Tag Archive for 'Apple'


I’m writ­ing this from the new Word­Press iPhone app. It’s a pretty light, straight-forward inter­face. It allows sav­ing posts locally on the iPhone before pub­lish­ing or sav­ing drafts to the server, enabling offline drafting.

There is even rudi­men­tary photo sup­port – but you can’t really con­trol the place­ment or siz­ing of the image – it is merely appended to the end of the mes­sage. You don’t even see the image markup until it is pub­lished or saved as a draft on the server.

But even then, the lim­i­ta­tions of the iPhone become clear – there is no copy/paste, and the classes that deter­mine how Word­Press dis­plays uploaded images is unnec­ces­sar­ily com­pli­cated. (They should sim­plify that.)

So, though this is a pretty nice app, I’m not sure how use­ful it will be with­out more for­mat­ting options and copy/paste. For instance, I can’t even pro­vide a link to it’s app store page. Also, why doesn’t the iPhone have char­ac­ters luke curly quotes and em/en dashes?

UPDATE (from my Mac): Here is the link to the app.

Apple apologizes for MobileMe’s mediocre launch

Apple apol­o­gizes for MobileMe’s mediocre launch, by offer­ing all users a 30-day exten­sion for free:

The tran­si­tion from .Mac to MobileMe was a lot rock­ier than we had hoped. We will be extend­ing sub­scrip­tions by 30 days to cus­tomers free of charge to express our appre­ci­a­tion for their patience dur­ing the tran­si­tion period.

Speed up syncing from your Mac to MobileMe

Speed up sync­ing from your Mac to MobileMe » MobileMe isn’t exactly “push­ing” so much as “sync­ing every 15 min­utes” – Ars Tech­nica points to a way of speed­ing this up.

Two essential iPhoto Plugins

There are two iPhoto plu­g­ins that I couldn’t live with­out – Flick­r­Ex­port, and Key­word Man­ager.


If you like pho­tos, Flickr, and OS X, and don’t know about Flick­r­Ex­port, then shame on you. It’s a nice lit­tle plu­gin that will let you eas­ily export pho­tos from iPhoto to Flickr. It con­verts your assigned iPhoto key­words to Flickr tags, enables you to add titles and descrip­tions, and choose to either add the pho­tos to a new set, an exist­ing set, or none at all – all within the dia­log window.

The one rub is that it is made by an inde­pen­dent devel­oper, Fraser Speirs, who has to feed his fam­ily – so, he charges about $25. A nom­i­nal price for some­thing that has saved me hun­dreds of hours, and enriched my Flickr experience.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Two essen­tial iPhoto Plugins’

Leopard Upgrade

I finally man­aged to upgrade to Leop­ard (OS X 10.5), and over­all it seems like a nice update. Time Machine is still doing its ini­tial backup, but I can’t help get­ting a lit­tle excited by its super­flu­ous ani­ma­tions… I know that I’m sup­posed to hate it, but who could fault Apple for mak­ing some­thing so hor­ri­bly bor­ing, like back­ups, and inject a lit­tle fun?

Weather.com Web ClipOne inter­est­ing lit­tle tid­bit that I dis­cov­ered, is that iPhone web apps make very nice Dash­board wid­gets. In about 10 sec­onds, I cre­ated a Web Clip in Safari of weather.com‘s iPhone app. It pro­vides a lot more infor­ma­tion than the stan­dard OS X Weather wid­get, and it looks nice.

Keep in mind that not all iPhone apps will work well for this – Pock­et­Tweets, for instance, will only load in Mobile Safari. And, because of the higher screen res­o­lu­tion on the iPhone, some apps’ font sizes might be too large to be of much use in the Dash­board. But, I think that this exam­ple illus­trates nicely the power and sim­plic­ity of Web Clips in Leopard.

My only real gripes thus far are the translu­cent menu bar, and that Camino’s book­marks bar looks like a franken-monster. I can’t seem to find a cure for this yet, but it’s not jar­ring enough to make me go back to Safari.

Gmail Adds IMAP Support

Via the Offi­cial Google Blog:

Gmail adds IMAP sup­port
“Are you guys ever going to do IMAP?” Well now I can say: Yes. Yes, we are doing IMAP. In fact, we are doing it for you for free on all devices and platforms.

This is great news, espe­cially for iPhone users, (instruc­tions here). Now, you can keep your mail account synched between mul­ti­ple com­put­ers and devices.

