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Archives:


Apple OS X "Mountain Lion" Upgrade

There is not much over-the-top wow about the OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" upgrade, and it seems like the small upgrade fee goes to more subtle changes this time around. The upgrade itself was uneventful, but took a while due to database changes in Mail and Calendar, which needed to convert.As for functionality after the upgrade, here are a few things I found to be worth remembering - More apps that work
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LinkedIn Listing eSolia and Other Tokyo Companies Incorrectly

I pointed this out to LinkedIn 10 days ago, but am getting nowhere with support who seems to think I will just let it drop hearing their platitudes, so I will post about the problem here in the hope that another company with a similar problem will join me in requesting a fix.Linked-In has re-located us outside Tokyo...The problem is, when I enter search phrases that bring my company eSolia up in search
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OS X Lion 802.1q Tagged VLAN Setup

Apple obviously works hard to make things as easy as possible for users, but sometimes in their zeal for simplicity, technical things that should be represented simply in the GUI, are actually made more difficult and opaque. One such example is setting up 802.1q VLANs in OS X Lion 10.7. In  System Preferences, Network, you can use the gear icon at the bottom of the interface list, to Manage Virtual
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Efficient Gmail with OS X Mail.app

Greetings and Happy New Year. I am using Mail.app on OS X Lion, to retrieve mail in my Google Apps for Business Gmail account, and I wanted to blog about my setup, because I think it is relatively efficient and might help others. My goals are:To keep my inbox small, to allow Mail.app to perform well. This goes for any mailer, really. The larger the mail store, the slower it will get. To keep minimize
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Turbulence during iCloud Restoration to Replacement iPhone 4

My firm purchased the Apple "Joint Venture" service, which allows us to register our iDevices, and get priority support from the Geniuses at an Apple Store, as well as training. The home button on my iPhone 4 went wonky on me, and would not react in the normal way when pressed. So I called the JV guys up. They told me it is a typical problem, and offered to replace my iPhone in-store, since it was
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Softbank iPhone 4 Emoji Keyboard Troubleshooting

My daughter came to me with an interesting problem with her iPhone, so I thought I would share what I learned and how I fixed the problem. The problem was, no matter what she did, the "emoji" (graphical emoticon icons) would not show up in her email app. I rarely use emoji except when emailing or texting my daughters, so I had to jump in and learn about it.How to Fix the "Emoji Keyboard Does Not Appear
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OS X 10.7 Lion and Lion Server Upgrade Notes

In this post I will share my notes on the upgrade from OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" to 10.7 "Lion". This is not meant to be a comprehensive review but I hope someone can find some benefit in this information. I am an early adopter in most cases and a software lover (fanatic or addict might be a more appropriate adjective!), so I bit the bullet for this upgrade as soon as I could get it, knowing that I
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Important info from US Embassy to People Stranded in Japan

The American Chamber of Commerce sent this message from the US Embassy in Japan. Please forward.March 12, 2011  14:20This warden message is being issued by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Japan of ways to let family and friends know your status.  This information is also being posted on the Embassy website to help family members to get the status of the
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New: "Special Ops" Backpack from KILLSPENCER

After quite a bit of back-and-forth, since my Japan-based credit card and Killspencer's card processing software were working together as well as oil and water, I finally got my Special Ops backpack the other day. Killspencer's founder Spencer Nikosey was fantastic while working through the card issues, and he soon reported that the bag had been made and was being shipped, after about two weeks' lead
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Geek Out: Scheduled Indexing of your Concrete5 via Cron

I thought I would share how to get the automatic indexing working in a Concrete5 site, if you happen to use that CMS.There is a special URL in the admin dashboard, which you can call from cron, to periodically re-index your site.How to get Concrete5 to Automatically Index in One Easy StepThis is what the cron entry should look like:27 * * * * /usr/bin/wget -O - -q -t 1 http://www.myc5domain.com/index.php/tools/required/jobs?auth=19eef....etcThis
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Happy, SuperDuper! Happy.

