Mac OS X Tip – Save To Folder Path

It is sometimes frustrating having to navigate through Mac OS folders in Finders especially if you know exactly what folder to go to. The simplicity of the Mac OS X interface sometimes takes away some conveniences enjoyed by power users. In Windows I often save a file to a desired location by doing a “File Save As”, then pasting the full path of the save-to folder location to avoid having to browse for the folder.

I will show at the end of this post how to do the same in Mac OS X, a feature I found by searching the web. But first, I will show how to get folder paths in Mac OS X and quickly navigate in Finder using these paths. Folder paths if Finder are disabled by default.

Quick Folder Navigation in Finder
Step 1.

To show folder paths in Finder, open Finder and select View > Show Path Bar

The folder path is now displayed at the bottom of your Finder window.

You can navigate to specific folders within this path simply by clicking on the folder name at the bottom of the Finder window.

Step 2.

To get the full path of a folder, simply right click on the folder within Finder (or Control + Left Click), and select Get Info

Step 3.

Once the Get Info window opens up, highlight the folder path and copy it either by doing a Command + C, right clicking and selecting Copy, or Control + Left Click (so many options, I know…but I am sure you are familiar with one or more of them 🙂 )

Step 4.

With the folder path copied in your clipboard, have a Finder window open and use Command + Shift + G to bring up the “Go to the folder:” window. Paste in your folder path and click Go or hit Enter to navigate to your desired location.

File Save as to File Path

To save a file to a desired location, I often would have to navigate through folders in Finder to my desired save to location. This is a tedious process when dealing with multiple files or saving to a sub folder in an obscure location.

Step 1.

After selecting File > Save As from whatever application you are using, a Finder window pops up. This often has your last save to location, which may not be the location you want to save the file to.

With this window open, do a Command + Shift + G, which will bring up the “Go to the folder:” window.

Step 2.

Paste in your folder path and click Go or hit Enter to navigate to your desired location.

You will now be at your desired save to location allowing you to save the file without having to painstakingly navigate from one folder to the next.

I hope this is helpful to my fellow Mac users. Thanks!

Network Setup for UMA Calling

After getting the Blackberry Bold 2 (9700) on T-Mobile I was anxious to try out the UMA voice feature. My WIFI network at the house consists of apple devices, the airport extreme and express. After struggling to get a UMA connection working on my existing network, I found out from several web postings that there are compatibility issues between apple wireless network devices and UMA connections. There could be a solution as of this blog post but I gave up looking for one.

I also found out that T-Mobile was giving away a D-Link wireless router model # TM-G240 at their stores for 1 cent. This router is one of their recommended devices for UMA calling. I picked one up and tried to figure out how to integrate it into our home network.

Our home network consists of dual WAN connections, a DSL line and a Cable line. We have this set up for redundancy and load balancing. I use a Xincom dual WAN router to take in both the DSL and Cable connections and feed the local network consisting of a mix of wired and wireless devices.

Here is a scratch diagram of the current network setup. (I apologize, I do not have MS Visio or any other tools to create visually appealing diagrams at the time of this post)

Current Network Setup

Current Network Setup
Current Network Setup

I tried creating a separate wireless network with the new D-Link router from T-Mobile within my LAN but was still not able to establish a UMA connection. I was able to connect to the Blackberry Infrastructure and the device showed a UMA network was available however not connected. The following error code was displayed.

W006.1 – ISP or T-Mobile network error.

To view the UMA connection status, perform the following steps on your bold 2 device

Manage Connections > Wi-FI Options > Select Connection > Wi-Fi Tools > WI-Fi Diagnosis

A quick search on Google showed what the different error codes mean.
http://www.blackberryfaq.com/index.php/Wifi_/_UMA_Error_Codes

I knew that the likely culprit would be my IPSec settings on my gateway device, the Xincom router. If you have ever tried changing settings on this device you know how complicated it can get and there is not much manufacturer or forum support out there. It is a very robust device though. I tried making a few changes to no avail and did not want to change additional settings and break something else so I considered an alternate way of connecting the D-Link router and still maintain dual WAN connectivity for most of my network.

