Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OSX Airport Connection Speed

Howto to check your OSX Airport Connection Speed. If you've gone out and upgraded your wireless base station to 802.11n capability, like I did when I bought an 'n' capable Airport Express, and my Macbook Pro should have 'n' capability, then its nice to check that you're getting what you've paid for.

Well there are two ways to get extra information.

1 - You can hold down the 'alt' key as you click on the airport fan (properly called the airport menu extra)

The first hexadecimal number is the mac address of the base station you're connected to.
Channel, well that fairly obvious
RSSI is the signal strength
Transmit rate is the realtime transmit rate. So do a big upload / file move across your network and that should shoot right up.

2 - Open the Network Utility application from /applications/utilities, and look under "info", select "network interface en1" (which is usually airport in a real mac). If you have a USB wireless adapter it'll be en2 or maybe en3.

Link Speed tells you the story.

You can use iStumbler to survey your local wireless networks. Sample from their web site:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

iPod screenshots

iPod Touch screenshots can be captured on your iPhone 2.0, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch with firmware software v 2.0 and above very easily.

Just press the Home button (the one near the USB lead connector) and Sleep/Wake (On/Off) (the button at the top) at the same time.

You get the usual Apple click sound, and next time you connect to iTunes, iPhoto will load and you can collect the screenshot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Android Wallpapers, part 2

The Android does odd things to images you want to use as wallpaper. It resizes and re-compresses. End result, your lovingly created wallpaper looks rubbish.

Fortunately, someone has fixed this by creating an app called "wallpaper set and save" - look for it in the marketplace.

Now you can get your wallpaper in its intended glory.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Android Wallpapers

The Android screen has a native resolution of 320 x 480, but the scroll left / right thing means that a wallpaper needs to be 640 x 480, with the outside 160 pixels coming into view when you scroll left or right when in portrait mode.

To make things interesting when you're in landscape mode the screen is 480 x 320 and effectively 640 x 320 with the scrolling thing, so if your wallpaper is 480 tall you'll lose 160 pixels, 80 from the top and 80 from the bottom.

This makes creating good Android wallpapers hard.

After some looking around I was about to create my own template when I found one on a forum. Very sorry, I lost the link, but I think this is the original from this author. If I am incorrect, let me know and I'll fix it.

This is a scaled version, click to open the original off picasaweb to get the template at correct size.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Howto View PDF on iPod Touch

Howto View PDF on iPod Touch. My iPod touch 2nd generation can natively display many file types, such as PDF, Doc, mp3, mp4 and m4v.

The only problem is getting the file onto the iPod.

So far I've found three methods:

- Air Sharing from avatron.com. Works by installing a WeDav service onto your iPod, which you can then upload and download to using any WebDav client. For example from OSX Finder goto to Connect to Server, enter http://address.ipod:8080 and you get a drive in the finder which you can use like any networked drive. Air Sharing has name and password options, but as these pass clear text over the wireless, don't use anything you use for banking etc!

You get Air Sharing from the App Store for $4.99 / £2.99. Works pretty well.

- Discover from bbase.mobi. The page says it works like Air Share but is free. Once running, again you need to set a nam and password (clear text transmissio again!) and go to Three folders are there by default. I was unable, from 10.5.6 to upload anything to 'photos' or 'private'. The docs indicate I should have been asked for a password, but nothing popped up. Discover has a thumbnail option which is cool, but the lack of ability to upload files means I would use Air Sharing.

- FileMagnet from www.magnetismstudios.com. Unlike the first two, FileMagnet has two parts. The client on your iPod, and a small servlet on a host machine. The servlet / uploader needs OS X 10.4 Tiger or Leopard 10.5, or Windows XP or Vista. When the server is running, you drag files into the window, and then the client on the iPod polls the server and downloads them.

Using FileMagnet would be agreat way to distribute homework, or new jobs processes, or maps. Its also $4.99 / £2.99 and works really well.

Monday, February 9, 2009

MSI Wind 10.5.6 Graphics problems

Updating the MSI Wind to 10.5.6 has given me some graphics problems. Yes I got stuck at 800 x 600. All the previous tricks failed. Fianlly after much searching I found a post at msiwind.net which pointed me to some new drivers. Using kexthelper I installed, rebooted and crossed my fingers.


Small thing is lack of Quartz Extreme though. Lets see if I can fix that.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Share your Nokia 3G over WiFi

Share your Nokia 3G over WiFi.

So I got an iPod Touch and its rather cool. But its only connectivity is Wireless LAN. If you also have a Nokia 3G phone with WiFi it would be really cool to internet share from 3G to Wireless LAN.

Well you can, and there are two applications that will do this.

There's Joikuspot, available in light (free) version, and a Premium version for €15. The light version supports only http/s really. The Premium supports most protocols, including, they say, VPN.

Alternatively there's WalkingHotSpot (update: now dead) which has a time-based pricing plan. 7 days is free, 1 month is $6.99 and forever is $24.99.

One thing to know if that the wireless chips in mobile phones do not support infrastructure mode, only ad-hoc.