Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to backup time machine to a external hard drive connected to a PC

If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro in a PC network then you can understand that it is sometimes difficult to get along. Also, if you're at all like me, you buy as few apple products as possible because they cost waaaay too much.
So, lets get to the point shall we? If you have a macbook, and it has 5-8 hours of battery life... then you probably didnt buy it so you could keep it on your desk all day did you? No? I didnt think so, you want portability. I found that it is very hard to plug an external hard drive into my macbook pro and remain portable, and like I said: time capsule, apples wireless backup solution, is way too expensive. Today I will show you how to build your own time capsule to backup your mac wirelessly. It isnt hard as long as you follow my instructions.

Items needed:
Any kind of mac with leopard installed, preferably with latest updates.
A PC with XP, Vista, or 7
an external hard drive that you want to backup to. i recommend that the size of the hard drive be larger than your macs hard drive.

Note: This is not a perfect solution, your PC will need to be on for your mac to backup to it's external hard drive.

Phase One: Prepare the windows machine.
Find the name of this PC, it is usually under properties on the right click menu of "my computer"
Plug the eternal hard drive into the PC
Once windows recognizes it and installs its drivers: open my computer
right click the backup drive and click share
on xp, set up sharing as usual
on vista and 7, click advanced sharing
check share this folder
name it, and then click permissions
check full control
open network and sharing center
make sure that file sharing is on
Phase Two: Prepare the MacBook
open terminal
paste: defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
hit enter
quit terminal
Mount your network drive by clicking finder and pressing command+k or going to go>connect to server. type in smb://your_pc's_computer_name and then mount the backup folder.
select the network backup in Time Machine.
Start Time Machine (Menu button > Backup Now) and watch your remote location.
A file is created with the structure ComputerName_MACAddress.tmp.sparcebundle. Copy this file's name.
On your Mac, open Disk Utility. Click “New Image.” Use the following settings:
Save As ComputerName_MACAddress
Volume name can be whatever you want, i named it the same as my backup folder.
Change partition to “No Partition Map”
Change Image Format to “Sparce Bundle Disk Image”
Custom Volume size. Set the maximum you want to use on your remote location, my backup was 232GB, and I used 200GB.
Save the image file to your desktop. Move this file to your remote location.
Tell Time Machine to backup again and it should be working.

Contgrats, you now have a working time machine backup to a PC's external hard drive.
credit for a large part of phase two goes to Jason Davis

My new macbook pro

I just sold my old (although it was less than a year old) sony vaio and replaced it with a macbook pro. It was a solid purchase, and I am very happy. It is a great machine, but i cant wait for snow leopard to be released because safari and finder keep crashing on me.
Overall, the differences between my new mac and my old vaio are as follows:
Magsafe adapter
7 hour battery
multitouch trackpad
battery indicator lights
time machine.... there is nothing like it on windows
extremely useful Fn keys. I use the itunes controls, the screen brightness and keyboard brightness adjusters every day. I also love the volume controls and quick access to dashboard.
awesome dvd drive...
beautiful, in every respect

Wait, apple thinks User Account control is annoying?! They make you enter your password and give confirmation for everything!
Crashes more often than my old pc (running windows 7)
the eject button... if your going to put it there, why not make it eject a flash drive when it is selected also?
cannot write to ntfs drives or fat drives quickly. might be microsoft's fault.
lack of windows features: I'm used to having some features in operating systems i use by default, and after switching to mac I realized that it doesnt have everything that windows has, here are some examples:
A delete key on the keyboard, not backspace.
Restore files from trash
maximize windows
switch tasks easily... in leopard if you have two safari windows open alt+tab does not switch you to the other window, only a different application
jumplists... i know they arent even out yet, but osx 10.7 needs them.

