Video: How To Remove Stuck CD From iMac / Slot Loading Optical Drive

Not too long ago I read this tip on It talks about using a 3.5″ floppy disk to remove a stuck CD from a slot-loading optical drive. Since I couldn’t find a 3.5″ floppy, I got an idea after reading ericdsa’s comment.

Instead of a CD or DVD as ericdsa suggested, I used two credit cards (well, the same size, shape, and material as credit cards); one wedged below the stuck cd or dvd, one wedged above the stuck cd, applied tension, and voila!

You Can Close Notebook LCD Display When in Firewire Target Disk Mode

tdm_icon.jpgAbout a week ago, I was working on a MacBook Pro with a dying hard drive. I was able to access the drive via Firewire Target Disk in order to repair the drive using Disk Warrior. The whole process was expected to take at least five hours.

While in the past I’d always just left the LCD display open, in this case I accidently closed the lid. Shiz, I thought! I’ve just waisted the last few hours of hard drive repair; but when I check Disk Warrior, I noticed it was still working perfectly!

I tried opening and closing the display a few more times, the MacBook Pro kept running with the display closed. I just tested closing the lid on my Powerbook G4 – it worked too! I can only assume that all Mac displays can be shut when in Firewire Target Disk Mode — only wish I would have learned this years ago.

Get Full Keyboard Support (Shortcuts, App Switcher) in Screen Sharing

When using Screen Sharing or Remote Desktop to control another Mac on my local network, my biggest complain has always been the inability to use several important keyboard shortcuts. Things I frequently rely on, like toggling dock visibility, opening spotlight, and force-quitting applications, don’t work. Although all those functions can be accessed through other means, Application Switcher (which I use practically every minute) can only be accessed with Command+Tab.

The secret to getting full keyboard support is by running Teleport in conjunction with Screen Sharing. Teleport gives you the ability to use one keyboard and mouse to control other computers on your network.

With Teleport installed and setup, open Screen Sharing and connect to another computer on your network. Now move your mouse to the appropriate side of your display (while holding the appropriate modifier key) and “teleport” to the “screen shared” computer.

You now have full keyboard support; including use of your Function keys (for things like Expose, Dashboard, and ejecting), Command+Tab, and even Zooming (Control+2-finger-scrolling-on-trackpad)!

Watch this video for the full story:

Mac Rants and Raves Community : Share Your Happy and Sad Mac Experiences!

mrandr_bw2.jpgLast night I created a social network web site called Mac Rants and Raves. It’s a “community blog” aka “forum” – that means you get to share your Mac experiences and read/respond to other’s experiences. The idea is that we’ll learn what to avoid by reading people’s rants, and learn what to check out by reading peoples raves. People will also be able to respond to anyone’s post, allowing ranters the opportunity to find a better solution to their problem. Go to to start ranting and raving.

A Quick Look at Evernote: The Searchable Online File Cabinet

Picture 9.jpgI recently learned about Evernote after seeing it on It’s currently invite only, but I received one a few days after requesting (I also have some available, leave a comment if you want one). Evernote works with any web browser and includes a stand-alone applications for Mac and PC. But what does it do?

“Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from anywhere.”

I think of Evernote as an offline and online searchable file cabinet. You can store “clips” from web sites, text notes, pdfs, images, and even audio. If you’re using the standalone application, the data is the synced to the Evernote server, making it available from any computer.

Here’s the cool part. A few moments after data has been synced to the Evernote server, it’s searchable (not audio files). For example…
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Fresh Apps :: iPhone / Mac OS X :: April 2008, Week 1

Fresh Apps is a brief summary of the interesting applications I’ve discovered over the past week.

April 2008, Week 1

Mac Applications

Camouflage :: Donationware
Hide all icons from your desktop, great when you have a beautiful wallpaper you don’t want covered up

Clarion :: Shareware ($15)
Small and simple musical pitch/interval ear training app

iFlash :: Shareware ($15)
Make your own flash cards for studying or download other user’s flash cards

Ziphone :: Free
There are a bunch of iPhone jailbreak utilities out there; I used Ziphone a few days ago to effortlessly jailbreak a client’s iphone; also installs!

Personal Brain :: Free – $250
A really cool looking interface for project planning, outlining, or organizing your thoughts and ideas

iPhone Applications

Snapture :: Donationware (on
Camera replacement – includes burst shooting, 3x zoom, b/w & color, 5 second timer, silent mode, toggle auto rotation; and this is just version 1.0!

Twitxr :: Free (on
Thought I already mentioned this because it’s one of my favorites; this app lets you take a picture, type a short message, and send to your twitxr page (instant photo bloging). FYI, it’s pronounced “Twitcher.”

• Wallpaper :: Free (on
Share your wallpaper with everyone; see and download everyone else’s wallpaper!

Ants :: Free (on
Stupid and mildly entertaining app that adds ants to your iphone screen; squash them, scare them, watch them walk over your apps – not sure why, but i like it!

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