All Biased

A blog mostly about Mac, iPhone & iPad use

Worked almost exclusively from iPad this week

I thought I'd make an effort to make the iPad work as my main computer this week. The writing was easy. Most of it is done on the web. Apple Wireless Keyboard made it effortless to write many and long pieces.

The harder things were those where I had to move files between websites and create web graphics using Pixelmator templates.

The file moving was solved using iCab Mobile for iPad web browser. It has its own download folder. I downloaded csv files from one website and uploaded them to Doubleclick for Publishers. It was easy once I figured out I could do it that way.

Graphic creation was a bit trickier at first. I ended up using iDraw for iPad. iDraw is a vector graphics editor. Instead of using the templates from Pixelmator for OS X for the Mac, I created new templates in iDraw. That had an added advantage. They are resizable without losing any sharpness.

During the week I used the Mac a few times too. Not becuse I needed to but because it was at hand. The battery life of iPad is incredible. It lasts about twice as long as the MacBook Pro = a whole 8 hour work day. That's when I do graphics editing. If I surf the web or watch movies it lasts a couple of hours longer. (Movie watching is not part of my work, by the way.)

Another thing I found out this week was that Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad can be used for making website mockups. Unfortunately I haven't found a better tool for that on the iPad. PS Touch isn't ideal but definitely better than nothing.

I write this on the iPad, but I will have to open the MacBook to post it since WoodooPad Static isn't part of the iPad app.

Published 21 apr 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Facebook Home and I go in opposite directions

With Home Facebook is trying to make following and interacting with friends easier and more ubiquitous. Everything will be available from your home screen (on Android).

I'm going in the other direction. I have moved most of my messaging apps away from the home screen. I have disabled notifications and app badges. I want less distractions, not more. I want to interact on my own terms.

Published 4 apr 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Free encrypted chat for everyone with Cryptocat

Cryptocat ( is a new encrypted instant messaging client for anyone who want to stay private. There are clients for Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Mac OS X. It's open source and free.

Cryptocat for Mac OS X

Published 17 mar 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Google Reader and my changing view of Google

Google Reader is one of the latest of Googles discontinued projects. I rely heavily on it every day as a rss hub, but I am not particularly worried about what will happen on july 1st. I am sure that by then there will be good enough alternatives to keep on working pretty much the same as now. In the long run I think the rss world will in fact improve as a result of Google closing Reader.

I, and probably a millions of others, have viewed Google as a sort of internet backbone. Gmail was in beta for years but I always thought of it as a service that would be there, no matter what. The same goes for Google Search, Analytics, AdSense, AdWords, Reader, etc.

The fact that Google has begun closing services have forced me to review my thinking. I realize now that Google and its services isn't more of a backbone than anything else on the internet. Reader isn't the first service they shut down and certainly won't be the last. They, like all companies, must make money and Google reader probably doesn't. Financially it might have been an easy decision.

Does Google realize how closing of some services may affect the view people have of them as a reliable supplier? Hopefully.

Published 16 mar 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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To space and back with a radio controlled airplane

A fellow Swede, David Windestål, built a RC airplane with a camera and sent it out into space. It reached a height of 30.000 meter. Then he flew it back to earth. The result is this impressive video.

You can follow Davids Youtube channel:

Exploring the RC world, one crash at a time…

Published 14 mar 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Getting rid of a wall of DVD's

For years my wife and I have bought DVD movies. We realized that if we bought them a year or so after they were released it cost about the same to buy them as if we had rented them for one night.

In our effort to live a little leaner we are getting rid of them. That will clear a wall in the stairs between our two floors. It's not space that we need, but it will make our home feel less cluttered. Most of the videos can be found elsewhere, like on Netflix and in iTunes so I don't really think we will miss them once they're gone.

It must have been six months, at least, since I last saw a film on DVD. I don't even have a DVD player since my daughter got my MacBook Pro.

At first it was a mental struggle to accept that the movies we spent a lot of money on buying isn't worth much now. My wife will sell them at a flea market. Hopefully someone else will enjoy them as much as we have. We are just keeping a handful of movies. Ones that might be hard to find legally online.

Next up is my CD collection.

Published 9 mar 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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A way to use iPhone Wi-Fi while in flight mode

If you first activate flight mode on the iPhone and then enable Wi-Fi, you can use Wi-Fi while the rest of the phone is still in flight mode.

