How To Downgrade from Mac OS X 10.6.7 to 10.6.6

Snow Leopard Install Screen

  1. While OS X is running, insert your OS X Snow Leopard Install DVD.
  2. Double click Install Mac OS X.
  3. Keep the DVD inside your computer while you wait for it to restart.
  4. Wait until the second phase of the installation procedure completes.
  5. You are now downgraded to OS X 10.6.2 (or something less than 10.6.6).
  6. Download and apply the OS X 10.6.6. combo update to bring you back to 10.6.6.

five Mac OS X Snow Leopard Tweaks I Can’t Live Without

1.) Always view Mail.app attachments as icons.

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

Restart Mail.app, and voila!

2.) Use a spacer to split the Dock between Docked applications and non-Docked applications.

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add
'{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}' && killall Dock

3.) Add one or more stacks of recently used items.

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add 
'{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }' 
&& killall Dock

4.) Enable new List view in Dock Stacks.

defaults write com.apple.dock use-new-list-stack -bool yes 
&& killall Dock

5.) Enables gradient effect on mouse over.

defaults write com.apple.dock mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean yes 
&& killall Dock

Embarrassing Kindle 2 Flaw

The Kindle 2 was my first e-book reader. Excited to test its much hyped features, I purchased several items from Amazon’s Kindle Store, including Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time e-book. I wasn’t too thrilled with Kindle’s disjointed Text-to-Speech synthesizer. So, I purchased the professionally narrated version of Hawking’s masterpiece from Amazon’s Audible Store.

Amazon advertises Kindle’s ability to playback audio files while reading e-books. I really wanted to read my new e-book while simultaneously listening to the audiobook. I followed Kindle’s instructions to copy the Audible .aax file to my Kindle via the USB cable. Success! I could hear the professionally narrated version Hawking’s best-seller.

Now, to read along. But wait…I can’t hear the e-book anymore! Kindle’s User Guide says that Alt-Space and Alt-F control the background audio playback while reading an e-book. To my surprise, these keystrokes have no effect.

Thirty minutes later, I gave up and called Amazon Kindle Support. At last, “Chris C.”, a Kindle Specialist, was able to understand my problem. He suggested that I move the .aax file from the Kindle “Audible folder” to the “music folder.” This, however, caused the Kindle to no longer recognize the audiobook. He then concluded that I would need to convert the .aax file to an .mp3 file. He casually noted, however, that neither Audible nor Kindle has a direct mechanism to do this. In other words, I was out of luck. I can’t listen to Amazon Audible files while reading on my Kindle 2.

Is that fair? Should consumers have the burden of making Amazon’s Kindle operable with Amazon’s Audible files? Your thoughts are always appreciated.

What is Web 2.0?

I recently addressed this question in a presentation to prospective Computer Engineers at the University of Florida.

How to create an mp3 Google search box for your website

Have you ever wanted to add a specialty Google search box for your website that only found mp3, xls, doc, or other files of specific extensions? Well using a little JavaScript and tweaking Google’s code, it’s very simple to add a specialty Google search box to your website.

Here’s an example of a search box that only finds mp3 files.
Try searching for Daft Punk

Google

Amazing, so how did I do this? Here’s the original JavaScript from Google to add a standard web search box to your website:

<!-- Search Google -->
<center>
<FORM method=GET action="http://www.google.com/search">
<input type=hidden name=ie value=UTF-8>
<input type=hidden name=oe value=UTF-8>
<TABLE style="background-color:#ffffff;"><tr><td>
<A HREF="http://www.google.com/">
<IMG SRC="http://www.google.com/logos/Logo_40wht.gif" ALT="Google" align="absmiddle" style="border:0;"></A>
<INPUT TYPE=text name=q size=25 maxlength=255 value="">
<INPUT type=submit name=btnG VALUE="Google Search">
</td></tr></TABLE>
</FORM>
</center>
<!-- Search Google -->

Here’s a little JavaScript you need to find only mp3 files. Notice, I am just using the “intitle” and “-” syntax to narrow the search results.

<!-- Search Script -->
function submitform() {
       var new_query="intitle:index.of \"mp3\" \"" +document.gs.query.value +"\"-htm -html -php -asp \"Last Modified\"";
       document.gs.query.value=new_query;
       }
<!-- End Search Script -->

In the above code, document.gs.query.value is just what the user originally typed.
Here’s the revised Google search code that implements the above JavaScript to make a specialty Google search happen:

<script type='text/javascript' src='search.js'></script>
<!-- Search Google --><center><form action="http://www.google.com/search" method="get" name="gs" onsubmit="return submitform();" ><input type="hidden" value="UTF-8" name="ie" /> <input type="hidden" value="UTF-8" name="oe" /><table style="background-color:#ffffff;">
<tr>
<td><a href="http://www.google.com/"> <img style="border:0;" alt="Google" src="http://www.google.com/logos/Logo_40wht.gif" /></a> <input type="text" maxlength="255" size="25" name="query" /> <input type="submit" value="mp3 Search" name="btnG" /></td>
</tr>
</table>
</form>
</center>
<!-- Search Google -->

If you wanted to make some money, you could modify Google’s Adsense Search Box to search for only mp3, mp4, mpeg, etc… However, that would violate the Google’s Adsense Terms of Service.

Is Flixya Violating Google Adsense TOS?

Flixya is a start-up video sharing service, much like YouTube and Google Video. Unlike its competitors, Flixya provides user incentives to share and upload videos. Flixya’s Revenue Sharing program offers a 50/50 split of all revenue earned from Adsense, Google’s Pay-Per-Click advertising program. The more video links you provide to Flixya, the greater your chances of making PPC revenue on the site.
FlixyaGoogle’s Program Policies, however, state the following rules regarding incentives,

Web pages may not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads (ads=referals too). This includes encouraging users to click on the ads … as well as drawing any undue attention to the ads.

Google’s Policy also states the following about labeling ads,

Publishers may not label the ads with text other than “sponsored links” or “advertisements.

For purposes of these policies, “referral buttons are considered to be ‘Google ads'”. Yet, before and after users sign up for accounts with Flixya, they are shown several advertisements that direct them to sign up for Google Adsense as a direct incentive to make money. It seems apparent that instructing users to “Sign up for Google’s Ads to Share In Flixya’s Revenue Sharing Program” and labeling referral ads with the phrase “Sign Up” are violations of Adsense TOS. Adsense users should be further concerned that using Flixya’s Revenue Sharing Program and viewing videos on Flixya will cause an increase in page impressions with Google Adsense, which is a per se violation of Google’s TOS. What’s the likely penalty? Goodbye Adsense account.