Jackson USB power/charger – iPad beeping

I recently bought a Jackson USB power /charger and have just been charging my son’s and his friends ipad in the USBs.

The iPads started beeping about every second after half an hour or so. After a lot of restarting etc I checked the supply and sure enough the blue light on it was flashing on and off in the same rhythm. I unplugged the iPads and the beeping stopped, so it looks like the supply was switching on and off. When I went to unplug the unit from the wall it was very hot!

My guess is that the two iPads were causing the charger to overload despite the 10A rating. Thankfully the unit was protecting itself by switching on and off but who knows what would have happened if I had been out and just left them plugged in!

Not sure whether this is a fault with mine or a general problem but please take care. It’s worth noting that I have had iPad and iPhone plugged in previously with no problems.

image
Jackson USB power / charger

***UPDATE***

I have had a response from the manufacturer as follows: –

Two iPad devices would draw well over the rated current of this charger (1 Amp), which would cause the overcurrent protection on the charger to activate. The overcurrent protection is calibrated to activate well before a hazard could exist, and this is all tested as a part of our QA procedures, so we can confidently state that at no time would there have been any risk to you. Even with this protection in place, we do recommend that you do not attempt to exceed the rating, as such we would suggest only connecting 1 iPad at a time to the device.

I think their last line summarises this nicely.

Is Google Sidelining Analytics?

With new tracking rules coming in from both Europe and I’m sure the rest of the world and modern browsers including a “do not track” feature it must be hard for Google to see a future for Analytics. Increasingly it seems that it is trying to depreciate the value of analytics by reducing the value of the information we collect, in favour of the information it collects.

Let me give you an example: –

  • Recent changes to Analytics have logged in users not passing their keyword information through to Analytics (although this isn’t evident in Adwords).
  • Google is encouraging people to stay logged in by increasingly pushing us to be logged in to use their services.

The end result of these two policies is of coarse that Analytics is seeing less and less keyword information, but Google is seeing more and more from it’s logged in users.

If I was to be cynical about this, I would say that it is an attempt by Google to still collect all the information it wants (as I’m guessing its in their terms of service), but not passing that information through as it has done before.

So what can we do about it? More and more it seems that Google is leaving itself open for new competition. In the analytics field there are paid options which are now starting to look quite attractive now we are hooked on the value of this type of information. If any of you out there have used any, please let me know. I’d be interested on your feedback.

WordPress on Crazydomains

Installing WordPress on Crazydomains hosting drives me nuts!!!

I always forget how to install it, as to say that it’s not the most obvious installation method is probably the understatement of the century! For anyone struggling (and for me the next time I do this) this may help: –

  1. Fantastico installation from Crazydomains hosting DOES NOT WORK. I have tried this on different accounts using different methods and it never works. Don’t even bother wasting your time trying.
  2. Download WordPress and follow the instructions on http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress.
  3. When you come to configuring the wp-config.php file you will need to add in the database, user, password and hostname. This bit always completely throws me as these are not what you expect at all ie they are not what you set up in phpMyAdmin! The following is what you need: –
    1. DB_NAME – Here you need to include your account (not database username). If you are using phpMyAdmin you will see this on the left hand of the interface, but you need to include the first and second level bullet which shows ‘account-name’ and ‘database name’. Eg if your account name in Crazydomains is ‘account-name’ and the database you set up is ‘wordpress’, you will need to use ‘account-name_wordpress’.
    2. DB_USER – Follows the same format. You will need to include your account name despite the fact this is not shown anywhere. You will also see in phpMyAdmin a username like username@localhost. You need the first part of this before the @ sign. You need to then include the Crazy domain account name too. Add in ‘account-name_username’.
    3. DB_PASSWORD – Just the password. Finally something simple.
    4. DB_HOST – Just ‘localhost’.

Hopefully this will get you set up. After that just run the install script and you should connect ok!

Good luck!