I moved the D-Link router from behind the Xicom device to right after the DSL modem and used the D-Link to establish the PPPOE connection, provide a secondary Wi-Fi connection and provide a LAN IP address which serves as the main IP for the secondary WAN connection on the Xincom device. Using this set up, the Blackberry devices with UMA can connect to the new Wi-Fi network and by being directly connected to the internet, the D-Link wireless router was then able to allow UMA calling.

Having successfully set up the UMA calling with a router connected to the internet, I begun to question the apple wireless compatibility issues. When I get time I will try and connect the both the apple devices directly to the internet, bypassing the Xincom router and see if that set up works.

New Network Setup

New Network Setup
New Network Setup

Blackberry UMA International Calling

I figured the trip to South Africa would be a good test of UMA calling on the blackberry in an international setting. I set up a wireless network connected to a DSL 256/512 connection. As soon as I connected to the WiFI network with the blackberry the UMA symbol popped up.

I disabled the carrier wireless network just to be certain that I would not be roaming and made a few test calls on UMA. The call quality was surprisingly good. I made a few changes enabling Quality of Service for the UMA ports – TCP 500 and 4500. I selected this ports per this RIM document
http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=KB13922

I am not sure if the QOS settings will make a difference or not.

Since South Africa is currently 7 hours ahead of the US, internet speeds are decent when the US is asleep. As soon as the US wakes up, the internet speed slows down significantly. The UMA voice quality also degrades when US internet usage begins in the morning US hours.

So far I am very satisfied with the service. I did make a mistake and pay the $9.99 with T-Mobile for UMA / WiFi calling when I did not need to. I am on the unlimited voice plan so using UMA voice has no affect on my minutes used. The $9.99 add-on is only for people with restricted minute plans, who want to use UMA / WiFi calling without burning the minutes on their plan.

The culture shift : accountability

Ok, after reading my last posting – I realized I really was on a rant! Then again, what do you expect when you post something in the middle of the night? I figure this is the beginning of a series of posts for me about shifting culture using SharePoint.

One of my pet peeves is lack of accountability. Far too often people are able to avoid responsibility by passing blame or hiding behind confusion. Often when a task requires multiple people in different steps, it’s very easy for someone to simply delay or not deliver their tasks on time thereby slowing down the entire process. Using the task list combined with workflows in SharePoint is very effective in addressing this. It provides the following features:

1 – Clear assignment of responsibilities

By using the task list, you can clearly assign tasks to team members. This creates a clear assignment of tasks with associated due dates. Combining this makes it very easy for team members to understand what their responsibilities are.

2 – Transparency

This provides a very transparent way to display responsibilities. Team members can all browse the team site tasks lists to see who has been assigned work. This also promotes a sense of fairness as if there is some biased way that work is being assigned, there is a record of it.

3 – Record keeping

As a project manager it’s difficult to keep track of what everyone is doing. by using the task list, as long as you remember to use it when you assign tasks, you will always have a record. This eliminates the human error factor of memory loss 🙂

4 – Helping to teach time organization

Not everyone is great at prioritizing their work. I advise my teams to use the due dates of work as a way to determine what needs to be done first. I consider this to be passive reinforcement but it can be useful and perhaps less confrontational than showing someone exactly how to manage their time. Let’s not forget those pesky daily email reminders when your tasks are overdue. I prefer to let staff see those than have to constantly chase someone down.

5 – Supporting performance reviews

As a supervisor I am a firm believer in keeping track of your achievements and presenting them during performance reviews. By assigning all of my team’s tasks through a task list, they instantly have a record of everything they’ve achieved. This is great for helping team members do self assessments.

I could go on for days – but I love having a mechanism that keeps everyone on the same page.

