Jan 08

alcatel

 

I just purchased this Alcatel phone. It’s a bit of a dud, I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you do end up with one, here’s how  to copy  contacts across from the OSX address book. I assume this will work on any mobile phone. Continue reading »

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Mar 20

handbrake

There’s no easy way to get a DVD onto your iPad or into a Keynote presentation. You need to convert the movie from DVD format into a movie format that the iPad will play. Here’s how to copy a DVD to your hard drive and then convert it to a movie that will play on your iPhone, iPad or in Quicktime on your computer.  Continue reading »

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Mar 13

battery

A lot of people are reporting problems with their iPhone battery life, especially with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

Here are some tips to get longer battery life on any iPhone simply by disabling some of the features of the iPhone.

You might think ‘but I don’t want to turn off any of the features on my iPhone’. Well, do you have every light and appliance in your house turned on all the time? It’s not the best use of energy to do so. Likewise it’s not necessary to have everything running on your iPhone at once either!

It’s a matter of compromising between convenience and battery life. My rule of thumb is that if I use something less than once a week, then I’m happy to turn it on manually, but for things I’m using every day, I generally leave them on.

This article is dedicated to Felicity.

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Dec 05

addressbook

So you have two computers, one at work and one at home, and perhaps an iPhone or iPad as well,  and you want the same contacts to be available to all of them.  The easiest way  to synchronise all your Address Book contacts is to use iCloud. If you make a contact or edit a contact in one of your computers, it is available almost instantly to all your other computers.  Continue reading »

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Nov 01

iphone

On holidays I don’t want incoming calls on my iPhone but I still want my family to be able to call me. The iPhone has a ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode that allows you to filter incoming calls and disable incoming texts. Here’s how it works.

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Oct 16

Telstra has released an iPhone app called ‘Telstra 24×7′ which allows you to check your Telstra account balance. The problem is it doesn’t work for Telstra business accounts!

Telstra also has an iPhone app called ‘Bigpond’. It doesn’t work for business accounts either!

Thankfully there’s a great little alternative called consume. It’s not free, but it could pay itself back very quickly by helping you stay under your monthly call limit.

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Oct 01

This little beauty is called an airport express. You can buy it from Apple for $99 (USA) or $119 (Australia).  It plugs into your home ethernet network (or straight into your ADSL modem) via that little Ethernet connection on the left  next to the power cord. Then it shares your internet connection with all your iOS devices via wi-fi. But it has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. Continue reading »

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Sep 20

 

There’s no simple obvious way to delete all the photos off your iPhone. Digital Cameras usually have a ‘delete all photos’ option but the iPhone doesn’t. If you don’t delete them when you sync them to iPhoto, it’s hard to get rid of them. Here are two ways to do it.

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Sep 18

 

Good external microphones for the iPhone/iPad are expensive – not the kind of thing you want to buy and find out they are no good! Here’s a comparison of three external iPhone microphones: The Apogee MiC,  Fostex AR-4i and Tascam iM2.

They were all tested on my iPhone 4s by recording into the FiRE iPhone recording app at full quality. On the microphones that had a volume adjustment, I adjusted it to be at the top of the green range in FiRE, quite conservative, no chance of clipping. I had the mic placed approx 20cm in front of my guitar sound-hole at the same height in all the tests. The Tascam doesn’t give any indication of levels, the Fostex has 4 LEDs on top to show the levels and the Apogee has a single LED on the front. The single LED on the Apogee seemed to give a better indication of input level than the three LED’s on the FOSTEX because the difference in brightness was easier to discern on the Apogee LED.

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Sep 06

itunes

Importing songs into iTunes is easy – you just INSERT the CD, SELECT it in iTunes, and press the ‘Import’ button!

But… the default setting on iTunes is not the best setting to use when importing songs. It’s far better to use the ‘Apple Lossless’ setting which will keep your music at CD quality. If you must compress the music (e.g. you want to fit it on your iPod or a laptop) then use the  bitrate of 320kbps rather than the default 128kbps of iTunes.

This article describes how to import songs into iTunes with the better quality bitrate.
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Apr 02

If you’ve smashed your iPhone and you need a quick reliable place to repair it,  I recommend fixpod. They have the simplest system I’ve seen, you just select your phone model, click on the problem, it gives you a price. You book in your  phone for repair,  and they guarantee to repair it within 24 hours!  You can either drop it in in person, or post it in.  If you want some more views on fixpod check out this forum where there are lots of happy users! Here’s where to find them.

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Dec 30

Quite often I want to SMS 10 or 20 people at once to let them know something, but it’s painful on the iPhone – you need to select each contact one by one each time. This great little app called ‘Peepo‘ lets you create a group (it calls them ‘peepo circles’) and then easily email OR  SMS everyone in the group.

