to commonly asked questions.

July 2010

Word is moving to the cloud

How can I download videos from the web to my hard drive?  A lot of my clients have appearances shows, one of them was on the CBS Early Show this morning.  How can I take a copy of the segment from the CBS website and download it so I can use in presentations at a future date?


Ok, there are several methods for pulling video off a site. Even though Apple won’t proclaim it to work, you can always use Safari and open the “activity” window. Under menu bar...Activity. Toggle the arror on the left associated with the site you’re on (you’ll also see a lot of ad based activity) then find the movie file. It will be the one that is the largest and probably downloading in progress. If you double click the video file that is downloading it will actually download to your desktop or downloads folder. There’s a good chance it will be in flash so you’ll need vlc to view it. But that’s one way. This also works very well with YouTube since they encode their site with flash video.

If it is a quicktime file, then you can usually just right click and save to desktop. I believe CBS is using flash as well. There are also firefox plugins that will do this as well.

Another site I often use is There are several sites like this where browser will do the work for you. You enter the url of the site you want to extract the video from and it does the rest.

One word of warning. Much video on the CBS is copyrighted so proceed with caution.

Windows can't read mac formatted drives

Hi Scotty,
I have been meaning to email you this follow-up question/problem....

You may recall we set up an Alias within MobileMe so that I could have my own personal account.   We have kept the account and the account working but I believe you set it up to have RR forward those emails to the account (can't remember how that was done ???).   The issue is with my iPhone.   I am getting all the messages to my phone for ALL email accounts, however, I cannot reply to them or initiate an email using my or the other account to send any from my phone.   The message I get states:  " Cannot Send Mail.  A copy has been placed in your Outbox.  The recipient “xxx” was rejected by the server because it does not allow relaying."   I have made sure the server on the phone is Mac.  I cannot determine how to solve the problem.  I eventually would like to be rid of my personal RR email address, but since I cannot even see the alias as an account on the MobileMe site, I am not sure it can yet be my sole email address.   I AM ABLE  to send mail by phone if I just change the From on the message to one of my RR accounts, but I need to do that for every message.   Thoughts?


Ok, if your phone is having a hard time sending out mail that means there’s an issue with the outgoing mail server. Good news for iPhone 4 and iOS 4 users. Apple has made it easy to turn on multiple outgoing servers on the phone so that if one server fails there are others to continue the task. Now, ATT has it’s own server. ( This server allows RR email to go out over ATT 3G network. Unfortunately ATT denies RR’s outgoing server to move mail when your phone is connected to the #G or Edge network. works perfectly fine on a wireless network but not on your cell network. Most likely what is happening is that your forwarded mail is coming in as from an RR address so when you respond it expects to travel on the rail. Therefore your email is being denied. I would turn on the outgoing server in your advanced outgoing server settings list.

That may help the situation.

It is also possible that RR’s forwarding has added an additional recipient which is basically a garbage email identity and that may be causing the issue as well. To answer your other question, we set up RR to forward all your RR POP email directly from’s settings under forwarding.
more info here:iPhone: What to do if you can't send or receive Mail

Time Capsule archive

Do u know any tricks if the mouse is frozen on a Mac laptop? Turned it on & off a bunch?

Well there are many reasons as to what’s going on. First you need to figure out if the mouse or the computer. Try another mouse to see if the issue is still there. If so, it’s the USB port. Try another USB port. If it’s still there, it may be the mouse. Try the mouse on a different computer. etc... It’s probably a very simple reason but knowing the answers to the previous troubleshooting steps will help us to move forward with diagnosing the actual problem.

The browser is "frozen" on home page. Won't move. Have cut off the computer and powered on, but still the 'arrow'/browser won't move.

We still need to know if the computer will respond via keyboard commands like command Q for quitting the application or command W for closing the window.  Not being in front of the computer, I can't determine if it's just a mouse problem or the entire computer is freezing up.  I would be very good to know the answers to the previous questions in the post concerning the mouse on another computer, other USB port etc...

Mouse and trackpad not working or by mouse, do you mean trackpad?

