iPhone alarm bug

November 3rd, 2010 by sebastian

This tuesday morning I was late at a business meeting because the alarm on my iPhone rang one hour to late :(

After getting up and taking a shower really fast, I’ve had a look on the alarm settings and there was the right time configured – What was going on…?

Obviously there was some kind of bug in my iPhone, so I’ve googled for it and found that:

Over the next weekend the time change will take place in the US – We’ll see wether Apple can rollout a bugfix for the US customers on time…


connect macbook to the internet via iPhone

October 10th, 2010 by sebastian

Sometimes one doesn’t have a wifi or cabled internet access (on an airport, in a hotel etc.) – Then you might want to connect your macbook via iPhone to the internet – Here is what you have to do:

  1. on the iPhone go to settings > general > network > (scroll down) and change Internet-Tethering to On and choose USB
  2. connect your iPhone to your Mac via USB cable
  3. the Mac should ask now, wether you wanna open the network settings > Yes you want!
  4. Click on the iPhone connection and click apply

From now on your Mac connects to the internet every time you connect your iPhone with a USB cable :)


create password protected zip file on mac osx

October 5th, 2010 by sebastian

It is crazy for which simple tasks, that I did on Windows for many years, one has to find a solution on a macbook…

To create a password protected zip-file on mac osx just open a terminal and put in:

zip -e myzipfile.zip content1.pdf content2.pdf

For opening a password protected zip-file on mac osx download the Unarchiver (Open Source) from here.


Missing a delete key on your MacBook?

September 20th, 2010 by sebastian

I have recently switched to the apple side of life – which has way more style and is much more fun!

But I also found myself missing some keys – e.g. the delete key :(
To help you find out faster than me, here are some helpful keyboard shortcuts (combinations) for former pc users:

<fn> + <backspace> – this is like the DEL key

<cmd> + <right arrow> – this is like the END key
<cmd> + <left arrow> – this is like the POS1 key

<alt> + <right arrow> – goes right word by word
<alt> + <left arrow> – goes left word by word

You can find more keyboard shortcuts here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343


I like – You like!

May 8th, 2010 by sebastian

Nowadays everybody wants to tell about what he/she likes or dislikes. Some of them even sing about it- the most impressive one is Keri Hilson with her song “I like”: 47 times in 3:40 min (look at the lyrics)

For me it is becoming an obvious trend which is why I’d like to provide you the chance to say “I like” to our posts ;-) (look at the upper right corner)

Wow – This blog is connected to facebook! How did you do that? – Actually that is pretty easy. Because of the new Open Graph Protocol every website/blog can be connected to a new kind of social network – The Open Graph (see introduction from Mark Zuckerberg):

And if you use WordPress as your blogging platform it is even easier to add the “I like” Button to your blog: Just install one of the available plugins! We are using “Like” from Bottomless…

Welcome to the web3.0 which has the ability to like, dislike and maybe one day: to love ;-)

(Installing this WP-Plugin and writing this article took me 15min.)


broken laptop display…

May 1st, 2010 by sebastian

Almost 4 weeks ago I got my new (work-) laptop – a wonderful Lenovo x301 :)

lenovo x301 ThinkPad

Unfortunately the joy didn’t last long – I picked it up @ the admins office, went home, took it out of the bag, switched it off and *bang*: The display was broken – I saw a fat line from the top to the bottom…

What a bummer! OK, so I called the Lenovo Hotline, which told me that I could not schedule a pick-up service for this laptop. So I had to make an appointment with the admin, so that he could send it in. All in all this DOA (dead on arrival) cost me something like 4 hours (bringing it back to the admin, talking to him and the hotline, picking it up again and sync data) :(

Lessons learned: Always buy onsite service with a laptop!


Whether you should use a 64bit operating system on your laptop or not…

April 27th, 2010 by sebastian

We bought a new HP laptop for Dahlia in SF last June. When we bought it, there was Windows Vista in the 64bit version installed on it. So when we came home to Berlin I updated the operating system with Windows 7 in a 64bit version – Dahlia was very thankful for that because everything was running faster :)

Unfortunately, problems with the new laptop started to arise over the next few weeks: There were non-working drivers, non-working apps and among many other things the standby mode was also not working. Troubleshooting these problems always pointed to problems regarding the 64bit version of the operating system Windows because most of the applications run in a 32bit compatibility mode…

…so we decided to re-install the laptop with the 32bit version of Windows 7 in February and since then, all the problems became history :)

There was still the question as to why one should use a 64bit version? To answer that question, please read the nicely written article on the newsweek blog: http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/techtonicshifts/archive/2009/09/16/64-bit-computing-the-next-big-confusing-thing.aspx

To answer the question whether you should use a 32bit or 64bit version of Microsoft Office, here is a very good blog article: http://blogs.technet.com/dmelanchthon/archive/2010/04/23/welche-office-2010-version-soll-ich-nehmen-32-bit-oder-64-bit.aspx

If you unable to read German, here is the summary in English: Don’t use the 64bit version of MS Office unless you need to create or open office documents bigger than 2GB ;-)


driving basic cars…

January 14th, 2010 by sebastian

Due to my job change I have driven 3 different cars since the beginning of the year. First I drove a pretty basic VW Golf which was a bit smaller than my old Ford Focus (which I had been driving for 2.5 years). Then I got a VW Polo, which is the smallest car I have ever driven. It is so basic and small that I was afraid to drive through Berlin in it – especially since Berlin has been really snowy and icy since Christmas and I wouldn’t want to know what is left of a VW Polo if it were to crash into a truck. Today I finally got to trade-in the Polo for a Seat Altea (which is a Golf class car).

The key points I would like to write about is the lack of features that these cars have: navigation, key-less locking, heated windshield, automatic windshield wippers and automatic lights. You really miss things if you’ve had the luxuries for the last 2.5 years.

