URL shortcuts on iPhone and iPod Touch

How cool is that, very useful. Need more shortcuts like this!

Iphone 2.0: Domain Shortcut Helps Type URLs in Your iPhone More Quickly

First, in Mobile Safari, just hold down the .com button for a second to see other domain options (namely .net, .edu, and .org). Second, when the keyboard has the @ symbol but no .com key, you can hold the ‘.’ (period) key to get the same domain shortcuts

What the heck is happening with my wifi network?

What the heck is going on with networks. It is complicated as heck. Try Airgrab and iStumbler to try to figure out what it out there. Still haven’t figured a simple way to find out what is the channel and actual speed of the network a Mac client is running. I can see how to monitor this from an Apple Airport or Time Capsule with the Airport Utility.

iPhone ringtones free with Garageband

On older version 1.x firmware, there were some nice tools to let you use any music as a ringtone. Wiped out with 2.0 arriving. And who wants to pay $1 for a ringtone when you already own the music. Some “solutions”:http://www.macnn.com/articles/08/07/01/ringtones.for.iphone/

For the total roll your own, “eHow”:http://www.ehow.com/how_2160506_custom-iphone-ringtones-garageband.html shows you exactly how you do it with Garageband. You basically have to use the “Cycle Region” button to get the 40 second clip that you can use for a ringtone and then Send it to iTunes. Couldn’t be easier! _Only problem for me is the ringtones don’t seem to show up anywhere on the iPhone. Sigh_

I haven’t tried it but “Pocketmac.net”:http://www.pocketmac.net/products/ringtonestudio/indexp.html has a $15 tool that let’s you use unprotected music as ringtones.

If you love danger, “iRinger”:http://www.techmixer.com/free-iphone-ringtone-maker-with-iphone-3g-supported-using-iringer/ is a freeware program that does this as well. It only runs on Windows though 🙁

However it also turns out that the “easy”:http://www.iphonefreak.com/2008/03/free-ringtones.html way to do this is to take your MP3 convert and edit it with Garageband or Audacity to 30 seconds as an MP3. Then open iTunes and right click on the song and export it into AAC format. Then go to the music folder and rename it from a M4A to a M4R extension. When you readd this to iTunes, you can drag it into the ringtone section.

Of course, the easiest way if you have a Mac is to load Garageband, drop an MP3 on it. Then edit it down to 30 seconds and choose Share/Export Ringtone to iTunes 🙂

Jailbreaking iPhone 3G with 2.0 firmware. Not!

_Be careful, I did this on my iPhone 3G and everything seemed to work, but the phone network doesn’t, so I’m restoring my iPhone now to vanilla 2.0. Too bad, I like Mac Pacman!_

“iClarified”:http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=1558 has a tutorial for jailbreaking your iPhone 3G so that you can load all kinds of cool games. As if the appstore with its 900 applications isn’t enough 🙂 As an aside, there is a tiff with “Zibri”:http://pumpkinpat.ch/zibri_rant.html about different methods of hacking iPhones. Good reading.

# Download Pwnage “2.0.1”http://www.hackint0sh.org/forum/mirror/PwnageTool_2.0.1.zip
# Download iPhone 2.0 Firmware “5A347”:http://appldnld.apple.com.edgesuite.net/content.info.apple.com/iPhone/061-4955.20080710.bgt53/iPhone1,2_2.0_5A347_Restore.ipsw IPSW
# Start Pwnage 2.0.1 and select Expert Mode and browse to find the IPSW file
# Select Activate and Disable partition wipeout
# Select Cydia and click on download package, this is used to create a custom IPSW that will be restored onto your phone. OpenSSH for instance let’s you get into your phone later.
# Click on Build and it builds a your own IPSW restore file
# Now connect your iPhone to the USB port and restart it in DFU mode that is hold the Home button and power simultaneously for 10 second. Then release the power and hold the Home for 10 seconds
# Now start iTunes and it will see your iPhone in DFU or “recovery mode”
# Hold the Option key down and click on restore and you will get a dialog box that will let you find your custom IPSW and let iTunes restore it.

