Jewish Home

Jewish Home Lifecare — Caring as individual as you (1)

We were proud to work with the great folks at One Eleven Corp on the redevelopment of The site was rebuilt from the ground up with custom functionality and a clean design.

This project included: Custom responsive design, custom forms, custom post types, shortcode solutions, SEO, donation and event managment.


Web Development

Looking for a small business web design? Do you need more than just web design services? Need someone who understands the local economy? We’ve got you covered!

Check out our portfolio!

Our Berkshire based web development team creates custom websites for small businesses and non-profit organizations. A website is like a first handshake with a customer. With an up-to-date, sleek, and professional website your customers will be impressed before you even meet them.

Professional website design will always be more appealing and effective in achieving your internet marketing goals. Not only will a new site allow a visitor to navigate your site intuitively and quickly—finding information in the least number of clicks—it will encourage visitors to convert into valuable customers. When you get a custom web development from Brainspiral Technologies you get a unique design that sets you apart from your competitors. Our sites are built to be search engine friendly and have a full content management system so you can update your own site without having to learn complicated programming.

Whether it’s just a simple website, or a much more complicated project, we can help you solve the puzzle and make the process a pleasure. We offer competitive rates and beautiful design for small business owners and non-profit organizations.

Websites your customers want to browse

The design team focuses on building websites that streamline content and feature efficient navigation—the most content with the least amount of clicks—so your brand message gets across quickly and clearly. The website content needs to be timely and relevant—compelling content that keeps a visitor on your site.

Websites that grow with your business

Our web design team ensures the website is easily expandable so that you can integrate more functionality and content down the road with no issues. For instance, your firm may start as an Orange County financial firm and after a few years in business, your firm expands to the Los Angeles market. Ease of edits on the backend is critical for future website success.

Websites that cater to all devices

Brainspiral builds responsive websites—websites that respond to desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. It elevates your brand and perceived value, as well as increases search engine visibility.

Websites that play nice with the search engine bots

Your website means nothing it no one can find it. Our design and development is executed with the latest SEO practices and tactics in mind so you’re ranking with your ideal customers. We can help identify industry-specific keyword phrases for local customers that will help you rank more quickly.

Website design and development services we offer:

  • Web Development (all of our sites use the WordPress content management system)
  • Integrated Social Media
  • E-news development
  • Mobile Websites
  • Responsive Web Design

Business Infrastructure

Brainspiral has years of experience helping thousands of people.

We have a long client list, including Williams College and the Clark Art Institute.   In addition, we maintain clients in many different fields, including professional (legal, medical, accounting, primary care, healthcare professionals, sales, marketing), educational (pre, elementary, middle, high & higher education), trades (electricians, plumbers, contractors, landscapers) and residential.

Our services list includes:

  • Networking System Design and Maintenance
  • Network Monitoring
  • Windows & Mac OS Server Management
  • Application Hosting
  • VOIP Systems
  • Offsite backups
  • VPN & Multi-Site File Access
  • Educational Services: Networking, Laptop Carts, Tablet & Smart Device Deployments
  • Building Control & Access Systems
  • Computer Upgrades & Repairs
  • Audio/Visual, Home Theatre, Home Automation

Application Development

We listen.
We offer a fresh perspective.
We craft unique solutions for your needs.

Software runs our lives.  Good software makes our lives better.  Bad software makes our lives miserable.

We have evaluated hundreds of software products for our clients over the years.  Many of them are great – reliable, inexpensive, time-saving, convenient – but nearly all of them have limitations and are missing critical features and capabilities.  To overcome these deficiencies we have started enhancing these products or creating new solutions from ground zero.  The end result:  a solution that works perfectly and is specifically engineered to save time and money.

Let us evaluate your business operations.  We provide the best efficiency consulting in the area and work with you to develop a solution and a relationship you can trust for life.


Overland Summers   Exceptional Teen Summer Travel

For over 30 years, Overland has been more than simply a summer experience—it’s a life experience with value and resonance that extends far beyond the boundaries of a single summer. In everything we do, we seek to show our students how beautiful and exciting, how full of promise the world is.

Brainspiral worked with overland to create an integrated application system and web based camper management system.

Project included: custom database, web interface 

Memory Clinic

Memory Clinic Bennington, VT – Research and clinic trials for Alzheimer’s Disease (1)

For nearly 30 years, the clinicians at The Memory Clinic have been committed to “Caring for the Mind” of our patients and their families. Our patients and their families are treated with respect at all times, including maintaining confidentiality and advocating for their interests. Our goal is to bring the level of expertise typically associated with urban universities to the local area, making quality dementia care more accessible to persons in a rural area.

Project included: Logo refresh, website redesign, simple intuitive navigation, SEO

Williamstown Community Chest


Once quite common across the country, Community Chests extended a helping hand to people in need. Today, the Williamstown Community Chest is one of just a handful of these local charitable organizations left.

In these times of decreasing funding, cutbacks in programming and increasing need, they remain deeply committed to helping solve problems right here in our own neighborhoods.

This project included: website redesign, donation system, SEO

Cummings Contractor

1 - Albert Cummings General

The Cummings family has been shaping the landscape of the Berkshires since the start of the twentieth century. As a fourth-generation builder, Albert Cummings has inherited this innate legacy of expertise, grounded in his appreciation of the unique history of this beautiful corner of the world. After graduating from the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, he returned to Williamstown to continue in the family tradition. For over twenty years, he has been doing just that: crafting exceptional homes.

This project included: Website design and development, logo design, custom slideshow, SEO


Alliance LLC – Alliance, LLC is a collaborative enterprise that enables financial institutions to partner in taking control of their vendor

Alliance provides consolidated access to the full range of settlement services.

The proprietary Alliance platform is built on the latest Microsoft .NET technology combined with the latest Cisco security. Intrusion Detection and Intrusion Protection Systems (IDS/IPS) are incorporated into the Cisco systems to provide the ultimate in security.

Project Included: Website design, Website development

Shalan Stained Glass

Shalan Stained Glass specializes in the conservation and restoration of stained and leaded glass windows for churches, public buildings and private residences. The studio’s approach to any restoration project includes attention to the detail and craftsmanship of the original window. Glenn needed a website that matched his level of craftsmanship.

This project included: Website design and development, logo design, SEO

Back Roads Granola

justin, our web geek, has been working with Peter and Virginia for over a decade (before he joined the Brainspiral team). A few years ago their side business, BackRoads Granola became their main business and they were in need of a new site to showcase and sell their award winning granola. Brainspiral was happy to work with them to meet their needs.

Back Roads Granola includes e-commerce, twitter feeds, a blog that pushes content to facebook and much more.

This project included: Website design and development, ecommerce solution, SEO

Darra Goldstein


Darra Goldstein is Willcox and Harriet Adsit Professor of Russian at Williams College and founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. She is also a prolific food writer and needed a site to showcase her writing.

This project included: Website development, SEO

Pretty Paper Cards

ON SALE NOW! - Pretty Paper

PrettyPaperCards is the home for independent Stampin’ Up saleswoman, and artist, Peggy Noe. Peggy needed a site to show off her paper creations and interact with her dedicated followers. The site pushes daily emails to followers and to facebook. Social Media is key for artists such as Peggy, so we created themes for her personal brand, across platforms.

This project included: custom website design and development, logo design, e-newsletter design, facebook branding

Mass Delete Unnecessary Email from GMAIL

Many of our clients use email clients like Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook, iPhone/iPad/Android, but by default Google archives any message that’s marked as deleted.

Running a GMAIL search (at for the following query allows you to mass delete (run the search, select all the messages, hit the trash button) messages that aren’t labeled (and therefore are likely to have been previously archived).

has:nouserlabels in:all -label:inbox -label:trash

Add this criteria to filter a specific date range:

after:2008/1/1 before:2012/1/2

This example will only select messages between January 1, 2008 and January 2, 2012.

Hope that helps.

Replacing iPhone Front Glass & Digitizer

Total labor: 1 hour
Total materials: $30

Jackie notes:

The process wasn’t too bad. Lots of tiny screws and risers and such. I found a good light, a small blade, tweezers, and a heat gun (I used my hair dryer) useful in addition to the tools they provided. I followed this video ( and felt he offered many good tips that other sets of instructions might fail to include.

My screen, as you might see, was in fact shattered. It really was being held together by the screen protector. I had ideas that if the new screen didn’t work out, I’d put the cracked one back on. In retrospect, this never would have been possible. Prying the screen away from the glue ( I think it’s double sided tape, but everyone says glue) basically ensures that its coming off in pieces. It’s necessary to reuse the home button, and a small piece belonging to the front camera.

Putting the new screen on required a bit of wiggling and finagling, but no real pressure. I wonder if this is where others cracked the new screen. Also, the ribbons connected to the LCD and Digitizer can get snagged – as mentioned in the video. They did get snagged for me, and it took me a minute to notice, even with the warning.

The new screen is not Apple quality. The digitizer seems responsive enough, for now. I don’t play games on my phone, so I’m not sure how sensitive it really should be. The display does seem a little cloudy – I’m not sure if this is noticeable in the photo. It’s absolutely usable, but its not as crisp as it was. Comparing to my iPad (both supposed to be retina displays) it seems more an issue of brightness than clarity. The new screen, however, is not cracked. image

Smart TVs vs Dumb TVs

Hi Matt –

I can make a recommendation once we determine if you want a Smart or Dumb TV.

We like the Samsungs. LED is the way to go.

‘Smart’ simply means that the TV can connect to internet and make use of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon on Demand, Hulu & Pandora (among others). Many devices are ‘Smart’ these days including Blu-Ray players and dedicated media streamers (like Apple’s AppleTV, Google’s GoogleTV, Roku, Netgear Player, etc).

Netflix streaming doesn’t replace Netflix discs yet (the quality is often poor and not all titles on disc are available for streaming). Streaming is also internet-intensive, and your connection from Verizon is likely inadequate to maintain a high quality stream through any of the ‘Smart’ services. So making good use of the Smart features may also require upgrading your internet connection and switching to Time Warner.

The TVs themselves are more or less the same – same processors, same panels. The Smart TVs have more sophisticated color calibration tools, but rarely are they needed anyway.

We usually encourage clients to go for the Smart TVs anyway. They aren’t that much more expensive, they have a few extra input ports (sometimes useful), and they have all the capabilities & features you might need down the road.


On Mar 1, 2013, at 10:43 PM, wrote:

> Hi, Hunter, > > We’ve decided to get a bigger TV for our library. It appears that we can handle a 40″ — the opening in our bookshelves is 25.5″ high, so it could fit 40″ screen, which seems to be 21.9″ high (24.4 if you count the stand). The width is not an issue for us, since we are prepared to modify the wooden cabinet doors on either side of the TV. > > Would you be able to install it for us? > > I see that Samsung makes eleven different models of 40″ flatscreen TV. Four of them are “Smart TVs,” and we’re not smart enough to know what that means, or probably how to use it, or to need it. Do you have a recommendation about which Samsung model might be best for us? > > We basically watch Netflix movies, some news, occasionally some sports. (Our current TV is an LG, which seems fine, though I think the company misrepresented the product when it sold it to us.) > > Matt

“Windows Update Failed, Reverting Changes” –Solved

> From: “Chris O’Boyle”
> Date: February 1, 2013, 2:01:55 PM EST
> To: Hunter Greene , Jacklyn Matts
> Subject: “Windows Update Failed, Reverting Changes” –Solved
> I’ve seen this many times, (mostly on Lenovo Machines for some strange, maybe coincidental reason). It will download and install 40+ updates and then hangs at 30% while configuring, restarts, fails, and reverts changes. A frustrating waste of a person’s time for something that should happen on its own. But I digress…
> The problematic update is KB2647753 (
> If you run into this issue, just install this particular update by itself at first, then restart as necessary and install the rest afterwards.
> –Chris

iOS 6.1 Update Fixes Netgear WG102/302 Connectivity Issues

Yup. Apple put their tail between their legs and un-did whatever madness caused iOS 6 to be incompatible with Firmware Version 5.03 running on the Netgear WG102 and WG302 Access Points.

Downgrading to AP firmware 5.01 also resolved the issue, but this will likely be a more permanent fix.

Roku and AppleTV

Roku is much like an AppleTV – a small, HD compatible, network-ready media streamer. It can connect to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, etc. The only thing is can’t do is connect to the Apple Store (for movie, music, TV shows). AppleTV will also do Netflix & Hulu Plus.

They cost about the same, look about the same, function about the same.

What’s wrong with your internet connection?


On Dec 5, 2012, at 9:01 AM, Linda wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > Thanks for the feedback. > What is Roku? Is it comparable to Apple TV? Sorry, I’m not up on the tech equipment. > > Also, who would you recommend to fix our Internet port at home? > > Suns out, but still no snow… > > Linda >

Mac OS System Optimizations

Begin forwarded message:

> From: “Chris O’Boyle” > Subject: Re: Molly’s Mac Mini > Date: December 4, 2012 10:53:03 AM EST > To: Hunter Greene > Cc: Molly > > Sure thing. > > Hi Molly, > > First off, I’d like you to click the apple in the upper left hand corner of the screen and then click on “About this Mac”. Take note of the version and the memory here. Like Hunter said, if the memory is low (2gb or under) this could be a factor in the speed and the computer’s ability to multitask. To do some manual tidying up, a program like OnyX can be useful… > > 1. Follow this link: > Make sure to download the correct one for your version of Mac OS X that we saw in the ‘About this Mac’ info (“Download 2.4.8 for osx10.7″, “Download OnyX2.4.0 for osx10.6″, etc.). > > 2. Click OK. It will take a few minutes to download, but when it finishes, a window will appear telling you what to do next. Just open up Finder if you dont have the Applications folder handy, and then drag the onyx icon to applications to install it. > > 3. After you do this, go into that applications folder and click on the icon *while holding control* and click open. it will ask you if you’re sure, then click open again. Click OK then give admin rights with your password. (If you don’t think there is a password just hit enter). It will want to do an initial scan (you’ll see something about S.M.A.R.T. status) so let it continue. Agree to the terms and now you’re ready to use the utility. > > I tend to stick with just the maintenance and cleaning tabs to repair permissions, rebuild LaunchServices, and clean up temp files / caches. > > Best of Luck! > –Chris

iPad Storage & Update Question

Hi Beth –

The iPads do have a finite amount of storage, and it sounds like they’re all at maximum capacity. The only way to free up some space is to delete old Apps (movies, music & pictures take up space, too, but i don’t think you’ve accumulated much of those). There could be some Apps on there that you no longer need or want.

To check the storage usage, go to Settings->General->Usage. The iPad will list all the Apps & the amount of storage they are using. Sift through the list (start with the big ones at the top) and take note of Apps that you don’t use.

Then delete them. To do so, click the App in this list and then select “Delete App”.

You can always re-download previously purchased Apps without having to re-pay for them.


On Sep 24, 2012, at 1:55 PM, Beth wrote:

> Hunter, > I am looking at iPads that were left here over the summer with at least 83 updates to download. Of course when attempting to download the updates, I get the “there is not enough available local storage to download these items.” Now what the heck do I do? I am now officially sending up the Batman searchlight. Look for the bat logo in tonight’s sky! Augghhhh! > Beth

iPad & iPhone

Hi Chris –

Apple releases news about the iPhone 5 tomorrow.

No, earphones do not come with the iPad. It does have built-in speakers. Apple does make earbuds (among many others). Personally, I prefer the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. They are more comfortable than buds and the sound quality is noticeably better.

You are correct – you do not need the 4G/Verizon/ATT capable iPads if you have WiFi internet. ATT & Verizon charge an additional cost per month to use their cell-based internet (this does not replace the WiFi but rather takes over when there is no WiFi available).

Cases are very popular (of which there are a plethora), as they not only protect the iPad but also double as stands.

I can see the iPad as an excellent tool for improving poor motor skills. We have installed dozens of them at local schools for special needs students.

The larger capacity models – 32GB and 64GB models are only needed if your brother plans to store thousands of hours of music or dozens of full length HD movies. Otherwise, the 16GB model is perfect.

There is some very basic setup required – you have to create an Apple ID for purchasing (even free content like Apps and Movies). Do you plan to bring the iPad out to him? Or does he have someone to help him with the basics?

Music is a tough one. Honestly, I think the Pandora App ( is an easier way to listen to music these days.

I sometimes order them from Apple. Or BH Photo ( BH is in NYC was they are usually available within a day or two.


On Sep 11, 2012, at 3:41 PM, Chris wrote:

> P.S. I forgot to mention the iPhone. I am interested as soon as it is out. I would love to be able to carry my address book and calendar with me. > > Also, do earphones or buds come with the iPad. To listen in the hospital, he will need them. And am I correct that the only reason he would need an AT&T or Verizon account for his iPad is if he is not near a wireless internet connection? Otherwise can he access everything on the internet? I want to purchase everything he would need to use his iPad fully. > > Begin forwarded message: > >> From: Chris >> Subject: iPad and iPhone >> Date: September 11, 2012 3:36:14 PM EDT >> To: Hunter Greene >> >> HI Hunter, >> >> As you may know, my brother recently had a major stroke. We have recently learned that an iPad would be good for his therapy and wish to give him one for his birthday. He may be house-bound for months after he leaves the hospital in mid-October, so it would also be a source of e-mail, music, entertainment, and possible a tool for working remotely. Given all that, what model and features would you suggest I buy? Could you also help set it up and load it with music if I send it here? >> >> Chris


Website Security Question

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jacklyn Matts > Subject: Re: website security question > Date: August 27, 2012 1:41:49 PM EDT > Cc: Hunter Greene > > A few other options. > > Some vendors may support programs offered by the card issuer, but you will certainly find many sites that don’t. > > Verified by Visa -> > MasterCard SecureCode -> > > Also, you might check to see if your bank offers disposable credit card numbers. These are single use credit card numbers that link to your account, but will be approved only once. If your bank offers something like this, it’s a good way to keep yourself safe when using new vendors. It’s not necessary, however, for places like Amazon that have a well established reputation. > > Bank of America ShopSafe service -> > Article about disposable CC numbers in general -> > > The article also brings up my final point, which is that no amount of precaution will keep you 100% safe, either online or at a physical location. Unless you’ve traced the breach of your card’s security to an online vendor, it’s just as likely that it was stolen using a card skimmer, which can be designed to fit over an ATM without attracting attention or carried unnoticed in the hand of a waiter. > > -Jackie >

System Optimizations, Windows

Hi Georgia –

Our office is closed this week, so we will be unable to help you in person.

Here is some information to get you started should you want to tackle part of the repair on your own.


The first thing to do is to uninstall any programs that aren’t needed any longer. You can do so by accessing the ‘Add/Remove Programs’ control panel (start->settings->control panel). Go through the list and uninstall anything you recognize as not needing. Also remove any security software (AVG, Norton, McAfee, Avast, Windows Defender, ClamAV, etc).

The second thing to do would be to download and run this program:

It’s called CCleaner, and it can automate some of the cleanup process. You should run both the Cleaner and Registry options on the left – allow CCleaner to fix, delete or repair anything it wants.

After that, run Defraggler, also made by the same company:

After that, check to see if the system has improved at all.

And finally, reinstall your security software. I recommend this program:

It’s free from Microsoft and works very well.

Then run a ‘Full’ Security Essentials scan & allow it to clean up whatever it finds.

Lastly, install all pending Windows Updates (For both Windows XP & 7, a shortcut to access ‘Windows Updates’ is in the Start Menu under Programs).

The above procedure should take the computer 2-4 hours, perhaps longer if there are many Windows Updates pending. If the system does not appear to be any better, it’s possible a complete reinstall of Windows may be in order (sometimes trying to clean a system does not work & starting over is the only solution).

Lastly, it’s possible your system is suffering from a hardware malfunction, especially a failing hard drive. A failing drive will cause unpredictable behavior – poor performance, instability, random crashes. It’s also a very common problem, especially for a laptop.

Regarding your Apple devices. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed ( If any of the devices are running iOS 5.01 or newer (you can checking in Settings->General->About), you can update the devices without a computer (from Settings-General->Software Update). The update process can take a long time and partially depends on the speed of your internet connection. On a slow DSL connection, it could take 2-3 hours just to download the software update for a single device.

Good luck.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Need some help, moving from Apple Mail to Outlook

Hi Jayne –

Funny, because I hate Outlook and have switched dozens of people to Mail because of all the problems they have had with Outlook.

1) Not a problem.

Open Apple Address Book. Click ‘All Contacts’ on the left. Then go to the File menu, then Export, then Export vCard. Select a location to save the backup contacts file. The Desktop is fine.

Quit Address Book.

Open Outlook.

If you saved the contacts backup to the Desktop, minimize Outlook (Yellow button in the upper-left hand corner), then drag the backup file to the “O” Outlook icon on your Dock. The contacts will all be imported.

2) Not a problem. Open Mail. From the Mail menu, select Preferences. On the ‘General’ tab, set the ‘Default Mail Reader’ to Outlook. Close the preferences.

Let me know if you have any problems.


On Aug 6, 2012, at 9:05 AM, Jayne Ryan wrote:

> Hunter, > > Just left vm for you–I’ve been using Apple Mail as Outlook didn’t work properly, but just this morning Apple Mail won’t send or receive so I checked Outlook. Outlook has now upgraded and fixed the bug that existed. I would prefer to use Outlook so I set it up and it’s working except that I need to: > > (1) Transfer my contact/address book to Outlook so I don’t have to re-type all of them. > (2) Change default so that when I click on Link (such as to you right now) it defaults to Outlook send rather than Apple Mail send. Because I am having problems with Apple Mail I had to cut and paste this message from the default of Apple Mail to Outlook, a big pain! But I’m willing to do it until the default can be re-set. > > Hope you understand my issues, glad to discuss by phone and will certainly bring the Mac to you, wherever and whenever. No need for a house call on this I presume! > > Many thanks, > > Jayne

em dashes

Hi Darra –

Emdashes are part of Word’s Auto-Correct functionality. To re-enable it, go to Tools->AutoCorrect, Re-select ‘Auto correct spelling and formatting as you type’, deselect everything below on all tabs but leave Symbol Characters (–) with symbols (—) on the AutoFormat as you Type tab.


On Jul 10, 2012, at 9:33 PM, Darra Goldstein wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > > I’m trying to get Word to use em dashes (like this: consumerism—or what sociologist…). I’ve always been able to type 2 dashes and then type the next letter, which turns the two dashes into an em dash. > > I looked it up in Word help, but the info below seems to refer to applications other than Word itself. And there is no “Substitutions” listed under “Edit” in the toolbar. > > Do you know what to do? > > Thanks, > Darra > > > > In many applications, including Mail, TextEdit, iChat, and Stickies, you can replace double hyphens (–) with em dashes (—), and straight quotation marks with typographical (“curly”) ones. > HideAlways use typographical quotation marks and dashes > You can set applications to always use typographical quotation marks and em dashes as you type. > Open a document or message, or start a chat. > Choose Edit > Substitutions, and then choose Smart Quotes or Smart Dashes in the submenu to select them. > To turn off typographical quotation marks and em dashes, choose Edit > Substitutions, and then choose Smart Quotes from the submenu to deselect the option.

MacBook Follow-up

Hi Chris –

No, I didn’t touch your old computer. I would put it in the storage room because we are planning a major clean-out in the immediate future.

The messages are cryptic, but I would guess it has something to do with leftover bits from the transfer of data from the old computer to the new one.

It may simply be an invalid startup script. To check what is currently set to start up:

Go to the Apple Menu, then System Preferences. Open Users & Groups. Then click on the Login Items tab on the right. What is listed there?


On Jun 4, 2012, at 2:59 PM, Christopher wrote:

> Hunter, > > Ignore question 1 below. Firefox works great now. Still have Q. 2 and 3. > > But here’s another. I have on my desk an Epson Stylus C42UX printer, very useful for printing envelopes. Doesn’t work with the new computer, even though it is listed as one of the options in the printer dialog box. I downloaded the most recent driver I could find, specified for Mac System 9, but it doesn’t work either. Any suggestions? Or can you look into this when you’re here again? > > Thanks, > > Chris > > ——– Original Message ——– > Subject: MacBook Follow-up > Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 16:48:05 -0400 > From: Christopher > Reply-To: > Organization: > To: Hunter Greene > > Hi Hunter, > > The new hookup is great. Faster and easier to use–so much so that I > dispensed with the keyboard and mouse, at least for now. > > Questions: > > 1) Every time I open Firefox, I get an annoying message saying the > version running was out-of-date. It is 3.6.3 (2010). I proceeded with > the free download. The download seemed to be accomplished, as indicated > in the progress bar completing its travel in the Downloads box. However, > the progress bar on the Firefox page (the first of the three panels) > seems to be stuck at about two-thirds complete. And no prompt comes up > telling me to drag the icon to my Applications folder. I tried again, > same deal. > > 2) Did you happen to clean off the disk on the old desktop computer so I > can take it to recycling? > > 3) Sometimes upon opening the computer I get 2 boxes superimposed on > whatever I’m doing. One is “ImportAssistant.nib” and the other is > “pt.lproj”; any idea what this is all about? > > Everything else is great. > > Chris >

Virus Information

Jackie’s notes and thoughts regarding basic PC security.

> > Yes, every windows computer should be running an antivirus program. No software will prevent 100% of infections, but not having any protection is simply asking for trouble. > > We do not recommend Norton or McAfee – ever. These products are no more effective than others, will have a significant negative impact on system speed, and are costly (especially for larger organizations) despite these facts. We encourage all of our clients to run Microsoft Security Essentials, keep it updated, and allow it to run a full scan at least once a week. > > Microsoft Security Essentials is available here –> > > We recommend all users avoid the use of Internet Explorer. While the number of security flaws is only arguably greater than other browsers it’s high level of integration with Windows OS means that the risks are usually of greater severity and easier to exploit. > > Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari are all good alternatives. For Firefox and Chrome there is a highly effective addon called AdBlock Plus. This addon prevents the browser from downloading/displaying almost all online advertisements. By doing so it is able to offer a safer, faster, less confusing web experience. > > Mozilla Firefox –> > Google Chrome –> > Apple Safari –> > AdBlock Plus –> > > I’ll give Christal a call tomorrow, but I do have my concerns about how effective cleaning this machine will be. The last infection was an especially nasty trojan that has only been around a short while. I suspect this one is the same thing – called ZeroAccess. The ONLY completely reliable way to clean this is to reinstall Windows. I’ve had some small success dealing with this particular infection when on-site, the results of cleaning this remotely are much less hopeful. Also, there is not legitimate software from This concerns me that Christal has taken some additional action that will make this even more difficult to clean. > > I’ve also included a short document that I hope will offer everyone some good advice on ways that they can help avoid future infections. Please take a look and perhaps forward the attachment to all CIP staff. >

Windows 7 Task Bar Location


Right click on the Start Menu, then select Properties Switch to the Taskbar tab Adjust ‘Taskbar location on screen’ to read bottom Press OK.

That should do it.

On Apr 21, 2012, at 10:02 AM, Steve wrote:

> > Hunter – > > > Don’t know why, but the bar which usually runs across the bottom of the screen – Start button, open files, time of day, etc., is suddenly at the top, which is distracting. How do I put it back below? > > > Steve

Accept Credit Cards with Square!

Are you looking for a cheaper and better way to accept credit payments? Try Square!

