Tuesday, September 30, 2008


When using a Mac as a main computer, I was able to create an overly complicated setup that would allow me to sync my iPhone wirelessly with Google Calendar/Contacts.  But this doesn't work on my linux computer.  When I was looking foa a solution I found a link to NuevaSync.

NuevaSync is a Exchange "proxy" for Google Calendar/Contacts.  This allows the iPhone to be configured to sync to thie Google apps.  This solution acually makes MobileMe unnecessary. This article has a good walkthough for configuring NuevaSync with an iPhone.

This has been working fine for me on my iPhone.

One problem that is being worked on is better support for multiple calendars.  Also another annoyance, with the iPhone and not with NuevaSync is that you can not connect to multiple Exchange servers.  I would like to connect to my work's Exchange server for mail, but connect to NuevaSync for Calendars and Contacts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Virtual Machines

VirtualBox is a free virtual machine that I have been using for a while It worked perfectly to run Windows XP on my Ubuntu computer. VirtualBox is available for Mac, WIndows and Linux. Connecting my iPhone didn't work. It looks like there is a bug where a connected iPhone is not recognized with VirtualBox.

This isn't a problem in VMware Workstation. I tried the 30 day free trial and it worked with the iPhone. I was able to easily transfer the data from my VirtualBox VM to VMware Workstation.  I backed up the VirtualBox to the Windows Home Server.  Then in the VMware Workstation VM, before I installed an OS, I put in the client restore CD.  This allowed me to restore the image to the new vm.

Moving to Windows

About the time that we got our new Dell M1530, the internal video card on our MacBook Pro died.  My wife is now trying to use the M1330 as her personal computer.  I erased the Ubuntu partition and installed WIndows Vista on it.  Also, since our Mac OS X machine was disabled, I have installed Windows XP in a virtual machine on my Ubuntu m1530 to do everything that I can't do in Ubuntu.

There are several things that I have noticed about Windows:

  1. The backup functionality in Windows Home Server works perfectly with Windows machines.  (I actually have used this to rebuild a machine and it worked perfectly)

  2.  There is no calendar program.  I don't get how Microsoft can ship an OS that doesn't have a calendar program.  Mac OS X ships with iCal.  You would think that Microsoft would want a computer to be functional for a family with just the base OS install.  They ship a mail program, photo and video editing programs, but no calendar.  This means that I can not sync my calendar with MobileMe.

  3. I am getting tons of errors from MobileMe Sync on both XP and Vista.  The errors state things like "a sync in progress" or my "MobileMe account is expired".

  4. The Windows version of Quicken is so much more functional that the Mac version.  Once I confugured Quicken for our accounts, it automatically configured itself to use the online bill pay from the bank.  With Quicken for the Mac, you have to use a third party bill pay service.

Vista on Mac mini

I installed Windows Vista on our Mac mini.  I wanted to document the process, in case I need to do this again.

When I started, I use the Mac OS X installer to  create two partitions.  One 12Gb partion for Mac OS X and the rest for windows.  This didn't work, as BootCamp can not be enabled unless you have more than several GB of space availble.  So, I had to create one partition and then reinstall Mac OS X.  Once I did that, then I could use the Boot Camp installer to resize the Mac OS X partition and install Windows.

The other problem that I had was that the DVD drive on the Mac mini is starting to malfunction.  I was able to install Mac OS X by putting the Mac mini in Firewire Disk Mode, and using the MacBook Pro to actually do the installation.  Unfortunately, you can not install Windows like this.  You only can enable Boot Camp on the internal drive.  Also, you can't use an external USB DVD drive to install windows, as Mac hardware.  Luckily, I was able to get Vista installed by rebooting without the DVD inserted, and the option key held down.  Then when in the disk selection screen appears, insert the Windows DVD, and then boot into the installer.

I was using our LCD TV as a monitor for the Mac Mini.  Once Windows was installed, I wasn't able to see any video when setup assistant started.  I had to switch to a different monitor that supported that resolution so I could finish the setup.

Once, I installed Apple's drivers everything worked perfectly.  Media Center works on this, and I am able to access this on the Xbox through Media Center extender.

I have installed TVTonic and MyMovies.  I have set up several video feeds in TVTonic, and now I need to start creating images for our DVDs.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Insecure wifi

I was at a Starbucks last week, waiting for my appointment at the DMV.  This was the warning that Firefox 3 showed me, when I attempted to log on to the wifi network there. 

Insecure wifi

Starbucks and TMobile need to fix their ssl certificates.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

links for September 6, 2008

Squeezebox Boom

Squeezebox BoomThe two Squeezebox Booms that I ordered arrived a few days ago, and I have to say that they have lived up to my expectations.

When you open the box, the first thing you see is a velvet-like bag, containing the Squeezebox Boom, that has the Logitech logo on it, and an orange tag that states Sqeezebox.  When you take the Squeezebox Boom out of the bag, I noticed that it has a solid feel to it.

The setup of this is exactly the same as the other Sqeezebox devices.  Once configured for our wireless network, it automatically saw the install of SqueezeCenter running on our Windows Home Server, and was able to play the music.

Seamless Local Control: Integrating WeatherFlow with Home Assistant Across VLANs

I've been pleased with my Home Assistant setup for some time now. One of my main focuses has been achieving local control. This ensures...