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#818: RotW | That Annoying LED Flash, Installing Lion on a Second Partition, Mother's Day


Today’s word is “upgrade!”

Apple released iOS 5.1.1 yesterday, which offers a few bug fixes related to HDR photography and AirPlay playback as well as some security patches for Safari and URL handling. Also, the clock is ticking on MobileMe—Apple has already offered a free copy of Snow Leopard when you upgrade to iCloud. To further entice people to upgrade, Apple has extended their free storage offer.

If you’ve already paid for storage space on your MobileMe account, Apple will give you 25GB total storage space until September. (Normally, you get 5GB for free.) Finally, based on developer speculation, Apple is close to releasing OS 10.7.4, which is reported to update iCal, Mail, Time Machine and other aspects of the OS.

This week, we have an interesting Repair of the Week involving a little-known feature of the iPhone, as well as some great info about the Canon 6000 Laser Printer. Plus, in response to a customer’s support question, we explain how you can install Lion on your computer while still keeping Snow Leopard.

All of us here at Small Dog love our canine companions. Many of them, past and present, are featured in our employee profiles and on our Flickr feed. Our customers are no different, and have submitted pictures of their fuzzy friends. If you’d like to see the gallery, check out our site here.


  RotW: That Annoying LED Flash  

Apple has built many accessibility features into OS X, and VoiceOver is one of the most prominent. In iOS 5, there are also many preferences that can be activated to make notifications more accessible for the hearing impaired.

We recently received a call from a parent who was assisting his child with an iPhone whose flash LED was always going off. He thought this indicated an impending failure of the device or that something seriously wrong with the unit.

With Small Dog’s assistance over the phone, we found out the culprit behind this behavior—the youngster, possibly unknowingly, had found the accessibility menu for iOS and turned on the LED flash for Alerts. Over the phone, we were able to guide him through how to resolve the issue: Go to Settings, tap General, then look in Accessibility. Turn off “LED Flash for Alerts.”

The Apple guide to accessibility features across all Apple products can be found here.

  Installing Lion on a Second Partition  

OS X Lion has been out for about a year. There are a lot of people who want to upgrade, but can’t due to application compatibility issues. They are dependent on programs that are too expensive to upgrade or are no longer maintained by the developer. Many of those holdouts are now learning that they MUST upgrade to Lion before the end of June, or they lose access to their MobileMe accounts.

In an attempt to keep both worlds spinning, we are occasionally asked if it is possible to run Snow Leopard and Lion on the same system. This would keep the old applications on 10.6, but also allow access to iCloud via 10.7. This is possible, although it can be a bit tricky.

Note: I warn you now—following these steps incorrectly CAN CAUSE DATA LOSS. This involves creating a new partition on your hard drive and installing a new OS to it; if not done properly, you can lose everything. If you are at all in doubt, do NOT attempt this. If you would still like to do it and are near one of our retail stores, bring it in so that we can facilitate the installation.

There are a few things you will need to do in preparation. First, make sure your system is capable of running Lion. According to Apple’s “How to Buy” page, your Mac “must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac.” This excludes any Mac that was released prior to Late 2006/Early 2007, so if you have one of the original Core Duo systems, you cannot run Lion. You also need at least 2GB of RAM to install Lion; you can find this information under About this Mac.

Second, you must be running Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or greater to access the Mac App Store. If you are still running an older version of 10.6, run Software Updates to download the 10.6.8 Combo Patch, along with any other updates necessary for your system. If you see any updates marked “Firmware,” be sure to grab those as well.

To purchase Lion, go to the Mac App Store and follow the links. It costs $29.99, and takes about an hour or two to download depending on your Internet speed. Once the download is done, it will offer to upgrade your system—do NOT continue with the installer, or it will upgrade Snow Leopard to Lion. Instead, refer to this Tech Tails article to make a USB flash drive with the installer on it (if you’d rather make a bootable DVD, simply use that instead).

I strongly recommend that you make a complete backup of your system before going any further. Accidents happen. You could easily lose your data by accidentally selecting the wrong partition. Use Time Machine and an external hard drive, since it’s designed for easy recovery.

Now for the fun part. Close out of any applications you have running, and insert your Lion install key or disc. Go to System Preferences and click Startup Disk. You should see the Installation DVD or USB key here; select it and click Restart.

The system will boot into the Mac OS X Utilities. Select Disk Utility and click Continue. Select your hard drive and click “Partition.” You will see a graphical representation of your hard drive; the shaded area shows actual space in use. Underneath this space is a [+] button; click it to split your drive into two partitions. You can click and drag the line between them to resize them however you want, just be sure that you are leaving enough space on either partition for the OS to run.

If you make either partition too small, the OS won’t run smoothly. When you are happy with the size, click the new partition on the bottom and name it something like Lion Drive, so you can easily tell which one is going to get Lion on it. Now click Apply and confirm that this is what you want to do. Once the partitioning process is done, exit Disk Utility to go back to the Utilities Menu. (If you get any error messages in this step, do not continue with the installation.)

