Archive for August, 2012

Fix a dodgy home button on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

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iphone-4-home-buttonI’ve noticed recently that the home button on my iPhone has become a bit dodgy. It doesn’t always work, especially when I double click it for multitasking/app switching.

I had resided myself to believing that the actual button mechanism had worn and was malfunctioning, when my wife told me how to recalibrate it. I was dubious at first, but this little “fix” has solved my problem, and my home button is back from the dead!

To start the recalibration process, press and hold the lock button on the top of your device, just like you are going to turn it off.

turn off iphoneInstead of sliding the red button with white arrow to the right, press and hold down the home button.

iphone-4-home-button-highlightedAfter about 5 or 6 six, your phone will go back to your home screen, and that is it! During that 5 seconds, your phone re-calibrated your home button, and with a bit of luck, everything will be like new again!

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Posted by Greg - August 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

Categories: iPhone/iPod/iPad   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to close out, shut down and completely force quit an app on iPhone, ipod touch and ipad running IOS5

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Flagged AppFrom time to time an app on your IOS device may crash and become un-responsive. Just like on your computer, sometimes apps need to be closed and shut down, then completely restarted to become active again.

To do this on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, quickly double click the home button.

iphone-4-home-button-highlightedThis will push whatever you are looking at on your device upwards, and the multi tasking menu will appear. This is also how you can open another app and use it without closing the one you already have open. The ones you have used most recently will be in the first group of four icons that appear, and you can scroll/drag left and right through them to find the one you want to close if it isn’t on the first screen. Once you have found the icon for the app you want to close, put your finger on it, and leave your finger on it, and all of the apps will start wiggling and dancing (Like they do when you want to re-arrange them. The difference here is that they will now have a red circle with a white minus sign, as opposed to the black circle with the “X”. The red minus means close, the black X means delete).

Force Quit AppsNow all you have to do is press the red circle with the minus sign in it to close the app completely. Once it is closed, press the home button once to stop the apps dancing, and you can now restart the app by opening it like you normally would.

Closing out of apps completely that you are not using can also aid in preserving battery life, and help speed things as well, as apps are no longer in an open state using up resources while they lay in waiting!

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Posted by Greg - August 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

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Speed Up Your Mac – Quick Easy way to make Mac OS X Lion/Mountain Lion faster

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Mac OS X LionI am sure there are dozens of methods, and dozens of programs and apps that do wonderful things for your Mac computer running OS X Lion/Mountain Lion, but in my opinion, the folks at Apple have built in the best, quickest, and easiest way to give your Apple computer a boost. It’s called “Repair Permissions”.

A few years ago I was involved heavily in editing high def video for a motorsport operation, and it never ceased to amaze me how much quicker and happier my mac pro was after a permissions repair.

**NOTE** – It can take a while for this operation to complete, so make sure you have plenty of down time before tying up your computer with this procedure.

The good thing about OS X Lion/Mountain Lion is that you don’t have to go and find your install disk to do this anymore (Like you used to have to do with Snow Leopard, Leopard and Tiger). When you installed Lion/Mountain Lion, it created a rescue partition for you, and to access this partition, and speed up your mac, all you gotta do is hold down your “ALT” key, and turn your mac on! Once you here the “BONG” sound, you will see this:

Mac Alt Recovery HDWhen your Mac boots, it selects the regular hard drive automatically. But when you hold down the ALT key, your telling your Mac that you want to see what other devices you can boot. Lion/Mountain Lion creates a very small “Virtual” hard drive, that you can boot into instead of your normal hard drive and operating system, that lets you perform maintenance operations. To restore your permissions, click the arrow for “Recovery HD”. Your computer will boot from this second partition, leaving your main partition unmounted, so you can perform maintenance.

Once your computer has booted up from the Recovery Hard Disk you will see Utilities Window.

mac os x utilities windowTo get started, select the “Disk Utility” option, then click continue in the bottom right corner. The Disk Utility will now open.

restore permissions mac osx lion disk utility windowSelect/Highlight your main hard drive partition (the one you want to speed up) in the left side of the window, and click “First Aid” to get to the repair window. Here you can verify/repair the condition of the disk. I usually just hit “Repair Disk” and let it do its thing. This can take a bit of time, so go put the coffee on!

mac lion repair disk processYou will see all kinds of activity, but the only thing you need to worry about is that green text that says the disk is ok, and that the repair is complete. The next step is to click “Repair Permissions”. Again, this may take some time, but when it is complete it will tell you down the bottom of the window in bold font.

mac osx lion repair permissions window completeWhen its done, Quit out of Disk Utility using the “Disk Utility” menu bar option.

quit disk utilityThen Quit out of the Utilities Window from the Mac OS X Utilities menu bar option.

quit mac utilities

The final window/step is to click “Restart” from the “Choose Start Up Disk” Window. As we didnt permanently change the start up disk, there is no need to change any other parameters here, just click Restart.

choose start up disk

Your computer will now restart (It may take a little longer than normal to do so – so don’t worry if it does!) and hopefully you will notice a pleasant increase in performance!

If you want to go one step further and clean your caches and log files, rebuild indexes and execute your Macs built in maintenance scripts, check out my follow on article about using the free application called ONYX!

