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Music and photos -- Summary graph of recent polls Site News
I had a few requests for summaries of the recent polls on the number of photos and songs that we all keep on our Macs. The Geeklog poll function returns results sorted by number of votes (which makes sense), but people were interested in seeing the distribution of responses across the categories. This seemed like a good excuse to play with Keynote's graphs, so I spent a few minutes copying and pasting the data. Below are two smaller versions of the final results; click on either one for the large version (800x600ish, roughly 120KB each) in a new window:

One thing I found interesting is the number of results in both surveys at the far right -- the "maximum" bucket in each survey. Seems there are a lot of extreme users out there :). And for the record, yours truly falls into the "2,500 to 2,999" range for music, and the "3,500 to 3,999" range for images.

Anyway, just a couple interesting charts of our collective Macs' "iLife usage" for a Friday morning. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Downtime this evening... Site News
We'll be upgrading our server tonight (to hopefully end the occasional overnight crash caused by some of the cron tasks on the forum site). The server will be offline starting tonight around 8pm Eastern time, and we'll hopefully be back online in an hour or so...

As an aside, it's nice to be home again, and back at the hints!

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Back to normal ... almost! Site News
I had a great trip to Macworld -- thanks to everyone who attended the session; I hope you found it interesting and useful. It's always nice to be able to get out and meet some of the readers of the site; it makes what I do here each day (OK, almost every day) seem much more tangible and real. Your kind words are greatly appreciated.

I've posted a number of hints today, as there won't be an update on Monday until later in the afternoon due to my schedule. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Site update schedule, July 9 - July 15 Site News
Tomorrow morning, I'm headed out to Boston (via a sidetrip to visit relatives on the east coast) for Macworld -- I'm speaking on Wednesday afternoon, from 1:30pm to 2:45pm [info]. Due to the early flight, there won't be any new hints on Friday. Why not take your hints' reading time and repeatedly enter the iTunes 100,000,000 song contest -- it's nearly over!

Monday and Tuesday of next week should see normal updates, then no updates on Wednesday. Thursday's update won't be published until sometime after 2pm Pacific time, as I'm traveling home that day.

Hope to see you if you're going to be at Macworld on Wednesday (yea, I know Apple won't be there, but pretty much any gathering of Mac-heads turns out to be a lot of fun.)

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Updates will occur later in the day.... Site News
Due to what appears to be a cable cut at my home, along with an "earliest possible" repair date of Saturday, I'm temporarily unable to access the net from home for the remainder of the week. Instead, I'll try to post some hints during lunch hour each day through Friday... Sorry for the delays! -rob.
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Limited hints today... Site News
Blame it on the lack of time I had due to prepping for today's TechTV appearance :). If you're a regular reader here, you probably won't see anything new on today's show, other than a chance to put a face to the 'robg' name ... well, you might learn how well I handle an OS X demo on live TV when running at 800x600 resolution (a limitation of the cameras or something, based on what they told me). I had completely forgotten just how little real estate that is -- pretty much nothing fits in 800x600 very well! It made me change a few things for the demo, based on what did and did not fit on the screen...

Friday's hints may be delayed as well, as I'm not sure what kind of connectivity I'll have at the hotel. So if there's nothing new in the morning, you'll know why...

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Upcoming macosxhints' events... Site News
Despite my best efforts :), I've somehow been talked into into making a few public appearances over the next couple of months in various places. I'll be discussing some of my favorite OS X hints and apps, and perhaps providing a bit of information on my background with both OS X and the macosxhints site.

As it stands today, here's my schedule as I know it:
  • Thursday, June 3rd, 4:00pm Pacific time: An appearance on TechTV's The Screen Savers, discussing OS X hints and apps and more -- The Screen Savers is live television, so who knows exactly what's going to happen (he says, as he repeats the "Please, no kernel panics during the show!" mantra over and over!). I don't know exactly when I'll be on during the show, and the exact content is still being finalized ... and did I mention it's live? :)

  • Sunday, June 13th: I'll be attending and presenting at The Rogue Valley Mac Expo, an event in the gorgeous Rogue River Valley area of southern Oregon (Grant's Pass, Oregon, to be precise). My presentation is from 9:45am - 10:45am, and I'm planning on showcasing a few of my favorite third-party apps and most useful hints, and discussing a bit about the technology and operation of the site. This will also be our family's first long car trip with our nearly one-year-old daughter Kylie, as Grant's Pass is a good three-plus hour drive (wish us luck!).

  • Wednesday, July 14th: I'll be presenting at Macworld Expo Boston; you can view a synposis of my presentation on the Macworld event site -- but it's basically the same general content of useful hints and apps, hopefully presented in a non-boring manner, followed by some Q&A.
With my 'other' work schedule, I don't get a ton of chances to do stuff like this, so I'm really looking forward to these events. Please feel free to drop by and say hello if you'll be in the area for any of these...

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Clearing out some older hint submissions Site News
macosxhints readers:

Many of the hints appearing today and into the near future are actually submissions that have been in the queue for quite a while (a longggg while in some cases). Due to some stupidity on my part, I had exported a bunch of submissions in preparation for an upgrade, and had then promptly forgotten about them. I found the export file when cleaning up my macosxhints' folder this weekend, so I re-imported them into my local copy of the site.

I'll be working my way through them, along with the daily submissions (which I've finally caught up on!) over the next few weeks. I am trying to test each of these older hints, as there are have been quite a few system and application updates since they were submitted, and I want to make sure they're still relevant.

So if you submitted a hint a long time ago, don't be surprised if it pops into existence in the near future.

Update: I spent a lot of time this morning editing a few of these older hints ... only to discover that when I went to post them, they were already here (argh!). So as a result, there are but a few hints today (though I have some really nicely formatted duplicates of older hints...sigh).

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No new hints this morning... Site News
Due to family and work commitments today, there won't be any new hints this morning. There may be some this evening, and I will get the Pick of the Week up sometime today, I promise.

Sometimes the real world intrudes on my OS X hinting ... but Kylie and I thank you for your understanding [yes, she's paid by Apple as an official spokesperson :) ].

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Changes over the weekend... Site News
I worked on a couple things over the weekend, one minor, one quite major. The minor change is the addition of (gasp!) search instructions to the Advanced Search page. We've had a hint with instructions, and they're in the FAQ, but now they're on the actual search page as well.

The second (and much larger!) project was the upgrading of the macosxhints forums to version 3.0 of the vBulletin software. After a few hours of upgrading and tweaking, the forums are online with a brand new look -- basically, just the default vBulletin theme, though there are three or four more themes coming in the near future. In addition to the new look, there are some great new features, and we've now (finally!) activated images in postings as well as file attachments -- so now you can post pictures of something you may be having issues with, or attach a log file to a trouble report.

If you haven't checked them out before, the forum site is a very good troubleshooting resource. Registration is completely free (but separate from the main site, until someone wants to tackle a Geelog vBulletin registration process integration for me!). Check it out if you're looking for an answer to an OS X question...

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