Deleting a user in Mac OS X

Hey Scotty, the weirdest thing is happening on my IMac right now.  It's not getting email but I do have an internet connection.  The laptop and phone are getting emails so it's just the desktop.  The icon for inbox has an exclamation point stating that the account is offline and when I try to get it online, it apparently doesn't work.  Any suggestions?  I know it must have to do with my settings, but even logging on to mobile me on that computer, I can get the mail via internet, just not in my actual inbox.  Any advice you have would be great.  Thanks!


So it sounds like for some reason, the incoming/outgoing server settings are incorrect but that would be pretty weird since it was probably working a few minutes ago. If this is a POP account we’re talking about then some POP email servers don’t like talking to more than one computer at a time. Still probably not the issue. Since mail is ok on the other computer then that really makes it sound like the issue is locally. It’s common to see a mail server go out for a few minutes then come right back on.

You can try to quit and restart mail. Sometimes that works. If the incoming/outgoing ports were changed then that would cause the issue as well. There are no standard ports universally. Each mail provider has their favorites. 110 is common among POP accounts. 25 is common for outgoing for both POP and IMAP. The list goes on. If the accounts are IMAP based, you can delete them then re add them without losing any info. POP doesn’t work the same way however.

If the issue persists, let me know and I’d be happy to come by if you need.

Tried all that and still no incoming mail on the desktop.  Unplugged it, reset the router and the modem.  Seems like a setting obviously.  Can you tell me where to look to see if it's correct?  I will also say the laptop keeps asking me if I want to sync or merge info since mobile me is doing something for the first time....makes no sense unless somehow it has to do with my iphone being new?

Hey one other thing, it seemed to happen when I was trying to send a video via email from my iphoto library.  It took a long time and timed out so I deleted it, but maybe it won't let anything in until that command is
completed?  How would I totally erase the command?  I already tried deleting it from the outbox.

Ah hah! That’s very likely the problem. Generally email can only handle about 10 megs of data transferred. MobileMe is rated for 20 megs of data transferred. It’s most likely that the video you sent was over that size and your email account is congested. Sounds silly but it happens. Try going to and find the offending email. That should do it. As far as the first question about syncing, it is possible to sync over the wire or wirelessly via the cloud. You may want to turn off wired syncing from the info tab in iTunes and leave only wireless syncing via the cloud. But overall, you may way to make a backup of both your address book and your ical then choose to merge data. That may place it back into equilibrium with all the computers currently syncing on your account.

Good USB hub...

What was the site you showed me. Something like "". It was a cloud version of several Microsoft products.


Yes, it was But you’ll need a facebook account to log in and use it. It’s microsoft’s first effort to move to cloud based word processing services. Google has been leading the way with google docs and Apple has played in the area but not seriously with

iPhoto dupicates (x2)

I have a question concerning my portable drive
When I connect it to a XP machine here in the office –I can only see the 300+MB part of the drive, I have installed the software for the drive and verified I have the right drivers installed for the hard drive.  Should I be able to see the larger partition on the drive if it was created on the MAC I run @ his home?   Right now I cannot

Since this drive is used for a backup program on the mac called "time machine" the Mac requires it to be formatted for the Mac.  It's a file type you will not be able to access on your windows machines.  While macs can read windows formatted drives like NTFS and FAT32, Windows can not read Mac formatted drives.  Unless you use a third party software like Mediafour | MacDrive. You could also network the drive via file sharing (requires 2 computers or airport extreme with USB port).

My kid is going to college. What computer to buy?

Also, this portable hard drive shows "video 09" on the screen. Is that supposed to mean something. Also, when I bring the HD to work for safekeeping, is there any way to view the contents, I was unable to last time (though I was able to ascertain that a lot was stored).
Thank you.


video 09 would be personal information.  Most likely that was drug over manually.  The computer did not put that there automatically.  You should be able to see the files within the TM backup.  You'll look inside a folder on the hard drive called backups.backupdb  You may first have to expand the image file.  Mac often compressed or packages large images.  Simply double click on the sparse image bundle and you should be able to see the data you're looking for.  It would most likely be in a series of folders related to days of the year as Time Machine backed up.  

