Fix Firefox Font Rendering Problem in Snow Leopard

August 30, 2009

Upgrading my iMac to Snow Leopard, one of the oddities I ran across was that in Firefox 3.52, a number of pages had their normal fonts replaced with “Courier” in odd places. Opening Font Book, I noticed that a number of fonts commonly used on web pages (Ariel, Verdana, etc.) showed that “duplicates” were present.

I right clicked on each of these, selected “Resolve Duplicates” and restarted Firefox, after which everything was back to normal.

No idea what the cause of this was, just thought I’d toss this out in case anyone else runs into it…

How to kill your iPhone with the wrong case

May 15, 2008

iPhone Proximity Sensor
A lot of the magic of the iPhone is that things just work. Intuitively. A great example is during a call — when you bring the phone to your ear, the touch screen and display shut off automatically, to keep you from hanging up or dialing with your face. When you pull it away, the screen lights back up and the touch screen is activated again. All automagically.

Of course, that auto-magic has some real technology behind it — there is a little proximity sensor that both emits and detects an infrared beam — during a call, when an object (such as your ear) comes near it (within an inch or so), it reflects the beam back to the detector and shuts down the screen. When the reflection stops, the screen comes back on.

The proximity sensor is hidden under the glass just above the speaker hole — the overly-contrasty image above shows the rough location. You can see the actual sensor on this disassembly photo from iFixit.

Amazingly, nearly a year after the introduction of the iPhone, there are still a lot of cases being sold (even in places you think would know better) that cover up the proximity sensor with opaque material. Put one of these on your iPhone, and you too can dial with your face, hang up with your cheek, and get frustrated by not being able to punch in digits during a call.

Worse, there are more than a few rumors out there that if you leave the proximity sensor covered long enough, it can “stick” and just fail to work altogether — even if you take the cover off. If it sticks in the “screen off” position, you’re done until you get your phone repaired.

The moral of the story is be careful of your iPhone case — if you try a new case, double-check that the proximity sensor still works as it should, and if not, take it back and get a different one.

If you’ve found a great case that does work properly — or have a case horror story — share it with us in the comments!

Fix Apple Earbud Problems with Earjams

April 11, 2008

Apple Bluetooth Headset (with Earjam)
I don’t know who Apple designs their earphones for, but it isn’t me. Every set of earphones I’ve ever gotten with an iPod, iPhone, etc. have been too damn big to fit in my ear. They hurt, and they don’t stay in, period.

I’m sure I must just have tiny ears (they probably came as a set with my big mouth), but I can’t be the only person out there that has this problem.
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Making Cmd-K = Search in Safari

April 9, 2008

Maybe I’m one of the few die-hard Firefox users on OS X (it doesn’t seem likely), but whenever I use Safari, it always drives me nuts that Cmd-K doesn’t go to Search.

Safari Cmd K Search

Click for full-sized example

Fortunately, it’s easy to fix.

Go to System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts, and press the little “+” sign in the lower left to add a new shortcut. Select as the Application, enter “Google Search…” as the Menu Title, and press Cmd-K in the Keyboard Shortcut field.

Click “add” and you’re all done.

(From 5ThirtyOne via Lifehacker)

Installing Java 6 on Mac OS X

March 30, 2008

Mac OS X
As I mentioned previously, installing Woopra on a Mac requires installing the beta of Java 6. Unfortunately, how to get that done may not be terribly obvious to some users (it wasn’t to me, to begin with).
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Mail.appetizer for Leopard

March 27, 2008

Mac OS X

Woohoo! Mail.appetizer is back!.

Mail.appetizer is a great little freeware “notifier” for — the mail program that comes with Apples OS X.

What it does is pop up a little translucent window on your screen with the sender, subject and an excerpt of the message each time you receive mail. It also has buttons to mark the message as read, delete it, or go to mail to view it.
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Proporta Laptop Sleeve Review

March 18, 2008

Proporta Laptop Sleeve
It seems like I’m always looking around for a better laptop sleeve. I’ve been rocking a Brenthaven Eclipse II sleeve for my 15″ Macbook Pro for awhile, and it’s a great sleeve, but for day-to-day stuff, I’d prefer something a bit more lightweight and “portfolio-like”.

Enter the new Proporta sleeve.
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iMac Display Calibration

March 14, 2008

Display Calibrator Assistant
After living on Powerbooks and Macbook Pros for the past four years or so, I’m in the process of making the switch to a 24″ iMac instead. So far, all has gone well, except for a steadily increasing loathing of the display.

Everyone’s taste is different and everyone’s room lighting is different, but for me, the iMac display was way, way way too bright. Even cranking the “brightness” down all of the way, I was still seeing issues like white text on dark backgrounds “blooming”.

Fortunately, the fix turns out to be pretty easy.
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Whatever happened to Windows, anyway?

March 4, 2008

Microsoft Windows XP
Wow. I just looked at Amazon’s top selling notebooks, and you have to get to number 6 before you find a Windows machine among them — and it’s the only one in the top 10.

  1. Asus EEE 4G (Linux)
  2. Macbook 2.4GHz White (OS X)
  3. Asus EEE 4G Surf (Linux)
  4. Macbook 2.0GHz White (OS X)
  5. Macbook Pro 2.2GHz 15″ (OS X)
  6. HP Pavilion (Windows Vista)
  7. Macbook Pro 2.4GHz 15″ (OS X)
  8. Macbook 2.4GHz Black (OS X)
  9. Nokia 810 (Linux)
  10. Asus EEE 8G (Linux)

You have to get to number 14 before you even find a second Windows machine.


I’m just sayin’

Apple TV – A Year in the Life

March 4, 2008

Apple TV

Being the unreconstructed Apple fanboy that I am, this month makes it officially one year that I’ve lived with an Apple TV — and it’s been an interesting year.

Unlike some folks, I liked the Apple TV straight out of the box. The form factor (basically a half-height Mac Mini) was nice, it took five minutes to hook up to my home media system, and another five minutes to set up.
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