When your Mic doesn’t work on your Mac

It looks like I’m not so much lucky with audio and Macs. In the last 24 hours, I have been struggling to understand why my Plantronics headphone’s mic wasn’t working in the same manner it was before I left Italy last year.

I even brought the headphone at my workplace and tested on a Windows system to be sure it was a microphone’s fault. However, with big surprise the mic worked fine on Windows. So I thought the London’s air have been beneficial to the set, and almost happy I went back home where I connected the set once more to my Macs discovering that it wasn’t.

I was so upset that I opened the chassis to see if some wire was hampered, then I started looking after a replacement, but the classic “genius moment” arose in my mind.

How is it possible the set worked properly one year ago, it was working this morning, and it is not right now? I suddenly remembered that the headphone was connected to the Mac using an USB adapter. We all know what and USB does, don’t we?

If you don’t know, the answer is pretty simple. USB carries out a slight amount of electricity and that’s what the Line Output socket of a Mac doesn’t.

This apparently seems to be a common problem with all electret type microphones. This means that in the mic there is a field effect transistor that requires a power supply. A so low-level voltage (I would say less than 12V) which both PC’s socket (mic input) and USB connector provide.

So, next time you are wondering why your mic is not working on a Mac, let’s read this post first.

Now the problem is another. Where did I damn stock my Plantronics USB connector?

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Reindicizzare spotlight

La tecnologia che Apple ha adottato con il suo spotlight permette ti indicizzare automaticamente il contenuto del sistema operativo Mac OS X per una ricerca istantanea di documenti, applicazioni, immagini, file audio e tutto quanto contenuto nel nostro hard disk (o quello che è stato specificato all’interno delle impostazioni).

Non è un semplice indice, infatti Spotlight permette di ritrovare anche documenti che contengono parte del testo ricercato, per esempio, se si tratta di email e documenti in generale. Insomma un bell’aiuto per chi è sommerso di carta e non sà dove magari sia finito un certo documento.

Tuttavia, qualche volta il registro dei metadati di spotlight si “inceppa” e la ricerca inizia a richiedere più tempo del previsto o alcuni documenti e/o informazioni, benchè presenti nel computer, non si riescono a trovare.

Si deve procedere allora ad un reset di questo registro. Un intervento di per sè estremamente facile, ma che richiede tempo e la password di amministratore del sistema.

Una volta che questi due requisiti sono soddifatti, aprite una finestra del terminal e digitate la seguente riga di comando:

sudo mdutil -E -i on /

Questo cancellerà il file di metadati e contemporaneamente ne richiederà la ricostruzione.

Mac OSX Spotlight

Per ulteriori informazioni sul comando, casomai non vi fidaste, sempre da Terminal potete scrivere:

man mdutil

per ottenere il manuale di istruzioni.

Technorati Tags: Mac, spotlight

Office 2008 home & students for Mac. Changing Product key

A couple of years ago, after switching to a Mac and bought immediately Apple “Office Solution” – declared as the best on the market – I sooner realized that it was a real mess incompatible solution for a guy coming from a Windows world.

Office 2008 Mac


At those time, I was having just one personal Mac, so I didn’t experience any problem, but some months ago (yeah I know it’s a bit later to post this) I bought a MacPro laptop as well and when I installed it I didn’t take care about the product ID used during the installation process.


Unfortunately, once I finished the installation, and I started to use contemporary both Mac, Office claimed me a duplicate product ID usage. Ok, it has been my fault, but what doing now? Reinstall everything? Maybe, but why waste time if you can solve it just deleting a couple of files?

So the solution you need if you installed two or more version of Office using the same product ID is deleting both these files:

1) /users/?????/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist

2) /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist

Technorati Tags: officemac, installation ID

Smart Group, what brillant overlooked idea.

Let’s face it, Mail.App is a good app, but contact management would be a pain if Address Book wasn’t invented. Despite this, one often overlooked feature is the “Smart Group”, a quickly way to organize contacts together. If you’re familiar with Smart Playlists in iTunes, it’s practically the same but with contact info.

Once you setup a Smart Group you can enjoy them into Mail.app just creating a new message and digit the name of the group into one of the receiver field (to, cc, bcc). In just one snap, the field will be auto-populated with all the contact’s email which belongs to the group. Sound really cool, doesn’t it?

How can I create a Smart group?

To start a Smart Group open your Address book, go to File > New Smart Group.
A dialog will drop down in Address Book for you to start entering criteria for filtering. For example, you could create a group of everyone whose birthday you have in your contacts by choosing the item Birthday from the first drop-down menu item, then adding the menu item “is set.”
Note that you can’t create a list of people with birthdays in June, which is a bummer. But the Smart Groups have a variety of ways to filter, some more useful than others and several are dependent on the data (dates vs. text, for example).mailapp-smartgroup.jpg

To add more people to the group, simply drag a contact name over the list and release your mouse button.
To delete a group you’ll have to make a trip to the menus, as no amount of right-clicking or key pressing will do it. Delete is in the Edit menu, under Delete Group.

Do you really need more? I don’t think so. Let’s start organize your contact name today, let’s smart group them.

Technorati Tags: mac, mail.app, smart group