Saturday, July 7, 2007

ImageWell Review

There are just pieces of software that just do what you want. Simple, yet they accomplish just about every aspect of the task at hand. And then to top it off they're free!

Imagewell does just that. Ever need to resize that digital picture to post on a web page? Want to upload it to your ftp site? Imagewell does both simply and very well. With the latest version it will upload your picture not only to your ftp site but there are a few more options. It will now seamlessly upload it Flickr, Imageshack, smugmug, ftp, sftp, webdav, iDisk, or just save it to a local folder.

Basically it will do just about all need to quickly modifiy the image file to get it to the specs you want. It will allow you to resize, crop, edit and even watermark your photos.

The free version while it allows you to edit the image, with a $14.95 registration it'll allow you to edit the image and draw more lines and shapes. The other "Xtra" features you get for your $14.95 include batch image processing, multiple images on your editing canvas, and templates for drawing objects and backgrounds.

You have the 2590 X 1920 image that you want to post on your web page or upload to a blog. This will fill most default screen sizes on most computers surfing your page. So a quick resize would not only make it more pleasant to your view it will also save them the download of what is a pretty big file.

Drag the picture over to the drop zone and use the slider to the 640 X 480 and click send to send it where you want. You can watermark it before you send it. Or you can actually draw little arrows on the picture to highlight things.

Want to grab part of the screen, want a full screen cap? It's all there. It will randomize the file name for you to upload. It will add the html code for the uploaded file to your clipboard.

All and all a very handy utility that takes up little screen real estate and gets the job done. I had no need for the "xtra" features but I sent the $14.95 because the free version was worth it and more.

iPhone - phone jack hack

I was happy to hear that Apple was including a 3.5" jack on the iPhone. There would be no having to lug around an adapter for headphones like I did with my Treo. Then i got my iPhone and tried to plug in my Bose noise cancelling headphones and they wouldn't work. Close examination revealed the plug wasn't all the way in because the jack was recessed! This may become one of life's great mysteries as to why Apple designed it this way.

Then I started reading about people using exacto knifes trimming the plastic to get it to fit into the recess. I thought that would be too "rough" looking.

Wired BrushI remembered I had a Black and Decker Rotary tool, which I bought for working on my sons' Pine Wood derby cars. Those days are gone, but I dusted off the power tool. I chose the wired brush tool pictured on the left here and went to town fixing all my jacks.

It was about 20 seconds of work on each jack and 100% worked flawlessly after I finished. And they didn't look half bad either. Here's a picture of a "modified" jack at the top and the same jack on the other end "unmodified".Comparision Maybe I'll setup a cottage industry modifying jacks to fit into iPhones. :)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Howto reset your iPhone

There I am loving my iPhone. Talking and surfing. Talking and emailing. Then the fun starts to diminish. Talk, surf, crash. It's like a snowball going down hill, getting worse and worse. It's more like just talk, and crash.

Thinking it's a mini OS X, I figure there's got to be a "Force quit" or heck just a reset. Sure enough:

Force Quit: Press and hold the "Home" button for six seconds with that app being displayed. IE., if you're staring at a Safari screen and nothing is happening. Just press and hold the Home button.

Hard Reset: This is the one that stopped my "snowball". It reminds me of the Menu - Center button combo on my iPod for those iPod owners. Press and hold both the Power button (the black button at the top right) and the Home button, until you see the Apple logo. This should take about 8 seconds.

Back to carefree surfing. Hopes I hit a flash only site, strike that "carefree surfing" line.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

MacWorld's list of 10 rights and Wrongs on the iPhone

I've just found this. It's MacWorld's list of what Apple did right and wrong. The best synopsis of plusses and minuses I've found in my opinion. Probably because I agree with all of them. :)

The iPhone - The next Day

I've now had my iPhone for 24 hours plus. I've posted my first impressions of it yesterday now I've got a few more comments. This isn't my first "smartphone". I've been searching for a "smartphone" that wasn't actually STUPID for years. I've had just about everything but a blackberry, and none of them could unobtrusively bring my info with me on the road. I was either manually moving things or had to "rig" three different programs to massage the data to get it on my phone.

