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 NikePlus.com 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