December 20, 2009

Apple USB Modem is Discontinued?

I know that everyone should have broadband networkconnection but discontinuing Apple USB Modem, a  $49 item that could be so essential for a traveler or rural resident seems short-sighted and annoying. They don't even offer a choice for any modem in the Apple Store anymore.

Sorry for all the links, I'm experimenting with the new Amazon Associates/ integration for bloggers.

December 04, 2009

Clean Install Windows 7 from an Upgrade Disc

I was fully ready to "upgrade" from an old copy of Windows XP Professional to Windows 7 today when I found out the XP or Vista license isn't really required.

Using a Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade disc I re-formatted the Bootcamp partition on my MacBook and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7. All went well until it restarted and asked for my product key. I entered it but it refused to use the code stating that it was not "valid."

I knew it was a valid key so I called Microsoft support toll free (866-234-6020) and reached a very helpful individual working in the call center in India. He spoke English very well and was very helpful. He inquired about the circumstances and I told him all that I had done. Apparently, the product key will not work from an upgrade disc on a "clean install" without some help from Microsoft. He instructed me to remove the product key from the field and proceed without it.

Once the computer restarted again he had me run a program called msdt. You can find it by entering it in the search box in the Start Menu and pressing Enter. It asks for a passkey from the support personnel. I entered it and Windows activated and the installation was need of the XP product key. I asked about entering the XP key and he indicated it would not be needed. I asked about replicating the process later if need be and he indicated that the passkey he gave me should work if the hardware was the same. However, he said they would gladly re-issue the passkey if needed.

So, do you want to install Windows 7 on a budget? Buy the upgrade disc and call support. I'm assuming the Microsoft is just glad I paid for a couldn't be that much trouble to program in a request for the XP product key, could it?

October 13, 2009

Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint will crash if your saving path is too long

One of my clients kept having problems with Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac crashing when he was using copy/paste functions. Nothing we did seemed to fix it and we could not find any info. about the problem on the net.

After upgrading to Office 2008 we were hoping for better performance but it immediately began crashing when saving. Not every time but often. We have worked on this issue for quite awhile and finally discovered that if we moved the file that crashed to the Desktop it did not crash.

That led us to looking at the enclosing folder more carefully. We finally discovered that the path to the document was quite long, over 300 characters. If we shortened the path below 256 it would save. If not it crashed.

Mystery solved but my client (because his folder structure is huge and well thought out) has to move working documents to the Desktop then manually move them back into his archives.

I tested Apple's Pages (an older version) and Sun's OpenOffice. Neither of these programs had the issue.

One other point on Office 2008 for Home and Students. Entourage no longer supports Exchange servers. But you can run the old Entourage if you don't delete it during the 2008 install process.

Snow Leopard 10.6 has a Problem!

That could be serious. If you have Guest access allowed on your Mac and you update to Snow Leopard you could ***lose access to your own data***! It happens when some uses the Guest login.

If you do have Guest access enabled:
-Backup up everything now
-Turn off Guest access ( It is in the System Preferences in the Accounts area )
-Use a limited user account for guests

See this page for more info:;title

Call me if you have questions.

August 04, 2009


Gandy_2006-0926_0016_WEB, originally uploaded by sgandy.

Just entered this in CNET's Indecent Exposure podcast's weekly contest. The theme was BLUE.;overviewHead


Gandy_2009-0420_0535-2_COMBO_WEB, originally uploaded by sgandy.

This was done using the blend-if mode of combining exposures. I have been playing with it, using a blurred mask, and the HDR functions in Photoshop on images. It appears that the method depends totally on the image.

June 20, 2009

iPhone 3.0

The newest update to iPhone software is out and it is worth the effort for sure. Go get it. But...

I'm pretty much underwhelmed..
-syncing notes - about time, should have been in 1.0
-copy/paste - about time, should have been in 2.0
-voice memos - nice but aren't there a bunch of those already?
-some other stuff doesn't work on my original iPhone

Universal search is nice and again wasn’t it expected in 2.0? The version of search they put into the address book then was pretty lame.

Don’t get me wrong the iPhone is the best cell phone I’ve had but the hype is amazing.

April 25, 2009

Water Photos

Test of the site
This looks pretty good. Note the logos and messages that are inserted for a non-paid account.

