Saturday, December 31, 2011

Howto: use a movie as a Live Wallpaper on Ice Cream Sandwich

Howto use a movie as a Live Wallpaper on Ice Cream Sandwich

  1. Goto or download the app - its called "Video Live Wallpaper"
  2. Get / make a movie in the correct format: 1280 x 720, mp4 H264 encoding seems to work fine, lasting 20 seconds.
  3. Long press on the desktop, and at the pop up select "Live Wallpapers" and just follow it through.

  4. Here's a
    YouTube video illustrating.

  5. If you want to have a go with 2 sample movies try this and this, made with the very excellent Artmatic. And another one I made.

I Found This Useful is now on Google Currents

Getting nearly 1000 hits a day, most of which are new visitors, must mean folks do read this blog, and the lessons I've learned that you don't have to.

Google have a new reader / mobile app for both iOS and Android (phones and tablets) out called Google Currents, which is available to folks whose IP geo-locates to the US. Since most of my readers are in the US, I thought it was worth a little experiment, and create a Current for this Blog.

What you need to do is get Currents from, or the Apple App store, and then using your regular mobile device browser, come to this blog, and click on the link below:

You'll be asked if you want to open in Currents or Browser, so select Currents

you'll see it working away subscribing you

and here you are

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Android phone wrong restore

When switching from my old Nexus S (old, huh) to my Galaxy Nexus, the restore didn't work correctly for some reason - basically none of my Apps auto-restored. I tried installing an App from the Market, but that actually made things worse, which I found out when I did further factory restores.

The reason is that the initial sync didn't happen correctly, so G-N didn't know about the backup sets, so when I installed an App it created a new set. Doing a factory restore then only restored from the wrong restore.

The way out of this is to use the SDK bmgr tool to choose the backup set from the Nexus S to restore.

  1. First install the SDK, which you can get from
  2. Then you need install the platform tools to get ADB.
  3. Put your phone into Developer Mode

    In Ice Cream Sandwich its moved to Settings - Developer options

  4. Connect the phone by USB and then run

    Applications/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools/adb shell bmgr list sets

    (text may wrap)

    374a7d88a08e82f5 : crespo

    30bba37bbaeabc40 : maguro

    crespo refers to Nexus S backup set
    maguro refers to Galaxy Nexus
  5. So what I did was to restore 'crespo' over the top of 'maguro'
    Applications/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools/adb shell bmgr restore 374a7d88a08e82f5

    (text may wrap)

    This is safe because its not a root level restore, we're not flashing the ROM. However use at your own risk.
Then leave the device for a few minutes, and your Apps will start to appear.

Its not a root restore so you don't get data or settings. The thing that took the time for me was swapping my five Authenticator accounts over.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Preparing for OSX Lion

My usual path for upgrading from version of OSX to another is to wait until it gets to about the .2 release, and then go for it. Certainly the move from Leopard to Snow Leopard was smooth enough, and on my then quite new 13" MacBookPro was a pretty low risk move.

However, moving to Lion 10.7 is not quite do low risk, the main reason being the Apple have removed some things I really like (Front Row and iSync), and one thing I actually need (Rosetta to run PowerPC apps).

To see what would break, I ran System Profiler, and by selecting 'applications' from under 'software' and then add 'kind' as a column. This allows you to sort by whether something is Intel or PowerPC. This checks everything on your HD so it will find potentially all sorts of cruft. I had some PowerPC apps in my ~/library/caches folder.

Also I ran the command

system_profiler SPApplicationsDataType >~/Desktop/ApplicationTypes.txt

and then from the command line counted the number of PowerPC apps:

grep -c PowerPC ApplicationTypes.txt

which gave me 51 (!)

Oh dear. AT least from System Profiler I can see that actually the situation isn't quite so bad. My PowerPC only apps fall into the following:

- Macromedia Freehand MX. Alas Apple finally did what Adobe could not, and killed Freehand, though its taken nearly 8 years. Can you believe that Adobe still sell it, with no updates since Feb 2004?? Its either move to Illustrator, or join the Free Freehand movement.

- The software for my Minolta DiMage Elite Scan 5400. Sigh, the writing's been on the wall for this for some time. For the amount I use the scanner, likely I'll keep an older Mac on SnowLeopard.

- Old version of Final Cut Express I got with my 12" G4 PowerBook, yes, how old??

- MSOffice 2004. Yes its old, but yes it does a couple of a things for me that Google Apps cannot: pagination and table of contents. I'm trying the 2011 edition to see if I like it.

- Sizzle. Such a great tool. Although its a front end for DVDAuthor, there's no up to date OSX equivalent.