Building our first patio

This past weekend, we embarked on what was possibly the craziest idea we’ve ever tried. We tried our hand at earning our stripes as home owner DIY’ers. Surprisingly the project was pretty successful. Here was the plan :

Day 1 – Lay out the area to pave and Dig up the yard for the patio

Day 2 –  Compact the ground – possibly lay some pavers

Day 3 – Lay out the pavers and seal , clean up, and sit on the patio

The reality was something far from that! Before we start – here are the before pictures:

Patio before digging

Back yard before the digging
Back yard before the digging

As you can see – it wasn’t terribly exciting – but this is what we were working with. What you can’t see here is tha tthere is a slight slope that we had to level out . That turned out to be totally easier said than done!

Day 1 – Lay out the area to pave and Dig up the yard for the patio

Peter did most of the heavy digging on this task. He literally dug up the entire area in under 2 hours. We foolishly thought that this was the hard work with this.  I took on the mission to haul the excess dirt behind the fence with a wheelbarrow. After he was done this is what we had :

Yard after the digging
Yard after the digging

At this point we were feeling totally motivated. We were convinced that this patio business was no big deal and that we’d be sipping cocktails in the back yard within 48 hours….

We picked up supplies at Home Depot. This was the first point where we started to realize the magnitude of what we were trying to do. We couldn’t get all of the pavers there in one trip. It took two trips with a truck. Fortunately we had a friend to help us haul the stuff off of the truck. Even getting the supplies at Home Depot was a mission. We picked what we wanted, we needed about 150 stone pavers, but the home depot didn’t have enough. So we picked a different type of stone paver. It took over an hour and a half  from the time we picked the paver till they were able to get them on the truck. We also had to get tons of bags of sand. We miscalculated – thinking that 37 bags would do it. Between the pavers ( no less than 20 lb each ) and the sand bags ( no less than 30 lb each ) this was way harder than we expected. Nevertheless we made the 75 minute limit for the Home Depot truck rental and made the two runs and offloaded everything.

The rest was a blur of energy drinks, dirt, sand, pavers, levels, and shovels. It was ugly! But we got through it.

Bags of Sand
Bags of Sand

Our backyard was now upgraded to this: 200 square feet of entertainment area. I love the fact that we did this but I swore NEVER AGAIN!

End Product :

This was our finalized patio
This was our final patio

Bangkok Thailand ( Business Trip )

On a few rare occasions I had some time to step out and see the city . Bangkok was an amazing collection of beautiful architecture, colors, smells, foods, and more. It was definitely a sensory overload. These are some of the photos. There are also some pictures from the famous floating market.
[flickr album=72157612128580699 num=30 size=Square]

Cape Town vacation

We have visited Cape Town several times over the past few years. During our visits we visited several tourist destinations in Cape Town. Some of the places we visited are Seal Island, Table Mountain, Muizenberg Beach, and The Strand Beach.

Here is a collection of photos from these visits
[flickr album=72157612131168048 num=30 size=Square]

Birthday weekend in Nassau – Bahamas

We had never been to the Caribbean before and figured that a birthday would be a wonderful excuse to make such a trip. There wasn’t much time to take photos but I snapped a few shots away. I was also getting used to the camera, learning its features and finding a convenient way to haul it around.

Here are some pictures taken during this visit to Nassau.
[flickr album=72157612131827476 num=30 size=Square]

Test shots with EOS Rebel XTi Camera

I purchased an entry level Canon DSLR, the EOS Rebel XTi with the kit 18-55 lens in July 08. After reading reviews and following forum discussions I opted for the Canon as opposed to an entry level Nikon.

I took some shots at our local state park using lessons learned from online tutorials as well as advise from friends deep into photography. I also used Aperture (Mac software) to edit / enhance the color and exposure in some of the pics.

Here are some shots from that session.
[flickr album=72157612074828465 num=30 size=Square]