Sep
26

I posted on Twitter how I was digging my new Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX. I decided to take a few pics this morning showing comparisons between the superb Logitech VX Revolution and the Anywhere.

Let me start off by saying I'm a huge fan of Logitech mice. The first really good one that got me hooked was the MX Revolution (click here for the latest MX). It's not a notebook, go anywhere mouse, but it's rechargeable and it has a nice heavy weight to it that helps it glide along your mousepad. A year after getting the MX Revolution I decided to get the notebook version since I wanted to be able to use the same mouse at work and at home. I bought the VX Revolution and have been using it for nearly three years. It's hands down the best mouse I have ever owned. It's impeccably comfortable, well built, and has the hyper-scrolling feature that's made Logitech mice so successful.

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Jul
31

I'm a pretty big calendar user at both work and home. No I'm not one of those folks who manages every life event or task in a calendar, but I use them pretty heavily. I basically follow the GTD / David Allen use of calendars storing events or tasks that must happen at a specific point in time. Keeping all this information organized is nice but it's pretty useless if you don't have it everywhere you go. Back in December I blogged about synchronizing my work calendar in Entourage with Google Calendar and ultimately my iPhone. I discussed two ways to set it up. One was a free solution using off the shelf software, and the other a fee-based solution using the popular Spanning Sync. I'm happy to report seven months later everything is still working very well with Spanning Sync.

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Jun
28

When the iPhone 3.0 software was announced earlier this year I was excited to hear about the Find My iPhone feature. I've been a MobileMe subscriber since it launched alongside the original iPhone and the prospect of finding my iPhone if it were lost was intriguing.

In order to use the feature you first turn enable it on your iPhone, which must be running iPhone software version 3.0. To do this, go to the Settings screen and tap Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. Ensure Fetch New Data is set to Push. Next, access your MobileMe account in the same settings screen and make sure Find My iPhone is turned on.

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Apr
11

Given how often I use Evernote for work and personal activities I'm quite surprised I've never blogged about it. I want to put an end to that right now and talk about one of Evernote's useful features, Web clipping.

I add notes into Evernote all the time. Whether I'm taking notes in meetings, doing research on what camera case to buy, or grabbing a quick screenshot of a map for use later on my iPhone, Evernote has become a critical component of my computer use. As I add or change content in Evernote on one computer, it is synced with my account on evernote.com, all my other Macs, and my iPhone!

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Apr
1

QuickTime on iPhone?

Posted by Aaron West at 8:30 AM in iPhone, Mobile & Devices

I'm not sure if I've discovered a hidden feature on the iPhone but as of this morning dot wav files embedded in iPhone Mail can be played. I currently use Vonage for my home phone service and anytime someone leaves a voicemail Vonage sends my wife and I an e-mail with their message embedded as a dot wave file.

We've had this set up ever since moving to Vonage over a year ago. Until today I would listen to the wav files in Apple Mail on my Macbook Pro. Always the optimist I'd click the wav file in all voicemail e-mails but would consistently be met with the message: "This audio type is not supported."

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Mar
26

I upgraded my Grand Central account to Google Voice this week and I've been playing with the new features. Here are a few of my favorites.

The interface (not a favorite but thought I'd mention it)



The Google Voice interface will feel right at home if you're a Gmail user. There's an inbox, a history menu, trash, and a filter to show starred items, all of which are present in Gmail. The SMS view (more on this later) shows in threaded format which is one of the strongest features of Gmail. Overall, it's nice to see Google finally do something with the interface. The Grand Central UI was quite bad and while Google doesn't have the best user experience folks on staff they do a better job than most.

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Feb
8

I'm pretty much addicted to my iPhone but I believe I would've sold it for $50 the other day. It'd been several days since I updated my installed applications so I visited the app store to see what was new. I had 10 updates. Thinking nothing of it I began downloading all 10 application updates. After the updates were ready I connected my iPhone and started a sync. Halfway through the sync iTunes crashed.

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Feb
8

If you're a commandline cowboy like me you probably spend a fair amount of time jockeying your keyboard over an SSH connection. I have two different VPS setups, one with VivioTech and one with my super favorite Linode. Most of the time I can get done what I need to right from my Macbook Pro. But on occasion I'm out and about and my only connection with the networked world is via my iPhone. Fortunately, there are several SSH applications for the iPhone.

Today I'm going to talk about TouchTerm (iTunes link) and show off a few screenshots.

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Feb
3

I've been using GPS devices in one way or another for several years but I've never owned one. Most of the ones I've used have come with car rentals or have belonged to friends. I've been thinking of buying my own for at least a year or two but have always managed to talk myself out of it. This year though, my wife and I decided to get one. As always I did a ton of research weighing desired features against available units and there pricing. I decided to get the Garmin Nuvi 760. What follows is a short list of the features I really like after having used my Nuvi for over a month. This list is by no means a comprehensive list of features and is in no particular order.

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Dec
15

I posted earlier today about synchronizing an Entourage calendar to other macs and to my iPhone. Well, I've found what I believe is a better solution though not free. Spanning Sync is software made specifically for synchronizing your calendars and address books across multiple macs. What's nice about this solution is you only need Spanning Sync on your computers and nothing on your iPhone. This solution does assume you're already using MobileMe for calendar syncing. The problems I mentioned earlier, namely Calgoo Connect crashes and calendar changes not filtering back to Entourage, are not present with this setup.

