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Jet Blue Offering wifi on flights?

This one is a little weird but I thought I'd post it anyway.

My office is located in Brooklyn below approach paths to both JFK and La Guardia airports. There is a constant stream of air traffic overhead day and night.

Last Saturday (the 22nd) I was doing some neighborhood scanning and saw what you see here: a six minute blast of "Jet Blue hot spot" ad-hoc network that lit up the screen, then disappeared.


Six minutes seems a little long for a plane to fly into, and out of wifi range, and I am quite skeptical that this is real but it seemed like a tantilizing prospect. As far as I know there are no "Jet Blue" corporate laptops, and in my 'hood there are *very few* networks to join to ad-hoc from. Also I doubt I am living in the midst of Jet Blue fanboys/girls.

Any general thoughts from the web on the sighting?

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on April 28, 2006 | Comments (22)

When do I need a new computer?

Sometimes I'll get asked the question: "How do you know when it's time to buy a new computer?". Even though my job is technology and I've been pushing hard towards and am nearing convergence (goal is to have all television, DVD, audio, written work, and more in a single computer with a single large monitor and speakers) I am actually quite pragmatic; my main workstation is currently 4 years old and I have no immediate plans for replacing it.

I use my computer all day every day. As I type this I have 11 programs open: PhotoShop, Mail, iTunes, Safari (11 tabs), Adium, Address Book, Calendar, Clock & Track, BBEdit, Transmit and FireFox -- and it is critical that they all work, quickly, and without crashing. If this machine was hindering my productivity I certainly would replace it, but the fact is, it's fast enough and is stable as hell. It never crashes. It doesn't panic under constant heavy load.

As a matter of fact, that is how I judge if I need a new computer: load factor.

cpu-test.jpgI keep a little application called "Activity Monitor" (found on Macs in /Applications/Utilities/) running in my dock. It tells me how hard my computer is working at any given time. If I go through a day where the CPU is spending most of it's time at 90% usage or more it's time for an upgrade or a new machine. Servers can easily handle this kind of stress all day and night (I work with machines that do this), and a workstation certainly could, too -- but at this point you start to notice tangible slowdowns in your applications which lead to loss in productivity -- and that's what this is about, after all: being as productive as you can for your dollar.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on April 28, 2006 | Comments (0)

Windows as seen in Signage

Penn Station Subway, New York, NY

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on April 17, 2006 | Comments (0)

Apple Mail search "entire message" Saga

Recently I, like many others, lost the ability to search in "entire message" in mail.app. We could search From, and Subject just fine, but not IN our messages (which is tragic when you have a lot of mail).

The problem began somewhere around OS 10.4.3 and persisted through updates all the way to 10.4.6

Here are a few solutions that were suggested on various bulletin boards:

  1. Back up mail, remove and re-import into mail.app. This was reported NOT to work so I didn't try it.
  2. One fellow suggested that this worked for him:
    You need to use 'terminal' and 'mdutil' to re-index your hard drive.

    In Terminal, turn off indexing for your drive. example:
    sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_1

    Then use mdutil again to turn indexing back on for your drive
    sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/your_hard_drive_name_1

    I tried this and it did NOT work.

  3. Re-index HD:
    a) open System Preferences
    b) choose "Spotlight"
    c) click "Privacy" button
    d) click the "+" button
    e) choose your hard drive
    f) click the "-" button and close System Preferences
    g) click Spotlight magnifying glass at the top right of your screen and enter any search word -- you will see that your computer is re-indexing your HD for use with spotligh -- but ALSO for mail.app as they use the same underlying technology.

    I tried this and re-indexing of my 400GB HD (with confirmed search within M$ Office documents!) took all night (good thing I did this before bed and never turn off my computer M-F).

    When I awoke the "entire message" search did, indeed work again.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on April 5, 2006 | Comments (2)