Thursday, September 10, 2009

Question about Windows version

The Help Desk is still not recording new shows (yet), but here's a question from a listener. If you have an answer, please Comment:

I have a 5.5 year old home-built PC running XP Pro. In addition I have a Vista running laptop and a 6-month old iMac.

I still have a great use for a Windows machine but don't think I really want to build again or buy a ready-made box. Instead I'm thinking about using the iMac in a dual boot mode or using software like Parallels. The problem is that I don't know which MS OS makes the most sense.

XP, while older, is tried and true and should be supported for some time thanks to its use in netbooks. Plus, there would definitely be no comparability issues because all the software I currently run works on XP (obviously).

Vista, also a known entity, is newer and more secure, but doesn't bring much else to the table.

Windows 7 is an unknown quantity, but is what I would install were I to build a new machine, so it should clearly be in the running.

So what would be the best choice for dual booting on a Mac? Dollars and cents are in favor of XP and Vista, but 7 is the future.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Help Desk on hiatus

As most listeners know, the last live Help Desk was on June 30, 2009. Now that Miami has ceased operating WMUB Public Radio, Cleve Callison and John Hingsbergen no longer have access to the WMUB studio facilities. We have had some conversations with other entities about a recording venue, but nothing concrete has come to light; and Cleve and John are busily engaged in job searches.

In short, we don't know if the Help Desk will be back. Cleve and John offer thanks to Ted Beerman, Guy Moore, Bryan Powell and Wayne Stone for serving as PC and Mac experts on the show for many years.

We will let you know through this blog and email lists if we are able to resume live shows at some point.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sync Mac with BlackBerry?

Longer than usual post:

I’ve just spent an irritating 48 hours trying to figure out how to sync my Calendar and Contacts/Address Book data between my Mac and my BlackBerry. When I was on the Miami University BES server, I used Entourage to do this. But Cincinnati Bell’s advice was to use PocketMac to sync my Apple iCal and Address Book data to the BB.

I found PocketMac to be of no use on my current Mac, an older iBook G3 running 10.4.11. I installed and Uninstalled it several times, following BlackBerry’s advice to the letter, but I never got it to open right. And it seems to have corrupted my .Mac settings to boot. Judging from a Google search, I'm not alone in this frustration.

Why would Apple and RIM push such a piece of junk forward? I suppose Apple has no interest in helping a competitor to its iPhone. But why wouldn’t RIM do better helping out a non-negligible base of Mac-loving BlackBerry users?

I finally found the solution, thanks to one frustrated poster on BB’s message board: scrap the Apple programs and use Google Calendar and Contacts. Just:

  • save the data from both iCal and Address Book
  • set up the corresponding Google Calendar and Google Contacts
  • upload your data
  • add Google Sync to your BlackBerry
  • do initial syncs (takes a while)
I ran into one problem with Google Contacts. I'd forgotten that I had previously set it up long ago. It added my new uploads, most of which were duplicates of existing names. I could see their existence via the record count but they didn't appear on screen. Google Sync worked fine for my Calendar but Contacts crashed. I signed out, Quit Firefox and opened Safari. Safari showed the duplicates, so I selected and Deleted them all. Problem solved.

Another irritant: PocketMac is “free” on the PocketMac site -- but they charge a fee for downloads! It’s truly free on the RIM/Blackberry site, though. PocketMac does have a semi-cool Mac-like theme for a couple of bucks extra if you download (above).

I may forget about iCal and Address Book. I could Export the Google data and import it back to the Apple apps, but that may be more trouble than it's worth.

I have cross-posted this on Cleve Callison's blog.

7/7/09 Help Desk delayed

Help Desk users,

In our last "Live" show of 6/30/09, I said a new Help Desk podcast would be posted on 7/7/09 discussing social media. Unfortunately, leaving Miami, vacation and other delays have held that up. I hope to add it soon. That's likely to be the last one for a while.

--Cleve Callison

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Messages from 6/30/09

Today marks (possibly) the final show for the Help Desk, at least as recorded in Oxford. For the time being at least new podcast/ feeds will be on hiatus. June 30, 2009 was the last day for the staff of Miami University's former WMUB-FM.

We aren't certain if we can continue with the show/podcast. Keep checking this space.

In addition to the long-term site of the podcast at Miami, here's a link to an alternate site.

Thank you for your support of the Help Desk!

