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#734: iPod nano Giveaways and NH Grand Opening, Stop Auto-completing, Smaller nano? Or Better shuffle?

 
     
 

Happy Tuesday,

Construction continues as we come closer and closer to the October 9th grand opening of our new store. The repair facility is walled in, the floors are done, ethernet and electricity wiring is complete, and the benches are scheduled to arrive next week. We still must get the actual networking gear set up—routers, switches, and the like—and configure servers to host backups, restoration images, and netboot services to ensure efficient diagnostics and quality repairs.

The foliage seems early this year. I drove to the southern Hudson Valley this weekend to visit my mother, and while the leaves here in Vermont are nearly past peak, the leaves south of here are most definitely in their peak. The delightful display of colors almost made the six hundred mile round trip enjoyable!

I look forward to meeting some of you at our grand opening celebration October 9th. Check out our Facebook page and RSVP to the event for a chance to win cool stuff!

As always, thanks for reading, and keep in touch.

Matt
matt@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  iPod nano Giveaways Before & During Our NH Grand Opening!  
   
 

You might know that when you RSVP on Facebook to the Grand Opening of our new store at the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester NH on October 9, you’ll also be entered to win one of five iPod nanos.

What you probably didn’t know is that we’re also giving away a new touchscreen iPod nano every other hour at the new store on Grand Opening weekend! That’s 14 chances to win a brand new iPod nano! All you have to do is visit the store during Saturday and Sunday of Grand Opening weekend to enter your name in person for your chance to win.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

Click here to learn about the new store!

Good luck, and we hope to see you at the Grand Opening celebration!

 
   
     
  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.

 
   
     
  Smaller nano? Or Better shuffle?  
   
 

I’ve heard a lot of mixed responses to the new iPod nano. Whether you love it or hate it, everyone has noticed it. As for myself, I think this is what I’ve wanted in an iPod ever since I got a touch, and now my iPhone. Aside from the classic, all the iPods have been moving away from being just a music player. The touch has its games and apps and even the nano was branching out with its camera. I think this is a fantastic return to the original idea of the iPod as the most convenient way to carry your music.

The new even smaller form factor is fantastic with the added clip. This new model can be used for running or working out without the need for an armband. Granted, you could always use a shuffle in the same way. With the touch screen addition though, I now have more options if I want to change my music mid-workout. I especially like that the Genius functionality is supported so I can create excellent mixes on the fly.

Really, if you think of this as an “update” to the previous iPod nano, then you will probably be disappointed. There are in fact fewer features, though the pedometer and FM receiver are still there, and it feels like less of a gadget and more like a cheap accessory. But if you think of it as a shuffle that has grown up and earned a nice touch screen display and a lot of the functionality of its bigger cousins, this is the best iPod ever.

 
   
     
  Tip of the Week: Flash vs. Battery  
   
 

I spent some time last week in Cupertino, CA for meetings at Apple’s headquarters with fellow service managers and senior managers at AppleCare. There is a lot of exciting progress being made in diagnostic tools, technician guides, and the online system we use to order parts for repairs.

Of course, California is about 3,000 miles and two airports from Vermont. I set a goal for the trip: I would keep my computer on and get work done the entire time I was airborne.

I used an old-style 17-inch MacBook Pro for a while, and had no trouble at all working through transcontinental flights, because I would simply take three batteries with me. With the latest MacBooks, batteries are not removable; they are, however, a vast improvement over the older batteries. I did manage to work the entire time I was airborne.

By charging the battery for 90 minutes during the layover, I had enough juice to get me from Chicago to San Francisco with time to spare. But during the first flight to Chicago from Burlington, I almost ran out of juice. It turns out that Adobe’s Flash plugin, which powers sites like YouTube and advertisements on The New York Times’s website, had been consuming nearly all of my processor’s capacity. This, of course, caused the battery to become depleted sooner than it should have; it also made the laptop quite warm.

It’s no secret that Apple is moving away from Flash. I fully support that move towards HTML 5, as Flash is a nearly constant source of frustration for me. I find that the plugin crashes at least daily, forcing me to use Activity Monitor to kill the process.

If your computer ever seems warmer than usual, or you’re noticing that battery life is less than it should be, fire up Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder. Sort the list by %CPU and note which process(es) take up the most processor capacity. You can force quit the Flash process from within Activity Monitor. When I did this somewhere over western New York, my estimated battery life went from about an hour to over 5 hours.

 
   
     
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