Square is a great iPad/iPhone system to accept payments. It emails or texts receipts to the customer as well. You could use square for everything from tag sales, coffee shops, taco trucks, and yoga classes!

If you are already using square, you can also set up to accept “Pay with Square.” The best way to explain “Pay with Square” is for you to watch this great video at the link below. If you need help setting up Square for your business, call us at Brainspiral. We can help you out.

-justin adkins

Helpful Microsoft Update

(rage & disappointment)

From Microsoft’s Website:

Bing Desktop is available for computers that are running Windows 7. Bing Desktop can be installed from the optional updates section in Windows Update. Bing Desktop provides an automatic update of the Windows Desktop background image to the Bing home page image each day. In addition, Bing Desktop offers an easy to access yet unobtrusive search box to streamline searching without opening the browser.


Note how the primary function of Bing Desktop is to ‘update the Windows Desktop background image to the Bing home page image each day’. Now why didn’t Google and Apple think of doing that with Spotlight and Desktop?

On Apr 27, 2012, at 12:58 PM, Chris O’Boyle wrote:

> (sarcasm) > > > Bing Desktop search bar is in Windows Updates now, as of Monday. Don’t you just love Microsoft? > > Interesting is all. > > –Chris

The Cloud

Hi Suellen –

Any modern Mac laptop or desktop will have considerably more storage space than the Macbook you have now. Storing photos, documents, email & files will not be an issue.

Some items are more easily cloud-storable and cloud-accessible than others. Your GMail, for instance, is a cloud service – one that can be easily accessed from any internet-equipped device (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop)

Apple’s iCloud service allows you to ‘sync’ certain data. It’s not stored exclusively in the Cloud. The Cloud simply provides a storage mechanism for all your devices to retrieve the data they need – photos, music, files, contacts, calendars.

Online backup services work well, too (though often times not necessary if using the right combination of cloud based services), though aren’t ideal when you have lots of constantly changing data. Our internet connections just aren’t fast enough to handle moving around that much data.

Scanning paper isn’t as practical or useful as people think. It’s cumbersome, time-consuming & the quality is poor. Most importantly, the documents you scan aren’t totally digital and therefore can’t be searched by a computer. You have to manually organize them electronically. You would be better off converting your paper files to digital files through whatever companies issue the paper in the first place. Switch from paper to paperless billing, ask for all of your vendors to send you bills & statements electronically & access all your accounts online. It takes some time to get it all set up, but it does work.


On Apr 18, 2012, at 8:38 AM, Suellen wrote:

> HI Hunter, > It looks as if I am going to need a new computer soon and I am wrestling with digital “memory issues” and storage. Looking toward the future, which is a better approach: just getting more memory on a computer or starting to store on the Cloud. I gather the “Cloud” acts like these storage units that you see on the road but only in digital space. > The question is how often do people access this new found “storage” and easy is it to access. My goal is to try and go paperless in 2013! > Best > Suellen

Broken Lexmark 1185 Printer

Hi Esther –

Hope all is well with you, too. Everything here is fine.

The X1185 is an older model, and it’s difficult to find those kinds of parts for it. It’s also a basic, low-end model, and probably not worth fixing.

I would recommend something like this to replace it:

The HP Officejet 4500. It has similar functions for printing & copying. And through HP it’s currently on sale for $60. I can get one for you if you like.



On Apr 13, 2012, at 8:23 PM, Esther wrote:

> Hello there, > > I don’t know if your company repairs copiers or not. I have a Lexmark X1185 Print > Trio that I have snapped off the cover holding the black print cartridge in the machine. How do you suggest I get it repaired? > > Hope all is going well with you. > > Esther

Computer Maintenance

Hi Karita –

A few things can be done routinely:

1) Windows Updates. Very important, especially for Windows 7 machines (there aren’t too many updates released for Windows XP at this point). Windows should do them automatically, but it’s usually worth checking from time to time just to make sure. There is usually a shortcut to Windows Update in the Start Menu.

2) We also like to manually run scans from these programs on all PCs:

Both are free. Always a good idea to make sure machines have up-to-date versions of Microsoft Security Essentials (Anti-Virus & Spyware):

3) Removing old and unused programs is also worthwhile on any PC, but since your workstations shouldn’t have much software on them anyway, I can’t imagine what would ever accumulate in the first place.

4) The Macs are mostly self sufficient. Software Updates are always a good idea (Apple Menu->Software Update). Also leaving the Macs on overnight at least once a month will allow all of Apple’s built-in maintenance scripts to run automatically. If they’re always shut down at night, they will never run (the scripts do trivial maintenance like clear old logs, cache & temp files, & check system files for consistency & corruption).

5) Defragging Windows 7 & the Macs is completely unnecessary. I’d say it might improve performance on a Windows XP machine by about 1% at best. Defragging was important in the days of Windows 95 & 98 when Microsoft was using Fat-16 and Fat-32 file systems. Filesystems like NTFS and HFS+ (modern PCs & Macs use these) are not commonly susceptible to fragmentation.

6) You could also encourage users not to do dumb things like download ‘free’ software, screen savers, file sharing programs, and use Facebook. All of these are known to be severe sources of viruses and spyware. Most security breaches we have seen lately are the result of a user-initated software installation – not something that any security software is going to prevent.

Hope that helps for now –


Orion question

Hi Scott –

Reinstalling Mail don’t do much of anything.

Mail programs in general don’t like lots of messages – especially lots of messages in lots of folders. I would avoid putting more than 10,000 messages in any given folder.

I would start by forcing Mail to rebuild its mail index. You can do this by first quitting Mail, then opening Chip’s Home folder, then Library, then Mail. Just drag the file called ‘Envelope Index’ to the trash. Then re-open Mail.

It will look like Mail is re-importing messages. That’s normal. Just wait for it to finish & then test accessing the folders again.


On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:44 PM, Scott wrote: > Chip uses Apple Mail. > > He’s got a bezillion folders. > > Recently, he’ll view a folder that should have a lot of messages in it. But > none display. Same thing when he checks other folders. Some DO have all the > messages there. > > If he restarts, sometimes (not always) the messages return to the folders > which were previously mysteriously empty. > > My sense: uninstall and reinstall Mail. Is that right? How? With, of course, > keeping all messages and setting intact. > > Thanks, > > Scott

Moving Messages in Apple Mail

Hi Peggy –

Individual Folders can be dragged from the ‘On My Mac’ storage location to the IMAP storage location. They should be copied one-at-a-time, and you should wait until the entire folder has copied before copying the next one. It can take anywhere from 1 minute to several days to copy the folders depending on how large they are. The folder will not show up in the IMAP area until the contents have finished copying completely. You can check the status of the copy by selecting ‘Activity’ from under the ‘Windows’ menu in Mail.

I assume you are positive that all Apps were purchased under the same Apple account? I have found that some Apps refuse to update properly on their own, and the only fix I know of is to delete the app and re-download it (if it’s a pay-for app, there is no charge to re-download it provided that you are using the same account that was used to purchase it originally). Apps can be deleted by pressing and holding an app until ‘jitter’ or edit mode is enabled, and then pressing the small ex on the upper-right hand corner of the app.

Hope that helps – let us know if you need anything else.


On Jan 20, 2012, at 12:35 PM, Peggy wrote:

> Hi Chris: > > Have you learned any more abt how to transfer folders from MY MAC to the IMAP area? > Second, I continue to have the same difficulty as before with updating apps on iPad and iPhone. When I get notice of upgrades available, I am asked for my Apple ID and password; and every time a note pops up saying I can’t get access to the iTunes store. They provide no next steps. > > Wait: now sometimes, when I move on to doing other things, I’ll notice that the app upgrade note is gone, and they appear to be upgraded. Not always. > > OTHERWISE, all’s well! > > Peggy > > Sent from my iPad

Mac OS Lion 10.7 Previous Windows Reopening

Hi Lindley –

It’s a new ‘feature’ of 10.7, Lion. It’s also easy to disable. Here’s how.

Go to the System Preferences, then General. Uncheck the box that reads ‘Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps’

That should do it.

Test it out & let me know if you need anything else.


> >> From: Lindley >> Date: January 20, 2012 10:11:09 AM EST >> To: >> Subject: Hello from Lindley >> >> Hello Brainspiral, >> >> I believe you were the one I picked up my computer from a week ago. I just had a few questions for you about the changes that have been made. Every time I close Safari and re-open it, when it re-opens, it opens the page that I was on last, this is not a huge deal but it is a bit annoying to be opened up to a different page each time, is there a way to change this so the page always opens to google or apple for example. >> >> Next every time I download something an it comes up as a preview, it opens the last two or three things I downloaded and viewed. Is there a way to change it so I only open the one thing I am trying to look at. >> >> Just wanted to check in and see if I could fix any of these problems >> Thanks so much >> >> Lindley >

Security Solutions

Hi Leslie –

I presume the Norton notice you received was through email, as I do not believe the Norton software had been installed on your workstation. We have never been a big fan of Norton. Aside from the annual subscription, We have not seen Norton’s ability to keep a system secure to be any more effective than other security solutions like Microsft Security Essentials, AVG or TrendMicro. Furthermore, Norton is a big, clumsy, bloated program that tries to rule your life – storing passwords, scrutinizing the websites you visit, slowing down your system and often times, without cause of alarm, entering a ‘stealth’ mode that blocks all access to the internet. The best course of action is to make sure you are installing Windows Updates as they become available & allowing Microsoft Security Essentials to run its routine scans & updates.

To search documents, simply click on the Start Menu (bottom-left hand corner), and enter a phrase or name in the search box at the bottom of the box that opens. That search mechanism searches through all your files. It mostly works (I say ‘mostly’ because compared to Apple’s Spotlight functionality, it is pathetic). Many people actually prefer to use Google Desktop (

For backup, I would highly recommend an off-site solution, like this one:

You can back up your data to CrashPlan’s own systems or we maintain one ourself that many of our clients prefer to use.

Hope all is well and that you find this information useful.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.


Hi Nancy –

It doesn’t sound virus-like. Someone was probably just trying to ‘spoof’ your email address (use the address without your knowing it – easily and commonly done) – and you received all the left-overs from it. It has nothing to do with your computer.

To set IE as the default browser:

Open IE Go to Tools->Internet Options On the ‘Programs’ tab, make sure the checkbox next to ‘Tell me if IE is not the default web browser’ IS checked. Hit OK. Close IE Open IE When prompted to set IE as the default, select yes. That should do it.

Happy New Year


On Jan 6, 2012, at 7:43 AM, Nancy wrote:

> Good morning, Hunter, > > This morning I received a bunch of returned e-mails, saying that my message had been interrupted by spam protections. But these are messages that I don’t think I ever sent. > That makes me nervous and I wonder if I’ve been infected with some weird thing? > > Also apparently my default internet connection is Mozilla Firefox instead of my Windows Internet Explorer. Perhaps someone could check with me to see how to change it back to Explorer. > > Thanks, and Happy New Year. > Nancy > >

SPAM and Malware

Jacklyn Matts Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. (413)770-3042

Begin forwarded message:

*From:* Peter Charbonneau *Date:* December 8, 2011 8:56:02 AM EST *To:* OIT *Cc:* Mary Bailey , Jay Dube , John Carson , Ian Bergeron , hunter greene , Jacklyn Matts <> *Subject:* *SPAM and Malware*

Over the last couple of days, there has been a concerted effort by spammers and malware providers to infect users thru Adobe email – well, fake Adobe email.

Two days ago, it was fake Adobe Reader updates. Yesterday it was “here is your new InDesign CS4 license key”. The key is in a zip file attachment.

A takeaway?

“Remember – computer security is not just about keeping your anti-virus software properly updated. It’s also about realising that companies are not in the habit of emailing you unsolicited attachments out of the blue.” **Sophos Naked Security 7 Dec 2011


Peter Charbonneau Sr. Network and Systems Administrator Williams College (413) 597-3408 (office) (413) 822-2922 (cell) OIT will NEVER ask for your password!

New iPhone 4S Mischief

Hi Michele –

The behavior you describe makes it sound like battery was dead and the phone turned off. Are you sure that the phone was properly charging? Or can you confirm that the battery wasn’t dead or very weak?

Yes, it is possible there is a defect. Overcharging properly didn’t have anything to do with it (These new devices can’t overcharge. They just stop charging).

The water drops are part of your background image. The fact that they are still there is a good sign that nothing was lost in the reset process (not that you could lose anything – it’s all on your laptop anyway).


On Nov 1, 2011, at 4:25 PM, Michele wrote:

> Hi Hunter– > Something weird happened with my new iPhone today and I thought I better check in with you to see if this is any concern while I presume I am under warranty. (Or is it that my phones always have some strange voodoo?) > Anyway, this morning I was just changing a phone number for one of my contacts and the screen froze. Then the screen went black. In the center of the screen was the outline of that symbol that twirls when the device is receiving something, but it wasn’t twirling. I tried turning the phone on and off several times…no change. I then consulted the manual for my 3GS and it advised to reset. I held down the power button and the home button simultaneously for several seconds until I got the Apple symbol to appear on the screen. Then I was advised to reset all my general settings. I tried to do that but is there anything particularly important I should know about settings? Now the phone seems to be working fine. > > My questions: > 1) Did the fact this happened indicate any defect in the phone? > 2) Could it have been a result of overcharging (the phone had been plugged in for quite some time)? > 3) I was using my old charging cord (although it looks perfectly in tact). > 4) Also, when I open my screen it still has all those water marks/drops. Is that significant? > > Thanks, Hunter. I really don’t think this incident was human error.:-) > > Best–Michele > >

Time Warner Service Outage 10/26/2011

The skinny on Time Warner’s service outage this morning is still up in the air. The Bangor Daily News shed some light on it:

It’s hard to say exactly what happened, but many of Brainspiral’s clients were affected by the outage.

Time Warner is still a better alternative for phone and internet services over Verizon. We also prefer them for digital television services.

Kindle Touch & Tablets

Hi Sam –

The Kindle, Nook and iPad will all work with WiFi, so it will work in your house without any problem.

You only need WiFi or 3G to download books anyway. Once you have the books, you don’t need any access at all.

The Kindle is probably the most popular book reader while the iPad is definitely the most popular all-around tablet (outstanding for email, browsing the web, research).

Hope that helps –


On Oct 7, 2011, at 6:13 AM, Sam wrote:

> Hi Hunter: May I pick your e-brains for some info about Kindle? Dottie’s birthday is coming up and I want to give her one those devices as a present. I’ve looked at the ads for Kindle Touch which seems to be the best option, but the map the ad showed for E-G wireless availability blocks out parts of Williamstown. Is that true and Kindle wouldn’t work from our house? What would you advise? > Sam >

iPad Frozen

Hi Beth –

Probably tomorrow. But have you tried holding down both the power on/power off button at the top AND the home button simultaneously? It should force the iPad to reboot.

I have found that since many applications are not written particularly well, it helps to reboot the iPad from time to time (or at least close all the open apps – double click the home button, then tap and hold on any app from the list of apps that appears at the bottom, then click the little ‘x’ over each app to close it – Apps remain ‘open’ unless you reboot the iPad or specifically close them).


On Oct 1, 2011, at 8:53 AM, wrote:

> a form has been submitted on October 1, 2011, via: /contact [IP] > Contact Us > Name beth > Email > Message Holy crap, Batman, my iPad is not cooperating (not powering off-spinning circle-Yikes!) AND I use it with my students everyday. When will you folks be in town? > powered by cformsII

Adding a Google Calendar to iCal in Mac OS X Lion 10.7

Hi Natasha –

That’s an easy one.

Open iCal

Go to iCal->Preferences

Click on the Account tab.

Click the + button at the bottom left to add a new account.

Select ‘Google’ as your Account Type and enter your Google username and password.

Hit Create.

That’s it.

If you want additional calendars to iCal that are currently linked to your Google Calendar, go back to iCal->Preferences. Click on Accounts. Go to the Delegation sub tab and check all the calendars you want to sync with iCal.


On Sep 24, 2011, at 7:00 PM, wrote:

> a form has been submitted on September 24, 2011, via: /contact [IP] > Contact Us > Name Natasha > Email > Message Thanks Jackie for installing Lion! Does anyone know how to get iCal to coordinate with Google Calendar? I seem to be able to subscribe to Google Calendars, but then I can’t update them from iCal. Somehow I managed to connect one as a Google calendar in iCal, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how I did it. > powered by cformsII

Amanda, Michigan

You’re a rockstar.  Thank you :)


Regarding: Remotely installing a virtual environment for Windows XP on a Macbook Pro.

iPad Question

Hi Chip –

The latest news is that the iPhone 5 *might* be out this fall. They normally release new iPhones in June, but because of other Apple releases (including their new operating system, Lion, and new computers) they wanted to wait.

Yes, the iPad is great. We’ve sold and set up dozens of them. That’s all I brought with me to Paris (and some clothes).

The 3G doesn’t have to be activated, but I would recommend getting a model with it. Verizon is definitely the best. All models come with WiFi.

The 32GB is fine. 64 is probably overkill.

I wouldn’t bother with the warranty either. Those devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) only break when physically damaged (dropped, abused or liquid), and the warranty won’t cover them.

Currently you can only get the iPad online from Apple and a handful of resellers (like B&H Photo, over the phone). You can also buy them in Target (ironically).

I doubt Apple will release a new iPad for at least another year. They will undoubtedly release new software, but all devices will be compatible with the new software. New software offers new features.

Hope that helps.



On 30 Jul 2011, at 13:20, Chip Chandler wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > > We are thinking about getting our son an iPad 2 for his birthday. He has been pining for one for a couple of years, and I am considering getting the one with Verizon that is 3G, Wi-fi, and 32KB. The rationale is that he travels a lot on business and needs the 3G; Verizon has the best coverage; and he does not need 64 KB since he has a computer on which he will store much of his data. He just needs enough memory to store his music and any books or music he downloads. Are there any other factors we should be considering, like a new model that is about to come out, accessories we should consider, or the need for an Applecare contract? Here’s the link I have been using: > > Also, any more news on when the iPhone with international capability and Verizon configuration will be out? > > Best, > > Chip

Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop

Energy consumption is wasteful, but our biggest issues with these boxes is that they generate a TON of heat. A Scientific Atlanta 8240HDC DVR generates more heat than a Russound C-Series whole house audio system. This makes installing the boxes difficult: they cannot be located in enclosed spaces without proper ventilation. Otherwise, they can damage themselves by overheating their chips or other electronics contained within the same space.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: > Date: June 29, 2011 10:26:52 AM EDT > To: > Subject: Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop > Reply-To: > > > > > > > This page was sent to you by: > > U.S. | June 26, 2011 > Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop > By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL > Television cable boxes and DVRs have become the single-largest electricity drain in many American homes. > > > > > Copyright 2011 The New York Times Company | Privacy Policy >

Tortured Orchard

Tortured Orchard, a local seasoning sauce company came to us looking for a full re-design.  justin designed this beautiful layout with the client highlighting their products and the many ways you can use their tasty sauces!

The new site is Search Engine Optimized and connects to both Facebook and Twitter so every new blog post gets posted seamlessly to the top two social media outlets.

This project included: Website design and development, ecommerce solution, SEO

Elizabeth Winthrop

Award winning children’s author, Elizabeth Winthrop, is a client we have been working since our beginning.  Her website looked like it was done ten years ago, because it was.  She needed to enter the 21st century and turned to us for design and technical help.

Building a custom theme for Elizabeth was tons of fun!  Her site needed to reflect the fun of her kids books and the seriousness of some of her adult focused work.  What came out is a site that we are all proud of.

Look for her books at your local library.

This project included: Website design and development, logo design, facebook branding, SEO

QR Codes

I’ve been asked a lot about QR Codes recently.  In fact, I had two clients call me today because they saw local forward thinking businesses using QR Codes.  I used to just call them mobile scanners but I guess I gotta catch up to the times as well.

QR codes are not for every business.  Just like facebook is not always good for business.  Please, do not just use them cause they are trendy and you saw them at a bus stop in Brooklyn, think before you use QR codes.  That is why my first recommendation is… Decide why you are using a QR code, what is the point?

No need to ask me when you want to generate one… you can generate your own.

First, what are QR codes?
QR codes are basically a link in print.  You can print an image and when someone with a mobile device that has a QR scanner, such as an iPhone, scans the image then the link you place shows up.  QR Codes can be used for many things such as, a link to a song in itunes, a link to your contact information, or a link to a webpage.

I use the Bakodo scanner on my iPhone because it can scan more than just QR codes! (in fact, I just learned that it could be used for more than finding out the price of spaghetti sauce (my past use of it)

Want to generate and track QR Codes like a web geek?

Decide why you are using a QR code, what is the point?

For something other than a link to a webpage on your site:

  1. go to: (there are many generators out there.  this is the one justin likes)
  2. choose from the dropdown what kind of content it is
  3. fill out the fields
  4. choose your size (the size of the image)
  5. click generate
  6. then… you can either download the image or use the url to link to it (if for instance you are putting it in your email signature)
  7. test your image by scanning with your mobile device

For a link to a webpage of your site there are more steps because we want to track the code to see how many people use it:

  1. go to:
  2. put in the url that you want to link to example: to link to the Brainspiral Homepage
  3. for the campaign source put “the name of the magazine, etc” cause that is what we are gonna track here.  For example for this I would put “websiteqrexample”,  if this was in the Transcript on May 22nd, “transcript522″
  4. for campaign medium, Id put “qr” cause that is what the medium is
  5. for campaign name… give it a name
  6. click generate URL (I got:
  7. now that is one LONG URL…let’s shorten it! so, copy that long URL
  8. go to:
  9. paste the long URL you just generated into the box and click shorten
  10. For mine I got: (nice and short!)
  11. NOW go to: (there are many generators out there.  this is the one justin likes)
  12. choose from the dropdown URL
  13. paste in your nice short URL
  14. choose your size (the size of the image)
  15. click generate
  16. then… you can either download the image to use in print or use the url to link to it (if for instance you are putting it in your email signature)
  17. My image looks like this:
  18. test your image by scanning with your mobile device

Ok, that is it!

-justin adkins
Get a website today with Brainspiral!!!

Using Multiple Google Based Accounts

> > Talking with Hunter about this today, I suggested that the best solution might be to make use of Google’s Multiple Sign-In Feature. > To do this, from your webmail, click on the email id in the top right, and select “Account Settings”. > Next to Multiple Sign-In, click Edit. > Select On, make sure all four boxes are checked, and click Save. > From the webmail page , click again on the email id at the top right. > Click “Switch Account” > Sign in with the other Google account. > Now you can switch back and forth between the accounts by clicking the email id at the top right. Jackie

AppleTV and Pandora

Hi Glenn –

The AppleTV won’t play Pandora on its own. You have to stream the audio to it over the network, and there are two ways to do it.


If you have an iPhone Touch, iPhone (3GS or 4), or iPad, you can download the Pandora App ( The device must be able to support at least software version 4.3. The Pandora App (and other Apps like it) make use of a streaming protocol Apple developed called AirPlay (


If you have a Mac, use this software:

PandoraJam works really well, and while it allows you to stream Pandora to your AppleTV, it also allows you to save the played music to your iTunes library.

If you have a PC, use this software:

AirFoil (there’s a Mac version, too) allows you to stream ANY audio from your PC or Mac to an AppleTV, effectively making the AppleTV a wireless speaker. It works well, too.


On May 14, 2011, at 1:24 AM, Glenn wrote:

> How do I pandora through apple tv? > > Sincerely, > > Glenn

PDF Viewing

> > > Hi Jon – > > There is a simple solution here: > > Avoid proofing anything important on a portable device. > > iPhones, iPads and Blackberries are really not designed for PDF proofing. Yes, they can ‘read’ PDFs, but since they have limited font support, there isn’t any good way to guarantee that they’re being displayed perfectly. > > Having said that, chances are pretty good the Apple devices will always render the PDF properly. It’s a crapshoot as to what will happen with the Blackberries (I’m shocked you can make calls with a Blackberry let alone read email and attachments). > > Blackberry is currently updating their phone software – my guess is the next round of Berries will work better. The 8520 does not have any third party apps available to it for PDF viewing. > > Sorry – > > hunter > > On Apr 12, 2011, at 10:23 AM, Jon wrote: > > > Hello Hunter, > > > > I hope this note finds you well. > > > > We are eager to know if you can offer some advise on the inherent differences in viewing pdfs on an iPhone vs a Blackberry. Jenny uses both devices to view pdfs on a regular basis, in addition to an iPad, a laptop, and her desktop machine (both computers are PCs). We recently experienced a problem when we sent a pdf to her and it appeared differently on the two devices. The BB slightly distorted the image and the iPhone did not. I’m not sure what software on the BB is used to display pdfs, but her model is the 8520 curve. > > > > Can you make a recommendation that would help us guarantee that pdfs and/or other image formats appear consistently across multiple devices? > > > > Thank you and best wishes, > > Jon > > hunter greene > Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. > ————————————————————————————- > > > w: 413-458-5755 > c: 413-281-4918 > > > > > >

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

PDF Viewing

Hi Jon –

There is a simple solution here:

Avoid proofing anything important on a portable device.

iPhones, iPads and Blackberries are really not designed for PDF proofing. Yes, they can ‘read’ PDFs, but since they have limited font support, there isn’t any good way to guarantee that they’re being displayed perfectly.

Having said that, chances are pretty good the Apple devices will always render the PDF properly. It’s a crapshoot as to what will happen with the Blackberries (I’m shocked you can make calls with a Blackberry let alone read email and attachments).

Blackberry is currently updating their phone software – my guess is the next round of Berries will work better. The 8520 does not have any third party apps available to it for PDF viewing.

Sorry –


On Apr 12, 2011, at 10:23 AM, Jon Grizzle wrote:

> Hello Hunter, > > I hope this note finds you well. > > We are eager to know if you can offer some advise on the inherent differences in viewing pdfs on an iPhone vs a Blackberry. Jenny uses both devices to view pdfs on a regular basis, in addition to an iPad, a laptop, and her desktop machine (both computers are PCs). We recently experienced a problem when we sent a pdf to her and it appeared differently on the two devices. The BB slightly distorted the image and the iPhone did not. I’m not sure what software on the BB is used to display pdfs, but her model is the 8520 curve. > > Can you make a recommendation that would help us guarantee that pdfs and/or other image formats appear consistently across multiple devices? > > Thank you and best wishes, > Jon

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

gmail + mac mail + imap client questions

Hi Jason –

The problem you’re experiencing is the result of a simple setting to adjust how messaging archiving functions.

By default, deleting a message in ANY mail client linked to a Google IMAP account doesn’t actually move the message to the trash. It simply removes the ‘Inbox’ label (and therefore archives the messages – it will exist only in the Google ‘All Mail’ folder).

This is a simple fix:

Log in to the web mail for each Google account you have.

Go to Mail Settings (under the Gear in the top-right hand corner). Go to Labs. Activate “Advanced IMAP Controls”

Go back to Mail Settings Click on the POP/Forwarding tab. Adjust your settings like so:

Basically this changes the ‘Delete’ behavior in for ANY mail client. You don’t specifically have to change anything on your iPhone, Mac Mail, etc.

For years I was in the habit of dragging all messages to the trash – until Google realized the need to change this behavior.

