I will be up at the South Burlington store on Saturday to help out with the sale and to talk with customers. Katie has rearranged the store and it looks great as we head into the busy holiday season.
This year my family is gathering at Hapy and Jessica’s house for Thanksgiving and we will have four generations of Mayers, Bangouras and Shermans eating turkey and giving thanks. All of us at Small Dog Electronics send the very best wishes from our families to yours for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Your Kibbles & Bytes Team,
_Don, Kali & Ed_

Read More

From now until January 2, 2010, we are offering a choice of two rebates when you purchase any Mac with AppleCare. The first is on a wireless HP Multifunction printer/copier/scanner–*free* when a mail-in rebate from HP is combined with an exclusive online rebate from “Smalldog.com.”:http://www.smalldog.com/sderebate/
The second is a $60 rebate on a 500GB or 1TB LaCie Neil Poulton hard drive. That means when you purchase any Mac with AppleCare, you can add a 500GB drive for just $20, or a 1TB drive for just $60!
Best of all, we’ve made it very easy to redeem our rebates. After you’ve made your purchase, simply go to “Smalldog.com/sderebate”:http://www.smalldog.com/sderebate to enter your information. The rebate will be processed and mailed out to you!

Read More

I nominate the Altec Lansing Mix iMT800 as the “iPod/iPhone Sound System of the Year.” This system looks a little like an old school boombox, but is fully modern with built-in iPod/iPhone dock (fully GSM-shielded so you don’t need to put the iPhone into airplane mode), two aux-in jacks, digital FM radio, quality, high-contrast LCD, 7-band graphic equalizer and cool remote control with built-in carabiner clip.
Finally, while this system is a great bookshelf system, it can also run for up to 30 hours from 8 ‘D’ batteries. It sports handles on the top and front, making it easy to bring with you to the beach, backyard, etc. It would be a great party system.
The Altec Lansing Mix iMT80 dominates our sound room with crisp audio, excellent volume, and truly deep bass. I was very impressed the first time I connected my iPhone to it, and continue to be impressed every time I hear it. I think it’s better than any other sound system in its approximate price range.*
That said, I am not a fan of the Mix iMT800’s appearance. I’d love a less retro design (or perhaps more retro design if they’d go all the way back to the early 1960’s, a là Mad Men). The look of the Mix doesn’t really fit in with the rest of my sleek Apple equipment. I can live with it, though, since the performance is more than there.
The Mix iMT800 has a 4.5 star rating from Apple.com (where it retails for $299). We’re selling these like crazy in our retail stores. People seem to be looking for a higher end, premium sound system for the kitchen, living room, and office. I plan on getting one for my home office, which also doubles as my guest room.
See the Altec Lansing Mix iMT800 “by clicking here”:http://www.smalldog.com/wag19579, on sale for $70 off MSRP. As always, free shipping and no sales tax (except VT).
*__Editor’s note: It really is awesome. I expected to like others more, but it truly sounded the best out of what we tried. Worth the $$!__

Read More

Next week we’re covering the topic of Mac mini vs. Apple TV as an iTunes-enabled home media hub for the living room. We wanted to get feedback from our readers about which you prefer.
Email “ed@smalldog.com”:mailto:ed@smalldog.com to share your opinion, and we’ll include it in next weeks Kibbles & Bytes! If you’ve been thinking of getting one or the other, please share that too. Finally, let us know if you simply connect your iPod, iPhone or Mac to your TV/home stereo.
I personally am having this debate. It will be interesting to hear what everyone thinks!

