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#901: Quick Look Copy & Paste, iPhoto 6+: Rebuilding the iPhoto Library, 10 Types of People, March Mayhem is Here


Happy Tuesday!

I am so ready for the snow to just stop coming. I want to use my sunroof and have a car not caked with salt for once. My birthday is at the end of March and when there is snow on the ground, it bums me out. I spent six years in San Francisco, CA, and it literally was the perfect weather for me. Not too hot, not too cold, and no snow. The more snow I see, the more I can’t wait to take my trip out there right before my birthday!

In other news, it was recently announced that Apple will no longer be supporting Snow Leopard with updates. The OS, which is now four years old, wasn’t included in a recent group of updates to 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 Mavericks. Luckily, if you have Snow Leopard and have Mac from 2008 or later (double check with us to be sure), you can upgrade to Mavericks for free.

Have a great week everyone!


  Quick Look Copy & Paste  
  Quick Look

Quick Look is a feature I use almost every single day, introduced by Apple with 10.5 Leopard in October 2007. It allows you to highlight a file or directory, press the spacebar, and review a pop-up window “preview” of your selection. This is particularly useful when you need a snippet of information from a PDF or text document and don’t have the time or resources to launch another program just to obtain that snippet.

By default, you can only look at information; you cannot copy and paste anything. With the following Terminal command, however, you will be able to copy and paste to your heart’s content within Quick Look:

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool true

Then execute:

killall Finder

From now on, you’ll be able to copy and paste any text in Quick Look. If you wish to turn this off, execute the commands with "-bool false" instead.

  iPhoto 6+: Rebuilding the iPhoto Library  

Historically speaking, older Apple operating systems saved your photos in your Pictures folder within your Home Folder. The parent files were accessible and the Admin user(s) could generally do whatever they wanted with them.

As Apple continued to improve the user experience, they realized that providing user access to the parent files resulted in lost photos. With the current OS, the parent files have been concealed within the iPhoto application itself to prevent users from accidentally misplacing/trashing their photos.

To break it down even further, when you open iPhoto, the pictures and thumbnails you’re viewing are just copies of the parent files that are accessed by an important iPhoto Library data file. Without this file, the application can fail to access your photos.

I’ve never been sentimental about my photos. I’ve archived thousands of photos over the years, and if I lost them tomorrow, I wouldn’t really care. But a week doesn’t go by in the Repair department without a customer informing me that the most prized files on the computer are the photos.

If you’re one of these customers who use iPhoto every day or even every week, you may have come across issues loading your photos when you launch iPhoto. This issue may involve a corrupt iPhoto Library data file. Don’t fret! There are ways to rebuild the file and regain access to your photos.

For all who don’t know, iPhoto includes a feature that allows you to rebuild the currently selected iPhoto Library. Sometimes rebuilding the library may resolve issues such as file-reading issues related to the iPhoto Library structure or missing photos.

Important: You should back up your existing iPhoto Library before using the rebuild feature. A backup allows you to restore the iPhoto Library if anything unexpected happens during the rebuild that prevents it from rebuilding correctly.

Before performing a rebuild, you should install any iPhoto updates by using Software Update. If a software update resolves your issue, then you don’t need to rebuild. It’s also a good idea to search Apple’s Support Page for your specific iPhoto symptom before doing a rebuild, just in case there is a more specific article or relevant solution.

To rebuild the iPhoto library:

  1. Quit iPhoto if it is open.
  2. Hold down the Command and Option keys on the keyboard.
  3. Open iPhoto.
  4. Keep the keys held down until you are prompted to rebuild the library.
  5. A dialog will appear with rebuild options. Select the options you want to use.
  6. Click Rebuild to begin the rebuild process. This may take a few minutes to complete.

Use these guidelines to determine which options to choose in the rebuild dialog:

  • Select the option(s) to rebuild thumbnails only if the thumbnails appear to be an issue (gray, blank, missing or mismatched).
  • Select the option to recover orphaned photos if photos appear to be missing from the iPhoto Library. iPhoto will examine the library folder for any photos that are not currently being displayed in Albums or Events in the iPhoto source list.
  • In iPhoto ’08 and later, select the option to examine and repair iPhoto Library file permissions if it appears that you cannot edit certain photos or if the iPhoto Library will not open. See “iPhoto 6 can’t open due to permissions alert” for more information.
  • In iPhoto ’08, select the option to “Rebuild the iPhoto Library database” if iPhoto unexpectedly quits when opened or does not get past loading photos.
  • In iPhoto ’09, select the option to “Rebuild the iPhoto Library Database from automatic backup” if iPhoto unexpectedly quits when opened or does not get past loading photos. This option is similar to the option to “Rebuild the iPhoto Library database” in iPhoto ’08, except that it has the added ability to regenerate a database from an automatically backed up library database. Also, after rebuilding your library database using this option, your original database files can be found in the “Before Restore” folder inside the library package.
  • In iPhoto ’11, select the option to “Repair the iPhoto Library Database” to check the iPhoto Library database for inconsistencies and repair them, if necessary. iPhoto ’11 also includes the option to “Rebuild the iPhoto Library Database from
    automatic backup,” which performs the same functions as it does in iPhoto ’09, but should only be attempted if the “Repair the iPhoto Library Database” option does not help.

