In Dumb Question Corner we answer Peter’s question about the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R and I explain how to use mactracker.ca to figure out what kind of burner you have. Then David Sparks from macsparky.com joins us with a review of the Richard Solo 1800 from richardsolo.com. Doug from alwaysapples.com.au explains that there are MALE Australian listeners with his lovely Christmas message, and then Scott who is ALSO an Australian listeners reviews Syncopation from sonzea.com for syncing up to 5 Macs to one iTunes library. Robert Lachman of photographyandthemac.com talks about his use of pbwiki and reviews several great photography books. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart and i discuss the woes Microsoft went through in the last few weeks with a terrible vulernability that affected all versions of Internet Explorer AND Word. Read the US Cert on the exploit at http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/493881.
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Today is Sunday December 21st, 2008, and this is show number 183. Are you all ready for the holidays? I’m not! I’m running around like crazy, but there’s always time for tech!
Peter writes in with his dumb question:
- Why are there dvd-r disk and dvd+r discs (same for cd’s I guess). What to choose , and makes it a difference if it is for writing for use on pc or Mac ? very curious 🙂 Greetings from cold Belgium (but not so cold as in Ireland I guess 🙂 Peter
The DVD-R and DVD+R format difference is one of those really annoying non-standards that seems to be designed purely to make us nuts. DVD-R came out first, was even there five years before some knuckleheads thought it needed to be improved and came out with DVD+R. DVD+R actually has slightly less storage capacity, but it has better error handling than DVD-R which in theory would create fewer coasters when you’re burning. The bad news is that there are two formats, the good news is that a few years back the manufacturers started delivering to us DVD+/- burners so we can burn either one. DVD+R will be more likely to create a good disk, but DVD-R will be more likely to work if you’re sending it to someone who may have an older DVD player.
the next question I can hear you asking would be “how do I tell if my burner can burn both types?” Unfortunately I don’t know how to do this on windows, but I do know how to figure this out on the Mac. There’s a great tool called MacTracker that’s been around forever, and they recently came out with a web-based version of their tool. it’s formatted for the iPhone which means it’s REALLY cool to actually view in a web browser on a computer too. the site in Canada is iphone.mactracker.ca. First you find your family of computer in the list – they go all the way back to the very first 128K Mac (sorry, no Apple IIs) and they include up to the minute info on modern computers as well. They even have iPods, iPhones, and the operating systems listed in here now. So find your computer family, like in my case I would click on MacBook Pro. The next screen narrows down the models, so I click on MacBook Pro (15-inch, late 2008). The final screen then gives all of the gory details of my Mac from when it was introduced, to the processor family and speeds, system bus hard drive, original OS, max RAM, the list goes on and on. This is a great tool for figuring out what RAM to buy or how much you can put in, or doing research about history on your machines.
But back to the Dumb Question at hand – one of the fields says Media, and in there it shows you what kind of media you can burn. mine for example sasy 8x Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW). Hey – I just learned I can burn dual-layer disks too! That’s what that DL stands for. I can burn both + and – DVDs. Now that we’ve learned about the better error correction on +Rs, if I’m burning just for myself as archive I think I’ll go with DVD+Rs. For DVDs sending to friends and family, I’ll stick with DVD-R.
I hope this erases SOME of the mystery for you, but you’re perfectly justified in being confused, just thank your lucky starts the HD-DVD wars are over and they actually picked ONE format!
By the way, if you find MacTracker as useful as I do, stop by their regular website at mactracker.ca and make a donation. I give them a some bucks every few years because I’ve been enjoying their product for at LEAST a decade now! You can download the application to your computer there too and it’s free. Hey – I just noticed, they have a version for XP and Vista too so if you’re stuck and work on Windows and you want to do some research you’ll have it at your fingertips too.
