Monthly Archives: January 2011

How to revert back to previous version of Skype

NewImage.jpg

Skype 5 looks like it has some UI improvements, although many seem to disagree, but it’s almost three times as memory hungry as the previous version.  I need that like I need a hole in my head, as my granny used to say.

  • Skype 5.0: 178 MB memory usage
  • Skype 2.8: 67 MB memory usage

And as usual, it’s nigh impossible to find any useful information on the Skype website.  If you want to downgrade:

  1. Delete the Skype.app from the Applications folder
  2. Download the old Skype version here

Hello, Big Brother: Digital sensors are watching us

“Over the next couple of years, the volume of data generated by digital sensors will surpass the flow of e-mails and social-network entries combined, predicts Stephen Brobst, chief technical officer at data analytics firm Teradata. ‘Sensors will touch nearly every aspect of our lives,’ he says.”

(Via http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2011-01-26-digitalsensors26_CV_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip)

How to discover the model and spec of your Mac hardware

mac hardware

Check out Mactracker on the App Store.  This free app will help you find the exact model and spec of your Mac (or iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, etc) which will make it a lot easier to figure out things like:

  • how many watts power supply you need
  • max RAM capacity
  • graphics card capability
  • speed of USB port

It turns out my mbp is “late 2008” or MacBookPro5,1, and contrary to what the Apple site and Crucial say, it has a capacity for 8GB RAM, which I think it needs.

Accessing the contents of iOS Apps

It’s quite straightforward to get to the contents of any app, this is how you do it on a Mac:

  • sync your device to your PC, make sure the relevant box is ticked in iTunes to sync your apps
  • in the Finder go to <home>/Music/iTunes/Mobile Applications and select the .ipa file for your app
  • change the .ipa extension to .zip and unzip the file
  • within the contents, go to Payload/YourApp.app
  • right click on the .app file and choose “Show Package Contents”

You can often find some interesting things.

iOS very slow since update to 4.2.1

Have you noticed your iPhone has become really slow with the last iOS update?  I’m talking about iPhone 4, the most powerful model available 😉

Telltale signs:

  • Camera app takes at least 10 seconds to open
  • double click for multi-tasking takes 2 or more seconds to open task bar
  • clicking Home button to close apps takes 2 or more seconds
  • animations when you open phone are jerky
  • don’t even try typing something in Spotlight

It got bad to the point I started searching around the Apple forums, but unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation on the relevant topic, and too many hysterical posters.

The kind of advice that’s being given out is generally along the lines of:

  • do a factory reset on your phone (!)
  • delete all your apps
  • delete your mobile me account
  • increase screen brightness (wft??)

Bleh.

Once I installed the System Info app and found I had only 6MB RAM free, it was easy to fix the problem.

Importing Delicious tags into MarsEdit

MarsEdit

For some time I’ve been wanting to move my blogging efforts over a desktop app, to be able to control multiple blogs from one place, and to search through and manage the content more easily.

The 2 main contenders that I could find for the Mac platform were Ecto and MarsEdit.  The latter seems to be considerably more actively maintained, has a slicker interface and was available for download on the Mac AppStore so I went with that.

The main feature I was missing in MarsEdit was the fairly comprehensive tag handling offered by WordPress.  The fact you can type only a few letters of the tag you need and it auto-completes is something you can’t do without once you get used to it.  The Delicious website and similar desktop tools all offer this functionality.

The first challenge was to get my data out of Delicious, not the links/bookmarks that are offered as their only export option but the actual tags.  Not surprisingly there’s a WP plugin for that, enter EG-Delicious Tags.

Once your tags are copied over to your WP installation you can access the data as a serialized array from the WP database, it’s in the options table under the key _transient_egdel_tags.

Then the data needs to be integrated with MarsEdit.  The app’s author, Daniel Jalkut, kindly explained which plist file within the app needs to be updated to enable the search auto-completion feature.

A simple PHP script was sufficient to deserialize the data and wrap it in XML tags:

<?php
$data = <<<DATA
a:773:{s:7:”_blogit”; …
DATA;
$struct = (unserialize($data));
$keys = array_keys($struct);
$out = ”;
$out .=”\n”;
foreach ($keys as $tag) { $out .=”<string>$tag</string>\n”;}
print $out;
?>

Add the XML to the relevant key and save out the DataSources.plist file and you’re done.

Importing Delicious tags into MarsEdit

MarsEdit

For some time I’ve been wanting to move my blogging efforts over a desktop app, to be able to control multiple blogs from one place, and to search through and manage the content more easily.

The 2 main contenders that I could find for the Mac platform were Ecto and MarsEdit.  The latter seems to be considerably more actively maintained, has a slicker interface and was available for download on the Mac AppStore so I went with that.

The main feature I was missing in MarsEdit was the fairly comprehensive tag handling offered by WordPress.  The fact you can type only a few letters of the tag you need and it auto-completes is something you can’t do without once you get used to it.  The Delicious website and similar desktop tools all offer this functionality.

The first challenge was to get my data out of Delicious, not the links/bookmarks that are offered as their only export option but the actual tags.  Not surprisingly there’s a WP plugin for that, enter EG-Delicious Tags.

Once your tags are copied over to your WP installation you can access the data as a serialized array from the WP database, it’s in the options table under the key _transient_egdel_tags.

Then the data needs to be integrated with MarsEdit.  The app’s author, Daniel Jalkut, kindly explained which plist file within the app needs to be updated to enable the search auto-completion feature.

A simple PHP script was sufficient to deserialize the data and wrap it in XML tags:

<?php
$data = <<<DATA
a:773:{s:7:”_blogit”; …
DATA;
$struct = (unserialize($data));
$keys = array_keys($struct);
$out = ”;
$out .=”\n”;
foreach ($keys as $tag) {$out .=”<string>$tag</string>\n”;}
print $out;
?>

Add the XML to the relevant key and save out the DataSources.plist file and you’re done.