- Adobe CS4. Leaving the biggest issue till last, the question is: will CS4 even install on Lion? I need CS4 because I need Illustrator (cos they killed Freehand) and Acrobat Pro. Not often, but I do need them now and again. Some googling suggests that CS4 should install, but its need the Java Runtime (why???), so best to get that straight after Lion is installed. Can get it from Apple.

and some Apps that clearly do not report correctly such as

Audacity - though you can get new version from here

OK, thats about it. So, spend my ~$30 and lets see what happens!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

OSX iSync to Nokia C2-01

Nokia do not produce an iSync plugin for the C2-01, fortunately other folks do. Thanks Apropostech!

After you pair the phone and your Mac, add a new device to iSync and it'll find the phone, then you can sync in the usual manner.

Now if only I can find how to sync from the phone direct to the Google Calendar, which is greyed out.

PS I know in the screenshot it says - this redirects to

Monday, December 19, 2011

Howto take a screenshot in Ice Cream Sandwhich

Finally! Its taken Google until v4 of Android to have a native screenshot capability, which doesn't require rooting or connecting via USB and running up the ADB part of the SDK.

Its a bit of a knack, what you do is press the volume down button and the power button _together_ for about a second.

The current image on screen will shrink, and then you'll get a menu bar notification. Use your favourite tool eg Bluetooth to move the screenie off your device.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Exporting a Blogger blog with the new interface

If you use Bloggers new interface, or use Blogger in Draft, then you'll notice that a few tools and prefs have been moved around.

One of them to import and export is not obvious, and the help system has not been updated.

Go to your blog in and on the left hand side select 'settings' and then 'other'. You'll get the options there to import, export and delete.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Create your own APN for iPhone or iPad

On my iPhone I cannot see the APN, and I had reason to think that I was connected to the wrong one.

Using the iPhone Configuration Utility you can create your own APN for iPhone or iPad and assign them.

  1. Download, and then open.
  2. Click on "Configuration Profiles" and then "New"
  3. Make sure General is selected, and put in some details. Exactly what you put doesn't matter as long as its enough for you know what you did later.
  4. Then scroll down in the middle window to "Advanced". You'll get a warning about this section being managed only by trained professionals. What is this? Some kind of extreme sport like Strictly Ballroom?

  5. Yeah well, click Configure and put in the APN details. It _is_ important you get these correct, but even if you get it wrong, and your iOS device cannot get mobile data, just reconnect your iOS device load up the Config Utility and delete the Profile. Not really life and death!

  6. You may need to restart the device to get the new setting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mac OSX Lion - tidying up after install

So I went for it, and install Lion.

Need to do some fixup:

  1. Scrolling. Much discussed you either like it or not. I agree that scrolling down on your trackpad is opposite behaviour when your content scrolls up.... but...

    To change back from "scroll direction: natura", go to Preferences, TrackPad, Scroll & Zoom.

  2. I like to see the full path in finder windows. From the terminal type

    defaults write _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES

    killall Finder
  3. I like to have a Quit item for the Finder

    defaults write QuitMenuItem 1

    killall Finder
  4. I like the status bar visible.

    View, Status Bar

  5. Scroll bars not aways visible

    Preferences, general set - scroll bars to 'always'
  6. Quicktime 7 missing

    Download from Apple and install. Its described as for Snow Leopard, and gets installed into /Applications/Utilities. Find a Quicktime movie, do 'Get Info' and change Open With to QT7.

  7. Cannot 'wiggle' the mouse / trackpad to wake up, bring out of screen saver, only press a key on the keyboard.

    Sorry. SooL
Thats it for now, more as I find them

Monday, December 12, 2011

Google Docs replacement for Google notebook - Scratchpad

Google Notebook was a mainstay for some years. Quick to load, easy to search. But deprecated.

If you use Chrome (OS or Browser) there is a great replacement from Google, scratchpad. Go to the webstore at
and install it. Its an App, not an Extension, so it shows when you create a new blank tab, not in Tools / Extensions.

After installing, create a new tab and click on Scratchpad. On first launch you need to give permission to access your data. It opens a small pop up window with some bare-bones editing tools, which is all you need for quick notes.

Nicely it even works offline, will sync up when back online, and because the local cache on ChromeOS is encrypted is nice and safe as well should you lose the device.

To find your notes, Scratchpad creates a new folder in your Docslist called "Scratchpad" (who'da thought it?) and each note is separate inside. Since they are just Google Docs many of the collaborative aspects like sharing are available.

You can even use ChromeOS policies to push Scratchpad to all your users.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting started with ChromeOS policy part 2

Part one dealt with some basics, and I hadn't worked out how to automatically push Extensions to the users.

Now I have. First go to the Settings section of the cpanel.

Scroll down to Extensions to Pre-install.

Each extension that you want to pre-install has the format

    Extension;extension path

The extension path is the same or every extension.

