blog

An assortment of thoughts.  Mostly tech related.

WANTED: PAKMAN Parcel Mailbox

Last seen: Bunnings Warehouse.

I'm really trying to track one of these down.  I need and want one.

If you happen to know of any, anywhere, PLEASE let me know.  PAKMAN no longer manufacture and distribute these parcel mailboxes, which is a travesty.

I've contacted Mayo Hardware (parent company of PAKMAN, I think?), but no joy.  Since then I've also been in touch with a half dozen Bunnings stores close to home and further afield.  I even contacted Bunnings' head office and had someone looking for clearance stock across stores around their country.  No dice.  There are a few bits and pieces of PAKMAN gear around the place. For instance, I've found some of the mailbox tops and the frames that allow you to bolt/build a PAKMAN into the wall, but it's the main tall, parcel mailbox I seek.

Let me know if you come across anything?  It's a long shot, I know.  TIA.

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Control your 4th gen Apple TV with your TV remote

I made another accidental discovery the other day with the new 4th gen Apple TV. My TV remote control works to control player functions on the Apple TV.

Much has been said about how the Apple TV takes advantage of HDMI-CEC for basic control of connected televisions, ostensibly to allow control of volume, automatic input source selection (when the Apple TV is powered on) and power on/off of the TV using the Sleep button on the Apple TV remote.  In addition to HDMI's ability to transfer sound and image information, HDMI-CEC also has other two-way data capabilities to allow basic control of supported displays/TVs.  It seems to work both ways in more ways than I (and perhaps others) have first thought.

When watching a movie on the Apple TV the other night, I found that I could control some functions on the Apple TV using the buttons on my Samsung smart TV television remote - namely fast forward/rewind and play pause.  These buttons are included to manage some of the Smart TV functions such as player controls for on-demand streaming and YouTube etc, but they seem to connect.

Now, I couldn't be 100% sure whether this is operating via IR or taking advantage of the HDMI-CEC standards, which my Samsung TV and the Apple TV both support.  I don't suppose it matters really, but it's a handy thing to be aware of when watching your favourite show or movie and the TV remote is the closest thing to hand.

Fix for New Folder button off screen in Save As dialogue box on Mac OS X

I've run into this small problem umpteen times, and it happens most often on my 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina, and usually after disconnecting from my external displays and running off the built-in screen alone.

I begin work on a new document (most often in MS Word) but it happens in other applications too. When I go to save, and the Save/Save As dialogue box appears, I'm able to navigate to the correct location, but then (being the *cough* organised person that I occasionally am) I often want to create a new subfolder, only to find that the New Folder button is missing - off the screen and at least partially concealed behind or beyond the Dock.  This usually means having to save it in a temporary location that I CAN reach and then jumping into Finder, creating the new folder and moving the file etc, etc. Both tedious and annoying.

Here's a tip to get around the issue without leaving the Save As dialogue box:

The Save/Save As dialogue box has two modes.  A full, 'Finder-like', Expanded mode view showing the locations of all your favourites and additional options, and then a Collapsed mode view which is more abbreviated and lacks access to your Finder Favourites etc.  The trick to getting around the problem is simply to toggle between the two modes.

Click the disclosure triangle to the right of the Save As filename box and you'll toggle from Expanded to Collapsed view, click it again and the Expanded view will return, but this time reformatted to fit your screen a little better, AND (importantly) with the New Folder button visible!  It's still a little clunky, but it gets you out of trouble.