Have you tried ScreenSteps yet? If not, why the heck not? Don’t you find yourself helping other people learn how to use some computer tool, learn a website, or even just where to click on a screen to achieve something? ScreenSteps is the spectacular documentation tool that takes all the work out of formatting your lessons and makes it a dream to create professional looking manuals. I love to use ScreenSteps, I don’t seem to go more than a day or two without finding an excuse to launch it! I’ve been telling you about their newest revision, and how they’ve made some big improvements to their ScreenSteps Live service, which is where you can collaborate online on lessons and manuals with your team, and host your lessons and manuals online even if you’re working alone. They’ve made it now so you can skin your manuals on their site so that they look like your site which I really like. They’ve always had manuals, which is how you organize your lessons, but what if you don’t have an organizational plan yet and you just want to throw a bunch of lessons up? Now you can throw them into buckets, which gives you more freedom to mess around till you get a good plan together. There’s so much versatility available to you at ScreenSteps Live, over at screenstepslive.com. While you’re listening to the show, why don’t you head over to screensteps.com and download the free trial of ScreenSteps and when you can’t resist buying it any longer, be sure to enter the coupon code NOSILLA to get 25% off!
Recordings from listeners
I don’t know what happened this week but the boys got INSPIRED – I received four audio recordings in one week! Let’s dig in and hear what they all have to say.
That sounds like just what I need David – trade shows in particular are where i run out of juice on my iPhone – Demo and All Things Digital and Mac World and the Podcast Expo – I don’t think I’ve been to any of those and had my iPhone last all day! All that twittering is probably where I run out. I think I’ll try to pick one of these up for MacWorld! The price is even right too. thanks for the great review.
Doug’s Christmas wish
I got a delightful recording from Doug Ingram of alwaysapples.com.au, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
============INSERT CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO ALLISON================
That was the sweetest message Doug! I’m so glad you took the time to make that great recording, and yes, I think you packed in the name of my show as much as is humanly possible in a 2 minute recording! By the way, I actually do have an explanation of NosillaCast on the site – in the right sidebar there’s an “About Allison” and at the bottom there’s a dedication to Kelly and Eric. In there I explain the genesis of the show and the name: Why is it Called NosillaCast?. I like how you followed the thread of podcasters – it’s so true that by mentioning other peoples’ shows you actually gain listeners rather than lose them!
Syncopation from Scott Rutkowski
It’s ironic that Doug would call in to show that we have Australian MALE listeners, because I got another male Australian recording this week! It’s a tie of 2 for 2 now in the men vs. women of Australia contest! Let’s hear what Scott has to say:
===============INSERT NOSILLACAST SOFTWARE REVIEW FROM SCOTT===================
Syncopation from sonzea.com, solves the problem of how to sync iTunes libraries across several Macs. $24.95US for 5 macs.
What a great review Scott. It’s interesting how well you’re able to explain what this software looks like for those of us with vision. This software definitely sounds like this will solve the problems our listeners have been having. I put the link in the shownotes to Sonzea.
I’m sure a sucker for an Australian accent too – I love all these great recordings, keep them coming!
Robert Lachman on pbwiki and photo books
Next up we’ve got a great recording from Robert Lachman of photographyandthemac.com. He’s not from Australia, but luckily he’s got great content anyway:
Hey Robert, that was great! I love the book reviews. I don’t understand how you can be such a capable professional photographer and yet not look snootily down your noise at us amateurs. you review books for amateurs, you show us how to do things in Photoshop Elements on Tim’s Mac Reviewcast, and never once do I get the snooty, “oh, you don’t have REAL photoshop?” from you! When people get all high and mighty they become incompetent teachers – I can learn from you because you don’t put people down. Hey – maybe you should start a Dumb Question Corner on your site for those photography questions we all feel too dumb to ask, like what’s up with ISO anyway?
I also loved Scott Kelby’s book on Photoshop Elements – I read the one on PSE 4 cover to cover and then bought his book on 6 too. His style is funny and engaging and uses great examples. I even posted a little tutorial on my site on how to remove wrinkles in photographs and I learned that from his book!
Now back to pbwiki. I think for your needs there’s another method to reach your goal of nirvana in organization. All you have to do is create two wikis – one for you and Tim and your shownotes, and the other for you and your wife to organize your lives. That’s what I did and it works perfectly. I have one I shared with a bunch of my friends for party planning and another one that I share with Bart for our shownotes. Easy peasy as Niraj would say! Let me know if that works for you.
