Where Have I Gone?

May 25, 2012 · Posted in RC · Comment 

I haven’t been here in a while. The site is quite dusty.  It’s very quiet here.  Why?   Because I’ve been spending most of my free time playing (with my two boys)!  I have long been an RC addict, and now my oldest (who is 6) has all developed a lot of interest in this hobby.  Now we spend evenings and weekends out driving our trucks, finding different off road places, building ramps, racing around tracks, and breaking them…a lot.  We have a blast. I decided to turn our adventures into a YouTube channel.  If you want to see more about what we do, go there!  Thanks Shannon






Good for Enterprise…But Might Not Be So Good For Me

September 1, 2011 · Posted in Android, Tech · 2 Comments 

Before last month, I’d never even heard of Good for Enterprise, or even the Good Technology company.  I work for a large financial services company that is very security conscious and micro manages the where and how its employees access email, calendars, and other content.  There is no such thing as accessing my work email through a webmail interface, or through an email program on my home computer, or smartphone.  Fortunately, they provide me a Blackberry for my job.  Yea, I said Blackberry.  You know, it’s that company once on top of the enterprise mobility world, that is now dropping like rock.

Android is tops in the U.S. mobile space.

Last month, a co-worker informed me of plans to offer Good for Enterprise, Read more

Activate iPhone without an iTunes Account

February 9, 2011 · Posted in Apple, iPhone, Tech · 1 Comment 

Anyone who has an iPhone, likely remembers the activation process in iTunes, which asks for an iTunes account, etc.  This is generally not an issue for most people, as the phone they are activating will be associated with that account, to sync content.  In some situations, this activation method doesn’t work well.  I ran into it the other day.  A small company I do some work for decided to supply several employees with iPhones, and needed them all activated, as most of these employees work remotely.

I started out doing the usual thing with iTunes, and then remembered the iTunes account part.  The problem is, I didn’t have all their iTunes accounts, and I wasn’t going to use mine. :)  I then wondered how this is done in bigger companies, who may have to activate many iPhones in a short period, or what Apple stores do when they swap out a broken phone.

Enter the iPhone Enterprise Deployment Guide.

This guide contains all sorts of information related to using iPhones in large organizations.  For me, the piece of interest starts on Page 59.  Assuming you have iTunes installed, you can change iTunes into an Activation Only mode, which quickly and easily activates any iPhone you connect, without needing any account information.

On Windows:

1    Make sure iTunes isn’t running, and then open a Command Prompt window.

2    Enter a command:

  • To turn activation-only mode on: “C:Program FilesiTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt StoreActivationMode 1
  • To turn activation-only mode off: “C:Program FilesiTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt StoreActivationMode 0

On Mac:

1    Make sure iTunes isn’t running, and then open Terminal.

2    In Terminal, enter a command:

  • To turn activation-only mode on: defaults write com.apple.iTunes StoreActivationMode -integer 1
  • To turn activation-only mode off: defaults delete com.apple.iTunes StoreActivationMode

The process (once you enable activation-only mode):

If you’re activating an iPhone, insert an activated SIM card. Use the SIM eject tool, or a straightened paper clip, to eject the SIM tray. See the iPhone User Guide for details.
Connect iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to the computer. The computer must be connected to the Internet to activate the device.
iTunes opens, if necessary, and activates the device. A message appears when the device is successfully activated.

Disconnect the device.
You can immediately connect and activate additional devices. iTunes won’t sync with any device while activation-only mode is on, so don’t forget to turn activation-only mode off if you plan on using iTunes to sync devices.

It’s that easy.  I am really glad Apple has this built-in solution.

Ubuntu faster than Windows 7? Not So Much

December 13, 2010 · Posted in Tech · 2 Comments 

If you’ve ever listened to the debates of whether Linux of Windows is faster on equivalent hardware, you’ve probably heard Linux fans claim Linux is lighter weight, and faster, than its Windows counterpart.  While this might be true in servers (and may have been true on the desktop previously), this time around, I am not seeing the difference.  Frankly, Windows seems to run better. Here is what I used to compare, and the approach I took:

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Exchange 2010 Free SSL

November 24, 2010 · Posted in Exchange, Tech · Comment 

If you run your own exchange server for a small organization, or just for fun, you already know about the the double edged sword of SSL. You can generate your own SSL certificate just fine, which secures communication, but when you try to authenticate to your server from other locations, you run into the SSL security warnings that popup in browsers these days. While you can tell your user to to add an exception, or ignore the error, it would be much better to just not have it!

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Christmas Tree 2010 – Stop Motion

November 21, 2010 · Posted in Lifestyle, Media · Comment 

Christmas Tree 2010 from Shannon McMahon on Vimeo.

Backup Windows 2008 File Server in the Cloud

November 14, 2010 · Posted in Tech · Comment 

I have searching for a means of backing up our important files remotely.  Unfortunately, most of the solutions up to this point are fairly expensive, especially when you are backing up from a server, in this case Windows 2008R2.  The inexpensive solutions from Mozy and Carbonite only work on client operating systems, and only backup files on the internal drive (no support for network or USB drives). The Pro versions cost about $54/mo in Mozy Pro, or $75/mo with Carbonite for my data.

Recently, I started looking for a solution again.   Read more

Apple’s AirPrint Works Perfectly

November 11, 2010 · Posted in Apple, Tech · Comment 

The moment I heard the news of Apple’s plans to include printing, native to IOS 4.2, I was thrilled.  It’s about time I can print easily from my iPad and iPhone.  Unfortunately, they didn’t release it that day.

Recently, I was able to install the GM or “Gold Master” of iOS4.2 on my iPad and iPhone.  Interested in using AirPrint, I looked into which printers were known to support it. Read more

Running OS X on RAID O for more speed

November 7, 2010 · Posted in Apple, Tech · Comment 

I was reloading Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) on my Mac Pro, and started thinking about things that could enhance the performance of Photoshop CS4.  I had previously setup a RAID 0 (Striping) on non-boot drives, where I temporarily put photos to work on them, which definitely had helped performance.  I wondered if striping my boot drives would noticeably help during editing, and it did. It also significantly improved the load time of all applications, and generally made the system a bit more snappy.  The result was better than I thought it might be.

Below is the process I used for getting OS X Running on a RAID 0 stripe.

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How Fast is Fast Enough?

October 17, 2010 · Posted in Apple, Lifestyle, Tech · 2 Comments 


No, I am not talking about a race car or anything, just computers.  I often wonder how much portable computing power I need while sitting on my couch, after a long day at work.  I am notorious for having the latest and greatest gadgets, and in some cases I still do.

I often have others ask me advice on what laptop they should buy, and my first question is usually, “what are you planning to do with it?”.  I decided to ask myself that question.

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