Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

Excel for Mac Tip – Where’s the Scroll Lock?

July 14th, 2013 1 comment

Most of the time I use Google Docs and rarely I use Excel for Mac. So I don’t get to learn, practice and memorize  the different keyboard shortcuts of it. And that has a price.

Here’s an example of one small keyboard command that can drive you nuts if you don’t know how to fix it. Accidentally I hit some key which made the cursor keys scroll the displayed cells up/down/left/right, instead of moving from cell to cell. If it was a PC I’d hit Scroll Lock, but there is no such key on the Mac.

Sounds familiar? Well, if you have an external Apple keyboard, then the F14 button is the Mac’s Scroll Lock. Hit it and your frustration should be over.

If you don’t have an external keyboard, then you can download & install a virtual one. Then hit F14.


Categories: How-To, Tips Tags: , , ,

Dropbox vs A Detailed Product Review

May 17th, 2013 26 comments

Copy is a new cloud backup service that is at start looks like a Dropbox clone but once you compare its offering you come to realize it is actually better in many ways. It was recently launched by Barracuda Networks, a large provider of security, data protection and backup solutions and is starting to spread among geeks and early adopters.

The idea of both services is the same – once you install their app for PC or Mac, you get a folder on your computer that is always synced to the cloud. Any folder or file that you move into that folder gets automatically synced to the cloud. This allows you to backup files, sync files between computers (your personal & home computer for example), between your computer & smartphone and also share files with others which is extremely useful when working as a team and having a need to constantly share files with each other without the hassle of emailing files as attachment.

Dropbox has been around for a while, it has millions of users and has created a fantastic service that I have been using for several years. So how can Copy succeed in such a competitive space? The answer is very simple – Copy is giving away plenty of free storage space for new signups – 15GB (vs. 2GB you get in Dropbox). In addition, for anyone that you refer to the service, both of you will earn an extra 5 GBs for completed referrals and there is no limit to the number of people you can refer.

Interested? Click this link to signup & get 20GB free space – 15GB plus 5GB since I will be your referrer.

After you are done signing up, make sure to:

  1. Verify your email address
  2. Download and install the Copy app (for PC/Mac)

Only after completing these two steps you will get the 5GB bonus.

By the way, you can also signup as a regular user without a referrer and not get any bonus.

Although the services are very similar, there are still some pros and cons for Copy compared to Dropbox.

– Free account size: 15GB vs. 2GB in the case of Dropbox. Initially Copy started with 5GB but as soon as Google announced that Google Drive free space will be 15GB, Copy rushed to match it.
– Referral program: Copy gives 5GB for both you and the friend you refer with no limit. Dropbox however, gives 500MB to you but nothing to your friend and it limits the bonus amount to 16GB (32 friends).
– Fair Storage for all – instead of counting data in shared folders against all members’ individual storage quotas so everyone pays for the same data over and over, Copy allows users to “split the bill” and control which files count against their storage capacity.
– Sharing a folder over the internet is more secured. In dropbox, when you share a link, you have no control if the link is being emailed to someone else. With copy, you can enter a specific user’s Copy username (an email address) and that would restrict access to the shared folder.
– Beautiful web interface that is much easier for viewing files on the web
– For mobile designers Copy is better for viewing a screenshot on an iPad. The image quality is better since Copy does not compress it like Dropbox and it also displays the screenshot in full view (without the iPad’s status bar)
– Quicker sharing – you can share a link to a file from the app rather than being redirected to the website and sharing from there like Dropbox does
– Caching – Copy allows caching of whole folders on mobile devices
– Copy allows easy access to old versions of a file straight from a file’s contextual menu


– According to Garrett Reil (comment below), the upload speed seems to be slower compared to Dropbox

– There is no live preview of video files in the web interface

– Copy for Mac is available only for OS 10.7+ (credit: Disqus user JBonatto)

Bottom line – Copy has done a fantastic job in launching a well designed, feature reach product that supports all platforms (Win, Mac, Linux) and Smartphones (iOS, Android). To us, the users, the competition is a good thing as it will drive both Copy and Dropbox to improve overtime. As for Copy, I’ve been using it for several months and have not experienced any glitches or outages. Highly recommended!

Click here to signup for free and get your 20GB free space.

Use Onavo for iPhone to reduce your data plan cost

October 14th, 2011 No comments
If your iPhone data plan is a Non-Unlimited one, then one of the very first apps you should install on your iPhone is Onavo.

It is a free utility that uses data compression technology to reduce the amount of data your iPhone sends and receives when it is not on wifi. When Onavo’s saving is on, most of the apps running on your iPhone send their data compressed via Onavo’s gateway and your data usage gets significantly reduced so the chances you will exceed your plan are slim.

