Connor’s rantlet, AWSOM PixGallery for WordPress photo galleries from awsom.org. Michael Gorman’s review of the Nokia N810 Internet tablet: Nokia N810 main page, Specifications Page, OS 2008 Page (operating system for the Nokia N810), Maemo Linux Project page, Wavefinder Page for the Nokia N810. Buffalo tech support rocks from buffalotech.com when they help me diagnose my problem and install firmware AND are Mac friendly! Honda Bob from hdabob.com helps us put a radio in Kyle’s car, Tooble from tooble.tv makes it trivial now to download YouTube videos, convert them and plop them into your iTunes video library. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart and I discuss various Twitter clients for the Mac: Twitterific from iconfactory.com, Twitterpost only available at apple.com/downloads/macosx/email_chat/twitterpost.html but it doesn’t work, TwitterPod which DOES have proxy access but a lame interface from drikin.com/twitterpod, and finally Spaz from funkatron.com/spaz which works, but has no proxy access and has an offensive name in some languages. here’s a link to Bart’s blog where he talks about each of them: bartbusschots.ie. And finally my rant about not being able to sync contacts to my iPhone or iPod for two days.
Listen to the Podcast Once (40 min 55 sec)
[tags]Macintosh, iPhone, Twitter, podcast, Nokia 810, accessibility, freeware, shareware, Buffalo, networking, Youtube, Honda Bob[/tags] Today is Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 and this is show #133.
Connor wrote in with an email with a great title – he called it “My own little rantlet”. I love it, plan to steal that phrase from him. He wanted to throw in his two cents about the rant I did with Victor last week about the importance of treating Apple and shareware developers fairly because they are so very good to us. Here’s his story:
“I just received something in the mail today that enforced my love for paying for shareware, and the mac software community in general. Incase you haven’t seen my latest tweet, I received a HANDWRITTEN postcard from Bee Documents, the developer of Timeline, a great little app for making beautiful timelines (heard about it from D. Sparks)! I love this application so much and it really touched me that they sent me this postcard all the way from Washington (State( and I’m in PA) I thought that was very nice. It really gave me an Aha! moment, not like the one you brought up at the Podcaster meetup (just listened to that audio, it was great) but I really realized why I’m on the mac and why its so much better than those guys up in redmond. They can copy OS X all they want ( I am reminded of the macworld where there were banners that said “Redmond, start your photocopiers”) but in the end, it is really the mac freeware/shareware/donationware developers that make OS X, well, OS X, and make it so much better than that os that starts with a W”
Wow, I never got a hand written note from a developer! that’s pretty cool. I think I’ll get a review copy of Bee Docs’ Timeline software so we can learn more about this great company. You make some great points Connor – now everyone go pay their shareware fees!
You know I’m a sucker for a web gallery application, right? I post using JAlbum, Picasa Web Albums, even tried that crazy phpweb gallery that Bart likes. I love Facebook’s photo galleries, so easy and quick to put up and to look at too. But the one thing I never had was a way to post photos particular to my podcast that would KEEP people on podfeet.com and not send them away to an anonymous looking page. Finally I started searching for something that would integrate in with WordPress. There’s about a zillion options out there, but I found an AWSOME utility! Get this, it’s actually called AWSOM PixGallery, so you know it’s gonna be good – right there in the title and everything!
Installation of AWSOM PixGallery is really easy – all you have to do is download a plugin, upload it to your WordPress installation and activate the plugin. then from there you upload your images to any directory on your site. Finally, you create a post or a page with one line of code pointing to the folder with the images. How’s that for easy? The best part is it keeps people on my site! Unlike most image galleries, you don’t just get a thumbnail and an image, but also one more click gets you to the full sized image. that can be good or bad – if you want to protect your full sized images you would want to resize them before uploading. In my case I wanted people to be able to get to them. If you have a wordpress blog, definitely check out AWSOM PixGallery at awsom.org.
Michael Gorman on the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet
=========INSERT Michael Gorman’s review============
Thanks Michael, that was a great review. You really gave a flavor for how cool this thing is and the problem it solves. i really think that Apple missed the mark with the MacBook Air – they made it thinner and made no sacrifices on keyboard or screen size, but what most people seem to want in portability is something that takes up a smaller footprint, thickness is not the issue. Michael gave me some links for the Nokia N810 and I included those in the shownotes along with a picture of the N810.
Way back last August on Show #109 I told you about my trials and tribulations trying to move Steve’s G5 to our spare room where I can’t easily run Ethernet, and the G5 won’t take a wireless card. My friend Bruce recommended the Buffalo Wireless Ethernet converter. It’s an interesting device, it plugs into power, pulls the wireless signal from your router, and distributes that signal like a router with four ethernet ports. It has worked just fine to connect both the G5 and our Tivo to the internet. There was only one problem, we could never do any kind of file sharing to the G5, and the Tivo couldn’t see the other Tivo in the house to move shows between them.
