This week signals a new era for the Small Dog Electronics Service and Tech support staff. If you read last week’s newsletter, then you know that Troy Kingsbury has left our ranks to pursue a life as a convenience store owner. We have no doubt he will be successful in his endeavors, as Troy’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious. His teary departure last week showed us how much he loved his co-workers and the challenge of fixing people’s computers. Life has taken him in another direction, and we wish Troy and his family all the best.
We are working quickly to find a qualified replacement who can accurately repair machines, handle support over the phone and via email, and be able to provide practical knowledge on the use and care of the Mac computer.
In the meantime, the remainder of our service and tech support staff are dedicated and refocused on answering all call backs and email support inquiries as promptly as is possible. We do not anticipate Troy’s departure having a wholly negative affect in our performance as a group. We will provide the same level of repair and support with our existing staffers and hope to add another competent member to our team as soon as possible.
If interested, and Apple repair certified, email resumes and cover letter to Don @ smalldog.com
By Art @ smalldog.com
My Airport Doesn’t Seem to Have it’s Full Range By Jon @ smalldog.com
Quite often, we answer telephone and email questions about Airport Base Station range. People want to know what to expect, and also what would qualify as poor range. In terms of trouble shooting, many people do not realize that common household items can cause issues with the Airport Base Station signal.
To begin, Apple Airport, or 802.11 compliant wireless network operates in a range of public access frequencies. Those frequencies range from 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz, in 11 channels of 11MHz each. Many devices use this frequency range, are in the public domain, and are not regulated by the FCC. For example, 2.4GHz cordless handsets and baby monitors broadcast in this range, and can often interfere with your Airport Base Station. These items directly compete for the open channels in the narrow range of frequencies of the wireless devices.
Microwave Ovens and DSS or Satellite Receivers connected via coax to your TV Devices do not directly broadcast in this range, but increase the Signal to Noise ratio and can cause interference. These items, while not broadcasting an RF Signal can produce RF leakage that will interfere.
Lastly, have you ever noticed that driving under large metal bridges your car radio tends to lose signal? As the same for terrestrial broadcast, metal decrease signal and increase back round and noise in a wireless system. Metal studs in your office walls, metal tables and other metal objects can also significantly decrease range and signal strength. While these function on a line of sight principal, they can deflect the signal making a larger dead zone then expected.
Parallels: Shared Folders By Jimmy @ smalldog.com
I know I’ve been talking alot about Parallels lately. If you haven’t noticed, you should check out the Small Dog Blog (http:// blog.smalldog.com).
For those of you who don’t know what Parallels is, Parallels allows you to run Windows, Linux and other operating systems on your Intel- based Mac. It’s sort of like Boot Camp but it allows you to run Windows, Linux, etc, still while in Mac OS X.
While all this is very cool, there’s one feature that I’m just starting to use, but absolutely love. This is having Shared Folders. In short, it allows me to access files on the Mac OS X side from within WIndows XP. If you’re familiar with connecting to a network share, this is basically how it works.
At first I thought being able to run Mac OS X, Windows XP and Linux side-by-side at the same time was great but now that I can easily move files and share them between operating systems, well now this is my holy grail!
I’d also like to mention that Parallels has gone final and you can purchase a copy of this wonderful piece of software or download a trial version right from their website. If you’re someone who works in both or more worlds, Parallels is something I really recommend you try out.
Right Click on Older MacBooks By Scott @ smalldog.com
For those who haven’t heard or already discovered, the new MacBooks and 17″ MacBook Pros are shipping with a right click. Though there is still physically only one button, Apple used their two finger scroll technology to implement the right click. This function is built into the 17″ MacBook Pros and 13″ MacBooks but is disabled by default. To enable it, go the System Preferences and select Keyboard & Mouse. In the trackpad section you will find an option “place two fingers on trackpad and click button for secondary click”. Click the checkbox and you’re all set.
