Downcast - a nifty podcatcher for iOS

I recently did a review of Downcast from Jamawkinaw Enterprises on Allison Sheridan’s NosillaCast (Episode 346).

Here's the problem to be solved. I'd like to download and listen to my subscribed podcasts without having to sync with iTunes. Before Downcast I had to download all the podcasts using iTunes and then plug in my iOS or iPod device to sync the podcasts to the device. This meant that I had to lug a Mac along on my trips just to listen to the latest podcast releases. more...

iPad iOS 5 update woes

Took a while but I finally updated the iPad to iOS 5.0.1. Talk about being an “early adopter”! This update took a little time as the iPad had to be essentially restored to the new version of iOS and then all the content (applications, music, videos, books, and such) had to synchronised back on. All went well until I noticed that the memory usage bar on the iPad summary page in iTunes said 10.9 GB of space had been overrun by “Other” - and on a 64 GB iPad too! I was certainly perplexed by this occurrence and on searching the Apple Support Communities and on Google, found that a simple re-sync of the iPad would suffice, and indeed this fixed the case. Phew… Got back to 17 GB of free space - what it was before.

Quick Tip: Fixing iPad Camera Kit USB Woes

Many people have been purchasing the iPad Camera Kit to use the USB adapter for other things than connecting a camera. Check out:

gigaom: Secrets of the Camera Connection Kit

Apple: iPad: Using iPad Camera Connector with unsupported USB devices

However sometimes you might get the dreaded “Accessory Unavailable: The attached accessory uses too much power”. What to do? Well I found that plugging a powered USB hub into the Camera connection kit USB adapter and then plugging the said USB device into the USB hub will allow the iPad to recognise the device! My reasoning was that if the accessory needs power, then make the USB hub supply that power instead of the iPad. Simple, no?

Iowa Code Camp Slides are Up!

I’ll be speaking at the Spring 2011 Iowa Code Camp on “Developing with Objective-C 2.0 for Mac OS X and iPhone OS”. Check out the slides here. I’ve also started a list of good Mac OS X and iOS development links. Hope you’re registered for the event - it promises to be lots of fun and learning! Enjoy!

EclecTech Society

I’m giving a short overview of iOS development at the EclecTech Society at their inaugural meeting regarding “Building Mobile Apps” on February 22. Do check out their website - it promises to be an interesting group.

Things: To-dos restored!

A cautionary tale! Always have several backups of your data in different places... I sync’ed Things on the iPhone with the work iBook at the end of the day and noticed that several entries in the iPhone’s Today list were called “<missing title>” - not good. Searched on the Cultured Code support and came up with this link - seems that several people had the same problem, and recently too! Here’s what I did to recover...more...

Back from Iowa Code Camp

What an exciting, thought provoking and tech-infused day. Met lots of people, made new connections, revisited existing ones...

Re: my iPhone dev talk, here’s the link to the Apple Developer site’s iPhone 101 PDF file. Enjoy! Hope my talk today was useful!

Day before Iowa Code Camp

See you all at the Iowa Code Camp tomorrow (May 1) at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. I’ll be presenting a seminar on “Hands on iPhone Development”. Looks like a really technology and learning packed day. Check out the Downloads and Video areas here for the presentation.

More on Things

I’m glad to say that keeping with the Getting Things Done mindset has been working beautifully. Firstly, it’s remembering to keep track of all my projects and actions using Things for the iPhone and Mac. When I can’t do that, I jot the task or action down in my Livescribe notebook or a small 3x5 flip notebook which I keep in my purse. Later when I have the iPhone or Mac, I transfer the task items into the electronic brain.

I’ve also emptied my e-mail inboxes for home and work - yes, there are NO messages in ANY of my inboxes! I triage my inbox each time mail comes in and move things to @Action, @ReadReview or @Reference mail folders, as mentioned by David Allen in his book. Then when it comes time to take action, I sweep through my @Action folder and dispatch them. Any e-mails which I need a response to, get filed into @WaitingFor - which I review regularly to keep track of the response.

It’s been almost 2 months since I started on my voyage with GTD, prompted by articles in ATPM (About This Particular Macintosh). It takes discipline to focus, organise references, gather tasks and determine next actions but the result has been worth it. My brain feels a whole lot less stressed since I’ve started putting all my project tasks and actions into Things - even home chores! I still need to sort out my filing system at home and at work - I’ve bought a Brother P-touch PT-2700 labeller (which works with Mac OS X) for home, and use the Brother labeller from my lab at work.

Things - my To Do list

Been using Things for the iPhone and Things for Mac OS X. Another set of clean apps which transparently syncs between Mac OS X and the iPhone. Check out Cultured Code's website for more information. Highly recommended. I've got the Audible version of "Getting Things Done" by David Allen and will be listening to that - Things uses that paradigm in its design.

PasteBot and ConvertBot for iPhone

Definitely love PasteBot and ConvertBot from tapbots. Beautiful and functional user interface. Clean design. PasteBot even has a sync preference pane for Mac OS X 10.5 which lets you cleanly send copied content between the iPhone and the Mac - it's transparent and unobtrusive - bravo tapbots!