Google Calendar CalDAV support – iPhone

In the continuing move off local data. The next step was calendar services. iCal was my local calendar service of record and I did sometimes use Google Calendar. While those two could talk to each other (iCal and Google Calendar Integration ), the sticking point was ‘over the air’ syncing for the iPhone.

Well the workaround for that is to use the Microsoft Exchange syncing that is availible from Google and the iPhone

In the continuing move off local data. The next step was calendar services. iCal was my local calendar service of record and I did sometimes use Google Calendar. While those two could talk to each other (iCal and Google Calendar Integration ), the sticking point was ‘over the air’ syncing for the iPhone.

Well the workaround for that is to use the Microsoft Exchange syncing that is availible from Google and the iPhone
Setting up Google Sync for iPhone. There are a number of warnings about data loss, especially with the Contact details. So at this point I am doing Calendar only, thanks to the hint from Ian Fernando (Sync only calendars ).

Living on the Cloud

Is it worth storing your own data anymore?

That is the question that we’ve been struggling with for almost a year. For any user that buys a new computer and has to ‘migrate’ their data, the question of what all that stuff is an why do I need it has to come up. For me, it has always been the movement of email from one computer to another. This is even tougher when you start using multiple machines. Double-tough when you add an iPhone or other handheld.

Syncing?? – don’t even get me started.

Is it worth storing your own data anymore?

That is the question that we’ve been struggling with for almost a year. For any user that buys a new computer and has to ‘migrate’ their data, the question of what all that stuff is an why do I need it has to come up. For me, it has always been the movement of email from one computer to another. This is even tougher when you start using multiple machines. Double-tough when you add an iPhone or other handheld.

Syncing?? – don’t even get me started.

So the great (and hopefully final) migration has begun. Keeping local copies of data I need in multiple places just doesn’t make sense any more. You need to find trusted respositories, free if you can, pay if you need to and get this stuff out in the ‘cloud’.

Just to be clear, this isn’t about cost or convenience (although those can be benefits) – its all about survivability. When your family photographs have been digital for almost a decade, there is a significant part of your life that is in bits – literally. And with 2.25TB in a desktop, 2TB in a media PC, and a 1TB NAS the cost of continuing to buy storage for backups isn’t trivial – even at today’s drive prices.

The downside, clearly is security and control. But with half your life on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter – what the hell are you protecting???

For Me its; Email to Gmail, Photos to Flickr, Shared Data to a WebDav service. Next its going to be calendars and general file storage.

The solutions aren’t perfect, but between Google Apps, Amazon S3, Mobile Me, and so on – the line in moving inexorably towards the day when its just not worth the trouble anymore.

Conficker Grounding Fighter Aircraft

DAVID PUGLIESE’S DEFENCE WATCH

By DAVE PUGLIESE 02-23-2009 Ottawa Sun

“Naval spokesman Jerome Erulin said the recent computer security breach was limited but prevented the aircraft from downloading flight plans, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

The database infection by “Conficker,” a malicious software virus publicly reported by Microsoft last October, likely was the result of negligence, naval officials said.”

iPhone 3G – Accessory Mods

One of the main frustrations with the New iPhone 3G has been the incompatibilities of many (of not most) of the existing accessories. Part of this can be attributed to the final removal of firewire circuitry which renders many chargers (which still used the old firewire pins on the dock) – useless. Other devices, such as my iHome clock radio will no longer pass audio from the dock connector. Even when a device works (such as the Belkin Tunebase car adapter) you may still get the annoying Accessory Not made to work with iPhone


Example
DSCN0182.JPG

Now the good news is that this adapter will charge the iPhone and pass audio, so in most respects it works. Two problems. The error message and the fact it doesn’t really fit. The last part is correctable.

My iPhone also has a Belkin Acrylic case – which actually makes the fit worse but the mod easier. The key issue is the plastic clips on the side don’t hold the new 3G iPhone in the correct position.


Note the gaps on the sides:
DSCN0181.JPG

But with a little basic surgery, we can fix that.

