Archive for February, 2011

ITunes Remote Control

Ever used the iPhone/iPod/iPad remote control for itunes? I have been developing a version of it based on many different platforms.

Whats in the works?

  1. ASP.Net beta version in the next couple weeks.
  2. PHP version with installer to avoid any web knowledge requirement (Approx 1 month)
  3. Blackberry Playbook App
  4. Android Tablet/Phone App
  5. Blackberry Phone App

I have been using it so far connected and streaming using airtunes with airport expresses. Great for a party when you dont want your laptop to be stepped or rolled on by people horsing around (Yes, you know who you are).

iTunes Remote Beta

There are a few other games coming to the blackberry playbook that I am about half finished  that will be announced when I get closer to a beta version.



Blackberry Slowness

I recently met a family that all have blackberries. All six members of the family have a bbm group for saying things like “suppers ready” etc. Don’t you miss the good old days of just tinging a triangle?

What I realized when they all told me they loved their blackberries, but they were slow all the time, was that they had almost every installed program running at once.

Often when people find their device slow, they pull the battery. In case you are unaware, as of 4.5.0 you can do a function just like alt-tab on your PC (or cmd-tab on mac) to show you everything currently active and running. If an application seems unresponsive, try to close it. If you cannot close the application, (>4.7.1) simply hold down the menu key, and change to a new one or go to home screen. If they application is truly dead, eventually the OS *should* kill it.

Pre-4.7.1 you have to go to the home screen, and hit the blackberry menu key (the little key that looks like the blackberry logo), then select “Switch application”. Post-4.7.1 you can simply hold down the menu key and an alt-tab-like menu pops up. Items within that menu are running and using memory/cpu. Go into them and close what you are not using!

*Note: Some applications like Phone/BBM/Browser etc will always run. Phone for example is a godlike process that cannot be closed. This makes sense when you think – “If my phone were locked up completely, I should still be able to phone 911.”

To use your blackberry efficiently keep in mind that hitting the red END key when in an application will simply push it to the background. Using the BACK key (to the left of END) will actually, majority of the time, close the application.

*Note: Browser cache and log clearing do not actually affect blackberry performance unless they are open and in the background. They have a maximum size they can get to and then they clear old entries automagically.

Hope this helps. It would be wonderful if RIM had a simple “How to use our multi-tasking” howto in the intro when the phone is first powered on.

Google Sync for BlackBerry

Have you been getting duplicate contact and calendar entries on your blackberry after installing Google Sync? (See further follow-up in comments on multiple calendars and how to fix)

The reason? It is built in to all the latest blackberries!

As soon as you add your Gmail account to your blackberry BIS profile (Blackberry BIS is simply the server program for the average individual run by your ISP that holds, and pushes, emails to your public blackberry. Corporate email will use what is called a BES) it is already set up to sync and backup contacts and calendar appointments. When you install and run Google sync it conflicts with this process.

The built in sync is set up like so:

  1. Appointments/Contacts made on your phone are instantly pushed to Gmail
  2. Appointments/Contacts made on Gmail are pull to your phone
  3. All email features are push and instant.

So what is happening when you use Google sync?

  1. Your blackberry makes a new calendar appointment, it syncs it with gmail
  2. Google Sync will find that there is a new appointment, and sync with gmail
  3. There are now two appointments on gmail.
  4. Your blackberry will pull any updates from the gmail server, finding the “new” item
  5. There is now a duplicate item which GS will find and sync with the gmail server.
  6. etc.

Hope this helps any frustrated people out there. If you want to change these behaviors and have a torch for example, hit the menu (blackberry) button, select options, click on the gmail calendar under “accounts”, and modify the “Wireless Synchronization” option.

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I do not adhere to a schedule. I post when I have something to say. I'm a programmer who in my spare time enjoys contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and, everything. So there will be code as well as random little stories, essays and, musing about whatever interests me at the moment.