I blamed the G5 until the Tivo came into the picture recently, but the Tivo not connecting made me start suspecting the Buffalo. I ran an experiment – I checked that I COULD see my Macbook Pro from other macs when it was plain old wireless, but then I plugged it into the Buffalo and it disappeared. Seemed to imply that the Buffalo was at fault. I went online to see if there was a firmware update, but it said I had to have a Windows machine to do the Firmware update. Argh.
When I went to MacWorld, I saw the Buffalo booth, and decided to bother them about it. I introduced myself to Richard, who turned out to be a sales manager from Canada. he took notes in a little notebook and took my card and promised to tell engineering about it. now what are the chances he’d actually do it? I figured none, so I took his card so I could remind him.
when I got back I created an Omingraffle diagram to explain my network to the engineers. It was kinda fun making it, kept me busy for a day or two. I put a copy of it in the shownotes for your enjoyment:
So I emailed the diagram to Richard, and guess what? He wrote back that he didn’t forget, that he HAD contacted engineering, and that he’d be glad to forward on my diagram. Sweet! A few days later I got an email from Tim over at Buffalo, offering to call me and start working on the problem. Get this – he was working at night so I could actually be at home! They have 24 hour tech support! who could believe that? It gets better. I sent an email saying around 8 my time would be good. I got home, and around 7:45 shot him another email saying i was ready. he immediately wrote back and told me he was on another call, but would call me in 20 minutes. Perfect, I relaxed and went back to watching Lost.
the first thing he tells me when he calls is that it’s a mistake on the website that you need Windows to do the firmware update! He is TOTALLY Mac literate, and very patiently walked me through step by step to upgrade the firmware. And get this – it fixed the problem! The G5 is on our network, and we can move TV shows between our Tivos!
At the end of the call, he said, “Is there any else you wanted me to help you with tonite?” I actually laughed, and said “well, let’s see. you called me when you said you would, after conversing with me several times in email to find a convenient time for me, you were Mac literate, you were patient, and you solved my problem! Exactly what more should I ask for?
If I ever get a chance to buy a product that Buffalo makes, you can be 100% certain that I will pick their product over competitors.
My son Kyle inherited Steve’s Honda Accord. the poor kid is really suffering, it’s a 2000 black V6 EX, hand cared for my moi in terms of waxing and washing, and hand cared for by Honda Bob for all that mechanical stuff. Of course being a teenager, he’s got to find something wrong with it, right? He might have a good point though – he can’t play his iPod in his car without one of these mutant solutions. He doesn’t have a tape player so he can’t even use that poor solution. He can use an FM transmitter, but we’re smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles where there’s radio stations filling up e very single wavelength with no gaps in between. It technically works but the sound quality is frequently awful – all staticky and stuff. He built himself a lovely antenna for it – he made a bow out of aluminum foil that actually helps. Is he my future engineer or what? anyway, he asked me recently whether we could get him a new radio that actually just had an eighth inch jack on the front so he could just plug in his iPod and get high quality sound. We’re now in hot pursuit of a solution, and who do you think I called first? of course Honda Bob! Remember he’s not just a mechanic, he’s a geek too, so he’s got all kinds of cool sound system stuff going on with his iPod into his Honda Element. He’s probably going to install the radio for us and help us make sure we pick something out that fits nicely and looks good when we’re done. Remember if you live in the LA or Orange County areas and you’d like just about anything done to your cars (heck, he’s even started claying and waxing, cutting into my turf!) give him a call at (562)531-2321 or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to learn more about how cars work, check out his informative website at hdabob.com. HDA Bob’s Mobile Service is not affiliated with Honda, Acura or Honda Worldwide.
Ok, so I know I said YouTube is dead to me, but there is still an awful lot of great content up there. People love YouTube, and really want a good way to snake the videos down to their computers, and to move them to their iPods. There all these weird hacks I’ve shown you over the last few years – like watching the Activity window in Safari and looking for the largest file as the video stream and then right clicking, etc., what a hack! then a bunch of websites that cropped up that let you copy the link to the video into them and then it would convert the video for you and you can then drag it into iTunes. that was pretty swell, but now there’s something better, at least for the Mac folks. enter Tooble.