The Mod requires about 3/4″ of an inch of plastic on the Car adapter clip be trimmed back, and an equal length grove be worked into the Acrylic hard shell. Dry fitting this and marking with a black marker gets the locations well enough

DSCN0187.JPGDSCN0186.JPG


Using the Dremel and a burr tool gets the job done, and a little buff when its all done.

DSCN0189.JPG

Final Product – still complains but it fits, and it works.

DSCN0190.JPG

Just because you can ..

Sometimes you need to do something just because you can. Well after setting up a multi-boot OS, the question became how many could you run at the same time. Well the current limit is about 6 – mostly based on screen real estate.
Just because you can (2)

Sometimes you need to do something just because you can. Well after setting up a multi-boot OS, the question became how many could you run at the same time. Well the current limit is about 6 – mostly based on screen real estate.
Just because you can (2)

The current idea is to evaluate the new VMWare product against the Parallels application that I have been using for about a year. The existing Windows XP install, as well as a previous Suse install are both in Parallels. Vista was installed in Parallels, mainly for the more mature driver support.
Just because you can (1)

The VMware was used for the UNIX OSes, mainly because of the 64bit support and the ability to provide multiple virtual processors. It will be interesting to see if this yield performance results. As shown here, The VMWare tool has taken advantage of some of the ‘Mac Stuff’. The use of a ‘package'(top left – below) to hide the bits and pieces of the Virtual machine (bottom right – below):
VMWare v Parallels 3
Is nicer than the Parallels presentation
VMWare v Parallels 1

VMWare v Parallels 2

– but this is purely esthetics – but a good chunk of being a Mac app is good esthetics.

Quad boot – Octo Mac Pro, Part IV

To paraphrase Sean Connery (from the Hunt for Red October) … “once again we play our dangerous game against our old adversary” ….. Installing Windows Vista on the Mac Pro.
Apple install

To paraphrase Sean Connery (from the Hunt for Red October) … “once again we play our dangerous game against our old adversary” ….. Installing Windows Vista on the Mac Pro.
Apple install

The basic install of Windows Vista was uneventful, althought it did required about 4 reboots and about 1 hour to complete. Once the install was complete the functionality, including things like Aero Glass were there without any special work. To get the drivers specific to the Apple hardware (especially thing like wireless and bluetooth) I did install the drivers from the current version of the Boot Camp Assistant

The Vista installation was based on the 32-bit version which still is likely the common version deployed. The benefits of the 64-bit version (other than addressing the memory issue mentioned earlier is not really clear.
Not enough RAM

Vista does recognize the 8 processor cores and appears to use all reasonably well.
Vista Task Manager

After running the Performance test under Vista the score ended up at 4.0. This actually went down fom 4.3 after initial install due to poorer graphics performance. Leading me to believe the native Windows drivers did better with the 7300GT NVidia card than the Apple drivers installed by boot camp.

Performance

So with Mac OS 10.4, 10.5, Windows XP and Vista the Mac Pro is now capable of the Quad booting operating systems. It will be interesting to see which one (if any) produces better performance.

But next … OS madness with Parallels and VMware in the OS within and OS department.

Quad boot – Octo Mac Pro, Part III

The installation of OS X 10.5 was without drama. Unfortunately , the post-installation was also without any drama – you kinda wanted Zing after a new OS. The result was a slightly slicker version of 10.4. There are a couple of noteable additions to the interface. The menu bar now boasts an eject button. Just to the right of the ‘Spaces’ (Virtual Desktop) selection
Leopard w/Spaces

The installation of OS X 10.5 was without drama. Unfortunately , the post-installation was also without any drama – you kinda wanted Zing after a new OS. The result was a slightly slicker version of 10.4. There are a couple of noteable additions to the interface. The menu bar now boasts an eject button. Just to the right of the ‘Spaces’ (Virtual Desktop) selection
Leopard w/Spaces
I guess the ‘dragging disks to the trash’ metaphor finally wore a little thin.

The Desktop shows a use of 3-D effects all over, most notable in the dock Leopard Dock

So without revisiting all the items that have been covered elsewhere, on to the Boot Camp stuff.

