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The other day I decided to buy myself a Wireless Mighty Mouse after being a loyal Logitech customers for years. I’ve always loved Logitech’s mouses and keyboards, but I’m sick of their lack of support for Mac and Linux. Therefore I ordered a Mighty Mouse from Apple. So far the mouse works fine, and I really like the fact that you can turn it off with a simple switch underneath, in contrast to Logitech’s MX900, where I had to remove the battery every time I put the mouse in my bag (to avoid having the laptop wake up).

Configuring your Mighty Mouse. The first thing that bothered me after installing the drivers for the mouse was that the right-button was not activated. This was a simple thing to fix: just change the mapping in the “Keyboard and Mouse” in “System Preferences.” When doing this I also realized that I could re-map all the buttons on the mouse to different applications. This lead me to think about how much it bothers me to have to go and right-click on the iTunes icon and select “Next Track” all the time. Why can’t I map one of the keys to switch track?

I knew I had a set of apple-script that I used with HID eFiddler to control iTunes with my Logitech diNovo. One of them told iTunes to switch to the next track – perfect! I tried to make that one to execute when I pressed a button. This didn’t work, since the Mouse-config only supports App-files to bind with a button. IconSo I opened the Script Editor and saved it as an Application and voiala! I could now bind one of my buttons to switch track. The great thing with this is that it works regardless of what application you’re working in, since it’s an application that launches. Sure, there’s a bit of delay (<1 sec), but it works.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

As many of us, both Alex and I were both chocked and very impressed when Apple announced their new iPhone. Sure, there have been rumors for quite some time, but the fact that Apple managed to keep this secret is quite amazing.

I was really impressed by the phone when I watched the keynote speech (online). This phone really does make all other phones look like they belong in the stone-age. Even my new Sony Ericsson P990 looks old in comparison with the iPhone.

Why is this phone so great?
To start with, it’s really good looking. But that’s not enough to make me impressed. What made me really impressed was the speed of the phone. If the iPhone that Steve Jobs was demoing during the keynote speech is the same phone as the ones that will be available in June it’s really cool. The performance of that phone was truly amazing. When he was showing photos, there was no delay or lag whatsoever. In addition to this, when he zoomed in and out of the photos there was no delay either. This means that this is one fast phone. My P990 is quite slow when I display photos, and the photo-software doesn’t even have any fading-feature.

The phone does not run a desktop-version of Mac OS X. Some people on Engadget‘s and Gizmodo‘s forum seems to think that it is running some full blown installation of OS X. Of course this is not the case. It’s probably running the BSD-kernel (like OS X), and then a OS X-like GUI, but I doubt that it’s the regular OS X. Sure, it probably inherited many components of OS X, but they were all rewritten to be more light-weight. I don’t have any proof of this, but I’d imagine that the version of OS X running on the iPhone probably is as similar to ‘Desktop OS X’ as Windows Mobile / Pocket PC is to Windows 2000/XP. Yes, that means that it’s probably easier to port an OS X application to the iPhone than it would have been to rewrite the application for a brand new OS. However, don’t think you can run Photoshop CS2 on you iPhone. That will be like trying to install Photoshop for Windows on a Windows Mobile-phone.

Even though it’s not running a full installation of OS X it still has great potential. To start out with, the BSD-kernel is a far more stable and a more well-written kernel than the one used in Windows and Windows Mobile, which creates a solid foundation. I mean, a chain is never stronger then its weakest link, and that’s why it doesn’t matter how great programmer you are when developing an application. If the operating system that your software will be running on is unstable, you’re out of luck and there’s little you can do about it.

I can imagine that Apple identified a big market opportunity after Palm almost gave up on their Palm OS and started shipping their devices with Windows Mobile. That meant that the only two ‘serious’ competitors were Microsoft and Symbian for the mobile-market. Since Apple sure knows Microsoft’s weaknesses from before, the only remaining threat would be Symbian (which is used by Nokia and SonyEricsson). Personally I prefer Symbian over Windows Mobile/Pocket PC, but both Series 60 (used by Nokia), and UIQ2/3 (used by SonyEricsson) are really not that sophisticated. I’d imagine that both Series 60 and UIQ are far more memory efficient than Windows Mobile, but it falls short when it comes to usability and multitasking. This is where the BSD-kernel and OS X Mobile will beat their competitors by far.

There’s one thing I’m not sure if I consider good or bad, and that’s the lack of keyboard. Sure, you can use the space where the keyboard is more efficiently, and yes, as Steve pointed out, a keyboard is static, and software is not. However, I don’t know how convenient it is to type on an on screen keyboard. Maybe it’s something we’ll get used to, but I never use the on-screen keyboard on my P990, simply because I don’t like it.

