Thursday, January 29, 2009

You Can Now Print From Your iPhone

One of the most popular posts on this site is my article about printing from the iPhone:

Will I Be Able To Print From The iPhone"

In that article, I speculated about a possible bluetooth printing implementation before the official iPhone launch in June 2007.

The only complete printing solution I've found is this one:

* The Ricoh 410DN Wireless Hotspot Printer

I did an article about it here:

A Hidden Gem at MacWorld: An iPhone Printer

Last weekend, I downloaded a number of apps from the iTunes App Store to my iPhone. One of them was Hewlett Packard's new HP iPrint Application.

HP iPrint iTunes App Store Link

Unfortunately, there are a number of things you must know how to do and that you might have to set up differently about your printer to enable it.

Here are the instructions for setting it up on a Mac.

My MacBook, with which I followed the process below, has Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard installed.

It is important that you follow these steps in this order.

First ... you will need an HP Wifi capable printer. Mine is an HP 470w wireless portable printer. It is important that the HP printer you're using to set up iPhone printing - be WiFi and not bluetooth.

The "iPrint" application will not work with bluetooth.

Second ... obviously you need to download the "HP iPrint" application from the iTunes App Store.
(You can use the link above if you wish.)

Now ... In your Wifi menu on your Mac; select "Create Network".

In the name field, call the new network "Printing Network"

(You can name the new network anything you wish, but the more generic but descriptive is best.)

Leave the "channel" field as automatic, leave "require password" unchecked

Next ... set up your wireless printer. Use the software CD included with your printer, or the application that is installed on your hard drive (from a previous install) - you need to run HP Setup Assistant. (This can be located in your APPLICATIONS folder. Look for the Hewlett-Packard folder.Inside find HP Set Up Assistant.) If you can't find it on your hard drive, just run it off your original CD. If you do not have the original CD, go to HP.COM and download new driver/setup software.

Five ... the iPrint application will print anything in your "Camera Roll" that is contained in the Photo storage on your iPhone. This means that "iPrint" can print screenshots. Screenshots are stored in the Photo storage on your iPhone by default.

To take a screenshot with your iPhone; hold down the home button (circular button at the bottom center front of the iPhone) and the sleep/power button (on top opposite headphone port) ... the screen will flash.

Launch the "HP iPrint" application on your iPhone.

Choose the picture you'd like to print or choose the screenshot - say of a map or of a webpage or application in motion that you've taken.

Connect to the new network you created (The application should do this automatically)

The printing seems very fast.


If you set the wireless printer up this way - you do not have to have the computer or the router from your home to use the application. If you add the printer to home router though ... you will not be able to print to the printer without having both the computer and the wireless router turned on.

The only way I know of for printing multiple pages of text is to use the Ricoh printer as mentioned above or utilizing page by page screenshots as mention here.

Your iPhone screenshot will print out in a 5x7 format.

iPhone Snaps

Here's the cover to USA Today Weekend

I found this to be an interesting picture regarding the timing that this came out - same week Steve Jobs announced that he wasn't going to be delivering the keynote at MacWorld because of his "health issues".


I retired my old banner today and implemented one I came up with at the same time I first created this website.

The old motto was:

"Not PC about Mac News."

It's one of the three things I have copyrighted.

Alas ... it's time for a change.

The new slogan for this site is:

"Need a brain? Borrow mine!"

I will continue to keep the Martin Luther King Jr. quote as it is my most favorite words ever spoken.

For those of you that might be interested in writing letters to teachers.

This morning I crafted a letter for my wife to email my son's teacher. I thought I'd share it with you.

One of the key elements of any effective letter is to include a "money quote". Barack Obama's inaugural speech was filled with them - almost all Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's speeches were. The only way people will take your words (in your blogs, letters, or criticism) to heart is if you frame the story with something memorable or give the person reading a memorable line. This is why the movie Forrest Gump was so memorable to me, same with the movie, "Catch Me If You Can", and "The 300". Often you will find me leaving a movie, quoting the best line rather than reviewing the plot or acting.

Dear Mrs. Teacher X*,

We noticed that [my son]* improved dramatically on his progress report. We also took notes regarding the "behavior remark about his daydreaming". Thank you. It seems [my son] has really learned a lot and been able to apply his intelligence and previous knowledge well to his new learning.

My husband and I wanted to discuss the bone system with you. Since no one disciplines this way in a home, it seems like it is hard for students to grasp whether the "bone system" is a punishment and what it means to lose a bone. It is obvious to them that it is a punishment - but it seems to carry no consequences and no understanding of what was done wrong. [my son] has mentioned that there is sometimes a line to "take a bone" - this seems like it has become routine rather than regulatory. It seems by conversation with [my son] and other children and parents that "taking a bone" is a part of the day for most kids and they are not learning to correct their behavior. I have also gleaned from conversation with [my son], that he feels sometimes that bones are taken away without explanation.

As an example, he claimed he walked around [another student's] food tray that she spilled onto the floor in the lunchroom. He claims a bone was taken for this. Obviously, it was a situation where we did not see all that happened and probably all of the situation wasn't recalled or retold properly ... but [my son] understood it as his bone being taken without explanation.

Each day, my husband likes to discuss with [my son] about having lost bones or having a "no bone day". He and I both wish to help [my son] understand and correct any poor behavior expediently - we can't do so if we do not know what to discuss and what to correct, nor do we know what action to take at home.

