The other day I was looking for some new ideas for videos I make for my son’s Boy Scout troop, and I received an email from Pixel Film Studios about a new plug-in called ProFreez Comic for Final Cut Pro. Well the luck of the Irish was smiling down on me, everything was 25% off for St. Patrick’s Day! I ended up purchasing ProFreez Comic and ProFreeze Spatter.
So I created a test clip using a few selfies from my camping trips this year. I kept the clips at 5 seconds, changed the duration of the plug-in to just a few seconds, and saved to my Photo Library. Using my iPhone, I changed my Facebook profile to the video clips below ( I ended up keeping version 2). The music clip is not available in Facebook profiles.
Shortly after it debut, I installed Windows 10 on my Sager NP8690. I was hoping Windows 10 would run well… this didn’t happen. I’m not trying to bash Windows 10, many seem to like it. For me the experience was a little meh. I still prefer mac OS and my iMac, but I’m running out of space (too many pictures and videos taken with my GoPro Hero 4 Silver). So what about my really cool iPad 3? It is so slow with iOS 9.3.5 and it is painful to use to the point where I am typing faster that it can can process the keys. This usually results in many misspelled words or auto-corrected to something that makes no sense.
So this weekend I removed Windows 10 and reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate x64. The only downside is the lack of support from Microsoft. I figure I’ll keep it around to play some games and have something to use when I go on extended visits with family. What I really want in a new MacBookPro 15″ with the Touchbar. Too bad it is way out of my price range.
Maybe next year I’ll pick up the next MacBookPro with a cheaper price and maybe better specs.
About a month ago I ran out of black toner (124A if your shopping for replacement cartridges) and was thinking about getting rid of the printer. I have not used it as much over the last year or so. However, I decided to keep the printer to print worksheets for Boy Scout merit badges and maybe a few resumes if needed. I stopped by Staples and purchased my replacement cartridge, and once again I have fading on the right side of the paper. This time issue was with the black toner cartridge.
Going through all the cleaning steps did not help, the problem was the optical box at stated in a previous post. This is the second time I’ve had to clean the mirrors in the optical box. The printer works well and I’m sure I’ll keep it for another year or two, but I’m not sure if I want to continue putting total faith in HP printers. Maybe I’ll spend some time over the next few months researching for an excellent laser printer that works with Apple Print (print from my iOS device) or maybe ditch the whole thing and be more green.
So I’ve been busy learning how to use Apple Motion 5 on my iMac and making videos for my son’s Boy Scout Troop, my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, family videos, and goofy videos for friends. Some are publicly published on my YouTube channel.
This summer was my first return to Boy Scout summer camp in 30 years! Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, I spent many years at Camp Conestoga at Somerset, PA. Living in Delaware, my son attended summer camp at Camp Rodney in North East, MD. I spent my mornings at the rifle range helping with supervision, and the afternoons completing my training for Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills. I’m looking forward to returning to camp again.
This is my second year belonging to a bowling league. Out team is called the Eccentric Raccoons and we hired someone to design a logo for our shirts. We are a three person team, but our Team Captain quit, which is causing us to lose points (but I’m suppose to have fun and not worry about winning and being upset losing the game.)
I also took an extended vacation this summer. Three days at Janes Island and then drove to Nags Head, NC for a week of relaxation with my family. Although the black flies and greenheads we out in force and it was humid, the trip was worth it. I turned off the work email on my phone and iPad and enjoyed the beach, some tours, wave runners, and bike rides. Hopefully I’ll be back next summer.
Over the last 2 months or so, I’ve noticed my color print outs did look as good as they use to. For example, I was working on a new idea for Cub Scouts, designing a new pit pass for the scouts to wear for Pinewood Derby in Spring 2014. The pass included a red, blue and yellow car, but the colors were off. The red car car looked yellow-orange with yellow flames.
So I ran the color calibration from the printer, and afterwards, the pit pass looked the same. I prided the supplies status page to verified there is toner, but it looks faded. So I stared searching for a reason why this was happening, and I came across the following page.
The problem is the mirrors in the optical box on the HP Color LaserJet 2605, the box is not sealed. The mirror for the magenta cartridge collects a lot of dust. This dust keeps the laser from reflecting off the mirror correctly, and preventing toner from being picked up and placed on the paper.
The process took me about 2 hours 45 minutes to complete, but it was well worth it. My printer works great. Except for this one issue, the output is fantastic. Also, I didn’t have to spend $300 plus on a new printer. Below are pictures of the status supply pages.
Over the last 18 months, I’ve been using my iMac as my main computer. I configured multiple Desktops (spaces) changed the screensaver, installed programs, games (Diablo 3 and Steam for Team Fortress 2). Basically making it my own, just like I do with Windows and Linux.
