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More Lytro shots of the new iPad 3rd generation

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Following in Nick Bilton’s footsteps, I took some close-up shots of the new iPad using a Lytro camera in creative mode. The Lytro camera can focus on its lens, so it’s really easy to get macro shots of detail. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 16, 2012 23:27:59

Modifier key settings in Mac OS X keyboard preferences don’t work if you use a Logitech mouse

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I had a kernel panic today (quad-core iMac running Mac OS X 10.6.8), and when my Mac started up again, the Command and Option keys on my keyboard (a Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000) were reversed. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal—one just goes to the Keyboard Preference Pane and changes the modifier key settings to swap the two keys. But in this case, no amount of changing the modifier key settings had any effect. This is incredibly frustrating for someone who is nearly 100% keyboard shortcut dependent.

Apple Keyboard Modifier Hell

After over half an hour of trying various things like rebooting, resetting PRAM, trashing assorted .plist and preference files, I finally unplugged the Logitech wireless transmitter that talks to my Logitech Performance MX mouse and set modifier key behavior using an Apple Magic Mouse. It worked, and the settings stuck even after I plugged in the Logitech Unifying Device (the USB transceiver). Strangely, if I go to the modifiers preference now, it shows that it has reverted to default, even though my keyboard suggests otherwise.

If you’ve discovered this site because you have same problem, unplug your Logitech mouse and make the changes again using an Apple mouse. I hope it works for you!

Mountain View, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Aug 12, 2011 17:50:12

The screaming turtle switches to Apple

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One of my friends wrote to me this morning to let me know that the screaming turtle has gone big time, showing up on Apple’s support website:

I wonder if I know the Apple employee who made the screenshot. To see it on Apple.com, go to “Copying personal photos and videos from iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your computer” and click on “Mac: Transferring personal photos and video from your device to your Mac”.

Apple, send me a free iPad! ;)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Jun 16, 2011 10:58:17

Connecting 3 monitors to a Mac Pro / ATI Radeon 5870

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3 displays attached to a mid-2010 Mac Pro / ATI Radeon 5870

Last week, I sold my MacBook Pro, which means that I am finally back to running on a single machine (plus a MacBook Air for work)[^1]. I used to run the MBP on a 30″ monitor, using teleport to share a mouse and keyboard across machines, but when I sold the notebook, I decided that I’d like to connect all 3 of my monitors to my Mac Pro. This has proven to be more difficult than I thought it would be. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Jan 28, 2011 17:40:19

Mad TV iPad spoof

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Brilliant!

Roseau, Dominica | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Jan 28, 2010 18:43:57

Apple iPad, mobile device ruminations

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The Apple iPad, announced today

I just finished following various live blogs of the Apple iPad unveiling event at Yerba Buena (which is almost literally across the street from me). Regardless of your level of Apple fandom, the iPad is a groundbreaking product. There have been quite a few attempts at tablet devices in the past, but no one has ever put so much thought into usability and infrastructure.

I am a mobile device junkie, and have been long juggling Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, Kindle, Mifi and satellite phone in an attempt to find a solution that works best for me. I realize that I am not a typical user; I am always online, but I spend about half of each year out of the country in areas with poor connectivity. This instantly makes any device without an optimized, compressed wireless network nearly useless when I’m in the field (e.g. iPhone, Droid). Even if wireless networks were up to speed, the cost of international use would be outrageous. I took my iPhone to India a couple of years ago and chewed through my 50MB of allocated monthly data in a matter of days. A friend on a trip to Mexico last week went through his 50MB in 7 days — and that was with light usage during the day, plus a WiFi connection at night. So I stick with my Blackberry Tour and its fixed-cost, unlimited international data plan. It is the best of both worlds: Verizon CDMA in San Francisco (the only working network here) and CDMA / GSM / EDGE / 3G when I’m out of the country. Unfortunately, the Tour has a slow processor, which means > 5 minute hard reset times and frequent multi-second lockups, but there are no other options and I remain productive while using it. The trusty little Tour downloads 200 messages in a minute on EDGE while I drift by small Indonesia villages. Meanwhile, the iPhone can barely finish negotiating an IMAP connection, and the Droid is hopeless because it’s on CDMA.

In a protest against AT&T’s crappy network, I sold my iPhone and switched to Droid on Verizon. I like the potential of Android, but I’m finding that I only use the Droid as a fancy video player and alarm clock when I’m on the road. Because I don’t have time to watch TV or movies when I’m at home, most of my reading and video consumption happens from the comfort of tiny cabins on dive vessels. I read books on the Kindle because there is no Kindle app on the Droid and because I only need to charge the thing once a month. The Kindle app is the one thing I miss the most about the iPhone.

I think the iPad will change things, though. Its display is large enough for comfortable book reading and video viewing. It can be held easily while on the airplane and in situations where a notebook computer would be unwieldy. It will have more light-weight apps than one could ever hope for, is compatible with the iPhone apps I already own, and can beautifully display my photography and video portfolio.

I’m thinking that it will replace the iPhone / Android device in my lineup, as well as the Kindle. I’ll finally have one phone, one notebook computer, and an “in-between” device: Blackberry, iPad and MacBook Pro (plus MiFi). Now if I could only coax my Blackberry into creating a WiFi cloud…

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 14 comments » | Jan 27, 2010 13:16:13

Putting solid state drives (SSD) into MacBook Pros

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MacBook Pro with Intel X25-M SSD and second 500GB SATA drive

Photographer Tony Wu is excited by the new 15″ MacBook Pro I’ve put together for him. It features a 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo processor w/6MB shared L2 cache, 8GB RAM and dual internal hard disks: a 160GB Intel X25-M SSD G2 and the stock 500GB drive it shipped with. I purchased a third-party SSD because the SSD Apple ships is embarrassingly slow. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Jan 11, 2010 17:41:18

Friends in high places

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Many of my old classmates and co-workers are ending up in influential positions in the tech world, which is very exciting. I continue to live vicariously through them because I wandered off the path years ago and fell with a big splash into the ocean, where I continue to paddle around.

Here’s an old photo I found today while looking through some archives:


interns @ apple in 1997

It’s a (terribly-blurry) photo of Adam Nash, me, Michael Schroepfer, and Scott Kleper in 1997 when we met Woz as interns at Apple. Nash is now Director of Products at LinkedIn, Schrep just (today) left his position as VP Engineering at Mozilla to join Facebook as Director of Engineering, and Klep is CTO at Context Optional, Inc. What’s especially interesting is that all three of them ended up at social networking companies. I guess it’s the next big thing, eh?

Meanwhile, I keep floating around in the ocean, looking for interesting critters. Congratulations, guys! I’ll be cheering you on while wrangling sharks and looking for rare nudibranchs. :)

Amsterdam | link | trackb | no comments » | Jul 28, 2008 17:08:08
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i hate computers.