Tuesday, January 11, 2011


For the most part I do enjoy my new Macbook Pro.  The OS, Snow Leopard is pretty click, and the hardware looks great and performs pretty well. The battery life on it is really tremendous.  While I haven't pushed it to the limit, it is advertised as having a battery that lasts for 8 or 9 hours, and nothing that I've seen so far makes me doubt that.  

 I was surprised at how quickly that I was able to get some things to work.  After I bought it, I sat outside the Apple store in Kenwood and "borrowed" their Wifi while Tim was shopping.  The fact that I was able to sync my Google calendar and address book quickly and easily was pretty impressive, particularly since I never actually got my address book in Outlook to sync with Google.  Believe me, it wasn't for a lack of trying.

Unfortunately the seams were revealed on that seamless integration when I changed my gmail password.  Afterwards, I was unable to reconnect, even after I changed the account information in iCal and Mail.  After ten or so minutes, I had Mail working again, but iCal was a much more stubborn problem.  I read lots of articles on what to do, but the solutions didn't seem to work.  This left me pretty unhappy with Apple.  One of the reasons that I like to sync with my Google calendar is that I share it with Tim so she can keep track of the kids events and activities.  

After taking a break for a day or so, I finally found an article on how to fix the issue.  It turns out that it was not entirely Apple's fault.  What happened was that when I changed the gmail password, I didn't immediately change the password for the account in iCal.  So iCal attempted several times to log in with the incorrect password.  This caused Google to activate its CAPTCHA security.  CAPTCHA is the technology where you have to type in a word or phrase that is presented in an image in a distorted fashion.  The letters will be wavy or different sizes and fonts.  Its fairly common on the Internet, and I'd seen CAPTCHA many times but didn't know the name.  The logic behind it is that computers cannot read the words in the images, while humans can.  Web sites employ the technology to prevent hackers from accessing an account by brute force.  After so many failed login attempts, the site will present a CAPTCHA in order to login.  After so many failed login attempts, my iCal triggered Google's CAPTCHA.  So when I changed the password on iCal, it still couldn't log in because Google was requiring the CAPTCHA phrase as well.  Of course this was happening behind the scenes, so all I knew was that it was a failed login.  

Eventually I found a post that had a link to disable Google's CAPTCHA and was able to get it to work.  If you ever have the problem, the link is here:   https://www.google.com/accounts/UnlockCaptcha?

One of the reasons that I bought the mac is because it is supposed to be great for editing photos.  The photo editing software Aperture is only available for the Mac platform.  I wanted to compare it to Lightroom, which I have used for the last couple of years.  It took a long time to import my photos into Aperture.  There were many reasons for the nearly day-long process, including the fact that I was importing 40,000 photos, the photos were on an external drive, and I forgot to turn off Aperture's facial recognition software before the import.  While I didn't relish the wait, I understood it to be a one time thing, so it wasn't a big deal. 

Unfortunately, later when I reopened Aperture, it couldn't find the photos.  Even though the external drive had been online the entire time, Aperture lost its reference to it. After about thirty minutes of research, I found out how reconnect the photos in Aperture.  The best article was here: http://thedigitalstory.com/2010/05/reconnecting_master.html. While I found the solution, it was not a quick one.  Reconnecting the photos will probably take more than an hour, maybe two.

I may post some of my thoughts on what I like about Aperture and Lightroom.  I really need to spend some time with Aperture in order to really know.   

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