Blog Howto

Dropbox now imports your photos (and gives you some gigabytes for doing so)

The whole Dropbox idea has been a very successful story so far. And now they’re apparently looking to get photographers to use their service. A recently released experimental version – read “you should backup your files or otherwise it might eat them along with your firstborn” – now comes with an integrated tool that detects a camera or memory card once you plug it into your USB port. There’s also an experimental Android version available (APK here) that uploads files automatically in the background using 3G or Wi-Fi.

After detecting a camera/card you are presented with a simple screen (see above), asking whether or not you’d like to import the photos and videos to your Dropbox. All uploaded files then show up in a new “Camera Uploads” folder and will be saved in the cloud.

Dropbox Photo Import also comes with a little gem: For the first upload you get 500 MByte, afterwards for every 500 MByte uploaded you’ll also receive 500 MByte of space. In total you can reach up to 5 GByte this way.

It worked flawlessly with some Nikon RAW files (NEF) I threw at it, although CPU usage was rather high for what looks like a simple copy process. On Windows you have to have AutoPlay enabled to make it work. Linux or Mac OS X 10.4 aren’t supported. Here are some screenshots using the app on OS X 10.7.3:

The forum post also has some other hints:

  • For Android devices, it’s best to use “Connect as Disk Drive”. HTC Sync will not work.
    To import from iPhone, make sure to unlock your phone and enter your passcode before importing, otherwise it will claim to find no photos.
  • If importing from your iPhone on Mac gives an import error, try hard resetting it–hold down the power and the home button for 5 seconds. This will reboot the phone; it shouldn’t change your settings or delete data.
  • On Windows, this feature relies on Autoplay. Please enable Autoplay to use this feature if you have disabled it.
  • On XP and Vista, it relies on the Windows Image Acquisition Service. If this service is not started, please start the service and reinstall Dropbox to use this feature. On WIndows Server, you may have to install the Desktop Experience feature.
  • On Windows 7, newer devices that rely on Device Stage (in the Control Panel) will not show Dropbox as an import option until you select “Change Program” for the default.
  • The Galaxy Nexus takes a lot of time to connect on OS X because it likes to pretend that every image on the device is a photograph. We now estimate how long it’s going to take and show you that in the progress bar but it’s usually in the order of minutes. We’re working to see if this can be improved.

(via Lifehacker)

Blog Howto

Deactivating iMessage on lost or sold iPhones

Well, here’s one iOS 5 issue that came up recently on Apple’s discussion forums: You switch from an iPhone with iMessage enabled to another smartphone that doesn’t have any idea on what iMessage is, for example an Android or Windows smartphone. Your friends using an iPhone will continue sending iMessages to your non-existent iPhone, because your phone number is still associated with your old iOS device.

A similar issue might show up if you sell or lose your iPhone. The new owner might continue to get your iMessages.

There’s a possible solution to this, as mentioned on the forums:

  1. Go to:
  2. Log in if not already logged in.
  3. Click on “edit products”
  4. Click on the “x” to the right of the product.
  5. Click “unregister”

In case the click on ‘x’ doesn’t show the “unregister” button, you can just select the device you want to get rid of and remove it from within details page of said device.

Hope this helps in case you’re having issues with a lost or sold iPhone that’s still getting your iMessages.

Blog Howto

iOS 5 Newsstand hidden in a folder

Annoyed by Newsstand that comes with iOS 5? Here’s a little trick how to hide it in a folder (and it doesn’t require jailbreaking your device):

  • Take two apps and move them over each other to create a folder
  • When those apps merge into the folder and you see the folder creation animation, quickly drag Newsstand into the folder too
  • Newsstand and your two apps will be in that folder, now you can move the other two apps out of it if you like

If you’re really quick you’re able to hide Newsstand in a folder. Just don’t try to open Newsstand from within that folder as it will crash springboard.

The same allegedly also works with folder within folders. Haven’t tried that yet though.

(via 52tiger, thecodingmassacre)

Blog Howto

Try the new Facebook News Feed

With the following words Facebook is trying to describe their new News Feed

News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.

There’s also a new Ticker feature, which will show your friends interactions with Facebook in realtime. Stalking was never easier.

Currently the only supported language with the new design is US English. If you want to try it, you should be able to do that by going to your account settings and selecting “English (US)” as the primary language. Knowing some English words might be helpful obviously.

Blog Howto

Use AirDrop over Ethernet (and on unsupported Macs, too)

Speaking of “hacks” here’s one for everyone using an older Mac or who just wants to use AirDrop over Ethernet, rather than slow WiFi. Apple currently only officially supports a number of more recent machines, and it’s likely there’s a good reason for that. That being said, it works for me using my Mac Pro’s (MacPro1,1) Ethernet connection connecting to my already supported MacBook Pro (MacBookPro5,1) on WiFi. Obviously this requires both machines to be running OS X Lion. Proceed at your own risk.

Blog Howto

Windows 8 Metro apps do not open? Raise the resolution!

This week Microsoft released a first developer preview of Windows 8. This version features their new UI called Metro. Now some of you might be using a netbook or are running it in VMware. In my case VMware Fusion 3 for Mac. This doesn’t work at all, but just a few hours after Microsoft released Windows 8 DP, VMware released version 4.0 of Fusion, which now is able to run/install with Windows 8.

Blog Howto

Combining OS X and cloud storage

I recently wrote that I reinstalled my MacBook Pro due to a new SSD. During this process I once again learned to love the combination of Mac OS X and “The Cloud”. The main ingredients being Jungle Disk, Dropbox and a little nice thing called symbolic links (if you’ve worked with unix/linux before you by now know where this is headed). Lifehacker also a nice intro to this.

After installing the basic OS (leaving out unnecessary printers and other options) I installed the necessary applications. I intentionally didn’t just copy over my old user profile. My goal was to get rid of all that crud this machine has been accumulating over the months (if not years). This obviously required a clean profile.

The great thing about *nix based systems is that all configuration settings are saved in some sort of flat file, not in some dubious proprietary format other operating systems like to use. This makes it possible to easily backup and restore only necessary application configurations.

Blog Howto

What to write about? Some current ideas…

Hey there! I know, I know… This blog, or rather me on this blog, haven’t been very active – apart from the sidebar with my FriendFeed entries that catches all my activity from all over the web.

I have some ideas to create more howtos or guides like the Amazon EC2 OpenVPN guide. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working on creating an IPsec/L2TP guide for EC2. I have the basics figured out, but now I need to put them all together.

Blog Howto

How to use Google Wave on your iPhone

Google Wave mobile
On October 1st Google released Wave to some 100.000 selected beta testers. While I wasn’t lucky enough to get a first row seat, I had the luck to be nominated by Andrew Terry and Kol Tregaskes for an invite. 2-3 days later my nomination by these fine guys came through.
Currently the best way to use Wave is using a regular browser on your computer. In some instances though you might want to use it on the go, say, on an iPhone or iPod touch. There are various claims out there that state it isn’t possible because Google said so on their site when you tried to go there with MobileSafari. It does work though, and it’s not a real secret. Have a look.

Blog Howto

How to reply using

Twitter.comI’m seeing this problem too often in my replies on Twitter, so I thought I make a little tutorial on “How to reply using”