First Macbook issue

About a month ago I purchased my Macbook. It is a fantastic machine and the best computer I have ever owned. Never had an issue with it until last night in fact.

I had a bunch of CD’s that I hadn’t gotten around to ripping yet. So last night I started work on on ripping them. I quickly ran into issues. CD’s with no scratches at all were getting hung up, causing the Superdrive to spin up and spin down constantly. In fact, they would get so hung up that I would have to Force Quit Max and then repeatedly hit the eject key until the CD would come out.

Thinking it might be the application, I rebooted and then tried to rip via iTunes. Same issue on the same spot on the CD.

So I tried a couple other CD’s, all experiencing the same issue. I then went to my Windows laptop and ripped them 100% with no errors or problems. Then I remembered that I had ripped these on my old iMac with no issues as well.

So I did some research on the Apple forums and found a lot of other people experiencing the same issue. My Superdrive is extremely loud when inserting/ejecting CD’s, makes a lot of rattling noises when using CD’s, and the infamous spin-up/spin-down issue when trying to rip certain CD’s.

Even worse, there are some reports of the Superdrive actually damaging discs, putting round rings on the bottom of the CD after use. Come to think of it, I have several CD’s that I remember looking at after use and wondering how they became so scratched up or where the rings came from, as I am extremely careful when it comes to handling CD’s.

It looks like it could be some type of alignment issue with the CD drive.

I have scheduled a Genius Bar appointment for after work and hopefully will get a replacement Macbook like some others who are experiencing this problem. Perhaps I will luck out and get a Macbook that is a little cooler then mine (which gets fairly warm, but not burning hot).

$1 a Segway ride = help to a good cause

Earlier this week I was asked by my work to come in for two hours on Saturday. Why? Because my task was to give Segway rides at a soccer tournament next door at a local college to anyone willing to pay $1. Every cent would go towards the Make-A-Wish foundation in their effort to help out a young local girl in her battle against a horrific disease.

I jumped at the opportunity, even though the weather outlook wasn’t too pleasant. There was definitely going to be rain according to the forecast, the question was when it would stop. We lucked out, as the rain just about stopped during my drive into Concord.

I arrived around 10:30 this morning and quickly got brought the Segway over to the soccer field. The funniest moment of the day came right away, was a team of 9-year-old girls, who yell out “Nice ride!” as I drove the Segway in. They then asked me what I was doing.

“Giving rides” was my response.

Instantly (as in, within 5 seconds), a line of about eight girls was created. I then told them that it was a $1 per ride. The whole line immediantly disappeared, as an army of girls ran to their parents screaming for dollar bills. I could not help but laugh as I watched.

A minute later, after I gave a brief demonstration on how it works, I began to give rides. It is amazing how quick kids are at learning these days. While I held on the Segway from the side sometimes, many of the kids only required help when they were trying to slow down or turn. The grins and yells of joy I will never forget.

The rides kept coming. Some repeat customers (I think one girl and boy both had 6 rides apiece), but many new kids and even some parents taking turns. One kid, maybe 6-years-old tops, nearly ran me over trying to turn, which brought the crowd to a hystrical laughter as the kid grinned, thinking it was the best thing ever.

I raised a total of $86 in my 2 1/2 hours of Segway rides. Not all of those were rides, as several parents gave $5 bills to pay for a ride and didn’t want change since it was going to a good cause.

I estimate about 70 rides total were given, with the vast majority in the first hour and a half of the rides.

It is good to feel like I contributed to something special.

Akismet Worst Offenders plugin

Ever wanted an easy way to sort through all of that spam caught by Akismet (just now, I had to look at 175 spam comments since yesterday)?

Akismet Worst Offenders plugin is just for you. It groups your suspected spam comments by IP address or web site. Then a delete button allows you to easily delete those bulk spam comments right away.

The results are a lot less spam comments to filter through, which allows you to make sure no legiminate comments are captured by accident.

Fantastic plugin and I imagine it will become part of the regular Akismet plugin very soon.

NeatLittleMacApps Podcast

I have come across a podcast that has great potential. One of the great reasons to swing to Macs is the fact that there is a huge community that develops highly usable, not bloated, and useful applications…applications that you wouldn’t mind paying for because they are so great.

I have stumbled upon the NeatLittleMacApps podcast, who’s sole purpose is review neat little Mac applications that many other people might otherwise miss.

A great example of this podcast is its 2nd episode, which is a review of a great little application called Wallet, by Waterfall Software. Wallet uses 448-bit blowfish encryption in order to protect all of your passwords, credit cards, serial numbers, etc…while making it very easy to look up this information when required.

You can even sync your “Wallet” with your iPod or .Mac. While the iPod sync isn’t secure (if someone happens to “find” your iPod, your not exactly in a good position), it is great for those who want to keep a list of passwords close by. Syncing is as easy as drag-in-drop which items you want to sync.
I plan to listen to this podcast often, hoping to come across another useful application.

The spam invasion

Some asshole decided to start spamming my blog.

Over 6,000 spam comments have been sent to my blog the past three days. That is three times the amount I had since restarting this blog over a year ago.

Only two slipped through and those two were held for moderation. That is right, out of over 6,000 spam comments, not one actually made it onto the site.

That to me is a miracle. And I owe it all to a little WordPress Plugin that wrecks any chances of spam coming in. Thank you Akismet!