Read More

Back in January, I wrote a list of “10 Tips for Dealing with Unexpected Computer Slowdowns”:http://blog.smalldog.com/kibbles/?c=kb604 which I’ve posted on Small Dog’s “Barkings! Blog.”:http://blog.smalldog.com
Colleen Thompson, a reader of our Tech Tails newsletter and a Mac consultant, sent in some more advice for dealing with unexpected Mac slowdowns. With her permission, we are reprinting her advice. She definitely has some good thoughts here.
The original article began with the following, and she picks it up from there:
bq. __A friend recently sent me an email, questioning why his MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM was “getting slower and slower, with an increasing frequency of the appearance of the SRWOD (spinny rainbow wheel of death).”__
“FWIW, I call it the SPOD (Spinning Pizza of Death.) Easier to remember and say, as in ‘Why is my computer spodding all the time?’ If you’re getting lots of SPODs, and nothing else is wrong with your computer, look into adding more RAM.”
bq. __Many apps install helper programs that run by default whenever you startup your Mac. This typically happens in the background, without the user having to confirm anything. Often these aren’t needed and can hog system resources without having anything to show for it. To disable startup items you don’t use, navigate to *System Preferences > Accounts > Login items* and uncheck the list.__
“Actually, unchecking just *hides* that helper program when it automatically launches. To remove it from Startup Items, you need to click on the minus sign at the bottom of the list.”
bq. __Check the health of your hard drive. I depend on Onyx to verify the S.M.A.R.T. status of my Mac’s hard drive. Immediately back up your computer if you think there’s a real issue with the drive. Then consider using a dedicated drive diagnostic/repair tool such as Disk Warrior.__
“The SMART check used by Disk Utility, Onyx, and other applications is pretty worthless, especially in the case of bad blocks, the most common type of disk failure I see. I am very enamored of SMART Utility from Volitans Software (look for it on versiontracker.com).
It directly accesses the SMART attributes of the drive and gives you advance warning that the drive is misbehaving; and it tells you exactly how many blocks have already been replaced so you can proactively replace a drive (once blocks start going bad, things almost always get progressively worse, and a Write All Zeroes reformat seldom fixes it for long). Unfortunately SMART is not supported by most FireWire and USB enclosures. But it’s great for internal drives.
As a Mac consultant, I’d say half the work I do these days is dealing with failing hard drives. I think of them as consumables–like light bulbs. When you buy a lamp (computer), you do it fully realizing you’re going to be replacing the light bulb at some point in the future.”
*Thanks again for sending this in, Colleen!*

Read More

We have a large list of books for Mac, iPod, iPhone, along with general titles about the Internet, video, and design. Books are a perfect gift on their own, or to go along with the gift of an iPod or a Mac. For the rest of the holiday season, we’re offering a coupon for *20% off all books,* except those books already on sale.
The coupon code is *bookclub*.
To use the code, simply add the book of your choice to your shopping cart and then enter code *bookclub* to the coupon field.
See all books “by clicking here.”:http://www.smalldog.com/category/x/x/x/Books_and_Videos|Books

Read More

By default, when you open a new Finder window, Finder brings you to your Home Folder. This folder contains folders for Applications, Documents, Music, Photos, Movies, Library, Sites, etc.
This can be useful if you need to browse different folders to find a file. However, if you frequently go to the same folder over and over again–say, your Documents folder or Pictures folder, the default view requires you to click over to that folder. It would be nice to open a new Finder window and be brought directly to your most-frequented folder.
To do this, all you need to do is open a Finder window by clicking on the blue Finder icon in the left corner of your Dock, or by clicking on the hard drive icon on your desktop. If you’re already in the Finder, you can also use the keyboard shortcut *Command-N* to open a new window. Next, under the *Finder* menu, click *Preferences*. You’ll now see drop down menu labeled “*New Finder windows open:*”. From the drop down menu, you can choose the folder or location of your choice.

Read More

_Dear Friends,_
I saw a bunch of wild turkeys again on the way to work but there were also a bunch of Canada geese hanging out in the harvested corn field, stopping for a break on their way south. Over at the Dead Creek wildlife reserve, there is an organized geese stopover where each year, literally thousands of Canada and Snow geese stop on their way south. I am seeing the V’s of flying geese almost every day now.
Our big pre-holiday customer appreciation sale is this weekend at our retail stores. While we will have some special sales items only available to our local customers, we have some great deals for all of our customers. If you buy any Mac with AppleCare, you can have your choice of a free (after HP and Small Dog rebates) HP all-in-one printer or you can get a 500GB LaCie Neil Poulton USB 2.0 hard drive for only $20 (after Small Dog rebate) or upgrade to a 1TB drive for just $40 more.
“Check out the details on our Rebates page.”:http://www.smalldog.com/rebates
All of our iPod-compatible docking speakers will also be on sale this weekend, too. With free shipping (for orders over $200) and no sales tax outside of Vermont, this can be a great time to beat the crowds at our customer appreciation sale in the stores and online.
We will be introducing a new periodic newsletter entitled “Deal Retriever” this next week. As a Kibbles & Bytes subscriber you will automatically get this new sheet, and will be free to manage any future communication. This will be insider information of the very best offers from Small Dog Electronics. I’d appreciate your feedback on this new electronic publication!

Read More