April 14, 2009

Press Release: Canvastic Supports the Stimulus Package with Large Discounts

Lafayette, CO April 14, 2009 – Canvastic LLC announces support for the educational technology funding included in the nation’s current stimulus legislation. Canvastic will apply a 50% discount to any purchases made, in any part, with the stimulus package funding. According to eSchool News, April 2009, the stimulus funding is being delivered to school districts nationwide this month. IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) will receive $12.5 billion. EETT (Enhancing Education Through Technology) will receive $270 million. There is other money included for education in the bill however Canvastic is educational software that uniquely supports the vision behind these two specific initiatives.

IDEA is all about supporting individuals with disabilities. Students with different needs require tools that are flexible and adaptive. Canvastic was designed from the ground up to support the idea of Universal Design as an assistive tool in the area of the school publishing process. That is, it can be configured to work with students at all levels of abilities from a pre-school level to advanced. Called “Grows with the user”, this is the signature feature Canvastic. Students and teachers from pre-K to grade 12 use it in an unlimited number of configurations.

EETT is all about integrating 21st century technical tools into educational activities and learning styles today. Technology of all types can enhance any learning process but it is especially well suited for writing, presenting, illustrating, and documenting that learning. Too often our children are forced to use 20th or even 19th century tools in the creation process in school. The stimulus funding could be the catapult for creating a new paradigm in creative activities at school. Canvastic is a publishing powerhouse for students. Learners use it to write, draw, present, and publish. They incorporate images, photographs, and audio into authentic modern documents that enhance and support the learning journey. Content created is printed, posted online, and experienced as multi-media presentations.

The 50% discount on any purchases made, in any part, with the stimulus package funding translates into a school being able to install it on every computer for less than $500. The cost to license it for the school and the students’ homes is less than $1000. States, districts, and other educational support organizations are welcome to apply.

Steve Gandy, a Canvastic LLC, principal said, “We are very pleased to announce this program. Many, many schools have no idea that there are other choices for publishing with their students. They gave up looking years ago because the powers that be never really adapted the toy-like applications for real school use. Schools that are going to use this funding to change how technology is used in the classroom will need tools like Canvastic to do it. Ubiquitous computing is coming to our students and I don’t believe that we want them publishing with office suites designed for business or toys created for entertainment.”

The application process for this funding is simple and quick. Contact Canvastic LLC for details.
Canvastic LLC
12635 Flagg Drive
Suite 101
Lafayette, CO 80026

Canvastic is the graphics and text publishing software for students and teachers in K-8. It features a clear on-screen display making it easy to use for everyone. It can be customized for users of different ages. It really grows with the user. Canvastic is a real tool for school, not a toy. There are no time wasting features or excessive options. You can download a demonstration copy at Canvastic also hosts the new Canvastic DOT NET, a free, online version that requires no installation.

About Canvastic LLC
Canvastic LLC is the coming together of two companies to develop and market the software Canvastic. FlatTop Technology, Inc. ( ) builds custom software applications for businesses in a wide variety of industries and was the lead technical developer of the Canvastic software. TeachTech Inc. ( ) is a consulting firm founded by Steve Gandy.Full product information is available at:


Kaua'i Photos are posted

New photos from the Kaua'i trip are posted:

February 01, 2009

Obama uses the drives I recommend...

It was interesting to stumble upon this photo of President Obama with some of his technology. Note the Mac and the backup drives. The drives appear to be the Mercury On-The-Go drives from Other World Computing that I have recommended for years.

January 24, 2009

Drop In Digital Photo Class at Mojo Coffeehouse

Thanks to everyone that came by. I really had a great time and hope you did too. We may have enough for the class on Feb 21 or Mar 21. Be sure to let me know soon if interested.

Here are a few links the books we were referring to, just about everything by Peterson is good.

Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure
Bryan Peterson's Learning to See Creatively
Bryan Peterson's Understanding Shutter Speed

I'll add more later.

My links:

January 13, 2009

Picasa for Mac!

Hey, Google has posted a beta of the photo processing program for Mac. Try it out. I routinely use it with my beginner Windows clientst but it may challenge iPhoto for Mac users. We'll see. One nice feature is the ability to post to your blog directly from the program. I prepared this posting with that feature, note the little Picasa icon at the bottom.
Posted by Picasa