Published 5 mar 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Creativity according to John Cleese

I saw this video on LifeHacker. I thought it was quite interesting, and funny. John Cleese takes creativity apart and tell us what's needed for creativity to occur. There are five important things:

  1. Space. A place where creativity can take place, away from what's keeping you from being creative.
  2. Time. He suggest an hour and a half once a week. The first half hour to get into the right creativity mood and the remaining hour to be creative.
  3. Time. Don't make your creativity sessions to short and refrain from grabbing the first creative idea that comes to mind. Wait for the best one that comes up before you have to decide which way to go.
  4. Confidence. Be prepared to make mistakes. Embrace them. You must allow yourself to make mistakes on the way to success. Be confident that it will lead to something good.
  5. Humor. Beeing creative isn't about looking serious. Humor is a path to playfulness and relaxation, which booth helps creativity.

If creativity is of interest to you, I suggest you take the 36 minutes to watch the video. Or, if you're in a hurry, read the transcript on Github.

Published 19 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Considering a move away from VoodooPad to something less complicated

I don't mean that VoodooPad is complicated. It's just that I don't think it's quite ready for blogging yet.

There are a number of things, perhaps due to my lack of knowledge, that I simply cannot get it to do, and others that are just awkward. Basic things like producing a blog archive index page or having different looks of front and individual blog post pages. It can't handle relative paths which means that I would have to change the templates if I wanted to move it somewhere else. And then there are things that to me look like bugs. Quite often when I publish the pages aren't published. I have to change the save path and then change it back for publishing to work again. And markdown behaves strangely. If I surround a phrase with double asterisks (**) to make it bold, the phrase often is substituted for non-readable letter combinations.

There are other things too. Some of them I have asked for help with on the VoodooPad web board. Unfortunately the developer seem to have too many things to juggle at the same time.

The web board is set up so that every post and reply has to be approved before they appear. It usually takes a day or two. This effectively slows down the discussions. It also means that I often feel that it is pointless to answer other peoples questions. Two or more people may answer the same question without knowing it when it takes so long until they are visible.

VoodooPad is a good tool and if the issues and some of the feature requests were taken care of it could be a really good static blogging platform. Unfortunately that seem to be quite far off into the future. I'm not sure I will have the patience to stick around that long. I might go for manual static blogging instead. Writing markdown, convert it to html, add a header and footer, making archive pages and a rss feed. Automating some parts with applescript or Hazel. It would be a bit of work but I'm not sure it would be more than what I do in VoodooPad now.

We'll see.

Published 15 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Superfast delivery from Apple

I called Apple to order a new MacBook late yesterday afternoon. I asked for express delivery costing around $12. Less than 24 hours later it arrived on our doorstep. From the Netherlands, via Belgium and Germany, to Sweden. I was impressed.

Published 15 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Apple has lowered the prices of MacBooks

MacBook ProMacBook Pro with retina display received the largest price cut. They also upgraded the processors on a couple of models. I'm thinking of upgrading to a 13 inch retina MacBook Pro. Retina display and longer battery life are the two things I miss on my 13-inch MacBook Air.

The cheapest retina MacBook Pro now retails for $1499 in the Apple online store. Thats much less than I payed for the Air last year.


Published 14 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Website optimizer WebCrusher on $2 sale instead of $29.95

WebCrusher - One-click website optimizationIf you create websites and want them to load as fast as possible you might want to take a look at WebCrusher. Today it's on sale at $2. Wait until tomorrow and you will have to pay $29.95.

Read more at the Two Dollar Tuesday website:

WebCrusher - One-click website optimization

Published 12 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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A free and easy way to get tabs and lots of other features in OS X Finder

XtraFinder is a free add-on to OS X Finder by Trần Kỳ Nam. Among lots of other features it gives Finder tabs, dual panels, folders on top, cut and paste and night mode.

When you run XtraFinder it lands in the menu bar. Open preferences and make whatever changes you want.

Visit the developer website to download and install XtraFinder:

XtraFinder for Mac OS X

Published 11 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
comments powered by Disqus client Netbot goes free for unspecified time

One of the highest rated clients. Previously a couple of dollars and now free for both the iPhone and iPad versions:

It's rated with 4,5 stars in iTunes App Store by hundreds of users.

Published 1 feb 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Flipboard & instapaper is the base of my reading workflow

To keep informed about all things Apple, Mac, iPhone and iPad related, I follow hundreds of blogs and other news sources every day. I don't want to spend more time than necessary reading so I have set up a workflow to make the process as streamlined as possible.

