Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Should you get a white or black iPhone 6/6+?

My smartphone journey began with iOS, then I spent a few years with Android, but have been thinking about going back to iOS with the release of the iPhone 6/6+.  I couldn't decide which color, black or white, I wanted so I decide to do a little research and compare them on my own.

Clean front when device is off
Speaker/front facing camera/proximity sensor not visible
Bezels "disappear" when viewing media

Fingerprints are more visible on the bezel
Reflections are easier to see along the bezel
Applications don't look as good with black
Only comes in Space Gray

White bezels gives a cleaner look
Applications seem to look better with the white bezels
Fingerprint sensor has a colored ring surrounding it making it look more premium
Two toned look when the screen is off looks good
Comes in Silver or Gold

Speaker/front facing camera/proximity sensor visible
White bezel might be distracting when viewing videos
White bezels may project more light reflection

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hackintosh Multibeast Settings for GA-Z87MX-D3

So you've finally completed the OS X install and have successfully booted to the desktop  but not sure what Multibeast settings to use with your GA-Z87MX-D3H to complete your installation.  The images within this post should offer the help you're looking for.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Where to get Gigabyte BIOS betas?

I've seen this question asked many times on multiple forums and thought I'd just keep it simple in this post.  If you are looking for beta BIOS's for Gigabyte boards you can get them over at Tweaktown.

As they are beta's it is a try at your own risk situation.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hackintosh: How to Remove Persistent Boot Flags

If you are encountering an issue where your system is continuing to boot, for example, in to safe mode even though the boot.plist file in the Extra's folder is free of -x and the Chimera boot window is free of additional boot flags, this is how you can fix it.

In OS X open Terminal

Then type:
sudo nvram -d boot-args

You'll have to type confirm by typing your password but that's all there is too it.  Hopefully you are no longer experiencing any random boot flags occurring when booting your Hackintosh.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

AotD: AntennaPod - A Free Open Source Podcast Manager for Android

One of the first apps I missed when switching over to Android from iOS was a podcast manager.  There are quite a few for Android, one that I come across a lot is Pocket Casts ($4), but I was looking for a free alternative.  I recently stumbled across AntennaPod and has gotten the job done so far.
It's easy to use, looks good, and best of all it is free.  It is in beta so you stumbled across a few bugs but so far it has been solid for me.  They might charge in the future when the work out all of the bugs, but for now it is free so go grab it.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AotD: Grooveshark - Free Music Streaming App on Android

UPDATE: Since Grooveshark has shut down this service no longer works.
For those that don't know, Grooveshark is one of the many free music streaming websites available similar to Rio and Spotify.  Unlike those mentioned, you do not have to pay when you want to stream to your mobile device.

The problem with Grooveshark was there are no longer native applications on the Google Play Store or the iTunes AppStore. While you can use the mobile browser to listen to music via HTML5 the experience is slightly laggy and not as fluid as you would find on a native application. Luckily someone was nice enough to create a native application for users on Android and it looks amazing.  You'll need to allow the ability to install downloaded APK's.  Click the image to take you to more images and the APK file.

Thanks to Bejan Kanga for his hard work.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

AotD: Weatherlove - A Free Clean & Simple Weather App for Android

Weatherlove is a clean and simple Android app yet delivers the information you need.  It is beautifully done and offers many customization options including icons and a few themes.  There are various widget sizes and includes the option to display the temperature in the status bar along with providing 3 days worth of forecast in the notification menu.  My pesonal favorite widget would probably be for the lockscreen allowing you to display the weather in the style of Cyanogenmod.

So if you are looking for a new weather app that is clean, simple, and informative, with a ton of customization options, I would highly recommend checking out Weatherlove.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Alternatives to eBay for Selling/Buying Electronics

If you tend to keep up with technology you might find yourself with extra electronics.  Well, don't let them sit and gather dust, sell them sooner rather than later to get the most out of them.
eBay used to be the go to place when trying to sell anything and everything but the fees they charge are outrageous and can add up quick.  Fortunately for us there are other options.