My hard-working Macbook Pro, which I keep running pretty much 24x7 without a break, had a hard disk failure yesterday. The dead disk was inconsolable, and no amount of Disk Utility or fsck or Applejack would cure its ills. I tried the usual boot-from-install-dvd-and-run-disk-utility, but that did not work either, and the fact that I do a daily Cocktail run to keep things clean wasn't relevant - a dead
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Ricoh Japan - New GXR Firmware v1.29 - Fast AF WOW!

Ricoh Japan just released the new GXR firmware, version 1.29, on their Japan site, and the autofocus speed is now really, really fast. Everyone who has a Ricoh GXR with A12 50mm module should definitely update right away. Fantastic improvement and thanks Ricoh!How to Upgrade Ricoh GXR FirmwareDownload the firmware and unzip it. Put the firmware files (several files) onto an SD card and put the card
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Switching Parts of a String in Excel

I had the need to fix mistakenly entered email addresses in Excel, and luckily the mistake was a recognizable pattern. They should have been firstname.lastname@domain.com but were entered as lastname.firstname@domain.com. This short post explains how I extracted the names and switched them.How to Swap Parts of an Excel StringFirst assume you have smith.joe@acme.com in cell A2, and that what you want
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Mama-chari Schrader Valve "Mushi Gomu" Repair

If you live in Japan or have visited, you will know the ubiquitous "mama chari" (mom bike) from its loud squeaky brakes, and precarious perching of bags and children both, on its front and rear platforms and baskets. My wife's mama-chari rear tire got a flat, and as the resident mechanic around the house, I got to fix it. I tried pumping it up, but that was not working, and noticed that to get the
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Convert Line Endings with Aplomb

When transferring files from system to system, for instance, using csv files to transfer data from one db to another, sometimes there are problems where programs will not process a file because of its line endings. This happens especially if you process a file on one platform, say Mac, and try to use the file on another, say Windows. Even if you have saved a file as CSV from Mac Excel 2008, it will
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Fixing a Mac OS X Spotlight Index, that Doesn't

After a spate of Mail.app problems probably related to having too damn many mail accounts and messages, I had to do the "Mail.app Reimport Samba" taking hours to let Mail.app reimport the entire mail store. After that got resolved, I found out that my Mail.app "Entire Message" selection in Search was greyed out. This turned out to be a symptom of a problem with the Spotlight index, since this search
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Apology accepted, Zendesk. Thank you.

In the wake of the Zendesk Price Fiasco of 19 May 2010, in which SaaS helpdesk vendor Zendesk announced pricing hikes which negatively affected most of their users (and would have caused a doubling for us), and after which an angry firestorm erupted, Zendesk users received an email apology from CEO Mikkel Svane today, and more information in his blog post. I have a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth
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SaaS Helpdesk Software that Supports Japanese

After the Zendesk Price Fiasco of 19 May 2010, where Zendesk are proposing to significantly raise prices for their SaaS helpdesk solution, I am confident many users are looking elsewhere. This is one of the pitfalls of a SaaS solution, wherein the provider achieves external investment, and subsequently bows to pressure from said investors to raise prices or otherwise change a model that was working.
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How not to run a SaaS: Zendesk

I got an email from Zendesk in the middle of the night and this blog post, breathlessly announcing "new features!" and along with that, new pricing. I and many other users could probably have dealt with an x% increase, but a doubling? It was even worse for people on other plans, as well, and that means a lot of upset users. CEO Mikkel Svane's patronizing attitude is not helping matters either (see
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Voigtländer Color-Skopar 20mm Lens Cap Problem

The lens cap that comes supplied with the Voigtländer Color-Skopar 20mm SL II does not fit, when you have the LH-20 lens hood and a filter on. What a dumb design oversight. However, if you get a Nikon LC-52 52mm lens cap, that fits right in there, no problem. Nice. I like the design of the Nikon caps better than the Cosina Voigtländer or Carl Zeiss ones anyway. Easy to grab and avoid getting
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Memo: the real "Rick R. Colgey" is Rick Cogley, Eurobiz

I just noticed that Eurobiz Japan inanely published my article on Interim IT Management Services in their May 2010 issue under the name "Rick R. Colgey". They took the time to painstakingly "correct" my American spelling during proofreading, then got my name wildly incorrect in the article. Thanks a bunch, folks. So, if you are looking for "Rick R. Colgey" of eSolia and not finding him, that would
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Got Mojibake in Mail.app? Here's a Cure.