UPDATE: Derek makes a good point about some advanced mail set­tings on the iPhone – make sure to align your Drafts, Sent, and Trash folders.

iPhone 1.1.1 and 3rd Party Apps

iNde­pen­dence for iPhone
It ain’t pretty, but I used this to upgrade to the 1.1.1 firmware, and then to man­u­ally copy installer.app onto the phone. Hello 3rd-party apps!

Beware, this is a lot more com­pli­cated than the way things were, before 1.1.1.

Apple’s Web Apps Portal

Still no word on when or if Apple will offi­cially allow 3rd-party apps – but some of these are really cool, so long as you’ve got wi-fi or AT&T EDGE. Here are my new favorites:

  • Weather.com // Way bet­ter than their old mobile site, with fore­casts, and maps.
  • Fan­dango // Set your loca­tion, and movie times are not far behind. This is also way bet­ter than their old Mobile site, (as well as MovieFone’s).
  • Tipr // It takes your check total and a spec­i­fied tip per­cent­age and gen­er­ates a total that is a palin­drome – so you can ensure that you’re not get­ting ripped off.

And, some oldies that haven’t yet made it into the directory:

Two New Free Downloads from Microsoft

Two great new free down­loads from the Microsoft Mac BU this week:

Just doing their part to pro­mote Mac & Win­dows cohabitation.

MTA Subway Map for iPhone

Since I bought my iPhone on June 30, I’ve been look­ing for an easy, high-quality method for view­ing the MTA Sub­way map. The phone’s built-in Photo appli­ca­tion “opti­mizes” all pho­tos and images down to a dimen­sion and res­o­lu­tion that doesn’t work well for images with lots of small text and details.


In search of the opti­mal iPhone MTA map.

What I wanted, was the abil­ity to view a PDF, or large PNG of the sys­tem map – and to be able to zoom in and drag it around eas­ily. Bill at iSubwayMaps.com out­lined one such solu­tion, which involved set­ting up a Yahoo! mail account, since IMAP mail accounts seemed to cache attach­ments locally on the iPhone. This did work for me, but I found the MTA’s PDF map slug­gish when zoom­ing or drag­ging around. And, I had to drill back through the Mail menus to get to my Yahoo mail account, (as I’m pri­mar­ily a Gmail user).

But, before I could go out and buy a old-fashioned paper pop-up map, another solu­tion pre­sented itself:

File­mark Maker gets around the lim­i­ta­tions out­lined above, by writ­ing files to a temp loca­tion on the device’s HD, by using Safari book­marklets. Then, the files are acces­si­ble in Mobile­Sa­fari. And, because the files are writ­ten to iPhone’s HD, the book­marklets work whether you’re online or not – or whether you’re above ground or not.

Here are the MTA Sub­way Maps that I used to make book­marklets using this tool:

Back-Bay Apple Store, Part II

Boston Apple Store DesignSome details are finally start­ing to emerge sur­round­ing Apple’s plans for the con­struc­tion of a sig­na­ture Flag­ship retail store in the Back Bay, Boston. IfoAp­ple­Store reports that ren­der­ings of the pro­posed design have leaked (see left), and that the backward-looking Back Bay Archi­tec­tural Com­mis­sion has seri­ous mis­giv­ings about the 3-story mod­ern glass structure.

This is a shame… our won­der­fully acer­bic alter­na­tive news­pa­per, The Weekly Dig, said it bet­ter than I can:

Putting aside the men­tal gym­nas­tics it takes to believe that one glass build­ing would destroy the neigh­bor­hoody feel­ing of a three-lane boule­vard that hosts a mall, a con­ven­tion cen­ter and the city’s second-tallest tower, Apple’s run-in with the BBAC raises a more imme­di­ate ques­tion: Is a cabal of frigid elit­ists sti­fling Boston’s growth while they defend some bull­shit Brah­min con­cep­tion of what an ex-landfill should look like?

I sym­pa­thize with those urban plan­ners and crit­ics who reject the strip-mall/parking-lot 20th-century method of devel­op­ment – God knows, Boston is as pedestrian-friendly as any city in North Amer­ica, and we’re bet­ter for it. But, there are many exam­ples of new projects designed to mimic the look of 19th-century Boston, with­out suc­ceed­ing in pre­serv­ing any sense of neigh­bor­hood cohe­sion. One glar­ing exam­ple of this is the mam­moth Hotel Com­mon­wealth, in Ken­more Square, which I’ve com­mented on in the past. That build­ing has as much “old-world charm”, as a 1970s-era French Tudor style sub­ur­ban tract home.

