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.

Aug
14

A few moments ago I spent an Audible credit on Al Gore's book Assault on Reason. After confirming my order Audible automatically began downloading part 1 and 2 of Gore's book. That wasn't anything unusual, but I admit I was surprised at the targeted user content displayed on the downloads page designed to guide me through the download process.

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Jul
27

I've been into this productivity thing for quite some time now. Implementing GTD in all aspects of my life has increased not only my productivity but my sanity as well. Add to that my affinity for gadgets and the iPhone and it's easy to see why I was thrilled to learn the fine folks at OmniGroup were releasing OmniFocus for the iPhone. I bought OmniFocus for the mac well over a year ago and found it easy to drop $19.99 on the full-featured iPhone version. Yea it would've been nice to get a returning customer discount; you can blame Apple's AppStore for not building this functionality into the store.

I've had some time to take the OmniFocus iPhone application for a test drive and here are my favorite features.

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Jul
20

MobileMe Problems Resolved

Posted by Aaron West at 11:02 PM in iPhone, Personal, MobileMe

For the past 8 days I have tirelessly attempted to get MobileMe working on my personal Macbook Pro (Leopard). I have followed several threads on Apple's forums where many others were experiencing the same issues. I've been active on this thread and this one as I attempted various things and worked with other users on the problem.

Within the last 15 minutes I was successful syncing to MobileMe. This is what worked for me.

According to others on the threads, Apple has recommended folks try and sync from a fresh user account. Well, I have a second Macbook Pro (office computer) so I decided to sync from it. I went into System Preferences, selected .Mac and waited for a minute. When the MobileMe update showed up I installed it. I then quit System Preferences, then immediately relaunched it. I entered my MobileMe username (without the @me.com) and typed my password. I noticed something odd, that my password seemed shorter than what I had entered on my personal Macbook Pro. Nevertheless I signed in, checked the box for "Synchronize with MobileMe" and it in fact worked. I was able to select a syncing interval (I chose Automatic) as well as Calendars, Contacts, and Bookmarks. I then switched over to my main (personal) Macbook Pro and went through the same steps, manually typing my MobileMe password, choosing sync preferences, and then doing an initial sync.

Within one to two minutes I was logging into me.com and verifying my Calendars and Contacts were online. Oddly, I don't see a place where Bookmarks show online. I then set up my iPhone and configured Calendars, Contacts and Bookmarks for push syncing. This caused all three types of data to be overwritten with data from MobileMe. It all seemed to work very well.

So what was the problem? I use an /excellent/ password storage program called 1Password. It makes it super super easy to use really strong passwords on every site. Since 1Password also stores a bookmarklet in Safari on the iPhone I'm able to easily log-in to all my Web sites without having to remember nearly 100 passwords. Sidenote: 1Password has released a new native iPhone app that will be available in a week or so from the App Store. What I realized, is that every time I was trying to sign-in to and sync with MobileMe from my main (personal) Macbook Pro, I was copying the password from the 1Password OS X app using a little "Copy" button the software provides. I was then pasting the clipboard contents into the MobileMe sign-in screen. While I have verified the 1Password copy button was not adding characters to my password (by pasting into TextEdit), it does not work with the MobileMe sign-in screen. After typing in my MobileMe password by hand I was in business on my personal Macbook Pro.

I'm confused as to whether the MobileMe sign-in screen was actually signing me in correctly, or just allowing me to see my account info and then passing an invalid password when I attempted to synchronize (as this was the error that showed up in the OS X Console). Regardless, I FINALLY have everything working now.

I would be VERY interested to hear from any other users that may be using 1Password and performing the same steps I was. If you fall into this category, reply to this post and let me know.

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
1

Two Cool iPhone Discoveries

Posted by Aaron West at 7:04 PM in iPhone

Having had my iPhone for 8 months now I can't imagine life without it. It's one of my most coveted possessions and is truly a remarkable device. In the last week I've discovered two cool things other iPhone users may want to know about.

First, every time you connect your iPhone on a Mac, iPhoto launches. If you use iPhoto this is probably behavior you appreciate. For an Adobe Lightroom user - like me - this is completely annoying. I did a bit of googling last week and found Scott McAndrew's blog which had a solution for stopping this behavior. Check it out if you're interested.

http://smcandrew.com/2007/07/iphone-please-stop-launching-iphoto/

The second thing I discovered occurred while listening to music and writing e-mail at the same time. The iPhone has a setting that allows you to choose what program launches if you double-click the Home button. I have mine set to open the iPod software. If you have yours set the same, anytime you double-click the Home button (when not in the iPod) an iPod pop-up window will appear allowing you to pause your audio, move to the previous or next track, change the volume, and see what artist/track is playing.

