Quickbitz – CleanApp, Netgear DGN2000 + Airport Extreme, Camera Tip

CleanApp

CleanApp

A while back I did a little review of an uninstaller called CleanApp by Synium Software. One of its main strengths was that it goes into a lot more depth than other uninstallers because it can track what files a particular application is using. However, I spotted that this could also be a drawback in the wrong hands as it was all to easy to blast a file that was needed by other apps. Synium have now fixed this and have made a great app even better. CleanApp can now detect if a file is used by other apps and if so will ‘uncheck’ it on the list of files to delete and tag it with a little icon to show that it’s needed elsewhere. They’re definitely on to a winner with that feature.

So on to routers and my ageing D-Link G624M ‘MIMO’ wireless router was beginning to struggle. Seems every time it had to handle large numbers of connections, as one might experience with BitTorrent, the router would simply disconnect after a few minutes, and recycling the power was the only way to get it back online. I was loathed to replace it though, because it worked fine with my Mac Mini, XBox 360 and work laptop. However it started to disconnect more frequently and so I eventually plumped for a new Netgear DGN2000 Draft-N job. I have to say my fears about switching were unfounded and the Netgear works brilliantly with everything. What’s more, I also have an Airport Extreme (Dual Band) daisy-chained off the Netgear (seeing as the Airport has no way of connecting directly to my ADSL line). Once I discovered the correct setting on the Netgear, the Airport Extreme worked perfectly with it. On the Netgear you should go to the LAN Setup page and set RIP Direction to ‘Both’ and set RIP Version to ‘Rip-1’… job done.

Netgear DGN2000

Netgear DGN2000

Oh and another thing – I bought a Razer eXtremeMat mouse mat a little while back, but after only a short while I decided I didn’t like it. Now this mouse mat has two different surfaces (one for speed and one for accuracy) and is made of aluminium. However, I found that placing it under my D-Link G624M wireless router, it actually IMPROVED the signal!? (That’s as measured by Air Radar on a MacBook in the lounge, and also by the XBox 360). However, the complete opposite is true for the Netgear router. When sitting on the aluminium mouse mat the signal strength was 67%, but removing the mat boosted the signal to 78%. How weird is that?

And finally… I wrote a tip a while back about how to prevent iPhoto loading every time you plug your iPhone into your Mac, while still being able to load iPhoto for your camera. Well now there’s an even better solution. It a little freeware utility called Cameras by Flexibits. It installs as a Pref Pane and lets you easily control what happens when you plug in any device that has photos on it, and that includes card readers. I strongly recommend you check it out – I’ve ditched my little Automator Action in favour of cameras and haven’t looked back since. If you want a good review of exactly what Cameras does, then check out the MacWorld review.

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Stop iPhoto loading when your iPhone is connected

I have a Canon digital camera and an iPhone 3G, and while the iPhone can take reasonable pictures (that look best when they stay on the iPhone), I tend not to use it much for photography. So every once in a while I connect my camera to my Mac Pro and up pops iPhoto ready to transfer my new images. Great, that’s just the way I want it. However, every day I connect my iPhone to the Mac, usually just to charge it or sync some application or music… up pops iPhoto and I have to wait for it to scan whatever images are on the phone before I can dismiss it, and I have to say it bugs me somewhat.

Automator

Automator

Now if you Google for a solution to this little irritation you’ll find slick scripts that, if you find out what name your Mac recognizes your camera by, can automatically launch (or not launch) iPhoto as required. I went for the easier option which was to create a simple Automator Action to take some of the frustration away. It’s not a complete solution, but it does save you having to wait for iPhoto to do its thing every time you plug in your iPhone.

So, open Automator from your Applications folder and choose to create a Custom workflow. From the Library list choose Utilities then drag the Ask for Confirmation action across to your workflow. Give the action a suitable title, then enter some text for the prompt that will appear – in my case I simply entered “Do you wish to open iPhoto for this device?”. Finally, give the two prompt buttons a description – I labelled the button on the left “No thanks!” and the button on the right “Launch iPhoto”.

The next step is to select the Launch Application action and drag that to your workflow underneath the Ask for Confirmation action. Use the picklist on the Launch Application action to choose iPhoto. That’s it, all you have to do now is to save your actions as an Application, so just choose File – Save As then give it a meaningful name like ‘iPhone_iPhoto’, choose the format ‘Application’ (rather than Workflow) and save it. I have an Automator Actions folder in my Documents folder where I save all my workflows.

The final thing is to attach your new ‘iPhone_iPhoto’ application to the Image Capture utility that detects cameras attached to your Mac.

Image Capture

Image Capture

So, open up your Applications folder and launch the Image Capture utility. Go to the preferences for Image Capture and for the application to be launched when a camera is detected use the picklist to choose your new application.

That’s it. Next time you connect your iPhone you’ll just see a prompt asking if you want to launch iPhoto and you can quickly dismiss it if you don’t want to, saving a few precious seconds to waste on something else!

It’s not the perfect solution, but it takes just a couple of minutes to set up and gives you a really good idea of just how useful Automator Actions can be.

So, do you wanna?

So, do you wanna?