The Boyce Blog: October 2008

Find it on Amazon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Free AT&T WiFi for iPhones

Maybe they got tired of hearing us complain about how slow the AT&T Edge network is and how 3G isn’t so much better. Regardless, AT&T is now providing free WiFi connections (many times faster than the Edge and 3G networks) in “thousands of hotspots nationwide” including airports, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. Click here for a map of AT&T’s hotspots. Click here for AT&T’s instructions on how to make the connection.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stuff You Ought to Know

Newer Macs come with little pictures on the function keys (top row of keys, with names like “F1”) and they are supposed to tell you what the keys do. The pictures aren’t all that clear, and on older keyboards the pictures aren’t there at all. Here are some explanations.

Newer keyboards:
F1: make the screen dimmer
F2: make the screen brighter
F3: show all windows (Exposé)
F4: show Dashboard widgets
F5: nothing
F6: nothing
F7: go back (in iTunes)
F8: play/pause (in iTunes)
F9: skip forward (in iTunes)
F10: mute/unmute all sounds
F11: make the sounds softer
F12: make the sounds louder
F13: nothing
F14: nothing
F15: nothing
F16: nothing

Older keyboards:
F1: nothing
F2: nothing
F3: nothing
F4: nothing
F5: nothing
F6: nothing
F7: nothing
F8: nothing
F9: show all windows (Exposé)
F10: show all windows for current application (Exposé)
F11: show the Desktop
F12: show Dashboard widgets
F13: nothing
F14: make the screen dimmer
F15: make the screen brighter

If the keys don’t do these things for you it’s probably because someone’s made some changes in your Keyboard preferences. Go to the Apple menu, then to System Preferences, then to Keyboard & Mouse, then to Keyboard Shortcuts. You’ll figure it out from there. Of course, if you don’t, you can always click here to send me an email.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

iPhone Goodies

Sorry to have been gone so long. I had a million things to write about and couldn’t decide which one to do first. You might call it a “blogjam.”

Today we have more in my short-yet-continuing series of Things I Like. Specifically, we have some iPhone applications. So here we go.

1. i.TV

It’s a TV guide on your iPhone. Incredible. Knows which services are in your area. Bring it with you when you visit Mom so you can know what’s on TV at her house. Free free free.

2. Gas Hound

Shows you where the nearest cheapest gas is. Once again, it knows where you are... so it shows you gas prices at Stations Near You. Very handy, and free free free.

3. Plusmo College Football

Everything you want to know about college football, including schedules, up to the minute scores, realtime play-by-play, rankings, news, everything. If you like college football you will love this application. Free.

4. 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart

I don’t know if this thing will really help you sound smart but it’s worth a try. As far as I’m concerned, if you are fastidious about avoiding euphemisms and equivocating, sounding smart is a fait accompli. Pay attention to the definitions lest you commit an esoteric faux pas fiasco.

(I think it’s working!)

This one’s also free.