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One of the million reasons to RTFM September 8, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Documentation, Hardware, iMacs, iPods, Tips.
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Been using a new aluminum iMac for a couple of weeks now and been loving it.

I’ve been a Mac user for so long I’ve acquired the hard carapace of a smug veteran who doesn’t know half as much as he thinks he does, and as such, regularly doesn’t even deign to crack open a manual, thinking it’s beneath him. There are piles of immaculate, pristine, never-touched shrink-wrapped manuals from generations of Macs and iPods in a box somewhere in the house. This iMac’s is still in its big box, untouched.

I picked up a new Macworld issue the other day and was leafing through it. I found a review of the new iMac, and wondering if the writer and I had the same observations, read it. Also, I’m writing up one of my own, and was curious to see if I’d missed anything. I haven’t yet, so I was miffed to read something I did – that the new iMac can continue to charge iPods hooked up to the USB ports even if the iMac was asleep, something it couldn’t do before.

Hah. Ok. Something I would’ve know if I regularly RTFM.

So moral of the story? Read the effing manual! And, that the new iMacs can charge iPods off the USB ports even if the iMac is asleep! So there.

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Serious business August 22, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apps, Business, Tips.
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After giving you guys that link to core Apple apps everyone should be using, I found an aggregation of links to business applications for the Mac on theAppleBlog, and I figured it might be a nice eye-opener to what’s out there.

Using Macs isn’t all fun (and certainly not all games as well); the page shows you what’s available for Macs from time tracking and invoicing to money management, project management, contact management and more. And it being a list of business apps, most of them are shareware and commercial software, with maybe just one or two freebies thrown in there. Hey, we should be so lucky.

Check it out.

Core stuff August 19, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Tips.
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Just thought to link to this site for the Mac beginners among you – and for those experienced among you who have yet to expand your horizons and realize the full potential of the system you’ve thrown your lot in with.

bestmacsoftware.org puts in one place all the essential stuff Mac users shouldn’t be without. Each link here is a gem, and even Apple-to-the-core old fogeys like me still find something we hadn’t known about. Go, go!

Didyaknow… August 4, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Accessories, Tips.
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…that you can use that ittybitty white remote control that came with your Mac to run your Keynote presentation?

I certainly didn’t. In fact I almost never use the darn thing because I’m always within arm’s reach of the Mac and the remote’s practically useless to me. But I do give presentations now and then using Keynote and that simple, obvious thing never occurred to me. (Then again I’m not the sort to pore through a manual in detail because I have the common geek arrogance that I don’t need to.)

Pressing play starts the presentation, forward and back moves you through the slides, and up and down controls the volume. Holding down play sends the Mac to sleep.

Check out the video on the Apple Small Business Quick Tip of The Week here.

Unconfirmed hack: iPhone usable as a phone outside US? July 20, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hacks, iPhone, Tips.
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A TUAW reader claims to have found a way to get the iPhone‘s phone functions working (albeit with limitations) outside the United States.

Reader AJ in the UK says he was able to get his iPhone to make calls and send text under Vodaphone in the UK, although visual voicemail was still a bust.

Here’s how he claims to have done it: he got the AT&T SIM out of his iPhone and stuck it into an 02 XDA, brought the XDA to a Vodaphone store and had them add the phone to his existing Vodaphone contract. Upon getting back home he puts the AT&T SIM, now Vodaphone-complaint, back into the iPhone, uses the aforementioned iASign app to activate it, and voila!

The iPhone says the network is still AT&T, but it’s the Vodaphone account and number working. Ostensibly, this trick could work elsewhere in the world.

It’s a bit unclear why or how Vodaphone would tamper with an alien SIM at all, or how the altered SIM could help activate the phone functions of the protected-to-the-gills iPhone, but the TUAW reader claims it works. Hackers who are currently having sleepless nights trying to liberate the iPhone (now on Week Three – after claiming it would just be a matter of days before they’d succeed) are up in arms saying this is physically impossible. Other people have since tried, and failed.

It just might be a big hoax (and almost certainly is), but hope springs eternal. Let’s wait and see.

More details on The Unofficial Apple Blog.

Quick Tip: Sending MMS from your iPhone July 15, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPhone, Tips.
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From Skype to IRC and now to MMS sending. If Apple doesn’t put it in, you can be sure someone will find a way to do it.

One of the niggles about the iPhone is inability to send MMS. Folk over the the hackTech blog make the brilliant observation that MMS is just glorified email aliasing, so it would just be a matter of sending your MMS to the right address. hackTech says you just need to route the MMS/email to the carrier and put the recipient’s number in front of the @.

hackTech gives you a list of the relevant address extensions from Alltel all the way to Virgin over on this page.

So what’s next? Torrentfreak speculates on the possibility of torrenting your favorite TV shows on your iPhone over on their site.

TIP: Secure your GMail Notifier July 10, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hacks, Security, Tips.
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If you’re like me, with no push email on my phone but still obsessive about getting the latest from your Gmail inbox, you probably use Google‘s freeware GMail Notifier, which updates you as to what’s new as it arrives.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that the Notifier sends your password out in clear text every time it accesses your inbox over the net. Thankfully, I found this out at about the same time a tip was being shared to shut down this loophole. The tip is so useful I can’t resist passing it along.

Here’s what you do, courtesy of a comment by poster Highplace on an O’Reillynet.com thread and repeated on macosxhints.com:

Pull down the Notifier menu (either Calendar or Gmail), hold down Command and Option, and click Preferences on the menu. You’ll see a hidden settings editor. Enter ‘SecureAlways’ in the Key field (upper and lower case must be entered as shown) and 1 in the Value field, then click Set. Quit Notifier and start it up again. From now on all connections with both Gmail & Gcal will be https.

Nice to know.