Posts Tagged ‘lifehacks’

Audiobooks in iTunes (moving files and syncing)

January 9, 2009 22 comments

I have a bunch of audiobooks that I either imported from CD or downloaded from eMusic. One problem. These audiobooks don’t show up in the audiobooks section of iTunes. Why is that important? When I sync to the iPhone, my audiobooks show up like music files and I can’t bookmark my place. Big problem.

I skip around between different books (before finishing) and don’t like to lose my place. It was such a challenge that I had been keeping note everytime I paused an audiobook with the last chapter I was listening to. There’s got to be a better way! If I could get the books into the audiobooks section of iTunes, they would automatically bookmark the last place I stopped.

Finally, I did some searching in the iTunes customer forums and found two helpful things for myself and other audiobook listeners. Here are the steps I followed to move the imported audiobooks from the music section to the audiobook section on iTunes.

1. Highlight all the files for a selected book and right click (or control-click for us Mac users). Then select “Get Info.”


2. First, changed the generic “audiobook” genre to something more specific. In this case, I chose “novel.”


3. Then jump over to the “Options” tab and change file from “Music” to “Audiobook.” I also changed to yes the following: “remember position,” “skip when shuffling,” and “gapless album.”


4. Once you click “OK,” it takes a moment for iTunes to process your files. Now they show up in “Audiobooks” instead of “Music.”


5. In order to keep from syncing all audiobooks when I sync my iPhone, I select view by list. Highlight the books I don’t want to sync, right click (control click for Mac), and choose “Uncheck selections.”


6. Finally, I choose “Sync only checked songs and videos” under the iPhone sync screen, and I am good to go.


I Got a Free Apple TV Using My Debit Card

June 10, 2008 Leave a comment

As it turns out my credit union, the Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union awards points for using the debit/credit card. I checked the Bonus Check Card site last week and found out I qualified for a $250 Best Buy gift card (or a free Apple TV).

I figure that if my credit union offers these points, your credit union/bank might as well. So I encourage you to ask or visit your bank’s website to find out if they offer any incentives for using the debit/credit card.

Preview Multiple Documents at Once

December 5, 2007 Leave a comment

I think I just figured out why I got Leopard for my mac. You can preview multiple documents by simply tapping the spacebar. That’s right, simply highlight the documents you’re want to preview in the Finder and then tap space bar. Viola!

Thanks Lifehacker!

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Free Calendars

September 7, 2007 1 comment


Calendar templates for free. Print out the style calendar you need, visit Print Calendars.

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Philosophy Dictionary for Us Novices

May 15, 2007 1 comment

I like ideas and I like to read people who have them. The longer I live, the more I realize I don’t know much about anything. So anytime I can find help in making sense of people who really do know something, I smile real big. Paul Martin provided a nice link to Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names.

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Multitasking may cost U.S. $650 billion a year

March 25, 2007 1 comment

With cell phones, email, ipods, treos and laptops, we’re multitasking more than ever. NY Times points to research suggesting it is an illusion that we can really multitask like we think we can.  Not only is  it causing more accidents, it may actually be slowing down (not speeding up) productivity at work.  Interesting  research. Seems our studies are pointing to an ancient sin the church fathers warned about: sloth (acedia).

Sloth sounds like laziness but it may actually be the result of busyness. If we get too busy, we lose diligence both in work and in spiritual practice. I fear many of us our guilty of sloth. Lord have mercy!

For a more nuanced explanation of sloth, Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung offers a thoughtful reflection on sloth.

Tired of Solicitors? Master Opt Out list

January 20, 2007 1 comment

NYT today provided a master opt list to get your name away from all those pesky solicitors. Here are the highlights:

PHONE SOLICITATIONS To stop them, go to Or call toll free, (888)382-1222, from the number you are going to restrict. (home and cell phones; you need to register every five years).

JUNK MAIL Host by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association). Not a guarantee but maybe a help. Online form – or mailing address – Mail Preference Service at P.O. Box 643, Carmel, N.Y. 10512. There is an online form at If you want to get more mail, there is also a place to sign up to get on the lists.

