128 GB iPad, super sweet!

This morning I read some interesting news, Apple has decided to release a 128 GB iPad 4! I’ve been waiting for a 128 GB iPad since I bought my iPad 2 because you can never have enough local memory on a device. I’ve read a few articles here and there explaining why it doesn’t make sense to get one with that much memory but to me this is something that I probably will get when I next upgrade my iPad.

Unlike most people that buy iPads, I’m a road warrior. I spend my work week away from home and my computers that store all my stuff. I also don’t have a ready Internet connection 24×7 so using the cloud is also not very practical. The best option in my mind is to get the most storage possible favor my iPad so I can just load it up with all my music and music and never have to worry about syncing. What might be perfect is if they throw all that storage into the iPad mini and give it a Retina display on top of all that. That would be a very compelling reason for me to move on to the iPad mini instead of getting the full size iPad. But if it only comes in the big version I’m still very happy with the 9.7 inch screen and I don’t mind the weight.

Too bad I’m not getting a tax fund this year, I totally would have put that refund into getting a new iPad once iPad 5 or iPad mini 2 is released.

Winter Cleaning for the MacBook Pro

Normally people use Spring as the season to clean things up since its the time that people can leave their houses after Winter. Since I’m cleaning up my MacBook Pro and its sunny in Florida, I figure why not use my daughters nap times to do some cleaning up. I know where most of the clutter is on my MacBook. It consists of videos, pictures, and music. I have accumulated a lot of crap over the years and I know that with all my backups and switching from my windows desktop to my MacBook a lot of my clutter came with me and I just haven’t had the time or inclination to clean it up. The event that is prompting me to do some cleanup is that I have less than 150GB left on my hard drive. I prefer to have an ample cushion of free space so I’m looking for ways to eliminate some waste.

Part 1: Eliminate Movies from iTunes

iTunes 11

I have a lot of movies and TV show episodes on iTunes to say the least. A lot of them won’t make it to my iPhone or iPad these days because its available on Netflix except for a few choice movies that I simply must have because I watch them all the time at home or on the road. By far this is the easiest place to eliminate stuff because I was a little more careful in selecting videos to transfer to my Mac when I was moving files. I think I eliminated enough stuff to eventually save me 10 gigs. Granted that’s maybe 10 full blown movies but those 10 gigs comprised of a lot of TV episodes for shows I don’t watch often so that wasn’t too bad.

Part 2: Eliminate Music from iTunes

Ahh this is where things start to get really challenging. My music collection is quite large (well at least I think so) and I know there are a lot of duplicate songs all over the place and there songs encoded in different formats. This exercise was more tedious since there was no good way to actually do this task. I generally like to keep only MP3 files in my collection unless its the only copy of the song that I have. iTunes also doesn’t have a column that shows the path of the song on your hard drive. You have to use Get Info and then look at where the song resides. In a lot of cases I had 2-3 copies of entire albums that just took up a ton of space. I know I didn’t get everything but after about an hour I cleaned out another 5 gigs of crap from my drive. Not bad really considering your average song is only 5MB.

Part 3: Eliminate Duplicate Pictures

Duplicate Annihilator

This is the toughest one of all.  All my pictures are naturally saved in iPhoto.  A lot of video that I take with my iPhone is also saved here.  I also sync my wife’s iPhone to my account on the MacBook as well since she’s always on my account anyway (I have all the useful programs on my profile).  I also imported every picture I had on my desktop into iPhoto with reckless abandon.  A lot of pictures look alike when you’re just eye balling it and I don’t want to accidentally delete something that might be valuable.  To assist with this endeavor, I had to do some research on the internet to find a way to get rid of my duplicates.  Enter Duplicate Annihilator.  This was mentioned on some of the Apple news sites I track as well as on eHow.com.  What the program does is that it uses an algorithm to determine if there are duplicate pictures in your iPhoto library and tags a comment in them (I chose “duplicate”, imaginative isn’t it?) to find out which ones were were duplicates so that I can promptly delete them.  I suspect there will be tons of them in the library.  I have lots of overlap with my folders from my desktop and the biggest offender will probably be the pictures of my cats since I took literally thousands of pics of them before I had to give them up.  My wife and I also send pictures to each other that we save to our phones and later sync with the MacBook so there will be lots of duplicates that way as well that will require elimination.  I’m looking at the program and right now it will take about 10 hours to sift through approximately 34210 pictures and videos that I’ve taken since I first got a digital camera in 2002 (maybe it was sooner than that?  I don’t know…. I’m getting old and can’t remember stuff like I used to)

Right now it has only scanned approximately 300 photos but its already found 46 duplicates which isn’t bad. This software wasn’t free and I love free software but it was less than $10 so I think it is well worth the investment if it finds a ton of crap that I can get rid of and clean up my hard drive in the process.

The last step is a step I technically do every few months which is to run CCleaner which I’ve been using for quite a while since I was on Windows XP.  CCleaner just crunches through your drive and looks for old log files and cache’s to eliminate.  This normally nets me a few hundred megs unless I don’t clean out my trash can in which it then nets me a few gigs.  It’s going to be a long time before this thing is finally cleaned up.  I’ll probably have to continue this tomorrow since it’ll be another 9 hours before its done looking for duplicates.  After that I have to determine what duplicates need to be removed from my computer which in itself will take a lot of manual effort.  It sounds like my daughter is awake so thats the end of this blog post!