Pascal’s Wager

Howie pointed out to me that so much of figuring things out comes down to probability. Here is his view on whether God exists:

bq. Pascal’s Wager (or Pascal’s Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should “wager” as though God exists, because so living has potentially everything to gain, and certainly nothing to lose.

Why is Bill a nickname for William?

This sounds like an urban legend, but make some sense to me

How did the name William get the nickname Bill? – Yahoo! Answers

When William of Orange ruled England, Ireland and Scotland, he was noted for leaving massive debts wherever he went. The proprietors all across the land, knew of his reputation and while they couldn’t refuse the ruler of the land, they knew that after he left they would be laden with many bills to pay…and wherever he went the people would say, “Here comes bills.”


There is so much innovation in projectors right now. My buddy Mac has done a great job looking for some that really work. Really bright, small and light. “Laptop Magazine”:http://www.laptopmag.com/review/projectors/projector-reviews.aspx has a good summary of reviews. Also you can use “Projectorreviews.com”:http://projectorreviews.com and in particular 1080p “projectors”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/Best1080pProjectors032008/projectorawardwinners.php and “Projector Central”:http://www.projectorcentral.com/projector-reviews.cfm

The most confusing thing about this is that there are different technologies for displaying on a projector. There is the traditional CRT (cathode ray tube) like the monster 9″ CRT Mitsubishi that sits like a 400 pound boat anchor that are direct view. BTW, beside being bulky and expensive, it is still amazingly high in quality according to “Displaymate.com”:http://www.displaymate.com/ShootOut_Comparison.htm. The other “technologies”:http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108443-4.html are LCD, 1-Chip DLP, 3-Chip DLP and LCOS.

DLP. In general, “audioholics”:http://www.audioholics.com/education/display-formats-technology/display-technologies-guide-lcd-plasma-dlp-lcos-d-ila-crt says

* 1-chip “DLP”:http://www.audioholics.com/education/display-formats-technology/display-technologies-guide-lcd-plasma-dlp-lcos-d-ila-crt (this is TI technology called a Digital Micromirror Device that like it sounds has lots of mirrrs in it) c have a color wheel that spins fast with red, green and blue, so there can be “rainbow”:http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6029_7-6405175-1.html where you see white against black in high contrast. The 3-chip DLP has a dedicated DLP for each color so no rainbow, but way more expensive. 1080p high resolution DLP are very expensive and DLP in general will be more than an equivalent LED projector. And in general, they are better than the old LCD technology with better black levels and brighter images. Right now DLP

LCDs and DLP are very close in performance in general but in general and there are very few 1080p projectors in LCD. LCoS is the latest technology that is pioneered by Sony. The VP-VW100 was the firt 1080p LCos and its cheaper brother the VPL-VW50 is $5000. It has good black levels and does 1080p.

Here is what I’d pick in quality order for “best 1080p projector”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/Best1080pProjectors032008/index.php (“pricegrabber”:http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/projectors/p/38/st=category has good street prices) and most folks think that “1080p”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/advice/1080p_vs_720p_projectors/index.php makes most sense for projectors with greater than 50″ diagonals. Also looked at “Projector Central”:http://projectorcentral.com although their reviews are less complete.