So to install the Gmail Checker Extension, you put

For Evernote it would be


And Flashblock


Putting it all together you join them using a comma:

mihcahmgecmbnbcchbopgniflfhgnkff;, lbfehkoinhhcknnbdgnnmjhiladcgbol;, gofhjkjmkpinhpoiabjplobcaignabnl;,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Remove the Blogger header with new Templates

Another very popular post, was how to remove the header from Blogger. With the new templates this is different.

  1. In the blog, click Template and then Edit HTML.

  2. You get quite a severe warning about what can go wrong, well this is at your own risk. Click "Proceed".

  3. The raw HTML / CSS loads in a pop-up window.

  4. Do a find for 'locked'. Its in a line

    and change




    and then Save Template
  5. Now when you go to Layout, and select the Header you'll see there is a remove button.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Removing the NavBar from New Blogger templates

A previous post has been very popular with folks wanting to remove the NavBar from their Blogger blogs.

If you use the new template, for example this blog uses Simple, then you need to do things very slightly differently.

  1. In the blog, select Template and then Customize
  2. This brings you to the Template Designer. Click on Advanced, and scroll to the bottom to "Add CSS"

  3. In the window put (you can copy and paste)

    #navbar {
    display: none;
  4. The click "Apply to blog"
Here's the result:



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Android native SIP / VOIP client

If you have an Android and it runs 2.3.x then you have a native SIP / VOIP client. To set it up, in this case I'm using Pennytel, an Australian VOIP provider, start by going to Settings and then Call Settings.

The following screenshots are from my Nexus 1, its the same on my Nexus S.

Press 'accounts'

and the 'Add account'

and then add your credentials

name and password will be your VOIP name and password, not your account password. The server is ''.

Press the back button and the account is saved.

When this is done select your calling options by pressing 'Use Internet Calling' and select

    For all calls
    Only for Internet calls

    Ask for each call.

When you want to place a call you get the option you asked for.

You can tick the box to "Receive Incoming Calls" which works pretty well, though does drain your battery.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting started with Chrome OS Device Policy

One of the nice things about getting a Chrome OS device as part of ChromeBooks for Business is the policy control options.

After the device is enrolled in the domain, you have two device policies:

- allow / disallow guest
- restrict logins to specified accounts.

The latter takes wildcards so you specify * so only members of your domain can log on.

To get device policies you need to enroll the device.

  1. Start the Chromebook.
    Power up your Chromebook by pressing the power button on the top-right corner of the keyboard.
  2. Select your language.
    On the "Let's get started" screen that appears, select the interface language to use by default. If prompted, select a keyboard input method too.
  3. Connect to a network.
    Select a Wi-Fi network from the network menu.
  4. Accept the terms of service.
    The Chromebook downloads any available system updates.
  5. Before signing in to the Chromebook, press the key combination Ctrl-Alt-E.
    The enrollment screen appears.
  6. Enter the user name and password you received in your welcome letter from Google, or the user name and password for your existing Google Apps account if you have one.
  7. Click Enroll device.
    The Chromebook is now enrolled and will follow the organizational policies you define.

If the device has already been setup either for another domain, or already has users configured, then you need to wipe the device and start again. For the Samsung Series 5:

  1. Turn off the Chromebook.
  2. Locate the black cover with a SIM card icon, on the right side of the device next to the USB port.
  3. Open the black cover and gently move the switch underneath it to the right (toward the USB port) using a paper clip or a pen tip.
    Moving the switch to this position puts the Chromebook into Developer mode.
  4. Start the Chromebook.
    The screen displays a sad face icon rather starting up immediately.
  5. Press Ctrl-D to begin the wiping process.
    If you don't press Ctrl-D, the process starts automatically after 20 seconds. The Chromebook begins returning to its initial internal state. The process takes about 5 minutes.
     Do not turn off the Chromebook during the wiping process.
    The sad face icon appears again when the process is complete.
  6. Press Ctrl-D again, or wait for 20 seconds.
    The initial sign on screen appears.
  7. Turn off the Chromebook.
  8. Return the switch from step 3 to its original position (away from the USB port, which is normal mode) and close the black cover.
  9. Start the Chromebook.
  10. Enroll the Chromebook before signing in to it.

There are a heap loads of user settings, of which the most interesting is likely the ability to control extensions.
Policy Description
Extension IDs to allow By default, the user can install any extension that does not appear in the list of Extension IDs to block. You only need to list an extension to this text box if the extension has an Extension ID that falls within the Extension IDs to block but you want to allow it.For example, if the Extension IDs to block is set to the wildcard *, all extensions are blocked except for the specific ones listed in the Extension IDs to allow text box.
Extension IDs to block Specifies extensions that users are not allowed to install. Identify the extension by its Extension ID, with extensions separated by commas. The user can run any extension that does not appear in the list of Extension IDs to block.A value of * means all extensions are blocked unless they are explicitly listed in theExtension IDs to allow text box.
Extension to preinstall Specifies extensions to install automatically. Users cannot uninstall these extensions.You must supply both the Extension ID and the URL where the extension is posted, separated by a semi-colon. For gallery extensions, the URL is For example, to install the Gmail Checker Extension, enter this string in the Extension to preinstall text box:
You can't preinstall any extension whose ID appears among the Extension IDs to block.

