Category Archives: Technology

My Favorite iPhone JailBreak Apps (so far)

Jailbreaking your iPhone became legal under US copyright law as of July 26, 2010. What better way to celebrate than try to jailbreak my own iPhone 4? Smile

To jailbreak your iPhone, visit http://www.jailbreakme.com and you can literally slide a UI control in safari and it will jailbreak your phone by taking advantage of an PDF exploit in iOS.  This method works as long as you haven’t upgraded to iOS 4.0.2 since Apple patched the hole in that release.

Note: Jailbreakme.com is currently showing a placeholder page on their homescreen. Navigate on your iPhone to http://www.jailbreakme.com/_/ and you can manually download the PDF that matches your device and iOS version.  Once you click the PDF, it’ll pause for a few seconds, then you’ll see UI that informs you your iPhone is being jailbroken.

After jailbreaking, the obvious question is “Now what?”.  I was on the hunt to find the best apps to uninstlal to take advantage of my new found freedom away from Apple’s maniacal clutches.

Browsing through Cydia is a painful process – there are no “Top 10” lists or anything to really help you figure out what to install, and even worse, the load time on the details pages for each app is slow as molassess.  Instead, I started doing some web searches to find which apps to try out first.

Here’s the list of apps I ended up installing, and I even paid for a few of them:

  1. InfiniFolder – allow unlimited apps in iPhone folders.  So instead of creating folders named “Games 1”, “Games 2”, etc, this allows you to have as many apps in a folder as you want and lets you vertically scroll.
  2. MultiIconMover – From the department of “Why didn’t apple think of this?”.  When you move app icons around, it lets you multi select and move multiple apps at the same time.
  3. IntelliScreen – This was my favorite jailbreak app of everything I installed.  It adds widgets to your lock screen like calendar, latest SMS and news and ironically makes it more like Windows Mobile. This screenshot shows news and weather, but I’ve configured mine to show my calendar also.
  4. Action Menu and Action Menu Plus Pack – Awesome addons that puts the “action menu” on steroids (the action menu is the menu that appears when you do a single tap in a text field. Normally this only shows “copy”, “cut” and “paste).  This adds things like a clipboard history, send to twitter and create tinyURLs.
  5. SBSettings and Serious SBSettings HD Theme – Solves a major gripe with the iPhone – “Why the heck does it take so many clicks to change settings???”.  In a single click you get a menu that slides down an dwill let you toggle wifi, 3g, etc in single clicks!  Make sure you get the Apple Congruency addon, which make it look more like native iPhone UI. Update (8/26): Thanks to Todd in the comments, I discovered the "Serious SBSettings HD Theme" which supports the iPhone 4 Retina display and looks better than the Apple Congurency theme.
  6. My3G – removes the restrictions on apps that prevent them from using data on 3G like FaceTime, and iTunes downloads over 20MB.
  7. Tlert (added 8/26) – Great system wide change to improve SMS. When you get an SMS while in another app, you can respond without leaving the app!

 

Any other ones I’m missing?

How to add Facebook’s Open Graph social plugins to your site

I just finished my initial integration with Facebook’s Open Graph Social plugins for both this blog based on wordpress and my photo blog which is based on PixelPost.

Facebook’s documentation is definitely in it’s early stages because it’s very sparse in some areas, and lacks good cross-links to make the content easy to dig through.  Most of their documentation doesn’t even include a link to their Application center which is required to even get some of the social plugins to work since they require you to have an AppID.

Here’s a quick guide on what I did to get this running for the Like and Comments plugins for my photo blog. For wordpress, it was far easier since there are plugins for it.  I ended up using the FBLike plugin.

Continue reading “How to add Facebook’s Open Graph social plugins to your site” »

Using 32-bit Photoshop with Lightroom instead of 64-bit

After getting a new desktop recently, I opted to install Windows 7 64-bit and haven’t looked back. Adobe Photoshop CS4 runs great in 64-bit, although I have a few plugins that aren’t 64-bit compatible.

So while I can launch Photoshop’s 32-bit instance, the Lightroom always launches the 64-bit version when you use the built-in “Edit with…” functionality. I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to get Lightroom to use the 32-bit instance of Photoshop instead. Hallelujah, I finally found a solution!

The solution requires a change to the Windows Registry. There is an unrelated Adobe’s Knowledge Base article that gives the location of the Photoshop registry keys, I was able to figure out how to get this to work finally.

Warning: Backup your registry before attempting this fix.

1. Open the Windows Registry editor by hitting <Windows Key>+R to bring up the Run box, and type in regedit.

2. Find the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\Photoshop.exe

3. There are 2 keys present with the following values (assuming you installed Photoshop to the default location):
(Default) C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4\Photoshop.exe
(Path) C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4\

4. We need to just change the path to the 32-bit version of Photoshop instead.  Double click on each one, and change the values to the following:
(Default) C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4\Photoshop.exe
(Path) C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4

Now when you’re back in Lightroom, you should be able to use the “Edit in Photoshop” functionality and it will launch the 32-bit version of Photoshop.

Review of Hoodman Firewire 400/800 Compact Flash Card Reader

 

If you have firewire and shoot with a Compact Flash (CF) card, do yourself a favor and buy the Hoodman Firewire 400/800  CF card reader today.  This thing is a freakin’ RAW FireWire 800/400 CF Readerspeed demon!  I’m getting between 40-45 MB/s and downloading 175 RAW files from my Nikon D700 in less than a minute

To get the fastest speeds, you need to be using fast UDMA CF cards but it also supports non-UDMA cards as well.  Personally I use the SanDisk Extreme IV cards and highly recommend them.  I have never had one of their cards fail, and if their cards can survive explosions, they will put up with anything I throw at them 🙂

At first, I was hesitant to replace my Lexar USB card reader which is convenient due to supports both CF and SD.  However, since I shoot mostly with my DSLR, I opted to buy this additional card reader to sit side-by-side with my Lexar reader so I could save time.  I used to have to walk away from my PC while Lightroom imported my photos, but now I can see the files at freakishly amazing speeds.

Construction wise, it’s also built sturdy enough to both in your home office and on the road (assuming you have FW on your laptop) .  From the Amazon comments:

Almost immediately after I bought my reader, I dragged it across sub-Saharan Africa on some of the world’s bumpiest roads in 115° average afternoon temperature, under conditions where almost everything broke-down (cars, generators; hard-drives, computers; lenses etc.). The Hoodman CF Reader worked flawlessly… in fact, it still does, even in my air-conditioned office.

This was the best $80 I’ve spent in a really long time.