This just in from ExamSoft

Dear Administrator,

After months of intense development and extensive testing, we are proud to announce the availability of SofTest Mac on September 1st. SofTest Mac and SofTest Windows both have the same features, security levels, and a similar user experience. Additionally, your exam management/creation process won’t change. Your exams created after 9/1 will be compatible with both versions of SofTest, which means there is no need for duplicated efforts and you will be able to track student activity from a single interface. Please keep in mind that 9/1 is the date when we release new versions for all our products, so you will be prompted to upgrade all your ExamSoft applications. Finally, we understand this release may affect your exam administration planning and process. Please contact your Account Manager if you have any questions or are in need of help.

For the Fall 2010 release, SofTest Mac will be optional for every client. You can decide whether you want your students to have access to SofTest Mac. We believe SofTest Mac will be a wonderful alternative for students, but if you choose not to utilize SofTest Mac, your students will still be able to run SofTest on their Mac laptops via BootCamp.

By default, your account is set to NOT have access to SofTest Mac. If you wish to allow students to use SofTest Mac, please let us know by August 27, so that we can modify your account accordingly.

The System Requirements for SofTest Mac are:

” A Mac computer with an Intel processor
” OSX version 10.5.8 or higher (Leopard, Snow Leopard)
” 50MB or more free disk space (100MB recommended)
” 512MB or higher memory (1GB recommended)
” Internet connection for downloading / uploading exams

If you have any questions, concerns or plan to allow your students to have access to SofTest Mac, please let us know. We would appreciate hearing from you either way.


Maribel Olvera
Director of Operations
ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc.

Posted in Administrative, Exams & Exam Software | Comments closed

EFF Wins New Legal Protections for Video Artists, Cell Phone Jailbreakers, and Unlockers

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities.

More here:

Posted in Jailbreak, Not Mac-Specific, iPod & iPhone | Leave a comment

The 80% Solution

Want to resolve 80% of the technical problems you will encounter with your Mac? Follow these two relatively simple steps:

1. Reboot your Mac and simultaneous hold down the command-option-p-r keys. If you do this properly your Mac’s screen will flash and it will cycle a reboot. Keep holding down the keys until your Mac chimes twice. What you’re doing is resetting a chunk of memory that stores settings for all kinds of settings (see below for specific details). Clearing up these settings often resolve wacky problems like screen artifacts, sticky keys on your keyboard, and a lot more.

2. Now restart in Single User Mode by holding down the command-s key (thanks Eduardo!) while your Mac is booting. If you’ve done this successfully, a bunch of Unix code will spew across your screen. Don’t worry! You’re just looking at the underbelly of the beautiful Mac OS. Wait until the text stops scrolling by and you will see a flashing cursor at the bottom of your screen. All you need to do is type:

/sbin/fsck -fy

and hit the return key. fsck is pretty much like the Disk Utility app except that it runs outside the operating system. Like Disk Utility, if it encounters any problems with your files, it will automatically repair them.

Tip: if you run fsck and it says everything is OK but it reports the disk was modified, then run fsck again to ensure there are no problems.

If fsck reports that the problems it encountered couldn’t be resolved, I recommend taking your Mac to the Genius Bar or other authorized Apple repair center. If you’re adventurous, then you should consider purchase some industrial-strength disk utilities like TechTool Pro, DiskWarrior, and/or ProSoft Drive Genius. My help desk uses these tools to repair hard drives so that we can recover data. We then “nuke and pave” the drive by formatting it and reinstalling the OS from scratch.


Resetting Parameter RAM:

Single User Mode:

Resolving startup issues:

Tech Tool Pro:


ProSoft Drive Genius:

Posted in Laptops, Techniques, Thriving in Law School | 5 Comments

Livescribe Echo Gets Some Interesting New Upgrades

Lazy summer days make for some lazy blogging (or re-blogging). Gizmodo reports on the new features of the Livescribe Echo Smartpen:

“Echo lets you put pen to pad to draw on your computer (Mac or PC) via USB port, records audio, and can even sync that audio with your note-taking. The 60-plus selection of Livescribe apps range from the American Heritage Desk Dictionary to a poker game, and a new feature called Launch Line lets you launch an app by underlining an associated word and tapping the line. You can also create custom notebooks, just as you would an iTunes playlist.”

and the really good stuff…

“Livescribe also announced a few enhancements coming this fall, including Connect—software that lets you send notes and audio from your smartpen to email addresses, websites, and other applications—Paper Tablet collaboration software, and Pencast Player, which lets you access your pencasts on iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.”

Here’s a quick ad/demo if you’ve never seen Livescribe products in action.

The Echo smartpen from Livescribe

Read the full article and press release here.

Posted in Not Mac-Specific, Speculation, Techniques, Thriving in Law School, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hello World!

Thank you, Erik for shaping MLS into an invaluable resource for law students who face the bleak prospect of supporting themselves in the Windows-centric world of law school. Not only is MLS a cry in the wilderness for the unsupported, it also provides proof-positive of an active, growing group of Mac users in law schools.
In my own work at the University of Oregon School of Law, I refer to MLS constantly to demonstrate to faculty, administrators and students that law schools across the country are beginning to accept Macs as a viable platform. This information has paid off for my school. Currently, two-thirds of our students use Macs and I expect this number to grow. As a result of these increasing number of Macs, we enjoy lower support costs and more importantly, less disruption of our students’ work due to malware and security problems. Simply put, we have found that Macs are cheaper to support and more reliable than other laptops.
One of my goals for writing for MLS is to reach out to law school IT staff and offer strategies for better supporting Macs. I’m also interested in exploring the role of various electronic devices such as digital readers (iPad, Kindle, etc.), recording devices (Livescribe Pulse Pen, etc.), and other do-dads that might lead to better academic performance. Finally, I am interested in offering support for hacking devices to add functionality (jailbreaking, hackintoshing, etc.) This article provides a reasonable overview of my philosophy surrounding hacking electronic devices:
I look forward to this new venture and welcome all comments and suggestions in making MLS better.
Posted in Administrative, Not Mac-Specific | 3 Comments