Tuesday, September 25, 2012

iCloud: Recovering Lost or Damaged Songs from iTunes 10.7

I was cursing iTunes for a while there.  Sometime this Spring during one of their updates, several of my songs got cut off at the end.  

Then, after I buying a song last week and having the song cut off halfway when trying to play it, I was not a happy camper.  Then, after running an update hoping that would work, Windows XP found a problem with iTunes and would shut it down every time I tried to open it.  I was PISSED!  After reverting back to an old version, I filed a complaint.  

Well, they must have fixed their update because they had me try it again and it worked, after updating to version 10.7 I was able to go into Purchases and in the lower right clicked 'Download Previous Purchases'.  This goes to the iCloud and shows you all the songs you ever bought, sorted by artist!  If you remove ones that are damaged don't work properly from your music library, then go to the iCloud, you can re-download them all.  Pretty cool stuff! 

Recovering iTunes songs from the iCloud: After removing the damaged songs, click on Purchases, then in the lower right click Previous purchases...
Recovering iTunes songs from the iCloud: After removing the damaged songs, click on Purchases, then in the lower right click Previous purchases... (click image to enlarge)
Recovering iTunes songs from the iCloud:Find the artist of the song you want to retrieve, then click on the iCloud icon on the right.  This will only appear if you delete the song from your computer first.  Then, the song will begin downloading.
Recovering iTunes songs from the iCloud:Find the artist of the song you want to retrieve, then click on the iCloud icon on the right.  This will only appear if you delete the song from your computer first.  Then, the song will begin downloading. (click image to enlarge)


I'm not a huge Apple fan, but I have to give them kudos for this new ability to recover your songs.  Previously if I lost a song, I would have to call them and put it up on my download list on the iTunes store.  Now, you can retrieve them yourself using the iCloud!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blue Rays from the Sun at Sunset - Not Your Typical Anti-crepuscular Rays

As I was observing the sunset this evening, I saw something that I had never seen before.  Bright blue rays coming from the sun.  It was almost as if they were clear blue sky.  It was very strange and surreal.  At first I thought I was seeing things, but on the photos below, you can clearly see the blue lines on the left and right.  These are not your typical crepuscular rays that you see at dawn or dusk.  I believe they are referred to as anti-crepuscular rays or "God rays".  However, you usually have to have your back to the sun to see these.  Any offer of an explanation from an expert as to what is in these pictures would be greatly appreciated.

Bright blue rays coming from the sun.  These are not your typical crepuscular rays that you see at dawn or dusk.  Many refer to them as anti-crepuscular rays or "God rays".
Bright blue rays coming from the sun.  These are not your typical crepuscular rays that you see at dawn or dusk.  Many refer to them as anti-crepuscular rays or "God rays", however, these are not in the opposite direction of the sun.
Closer view of one of the strange blue rays I saw coming from the sun.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Anatomy of a Lightning Strike

These progression photos are of a lightning strike containing multiple branches that vary in intensity, disappear entirely, then reappear.  It is really quite amazing when you slow it down and break apart the life cycle of a lightning strike.  At the end of the progression photos are two videos.  One is a combined slowed progression of the strike and the second is a real time video clip of the strike as it actually happened.


Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 1: Before the strike...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 1: Before the strike...



Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 2: The sky starts to turn purple as a pre-flash builds
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 2: The sky starts to turn purple as a pre-flash builds



Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 3: A flash...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 3: A flash...




Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 4: The flash then fades
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 4: The flash then fades



Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 5: As the initial flash subsides...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 5: As the initial flash subsides...


Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 6: Then the lightning bolt leader starts to form on the right through the trees, rising from the ground...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 6: Then the lightning bolt leader starts to form on the right through the trees, rising from the ground...





Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 7: A second bolt starts to form at the bottom... and a third in the middle of the tree... all branching out from the first bolt
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 7: A second bolt starts to form at the bottom... and a third in the middle of the tree... all branching out from the first bolt


Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 8: Another explosive flash as energy is released...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 8: Another explosive flash as energy is released...






Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 9: The second bolt extends across the sky as the third subsides...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 9: The second bolt extends across the sky as the third subsides...



Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 10: The bottom bolt branches out in all directions...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 10: The bottom bolt branches out in all directions...


Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 11: For some reason the bottom bolt splits in the middle as the first part of it fades and the trailing half on the right gains energy and becomes stronger...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 11: For some reason the bottom bolt splits in the middle as the first part of it fades and the trailing half on the right gains energy and becomes stronger...

Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 12: You can't see it in this photo, but as the bolts extended to the left and strengthened, they went all the way across the horizon.  Very cool!
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 12: You can't see it in this photo, but as the bolts extended to the left and strengthened, they went all the way across the horizon.  Very cool!

Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 13: The energy seems to shift to the bottom bolt from the initial bolt as it disappears...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 13: The energy seems to shift to the bottom bolt from the initial bolt as it disappears...




Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 14: Another flash as the bottom lightening bolt increases in intensity...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 14: Another flash as the bottom lightning bolt increases in intensity...



Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 15: As the bottom bolt subsides, the initial lightening bolt at the top re-intensifies and appears again after disappearing totally...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 15: As the bottom bolt subsides, the initial lightning bolt at the top re-intensifies and appears again after disappearing totally...


Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 16: As the top bolt disappears again, the bottom bolt intensifies again...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 16: As the top bolt disappears again, the bottom bolt intensifies again...


Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 17: As it intensifies, branches start to spread out on the sides again...
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 17: As it intensifies, branches start to spread out on the sides again...

Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 18: And then it is done!
Anatomy of a lightning strike frame 18: And then it is done!

video 
Here is a slowed video progression of the above photos.

video
Here is the lightning strike in real time.

©All photos and videos in this article are copyrighted by Jack Mc    They may not be reproduced in any way without written permission.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Having trouble with viruses? Have less hastle with Firefox

If your computer keeps getting plagued by viruses and you are having to continuously clean them off and you are using Internet Explorer, try switching to another web browser.  Mozilla Firefox is a free download and you can surf the web much faster than with IE.  Firefox is also less prone to virus attack.  I'm not saying you will not get viruses, but you should get less.  Give it a try and find out for yourself!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Slow computer?

A computer should be rebooted at least once a week.  Some software we run on our computers do not completely release memory efficiently and slowly eat up the memory on your computer.  The memory can be regained by rebooting.


Another reason computers run slowly is virus and spyware activity.  If a reboot does not help, download Spy- Bot anti-spam software.  It can be easily found by doing a search on your favorite search engine.  Installing this an running it will clean  a great number of spy ware programs from your computer.  Make sure you do a search for upgrades before doing your first scan.  In conjunction with Spy-Bot, you may choose to install and run AdAware.  This is also another good program for removing spyware.  It will remove some spyware missed by Spy-Bot.


Finally, a good virus protection software is essential to keeping spyware and viruses from getting on your computer in the first place.  I recommend Norton Anti-Virus.  If you have kids, you may want to upgrade to Norton Internet Security.  It contains the anti-virus software plus parental controlls for blocking kids from visiting undesirabe internet sites.  If you already have an anti-virus program installed, run it after running the spyware removal programs.


After taking these steps, you may find that your computer runs a little faster.  If not, or if you cannot install or run any of the programs above, a virus may have disabled these security features and you may need to consult someone about restoring your system to factory condition.