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ATPM 15.12
December 2009


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ShareTool 1.3.1

I agree it is a great tool, especially for someone traveling constantly.

One caveat or shortcoming you didn’t mention is that the host computer has to be running, not sleeping, all the time. I hate to leave mine on when out of town for a week and I may only need to connect a couple times.

They have implemented a new feature to put the host computer to sleep, but only for up to four hours before it wakes again and would require you to connect again to put it back to sleep. Obviously, this is not practical when away for several days…so it ends up running the entire time anyway.

—Bob Johnson

I realize I didn’t mention that the host computer has to be running. I suppose I assumed that was kind of a given. I think it’s fair to assume that, even on a local network, a host computer has to be running before you can do file sharing, screen sharing, or other forms of Bonjour connections. All ShareTool does is extend that capability beyond your LAN. Your mileage may vary, but I leave my Mac Pro running 24/7 because it holds a Gallery-powered photo album Web site as well. It also hosts my iTunes library for access, not only on a remote computer via ShareTool, but also to my Apple TV. I know there are those who would question whether I want to suck up that much electricity. I can give two answers to that:

  1. The cost of the extra electricity each month is less than what I’d have to pay to keep the photos on most standard hosting services considering it’s approaching 30 GB.

  2. Earlier this year, I moved the server off an old 450 MHz G4 to this year’s Nehalem Mac Pro, which uses far less power than that G4 did!

—Lee Bennett

Voyager Q

I bought one after getting a cheaper USB-only “toaster” and finding it to be far too slow.

I use it with FireWire to connect to my MacBook Pro. The coolest thing to do is to boot from it. I can have any size drive running my MacBook Pro when I’m at home.

Very easy to use. Trouble free for a couple of months.

—George Entenman

• • •

I have a similar need (too many hard drives!) but really liked the much more sturdy WiebeTech RTX100H-Q solution.

(not an advertisement—just a very satisfied customer)

I prefer to have the internal fan cooling the drives…sometimes they get quite warm as they just sit on the “toaster” style connectors.

Hope this is useful.



Did I detect a bit of British Sarcasm in this missive?

I always enjoy Mr. Tennent's forays as the MacMuser. Thanks for the morning laugh.

—David Thompson

• • •

Thanks for the smile—my work life mirrors yours, and I can truly identify! I have a first-generation iPhone (thanks to a grandbaby and her slobber), and I can only suggest that you will be most happy with your decision. You might even wonder why you waited until it became a necessity. :-)

—Lori Smith

Blender 2.31a

For years I wanted to get into 3D work. My two sons and daughter are in college and still live at home. We have started working on a project together, and my wife wants in on it too. We are making an educational game that works like an MMO.

We have narrowed what we will use down to a few things. Blender, Multiverse, and 3Dvia because they are all free. For video, audio, sound, and music score we went with Sony Video Platinum Pro Pack because for just over $100 we get a full set bundled for production.

I used to work for a production company as a programmer, and while I was there I learned image, video, and audio digital editing and some illustration design. My programing was limited to Web design and Director 8 Lingo, but with God’s help I can learn Python and Java for the game development.

I really like the new Blender because it affords us the ability to use the same content for the game to make animated videos to play in-game. The Blender community is extremely generous with tutorials and royalty-free 3D content. I have done a lot of research on Blender and can not understand why there is not an AS Degree in community colleges based on the Blender application.


Chasing the Dragons

It is pretty scandalous. I have a friend who lives just outside Sevenoaks—hardly the middle of nowhere. Quoted broadband speeds vary from 0.5 megabits per second to “not more than 0 megabits per second.”

We can only compete internationally if we have good infrastructure, and that includes high-speed broadband.

—Peter Danckwerts

• • •

At least 98% of Britain has broadband access (or so I’ve heard). Where I live in the US, the town 16 miles away is looking forward to FiOS, while there is no cable, a weak cell signal, nor can the phone company be bothered to upgrade the phone office in my neighborhood with a “mere” population of 10,000. I pay three times what my neighbors pay just to get 1.5 mbps download speeds with satellite. A good deal of America is languishing with not quite broadband speed in a world where access to high-speed broadband is becoming as necessary as access to electricity and gasoline.


• • •

I will join with Anonymous and note that America is in a sad state also. I live in Austin, Texas—supposedly one of the most connected cities in this country—and I can tell stories of friends who have purchased homes in well-established areas of town that were floored when they discovered that broadband was not available to them. This is a problem that is not limited to the rural areas here.

—Lori Smith

• • •

Gee, it’s almost as if the USA is one of the largest nations on earth, with one of the lowest population densities, and very evenly balanced quality of life between urban and rural areas. Why, as a matter of fact, it seems like many of these “dragon nations” are in fact tiny little third-world countries with all of their infrastructural development (including any electrical utilities) concentrated solely around their largest high-density cities. Funny, that.

—Eric Van Hoose

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