The little things that make traveling easier

On my summer vacation leaving through Chicago when I noticed that the terminal has gone through a much needed facelift. Better food court. Nice comfy modern appearing chairs in the main lounge. Of course there are people everywhere sitting in the hallway huddled around power outlets to top off their phones before the journey. So I look at my phone and see that it is at 65%. Not a good thing. Probably will die of boredom. Hmm I need to charge my phone. Walked up the hallway but no luck to find an open outlet. So I find a place to sit and there is a bench with a power cord permanently attached to the wall.


This is must serve a purpose…and there it is… A USB outlet between the chairs.

Usually don’t see these kind of amenities at Chicago but hey I did notice and am grateful. I know it sounds trivial but looking at the number of people that were hunting for an outlet I am obviously not alone.

Yahoo mail account does not work on iOS mail after 2 step authentication

Yahoo mail does not work from ios device after two step authentication is enabled

Go to your webpage on your browser (Safari or Chrome) and go to the login menu (1)

Yahoo needs special password generated to allow for the enabled two step authentication. You may be getting errors such as "Connection failed if you are adding your current Yahoo account password to the iOS mail setup.
The following step will get you a special password that the account needs to use mobile devices after two step authentication is enabled.

Go to your webpage on your browser (Safari or Chrome) and go to the login menu (1)

Sign in using your (1) username and (2) password

Sign in using your (1) username and (2) password

Go to your account (1)

Go to your account (1)

Open the preferences (1)

Open the preferences (1)

Go to account info click on (1)

Go to account info click on (1)

Re-enter your password on the next screen

Re-enter your password on the next screen

Enter the "Set up your second sign-in verification" click on (1)

Enter the "Set up your second sign-in verification" click on (1)

Generate the app password by click in on (1)

Generate the app password by click in on (1)

Generate the password by giving the device name say "iphone" (1) then generate password (2)

Generate the password by giving the device name say "iphone" (1) then generate password (2)

Yahoo will generate a one time use password for the device

Enter this in the password field on your iOS device instead of your usual password.

Yahoo will generate a one time use password for the device

Enable AirDrop Over Ethernet & AirDrop On Unsupported Macs Running OS X 10.7

I have been using Airdrop, the new  zero configuration peer to peer transfer that was introduced in Lion. Unfortunately it was only available if both macs were using wifi to connect to the network. In my case my desktop iMac connects wired and my laptop connects via wifi. I found the fix via a terminal command to turn on Airdrop for wired connections.

Enable AirDrop Over Ethernet & AirDrop On Unsupported Macs Running OS X 10.7.

How to convert a large MKV file to Quicktime using handbrake



Blu-ray movie titles and video from a hi-def video recorder are in an MKV format. Many consumers would like to view these on either and Apple TV or an iOS device. This viewing will require quicktime compatibility. Handbrake is an excellent tool for any type of video conversion. In my opinion a must for anyone converting video.


When converting full length Blu-ray titles the final Quicktime movie does not play. After some poking around I found out that Quicktime files originally had a 4GB file size limit.


Make sure you have the correct parameters selected when encoding in Handbrake:

  1. Choose Regular->High Profile preset to maintain the highest quality.
  2. Make Sure you are in MP4 format to maintain compatibility with iDevices.
  3. Check the “Large file size” box in the output settings – this will overcome the 4GB file size limit.

Handbrake settings

You should now be able to play your hi-def video.

Crashplan crashing? Here is the fix

I use Crashplan for backup. It is my current favorite for online could backup. More about that in my recent blog post about backups.

As much as I love crashplan it has been hanging with an error “Unable to connect to backup destination” lately. I poked around with google and it seemed to suggest an issue with Java not being able to access enough memory. Because I could not find the fix for a Mac I created a tech support ticket with Crashplan . They did get back to me and walked me though the following solution. Hopefully this can help others.


  1. Launch a terminal window

  2. Shutdown the crash plan daemon. You will be asked for your admin password. Go ahead and enter it here.

    sudo launchctl unload /library/launchdaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

  3. Now edit the plist file using the Unix Nano editor

    sudo nano /library/launchdaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

  4. Find Xmx512m and change it to Xmx1024m. This will allocate 1024mb of memory instead of the default 512mb

  5. Save the file by Ctrl-O

  6. Exit Nano by using Ctrl-X

  7. Relaunch the Crashplan daemon (corrected Apr 19th 2012)

    sudo launchctl load /library/launchdaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

This should fix the problem.

Notes on backing up a computer


Over the years I have had more than my share of hard drive failures. As more and more of our lives are in the form of digital photos and videos, a dead drive without backups creates a lot of frustration and lost memories.

Fortunately I have not had any significant data loss in over ten years. Though early on I remember spending whole weekends trying to recover files and those were the days when I just had 1–2 GB of data. Over the years I have learnt a lot about backup and recovery. Here are some of my notes:

Continue reading

Lytro light field camera

My lytro came today

Just got my lytro camera today. For those who don’t know what a lytro is, it is a light field camera. Light field is a concept of going beyond traditional cameras that capture images in a two dimensional plane but a light field camera will capture the light in three dimensions. See lytro for more information.


Here are a few pictures of the unboxing.
The obvious apple packaging influence is noticeable. Simplistic yet elegant packaging that is thought out and clear. No impossible to open blister packs here.



First impression

The camera is a very unconventional rectangular tube with a fixed aperture f/2 lens on one and and a touch screen on the other end. The interface is very applesque (I think that is a word) simple and elegant without any unnecessary menus it buttons.
The device feels solid and has the right size and weight to it.
The LCD screen could have been better it does seem a bit grainy.
The camera does not have a flash or a tripod screw. Two things most conventional cameras have.
The Lytro plugs into a computer via USB and the desktop software automatically loads on to the computer from the Lytro. No CD-ROM or download from a website. This is something I wish all devices would do.
Once installed it backs up and downloads your pictures to the hard drive.
With built in Facebook integration; sharing pictures is a click away.

Though a well executed product both in tea of hardware and software it does have some aspects that seem version 1.0 (which it is)

Motion-X Drive; a GPS app for the iPhone- it is damn good

Quick review of MotionX GPS Drive

Motion-X Drive is an iOS based app to replace your in car GPS. This little app is a full featured replacement for any in car GPS. Continue reading