Tuesday, December 21, 2010

iSight pain

I still don't know why it stopped working or what the fix actually does, but it worked for me. My iSight stopped working, but not completely and the last thing I did was to have Parallels use my iSight (which prompted for drivers I didn't install but worked anyhow), and then giving it back to my Mac and it continued to work, until I awoke my mbp from sleep the next time. I tried all the usual (annoyingly lazy) fixes, reboot, smc reset, and so on... everything short of reinstalling a combo-update or just reinstalling my mac. Those sure are popular "fixes". But I digress.
It turned out then whenever I plugged in *any* usb device, my iSight would stop working, which sucks when you rely on a usb stick occasionally to connect to the internet. But enough talk, the fix that worked for me is here, good luck with it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bliss is when the simple hack of a usb extension cable means the difference between hspa heaven and umts hell.

My Huawei e1750 3G stick was a pain, I was on the edge of the HSPA coverage area and my signal kept falling back to UMTS, which sucks since UMTS can only seem to handle a few simultaneous connections.
After a month of frustration and a lot of cussing it dawned to me to use a USB extension cord and some velcro tape to place the stick above my head so my body or laptop wouldn't block the signal anymore.
My little hack was victorious and I am enjoying a stable HSPA connection. Funny how a crappy internet connection can screw up your mood so badly.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

AT&T iPhone APN, MMS & Tethering settings

Edit the APN settings for AT&T on an iPhone on iOS4

I did this on my jailbroken iPhone 4.
- Use ssh or sftp to navigate to /System/Library/Carrier Bundles
- rename the folder ATT_US.bundle
- in said folder there is a file called carrier.plist and in there a section called SupportedSIMs
- in my case there were 7 numbers listed in there: 310150, 310170, 310180, 310380, 310410, 310980, 311180.
- incidentally, those are also files in the folder /System/Library/Carrier Bundles, rename those files as well
- reboot.
- edit the apn settings :-) and enjoy

Monday, April 19, 2010

iPhone 3G: navigon vs tomtom

Yeah, I spent money on both and got to compare them. I'll list some pros and cons for each app, those will be stuff that the other app doesn't have or does worse or better.

- I had Navigon as soon as it came out, you probably remember how TomTom kept stalling its release. Navigon is feature rich, and I love it.
-- Pros:
--- Pricing (the live traffic option and panorama 3D are one-time lifetime subscriptions). I haven't taken advantage of its region apps since I already had the all-in-one.
--- Features: I love how it shows the speed limit of the road you're on, especially when you see that HP in the distance. Also the lane assist when exiting a freeway is awesomely handy.
-- Cons:
--- It's slow to load, definitely not something you want to access quickly, iPod control from within the app is horrible. The workaround is to start playing the iPod before starting the app and controlling the iPod from some remote.

- I tried TomTom because I got tired of Navigon crashing occasionally and its slow slow start ups.
-- Pros:
--- It starts wicked fast, definitely something you can and want to quickly consult. Also, switching to options within the app is fast and not annoying.
--- It has more voices to choose from, though that is not an issue with Navigon.
--- It seems to do a better job guessing where you are if the GPS information is a bit off, Navigon easily goes all over the place.
-- Cons:
--- Pricing: The traffic option is a yearly subscription.
--- It's not as feature rich, I miss the lane assist and the speed limits but I gladly do without those considering how fast it starts up.

For usability I always fire up TomTom since Navigon takes too long. But for long trips I sometimes stick to Navigon, since its features are fun. But I frequently decline incoming calls when using navigon, especially when there's a lot of switching roads ahead. It seems that this is something Navigon _can_ fix since, well, TomTom did it. But it also seems they don't want to invest resources in that and expect you to fork out the $$ for a better phone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

coolbook on a Macbook pro 15", 2.2 Ghz

After the 10.6.3 update my MBP was playing tricks on me and the fans were blowing at their maximal rpms almost constantly. I was sure it was the update, or so I thought, it turned out that the Firefox update a few days later messed something up with my Sage plugin and I assumed that 30% cpu usage by firefox was normal, I was wrong. But I was pretty annoyed with my fans by that time and I discovered the 10USD shareware CoolBook that claims to lower your cpu's heat output by reducing the voltage to the cpu, and hardly compromising the performance in doing so. I'm really pleased and definitely recommend it but I'm posting this to share the settings I 'm using for my machine. It took me a few hours of testing and a lot of kernel panics but here they are, I hope they work for you. If they don't, then definitely spend some time to discover your optimal settings because it's worth it.

Update here.