I wasn't able to find an easy way to get the ExtensionID and URL. Still working on that.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moving email from one Google Apps account to another

As part of my digital clean up, I needed to move email from an account on one domain, to an account on another domain.

Google Apps used to have a good tool for this, it ran from the cpanel over IMAP, and was in essence a server-server tool, but this got deprecated. Now, you need to download the email locally from the source account / domain, and then upload to the destination account / domain.

On a Mac there are two ways how to do this: use MailFetcher and the Google Email Uploader.

The Email Uploader is very nice. It links to your Apple Mail or Thunderbird on your local machine, shows folders, and you can selective which folder to upload. You can also give the transferred folder a name so you can see it.

To get the email onto your local machine you need to use these instructions. You would need the domain admin to turn on IMAP first of course.

You may find that nor all messages can be moved across. The uploader won't move corrupt messages, messages that are not RFC 822 compliant, or messages with disallowed attachments eg .exe.

If the message is not RFC 822 compliant then you'll see "Invalid RFC 822 Message" in the window.

    Message did not upload
       The operation couldn’t be completed. (Invalid RFC 822 Message: Date header "Sun, Dec 23 2001 13:26:12 +0000" is invalid.)
       /Users/user/Library/Mail/ Saved.imapmbox/Messages/143660.emlx

I found that Mail did not see these messages either, so I couldn't use drag and drop, but since they are plain text you can view them using QuickLook in the finder, and decide if you really need them.

Also, if a folder / label has over 500 messages in it, you'll find progress quite slow after the 500. It gets to 500 really fast, maybe only a few minutes, depending on attachments. Thereafter you are limited to one message per second, so a folder with, say, 4000 message will take about an hour to upload. You might consider splitting a large folder up. You also likely parallelise things up, by running the uploader more than once, but I didn't try that. I know you can multiple GAMME uploads concurrently, to get around the ingestion limit.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Synology access to satashare over AFP

I use a Synology NAS with an eSATA HD for backup, and various Synology backup jobs to make sure my data is backed up.

And I wanted to check that the data is being backed up. But for some reason over AFP I couldn't see it. I could see it over SMB, and the Shared Folder control panel in DSM showed it as shared.

After some investigation I found that the user account must be enabled to see satashare over AFP.

Go into the 'user' control pane, select the user you want to have access to satashare and make sure the read/write box is ticked.

They should then be able to see satashare after connecting, either through the left hand side window onf the finder, or apple-k to connect.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Changing the email address of your Apple ID

As part of my clean up of my digital life, I decided to retire an email address, and my Apple ID was on that address so I needed to change it.

There's no doubt that changing the email address associated with things like your Apple ID can be scary. What if it goes wrong? Most folks have a lot of $$ / ££ / €€ invested in the iOS ecosystem.

BTW this doesn't solve the multiple Apple account problem. One day maybe Apple will solve this.

Here's the process (information gathered from Apple's help system, and personal experience).

  1. sign out of your iOS devices:

    settings > store

  2. sign out of itunes

    itunes > store > sign out

  3. goto and follow instructions from

  4. login by selecting 'manage your account'. Use using existing (old) email address / password
  5. in the section for "Primary Email Address", click edit

    put in new email address, click save, and it'll generate a verification email
  6. If you try to run the verification too soon, you'll get an error saying something scary like the address is already in use.

    so, give it a few minutes, and re-login to iOS and iTunes, the try the verification again

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Launching Applications as Root on OSX

While looking for a solution to how to launch TrueCrypt as a root, when logged in as a plain user, I got the hang of a terminal command.

I thought I could also do it with an AppleScript. Turned out to be harder than I thought, but then I've never used ApleScript before.

First I got a copy of Pseudo, which was harder than I thought sice the author has disappeared. Eventually I found a copy here. NB these instructions WILL NOT work for Lion since Pseudo requires Rosetta, and Apple have done away with Rosetta.

  1. Launch Pseudo and create a new launch document

  2. Drag the TrueCrypt application icon onto that little window, and go to then Save
  3. Create an AppleScript:

    tell application "Pseudo"
        open file "Mac:Users:user:documents:TC_Root.pseudo"
    end tell

    Fix the command to reflect the location of the .pseudo document.

    Save this an an application, put on the dock, and when you run the script it'll launch TrueCrypt for you, with a pop up for credentials.