Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Netflix vs. Blockbuster for Mac Users

I started out with Netflix, and tried Blockbuster Total Access in 2008. I quickly lost interest in that due to the relative lack of selection of Blu-Ray titles at the local Blockbuster stores. Swapping out the mailed movie at the store for a free in-store rental was very nice and convenient, but when there's nothing on the shelf that you want to see, that quickly loses its novelty. Also, I found that Blockbuster's online service made me wait longer to see new releases versus Netflix.

I switched back to Netflix when the Instant watch feature was released for Mac. I have watched dozens of movies online this way and I find that it adds more value to what I'm getting with Netflix. If I were to try to use BlockBuster's download service I am greeted by this error message: "Downloading and playing movies requires Internet Explorer 5.0 (or newer) and a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista." I have XP running in VMware on my Mac but I don't want to have to use that every time I go online to watch a movie.

Verdict: It may be $1 more expensive per month than BlockBuster Total Access, but Netflix with Blu-ray option is more worthwhile for Mac users.

Update: It's now 6/6/10. Blockbuster has had almost a year since my last comparison to get with the program and it seems like they never will.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Google Docs Personal Finance spreadsheet template

This is my first Google docs template. I'm in the process of getting it approved as a global template. It will show you your monthly income for one income source if you are paid weekly. You put in your take home pay for a normal paycheck and then change the number for what day of the week you are paid. For me it's Wednesday so I have 3 in there. Also this is not my actual paycheck amount. I plan on updating it so it will work for people paid bi-weekly. If you are interested, please post a comment.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fix for Catan Online World crashes with OS X Leopard

I love the game Settlers of Catan. I've grown addicted to it ever since I got into the free online version of the game available at With my older mac mini I was using the game without any issues. Since Java for Mac OS X 10.5 update 2 came out, I have been having this HORRIBLE problem of the Catan Online World application crashing when sound was turned on in the games. Half the fun of this game is the sounds so I wasn't thrilled that my favorite game was no longer fun anymore.

Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any way to simply roll back the java version on a Mac. If anyone knows how to do this, point me at some instruction because I'd love to learn how. This is something that could be easily accomplished on a Windows machine thanks to the add/remove programs wizard. And, let's face it - a lot of us have been in that damn wizard more times than we care to admit because some crapware made its way onto the system somehow.

Tonight, I installed a developer preview of Java SE 6 for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 4. I can't copy the details of the download here but I can tell you that it looks like the next version of Java coming out for Mac will fix the "sound = crashing" issue.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to fix the vbscript error "There is no file extension in..."

Have you ever seen this error on windows XPE-based thin clients?
The actual script path is "c:\script with spaces in the name.vbs"

Here's the fix.

copy this code and paste it into a blank text file. Save it as whatever.reg and then double click on it to enter the contents into the registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\WScript.exe \"%1\""