Robert and I talked offline about his pbwiki woes and he told me of another issue he had. One of the great things about a wiki is that if you’re watching a particular page or wiki it will send you an email when the page has been updated. That way you don’t have to keep going over to check it to see if anything is new. The problem Robert had though was that he likes to save a lot (I’m the same way) and every time he saved it sent emails to Tim and his wife – something like 10 in fifteen minutes! I explained that other wikis, like Confluence and MediaWiki that I’ve used elsewhere have a button that says “this is a minor edit” button so that doesn’t happen. I looked for such a button on pbwiki and didn’t find it. I had made a slight edit to a page while I was poking around, and then suddenly I noticed a little notice to the right of the save or cancel button – it said “Saved 231 words at 2:08PM (less than a minute ago)”. Turns out pbwiki is autosaving for you all the time anyway so you don’t have to hit the REAL save till you’re all done! I think this is even better than the “this is a minor edit” button because it removes two clicks for you – save AND that button. Pbwiki FTW!
To the rest of you listening, after you’re done perusing Robert’s great website, sign up to follow him on twitter at twitter.com/photoandmac – he’s a lot of fun to follow because he posts links to photos he’s taken.
For Christmas this year I want to suggest you give yourself a present. Give yourself the gift of Honda Bob’s Mobile Service. Give yourself the gift of relaxing at home or being productive at work instead of sitting in some smelly mechanic’s shop while someone you don’t even trust works on your Honda or Acura. Imagine the peace of mind you could have with a mechanic you know will do a great job and will be honest and hard working on your behalf? Imagine improving the resale value of your car because you let him do regular service to it? You can have all of this at an affordable price by calling Honda Bob at (562)531-2321 or shooting him an email at email@example.com. I wish Honda Bob could travel worldwide but this Christmas idea is only available to those of you who live in the LA or Orange County areas! HDA Bob’s Mobile Service is not affiliated with Honda, Acura or Honda Worldwide.
Chit Chat Across the Pond
with Bart Buschotts from bartb.ie we discuss this Week’s IE 0-Day Exploit
The Sequence of Events:
1. MS release a load of updates on their regular December “Patch Tuesday”
2. The very next day, a new 0-Day IE vulnerability surfaces – only known workaround is not to use IE!
3. MS acknowledge the flaw, but insist it’s IE 7 on XP only and not being widely expoited
4. MS acknowledge that the flaw is staring to see more exploitation and that it may be more than just IE7
5. MS acknowledge that it’s all verions of IE on all platforms, and that there is widespread and ever increasing expoitation of the bug. Annouce “out of band” patch for next day at 1pm (this Wed)
6. Patch comes out
7. a new variant of the expoit appears using MS Word – people who have not yet patched are in HUGE danger now – the bad buys are all over this flaw!
this is the perfect opportunity to explain the jargon that you hear on vulnerabilities
it’s almost a perfect collection of the common jargon
zero day, out of band, remote code excecution, arbirary code exection
1. Patch Tuesday
2. 0-Day (zero day, some IMO silly people say it oh-day)
3. arbitrary code execution
4. remote code execution
5. out of band patch – these are rare, and always for something very serious ALWAYS apply them ASAP
That’s going to round it up for this week, but remember that I won’t be taking a break this week from producing the show – I’m always so bummed when podcasters take a break right when I have plenty of time to listen! I teased Tim Verpoorten of the Mac Reviewcast about this – I told his listeners that while Tim’s sitting back with a glass of egg nog, they should sneak over to podfeet.com because we’ll be having a party over here!
Speaking of party time, check out show #55 of the Mac Roundtable over at macroundtable.com when it comes out, because we definitely had a big old party over there! We talked about all the fun we expect to have at MacWorld, how anal some of us are in our Christmas organization, what we want for Christmas, and our New Year’s Mac resolutions.
I’d love it if more of you got inspired to send in audio reviews and comments, I love to get them and it means I don’t have to work as hard on producing the show too! So send those on in to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can send comments and praise and even complaints too if you like! And of course don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/podfeet. And if you’re bored on Sundays at 5pm GMT-8, head on over to ustream.tv/nosillacast and check out the live show, we have a lot of fun in the chat room! Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.