Archive for June, 2005

Finding a stolen PowerBook/iBook

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

I made a post on Slashdot last night in response to a question about laptop security. The question was about Windows XP and I was only able to shared what I do on my UNIX based laptops (My PowerBook) — some how that got marked as a Troll. In any event, I got an eMail about my post:

I am curious, i’m soon to buy a Powerbook with interest of delving deeper into OSX than what the iMacs and Powermacs on my campus ( will allow me to do, and saw your blurb on the laptop security. I was hoping you’d give me a brief explaination of what’s goign on there, i understand you’re quietly appending a text file, but not sure with what and to what end. I would like to employ a similar setup with my system, that’s why i’m asking :)

Here’s what I had to share:

I got this running a few years ago, but I saw it in 2600 Magazine about 3 issues ago. The basic idea os your machine automatically calls up a web site with a unique name every hour. If your Laptop gets nicked you can hopefully check the logs on your server and trace it back to an ISP and hopefully they can tell you who has your laptop. That might not work so well, so what I would do is try to regain control over it while it’s online — I may not be able to get it come back to me like professor Frink’s autodialer, but I can at-least erase my files (another tip – turn on filevault) and use the say command to taunt the guy (you can type ‘ say go to hell ‘ in the terminal and the Mac will say whatever you tell it to).

I’m back from Alberta!

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

I flew into Calgary, grabbed a rental car, and went camping in Banff and Jasper. Sunday night I made it into Edmonton and stayed at the University of Alberta for the Canadian WebCT Users Conference.

While I was out in Alberta there was a lot of flooding going on, but it went south to north, as did I, about a day in advance. It wasn’t until I was in Edmonton when the floods caught up with me. Edmonton’s main river, the North Saskatchewan river, is in a valley, so the impact of the river rising was very limited.

I’ve posted pictures of the whole trip, including some flood pictures at the end.

Greetings From Alberta

Monday, June 20th, 2005

Jasper Park

Last Wednesday I left Toronto for Alberta. I flew WestJet to Calgary and camped there (before the floods) and then went off to Banff and then Jasper national parks. I’m in Edmonton now and will be until Wednesday when the WebCT Conference I’m here to attend wraps up.

I took lots of pictures while I was in the two parks and I plan on spending the flight home trimming the 500 pics down to something people would actually be interested in.

*The picture above was taken at 10:45PM mountain time.

Formula One Race, Montreal

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Matt at Montreal F1 2005Last weekend I was at the F1 Race. An annual tradition my brother and I observe. This year Adam’s friend Matty came a long, and is the first person we’ve invited who knew the names before we left Toronto.

IT WAS HOT! Around 33 Co and very humid. We stayed in a camp south of Montreal, and I thankfully sprung for the power connection and brought a fan. We enjoyed cold beer on St. Laurient Street and drank lots of water during the race.

While I was there I used my iPod to record some interviews and sound-scapes for a Podcast I listen to, The guys used a lot of it for their June 13th Podcast.

I’ve also put together a gallery of the photos I took, but the record setting crowds presented quite the obstacle.

For the record, Kimi Raikkonen won and the two Ferraris completed the podium.

What’s in my Dock 1.1

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

What\'s In My dock 1Last year I did a little article on my work web site called “What’s in my dock” in my Mac Stuff section. I created it as a starting point for people new to OSX and it has become a starting point for reading my blog. With the latest news from Apple that they’re switching from the IBM/Motorola PowerPC processors to Intel Processes, plus the release of OSX Tiger I thought I’d quickly share some thoughts on the state of Apple and what’s in my dock these days, and pay particular note to Podcasting.

Tiger: In a word, Mengh. It corrupted my Mail files upon installation (good thing I have automatic nightly backups) and it didn’t get much better from there because is now VERY Ugly. Spotlight is nice, but it’s slow if you compare it to the software available from Yahoo or Google for a PC. Dashboard and it’s widgets are useful to a point. On the plus side it boots faster and it has handy features stuck in a bunch of little places, like a useful password generator. In my opinion, stick with Panther unless you get a deal on Tiger.

The Intel situation: It’s not that big of a deal. The PowerPC G4 was good because it consumed very little power and ran well in laptops. The PowerPC G5 was amazing because it runs so fast and can control 8GB of RAM – but did it ever run hot! Now Apple will start to use Intel chips. Mainly because of the amount of computing power Intel can get per watt of electric power (especially with the Pentium M) – Not to mention the doloar to power ratio.