When is the next Apple keynote address?

Since Apple announces their keynote addresses in their respective time zone (Pacific Standard Time or PST), I always thought it would be nice to have some sort of automatic time zone aware converter that shows the start of a keynote address for everyone’s local time zone. Since no one else is providing this kind of service (at least not that I know of) I took matters into my own hands.

Once Apple announces a keynote address, wheniskeynote.com will show the start time of the keynote depending on the time zone setting it finds on your computer. By the way, did you know they have a :45 minute time zone offset on Chatham Island?

The link list gets shuffled every time the page is loaded so not to give preference to any of the linked web sites. I wanted the site to look like a real keynote slide and I think the design comes pretty close to that. This was primarily a fun project to try out some programming techniques I wasn’t too familiar with. It would have been a lot more work if it hadn’t been for the fantastic jQuery JavaScript library, the very useful time zone detection JavaScript from Josh Fraser and Jon Nylander and the uber cool looking countdown timer JavaScript from Vassilis Dourdounis.

Check out wheniskeynote.com.

Black screen in crashed iPad video player app

For unknown reasons, the iOS video player app found on all iPads locks itself up in rare situations. Opening the video app results in a black screen, all you can do is jump back to the home screen using the home button. Both, restarting the iPad or re-syncing it on iTunes won’t help.

Now before you restore your iPad, there are two quick things you could try first:

  1. If you know the title of a movie on your iPad, use the search function to look it up and start it by tapping it
  2. …or open the iPod app and select a video podcast or iPad video and play it

The video app should be working again from now on. If it doesn’t then I’m afraid, you probably have to do a full restore of your iPad.

Apple cancels iPad 2 orders to freight forwarders and international addresses

Apple just started canceling iPad 2 orders in the U.S. that ship to freight forwarding services or international addresses. This is the email you receive from Apple if you try to order an iPad 2 via nybox.com:

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple order.

While we appreciate your interest in iPad 2 and iPad 2 accessories, we
are unable to process your order. Apple is unable to fulfill orders
that exceed the quantity limit per customer, or that ship to an
international, freight forwarder, or an APO/AFO address.

Your iPad 2 order has been cancelled, and you will not be charged.

Sincerely,
Apple Online Store Team

It seems only iPad 2 orders are affected, Apple store orders shipping to freight forwarders for accessories like JAM by Apogee are still active.

TRIM support on its way for Mac OS X Lion 10.7?

A 100% reliable source sent me this output from the System Information utility (yep, it’s not called System Profiler anymore) in the Mac OS X Lion 10.7 developer preview.

APPLE SSD TS128C:

  Capacity:	121.33 GB (121,332,826,112 bytes)
  Model:	APPLE SSD TS128C                        
  Revision:	CJAA0201
  Serial Number:	        902A515CK0YK
  Native Command Queuing:	No
  Removable Media:	No
  Detachable Drive:	No
  BSD Name:	disk0
  Medium Type:	Solid State
  TRIM Support:	Yes

Yes! While this doesn’t mean we actually get TRIM support in the disk driver, it’s certainly a strong indication that Apple is finally implementing TRIM support in its upcoming Lion operating system. It’s about time.

No SSD TRIM support in Mac OS X 10.6.7

Are you’re still waiting for SSD TRIM support in Mac OS X? Well, it won’t come in OS X 10.6.7. Here’s some output of my 2nd generation MacBook Air Serial-ATA System Profiler page:

APPLE SSD TS128C:

  Capacity:	121.33 GB (121,332,826,112 bytes)
  Model:	APPLE SSD TS128C
  Revision:	CJAA0201
  Serial Number: 80PB54G7K1WK
  Native Command Queuing: No
  Removable Media: No
  Detachable Drive: No
  BSD Name:	disk0
  Medium Type:	Solid State
  TRIM Support:	No

As there’s no TRIM support for Apple’s own SSD technology obviously there won’t be support for it for my Intel SSD in my Hackintosh rig. But just to make sure:

INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GN:

  Capacity:	80.03 GB (80,026,361,856 bytes)
  Model:	INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GN
  Revision:	2CV102HD
  Serial Number: CVPO942300DA080BGN
  Native Command Queuing: Yes
  Queue Depth: 32
  Removable Media: No
  Detachable Drive: No
  BSD Name:	disk0
  Medium Type:	Solid State
  TRIM Support:	No

Nope.