Overall, I am very happy that I bought a mac, and I actually dont think I'll be installing windows on it. I feel somewhat like a traitor for getting both and iphone and a mac, rather than a windows mobile phone like the htc touch pro 2 and a dell... I really dont like apple due to their extreme overpricing, but its harder than it looks to boycott on principle ;D

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We all can be heroes: Send a message, save the world (or your wallets)

Ok, so it isnt the best heroes reference, but thats besides the point. I'm trying to get as many people as possible to send a message to your cell phone provider informing them that you (the customer) are fed up with paying for unnecessary charges, and that you no longer want to hear that annoying lady from the 90's that tells you how to leave a message.

Please send this message, an altered version of it, or entirely your own message to your carrier. You can be anonymous, it doesn't matter... but if everyone sent one than they would assuredly change their policy don't ya think?

I am mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it about the ridiculous idea that we still need to be told how to use voicemail, and it turns out those additional messages are actually costing me cold, hard cash. David Pogue estimates that Verizon, for instance, is netting around $620 million a year thanks to these little annoyances.
On another note: At&t could easily include unlimited messaging within their unlimited data plans and not charge a penny more. And why not? We're transmitting more data when online and emailing than we are with a stupid little SMS which, by the way, is limited to a small number of characters.. But of course, you do nickel and dime us like we're still stuck in the early 90's... People are getting ripped off and overcharged for features that should come standard, and any carrier that integrates SMS into their data plans first will be my new carrier, and I'm sure other people will switch en masse. This is ridiculous... I know it, you know it, everyone knows it, and like I said before: The first carrier who offers unlimited messaging as a part of their data plans without charging extra, will get an enormous amount of business!
We're waiting, and the clock is ticking......

Verizon: Post a complaint here.

AT&T: Send e-mail to Mark Siegel, executive director of media relations:

Sprint: Post a complaint here.

T-Mobile: Post a complaint here.

Credit to commenters from, and to David Pogue for pieces of the above writing.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Spoof" your CallerID to any number

Use this webapp to make calls to your friends with a different Caller ID.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

For the people, by the people: iPhone

Apple has gotten many of its ideas for iPhone OS directly from the community itself, and that also means from the iPhone Dev Team, and the jailbreak community. Here's a list I've compiled of applications and ideas that Apple got from them.
Note: keep in mind that not all of these are 100% accurate, it may just be a coincidence that apple did the exact same thing that the community had already done.

1) The Appstore: Installer existed long ago in the days of firmware 1.1.1, and although support has been dropped for it by it's developers for a while now, cydia has effectively replaced it.

2) Original iPhone Applications on the iPod Touch: Remember back in the 1.x.x firmwares when the iPod Touch only had a few applications? Remember when mail, weather, maps, photos, stocks, and notes where iPhone ONLY? The community added those applications to the iPod Touch at least 2 firmware versions before Apple did.

3) Voice Notes: Yes, voice notes was on repositories long before it made its way to your home screen.

4) Add events in the iPod touch calendar: Yes, that was on jailbroken devices way before it was official

5) Video Recording: Cycorder and other applications in Cydia had video recording long before the 3GS came out, where do you think apple got it from?

More will be added here when I think of it. Right now I dont have my iPhone in front of me to help me remember.

Now dont get my wrong, Apple had a few original ideas of their own. On 1.1.3 they enabled the wiggle feature to move applications and delete weblinks, which of course extended to deleting applications.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just got the iPhone 2G

It may not be the 3G or the 3GS, but it does come with a less expensive data plan, and thats what I can afford. I got it in a trade with my cousin; he had verizon and just wanted an ipod touch, and I had at&t and an itouch.
It turned out to be very inexpensive when its added to a family plan. just 10 dollars for the line, and 20 dollars for data + 200 texts. If you put that next to similar plans for hybrid phones such as the eternity and the impression the price is exactly the same.
Its very cool, and nice to have internet everywhere. Kinda slow, but I'll live.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

RedSn0w Released for iPod Touch 2G!

