The Real Deal 154: Your questions

Tom Merritt and Rafe Needleman answer viewer questions about time management, Thunderbird, and batteries.

Tom Merritt and Rafe Needleman answer viewer questions about time management, Thunderbird, and batteries.


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Q: Do you guys know how to embed a HTML widget on the sidebar of your Word Press blog. For example, how would you embed a Last.FM widget in the sidebar. I have tried to do this and all it does is put the HTML as text on the sidebar. How can I fix this?!

lightningboy7 A: You have to go and edit the stylesheets (under appearance) for the theme you're using. Put the code in the sidebar stylesheet.

RAFE - Q: Does properly "maintaining" make a difference to improve performance and/or extend the overall life? What are the proper charging techniques? New vs. refurbished batteries? Are knock-offs (typically from China....) really that dangerous? How should you treat/use each type of battery differently (NiCd, NiMH, Li-ion)?

A: It can make a small difference but not as much as it used to. Don't keep your battery charging all the time at top capacity! Don't just leave it plugged in all the time. Take battery out. No, but the exploding ones are. NiCd has a memory effect. If your recharge these while it has a lot of charge left you can significantly shorten the life of the battery.

TOM - Q. Hi Guys,

What software do you recommend for quickly and easily burning an avi to dvd in Mac?

Thanks.

Caley

A. Handbrake for Mac then use iDVD. You could also use Burn. http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/Pages/English/home.html MediaCoder in Windows and then CDBurner XP -http://cdburnerxp.se/

RAFE Q: Hey guys.

I have been having trouble managing time. I get sucked in by emails and call, I get side tracked. I know Tom plays WoW and is a high level, but still maintains a job, friends, and family. I was wondering how between work, email, gaming, personal,(...), things, do you manage your time? I have heard of people who calculate and log their schedule right down to the time, but that hasn't worked out for me. Do you have any tips?

A: Rafe uses post-its.

TOM Q: Hello Tom & Rafe

I'm contemplating getting a 15 inch macbook pro sometime this year and there are somethings that I would like to know before I dump 2k on a laptop. Fist off I've heard of a program called MacFUSE that allows read/write access to NTFS drives. What I am wondering is how stable and reliable this is, or would it just be better to use a FAT 32 partition on my external hard drive? I don't have many files over 4GB but the ones that I do have are a pain to split up. Also, could it be posible to use a hard drive formated with HFS+ (for time machine) and FAT 32 partitions on an airport extreme; and them have both partitions available over the wireless network on a mac and have the FAT 32 partition show up on windows? I would perfer that software workarounds be done on the mac as everybody I know uses windows and it would be a mess to share files with them if I had to install something on every different pc.

Thanks for the Help and keep up the good work Manuel from Puerto Rico

A: MacFUSE has been very stable for me. Certainly no data loss issues. But Fat32 is still the safest bet. I've never tried the the partitioning trick, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

RAFE Q: Hey Tom & Rafe-

So I posed this question for the forums but only person replied, so maybe the two of you may know something off the top of your head and if not maybe you can bring it to folks attention:

"So I just re-listened to the Real Deal Epi 146 Media Management and this was more focused on keeping everything in-sync amongst multiple computers.

But what was never mentioned and I forgot to ever write in about was: What the heck is the best (or heck I'll take good at this point) software that allows you to keept track of what movies and TV shows you have. Something that allows you to search by year, genre, title, etc.

After moving overseas I ripped a TON of stuff. Obviously I have itunes for my music (been using for so many years not leaving it now). I've been organizing my photos with Iphoto on my mac and starting with Picasa or something else on my PC.

But I have nothing for my TV and movies. I'm up to over 250 movies (yes a ton of ripping and my brother back in Texas is doing more for me slowly from my old collection of DVDs). I use to actually have a excel file, but that's getting harder to keep up all the time. I'd much prefer specific software for this.

So folks... what's out there?"

Not many seem to be visiting the forums anymore so it really isn't that helpful now. :(

Thanks!
Tom Merritt the Doppelganger

A: Rafe recommends Blist.com. Write your own database.
MeD's Movie Manager
http://xmm.sourceforge.net/

TOM Q: do you know how to setup Thunderbird to Forward 'Inline' as default. Whenever I press the blue arrow it forwards as attachment, which I don't like (and my dad's spam filter rejects). thanks, -ANkh

A:

* Select Tools | Options... (or Thunderbird | Preferences...) from the menu.
* Go to the Composition category.
* Make sure you're on the General tab.
* Choose Inline or As Attachment under Forward messages:.
* Close the preferences window.

COMMENTS

by mknox March 18, 2009 6:28 AM PDT Hey Rafe,

Big fan of Evernote too. You mentioned on #153 that the Windows version does not support spell checking. Well actually, it does. Hit F7 and away you go. Not sure why it's not on any of the pull down menus.

Mike

****

by Patrick Gaerlan March 19, 2009 11:29 AM PDT Tom and Rafe, great episode.

Rafe, check out Pixelmator for your photo-editing needs. I use it when I need something more powerful than what's built into iPhoto. It has a beautiful UI and is very accessible. It's not free, but I think it's a great value at $59.

Another nice app for determining which files are using up your hard disk space is WhatSize.

Thanks for the TimeMachineEditor recommendation, started using it right after listening to the episode.

****

Guys,
Little things that make Q better than spotlight. Babysteps -
1) try launching straight to a website. instead of first launching firefox/safari, then clicking on a bookmark to a favorite site - just start typing in the name of your favorite site. Call it by your bookmark name for it. Go straight to penny arcade, xkcd, don't stop at home first. Don't collect $200.
2) Need to email someone in your contact list. don't launch mail. Just type their name in Q, and your first or second choice will be to email (either that or show contact is the default first choice). And again, Q learns, so if you always want to launch this or do that, it quickly moves to the top of the action choices.
3) Slightly more advanced - the comma trick. Need to launch several apps at once? type the first, hit comma, add another - you'll see small icons collecting at the bottom of the window. No end to the list you can make here. Great if you're starting a project. The comma is powerful.
After that, if you get hooked, ask Merlin Mann or another of the true believers to come back on and get you to the next step. Like Rafe, I rarely use my dock to launch apps, my mouse gets neglected, and Q is my friend.

Finally - one of my favorite things in Leopard has been the addition of "Quickview" in finder. What a great way to go through porn... er... I mean files.
And in the little app family - I'll throw in a plug for "Spacesuit" - it adds the ability to add backgrounds to the "spaces" app. I like having a work project separate from the fun stuff, and this adds a really nice visual cue that I'm in work mode right now.

Mike

****

Next Episode: Smartphone Apps

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