1. There’s a great story about Pablo Picasso. Some guy told Picasso he’d pay him to draw a picture on a napkin. Picasso whipped out a pen and banged out a sketch, handed it to the guy, and said, “One million dollars, please.”

    "A million dollars?" the guy exclaimed. "That only took you thirty seconds!"

    "Yes," said Picasso. "But it took me fifty years to learn how to draw that in thirty seconds."

    — Everything that is wrong with clients, these days.

  2. My Jailbroken setup

    I’ve always been asked, so I thought I’d share.

    Activator - Gesture based actions for just about anything.
    BiteSMS - Killer SMS replacement. Quick Reply is a must-have feature.
    CyDelete - Delete Cydia apps like App Store apps.
    FreeSync - Use your phone while it is syncing.
    iFile - All-around useful Finder for iOS.
    Infinifolders - Removes folder-icon limits.
    Multifl0w - Exposé-like multi-tasking.
    MyWi - WiFi Tethering? Yes.
    Notified Pro - Excellent notifications. How iOS should do it. SnowCover4 - Bowtie-esque lockscreen when iPod app is playing.
    3G Unrestrictor - Bypasses “You must be connected to Wifi to…”
    3DBoard - Neat glasses-free faux-3D cosmetic effect for homescreen.

    GridTab for Safari - Excellent way to view tabs in Safari.
    iSocialShare - Tacks onto Photos.app to allow upload to social networks. PhotoMail - Add photos to new e-mails in Mail.app.
    Safari Download Manager - Download any file in Mobile Safari. Speed Intensifier - Makes iPhone seem faster by speeding up iOS animations.
    SpringFlash - Activator based Flashlight.
    Voicemail Forwarder - Email Voicemail files.
    YourTube 2 - Download YouTube.app videos.

    Classica 3
    Classica 3 SMS theme
    Classica 3 Folders theme
    Classica 3 Settings theme
    Principium HD
    Black biteSMS BG
    Perfect Alerts
    Hide Slide to Text

  3. All your round are belong to us.: Launching Alfred with Caps Lock →

    Just… FYI, this doesn’t work on Lion.


    Caps Lock is stupid. It is the one key on my keyboard that I absolutely believe shouldn’t exist. For the past six months, it has been a dead key on my MacBook Pro, which is still better than it’s normal function. However, a dead key is a missed opportunity for awesomeness, so today I set out to…

  4. The Clofficet

    Clofficet definition

    On January 21st, I began working with the splendid folks at JESS3 as a full-time Designer. As such, I’d begin working from home. I had previously reserved space in our basement to be an office, were I to ever work from home. As time went on, I realized I would not be getting a new job. My wife approached me and asked if she could turn it into a sewing room (yes, my 24-year-old wife is turning 80). I had come to terms with being where I was for a job, so I bequeathed her the room. Not a month later, I got the call from JESS3. Being the kind husband I am, I took it upon myself to turn the hall closet into an office; a “clofficet.”

    In an effort to save space on the desk, I began an effort to wall-mount my 24” iMac (iMac7,1). Apple offers a VESA-mount adapter kit for iMacs and Cinema Displays, which makes the transition fairly easy… but the instructions aren’t very detailed, and many of my Twitter followers asked for explanation on how to do it.

    The first hurdle once you get the VESA mount adapter kit, is to use the supplied thick plastic card to “de-spring” the catch that holds the stand in. I missed a photo op for this. You must leave the iMac standing and tilt the screen as far forward (or down) as you can. Then, take the card and place it in the slot between the stand’s top and the iMac. I found that it took great force, but really required a 45° angle to get it. Don’t worry, depressing the spring will not make your iMac fall to the ground. (Though I recommend placing a pillow beneath the screen for the entire process.)

    Now that the stand is loose, lay the iMac face-down on the pillow. Begin un-screwing the stand from the connector using the supplied Allen wrench.

    Once disconnected, you’ll be left with a bare connector:

    Now, place the adapter onto the connector and screw it in.

    Then, place the VESA-adapter onto the connector and attach screws.

    Then, place your VESA mount onto the iMac and attach with screws. I bought the Adjustable Tilting/Swiveling Wall Mount Bracket for LCD Plasma Corner Friendly (Max 80Lbs, 24~37inch). It does the job and weighs in at a thrifty $27.86 USD.

    Mount your arm/wall-plate onto your wall and make it ready for the iMac. (Make sure you attach the mount to a stud.)

    Then, attach the iMac to the mount and you’re good to go.