Cracked screen on laptop

I want to delete a user on my machine but leave the apps. How do I do this?


To delete one user you’ll need another administrator user on the machine so first go to system prefs and to Accounts. Now create a “test” user or generic user and be sure to give it admin privileges by checking “allow user to administer computer”. Now log in as the new user and click once on the user to be deleted. Now select the minus button in the bottom left hand corner of that window. You’ll be prompted with three choices: to save the info in a disk image, leave the home folder in tact but remove the contents or to delete the user entirely. Select the 3rd option. Delete the user immediately. You won’t get this data back so proceed only if you are sure you want to get rid of that user.

By the way, I would suggest having a time machine backup of this data just in case you change your mind in one month.

Fastest ISP in Charlotte?

What was the usb port replicator that you reccomended to me the other night?

Thank you,


Dlink 7 port usb hub. D-Link DUB-H7 High Speed USB 2.0 7-Port Hub: Electronics

Dropbox stopped or is it time machine?

Hey Scotty, I just went into my iphoto and discovered a huge portion of my pictures are in quatro form - i.e.  there are now four copies of everything!  Why is this so, and how do I fix it without having to hand delete them all (which I'm trying to do but it's not really letting me).  Thanks,


Ugh. This could be a problem. Several things to try.

1. Rebuild the iPhoto database. Holding down the option and command keys, you’ll be presented with the screen below.

Check the first 4 then rebuild. There’s a small chance this may work. iPhoto not allowing you to make changes to your library may be a sign of a permissions issue. The “repair iphoto library file permissions” check box may take care of this. I would suggest just leave you computer alone during this process.

2. The second thing you can try is purchasing Brattoo Propaganda Software - Products. It’s very slow but usually does the job. If there are four of each version you may be required to run it several times.

Why is my computer hot?

Hi Scotty,

My daughter is heading out this fall to college. Her school supports PC's and MAC's. SO she wants to stick with a MAC. I have a Macbook Pro and she currently uses a IMac desktop. What laptop do you recommend for her? If you think it is adequate, I would rather go with the cheaper MacBook. However do you think the i5 technology is far superior to the 2 Duo? Nice but not necessary? Or foolish not to take advantage because the other will be obsolete before we know it?  

Also for back up for her at college, assuming she does not want to mess with time capsule etc... would a mobile me account provide that back up she will need? (Sorry I am still a verizon customer and am not really familiar with the mobile me accounts etc. since I do not have a iphone

Hope the full time gig is going well.


Congrats on sending the child to college! A day for which I dream. I standard macbook will be plenty. The more powerful Macbook Pro line has more ports and a faster graphics card, faster processor...but for general college work the entry macbook will be very good. She doesn’t need all the other stuff at this point in her computer life yet. The i5 vs. Core 2 Duo is also not a deal breaker either. You must keep in mind that kids in college often leave with a beautiful computer and come back with a destroyed one. So I would think twice before you invest even more money into a nicer computer. Dorm rooms are not nice to computers.

Backup is absolutely essential. While she doesn’t need a dedicated wireless router with a backup drive (Time Capsule) she does need a backup strategy. I recommend she get a seperate hard drive and connect it every day or so. All macs have a program called Time Machine that will do a great job of saving her data in case of an emergency. You could also consider a cloud based service like Mozey or Carbonite but generally I’d rather have it in my hands. There are also limitations to those services. I prefer a good old fashioned external drive. Now the drawback to this is that if there was a theft in the dorm room, then she could lose both the computer and the back up. So in a perfect world you’d want 2 drives. One that lives in the room and another that only comes in to the room every couple of months or so. MobileMe is not the solution for online backup. So I can’t really recommend that service for that need. It’s really more for syncing contacts, calendars, creating web pages, etc... Not for storing large amounts of data.

