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#825: Bouncing Lions; Apple IDs, iCloud, Home Sharing and Purchasing; Keeping Your Notebook Battery Healthy; Bad Chrome


Hello Readers,

This is a bit of an odd intro from afar- I have been out of the office the whole week taking care of my daughter. She broke her leg last week and I having been taking care of her. It’s been great (really!): a lot of work but a lot of time spent talking and playing. The world of a four-year-old is a wonderful magical place full of mixed metaphors and mashed-up concepts that drive a rich narrative populated with all the elements of life around them. She has such a strong sense of wonder and curiousity that even when talking about her broken leg there is an unflagging optimism and attitude that everything, at its bottom level, is good. It is an inspiration to listen to and an honor to have her share her world with me. The happiest people I know have kept that sense of wonder, enthusiasm, and magic through their whole lives- a very lucky thing. As a tech my own curiosity and wonder not only keep me going through life but have formed the basis of what I do for a living. Techs need wonder to do their work if you ask me- a tech that is not curious is going nowhere fast. Enjoy this week’s offerings and see you next time. And as always, thank you so much for reading.


  Bouncing Lions  

I love Lion. So far it is my favorite iteration of Mac OS X, but it does have some annoying features. In my internet wanderings yesterday I came across an article with instructions on how to get rid of the rubber-band effect which occurs when you scroll to the very bottom or top of a page. This effect will make the page scroll a little bit past the end point then bounce back. It’s a nice little bit of eye-candy, but not really necessary.

You can easily turn this effect off by entering a simple Terminal command (which I’ll list below) and then press “enter”. As always, do this at your own risk. Mucking about in Terminal can cause irreparable harm to your OS if you do something you shouldn’t. Make sure you have a good backup before you make any changes like this to your system. Here’s the text you need to enter:

defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0

You can revert to the original setting by entering the following and then press enter:

defaults delete -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding

You’ll need to relaunch any applications that display the rubber-banding in order for this to take effect. Unfortunately, it will not affect Safari. Should I find a way to get rid of the rubber-band in Safari, I’ll update this article.

You can read the original article here.

  Apple IDs, iCloud, Home Sharing and Purchasing  

This has been a busy season in consulting, especially with all the Lion upgrades that our clients are doing. Since Lion is only available with new machines, or via download from the Mac App Store, more and more people are learning the ins and outs of purchasing apps online. Some of our clients have been buying online for years thru the iTunes Store. In order to make purchases, you must have a valid Apple ID, usually linked to a credit card. However, I have been seeing that a lot of my clients, particularly families, are using more than one Apple ID, both for the App Store/iTunes Store, and for MobileMe and iCloud. This can cause some confusion, so let me offer some advice!

First of all, let’s separate the use of an Apple ID for MobileMe/iCloud and for the stores. For iCloud, I generally recommend that each person in a family have their own iCloud account, so that they can each have separate email, contacts, and calendars. Family members can still choose to share calendars. Occasionally I have clients who do want the exact same address book, and in that case it would be ok for a couple to share one iCloud address.

However, for purchasing, I almost always recommend that the whole family use one Apple ID for purchasing. Why? App updates! If you have apps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from multiple Apple IDs, you will only be able to update the ones that were purchased or downloaded with the Apple ID you are currently signed in with. While you can sign out of one and back in as another, it is a major pain, and you will probably get confused as to which Apple ID to use. This usually happens when someone is signed into the iTunes store with one Apple ID, but signed in on their iOS device with a different Apple ID.

I recommend that you check every computer and device in your household and see if you are signed in with the same Apple ID for iTunes. If you find you are using different Apple IDs, decide if you have a good reason to do that (maybe you do want to keep App purchases separate), and if you want to unify, pick whichever Apple ID has the most purchasing history and make that the account that you use on everything.

Since you can’t move Apps from one Apple ID to another, many of my clients will have me remove all the apps from all the devices and iTunes libraries, and then re-download everything from the store. Sometimes this means having to re-buy a few things, but it is usually worth the expense to simplify the whole setup.

The one other place where you want to use one Apple ID in a household is for Home Sharing thru iTunes and on iOS devices. This way, you can be assured that you can stream media from any iTunes library to any device, especially an Apple TV!

If this still sounds a bit confusing, it can sometimes be hard to get your head around. Our consulting department has expert staff that can help you get unified in your iTunes and App Store strategy!

  Keeping Your Notebook Battery Healthy  

I consistently speak with customers that complain about their laptop’s decreased battery runtime. Unfortunately, all batteries do have a definite lifespan, and will inevitably fail at some point. The upside is that your battery’s lifespan can depend on how you treat it.

The built-in batteries in the unibody MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are designed to last up to 5 years, and you can help your battery make it that long by following some of these maintenance tips:

First of all, always make sure your Apple software is up to date. Apple has released many software updates that improve battery performance.

Second, it is not recommended to keep your laptop plugged in constantly. The electrons in a lithium-based battery need to keep moving occasionally. Fully discharging and charging your battery at least once a month is recommended. You can always pop an event in iCal to remind you each month!

If you are planning on leaving your notebook off and unused for more than six months, it’s recommended that you leave the battery at about a 50% charge. Storing a battery for that long while fully discharged could result in a “deep discharge” state, which would basically render the battery useless.

Storing your notebook in the optimal temperate zone is also recommended. This is defined by Apple to be between 50 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

All these battery maintenance tips are directly from Apple’s website. The full article can be read here.