This slick little application lets you search for youtube videos from it’s own interface, or wander around in Featured, Popular, Receently Added, all those fun features of YouTube. once you find the video you want, select it with a checkbox, and hit download. Bam, it downloads, converts and puts the video right into your iTunes in the video section! It’s really beautiful. it even lets you select a bunch of videos at the same time. This is the answer to the problem we’ve all had trying to find an easy way to get videos on our iPods. Check it out at tooble.tv, or you can just google Tooble (which, by the way, is really fun to say…google tooble!) and you’ll find it. thanks Niraj for sending me to Tooble!
Chit Chat Across the Pond
Bart’s finally gotten into twitter after years of avoidance. Gets the idea at last. Thinks it’s a good idea. But the impementation is very very poor. The fact such a poor implementation is so popular shows it’s a great idea. Problems with twitter:
– The website is terrible horribly amateur and just ick
– About as stable as a pencil balancing on it’s pointy end
– Many of the clients feel amateurish too
Twitter Clients – Al was resisting but then Bart got into Twitter so Al had to go on too.
Al’s requirements – free (or low cost), has proxy access
Bart’s requirements – free, doesn’t suck
– Twitterific – $15 (Version Tracker mistakenly says freeware) from iconfactory.com
Bart’s View: ok but not worth the money. Would use it if it was free
– Twitterpost – free – bad links to the developer’s site at VersionTracker and MacUpdate (railhead design) but Apple had it for download:http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/email_chat/twitterpost.html
Bart’s View: simply didn’t work for me. Never managed to get connected.
– TwitterPod – free from drikin.com/twitterpod Only one that has proxy access that Al’s found so far.
Bart’s View – didn’t like the interface. Clunky and annoying. Doesn’t show entire 140 characters of posts. I mean it’s ONLY 140 characters FFS!!!
– Spaz -Open Source from funkatron.com/spaz – Windows & Mac, Linux coming soon
Bart’s pick so far. Cross platform, interface not horrific. Not Maclike though and could do with being more compact. Sits in the Dock rather than the menu bar. But acceptable. Been using for a few weeks now and using as the bar to judge other clients against.
Al – no proxy access 🙁
Bart’s blog to the topic: bartbusschots.ie
iPhone Rant that actually became an iTunes rant
On Friday I noticed that my contacts weren’t syncing from my iPhone to my Address Book. I had made changes on the iPhone but they weren’t on my Mac. I started messing around, reading forum posts, and someone suggested added a new category in Address Book to kind of “wake up” the sync. And that’s when things began to go horribly wrong. Somehow, when I synced, all of my names in the iPhone became empty! I had names, but no phone numbers, no addresses, no email addresses. OH NO! I noticed that I could still email people, their addresses actually WERE still in the iPhone, just not connected to their names. Imagine looking at your favorites list and seeing only numbers, no names, because they weren’t connected! Ok, here’s all the things I tried in the next 24 hours:
– Restored the iPhone, let it use the Backup, no good.
– Went to my Time Machine backup to find the iPhone backup, but guess what? Apple does NOT backup that file! It sounds funny to backup a backup file, but since Apple over-writes your backup every time you sync, they darn well SHOULD back it up! I hate Time Machine, have I mentioned that? it won’t even back up my machine any more, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
– Next I ran a restore WITHOUT the backup. that one was scary and guaranteed I would lose my notes because STOOPID APPLE won’t let me sync them with Notes in OSX. I emailed them to myself, fat lot of good they’ll do in there. Still didn’t help.
– Next (after exporting a copy of the Address Book and backing that file up on an external drive), I deleted all addresses in address book, deleted all address book plists, logged out and back in. then I reset the sync history in iSync, logged out and back in, and then pulled all the addresses back in and it STILL didn’t fix the iPhone.
– Finally late Friday night I had a thought. I had noticed early on that iTunes didn’t notice that I had done any changes to the Address Book. Like back when I added a new category, iTunes didn’t notice. That got me to thinking that the iPhone wasn’t the culprit, it was really something to do with iTunes. I deleted the plists and all that for iTunes which of course didn’t fix anything. Then I got the idea to sync my iPod instead of my iPhone and see what would happen to the contacts in there. Guess what? It erased all the contact info and left the contact names in place! So, it’s nothing to do with the iPhone, it must be iTunes instead.
Finally on Friday someone posted the fix, and it’s very odd. Odd in the sense that I did far more destructive things to the address book that you would think would have awakened it, but here’s what was posted on discussions.apple.com. The fix they suggested (which worked for me) was: Go to Addressbook, select all contacts, delete them – wait a few seconds (id say up to a minute) and in itunes in that info tab your groups will show up again. Now command-z (undo) and all your contacts will come back and it seems to be syncing again (havent tested it but for one sync). Be sure to back up before you try this.”
Email me at email@example.com.