Farewell Jaxx

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I know I haven’t written anything of my own in qute some time. Big events seem to give the nudge we need to take action.

This has been an extremely tough week. I’ve written earlier about my son’s friend who was diagnosed with Leukemia. He fought hard but ultimately lost this week. He was just shy of his 16th birthday and has taught us all so much. I have had to deal with death too much and usually can be strong and positive with my faith and knowledge of what comes next. I am usually responsible to create programs for the funerals of friends, family and neighbors. It is about the only memorial that I can contribute but I consider it an honor. It is a healing process for me but this time has been different. I see my son and his strength and just hope he will be ok. I can’t help but feel guilty that I am still here. Playing with my children. While he has been suffering so much for the past 3 years. There isn’t much more I can do but help. I’m sure this will pass as it has with the others, but at the same time I don’t want to forget.

There are so many people that have stepped up for Jaxx since he was diagnosed. All of his friends and their families tried to help and keep him happy. I think the things he enjoyed most were the simple ones. A letter or a video clip. A phone call or an iChat. I can’t help but hug my kids and not want to let go. I’ve come to realize that you just don’t know when the end will come. It could be decades or it could be today.

I would also like to recognize the people at the Apple Store in SLC. They have gone so far above and beyond that I can’t begin to explain. They let Jaxx in the back door to play with an iPhone before the launch. Gave him one on one time when he was feeling better. Gave him a care package with shirts and a badge when he wasn’t. And are helping put together a video with his family for the funeral. They are incredible.

One thing the family has asked is that we contribute to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on behalf of Jackson. While you may not know me or Jackson I hope you take the opportunity to do something. There are countless families suffering and fighting for their loved ones. And please give your kids a hug. It is a gift that will last forever.



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I have turned off comments on everything and will be updating the site. I’ll turn them back on later. Some stuff may go a little haywire but hopefully not for too long.

Thanks for visiting.

UPDATE: All Done. That was easy. Only posts that typically get comments were opened back up.

Modern day Heroes at the Apple Store

Computing, General, My Stuff Comments Off

First, a little background. (this part is a bit long and a rant but we bring it home in the end) I bought some equipment earlier this year to help get more work done in less time. Who wants to pay tax and miss out on some package bundles (read: rebate). Certainly not me. I went ahead and placed my order with MacMall and got the associated upgrades with shipping that was less than the local tax would have been. I am so smart.

It took a little longer to arrive but it finally did and everything was sweet. A honeymoon. Now I enjoy sitting down and working in front of my computer again. After about a week my new display developed a problem. One vertical line of pixels had gone bad and was driving me crazy. I took it to the local Apple store and immediately they knew the problem and offered to send it back for repair. The problem was that I was now hairdo deep in a project and couldn’t part with it for even a couple of days. If I had purchased at the store they would have given me a swap and all would be fine. They said I could call MacMall and see what they could do. All this while sitting at the genius bar. I called MacMall and was rudely informed that they will under no circumstances accept a return of an Apple product.


That was my question precisely. How can you base your entire business on a computer and company that you refuse to support. Idiots. The employees at the store were shocked. Sure enough, on the packing slip they spell out that they accept returns under no circumstance from just about any name brand manufacturer. The guys at the store took pity on me and pulled a parachute full of strings and eventually exchanged my equipment for brand new. I had to purchase a new one and was credited back when the repair returned. I had to pay the tax after all but it was a small price to pay in the end. They were willing to take a hit for me.

Fast forward to today. Our kids were lucky and signed up for Apple Camp right when it was announced. They are having a ball. Yesterday was the GarageBand and iTunes for our 9 year old daughter. She came home and mixed a new song complete with lyrics. Today was the Podcast class and our oldest son was scheduled to attend.

Signup was 2 months ago and he and his best friend signed up together. They were psyched! In the meantime 3 weeks ago his friend was diagnosed with Leukemia and is now deep into chemotherapy and wasn’t feeling well today. They had planned to have my son go to the store and video chat back to him at his home. This was the only way he could still participate and he was excited. When they got there they found out that it just wasn’t going to work. He was quite sad. He hasn’t got anything to do but sit around for the foreseeable future and this was a little bit of light in a dark time.