Craigslist is a great way to sell/buy your electronics locally.  It is free to post your items and there are no fees that you need to consider.  Since it's mostly cash only transactions it is best to meet in public places when doing the exchange.  The downside to buying locally is that you have to make sure what you are buying is legit as there are no returns.
Amazon is another option if you are looking for a broader audience like eBay with less fees.  There are still fees that you have to consider but they are not nearly as high as they are on eBay since eBay gets you on eBay fees and Paypal fees.  The fee calculation depends on various factors but you'll most likely end up making more money.  The downside is that not as many people check Amazon, but it would still be worthwhile to sell.  The positive when buying is that Paypal is not required and you can just use a standard credit card.
Swappa is newer and probably the least known website for selling/buying electronics.  There are no fees to post as a seller nor are there fees when you sell your item.  The price that you post your item includes a $10 surcharge that the buyer pays.  When selling your phone you'll have to input your IMEI number which they'll check to determine if it is whitelisted.  That is probably the best part about Swappa is that you can have confidence that the item you are buying is legit and is not blacklisted.

If there are any other options that you know of feel free to comment below.  I know Craigslist and Amazon were pretty obvious to most, but Swappa might be new to a few.

Expired. PID on Steam for FREE

Check this out.  All you have to do is sign up for a newsletter and you'll get PID on Steam at the cost of $0.  I don't know if the game is any good, but it's usually $10 and it's free so why not.  Be quick as keys are limited.



PID Steam Link

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Time Machine on Ubuntu Server OS Status Error

If you are trying to set up Time Machine on an Ubuntu Server but are receiving an OS Status Error check to make sure the folder that you set up on your server for Time Machine does not include any spaces.  It would be best to use underscores (Time_Machine_Backup) or another option would be to use camel case (TimeMachineBackup).  But apparently spaces can cause issues within a folder name.

Hopefully this fixes your error.

Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Return to Stock 4.4 on Nexus 4

After many searches and trying to follow multiple guides I was unable to find a working guide on how to return my custom rom'ed Nexus 4 back to stock.  But, I finally came across an extremely easy way to return to stock 4.4 on my Nexus 4 with very little effort.

*As of writing this stock 4.4 does not include the latest updates.

There is a nice toolkit which basically does everything for you.  All you have to do is place the phone in fastboot mode and follow the onscreen instructions.  FYI, it will erase all your data. 

Nexus 4 Toolkit:
Mac / Windows

I accomplished my restore on a Mac but the method is probably very similar on Windows.  The toolkit includes everything including the stock 4.4 rom.  I was able to install 4.4 and restore the bootloader to a locked state with this toolkit, but restoring the bootloader is not necessary and you can opt out after the initial restore.

Again, all you have to do is the following:

1. Download the toolkit, extract it, and then run the tool (green android icon).

2. Unplug your Nexus 4 from your computer (if it is plugged in), power it off (if it is on), and then power it back on while holding the Volume down and Power buttons at the same time.  If successful you will see the following screen:
3. Plug in your phone and continue with the toolkit instructions.

If you are receiving the "waiting for device" message, try plugging the usb cable into a 2.0 port rather than a 3.0 port.  This was the fix for me.

4. Once it is done with the initial restore you can choose to lock the bootloader by following the additional onscreen toolkit instructions.  If not, you can unplug your phone which should now be on stock 4.4.

Hope this helps.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to Fix WIndows 7 Wake Issues

Recently my Windows 7 machine wouldn't wake up from sleep no matter what I did so I had to always power it down which was extremely annoying.  After some browsing I stumbled upon a fix which so far has been working.  Basically there is an option to allow a USB device to wake the computer, which is off by default and might be the culprit.  Here's how you change that setting.

Start > Right Click My Computer > Properties.
Select Device Manager on the left hand side.
Expand Human Interface Devices.
Right Click on HID-compliant consumer control device/HID-compliant device > Properties and select the Power Management tab.
Check Allow this device to wake the computer and select OK.

Do this for all of the HID-compliant consumer control device/HID-compliant device located in the Human Interface devices section.

Hopefully you will no longer have an issue with your Windows 7 machine not waking up from sleep.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Free: Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour for iOS

For the month of January 2014 you can get Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour for iOS for FREE.  Just follow the link below, click to get your code, then click your code to open iTunes and redeem your code.  Your download should start once redeemed.

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Access the Contents of Your Android Device on Your Mac

If you're looking to transfer files from your Mac to your Android device there is a free application that you can download on your Mac called Android File Transfer.

