Monthly Archives: November 2008

Tips on applying iSkin iPod/iPhone screen film

Here’s how to attach the iPod Touch/iPhone screen film from iSkin without bubbles (and avoiding the seven layers of hell while doing so).

  • Wear polyester based clothing (which doesn’t produce dust).
  • Start the process in a room that is the most dust free in your house.  Perhaps your kitchen.
  • Have the screen film, the anti-static alcohol wipe, and a small bit of saran wrap handy.
  • Wipe down the screen well with the alcohol wipe and hold the iPod touch screen up to the light to check for remaining dust.  If there’s any you can see, keep wiping.
  • When the screen is dust free, hold your iPod vertically, either on its side or standing up.  This prevents new dust from falling on the screen while you get ready with the screen film.
  • Peel away layer A of the screen film and quickly start to apply the bottom edge of the film, holding the film like a playing card, touching only the edges (the film is quite stiff, allowing you to hold it like a card).
  • The film will quickly start sticking or tacking onto the super clean iPod touch screen and will turn dark as it does, allowing you to easily see where the film has stuck or is still free or heaven forbid, has trapped some dust which will create a bubble.  Don’t try to apply the film all in one go.  Start from one corner and slowly work your way to the opposite corner.
  • Rub the film with your thumb from one side to the other along the “tack front” as you slowly move up the screen.  I recommend doing it not in a straight line but slighly diagonally like a guillotine blade.
  • Before reaching to the final upper corner, place the saran wrap in the corner where the film will finish.  This allows you to easily lift the film up to repeat if you messed up the alignment or if dust has gotten between the film & screen.
  • If you’ve managed to trap dust between the film and the screen, air bubbles will be glaringly obvious.  Don’t bother typing to wipe the dust off the film with your fingers or to squeeze out the air bubble with a credit card… it’s futile.  Remove the entire film and go to the sink.  Using a slow smooth stream of warm water, rinse the tacky side of the film.  Don’t worry, there’s no glue to be washed away so this is safe.  Shake the excess water off when finished.  Use the alcohol wipe (which is likely dry by now) to soak up any remaining water droplets since it is lint & dust free.
  • Repeat until you apply the film without dust and without bubbles.

(photo courtesy of iSkin)

Delete Windows Files on Mac OS X

The solution to deleting files on a Windows drive (XP or Vista) from Mac OS X is to use Paragon NTFS.  Upon installing Paragon NTFS you’ll be able to copy/delete/modify files on drives formatted NTFS (all Windows computers since Windows 2000).  This is especially handy for you VMWare Fusion (like me) or Parallels folks who need to continue using PC apps on their Mac for one reason or another.

Apple, which hasn’t licensed the use of NTFS technology from Microsoft, has only supported reading from Windows drives from OS X Tiger/Leopard/Snow Leopard.

There is also a free NTFS program for Mac called NTFS-3G which may do the trick for you, albeit with a little less polish (and perhaps stability) than the commercial solution above.

Play avi divx on iPod Touch or iPhone

To play .avi videos or files on your iPod Touch or iPhone, you must first change the file format from AVI to MP4 (MPEG-4) using programs such as VisualHub or iSquint.

VisualHub produces the best quality results and is drag-and-drop easy to use.  One fault with VisualHub is that it doesn’t extract and convert multiple TV episodes (or “titles”) from a single DVD or ISO file; It converts only the last “title” from a multi-episode disk or image file.  For multi-title conversion use Handbrake or MacTheRipper.

iSquint produces lower quality results, but is even simpler to use than VisualHub, with less output possibilities and adjustments.  For basic conversion of video files to various iPod formats or iPhone, this will work.

iPod Touch Wifi Password

Our brand new iPod Touch 16GB version 2 arrived today.  First problem: can’t connect to wifi router (Wanadoo/Orange). Our wireless password was not accepted.  After entering the wifi password multiple times we discovered that the wireless password on the iPod is case sensitive (capital letters vs. small letters makes a difference).

Entering the WEP/WPA wireless key into the iPod touch in all upper case letters solved the wireless password problem.  And I’ve heard to not use the Caps Lock key to do this, rather, just use the Shift key (requires it to be pressed each time while tapping a letter or number).  This doesn’t make logical sense to me (Shift key vs.Caps Lock for upper case letters), so feel free to give Caps Lock a try first.

MacBook Longer Battery Life Tip

Quick Tip for a longer MacBook Pro battery life (with LED backlit screens): Make a Hot Corner for turning off the screen and use it whenever you’re not actually looking at the screen. (System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver -> Hot Corners… [button])

If you’re like me and do multiple things while working with your MacBook, there are times when you’re not actually looking at the screen.  Quickly swipe your mouse to the Hot Corner you’ve setup for Sleep Display and you’ll reap instant power savings with very little cost in terms of downtime/wake time.

Fluorescent tube backlit screens unfortunately have a warm-up/cool-down time that causes the screen to appear dark when first lit and slowly increase in brightness as the backlighting tube warms up.  LED backlit screens brighten instantly to their preset level, so take advantage of it.

Watch Windows Media (WMV) Stream on Mac

Instead of installing Flip4Mac you can use VLC to watch streaming videos, particularly Windows Media (wmv) streams on Mac.

Here’s how:

Download VLC for Mac OS X here. Install and Launch VLC Player.

A Windows Media stream that cannot be played in Firefox will only show a lego brick and a blank area.

To find the media stream in Firefox, go to Tools -> Page Info (Cmd + I).

On the Page Info pop-up window, click on the Media tab.

One of media items in the list will use a different protocol than http, in this case, mms with the Type as Embed.  In the Location information just below the list you’ll see the mms media stream Internet address. In this case mms://  Highlight this address with your mouse and Cmd + C to copy it.

Now it’s time to open that Windows Media stream in VLC Player. Click on File and Open Network.

Paste the Windows Media stream that you copied earlier into Media Resource Locator field. Then click on HTTP/FTP/MMS/RTSP radio button on the left hand side of the Open Source window.

Click OK. VLC will begin loading the stream and will play the WMV stream shortly.

Enjoy your coverage of Obama defeating John McCain on France 24 live media stream.