Unfortunately there is no way to select all the messages in ‘All Mail’ that are NOT labelled (presumably that would constitute the messages you have deleted and could purge), so you’ll have to clean them up out of there by hand.

Hope that helps – test it out.



On Apr 5, 2011, at 11:21 AM, Jason wrote:

> Hunter, > I’m having issues with filling up my gmail accounts. I run all my mail using IMAP and mac mail on my laptop/iPhone. I don’t save a lot of email (only what I really need and I delete the rest from my inbox as I go). But when I go into ‘ALL MAIL’ on my gmail accounts (either through the server view in Mac Mail or via the web) I see all sorts of things I’d expect should be deleted. I can delete them from the server view in Mac Mail but they seem to reappear (is gmail repopulating them?) If I delete them via the browser interface for gmail it works, but that’s very tedious and I have to make sure I don’t delete something in ALL MAIL that I’ve saved elsewhere because then it will disappear there too (learned that the hard way). > > What I would like is for my laptop and iPhone to all sync everything with the gmail servers (so I can access folders, sent mail, inboxes, etc from anywhere) BUT to coordinate properly with gmail so when I delete something from my inbox or a folder, it actually deletes from gmail ALL MAIL. I don’t want to use the gmail browser interface because I have a lot of email accounts and want them all coming to the same inbox (as Mac Mail allows). I also often need to work offline. > > Do you know how I should set these things up? I’ve attached screen shots of my mac mail settings on my laptop. > Jason > >

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Home Computer Internet Slowness

Hi Pam –

The problem could be a bunch of different things.

1) I assume you have Verizon DSL. Is the modem in the same room as your computer? Or is the modem elsewhere and the computer is connecting to the modem wirelessly?

2) There are different kinds of slowness. Are you noticing that the slowness only occurs when you are accessing internet resources? Or are you noticing the machine slow in general (slow to boot, slow for programs to open)?

3) It’s not likely the new monitor has anything to do with the problem.

4) Do you have any other computers in the house – desktops or laptops – that share the same internet connection. If so, are they slower, especially when accessing internet resources?

Answers to these questions might help determine what the problem is – and how to fix it!


On Mar 10, 2011, at 11:26 AM, Michael J. Shepard wrote:

> We just moved our computer to a different room and the speed has slowed to almost dial-up era. The only other change we made was to a new larger flat screen monitor. What did we do? > > Pam

Tablet For Trip – iPad or XOOM

Hi Barbara –

I am glad you took the time to do some additional research.

While the XOOM may have a USB port, and while the IPad does, too (it’s used for transferring digital camera pictures to the iPad), it’s a very restricted port. You cannot use it to sync music to your MP3 player, nor can you use it to transfer files from your computer. The XOOM also has the same ‘virtual’ keyboard the iPad has, with optional wireless and dock-based keyboards available.

If you think that editing documents, typing and printing are tasks you’ll perform regularly, then neither the XOOM nor iPad are right for you. They are not optimally designed for those tasks. They are designed for portability and accessing internet resources like email and the internet.

You might want to consider the Macbook Air:

It’s a touch bigger than the iPad and Xoom and is a full-blown Mac laptop – not a tablet. It has great battery life, is very portable and already has a keyboard. You will have no problems transferring documents to and from your PC (if you even continue to use the PC), and with a $50 iPod shuffle, your portable music issues will be solved (though you can still use your existing MP3 player). The Air already has WiFi, and you can optionally get either a Verizon or AT&T broadband access card & service.

The iPad is nicely suited for maps, travel information & reading books. The touch-only interface makes the apps more natural than using a mouse and keyboard.

The Air is less portable – and probably not something you would want to carry around with you on little excursions.

So everything is a trade-off. It doesn’t make sense to get an iPad or XOOM if you have to schlep a keyboard with you everywhere. The keyboard is practically as big as the tablet itself. It doesn’t make sense to get an Air if you want serious portability and built-in AT&T wireless internet.

Regarding international use: They all have WiFi, and WiFi is a global standard. Most hotels include the service gratis, and WiFi is generally available in most public locations (like libraries, coffee shops, etc). AT&T does have a 3G international data plan which isn’t horrendously expensive:

But you have to be careful not to over-use the data you have purchased (otherwise you get hit with some major roaming charges). The Verizon iPad will not work internationally, nor will any Verizon phones (though most AT&T phones will).

The last several times I went outside the US, I only travelled with my iPhone. It can do everything the iPad can do but is much smaller. It’s also a phone, a feature the iPad will probably never have.

I think that’s all I can think of. I’m not sure how helpful this information is going to be toward your final decision-making.

Personally, I’d get the iPad. There is a great Application for it that allows you to sync documents over WiFi between your PC and iPad and allow you to minimally edit them ( You can get an iPad-compatible printer should you really need to print something ( You can download Podcasts and listen to them right from the iPad (not as portable for walking, but perfect for car, train, plane).

Let me know what you think. Perhaps we are slowly narrowing things down.


On Mar 4, 2011, at 1:58 PM, Barbara wrote:

> Hunter, > > When last we communicated about my desire for a tablet to take with me for our month is Israel, you asked me to list what I would want to use it for. I’ve finally figured that out, and besides the tasks you described it as good for, I have 3 other needs. Armed with that list, I looked at the first generation iPad at Best Buy, and liked it. > > With regard to my “3 other needs”: > 1. I found that Best Buy has a keyboard with a port for the iPad, so I could compose documents and, if I need to print something, email it to my husband’s computer for printing. > But the iPad apparently doesn’t a USB port, which I would need for the other two things I want to be able to do during our time away: > 2. read a stick drive, which I would use to bring files from my laptop. > 3. download podcasts to my tiny MP3 player, which I listen to while out for my daily exercise walk > > When I told the Best Buy guy about that issue, he showed me the brand new Motorola XOOM, which does have a USB port, and a small keyboard that could be used with it. I looked up the XOOM on line and found really positive reviews. And now I learned about the new iPad 2 which comes out next week. I would greatly appreciate your feedback and guidance as among the three of them for my purposes. > > Also, Jackie told me that you used your iPad while traveling in Europe and could advise me on the usefulness of 3G capability outside the US, as well as within. I would really like to be able to use the tablet while we’re out and about in the car, e.g. for checking maps and finding gas stations, restaurants, etc. > > If it would be easier to discuss these things by phone, please call me at 458-9486, but e-mail is OK too if that’s better for you. > > Thanks, > Barbara > > >

Macbook Kernel Panic

Hi Liana –

Perhaps. The error itself doesn’t mean much, but it might be indicative of a serious hardware issue.

But realistically the problem could be:

Software related – either a system or application problem. Hardware related – a defective system component, including hard drive, memory, camera, usb, firewire ethernet, graphics, input device, processor or system board.

I would definitely double-check to make sure that your backup is working correctly. If you select the ‘Time Machine’ icon from the upper-right menu, it should say “Latest Backup” with a recent date. If you’re all backed up, at least you have no chance of losing any valuable data.

If the problem persists, it may require further attention.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

MacBook Kaput

Hi Chris –

Is this a black or white Macbook instead of the Macbook Pro? Those have been notorious for drive failures after 3-4 years.

The symptoms you describe make me tend to believe the hard drive is physically damaged. You’ll have a hard time booting, installing software, running software and (potentially) recovering data. It’s easy to replace the drive and reinstall Mac OS. I can’t tell you how much data can be recovered, if any, without testing the drive and attempting to recover data.

Yes, we can certainly look at it on Thurs. If you want to get it into the hands of Justin at any time, I can get it from him. Our office isn’t staffed for any particular hours.

I hope we can retrieve some data for you.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Questions about Dropbox

Hi Marc –

Good questions again.

Sharing files with a service like Dropbox is different than on a Windows system. In many ways it’s more flexible, in others less so.

The best way to manage Dropbox is to have the client installed on every user’s computer (PC or Mac), create an account for each user, and use a single account to manage and share files. I created that account initially and shared all the folders I had created with you. Only folders you share with other users will show up in those users’ Dropbox folders. Any additional folders you share will be added to that user’s account automatically and instantaneously.

Files can also be accessed through the web or on portable devices (Blackberry, Droid, iPhone/iPad).

Regarding quotas. Every time you share a folder with a user, and they create an account and install the Dropbox client, an additional 250MB of storage is added to your account. You can increase the quota for a free account to 8GB. Here’s the tricky part: The size of the folders you share with another user counts against the user’s quota. So if the master account has a quota of 8GB, and is using 5.6GB of data, and you share out the 5.6GB with a user that only has 3GB, their quota is exhausted. This doesn’t mean they can’t add or edit files shared out to them. It means that they can’t use Dropbox for any of their personal files. Does that make sense?

If you need more than 8GB, then the 50GB or 100GB plans are pretty reasonable.

The service isn’t perfect yet, but it can easily be manipulated as a replacement for an existing file server. And given the outstanding benefit for sharing files throughout multiple locations and allowing users to access their files when on the road, we think it’s a great alternative.

I would definitely keep testing it – if it seems like it can be configured in such a way that it can replace your existing file server(s), I would more forward immediately with the migration.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Jane, Williamstown

Thanks,Hunter! So glad I got a Mac!

TV is working out great….HUGE improvement!


Regarding: Mac Laptop Updates and Installation of a new 40″ LED TV with matching Blu-Ray player for streaming Netflix.

Web Content Filtering

> > The following steps should be easy enough to follow. Let me know if > you get stuck somewhere along the way. > > 1) Visit the below link to sign up for an account. You’ll need to > provide an email address and create a password. > > OpenDNS Basic Signup > > 2) Once you log in on the website, you can change/customize your > settings here. > > 3) Use the link below to download the OpenDNS Client Updater. This > allows OpenDNS to apply your custom settings to your home. > > OpenDNS Client Updater > > This can be installed on any computer in the house. It should be a > computer that is on frequently (if not all the time). It can be > installed on the computer for your children, but I’d make sure to > hide the program. You can do this by right-clicking on the icon in > the system-tray (at bottom right of screen) and selecting Run Hidden. > > 4) Lastly, you’ll need to change the DNS Settings on the children’s > computer. Do this by clicking Start -> Control Panel -> Network and > Internet -> Network Sharing Center -> Manage Network Connections. > Right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties. Select > the Networking Tab, and click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/ > IPv4) and select Properties. Click Use the Following DNS Server > Addresses, and enter and in the spaces > provided. Click OK, Apply, Save, Whatnot. > > At this point, the filtering should begin to take affect. Any new > customizations you make to the OpenDNS Settings could take up to 10 > minutes to be applied to the computer. This is to be expected. > > Hope this works out smoothly, and let me know if you have any > questions. > > -Jackie

Media Question – Verizon, Netflix, Wireless, Time Warner, Phone, Internet TV

Hi Molly –

I hope you’re doing well. I’m glad the new computer and printer are working out so well for you so far.

We’re dealing with three services:

Phone Internet TV

Currently you have Verizon for Phone/Internet and Time Warner for TV.

Phone service provides you with a traditional land-line for making and receiving calls using one or more wired or cordless handsets. That’s easy. Many people don’t use this service at all and alternatively rely exclusively on their cell phones.

TV service provides a scheduled broadcast of various channels. These are either by cable or satellite. Both Standard and High Definition service is available for either cable or satellite. DVR (recording and playback, Digital Video Recording) is also an option for both.

Internet service is really the crossover and unquestionably the essential service. You can make calls (using services like Skype or Vonage), watch TV (via computer or internet-equipped media devices), and rent movies directly over the internet.

The streaming services (Netflix, AppleTV –, GoogleTV –, Wii, Playstation, and most Blu-Ray players) require solely an internet connection. Some TV you can now watch using your internet connection though most is pay-as-you-go rentals. Some shows you can watch on the TV and others on the computer. It’s all very complicated right now.

Here’s the biggest problem with streaming services: Their success and their quality depend entirely on the reliability and speed of your internet connection. The Verizon service you have now is actually inadequate to effectively receive ANY streaming services – via the Wii or any other method. Transmitting audio and video over the internet is a data intensive process – if your internet connection is slow they won’t work.

Unfortunately Time Warner is the only other telecommunications carrier in this area, but I feel that TW can offer better services than anyone else. Their internet is fast (nearly 10x faster than what you have now), their phone service is reliable and the TV service has great quality – including many HD and On-Demand channels. So while the Verizon/DirecTV option is cheaper, it’s definitely not the better service.

Verizon may upgrade their service out here and offer FiOS (Fiber service) which would allow them to compete service-wise and cost-wise with Time Warner (including the ability to ditch DirecTV and satellite for TV). But that may never happen.

Hope that information helps – let me know if you’d like me to fill in any blanks.



On Jan 10, 2011, at 11:45 AM, Molly Polk wrote:

> hi Hunter > > I hope you’re doing well – I used our new printer for the first time yesterday and it seems great – thank you! > > I’m researching options for phone/internet/tv plans as we’ve been with Verizon for phone/internet and Time Warner for TV for awhile and I haven’t assessed. > > It seems that the Verizon DirecTV plan (bundling internet, phone, and tv) is the best deal – do you have any experience with it at all? TWarner’s plan seems more expensive, and also I hate to have to have a new modem, etc. installed when it seems like everything internet-wise has generally worked pretty well with Verizon. > > Alternatively, we now have a Wii and can stream from Netflix….but we still would need a TV service (whether thru Time Warner or Verizon) in order to watch TV. Is that correct? I can’t keep up with all of this new media – but it’s exciting! > > I’d appreciate it if you could pass on any advice. > > many thanks and hope to see you ’round soon. > Molly

TV Headphones Digital Audio

Hi Dusty –

I hope you’re enjoying your new TV.

There is a small problem with the headphones. I’ll explain.

For the headphones to work, the TV must output its sound to them.

The TV has two audio outputs. One is an analog headphone jack. The other is a digital audio output.

The headphone jack is designed to output sound only to the headphones when connected. That won’t work – you wouldn’t be able to watch with her because the TV speakers would be disabled.

The digital output can simultaneously output audio to both the TV speakers and to the headphones, BUT the headphones (and all like them) are analog, so we must convert the digital signal to an analog signal.

I had a converter with me and installed it yesterday. It works fine for DVD and basic TV, but not with the digital TV channels because digital TV uses a different digital encoding called Dolby. The converter I had can’t convert Dolby Digital.

So the easiest option would be to replace the converter I installed yesterday with a more sophisticated version that can convert both standard digital audio and Dolby digital audio. Like this one:

It’s not cheap – like $100 vs $60 or the one I installed yesterday.

Sorry for all the technical details. Let me know what you think.



On Jan 8, 2011, at 5:47 PM, Dustin wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > > We’ve just bought a new TV — an LG 32LE5300 — from Amazon, and I have been able to do no more than unpack it and attach the stand. It’s pretty clear where the cable (for cable TV) goes that connects to the wall, but when I got to the section on connecting additional equipment (our DVD player) I cannot proceed. > > The little colored jacks supplied with the new TV are not just like the colored jacks from our old one — so it does not appear that I can simply unplug the jacks from the old and insert them into the new. > > So I think we need help. I imagine that for anybody who is familiar with electronics it should be only a matter of ten minutes. Can you send somebody? > > We are around for the next few days, but leaving on Friday afternoon the 14th for two weeks in the sun. > > Dusty

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

A Very Brief Look At TiVo

Hi Jean –

Hope you’ve been well.

The TiVo (that’s the alternative to Time Warner’s DVR) works very well, and I’ve been very happy with it.

The interface is much faster and responsive. Shows are easier to find, the Guide is more intuitive. TiVo also has Netflix, Blockbuster and Amazon streaming services built-in. It also does some clever things – like, eg, it records shows it thinks you will like (based on what you watch and what you record). It also can store more recorded shows.

Some additional information:

One drawback: Time Warner Pay-Per-View and On-Demand services are not available.


$3/month to rent the card from Time Warner that gets installed in the TiVo. $13/month for the TiVo service. $250 for the cost of the TiVo box (the Premiere box)

The monthly cost is about the same as Time Warner, but you do have to buy the box outright.

Interestingly, through the end of December, TiVo is offering a $175 rebate on any TiVo with the purchase of any TV.

Right now the same LED we looked at before, the 32″ Samsung 4000 series, has dropped to $575. Wall bracket is still about the same – $50.

But that means you could get the TiVo and the 32″ LED for $650.

And new pricing for the holidays is coming out tomorrow, so there may be an additional price drop on the TV.



On Nov 1, 2010, at 1:10 PM, Jean wrote:

> Hunter, > > My husband is preferring to wait for an LED- perhaps after the holidays when newer models may show lower pricing with these. > > Will be in touch. > > By the way – the Netflix service is great- quality excellent too! > > How’s the Direct TV connection- did you have a chance to set-up? > >

Constant Contact, Spam, Newsletters, Mailing Lists

Hi Molly –

The biggest issue I see is that the messages you send are coming from YOU. They shouldn’t be. Constant Contact has no official business sending out messages from your email address. Only Google can do that. When a mail server receives a message like that, they get suspicious of its authenticity because its origination doesn’t match what is officially on record for your domain.

Some of our clients use mass emailing software integrated with WordPress (which we install and maintain). It’s very similar to CC, but costs less (we bundle it into the annual hosting subscription) and can be accessed using the same website administration as the rest of the site (integrated, not a separate service like CC). When messages go out, they are in the form of, because the server from which they are being sent is authoritative to send mail from but not

You might be able to change that behavior in the CC settings – allowing CC to use an account of their own to send out the email instead of yours. The Reply-To address can remain the same.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

PC Computer Clean-Up/iBook Power Issue

Hi –

Yes, I do remember your parents’ computer. There are a few things you can do to help improve it – but at this point the machine is a bit antiquated and all the efforts may be for naught.

The first thing to do is to uninstall any programs that aren’t needed any longer. You can do so by accessing the ‘Add/Remove Programs’ control panel (start->settings->control panel). Go through the list and uninstall anything you recognize as not needing. Also remove any security software (AVG, Norton, McAfee, Avast, Windows Defender, ClamAV, etc).

The second thing to do would be to download and run this program:

It’s called CCleaner, and it can automate some of the cleanup process. You should run both the Cleaner and Registry options on the left – allow CCleaner to fix, delete or repair anything it wants.

After that, run Defraggler, also made by the same company:

After that, check to see if the system has improved at all.

And finally, reinstall your security software. I recommend this program:

It’s free from Microsoft and works very well.

If the laptop isn’t just ‘dead’ (it does happen), you can try only a few things:

1) Make sure the charger is actually working. Does the light on the end of the charger come on when it’s plugged in? Is it either orange or green?

2) Make sure the battery has some juice in it. There’s a small round button on the bottom of the battery. If you press that, you should see a small bank of green lights come on. If you don’t see any lights, or just one small light flashing, the battery is completely dead and isn’t being charged properly.

3) If 1 and 2 seem okay, then it’s possible the laptops power management chip is confused and needs to be reset. Here’s how:

• If the computer is on, turn it off. • Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing Shift-Control-Option-Power on the keyboard. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this combination of keystrokes. • Wait 5 seconds. • Press the Power button to restart the iBook computer.

If you don’t get ANY life out of it at this point, it could still be a defective memory chip or wireless card – but I wouldn’t be too optimistic.

Let me know how you make out and if you need anything else.



On Nov 16, 2010, at 12:49 PM, Kara wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > > Remember my parents’ desk top Dell in their home office? Well, they still have it and it still works, believe it or not. They haven’t used it in about six months, but now want me to clean it up a bit so they can have two home computers. My dad says it works, but seems very slow. I remember seeing you “clean up” computer hard drives, so I wondered if that might be something I could easily do myself for them. Can you explain it to me? > > Also, I gave my brother my old laptop (the white iBook) and he has been using it with no trouble for a while now. It wouldn’t turn on when he tried to use it last week, and Derek says he has tried all the simple solutions…taking out the battery, etc. Any recommendations of how we might be able to salvage it for a bit longer? They aren’t in the market for a new laptop right now, but I would be willing to pay for this one to be fixed for them. Just wondered if you think its possible. > > Hope all is well. > > Thanks, > > Kara

HP Pavilion dv6 Trackpad

I recently had to set up a new HP Pavilion dv6 16″ Laptop.  It came with Windows 7, 64-Bit.  Aside from the fact that HP stole the keyboard design from the Apple Macbook and attempted to make their crappy plastic case look like Apple’s brushed aluminum, it’s not a bad computer.  Except that it runs Windows.

Though no direct fault of Microsoft, the trackpad is the worst piece of pointing hardware I have ever used.   The trackpad vacillates between totally dysfunctional and so aggravating I feel like moving back to pen and paper.  I can only blame the limitations of the trackpad on HP or at least on HP’s choice to by cheap Synaptics hardware .  Microsoft’s own poor software development habits are not at fault this time.  Though some of the quirky behavior of the trackpad may be fixable with better software, the current driver support offers very limited maneuverability.  The sensitivity is all wrong, it’s physically too small, and like many artifacts in the PC world that are core components of a computer, this one just doesn’t work well.

Macbook Air Won’t Turn On

Hi –

That’s a bummer. I haven’t seen many dead Macbook Airs. I can stop tomorrow and take a look at it.

Might just need a PMU reset (power management unit). You can even try it now – it’s easy:

1. Turn off the MacBook Air. 2. Connect the power adapter and plug it in. 3. On the LEFT side of the keyboard (Yes, the left side only), hold down Shift, Option and Control. 4. Press the power button. 5. Wait 5 seconds, then release all keys. 6. Push power button to turn your MacBook Air back on. Caution, make sure the MacBook Air is completely shut down before reseting the PMU to avoid damage to your file system.

Let me know if that has any affect at all.



On Sep 28, 2010, at 7:47 PM, Liz Costley wrote:

> Hunter, > > Please come as soon as possible to take a look at Luke’s laptop. “It’s dead.” > > Thanks, > > >

Mike, Williamstown

Hunter, I wanted you to know that Jackie did a great job the other day, and thank you for following up so quickly on my initial request.  It’s good knowing you folks are in town!


Regarding: Mac OS 10.6 System Optimizations; Compatibility checks with

The Myth of USB 2.0

USB 2.0 was introduced to replace the limited USB 1.0 interface with something more robust and capable of handling faster data transfers for devices that required it.  It was also introduced to combat with Apple’s Firewire-400.   USB 2.0 claims to boast transfer speeds of 400Mbps.

Yet I sit here with a brand new HP Pavilion dv6 and a Western Digital MyBook 500GB external hard drive and can only muster 20Mbps.  The MyBook is fully USB 2.0 compliant, as are all the ports on the Pavilion.  Why would anyone advertise an interface as being capable of transferring data at a maximum speed of 400Mpbs, when I have never seen it – on any system or drive – move much faster than 20Mpbs.  That’s a 95% decrease in the purported speed.

Laptop Opinion

Hi Madeline –

Tough question.

The Macs are the best. They last a long time and require the least about of maintenance. They’re worth every cent of the extra $$.

But the cheapest Mac laptop is $950.

Aside from that, all the PCs are the same. The warranties are bad, support is awful, and the software (WIndows) stinks. You can get a PC laptop for as little as $300 – and up depending on the features (webcam, better battery, larger screen, LED display, Bluetooth, extra memory, larger hard drive, less weight, better video, etc). A ‘good’ PC is usually about $700. Compare:

We support PCs every day – and hate them – but everyone can’t be fortunate enough to own a Mac.


On Sep 7, 2010, at 8:17 AM, Madeline wrote:

> Hey Hunter, > > My daughter Shelley is shopping for a laptop. Do you have any opinions as to which are the best value/most reliable for the (least) money? Thanks. > > BTW, don’t need the MS-Works….let’s just say he’s on his own :) > > Madeline

MS Office/OpenOffice compatibility issues and use

This issue is always going to be a problem.

While the MS Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher) is poorly engineered, it remains a global standard. Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult to break from it. It’s also expensive – and not worth the money.

Google Docs is great for sharing documents and providing access to them from multiple locations. It is severely limited with respect to precise formatting.

OpenOffice is a nice suite, if the compatibility issues with MS Office don’t prove to be problematic.

I would also recommend checking out MS Office Web Apps:

Microsoft came up with the idea in order to compete with Google’s Web Apps. It’s sort-of free. Free for Personal use – the corporate licensing is ugly because you have to run it on a local server – which defeats the purpose of having a suite that doesn’t require maintenance or hosting.

Anything that can be done in the cloud as well or better than on the desktop is a step in the right direction. We won’t even have operating systems in the immediately future – just web browsers.


On Sep 3, 2010, at 8:34 AM, Marc wrote:

> re: MS Office software compatibility > > Over this year we will probably have several incidents of software incompatibility between MS Office, and OpenOffice. > > OpenOffice is the free Office suite alternative to MS Office. We’ve installed it on all new pc’s over the past 1.5 year. All of buffalo uses this. Future sites will be using something like this. About 15% of our computers now use this. > > Mostly the software is compatible, and readily usable…most of the menus are identical, and one can pick up the other in moments. > > However, MS Office 2007 documnets can be opened in OpenOffice, but not saved in OpenOffice. Some formatting features don’t readily transfer. MSOffice now has a 2010 suite. A few issues have been reported to me over the past year. > > Over this year we should consider what to transition to. > > I recommend exploring 2 options: > a: Google Docs. this has great usage for shared documents, as well as documents that one uses for preparing classes, etc. This has lots of uses. And, it has the advantage of automatically saving the documents online > > b. OpenOffice. Free, Widely used. 99% compatible w/ MS Office. Even most of the formula in it’s spreadsheets are identical. This would be for local computer use, and sharing. Google docs saves in this format. Lotus Symphony saves in this format as well. > > > Meanwhile, to minimize compatibility issues, I recommend that staff with MS Office 2007 save documents in 2003 format. I could email folks to do that. > > What are your thoughts? > > Marc

HP Laserjet Adjustments

Hi Steve –

I believe you have an HP 3600 laser, correct?

If so, I can put you on the right track.

You can adjust all the settings you nee through the LCD on the front of the printer.

For the language:

Press Menu Press the down arrow until you find ‘System Setup’ – may be in French so look for something similar Press the Checkmark Scroll down to Language Press the Checkmark Find English Press the Checkmark

Press the Menu button to save & exit

For the paper:

You can choose a tray when you print (on the print dialog, press ‘Print Properties’ – then fish around in there

You can also define specific paper sizes and types and let the printer choose automatically based on the document properties. This is also done through the ‘Paper Handling’ menu on the printer:

Press Menu Press down until ‘Paper Handling’ Press the Checkmark Set each Tray size and type to match the paper sizes and types you are using. When you print, for instance, an 8.5×11 letterhead, it will pull from Tray 2, if you have Tray 2 defined as 8.5×11 letterhead.

Let me know how you make out –



On Aug 30, 2010, at 5:59 PM, Steve wrote:

> > Hey, Hunter – > > > When you have a little time, I need help with my HP color printer. Two things: > > * Somehow I lost English on the control panel and it’s now a language I don’t even recognize. > > * I want to adjust settings so paper feeds from a different tray. To do this I need to access HP Toolbox FX, but when I go there the subheads aren’t there for making changes. > > Help! > > > Steve > >

two quick questions/problems

Hi Steve –

1) Yes, absolutely. This particular problem actually sounds like a defective or damaged USB port, a common computer issue. Are you connecting the headphones to the ports on the front of the computer? What happens when you connect them to one of the ports on the back?

