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.

Lap Log

Just ordered my Lap Log. It’s a lap pillow filled with buckwheat hulls that has a wooden L-frame for you to insert the iPad (or any tablet device), either in portrait or landscape mode. We bought one for Sarah’s mum for her birthday - and I got to use it while visiting her in the UK in May. Neat accessory!

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?

The woe of travelling with an iPad, internationally

My partner recently went on a trip to the UK. She brought her Windows (name redacted) laptop and the iPad. We had done some research on the use of pay-as-you-go data micro sims and found out that either Orange (link to Orange iPad plans here) or O2 (link to O2 iPad plans here) would be fine as each had (free!) micro sims you could get at their shops specifically for the iPad. On arrival she duly went to an O2 shop and got the micro sim. On inserting it she found to her dismay that she needed to connect it to iTunes to download some O2 settings (see O2’s weblink here) which then would be transferred to the iPad – must be the O2 specific settings UI or something. She had, at this point, already transferred her library to the Mac Mini and was syncing to that, and decided that it would be better not to perturb anything by syncing the iPad to iTunes on that Windows laptop.

Morals of the story:

  1. Inserting a micro sim does not mean that you’ll get immediate connection

  2. In most cases you’ll need a portable Mac with your iTunes library

  3. There are some carriers which have over the air activation, but you’ll have to look for them

I am dumbstruck at how difficult it is to just take the iPad out of the country and get data access via cellular networks. We almost take ubiquitous data access here in the US for granted.

On another note, Katie Floyd and David Sparks over at the Mac Power Users podcast (Episode #36) talked about Katie’s recent travel to Blog World Expo with just her iPad.

One important fact I took away was that she brought along her Airport Express! This is precisely what I did on our driving trip along Route 66 – and it came in handy once in a hotel which had just the RJ-45 ethernet connector in the wall. I’ll need to get another as the one we have is now serving double duty as a wireless extender and audio streamer.

Re: the iPad, overseas travel, and cellular data – Apple, carriers, can we do better? Over the air activation, really, pretty please...

iPad Strangeness... Solved!

I tried to wake up my iPad on a couple of occasions and found that it had been completely discharged. I couldn’t put my finger down on what the cause was - shrugged it off to just plain old self-discharge. Until yesterday... I was getting my work bag out of the vehicle when all of a sudden Green Day’s “Good Riddance” began playing. Hmm... this is strange. I took the iPad out and turned it off, paused the music, and put it back into the bag. And it started playing again. Mystified I dug into the bag and realised that I had the Bluetooth keyboard stuck in the bag next to the iPad and that the keys were being pressed.

This BT keyboard, an old Motion Computing job, had paired nicely up with the iPad before. Little did I know that jostling the bag woke up the keyboard which then woke up the iPad and kept it awake, draining the battery. I would not have discovered this had the music not been playing - the keyboard’s media keys must have been pressed to activate the iPod functionality. I now recall the several cautionary articles I had read or heard about MacBooks being drained and becoming hot when the BT keyboard with which they were paired kept the laptops awake.

Learnt a new thing! I now keep the iPad’s BT turned off until I need it and have removed a battery from the keyboard.

iPad uPad we all Pad

Bought an iPad today - fully tricked out too - 3G, 64GB. Let’s see how this fits in...

DODOcase is in!

Ordered our DODOcases on 6/26 and they’re in our hot little hands today! Very nice craftsmanship - handmade in SFO. Can’t wait to slip the iPad into it and turn the iPad into the Moleskine for the digital generation.