No mini connection

The Apple forums won’t recognise my ID so while I summon the energy to re-register…..

Mac Mini. Wireless.
Using it, nothing unusual happening. It drops the connection.
The PC next to it does not – it works fine.
Menu bar shows a signal, if I use that ‘robustness’ option the signal increases
Cannot ping the router
Restart (which takes over 2 mins)
Cannot ping the router
Shut down, wait a minute, restart
Cannot ping the router

Network connections sees the router, it gets the network name. It just won’t actually let me connect.
The router is good. Other machines (like this one) work through it.

I’m guessing this one could be a back to the shop problem?

It works now. For some reason the router threw the mini off. Everything else was fine. So resetting the router did the trick.

And this next morning, it did it again. So Sys Prefs > Network connections > Choose Network > TCP/IP and manually enter the IP address. Worked instantly.

Shoving Tiger in again

So for one reason and another I’m currently reinstalling Tiger on the mini. I’ve said I might before and a couple of events this morning convinced me that it was the right thing to do. After 30 mins of “Why the hell won’t it reinstall??” I realised that it wanted the Mini install CD’s, not the laptop. It would have been ever so helpful if I’d got more than “You cannot install…” – if the system knows, the Apple coder who wrote the checking code knows then hey, tell the damn user.

So that’s work plans down for the day. I had planned for less (Tiger Woods on PS3, Wipeout Pulse on PSP) but this was not in the plan. Still, if I’m going to do it, Sunday is best.

(Mini – How to eject CD – hold mouse button and f12 and X while restarting. You only need 1, I didn’t want to try 3 times)

Update: It’s taken longer than an XP install. I’m really glad I had the MyBook – switching the drive to the mac from the PC is soooo easy – and it was otherwise uneventful. We shall see how stable it is now.

Winamp 5.5 – very nice indeed.

“Glad I got a mac. No viruses and hardly any spam” – a commentor on this blog

Last night I finally bit the bullet that is iTunes. I’m working upstairs on the laptop in the evenings now as it’s quieter and with the girls being around I’m not needed to help J. Bored of TV I looked for a decent alternative to the blatantly commercial iTunes. Unfortunately no-one has made anything for the mac (isn’t Microsoft the big baddie in dominating markets?) so if I want music I have to have iTunes. So it’s in and I have some music playing right now.
Fortunately, tomorrow we go IKEA (Noooooooooooooooooo!) to get a large desk so I can work upstairs from 3:30pm each day. The computers will be coming upstairs too so I’ll be able to go back to the fab Winamp 5.5 (see the visualisations in the new version? very good). So a decent music player plus hopefully 3 monitors should see me being quite productive. It also means that as I have more space I can play more music so I’ve got the iScrobbler added to iTunes and will do for Winamp. Some last.fm goodness there. I debated importing what I had at /podz but my daughter still has it in her winamp so… no.

And over the next week I’ll hunt around to see if Leopard will allow several apps to run on a 1.83 2gb mini and at a decent speed. Given that the minis are apparently being phased out I have my doubts. Though having looked at it I can’t honestly see a reason to upgrade. Eye candy does not warrant cash.

Naming things

I’ve tried a few times to get the Macs named on the network. On a Windows machine it’s easy – name it. On the Macs? No way.
The Sharing name, even when most items are shared still has Unknown showing in the router.
Going to some DHCP setting and naming shows the same Unknown.
Rebooting the router / machine gets the same thing.
Removing a machine from the network then rebooting the router has no effect.
Searching the Apple forums shows nothing but the above.

So in the end I did it manually. Not a big deal but the Macs should have been able to broadcast their names shouldn’t they?

Anyway, bar 3 there’s a theme :)

Edit: The network is called Amanda

My first grep

On Windows, jujuedit will open any size text file you throw at it. It’s opened and let me easily work on files over 100mb. It’s free.

Earlier I needed to open a 41mb text file.
Smultron stopped responding so I had to (ctrl-alt-del) force quit it.
Coda stopped responding so I had to do the same.
Textedit also couldn’t cope and when the process hit 120% of CPU (really…) and 1.2gb of memory I killed that too.
It’s only 41mb! That is not large. So I went looking for something that could do the job.
BBedit (which is 14mb, Jujuedit is less than 500k)
That opened it really quickly and I actually could work on it very well. Which is where the grep came in – I needed to replace the tags with different numbers with other tags and the grep did the trick in one operation rather than very many – there are 100,000 lines in the file. Anyway, BBedit is $40 and I don’t really need to spend that on one feature. The 3 editors I have I use differently already for other things – it’s just this size feature. So – is there a free editor that would do the job?

(Textwrangler is the one. Thanks to Claire and someone else whose comment was lost)

It didn’t crash, it wanted the power button fondled.

The mini is slow (again) so I decide to restart.

Damn thinks me, the mac seems to have crashed, but no, this must be a mistake, I must be dreaming, they don’t crash. So I do what it says:

hmm…. I mentally checked I could do without the machine for weeks and weeks should it break. And hit the power off to restart.

It took me seeing that screen 4 times before the mac got enough of a grip to haul itself into action.
And how much trust do I now have in it?
Zero.

Cable burns out and now this happens. As I have said before, if this were a Dell or any generic PC then certain users would be having a pop at me for buying it. But it’s a mac. That must mean it’s not it’s fault. This one is rapidly turning into lemon. A white square californian lemon.

Tooltip mugshot

This wasn’t straightforward on Windows and it seems to be as tricky on os x.

I need to get a screencap of a title tag in action. I’ve googled and tried the apple forums, Grab doesn’t work for tooltips, and as soon as you touch a key for a screencap the title tooltip disappears. Any ideas?

Audio – from CD to Mac?

Here is what I want:

  1. Insert CD
  2. Program reads CD, tags all tracks
  3. Program saves to a specified parent directory and fully respects the CD structure while naming the folder after the Album Title
  4. Program uses MP3 format at a bitrate I choose

That does not seem an overly complex task. But I cannot find an os x application that will do that.
I don’t want AAC, Flac, Ogg or any other audio formats, I want MP3.
I don’t want it to read a Compilation album and then go make a folder for each artist.
I don’t want an CD image.
I just want to open – for instance ‘The Best Punk anthems ever’ – and find a neat, numbered list that is a copy of the CD.

Does such a beast exist?

Update: Dual Core Intel chips and encoding music takes 80% of EACH cpu. What in hell did you Mac people do before?
And as for ‘Well iTunes knows where it is” – I’m sure the OS knows where everything is so why bother with any structure for anything? Why not have one HUGE folder and let iOSX take care of it? It’s the same thing.
There are some things Windows does a lot better than OS X and one thing is music. Why? because there is competition, more programs, more thought, more choice. In OS X there is one. Just one. And it isn’t that great.

In fact, given the complete bloody mess it’s made I’ll let Windows do it. You should always use the right tool for the job and the commercial whore that is iTunes can be thrashed by CDex.

Lot of ram = white goodness.

In the interests of balance due to what could be called some slightly unfair posts I have made previously, I have to say that the mini+2gb ram means that it flies when running Parallels with IE7 and IE6, Firefox, Thunderbird, Safari, XChat, Skype, Adium, Coda, Ecto and Solitaire (P was playing that). Impressed I am – and 2gb really should be the minimum spec.

As an aside the mini is noisier since the work. If I turn the TV off and let silence fall I only have to listen to hear it now. Before I had to really listen :)