OS Quest Trail Log

The OS Quest Trail Log #4


New Ground

I spent my free computer time this week organizing my photos and moving them from iPhoto into Aperture. The one feature that has me into Aperture is the way it handles edits. The original photo is in Aperture once as a master and any number of edits can be made. Each edit is simply the settings that need to be applied to the master, not a copy of the photo. iPhoto has one edit per photo and the edit replaces the master for all actions (although the master is saved and can be restored). Multiple edits require making copies of the photos.

I also looked at online photo sites. Actually I looked briefly and then spent most of the time digging into Flickr. I like Flickr because of it’s ability to organize photos with tags, sets and collections and also give them various levels of access. I uploaded about 1,000 photos to Flickr but only about 20 of them are public. Another subset are available to Family and a whole bunch are private.

I also looked at Photobucket and Picassa Web Albums. Photobucket’s Album (sub-albums actually) structure seemed cumbersome to me. I also couldn’t find how to do (and view) tagging even though the upload tool I tried supported tags. Picassa Web Albums was also album oriented but supported tags. Flickr just seemed more flexible and a better fit for me.

I found out that I actually had the “Pro” account because ATT/Yahoo is my ISP so if you have ATT/Yahoo check your account page in Flickr. It was news to me.

More Upgrades and Patches

The upgrade/patch cycle continued this week.

WordPress 2.2.2 was released about 3 weeks ago and I finally got around to upgrading my blogs. One benefit of procrastinating waiting is that the Fantastico scripts (used by Bluehost) have been updated and can be used to quickly upgrade. It fixes 10 bugs including a cross-site scripting vulnerability.

iMovie ’08 (a.k.a. version 7) was updated to version 7.0.1. According to the update it “addresses issues associated with publishing to .Mac Web Gallery. It also improves overall stability and addresses a number of other minor issues.” I’ve yet to fire up iMovie ’08 but applied the update anyway. It was a 10.4MB download through Software Update for me on my Mac’s. No reboot is needed.

Pathfinder, one of my must have Mac apps, was updated from 4.7.1(385) to 4.7.2(389) awhile back but I didn’t get around to updating it until this week. It’s primarily a bug fix release.

I upgraded, iPhoto Library Manager to version 3.3 which added support for iPhoto ’08 and a few other things. I had been using version 3.2.5 to start the different iPhoto libraries I had, but I avoided using any additional features. I immediately used it to create a library and move photos from an existing library to the new library. I talk about my first use of iPhoto Library Manager here. It’s young and needs to grow, but I’m intrigued.

I also updated to Parallels 3 but already talked about that.

Links & News

  • Wakoopa – I usually find things that track me creepy. And at first Wakoopa fell into that category but I found I liked it and it wasn’t too much information, especially for a website like The OS Quest. Wakoopa is a Web 2.0 social site built around software. I signed up and installed their tracking software on my iMac and iBook so far. It tracks the software I use and sends it to my profile. Profiles can be public or private. I made mine public and it can be viewed here.

…about one of the great wonders of capitalism: It is driven by morons who are circling the drain, and yet. . . it works!

  • Saturday Was Pirate Day – In another shining example of how DRM helps us consumers Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage system suffered an outage over the weekend. Original reports said it may be out until Tuesday but it was back online after a day. There were numerous stories, here’s the one from Ars Technica. Customers trying to validate couldn’t and anyone who needed to re-validate couldn’t. If Vista can’t validate it goes into “Reduced Functionality Mode” (let the jokes begin).
  • MacToSchool is offering $300 worth of Mac software for $50. Worth it if the software is worth more than $50 to you.
  • Dean Robinson is the guy who designed the Redoable theme that I’m using for this site. He recently redesigned his own website and it’s worth checking out. He has some great web designs.
OS Quest Trail Log

The OS Quest Trail Log #2

It’s only been four days since my last log entry but I want to get on a weekly cycle with these and weekends seem to be the best time to do it. So here goes…

Google Apps

I continue to use Google Apps and like it. Really all I use it for is email, but it’s allowed me to consolidate all my email addresses into one mailbox for delivery. I finally got the hang of using search and labels (aka tags) rather than folders and it makes things much quicker and more efficient.

I never thought I’d see the day but I no longer use a desktop email client, it’s all web based. That does scare me a bit so I’ll probably set up Thunderbird or to suck down the email on a regular basis so I have a local copy.


My Mozy Mac backup software had been a solid performer until I updated to the latest version on the 9th. Today the backup hung up in a “Backup Started” mode. It’s been that way for 10 hours. I just clicked cancel and it’s still hung up. If this is the same problem I had several version ago it’ll stay that way until a reboot (or I manually kill and restart all the processes.)

Blog at

My new blog is going along well. Looks like I haven’t been wasting my time and will probably make it public next week. Because hosts the blogs they are restrictions on what can be changed and added. The boundaries are good for me as it keeps me from going down the ratholes of themes, plugins and widgets. This blog is for the ratholes.

.Mac Returns

I subscribed to .Mac again. It’s one of those things I couldn’t stay away from. Now that I have a laptop that I use a lot it’s beneficial for me to sync with it. Standalone Sync software costs $50 or so. .Mac is an extra $30 or so (don’t buy it from Apple unless you get it bundled with a new Mac). The extra disk space, now 10GB, helps a lot since I can use it as a data directory for just about everything I want on the laptop and it will automatically be backed up and synced with my iMac. I’m still liking Yojimbo and will probably keep it so the .Mac sync for Yojimbo is a real plus.

New Software

My copies of iLife ’08 and iWork ’08 arrived late in the week. I haven’t had a chance to really dig into the software.

For iPhoto ’08 the Events seem to be simply rolls renamed. Except now they make sense and the new features make them more useful. Of course I was burned. Rolls were so useless that I simply combined all my photos into about a dozen rolls of over 1000 photos each. Getting them into events may be more trouble than it’s worth. I haven’t had a chance to dig into anything else.

For iWork (yea, I broke down and bought it) I like Pages now. It seems more accessible to someone like me who just needs a simple document every now and then. Numbers seems really cool. In typical Apple fashion they seem to be emphasizing looks. There’s 18 templates most of which are heavy on the eye candy. The UI elements that stand out are related to styles and formatting.

Bits and Pieces From the Web

Power Replacements for Built-In Windows Utilities (Lifehacker) – All free

Microsoft has released Vista Performance and Compatibility updates – But not through Windows Update yet.

Wired has a BitTorrent starter Guide.

iMovie ’08 Users Can use iMovie ’06 (TUAW) – Some people don’t like the completely rewritten iMovie ’08. Apple has a download available for them so they can also use iMovie ’06.

How have your travels along the PC trail been this week?