On January 30th, the iPhone Dev Team released RedSn0w into the wild for daring testers and jailbreak fanatics. It is a tethered jailbreak, which means that every time you reboot you must enter dfu mode and send commands from a Mac/PC. Sleep Mode does not count as a reboot.
You can head over to to try it out, and there is an awesome tutorial over at

Friday, January 16, 2009

iPod Touch 2G jailbreak is close!

After reading the Dev-Team blog it seems as if an ipod touch 2g jailbreak is imminent. redsn0w has been set up, and the image in the middle is a picture of the ipod touch 2g CPU (which is what was giving the dev-team problems in the first place). The hash on the top left is the most important hash file to the itouch 2g.
One of the dev-team members have commented saying that whatever they are releasing will be out, most likely, before the 18th.
Go Devteam! My iT2G will be redsn0wed as soon as you release!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tim Sneath's Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets

So, I was reading up on the MSDN blog, and found an article about all sorts of windows 7 tips and tricks (here: and I thought I should outline a few that stood out to me.

Windows Management. By now, you’ve probably seen that Windows 7 does a lot to make window management easier: you can “dock” a window to the left or right half of the screen by simply dragging it to the edge; similarly, you can drag the window to the top of the screen to maximize it, and double-click the window top / bottom border to maximize it vertically with the same horizontal width. What you might not know is that all these actions are also available with keyboard shortcuts:
Win+Left Arrow and Win+Right Arrow dock;
Win+Up Arrow and Win+Down Arrow maximizes and restores / minimizes;
Win+Shift+Up Arrow and Win+Shift+Down Arrow maximizes and restores the vertical size.

I think this would be very useful for people with dual monitors, I have dual monitors at my house, and after trying out these shortcuts I found that I can use them to move windows to other monitors.

Display Projection. Had enough of messing around with weird and wonderful OEM display driver utilities to get your notebook display onto an external projector? In that case, you’ll be pleased to know that projection is really quick and simple with Windows 7. Just hit Win+P, and you’ll be rewarded by the following pop-up window:

Use the arrow keys (or keep hitting Win+P) to switch to “clone”, “extend” or “external only” display settings. You can also access the application as displayswitch.exe.

If you want broader control over presentation settings, you can also press Win+X to open the Windows Mobility Center, which allows you to turn on a presentation “mode” that switches IM clients to do not disturb, disables screensavers, sets a neutral wallpaper etc. (Note that this feature is also available in Windows Vista.)

After installing the windows 7 beta this was one of the things that I noticed first. I actually stumbled upon the popup by accident while messing around in the mobility center and I thought it would be extremely useful for many users. I also like the presentation mode check box in the mobility center because you can use it to disable the screensaver in case your watching a movie or something.

Cut Out The Clutter. Working on a document in a window and want to get rid of all the extraneous background noise? Simply hit Win+Home to minimize all the non-active background windows, keeping the window you’re using in its current position. When you’re ready, simply press Win+Home again to restore the background windows to their original locations.

This, along with the Win+Space shortcut (show desktop) are very nice additions to the windows OS.

The Black Box Recorder. Every developer wishes there was a way that an end-users could quickly and simply record a repro for the problem that they’re running into that is unique to their machine. Windows 7 comes to the rescue! Part of the in-built diagnostic tools that we use internally to send feedback on the product, the Problem Steps Recorder provides a simple screen capture tool that enables you to record a series of actions. Once you hit “record”, it tracks your mouse and keyboard and captures screenshots with any comments you choose to associate alongside them. Once you stop recording, it saves the whole thing to a ZIP file, containing an HTML-based “slide show” of the steps. It’s a really neat little tool and I can’t wait for it to become ubiquitous on every desktop! The program is called psr.exe; you can also search for it from Control Panel under “Record steps to reproduce a problem”.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Websites to note

Ill be talking about these websites soon, win7 users and dell fans: take a look.

and a bonus:,2817,2338803,00.asp

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Awesome response to Windows 7

It is really awesome to see such an outstanding response to windows 7 from the community and its also amazing to see so many people o my blog!
If we can get this many people on the site every day I can promise to have at least 3 posts everyday of interesting Tech Stuff!
Heres a graph to show just how many people are on the site, and where they are from:
People from all over!

