Apple TV and the Condo

I bought an Apple TV yesterday. I opted for the 160GB, as my media in its present state just barely would have fit on a 40GB. I must say that out of all of the Apple products I have owned, the Apple TV’s initial setup and sync was the most tedious. I initially set it up to sync over WiFi, but the connection between devices was being very slow and would sometimes drop. After no real progress, I hooked the laptop and Apple TV up to the router and figured it better to complete the process over CAT5. My PowerBook only stalled once and I had to shut the machine all the way down. The entire process needed to be babysat, which was annoying.

After it finally finished, I hooked the Apple TV to my 42″ Panasonic and was finally happy to have 1080p HD quality. The picture was stellar. Think I might stay in tonight and rent a good HD movie from iTunes. The girl wants to go to Dave & Buster’s to play games, but I’m not sure if I am feeling all of that. I am on vacation staring tomorrow and will have plenty of time to go places after getting issues resolved with my new Condo. Condo…? What condo??

I have a contract in on a condo and am waiting for a few minor details to fall into place. I close on the 29th and will have all of March to move my stuff. The place is pretty awesome. It’s a new construction condo, with all new everything. 16′ vaulted ceilings, high end counters and cabinets, brand new appliances, etc. I am meeting my mother and aunt to show them today. I think they’ll love it.

Operator

Operator, well, could you help me place this call
See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded
She’s living in L.A. with my best old ex-friend Ray
A guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated

But, isn’t that the way they say it goes
But let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell them I’m fine and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

Operator, well, could you help me place this call
‘Cause I can’t read the number that you just gave me
There’s something in my eyes – you know it happens every time
I think about the love that I thought would save me

But, isn’t that the way they say it goes
But let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell them I’m fine and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels
No, no, no, no, that’s not the way it feels

Operator, let’s forget about this call
There’s no one there I really wanted to talk to
Thank you for your time, you’ve been so much more than kind
You can keep the dime

Get the track

Scanning Checks to the Bank

Here’s a cool NYT article on scanning checks directly to your bank. You utilize your home scanner and it eliminates a trip to the bank.

My bank, USAA, mentioned in the article, has been doing this for the past two years. It’s a free service and the funds are available immediately.

I demonstrated this for my mother one day, and A.) she couldn’t believe I was able to do it, and B.) she couldn’t believe her bank didn’t offer that feature.

Apparently, the technology is on the upswing.

Skype on Mac with Jawbone as Headset

I’ve been thinking about Skype and wanting to jump into it. Boy did I ever today. I downloaded the app, and signed up for Pro and SkypeIn within an hour. This service is ingenious. If you don’t know what Skype is, I suggest you take a look. It allows you to make phone calls from your PC to other Skype users. When you upgrade to Pro, you can do that and make calls to national cellular and landline phones. International calls are 2.1 cents/minute. Adding SkypeIn gives you a regular phone number that landline and cellular users can call that you can answer on a WiFi phone or through your PC.

After setting up the account and activating the features (Skype Pro and SkypeIn at $60/year), I wanted to make calls and test it out.

On my 15″ PowerBook, I have an internal microphone that is located very near the speakers. Everyone I called said there was an echo, similar to a tunnel.

I though about going out and grabbing a WiFi phone, but then remembered that I had a Jawbone headset sitting around. I figured I could get it to sync over Bluetooth and use it as a headset with my Mac.

My setup: PowerBook G4 OS X 10.5 (Leopard), Skype 2.6.0.184, Jawbone
The process:

First, we have to pair the Jawbone with the Mac.

Ensure the Jawbone is OFF.
On the Mac, through the Bluetooth Setup Assistant, select to add a new Headset, but DON’T press “Continue” yet.
On the Jawbone, press and hold the ‘NOISE SHIELD BUTTON’ for 3 seconds until the LED status indicator alternately flashes white and red. This means Jawbone is now in pairing mode. This mode will last for 2 minutes or until pairing is complete.
On the Mac, press “Continue.” (The two should pair. If they do not, try the above again.)

The Setup Assistant will display ‘Jawbone’, once it finds it.
Select it and “Continue.”
Th Mac will prompt for a passkey. The paskey is four zeros, 0000.
After the pairing is successful, under the Bluetooth icon in your toolbar, “Jawbone” will be an option to use as a headset. Select “Use Headset.”

In Skype, under Preferences, Select Audio and set the Input and Output to ‘Jawbone.’ I selected to still have the ringing go through my Logitech speakers.

Once all of that is configured, you can now make Skype calls and have the Military grade clarity of the Jawbone.