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Posted by Greg - August 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Categories: Mac   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Frank Morris Cell at Alcatraz Prison with Sony Bloggie 3D

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I recently purchased Sony’s Bloggie 3D and have been impressed with the results so far. Its small and light, has a great 3D screen, not only shoots 3D and 2D 1080P video, but 5 megapixel 2D and 2 megapixel 3D photographs as well. A few things I don’t like about this camera is the start up time is a little longer than I would like, and the battery life is poor. I often run out of battery WELL before the memory is even close to full.

But for what it does, and what you pay, this camera is a VERY cool and fun device to have in your pocket.

In July/August 2012 I visited Alcatraz Prison, and filmed Frank Morris’ Cell B-138 in 3D HD. Frank Morris was involved in the Great Escape with John and Clarence Anglin, and Allen West. Morris and The Anglin’s escaped the island never to be seen again. Personally, I think they made it to the mainland!

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Posted by Greg - August 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Categories: 3D Video and Photography, Tech, Video   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Save your OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion and Lion Install Program and make a Install/Boot DVD or USB key

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This tutorial was written using Mountain Lion as an example, but it works for Mavericks as well – just follow the same process

Just like OS X Lion, it is really important to save your OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks “Install File” BEFORE you install it. Without it, you can not make an install disk, and it is deleted automatically once you install your new operating system.

Once you have purchased Mountain Lion or Mavericks, your purchase/price button will turn into a “downloading” button.

mountain lion download screenA short time after, your launchpad may spring open and show you the downloads progress.

mountain lion download progress screen in launchpadYou can leave it open and watch the progress if you want. Close it up when your finished watching, or when the file has completely downloaded.

**CRITICAL** – When the file has finished downloading, a window will pop up and ask you if you want to go ahead and install the new software. QUIT THE INSTALLER IMMEDIATELY! This can be done by clicking the file menu and selecting the “Quit” option.


Don’t worry, you are not going to loose the program you just bought, you are just telling your computer that you want to install later. Once you have closed out of the installer, open a new finder window, then open your “Applications” folder. Inside this folder you will see your OS X Mountain Lion or Mavericks Install File.

mountain lion installer in applications folderRight click and “Copy” the installer file, then “Paste” it onto your desktop.

save your mountain lion install fileOnce the file finishes copying to the desktop, you can go back into your applications folder and double click and run the installer, if you are ready to install your update.

If you want to make a bootable install DVD disk or a USB Key, the easiest way to do this is with Disk Maker X (Formerly called Lion Disk Maker).

LDM_GemGo to the Disk Maker X web site HERE and download the latest version of the program. Once downloaded, unzip and run the program.


With Disk Maker X open, select Mountain Lion to make a Mountain Lion DVD, Or Mavericks to make a Mavericks Install DVD.

lion disk makerOnce you select your Operating System, the program will try to locate the install program automatically. It doesn’t matter if it uses the one in your Applications folder, or the one on your desktop. In my case, it found the one on my desktop.

lion disk maker location confirmThe next step is to tell Disk Maker X if you want to make a DVD or a USB key. Keep in mind, if you want to make a DVD you will need a 8.5gb Dual Layer DVD, and a Dual Layer DVD Burner, as the installer will not fit on a single layer 4.7gb DVD.

lion disk maker dvd or usbClick “Burn A DVD”. Disk Maker X will ask you to select your Burner.

choose dvd driveYou will now be prompted to insert a disk, and begin the burning process.

burn disc now


With Disk Maker X open, select Mountain Lion to make a Mountain Lion USB or Mavericks to make a Mavericks install USB key.

lion disk makerOnce you select your operating system, the program will try to locate the install program automatically. It doesn’t matter if it uses the one in your Applications folder, or the one on your desktop. In my case, it found the one on my desktop.

lion disk maker location confirmThe next step is to tell Disk Maker X if you want to make a DVD or a USB key. Keep in mind, if you want to make a USB Key you will need a 8gb thumb drive, due to the size of the installer. Click “Create a Boot Disk”.

lion disk maker dvd or usbNext, Disk Maker X will ask you about your Thumb Drive. In keeping with the recommendations of the makers of the program, we will select “8gb USB Thumb Drive”.

(My understanding is, that this option will completely erase the entire USB drive, and ALL existing data will be over-written. If you have a larger drive, which is divided up into partitions, and you do not want to erase the whole drive, use the “Another kind of disk” option. IF this is incorrect, or there is also another reason, please reply in comments.)

You will now be asked to confirm your drive selection, and its location.

usb selectOne last warning! Your thumb drive will now be erased COMPLETELY!

final warningDisk Maker X will now begin crunching files to make your USB Installer.

usb creation in progressDuring this process, particularly towards the end of the process, a lot of new windows and “Get Info” dialogues will pop up, and disappear. This is normal. This is just your computer acknowledging the creation and mounting of new drives and volumes.

Once it is all completed, you will hear Homer yelling “WooHoo!” and see your new USB drive ready to go!



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Posted by Greg - August 18, 2012 at 11:04 am

Categories: Mac   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OSX Mountain Lion First Impressions

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I think Apple need to rename the new version of the OSX operating system.
Here’s my recommendation!
OSX Tortoise

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Posted by Greg - August 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

Categories: Gregs Rants, Mac   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,