Here is the actual stats page:

Warm welcome to the 7 users from the US and the 6 from Canada!

Windows 7 Beta Keys

Windows 7 (by unknown
So, after following the guides from mydigitallife, keznews, and lifehacker, and then refreshing my browser into infinity... I finally got my windows 7 product keys (both 32 Bit and 64 bit). I figured out how to get more than just one of them, so I have a lot of extras. If anyone would like a key please just comment here and Ill send you one... Feel free to donate if you want to.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Officially Available Today!

Today Microsoft has made the Windows 7 Beta Officially available for anyone to download. You can watch LifeHackers coverage of the availablity here as they will be covering the status of product keys. Microsoft is working on getting their servers back up and running (they hadn't expected such a huge flow of users to their site). Microsoft has yet to make available the product keys for the beta, but you can still download the beta and use it for 30 days without a Key.
Links to download the beta are below (note that the links dont work in chrome)
Windows 7 Beta - x86 (32 bit)
Windows 7 Beta - x64 (64 bit)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What Microsoft Forgot to Mention About Vista

So, just as New Years came and left, so will Windows Vista upon the release of Windows 7 later this year and the upcomming beta release tomorrow. Nothing could make the upgrade a little easier for users to deal with than the knowledge that Microsoft (along with many major computer manufacturers) kinda cheated a little bit when they sold Vista.
After reading an article on Lifehacker about Windows 7's hardware requirements I found an interesting piece of information on

While all editions of Windows Vista can support multiple core CPUs, only Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise can support dual processors.

Although this will not affect the majority of Windows Users, I found it interesting and thought I'd share it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hello Jody

Dev Team Blog

Youtube video:

January 03, 2009


Contact a lawyer, do whatever, just spread the word of Jody Sanders (iPhone Unlock UK). Stealing copyrighted code intended for free purposes is illegal anywhere you go, and the Dev Team can sue them at any time.

Friday, January 02, 2009

So, just how good is Windows 7?

You may be wondering how good Windows 7 actually is in regards to performance... You know, because it has so many new features that it must have dropped performance again like vista did right? I mean, how could a new taskbar, nicer programs (like paint and wordpad), multi-touch, kernel improvements, processing improvements, tweaked Explorer, windows solution center, and homegroups (shall I continue?) really not slow down the machine?
KezNews had the same question, and wanted to compare windows 7 to Vista Sp2 and XP Sp3.
They put each version of windows to the following tests:
1. Install OS - Time it takes to install the OS
2. Boot up - Average boot time to usable desktop
3. Shut down - Average shut down time
4. Move 100MB files - Move 100MB of JPEG files from one hard drive to another
5. Move 2.5GB files - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from one hard drive to another
6. Network transfer 100MB files - Move 100MB of JPEG files from test machine to NAS device
7. Network transfer 2.5GB files - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from test machine to NAS device
8. Move 100MB files under load - Move 100MB of JPEG files from one hard drive to another while ripping DVD to .ISO file
9. Move 2.5GB files under load - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from one hard drive to another while ripping DVD to .ISO file
10. Network transfer 100MB files under load - Move 100MB of JPEG files from test machine to NAS device while ripping DVD to .ISO file
11. Network transfer 2.5GB files under load - Move 2.5GB of mixed size files (ranging from 1MB to 100MB) from test machine to NAS device while ripping DVD to .ISO file
12. Compress 100MB files - Using built-in ZIP compression
13. Compress 1GB files - Using built-in ZIP compression
14. Extract 100MB files - Using built-in ZIP compression
15. Extract 1GB files - Using built-in ZIP compression
16. Install Office 2007 - Ultimate version, from DVD
17. Open 10 page Word doc - Text only
18. Open 100 page Word doc - Text and images only
19. Open simple Excel doc - Basic formatting
20. Open complex Excel doc - Including formula and charts
21. Burn DVD - Win 7 beta 1 .ISO to disc using CDBurnerXP
22. Open 10 page PDF - Text only, using latest Adobe Reader 8
23. Open 100 page PDF - Text and images, using latest Adobe Reader 8