In preparation for the Windows Vista install I ran the BootCamp assistant. I specifically wanted to try the partitioning utility.
Boot Camp3

This did successfully partition the 250GB drive to allow a 75GB parition for the Windows install. Then boot the installer for Windows.
Boot Camp3

Quad boot – Octo Mac Pro, Part II

The inital installs of Windows on the Mac Pro was successful. Unfortunately the Windows XP installation only recognized 2 of the 5GB installed. Apparently this is a known issue in Windows XP. Other than that issue Windows XP recognizes most of the hardware on the Mac Pro including all the Windows readable partitions on the harddrives attached to the system. The video, keyboard, DVD burner, and all connections; network, USB, and FW are supported.

The inital installs of Windows on the Mac Pro was successful. Unfortunately the Windows XP installation only recognized 2 of the 5GB installed. Apparently this is a known issue in Windows XP. Other than that issue Windows XP recognizes most of the hardware on the Mac Pro including all the Windows readable partitions on the harddrives attached to the system. The video, keyboard, DVD burner, and all connections; network, USB, and FW are supported.

Since the goal here is to create a full multi-boot system, the next step was to look for the next generation of OSes. The Mac Pro is now running OS X (10.4) and Windows XP (SP2). So what’s next …. Vista and Leopard

So while I’m in Windows XP, I thought it would be fun to run the Vista Upgrade Advisor.

The upgrade advisor didn’t have much to say about my hardware, as much of it didn’t seem to be recognized. It complained about Nero but the rest was viewed as okay.

Again the upgrade advisor (like XP) only sees the 2GB of memory. But even under Vista my 5GB of RAM is wasted

From http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605/en-us Title: The system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect if 4 GB of RAM is installed

“The reduction in available system memory depends on the devices that are installed in the computer. However, to avoid potential driver compatibility issues, the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista limit the total available memory to 3.12 GB.”

Next …. installing the next cat

Quad boot – Octo Mac Pro, Part I

The FEDEX gnomes kindly deposited a shinny new 8-core Mac Pro on my doorstep last week and I have been working through the usual migrations of data from old to new systems. The main reason for this purchase was to get multi-OS capability in native booting. And, like Apple’s quarterly financials – results were better than expected.

The FEDEX gnomes kindly deposited a shinny new 8-core Mac Pro on my doorstep last week and I have been working through the usual migrations of data from old to new systems. The main reason for this purchase was to get multi-OS capability in native booting. And, like Apple’s quarterly financials – results were better than expected.

The machine came installed with 10.3 on the internal 250GB drive. I added two other SATA drives that had been languishing in my file cabinet. A 250 out of my old G5 and a 160 out of my Athlon 64. While the 10.4 version on the G5 drive wouldn’t boot the new machine, the Windows XP on the former PC did (almost) and that is what is really interesting.

A drive that had been running in an AMD x64 system, dropped unprepared into my Mac Pro, did actually manage to boot. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell how far it could get because at the ‘Loading your personal settings’ stage it complained about Windows activation. That is the point I found out the Mouse and Keyboard were non-functional – give that the old machine had PS/2 style input devices not USB.

All was not lost however. With a boot of the Windows XP disk, I went through the steps to a new windows install. At the point where it would normally ask about formatting a drive, the installer states it had found a Windows install and would I like to repair it. – Sure go ahead. And after 20-30 agonizing minutes it finished.

With a basic reboot the machine came back – again almost. It got to the windows desktop, in horible 4-bit 640×480 display settings. However all was not lost, I had made a copy of the Boot Camp device drivers and with a few more install minutes I had a functioning copy of Windows XP awaiting activation. With all the programs and files from my Athlon 64.

Battledfield 2, Flight Simulator, MS Office, all seemed to run as they had before. Settings and user configuration included.

That was somewhat amazing to me because I had not thought of Windows installs as overly portable. And the thought of taking a boot drive out of a old PC and get it to boot a new Intel Mac was not what I expected.

Drupal 5 Migration Complete

After a little waiting for some contributed items to get updated, the site is now running on Drupal 5. The improvements in the backend are awesome and new functionality is everywhere. I will try to avoid turning too much on.

Again the good folks at Lullabot are always showing the neat stuff. Such as the new diff capability that gives wiki like change management.Check out the screencast here.