So what about all the people (including myself) who have a 15″ MacBook Pro? There is hope! There is an add on that appears to be the same program used in the other Intel Mac portable machines. It is a link in the following forum:
There are a couple things to note however if you choose to run this program. The first is that there are a few bugs. Most notably is the fact that after coming up from sleep or after being turned on the two finger right click will not work. You must go to the System Preferences disable and then re-enable the right click option for it to work again. Another bug that I ran into had to do with “Ignore trackpad when mouse is present” option.
I was waiting outside of the testing facility in Nashua, NH in between my OS X and Portables certification exams. I booted my MacBook Pro 15″ and went to re-enable the right click option. There appeared to be an issue having the two-finger right click and Ignore trackpad when mouse is present options both enabled at the same time. As soon as I reselected the right-click option I was locked out of using the trackpad. I wasn’t able to regain control of my mac until I got a mouse to deselect the ignore trackpad option.
The second and potentially very important note to keep in mind is to hang on to the uninstaller. From what information I have been able to gather it sounds like a bug-free fully functioning version will be included when Apple releases the 10.4.7 update. If this turns out to be true an uninstall may be required to run the version in the official update. When running Software Update an installer looks for specific files to add to or make adjustments to. If those system files are altered or not present there could be potential install issues. For this reason, it would be a good idea to run the uninstaller before using Software Update when the 10.4.7 patch is released.
What I would really like to see from Apple are some Windows side applications that can perform the two finger scroll and two finger right click options. After all, Apple has developed iPod, AirPort and Quicktime software for Windows. Will Apple implement more options for utilizing hardware through Boot Camp with the release of Leopard? Though 95% of what I do is through OS X, I sure hope so!
Art’s Widget of the Week
This week’s widget is cut and dry. If you are a World Cup Soccer fanatic, you must have the latest goal count from Germany.
World Cup Live Scores simply lists the latest scores from the beautiful soccer pitches in Deutschland.
Did you know that there are a dozen cities hosting soccer games? Berlin, Dortmond, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hanover, Kaiserslautern, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg, and Stuttgart.
Here’s a link to this Dashboard Widget by Coloroworks;
Apple’s Expansive Support Site By Art @ Smalldog.com
As most people know, Apple’s website is huge and has many links to click through, such as QuickTime trailers, hardware and software specifications, Apple News stories, the online Apple Store, and links to third-party sites (like ours, Smalldog.com.)
We still find one of the more frequently used sections to be the Support section. Apple provides a rich assortment of tips for troubleshooting, software updates to download, and discussion boards for asking others for help.
There is a web page in the support section that lists topics by category. We hope you find it useful when looking online for help in solving a computer problem.
Here is a link to Apple’s Support Site map;
Please make note of the bottom section called “Contact Support.”
Here is a link with many Apple contact phone numbers:
We hope you find the Apple Support website as expansive and helpful as we do.
Here are the specials for this week, valid through June 27 or while on-hand supplies last. Be sure to use the wag URL to get this special pricing.
FREE Shipping On All Premium Stitched Leather iPod Cases!
iPod 20gb (color display) with FREE Kensington case and FREE shipping, for $225.00!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16768/mymac +—————-+
LaCie 4gb Carte Orange USB Key drive – $84!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16744/mymac
Airport Extreme Base Station w/Modem And Antenna (r) – FREE SHIPPING – $179!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16769/mymac
LaCie 160gb 7200RPM FireWire P3 Porsche – $99
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16247/mymac
PowerMac G5 DC/2.3GHz with 2.5 GB RAM/250 GH HD/Superdrive/GeF6600, LaCie 20″ LCD for $2949!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16765/mymac
PowerMac G5 DC/2.3GHz (r), 23″ Apple Cinema Display (r), 3 year Applecare plan for both – $3399!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16767/mymac
MacBook Pro 15in 2.0GHz 1gb/100/Superdrive, Applecare for MacBook Pro – $2219!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16762/mymac
That’s it for this week’s Tech Tails! Thank you for supporting Small Dog Electronics.
Art, Jimmy, Scott, and Jon