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#684: Delete Unwanted Apps, Stop Auto-completing, Unibody MacBook Screen Replacement, Data Loss


Happy Tuesday,

I woke up this morning and peered out the window to see about two inches of snow covering the lawn and the brilliant orange and red remaining foliage. I remember an October storm in my childhood that left us without power for about a week. That storm dumped over a foot over the mid-Hudson valley before peak foliage and caused some pretty devastating destruction. While I can’t wait for a thick blanket of snow, it is a bit unsettling to see snow with leaves on the trees.

Tony’s red heeler Waylon turns two today, so be sure to send them happy birthday wishes. Owen and Waylon are like peanut butter and jelly, and we often go on lengthy lunchtime walks. Happy Birthday Waylon!

As always, keep in touch.


  Thoroughly Delete Unwanted Apps!  

In the spirit of all addicts in recovery, “My name is Ed and I am a serial demo software downloader.” I can’t help it. When I hear of a promising or interesting new application for my Mac, I rush online and download it. In the past week alone, I have downloaded demo versions of iStopMotion, BoinxTV and Pagehand.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m grateful we live in a time where is it’s very easy to try a software title before you have to buy it. It used to be that software was only available in a box and if you didn’t like it, tough luck taking it back (since opened software is never returnable).

On the other hand, all this demo software downloading gobbles hard drive space and clutters your Mac’s Applications folder. In some cases, it’s easy to delete an application—grab the icon and drop it the Mac’s Trash. In most cases, however, when an application is installed, it distributes many small files throughout your Mac’s hard drive. Even when you think you’ve fully deleted an app, orphan files may still persist on your hard drive.

In order the completely, thoroughly, and safely delete an application—demo or otherwise—I use a free program called AppCleaner. AppCleaner finds all the small files associated with applications and safely deletes them. AppCleaner itself is a very small program, and is easy to use. You can also use it to uninstall and delete Dashboard widgets. It also has a feature to prevent your favorite apps from being deleted accidentally.

Click here to download the free AppCleaner utility.

Oh wow! Did you know there’s a new version of Bento now, Bento 3? Think I better download the demo to try out…

  Tip of the Week: Stop Individual Email Addresses From Auto-completing  

I often rely on Mail’s ability to auto-complete an email address based on the first few letters of the address. Sometimes, though, this comes back to bite me. A few days ago, I sent a message to a colleague’s personal Gmail address, and realized that Mail was auto-completing all the emails I wrote to the wrong address.

I asked Rebecca if it was possible to remove individual addresses from the cache of previously-used addresses, and we couldn’t find a solution. She pointed out that this task was very easy in Entourage, so I knew Apple had to have a way to do it.

Quick sleuthing in the Mail menus led me to the Previous Recipients item under Window. There, I saw a list of every address I’d sent mail to in the past years. The Previous Recipients window has a search box to easily locate individual addresses and buttons to remove an address or add it to your Address Book.

  Cloud Failure: T-Mobile's Sidekick Subscribers Lose Data  

Cloud computing is gaining acceptance and adoption as bandwidth and storage become less and less expensive. The idea is to essentially offer storage and other resources as a service over the Internet, and we’re seeing more and more of this every day. MobileMe is a perfect example of cloud computing: your data is stored remotely and elegant software keeps everything neatly synchronized across computers, iPods and iPhones. is another example of cloud computing, where you can save your work and run the iWork applications through a web browser anywhere in the world. As MobileMe offers a well-integrated off-site backup solution, it’s perfect for anyone needing secure off-site storage.

Imagine, though, that you put your trust in the cloud to the point that you stop making local backups to external hard drives, DVDs or USB thumb drives—and the service storing your data suffers from major data loss. Like all of it.

T-Mobile’s Sidekick service remotely stored data from mobile phones in a facility owned and operated by Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft. It blows my mind that there was one facility hosting all this data. The point of cloud computing is that your data is safe, and someone else is paid to ensure it remains so. To keep this data in one facility is downright irresponsible—what if it burned down, flooded, or suffered massive power failure? Redundancy is what makes this viable, and this is an example of extreme failure.

I know we say this over and over, but it can never be repeated enough: back up your data. If you use Time Machine or SuperDuper, that’s great. But consider keeping an off-site backup as well. This could be as simple as keeping a backup of your backup at work, updating it every month or so. Sync MobileMe often so your data is on your computer, backup drive(s) AND in the cloud. The worst part of our jobs is telling customers that their data is gone.

  Unibody MacBook Screen Replacement  

We’ve long offered very competitively priced screen replacement service for the “old” style MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Apple charges over $1200 for a MacBook Pro screen, while Small Dog charges about 45% less; MacBook screen replacement through Apple is around $700, while Small Dog’s price is just under $400.

I spent some time today trying to figure out how to remove the glass covering from unibody MacBook screens. We had a few in the South Burlington service facility with broken unibody screens just begging to be tinkered with. I used a large suction cup on the corner of the glass itself, and another on the rear housing directly behind it. I applied firm, steady outward pressure and before I knew it, the glass was nicely separated from the screen frame. The display itself came out of the housing with a little coaxing. In all, it took far less time than I thought it would.

The good news is that I can now source displays and glass panels for all unibody MacBooks. This translates to huge savings for you if you ever find yourself with a broken screen or glass—we should be able to offer glass replacement for well under $100! Keep an eye on Barkings for the announcement!

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