Solved: Apple Time Capsule Not Found in Airport Utility

openingtimecapsuleAlmost all my home computer equipment is composed of Apple products, save for the Windows media center that I’m using to power the TV/display old TV shows/movies/listen to the radio. I’ve been using Windows Vista to power the ‘center until (very!) recently, and for the past two or three weeks have had my Time Capsule and attached AirPort Disk vanish from the network every couple of hours. Given that a lot of my movies and TV shows are on the AirPort Disk, this has been a real problem. Despite the drops, the router-element of the Time Capsule continued to work – I could browse the ‘net, and even run my automated backups using Time Machine, though I couldn’t actually access the data on the Time Capsule!

At first I assumed that the problem was a Windows Vista-related issue. I’d had other issues getting everything set up, and third-parties had mucked around with the media center while I was gallivanting around Ontario a few weeks ago. The only time that the router (and AirPort Disk) become unresponsive was when I used Vista to connect to the AirPort Disk. No issues arose when just browsing the AirPort Disk using a Mac (note: all Macs in the house are running 10.5.7). Continue reading

It Just Works (Sometimes)!

Time Capsule is incredibly helpful – it’s saved me from several moderately catastrophic data loses. What is less than terrific, however, is the instructions for connecting an external hard disk drive (HDD) to it. To save myself the hassles of figuring out how to set it up again in the future, and for those who are searching for the solution, I’ve thrown this together.

Problem:

Many drives are shipped partitioned to FAT. That’s great…for PCs. Heck, my Macbook could read it too, but doing so crashed my Time Capsule. I figured that it was probably FAT, and so just opened up the Disk Utility to erase the drive and partition it to HFS+ (Journal). Then I found out that this element of OS X has been broken for a long, long time.

Crap.

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Repairing iWeb

For the past two days I’ve been troubleshooting a problem with iWeb, and thought that I’d post my problem (and troubleshooting steps and solution) here so that other people who experience a similar problem can diagnose and remedy the problem.

Problem:

I had used iWeb to toss together a quick placeholder site for my girlfriend’s new domain without any incident a week or two ago. A few days later I went back into iWeb and was unable to add new pages, or create a new site. While the options to do both actions were available, clicking on them neither added a new page, nor created a site.

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The Making of a Media Center

This guide is intended to let me (and you) quickly set up an Apple computer as a media centre. I’m currently using a PC running Windows Vista Home Premium as the media centre – it’s native media centre functionality works quite well but, given my hope to move to a more Mac-centric environment, I want to see if it’s possible to actually use something like a mac mini as a media box. For the purposes of this guide, the media centre has to do the following:

  1. Be reliable! No weird and unexpected crashes. Moreover, I don’t want to be servicing the damn thing on a semi-regular basis.
  2. Be fairly easy to manage. I’m not going to have a lot of time to futz around with this thing come September.
  3. Be simple! If it take a lot of work to maintain, my hopes of spreading that work around are doomed to failure!
  4. Be as good as Vista Home Premium! While I really do want a dominantly Mac environment, I’m not willing to do so at the loss of overall functionality.
  5. Access media from my Fileserver (this, really, is what makes this whole thing a pain in the ass).

Now that we’ve identified the conditions for victory, let’s go and investigate how to do this!

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Mobiles and Your Identity

Today I want to just briefly talk about the competition between Apple’s iPhone and Research in Motion’s Blackberry. I’m not going to bother with things like the aesthetics or the ease of using one over the other. Instead what I want to talk about is how these devices are, and will (in the iPhone’s case) be used. I’ll, as usual, provide a bit of background and then get to what is the real issue with these devices: unless secured, these devices, and other like them, can reveal a substantial amount about yourself and others, enough that it would be a relatively simple task to assume your identity and potentially negatively affect others’ identities/reputations.

Packing Some Confidential Property

I’ll admit it: whenever I go anywhere, my Blackberry comes with me. I use it to track all facets of my life: my contacts (i.e. who I know, what I know about them, notes that I see as important about them), my calendar (i.e. what I do at almost all points of my day, who I’m meeting with, why I’m meeting with them), my email (i.e the communication that I have and think should be recorded for a later date), and my instant messaging (i.e my personal discussions that let me be me with friends). This is super-convenient for me. It also means that I’m carrying a device that would give someone who found/stole it a significant insight into my life and some insight into the lives of people that I know.

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Online Data Storage and Privacy

Last week Google, Microsoft, and Apple revealed updates to their online data storage platforms – Google now lets users purchase additional space for their various Google applications, Microsoft provides a Live Skydrive (essentially an online network drive), and Apple completely revamped their .Mac solution.

The idea behind these services is that people that are already using, or are considering using, the aforementioned companies’ online services and will be enticed by the idea that they could store hordes of information in ‘safe’ repositories; we can trust that neither Google, Microsoft, or Apple would lose our data, right? This isn’t entirely true – at least Google and Microsoft have previously lost client data and could not always restore it. Individuals cannot count on any of these services, though they are likely to be more reliable than personal backups. What’s more, these online solutions just make life easier by letting users stop worrying about performing personal data backups – this is their real selling feature.

There are issues that emerges with all of these services – first clients cannot know what country their data is being stored in, potentially leaving their data subject to foreign surveillance laws, and second clients cannot verify what any of these corporations are actually doing with their data.

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