Spry Collapsible Panels to jQuery

Moving Spry Collapsible Panels over to jQuery is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Just to give you a bit of background, Spry is a javascript library that comes with Dreamweaver. They really pushed it to start with, but haven’t updated it since 2006, so to say that it’s a bit long in the tooth is an understatement in web terms. JQuery on the other hand is the javascript library of choice and in the latest version of Dreamweaver, also seems to be pushed over Spry.

However if you have already included Spry on your page, you may just want to keep the existing html markup exactly the same and swap over to a jQuery system. I did this with an admitted simple single panel system (used for dropping down a form), as below: –

1. Add jQuery into your page. I’ve used an old version and am pulling this off Google servers as follows

<script src=”http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3/jquery.min.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>

2. Remove Spry javascript code from your page.

3.Create a new javascript file and add the following code

$(document).ready(function() {
$(‘.CollapsiblePanelContent’).hide();
$(‘.CollapsiblePanelTab’).click(function() {
$(‘.CollapsiblePanelContent’).slideToggle(‘medium’);
if ($(‘.CollapsiblePanelContent’).is(‘:visible’)) {
$(this).val(‘Hide’);
} else {
$(this).val(‘Show’);
}
});
});

4. Link to this new file in your document (and below where you add in the jQuery file).

Firebarriers.co, Fire Barrier Domain Name as Good as .com?

Fire barriers are a a piece of material that you use to protect areas of your home from fire. Its a competitive market in some areas and a company I have been working for was looking to move their site up the Google rankings.
To help with this we set up a microsite with specific copy aimed at the key phrase and used the domain firebarriers.co. This is the first time I have used a .co domain as really a replacement for the top level .com, but in theory we should now also be thinking of .co in the same way.
So what has happened? Over the last couple of months the site has really struggled. For some reason the home page didn’t get picked up by google despite frequent changes and a secondary page really struggled too.
Despite the competition I really would have expected a .com to do much better, so even though I’m not testing side by side, I have to conclude that the .co domain is not given equal authority to the .com domain.
Let me know if you have similar experience, but in the meantime if you are interested in fire barriers and your in the UK. Try firebarriers.co, they really know what they are doing and seem great to deal with.

iOS4.3 Home Sharing – How To

I have just updated my iPhone to iOS4.3 and was excited to try out Home Sharing, but it wasn’t as straightforward as I thought it might be. I had thought that you would send it from iTunes on your computer as you do with other types of sharing, but this is slightly different and has to be enabled on the phone.

Anyway, here’s how to set it up: –

1. Go into iTunes on your computer, to the preferences dialogue box, then to sharing.

2. Enable sharing as per the image below. Personally I like to add a password, and this is maybe what made setup on the iPhone more difficult.

iTunes sharing preferences for Home Sharing

3. Go to your iPhone and make sure you are on the same wifi network as your computer. Then go to Settings, then scroll down to the iPod settings, as below: –

Settings iPod Menu for Screen Sharing

4. Clicking on the iPod settings will take you into the following: –

iPod Settings Menu

5. You can see that Home Sharing needs your Apple ID and password. So enter that info: –

Home sharing settings completed in settings

6. Once this is done you can leave settings and go to your iPod and click the More button on the bottom right of the screen. You should now see a shared option with a little house icon! : –

iPod Application Showing the Shared Option

7. From now on it’s just a matter of selecting the library you want to see, then browsing your library as you normally would: –

Browsing the iTunes Library in Home Sharing

The procedure will be a bit different for iPods but if iPads are anything to go by, videos appear in a shared tab in the Videos application and in the iPod application you touch the Library in the top left of the screen, which then allows you to pick your iPad or a shared library.

So far I’ve found that streaming audio works great. Video seems to cache for a while before it starts playing, but also looks good. It looks like it will then be possible to stream to your TV with the appropriate cables although I haven’t tested that yet. If it works it will effectively allow you to use your iPhone/iPod/iPad as an AppleTV!