# “Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/epson/powerlite-home-cinema-1080ub/ (see also “Projector Central”:http://www.projectorcentral.com/epson_cinema_1080_ub_review.htm). Best in class $3K projector that has the best black levels. There is a pro version which is $4K which is ISF certified so truer and has a 3rd year of warranty and a spare lamp. 1080p, 3LCD that out performes both CD and DLP, 11.5 pounds. The reference level is very close the JVC RS1 which is a $10K LCoS projector. “Pricegrabber”:http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/projectors/m/60743099/zip_code=98101-1621/qlty=n/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $2650 and claim a full US warranty. One drawback is the fan noise is definitely there.
# “Panasonic PT-AE2000U”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/panasonic/pt-ae2000u/index.php is a $2000 street price projector and nearly as good as the Epson. It is also 3LCD and a “comparison”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/Best1080pProjectors032008/EpsonHomeCinema1080UBvsPT-AE2000U.php say what you get for the additional $1K is Epson is brighter so in places where there is external light, the Epson produce 1500 lumens vs. 1019. But, the Panasonic doesn’t have visible pixels, but Epson image is slightly nicer and both look right without calibration. The big difference is the Panasonic black levels are not as good. Still good, but not excellent. Because Panasonic uses lots or rebates sometimes it is the same price as Epson and other times more expensive. Net, net the Panasonic is very nice but Epson is really just excellent and with Panasonic at a street price of $2580 at “Pricegrabber”:http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/projectors/m/54341186/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline, the Epson seems way worth it, although Panasonic fan noise is less and AE2000 is really quiet.
# “Mitsubishi HC4900”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/mitsubishi/hc4900/index.php is very bright but the color. 3LCD also. $3K MSRP but the big advantage is that it is very quiet. The big drawback is black levels aren’t too good.

Other ones are either too expensive

# “InFocus IN83”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/infocus/in83/index.php just got a terrific review. 1100 lumens, very film-like image when it is there, although you can push to 1900 lumens if needed. You can put an anamorphic lense on it. 2 year warranty. Only available through local dealers not online. It is a small update to the IN82:http://www.projectorreviews.com/infocus/in82/index.php. It has the Darkchip4 DLP processor in it with a 4000:1 contrast ratio. $6000 MSRP but native 1920×1080. 14 pounds. At the high-end, it compete with the JVC RS2 and the Sony VP-VW40
# “Optoma HD65”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/optoma/hd65/index.php is an 720p DLP projector and at just $1000 is a good deal. 1600 lumens and 4000:1 contrast. Fan is noisy though although color accuracy is good.
# “Optoma HD71”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/optoma/hd71/index.php. $1200, Single chip DLP, 720p as well. So a little more and slightly brighter at 2400 luens, 4000:1. 6.3 pounds.

Here are some others not sorted particularly:

* “Panasonic PT-AE2000U”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/panasonic/pt-ae2000u/index.php. 1080p, $2700, accurate out-of-the-box colors, 16000:1 contrast, 3-LCD based, 1200 lumens
* “Mitsubishi HC4900”:http://www.projectorreviews.com/mitsubishi/hc4900/index.php, $3000, 7500:1, 3LCD, 1080p, 12 pounds.


Boot Camp

John, Sam and Louie were wondering exactly how to install Base Camp on their computer. Chris Pirillo explains it well:

How to Install Boot Camp on OS X ~ Chris Pirillo

# Use Spotlight to search for _Boot Camp Assistant_. Ah, there it is. The first thing it will do is ask if you want to print the instructions. I don’t want to, so I’m just going to click through.
# Next, it asks how much space you want to partition for use of Boot Camp. Ponzi will be doing a lot in Windows, so I’m going to allocate 25GB of space. Click the button to partition, and wait a couple of minutes for it to do so. This is a hard limit as the hard drive is divided forever more into a Mac section and a Windows section. I’d say 25GB is good if you are going to put games on it.
# Once it has finished partitioning, you’ll need to grab your Windows XP install disc. Simply put that in and let it run through setup. Amazingly, Windows just detects the Mac as a regular PC
# After that is done… you’re going to need to pop in the OS X disc and update drivers and things for Windows to run. When you install Windows using Boot Camp, you won’t need to search the Internet for drivers or burn a disc. After you run Boot Camp, simply insert the Leopard DVD to install the necessary drivers. The Leopard Install DVD is a frankenstein device. It is a Mac disk for installing OS X and on Windows, it looks like all the drivers you need to use the Mac hardware