schmenzer speaks!

Using the Digital Out on the Powermac G5

I’ve been running M-Audio Studiophile SP-5B near-field monitors for a while on a couple of different Macs. My B&W G3 was playing iTunes for several months through them and, periodically I used them with the TiBook as well. In both instances I was using the Xitel HiFi-Link Pro via USB and thought the performance was pretty good. The set up I used here was RCA out of the HiFi Link to a 1/4″ adapter to plug in to the M-Audios. There were a few issues but no real bugs plus noticibly better sound than using the headphone out jack.

With the recent purchase of a G5, and the availabity of the digital out port, along with a bug that would not let me route Garageband through the HiFi Link, I decieded to get a real DAC (digital/analog converter) to take the optical sound output and convert it for the best input on my SP-5Bs, XLR, baby! I picked up a M Audio Super DAC 2496 from Amazon and got it hooked up.

Shazam! There is a noticible difference in the quality even with iTunes but real CDs and DVDs are just killer! Two thumbs up!

I also use Detour to help route sound to different outputs. This worked great with the USB set up. I could pass system and non essential program sounds through the built-in output and route the good stuff through the SP-5Bs. On the new setup the digital out is counted as built-in audio so I can’t run system sounds through the little built-in speaker in the G5. The sounds come through the SP-5Bs. I can still route the system sounds to USB though so If I get a little USB speaker setup that may be the ticket.
Whatever, going with this digital out setup is too cool!

Using Firefox on the Mac to Manage WordPress

I like the quicktags that are available in Firefox. They make using a Mac to update this WordPress powered blog very nice.

Normally I still surf with Safari and have been happy with the 1.3 update. It seems faster and the main reason I use it is the decent support for several online financial sites I use as well as being able to synch, through .Mac, with my other Macs. I wish we would get an update that would allow use of formatting tools in blog windows for Safari though.

Alonso and Renault Are on a Tear!

Fernando Alonso won his third straight F1 event this past weekend. This was a great race because, finally, Michael Schumacher was on the attack and was hounding Fernando for many laps. It was really gratifying to see that Renault has what it takes to hold off the Prancing Pony! Too bad Fisichella had bad luck and had an off which took him out early.

McLaren again looked good with Kimi on the pole but relibility took him out early.

Now, we just need to get Williams/BMW to help Webber and Heidfeld to step up to the plate and we should have a really exciting season.

Lots of Bagels From Bruegger’s

Wendy went to get a baker’s dozen on Sunday because she had a coupon and we like Bruegger’s.

She came home after Sydney’s gymnastics class with a big bag and a couple of tubs of cream cheese. Yummy! Wait, what’s this? All the Bagel’s are “everything”. Not bad for me but both Syd and Wendy like different flavors. Plus, I had put in a request for a couple of “sundried tomato”. Looks like the bag was switched with another customer.

Wendy went back and they were expecting her. After redoing her original order. we go to keep the extra 13 “everything” bagels so we are set for a couple of days!

Additions to the web site

I added a couple of new stories to recently.

Allan sent in a nice story and some pix about a NoCal slope soaring site about 60 miles North of San Fran, near the Russian River outlet.

I posted a bit about the first flight of my Airtech Fitness.

Finally I added some pix of Mirko’s new Wizard BPV. Didn’t get to fly it on this day but the plane sure looks great!

Keep your eyes peeled. I have a couple more stories in the cue.

More on the Email Schedule Change

Well, a minor bug-a-boo with my auto schedule. I had to go through and change some authentication settings because they would time out if I don’t check every hour. No biggie.

So far the 3 hour schedule seems to be working. If I am not busy I just goose it otherwise it doesn’t distract me as much. Maybe I should go for 4 hours!

iPod Photo 40GB

I recently got a 40GB iPod Photo to replace my aging Gen 1 5GB model. I bought it when the new iPhotos came out for a good price. Now the 30GB and new 60GB are the available iPod Photo models. So far I am happy with the new unit. It has allowed me to take my whole music library with me, given me the space to load in some Podcasts, let me load in a gallery of my daughter to have with me and still have 20GB of free space for files.

My real justification for the purchase was to load pix from my Nikon D100 on it when I am in the field. Sure hope the new camera link from Apple works with the D100! According to the KB article at Apple the test outlined there says it will. When I clicked Device Options in Image Capture the D100 says “mass” so it seems like it should. I’ll let you know when I get the connector.

How Frequently to Check Email

I am sure there has been a ton of discussion on the topic of how often to check email. At present I have 19 email accounts that have some activity. 7 of them I need to use daily. I had Entourage set to check every 45 minutes thinking I’d really like to get back to people in a timely manner. If you talk to folks I communicate with you’d know that isn’t always true!

Today I reset the scheduler to 3 hours. I doubt this will make any difference in how quickly I get back to folks and it will mean that I don’t have to be distracted every 45 minutes to spend 15 minutes doing emails. Then another 15 getting back into whatever project I was working on.

My plan is to check once when I start in the AM then let the scheduler do its thing throughout the day and hope that this makes me a bit more productive since I won’t get distracted so often.

Contrails Suck!

Just got done with a trip to Kansas. The middle, dead center of Kansas. No one around for miles. Except for 200 or 300 people every few minutes cruising 7 miles above my beautiful sunset. Where in the US can a guy go to find a nice sky sans contrails? I’ll bet, besides 9/11 and the day or two afterward, there are very few spots in the continental US where this is possible. Well, it was a great sunset anyway and I shot a few photos of it despite the intrusion of the man-made clouds.

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