Oct
30

Unlocked For Half a Day

Posted by Aaron West at 10:16 PM in iPhone, Personal, Hacks

If you follow my Twitter messages you may have seen I unlocked my iPhone today using the jailbreakme.com site. Roughly 10 hours later I've restored my iPhone twice getting rid of the jailbreak software.

It all started when two co-workers were showing off their recently jailbroken phones and all the cool apps they were running. I was really intrigued by the geek factor of having my iPhone run 3rd party applications and games. I had considered jailbreaking my phone several times already but I always changed my mind when I thought about the possibility of bricking a device that will ultimately cost me over $2,000 (two year AT&T contract @ $63/month and $600 for the phone). What pushed me over the edge was how super simple the new jailbreak process seemed to be. You literally open Safari on your phone, visit jailbreakme.com, and press a button. Simple. Well, kind of.

The first 2 attempts of "pressing the button" on the site caused Safari to lock up completely. Fortunately, you can hold the Home button for 4-8 seconds to force quit any application. The third attempt worked and after rebooting my phone I had an "Installer" icon. The installer program, AppTapp, allows you to install a myriad of multimedia, games, productivity applications and more. I immediately began customizing my iPhone with Summerboard, a program that allows you to run themes on your phone. It worked extremely well. Then I tried installing other applications like Labyrinth, Customize, Widgets, Crossy, and two programs that turn the iPhone into a flashlight. Of all these programs, Labyrinth was the only one that worked. The other apps would just crash back to the home screen. After consulting a few friends and trying a slew of possible fixes, including reinstalling most of the applications I was beginning to give up.

After getting home tonight, I totally restored my iPhone to version 1.1.1 and reinstall the jailbreakme.com software. Even on a clean iPhone with clean jailbreak software the same scenario repeated itself. The only applications that would work were the theme application (Summerboard), Labyrinth, and the Installer application. Bemused and blased by the whole experience I restored my iPhone [again] to factory 1.1.1 settings.

Some good did come from the whole experience. First, Apple is to be commended on their syncing and restore functionality. It just works and you don't have to pay attention to how or why. You don't have to worry about settings (much) or compatibility or about losing data. Within 3-4 minutes (after both restores mind you) I had my iPhone up and running with my phone number and settings for e-mail, Wi-Fi, Safari, and more intact. I had to transfer all my tunes, photos, podcasts, videos, and calendars back to my phone, but that took one push of the sync button and about 20 minutes of waiting.

The second good that came from today is I now have custom ringtones installed. I accomplished this with the iToner software which doesn't require any software or hardware hacks. You download their software (there's a free trial), install it, and then drag MP3's or AAC's to a window that looks like an iPhone. Then you press sync and you're done. Incredible.

The new jailbreak software (jailbreakme.com) is a huge advancement from what was available just two months ago. But it seems like it still has a long way to go. I'll keep my eye on it and may give this whole process another go in the future. For now, I'm happy with my ringtones.

Sep
7

iPhone Unlocking - A Video Blow By Blow

Posted by Aaron West at 5:13 PM in iPhone, Mac

I previously reported iPhoneSIMFree's ability to unlock the iPhone. Here's a video that shows the process of using iPhoneSIMFree's utility to unlock an iPhone. NOTE: I have not tried this myself (and won't, I'm already locked in on an AT&T contract).

http://tinyurl.com/246rfo

Aug
25

More iPhone Unlocking News

Posted by Aaron West at 12:04 PM in iPhone, Mac

Macworld reports (August 24, 2007) several sites/companies lining up with ways to unlock the iPhone this week. Sites such as iPhoneSIMFree.com and Uniquehones plan to begin selling their unlocking software as early as this weekend. Other enthusiasts don't plan on selling their technique. Instead, they are offering up already unlocked iPhones on eBay.

Click here for the full story at Macworld.

Aug
24

iPhone Unlocked!

Posted by Aaron West at 1:42 PM in iPhone, Mac

According to Engagdet, the 6-person team from iPhoneSIMFree has successfully unlocked the iPhone so that it can be used with any carrier that supports SIM cards. For information and to see a video of an unlocked iPhone in action, click here.

Jul
25

Must Have iPhone Wallpaper

Posted by Aaron West at 2:14 PM in iPhone

I discovered some cool iPhone wallpaper that everyone with an iPhone should download.

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