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Set up Nintendo DS surfing via PowerBook and Treo 680 Other Hardware
I attempted to use this hint with my Treo 680 connected to my 12" PowerBook via USB and's USB modem, but was unable to, until I looked at how my WinXP laptop connected to the shared Treo 680 modem. So save yourself the hassle of dealing with a Windows box, and follow these steps...

Equipment needed:
  • Mac OS X machine
  • Treo
  • Treo USB cable
  • USB Modem software
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo DS browser software
PowerBook setup steps:
  1. Set up USB modem as shown in the documentation; fairly simple and headache-free.
  2. Open System Preferences » Sharing » Internet, and select Treo 680 Modem from the 'Share your connection from' drop-down menu. You may have to do this twice before AirPort shows up as an option.
  3. Click Start in the Internet Sharing panel.
  4. In Terminal, type ifconfig en1 to acquire the IP address of the AirPort. It should look like: inet netmask. Mine was This is where sharing the USB Treo Modem is different from sharing the Ethernet: the DNS server is going to be the IP Adress.
Read on for the Nintendo DS setup instructions...
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Cleaning Mighty Mouse and other rodents Other Hardware
A good many mouse problems are directly caused by the accumulation of gunk (definition: dust, dirt, residue of spilt beer, all glued together by skin oils and associated fatty acids, wax esters, etc.). Certain kinds of gunk can actually create small voltage bridges on circuit boards in addition to mechanical problems. Humm, heavy metal music, nah.

So, what to do? Take 'em apart, sure. But that's not always a simple task, and who wants to pry off and then re-glue the retaining ring of a Mighty Mouse? Many suggest using alcohol which is right on (though it wont get the waxes) but cotton swabs and the like are not enough.

Try this. I've done it and it works wonders. Use ethanol with as high a proof as you can find (e.g., 190 -- the lower the proof the more water, and some of that water is free). Perhaps test the mouse shell to make sure its not coated with some funky alcohol soluble coating first. Now, if you have enough alcohol, simply submerge the mouse for a minute or so -- yup, the whole thing. Otherwise, pour the alcohol into any openings or seams and use a lot. Gently swirl the alcohol around in the mouse for a minute or so and then drain it, shake it a bit, whatever.

Compressed air, even an aquarium air source, helps dry out any remaining liquid. So does simply waving the mouse through the air for a while. Alcohol evaporates quickly. Isopropyl works too, and in fact attacks some oils a bit better, but make sure you find the 90+ percent stuff. Standard rubbing alcohol is 70%, so 30% is water. Better solvents exist, but many attack plastics.

[robg adds: I haven't tried this one, but it sounds intriguing. I've been using a toothbrush on my Mighty Mouse's roller ball, and that's been working quite well. What are your favorite mouse cleaning techniques? And if anyone else has used this method, please post your experiences.]
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Use album art as a screen saver in Apple TV Other Hardware
If, like me, you have way too much music in iTunes to sync over to your Apple TV, but would like to use album art as a screen saver, just do the following:

Create a playlist in iTunes (I call mine Artwork). Then drag one song from each artist you want displayed over from your library. Try and choose the shortest song, since you probably won't be listening to this playlist. This might take some time, but when you're done, just sync that playlist alone over to your Apple TV. Grab your remote and choose Albums in your screensaver settings, and voila! all of that beautiful artwork will cascade down your TV screen as your new screen saver.
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How to update a Pioneer DVD drive's firmware Other Hardware
I have a Pioneer DVR-109 that I installed in my Power Mac G4 Dual 1Ghz, and I had been having some problems burning a dual-layer disk of a friend's wedding video that I recorded for them. There was so much video and photo slideshow data in the iDVD project that a dual-layer burn was the only solution. I ended up sorting out that the main problem -- I was trying to use Imation DVD+R dual-layer disks when Pioneer recommends using Verbatim DVD+R dual-layer disks. However, before reaching that conclusion I found a way of updating the Pioneer's firmware in a Mac, which is not easy -- all the firmware installers that Pioneer releases are for Windows only.

There is, however, a little program called DVRFlashX (scroll down towards the bottom of the page) which does the job. DVRFlashX is a GUI utility for Mac OS X to simplify the use of DVRFlash. This version is only compatible with Pioneer drives up to DVR-109 series and PowerPC Macs. All you have to do is:
  1. Download DVRFlashX version 2.1. Unzip it, and you will have a folder on your desktop called DVRFlashX 2.1. Inside that folder will be the DVDFlashX application, and another folder called Firmware.
  2. Download the relevant Pioneer firmware for your DVD drive model.
  3. Use Stuffit Expander to open the .EXE file, and you will find three files inside: an .exe file and two black files with funny names like RA100010.141 and RA100110.141. Put these two black files in the folder named Firmware in the DVRFlashX 2.1 folder.
  4. Double click on the DVDFlashX application, and you will be guided through the process of updating your firmware. DO NOT quit the application, or do anything else on the Mac, while it is doing the firmware update. After it's finished, you will have the latest firmware available for your Pioneer DVD-R drive.
Those people with newer drives like the DVR-110 and above will have to use the Terminal-based DVRFlash version 2.2. If you need more help, you can read the full instructions on my blog.

