Category: Apple

Seagate Firewire Drive Problem

Apple Disk UtilityRecently, I had the opportunity to diagnose a problem with an external Firewire drive and Mac OS X. The drive would no longer mount on the OS X desktop and the only place you could see it (other than Terminal) was in Disk Utility. If you ran Disk Utility – Verify or Repair, the message: invalid content in journal would appear. The fix to make it mountable again was to do the following in Terminal.

The first command gives you a list of all drives and in the right most column, you will need to identify what the Identifier Name is for your volume. Once you have that, run the second command and substitue the IDENTIFIER_NAME with the correct Identifier Name for your volume.

diskutil list
/System/Library/Filesystems/hfs.fs/hfs.util -N /dev/IDENTIFIER_NAME

Example: disk0s2

If it successful, this will mark the disk as no longer Journal, so you can now shutdown the Firewire drive and then unplug it. Wait a minute or so and then start it back up and plug it back into the Macintosh and then you should be able to see the drive mount again.

This allowed me to mount the drive again, but I believe there is still a problem with this drive, so my recommendation was to backyp the drive right away and then reformat it and exchange it for a new drive. I am not sure if the problems with the 1.5TB Seagate drives in RAID configuration apply to other Seagate drives as this one was a 1TB drive, but you never know.

Filed under: Mac OS X

iPhone Review II

Apple iPhone 1.1Three months ago I posted my Apple iPhone Review and detailed my initial thoughts of Apple’s entry into the cell phone market; now with a few months of usage I thought it would be a good time to write down some afterthoughts on what the iPhone experience is all about. First let me state that I have only personally used only three cellphones in my entire life: a Blackberry, a Samsung Blackjack, and an old style cell phone, none of which I personally owned. The irony of course is that back in college I worked at a major electronics chain store and sold cell phones as part of my job. Back then I use to sign up people for Motorola phones all the time. Somehow though I never really thought I would ever need a cell phone until now!

Most Used Features

Without a doubt, the feature that I use the most is Safari. I love being able to read my favorite tech news sites and blogs anywhere I go. Everyone is talking about how some day eBooks will become popular, but in reality the real medium is the news site and blogs that get updated daily and which are read more often than most newspaper columns. The iPhone allows you to do what you have always wanted to do, which is catch up on your favorite sites when you are away from your computer. In many ways it reduces the need for people to use their work computer for idle web browsing and lets people be informed anywhere they go.

I personally hate talking to people on the phone, so I prefer SMS texting to actually calling anyone. Sometimes SMS seems more fun than actually talking. I much more prefer to send coworkers a quick message than to actually bother them during a meeting or worse at home in their private time. The iPhone’s keyboard takes a little getting use to, but it soon becomes second nature and you find yourself quickly adopting to its limitations.

As a manager, you often need to catch up on email or learn more management skills, but lets face it there is never enough time in the day to do this. One trick that I use is to email myself anything I don’t have time to read to my GMail account and then later when I get stuck waiting somewhere with nothing to do, I pull out my iPhone and check my email. This way I catch up on everything I wanted to read eventually without interfering with my regular work routine.

Probably the feature I use the most that is not work related happens to be the camera. Like most people I have a digital camera and it is stuck in a drawer somewhere. The iPhone camera is nothing to rave about, but it allows you the freedom to take a few pictures of the family, especially when they least expect it. For the first time I actually I am using iPhoto weekly.

The Annoyances

The biggest annoyance is the battery life, until you discover to live within the limitations of the iPhone battery. If you find your battery draining like mine, try the following tips:

  • Turn Wi-Fi off when you know there are no access points
  • Lower your screen Brightness
  • Turn Bluetooth off if not needed
  • Do not setup Mail to Auto-Check
  • iPod: Turn off Sound Check
  • iPod: Turn off EQ
  • iPod: Turn off Volume Limit
  • If you do not need to take any calls, enable Airplane Mode

The other problem that I use to run into is with Safari. At times Safari would just quit without warning trying to load a webpage. I think this is more of a problem with Safari 3 then the actual iPhone. Safari 3 in Mac OS X is still a work in progress and you will find that while Safari 3 improves on the previous version’s speed, it seems to be a lot more prone to long freezes and random quits. A good cure for this on the iPhone is to clear your cache and shutdown your iPhone completely. Once your power it back up, Safari seems to work just fine for a couple a days at least. The problem only gets worse if you switch constantly from Wi-Fi and AT&T.

Don’t Use It

Other than my kids who seem to think it is hilarious to watch SouthPark cartoons with Pokemon character voices, I really don’t use the YouTube feature much. The iPod part of the iPhone plays better video and unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, YouTube does not work very well at all through AT&T.

Filed under: Apple

Eudora on Mac OS X 10.5

Eudora OS X IconI spent last week upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. I chose to do a clean install, and so the installation went as smoothly as can be hoped for. Once I manually copied back some of my old settings and reinstalled some of my third party apps, I ended up having a few minor problems. The worst of it was with Eudora 6.2.4, which is the email client I have been using for over ten years. It is has hard for me to say goodbye to Eudora. After all this time the email client just feels comfortable to me and though I have tried Thunderbird, I found it lacking. I thought several times of switching to Apple Mail or PowerMail, but Eudora’s multiple personalities and inboxes were hard to let go. Apparently I am not alone in my Eudora issues with OS X 10.5, there are a few discussions on Apple’s Support Forums about multiple the dreaded beach ball problem and Eudora freezing for no apparent reason. The initial fix is to click on the Window Menu and choose Settings – Getting Attention and change your Sounds from the Eudora defaults to a standard system alert sound. This helps but did not quite fix the problem. Here is a list of other workarounds that seem to have fixed all of my Eudora crashes:

  • Settings – Getting Attention: Uncheck Play a sound.
  • Settings – Spell Checking: Check Spelling – Only when requested and select Never make suggestions.
  • Settings – Mood Watch: uncheck Enable Mood Watch
  • Settings – Hosts: Check DNS load balancing.

After implementing all of these, Eudora launches and displays email without any beach ball cursors or crashes.

Related Links:

In the ‘Sounds’ section, for both ‘New mail sound’ and ‘Attention sound’, select a sound OTHER than one that has ‘Eudora’ in its name (ie. NOT ‘Eudora Attention’, ‘Eudora New Mail’ nor ‘Eudora Short Warning’)

Filed under: Mac OS XTagged with: , , , , , , , ,