August 21, 2011

iPad 2 Case: Marware MicroShell + Smart Cover

Apple's Smart Cover  for the iPad 2 leaves the back and sides of the iPad unprotected. Marware's MicroShell  $20 ($35 MSRP) is one of a number of backcovers specifically designed to be used with the Smart Cover.

August 20, 2011

Changing icons on your iPad (w/o jailbreaking)

I'm a fan of Note Taker HD, but not of the new icon introduced in v6—whenever I see it, I can't help but think of a severed hand. IOS doesn't yet allow endusers to change app icons and I'm not interested in the stability problems that can come with jailbreaking. However it is possible to change an app's icon without jailbreaking…

May 1, 2011

QR Codes: Bridging Print and The Internet

The proliferation of smart phones is helping promote the use of QR codes aka Quick Response aka Quick Read codes. Just launch an app like AT&T's free Code Scanner on your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry, point your smartphone's camera at a QR code, and the

April 24, 2011

iPad Workflow 3: Importing Images using the Camera kit

The iPad Camera Connection Kit  $30 is an often overlooked way to quickly import high-resolution document images into your iPad from your iPhone or a camera.  The kit consists of two adaptors: a USB adaptor and an SD card reader.

April 17, 2011

iPad Office Workflow - 2: Annotating documents
(Note Taker HD)

Deirdre Woods, CIO, Wharton, observed that students use an iPad as a “lean back device” as opposed to a PC which is a “lean forward” one. This makes iPads ideal devices to review and annotate documents.

April 10, 2011

iPad Office Workflow - 1 (Dropbox)

Using an iPad in office environment requires developing a workflow. A common initial application is to be able to review documents on your iPad, rather than printing them. But how do you get the documents onto your iPad?

April 3, 2011

Blogging 101: What, Why, How

Sharing my 3-month old experiment with blogging, has prompted questions like: What's a blog? Why would you blog? And how does one blog anyway?

March 27, 2011

Handwriting on the iPad: Penultimate

Cocoabox's $2 Penultimate app for the iPad was the breakthrough app that clearly demonstrated just how well an iPad could capture handwriting with a stylus. The 'ink' is beautifully rendered in three different widths, and the smoothing algorithm is so well

March 19, 2011

Handwriting on the iPad: Note Taker HD - 2

Dan Bricklin's $5 Note Taker HD for iPad was recently updated to version 5. Note Taker HD's stand out feature is its Edit 2 input mode, which lets you enter more information onto each page.

New features introduced in version 5.0.5 include:

March 15, 2011

Early hands on with the iPad 2

Nothing like early hands on with new tech! Just 341 days ago last April, I first got my hands on the original iPad. Today, loading on an iPad 2 and laughing at how slow the original iPad was, it was iPhone 3 vs iPhone 4 all over again.

March 13, 2011

Rogue Amoeba Airfoil: Send any audio to Apple TV

When I hit a webpage with an audio clip – Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil app $25, makes it trivial to route this audio wirelessly from my laptop to my Apple TV 2  $99, and play the sound through my TV's sound system. Yes, iTunes' AirPlay does the same thing for free but only for audio from iTunes.

February 27, 2011

Easy meeting scheduling with

Scheduling meetings across multiple organizations where the participants don't share a common calendaring system is tedious. Enter – an example of a web-based service that makes finding a meeting time as easy as mailing everyone a link. They open your link and mark their

February 20, 2011

OS X Tip: Display Dashboard Widgets on your Desktop

I find the OS X Dashboard weather widget handy, and I've enabled it to display permanently on my Desktop, so I don't have to enter/exit Dashboard mode in order to see it. You can do this for any widget:

February 19, 2011 Simple, Secure Remote Desktop Support

If you've ever been asked for computer help over the phone you know how frustrating it can be both to yourself and to the person you're helping. Remote access to their desktop eliminates these frustrations and can lead to speedy problem diagnosis and resolution.