Now select Install Mac OS X and click Continue. After agreeing to the license, you will be asked which partition to use. This is why I suggested naming it something obvious; select your new Lion partition and click Install. The process takes about 30 minutes to an hour, and will give you a countdown as it progresses. Your system may reboot once or twice, but you’ll know it’s done when it gives you the new user setup. Go through the steps to create your administrator account, then set up iCloud. Finally, run Software Updates to grab any new drivers related to your printers or other attached peripherals.

You now have a dual-boot system. To switch back and forth between the two operating systems, either go to System Preferences and use Startup Disk, or hold down the Option key when you turn on your computer to get a boot menu.

Things to remember:

  • What you change on one OS will not affect the other. That means any programs or updates you download on one side will have to be done on the other as well.
  • Applications will not talk to each other across operating systems. Mail you download on one side will not appear on the other unless you download it again. Favorites in Safari will have to be set up on both sides.
  • iCloud only works under Lion, so if you are booted to Snow Leopard, you won’t be able to use iCloud for applications and iTunes.
  • Be careful when plugging your iOS device into your computer. It will sync to one side or the other, but not both.
  Canon LBP6000 and You  

One of the most commonly returned pieces of equipment due to ‘defect’ or frustration is the Canon LBP600p Laser Printer. Time and again, we have people call unable to set up the device, assuming that the units are failing due to the fact that after configuring, they cannot print to the device. In most (if not all) cases, the device has been set up improperly; a quick look at the manual provides the key step missed.

While the Canon device does show up in the Add Printer window, selecting that device in 10.6.x and earlier will not properly address the machine. The Canon LBP6000 uses a modified CUPS driver; should you miss this step during setup, you will not be able to use the device.

In the Add Printer window, in the lower right of the box, you’ll see a button that says “More Printers.” When the new box appears, the item CANON USB (CUPS CAPT) will appear in the list. Select that device, click on Add, and you’ll have completed the necessary final step to use the printer.

Should you have properly configured the Canon in Leopard or Snow Leopard, then later upgrade your computer to Lion, you’ll need to upgrade the printer driver for proper functionality. Canon offers a new driver that can be found here.

Before installing the new Lion device driver, you’ll need to remove the old driver from your computer. To do this, you’ll want to trash the CAPT folder located at Library > Printers > Canon. You’ll be able to add the device back normally after installation of the new driver at this point.

  RHoK | Random Hacks of Kindness  

Calling all hackers, coders, programmers, and developers of all shapes and sizes! Spend a weekend with us and change the world!

Join us for Small Dog Electronics’s very first Burlington, VT Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) event. This event is part of RHoK Global, which hosts simultaneous hackathons all around the world on June 2nd-3rd. Meet like-minded programmers, create new and exciting apps, and win prizes and hack for humanity!

RHoK’s mission is to make the world a better place through a global community of innovation developing practical open technology. In this two-day event you’ll have the opportunity to help find solutions to submitted problems from all over the world. Work with local subject matter experts on problem submissions from within our community, or choose from hundreds of global problems. This is a phenomenal opportunity to find technological solutions to solve local and global issues.

Quick FAQs:
When: June 2nd-3rd
Where: UVM – courtesy of UVM Summer University
Cost: FREE! We’ll even feed you!

Who’s invited? Whether you program a little or a lot you’re welcome to attend. This can be a great chance to stretch your skills and learn new ones. Community members who feel they can contribute, even if they don’t code, are also welcome.

How does it work? On Saturday morning, after an introduction to some of the local problems, you’ll break up into groups, choose a problem and work together to find a solution. Solutions need to be kept open source and you have the option to continue working on them after the hackathon. Sunday afternoon you’ll have a chance to present your solution to the group and a few lucky groups will go home with some pretty sweet prizes.

Need Housing? Hotel deals TBD. Want an even cheaper solution? Try CouchSurfing.

Sign me up! For more information and to register check out our event page at RHoK

Any Questions? Contact Rebecca Kraemer, Director of IT for Small Dog Electronics, at 802.496.7171 ×643 or

  WiredGeekDad Runs Over the Capo Case!  

Jim Kelly from’s GeekDad blog conducted a “truck-test” of the Hammerhead Capo case, which means he purposefully ran over the case—with an iPad inside—to see the results.

Check out his full article here, and take a look at the video on our blog, Barkings! Amazing stuff…nary a scratch on the case, and the iPad is completely protected.

  TT SPECIAL: Hurry--Mother's Day is Sunday!  

Grab your favorite mom a techy gift this year. Many of our gifts and specials are under $20, but of course, we’re sure she wouldn’t say no to an iPod touch, iPad or even a cool NeatReceipts Scanner.

Visit for more Mobile Mom specials!

Be sure to select faster shipping if you’d like it by Friday!

  TT SPECIAL: Save $40 on Mac mini + 1TB Hard Drive  

Mac mini and 1TB External Drive


Mac mini 2.5GHz i5 4GB/500GB bundled with LaCie Neil Poulton 1TB USB 2.0 Hard Drive.