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One set of speakers, two computers

harmon_in_the_middle.jpgIn this day and age one would expect more people to have run into this scenario: You have two computers, each with female 1/8" mini outputs, and one set of skeakers with a male 1/8" mini, and we want to play sounds from both computers into this single set of speakers.

Apparently Radio Shack has missed this boat (with no adapters of any sort that address this w/o many conversions to 1/4", RCA, or XLR) as has Guitar Center (who suggested I get a full-on mixing board, then adapters).

If one of your two computers is a Mac then you're in luck. You can download a free little application called Linein which can play sounds through the mac to the speakers.

Here is how you do it:
- get a 1/8" extension cable (male on both ends) and plug into the "sound out" (green) port on PC sound card and into the "sound in" port on the Mac (you might need an adapter like the iMic).
- Start Linein
- Set your input (whatever device you plugged the cable into, in the example it was plugged into a TV Tuner card), your output (external speakers) and click "pass through".

linein.jpg

Now you can listen to the bell-like alerts of your PC firewall in stereo sound!

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on December 22, 2005 | Comments (0)

Microsoft Wireless Expose

micro_f-lock.gifIf you're looking for a keyboard/mouse combo that is dark and has lots of extra buttons and such, the Microsoft Wireless Desktop sets can be very compatible with Mac OS X.

Recently we ran into an issue where Expose functionality mysteriously disappeared. We:

So what was the problem?

In their constant pursuit to cater to everyone in the universe and to add functionality far beyond what any sane person would use they doubled-the functionality of the F-keys right out of the box. So if you hit "F-Lock" all the F-keys get special functions as set by M$ and marked in light gray on the F-keys.

If this happens you may find yourself with a "connect to server" dialogue box instead of "show all active windows" when you press F9.

To restore Expose simply press F-Lock (circled in red in illustration) and the software and keyboard should remember this setting on reset.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on December 5, 2005 | Comments (0)