2) Good question. Our demand for data has increased considerably since your DSL was installed some years ago. There may be two options:

a) Have you ever renewed your contract with Verizon for DSL service? If not, you may actually be paying for and receiving a service slower than what you might be eligible for. Because of your close proximity to Water St (that’s where Verizon’s ‘central office’ is located – where all their phone wires route to), I would imagine you should be able to receive at least their 3.0 megabit-per-second service. A call to Verizon will determine what service you currently have and what you can receive.

b) If you are already receiving the fastest DSL service, then a switch to TIme Warner may be in order. Time Warner’s internet service is very fast – definitely faster than Verizon’s basic and mid-grade service – and if you bundle internet with phone (they’ll transfer your existing Verizon #) and tv from Time Warner, the overall package ends up saving you a few bucks each month.

Try testing out those other USB ports and let me know how it works. Perhaps a newer PC is in order?



On Aug 30, 2010, at 1:43 PM, Steve wrote:

> Hi Hunter — > > Here are the above-mentioned: > > (1) Do you guys do hardware repair of computers, or just software/systems stuff? I ask because our PC has started to behave in a way that seems to me to suggest an electronic problem: when I plug a headset into the USB port (either of them), the language program I’m using it for mostly doesn’t recognize the headphones, and if I try re-inserting them, the computer sometimes just shuts down (power off) abruptly. Is that something you guys could fix? > > (2) To watch satisfactory streaming webcasts of English football matches, what do I need in the way of internet access? You set us up with a DSL service via Verizon (don’t know the speed, but it isn’t a very expensive option), which has mostly been fine for us. But when I’ve recently tried the sample webcasts for Liverpool’s online broadcasts, they seem to stop briefly every five seconds or so, which is maddening when you’re trying to watch football. (For similar reasons, we haven’t even tried streamed movies.) Is there something not too exorbitant I can do to make this work? > > Thanks, > Steve

Testing Internet Bandwidth

If you’re curious about how much bandwidth (quantity of data that can be pushed to and from your computer) you are receiving from your internet provider, check out:

It can be run on ANY computer using ANY flash-equipped web browser. They also have a handy iPhone app available.

If you are dramatically outside the following figures when you run your test, then one of the following is possible:

There is a provider issue. There is a problem with your internet connection. This is usually an outside or inside wiring issue. There is a problem with your internet modem. There is a problem with your internet router. There is a problem with your wireless connection (if applicable). There is a problem with your computer (virus, defective network card, misconfigured network settings). You aren’t receiving the service you are signed up to receive.

For Time Warner:

Download – Around 768Kb (Lite), Around 10Mb (Standard), Around 15Mb (Turbo) Upload – Around 128Kb (Lite), Around 768Kb (Standard), Around 768Kb (Turbo)

For Verizon:

Download – 768Kb-7Mb, depending on how far you are from Verizon’s DSL equipment Upload – 128Kb-1.5Mb, depending on how far you are from Verizon’s DSL equipment


Download – 256Kb-1.5Mb, depending on your service Upload – 128Kb – 256Kb, depending on your service

Broadband Access/Cell Card:

Download: 768Kb-1.5Mb, depending on your connection quality and connection type (Edge vs. 3G vs. 4G) Upload: 128kb-256kb, depending on your connection quality and connection type (Edge vs. 3G vs. 4G)

Laptop Won’t Turn On

Hi Mary –

Yes, we can look at it.

Have you tried removing the battery, letting it sit for ~15 minutes, and then re-inserting the battery?

PCs have serious problems managing power, and often they go into a sleeping state that makes them appear as if they’re totally dead. Removing the battery resets the power management system.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Are there other DSL vendors in Northern Berkshire County

Hi Pete –

Sort of.

Verizon owns all the infrastructure around here, as you know, which means that any ‘vendor’ you choose is just using Verizon’s switches, trunks and wires.

But I know for a fact Menty’s/BCN and Earthlink can both offer service. It was always my understanding that Verizon charged the least since the others had to resell the Verizon service.

Are you looking at an alternative for your house?  Because I might just starting stringing up fiber optic cable at night – maybe no one will notice? I can continue it down to you, too.


On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 2:23 PM, Peter  wrote: > > Are there other DSL vendors in Northern Berkshire County besides Verizon? > > > > Pete

Lee, Williamstown

Great. I’ll be in touch. But your instructions were flawless, and the machine is running like new.


Regarding: Optimizing a windows system following a spyware infection.

Kathy, North Adams

Thank you so much for setting me up [with my new iMac]. It is great. I loaded on photoshop elements 8 today that I got new a while back – so I am all set to go! At some point I will get some kind of publishing or indesign. Thanks!
Regarding: Purchase and set-up of a new Apple iMac.

SUID Warning Mac OS X

Hi Alex –

Probably nothing – but I would run the ‘Repair Permissions’ feature of Disk Utility to confirm. Disk Utility is located in /Applications/Utilities.



On Jun 3, 2010, at 3:22 PM, Alex wrote:

> Hello Hunter, > > This notice came up with a Disk Utility disk permissions repair: “Warning: SUID file “System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/” has been modified and will not be repaired.” > > Should I be concerned? > > Alex >

Offsite Backup Strategy


Yes, tapes are prone to failing. Often at the most disastrous times, too.

Mozy and Carbonite are both good services. Brainspiral Tech also offers an off site backup service which you can read about here ( ).

A one-year subscription would be $200, which would include unlimited server backups and storage.

We have a number of clients who maintain both off site and local data backup systems, and this is certainly an option. One benefit is being able to keep hourly (or semi-hourly) backups on site while also keeping a daily backup off site. Some think this is overkill, others believe you can’t be too careful. We’re happy to support either approach.

Any credible off site backup service will encrypt your data, allow you to select which data should and shouldn’t be backed up, and allow you to restore at any time. Most of these solutions will back up your data on a schedule, while a few of the more robust solutions will monitor files for changes and back them up immediately.

Transferability is never a problem with off site backup services. The files are stored as plain data, and can be retrieved from any machine with the software installed (and the username / password). Transferring from one computer to another is simply a matter of downloading the stored files onto the new machine. Transferring to a new company is as easy as turning off the old service and turning on the new one.

I’d be happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Jacklyn Matts Brainspiral Techonologies, Inc.

> From: “Brian” > Date: May 14, 2010 12:41:47 PM EDT > To: “Hunter Greene” > Subject: backups > > Hunter, > A quick question I forgot to ask earlier….. > Our backup tape drives all seem to have a life of 2-3 years until > they fail – they are also unwieldy. > > Given the technology advancements in the last 2 years on external > drive storage/transfer speeds, We are now considering an external > hard disk dedicated to backing up the server – a lot cheaper than > tape, more reliable – just one have off site tapes in case of fire, > flood, etc. > > We also looked into Mozy and Carbonite for internet based back-up, > encrypted……we prefer Mozy – they seem more business oriented, and > are part of a large public company. > > When I look at the costs, I am not even certain it makes sense to > have an external back-up drive onsite in addition to internet > backups, since Mozy seems to do everything, as long as there are > test restores that show everything is in working order. > > Your have had any experiences with offsite internet based storage/ > retrieve al systems? > > I guess one question I still have is “transferability” from one Mozy > to another company down the road, if that should ever be a need. > > Thanks for any input, > B > >

Jean, North Adams

We want to extend our appreciation of the great job you did for our home and look forward to future services along with recommending your business to all of of friends.
Regarding: Installation and wiring for high speed wireless internet, a bedroom television and full home theatre with surround sound.

New Computer Advice

Hi Sue –

Good to hear from you.

To make is simple: A new Mac is definitely the way to go. Macs are more reliable, better looking, faster, more durable, last longer, easier to use and less likely to be bogged down with viruses or security vulnerabilities. Macs are also less prone to out-of-the-blue flakiness.

They do cost a bit more than PCs, but that’s only because Apple doesn’t skimp on quality of components. Even the least expensive Mac is more powerful and more featured than most PCs.

Choosing a Mac is easier than choosing a PC. Basically you just have to decide what size you’d like.

I think the new 13″ Macbook Pro is a really nice machine.

But some find the 13″ screen to be a bit too small.

Even the regular Macbook is very nice (I used one myself for years):

And it’s a bit cheaper than the Pro.

The prices on all the Apple equipment are quite close across the board (from Apple or a Reseller), but sometimes we can get some discounts through our distributors.

Let me know what you think.

All the best,


On Apr 3, 2010, at 12:51 PM, Sue wrote:

> Hunter, > > It is finally time for me to get a nice laptop like our two girls have. My parents would like to help me buy one. My question for you is this – the school I work at is pretty much all PC. My kids and husband think I really need to get a Mac. I am not up-to-date on how compatible everything is. If I use my computer mostly (90%) for work, is it okay to go with a Mac. > > I welcome your advice when you have the time. > > Thanks, > Sue >

Procedure for Cleaning Up a PC or Mac

Hi Jeff –

Yes, we can help. At least 50% of our business entails home user support.

How old is the machine? Normally what we do is:

Ensure the machine has sufficient memory. Ensure the machine does not have a hardware defect (like bad memory or bad hard drive – both known to cause performance issues). Ensure the operating system is functioning properly by: Removing out of date software Installing all important patching and updates Optimizing the system by eliminating unnecessary system services, cleaning temporary files and defragmenting the hard drive

Test the machine.

If the machine is exceptionally old – like 7+ years – then it’s usually not worth fixing. Instead, we junk the machine and migrate the data over to a newer machine (we have clients that upgrade their systems regularly and donate their equipment to us afterwards). Ultimately then you’ll have a fully functional system instead of something patched together.

Total cost: $50-$100


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————- w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Apr 5, 2010, at 9:03 AM, Heather wrote:

> Hunter > > My Moms computer is running real slow and really needs to be cleaned > up is that something you generally do and if so how much do you > charge for that service? > > >

Mac CD Drive Won’t open

Yes. Turn off the computer. Turn the computer back on and hold down the mouse key. That should eject it.

On Mar 30, 2010, at 11:50 AM, Al wrote:

> Hunter.. my CD / DVD drive won’t open when i press the key to open > it. There is a DVD in it currently. Any mechanism that can skirt > around the DVD key? > > — > Al

TV Picture Formatting

Oh yeah. Everything is fine. I didn’t realize you guys were out of the country. Hope you’re having a great time over there!

I just wanted to inform you about my findings when I stopped by your house the other day.

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing wrong with the picture formatting on either the TV or the Blu-Ray player. One of the Blu-Ray movies was actually Standard (4:3 aspect ratio). I have never seen a Blu-Ray movie in this ratio, but apparently they exist. because the TV is 16:9 aspect ratio, the 4:3 aspect ratio is displayed in the center and the left and right sides are left black. This is actually a technique called letterbox – whereby one ratio is ‘formatted’ to fit another screen size. The TV *can* fill the screen, but then image cropping and stretching would be required, distorting the original image on the disc.

The other movie, District 9 I believe it was, was actually formatted Panavision Widescreen. This is a common format especially for movie theatres. But since the ratio is actually wider than the TV (2.35:1), we now get a letterbox effect on the top and bottom instead of the left and right. This is normal and the expected behavior.

Does that make sense?


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————- w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 29, 2010, at 5:10 PM, Karen wrote:

> Hey, > > Bob told me you called the other night. > > Everything okay? > > Thanks, > K > > > >

Hi Lisa –

No, I haven’t heard of them. Their site seems suspicious though. I also wonder what kind of selection they have. The movies they are showcasing are hardly even mainstream.

Netflix is definitely the most popular and offers the greatest selection of movies for instant streaming.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————- w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 23, 2010, at 9:55 PM, Lisa wrote:

> Hello Hunter, > > Hope all is well with you. Wondering if you have heard of Movies Capital something like netflix but you are able to download moves for a one time fee. I’m thinking of getting that for Jonathan. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated. > > Thanks, > > Lisa >

NAS – Buffalo Terrastations

Hi Jay –

We use them here & there and have had very good luck with them.

They tend to be a bit cheaper than some of the other NAS devices out there.

We use them often to replace tape backup drives, but choosing the right software for backups is critical as some products, even BackupExec, don’t handle re-connecting and re-mounting the backup volumes well. We also use them on occasion for cheap network storage or to put off upgrading a server’s storage capacity. They certainly aren’t as flexible configuration-wise as a Windows of Mac OS Server, but in the right environment they work well enough. The ‘Pro’ series can connect to an existing AD Domain. Managing shares & permissions is a bit clumsy, at least compared to doing the same within Windows Server.

We have moved many of our clients to an off-site internet-based backup solution hosted by Brainspiral in our Bennington and Lanesboro data centers. Many of our clients don’t have much data, so it’s faster, safer & cheaper than trying to maintain something in-house.

Hope that information helps.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————- w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 19, 2010, at 1:17 PM, Jay wrote:

> Hey Hunter, > > I was wondering if you are using the Terrastations extensively for storage and what your thoughts are on them? I have primarily been using snap servers for storage and Overland Reo’s for backups. I am thinking about trying the terrastations for NAS as the snap servers are a little flaky. > > Jay

Reset Brother 2040 Toner Count


1.) Turn the printer off. 2.) Hold the ‘go’ button while turning the printer on. All panel lights should be on. 3.) Release the ‘go’ button once all lights are off. 4. )Press the ‘go’ button 2 times. 5.) Pause. 6.) Press the ‘go’ button 5 times. 7.) The toner light should be off. 8.) The paper light should be on. 9.) Close cover. The ready light should be the only light on. Once all steps are successfully completed your “low toner” light should be fixed.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————-

On Mar 15, 2010, at 12:56 PM, carolyn wrote:

> Hi Hunter > > Did you sent me the instructions for the printer? I got the Lexmark > printer working. > Carolyn

Another AVG/Anti-Virus Question

Hi Lynne –

While AVG is a good product, we have found that the newer versions are bulky and clumsy and are encouraging everyone to remove AVG and install Microsoft Security Essentials.

Security Essentials is a free anti-virus, anti-spyware security solution developed by Microsoft specifically for Microsoft products.

It’s available here:

Your new PC probably already has it on there – we never deploy a machine without some sort of security software. Or at least try not to forget!

Glad you’re liking the new Lenovo. We like them, too.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————-

On Mar 10, 2010, at 7:47 PM, Lynne wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > I’m getting a renewal message from AVG ( my email for my old > PC)….Let me know if, with Windows 7 on my Lenovo ThinkCentre > (which I LOVE!)….I need to think about AVG? > > Thanks > — > > > Lynne >

Monitor Problem

Hi Dusty –

Ideally the center of the monitor should be about at eye level, but never higher. Lower is okay, but laptops’ screens usually sit right on the desk & are sometimes too low.

Yes, attaching an external monitor to the laptop is no problem. There’s a video connector on the side or back of the laptop that would allow you to connect and monitor. Simply turn off the laptop, connect the monitor, turn the monitor on, then turn on the laptop. If the monitor is working correctly, you should see the same thing on the large screen that you see on the laptop screen.

Attaching an external keyboard to the laptop is also a possibility, thought it sounds like we’d have to find the right match.

Do you want to try connecting the monitor yourself and let us know if it doesn’t work or if you have any difficulties?


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————- w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Feb 25, 2010, at 2:16 PM, wrote:

> Hi Hunter — > > My wife has a continuing problem with arthritis in her neck and shoulders, and we think that looking DOWN at the laptop keyboard may be producing neck/shoulder pain. But she needs the laptop since her arthritis-damaged fingers can handle its keyboard better than the keyboards for desktop she used to use. > > I am wondering if we can somehow hook up the laptop to an old desktop monitor (which we will put at eye level), and let her read off that monitor without having to look down at the laptop screen. > > Would that work, and can you do it? If not, do you have any other idea about how she could work at the computer without having to look down. >

Virus Protection Question

Hi Liz –

No problem.

Actually, neither update is related to the new Security Essentials software.

Both the Genuine Advantage and Malicious Software Protection Updates are common Windows XP system updates. They can be installed manually or they will ultimately be installed automatically (Windows schedules this kind of routine system update at odd times – but eventually they’ll occur).

If you feel inclined to install them, great. If not, just clear the messages – or ignore them. We usually run them whenever we’re in the office checking on things.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————-

On Feb 24, 2010, at 12:44 PM, Liz wrote:

> Hunter — > > When I turned on my computer, I was prompted to install “Windows > Genuine Advantage” and “Microsoft Malicious Software Proctection > Updates” and some message about not getting spyware, etc. I ignored > the message, but as we know I’m bad with computers and don’t know > what I’m doing most of the time, so is this something I should be > installing? As far as I know, the virus protection I have is with > “Microsoft Security Essentials” — is this Genuine Advantage stuff > related? > > Thanks, > Liz > > > O

Flagging/Followup Issue Outlook

> > I may have some not so fantastic news. The reason the follow-up > options are not working as they did before is by design. > > We have set up your email account over the IMAP protocol. If you > remember, we did this so that changes you made inside of Outlook > would be consistent regardless of where else you viewed your mail > from. The IMAP protocol does not support all the flagging features > that Outlook offers. In past versions of Outlook, Microsoft chose > to ignore this and allow access to the full range of features > despite having to break the rules to do so. It was, technically > speaking, a hack. > > In Outlook 2007, the decision was made to be more compliant with the > IMAP protocol. What this means for you is that you can flag a > message still, but have only the option of flagged/unflagged. You > lose the follow-up & calendar tie-ins that you are used to. > > Unfortunately, these are your two options: > > 1) Stick with the IMAP protocol to keep changes in sync across > multiple systems. > 2) Change how you access email to support Outlooks full range of > Flagging options. You would lose the ability to keep changes to > your email messages in sync. > > Let me know which option would work better for you and I can help > you get it sorted out. > > Jacklyn Matts > Brainspiral Technologies

Mary, Williamstown

It is even more fun than a new car!  I like it and thank you.

Regarding: Installation of a new Lenovo A70Z All-In-One Integrated Workstation and migrating data & settings from an older Dell system.

Mass 201 CMR 17

*Updates to Massachusetts data protection law

Some consultants here in the Commonwealth seem to be taking an “If You’ve got the Money, I’ve got the Time” approach to 210 CMR 17. After a careful review of the regulations, Brainspiral is happy to conclude that it may not take lots of time or money to comply with these new regulations. Also, we had many earlier discussions with Counsel on these somewhat burdensome regs. (Besides you can hire us until February 28th, 2010, and we’ll have many, many weeks to fully implement these regulations.)

So, a this late hour, we see nothing in the law that prohibits use of a Gmail-like web address, and the https:// standard would appear to be the most technologically feasible way to encrypt and store certain PI, as long as that address is assigned to your organization. We think that Google Apps Domain users are fine in regards to this new standard.

Thoughts? Please reply to

Courtesy of Alexander Howard

Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) issued an update to 201.CMR.17, the Massachusetts data protection law. The deadline for implementation is now March 1, 2010.

What are the differences between this version of 201 CMR 17.00 and the version issued in February of 2009?

There are some important differences in the two versions.

First, the most recent regulation issued in August of 2009 makes clear that the rule adopts a risk-based approach to information security, consistent with both the enabling legislation and applicable federal law, especially the FTC’s Safeguards Rule. A risk-based approach is one that directs a business to establish a written security program that takes into account the particular business’ size, scope of business, amount of resources, nature and quantity of data collected or stored, and the need for security. It differs from an approach that mandates every component of a program and requires its adoption regardless of size and the nature of the business and the amount of information that requires security. This clarification of the risk based approach is especially important to those small businesses that do not handle or store large amounts of personal information.

Second, a number of specific provisions required to be included in a business’s written information security program have been removed from the regulation and will be used as a form of guidance only.

Third, the encryption requirement has been tailored to be technology neutral and technical feasibility has been applied to all computer security requirements.

Fourth, the third party vendor requirements have been changed to be consistent with Federal law.

To whom does this regulation apply? The regulation applies to those engaged in commerce. More specifically, the regulation applies to those who collect and retain personal information in connection with the provision of goods and services or for the purposes of employment.

The regulation does not apply, however, to natural persons who are not in commerce.

Does 201 CMR 17.00 apply to municipalities? No. 201 CMR 17.01 specifically excludes from the definition of “person” any “agency, executive office, department, board, commission, bureau, division or authority of the Commonwealth, or any of its branches, or any political subdivision thereof.” Consequently, the regulation does not apply to municipalities.

Must my information security program be in writing? Yes, your information security program must be in writing. The scope and complexity of the document will vary depending on your resources, and the type of personal information you are storing or maintaining. But, everyone who owns or licenses personal information must have a written plan detailing the measures adopted to safeguard such information.

* *What about the computer security requirements of 201 CMR 17.00? All of the computer security provisions apply to a business if they are technically feasible. The standard of technical feasibility takes reasonableness into account. (See definition of “technically feasible” below.) The computer security provisions in 17.04 should be construed in accordance with the risk-based approach of the regulation.

* *Does the regulation require encryption of portable devices? Yes. The regulation requires encryption of portable devices where it is reasonable and technically feasible. The definition of encryption has been amended to make it technology neutral so that as encryption technology evolves and new standards are developed, this regulation will not impede the adoption of such new technologies.

* *Do all portable devices have to be encrypted? No. Only those portable devices that contain personal information of customers or employees and only where technically feasible The “technical feasibility” language of the regulation is intended to recognize that at this period in the development of encryption technology, there is little, if any, generally accepted encryption technology for most portable devices, such as cell phones, blackberries, net books, iphones and similar devices. While it may not be possible to encrypt such portable devices, personal information should not be placed at risk in the use of such devices. There is, however, technology available to encrypt laptops.

* *What does “technically feasible” mean? “Technically feasible” means that if there is a reasonable means through technology to accomplish a required result, then that reasonable means must be used.

* *Are there any steps that I am required to take in selecting a third party to store and maintain personal information that I own or license? You are responsible for the selection and retention of a third-party service provider who is capable of properly safeguarding personal information. The third party service provider provision in 201 CMR 17.00 is modeled after the third party vendor provision in the FTC’s Safeguards Rule.

* *Except for swiping credit cards, I do not retain or store any of the personal information of my customers. What is my obligation with respect to 201 CMR 17.00?* If you use swipe technology only, and you do not have actual custody or control over the personal information, then you would not own or license personal information with respect to that data, as long as you batch out such data in accordance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. However, if you have employees, see the previous question. * * *What is a financial account?* A financial account is an account that if access is gained by an unauthorized person to such account, an increase of financial burden, or a misappropriation of monies, credit or other assets could result. Examples of a financial account are: checking account, savings account, mutual fund account, annuity account, any kind of investment account, credit account or debit account. * * *Does an insurance policy number qualify as a financial account number?* An insurance policy number qualifies as a financial account number if it grants access to a person’s finances, or results in an increase of financial burden, or a misappropriation of monies, credit or other assets. * * *I am an attorney. Do communications with clients already covered by the attorney-client privilege immunize me from complying with 201 CMR 17.00?* If you own or license personal information, you must comply with 201 CMR 17.00 regardless of privileged or confidential communications. You must take steps outlined in 201 CMR 17.00 to protect the personal information taking into account your size, scope, resources, and need for security. * * *What is the extent of my “monitoring” obligation? *The level of monitoring necessary to ensure your information security program is providing protection from unauthorized access to, or use of, personal information, and effectively limiting risks will depend largely on the nature of your business, your business practices, and the amount of personal information you own or license. It will also depend on the form in which the information is kept and stored. Obviously, information stored as a paper record will demand different monitoring techniques from those applicable to electronically stored records. In the end, the monitoring that you put in place must be such that it is reasonably likely to reveal unauthorized access or use. * * *Is everyone’s level of compliance going to be judged by the same standard?* Both the statute and the regulations specify that security programs should take into account the size and scope of your business, the resources that you have available to you, the amount of data you store, and the need for confidentiality. This will be judged on a case by case basis.

Whew! a lot to digest. Here are some fundamental questions you should be asking of your organization for your Electronic records:

 Do you have in place secure authentication protocols that provide for:

□ Control of user IDs and other identifiers?

□ A reasonably secure method of assigning/selecting passwords, or for use of unique

identifier technologies (such as biometrics or token devices)?

□ Control of data security passwords such that passwords are kept in a location and/or

format that does not compromise the security of the data they protect?

□ Restricting access to PI to active users and active user accounts?

□ Blocking access after multiple unsuccessful attempts to gain access?

 Do you have secure access control measures that restrict access, on a need-to-know basis, to PI records

and files?

 Do you assign unique identifications plus passwords (which are not vendor supplied default passwords)

to each person with computer access; and are those IDs and passwords reasonably designed to maintain

the security of those access controls?

 Do you, to the extent technically feasible, encrypt all PI records and files that are transmitted across

public networks, and that are to be transmitted wirelessly?

 Do you, to the extent technically feasible, encrypt all PI stored on laptops or other portable devices?

 Do you have monitoring in place to alert you to the occurrence of unauthorized use of or access to PI?

 On any system that is connected to the Internet, do you have reasonably up-to-date firewall protection

for files containing PI; and operating system security patches to maintain the integrity of the PI?

 Do you have reasonably up-to-date versions of system security agent software (including malware

protection) and reasonably up-to-date security patches and virus definitions?

 Do you have in place training for employees on the proper use of your computer security system, and

the importance of PI security?

Brainspiral can help you implement your newly written Comprehensive Written IT Security Program. Just drop us a line.


AVG Upgrade Question

No – and just cancel any other screen.

Here are the instructions:

Go to Start->Settings->Control Panel. Open the Add/Remove control panel.

Wait for the list to refresh, find AVG, select it & hit ‘Remove’ on the right.

Follow the instructions to remove the software. You’ll be asked to restart when it’s finished. Do so.

Download Security Essentials.

Go to:

Click the large ‘Download Now’ button. If you’re using Internet Explorer, choose the option to ‘Run’ the program. You’ll be asked to start the install automatically once the download has completed. If you’re using Firefox, choose the option to save, wait for the download to complete, then open the download from the Downloads window.

You may be asked to reboot. Otherwise, the program will open at the end of the installation, update itself and run a quick scan.

That’s it!


> I can try. Do you think I will be able to do it? I should also do > same to Don’s? So, at this point, I selected to upgrade something > and it’s now asking for a yes or no to run in advance mode. What > should I do? > > > > > > > —–Original Message—– > From: Hunter Greene > To: > Sent: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 5:39 pm > Subject: Re: AVG upgrade question > > > Hi Lisa – > > We’ve been replacing AVG with Microsoft Security Essentials. If I > send you instructions, do you want to try the upgrade yourself? > > Best, > > hunter greene > Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. > ————————————————————————————- > > > > > > On Feb 1, 2010, at 5:37 PM, lwrote: > >> Hi Hunter, >> >> I just ran AVG upgrade on my laptop and it’s asking if I want to >> run upgrade in advance mode. What should I say? I have no idea >> what this means. Let me know. Thanks. >> >> ~Lisa >> > > =

Kathy, Williamstown

BRAVO!!!  As always, you have been amazing and we really appreciate all your hard work. K


Regarding: Installation and configuration of:

16 Apple iMac Desktop Computers
10 Apple Macbook Laptops
1 Apple Mac Mini Server
2 IBM Lenovo A70Z PC Workstations
1 HP Laserjet CP2025X Network Color Laser Printer
2 Canon MP560 Wireless Color Inkjet Printers
2 Epson Scanners

Including the migration of an existing Windows Active Directory Domain to Open Directory on Mac OS X Server, reconfiguration of various network services including DHCP & DNS, and installation of a new print server.