What are the drawbacks?
There is no product on the market without any drawbacks. Of course, the iPhone has a couple of drawbacks as well. First out is the lack of office software. I’m not requesting Microsoft Office in the iPhone, but maybe a mobile version of iWork (with Keynote and Pages) and some spreadsheet software. This is something that is required if the iPhone wants to gain market share from the serious mobile business-users.

The next drawback would be the lack of 3rd party software. This, of course is probably something that will be solved quite quickly as soon as the phone hits the market, but at this point the amount of software for Windows Mobile, Palm OS and Symbian gives them an advantage here. The iPhone comes with a lot of good softwares, but a GPS software would be great (that connects to a GPS-bluetooth device).

The price of the iPhone is a bit high. Sure, I’ll probably buy it anyhow, but $599 for the 8Gb version with a 2 year plan is a bit too much. Most smartphones are available for just a bit more than that without a plan.

Another drawback is a minor one, but it’s obvious that the phone is not ready yet. Sure, Steve demoed it on stage, but they didn’t have any available for demoing at the show. They had a couple of phones running behind glass, but no one could try them out. I interpret this as the phone simply not being ready yet and/or that it’s not stable enough. Well, it won’t be released until June you say. Yes, but if they want this phone to be available in June they need to start manufacturing them soon, and they can’t start manufacturing them until they’re ready (they can patch them later, but not fix the hardware on thousands of phones).

No VoIP software is a disappointment. This is probably something that Apple is working on right now. I guess that they will write a mobile-version of iChat, and offer VoIP thought their services. However, I’d rather see a mobile version of Skype of Gizmo Project (which I guess will see shortly after the phone will be released).

Why I want the iPhone
It’s everything I need in a phone. Lately I’ve stopped carrying my iPod around, and started using my phone as an mp3-player. Right now I only got a 512Mb card in it, but I’m was planning to buy a 4Gb one. To combine a phone and mp3-player makes sense. Why carry two devices when you only need to carry around one?

Also, it’s got WiFi (my P990 does too), and I believe (as I wrote above) that we will see several VoIP softwares soon. Then why would I pay for expensive cellphone-plans when we have WiFi-connection almost everywhere we go? Imagine being able to call Europe for free from your cellphone.

UPDATE: Another proof of that the iPhone runs a different version of OS X is the fact that it runs on a Samsung-processor, and not a Motorola or Intel CPU as the regular macs.

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This article is going to teach you how to get out the big guns against information theft on your Apple OS X machine. ‘But,’ you say, ‘I don’t have secrets and besides no-one cares about my stuff.’ Think again! If you are a normal computer user it doesn’t take long before you have plenty of very interesting information on your laptop, digitized and ready to be stolen in seconds.

A picture of Abraham Lincoln.My secret politically sensitive picture – out in the open and ready to be stolen.
  • Your website passwords
  • Those handy digital bank statements
  • Your accounting information
  • That picture from the office when you were really drunk
  • Your other girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s phone number

Then think about how quickly someone can make a complete copy of all that data: it can take seconds or minutes. And what’s worse, once the cat is out of the bag, it’s likely you won’t manage to get it back in because it will be plastered over half of internet and stored in a database before you know it. We live in the beginning of the information age and information theft is real, fast, and internet enabled.

If you use Safari, most of your passwords are already protected within your Apple Keychain. This guide is about how to protect the rest of your stuff using encrypted disk images. An encrypted disk image is basically a protected folder which you can store on your computer. If you haven’t heard of it yet, encryption is a method to warp data so it can’t be recognized without doing the same process again backwards. In OS X 10.4, this encryption is not toy encryption either. The standard used, AES-128, is the encryption used for ‘SECRET’ level classified information of the American government.

It is all rather simple; just keep in mind that these tips have been written for OS X Tiger (version 10.4) and that things might be a bit different if you have a different version of OS X.

  1. Spotlighting for Disk Utility.Open up Disk Utility. Normally I’d just spotlight ‘Disk Utility’ – like in the picture on the right – but if you need to find it the old fashioned way, look in Applications/Utilities.
  2. Click the ‘New Image’ button in the upper left part of the main window, or go to File>New>Blank Disk Image in the menus.
  3. Type in a nice name for your new disk image. I’m going to call mine ‘My Eyes Only’. I’m also going to make it 40MB big by selecting that from the size drop down.
  4. Set Encryption to ‘AES-128′. Don’t forget to do this or you’re not protecting your data at all!The Disk Utility interface for creating a new disk.
  5. Click create. You will be asked for a password. Make sure you enter something that you won’t forget, because else your data will be gone forever. No-one will be able to get your data out if the password is lost.
  6. My Eyes Only.dmg and My Eyes Only opened on the Desktop.Your image will be created. You can close Disk Utility once it’s done. Now, you will have an image file ‘My Eyes Only.dmg’, which if you double click and enter your password, will open up as an extra ‘drive’ on your desktop. Disk Utility will open it for you automatically the first time.
  7. Once you are done putting files into your encrypted drive, you will need to eject it.