If you use OS X Mail to send Japanese email, you may find that some recipients complain that your Japanese is "mojibake" or garbled. If you are getting this feedback you can set your default Character Set encoding in the terminal. How to Set Mail.app's Default Charset Here's how to change it. Shut down mail, then in Terminal: $ defaults write com.apple.mail NSPreferredMailCharset "ISO-2022-JP" That
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Opening a Tab-Delimited "CSV" in Apple iWork Numbers

I like Numbers, from Apple's competent and beautiful iWork suite, but there are still things where it is different from Microsoft Excel, and hence it feels somewhat unfamiliar at times. For example, although Excel has never been good at handling text files saved in UTF-8 format (a big deal for those of us who work in Asia), it does have a nice Wizard for importing CSV or TSV text files. Some applications
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Fixing an Unexpected Prompt Hostname in OS X

In Mac OS X, you may have noticed if you use the Terminal that OS X automatically picks up what it thinks your hostname should be and sets it. This is nice, but the problem with it is if any utility uses your hostname to set config files, you'll have a different config file every time. How to fix a "Strange Hostname" in an OS X Prompt If you are getting varied prompts that look like this...: rcogley@em60-123-194-6
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Aperture 3 Upgrade Observations

My upgrade to Apple's Aperture 3 came over the weekend so I upgraded and started letting it analyze faces using the iPhoto-inspired "Faces and Places" feature. Here's a few observations from the upgrade process and just a little use of the Faces feature. Aperture 3's icons are colorful, compared to its predecessor. I think they still look professional, but they are a little "friendlier" and more
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Set MBR Correctly to Backup Successfully with OS X Time Machine

If you use Time Machine on OS X, you need to ensure your target drive is formatted with the correct Master Boot Record type. Time Machine requires either "Apple Partition Map" (works with PowerPC or Intel but is best for PowerPC) or "GUID Partition Table" (works with Intel). There are a couple of problems which lead to this requirement biting people on the you-know-where. Pre-formatted drives
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Fixing Slow Snow Leopard Mail

Many upgrading Mac users have reported that Mail is "slow" in Snow Leopard 10.6. There are several things you can do to remedy the situation. Here's what you can try, but please make sure you have Time Machine backing up your system, or are running an alternative like SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner. Reset SMTP Mail One thing that sharp users observed on Apple's forums was that newly-created Mail
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Fixing Aperture Vault Errors from Terminal

Apple's pro photo management application Aperture 2 is long overdue for an upgrade, and I hope that we'll see Aperture version 3 before long. But while I'm itching for new features and functions, Aperture 2 covers the bases for me, in spades. Aperture has a nice feature called Vaults, which lets you automatically back up your photo library with all metadata to an external drive or drives. Except when
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Rick's Picks (weekly)

blog:Cogley - Handle Leading Zeros in Apple NumbersApple's iWork '09 Numbers spreadsheet is a versatile app with a lot of power available if you open your mind and don't expect it to be Excel. It does not quite do everything Excel does, but it handles UTF-8 well (where Excel does not and has never), and I take advantage of that often. I also love the formatting options and the multiple-sheets-per-document
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Handle Leading Zeros in iWork Numbers

Apple's iWork '09 Numbers spreadsheet is a versatile app with a lot of power available if you open your mind and don't expect it to be Excel. It does not quite do everything Excel does, but it handles UTF-8 well (where Excel does not and has never), and I take advantage of that often. I also love the formatting options and the multiple-sheets-per-document paradigm, but that is a different post. One
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