Ann, Williamstown

Thanks Hunter

I really appreciate your attention to my little business.  You’re the best!


Regarding: Developing an internet-based backup strategy for securely storing off-site backups.

Remotely Start Timbuktu Service via SSH

We recently encountered an issue whereby we couldn’t remotely access a client’s TB2-enabled service. We could use SSH to access the system, but TB2 wasn’t running.

This SSH command started and activated the service:

sudo ‘/Applications/Timbuktu Pro/Timbuktu SharedSupport/TimbuktuInstaller’ ‘/Applications/Timbuktu Pro/Timbuktu’ The hint was found here:

Molly, Williamstown

Super! Oh thank you very much!

Regarding: Updating a client website by removing several top-level navigation elements.

Liz, Williamstown


Thanks, as always, for your prompt attention to our problems/issues.

You are great to work with and we appreciate your help.


Regarding: Upgrading to a new Canon wireless photo printer.

Online Backup Options

Hi Eileen –

You must have spoken to Jackie, who is very knowledgeable about these things.

Online backup is definitely the way to go. If the computer storing the files is a Mac OS X, Windows XP,Vista or 7 machine, then you would be eligible for a home-backup solution instead of a commercial one (required if running Windows Server).

The two online backup systems we have used in the past are:

They cost about the same – $60/year for unlimited backups.

They work well – though 75GB worth of data is a fair amount.

We have encouraged our clients to eliminate the use of their tape drives and use an online backup system instead. Network hard drive backups work well, too – provided that the drives aren’t physically located under the same roof (as you’ve noted yourself).

The online backup options are also very easy to set up – you can do it yourself in a matter of minutes.

Hope you’ve been well –

All the best,


On Dec 31, 2009, at 4:09 PM, Nancy wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed the holidays! > > Now that I’m at Farmington River Watershed Association I’ve got a new set of files to back up! So I’m doing a belated follow-up on a call I made to Brainspiral months ago. I talked to one of your staff about what it would take to set up a system for backing up the FRWA files online the same way you set it up for HooRWA. She said it should be no problem and got back to me with a rough price estimate that seemed really reasonable. But there the conversation stopped. I was supposed to follow up by emailing you for more discussion but didn’t get around to it until now. > > Background: At FRWA I have a local hard drive with about 75 GB. The network drive has about 150 GB on it. Our current system is set up to back up on tape but if we backed up the whole shebang every week it would take hours. Our IT guy advises me to back the whole thing up once, and then separate out the active from the inactive files so that we only back up the active files on tape weekly. > > The trouble is, separating active from inactive files is close to impossible when you have hundreds of files and there are five different people accessing different ones all the time. So we haven’t done it and we haven’t gotten into the habit of backing up on tape. At the moment, most of the file redundancy we have is sitting under one roof, which gives me jitters. > > I have asked our itinerant IT person if he would set up an online backup service but for some reason he is not enthusiastic about it. Maybe something is getting missed in translation when we discuss it. > > Anyway, thought I’d at least explore the possibility of backup with Brainspiral, in case we can’t work something out closer to home. > > What do you think? > All the best, > Nancy >

Grinding Noise from CD Drive

Hi Sam –

I doubt the mouse would have anything to do with the CD drive. Good job fixing that problem though.

Optical drives are known to wear over time, even when not in use. The grinding noise was probably a misaligned gear, another common problem. Sometimes the drive tray slips off its track or doesn’t feed in or out properly, and the gears don’t mesh. Usually forcing the tray in and out a few times will fix the issue.

Sometimes the drive won’t work because of gear damage or excessive dust build-up. We would normally recommend replacing the drive with a new one instead of attempting a repair. The drive itself only costs $20-$25, at least for a Double Format DVD-RW Burner, and only takes about 20 minutes to install.

I’m glad it’s working for now – let us know if it poses any more problems for you.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. ————————————————————————————-

On Dec 29, 2009, at 5:35 AM, Sam wrote:

> Hi again Hunter: I worked nearly all last night trying to figure out what was happening to my CD drive – it was making terrible noises, and simply refused to burn or read read whatever disk I put in the tray. But then in the morning it began suddenly to work again and the grinding noise stopped. Was the problem miraculously solved, or was I just getting an early sign that the system is about to crash? Meanwhile, I discovered that my cursor mouse was failing to work well, so I bought a new one this morning which now works wonderfully. Could the old mouse, which I was using to tease my CD drive into co-operation, have been the cause of the problem in the first place? > Sam

Convert A PDF

Hi Jenna –

Yes – sort of. If you open the PDF with Acrobat Professional, you can perform a ‘Save As’ and choose “Microsoft Word” as a destination format.

Acrobat Pro is part of the Adobe Creative Suite, so it should be installed on any computer on which we’ve installed the Creative Suite.

That’s the easiest way to do it.

If you can’t figure it out – or don’t have Acrobat Pro, just email me the document & I can convert it for you.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Reset Mac OS X Keychain

Sorry I missed the call, Matt. I just tried calling – but no one is around.

I assume this is Andy’s laptop. I can’t reset the keychain password (it would be that mysterious password no one seems to remember), but we can reset the keychain (all stored passwords will be lost). To do so:

Open Macintosh HD Open Users Open Andy (or username of account that needs to be reset) Open Library Open Keychains Move all files contained therein to the trash (probably just login.keychain). That’s it.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

iPod Trouble

Hi Haley –

You should definitely be connecting your iPod via USB, which I’m sure you are. iPods don’t even support Firewire any more, and neither does your laptop.

I would start here:

Essentially these steps will reset your iPod completely. All your music will be deleted, but you can re-sync it afterwards once it shows up in iTunes.

There may also be software updates available for your iPod. Once iTunes recognizes it, you’ll be asked to install them (do so).

Let me know how it turns out.



On Dec 2, 2009, at 7:46 PM, Haley Mahar wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > Of course now that I know the battery’s okay, the iTunes is throwing me off. When I plug in my iPod to update it, it showed up on the desktop but not in the library and when I go to icon on the desktop it shows no music. Should I just delete all the files off the iPod? The Apple website mentioned something about FireWire but I have no idea what that is. > > Thanks, > Haley > > > Nov 30, 2009 12:55:15 PM, wrote: > > =========================================== > > > Hi Haley – > > Glad it’s working out so far. > > The battery life will fluctuate depending on what you’re doing. You > should be able to get about 4 hours on that model. > > If you dim the screen (F1 key) and turn off WiFi (if possible), you > will conserve additional battery life. > > It’s also a good idea to fully ‘cycle’ the battery – which means that > if you use the machine on battery power, continue to use it until it’s > completely dead. Then charge it up completely. > > > hunter greene > Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. > ————————————————————————————- > > > > > > On Nov 29, 2009, at 5:05 PM, Haley wrote: > >> >> Hi Hunter, >> >> Thank you so much for the laptop. All my files are there and working >> fine. I just had one question about the battery. It seems to be a >> little fickle, telling me that it has 5 hours and then the next >> minute saying it has 3. When its fully charged, it has 5.5, but I >> wasn’t sure if its supposed to have 7? Let me know if this is >> something I should be worried about. The only thing I haven’t done >> yet is re-sync my iPod, but I think that will go fine. >> >> Again, thank you so much. >> >> Haley >> >> >> Nov 23, 2009 09:13:28 PM, wrote: >> >> =========================================== >> >> >> Haley – >> >> Your laptop is all set & I’ll drop it off for you tomorrow. >> >> A few things: >> >> I copied over all the data I could find on the old laptop. This >> moved music to iTunes and pictures to iPhoto. All your documents >> are in your Documents folder. I installed Office (Word, Excel, >> Powerpoint) & made sure all the Apple software is up-to-date. >> >> If you’re missing anything or need anything, feel free to get in >> touch. >> >> Enjoy! >> >> hunter >> >

New PC Laptop Options

Hi Dori –

Good to see you the other day.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at new laptops.


Windows 7 is a must Vista is absolutely NOT acceptable Don’t bother with additional virus/security software – Microsoft now has their own & it works very well (freely available at


The cheapest laptops will be 15″ in size. This is a good overall size – but not ultraportable. Ultra-portable laptops are called netbooks (less than 12″) – and they are pretty cheap (~$300) – but the small screen makes them cumbersome.

Processor – Intel Pentium. Celeron okay, Dual Core better, Core 2 Duo the best (and most expensive) Memory – at least 2GB Hard Drive – at least 160GB Webcam – Yes Wireless – It will be included – there isn’t a laptop out there without it Optical Drive – DVD Burner (most likely included – pretty standard, too)


For a large 15″ laptop, don’t expect to get more than 2 hours out of a 6-cell battery. Batteries are an expensive upgrade.


For a basic 15″ laptop meeting the criteria above, you should spend around $500.

I’ve seen some good deals, like this one:

But this one requires a 7 Upgrade.

A good place to check for deals is:


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Sarah, Williamstown

Hunter, That is great! Thank you so much. Let me know how it goes fixing my old computer and we’ll take it from there.
Always appreciative, Sarah


Regarding: Replacing defective LCD on a PC laptop.

Change Name in Apple Mail

If you want to change you name in Mail:

Open Mail Go to the Apple Menu, then Preferences Click Accounts Click an Account on the left. Under ‘Full Name’ on the right, change to whatever you like. This field appears in the ‘From’ field when you send out email messages.

Close the Preferences box. You’ll be prompted to save the changes – hit OK.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

What is an optical drive?

An optical drive is a generic term to refer to drive that can accept CDs and/or DVDs. The come in a variety of speeds and capabilities. Compare: Drives that can read CDs only Drives that can read DVDs and CDs only Drives that can read DVDs and CDs and burn CDs Drives that can read DVDs and CDs and burn DVDs and CDs

And then there are the different types of CDs and DVDs CD-R DVD-R DVD+R Double Layer DVD-R Double Layer DVD+R

The best drives are those classified as dual format double layer DVD burners. They’ll do just about anything.

And now there are Blu-Ray optical drives. They’re expensive, but they’ll be a standard soon. Blu-Ray discs have replaced DVDs are the new high definition (HD) video format.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

About WordPress Categories

Hi Nicole –

Good question – and a very simple response.

Every WordPress post (listing, agent or page) requires that at least one category be selected. If you uncheck ALL the categories, the software will either revert back to the previously selected categories or select some others it ‘thinks’ are relevant.

So if you don’t want a post to appear in any category, you actually have to put it in the ‘Uncategorized’ category (yes, it sounds odd to categorize something as uncategorized, but that’s the way it works).

Hope that information helps,

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

AVG 8.5 Expiration & Upgrade

Hi Mike –

The free version is more than adequate. It’s available for download here:

We have also found that Microsoft’s new Security Essentials is an excellent alternative for both anti-spyware and anti-virus protection.  It isn’t a big resource hog & it’s free.  Check it out on Microsoft’s Web Site.  You must have a legally licensed copy of Windows XP, Vista or 7 to use it.

If you want to try to download & install it yourself, great. Otherwise, you can call me & I can remote into your machine & do it for you.



On Nov 5, 2009, at 1:26 PM, Mike Meehan wrote:

> Hi Hunter I’m being asked to update my AVG 8.5 to AVG 9.0 for > $49.00 is that what I should do? Mike

Robb, Williamstown

Hunter, it was incredibly kind of you to send my friend the information you sent her, and I just want you to know that it was above the line of duty! It’s a pleasure to work with you under any circumstances, and thank you so much! If you ever relocate Williamstown will go under!

All best to you and Johanna and Jackie


Regarding: Troubleshooting Microsoft Office for Mac performance and stability issues.

Gigliotti Electric, Cheshire, MA

Jackie did a great job yesterday.  She fixed all of our problems.  She even got the AnyTime software working.
Gigliotti Electric
Regarding: Properly configuring a peer-to-peer network for file and print sharing, resolved printing/emailing invoice issues with Peachtree, activated a multi-user calendaring system, fixed outgoing Outlook mail problem.

Microsoft Word Crashing Frequently on Mac OS X

Hi Anne –

Your friend Robb asked me to email you regarding some issues you’ve been experiencing with Microsoft Word on your Mac computer.

Two things come to mind.

1) Make sure you’re using the latest version of Microsoft Office – version 2008. 2004 and X weren’t particularly reliable & even less so on these newer Intel-Based Macs.

2) Make sure Microsoft Office has been patched. Microsoft constantly releases bug fixes issued through freely downloadable patches. You can obtain them two ways:

a) Open Microsoft Word and select ‘Check for Updates’ from the ‘Help’ menu. This will initiate the process to automatically download & install the patches. The steps are easy to follow. More information about this process is available here: b) Download them manually. I wouldn’t recommend this method, but Office 2008 SP2 is available here. This update is the most critical.

We have found that without these updates, Microsoft Office is unreliable & crashes without warning. This has been noticed on both Mac OS 10.4, 10.5 & 10.6.

There is one other major glitch with Office (there are lots of little glitches, but that’s Microsoft for you) – None of the programs, especially Word, like long documents (ie + 50 pages). They have a hard time rendering & updating the pages quickly & as such are more prone to crash because of it. If possible, we recommend keeping documents as small as possible – even breaking up a novel into individual files, one per chapter.

Hope that information helps –


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

New PC Workstation

Hi Jack –

Good to talk to you today.

We have purchased the following systems for various clients:

With the following:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8Ghz Processor 2GB RAM 500GB SATA Hard Drive Keyboard/Mouse DVD Burner 8 USB Ports Network Card

Total cost: $600

I would also figure on an additional $100 for installation (including copying over data from existing PC, adding printer, configuring email, etc).

They are very nice machines – reliable, fast, small.

There are cheaper (and definitely more expensive) options as well – but I think for your needs now & for another 4-6 years, this system will serve you very well.

Let me know what you think.



Networkable Laser Printers

Well you never know.

Those Brother printers are great, but like most inexpensive printers, they simply aren’t built to last.

Networkable laser printers range in price from about $100 to $1500.

The cheaper printers are fast & the quality is very good, but the toner cartridges don’t last long & so in the long run they end up costing more.

These are both very nice printers:

HP P2035N Brother HL-5370DWT

Both less than $300.

My recommendation would be to use the printer you have now for as long as possible & then upgrade it to a newer one.



On Oct 14, 2009, at 11:43 AM, Hogeland wrote:

> Actually, with some more TLC it seems to be working again…but > perhaps we shouldn’t press our luck. > > —– Original Message —– > From: > To: hunter greene > Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:38 AM > Subject: printer > > Hi Hunter – > > My laser printer – BrotherHL-2070N – is once again acting like it > has no paper, even though the tray is full. This happened about a > year ago and you fixed it. I’ve tried working with the parts that > seem to play a role in lifting the paper to no avail. Do you think > we should just get a new printer at this point? This one has lasted > a few years and might be done. > > If we do opt for a new one, do you have any suggestions for a decent > laser printer for the home? If it would be easiest for you guys to > set it up, I’d be happy to make an appointment (and will defer to > whatever you suggest as far as ordering the printer). > > Many thanks – > Anne >

Microsoft Windows XP

Windows XP Professional x64: Windows is now a 64 bit tweak of a 32 bit extension to a 16 bit user interface for an 8 bit operating system based on a 4 bit architecture from a 2 bit company that can’t stand 1 bit of competition.

Elodie, Phoenix, AZ

Thank you Hunter and Dave! I really appreciate your help and your time.

I went to the site and all of the 8 links look and work perfectly.

Thanks again!



Regarding: Updating search engine optimized (SEO) links on, a site we maintain & host.

Purchasing New Laptop Batteries

Hi Caroline –

We rarely have such batteries in-stock.

They all tend to be very expensive, too.

We have purchased batteries from this vendor before:

Non-Dell batteries tend to be a little cheaper & equally as functional.



On Sep 29, 2009, at 3:46 PM, wrote:

> a form has been submitted on September 29, 2009, via: > [IP] > Contact Us > Name Caroline > Email > Message The battery for my Dell Latitude D530 is completely dead. Do > you have one I can buy for less than Dell might charge me? Thanks. > Caroline > powered by cformsII

Michelle, Williamstown

I see it yeah, you’re the best !!!!
Regarding: Data Retrieval & Restoration on a Windows 2000 Server File Server

I see it yeah, you’re the best !!!!


Regarding: Data Retrieval & Restoration on a Windows 2000 Server File Server

John, Williamstown

Hunter—many thanks for help today. Jackie was a super teacher (now to remember!). Probably will call on you again. All the best.

Darra, Williamstown

Just to let you know that Jackie was great — efficient and fixed the problem! Thanks for having such a responsive staff.
Regarding: Troubleshooting issue whereby Verizon began to block all outgoing mail traffic on communication port 25. Over the past few weeks Verizon has been rolling out a block on port 25 in an effort to make more difficult the lives of spammers and virus propagation. Use SSL or a non-standard port for outgoing, unless you’re unfortunate enough to have a provider who doesn’t offer an alternative. Most providers, including GMail and Williams, allow outgoing mail traffic on ports 465 or 587, Webmail is not affected. You can read more about this issue here.

Carol, Williamstown

Oh my gosh — you did it!   That one little thing and I spent an hour talking to a nice young many in India who couldn’t help me in the long run.  I’ll report  back tomorrow, but the black is gone.  It was a weird day on the computer. Many thanks.

Regarding: Mac OS X Snow Leopard corrupt color profile resulting from attempt to custom calibrate display using Spyder calibration software and hardware. Resolution involved removal of all custom profiles in Macintosh HD->Library->ColorSync->Profiles, permitting system to default to a functional color profile.

Apple Mail Attachment & Windows

Hi Deborah –

I received it fine, but Windows users might not ‘understand’ what kind of file it is because it lacks the distinguishing 3-letter Windows suffix. To ensure maximum compatibility: When saving Word documents, be sure to select the box at at the bottom of the Microsoft Word Save/ Save As dialog that reads ‘Append file extension’.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Theresa, Williamstown

Thank you so much for all your help yesterday!!!!!!!!  I really appreciated it!!!!!!!!  I get so nervous that I’m going to do something drastically wrong and you eased my mind.  :)

Regarding: Microsoft Access Database Size & Performance Issues, SQL Table Linkability, Workstation Upgrade Options

Deborah, Williamstown

Big Thanks! All better.  Thanks so much.

Regarding: iMac Snow Leopard Upgrade, Alternative HP MFC Scanner Driver Configuration & Integration w/ iPhoto, Apple Mail Auto-Complete Diagnosis, Printing Troubleshooting & Testing

Mary, North Adams

Hunter , Jackie,
I just got  your message and wanted to say Thank You for such prompt attention and a job well done.  Honestly I was hoping you screwed things up just enough so I would have had today off as well as Monday but no such luck, you guys are too good !!!!
All is up and running very smoothly.
Hope you had a great weekend

Laptop Options

Hi Steve –

As far as I’m concerned there are two types of laptops:

Those made by Apple Those made by everyone else

HPs are very good, however, and we buy lots of those. I hate Dell and have given up on them completely.

The Apple models are easy to recommend – there are only a few – but HP, eg, has hundreds of models all with subtle and obfuscating differences. Basically you have to decide what size you want (10″, 12″, 14″, 15″, 16″, 17″) & then I usually find whatever is cheapest.

Most laptops these days come with Windows Vista, which everyone hates. Windows 7 will be released shortly, but I haven’t tried it yet. We commonly perform downgrades from Vista to XP.

My general disdain for Microsoft’s operating systems stems primarily from the fact that they do not work in any way an operating system is meant to work. At all. They are insecure, unreliable, difficult to fix, difficult to troubleshoot, prone to failure, commonly crash, won’t boot, horrendously inefficient, not elegant and incompatible. They do, however, offer outstanding job security for technicians in the IT field.

I, too, have received several notices these past days for discounts on HP equipment at the HP store online. The discounts are most substantial for the ‘higher’ end laptops – those that offer features & capabilities that cost an arm & a leg and that no one ever uses. But there are some good deals there if you’re in the market. I would look for:

At least a Core 2 Duo Processor At least 3GB RAM At least a 250GB Hard Drive At least a DVD-Burner Wifi/Wecam All Standard these days

And I wouldn’t pay more than $1000 for it, either. Compare:

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Time Machine Backup/Underground Cat5e/6

Hi Alex –

Just remember that the Time Machine software will ONLY work with Mac OS Leopard (10.5) or Snow Leopard (10.6). You have to perform a complete system upgrade to take advantage of this backup method if you aren’t already running one of those operating systems.

I have about 2 miles of Cat6 cable. I can drop off a box for you.

Of course Cat6 offers no advantage over Cat5e over 100ft. They can both run 1000Gbps. And unless you’ve upgraded your laptop, you don’t have a gigabit ethernet card, so you’d only be running at 100Mbps.

The more you can do, the better, if you want to maintain a specific budget.

A new 8-port gigabit switch costs about $50. A 5-port switch is about $30. The Time Capsule is also a switch and has 3 or 4 gigabit ports (depending on whether it’s being used as a router or just a bridge). It also has wireless capability.


On Sep 4, 2009, at 1:30 PM, wrote:

> Hello Hunter, > > Thanks for such a quick reply. My backup system has been a problem > for a long time now (really really slow)and I think I need to switch > to a new system. I’d like to put the time capsule up at the house, > and run a new cat6a cable to connect them, I probably need a gigabit > router and then the additional hard drive, but the one I have may > work as a backup. I think I can pull the wire and set up most of it, > but may need some help with the configuration. Is it easier or best > for you to do the full set-up, or just as easy to come in and fuss > the configuration? I haven’t bought any of the equipment yet, and > I’m clearly on a budget. > > On an associated topic, I was searching for cat 6a cable on the web > and don’t understand how the price varies so widely. Do you have > some recommended cable I can pull and you can add the connectors > later? I need about 100 feet to go in the plastic conduit > underground between the house and the studio. > > Also, after letting the website go to sleep for the year, I think > I’m back to giving it a little focus. > > Best Regards, > > Alex > > Hunter Greene wrote: >> >> Hi Alex – >> >> The Time Machine is great & works very reliably, even on a wireless >> connection. It can be configured to back up multiple machines on >> the same network. >> >> An external hard drive can be connected to the Time Machine to >> offer additional storage. >> >> The Time Machine can accommodate up to a 1TB drive with an >> additional 1TB external drive for a total storage capacity of 2TB. >> >> It can also be configured as a Wireless Access Point and/or >> Broadband Router. >> I have seen the 500GB version for less than $200. >> >> Hope that information helps – >> >> hunter greene >> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. >> >> >> w: 413-458-5755 >> c: 413-281-4918 >> >> >> On Sep 4, 2009, at 12:40 PM, > > wrote: >> >>> a form has been submitted on September 4, 2009, via: >>> [IP] >>> >>> Contact Us >>> >>> Name Alex >>> Email >>> Message Couple of questions: What do you think of the Apple time >>> machine? And can it be set up with a second back-up drive? >>> >> >

Time Machine Backup

Hi Alex –

The Time Machine is great & works very reliably, even on a wireless connection. It can be configured to back up multiple machines on the same network.

An external hard drive can be connected to the Time Machine to offer additional storage.

The Time Machine can accommodate up to a 1TB drive with an additional 1TB external drive for a total storage capacity of 2TB.

It can also be configured as a Wireless Access Point and/or Broadband Router.

I have seen the 500GB version for less than $200.

Hope that information helps –

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Sep 4, 2009, at 12:40 PM, wrote:

> a form has been submitted on September 4, 2009, via: > [IP] > Contact Us > Name Alex > Email > Message Couple of questions: What do you think of the Apple time > machine? And can it be set up with a second back-up drive? > powered by cformsII

Jim, North Adams

Hi.  You’re the best.    Thanks to you guys, we can access email from anywhere.  I just wanted to thank you again for your good humor and admirable competence.  Thanks for all your (and Jackie’s and Judson’s) help.

Firefox – Safari Change Download Path

Hi Darra –

Please see attached movie showing how to adjust the download settings for Safari & Firefox. The preferences are found under the ‘Safari’ and ‘Firefox’ menus.

Safari-Firefox Change Download Location

Hope that works!

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Aug 24, 2009, at 8:39 PM, Darra wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > > I hope you had a wonderful time in Austria! > > It seems like there is always some new little weirdness on my > machine. For some reason pdfs from the Internet are no longer > automatically downloading to my desktop. I can access them if I do a > search for downloads but it is an annoying step. Is there some easy > fix? > > Thanks, > Darra >

VPN Access

Since Windows 2003 Server is functioning as the VPN Gateway, you have to reset the password using the ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ application on the server.


Remote Desktop into the server Access the ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ programs in Start- >Programs->Administrative Tools Locate the user’s account from the list of accounts. Right-click the account name, then select ‘Reset Password’ This resets her password for both VPN and file sharing usage.

I logged in to check to make sure everything else was okay & initiated the installation of some Windows updates while I was at it.

I can reset it for you, too – let me know if something doesn’t work out.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Aug 12, 2009, at 5:48 PM

> Hi, Hunter > > I just have a quick question for you… How do I find or reset Susan’s > VPN password for the server? She typed over the autofill by > mistake, and can’t get back in. > > > Thanks! >

A little computer problem

Hi Martha –

Hope you’ve been well.

It’s hard to say exactly what is wrong. MSN’s web-based email is a horrendous mess & one of the worst web-interfaces I have ever seen. That is typically Microsoft.

I presume you’re using Internet Explorer – which you would assume would be most compatible with their own email, but often times that is not the case.

A few options:

1) Switch from Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox ( Firefox is an alternative web browser, 100% free, very secure, reliable & fast. It tends to be a very compatible browser & has become very popular these days.

2) Can the MSN email & save yourself $240/year. You could use the Yahoo email exclusively or use another address. I would actually recommend NOT using Time Warner’s email – if you ever switch providers or TW falls off the map, you’ll lose the address. Yahoo or GMail ( are more effective alternatives.

3) Update Internet Explorer to the latest version. Often times issues that are browser related can be fixed by updating them to the newest versions. I’m not sure what version you have, but version 8 is now available for Windows XP. Version 6 was fairly buggy. 7 was OK.

4) Attempt to fix the problem as-is. You’re right – it could be a security issue – but it could be a conflicting plugin, a missing or corrupt system file, a Windows glitch. You can rule out the security option very easily: Close Internet Explorer Open Control Panel Open Internet Options On the Security tab, press the button at the bottom that says ‘Reset all zones to default’ Hit OK Try accessing attachment again. The problem may also be the result of a corrupt IE Cache. I would recommend using CCleaner (, a small, free utility to clean out unnecessary files. You can also delete the cache in the ‘General’ tab of the Internet Options Control Panel.

If you’ like to take a stab at any of these things first, please feel free. If not – or if they don’t work – we’d be happy to take a look at it for you.

