Fix Intel Mac Speaker Volume at Boot-up

March 1, 2007

This has been a pet peeve of mine for awhile.

Most of the time, my MacBook Pro sits on a shelf next to my desk, hooked up to an external keyboard, display, mouse and speakers (attached to the headphone jack).

I’ve got a reasonably good audio system, and I prefer to keep my system volume all the way up, and just use the volume control on my speakers to adjust the overall volume.

The only problem is that when you boot a MacBook Pro (and searching around, apparently any of the Intel Macs) with the headphone jack connected, it automatically lowers the volume to half, regardless of what it was previously set to.

Doubtless this is to keep people from injuring themselves from loud noises through headphones, but it’s annoying to have to remember to turn it up on those few occasions that I actually end up rebooting my Mac.
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Ambient Sleep Sounds Stream

March 31, 2005

Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep?  If so, you might try the Sleepbot Environmental Broadcast.

Although it’s a little hard to get on the ShoutCast stream during prime hours, it features quirky, dreamy ambient sounds to help you snooze the night away.

For calibration, they provide a “reference tone” that represents the loudest sound they will play; crank the volume down until you can sleep through the reference tone, and you should be good to go…

Microsoft Search – Now Live and Direct

February 1, 2005

Microsoft officially launches their new search engine — how are your results?  Thus far, I’m seeing about 30% more traffic from Microsoft Search than from Google.

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Google, “nofollow” and Comment Spam

January 19, 2005

The ‘net is all a-buzz with word of a new initiative by the Google, MSN and Yahoo search teams to “eliminate” comment spam from blogs.  What does this mean to you?

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What is SSL (the “little padlock”)?

December 25, 2004

SSL (“Secured Socket Layer”) is a protocol used to encrypt the communication between the user’s browser and the web server. When SSL is active, a “little padlock” appears on the user’s browser, usually in the status line at the bottom (at the top for Mac/Safari users.)

This assures the user that sensitive data (such as credit card numbers) can’t be viewed by anyone “sniffing” the network connection (which is an increasing risk as more people use wireless networking).

Common web site owner questions about SSL:

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Measuring Traffic

December 9, 2004

As a website runs, a log file is generated on the web server. This log file contains one line for each and every thing sent to visitors of the site — pages, images, etc. In most cases, this line also indicates what kind of browser it was (“User Agent”), what operating system it ran on (Windows XP, Mac OS X, etc.), the address of the user (“Host Address”) and if the user clicked on a link to get to the page that was sent, it will also have the address of that page (“referer” and yes, it’s routinely misspelled this way.)

As you can imagine, this makes for a large and unwieldy file very quickly. This file is typically processed and used to generate one or more “statistics” pages. Your web host may offer one or several varieties of statistics pages — some may be free, and others may cost money. Alternatively, you might install (or have installed) a statistics package of your own choice, or you might even download your log files and use any of several popular programs on your own computer to generate statistical information. (There is also another alternative, involving placing counting codes on each page, but we’ll ignore that for the sake of this discussion)

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Tips For Choosing The Perfect Travel Mug

March 19, 2004

A good travel mug is a must when you need to take your coffee or tea with you on the road. There are many different types of mugs available, so here are a few tips to consider before you purchase one.

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Baroque Treat

June 16, 2003

Neal Stephenson has a follow-up novel to Cryptonomicon coming out shortly.  He once again appears to be dipping heavily towards historical fiction.

Quicksilver: Volume One of The Baroque Cycle is due to be released September 23, 2003.  You can find a preview excerpt “here”:

To tide you over in the meantime, here is a Neal Stephenson short story I hadn’t seen before; it was originally published in Forbes back in ‘97.

“Jipi and the paranoid chip”:

(via “StreetTech”:

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