Archive for December, 2009

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iChat Video Freezing in Snow Leopard

December 30, 2009

Since buying a MacBook Pro for my wife (which also serves as a backup machine in case mine disappears) I’ve had the opportunity to use the video chat feature more often than I have before. However, it seemed to not work nearly as well in Snow Leopard as it had in earlier version of iChat. The video on both of our ends would freeze, with the only remedy being to end the video chat and start over, only to have it freeze seconds later. To add insult to injury, iChat seemed to have an eye to always pick an inopportune frame to freeze on. Needless to say, this issue makes iChat video unusable.

There’s a fix for that.

First, you need to find iChat in your Applications folder. I usually tell people to click on the desktop, then go to the ‘go’ menu, and select ‘Applications’ from the options. Single click on iChat.

Next, either select ‘Get Info…’ from the ‘File’ menu, or press ⌘-i on your keyboard to open the Information panel.

In the information panel, there should be a checkbox next to “Open in 32-bit mode”. Put a check mark in that box and close the window.

Finally, quit iChat and open it back up again.

Your video problems should have gone away.

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Claire Celsi named as AdMavericks Commenter of the Year

December 29, 2009

A while back, Lessing-Flynn (AdMavericks for those not in the know) announced a contest for “Commenter of the year.” Evolve donated a prize to the contest,the winner of which turns out to be the PR Princess herself- Claire Celsi.

http://admavericks.com/2009/12/29/commenter-of-the-year-announced/

http://clairesbestlife.typepad.com/public_relations_princess/

Congratulations to Claire, we look forward to working with you.

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Remote Access (and storm pictures)

December 10, 2009

So, Iowa has been inundated with snow. In fact, I spoke to a person responsible for removing snow from the Evolve office parking lot, and he indicated to me that there was as much snow in the last two days as we had for the entirety of last year. His metric was the mountain of snow that he had just pushed. I realize that this is an imperfect metric, as 2008-2009’s snow pile had time to compress and melt. It’s still an impressive indication as to how much snow we did get.

Much of Iowa was closed, with travel not advised. The state was “open”, which was really an excuse to for state employees to use one of their required unpaid furlough days. Even the police and snow plows were getting stuck.

Evolve was still open.

One of the key aspects of modern IT management, is that most of the work can be done remotely. Over the course of two days, I’ve been working on servers and workstations as if it was business as usual. Having a snow day for these businesses was actually productive, as I could work for extended periods on issues without having to balance office productivity loss due to downtime. Remote access also allows me to deal with clients that are not located in Des Moines, Iowa, the Midwest, or even the USA, provided that there is sufficient bandwidth.

End users can also operate in a similar fashion, allowing themselves the ability to connect back to their office computer from their home, or vice versa. This allows them greater flexibility in how they work, as they can retrieve documents that they may have forgotten on their other computer, or access a program that is only located on that computer. A business can even have working snow days, where the employees telecommute.

Now, I do understand that there are issues that require my physical presence, which is why I usually recommend regular visits. However, these visits are often shorter and more spread out for users where I am able to remotely administrate their network.

All in all, giving Evolve remote access means that you receive faster service, as we’re more flexible in how we can service you.

Finally, here are a few pictures from around the Evolve office:

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Online shopping and coupon codes

December 4, 2009

Mike Sansone at ConverStations suggested that I write a post about a tip that I’ve been using for quite some time to get deals online. I was quite surprised this morning when none of the people that showed up at Central Iowa Bloggers at 6-7AM had heard of using Google to search for coupon codes. The concept is rather simple. Just enter the website name into Google with the words “Coupon Codes” and a list of websites and online forums will appear listing deals for said website. These then are entered into the box on the website, usually labeled “Coupon Code,” “Promitional Code,” or something similar.

As for the information that comes into the search, I usually look for www.retailmenot.com, which is a website dedicated to cataloging these types of codes, and it is always a good idea to return to the website to tell them whether the code worked for you. Not all of the deals work, as most have expiration dates, or quotas of some kind. The websites will usually give an error when the code does not work, which gives you an opportunity to enter a different code. Most often, these codes offer free shipping, percentages off, or a set dollar amount off.

Whenever I order something online, this is the last step that I perform before putting my credit card information into the website. It just makes sense to see what deals others are getting.

(FYI, the actual C.I.B. networking starts anywhere from 6-8, and gets over officially at 9, although there were several people there at 10:30 when I left.)