Best Skins Ever – Perhaps

I’m a bit prissy when it comes to my display screens on my mobile devices and technology. I like putting screen scratch protectors on them. To protect them. To give me the peace-of-mind that they’ll survive the harsh treatment they get in my various bags and packs, and that the protector, not the screen, will absorb any harsh treatment.

I’ve done this with my digital cameras, my handheld GPS units, my PDAs, and now my iPad.

While there are a number of different screen protector and skin vendors, for my Apple devices, I’ve chosen skins from Best Skins Ever (yes, that really is their name).
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Remote control your computer from your iPad

Some say that the iPad is a magical device. I won’t go that far, but it is kinda cool, though it does have its shortcomings — especially when you compare it to a desktop or laptop computer. There are just many things done much better on a computer than on an iPad, which is why it’s neat that there’s computer remote control software for the iPad.

One of the easiest I’ve found to use is LogMeIn Ignition. Part of the LogMeIn family, Ignition lives on your iPad (or iPhone, or iPod Touch, or Android) and allows you to control any computer you’ve registered with the LogMeIn service.

Here’s how the process works:
1. Get a free LogMeIn account
2. Install LogMeIn Free client software on every PC/Mac you want to control
3. Register those computers with your LogMeIn account information

If you stop here, you now have the ability to control any of your registered computers from any other registered computer (that’s running the client software), or through the LogMeIn web interface (which is very slick!).

4. Install the LogMeIn:Ignition client on your iPhone/iPod Touch or iPad

And you’re done. You can now control any of your computers via your iPad.


Continue reading “Remote control your computer from your iPad”

Protecting your tech

When ever I get a new tech device, especially one that’s small, portable, and has a display screen, I immediately look to protecting that screen and device. I’m kinda clumsy at times, and anything that can protect my hardware from *me* is a worthwhile investment. I dropped my iPod Touch down the stairs last year, without a case, and the screen developed a hairline crack that killed about 2% of the pixels. The Touch works fine otherwise, but it’s annoying to have to deal with that flawed display part.


On my camera, I protected the view-screen with a clear adhesive protector.

In the past, with my various Palm devices, I’d gone with an aluminium-lined leather book-style case, and a clear adhesive plastic screen protector.

For my iPod Touch, I have a simple leather pouch, and my wife has a flip-style case — also with an aluminium panel over the screen, and a rather nifty full-body ‘skin’ from It’s transparent, made from reinforcing plastic used in helicopter blades, and very tough.


For my iPad, I opted for a portfolio-style leather case from Fossil, and a full body clear skin similar to the one on my wife’s iPod Touch. She’s got an Apple silicone iPad case.

Defence in depth
So you see a bit of a pattern here. I’m using two layers of protection on my devices; a robust and shock-absorbing case to carry the device in, and a clear protective skin to protect the unit from scratches and wear. The skins make it easier to keep the devices clean, and I have less worry when using them in a mobile environment — if the skin gets too scratched, simply peel it off and replace it.

Your turn, how do you protect your mobile devices?

This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my stuff here.

My iPad steering wheel mount

I’ve written before about using the Joby Gorilla Pod flexible tripod as an iPad desktop stand, but today was inspired to use it as a temporary steering wheel mount while waiting to meet someone. Yes, due to an appointment scheduling issue, I was 45 minutes early so had a bit of time on my hands.

Damn flexible device, no?
Gorilla pod iPad car mount
Gorilla pod iPad car mount

iPredict: some new stuff from Apple on Wednesday.

appleguitar_200.jpgOnce again we’re on the cusp of Apple’s annual Fall ‘event’. Over the last few years it’s been focused on Apple’s vision of music, entertainment, and the hardware technology needed by us, the consumers, to realize that vision.

So in two days, September 1, we’ll know what that vision of the future looks like. But there’s been a lot of speculation online as to what’s coming down the pipe, especially with the iPod line, so I thought I’d take a look at a few of the more interesting things I’d seen, starting with;

Redesigned iPod Shuffle (or is it a Nano?)