--Cleve Callison
--John Hingsbergen
--Guy Moore
--Wayne Stone


Apple's silence on Steve Jobs' health may have broken federal securities rules

Future iPhones will adopt Mini USB Port in 2010

Apple Running Short on iPhones

From: Lisa Haneberg
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:44:14 -0400
To: "WMUB 88.5 FM"
Subject: RE: Question for 7 July 2009 Show With Guest Lisa Haneberg


I agree with Mark – this is not a good idea for employers. We need to do the best we can to evaluate candidates, but asking for personal information to get into hidden pages of a social networking site is not appropriate. We need to make sure that we are treating candidates fairly and this practice would put those who are hip (with it, technologically) at a disadvantage – not a message I think we want to send.

I have never heard of an employer making such a request.

I suppose there might be some top secret government jobs that require a complete and thorough background check for reasons of national security, but I assume these agencies will have separate and distinct job requirements and employment processes.

I think it will die a quick death.


------ Forwarded Message
Subject: Question for 7 July 2009 Show With Guest Lisa Haneberg

Thanks for the opportunity to put forth a question to Ms. Haneberg.

On or about 23 June I read an article posted on ( regarding how the city of Bozeman, MT will ask potential employees for their user name and password for social networking sites such as facebook, Myspace, YouTube, etc.

Their reasoning is that they wish to perform as thorough as possible a background check on a prospective employee. For my own part, I find this to be a completely outrageous idea and potentially a violation of the First Amendment.

First question: how do you personally feel about such matters? And second, do you think this endeavor will meet with too much resistance and die a quick death or is this the future of employment and social networking?

Thank you for the opportunity to ask.
Mark, Englewood, Ohio


Comments from listeners to the 6/30/09 show:
Yes, yes, yes! Keep me on the mailing list. I want to know not if, but WHEN you find a new manner by which to provide the Help Desk. I'm trying to be optimistic here....
~Mark, Englewood

First of all, thanks for all the support and entertainment you guys have given me in the past. I wish you luck wherever you land.

Robert, Hebron, KY

I don't have a question this morning but would like to thank all of you for invaluable advice over the years; I can't list all your accomplishments, but most importantly thanks to your suggestions I'm virus-free for about ten years now. Best of luck to all of you and hope to hear you somewhere soon.

As luck would have it I was on vacation in California and only saw this email late on Monday night when I arrived home here in Niagara Falls. If you were to call me I would just mumble my thanks for your efforts and for the information you have shared with me both on the show and on your blog. There's no way I can repay you all for taking the time and trouble to help with the puzzling world of computers - even though to me as a Microsoft Windows slave I am sometimes curious about this thing called a "Mac" that you mention on the program. I'm sure it isn't a "Big Mac" since you mentioned that some of the new ones have a metal case.....

Best wishes to all of you. Hopefully the show will pave the way for a really interesting and rewarding job for those who can use one - if you need a reference from a listener I'll surely be happy to give one!
Manchester House Bed and Breakfast
653 Main Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14301 USA
email: mailto: manchesterhouse(at)
Telephone: (716) 285-5717

Monday, June 29, 2009

Milestone show on 6/30/09

June 29, 2009

Dear Help Desk listeners,

The podcast/ of Help Desk for June 30th, 2009 will be a milestone of sorts. It will be the last one recorded at WMUB in Oxford. I’d like to ask you to help commemorate the event.

At this point we don’t know when the podcast will continue on a weekly basis. Part of it is geography — Guy, Wayne, John and I all live in different communities and we won’t all be in Oxford anymore — and part of it is our continuing search, not just for a recording home, but possibly for a broadcast home. There’s also the fact that John and I will be looking for jobs, and one or both of us may be moving out of the area soon.

To find out more about WMUB, visit Cleve Callison's blog and click on the WMUB link in the right hand column.

For all these reasons, it seems the best course is to take a hiatus from new productions of the Help Desk at this time. We’re very grateful to you for listening to the radio show, and now the podcast.

Let’s make this one memorable. We have been limiting the podcasts to 30 minutes, but if we get more calls on 6/30 we may go longer. We encourage you to plan to join us for your thoughts about the show even if you don’t have a specific question.

The catch is that we have to call you. Please send us a phone number where you can be reached around 9 am ET on Tuesday June 30th, and we may very well call you.

Email questions to:


Thank you for your support of the Help Desk!

--Cleve Callison
--John Hingsbergen
--Guy Moore
--Wayne Stone

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

URLs from 6/16/09

Listen for today’s show as a podcast and on
Today’s archive is


Macbooks becomes Macbook Pro

Twitter downtime gets delayed for Iranian election news

iPhone 3G S



FireFox Loading Extremely slow the first time

Can you see all email accounts at one place?
--POP Yahoo Mail
--Forwarding Yahoo Mail
--Listener Rich recommends the Palm Pre and its Synergy email app
--Listener Lee says: go to Gmail > Settings > Accounts and set up other addresses & services