Memorializing 11/11/11 using Apple Products

At 10:59 this morning my kids decided they want to do something special at 11:11:11 11/11/11. 12 minutes later a non cropped version of this picture showed up on our facebook wall. How do I do it?

  1. Find a free clock app for the iPad and install it
  2. switch on our Apple TV feeding into our main TV
  3. run the Clock app and turn on AirPlay Mirroring
  4. get the kids positioned
  5. take a few pictures using the iPhone4S
  6. Once we have the right picture,
  7. go to the iPad photo stream which has already pulled down the picture from the iPhone
  8. do a quick crop and enhancement (our loft is too sunny and it messes up the contrast)
  9. run the Facebook app on the iPad to post the picture

All in 12 minutes. Thank you Steve!

My iPad2 starting freezing

This started happening around Thursday. The touch screen do not response anymore. Hardware button works. Rotational sensor works. A hard reset (home+power for 10 seconds) sometimes work. Being a tech person, I systematically deleted apps that I installed to that date, but that was not the problem.

I wonder if it is related to network -- i.e. if it is access the wireless network (checking mail, push notification etc) and gets locked up.

Any one else starting to having this problem?

Mac Bluetooth wireless keyboard tips and tricks

[flickr size=small float=right][/flickr]I bought a new bluetooth wireless keyboard for my MacBook Pro to reduce clutter at my home office. Immediately I run into a few "problems" that can easily be solved.

Volume keys do not work

The top of the bluetooth keyboard has all the special keys to control volumne, play/pause etc. I was so disapponted that they do not work! They invoke the normal function key functions instead, running spaces etc. Then I remembered. I most likely have to install the latest keyboard driver. Click on the Apple menu, software update, downloaded the new driver, and all is well. This happened when I added the magic mouse as well. So, remember to run software update after adding new hardware.

[flickr size=small float=right][/flickr]

Changing the Caps Lock Key to Control

This is for the hardcore programming using emacs. We live by the control key. Almost all modern keyboard move the control key to somewhere horrible. Well, OS X (bless Apple) actually have a system wide setting that let you change the pretty much useless Caps Lock key into Control .Just go to System Preferences, Keyboard, Keyboard Tab, modifier keys and change the mapping for the "Caps Lock" key to "Control". Your hands will thank you.

How to use the new iOS4.3 HomeSharing on your iPhone

With the new iOS4.3 firmware, HomeSharing finally work nicely across all device. This is particularly important if you have an second generation AppleTV in your home network. Will all the new sharing feature you can do two really cool things:

  1. You can finally show any video or pictures from your iPhone on your AppleTV, especially photos and video from your camera roll on the phone. Isn't this the normal use case? You took some pictures of the kids, and when you are at Grandma's house, you can now beam the pictures onto their LCD TV seamlessly. (You did buy the grandparents an AppleTV, didn't you?)
  2. You can, via HomeSharing, listen to any music on your home iTunes library on your iPhone/iPad. Typically in a house hold, you will have most of the shared music and video sitting on an iMac. Now you can listen to any music from there remotely.

How to enable HomeSharing on your phone? There are actually TWO different settings. Go to "Settings / iPod" and enter your Apple ID for sharing. Then you can stream music from any iTunes library on your home network to the iPhone/iPad.

Secondly you can also enable Home Sharing on the Remote app. (you did download that didn't you?) Enter your Apple ID there, then it will automatically find any iTunes library on your network without you having to manually link the remote app to the library.

Tip: The remote app now also can control the AppleTV user interface!

iPhone plus AirPlay and AppleTV

I do not have an iPad. That's right. I am waiting for the iPad2. But I ordered the AppleTV on announcement date. And now with AirPlay fully supported (after a system update on both the iPhone 3GS and the AppleTV) it is media heaven. What works?

  • on the iPhone 3GS, I can play a movie on the "ipod" app directly onto my AppleTV
  • the rdio app can stream all my rdio music directly onto my AppleTV -- this is a big win. Now I can stream everything that rdio has in the cloud to my main home theatre system. My $10/month subscription is getting full mileage
  • the YouTube app on the iPhone can also send video to the AppleTV. This is slightly redundent, as there is direct YouTube support on the AppleTV. But I can use the keyboard on my iPhone to find video faster.
  • update: the pictures on the camera roll can go to the apple TV by using the airplay icon (Thanks to lance's comment below)

What does not work?

  • I cannot figure out how to send a picture in my "camera roll" to the AppleTV
  • Hulu+ app does not support AirPlay -- This is a big lost for me. I don't know if it is Hulu that needs to update their app, or is Apple not allowing it to do so.
  • NPR News app does not support AirPlay either. It would be cool if it did.

So, after 30 minutes of playing, I'd keep to my original point -- this is truly revolutionary, even if most of you don't know it yet!

A new way to touch type because of the iPad

As a touch typist, I am rather picky about keyboards and input methods. I always liked the mechanical keyboards with the old "Cherry electronics" keys. After switching to the Mac, the only reasonable keyboard to use is their aluminum external keyboards (wired or bluetooth model), but is is far from ideal. With the iPad coming in a month, touch typing with reasonable speed is going to be doable if you are typing on the iPad in landscape mode. Now we are talking about touch touch typing -- without any mechanical feedback. Will it work? Is it better ergonomically? Any physiology doctorate students want to take this on?

An iPhone duh moment

I was getting a bit bored with my almost one year old iPhone wallpaper photo that I took. So I went to Aperture, found another good picture, crop it portrait sized, since the iPhone screen is normally used in portrait mode, and synced it to the phone. This morning I look down on the locked screen, and realized that that top and bottom of my wallpaper picture is obscured by the time and the unlock control. Duh !! They designed that screen to display a (heavily) letterboxed landscape picture !!

Technorati Tags: ,

Apple Bluetooth on the iPhone

Now that I have a good bluetooth headset (the Jawbone 2), I need to toggle the bluetooth interface on and off all the time on the iPhone. When I don't need it, switching off saves battery. Normally it make sense to have the bluetooth on/off setting under, well, settings (settings - general, to be precise). However, the Apple software limits the use of the bluetooth interface to nothing except making phone calls. So why is the bluetooth on/off switch a switch within the phone application? I hope the iPhone 3.0 software (tomorrow!) enables A2DP bluetooth support so that I can listen to podcast on my bluetooth headset while walking to work.

Technorati Tags:

My iPhone ringer switch broke

Six weeks from day zero. I picked up my iPhone 3G, and the little metal stud falls off. I wondered about the design of this switch before, it is pretty to look at, but sliding in a circular path probably put a lots of strain on it. I use this switch probably on average four times a day, switching to silent entering meetings as such. Now I need to see if the nice people at the Apple Store will just replace my phone.

Technorati Tags: ,

Upgrading to Leopard breaks iPhone syncing in iTunes

This has been a very Apple centric month. I finally upgraded my very first mac, a pre-Aluminium iMac from Tiger to Leopard. The upgrade process was very easy. The next morning, I discovered that my new iPhone is no longer recognized by iTunes ! It worked before the upgrade. The problem only exists with iTunes. When I plug the iPhone into the system, Aperture starts up recognizing the photos. So it seems to be an iTune only problem. A quick search on the Apple support site reveals that this is a known problem. Just download iTunes and reinstall (ever though it is already at the right version) solves the problem.

More info at Apple support discussion group here.