    I, with the help of my father-in-law, custom fitted a desk to the existing shelving supports in the closet. While the desk was staining, I used a TV-dinner-tray to hold the keyboard, mouse, and two hard drives as I wiped my iMac to give it a fresh start.

    Stained desk in place. Next up was to populate the desk with items I’d be using frequently. I’ve always used two monitors when working, in this small space, I cannot fit another monitor in. In lieu of this, I’ve recycled the iMac stand for an iPad stand, by adding a strip of velcro the iPad and the stand. I’m still going to add some more lighting to the back of the iMac (LED strips) and I’m going to finish with a shelf above the computer to house files and other equipment. Overall, I’m pleased with it.

  5. Jack, the Christmas Elf, saved Christmas.

    Christmas was almost ruined.*

    *Seriously, though, it wouldn’t have ruined Christmas.

    There, an exaggerative line of drama to snag your attention for what could be a long story. I’ll start from the beginning: I asked my dad for a Kinect for Christmas. Yes, this year’s hot tech item. Like a Tickle-Me-Elmo scenario, the Kinect was sold out locally and even many online retailers. ( Yes, I know they are in stock now; they were not then. ) My father is at work whilst searching and cannot browse the web there except on his iPhone, which isn’t made to be used for prolonged periods of time. So, he calls MicrosoftStore who claims to have a fair amount of the Kinect and -like bundles at their disposal.

    He selects his bundle of Kinect and a game. The woman on the receiver takes down his credit card information. Incorrectly. My father banks with PNC, who are quite over-protective of their bankers. ( Better than not, I suppose. ) PNC notices a bad expiration date on the process and freezes his card. The MicrosoftStore employee gets notice of this, and my father puts her on hold. He then calls PNC, waives the flag, and resumes his call with the MicrosoftStore employee. She says it’ll get there before Christmas, they exchange salutations and part their ways.

    Dad is content. A few days later he got a shipping notice. He got his son what he wanted for Christmas. Super-Dad.

    Then, Kryptonite struck.

    MicrosoftStore, not long after sending a shipping notice, sent an email notifying him that his order was on hold. Why? An error with his credit card. ( Keep in mind my father provided his information for an employee to enter, he never manually entered anything himself. ) He quickly called them to resolve the issue. A gentlemen answered and listened to his troubles, only responding that their “system” was down and they would call him when it comes back up. Fast-forward to the end of that day. After receiving no call, my father calls them. The “system” was back up, but the employee told my father that they no longer had the products in stock and they canceled his order because of the problem with the credit card. He asks to talk to a supervisor, who offers no help.

    Dad is livid. I could tell he felt defeated.

    I did what I could. I live on the internet. I know many companies use Twitter for support. I know that the companies who do, usually have their Twitter support at a corporate-level. I hunt down @MicrosoftStore on Twitter and send out a, rather irritated, public tweet mentioning them. They end up getting in touch with me after a few more rants. I point them to my father, and they say they’ll get in touch.

    A day later, they have yet to call him. I send an angry direct message reading:

    My father received no phone call from you, over 24 hours later. Would a letter to Consumerist help spur you to action?

    Suddenly, he received a call. Now, I’m not saying that this “threat” worked. It could well be that they just happened to finally have time to get in touch with him. However, it was nice timing. This is where the story takes a nice turn.

    My father spoke for a while with a very nice representative by the name of Jack. Jack sorted it all out for him. Apologized, was very polite, and offered to throw in a free Xbox for the trouble they had caused. All is well. My father payed the price of the Kinect + Game bundle and would receive the Xbox + Kinect + Game bundle for no difference in price.

    Bad again: My father wakes up to an overdraft notice. MicrosoftStore charged him $360 ( the full price of the Xbox + Kinect + Game bundle ), which was not in his checking. Another direct message on Twitter to them and phone call from Dad. They are going to reimburse the difference when the product ships. Somewhere in this bit of time, Dad speaks to a rep that is not Jack, his name is Dumitro.

    Good again: Today, my dad received a call from Jack. Along the way, Dumitro and Jack both were following my father’s case, unaware of the other. They both credited my father with the $200 difference, bringing a total of $400 in credits from MicrosoftStore. Jack approached a supervisor about the issue. The supervisor advised Jack that it is Christmas and to let my father receive the bundle free of charge and keep the extra $40 left from the credits.


    tl;dr — After trouble with MicrosoftStore, they followed through to make good in the end. And make good they did.

    Bad once again: Dad only received one credit. Seems the credit department got a hold of the mistake. Hrm…