what masks as debate, but it really is nothing more than oneupsmanship, name calling, and epithet hurling. It's like reading Crossfire, or the McLaughlin Group.
So, I stopped. Cold turkey. The opinions stayed, but not the constant attention to the news cycle. Issues matter. Politicians and their antics, I can do without them. And the Kossacks and the Freepers... it just doesn't appeal to me.
Anyway, I'm considering coming back to blogging, just not predominantly about politics. It doesn't do me any good to vent, really. There is no catharsis, no purge of the soul.
So, in the coming weeks, I think I'm going to start hitting the little keyboard, talking about tech, and other stuff. And maybe someday soon, this blog will grow up, and move onto something else.
In the meantime, go look around the web, find something that interests you, and talk about it. And if it starts to feel like work, stop doing it, and move onto something else. Blogging should be fun, not a task.
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