  Bad Chrome  

This week I have unfortunately received in the service area a new Macbook Pro 13” model with the Intel HD4000 graphics chip set. The customer had brought the unit into us complaining of frequent kernel panics when online. After receiving the unit and running some preliminary testing, all of which gave the machine a clean bill of health, I started to investigate the Console logs seeking the reason behind the abhorrent behavior.

A clipping of the logs is presented below:

Thu Jun 21 00:08:16 2012
panic(cpu 2 caller 0xffffff80002c4794): Kernel trap at 0xffffff7f816c69b1, type 14=page fault, registers:
CR0: 0×0000000080010033, CR2: 0xffffff8094414e54, CR3: 0×0000000051bc3028, CR4: 0×00000000001606e0
RAX: 0xffffff7f816c6a84, RBX: 0×0000000000000077, RCX: 0xffffff8094414e4c, RDX: 0×0000000000c481ea
RSP: 0xffffff807f2ab9b0, RBP: 0xffffff807f2ab9c0, RSI: 0xffffff8013819800, RDI: 0xffffff800ef51000
R8: 0×0000000000000075, R9: 0xffffff7f81720380, R10: 0xffffff807f2ab92c, R11: 0xffffff807f2ab930
R12: 0xffffff800d1f2288, R13: 0xffffff800ef51000, R14: 0xffffff806a5f0000, R15: 0xffffff800ef51000
RFL: 0×0000000000010282, RIP: 0xffffff7f816c69b1, CS: 0×0000000000000008, SS: 0×0000000000000010
CR2: 0xffffff8094414e54, Error code: 0×0000000000000002, Faulting CPU: 0×2

Backtrace (CPU 2), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff807f2ab660 : 0xffffff8000220792
0xffffff807f2ab6e0 : 0xffffff80002c4794
0xffffff807f2ab890 : 0xffffff80002da55d
0xffffff807f2ab8b0 : 0xffffff7f816c69b1
0xffffff807f2ab9c0 : 0xffffff7f816caf7d
0xffffff807f2abb00 : 0xffffff7f816c7ed4
0xffffff807f2abb60 : 0xffffff800065593e
0xffffff807f2abb80 : 0xffffff800065621a
0xffffff807f2abbe0 : 0xffffff80006569bb
0xffffff807f2abd20 : 0xffffff80002a3f08
0xffffff807f2abe20 : 0xffffff8000223096
0xffffff807f2abe50 : 0xffffff80002148a9
0xffffff807f2abeb0 : 0xffffff800021bbd8
0xffffff807f2abf10 : 0xffffff80002af140
0xffffff807f2abfb0 : 0xffffff80002dab5e Kernel Extensions in backtrace:[6B02D782-A79F-399C-81FD-353EBFF2AB81]@0xffffff7f816be000->0xffffff7f81724fff dependency:[C0404427-3360-36B4-B483-3C9F0C54A3CA]@0xffffff7f80847000 dependency:[474FE7E9-5C79-3AA4-830F-262DF4B6B544]@0xffffff7f80cbd000 dependency:[EF26EBCF-7CF9-3FC7-B9AD-6C0C27B89B2B]@0xffffff7f80c84000

BSD process name corresponding to current thread: Google Chrome He

Mac OS version:

Looking through the logs, all four kernel panics had the same basic information. Other than the core that faulted to cause the panic, the process remains the same, Chrome. Looking through the various chat boards, this is an issue that many have voiced concerns about. With the move to sandboxing of applications, why can Chrome kernel panic a system? Secondarily, what are Google and the Chrome developers doing to resolve this issue? Until we know more or until a new version of Chrome is released, I would have to say Chrome is not recommended for use with the HD4000 graphics chipsets.

  Win NH Fisher Cats Tickets!  

Hey, baseball lovers: We are giving away tickets to see the Class AA NH Fisher Cats this season—4 tickets per day for two weeks to be exact! Watch as the 2011 Eastern League Champions (part of the Blue Jays’ farm system) take on the minor league affiliates of the Red Sox, Tigers, Pirates, Mets and more.

*Head on over to our Facebook page between 6/23 – 7/6 to enter
One entry per person (see official rules for details)

Check out the Fisher Cats website here to learn more and check out the team.

Like them on Facebook here.
Follow them on Twitter here.
Follow Small Dog Electronics on Twitter here.

  SPECIAL: MacBook Pro 15 inch w/ Parallels | Save $260 off of original pricing!  

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Save big with this MacBook Pro and Parallels bundle!

Includes the 15” MBP first released in October 2011 and Parallels 7, which allows you to install Windows and run it side-by-side with OS X.

Please note that this bundle does not include a copy of Windows.


  SPECIAL: iPod Shuffle with free Minnie Mouse Earphones  

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If you know a little one and you want to help them explore the wonder and magic of music, this is the perfect bundle!

The Minnie Mouse Earphones are noise isolating and come with three sizes of earbuds so they are also perfect for the young at heart.

Alternate iPod colors available by request.


  SPECIAL: Scosche tuneSTREAM II Bluetooth Stereo Headphones  

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Experience pure digital quality sound from up to 30ft away with the tuneSTREAM II Bluetooth Headphones.

These headphones collapse for portability and storage. You can control track, volume play/pause and answer cellphone calls all from the headphones. DSP echo cancellation ensures a crystal clear conversation. The rechargeable lithium ion battery provides up to 5 hours of playtime and 6 hours of talk time.