Mandarin Oriental BostonWhat I find strangest of all, is that this is a rel­a­tively small par­cel of land we’re talk­ing about. Con­sider that on the very same block, across the street, Man­darin Ori­en­tal is build­ing a huge hotel, in front of the Pru­den­tial Tower/Mall, at street-level.

If one of these devel­op­ments is going to change the char­ac­ter of the neigh­bor­hood, I’d worry more about that project.

iPod Packaging Parody

What if Microsoft re-designed Apple’s iPod packaging?

So true, and so good. [via]

Camino 1.0

caminoCamino is out of beta today! Talk about a great Valentine’s Day gift.

I use Camino as my pri­mary browser, since it ren­ders Gmail and Google Reader much faster than Safari/Saft. It doesn’t allow for all of the exten­sions that Fire­fox fea­tures, but it’s quicker, and just feels more like an OS X appli­ca­tion.

Here are some links today:

Apple to Build 4-story Store in the Back Bay?

Uploaded to Flickr by iPhilBoston­ist links to rumors that Apple will finally open a flag­ship store in the heart of Boston.

Loopru­mors reports:

Apple is poised to announce a major retail store directly across from the Pru­den­tial Cen­ter on Boyl­ston Street in Down­town Boston. The store is said to be Apple’s most state-of-the-art store to date with 4 sto­ries and a front made entirely of a glass. Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino is expected to announce plans for the store in the com­ing week.

They couldn’t have picked a bet­ter spot.

photo is of the new San Fran­cisco store, uploaded to Flickr by iPhil

Pre-mature Upgrades

Damn… I’ve got a bunch of pho­tos of somebody’s birth­day cel­e­bra­tion, but no way of export­ing them eas­ily to Flickr. I upgraded to iPhoto 6, before I real­ized that Frasier Spiers hasn’t yet made his indis­pen­si­ble Flickr Export plu­gin com­pat­i­ble with the new ver­sion. Oops.

So, I just made a small dona­tion to Frasier… You should too, if you rely on this plu­gin as much as I do.

iPod nano & ROKR phone

Wow — we all expected the new iTunes phone, but who would have guessed at the iPod nano?

First, the ROKR is avail­able from Cin­gu­lar now. It’s got iTunes (100 songs), Blue­tooth, and a VGA cam­era (sucky) — for $249.00.

But, I’m more intrigued with the iPod nano… Sure, it only comes with a max of 4GB stor­age, but the small size, color screen, and “wow” fac­tor is going to make it a big hit. And, the price is right at just $249 for the 4GB, (the same as the now dead, iPod mini).

Start sav­ing your money… even the ini­tial acces­sories look neat, (if not a bit girly).

MAMP: Mac, Apache, Mysql & PHP

When I’m design­ing and build­ing a web­site, I dread the point where I’ll have to shift from work­ing locally, to work­ing on the server. Once the ini­tial lay­out and CSS is done, it’s time to start script­ing with PHP, and pulling con­tent in from MySQL data­bases — and time to fire up ye olde FTP. This con­stant upload­ing is frus­trat­ing, and gives me carpal tun­nel

I’ve always known that it was pos­si­ble to set up PHP & MySQL locally, as Mac OSX has the Apache web server built-in… but, that always seemed like such a has­sle. After a few min­utes of tin­ker­ing, I’d throw my hands up and think, wouldn’t it be help­ful if some­one put together an easy install package?

Well, some­body has… MAMP promises to be my salvation:

MAMP installs a local server envi­ron­ment in a mat­ter of sec­onds on your Mac OS X com­puter, be it Power­Book or iMac. Like sim­i­lar pack­ages from the Win­dows– and Linux-world, MAMP comes free of charge.

This should speed things up con­sid­er­ably, and allow me to work with­out an inter­net con­nec­tion… on the plane, in the park, etc.

Backups, Part III

Hur­rah! Con­tin­u­ing the saga, I was search­ing through the Déjà Vu help, I stum­bled upon this lit­tle nugget of information:

IMPORTANT: If you are back­ing up to a Win­dows server, you must use the ‘Con­nect’ but­ton in the ‘Auto-Connect’ tab to mount the vol­ume before you select the source and des­ti­na­tion fold­ers (in the ‘What’ and ‘Where’ columns). If you select the source and des­ti­na­tion fold­ers when the vol­ume has been mounted by the Finder, ©j? Vu will not be able to find the des­ti­na­tion when it auto-connects to the vol­ume at backup time.

