Category: How to

This is part 1 of upgrading your MacBook. Part 2 is moving the data to the new drive.

When you purchase a MacBook, the options for hard drive space are 80GB, 120GB, or now, 250GB. I went with the stock 80, but now, more than a year later, I want more. What to do? Why, install your own hard drive, of course! I picked up a 250 GB drive at a local store for $100, and am now in the process of moving all my extra items on this ginormous (for a laptop) drive.

Since I am certain there are more people interested in doing this, here is part 1 of a two part tutorial on what you need to do to get your MacBook up and running with a larger drive (part 2 is moving the data).

The first thing you will need, naturally, is a hard drive. As I mentioned, I picked up a 2.5″ SATA drive with 250 GB and 5400 RPM at a local store for $100. This is a very good price, in my mind, and it fits the bill nicely. Just remember that those are the specs you need to get: 2.5″ laptop drive, 5400 RPM, SATA connection. 7200 RPM drives also work.

With a hard drive available, you are now ready to begin replacing the innards to your computer.
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If you’re like me, you wait for a while whenever new technology arrives. We didn’t get a DVD player until they had been on the scene for a few months, and we didn’t have high speed internet until the price dropped way down. In fact, there’s probably a Betamax player somewhere in the basement.

I waited until Revision 2 to pick up an Airport Extreme base station. The gigabit feature was the reason I waited. I probably didn’t notice much difference since there are only 2 wired computers on the network, and only 1 has Gigabit ethernet, but waiting for Product 2.0 is generally a good way to go. The router I was replacing is an Airport Express base station that has been my entire wireless setup since 2004, and it has been an excellent solution. With the Airport Extreme, I played around with the settings, and learned that I had better reception for my iPod touch if I used Wireless G with both routers instead of a single Wireless N base station.

With that in mind, here is a tutorial for using two Airport base stations to create a single distributed network.


  1. Configure Main base station
  2. Configure Remote base station

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Email may be a necessary evil. With so many messages being sent on a daily basis, it becomes very hard to get away from it all. But what if you really do need to maintain communication with people while you’re gone?

Setting up an auto reply is an easy way of notifying people that you’re gone, and when you’ll be returning. It can also be done in 3 main steps.

  1. Have the computer turn on on a regular basis.
  2. Have Mail open after startup.
  3. Configure Mail to send replies to emails you accept.

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With the advent of the iPod Video, iTunes let you organize your movies into one convenient location. However, if you are anything like me, you’ve collected a large number of videos that aren’t exactly “movies”. You might have TV Shows, or live performances that have been ripped from your DVDs, and now they don’t all fit under the movie label.

The solution is to reorganize your videos so that they end up in iTunes under TV Shows, and enter your iPod the same way. To do this, you need a program that changes the label data within the movie so that iTunes can recognize it. Enter Parsley is Atomically Delicious. This handy little program takes files you have encoded for your iPod, and can rename them so that they appear in iTunes under the proper category. It can rename movies, TV shows or even music videos.

So how do you label an entire TV season at one time? Read More »

I use Butler everyday, many times each day. I become less productive without it. One of the most productive uses I have found for Butler is linking it to Internet search engines. Here is a tutorial on how to make Butler play nice with Google et al. Read More »