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Archive for the ‘IT’ Category


OSX slow boot after cloning drive with SuperDuper

I just upgraded my MacBook Air with a 1TB SSD from OWC. I cloned the OS drive with SuperDuper, and then pulled out the old drive and installed the new cloned drive.

When I booted up the machine, it hung for an unusually long delay.  After that, it worked.  It just took an unusually long time for the boot to get going.

Here’s the issue: you need to tell OSX to use this new drive as the boot drive.  Here’s the deal: it’s looking for the old drive, and when that times out, it falls back onto whatever is left, which is the new drive you just installed.

Here’s the fix: go to Settings -> Startup Disk -> Unlock (enter your password) -> Click on your boot drive -> Lock again.


It’s worth noting that this issue has nothing to do with SuperDuper, it’s all about OSX knowing what disk to use when it boots up.  SuperDuper comes up in every search because everyone uses it – it’s such an excellent tool for cloning or backing up your drive.

The next time you boot, you’ll see it goes much faster.  You might also have problems like permissions need to be “fixed.” This can happen if you’ve been running the same O/S and installing, uninstalling software for a few years.  To do this, go to Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility -> Select the O/S or boot drive -> First Aid -> Run

Good luck!


Posted under IT

E-Mail Addresses for Cell Phones

Email Addresses for cell phones

Alltel: 123-456-7890@message.alltel.com
AT&T: 123-456-7890@txt.att.net  or  123-456-7890@mms.att.net
Boost Mobile: 123-456-7890@myboostmobile.com
Nextel: 123-456-7890@messaging.nextel.com
Sprint PCS: 123-456-7890@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile: 123-456-7890@tmomail.net
US Cellular: 123-456-7890@email.uscc.net  or  123-456-7890@mms.uscc.net
Verizon: 123-456-7890@vtext.com  or  123-456-7890@vzwpix.com (mms)
Virgin Mobile USA
: 123-456-7890@mms.uscc.netvmobl.com

Posted under IT

Stop The Chat Window

This is an open letter to corporate web sites.

Who thought an obnoxious offer “to chat” was a good idea?

Please STOP annoying me with your unwieldy, annoying, pop-up blocker circumventing offers to “chat”.  If I wanted to chat with you, I would find a “contact” link on your web site and speak with someone in an off-shored call center.  Why do you think it would somehow be more attractive to instant-message this person?  It’s merely a form of less effective, less efficient and more annoying customer service.  Whoever thought up of this IS AN IDIOT.  And everyone else who thinks it’s a good idea to jump on this bandwagon is suffering from EXTREME STUPIDITY and incompetence in leadership.

OK, I’m done.  You may now continue with your regularly scheduled programming.


Posted under IT, WTF?

Brother HL-2270DW needs toner… HACK!

BrotherHL2270DWSome time ago, I got a Brother HL-2270DW printer from NewEgg. The price, the ease of configuration and the performance were all excellent. Let’s be perfectly clear, I don’t print a lot – maybe an average of 15 pages per week. So when the toner light started flashing, I figured I could keep going for a few months, right? I mean, any self-respecting geek knows you don’t replace the toner until the print is completely faded. And even then, you take out the toner, shake it a little, and get 30 or 40 more pages.

2013-05-12 01.05.01 pmSo I was astonished to have the printer just STOP on me, after printing 6 of 9 pages of a PDF that I really need. While digging around on the web a little, I found a youtube hack using straws and fun tack. No thanks. But there was a great comment in there, that suggested going to the web interface and reconfiguring the toner settings from STOP (which is the default) to Continue. Wow… cheeky buggers. They must really want to sell more toner cartridges.

So problem #1, how do you find the printer?  I used a great utility called Angry IP Scanner which showed me all the “live” IPs on my WiFi network. After using my web browser to hit a few unlabeled IPs, I found it.   Problem #2, logging in: FYI, the default login credentials for the Brother HL-2270DW are: u/admin  p/access . If you set yours and don’t remember it, reset the printer settings and that will restore the defaults. You may have to go fish for the IP again though.

OK so there. Have fun.

And don’t wait so long to get new toner next time.


Posted under IT, Personal

A Valid DVD drive could not be found

I have a MBP and recently upgraded it by adding RAM and by removing the internal CD/DVD super-drive and replacing it with a second hard drive.  There are some pretty nifty kits for doing this; I used the Data Doubler, which I bought from Other World Computing. You can also get a nice little USB-connected plastic case in which you can mount your newly-naked CD/DVD super-drive.  The rationale here is that you hardly ever use the CD drive, but it’s nice to have when you need it.

The problem is that now, your MBP doesn’t know how to find the CD drive.  This is extremely annoying when you want to play a DVD.  OK, let’s be honest, more realistically, it’s extremely annoying when you want to rip and compress your DVD so you can take it on the road or  convert it to an MP4.

While searching for a solution to my problem, I contacted the support people at The Little App Factory (the makers of an excellent app called Rip It), and in a quick response, someone named Jane asked me if I could actually play the DVD using Apple’s DVD Player.app.  Such a dumb question… oh wait, let me try… hmmmm… Good question… heh, no I can’t… it doesn’t work! SONOFABITCH!  No wonder it couldn’t rip the disc!

Call me an idiot; I didn’t think these problems had anything to do with the fact that I had ripped out the guts of my laptop and moved the CD from internal to external.  I thought maybe these problems were because I hadn’t ever used the SuperDrive to play a movie, or hadn’t set the region or jumped through any of those annoying first-time hoops.

Digression: did you know that region-free DVD players are perfectly legal?  Content providers impose regions on their discs, and the manufacturers of media players play along with this non-competitive behavior.  The end result? I bought French DVDs from Amazon.fr and can’t play them in America.  This is bullsh*t.

OK.  back to our regularly scheduled programming.

So I asked support people for help and was told to check the OBVIOUS.

Yup, today I’m the one asking dumb questions instead of googling it.  I ran a search for the DVD Player.app error that I received: “A Valid DVD drive could not be found”.  In less than 5 minutes, I ended up in this forum,  where a self-declared notebook geek proposed downloading this script: DVDDriveSwitcher.

DVD Drive Switcher

Drum roll please… everything now works.  The DVD loads, I’m asked for the content molesting region settings, DVD Player.app works, I can play DVDs, VLC works, Rip It, FairMount, and all the other wonderful tools you’ve ever needed just work again.

Yay – Problem solved.
Thanks for the sript, Notebook Geek!

May 20, 2013 Update: uh oh… looks like that link to the DVDDrive Switcher script is broken 🙁 .  Good thing I saved it!  Looks like a super tidy perl script, but I couldn’t find anything about the author.  Sadly, I can’t give the author credit.

Posted under IT, Personal