So one day I was looking at other features of Finder, and decided to change the window color from white to green for the Documents folder. You can do this by clicking the gear icon and Show View Options. After I goofed with the colors, I reset it back to white. then I noticed I can add a picture to the background. I copied over a jack-o-lanter picture I found last year and there was the small picture I copied. Then I decided to change the Arrange by from None to Name and clicked the Use as Defaults. I closed the window and didn’t think anything of it for a week.
When I came back a week later, I noticed some of my Finder windows had the jack-o-lanter as the wallpaper. I went through the process to remove the wallpaper, but noticed I could not change the wallpaper. It was stuck with the jack-o-lantern. After some searching on Google, I found a post by Pigstick on mac-forums.com which explained how undo what I did.
Change the Arrange by to None, then you can reset the background to any color or change the picture. Don’t forget to click the Use as Defaults button.
I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to my Dell Dimension 8200 system. 😦 I’ve slayed many monsters and demons on the Diablo series, and fragged many friends playing the Quake series, and destroying the the AI players in HOMM3 (plus actual work stuff).
When it’s time to decommission your home PC, think about the following:
Do you have a current backup?
Your first answer should be, “Let me double check.” There are a lot of options available such as; portable USB hard drive, DVD, CD, NAS, and cloud storage. I use a portable USB hard drive on my main computer, cloud storage to keep data synced between devices, and DVDs for long term storage.
Do you really need to recycle that PC?
Sometimes you can format the hard drive, reinstall the OS and start with a “factory build” image (make sure you have all your serial numbers and installation media or programs). You could also install Linux which requires far less system resources. My Dell 8200 ran Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and TurnKey Linux over the last few years.
Check with family and friends or nonprofits in your area. Some nonprofits will supply a tax receipt for your donation. Take the time during the hard drive wipe to double check the federal tax laws, and be honest when it comes to the value of your PC.
Wipe the hard drive!
Besides finding websites that will install malicious software to kill your PC, you can download free hard drive wipe programs, purchase wipe programs on-line or at a retail store, or use a bootable Linux OS from a USB or CD to wipe the drives. The wipe process will take hours to complete. My PC took 6 hours to complete.
Over the last 10+ years, many of the companies I worked for required the hard drive be physically destroyed in addition to wiping. Some might call this excessive, I call it standard procedure. You need to remember, that hard drive once stored every bit of information about you.
About a year ago I purchased a new paper shredder which can shred credit cards, CDs, and DVDs. I’ll go on record stating how much fun it is shredding DVDs.
Now that your ready, take the PC, glass tube monitor, and other accessories to the recycle event in your community. My community holds regular events for disposal of electronics, household hazardous waste, and other recycling programs.
I’ve been using the iMac constantly since I bought it. It has replaced my Sager Core i7 as my primary computer. About a week ago I upgraded the RAM to 12GB so I could play Team Fortress 2 and Diablo 3. Oh and the memory upgrade also helped with running the Windows 7 Enterprise virtual machine I need for work.
So let’s talk about the memory upgrade process. According to Apple, the most RAM my 2011 Core i5 iMac can upgrade to was 8GB. I really had a hard time believing this. I can see 32GB being a maximum. So I started looking into going beyond the 8GB limit. Normally I purchase memory from 4allmemory.com, but several colleagues mention looking at Crucial.com. The Crucial website had an option to scan my computer for the exact match. So I downloaded the zip file and extracted CrucialMacScanner.app. The information will open in your default web browser.
I can upgrade the AM to a maximum of 32GB. WOOT!! I scaled the WOOT back after checking the price for a 16GB kit. So I went with a 8GB kit to bring the total system RAM to 12GB. The price seemed fair, and Crucial is a trusted company. I received the memory within a few days and installation occurred shortly after dinner.
The link Crucial provided for video directions were for a Dell GX desktop computer. FAIL!! The correct directions are located on Apple’s Support web site. However, the web site also states the maximum RAM is 16GB. FAIL!! Besides that, the directions were perfect.
OK, now I have plenty of RAM, time to purchase Diablo 3. I am a big fan of the Diablo series. My friends and I have played for 14 hours strait (before children) at LAN parties. I still have my original characters. I have to admit about not being too thrilled about logging into Battle.net just to play, but I like the idea now and here’s why. Diablo 3 is installed on both iMac and my Sager notebook. I can play the on either computer, and have access to my characters. So if the kids are using the iMac, I can pickup where I left off with my notebook. WOOT!!
Some users have complained about the performance of Diablo 3 on the iMac. I have not seen any issues with the game. I tweaked the video settings up a little, but I didn’t go crazy with enabling every single shadow, rain drop or whatever. I average about 80 FPS (Frames Per Second). I doubt I would see a performace hit with multiplayer.