Windows 7 is coming out this fall. We’re anticipating that like all of Microsoft’s previous workstation-class operating systems (Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista), it will be a riddled with security flaws & won’t actually offer half of the features they claimed it would.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Aug 11, 2009, at 7:40 AM, martha wrote:

> Hi Hunter, > A business question….. > > My old Dell computer is giving me a problem. I would like to buy a > new one but I heard a new version is coming out in October and so I > should wait. > > Internet e mail….I can access it but I am unable to “open” any > attachments. So, I get the NYT on line and so many other > things…of my choice AND e mails that I can read, but once I click > on the attachment, I get a window up that is blank and says > only MSN. To get out of it, I have to right click on the bar below > and close the window…then, the whole operation reverts to my desk > top and I have to start all over again just to read the opening page > of each e mail. > > OK…I’ve taken it to Staples for a clean out…..and told them > about the problem but they were unable to fix it. > I know it’s only my own Dell computer, because when I open my msn e > mailany other place, (eg, my office computer) I have no problem. I > can also open Yahoo account….no problem. > > I pay msn. only $20. a year or so…..yet use it as my home page. > > My server is Time Warner but I don’t use the roadrunner e mail they > provide. I suppose that would be the easy way out of this > > I’ve gone in to the control panel…since it looks like a security > problem….but I cannot figure out what to do to alleviate the > situation. > > I could drop off the tower to your place if you think you could fix > it. > > Thanks for your time…and, I am asking this as a business problem > and will pay you your fee. > > Martha > > or e mail….I CAN read it…I just can’t open anything much ….

Deleting Deleted Mail Outlook Express

Hi Sarah –

Sure thing. There are two ways you can accomplish this:

1) Right-Click on the ‘Deleted Items’ folder from your folder list & select ‘Empty Deleted Items Folder’ 2) Select the ‘Deleted Items’ folder and choose ‘Empty Deleted Items Folder’ from the ‘Edit’ menu.

You will be prompted to confirm the deletion in either case.

Hope you’ve been enjoying your summer, too.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Aug 4, 2009, at 10:24 PM, Sarah wrote:

> Hunter, Hope you are having a good summer. Or is it Spring!? > If it isn’t too much trouble, could you give me the > directions again as to how to delete deleted mail? I appreciate > it. Best always, Sarah

Refurbished Macs/Mowing Lawns

Hi Adrian –

I do when I have them, but Macs are usually very hard to come by (they last too long & often are broken beyond repair by the time they find their way to me).

Apple has some great deals on refurbished Macs on their web store ( – see the link for Refurbished Macs in the left hand side column). Their basic Macbook runs $750 + tax, which is a fabulous deal. The nice thing about buying from Apple is that these machines carry the full Apple warranty.

There are some other deals out there for refurbished Macs – Expercom has several models they sell refurbished – but almost everywhere else the Macs are older (like 1-2 years old already) & carry very limited warranties.

Hope that helps – and hope to see you Sunday.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Aug 2, 2009, at 4:14 PM, Adrian wrote:

> you mowed it? you’re amazing! > good job with the win too. > it sounds like a new one is in order. do you sell refurbished ones? > baby names are for poseurs. that’s not true, we just need a bit > more time; naming our baby isn’t the most important thing to take > care of right now. > -h > > On Sun, Aug 2, 2009 at 3:58 PM, Hunter Greene > wrote: > The field was okay, but I mowed and lined it anyway (turns out the > over-40 championship game is tomorrow – so that works well for them). > I only mowed the field though – I didn’t have much time before the > game & the field was pretty wet @ 3:00. > > We won, too – 3-2. > > Congratulations, by the way, on the new addition to your family. > Name? > > Your laptop doesn’t look good though – all attempts to get it to > behave normally have failed miserably. Might you consider a new one? > > hunter > > On Sun, Aug 2, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Adrian wrote: > > the field might be in pretty bad shape. it hasn’t been mowed in a > week and a > > half and it’s been raining a lot (the lines might be gone too). > > -h > > > > On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 1:20 PM, Hunter Greene > > > wrote: > >> > >> Just a quick reminder that we do have a game tomorrow at 1:00

> >> We’re playing team ranked #3. > >> Hope to see you out there – > >> hunter greene > >> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. > >> > >> > >> w: 413-458-5755 > >> c: 413-281-4918 > >> > > > > >

Camcorder question

Hi Scott –

There are several PC-based video editing packages.

The most popular & easiest to use is Pinnacle’s Studio suite. You can learn more about this software here:

Windows XP and Vista actually includes a program called Movie Maker, but it’s extremely limited, and would not recommend it.

All of these are inferior to Apple’s iMovie (beginner), Final Cut Express (advanced) and Final Cut (professional) packages, but these are only compatible with Mac OS.

Thank you for contacting us.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Buffalo NAS Storage Devices and AFP

> As per your server issues: > > This is an ongoing problem related to AFP and non-Apple NAS devices > that has been plaguing users since at least 2002. ( > ) > > There is currently no official fix that I could find. Survey says: > > 1) Files/Folders saved to the NAS from OS X through a programs ‘Save- > As’ option will be set invisible in the extended attributes. > 2) Files/Folders saved per point 1 will not be visible accessed via > AFP in Finder, but will be visible via SMB/CIFS, FTP, Terminal(even > if mounted AFP), etc. > 3) Folders can still be accessed via AFP/Finder using ‘Go to > Folder’, IF you know the Folder name > 4) These symptoms do not occur if you save a file locally and > manually copy/paste it to the NAS device. > > There are two ways to resolve this issue. > > 1) Find each file marked invisible by extended attributes. Change > the invisible bit in the extended attributes. This will work per- > file, network-wide. The downside is someone will be doing this on > an ongoing basis until AFP/Apple releases a fix. > > 2) Edit the to turn ShowAllFiles on. This will > work per-client, on all shares. The downside here is you have to > put up with seeing all the “invisible” files on all shares and on > the local system. > > For anyone severely interested, there is hours (I mean hours) of > reading available if you Google “afp some files not visible” > > Matt, I’ll stop by tomorrow to check in and see how you want to > proceed. > > -Jackie >

Mac Trojan Spotted

This doesn’t attempt to exploit a weakness in MacOS but rather user ignorance (downloading and installing the software rather than being infected automatically). So watch out.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Peter Charbonneau > Date: July 12, 2009 4:40:55 PM GMT+02:00 > To: OIT > Cc: Mary Bailey , Jay Dube >, Hunter Greene , Jacklyn Matts > > Subject: Fwd: Daily Watch Report 07-10-2009 >

> > > Begin forwarded message: > >> —– >> >> New Mac malware attack spotted >>,new-mac-malware-attack-spotted.aspx >> >> “Known informally as ‘Puper’ the trojan attack disguises itself as a >> video program for OS X systems called ‘MacCinema’. According to >> researchers at McAfee Avert Labs, the attack appears as a disk image >> which then launches an installer application for the fictional >> ‘MacCinema’ software. Once the installer completes its task, the user >> becomes infected with a script file named ‘AdobeFlash’. The malicious >> script then launches itself every five hours at attempts to download >> and launch other malware on the infected system.” >> >> —– > > > PeteC > > Peter Charbonneau > Sr. Systems and Network Administrator > Williams College > (413) 597-3408 (D) > (413) 822-2922 (C) > > >

Printer Envelope Feeder

Hi Sue –

Many printer manufacturers make special envelope feeders that work in conjunction with the printer’s manual feed tray. The most common ones that we support are made by HP. If you tell me what printer(s) you current use, I can check to see if an envelope feeder is available for that model.

The HP 4000 series printers are probably the best suited for printing large volumes of envelopes & letters. The networked version of the 4350, eg, with an envelope feeder, extra paper tray & network capabilities is going to run over $1600, however.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Windows XP as Remote Desktop Server

This definitely works:

We’ve used it many times.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

Microsoft .Net Mozilla Firefox Plugin

To add insult to serious injury, Microsoft has released a ‘.Net Security Update’ that covertly installs a Firefox plugin. The full article is available here:

This is straight from our security experts at Williams College.

What frightens us the most is that Firefox, an inherently secure browser, is being injected with Microsoft plugins, the developer of inherently insecure software.

Nice work, Microsoft.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

Web Self Publishing

Hi John –

Sure thing.

All the sites we’ve been developing lately (some of them available on our portfolio @ are based on a Content Management System ( called WordPress. WordPress was originally developed as a blogging package but has been heavily re-developed to accommodate for general web publishing. It would probably be ideal for you as it provides a easy yet powerful method of editing & managing your website content.

Some of the features of WordPress can be found here:

Brainspiral does offer web hosting (though we usually do so in conjunction with a web design/development) on our very reliable servers co-located in facilities in two different states.

If you’re willing to do the content portion of it yourself, then we can set you up for about $25/year (to cover the cost of a domain subscription). Just choose a domain (I checked – it was taken, but & are both available) & a basic theme (which we can tweak some, & I can get everything else configured & functional & send you some instructions on how to start publishing content.


On May 31, 2009, at 12:44 PM, John wrote:

> > Hi Hunter > As I was telling you, I would like to make my web page and do some > self publishing. You were saying it is pretty easy? I read a bit > about it. I got the impression that finding a reliable server was > the first step. Do you have any recommendations. > > Thanks > > John > > >

Server Data Storage

Hi Sarah –

This is a serious issue.

You have three options as I see them:

1) Add additional storage to the existing server. This troubles me for two reasons: a) The server is ancient & I fear making changes to it might cause bigger problems. b) The server isn’t made from server-grade hardware & as such has limited expansion capabilities.

2) Replace the entire server with a new one or add an additional server configured to mirror the existing data on the current server & provide for additional storage. It can run either Windows or Linux – we’re perfectly happy to support either.

3) Add a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device which has similar capabilities to a server & functions like a server but is essentially a hard drive connected directly to the network that clients can access to share files.

Option #2 is definitely the most reliable option & provides the most flexible configuration options for backup, creating shares, & hosting applications & software. It’s also the most expensive – the server itself would cost at least $2000 & it would take at least two days to complete the migration, configuration & setup.

Option #3 is a highly viable option & something we’ve done for many clients in your class (small business < 30 users). Cost per gigabyte is very inexpensive (< $1 per gigabyte) & while this option has limited capabilities, it would most likely suit your purposes very nicely. A 1 Terabyte Mirrored option (1 Terabyte is 1000 Gigabytes, Mirrored means two redundant drives for data protection) is less than $400 & setup/configuration is only hours instead of days.

I would absolutely NOT recommend using an external hard drive. We have tried this with some of our clients & doing so only causes data loss & damaged drives. It is also very difficult to share the data on the external drive effectively among multiple users simultaneously.

Hope that information helps – please let us know if you have any questions or would like a more specific quote.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On May 28, 2009, at 11:45 AM, Sarah wrote:

> Hunter, > > We will need to store massive amounts of photos and videos through > out the summer when leaders come back with memory cards from their > trips. Can you give me or Troy a call so we can plan for this > additional memory need. We’re not sure how much space we have and > want to plan in advance for the amount of memory this will take up. > We can buy an external hard drive and store all the photos and video > on it, but want your opinion of how we should go about it and what > is best for the network. > > Thanks, > > > Sarah >

iPhoto Library Issue

Hi Alice –

Probably. iPhoto stores its Library as a single folder, the contents of which comprise all the database & picture files iPhoto needs to efficiently manage your photos. By default iPhoto stores its Library inside the Pictures folder of the home folder of the currently logged in user. iPhoto doesn’t actually care where it’s stored, however, and only looks in this location if it either can’t find another Library, doesn’t know about another Library or it’s being opened for the first time.

If you have copied your Library to an external hard drive, then there are really only two reasons why iPhoto wouldn’t be able to access it: 1) The external hard drive is not being mounted on the iMac because it is either not connected or not functioning properly. 2) iPhoto forgot that the Library was on the external hard drive. This can sometimes happen if you open iPhoto BEFORE the hard drive has been mounted on the iMac or if the external drive is simply turned off.

We can quickly rule out #1 if you can see the external hard drive mounted on your Desktop. Do you? If you do not, then make sure the external drive is connected properly & reboot the iMac if necessary. If you do, which I presume you do, then we can tackle #2 by doing the following:

Hold down the ‘option’ key while starting iPhoto. iPhoto will prompt you to either ‘Choose’ an existing Library or ‘Create’ a new one. Click ‘Choose’. Now browse to your external hard drive using the Finder window & then find the iPhoto folder you copied or created on there previously. Then hit ‘OK’. This forces iPhoto to use that Library & iPhoto should now continue to use it, provided that there isn’t another interruption between the iMac and the external hard drive.

Hope that helps – please let us know if it doesn’t work & we can investigate as to why.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On May 24, 2009, at 9:30 AM, wrote:

> a form has been submitted on May 24, 2009, via: > [IP] > Contact Us > Name Alice > Message Hello, you did some work on our Imac not too long ago. We > have a new problem. We have our iphoto library on an external > harddrive, and all was well until about a month ago when the iphoto > program can’t find the library anymore. We’ve spent many hours on it > and can’t seem to get it reconnected. Can you help? Thanks. Alice

Lois, Pittsfield, MA

Hi Alex, My computer is doing well! Thank you for bringing it back to where I can manage it. Your patience paid off! I hope some day you will turn your family research into some short stories or a novel. Think about it! Best Wishes

Bob, Williamstown, MA

Thank you very much for helping us out so quickly with our perplexing problem. This email and attachment are sent wirelessly thanks to you.

Dale, Williamstown, MA

Thanks! I noticed some nonprofit I’m involved in was recently thanking you: perhaps Hoosic River Watershed, or Northern Berkshire Community Coalition? Anyway whatever it was, keep up the good work, it’s appreciated.

Charlie, Williamstown, MA

That was a very nice article in the Eagle yesterday. The only area they did not stress enough was that you knew what you were doing, something I have appreciated a great deal.

Charlie, Lanesborough, MA

Hi Hunter and Crew. i would like to thank you and your staff for making what I think is the first fire department in Berkshire County that is state of the art. You and the staff at Brainspiral have been great to work with. I am looking forward to working with you all for a long time. Once again, thanks from all of us.

Mindy, Williamstown, MA

I was doing library web stuff last night and went again to look at your sites. I love your new logo and the breakout between technical and design departments. Your pages are great! … I’m awed by the work you do. Especially since I can remember what you guys were like in first and second grades!

Laptop Battery Issue

Hi Nancy –

It’s hard to say exactly why the battery started acting up in the first place. All batteries have a limited number of ‘cycles’ – the number of times the battery can be successfully discharged & recharged, and several different factors can affect their ability to charge & recharge. Batteries also need to be charged & recharged. If they are left for long periods of time (months & months) either fully charged (because they are connected to A/C or docked) or discharged (because they haven’t been used & are unplugged from A/C), they lose their ability to be recharged effectively.

From our experience, laptop batteries are good for about three years. Some last a little longer, others less so. We also notice that batteries start losing their total charge time (the amount of time it takes the laptop to discharge the battery when the laptop is running on battery) from day 1 – a slow and steady decline until the battery will hold no charge at all.

Using a laptop without a battery or with a completely defective battery is usually not a problem provided that the laptop is connected to A/C power. This doesn’t make the laptop particularly portable, but it will work.

Hope that information helps. Please let us know if we can help out in any other way.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On May 22, 2009, at 8:34 AM, Nancy wrote:

> Good morning, Hunter, > > Well, after the morning’s message of “Irreperable damage has been > detected, Replace the battery with a new one,” and the blinking > battery icon and the big red “X” on the tool bar at the bottom, I > received a message around 2 p.m. that that “the battery is fully > discharged.” I left the machine on and over the next three hours it > became fully charged, with no blinking icon or message. Go figure! > > The laptop has been on the dock all this time…I haven’t removed it > for use elsewhere for a long time. > So how to explain how the battery got discharged? Anyway, so far, so > good today. > > Nancy >

Get Brainspiral Remote Help

Hi Nancy –

The Remote Help application can be downloaded from the main page of Brainspiral’s website:

You’ll see a section called “Request Help” toward the bottom of the front page. When you click on ‘Windows’, you will be prompted to download the small application.

Whenever your husband has a problem, he can then call the Brainspiral Office (458-5755) and schedule an appointment to have one our of technicians contact him, take control of his computer & help in whatever way we can.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On May 20, 2009, at 11:47 PM, Nancy wrote:

> Thanks, Hunter, that cured that problem. > > I still would like to work something out so that Ron can get in > touch with you when he has a problem. Please advise. > > Thanks. > > Nancy > =

38MB Email in Outbox

Hi Nancy –

Yes, of course – but perhaps that isn’t even necessary.

Most mail providers have specific size limitations on outgoing & incoming messages. Williams College, eg, does not allow messages to be larger than 5mb. Google/Gmail allows up to 20mb. Other providers have different requirements.

38mb is quite large & the majority of mail providers will not allow it to go out. What will happen is that it will get stuck in the Outbox – the client will continually try to resend it. Stuck in a ‘loop’, as you say, is the perfect way to describe it.

Breaking this loop, however, is quite easy. All you actually have to do is access your mail client’s Outbox & delete the mischievous message.

You didn’t mention which client your husband was using – Outlook? Eudora? Outlook Express? Thunderbird?

The process is basically the same – access the Outbox & delete the rogue message.

Try that out & let me know if it works.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Useful Laptop Applications

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Alex Steele > Date: May 16, 2009 9:41:03 PM EDT > To: me , hunter > > > — > > Alex > _____

Review of HP Mini 1115NR 8.9-Inch Netbook

We recently ran a ‘Mini’ laptop through a series of tests. ‘Minis’ are a new line of laptops which are ultra-small and ultra-portable. With an LCD ~ 9″ & a weight around 2 pounds, they sure are small & light, but there are some disadvantages, too. Sony has been making them for years but HP, Gateway & Dell are newer to the market.

Begin Review: Hunter,

I’m writing this to you on the HP mini. In Word. Which isn’t so bad.

The keyboard is a decent size, but I still hit the wrong key often even with my fingers. I feel bad for anyone reasonably larger than I am trying to use this.

It’s a little slow, especially installing software. The web loads ok, but stuff like scrolling on a webpage with images is choppy. And as far as images go, forget about it on this tiny screen. Very few of them fit, most take at least 150% of the screen height to see all at once.

I’m not sure why it seems slow with 1GB of RAM, though.

The System comes out of standby pretty quick, and programs launch well, perhaps even slightly quicker than on a new laptop. The system is pretty quiet and surprisingly cool. Even after an hour or so of use it is comfortable to the touch, a vast improvement over modern laptops that will cook your legs if you’re not paying attention.

The touchpad is annoyingly small, but I could get over that if it weren’t for poor gesture recognition and horrid placement of the mouse buttons.

When I try to use the scroll on the side of the touchpad, I get random strange effects. Sometimes it jumps to the top of the page. Sometimes nothing happens (which I assume means I’m not using enough pressure). Sometimes it registers as a click. On occasion, it scrolls.

The mouse buttons are on the sides of the touchpad. Whomever thought that was a good idea should be overrun by a herd of buffalo. The right button I can get used to, as after I’ve brought up a context menu I’ll be looking for the option I’d like to click on.

The left mouse button, however, is driving me mad. I generally use my thumb to click on laptops, and my index finger on the touchpad. This is not possible with this setup. Sure, I can “tap” on the pad to click, but I get the same (albeit slightly better) results as the scroll gesture. What about dragging icons, and all that stuff? That takes two hands now, where it used to take one. That’s 100% less efficient, because they moved a button. They should have this stuff figured out by now.

It doesn’t have separate buttons for Home, End, PgUp, or PgDn. They are accessible through Fn+Arrow Keys, which I’ve found while typing this up to be a meager, and sometimes frustrating, consolation for the usability I’m accustomed to. Again, these are all, I’m sure, minor complaints. But complaints nonetheless.

Also, they seem really light and flimsy, and they ARE very small. I know these are selling points, and features, and all, but not for children. They are selling points for business men who need their email but still worry about TSA’s guidelines and fly so often that checking any baggage is an extremely added hassle. Or for IT consultant’s who need a laptop that they know works and they can carry around with them into server rooms and plug into a router to do some config without having to set up a desk. Kids need something to spill drinks on, or knock off a desk when they spin around to see who shot them with a spit-ball.

Here are my grades.

As a Desktop replacement: C-

As a Low-cost laptop: C+

As a glorified PDA: A- (but only if you refuse to get an iPhone )

As an Educational Tool: C-

Outlook Express Blocked Senders

Chris –

Good to talk to you today. Thanks.

For managing blocked senders:

Within Outlook Express, Choose ‘Blocked Senders’ from the ‘Message Rules’ option under the ‘Tools’ menu.

From there you can unlock senders.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Inexpensive PC Laptop Recommendations


For $800 you should be looking at the following specs:

Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0ghz or faster 2GB Ram or More 250GB Hard Drive or More (7200rpm ideal) Windows XP or 7 – avoid Vista, though you can downgrade from Vista to XP or upgrade to 7 once it’s out. Webcam Built-In WiFi Built-In (standard on all laptops) Bluetooth 9-Cell Battery (the 6 cells or less have poor battery life) 14″ LCD – they cost more than the 15″ LCDs, but they’re smaller & lighter.

Brand is totally irrelevant – HP, Acer, Asus, Gateway, IBM/Lenovo, Sony, Dell

A 13″ Apple Macbook would be ideal in this situation – but don’t expect to find a new one for less than $900.

We can install Office 2007 for you with the company license.

A good place to check for deals on laptops is DealNews –

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On May 12, 2009, at 12:40 PM, Ashley wrote:

> No more than 800 – the ones Ive found are between 550-799. > > On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM, Hunter Greene > wrote: > Hi Ashley – > > No problem. How much $$ do you want to spend? Laptops range from > $400 – $3000. > > > On May 12, 2009, at 11:53 AM, Ashley wrote: > >> Hi Hunter, >> I am in need of a new laptop some time in the near future – and was >> wondering if you had any suggestions. Paul is promoting a mac but I >> cant afford one right now. Ive been looking at HP’s and Sony’s as >> well as Toshiba. I want something that is light – enough to travel >> with, memory for the basics (papers, music, photos ect.) – and wont >> get too hot because its a huge problem Im having with the IBM I >> have now. I dont need all the fancy programs but do need excel and >> powerpoint for school. I dont know really anything about computer >> data and programming ect. but the ones Im looking at have either >> 250 OR 320GB storage, and 3 OR 4 GB memory. So I hope its not a >> bother to ask for your input, but Id really appreciate it. >> Thanks so much, >> Ashley > >

Shopp tags

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Topher Sabot > Date: April 16, 2009 8:15:26 AM EDT > To: justin adkins , Hunter Greene > > Subject: maybe > > could be helpful – you probably already know. I’m working with > Shopp and discovered that there are hardcoded (or at least > dynamically generated)
tags that get written in when using some > of the dynamic template tags. Very annoying – totally defeats the > purpose of css. I was all set to post on the forums asking how to > remove, when I figured out that you can style the
to have a > line-height of 0, therefore eliminating any of the extra space they > were adding. I’m guessing you knew this, but thought I would pass > it on just in case. > > br.clear {line-height: 0; clear: both; padding: 0; margin: 0;}

Mac OS Firefox/Safari Can’t Save Files

If it’s Firefox, then just go to the Firefox menu, then Preferences. Under the Downloads section, make sure ‘Save Files To’ is active, then press the ‘Choose’ button on the right. When the Finder window opens, select ‘Desktop’ on the left.

If it’s Safari, then just go to the Safari menu, the Preferences. Under the ‘Save downloaded files to’ option, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu. When the Finder window opens, select ‘Desktop’ on the right.

The problem is that the browser has an incorrectly stored path in its settings & it’s trying to save a file to a location that doesn’t exist – which is simply can’t do. Updating the settings will allow the browser to save the file.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Apr 22, 2009, at 12:26 PM, Kathy wrote:

> I assume so – I try to download from either email (gmail) – and > think have tried on line – but has mainly been when I am sent a > document- like this one: Centsability poster 1.doc – just a basic > word document. > > > On Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM, Hunter Greene > wrote: > > I assume this is within your web browser, correct? Firefox? > > hunter greene > Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. > > > w: 413-458-5755 > c: 413-281-4918 > > > > On Apr 22, 2009, at 12:15 PM, Kathy wrote: > >> Hi Hunter and Brainspiral: >> >> I love the new laptop – it si great >> >> One small difficulty – when I try to save/download an email >> attachment – comes up with message thaL user/macadmin/desktop/ >> bslinaxp.xls could not be saved, part because you cannnot change >> the contents of that folder. change the folder properties and try >> again or try saving in a differnt localtion. >> >> I don’t know how to change or take the lock off of the ‘desktop >> foler” – I cna save into folers when I do something and can >> specify a location – but cant’ change or create new folders. >> >> Can someone help? >> >

How to Rest Microsoft Word Toolbars

Hi Rob –

The MS Word toolbars can definitely be a little flakey from time to time.

Try this:

Right-Click on the currently visible toolbar & choose ‘Customize’. From the ‘Toolbars’ tab, click ‘Reset’ Click ‘OK’ to save the changes in Close Word & re-open it

If that doesn’t work, try this:

Close Microsoft Office Browse to C:Documents and SettingsstudentApplication DataMicrosoft Templates Delete the file called ‘’ Re-open Word This will restore all toolbar/font default values for Word.

Please let me know if neither of those solutions works.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Apr 16, 2009, at 1:13 PM, Rob wrote:

> Hunter hello, > > On the new server-client computers, in Word, the basic toolbar is > there- the toolbar that has file, view, toolbars, etc. in it, is not > there. I do not know how to make that toolbar live. > > Any thoughts? > > -Rob- > > >

Mac Address Book & iPhone Questions

Hi Molly –

1) Yes – Address Book->File->Import Vcards

2) Yes, but to do so you need to either: a) Export from Outlook to a Text file format, then import to Address Book b) Install iTunes on the machine with Outlook & then configure Itunes to sync the Outlook address book (which iTunes is capable of doing with the iPhone)

What did you ever decide about the wireless in the back of the building? Is it working now? Or do you want to install another Access Point back there?

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:59 AM, Molly wrote: > Hey Hunter.  Can I import vcards to my address book?  Alternatively, can I > somehow upload outlook information to my iphone contacts? > >

Difficulties of Web Development

This great MacWorld articles discusses the various issues surrounding the development of a website that is fully compatible with all popular web browsers:

A great read if you’re interested in understanding why it’s so difficult to develop a site, especially for Internet Explorer users.

Lori, Williamstown, MA

Hunter, I just called my mom with my new bluetooth headset and I love it, thanks for that advice and for everything else you helped me with!

WPSC WP E-Commerce Shopping Cart 3.6.12 Google Checkout Shipping

It turns out that, among other things, WPSC can’t calculate shipping properly when linked to Google Checkout when using a flat-rate shipping method.

Surprise, Surprise.

We found a fix:

shopping_cart_functions.php around line 295 had the following as a method for calculating shipping:

$pnp += $wpdb->get_var(“SELECT SUM(pnp) FROM “.$wpdb- >prefix.”product_list WHERE id IN (“.$google_product_id.”)”);

That’s great – except that it doesn’t take into account the possibility that someone could order MORE THAN ONE ITEM. Like that ever happens in the e-commerce world. Maybe it just doesn’t happen in New Zealand. But here in the great U S of A, people often times buy more than one item.

So we changed the above line to:

foreach((array)$_SESSION[‘nzshpcrt_cart’] as $cart_item) { $product_id = $cart_item->product_id; $quantity = $cart_item->quantity; $pnp += nzshpcrt_determine_item_shipping($product_id, $quantity, $_SESSION[‘delivery_country’]); }

Which was conveniently stolen from some other file.

