A weekend of Mac Repair and Upgrades

I was a “computer repair guy” this weekend. First up for repair was my son’s iMac, which had a hard drive go bad. Getting to the hard drive in the iMac was fairly easy, but certainly a lot harder than cracking open a PC.

Next up after the iMac repair was upgrading my Macbook Pro with an SSD drive. Working on the MBP was super easy. Took less than 10 minutes to install the new drive. What a difference the SSD makes! Boots in about 8 seconds and launches apps instantly without any bouncing icons in the dock.

Witopia: Great VPN Service for Mac

Since I got my new nifty Macbook Pro I have decided to visit Panera bread more often to work on some of my web sites and also get some blogging done. Working remotely offers a refreshing change from my home office.

Since I will be working off public wifi in these situations, I needed to have a VPN solution to protect myself from possible traffic sniffers and other nasty things that can happen on open wifi.

After a decent amount of research, I found Witopia and their PersonalVPN service. PersonalVPN uses SSL-VPN (via OpenVPN) which is more secure than other methods such as PPTP.

When using the VPN service, I haven’t noticed any network speed difference. I have had one issue though pertaining to the tunnelblick vpn software client they use. If the client is left running when shutting down, my macbook takes about a minute and a half or so to shut down. Not a big deal, but it was a little frustrating not knowing why it took so shutdown OS X.

If you are working remotely and rely of free wifi access, you need to protect yourself and your data. I highly recommend Witopia. Witopia is for BOTH Mac and Windows, but I can only comment on their Mac service.

For a Witopia discount code use shxpt to save 10%, bringing the cost down to only $36 for the year!

Update: Wiptopia’s PersonalVPN cost has been raised to $59.99 a year. Still, it’s a great bargain if you plan on using it a lot. The discount code above still works, saving you $6 off the registration cost, bringing it to $53.99

Adobe Cross Platform Upgrade How To

Early in 2007 I purchased the Adobe CS3 Web Premium addition for Windows because I was still using a PC for web development. Later, I decided to get rid of that system and go 100% mac. I was now left with the dilemma of what to do with my CS3 suite that I shelled out $1500 for. After some poking around the adobe website and making a phone call to customer service I found a solution. Adobe offers a “cross platform” upgrade for software owners who want to transition from Windows to Mac, or god forbid, the other way around. :p

Here’s what you do.

Call Adobe customer service and explain that you are changing platforms and you would like to exchange your registered product to the other platform version.

You will be assigned a Case Number by customer service and will need to pay them for the new media costs / shipping fee, which was $5 when I did my exchange.

After making payment, you will need to download a “letter of software destruction” form, fill it out and fax it back to adobe at 800-955-1610. Although Adobe doesn’t ask for the software back they do disable your old serial number as soon as you fax the LOSD form over to them. So no selling your old copy on eBay to make a few extra bucks. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will be without your Adobe product during the time it takes for your new software to arrive.

It takes about 2 weeks in total from the time you fax the LOSD to receive your updated software and new serial number.