Continue reading »

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Dec 20

VOIP  is where you make phone calls over your Internet connection. VOIP can be good as it is a lot cheaper especially for STD and International calls. The problem is it can be hard to get VOIP working properly. If you are on the phone and the person at the other end is ‘chopping’  in and out,  it may be that you or they have a bad VOIP connection.  An added problem is that with a mobile phone it drops the call if the quality gets too bad but with a VOIP connection  it tries to keep going –  so the person at the other end may be talking away, blissfully unaware that you cannot hear them.

Even though I am  fairly good with audio and computers I have gone back to having a regular phone line simply because even at best quality VOIP  calls on a broadband connection don’t match the quality of a land-line phone or even a mobile phone, at least in Australia.

If  you do have a VOIP connection, here are some tips.

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Nov 27

I’ve been using 1Password for about 3 years now,  it’s great. A password manager remembers all your web login usernames and passwords on every blog and website you visit. It can generate a random password for you, giving you a different password for every site you need to login to. Continue reading »

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Nov 14

 

The Apple Computer Co. Philosophy – 1977

In 1977 when the Apple Computer company was created they put their principles down in a one-page paper called “The Apple Marketing Philosophy”. It had 3 points. Empathy, Focus, Impute.

Empathy was about empathy with the customer: Truly understanding the needs of the end user better than any other company.

Focus was about eliminating the lots of unimportant things so as to do a good job of the important.

Impute is about having the packaging impute a sense of quality into the product when the person opens the box, because people do judge a book by the cover.  Steve Jobs later said ” When you open the box of an iPhone or iPad, we want that tactile experience to set the tone for how you perceive the product”  (Steve Jobs p78)

Empathy is about understanding people. Focus is about doing a few things well. Impute is about good marketing. I think Apple still do all these things exceptionally well. The iPhone 34 years later embodies this philosophy.

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Jul 06

Apple have built in website filtering into OS X under the ‘System Preferences’ – ‘Parental Controls’ but Parental Control cannot be enabled for administrator accounts (which is probably the account you are running from) and  Parental Controls also becomes hard to manage if you have multiple users because you need to set it up for each one.  Here’s how to set up internet filtering on your whole home network at once using a free service called OpenDNS. Once it’s set up this can help block unsuitable content from reaching any computer, iphone, ipad etc connected to your internet. This approach can be used at home, school, or the workplace. Continue reading »

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Jul 01

If you buy Dragon Dictate it comes with a built-in Microphone that will do the job, but if you buy the download version you’ll need to buy your own microphone.

Here are some of the options you have. Continue reading »

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Jun 02

cis2.jpg
This hint is not strictly Macintosh, but it’s so good I have to write it up. Did you know you can get what they call a Continuous inking system (CIS) for most big name inkjet printers? It continually feeds the ink into the printer so you don’t have to change the cartridges! You can see the big containers of ink in the photo above – they sit next to the printer.
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Feb 27

Just a quick post:

This is worth getting. Free for a day. It uses the gyroscope so it’s very accurate and doesn’t need calibrating. Only works on iPhone 4.

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/gyroscope-ship-meter-pro/id417607812?mt=8

This is clever – timed video recording:

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/bluecam-pro-for-iphone-ipod/id335423589?mt=8

This is useful – magnifier:

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/over-40-magnifier-flashlight/id381663967?mt=8

BBC news highlights:

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/bbc-news/id364147881?mt=8

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Dec 29

This is a strange ‘how to’ but these things are so cool I couldn’t help writing something about them – the ardrone – a helicopter controlled by your iPhone with a camera on the front that transmits the image to your iPhone screen!  Continue reading »

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Dec 28

In this post I talked about the audio quality of the various iPods, and mentioned a mod for 4th and 5th Generation iPods that gives them excellent audio quality rivalling that of a $1500 CD player. Well, here is how to do the mod on a 4th gen color iPod photo – Apple model number A1099.

Continue reading »

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Nov 21

A very simple way to share your calendars across multiple macs and your iphone or ipad is to use Google calendar. The Google calender service is the easiest and most flexible free shared calendar service that I’ve found. Here’s how to set it up on a macintosh computer.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

D900.jpg
In this post I posted some drivers for the Samsung D900 mobile phone. A lot of people contacted me asking how I wrote them. Well it was a bit of a fudge really. All I did was grab the Samsung D900i phone driver, and change every occurrence of D900i to D900!

I also did a version for the Optus D736 here and it seemed to work.  Here’s how I did it. Continue reading »

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Oct 10

If you are moving from another mobile phone to an iPhone, if you first sync your old phone to your Address Book it will bring all your numbers into your iPhone. Likewise, you can copy all your address book contacts onto your mobile phone from your iPhone or Address Book.  Here’s how. Continue reading »

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