[robg adds: It should go without saying, but ... you're on your own if you try this and turn your drive into an expensive drink coaster!]
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View some info about the AppleTV Other Hardware
On the about screen of the Apple TV, if you press the Play button, the <em>Version: 1.0</em> text will cycle thru EFI Version, Software Build, OS Build Version, IR Version, and GF Version.
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Use a Sony Reader PRS500 with the Mac Other Hardware
The Sony Portable Reader -- the PRS500 -- has no official Mac support. But with the help of the libprs500 library, I was able to get a modest but very useful level of functionality without resorting to SD cards. You need to install a few bits, like Python 2.5, to use libprs500 -- the easiest way is probably to use MacPorts. Once you've got libprs500 installed, though, you can start to do fun things.

For instance, I've created a simple PDF Services wrapper script that lets me print and transfer anything onscreen to the PRS500 automatically. Full details on this are available in this post on my blog.

[robg adds: Normally I'd want to reproduce the blog posting in full here. However, it's quite detailed and not completely OS X related, so I left it as a link -- the PRS500 looks like a nifty machine; too bad there's no official full Mac support.]
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Use Skype to listen to a RadioShark remotely Other Hardware
Skype can be used in combination with a RadioShark FM tuner to allow you to remotely listen to the output from the RadioShark. To do this, you need to set Skype to use the RadioShark as its input device, in place of the microphone. You also should set Skype to auto-answer incoming calls. The RadioShark should be tuned to the station desired.

Finally, call the Skype account of the machine with the RadioShark attached from any other internet machine, and voila, remote FM radio!
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Use the Logitech Wireless Presenter with Keynote Other Hardware
The excellent Logitech Cordless Presenter is a great wireless remote for presentations. In addition to advancing slides and controlling volume, the remote also has two buttons that are meant to start/stop the presentation and blank the screen. However, whilst these work with PowerPoint, they will not work with Keynote by default.

I was curious to know exactly what signals (keyboard commands) these buttons send, and after some testing, I determined the following:
  • Left button ==> Page Up
  • Right button ==> Page down
  • F5/Esc (first press) ==> F5
  • F5/Esc (second press) ==> Escape
  • Blank screen = ==> . (period)
Because the Logitech remote uses Page Up and Page Down for navigation (rather than up/down or left/right), this means that your remote will also work to scroll up and down in many other applciations. Also, if you press any number during your presentation, you will access the slide navigator tool (one of the things that I love about Keynote) and now the left/right buttons on the remote will also allow you to navigate through your slides (though you still need to hit enter on the keyboard to select the actual slide).
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10.4: Share a serial port with Windows on Parallels Other Hardware
The Problem (as I faced it): I have need to use a serial port to connect my MacBook to my amateur radio equipment. The USB/serial port adapter that I have chosen is the Keyspan USA-19HS. There are both Mac OS and Windows programs applicable to my needs; however, they differ in their purpose, and thus I need the Windows environment to supplement my Mac-based operations.

Initially, I had set my Mac to use Boot Camp to provide the Windows XP environment. This was necessary because the Keyspan driver under Mac OS would not release the serial port adapter to Windows under Parallels, and I did not want to have to remove the drivers from Mac OS each time that I wanted Windows to use the serial port. Rebooting to the other environment was the solution that I came up with; until I read about SerialClient.

The Solution: SerialClient is a Mac application that (in my own words, which may not be technically accurate) takes the serial port away from the Mac OS and links it to Parallels for use by Windows applications running under Parallels. I'll not pretend that I know the intimate details of how this works, but keep reading to learn how to make it work.
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A simple fix for Mighty Mouse right-click issues Other Hardware
I have heard many people complaining that the Mighty Mouse doesn't recognise their right clicks, due to the touch-sensitive nature of the device. I personally have no problems with it, but a lot of my friends use my Mac and seem not to have the knack for right-clicking. So I came up with a solution, and now no one has any problems.

I simply changed secondary button to the ball rather than the right button. The mouse seems to recognise when you're pressing the ball every time. It's very a simple hint, but it really works.
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