All of my news sources are maintained in Google Reader. They are categorized based on subject. I use Flipboard for iPhone and iPad to browse all headlines. I like Flipboard for iPhone particularly much because I can read only using gestures to navigate between and into articles and feeds. When a headline looks interesting I open the article to read more. Then I decide if there is an action for me in it. An action can be to try an app or new setting, write something related to it, share it with others or just read it for my own pleasure. If there is an action to be done I send it to Instapaper.

After having browsed all news in Flipboard I go to Instapaper, either on my Mac or on iPad. In Instapaper I read them carefully and decide what to do with them. Instapaper strips away all ads and formatting and present the text in an easy to read format. When I'm done the articles are archived in Instapaper. That way I can come back later if I want to. I have a paid subscription to Instapaper to get the full text search feature. I consider it a must to be able to find what I look for among thousands of texts.

Sometimes I find interesting things in other places than my Google Reader news sources. For instance when I browse the web or read email. Then I send it to Instapaper so I can handle it within my normal workflow. There is an Instapaper bookmarklet as well as a special email address to send web pages directly to Instapaper.

Published 31 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Sleepy Mac? This is how you fix it

Does your Mac take long to wake up after sleep? There may be an easy fix.

When the Mac has been asleep for a while it writes everything it is working with to the hard drive to save energy and go into a standby mode. The downside to that is that it takes longer to wake up when it has to read everything back to RAM memory from the disk.

How long it takes until the computer writes the memory contents to disk varies, but you can set this time yourself. On my MacBook Air it was 70 minutes. I changed it to 12 hours so that it should wake up quickly every morning.


Make your Mac wake up faster by changing a setting in the Terminal:

  1. Open Terminal (it's in Applications > Utilities in OS X).
  2. Write sudo pmset -a standbydelay 43200 and press Enter.

You're done.

43200 is the number of seconds (12 hours) you want OS X to wait until it puts your Mac into deep sleep. Change it to anything you like.

I found this neat trick at OS X Daily.

Published 29 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Don't spoil the magic!

I left the car for its first annual service at 9.15 this morning. At 9.58 I received a call from the service technician. The car was serviced and ready for pick-up.

He should have waited to call me. I want to believe that when I pay $500 for a car service someone has spent at least a couple of hours caring for it.

Published 24 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Mailbox for iPhone: I like what I see

In a few weeks a new iPhone Gmail app, Mailbox, will launch. Watch the video below. If you like it too, you have a chance to reserve a copy on their website. First-come, first-served.

Mailbox for iPhone

Published 24 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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Some interesting recent Apple headlines

The Obvious But Hidden Secrets Behind Apple’s Record Numbers And Stock Price Crash

What horrible sin has Apple committed? It has little to do with numbers and everything to do with expectations. Apple just reported record revenue, record profits, record iPhone sales, record iPad sales, and record weekly revenue that was almost 30-percent higher than last year.

Apple sold 10 iOS devices per second last quarter

47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads landed in the hands of happy consumers last quarter, which is a rate of 6 iPhones and 3 iPads per second. The remaining sales were made up by the diehard iPod Touch.

Apple sees 2 billion iMessages sent daily from half a billion iOS devices

Also announced on Wednesday was a huge increase in the number of iCloud users, which saw a jump from 190 million in October to 250 million as of December.

Apple reports the largest corporate earnings in the history of the earth, stock down 10%

Apple today posted its earnings for the final quarter of 2012, which was ‘disappointingly’ the largest corporate earnings year in human history by a tidy margin.

Tim Cook to Apple investors: Keep calm and stop listening to rumors

The iPhone 5 with its 4-inch display “has a larger screen size without sacrificing one-handed ease of use,” said Cook. “We put a lot of thinking into screen sizes and we believe we’ve picked the right one.”

Tim Cook: We’ve Sold a Half Billion iOS Devices

Overall, Apple sold some 75 million iOS devices during the quarter which no doubt helped boost the company up to US$54 billion in sales.

Tim Cook: Apple's product pipeline is 'chock full' of 'incredible stuff'

"The most important thing to Apple is to make the best products in the world that enrich customers' lives," Cook said. He said that Apple is "not interested in revenue for revenue's sake."

Published 24 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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One family - one mobile broadband connection

I just switched from a mobile 3G to a 4G connection for our familys internet supply. All our TV and internet needs share the same mobile broadband through a wireless router.

It should work fine since it has worked well on 3G for more than a year. We are four people using three Macs, three iPads and three iPhones to watch TV, streaming movies (on Netflix) and surf the web.

After installing I measured the speed and got 19,5 megabit down and 3,3 megabit up. And that was while my wife watched a movie in another room.

Published 24 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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