Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Left Closet is the Costco of My Room

I have two closets in the room in the front of my house that I use as an office. The closet on the right contains stuff I need on a daily basis. For example, my checkbook, the backpack for my laptop, a book I'm trying to get through and hard printouts of current projects.

The closet on the left side of this room contains things that I will need but nut necessarily on a daily basis: blank envelopes, blank media discs, and older fiscal records on the way to the shredder. Thus I decided the left closet is the Costco of my office.

In that vein, the dining room is the Costco of the southern half of the house including itself, my office and the living room (which has no storage space). The breakfront in the dining room contains games, extra vases, extension cords, pens and pencils, and a hammer, nails and screwdrivers.

To continue, that makes the mud room in the back of the house, the Costco for the upstairs of the house (garbage bags, cleaning supplies) so a daily trip to the basement is not warranted. I'm getting older.

And to complete this virtual trompe-l'œil, the basement is the Costco for the whole house - reams and reams of toilet paper so we never run out (Costco brand), reams of paper towels (not essential enough for reams and reams), sponges and laundry detergent. The electric tools and brooms are relegated to the backyard - the Costco of the property (cat litter, bird seed, buckets, hand truck).

I am writing now with the Costco of my brain - reams and reams of thoughts, really cheap.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Make a Free Ringtone for Your iPhone

You don't need to buy them if you have the song. Ringtones for the iPhone can be no longer than 30 seconds. This procedure was done on a MacBook Pro with OS X version 10.5.8.

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Choose a song.

  3. Find 30 seconds of the song that you want to use as a ringtone.

    For example, I want to use 2:11 through 2:41 of 6060-842 by the B-52s. (You can also choose a short song; I also made a ringtone from the 20 second I Love Lucy Theme.)

  4. Select the song you've chosen.

  5. Right click the selected song and choose Get Info from the drop down box.

  6. Click the Options tab.

  7. Put a check in the boxes beside Start Time and Stop Time, enter the times you selected for the ringtone and click OK.

    For example, I used 2:11 for the Start Time and 2:41 for the Stop Time.

  8. Choose Create AAC Version from the Advanced drop down menu.

    The new, 30 second AAC version of the song appears below the original.

  9. From the Finder, search the song name in your iTunes folder.

    You are not searching in the iTunes application; you are searching the iTunes music folder on your computer's hard drive. Two files are displayed; you will be working with the one that has the smaller file size.

  10. Copy and paste the 30 second file to your desktop.

  11. Back in the iTunes application, delete the 30 second AAC version of the song.

  12. Double click the name of the 30 second AAC version of the song on your Desktop to rename it.

  13. Change the extension to m4r and press Return to save the change.

    My file had m4a as the extension so I changed the a to an r. A prompt will be displayed asking if you are sure you want to do this. You're sure.

  14. Back in iTunes, right click the original song and choose Get Info from the drop down box.

  15. Click the Options tab.

  16. Remove the checks from the Start Time and Stop Time boxes and click OK.

    If you open Get Info again you will see that the times have reverted back to the song's actual length.

  17. Click your Ringtones library on the left to open it.

  18. Drag the .m4r file from your desktop to your Ringtones library in iTunes.

  19. Sync your iPhone using iTunes.

To start using your new FREE ringtone on your iPhone just select it (Settings -> Sounds -> Ringtones) and wait for your next call.

Your number's been disconnected.
Your number's been disconnected.
Your number's been disconnected.