and got the following results:
Better Machine
Worse Machine

The lower the number, the better the OS.
Obviously, Windows 7 blew the other OS's away! It has all of the performance gains, and all of the visual improvements that vista and XP had + more.
I have the windows 7 beta leak installed on my vaio and Ill be testing it out and I'll post about it in a few days.

btw... if you wanted to read up on that list of features... THIS PAGE has a nice list put together about half way through.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Windows 7 Review

Read this article on keznews and thought it would be good to post up here. Its incredibly acurate but I disagree on the taskbar section... I think the new taskbar is awesome.

I’ve now had my hands on Windows 7 beta 1 build 6.1.7000.0.081212-1400 (the build that is widely expected to be made available to beta testers by Microsoft early in January) and have had some time to compose my thoughts and feelings about this latest release.

Beta 1 is very similar to M3 builds
The first thing that’s striking about Windows 7 beta 1 is how similar it is to the M3 builds that I’ve been using since October. In fact, put builds 6801 and 7000 beta 1 side-by-side and you might be hard pressed to spot the difference (especially if you activated the Blue Badge features). This means that if you’ve been following Windows 7 builds then when you get your hands on the beta you’ll be pretty familiar with the beta. The flip-side is that I’ve got fewer new things to show you!

It’s unusual not to be faced with heaps of new features with each build - it’s almost as though Microsoft had a plan for Windows 7 right from the start, baked these features into the early M3 build and have since been working on refining these features. This is an interesting approach that seems to have resulted in the best beta build of an OS from Microsoft that I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a LOT of beta builds!). Wow!

Installing Windows 7 beta 1 is faster and simpler than installing Windows Vista or Windows XP on a system.

There are fewer steps to work through, the installation is overall much faster than for earlier Microsoft operating systems (I can get Windows 7 onto most systems in about 25 minutes, on a powerful system the install process will take less than 20 minutes), and there are fewer obstacles between the user and the OS once it’s installed (for example, gone is that annoying post-install performance test).

New taskbar
Oddly enough, the first thing that you’re likely to notice about Windows 7 is also the bit that I like the least. The new revamped taskbar is visually very interesting (and certainly a lot easier to use at higher screen resolutions that the Vista or XP taskbar), but it tries to do too much and as such comes across as kludgey and counter-intuitive. One failure is that it’s hard to tell the difference between apps that are running and shortcuts that have been pinned to the taskbar. It also incorporates the new Jump Lists feature which acts as a context-sensitive menu for applications. Problem is that there’s very little rhyme or reason to what to expect from Jump Lists, making them awkward to use in the real world.

Aero Snap
Aero Snap is a simple little feature that I find myself using all the time. This is a gestures driven method of organizing Windows. Drag a window to the top of the screen and the app is maximized. Drag it to the side and you get it to tile to one half of the screen. Drag the app away from the top of the screen to restore it. It’s a very handy feature indeed, especially for people who work with multiple applications.

Aero Peek
Ever wanted to see what was on your desktop without minimizing all your applications? Aero Peek is the feature for you. Mouse over the small area on the right-hand side of the taskbar and you get a glimpse of what’s on your desktop, allowing you to see shortcuts and gadgets. Aero Peek is of limited usefulness though since you can’t interact with anything on the desktop because as soon as you move the mouse off the Peek spot the applications all return.

If you like to customize your Windows experience then you’ll appreciate some of these changes. Not only does Windows 7 come with several ready-made themes that include specific background images, colors, sounds and screensavers, there are also themes that make use of a desktop slideshow to continually change the desktop image.