Note: Any “recovered” photos may not appear in their original album in the source list. However, they should appear in the newly created “Recovered Photos” album in the source list.

Additional Information:

iPhoto 9.3 and later introduces a new Library First Aid dialog in place of the previous rebuild options.

  10 Types of People  

There’s a joke in computer circles that there are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t. Hopefully by the end of this article, I’ll make you one of those 10 people who does.

The binary, or base-2, number system isn’t really that hard. It has fewer digits than the base-10, or decimal, system we use normally. With base-2, instead of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, you only have 0, and 1. You can still represent any number you want though. How does this work? Base-2 seems mysterious because when we use our base-10 numbers, we typically don’t focus on the place value of the digits. “124” is just one hundred twenty-four, but what are you really saying when you say “124”? What you’re actually saying is that you have 1 x 100 + 2 x 10 + 4 x 1. See the powers of 10 in that equation (1, 10, 100)? That’s why our number system is called base-10. The 1, 10, 100 numbers come from their position in the number. 10^0 = 1, 10^1 = 10 and 10^2 = 100.

The binary number system works exactly the same way, only we use powers of 2 instead of 10. The equivalent “124” in base-2 would be represented as “1111100” or 1 x 64 + 1 x 32 + 1 x 16 + 1 x 8 + 1 x 4 + 0 x 2 + 0 x 1. See the powers of 2 in that equation (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64)? We get those in the same way we did in the base-10 equation. 2^0 = 1, 2^1 = 2, 2^2 = 4, 2^3 = 8, 2^4 = 16, 2^5 = 32, 2^6 = 64. You can represent any number you want with base-2. Incidentally, base-2 or base-10, while mostly describing the base number you’re taking the powers of also describes how many digits exist in your number system. Base-2 has two digits (0, 1) and base-10 has ten digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

All the same tricks apply in both number systems too. For example, if you take a number and shift off the last digit, what are you really doing? In base-10, you’re dividing by 10. If you took a binary number and shifted off the last digit, you’d have divided the number by 2.

Computers use base-2 for everything they do because of the fact that there are only two possible values in that system, 0 and 1. Computers use electricity and electricity can only be in one of two states: on or off. It can’t be in state 4, or 9. This is why computers can operate at all. Fundamentally, all computers are doing is adding and subtracting numbers (in base-2). From that foundation, you can get to everything else that they do.

Now before I close out this article, I feel obligated to really blow your mind and say that there aren’t just two number systems (binary and decimal). In fact, you can have a number system using any base you want. You could have base-4 or base-3. We commonly use base-8 (octal) and base-16 (hexadecimal). These are used because they can often condense a very long binary number into a shorter value. So our 124 number from earlier had seven digits in binary, but it could be represented with only two in hexadecimal as “7C”. That’s 7 x 16 + C(12) x 1. Hexadecimal has to use the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F to represent numbers greater than 9 because we don’t have any singular symbol for 12. Remember, “12” is actually 1 x 10 + 2 x 1.

Well, if that math didn’t scare anyone away, hopefully you now count yourself among the 10 types of people in the world. That’s 1 x 2 + 0 x 1 = 2.

  March Mayhem is Here  

We’ve got March Madness fever over here (but don’t tell the lawyers that…they may have trademarked it), so we’ve decided to do a promo in-store and online throughout the month of March. We’ll be running weekly specials that you’ll see in our newsletters as well as in-store deals for those close to our store locations.

Plus, starting on 3/17, we’re hosting a “Half-Ass Bracket” contest for you to pick your final four (also trademarked…sorry about that) and subsequent winners of those last three games. We’ll have more details for you next week, but suffice it to say, there will be great prizes involved and sweet deals that will save you some green.

Ready for some Mayhem? Or should I say “Mayerhem”? We could trademark that one, but I may just be too pun-happy (or should I say “pun-hapy”). Oy. Check out the page here and the deals below. Slam dunk!

  March Mayhem SPECIAL | Save $30 on Aluratek Bluetooth Headphones  

TT | Save $30 on Aluratek Bluetooth Headphones


The Aluratek Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones delivers hands-free convenience and superb hi-fidelity stereo sound wirelessly. Stream your favorite tunes and listen to audio from your Smartphone, Tablet, PC or Mac laptop. And through the next week, save $30!


  March Mayhem SPECIAL | Save $60 on HP LaserJet w/AirPrint  

TT | Save $60 on HP LaserJet Wireless printer with AirPrint


Great for the business users with small offices who want an affordable, wireless HP LaserJet printer — one of the most energy-efficient laser printers on the planet. Apple AirPrint compatible so you can easily print from your mobile device — without a network — using HP ePrint Wireless Direct Printing.

Save $60 for the next week and start printing!


  March Mayhem SPECIAL | Save $50 on Beats Solo HD Headphones  

TT | Save $50 on Beats Solo HD Headphones

The perfect mix of sound and style. Beats Solo HD headphones are made to be a lighter, on-ear version of Studios. Compact enough to fit in your purse, Beats Solo HD headphones carry the powerful signature sound Beats by Dr. Dre products are famous for.

A seriously awesome deal this week only; Save $50. But hurry, quantities are limited!