The app has a nice reporting module that shows total savings and breakdown by service/app. As you can see in the screenshot below, in my case – during the first week of Oct I saved 56% of all the data that was sent. This is huge.

One feature I would like to see added to the app is the ability to exclude certain apps from sending their data via Onavo’s gateway. The reason is that certain streaming apps like online radio often get stuck in a connecting mode and never play the stream when Onavo is on, and only way to make them work is disable Onavo completely.

Other than that, Onavo is a great – a must have utility for your iPhone. You can get it from


Categories: How-To, iPhone, Mobile, Tips Tags: ,

How to fix Missing Personal Hotspot after iOS 5 GM upgrade

October 5th, 2011 10 comments
This tip is to all of you iOS 5 developers – There is a really annoying bug in iOS 5 GM that makes the Personal Hotspot option disappear after the upgrade.

Well, fixing it is easy – all you have to do is Reset Network Settings (under General…Reset…) and the good old Personal Hotspot option will appear again.


Categories: How-To, iPhone, Tips Tags: , , , ,

Unknown iOS4 Features You Should Know

June 30th, 2010 3 comments
As soon as Apple released iOS4, blogs have began posting their reviews, impressions and 101 guides on it. These posts and reviews emphasized many excellent features like Folders for Applications, Unified Mail Box, Threaded Email (similar to how Gmail works), Multitasking, iBooks and a few others.
Here are three features that are less known but very useful:
  • Photo resizing when sending a photo attached to an email. Options include: small, medium, large and original size.
  • Copy a phone number and paste it into the dialer. No need to memorize or write a number on a piece of paper and then key it in. All you need to do is copy a phone number into the clipboard, then open the phone app, switch to the dialer tab and put your finger on the number display area until the Paste menu becomes visible. Voilà.
  • Character count in text message compose window. Very useful for the ones who don’t have an unlimited text messaging plan and want to make sure a text message does not exceed 160 chars

Posted via email from Jay Meydad’s Posterous

Categories: How-To, iPhone, Tips Tags: , , , ,

How To Speed Up iPhone’s iOS4 Upgrade Process By 90%

June 22nd, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday Apple released the much anticipated iOS4 and I decided to upgrade my iPhone 3G to it.

The upgrade process is managed by iTunes and has three steps:
1. Backup existing data files
2. Download the ~350MB OS file
3. Copy & install files to the iPhone

For some unknown reason, the backup process takes a long longer than a typical backups that happen whenever you sync your phone. It could even take 2-3 hours (!) if you have lots of data on your device.

While I was doing it, the progress bar moved very very slow and gives the feeling that the process is hung. In addition, whenever you get a phone call the process terminates and you have to restart it.

After spending about 3-4 hours on 2-3 failed tries I tried a work-around that worked well and cut up the backup process time by 90%. If you are one of the many
who are experiencing the same issue, you might want to give it a try:

Before backup & upgrade, sync your iPhone one more time with minimal amount of data one it. This means that you have to delete all music, video, photos and apps that are on it (but leave mail, calendar, notes and other important settings). The steps for doing that are:

1. Connect your iPhone to your computer but DO NOT start the upgrade process
2. Select the Apps, Music, Videos, Photos tabs and uncheck the main Sync checkbox
3. Then sync your one more time iPhone. This will free up most of the disk space on your iPhone. Once this sync is completed you should see it in the Capacity bar that is displayed on the Summary tab
4. Finally, start the Upgrade process by clicking on “Check for Update” button in iTunes’s iPhone’s Summary tab
5. Backup should take about 5 minutes and the entire upgrade process should be over within 20 minutes.

Welcome to iOS4. Enjoy.

Categories: How-To, Mobile, Tips Tags: , , , , , ,

Tip: MagicJack Does Magic To Your Phone Bill

July 21st, 2009 8 comments

If you don’t read Engadget or other gadget reviews websites you might find this helpful.

Here is how you could save a few hundred dollars per year on your home phone bill. It is called MagicJack, a VOIP service that requires a computer (PC or Mac) and an internet connection to provide extremely cheap local and long distance phone calls using a very small device that looks like a disk on key.

To get started you need to sign up for the free trail on the company’s website (or you could buy it at RadioShack). Once you have the device, simply plug it into the PC/Mac USB port and connect a regular phone to the jack on the other side (as in the photo below). Once plugged, your computer will automatically start running the dialer software and take you through a simple sign-up process, where you will be asked to select a phone number (currently they don’t support number portability). That’s it.

