Dreambox HandBrake preset for iPad or iPhone

Did you know that you could easily convert recordings from a Dreambox sat/cable receiver using HandBrake to watch them on your iPad or iPhone?

Here’s the preset I use on my DM800 HD. It should work for all recent Dreambox models like the DM500 HD and the DM8000 as well. The preset is optimized for standard definition (SD) recordings and takes care of deinterlacing if needed using the decomb filter in HandBrake. To import the preset open the Preset menu in HandBrake and select Import. After importing you’ll find the new preset in the preset window (use the Toggle Presets button to open it).

Download HandBrake iPhone/iPad preset for (interlaced) Dreambox standard definition (SD) recordings.

To convert HD (720p) recordings make sure you use the built-in iPad or iPhone presets in HandBrake.

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.

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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

iOS 4.1 beta shows performance improvements for iPhone 3G

Ever since upgrading to iOS 4.0 my iPhone 3G performed like a piece of crap. I’ve seen that Apple published an iOS 4.1 beta on its iPhone developer network website and I was willing to give it a try to see if there are any performance improvements. To make it short: yes, there are. While it’s not as good as with v3.x the phone is a lot more responsive than with v4.0 or v4.0.1, without having to turn off Spotlight indexing! Let’s hope these changes make it to the 4.1 GM.

To activate iOS 4.1 beta your iPhone’s UDID needs to be registered with an Apple iPhone SDK account ($99 a year). As every account comes with 100 UDID slots for iDevices you just need to find a developer who adds your iPhone’s UDID to the beta SDK list. Some do it for free, some charge a couple of bucks to do it. I may have one or two UDID slots left in my dev account so you may want to leave a comment if you want to have your iPhone registered (please provide the UDID for the iPhone- but don’t ask me where to look it up). You also have to find the beta firmware on your own (Torrent sites may be a good place to start). Sorry, I don’t have any more UDID slots to give.

Btw. initally I tried to install iOS 4.1 beta on my iPhone 3G without a registered UDID. I used redsn0w 0.9.5b5-5, iOS 4.0, iOS 4.1 beta and iPhoneExplorer to remove the beta-tag in SystemVersion.plist. While I was able to activate my iPhone 3G that way I lost 3G/WiFi network connectivity. The problem seemed to be related to DNS. Making/taking calls, SMS worked perfectly though. This way of activating a phone most likely requires a new redsn0w version in order to work properly.

iTunes: The required file cannot be found

Lately, I always get an error message when I try to sync my iPhone in iTunes. The message simply says “The iPhone cannot by synced. The required file cannot be found.”

Unfortunately, iTunes doesn’t say exactly what file is missing. While playing with the sync options in iTunes I found out, that the problem is related to Apple Aperture 3 in my case. If you’re using iPhoto instead of Apple Aperture, you may find a solution in this Apple support note. If you’re getting this error message in iTunes and you’re syncing your Aperture 3 library (or parts of it) to your iPhone, I may have a solution for you. Continue reading

Review: DSLR photographers tools for iPhone

Here’s a review of iPhone and iPod touch apps that can be very useful to DSLR photographers. On one hand I was looking for iPhone apps which calculate sunrise and sunset times for a given location or even calculate the so called “blue hour”. On the other hand I was looking for apps that calculate depth of field, hyperfocal distance and flash exposure. I also had a look at some GPS coordinate tracker apps but due to (deliberate) limitations in the iPhone OS most of these apps don’t really work great. More on that later on. Continue reading

Google Calendar spams attendees!

I’m using Google Calendar Sync at work to synchronize all my Outlook meetings to my Google Calendar. This works pretty well. It even enables me to synchronize my Google Calendar to my iPhone using the MS Exchange server infrastructure from a company called Nuevasync. Nuevasync also supports push technology to send new meetings to my iPhone. This is a very nice way to synchronize all my private and work calendar data automatically and immediately to my iPhone without having to use (and to pay for) a .me account.

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iPhone 2G 2.0 update from 1.1.4 with IPSF – it works!

2G iPhones previously unlocked with IPSF (iPhoneSimFree) still work after patching them with the new PwnageTool 2.0 from iPhone-dev team. I successfully updated my 1.1.4 IPSF iPhone with the original 3.9 bootloader to the new 2.0 firmware without any problems. I was using ZiPhone to update to 1.1.4 but that didn’t seem to be a problem. Signal.app is not needed as PwnageTool unlocks the baseband with BootNeuter 2.0 anyway, at least if you use all the default settings in PwnageTool’s simple mode. Your iPhone’s baseband will be upgraded to 04.05.04_G in the process. Thanks to everyone involved for making this happen! Yee-haw!

By the way: I choose to setup the iPhone as a new iPhone instead of restoring a backup the first time I connected it to iTunes after updating.

Things you may need first:

Jailbreak/Activate IPSF 1.1.3 iPhone with 04.03.13_G

The 1.1.3 soft-upgrade is called a soft-upgrade because it won’t update your baseband firmware to the 1.1.3 software level (04.03.13_G). This was necessary because as of today there’s no anySIM hack for the new baseband.

Added 2008-2-23: You don’t need Singal.app if you run anySIM 1.1.3 on your IPSF iPhone. I just tested it today and it works!

Added 2008-2-29: Looking for 1.1.4? See here!  

If you own an iPhoneSimFree’ed (IPSF) 1.1.2 iPhone (or 1.1.1) with the 3.9 bootloader you’re able to fully upgrade to 1.1.3 including baseband! Why would you want the new baseband if you could run 1.1.3 with the older baseband firmware? I don’t really have an answer to that. I just wanted to make sure the software and the baseband firmware in my iPhone are on the same level as intended by Apple’s software engineers.

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