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Dec
15

Let me set the stage. I have two Macbook Pros. One is used at the office and one is my personal machine. They're both laptops so they each see a fair amount of travel. And while one is primarily for work there is some overlap in what I do on the machines. For the most part though having two macs makes it easier for me to separate what I work on and how. Where this separation sucks is when you start looking at my calendar. I use Entourage 2008 on my work laptop (insert long, drawn out rant about Microsoft software. Yes there's OpenOffice and other MS-ish solutions but they all suck when you need serious collaboration with others using Microsoft products) for e-mail and calendaring. I use iCal on my personal laptop and on my iPhone. Up to this point I've somehow managed NOT being able to look at my work calendar unless I was sitting in front of my work laptop. This has halfway worked for a year but it's just not cutting it anymore. So this weekend I set out to do some research on calendar syncing solutions that would ultimately get my Entourage calendar from my work laptop to my personal laptop and iPhone.

The solution I'm laying out below doesn't cost a penny and for a lot of people that's incredibly important. However, there are caveats. In the near future I'll discuss a second option that isn't free but might provide more stability and features for those who need them. Stay tuned. The free solution involves the use of software from Calgoo and Nueva Sync. The first six steps below are done on the computer with Entourage. The rest are either done on an iPhone or other Mac computers.

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Nov
30

Thanks to all those who entered my drawing for a free copy of 1Password from Agile Solutions. I wrote a bit of ColdFusion (code below) to draw the winner and was surprised to learn the folks at 1Password had given me extra copies to giveaway! Congrats to Lance from Ohio and David from all over (David is currently touring with the band Wild Sweet Orange). I hope you two enjoy 1Password as much as I do!

<cfset variables.myArray = ["entry1", "entry2"]>

<cfset variables.seed = Randomize(Right(GetTickCount(), 5), "SHA1PRNG")>
<cfset variables.winnerIndex = RandRange(1, ArrayLen(variables.myArray), "SHA1PRNG")>

And the winner is: <cfoutput>#myArray[variables.winnerIndex]#</cfoutput>

Nov
26

I'm giving away a free copy of 1Password from Agile Solutions. 1Password is a fantastic password management application (awarded four and half mice from Macworld) that works on your Mac and iPhone! I've been using 1Password on my Mac and iPhone for a little over a year and I love it. It allows me to use a different, super strong password on every Web site I visit. I no longer have to remember one set of "rolling passwords" or keep track of passwords in a secure note on my computer. When visiting a site, I simply use the 1Password bookmarklet (Safari and Firefox) in order to quickly log in to the site. To see 1Password in action view this video demo.

So how do you get a free copy? It's easy, just follow me on twitter and send me a direct message saying you want a copy. I'll randomly draw a winner in the next 2 days and notify that person via twitter. You'll also get an e-mail from Agile Solutions notifying you of your free copy and how to download it.

Mar
5

The proclamation from Steve Jobs that the iPhone will not support the Flash Player, either in it's full desktop player form or Flash Lite, has led many to examine the motivations behind Apple's stance.

Personally, I think this is all just saber-rattling. The most compelling argument I've seen thus far - on why Apple doesn't want Flash on the iPhone - has nothing to do with the security of the Flash player or it's robustness on a mobile platform. Apple wants to control and protect the development channels on the iPhone. They want a say in who builds applications and what those applications are. Furthermore, they have no interest in proliferating the Flash Player's reach within the mobile and devices space. That wouldn't help the advancement of Silverlight at all now would it?

For more on this topic see the links below (posted in no particular order).

CNN's coverage (w/ comment from Ryan Stewart):
http://tinyurl.com/2nxrap

Marketwatch's coverage:
http://tinyurl.com/2zhuwk

Robert Scoble on Apple/Job's declaration of no Flash on iPhone:
http://scobleizer.com/2008/03/05/apple-stabs-adobe-in-the-back/

John Gruber on this topic (more detail on Apple protecting the iPhone dev environment):
http://daringfireball.net/2008/02/flash_iphone_calculus

Ryan Stewart says the Flash Player is coming to iPhone (background info only):
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/?p=241

Larry Dignan on Apple vs. Adobe iPhone Spat (background info only):
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=8061

Mar
8

Smartphones and the DST Change

Posted by Aaron West at 2:02 PM in Mobile & Devices

I've been working this week on patching several ColdFusion servers so they are unaffected by the early switch to Daylight Savings Time occurring March 11. I didn't think my Treo 700p would need an update but I'm apparently wrong as today Verizon pushed an SMS message to me indicating I needed to update.

I visited the URL provided by Verizon and sure enough the Treo 700p - as well as many other smartphones - require an update. Fortunately, if you aren't using a smartphone you do not need to update as your phones time only receives information from the Verizon service.

If you use a BlackBerry, Treo, Motorola Q, or some other smartphone on Verizon's network, you should check out the link below.

http://support.vzw.com/how_to_use/daylight_savings_time.html