Using a 4th Generation iPod touch with a 2006 Scion

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The Short Version: The Scosche passPORT Charging Adapter for iPod & iPhone can restore full iPod/iPhone integration with a 2006 Scion but the connections may not hold up over time.

This information may be useful for more than just 2006 Scion owners. It might work for anyone using newer iPods or iPhones with older accessories that were once fully compatible with previous editions of those devices.

In this case, I bought my wife a 4th gen iPod touch for Christmas. On a short road-trip we were happy to learn that her car’s iPod integration worked with the new 4th gen… mostly. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t charge the newer iPod touch (everything worked great with her older 1st gen iPod Touch).

I wasn’t sure there was a solution available, short of buying a new cable or head unit, but I surfed over to Google and started browsing forums. It didn’t take more than a minute before I found several references from other Scion owners to the Scosche passPORT Charging Adapter for iPod & iPhone.

The adapter arrived today so we took it along with us for a short drive we already had planned. Sure enough, it worked great. Note that it does make it so the iPod/iPhone won’t fit as elegantly into the center console as it did, but integration for the new iPod touch is working as it did with the older iPod touch.

Updated 04/16/2012: While the adapter does function properly we’ve found that it doesn’t fit tightly on the iPod touch any more. As a result, it often comes slightly loose – just enough to lose connection. I think this product would work better if it was a cable rather than a short adapter. The added flexibility would reduce stress on the connectors and make it easier to set the iPod touch down in a better position.

Migrating from Quicken 2006 for Mac to Quicken Essentials

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The Short Version: I think it’s worth $25 if you can find it at half-price. It’s not very useful for much more than basic balancing of a checking account. To import from Quicken 2006 you must install the new version and import from Quicken 2006 prior to installing Lion (or by booting into Snow Leopard). It works well enough for my needs.

I’ve enjoyed using Quicken 2006 for Mac for several years. My financial tracking needs are relatively simple though it had more than enough features. Unfortunately, Intuit chose to not provide an Intel binary for the program. While I can understand why a company wouldn’t port an older program, I don’t understand why Intuit didn’t develop a version with equivalent features that is compatible with Lion.

I debated whether or not to move to Quicken Essentials. I needed a financial program that is compatible with Lion. However, many of the reviews were very negative. In fact, the number (and weight) of the negative reviews made me very wary about buying it. Weeding through the reviews I found several individuals that stated it worked just fine if you only need to balance a checkbook.

In the end I decided to go ahead and purchase it. While I do have a couple of investment accounts and various credit accounts it wasn’t essential that I track them in Quicken (I wasn’t doing this anyway, at the time).

If you’re considering upgrading then I think I can safely state that it works just fine for tracking a checking account. If you’re interested in managing credit accounts, investment accounts, printing checks, integrating with TurboTax  and a number of other activities then this product probably isn’t something you’ll want.

There was one other thing that made the decision acceptable – I found a discount so I only had to pay $25. Unfortunately, it looks like the link to the discount is no longer good – the link now goes to a page that shows only the regular price.

Warning:If you’re interested in Quicken Essentials because you plan to upgrade to Lion then you must install Quicken Essentials and import your data before you upgrade to Lion. My father ran into this problem but was able to make it work by booting into Snow Leopard.

Upgrading My White 2006 iMac Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo and Installing OS X Lion

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Not very long ago I added a post explaining why I didn’t think it would be worth upgrading the processor in my Core Duo iMac and also why I wasn’t in a hurry to upgrade to Lion. Well, as often happens, I wasn’t satisfied with those conclusions and eventually decided that the benefits outweighed the effort involved.

This post won’t include step-by-step instructions – just some general information and maybe a few tips. However, I do think it was indeed worth upgrading my iMac to be able to run Lion.

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:( iMac Hard Drive Replacement (Part 1)

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Over the past week, since I last had Time Machine run on the iMac, I purchased a few items from iTunes and downloaded some new e-mails. I decided it was time to run another backup so after work I powered up the iMac.

And then I heard the hard drive click of death…

The only thing that appeared on my screen was a folder icon with a question mark in the middle of it. Unfortunately, it’s very clear that the system hard drive has failed.

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Scion tC 2006 Window Won’t Roll Up (Problem Identified – Not Resolved)

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In a recent post I mentioned a problem with our Scion tC’s driver-side window not working properly, though I didn’t go into many details. Several months ago her window stopped working and she wasn’t able to roll it back up. It would go about halfway and then stop. I pulled the door panel off and started poking around. It was a learning experience – I’m not a mechanic and though I will do some work on our cars I’d prefer to have a repair manual. As far as I can tell there aren’t any Hanes or similar manuals for the Scion line (at least none that we can afford).

The day the window failed I was able to guide the window back into place once I realized the front part of the window was sliding in between the rubber guide and the door. I then disabled the window control.

Since then I’ve explored the problem and I eventually discovered the cause. The window track was bent out of shape and crushed by a metal piece of the door (at the front, where it connects to the body). Based on other people’s forum posts, and what I could see of the damage, the door was opened so far that a part inside the door was bent out of position and into the track.

I made an attempt to fix it but I ran into a stumbling block that I haven’t tried to resolve, yet. My final plan was to remove the speaker in the door so I could access the window track and door piece and bend them back into position. Well, it turns out that instead of screws the speakers are attached with rivets. Removing the speaker requires that I purchase a rivet gun and the correct rivets or find screws that will work (or build a new mount for the speakers). I’m not certain what we’re going to do but at least we know what the problem is.

We figured out that the problem was caused when a strong gust of wind caught the door and pulled it open too far.

Updated 10/04/2011: We took the car to a body shop in our town but the result wasn’t encouraging. The shop told us that we’d have to buy a used door (estimated at about $150-$250), which they would remove the replacement part from. Labor was estimated at $150. The door estimate is better than I’ve seen in many forum posts, but it still seems unnecessary. In the end, I think it’s probably only the window track that needs to be replaced and that there’s got to be some place we can get one for less.

In several different forum posts individuals reported getting a body shop to simply bend the part back into place. I had the sense that the body shop hadn’t considered this. It’s possible the part is bent to a point at which it wouldn’t be useful, but this was never mentioned.

But then, I’m not an expert on automotive repairs.

We’re not sure if we’re taking her car back there to get it fixed. Aside from a few other things about the experience that didn’t leave us with a good feeling, I was uncertain why the owner wasn’t able to figure out how I had disabled the window, especially after I tried to tell him more than once exactly what I did (he also didn’t understand why I didn’t just unplug the cable but the reason is simple – I wanted the door lock and the passenger-side window controls to still function).

At the least, we’ll probably check another local shop for a second estimate.

Updated 06/25/2012: Just in case you were wondering we still haven’t found a good fix for this problem…