My last phone was a Motorola LG9900 - The "Env" you used to see advertised. I had this phone and my last 8 phones with Verizon. I dumped AT&T about 10 years ago because of their service and coverage, and seriously never wanted to go back even though they've had some "cool" phones that Verizon hasn't had in the past. Not that Verizon service was been a gem. For example I've been working with them for 2 years (that's right years), in attempts to access my phone account information via their web page. Verizon's version of "push" email on the phone works when it wants, being down 1 out of every 4 weeks. I'll never find out if they can get this stuff worked out as I'm no longer a Verizon customer.

I walked into the AT&T store Friday night with intrepidation, because of my past history. I walked out pleased with the experience. The line was minimal about 10 people and it was probably "over" managed with AT&T staff ensuring there was no cutting and answering questions people had about the iPhone. I've waited longer in line at the gas station or grocery store and didn't have the helpful and informative babysitting.

The guy who waited on me did offer accessories, but readily accepted my no thanks, unlike experiences reported by Gizmodo. Actually as he was completing my order, I changed my mind and tossed a car charger onto the counter as he was processing my charge card. There was no line when we finished and I had intended to buy a second iPhone for my wife but was told there was a 1 per limit when I first got to the counter. After my sale was completed I again asked about the limit, pointing out there was no line now and a limit didn't seem necessary??? My rep went and got the manager. After I presented my case, and he seemed convinced I wasn't going to "scalp" it on eBay, he relented to my logic and he sold me a second phone. I admire that decision working in a field that requires a lot of "policies", but I'm often frustrated when someone blindly follows them instead of assessing the current situation and making a logical and justified exception, ie. thinking on his feet.

So you can possibly tell my AT&T phobia is subsiding. The service after the fact has been stellar too. My activation was within a couple of hours, contrary to other reports. In fact I was still playing with the features on the phone when it came through. I didn't even realize I couldn't make a call until the notice arrived in my email, as I hadn't tried to place a call yet.

I realize I'm a small sampling, but I read the Gizmodo article about 3 problems at the AT&T store. So I feel justified in giving my experience of 1.

Ok, you want to know about the phone usage. Reception and clarity is better than my Env. I'm not the guy at the restaurant that everyone can hear his conversation, for the most part, I talk in a normal volume. With my Env I get more "huh's" than I did with my past phones. That seems to have gone away.

Cut and Paste - I was expecting a "stripped" down version of OS X but without cut and paste between the apps this is "crippled" a version of OS X. A fine distinction in choice of words but very relevant. Cutting/Copying and Pasting between apps on OS X is fundamental feature and is desperately missed on the iPhone. It would stop my whining about not being able to sync my Notes. (I could email myself and copy them into the notes app.)

I didn't think I'd miss MMS messages, but I do. That's fine and dandy that you can email pictures, but what about the rest of the unwashed masses that don't have email on their phone. My 2 sons quite often snap photos and send them to me via MMS messages. This has to be added and quick.

Individual ringtones - Another one that I didn't realize I depend upon. I miss the fact that I can "hear" who's calling. On the plus side it's nice to "see" who's calling. Since my photos in my address book sync with the iPhone their picture now displays when they call. A feature I've had in other phones but never utilized because it was a hassle getting the photos onto the phone.

The camera - Takes very nice pictures but needs more integration with online services like Flickr etc. Though I can wait for this "upgrade". :) I haven't missed the video feature.

Still no problems with the keyboard for me or the speed of the AT&T network. I needed the phone number for a restaurant last night. I Googled it, got their number, tapped it with my finger and made the call to see if they had tables. I felt like I was on one of the commercials. The only problem was I couldn't use the restaurant's site for the phone number as it was 100% Flash. :( Another issue that may show up more - no Flash.

Wifi sync - No other comment other than WHERE IS IT?

The best part - other than the Todo's my information on my computer is coming with me more than ever has in the past. Just like I've wanted for YEARS. And it's not because I've setup a script or needed some third party software or patch to get some of the data over. It's just moving there. It isn't perfect, but none of my "Smart" phones have been. Is this the closest yet, in a word: YES.