Very Cool!

 

Blackberry Playbook Review

I saw the Blackberry Playbook yesterday. In case you don’t know this is their tablet competition for the iPad.

It’s quite a bit smaller than an iPad with a 7 inch screen and large bezel, so it is a bit easier to hold and thumb type on. One thing that was particularly interesting for corporate use is that if paired with a Blackberry phone, emails get wiped if the two go out of bluetooth range, which is a nice security feature.

The things they couldn’t tell us included price. They said competitive…but with what? Galaxy Tab is similar sized but is more expensive than the iPad and the Motorola Xoom is priced US$300 more than an iPad! Battery life is the other big unanswered question and they just said competitive on that too. My guess judging by the weight, is that battery life will be about 4-5 hours which I don’t think is long enough now we are all used to the 9 or 10 hours of the iPad.

It’s big claim to fame is true multitasking which they show off by running video and games and other things simultaneously. Seems to me that although this makes a great demo in the real world you just wouldn’t use it. The user interface is nice though and the gestures are good. Overall I’d say better than a Galaxy Tab, but not quite an iPad.

Overall I’d say this is a corporate machine where security is vital and if you fit into that area, the Playbook is well worth a look.

Redlands Flood Map

For all those in the Redlands like me, trying to get hold of a flood map. I’m struggling getting them off the council as the file is very large and their servers struggling.

Click here for a copy I put together that should load much faster.

I would appreciate anyone mirroring this for me too! Leave a comment below and I’ll send you the files.

Mirrors
http://www.scaffoldingqld.com/redlands_flood_map.html
http://lexiphanic.com/floodmaps/ – look in top right corner

NOTE: This is a general flood map only. It does not show potential flooding from the current event. For latest information, please go to the councils official site at http://www.redland.qld.gov.au.

Apology: Sorry for having to link to my commercial site. I couldn’t work out how to code an image map in WordPress!

Read Articles on Your iPad

I don’t know about you, but I always have 20-30 browser tabs open, mostly with things on there that I intend to read, but never do. The following video shows a really nice way to move these from your browser and onto your iPad, where you can read them at your leisure.

UPDATE: In MacOSX Lion, the pdf shortcut to add the pdf to iTunes is already set up, so you don’t have to do this any longer. It’s just a matter of hitting print, then pdf in the left side of the print dialogue box, then selecting the Add PDF to iTunes option.

iPad Review Australia

I am writing this about 2 weeks before the official iPad launch in Australia, but having used mine for almost a month. I didn’t want to rush in to a review as I wanted to be sure that I was back into my normal pattern of usage before I jumped to any conclusion.

The first thing to mention is that I am writing this on the ipad in the Wordpess app.
This seems to be working pretty well. I have is set up in landscape mode and I’m typing at a reasonable speed. Not quite as fast as a normal keyboard, but certainly fast enough to get by on.

iPad Quality
This is typical Apple. The construction is solid and seem very robust. There’s similar controls to the iPhone and iPod Touch, but there is a small microphone port by the headphone Jack, and a switch to lock the orientation (very handy).

This has been mentioned in other reviews but it is worth repeating, the speaker looks similar to the iPhone, but it produces considerably better sound in terms of volume and base. So much so that my initial thoughts of having to get a speaker system for the car, I don’t think is worth it now. I’m also using it for night time audio books for my son, where previously I would have plugged in my iPhone to some speakers.

I should also mention the screen. As I got this before the official release, there are currently no screen protectors available in Australia. I bought a silicon protector sleeve for the outside on eBay having heard that this scatches easily, but the screen I nervously left. What I have found is that it seems to be extremely robust and scratch resistant, despite some heavy use when typing and playing fruit ninja.