That’s all. Everything you put into your encrypted drive, ‘My Eyes Only’ in this example, will be encrypted with industry standard encryption. Without your password (which you made really sure to memorize and keep safe) it would take thousands of years for a modern day computer to unscramble your data. I’m just going to go ahead and move my Secret.JPG file into My Eyes Only. Here it is in the safety of 128 bit encryption: The Disk Utility interface for creating a new disk.
Once I eject this disk the data will be safe and I can rest assured that my picture is a little bit more safe from prying eyes.

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An Appleinsider article on Digg claims that “Parallel, Inc. is preparing to make a quantum leap in the art of Windows virtualization software for Mac with [a] new version of its Parallels Desktop software that introduce a refined user interface and greater support [for] Apple Computer’s Boot Camp software. Graphics performance increases of up to 50%, seamless drag-and-drop, tons more features!”

This is exciting news. The ability to run your Parallels software together with your Boot Camp partition is the most interesting new feature. Power users will no longer need to keep two Windows installations – one for rebooting into Windows and one for running in OS X – and can save some much needed hard drive space.

Unfortunately the most important thing has still been left out: support for OpenGL and DirectX. I believe that the main reason owners of the Parallels software still might run Boot Camp on occasion is because they use 3D software or games. Of course, even with some good 3D support in Parallels, hard core game players might still be inclined to use Boot Camp to get every drop of performance out of their machine, since Parallels only virtualizes one processor core. But for most users – those who are not hardcore – basic last generation 3D support would be enough to alleviate the need for the dreaded Windows reboot.

From a technical point of view it might be ‘tricky’ to do 3D graphics since a lot of those unruly games expect to be able to bang the metal, and take control of the whole graphics card. But most 3D games on the Windows platform can somehow run in a Window as well as fullscreen, meaning they must already have some means for sharing the hardware. A good driver pretending to be a 3D card should be able to accept OpenGL commands, and then simply turn around and give them to the OpenGL drivers in OS X for execution. On the OS X side the OpenGL environment would be set up to draw into a hidden frame buffer which then is copied right back into the virtual environment.

Either way, I use Parallels on an almost daily basis on my Mac. It comes in very handy when I need to run Internet Explorer to check what kind of damage Explorer does to the rendering of our websites. :)

See the Digg article. | Digg story

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I was reading Lifehacker’s blog about resizr this morning. Turns out that if you have a Mac, there is a much easier and faster way. No need for big bloated software, just the Automator and Preview. This is how you do it:

  1. Put your image on your Desktop. Or wherever you can find it. In our example here, the picture is called ‘Picture 1.png’.
  2. Right click the image. Go to ‘Automator’ and select ‘Create Workflow…’. (In the screenshot I have some previously created Workflows you might not have. That’s okay.)
  3. This will bring up the Automator screen. Sweet. On the right hand side in the Automator you will see your picture preselected in an ‘Action’ called ‘Get Specified Finder Items.’ This tells Automator to load the picture you right clicked on in the second step.
  4. Now go into the Library on the left side and select ‘Preview’ as your Application. Preview has an action called ‘Scale Images’. Just what we need! So double click that action to add it. Automator will ask you if you want to add an action to make a copy of the picture before resizing it, so that you can keep your original. If you want to do this, click ‘Add’, but make sure you are not trying to copy the image from the Desktop to the Desktop. For some reason this doesn’t work.
  5. You will find the ‘Scale Images’ Action in your list of actions now. Go ahead and set the desired size you want. I’m setting it to 480 pixels, meaning the image will be 480 pixels wide once the Automation has run.
  6. Click the big ‘Run’ button and you’re done! Preview will automatically load your picture, optionally make a copy of it, and then scale it to the size you wanted.

Not bad for a couple of clicks, huh? Now the cool thing with the Automator is that you can save this Automation. Then you can access it by just right clicking an image and selecting your image scaling action from the Automator drop down. Before you save your Automation, make sure to change the first action in the list to ‘Get Selected Finder Items’. Otherwise your Automation will try to resize the same picture every time you run it. Your final Automation should look like this:

Note that in this version your original picture needs to be in a different folder than the Desktop or the copy action will fail, as I mentioned in 4.

Happy resizing!

You can download the final action as an archive here:

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