Passed my ITIL Service Design Test

This past Friday I finally passed my ITIL Service Design Intermediate test. In my current role, getting this certification is pretty important since it puts me on the path to get an ITIL Expert Certification. The only crummy part about getting the certification is that I was able to pass it on my second attempt. The test is only 8 multiple choice questions but they are situation based and try and test your knowledge across multiple areas that are presented during the training. The training itself wasn’t that bad. I took distance learning which meant I could do it from the comfort of my own home which is nice.

Based on past experience I attempted to take the test right after the class but that was not the best strategy. Although this was the complete opposite of my past strategy which was to wait a month before taking the test. I came very close to passing the first time, missed it by only 2 points, but I was still pissed that I was so close. I ended up paying for another test which kind of sucked but I was determined to pass this time. I had to study for the next week trying to remember all the stuff that I learned in class. My iPad came in very handy during this time. I decided to try doing daily mind dumps using Notability. I’d say this definitely helped me remember most of the concepts that I learned. It was also cool that the extra materials I got from class I was able to view using my Box.net app.

The second attempt at passing was much better after doing a lot more studying. I’ll have to take a few more of these classes and tests before getting an ITIL Expert certification but at least now I know what I personally have to do in order to pass the next test.

Shutterfly is pretty fly

I have recently re-discovered Shutterly after th most recent iPhone app update. I typically have only used Shutterfly for creating a photo book here and there as gifts for my parents and I do recall creating a share site when my daughter was born but other than that I haven’t done much with it. I know that I can upload an unlimited amount of photos to the site but I haven’t taken advantage of that but I think I’m going to start to so I have at least a backup of my photos. I don’t think they will be at full resolution if I ever needed them again but at least I would still have them.

An added benefit is that I can update my daughters photo site as well with the new pictures. I just need the time to do so. What would be really awesome is if they updated the iPad app for Shutterfly so that I can update the site instead of having to use a computer. I’ve been able to do most of what I need on an iPad for a while now but there are some things that just escape me because the technology that is being used on some of the services that I use haven’t gotten around to making apps or using HTML5. That’s not a big problem really. I need an excuse every once in a while to use my computer so I don’t get rusty. Now all I have to do is actually remember to use Shutterfly. While iCloud is great, it only keeps my most recent 1000 photos.

iPhoto and iMovie FAIL

iPhoto and iMovie has failed me recently and I don’t get why that is. I take movies with my iPhone and I import them into iPhoto on my MacBook Pro to save them. I have used iMovie before to import videos from iPhoto but since I updated to Mountain Lion it doesn’t seem that iMovie recognizes the videos from iPhoto that came from my iPhone. To me that’s pretty crappy! One of the things that I liked when. First got my MacBook was the ability for most of the Apple apps to work seamlessly together. iPhoto and iTunes are the programs that I use the most from Apple but I liked the ability to use iMovie to create some videos of my daughter that I could post to YouTube.

I’m still hunting for a solution but so far no luck. There also isn’t an easy way in iPhoto to actually find video files. I think that should be one of the improvements to the next incremental version that comes out. My iPhoto library is over 127gb and I have hundreds of events created as well. Finding a video is going to be difficult at the very least. I’ll just have to start creating specific albums for movies as I find them and export them into iMovie as a work around for now. Bah hurry up Apple and fix this issue!

I hate Vee Rubber Tires

These tires suck

I’ve had Vee Rubber tires on my car for a few months or possibly over a year (I can’t remember) but I gotta say that I uniformly hate them.  Since I got them they have caused me nothing but issues and I’ve been able to get rid of 2 of the 4 tires that are on my car.  I can’t wait to get rid of the other two but it should be another 10K miles before that can happen.  The issue that I currently have with the tires is that when I put them on the front of my car, it screws up the alignment really bad and makes the car pull really far to the left.  I had to bring in my car to the shop a second time in only 5 days to try and get the problem corrected.  I had some $100 tires put on the rear of my car because the Vee Rubbers that were back there were crap and my shocks killed them.  The shop rotated the Vee Rubbers to the back and stuck the new tires that I bought on the front and the problem was solved like magic.  No other work needed to be done.

I’ll say this, I’m going to start sticking to tire brands that I know about and not accept crappy tires from these crazy tire dealers. If I could afford them I’d put Michelins on all my vehicles or Bridgestone’s.  At the very least Kumho’s.  Only 10K to go and I can say bye bye to my last 2 Vee Rubber tires.

No Hair Cut for 60 Days

For approximately 60 days I’m going to be working from home which means I don’t have to look all that “groomed” for the office or my client. I’ve decided to try something while I am home, I plan on not cutting my hair for the entire time that I’m home to see how long it will get and to see how shaggy I will become. I’m just doing this because I don’t feel like getting a hair cut and I’ve never really had long hair before so this will certainly be interesting to see. Unfortunately, at the end of the 60 days and before I go back to my client I’m going to have to cut my hair. I will have my wife take pics of what my hair looks like with over 60 days of growth on it.

Since I have a baby face, I’m not going to be able to grow a beard like most people but thats ok, I think the long hair will be enough. Who knows, maybe I’ll keep it if it looks good on me….. nah my job would never let me do that and I don’t think my wife would either. I’m officially starting this challenge with a back date of December 21st since that was the first day I was home for work and I won’t cut my hair until February 23rd. I’ll post a pic when February 23rd comes around just before I go see my barber Ramon to get it all cut away and ready for work.