This application will allow you to access the contents of your device, similar to using a file manager on your phone.  You can then use it as an external disk to use while transferring files between computers, backing up important data, or if you want to drop an APK within a folder to install an application on your phone.

On Windows you should not require any additional software as it will show up as a media device that you can then access.  If you are having trouble accessing your phone's contents just make sure that your phone is on the homescreen.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Supercharge Your Mac Trackpads

As we all know the trackpads on Apple laptops are some of the best, if not the best in the industry.  You're able to bring the same feeling a desktop with the Magic Trackpad, although it's a bit pricey in my opinion.  But, there were some basic things I wasn't able to do, like go back/forward in Finder.  This was really annoying since you would either have to use the buttons or the keyboard shortcut.  I'm not entirely sure why it's not already built in, maybe it is and I don't know, but I was able to find a solution.

The application is called BetterTouchTool and it's been around for a while.  I actually had an old version installed, but just recently installed the latest version.  This application does more than just give you the ability to change gestures on your trackpad.  You can customize the Magic Mouse, a keyboard, Apple Remote, etc.  For my intent and purposes I just wanted to be able to swipe to trigger the back/forward effect.

These gestures can be made globally or based on a specific application.  Either way, it works wonderfully and it solved my issue.

So if you want to go back/forward within Finder, give this application a try.  It also allows you to snap windows on your screen, similar to Windows 7.  The application overall is pretty straight forward in terms of setting it up and works well.  Best of all it's FREE.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Nexus 5, International Version, Not Working on AT&T LTE and My Experience

So I recently got a Nexus 5 as a gift and was hoping to get LTE with AT&T.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get LTE working since the version Nexus 5 that I have is an international version which isn't compatible with the LTE bands for AT&T.  I get fine HSPA+ speeds, but was hoping to get LTE.

You can check which version phone you might have by turning your phone off and then holding the power button along with the volume down button and you should see a model number.  D820 for North America, D821 for the international version.  It's only possible to buy the North American version within the US from official locations.  If you are trying to buy the international version, you can try Amazon resellers or eBay.

LTE Users:

If you have a North American version and are looking to get LTE on a grandfathered unlimited plan you should be able to do it over the phone or in the store.  If you've never had LTE on any previous phones, the unlimited LTE data plan will not be an option for them to select.  Have the customer service rep add an IMEI number from phone that is LTE capable, even a display model, and the unlimited LTE data plan should show up.

Non-LTE Users:

If you are getting crappy speeds on the non-LTE plan you might not be on the correct data plan (which I encountered too).  I went in to the store and was able to have them display a list of unlimited data options (since I'm grandfathered) and there was one for 3G and one for HSPA+.  Make sure the HSPA+ option is selected.

Also, if you do end up going to the AT&T store and having to switch out the sim card, I would do it yourself rather than having them do it.  The customer service reps won't handle your phone with the care you might and may damage your phone.  They damaged the sim card ejection hole on my phone, although slightly, and it's really irritating.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

iPhone 4S Stuck Volume Up Button

A relative wanted me to look at her iPhone 4S to see if I could fix the volume up button which was stuck.  I first took it in to an Apple Store to see if they could fix it on the cheap, but after making an appointment and hours later I was told that it could not be fixed and that I would have to pay $199 to swap it out.  

I read about a shim that they could install, but was told that it was only to fix buttons that were not responding correctly, not ones that were stuck.

So instead of spending $199 I decided to try and fix it myself and I'm glad I did.  After buying the necessary tools to open up the iPhone the fix was quite simple.  One tiny disc that rests behind the volume up button was off center and therefore it was causing the button to stick.  After a drop of super glue and centering this tiny metallic disc it works.  I don't know how long it will last but I spent only $5 for the tools and super glue.  Here are 2 pictures I found online, one without the discs and the other with.  My part looked more like the right one.

As you can see that without the discs there is a hole which prevents the button from working properly.  I don't know why they designed it like this but they did.

So if your volume button is stuck just buy a new one online but make sure it's raised in the center of each button or else it will most likely not work.  If the volume buttons are working, just not properly, try googling about a shim which Apple does install, so don't take no for an answer.