The service costs only $20 per year (no taxes, tolls and other hidden fees). The device itself costs $20 so your first payment (after the 30 days free trial is over) will actually be $40, but any subsequent year will be $20. And if you really want a great deal and lock the price for the next few years, you can prepay $60 for 5 years. That’s a pretty sweet alternative to AT&T’s $45/month + tolls and taxes, or Vonage’s $25/month.

Couple of side benefits some people might not be aware of:

  1. MagicJack makes your home home phone portable while you are traveling  (assuming you travel with a laptop).
  2. MagicJack gives you other features for free including call forwarding, voice mail and voicemail to email as attachment notifications
  3. If you have relatives/friends who live abroad (like I do) and you & them spend a decent amount of money every month on international calls, you might want to buy a MagicJack for them. This way they will have a US number and all calls done between them and you will be completely free.

I have been using it for a few weeks now and very happy with the overall experience. The call quality is excellent. Rarely I had any echos problem and disconnects. And when those happen, I simply unplug the device from the USB port, reconnect and restart the dialer program. This “hassle” is worth $550/year in savings.

MagicJack connected to a Mac Mini

Categories: How-To, Technology, Tips Tags: , , , ,

How To Add Signature Right After Reply In Entourage

March 12th, 2009 99 comments

By default, Microsoft Entourage automatically adds a signature at the very bottom of an email thread. I reply to dozens of emails every day and for a long time I used to cut the signature from the bottom and paste it to the correct place.

You might ask yourself how come I kept doing this. Very simple, I just could not find the right setting under the Preferences pane that would change the behavior. There is also no setting related to the positioning of the signature under the “Signatures”window to address this.

I finally found the time and did some online research and was able find the answer. I figured others could benefit from this tip as well. So, here it is. To get Entourage automatically add the signature at the top of the reply/forward, make sure you have the setting as in the screenshot below.

Alternatively, you could upgrade to Outlook which is a much better email client for Mac and is part of the new Office 2011, or use a webmail like Gmail.

Microsoft Entourage - adding signiture at top

Tip: How to send Flash elements to the back

November 24th, 2008 26 comments

I was checking the new LinkedIn search feature earlier today and noticed that the results displayed once you start typing inside the people search box were covered by the 300×250 flash ad.

This issue exists on many web sites where Flash objects appear in the front, and cover dynamic HTML content. One example are pages that have embedded YouTube videos as well as Snap Shots that appear as a layer under the video player instead in front of it .

To solve this issue, you don’t need to be a Flash development guru. All you should do is make sure the Flash object (ad, embedded video player, etc.) has a transparent background. Depending on whether you are using the OBJECT or EMBED tag:

  • Add the following parameter to the OBJECT tag: <param name="wmode" value="transparent">
  • Add the following parameter to the EMBED tag: wmode="transparent"

Once you change your code, you should not see an issue similar to the one below.

The upcoming GPhone makes me wonder…

August 28th, 2007 No comments


During the years of my professional career, as I move to a new company or a new role, I usually don’t spend too much time thinking about the past. I try to do my own post mortem analysis shortly after I leave, and summarize to myself what worked and what did not, as well as what were the lessons learned. Then I try to quickly disconnect and ‘clear my brain’ in order to make room for what’s coming next. Later on, when I come across a company name, product, former colleague or former partner that I had worked for/on/with, usually only the good memories come up.

Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about Galleo, a company I worked for back in the first bubble days (2000-2001) and touched on in the past. Galleo had a very innovative approach of how a mobile multimedia communicator should work and what type of applications and features it needs to contain. The company invested a lot in technology & intellectual property but clearly did do enough to protect it. To be more accurate – we began the process of filing several patent applications and registering numerous trademarks but as the company run out of cash and went out of business this process was never completed. With everything that is going on around the iPhone and the (upcoming) GPhone, some of those patents & trademarks could have been really valuable assets. Entrepreneurs – learn your lesson, always save some cash to cover future IP related fees. 

But wait, there is a good part for this post as well. As I was reading the July 2001 Linux Journal article about the Galleo, I came across a quote made by Daniel Benenstein (Galleo’s Dir of Engineering). If you slightly modify his quite, and since both the iPhone and the GPhone use Unix/Linux, it turns out that Daniel’s prophecy is today’s reality…

Mass production is ahead for wireless, embedded Linux multimedia communicators that will contribute even more to make Linux, without a doubt, the OS for the Internet.”

Too bad Galleo did not survive the bubble burst. It could have been a really big company with really big product, and maybe even something Fred Wilson would consider as his dream phone.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,