During the time-frame that I was driving the Polo, I had an assignment to visit a new customer. I instantly thought this is the perfect opportunity to try the navigation on my cell phone (Nokia E66) – It was working really well! The Nokia navigation software works out of the box and even tells you where to go. Of course a problem arose: after using the navigation software for 20 minutes my cell phone was out of battery :(

Wise Note: If you decide to use the navigation software on your cell phone be sure to plug it in to the power supply…


blinking light on Nokia E66 and E71

January 9th, 2010 by sebastian

Since I’m now working for a new company, I have a new cell phone – a Nokia E66 ;-)

Due to setting up D’s E71 I had a deep knowledge how to use and customize an S60 phone (like E71 and E66) and up until today there was constantly one thing bugging me: the phone started blinking when the display went into standby – why??? Not only does that waste power but it is also hard to identify if I have missed calls or text messages…

So I googled a solution for that:

  1. @ Menu > Tools > Profiles select a profile and select “personalize”
  2. Go to “Breathing light” and set it to off
  3. press the navigation key to the right to set it off for all other profiles

After that your phone only blinks if you have a missed call or a text message.

But what is this feature made for? I assume that if you want to distinguish between two profiles (like default and silent) you can activate this feature in the silence profile, so that you can easily see that your phone is set to be silent…?


How Long Does it take to get Internet Service?

December 21st, 2009 by dahlia

I am very grateful that I live in Berlin…its no third world country but if you want internet at home, hell it might as well be a fourth world country!  In a previous November techshit posting, I wrote about our frustration regarding Alice.  Well, now I get to express some frustration about internet service in general.  Image you approach a company and sign on as a member.  They kindly and quickly notify you that you are now a member and welcome you to the team.  That is nice….

…then they charge your bank account.  Then nothing happens….you get a letter in the mail telling you you don’t have available access lines for internet in your private home.  We tell them we do.  We recognize there are multiple companies within the building and with DID and whatnot they use up a lot of the lines available, however, there had been a phone line from the previous tenant and thus, we know there is a line available for our internet.  We inquire with the landlord agency and they share with us the information about the previous tenant.  We forward that on to Vodafone, the new ISP.  They tell us they will investigate the issue and since we are clients of theirs and still don’t have service that we will obtain a UMTS stick in the mail so we can use our internet service since we are essentially paying for it.  Each day when you arrive home you open the mailbox only to find bills, bills, and more bills.  NO STICK!  Finally, a letter from Vodafone.  No stick or further instruction.  We call.  We wait on HOLD with crappy Christmas music for 30 min.  Finally- a representative picks up and begins to answer our calls and tells us that there is no stick in the mail.  We are instructed by him to visit a Vodafone store, which is exactly what we do. We go in there and are told we cannot obtain a stick.  The reason: they don’t know how to book a free stick into their computer system.  Oh man…how hard can it really be?  The representative helping us calls the company.  The tell her that is impossible so after a 5 min. discussion she tells us we can pay for the stick and that next time we sign up for internet that we should come into a store instead of order the service on line.  Ha-Sebastian is a busy guy and does such tasks online….he’s not about to waste his time and come into a store for that.  In any case, here we are….no stick, no service, no anything.  I ask the lady kindly, “isn’t there another way to book it so that we can obtain a stick and go home as satisfied customers?” The response to my question was more than disappointing thus my response was: “Ok, could you please give me a piece of paper? I would like to cancel our membership service!”   Then of course I tried to speak in both German and English because, as Sebastian knows, I am not able to express myself 100% in German and therefore a very angry Danglish outburst was released in the store.  After 5 minutes of my threatening, the rep finally called back the Vodafone store.  She was put on hold for 25 minutes before speaking to a rep.  I was furious!  After 10 minutes of retelling the story to the second rep she finally told them that the client was threatening to cancel….AT LAST- something that worked!  The person on the phone gave detailed instructions and walked the rep through the process to get a stick and book it comp’ed.  After all that she charged us 1 Euro and Sebastian gave her an extra Euro tip as a Thanks for finally helping us.  I hope she goes and gets a cup of coffee and thinks about changing jobs…who would possibly want to work for a company that barely knows what customer service is.  Speaking of customer service, I must briefly share my last E-Plus/Base visit.  Once again I had been heated by the e71 Nokia phone menu button.  As I told the gentleman about the issue, towards the end of our long conversation he told me, “I am sorry, but I can guarantee that I will not be able to help you.” ….HUH??? Where the hell am I? THE LAND OF NO CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!  This is probably quite common for any German, however, I was born in the US…the place of FREEDOM and SERVICE!!! Never ever will any US resident hear those words from any company, store, representative or person unless they want their company to go out of business of unless they want themselves fired from a job so they can collect unemployment benefits.

UMTS Vodafon Stick

In any case, back to the Vodaphone store.  We took our temporary 1 euro 3 month purchase home.  The stick is great because you don’t need to program anything or enter any key. You simply need to stick it into a USB port and do a few clicks on the screen and your internet will be up and running.  That is of course only if you use it for basic needs, such as to look at a website or send an email.  God forbid you use Skype!  I purchased several hours of Skype time so I could call friends and family in the US.  All for nothing.  Try using Skype with a UMTS stick.  It will get you NO where.  If you are lucky enough that the call goes through, you will then be able to talk for approximately 2 minutes.  If you’re SUPER lucky it might not cut you off before 4 minutes.  After 20 minutes of not hearing and getting cut off 10 times, I decided not to use Skype and wait to speak with friends and family until Jan. 4, 2010 when our internet service is supposed to begin…………….

…………….we’ll see about that!!!   I’ll be optimistic: 2010 will be a good year.  A good year for IT and Tech??