New iOS 4.3 beta iPad multi-touch gestures not working?

Can’t use the new “multitasking” finger-swipes on your iOS 4.3 beta iPad? That’s probably because you updated your iPad in iTunes. You have to restore it in Xcode’s Organizer and click “Use Development Mode” to get the new four and five finger-swipes. You need a valid iOS SDK developer account to do this, it’s not enough to have the iPad’s UDID registered with someone else’s dev account. Continue reading

How to merge/combine/join multiple .mp4 videos on the Mac

I have a whole bunch of photography tutorials I converted from Flash video format (.flv) to .mp4 so I can watch them on my iPad. Since those tutorials are broken down into a myriad of .mp4 episodes it makes it much harder to watch them in the right order. I needed to find a way to merge several episodes into large movies. This is where Squared 5’s MPEG StreamClip for Mac comes in handy. While this free video conversion tool allows you to convert alls sorts of video formats to .mp4, it also allows you to merge multiple .mp4 videos. Here’s how to do it. Continue reading

How to convert .flv Flash video to .mp4 on the Mac

I have a bunch of photography tutorials in the Flash video .flv format which I want to watch on my iPad. As you may be aware, everything with the name Flash in it doesn’t play too well on Apple’s iOS devices. VLC Media Player for iOS is able to play the .flv format but Apple doesn’t allow 3rd party software devs to use the built-in H.264 hardware acceleration for video playback. As as result, .flv videos usually don’t play very well on iOS devices. Besides, I prefer to manage my video collection in iTunes instead of dragging every clip onto an app icon.

Continue reading

No video AirPlay in Apple TV 2 – yet!

A few days ago I received the re-vamped Apple TV 2 (or 2G) in the mail. The iOS version in the new Apple TV is listed as 4.0. I was very curious to try the new AirPlay feature that Steve Jobs announced in his keynote in early September. AirPlay enables the ability to stream any kind (well, obviously the format needs to be supported by iTunes) of audio and video from any iOS device to Apple TV 2. I have yet to find out why this feature could be useful but hey – at least it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? ;-)

To be able to stream content to Apple TV 2 you need to press that small antenna icon on the right to the volume slider and a dialog pops up to choose the target iOS device. I tried both, the iPad and iPhone 4, to stream a movie to Apple TV 2 but unfortunately, only the audio stream is being recognized by Apple TV 2. Continue reading

ASUS P6T & OS X 10.6.5 update – still no support for SSD TRIM command

I just updated my ASUS P6T Hackintosh to the latest Mac OS X 10.6.5 developer build and it looks like there aren’t going to be any changes regarding the support for the SSD TRIM command for the official release of Mac OS X 10.6.5.

  Model:	INTEL SSDSA2M080G2GN
  Revision:	2CV102HD
  Serial Number:	CVPO942200DA080BGN
  Native Command Queuing:	Yes
  Queue Depth:	32
  Removable Media:	No
  Detachable Drive:	No
  BSD Name:	disk0
  Medium Type:	Solid State
  TRIM Support:	No <--

My 2nd generation Intel SSD supports the TRIM command in Windows 7 even though Mac OS System Profiler thinks it doesn’t. By the way, aside from the AppleHDA-kext replacement the update process from 10.6.4 to 10.6.5 went smoothly as usual on my ASUS P6T rig.

Enable AirPrint printer sharing for iOS 4.2 and higher for iPad or iPhone

To use Apple AirPrint on an iOS device like the iPad or iPhone you either need an AirPrint enabled printer or a printer that’s connected to a Mac. Here’s how to use a printer that’s connected to a Mac. In order to be seen by any iOS device, the printer needs to be shared on your local network. Go to System Preferences -> Sharing and activate the checkbox for “Printer Sharing”. Click the “Open Print Preferences” button. In my example, I’m going to share my Lexmark C530 laser printer. Continue reading

Mac doesn’t auto-sleep anymore, hard disks too

Lately, my Mac was having two weird problems.
First, it didn’t go to sleep after the amount of time set in Energy Manager anymore. In fact, it only went to sleep if either I pressed the sleep button on the case or selected the sleep menu entry in the top left Apple-icon menu.

The second problem was that unused hard disks didn’t go to sleep anymore. If I manually ejected an unused hard disk it only went to sleep for a short time. After about 30 seconds I could hear the disk spin up again. Well, obviously something I installed on the Mac was preventing it from going to sleep properly.

Continue reading