An In-Depth Look at My Jailbroken / Hacked iPhone – Page 1: Frequently Used Apps

Although I often hear reports about how many people have Jailbroken their iPhones (meaning they “hacked” their iPhone so they can install 3rd party applications), I’ve yet to meet ANYONE else with a hacked one.

Anytime I use my phone in front of someone, they are immediately impressed and wowed by the amount and variety of applications, it’s custom look, and the enhanced functionality added to my iPhone (well… and the Otterbox, but I’ve covered that already).

Instead of breaking it down time-after-time, explaining what every application does, I’m using this forum to explore all details of my phone – page by page; app by app (except the pre-installed ones).

My iPhone came installed with firmware 1.1.3. I’ve jailbroken it a couple times, but the last time I used ZiPhone (I’ve also used iNdependence, iJailbreak, and jailbreakme.com). ZiPhone is especially nice because (if it works correctly) it installs a program called “installer.app” — the gateway to most iPhone applications.

I currently have 5 pages on my phone:

Page 1 : Frequently used apps
Page 2 : Less frequently used apps
Page 3 : Springdial phone numbers
Page 4 : System Tools / Tweaks
Page 5 : Games

Today I’ll be showing you Page 1 : Frequently Used Applications

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Uncool News: APPLE Says, “To Keep Mac in Top Shape, BUY VIRUS SCANNER”

images.jpegAccording to a new Apple Knowledge Base article entitled “Mac Maintenance Quick Assist,” the #6 “Top Tips to Keep Your Mac in Top Form” is unfortunately:


6) Check for Viruses
Macs are far more less likely to get a computer virus like Windows PCs are prone to but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you don’t already have antivirus software, you may want to consider making a purchase. If you have the software installed, be sure to keep your virus definitions up to date—you can find the latest updates on your software manufacturer’s website.”

Not sure the significance of this statement (are there more Mac viruses around then I think?), but it’s certainly disappointing that Apple would even mention this. Viruses are one of the top reasons people move from PCs to Macs — Macs DON’T get them!

Plus, Macs are supposed to be “maintenance free” — and they are! Why even write a Knowledge Base article about this topic? Or why not just say, “it will take care of itself.”

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Fresh Apps :: The Freshest Mac OS X & iPhone Applications

Fresh Apps is a brief summary of the interesting applications I’ve discovered over the past week.

Mac Applications

Simplify Media :: Free
Share your iTunes library with up to 30 friends from anywhere in the world — connect to your friend’s iTunes libraries from within iTunes; works on Mac, PC, and iPhone!

Wallsaver :: Freeware
Set your screen saver as your desktop background; super easy to install/uninstall

Subliminal Message Pro :: Shareware ($10)
Flash custom messages on your screen with very short durations (i.e. 15ms); I keep it running at all times to help facilitate the “Law of Attraction”

TimeMachineEditor :: Freeware
Tell TimeMachine exactly when to run (i.e. once a week, every Friday, at midnight).

Chax :: Freeware
iChat plug-in includes many cool little features; my favorite: one buddy list for ALL contacts (.Mac + AIM + Jabber + etc)

iPhone Applications

Simplify Media :: Free
Connect to up to 30 friend’s iTunes libraries; includes the ability to shuffle; a little buggy, a little slow, only works with wifi connection, and completely awesome!

Twinkle :: Free (on installer.app)
Currently the best iPhone twitter app; geo-location stamping, take/attach pictures, see tweets near you (can’t even do that on twitter’s site!)

iBlacklist :: Shareware (on installer.app)
Block specified phone numbers from calling or texting; limit of 3 blocked numbers before purchasing; very clean interface

Showtime :: Donationware (on installer.app)
Record 5 seconds of video (unlimited length with $10 donation); still no audio yet but hopefully coming soon

South Park’s on Macs!

Being a huge South Park fan AND Mac tech/geek/fan, I was delighted with tonight’s show. The whole country lost Internet access and went crazy. But the best part was seeing all the Macs — Randy mentioned the “Mac Store” and Safari was being used as the web browser on every computer (even the PCs!)! Plus, newbies learned one of the ultimate troubleshooting techniques, unplug and replug 🙂

South Park Computer (iMac):

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Real Safari Screen:

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Miro : Quick review after a week (Miro+Torrents=Better than Cable TV?)

Picture 12.jpgLast week I mentioned Miro, the free and open-source Internet video downloader. I’ve been using it for about a week on my Mac Mini (connected to my TV). Here are my thoughts so far:

Miro + Torrents could equal a convenient and free alternative to PAYING for cable TV.

In fact, they are superior to typical cable TV in many ways:

• Free (besides Internet charges)
• Watch ANYTHING (just about every movie, TV show, video podcast)
• NO commercials!
• More choices; tons of Tech, Mac, Science and other esoteric categories of shows/videos you can’t find on TV
• No need to pay for a DVR or TIVO service

It also has a couple disadvantages:

• Lower Quality (in some cases)
• Miro’s interface is still buggy
• Takes time to download videos, so you need to manually search and/or setup automatic downloading (pretty easy with TVShows and Miro)

With Miro, I can also watch Bill Maher’s Overtime (the 10 minutes after the show ends on HBO) before it’s on HBO.com!

Miro also has an HD category! The quality looks GREAT on my Maxent MX-42HP from the Mini (especially after I FINALLY got SwitchResX tweaked out to perfection). There is a large range of HD channels with really interesting content.

Conclusion: I may be saving my money and ditching cable TV soon… Peace Charter!

What to do when an Application freezes in Mac OS X

poweroff.jpgMany of my clients tell me that when a program freezes they hold down the power button and shut down their computer. Even worse, one client told me she pulls the power cable out of the back of her computer (btw, NEVER DO THIS!).

If you don’t know what to do when an application freezes, you risk damaging your hard drive and potentially loosing ALL your data. Here are several things to try before force-shutting down:

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OS X 10.5 Server : Standard Installation = Walk Through / Tutorial

Apple claims 10.5 server is easy enough for anyone to setup; “no IT department needed,” they say. Well, anyone can tell you, it’s not that easy!

os x 10_5 server small.jpg

So, to help server newbies setup OS X 10.5 Server, I’ve made a basic installation procedure for newbies (that is: server newbies). Right now it’s not exactly “detailed” – just the basic steps to ensure success (although there are quite a few and you’ve got to have a basic understanding of os x and networking).

This setup procedure has worked well for me (especially at my home). It’s for a Standard Installation and we’ll be setting up the server to include Mail (local only), iChat, VPN, File Sharing, iCal, Web Server/Wiki, Apple Remote Desktop access, and Time Machine (which may not work well).

If you are a server expert, please let me know if I’m missing something that will help ensure this setup works as perfectly as possible on any system.

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Newbie Tip: Installing an application (i.e. Firefox) from a disk image

diskimages.jpg

One of the most common Mac newbie mistakes is running an application from within a disk image. For some reason, this is most often the case with Firefox.

You can think of a disk image like a box used to physically deliver your application; you need to receive the box (download), open the box (double-click disk image), and move the contents out of the box and into your home (drag application icon into your applications folder).

Typically, when you download an application from the internet, it comes “wrapped” in a disk image. If you’re coming from PC land, a disk image is similar to a Zip file, in that both disk images and zip files contain several files within them.

Let’s use Firefox as an example of the correct way to install an application from a disk image. Go to the Firefox download page and click “Download Firefox” – you will see that the file you are downloading has a “.dmg” extension. This is the “disk image” extension.

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