Mac OS X Troubleshooting iCal

iCal not syncing with MobileMe

Sometimes a gentle nudge is better than using a crowbar. This is the case when you are faced with the issue of one of your Apple devices or Macs iCal not syncing with MobileMe. A recent case I had involved a Mac Pro, iPhone and MacBook Pro syncing iCal over MobileMe. In this case the following worked:

MobileMe <=> MacBook Pro [synced]
MobileMe <=> iPhone [synced]
MobileMe Mac Pro [failed]

Correcting this issue has a few possible fixes. I have ordered the solution based on a escalating troubleshooting path.

Reset your Sync Data

  1. Open System Preferences > MobileMe
  2. Click on the Sync Tab
  3. Click Advanced…
  4. From the Registered Computers select the computer with the problematic iCal.
  5. Click Reset Sync Data…
  6. Choose to replace all your sync info, or select an Application (iCal).
  7. Choose to replace the info on your computer with that of MobileMe; assuming you MobileMe Data is the correct data. You can also replace what is on MobileMe with what is on your Mac. To do either click the arrow that describes what you want to replace.
  8. Click Replace.
  9. Click OK.

If you received the following message or it didn't work.  Try the next step.

If you received the following message or it didn't work. Try the next step.

Toggle your MobileMe Username and Password

  1. Open System Preferences > MobileMe
  2. Click on the Account tab.
  3. If you are already signed in, Click Sign Out…
  4. Sign back in to MobileMe using a false username and password. Accept the rejection and Click OK.
  5. Sign in again with your correct MobileMe username and password.
  6. Click Sync in the MobileMe preference pane.
  7. Click Synchronize with MobileMe. You may get a message: “A computer named “Mac Pro” is already registered with MobileMe synchronization server.”
  8. Click on Enter another name.
  9. Edit the name slightly of the Machine you are attempting to Sync. EX: “Mac Pro2”
  10. Select the application data you would like to Sync.
  11. Click Sync Now.
  12. You will need to Select an Action: Merge all data / Replace Data on computer.
  13. Click Sync.

If you receive the above message again more invasive measures need to be taken.

Trashing the iCal Cache

  1. Go to: Volume/Users/[username]/Library/Calendars/
  2. Locate the Calendar folder and drag it into the Trash.
  3. Open System Preferences > MobileMe
  4. Choose to replace all your sync info, or select an Application (iCal).
  5. Choose to replace the info on your Mac with that of MobileMe.
  6. Click Replace.
  7. Click OK

Resetting MobileMe
If you continue to experience issues you have one final option. Turn off all your devices except the one that you believe to have the most current information in my case the MacBook Pro. Turning off the iPhone and Mac Pro keeps them from Syncing while you make this update. Have the primary device you selected Sync with MobileMe. Next do the following with your primary device.

  1. Open your System Preferences > MobileMe
  2. Click on Sync tab.
  3. Click on Advanced…
  4. Select and Unregister ALL listed devices.
  5. Deselect Synchronize with MobileMe.
  6. Click on Account tab.
  7. Click on Sign Out..
  8. Sign in again with your correct MobileMe username and password.
  9. Click Sync in the MobileMe preference pane.
  10. Click Synchronize with MobileMe.
  11. Click on Advanced
  12. Click on Reset Sync Data
  13. Select All Sync Info.
  14. Click Arrow to refect “On MobileMe with Sync info from this computer.”
  15. Go to the other devices and turn back on. Check their Registration.
  16. Re-Sync all devices.

Mac OS X iMovie 2009

Compressing Movies for Online Viewing

Compressing movies for MobileMe, YouTube or Flickr doesn’t have to be a hassle. Lets say you have a large video file that you want to publish, something in the ball park of 2GBs. This can be a video you have edited in iMovie 2009 and is ready to present to friends and family! If you have a large video that is not in iMovie but you want share you simply have to import it as a project.

iMovie '09 Export Settings

iMovie '09 Export Settings

Once imported do the following:

  1. Choose Share > MobileMe Gallery. (You can also choose YouTube)
  2. Complete the Log-in Fields
  3. Give your video a Category
  4. Provide Title and Description
  5. Give it any relevant tags to make it searchable
  6. Finally choose the size that would work best for streaming

Mobile: 480 x272
Medium: 640 x 360
Large: 960 x 540
HD: 1280 x 720 (in iMovie ’08 these options are under MobileMe Export Options.)

The advantage of iMovie over any other Application is that you can take advantage of its one-stop nature. You can import, edit and export all within one application. When selecting a service like MobileMe, YouTube or Flickr you might have to deal with additional costs. For instance if you go with MobileMe ($99) you might need to consider how many people do you expect to view your video. If to many access it you could easily run over the monthly data transfer limit (200GB with standard account). With Flickr you might have to activate the Pro account ($24.95) to get features or storage you might need. YouTube is generally the cheapest (Free) but videos need to be less than 10 minutes. If video length is an issue you can also use Vimeo (Free). Vimeo limits your uploads to 500MB of data per month. A Vimeo Plus account costs about $60 and you can upload up to 5GB a week. There are privacy settings associated with all these services and you can invite just those viewers who you want to see you latest work!

2006 Intel iMac Startup Command Key

2006 iMac Intel

Recently I repaired a 20-inch 2006 iMac and was reminded of how much things have changed since the arrival of the Intel-based iMacs. Repairing or upgrading an iMac got a little more complicated. Apple used to make it possible for you to upgrade the RAM and hard drive of your iMac with relative ease, even with the 2002 “Snowball” iMac. It might have been somewhat of a jigsaw puzzle but it was doable, even for someone working on their first iMac. Taking apart an iMac (2006) model now requires quite a bit of nerve and careful skill to get at the hard drive, now mounted behind the screen and surrounded by flimsy heat shields. RAM is something you can still do yourself, except you need strong fingers. What hasn’t changed are the number of Startup key combinations you need to remember when working on your Mac regardless of the model or operating system.

Startup Key Combinations

I have listed startup key combinations that you can use to at startup on all Intel-based Macs. These are the basis of most repairs and troubleshooting paths and it is good to know them.

Press/Hold During Startup Description
C Start up a bootable CD or DVD such as a Mac OS X Install disk or repair utility.
D Start up in Apple Hardware Test (AHT) with the Install Disk 1 is in computer
Option+Command+P+R Reset Nonvolatile Memory (NVRAM).
Option Start up into System Manager. You can select and start up from any Mac OS X volume or CD/DVD disk.
Eject, F12, or mouse/click or Trackpad Button Eject any removable media, such as a optical disk.
N Start up from a compatible Network Server (NetBoot)
T Start up in FireWire Target Disk Mode.
Shift Start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items.
Command+V Start up in Verbose Mode
Command+S Start up in Single-User Mode. You can run disk utility from here by typing “/sbin/fsck -fy”
Option+N Start up from a Network Server (NetBoot) using the default boot image.

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