E-MAIL. No real good solution. You can try to make it harder for spammers to get your address in the first place by never posting your address in public forums. Spammers employ software to scrape the sites of anything with that @ symbol. Instead spell it out in a unique way like “the nameofthiscolumn at”

CREDIT CARD OFFERS. Call (888) 567-8688, but be ready to give out some personal information like your Social Security number. Als0 You can do it for a period of five years or permanently.

OTHER OPT-OUTS Your personal information is accessible in less obvious ways. For instance, your computer tracks where you have visited online. DoubleClick, a company that collects data for online advertisers, offers a way to prevent your computer from giving it information at

But again, it is only a piecemeal solution. Other online advertising companies will still put “cookies” on your computer to collect the same data. So the next-best solution is to frequently run software that cleans out cookies. You can get Spyware Blaster, Spybot, or Ad-Aware at free.

Your personal information, including parts of your Social security number, are available in publicly available data bases that you may never see. The most common ones offer a way to opt out of a listing. Nexis, one of the biggest, says you can opt out of its people-finding lists by going to Nexis does not make it easy because it requires that you prove you are a victim of identity theft before it will consider your application.

The Center for Democracy and Technology provides addresses and forms for other companies, like ChoicePoint, that do not let you opt out online (

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Getting Your Boss’s Attention

January 4, 2007 Leave a comment

My wife sent me an interesting suggestion from Quint Studer about communicating with senior leaders. He suggests that when leader ask for updates, they are usually juggling multiple projects at once and are primarily interested in results and outcomes rather than process. If you overload them with process details at first, you may actually lost their attention before you deliver the key points. Here are three tips he gives,

  1. Open with results and outcomes. Make sure you can quantify what you achieved. Good effort is no excuse for lack of results.
  2. Be prepared to explain more. Once a listener has been provided the results, be ready to outline “the how” if asked. This helps the listener know the key steps for success. Great organizations always look for ways to replicate strong results in other departments or take them system wide.
  3. Show calculations if requested. For example, by lowering the left without being treated from 3% to 1%, 554 patients received care that otherwise would not. With an average collection of $276 (554 x $276 = $152,904) an additional revenue of $152, 904 is generated. (Be careful not to overstate results, however, as you risk your credibility.)

She probably sent this to me because I tend to be interested in “why” questions rather than “what” questions. So for example, when I first pushed social computing ideas at JTV, I approached it from why this trend is important and why people long for community while continuing to live in isolation. Needless to say, by the third or fourth sentence, my boss’s lost interest.

Adobe Flash 9 for MacBook Pro

December 23, 2006 3 comments

Last week all my flash applications suddenly quit working. I tried several times to update flash, but with no success. I would download the player, click install, and upon completing installation it would send me back to a page requesting that I update. A mad circle. Felt like I was stuck in some twisted online merry go round. Unfortunately, I’ve been working on so many side projects (like antiquing a nativity set) that I didn’t have time to track down a solution.

Last night while I was sitting up in the middle of the night, I thought hey this would be a good chance to solve this. After a fe searches, I landed on Versiontracker with better troubleshooting advice than the Adobe troubleshooting section. If you have this problem with an Intel-based mac, here’s the advice I picked uu from Jim Kessler:

I’ve been working on a client’s machine where “you don’t have the Flash plug-in installed” appeared after installation and redirection to:

Uninstalling and reinstalling had no effect. The solution? Repairing permissions with Disk Utlility. Then I ran the uninstaller (look on the Flash Player Support Center), and reran the installer, and everything worked.

BTW, check out versiontracker either way. It provides daily updates on software/freeware suff with comments (and troubleshooting tips).

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Easy Bake Make Your Own Mashup

December 8, 2006 Leave a comment

if you’re like me, you’d rather leech onto someone else’s brainpower, than try to do too much figuring out yourself. Some when it comes to technology that allows me to create quite painlessly (from a mental sense), I’m on board! Like ning, openkracow is a open source site that shares code and make creating applications fairly simply. This site is focused on craiting masup. Pretty cool.

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