It does come with 20 gigs of offsite storage although data would have to be manually added to the mobileme cloud storage called “iDisk”. Overall, however, it’s very slow. So I really prefer a local good old fashioned hard drive. (or two)

User has large home with main basestation in the far corner room of the home

Quick question. I dropped my 15" MacBook pro and cracked left hand side of screen. Took to apple store they just quoted me $1240- to repair yesterday.  I can buy a new 13" MacBook pro for that much.  

Guy at apple store said it may be worth my while to find an apple certified repair center (not using apple) and try to get a component repair rather than a unit repair which is what I think the apple store guy told me.

Do you know of any reputable apple certified repair centers?  Thanks


My son broke his laptop.  A microphone fell on it and broke the screen.
Is there any help?


I do get this question quite a bit. While I can do the repair on the lcd screen, due to the time involved in the repair and the cost of parts, I prefer to refer clients out to other companies that specialize in that service. TechRestore - MacBook Pro Unibody Free Repair Diagnosis | LCD and Glass Screen Repair | Hard Drive and SuperDrive Repair is a reputable company and will send you a box overnight if you wish. The cost should come in less than what apple quoted.

In a related issue, liquid spills are also very common. Micro Replay has contacted me but I’ve yet to have anyone to use them. I would be interested in feedback for their services as well. Apple : MicroReplay

Do I sell used computers?

Do you know the fastest internet available in Charlotte?


 I would have to say that Road Runner (time warner cable) is still at the top.  Followed closely by ATT's Uverse.  Windstream is horrible.  Don't use them.

User wants to upgrade his Macbook Pro

My dropbox has not updated since June 11th.  Does that make sense?  Isn't that the back-up for the files I have on it?


I think you may be confusing time machine with dropbox. Both have icons in the menu bar.

Dropbox is the blue box with a checkbox on it. If the check is green then all is ok with dropbox’s syncing to the cloud. Time machine is the clock with the counterclockwise arrow. That is what I’m guessing is the issue. If this is the case then you will want to check your backup drive. (a hard drive connected to your computer). It may be powered off or may have failed. If you feel sure that drop box is what is the matter then we can take steps to remedy that. Just want to check time machine before we go down that road.

User likes iBank

Hey Scotty,
Hope you are well!
My Macbook Pro is really getting hot and I suspect is making the ball spin.
I read online that Leopard Snow has caused this issue.
Should I remove Snow???


I doubt that it’s Snow Leopard. There may be background processes that are running that you don’t know about. You can view what’s happening through a program you already have on your computer called “activity monitor”. Select to view all processes. It will show you what’s running as well as how much processor power each process is taking as well.

Many of these processes are absolutely necessary so don’t panic.

I recommend a piece of software called istat menu. It pulls info from activity monitor and posts it directly in your menu bar. Very usual to figure out what is running. Also monitors the temperature sensors inside your computer as well.

Internal Bluetooth module on Mac Pro?

Essentially cannot get on net to open a site or even send an email from playroom or kitchen from  iPhone or iPad at same time. Get messages like "server cannot be found or stopped responding"


We can try setting each device to the same specific radio channel instead of "automatic mode".  Automatic mode means that if the device encounters interference in one part of the 2.4ghz spectrum it will adjust up or down within the 2.4 range allowed by the FCC.  Currently there are 11 different frequencies allowed in the US.  If we choose one specifically, that may help to maintain the signal.

It's also possible that one of your expresses is faulty.  (unlikely but possible).  I suspect the one currently in the Den location.  I'll have an extra one with me tomorrow to prove/disprove that theory.  

Another thought may be to choose to go all N instead of continuing to support b/g networking.  iPads, iPhone 4's, and all other modern Macs within the last 2 years support N.  The iPhone 3GS does not so that would knock off any 3GS's of the home network but I don't think you're using one of those.  By dismissing the b and g range, that will allow N to function more efficiently.  

We may also want to initialize interference robustness.  This feature (found on the extreme base stations) allows for the signal to be more focused than spread out.  Much like selecting a specific frequency of the 2.4 range.  

I've already enabled the 5ghz range but I don't believe expresses support 5ghz currently so that signal is only being emitted from the dual band router in the far room.  

So there are several things to consider as I go forward on trying to bring the stability of your network up to your expectations.  

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