After talking to a few people in the store, my wife talked to the store manager and she came through in a HUGE way. She was so kind and wrote a beautiful personal letter to him along with a gift basket of all the things from the Apple Camp. T-shirt, book, notes, and everything. In addition she put all her personal contact info and told him to be sure to call, email or find her as soon as he is feeling better. She set him up with a day of ProCare for the application of his choice. He was on cloud nine. His mom was crying, my wife was crying and I am right now too. He is 14 years old and needs all the uplifting he can get right now.

Apple has proven to be a great and caring company and I feel like they really care and they have wonderful employees. I pray every day that he will pull through this. We lost 2 neighbors to Leukemia last year and all we know for now is the sadness that comes along with it.

Apple. Thank you.


Time Change DSC832

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It seems like I hunt for this info every six months. Sometimes I just wait 6 months until the time is right again.

Setting the System Date and Time To set the system time, enter [✱] [6] followed by the Master Code. Press [1]. The keypad will now accept 10 consecutive digits: •Enter the Time in Hours and Minutes using the 24 Hour format (00:00 to 23:59). •Enter the Date in Months, Days and Years (MM DD YY). NOTE: If you have an LCD keypad, your installer may have programmed your system to display the time and date while the keypad is idle. If this is the case, you may have to press the [#] key to clear the date and time before entering an access code to arm the system, or before performing any other keypad function.

Google Sightseeing

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I found this today. A really great way to see the world without having to go out in it.

Google Sightseeing

Make a RAZR Ringtone with iTunes

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Use iTunes and Bluetooth to create your own ringtones for the Moto RAZR. It isn’t as hard as you think. Just use the right settings. When I used the wrong settings, the transfer failed when loading my phone. All of these instructions are for a Mac but if you follow along, I’m sure you will get it.

1- First you need to find what you want to use in your iTunes Library. Make a playlist and put your soon to be ringtones in it.

2- You’ll need to clip them to about 30 seconds long. This is about how long your phone will ring. No need to use the extra space with sound you won’t be able to hear. To do this just get info on your song and set the start and stop point in the options tab. Click OK and move on.

Make it Short

3- Next you need to set iTunes to convert your music to 22 khz and mono encoding. I used a lower bitrate to save space. These settings are found in the iTunes Preferences under the advanced tab. When you choose custom for the bitrate setting the second dialog box will pop up.

Let's review

Make it Small

4- Convert the songs to mp3 and find them in your Library. I used a smart playlist with recently added songs. I then dragged the song to my desktop. This made a copy so if anything went wrong I could just go back to iTunes.

Convert it

5- Now that you are to this stage you can go back to iTunes and set the in and out points on the original song back to normal. It’s easier to do this now while you are thinking about it. Your ringtone version should still be there. You can easily pick these out by looking at the bitrate which will likely be lower.

6- Send the audio files to your phone using a bluetooth connection and be sure to tell the phone to store them. I just use a D-Link USB adapter and it works great.

7- On your phone set the audio for one of your new tones and you should be good.

Enjoy your new ringtones!

Macworld: Mac Gems: Lyrical Tunes

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Macworld: Mac Gems: Lyrical Tunes

I tried this and it works great. I like the chord lookup that you can do.

New Domain – New Server

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If you are seeing this you are seeing the new server. Welcome.

Budget LCD Roundup

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Budget LCD Roundup April 2005

Thanks for visiting!

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It has been a few weeks since I put up the photoshop template and it seems to be helping someone. Over 250 downloads so far. It can make it easier as long as you are changing the default theme. All you have to keep in mind is that the tiles fill the width of your template with the background color filling in behind that. The faint color on the right is just for the right column. You can change the width in your style sheet and make it any width you want.

Anyhow. Crazy times these past couple weeks. I was busy with a catalog as well as sick kids and freelance. We had a good write-up in the Cook’s Illustrated newsletter and orders went crazy for a few days (ThermoWorks) and seem to be holding steady but higher now. The BBQ season is upon us as well as tradeshows and much more. I like spring.

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