February 13, 2011

Handwriting on the iPad: Note Taker HD

Dan Bricklin's $5 Note Taker HD v4.5 app should be considered by anyone who wishes to use their iPad for handwritten notetaking [see also choosing a stylus]. Note Taker HD's stand out feature is its Edit 2 input mode. This gives you a magnified handwriting input

February 5, 2011

iPhone/iPad Troubleshooting 101 - Rebooting

Rebooting an iPhone/iPad is a fast, simple troubleshooting tip that is often overlooked. When the problem is abnormal behaviour of an app that was working, try a reboot to see if the problem persists:

January 30, 2011

Nike+ GPS App for Runners

Using the $2 Nike+ GPS iPhone app for tracking run distance and pace couldn't be simpler: start the Nike+ GPS app on your iPhone, drop the phone into your pocket, and start your run. Every kilometre (or mile if you prefer), your phone speaks your elapsed distance and current pace. At the the end of your run, it speaks your distance, time and pace, plays a congratulatory celebrity voice clip, and optionally uploads your run to the website.

January 22, 2011

Using the Apple TV 2 with Logitech's Harmony 650 Remote

The Apple TV (2nd gen)  $99, is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand and weighs just a few ounces. Connected to your TV with an HDMI cable, it wirelessly streams your iTunes music & video library, content from your AirPlay devices, YouTube, Netflix, and internet radio.

While the Apple TV comes with its own elegant remote, you must use yet another remote in order to switch your TV's input to the Apple TV and to adjust volume. Alternatively, you could replace the Apple Remote, as well as all your other remotes, with a single controller like the Logitech Harmony 650  $70.

Bluetooth Mouse: Logitech V470

I prefer Bluetooth wireless mice as there is no wireless dongle to get lost, tie up a USB port, or get caught on my laptop sleeve. The Logitech V470 Bluetooth mouse   $40 is my current favourite:

January 16, 2011

OS X Keyboard shortcuts in Safari

John Gruber's 4-Nov-2010 post Going Flash-Free on Mac OS X, and How to Cheat When You Need It, described a strategy for disabling Flash on OS X, and then using Google Chrome, which has its own self-contained Flash Player, as needed.

John detailed how to use OS X's Keyboard preference pane to create a keyboard shortcut to quickly open the current Safari webpage in Chrome. Over the following week I noticed that, while selecting from Safari's menu: Develop > Open Page With… > Google Chrome always worked, my keyboard shortcut was not reliable.

January 15, 2011

Faster MacBook Sleep

On several occasions I've closed the lid on my MacBook Pro and dropped it into my backpack only to open it later and find it either toasty or worse, completely dead. It either hadn't gone to sleep properly or the lid had opened in transit, waking it.

January 9, 2011

iPhone4 Camera

I routinely use a camera throughout my workday for capturing whiteboards, flip-charts and documents, as well as when shopping, to record prices and part numbers. My iPhone 4 is my first phone camera with sufficient resolution (2592 x 1936, 5MB) and near focus capability that I can manage when I don't have my trusty Panasonic DMC-FX33 (8MB).

January 1, 2011

How to avoid updating Camera+ 1.2.1, to retain volume shutter

NB: Nov 16 2011 Update at end of article. On my iPhone 4, I love TapTapTap Camera+ 2.0 app's faster startup and new features, but I love Camera+ 1.2.1's VolumeSnap shutter button feature more. Repurposing the volume button to a shutter release allows me to hold my iPhone 4 steadier, with both hands like a real camera, when composing and taking pictures.

iPad Stylus Review

For notetaking on my iPad I use a stylus, currently with the NoteTaker HD and Noteshelf apps.

A plastic stylus, such as those included with the older pressure-sensitive touchscreen Palm PDAs, does not work on the capacitance touchscreens found on the iPad, iPhone and Pod Touch. You must use a special capacitance stylus, which allows an electrical path from the stylus tip through the stylus body to your hand.

iPad Folio Case Review

I carry my iPad everywhere throughout my workday. To protect it, I have used a number of folio-style cases:
  1. Incase Convertible Book Jacket: $60, padded leather, professional appearance, superb protection but bulky
  2. Apple iPad Case: $50, lightweight, thin, easy to hold in one hand for reading, quick to dirty but washable
  3. SGP Leather case, Argo Series: $70, hard leather shell, professional appearance, iPad clips in, only one in this list with no built-in stand
  4. Incase Convertible Magazine Jacket: $50, lightweight, iPad clips in, easy to hold in one hand, washable