Tag Archives: computer

my go-to site for anything and everything techie

26 Oct

A friend introduced me to this site many years ago and since then I have been buying most of my cheap (techie) gadgets  like Apple USB cables, card readers, book holders, and more. There have been several times when I bought something at Future Shop and found a replica/substitute of the same product on the site but 75% cheaper like my iPad Smart Cover or the $19.99 Griffin stylus pen (yes, I actually paid that and didn’t think of checking this site. What was I thinking?…)

Pros:

Products are cheap, reviews are abundant, and shipping is free. You can find pretty much anything here. Camera accessories, video games, cell phones, cases, screen protectors, lasers, cables, jewellery, and much more. I think it’s kind of fun just to browse because everything is so random.

Cons:

Slowest shipping ever. My last order was shipped on October 2 and it still isn’t here, granted it is coming all the way from China for free so it was probably sent on a boat. Build quality is not the greatest but it really depends on the product.

A few things I’ve purchased:

Guitar capo $5.44 – Kinda smelt like rubber for a few days but the smell went away. Works great!

FM Transmitter $9.23 – Still have it after 3 years and works!

Digital guitar tuner $10.28 – Comparable to $20 in stores, makes guitar tuning so easy

Mini displayport to HDMI converter  $6.99 – Took something like a month to arrive but it works great! Note that you might have to play around with your preferences to get the sound working at first and you have to plug it in first and then open the video on your computer otherwise the sound won’t play from the TV.

I’ve probably ordered 15 things from them over the years but some of them are outdated like iPod touch cases and protectors. They are pretty current with new products so accessories come out pretty quickly.

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If you are looking for cheap gadgets, check out www.dealextreme.com and browse through their products.  Don’t forget that shipping takes a while so if you are patient and the product you want is not urgent, then I highly recommend the site. 

using restrictions to keep tabs on your iphone/ ipad/ ipod touch

25 Oct

I appreciate Apple for thinking of us iPhone/iPad owners when they created the Find my iPhone/iPad app and more recently built it right into the operating system with iOS5. I’ve never lost either of these products so I’ve never had to use the functions but I think they would be pretty handy should your device go missing.

Using Find my iPhone/iPad, you can find your device on a map, send it a message, play a sound (even if it’s on silent), conduct a remote wipe of your phone and set a passcode remotely. See the Apple website for a more detailed description.

This is all great as long as you have the app installed and have restricted settings on it. Let’s say, someone stole your iPhone while you were at a concert. You didn’t realize they took it until the concert was over and you are frantically looking for your phone. During that time, that person could have turned on your phone (if you didn’t have a passcode) and simply deleted the Find my iPhone app (iOS 4) OR turned it off in General settings through iCloud or Location Services. Once that is done, your device is off the grid. I feel like a character from Tron when I say “off the grid.” Anyways…

I tested  this today with my iPhone (iOS 5). I went to Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone = Off. I went to iCloud.com (see my post about the site here), signed in, and I could see the location of my Macbook and iPad but the iPhone wasn’t even listed on the site.

——- End of Line. Ok, no more Tron references.

To prevent unauthorized disabling of Find my iPhone/iPad and Location Services, do the following steps:

1.  Go to Settings > iCloud. Make sure Find my iPhone/iPad is on (notice how easy it is to turn it off?) and then go back to Settings > General > Restrictions

2. Enter your passcode or create a new passcode (make it different from your unlock code – just in case).

3. Once in, press “Enable Restrictions” (you might as well turn off Ping while you’re here and save some battery unless you actually use it).  Find “Location” and scroll down the bottom. Make sure Find my iPhone/iPad is “on” and then scroll up and select “Don’t allow changes.” Note that you will be unable to make changes to the apps listed below but since it’s your phone you can always edit restrictions later on.  Just don’t forget the code because I don’t know what happens or what to do and I don’t really want to find out.

4. Once you select “Don’t allow changes,” you will be brought up a level and will see a lock icon beside “Location.”

5. Go to Settings> iCloud and you won’t be able to turn off Find my iPhone/iPad. The same will be true for all apps under Location Services. You can always go back into restrictions and make changes to individual apps.

Now you can log-in to iCloud with your Apple ID to find, message, play a sound, or remote wipe your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch!

Update: November 11, 2011. By restricting locations, you will be unable to create Reminders that remind  you when you leave or arrive at a location. It’s weird how Restriction blocks Reminders even if you allow Reminders to access your location. So if you want to create these location-based reminders, you will have to “allow changes” and then turn it back on. If Apple fixes this, I will report back!

Update: November 30, 2011. A friend asked, well what if the person who took your phone just takes out your Sim card? I just tested this by taking out my sim and re-starting. I did not do a restore or wipe because I want my stuff still. Taking out the sim card didn’t change anything. I was still able to locate my phone using wifi networks. However, the iCloud mapping system was down in general but the phone still showed up on the screen along with my other Apple products.

in case you missed it…

22 Oct

I’ve been updating this blog pretty much everyday and posts are starting to get pushed onto the next pages so I thought it would be handy to have a weekly recap of my posts (about 2 weeks for this post since it’s the first) from oldest to newest:

repeat after me

2 Oct

I’ve been meaning to write a blog for a while. I came up with the idea (although probably not a very original one), but I hope to keep it interesting and relevant to anyone who comes across it.

The goal of this blog is to allow me to share what I’ve learned today (or in the past, since I’ve lived about 8025 days already) whether it’s related to something I’ve learned at school, something from work, or something about life. It won’t be plain facts or statements, but more how-to’s that I have found to be very helpful in my own life. I’ve always been very appreciative of other people’s blogs for providing me with information about their favourite restaurants, fashion tips or how-to-do’s and I figured it was time for me to give back to the online community.

I plan on posting at least one new thing/how-to a day and if you’ve found my how-to to be useful, please let me know!

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When I worked full-time, now I am back to school and finishing up my final year, I was often given the task of formatting documents. I don’t mind formatting because I am a detail-oriented type person, but once you’ve been formatting the same document for an hour, it can get quite repetitive and brain numbing. I can be lazy sometimes and I knew that had to be an easier way of formatting the same thing over and over again in Word (e.g bolding certain words, underlining, changing the font size of paragraphs between larger headers, etc.), so I googled. Maybe you googled and ended up here.

To repeat your last action in Microsoft Word (and other MS Office programs except Excel) press: F4. It will repeat pretty much any action and might be the only function you ever press. If you are a Mac user, try pressing Command + Y. Now repeat to your heart’s content.