No kid­ding. I did as asked, and 30 sec­onds later, I’m back­ing up to the WinXP box in the closet. Effort­less

Thanks to every­one who sug­gested alter­nate solu­tions — this is really the best and sim­plest for my needs. Yea, it’ll take for­ever over the Wire­less “G” net­work, but I’ve got it sched­uled for 3am, once a week. Should be okay.

Backups, Part II

My sched­uled backup didn’t go so well, the other night. Appar­ently, Déjà Vu copied the folder struc­ture, but couldn’t copy the files.

Obvi­ously there is some kind of per­mis­sions issue here, but I’m won­der­ing if this is due to the fact that I’m copy­ing to a Win­dows PC… The app con­nects to the remote drive just fine, and I can man­u­ally copy files to it — I just can’t seem to get this to work, though.

I’ll have to do a lit­tle more research (leave a com­ment if you have an idea!)… or else, on to rsync.

UPDATE: Ethan sug­gests ChronoSync:

I tried to be a good geek. I tried to like rsync – lord knows, I tried to like rsync.


a Flickr photo shareHav­ing read a few recent posts from Andy Budd and Jason Kot­tke, I’ve grown sud­denly wor­ried about the prospect of los­ing my Powerbook’s data. For the past cou­ple of years, I’ve man­u­ally backed up crit­i­cal files to CD, but I was lucky if this got done once per year…

After briefly flirt­ing with DVD archiv­ing (thanks for your help Jason), it was clear that this would be only slightly less annoy­ing than CDs. And, web servers offer even less disk space…

No, I decided that it was time to set up sched­uled back­ups, to hard disk.

First, I started with an old Dell Desk­top, which we set up in our litter-box closet. We bought a USB Wi-Fi “G” adapter to con­nect the PC (and our printer) to the net­work. I should also men­tion that I added an 80GB inter­nal drive…

With the hard­ware in place, I decided to use Déjà Vu to run the back­ups — this app does every­thing a backup app should do, but I like the way it is inte­grated in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences, as a pref­er­ence pane. It’s lean, clean, and fits well into the OS.

After an hour or so of Setup, I’ve got sched­uled weekly back­ups of my user direc­tory, start­ing tonight at 3am…

I know that I’ll sleep more soundly!

New Apple Display

apple.com”, posted by ned­ward

Christ­mas & my Birth­day, within 3 days of each other… Put them together, and you get a new Apple 20″ Cin­ema Dis­play.

Every­thing looks more beau­ti­ful tonight.


Ever try to fix some­thing, only to man­age to com­pletely f*ck it up?

Apple key­board, rede­fined. — the blue­tooth kind.

1 spilt gin and tonic, 2 weeks of sticky keys, and now many, many melted keys.

J. Crew iPod case

jcrew-ipod.jpgA friend at work came in today with a rather inter­est­ing iPod case — one that she got from J. Crew.

Avail­able for $29.99, in yuppie-rific blue, green and pink.

Here is the description:

Made from the same pure Ital­ian silk as our ties. With leather. Clear vinyl screen cover; remov­able neoprene-lined flap for extra pro­tec­tion. Leather-covered metal belt clip.

This strikes me as odd, since J. Crew is hardly in the busi­ness of craft­ing leather cases for con­sumer elec­tron­ics. But, per­haps it just illus­trates what a cul­tural icon the iPod has become.

M-Beat Theme

mbeat.gifI’ve been look­ing for a good menu con­troller for iTunes, and it’s been a dif­fi­cult search. I tested many apps, includ­ing Quick­Tunes, You Con­trol Tunes, and Syn­ergy. Each has its rel­a­tive strengths and weak­nesses, but I just couldn’t get every­thing I wanted in one package:

  • Dis­play track info on the menubar

  • Unob­tru­sive design, that blends with my OS X theme

  • Global key­board shortcuts

  • Pop-up floater with track info and album art

  • Solid app, that doesn’t crash

In the end, I decided to go with The Lit­tle App Factory’s M-Beat, which sat­is­fies all of these require­ments, and includes sup­port for skin­ning themes.

This bit of cus­tomiza­tion was the clincher, because I wasn’t sat­is­fied with the way the default “look” inte­grated in my menu. So, I cre­ated a theme to match my Milk OS X theme:


The G5 iMac

Wow. Look­ing at the newly-posted info on the G5 iMac, I’m again speech­less. “Where did the com­puter go?”, indeed.

It appears that Apple has done it again… this iMac G5 almost looks slim­mer and lighter than Dell lap­tops! Those things are bricks, and they’re sup­posed to be portable.

It seems as if Apple and IBM have solved the G5 heat prob­lem. So does that mean that we’ll see a G5 Power­book by Christmas?