Lastly I should give the battery life an honorable mention. This is as long as is claimed, usually longer. It’s pretty amazing to watch a film, then see you still have 90% battery life left.

iPad Software
If your used to the iPhone or iPod Touch, this won’t take much getting used to. In most ways it’s extremely similar. I have found a few gotchas though where I look for things where they would be on the iPhone and they aren’t there. These include:

– Controls at the top of the screen rather than the bottom. This often means you have to take your hand off where you are holding it in order to activate the control you want. Somehow I would have preferred that the controls are placed within easier reach of my hands normal resting place.

– The keyboard. I’m constantly typing double full stop (period). Somehow I am used to the double space bar, but when I see the full stop I double tap that instead. I’m also never sure whether things are going to be capitalized or not, so continuously am hitting shift then realizing I should have as I’ve removed capitalization rather then added it.

– Browsing – Dont get me wrong here, the browsing experience is probably better than ANY device I’ve every used, but I find the tab menu thingy to be a little annoying and hard to follow. Why there isn’t just tabs at the top like a standard browser, I don’t know. It would really make a lot of sense particularly in portrait mode.

I am finding it hard to adapt to little issues too as when you go back to the iPhone you get into the text entry and menu habits again.

Highlights of the software really include browsing, which is just awesome, and this is a great device for reading those PDF books or documents you just never seem to get round to (I’d get the goodreader app for this as it really makes it a lot easier).

Recommended Apps
There are a few must have apps I think for the iPad. These are:

– Goodreader – a PDF reader that allows you to upload files from your computer, download files from the web, and provides a great reading experience. I buy a lot of PDF books and this finally gives me the experience I’m after to read them.

– Kindle – iBooks isn’t out yet, but the kindle app is great and has a load of books available even on the Australian store! I have to say that I think the kindle reading experience is better here purely for the size of the device. Also if your eyes are at all dodgy there’s a trade off for the extra contrast, and that seems to be. That fonts can’t be quite as big.

– VNC Viewer – I haven’t exactly used this one a lot, but it’s a great way to get a full Mac or Windows experience on your iPad. It’s also away to get flash on hour iPad if you really need it!

– WordPress – if you blog this is a really usable and portable way to write your posts and approve comments.

– Twitter client – I haven’t found a decent one yet. Twitteriffic I found to be very buggy on the iPad so much so that I have set up hootsuite in safari to handle my Twitter posts.

– Harbour master HD – This is a great, and free game. You guide the ships into ports and back out again. Sounds simple but it’s great fun and addictive.

– Lets Golf HD – If you like Lets Golf, you’ll love this. The larger screen really adds to this game and it’s worth the upgrade even if you already have the iPhone version.

– Fruit Ninja – I’m not sure if it’s worth buying the iPad version of this, the iPhone version is cheaper and seems fine. Again though it’s a game that really gains from the larger screen.

Using my iPad
So where am I using the iPad? This is the device that’s just left about for instant Internet access. I used to use my iPhone, but have found myself searching round for the ipad to get the extra screen size.

I’m also taking the iPad to business meetings. It really is a big advantage to be able to type notes in the notes app. Not only can you type reasonably quickly, but you can still see your client at the same time. They seem to respond much better when you do this as you’re not putting a barrier of a laptop screen up in front of them.

Games and video really shine too on the iPad. Games are just so much more enjoyable and immersive on the bigger screen and videos as great. I can’t think anyone would buy an in car entertainment system if they take a look at an iPad.

Lastly my ipad gets used for reading a lot. Reference books are great, but so are novels. I’m reading my son, kids books at night too, as it let’s me put the light down to try to get him off to sleep.

Summary
If your thinking of buying an iPad, these are great devices. You will use it more than you think and in ways that you can’t imagine. I have the 64GB wifi version which has stupid amounts of storage (I current have 30 films on it), probably you can get away with less. I would get the 3G if you can too. Much to my surprise, plans from Telstra and others are quite reasonable and flexible, and I do miss the access when I’m out and about.

My advice on the model would probably be a 32GB with 3G.
If you have an ipad and want to add anything, or want to ask any questions, please feel free to add comments.

iPad WordPress