The logic here is bad, too – only because I have a feeling nzshpcrt_determine_item_shipping looks up in the database for each item its price. Ideally the price should be stored locally as part of the nzshpcrt_cart array of cart objects, as quantity and description already are. Of course we were going to do that much, we might as well just re-write the entire plugin – properly, of course – and send the original developers packing.

Hope that helps.

WP Shopping Cart – Eliminate “All 50 States”

I Figured out how to get rid of the “All 50 States” addition to the shipping options.

Just comment out line 120 in shipping/flaterate.php:

//$shipping_quotes[“All 50 States”] = (float)$flatrates[‘all’]+ $per_item_shipping;

Then bye-bye. Working on getting the Google Checkout thing to calculate shipping properly.

Amazing how an E-Commerce plugin could fail to calculate shipping properly. Or tax. Or product prices. Or anything for that matter.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Eliminating Asterisk VOIP Echo Issues

> We have found this post regarding improving phone quality by > eliminating line echo and properly tuning the analog cards of an > Asterisk box very helpful and accurate. > > > > Brainspiral manages IP-based phone systems for dozens of clients. > We highly recommend Trixbox ( Appliances and > Aastra telephones ( Systems running the highly > intuitive Asterisk phone software offer better features & advanced > configuration at a fraction of the cost.

Mac OS X – Modifying Dashboard Widgets

Ah Widgets.

That’s easy.

If you click the little ‘+’ button in the bottom-left hand corner of the screen from within ‘Dashboard’, you will enter widget editing mode. From this mode you can add recommended widgets by dragging them from the bottom or you can delete individual widgets by clicking the ‘X’ next to any given one.

Hope that helps –

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 24, 2009, at 9:07 AM, Carol wrote:

> Those individual pieces that come up on the dashboard – thought they > were called gismo, maybe I’ll calling the wrong thing. > On Mar 24, 2009, at 12:03 AM, Hunter Greene wrote: > >> >> Carol – >> >> Which gizmo’s? The external hard drives? >> >> hunter greene >> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. >> >> >> w: 413-458-5755 >> c: 413-281-4918 >> >> >> >> On Mar 8, 2009, at 4:04 PM, Carol wrote: >> >>> Things seem to be working fine – but I can’t get the extra >>> ( duplicate) gizmo’s off my screen. I have double of everying. >>> They don’t dray to trash or deleat with the key. Carol > >

Dell problems


You could try disabling Spy Sweeper (and any other anti-spyware / anti-virus programs you have) and installing Service Pack 3 again. Oftentimes, these programs which are intended to protect your computer can prevent valid programs from accessing the computer correctly. It is generally recommended that you disable anti-virus programs before you install software, and this includes Windows Updates.

Please give this a try and let us know if you are still having problems.

-Jacklyn Matts Brainspiral Technologies

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 2:30 PM, Hunter Greene wrote:

> > > > hunter greene > Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. > > ————————————————————————————- > > > > > > Begin forwarded message: > > *From: * > *Date: *April 1, 2009 4:53:48 PM EDT > *To: * > *Subject: **Dell problems* > > Hunter (Jackie) – > I tried to install updates on my Dell, but it hung up on the > installation with “Service Pack 3 Setup” and, finally, “Service Pack 3 > installation did not complete. Windows XP has been partially updated and > may not work properly.” All this while Spy Sweeper was sweeping. > Advice? Should I just let it settle down, then call you. Nervous, of > course, after the North Adams Transcipt (notable for hi-tech advice) warned > of a nasty virus on PCs, set to spring forth today. > Give me a call if I should do anything. Otherwise, I’ll just see if > it’s working well when all the dust settles. > Thanks. > d. > > > ************** > New Low Prices on Dell Laptops – Starting at $399 ( > > ) > > >

Google Apps Gmail POP IMAP Help

Hi Margo –

I don’t recall how your Buxton email is currently configured.

When using Google Apps mail via IMAP in Mail, copies of messages are synchronized between Google & your mail client.

If you’re using POP, copies of messages are downloaded to your mail client, then Google archives those copies.

IMAP is better – you don’t ever have to worry about losing mail, or making backups & you can access your mail from multiple locations (through the WEB, or from different computers).

I think you’re using POP, in which case your ‘Sent’ messages are stored solely on your computer (Google happens to make a copy of all sent mail, but most providers don’t do this). If the messages are missing from Mail, they were either deleted or the mailbox storing them is corrupt.

They can be partially restored from the Google ‘Sent Mail’ – but your client needs to be reconfigured in IMAP mode to do this.

Do NOT delete any accounts within Mail, however, as doing so will delete all mail associated with them on your computer.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

Adding/Editing Signature to your Google Apps Email

Hi Andy –

Yes, it’s called a signature. You can create a signature by logging into your Google-hosted emailed account, clicking on the ‘Settings’ button in the upper-right hand corner. On the ‘General’ tab, you’ll see a section called ‘Signature’. Click the box above the signature box to activate it, then type your signature in the box. It will automatically be appended to all your messages.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918

On Apr 2, 2009, at 5:43 AM, Andy Parkman wrote:

> Good morning Hunter, > > Thank you for the info on the whole DOC and DOCX thing. I have one > other question. At the end of my sent e-mails is it possible to > have it automatically put our phone#, fax# and my cell#? I that > easy to do? > > Thanks > > Andy

CForms 10.4.1 and Tracking

Hey Justin –

I haven’t traced it out completely, but I know for a fact that there’s a bug in the 10.4.1 patch that kills the tracking page. It appears to be a PHP error generated from the lib_database_getdata.php page within the CForms plugin. I downgraded to 10.4 for now until further investigation can be done.

hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc. w: 413-458-5755 c: 413-281-4918


HI Mary –

I tried to update the Server, but someone was using it so I’ll do that later.

AVG is free. It’s available here:

Downloading & installing this free version will update your existing version automatically.

Hope that helps.


hunter greene Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

WordPress 2.7.1, WP E-Commerce WPSC WP Shopping Cart 3.6.10

I finally figured out why the categories weren’t showing up on product

Those deficient programmers from New Zealand actually store a field in the
wp_options table in the database called:
Which, as you might guess, contains the order of the product fields &
which is used when custom-ordering the boxes.
Slick, right?

Except that if one of the boxes is removed from the serialized array,
the box will never ever show up anywhere. Ever. I am amazed at how
poorly this plugin is designed. I guess that’s what you should expect
when you have to pay for something. The free stuff is always better
developed, better managed & it seems like its developers actually care.

One small WPSC thing sorted out – about a million left to go.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 22, 2009, at 2:49 PM, justin adkins wrote:

> Ok, so… I put their info in.
> Category is still not an option on the product input screen
> Do I need to create a field for credit card somewhere?
> -justin
> ———————————————
> Please think of the environmental repercussions of printing emails
> before you print this one.

question about “placing” files to InDesign

Adobe says you need to install the latest update in order for it to

I think you’re running Indesign CS2 (From within Indesign, go to
Indesign->About to verify it).

In which case you need this update:

Can you download & install it?

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 23, 2009, at 1:16 PM, Jenna Cece wrote:

> Yikes…how soon can that happen?
> On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 1:11 PM, Hunter Greene
> wrote:
> We’ll have to reinstall InDesign. That sucks.
> hunter greene
> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
> w: 413-458-5755
> c: 413-281-4918
> On Mar 23, 2009, at 11:45 AM, Jenna Cece wrote:
>> I am trying to begin putting together our April newsletter in
>> InDesign…and each time I try to place a Word file into my
>> InDesign layout, it tells me “Cannot place this file. No filter
>> found for requested operation.” What do I do? This is the first
>> time I’ve seen a message like this; seems to be a result of
>> programs being updated on my computer.
>> Thanks,
>> Jenna
>> —
>> Jenna Cece
>> Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
>> 61 Main St., Suite 218
>> North Adams, MA 01247
>> 413-663-7588
> —
> Jenna Cece
> Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
> 61 Main St., Suite 218
> North Adams, MA 01247
> 413-663-7588

short question

Hi –

You can download the free version here:


Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.

On Mar 22, 2009, at 2:23 PM, Brainspiral Client wrote:

> Hunter…I am getting notices from AVG that my internet security is
> expiring and to renew it. I remember, or misremember that you said
> it is unnecessary. True? Thanks. nad

PDF files

Download the two .exe files from here:

And install.

Then go to File->Print in Word & select the CutePDF option.

You will be prompted to choose the location & name of the PDF file.

That’s it.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 18, 2009, at 1:06 PM, Ellen Richardson wrote:

> to make one from a word document.
> —–Original Message—–
> From: Hunter Greene []
> Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 12:46 PM
> To: Ellen Richardson
> Subject: Re: PDF files
> To make a PDF from a Word Document, eg, or read a PDF file?
> On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Ellen Richardson
> wrote:
>> Hi Hunter, I am trying to download PDF capabilities for free but
>> can’t
> seem
>> to find a site. Can you help? Thanks. Ellen


Machine gunning isn’t normally a sound a computer generates.

There are really only three things inside a computer that could make

1) The hard drive
2) The cooling fan(s)
3) The speakers

It’s not likely to be #2 because fans never make any noise like that.
They might make a whirrring noise or even more likely no noise at all
(as when the bearings die & they don’t spin any more).

It’s not likely #3 because while speakers can go defective & generate
all sorts of crazy noises, they tend not to affect system functionality.

Which leaves #1. The most complicated & tiresome of all. If it is in
fact a hard drive issue, plan for the worst. Cross your fingers that
your backup program has been working. Rarely can hard drives be
‘repaired’ – they need to be replaced. This requires disassembling
the machine, removing the existing hard drive and installing a new
one. Sometimes the data can be copied directly from the old one to
the new. Other times only fragments of data can be copied & the data
must be restored from backup. It’s hard to say. At any rate, it can
be a time consuming process.

On very rare occasion hard drive issues can be caused by bad sectors
(portions of the hard drive which are damaged & cannot be used), and
there are hard drive repair utilities that can fix these sectors – or
at least mark them as unusable so the hard drive doesn’t attempt to
use them any more. This can sometimes be a short-term fix, but almost
always drive noises indicate a failing drive.

Given the age of your machine, I would be somewhat reluctant to
encourage you to repair the machine. You’d be better off grabbing a
20″ Core 2 Duo iMac Refurb for $600 & upgrading. The Intel machines
are so much more powerful than the G5s.

Consult with Jim, too – he might have some insight.


hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 16, 2009, at 6:25 PM, Sam wrote:

> Hunter, I’m getting a funny, repetitive noise from the computer. It
> sounds like a machine gun and temporarily disables the computer. It
> goes away as soon as I quit the function such as “Foxfire.” I can
> then go back to the foxfire and things are OK.
> Any suggestions/comments.
> Thanks,
> Sam


1080p is the highest resolution they make. It has the same resolution
as the 24″ lcd on my desk at the office. This means that the larger
the screen, the bigger the pixels are magnified. The closer you are
to the screen, the more noticeable the pixel size, regardless of the
resolution of the screen. The bigger the screen, the bigger the
pixel. This is why such a thing as ‘too big’ does exist for

There is only one 1080p-capable source: Blu-Ray DVD. Every other
source in the world is 1080i or less. A regular DVD player is only
480p. HD-TV is 1080i at best. Achieving the highest resolution
output also depends on using an interface that actually supports that
resolution. You can connect a Blu-Ray player to an LCD using
composite video cables & the resolution to the tv will only be as high
as 240i – that’s 1/4 the resolution. You have to connect it via HDMI
to get 1080p. Component video only supports 1080i. If the satellite
or cable box only has composite or s-video out, you’ll only get a max
of 240i or 420i out of it. You can still tune to an HD channel, it
just won’t be displayed in HD.

The i and the p refer to how the lcd refreshes. ‘I’ is interlace; ‘p’
is progressive.

This is for downstairs? In the TV room? 40 or 42″ might be too big
That’s a tiny room. Even at 1080 (1080 pixels on horizontal, same as
a computer lcd), you’ll be so close to the screen that it will
actually look fuzzy even when watching a high-def source.

The 720p 32 & 37″ LCDs are much cheaper than the 1080p equivalents.
If the TV isn’t going to be used for watching movies, there probably
isn’t any reason to buy a more expensive better quality LCD. You
might as well wait a few years & buy another one then. They’ll be
half the price they are now.

Every LCD on the market is superior to any CRT out there. I like the
Samsungs and Sonys for home-use. Panasonic & Plasma make outstanding
plasmas for small home-theatre set-ups, but for the average consumer
they’re totally overkill.

Except to pay about $450-$600 for a good 32″ 720p LCD, $900-$1050 for
a good 40″ 1080p LCD. I just bought a refurbished 37″ 1080p Samsung
on for ~ $775. The prices on are all very

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 16, 2009, at 8:29 PM, Matthew Voisin wrote:

> okay… 32 to 42 inch what do you recommend… any thoughts on what
> kind of prices they would be. LCD. Basically he is looking for
> the best value and probably a second one for upstairs.
> What other factors do you need to consider? Bracket, etc.
> —
> Matthew Voisin
> (413) 884-4871
> On Mar 16, 2009, at 8:21 PM, Hunter Greene wrote:
>> I am boycotting BestBuy for life.
>> Try instead.
>> hunter greene
>> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
>> w: 413-458-5755
>> c: 413-281-4918
>> On Mar 16, 2009, at 8:05 PM, Matthew Voisin wrote:
>>> My dad just called while walking into Best Buy to get two new
>>> tvs… I of course got upset because he did not talk to you and
>>> has not done any research. Can you call me?


HI Alan –

The ‘Local Folders’ consisted of your old email. We migrated all that
mail data to Google, so it now appears in the bottom set of folders.

As a result, I deleted all the ‘Local Folders’ (or actually just made
a backup of them but removed them from Outlook Express).

There shouldn’t be any confusion now about where the mail is & where
it should reside.

For Sent Mail, look in the ‘Sent Mail’ folder inside the ‘[Gmail]’
folder. All your sent mail should be in there.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 16, 2009, at 8:41 AM, Alan wrote:

> Hunter
> I am having several issues with my computers email. First, I have
> two sets of boxes on the left, ie. inbox, jobs ect. Second on the
> left side the bottom set is the only one up to date, but the sent
> box is not there so I can not retreve the sent messages. Each time
> I enter Outlook it searches for mail in every catagory, taking at
> times 45-60 seconds.
> any suggestions?

NBUW question

I found some buttons on the front of the monitor and it switched from
digital to analog and it works now! You are great. Thanks a bunch.

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 2:50 PM, Jacklyn Matts wrote:

> Denise,

> The only helpful guess I have is that the monitor accepts both digital and
> analog signals, the setup you have uses analog, and the monitor is set to
> digital. Is there a button on the monitor that says “input”? Or perhaps it
> would have a pair of buttons marked “1” and “2”? If this is the case, try
> pressing input, or the 1,2 buttons, and see if that helps.
> -Jacklyn Matts
> Brainspiral Technologies
> On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM, Denise Sauer wrote:
>> Jackie,
>> Could you answer a question for us?
>> Question: The monitor that is attached to the server seems to be in a
>> sleep mode, showing only the Dell Digital Input Self Test Check..
>> I tried:
>> – neither keyboard seems to be able to activate the screen to work
>> – CTRL/ALT/DEL does not work
>> – plugging the keyboard into other USB ports didn’t work
>> – tried both mouse/keyboards
>> – turned second/”new” computer off/on
>> – etc
>> We would appreciate any help.
>> Thank you,
>> denise
>> —
>> Denise Sauer
>> Account Manager
>> Northern Berkshire United Way
>> 413-663-9062

HELP please – from Vanessa

Hi Vanessa –

Could be a bunch of things.

1) Make sure your wireless radio is active. I believe you do that by
pressing the ‘Fn’ key following by the ‘F2′ key, A small window
should pop up that shows the status of the wireless radio.

2) Make sure the ‘Wireless Zero Configuration’ service is running.
Right-click on ‘My Computer’, select ‘Manage My Computer’, Go to
‘Services & Applications’, Expand ‘Services’, scroll to the bottom of
the list, check the status for ‘Wireless Zero Configuration’.

3) Make sure Windows has control of the wireless card. Go to the
‘Network Connections’ control panel. Right-Click on ‘Wireless
Connection’, then select ‘Properties’. Go to the ‘Wireless’ tab.
Make sure the first option is select (‘Allow Windows to Manage My
Wireless Connection’).

4) Delete ALL the existing wireless profiles. Follow #3 above, on the
same ‘Wireless’ tab, delete all the current profiles. You have to
select one at a time, then press ‘Remove’.

5) Check what wireless networks are actually available. Double-Click
on the wireless icon on the task-bar, click the ‘Refresh Wireless
List’ on the left & see if your network appears on the right. Then
try to re-connect.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 15, 2009, at 5:49 PM, Win Wassenar wrote:

> Hunter:
> i just got to FL and turned on my computer and sent and received
> some email. i went out and came back and suddenly i can’t connect to
> our wireless connection. i’ve tried everything i know. what’s weird
> is when i go down to the toolbar and right-click on the wireless
> bars i then click on “connect to” and it seems to be going to every
> wireless connection that i’ve used EXCEPT the one i want. i tried
> going into the utility and clicking on our wireless, apply and then
> OK and it doesn’t stick. the signal is excellent, it’s a secure
> connection and i’ve re-entered the SSID and WEP and still nothing.
> Do you have any ideas?
> Would you either email them or call Then don’t forget to send us a
> bill. I’m desperate!!
> Thanks.
> Vanessa

a non-profit museum

Begin forwarded message:
> Date: March 11, 2009 7:21:09 PM EDT
> To: Greene
> Subject: RE: A note from Martha Dailey re: a non-profit museum
> Thank you for the information….you are a good teacher!!!!
> Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 08:49:34 -0400
> Hi Martha –
> For internet service you have only two options:
> DSL from Verizon
> Cable Modem Service from Time Warner
> They are similar in many respects:
> They are both land-based services, meaning that they are delivered
> by wire to your location.
> They are both high-speed.
> They are both capable of being shared to both wireless and wired
> clients.
> They both make use of modems which connect your location to their
> service.
> They are both very reliable.
> Verizon’s business service is generally much cheaper than Time
> Warner’s ($30/month vs. $60/month), but this varies depending on the
> whole package. If you use Verizon as your land-based telephone
> provider, you receive an additional 20% off their high speed
> internet service. Time Warner has a similar deal if you bundle
> television service and/or phone service with their internet service.
> The services are really so similar in both function, setup &
> installation that it doesn’t make any difference which one you
> ultimately decide to use. Calling them & asking them their current
> monthly package options would be your best first step.
> Best,
> hunter greene
> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
> w: 413-458-5755
> c: 413-281-4918
> On Mar 8, 2009, at 12:25 PM, wrote:
> Hi Hunter…
> You may or may not remember but I’m involved with a couple of non-
> profit museums; Seth, you managed to find a couple of computers for
> the Bidwell House, a colonial historic house museum.
> Well, now, I am helping out at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace in
> Adams–we won’t open until summer and major renovations are taking
> place to make it into a museum
> I’ve been asked to equip the office with internet capabilities….my
> question is this:
> Should I employ Verizon or go with Time Warner? or AT & T…. Or do
> you have a preference….we will be communicating nationally and I
> suppose internationally with many people who view Susan B. Anthony
> as a major figure in women’s equality, abolitionism, and other human
> rights issues. The time to order a cable company orprovider is
> now…and I just don’t know which one to call.
> Then, again, if there are any items that you know of that can be
> donated…it will be a distinct pleasure for the non-profits finances.
> We will be so grateful for advice.

Firefox on Mac Window Location & Size Issue

Begin forwarded message:
> Date: March 10, 2009 12:10:51 AM EDT
> To: Hunter Greene
> Subject: Re: quick question
> Amazing — that worked! Thank you SOOO much!
> On Mar 9, 2009, at 11:40 PM, Hunter Greene wrote:
>> Did it start recently?
>> Mozilla recommends either:
>> 1) Flakey plug-in
>> 2) Corrupted preferences file.
>> For #2, try this:
>> Quit Firefox
>> Open Macintosh HD
>> Browse to Darra/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/
>> XXXXXXXXX.default
>> Find the file called localstore.rdf and throw it in the trash
>> Open Firefox
>> Resize window
>> Quit Firefox
>> Re-open Firefox
>>> 3.0.7
>>> On Mar 9, 2009, at 11:10 PM, Hunter Greene wrote:
>>>> I can’t reproduce your problem, so I don’t really know what’s
>>>> wrong. When I resize a Firefox window, then quit Firefox
>>>> (Firefox->Quit), the window size & location is maintained when I
>>>> reopen it.
>>>> What version of Firefox are you running (Firefox->About Mozilla
>>>> Firefox)?
>>>>> Hi Hunter,
>>>>> Sorry to bother you with what is no doubt a really basic
>>>>> question — but try as I might, I can’t figure it out.
>>>>> Firefox has always opened to a nice size window that doesn’t
>>>>> take up my entire 17″ screen. Suddenly it has begun filling the
>>>>> entire screen, so each time I have to make it smaller by pulling
>>>>> it in from the bottom right hand corner. I can’t figure out how
>>>>> to get the entire window to automatically display smaller,
>>>>> though I’m sure it’s something obvious. I’ve restarted the
>>>>> machine, tried preferences, tried minimizing — nothing has
>>>>> worked. Can you help? It’s driving me crazy.
>>>>> Thanks,

Content Management Systems

While working on a site called justin wrote a comparison of various Content Management Systems (CMS). We post this information below as it may answer some of your questions about “Why we choose WordPress”

Software Solutions:

To address the goals and requirements of the site I set off in search of a content-management-system.  Though the years I have worked with quite a few CMS’s and usually return to WordPress.  Since it had been sometime since I explored Joomla and Drupal I decided to take a look at what they are currently offering.

I am only looking at these three CMS’s because they are open source, stable, and based in PHP an mySQL, technologies I am familiar with.  I need a system that will address most, if not all of my requirements either out-of-the-box or with add-on modules.  If it requires add-ons they need to be easy to implement and ideally they would need little recoding.  I have worked with some template systems that have add-ons which require code changes to the primary system files, I would prefer to avoid this type of situation as it always makes upgrades painful at best.

Open source is important to me because too much information in our world is owned.  Beyond that I have found that I get better support from a community of users and developers than from proprietary sources.  With open-source solutions people support and maintain software because they use it themselves and because they care about the quality and functionality of the software.

Vattekkat Satheesh Babu laid out on his site three great reasons to use open source software, I can not say it any better than he does:
“Trust worthiness of software. Unlike closed source, open source software has more chance of getting exposed to people with no financial interests. This really improves the trust worthiness – you don’t have to worry about claims like “oh, we want to get information from your computer to our server, to serve you better and to better analyze your problems”. If need help, I’ll call the vendor rather than vendors collecting information on their own.
Reliability of software. Well known open source software like Apache, Linux, Free/Open/NetBSD, Samba, Zope etc are worked on by people who do that work simply because they are proud about it. That, IMO, is the best ownership. You get code with lot of heart behind it. For most closed source software, that feeling of responsibility that any one and every one can see the code and hence you might be held responsible simple won’t be there. Just how would you like if your constitution is a closed book and the judges alone can look at it and decide whether you broke the law or not?
Support. This is often brought up often by anti-open source advocates. I think, in reality, open source offers the best support, if you’ve competent people in your team. Either you can get help from the community or you still have the option to go through the source and fix it” (

For profit companies with closed code are working on the product to make money not to make the product better.  This often leads to products not working with other software and in this case browser issues.  It is also often hard to find real support from closed software companies where as the open source community is offering support based on experience.  Joomla says it best, “[…]Open Source Matters” (


Joomla is one of the most complete CMS’s I have ever worked with or seen.  This is one of the best things about Joomla and in my opinion, one of the biggest issues.  Though my client has a wide array of needs I need to make sure that whatever she uses is easy to manage.  Simplicity is king in letting users update their own content, in my, not so humble, opinion.  Fine, for me to have a million and one options as a developer but my clients are another story.  They need to be able to perform a few basic tasks, and that is it.

On of the biggest issues I used to have with Joomla was image management.  It was confusing at best and after trying to train multiple users on how to use the image manager I had given up on it. With version 1.5 Joomla says,“A very popular improvement is Joomla!’s new image manager enabling you to browse media folders to select and insert images directly into your article as you write” (  This uplaoder is similar to other CMS’s, in the sense that it is a flash overlay to the screen (works like lightbox for images).

On thing I really like about Joomla is the article back-end screen that shows page statistics.  This is a very handy tool to have readily available in the write screen.

In the administration screens you are able to set and online and offline mode which is very handy for doing updates to a site, and you are able to set the metadata in the administration, cool, and a great help for SEO.

One of my other issues in the past with Joomla was its heavy reliance on tables.  The developers listened to the public and “Now, template designers can use custom layouts, often referred to as template overrides, instead of the typical table heavy output from Joomla! Core.” (  While this may be true the core still relies on tables,

“Designing Joomla powered sites currently presents considerable challenges to meet validation standards. In the current series of releases, 1.0.X, the code uses a significant amount of tables to output its pages. This isn’t really using CSS for presentation, nor does it produce semantically correct code. This problem is compounded by the fact that very few 3rd party developers are using CSS either, most use table to generate their code too. However, tableless is not the same as valid. Its quite possible to have a site that uses tables to validate, it just makes it harder. A useful thread on the Joomla forums go into this in more detail:
Easy tricks to remove many tables from the standard output of Joomla!
Fortunately, the Joomla Core Development team recognize this issue of Joomla. While in 1.5 there will be no changes towards removing tables from the core, a roadmap has be defined that begins to address this in the 1.6 release and on.
Regardless, care can still be taken when creating a template so that it is accessible (e.g. scalable font sizes), usable (e.g. clear navigation) and optimized for search engines (e.g. source ordered).” (
While I agree that tables and validation are not one in the same I am not to thrilled with the idea of the extra steps it seems to take developers to break out of tables, and as this blurb states, because Joomla! Relies on tables so much so do the module/add-on/plugin developers.

Joomla! Has so many options.  After playing with the online demo, I still find the back-end interface confusing and though you can create roles for various users these roles do not seem to simplify things too much.  Joomla! Does offer a lot of functionality “out-of-the-box” which is nice but if the “out-of-the-box” functionality is confusing it does not help me to much.  What amazes me with Joomla! Is that though everything on the back-end is accessed by one login things are still quite separated to various areas.


It was funny in researching for this project I found something that said what I always felt about Drupal, “Drupal is not known for its ease of use”  the bummer is that I closed the tab and have no clue who said it.  That said… I was less than optimistic when looking into Drupal.  The only reason I even looked at it at all is because many of my friends swear by Drupal and everywhere I turn I hear about how many changes were made in version 6.x.

One of the best things about Drupal is its “out-of-the-box” support for multiple users.  Users can have roles.  In former versions of Drupal setting up user roles was not the easiest task, users adding themselves was quite simple on the other hand.  With the version 6 the administration section has been restyled and is much better.  Because Drupal is focused on community sites the user options are more through than any other CMS I have seen.  In fact, about a quarter of the admin options are in regards to users.

The new admin panels look great.  The main admin section is broken into a few head categories: Content management, User Management, Reports, Site building, and Site configuration . This is great and intuitive.