Well, some folk are thinking that the Nano will get smaller, perhaps starting to push into the Shuffle’s market niche. One report and image indicates that the device will have a touch screen, and the body shrinks to about size of a wrist watch.

Updated iPod Touch
At the last event, there was huge disappointment that the iPod Touch didn’t really get any significant enhancements. Speculation was rampant then that the Touch would get a camera. It didn’t.


Fast forward to now, and the rumor mill is prophesying two cameras (one front facing) to support Apple’s Facetime app (via WiFi), and Apple’s enhanced ‘retina’ display. And, perhaps a streaming music service. And perhaps 3G service too — creating a true iPad mini.

The Usual.
As well, this event, heading into the holiday buying season, is the perfect time to announce extensions to existing product lines (more memory), price changes for existing hardware, and perhaps, introduce a new look at an older product line (Apple TV becomes iTV?) and, perhaps the much discussed iMac Touch.

Regardless of how this all plays out, you can bet that there’ll be a lot of tech-types scanning the news of the day to see what new toys Apple rolls out — yeah, me too.

So, of course, check back here to get our take (I’m sure there’ll be a few of us weighing in) on the latest offerings from Apple.

This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my stuff here.

Battery life of a Microbe

My wife uses an expression to describe battery-powered technology that runs out of juice before it ‘should’ — Battery Life of a Flea, is how she describes it.

Well, if you thought you had problems with iPhone or iPod Touch battery life before, the new iOS4 update will not make you happy.

According to many anecdotal reports in this article, after applying the update, iPhone/Pod users began noticing drastically reduced battery life on their devices:

Perusing the Apple tech support forums, it seems that many users are concerned about the impact iOS4 has had on the battery life of devices that apparently worked just fine prior to upgrading the OS. It isn’t clear, though, whether multitasking is at fault, or if the battery drain is a result of certain, poorly-written apps gobbling up power.

The thread begins with this user post “I just downloaded iOS4 on my 3GS. And…wow, has my battery life shrunk over the past two hours. I’ll admit I haven’t had the OS for that long so I don’t know how much it’s the actual factor, but I’ve been trying new features and whatnot (minus multitasking much) and it’s just sucking away at my battery.”

Our experience is similar; the device now needs daily charging,  and the only way to extend battery life is to kick it into ‘Airplane’ mode.

As the article also points out, Apple seems to be aware of the issue, though they’re recommending a full reinstallation of the OS, though that seems to get varied results.

And there doesn’t seem to be a way to ‘revert’ your OS back to the previous version. I’m sure the Jailbreakers will have something on this shortly 🙂

Disappointing update, Apple. No wallpaper or multi-tasking  for my 2G iPod Touch — and now a battery that dies quite quickly.

Oh, if you want to read another perspective on the iOS4 / iPhone 4  update, check out this list of 8 Downfalls Of The New iPhone 4.

Apple just made my iPod Touch even more useful – not

Today Apple (well, Steve Jobs) announced a number of things at WWDC (Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference).

The one caught my attention  was the announcement of iOS4 – the operating system previously known as iPhone OS. Sure, there was a new iPhone, and a bunch of other stuff, but I have an iPod Touch (2nd Generation) and want to keep using it… so was looking for news that would let me keep my Touch humming along. And I found it.

Or so I thought.

The Apple iPod Touch page is big on promised features, but at the bottom, in the standard disclaimer grey area the text pulls back some of the lovely benefits mentioned above.

Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking, custom wallpaper, and Bluetooth keyboard support are available only with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the third-generation iPod touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009).

So, the cool features that I’ve been looking forward to will not work on my iPod Touch. Bluetooth Keyboard, Multi-tasking, Folders…all very cool features. And my device does support them — if I Jailbreak it. But not using the official update.

Well then, it is a free upgrade, and I’m sure I’ll get *some* benefit from it, but I’m not ready to retire this iPod Touch yet. Maybe Jailbreaking is the way to go.