Up-Button in Windows 7 Explorer

Having been recently converted to Windows 7 one of the first thing I noticed is the lack of the “up” button in explorer. Since I have many shortcuts to frequently used directories, the “back” does not do the same thing in most cases. Fortunately, there is an easy shortcut key as I found out here:

Use ALT-(up arrow)


Unfortunately, ALT-(down arrow) does not bring you back again.

Maxima, Octave, and Gnuplot in OS X Snow Leopard

A nice collection of free math software for the Mac, covering both symbolic and numeric math and graphing. When you go to the main project pages from Maxima, Gnuplot, and Octave, it seems that no well supported Mac versions are available, at least not without compiling it yourself. Fortunately, this is not quite accurate. Read more to see how. Continue reading

Repair “All Contacts” Bug after iOS 4.2 Upgrade

After upgrading to iOS 4.2 on my iPhone 4 I noticed a strange behavior. When going to your Contacts App and selecting the “All Contacts” group, only 26 contacts show up, one each under one heading of the alphabet, i.e., one for ‘A’, one for ‘B’ and so forth. The names that showed up were not even the correct ones for those letters.

The weird thing is that all contacts were there. Searching for them revealed them without a problem. Continue reading

Backup and Transfer ScanSnap Profile Settings

You want to move your detailed ScanSnap profile settings from one Mac to another one (or back them up), yet, the ScanSnap Manager has no built-in functionality to do so.

Not too surprisingly, profile information is stored in a preference file, but the trick is to know which one. The answer can be found here:


The file you are looking for is:


Simply copy it to the other Mac and you are all set.

White Apple Bluetooth Keyboard Not Compatible With iPhone 4

The title says it all. Here’s the official statement from Apple:


This is very upsetting.

Convert Mac .webloc files to Windows-compatible hyperlinks

An ideal solution would simply convert the .webloc files to .url files. I am still looking for such a solution, in the meantime, a trick I found here works well:

Open Textedit, click and drag .webloc files or URL (from Safari) into document, an Http link is formed. Press right arrow key to go to end of line, then press Return twice. Repeat.

You can save as many links as you like, or open up the file later and add more links. Save it as a .rtf document (default) and it can be used in Windows or Mac.

Fast file transfer between Windows & Mac via TCP-IP over Firewire

The basic idea and setup is described here, however, many details are missing, so I put together detailed instructions with screenshots. I am describing the configuration between a Mac running Leopard and a Windows 95 Machine. Continue reading

Bull or Elephant

Here’s another language difference: In Germany there is the proverbial “Elephant in the China Shop”, in the US you have the “Bull in the China Shop”.

Something else interesting: While the above quoted Bull is clearly bad, a “Bull-Market” is a good thing. I am not aware of the corresponding German term…

Do Good or Bad Things Come in Threes?

It’s an interesting language phenomenon that I observed between the German and English language. The first time I heard someone say in the US that bad things come in Threes I was surprised and appalled, given that in my home country, Germany, we say the opposite. Continue reading

Optimal Setup for Gmail, Apple Mail, and iPhone with IMAP

I am truly thankful for this article that explains the best way I have found to configure everything “for maximum happiness” as the author puts it without the slightest bit of exaggeration. See for yourself:


However, I should note that I do modify the approach a little bit for my own purposes. I do happen to like Gmail’s “All Mail” concept, so I am skipping the steps suggested to hide the “All Mail” and “Starred” folders; but that is certainly a personal preference and does not change the overall excellent method described.