For ammapeg the big concern is content management.  In Drupal you have a wide array of options, collaborative “books” that work great for user manuals, etc. and Pages and Stories (similar to Pages and Posts in WordPress).  The focus of Drupal really is collaboration, Drupals site boasts, “In Drupal, the community aspect is threaded through the system at the most fundamental level, so snapping these functions together and configuring them is not too different whether you want to do it as a mostly one-to-many site, or you decide to open it up and go many-to-many. Connecting the distributed, collaborative possibilities of community with all aspects of your site is something Drupal does very, very well.” (

There is a native forum module in Drupal which is very nice, not something my client needs, but nice none the less. Drupal also has multi-site support which is very cool, but again not a feature my client needs.

I mentioned images in regards to Joomla and here the pesty buggers come up again.  Drupal does not support image uploads “out-of-the-box” you have to install the image module to add this functionality.  Once the module is installed you have to reference the url of the image, no pretty previews here.  This image thing is a big hold up for my client.  This might be a bit complex for her at this point.


WordPress 2.5, and as of July 15, 2008, 2.6 is much closer to being a full service CMS than it used to be.  WordPress, unlike Drupal and Joomla! Did not start off as a CMS, in fact it technically still is a blog package.  That said over the years the community has been taking the simplicity of the package and making it usable as a full service CMS.  It is difficult to write this paper in a balanced way because I have had so much more experience in WordPress.  Compared to Joomla! And Drupal Wordpres comes “out-of-the-box” with very little.  You basically have a simple user panel, and manage and write sections for posts and Pages.

In WordPress posts are like Drupal stories and Pages are like Drupal pages, semi static data.  These are managed with a very minimalist approach and few options.

Like the other CMS’s I looked at WordPress used to be very problematic in regards to images, with 2.5 they fixed this issue and now it has one of the better image managers “out-of-the-box”.  Everything in regards to images happens within the write panel and you can also add a gallery of images with the simple WordPress shortcode, similar to other API short code.

WordPress becomes a powerful solution as you start adding plugins.  The wordpress plugins are simple to install and integrate rather seamlessly to the admin screens.  Where the other CMS’s I looked at tried to do most tasks the user and developer needs “out-of-the-box” WordPress does little and it is up to you to make it what you need it to be.

As I am at this point looking and the requirements of the project I had to go outside of the  main install to see if WordPress was my best choice. I quickly found some plugin options that would fill my needs.

One of the requirements of the project is for my client to easily update the content.  With WordPress custom write panels I can create custom write sections for each aspect of the site.  These write panels combined with the already simple administration screens seems to be the best choice for my client.  With write panels, and a couple other easily installed plugins I am able to develop the back-end as well as the front-end of the site.  This flexibility is very appealing when creating sites like this which need to be a blog, store, and more static content.

Now that I have chosen a CMS framework to work with, WordPress 2.5/2.6.  It is time to customize the backend to do the various tasks my client needs.

Let’s look at the requirements again and see some of the solutions.

Provide information for current students
Information is something all of the CMS’s handle well, that is why they are CONTENT management systems.  This is “out-of-the-box for not only the three options I looked at but others as well.  WordPress offers something the others do not, simplicity.  In addition to the WordPress admin system there is a well supported plugin called “fresh post” (  Fresh posts allows the developer to have custom panels with custom fields for the content manager.  This will allow me to simply create a custom back-end for my client where she can fill in and check boxes for exactly what she wants.  Using this simple but robust plugin I can make the administration tailored to her specific needs and help cut back on any training time.
Have daily inspirational and encouraging messages
My client has a message that she wants to show of the homepage.  Everyday her friend e-mails this message to a small group of people.  Ideally this message will be automatically posted to the homepage via that same e-mail.  To do this I am using a plugin called “postie” (  Postie was actually slightly out of date, however because there is a wide community using this plugin people have filled the gaps for support.  I needed to make a couple changes in the postie code to get it to work in WordPress 2.5.
What postie does is allow you to not only post via e-mail but direct the posts to a specific category, which I then am feeding to a section on the homepage.  With an automatic cron the home page will daily show the new post.
Have “homework” materials for current students
The homework section is fairly straight forward and is being handled using posts.  For each assignment or week, my client can make a new post and easily attach any files she needs to, be they pdf, doc, or images.  She can also add video and audio via the WordPress uploader whenever wants to.
Portal for Peggy’s study materials
Download of studies by Peggy
The study materials and downloads both dictated some type of e-commerce solution.  I looked at OsCommerce, which I am actually most familiar with, and at WP-e-Commerce.  OsCommerce would not integrate with the WordPress back-end which was initially the biggest turn-off as I do not want my client to have multiple logins.  The OsCommerce system is extremely through but my feelings about it are much like my thoughts about Joomla, it has more to offer than my client needs.  As I was researching my options I discovered the perfect solution, WP-e-Commerce (
WP-e-Commerce fully integrates with WordPress administration panels and handles downloads so that I can set downloadeable material t go through the e-commerce solution either for free or for pay.  It also works with paypal and google check out as well as the industry standard  WP-e-Commerce is awesome.  I am able to tweak presentation and back-end functionality.  It is simple to use and fully integrates with WordPress.
Opportunity for Christian women  in the general public to submit requests for and receive prayer and support from Peggy
I want Peggy to be able to add fields to any type of prayer request form that I offer.  Additionally I for see her desiring to add people to help her pray, in the sense of someone submits a prayer request and she and 2 of her friends or her pastor want to pray for all of these requests.  So I needed a solution where my client could add recipients of the submitted form.  I also wanted her to be able to add her own custom fields to the form as time went on.  I decided to go with a plugin called Cforms 2 (  C-Forms is a full form software and is well supported and documented.  It has various default form themes and you can use your own stylesheet as well.  It also allows for auto-response messages and confirmations as well as the required multiple recipients.
Recommend pertinent outside reading
Have the site support itself financially
Outside recommendations ends up tying in with financial support.  By linking into the API Peggy can make simple book recommendations, pull the cover image and title and link into her own amazon seller account and make a profit off of each sale.  This is also done in the administration panels and actually right in the write/edit sections where she inputs her content.  Using Nick Orhn’s Amazon Reloaded plugin ( my client can search for a product on amazon within the edit area and once she finds it she can input the image and title with a click into her post.  Though the settings area I am able to configure it to link to her seller account.


Through much research I discovered that most CMS’s are very similar these days.  Over the past year even the difference have become rather slim in regards to core functionality.  The main difference is preference in administration and the ultimate goals of the project.  If my client had been looking for a solution that offered a lot of community input and many users, Drupal would have been the natural choice.  If my client had someone to offer on-going technical support I would have recommended Joomla as it really offers more but is more challenging to navigate.

Why the WordPress framework?

Why do we build websites on the wordpress framework.  Well, because it is open source, well documented, and well supported.  WordPress, formerly a bloging software, lets us build you great web standards based sites where you can edit your content and upload images.  No longer do you need to call us to do simple content updates.  We put the power in your hands.

Peachtree Migration

> Subject: Peachtree Migration
> I stopped by the office today to perform the Peachtree Migration.
> Unfortunately, since you were not there, I was told that I was
> unable to perform this relatively routine service call without your
> presence.
> In order to migrate the data, please perform the following steps.
> 1) Create a backup of the current dataset. You can do this by
> opening Peachtree, opening the company, selecting File -> Backup,
> and saving the backup to your hard drive.
> 2) Copy the backup file to a CD, a USB drive, or a network storage
> drive. Any of these would be a fine choice.
> 3) Install Peachtree on the new computer.
> 4) Run Peachtree (on the new computer), and select File->Restore.
> Locate the backup file you created and select it. Allow the program
> to restore the data.
> If you have any trouble please let us know at (413)458-5755.
> Jacklyn Matts
> Brainspiral Technologies

WP E-Commerce 3.6.10

I figured out why module wasn’t inserting the fields for
the Credit Card.

In module shopping_cart_files/merchants/authorize.php on line twenty,
the variable declared as:


Should have been:


This was causing the checkout.php module to simply ignore the printing
out of the credit card fields.

I can’t believe how badly this plugin is written. It’s embarrassing.

I updated the variable, & now it’s working again. Unfortunately, it
shows those fields even if you aren’t using the Authorize.php module,
which isn’t great.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

Authorizing iTunes

No, you don’t have to authorize the iPhone. Once the songs are copied
from iTunes, they’ll be available for playing on the iPhone.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 3, 2009, at 8:18 AM, client wrote:

> Do I have to authorize my iphone as well?
> Thanks,
> Me
> Also, would it be possible for me to get a listing/cost of
> everything Brainspiral did for us in 2008 (for taxes)? I’m not sure
> I have all the receipts.
> On Mar 1, 2009, at 8:27 PM, Hunter Greene wrote:
>> Hi –
>> You have to ‘authorize’ iTunes using whatever account was used to
>> purchase those songs.
>> You can do this under the ‘Store’ menu in iTunes (‘Authorize
>> Account’)
>> hunter greene
>> Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
>> w: 413-458-5755
>> c: 413-281-4918
>> On Feb 27, 2009, at 9:38 AM, karen shepard wrote:
>>> Hey,
>>> So, my laptop at the office tells me I can’t transfer certain
>>> songs from the iphone to itunes because I’m not authorized on the
>>> computer. How do I fix this?
>>> See, I knew if I contacted you, a problem would appear.

Setting Default Browser on Mac OS X


Open Safari.
Go to the Safari Menu, Then Preferences
On the ‘General’ tab, adjust the ‘Default Web Browser’ back to Safari
Close the Preferences box

That’s it.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Mar 3, 2009, at 8:27 AM, client wrote:

> And, somehow, it seems that my default browser to open links from
> email, etc. has become Firefox. How do I switch it back to Safari?
> Thank you.
> I bet you miss me less now.

business cards

Hi Julie –

What you attached is a PDF. The free version of Acrobat Reader will
open them fine. It’s already installed on the new computer. You can
also obtain it at: I am immensely surprised
that you don’t have it, but it’s possible that Outlook Express forgot
how to open these files & if you right-click on the file & go to ‘Open
With’ and then choose Acrobat Reader, it will work fine.

Office 2007 makes use of an XML-formatted file format (docx, xlsx)
which is not natively compatible with any version of Office earlier
than 2007. Microsoft has released a free update for the older
versions of office (you’re using 2003) to allow them to open these
newer style formats. I don’t think this is the problem in this case,
but it could happen in the future.

Your new computer has been here since Wed, but I have been installing
windows all week and Jackie has been very busy. I am sure we can
start the installation on Monday. I have a trial version of Peachtree,
which we can install on the new machine for you to test out.

Our plan is to install the new machine in Bart’s old office so it
doesn’t affect your ability to work while we’re in the processing of
upgrading. We have to add the machine to the domain, install
printers, install programs, copy data, etc – all of which can be done
without interfering with your ability to use your current computer.

hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

> Hi,
> I keep getting documents from people in this lovely format–which I
> am told is a new version of word–and I cannot open them.
> Is this correct, or did something disappear off my computer during
> the recent events, which makes it impossible to open like half of
> anything people send me.
> Any word on when the new computer will be arriving on Spring St? I
> mentioned yesterday, Hunter, that another module of my accounting
> software bit it after Alex left the other day…so I was hoping to
> investigate Peachtree or something. I think it is going to croak
> completely pretty imminently.


Hi Steve –

Soccer, no – skiing, yes. Jordan, now coached by Hiram & Hilary, is
now just winding down the cross-country season.

Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’ve been working on some
projects at home & they’ve been incredibly time-consuming.

I would be happy to take a look at your current audio/theater
configuration & make some recommendations.

To answer your immediate question, I would recommend the following:

It’s a Sony RDR-VX560.

Stand-alone VCRs are hard to find these days, and sadly Blu-Ray/VCRs
don’t exist (Blu-Ray is the latest generation of HD Video), but DVD/
VCR units are quite common, as you mentioned.

This model offers all the features you need & has one key feature:
1080p HDMI Upscaling. Basically what this allows is a single high-
definition cable to carry both audio and video for both the DVD and
VCR. This simplifies installation, configuration & cable management.
I think you’ll find this Sony handles damaged DVDs quite well.

I do hope the college updates their library – ultimately all of these
materials will be available online.

If the Sony looks appealing, I would be happy to get it for you & plan
to install it, too – or else free to grab it yourself. The prices at
Amazon are usually very good.

I’m not free this week, but if you want to get together next week (or
whenever is convenient), just let me know.


hunter greene
Brainspiral Technologies, Inc.
w: 413-458-5755
c: 413-281-4918

On Feb 14, 2009, at 3:13 PM, wrote:

> Hi Hunter,
> I hope you are well, and finding something to do with your time
> now that your nephew has finally run out of soccer games for the
> time being.
> We are in need of several kinds of techno-consultation, and were
> hoping that you might be up for a bit of work in that direction.
> For one thing, we need to get a new laptop, and thought that you
> might be able to offer some guidance on that. Second, our whole
> entertainment complex is a complete mess — jerry-built in a way
> that’s falling apart, in need of some equipment updating, and
> completely unorganized in terms of how to tie our stereo set-up in
> with our newer HD-viewing equipment. We at once thought of you for
> the former project, and Steve Fix said you were just the guy for the
> latter. Do you think you might be willing and available to spend
> some surveying the set-up and suggesting some possibilities?
> There’s no tremendous rush on this, except for one aspect of the A-V
> situation (hence my finally getting around to e-mailing you):
> namely, a sudden VCR crisis, about which more below.
> Feel free to ignore the following part of this query, if you
> don’t have time for the foregoing anyway.
> I wondered if you might just have some brand-name advice about
> the VCR off the top of your head, which you could let me know so
> that I can address that immediate need on my own, and and that you
> could then coordinate this with the rest of our equipment if and
> when you have a chance for the full overview. The crisis is that
> our VCR has died, I think (it looks to me as if its heads are worn
> out — it can’t hold a picture when I record, and to some extent
> when I play back good recordings). When we first started thinking
> of calling upon your help for the A-V situation (or that of someone
> else), we realized that a DVR may be the way to go for our
> mainstream use, but we also need to retain VCR capabilities because
> of our library of films (which we both teach) on videocassette. So,
> figuring that this would be a minor part of the set-up in the longer
> run, I thought I’d just go buy a mid-range, relatively inexpensive
> VCR; but I seem to have discovered that VCRs are only sold no!
> w in combo with DVD players. Our principal needs for DVD are a bit
> more exacting than for video: I need good slow-mo, freeze-frame, if
> possible reverse slow-mo or step capabilities; and even more
> importantly, we need a DVD player that’s comparatively good at
> handling without problems discs that are dirty, scratched, etc.
> (The Toshiba we currently use is okay, but terrible at this: it
> freezes at the drop of a hat, which is bad, since the DVDs we get
> from the college library have usually been used hard.) Do you have
> any recommendations for such a combo player? Or if you’d rather
> consider all this stuff together, might you be up for a general
> consultation in the near future?
> Any help you can offer us would be greatly appreciated.
> Yours,
> Steve

Exchange Servers?

We have had some recent questions about Microsoft Outlook Exchange servers.  This is what we told one client:

Dear Mr so-and-so,

You probably won’t receive this message because you’re not on Exchange right now.
You shouldn’t be ‘Blocking’ or marking spam as ‘Spam’.  That won’t work in Outlook.  All you can do is trash it.  And keep trashing it day after day after day after day.
The basic truth is that Exchange is a worthless piece of shit & no one should have to tolerate its crapiness.  Google provides excellent Spam protection, online document storage & sharing, online calendar storage & sharing & online contact storage & sharing.  With 25GB of storage per user and $0 annual cost, it makes it a very compelling alternative to Exchange.
But Google is completely different than the whole Outlook/Exchange setup you have now and you’d have to learn to do things differently.
Google has been completely disabled at this point, so nothing will ever go there any more.  Instead, it goes directly to Exchange.
So I’m not really sure what to say – except that for now you have to live with the deficiencies of yet another poorly written and poorly designed Microsoft product.
Brainspiral Technologies

Protection of your data

Your data is important.  While we work magic in many ways, recovering data from failed hard drives is difficult, at best, and often impossible.  The only way to protect your data & minimize downtime is to ensure you have a good backup solution in place.  We’ve discussed this before, but it’s so important we want to discuss it again.

We have found the best way to backup data is to use an external hard drive, preferably a network hard drive.  Network drives are inexpensive, easy to configure, reliable & fast.  We recommend them in all cases – Macs, PCs, even Servers.

While most network drives are identical, we recommend those made by Buffalo.  They offer many excellent features & are very compatible.  They come in a variety of sizes (250gb, 320gb, 500gb, 750gb, 1tb, 2tb, 4tb) to accommodate for all different kinds of storage needs.  They also provide an excellent means to share files among multiple users in a household or small business.  These devices can also be configured to backup to each other – for maximum data protection.

On the Mac side of things, we highly recommend using Leopard’s (10.5) Time Machine.  It’s an excellent program (thanks, Apple!) that makes automatic backups on a regular basis.  It can even be used over a wireless connection.  Though many of you are probably still running 10.4 or 10.3, have you considered upgrading?

On the PC side of things, we highly recommend using a backup program called Cobian.  It’s freely downloadable from  It offers great flexibility – allowing you to choose what you want backed up, and when.

If you’re really concerned about safeguarding your data, look at an online backup service like or

Microsoft Office 2007 / DOCX Files

We’ve had a lot of complaints from clients who have received attachments from users with Microsoft Office 2007 and have been unable to open them.  It turns out that Microsoft changed the default file format in Office 2007 & that format is not compatible with any other version of Microsoft Office (both on a PC and a Mac).  This is typically Microsoft – introduce something new that offers no advantages whatsoever & provide zero backwards compatibility within their own software families.  Nice work, Microsoft!

Microsoft also learns from their mistakes (though they never admit it) & has released converters for both PCs and Macs to allow these new file formats (based on eXtensible Markup Language – suffix docx)  to be opened properly.  They’re available here:


The Truth About TV Displays

A client just asked us about the Pioneer PDP4280 Plasma TV – 42″. We recently installed a Pioneer PDP5010FD – 50″, the quality of which was absolutely phenomenal, so we weren’t reluctant to encourage them to go for it. But then we looked at the specs for the PDP4280 & were a bit surprised. This was our response:

[Read more…]

High-Speed Internet Service Choices

There are a couple of choices in high-speed internet service providers in the Northern Berkshire. There are a few differences in the services that are offered by Time Warner Cable and Verizon:

Verizon DSL offers two services – a basic, 768 kbps service that is perfectly suited to loading websites, retrieving email, and downloading small files such as antivirus software updates. This service will perform these jobs at such a speed that there is no advantage to having the higher speed connection. The one limitation of the 768 kbps service is transferring large files via email or web browser, or watching streaming media, such as audio or video.

Verizon’s other service, their 3000 kbps service, is more comparable to Time Warner Cable’s service, which typically runs at between 2000 and 5000 kbps. These two services are virtually identical, streaming media, transferring files, etc. at lightning fast speeds. Their prices are not. Verizon’s service tends to cost approximately $15 to $30 less than Time Warner Cable service.

We hope this assists our clients in deciding which High-Speed Internet Service Provider is best for you and your needs. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like a Brainspiral technician to install one of these services for you.

Removing Security Warning when Opening Program in Windows XP

For those of you running Windows XP Service Pack 2, you have likely come across this problem at least once. You download a picture, document, or program you need, and before you can do anything, up pops a window, warning you of the (so-called) dangers of opening the file. “Warning,” the window advises, “This file is from an unknown publisher. Opening this file may damage your computer.” As helpful as this proposes to be, it is annoying for those downloading pictures of their vacation or their co-worker’s business document. For those continually annoyed by this, we offer this fix.

To remove these pop-up notifications, go to “Start”, right click on “My Computer”, click “Properties”, go to the “Advanced” tab, and select “Environmental Variables”. In User Variables, click “new”, and add the following: SEE_MASK_NOZONECHECKS, and give it the value 1. This will disable the pop-up security checks.

Which websites are dangerous?

With literally million upon millions of websites offering numerous services, entertainment, opinions, news, products, and downloads, determining which of these sites are good or malicious for our computers is largely a guessing game.  That is, it was.  McAfee provides a free product called Site Advisor that adds a small bar to the bottom of your browser that gives a green, yellow, or red indicator (think traffic lights) for the safety of the site you are currently visiting.  Like all software, it isn’t perfect, and the few sites it isn’t aware of, it will give a gray indicator.  The add-on to your browser is available at the Site Advisor website.

1954 Popular Mechanics Magazine Photo

This picture is amazing. One of our clients sent it to us. It’s hard to believe how far off their technology projects were in 1954. Consider now that a common digital stopwatch is more powerful than the ‘computer’ featured in the image. Wow!

[Read more…]

File Sharing: The Real Story

Despite security and copyright problems that have plagued them throughout their existence, file sharing programs continue to be popular. The first Napster, Kazaa, & Limewire are the better known programs for file sharing, and they entice many consumers with their ability to get you the file, whether it be a video, audio, document, or picture file, for free. The good news ends there. Many of these free, or lite, programs, pay for themselves through collaboration with known spyware producers who pay the file sharing program makers to bundle their software with spyware and other nasties. To make things worse, there is no way of knowing what programs and files are being put onto your computer while these programs are being used. So in exchange for free audio, video, and text files, you get in exchange more spyware, worms, trojans, and viruses than you would have encountered through regular web surfing. [Read more…]

Care for LCD Displays

LCD displays have dramatically improved how we use and locate our computers. Any of those who have transitioned from the massive, bulky CRT monitors to the sleek, crisp imaged LCD displays appreciate the flexibility in location, better resolution, and decreased energy consumption. However, these LCD displays, which can be found in desktop monitors and laptops, require different care than their massive CRT cousins. We offer these tips to avoid costly repairs and replacements. [Read more…]

Reverse iPod Sychonization & Backup

We know your music is important to you. We know the iPod has changed the way we listen and transport music. We know how annoying it is when your computer has crashed and your iTunes library is caput.

We also know how to restore the contents of your iPod back to your computer. It’s not easy & takes some time, but it’s absolutely possible. So if you need some recovery, let us know. Get us your iPod for a day (you can even mail it it us!), and we’ll take care of the rest.

Security Solutions for Windows XP

Security issues have bugged Windows XP users since its creation. Hackers, viruses, spyware, trojans, worms, and the countless other nasties can cause untold damage to your Windows XP PC, anything from slowing your performance to deleting your data files to corrupting your operating system. Thankfully there are some simple (and free!) solutions.

[Read more…]

Daylight Savings: Windows XP & Mac OS X


Windows XP requires an update to be installed to deal with the new dates of Daylight Savings Time. Most likely your computer has already downloaded and installed this update; however in the unlikely chance that your PC hasn’t, we are providing the link to the Microsoft Download site for this update. It is important that you be running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XPSP2) in order to install this update.

The site is:
Microsoft Windows Update

Mac OS X

There is a similar update available for OS X.

Apple Updates

Any computer configured to use a time server (NTP) will automatically adjust its clock based on the remote server time. No software update is necessary in this case.

Please check this out for answers to many questions concerning the shift in Daylight Savings Time and your computer.

Internet Explorer 7 – quirky as usual

We’ve noticed some unusual things with Internet Explorer 7. We feel that the world would be a far superior place if Microsoft had simply discarded IE and supported Mozilla – Firefox being a standards-compliant browser that web developers can actually make use of as a presentation medium. [Read more…]

Battery Maintenance – Laptop, iPod, Cell Phone, etc.

Batteries are running our lives these days. No one wants to be tethered by wire – SATV, GSM/CDMA, WIFI, MP3 – all make our lives easier & more mobile. Powering our devices is tricky, and no one wants to be left on a train ride to NYC with a dead iPod. Replacement batteries aren’t cheap. A typical laptop battery could easily cost over $100. This information about caring for your batteries may help preserve their life, and allow you to get the most performance out of them. [Read more…]

Gates vs. GM

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for
the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly
compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated:

“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry
has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press
release stating:
[Read more…]

Integrating Thickbox and Lightbox Javascript Packages

This post is a bit obscure, but since I found very little information about this topic on the web, I wanted to share it for all.

Thickbox and Lightbox are great packages. Very powerful. Very elegant. Excellently scripted. Unfortunately, however, they don’t play nice together. Though Thickbox does in many respects supercede Lightbox, we needed both for a project. Turns out they’re incompatible with each other – or rather the libraries they depend on, Prototype and JQuery are incompatible – sort of. [Read more…]

Coping with Spam

True: Spam – or unsolicited email – is a serious problem.

Not True: Recent reports show that within the next eighteen months, most people will spend at least four hours of their day dealing with email, with almost 75% of that time wasted whilst wading through spam.

True or not, Spam isn’t fun. And unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about it. [Read more…]

Windows Vista

Microsoft has finally released their newest concoction – Windows Vista. They’ve been developing it for the past six years. We haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but we will soon enough. All new PCs will be shipping with it as of now (January 30, 2007). Our current recommendation is to ignore it – stick with Windows XP, unless you’re completely upgrading your system. We’re concerned there may be software incompatibilities between Vista and other Windows-compatible software, not to mention the fact that the interface and usability will be altogether foreign to a non-techie. Here’s an excellent article from the NY Times written by computer guru David Pogue:

New York Times, December 16, 2006: STATE OF THE ART; Vista WinsOn Looks. As for Lacks…

And another rather scathing article regarding Bill Gates and Vista:

Bill Gates loses his grip on reality

Still yet another article pointing to problems with Vista: the version you pay for may not be what you get, despite assurances from Microsoft;

Buying Vista? Get a guarantee 

Freeing up Storage in Windows

In today’s digital world, computers can fill up fast with an assortment of pictures, MP3s, and videos whose files consume large portions of a hard drive. Unfortunately, other files and programs can fill up available storage space with unnecessary files. A few programs in Windows can take care of this problem and optimize your computer’s storage space. [Read more…]

Managing storage of photos, music & video

I was hoping to get my PC to you for a clean-up and also to help us deal with memory shortage. We got a new digital camera recently and the photos are considerably larger than our former camera’s photos. I went to check the memory the other day and we we were down to 3% left! [Read more…]

Computer Doctor

Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Edward Ortiz, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Hunter Greene may just be the closest thing to a country doctor. House calls are his bread and butter. But he’s no white-frocked MD with black bag and stethoscope in hand.

Rather, Greene’s world is filled with PCs and Macs and what ails them — infected hard drives, frazzled memory caches and virus-laden networks. [Read more…]

Websites Gush With Water Info

Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Christopher Marcisz Berkshire Eagle Staff

WILLIAMSTOWN — The debate over whether to extend the town water main down Cold Spring Road has gone online, as the town prepares for a second special town meeting on the contentious issue Dec. 2. Residents with Internet access can use their time between Thanksgiving meals and holiday shopping to visit several Web sites that have popped up this past week with reams of primary source documents about the issue, along with a site to post comments on the issue.
Over the weekend, the town put online a page of files related to the project, after it was suggested at a recent Selectmen’s meeting that voters needed access to more information. [Read more…]

Williams Graduates Form Brainspiral

The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA)

WILLIAMSTOWN – Hunter Greene, a recent Williams College graduate, has launched Brainspiral Technologies, a technical support company for home and business computer users. Brainspiral offers a wide array of computer services including hardware and software troubleshooting, network setups, website development and technical training. The company supports Macintosh and Windows platforms, as well as other server-grade systems. [Read more…]