Up until recently the classic, five-speaker home theater setup, with three front speakers -- left, center, and right, plus two surround speakers, and a subwoofer -- was the de facto home theater standard. According to Dolby, surround speakers should be placed to the sides and slightly behind your couch or main listening position. If you want to step up to 7.1 channel home theater the two extra surround speakers go behind the listening position, which is next to impossible if your couch is up against, or near a wall. If your room is large, and the couch is out … Read more
Spam is nothing new. But if you are getting spam when using Apple's iMessage service, you can help tackle the problem. Apple has implimented means for you to report iMessage spam. To do this, you will simply need to take a screenshot of the spam message, and send the image to Apple in an email.
The steps for doing so are relatively simply, and only require you to take the screenshot on your Mac or your iOS device and then include the shot in an email attachment. Apple has outlined this process in a recent knowledgebase article.
With the … Read more
One of the more useful aspects of Apple's iCloud service is its Back To My Mac feature, which offers a quick way to connect to your system from a remote location. By default Apple offers file sharing and screen sharing options through Back To My Mac; however, you can also connect to remote login SSH sessions, if needed. While screen sharing is arguably all that's needed to access your Mac, if you are Terminal-savvy and using a slow connection then the low-bandwidth demands of the Terminal can be much easier to manage.
To use remote services with your … Read more
The OS X Dock offers a quick and convenient way to launch programs and manage ones that are currently open; however, there are times when a program you are using doesn't have any purpose in being presented in the Dock. For example, Dropbox is managed solely in the menu bar, so having a Dock icon will add no benefit and will only clutter the Dock.
This is the case with other programs that are intended to run as background helpers, or as menu extras, but sometimes this is not the case. For instance, if you are required to use … Read more
The Velodyne vPulse is one of the best pair of $99 headphones I've ever listened to on the NYC subway, but it's not one I use at home or in any quiet space. Why's that?
The vPulse's overly generous bass turns me off at home, but it sounds perfectly balanced on trains, buses, cars, or planes. What those modes of transportation all have in common is lots of low-frequency rumble, and the vPulse's pumped up bass masks some of that noise. Headphones with more accurate bass response sound fine at home, but woefully bass shy on the go.
Worse yet, the very low frequency rumble on trains, buses, and so on can't be nullified by noise-canceling or noise-isolating headphones because those noises are felt through your entire body, not just heard through your ears. Bassy headphones may not be the perfect solution to the problem, but they can be surprisingly effective. … Read more
The standard method for transferring files between Macs is to use a USB drive, or conventional file-sharing services via network connections, though these days the use of synchronization services like BitTorrent Sync, Dropbox, and Google Drive offer progressively reliable alternatives. When using standard file sharing, you should be able to log in to the system and see your hard drives and home folder as share points for reading and writing files.
However, sometimes an odd snafu or two may prevent these services from working. If you find yourself unable to log in to your system and mount a shared folder, … Read more
While quitting an application in OS X generally involves pressing Command-Q or selecting "Quit" from the application menu (immediately to the right of the Apple menu), there are times when an application may be hung up and require force-quitting. This kills the running process without any checks for unsaved data, and while not always recommended, may sometimes be the last resort for restoring an application (and sometimes the system) to a functional state.
If you find yourself with an unresponsive application and see a spinning color wheel cursor whenever you attempt to interact with the program, then you … Read more
There are several ways to reset an account password in OS X. The primary method is to use the Users & Groups system preferences, under which you can use the "Change Password" option for your account (called "Reset Password" for other accounts), but you can also use the hidden "resetpassword" tool in the OS X Recovery drive; or if you are savvy with the Terminal, boot your system to Single-User mode and use the "passwd" or "dscl" commands to give a specified account a new password.
While all of these … Read more
This isn't just for audiophiles. I don't care what kind of speakers or headphones you have -- once you start listening, you'll hear more of what's going on in the music. The only "downside" to focused listening is that you might turn into an audiophile. Once you focus on sound, the more you'll hear, and the opposite is also true, and the music matters less and less. I usually stick to acoustic music when evaluating sound quality, but this time out I went for highly processed, totally unnatural, but beautiful sounding recordings.
"… Read more
Chris Larsen started Northcoast Audio in 2010 because he loves selling hi-fi and home theater gear. He also loves living in Eureka, a town of 30,000 people in California. It's five hours north of San Francisco, and seven hours south of Portland, Ore. Larsen admits, "We're about three hours away from anything." Which makes it only that much more remarkable that Northcoast Audio isn't the only place to buy hi-fi or home theater gear in Eureka, Larsen faces competition from another brick-and-mortar shop! That's incredible, Circuit City is gone, Best Buy's future … Read more