As his parents, we want [my son] to have consistent good behavior. We know that discipline is part of the early learning process as well. We are working with [my son] closely on staying still and focusing at home. This isn't easy with any 5 year old. We do ask that, while not taking any time away from others, that if [my son] loses a bone, he is told the exact reason, and/or the situation is relayed to us with more than a number. Bad behavior is not generic. [my son] comes home most days not knowing why he lost a bone. He is genuinely upset and feels like he is a bad kid who isn't being rewarded with the weekly or monthly prize. No matter how much it has been explained that if he were good for a week and then a month, losing one bone puts him into an extremely bad mood. My husband and I don't know whether to take it lightly or try hard to correct it and stay on him about it. We are realistic and know he is a talker and realistic to know he is not perfect and will on occasion do something improper. We want to correct him appropriately and hone his behavior so this will not be a problem as he grows. I say this with all honesty and sincerity, thank you for your discipline so far and thank you for your kindness towards [my son].

Lastly, I wanted to ask that it be made aware that [my son] has brought his lunch on 6 occasions - inclusive of today. He has only gotten milk on these occasions and his lunch money should be credited appropriately.

Thank you.


Donna & Rus Smith

I gave the teacher compliments and two money quotes.

* Names changed to protect the innocent

* A new method of punishment has been implemented into my local school district called "Item Taking". It entails a student being told they lose one of 5 items if they are called down. If a child loses 4 or more "items" in a day, a parent teacher/parent principal conference is held. If a child loses no "items" in a week, the child is rewarded with a small "prize" - a bigger prize is given for no "items" lost in a month. For my child's school ... the "item" is a bone. Each child starts the day with 5 bones on a chart. When the child is called down, the child removes a bone from the chart. Each child is sent home with a daily "bone total" / behavior report that must be signed.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

I was really hyped to see this movie. It looked good. It had a very unique premise.

Ends up, it was pretty good ... the story resembles "Forrest Gump" - and whatta you know - Eric Roth who also wrote Forrest Gump penned the screenplay. In critical reviews - the movie was even called "Forrest Gramps".

Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies - this movie has so many of the same elements and same "dumb southerner accents" that it's hard to get Forrest Gump lines out of your head while watching it.

Here's a summary from IMDB:

... a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

The makeup and special effects are groundbreaking but surprisingly might have been honed in "Little Man".

I suppose the story might have more significance to you if you've ever dated a significantly older person ... such as I have. There's an interesting dynamic regarding this scenario.

I enjoyed it and I'd recommend it ... I'd maybe just wait for it on video if you've missed it in theaters so far.

Apple Financial Results: In Case You Missed The Gem In The Economy

In case you missed the news amongst all the bad ... such as Sony losing $197 million for the quarter ... Apple announced stellar record setting earnings:


Apple today reported the best quarterly revenue and earning in its history, ”surpassing $10 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever,” according to Steve Jobs. Announcing results for its fiscal 2009 first quarter, Apple posted record revenue of $10.17 billion and record net quarterly profit of $1.61 billion, or $1.78 per diluted share. During the quarter, Apple sold 2,524,000 Mac computers, a record 22,727,000 iPods, and 4,363,000 iPhones.

This relates to my previous post that I hope you will continue to refer friends, family, and businesses to:

Apple Market Share: You Can Take It Seriously!

This article appears in the sidebar titled, "Apple Market Share" on every page of this website.

Pay attention to the comparison that I made in that story regarding the Sony CEO's comments from a year ago.

Okay, so it wasn't the final word ... but here's the facts that no one seems to be linking.

A few weeks ago Steve Jobs posted a letter on the Apple website saying he was taking some time off to get his health straight - an issue in which he termed "as a nutrient absorption problem".

He then, pressured by the media, had to make a follow up:

January 14, 2009

Apple Media Advisory

Apple CEO Steve Jobs today sent the following email to all Apple employees:


I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.


Look folks! Its plain and simple ... just go to Wikipedia and read up on the Pancreas. Steve Jobs had Pancreatic Cancer. The pancreas helps you digest food. I asked a doctor what pancreatic cancer treatment involves. He reminded me that only a few forms are treatable and that he was aware Steve Jobs had one of those rare forms that was completely treatable. He went on to say that nearly 95% of all people that have that form, and are treated promptly, live happy, healthly, long lives as the rest of us. He also told me that he was aware that Steve Jobs was a vegan and no matter what amount of supplements or protein substitutions he was taking, and no matter what method he was using to take those supplements - it is very hard to recover from ANY kind of sickness as a strict vegan - which Jobs is. He takes no dairy, no eggs, no meat protein, no chicken broth. When all of these elements are removed completely from your diet - even supplements help little. Protein builds muscle and fat helps to build fat. If Jobs refuses to eat fatty foods and work out / eat fiber to counter the heart effects - he will find it very hard to gain weight.

Also, I know from experience that stress affects weight. During my trial with Bidzirk I lost 10 pounds. I have weighed the same since my senior year in high school and have a slender build. I was noticeably thinner and notably weaker feeling. I had less of an appetite. Trust me ... with the media and those "conspirators" I've discussed before portraying this as the end of Apple - Jobs is being put under a lot of stress. So it isn't helping for the media to educate the public with FUD rather than fact.

I suppose the only thing I can't understand ... whether he wants it private or not ... whether he wants to discuss it or not ... Jobs should just say exactly what I've said here.

My Circuit City Story; Or Why I'm Not Surprised They Are Going Out Of Business

As many of you have seen ... electronics retailer Circuit City is in bankruptcy liquidation because they couldn't emerge from bankruptcy. Good riddance!

I have a short story to tell about my Apple rep days with Circuit City:

Back in 1999 ... I was serving as a regional Apple Retail Rep for the South Carolina, Western North Carloina, and Eastern Tennessee area. My job was to make sure employees at Circuit City and Sears stores were educated on Apple products. I also stocked brochures, maintained and cleaned displays, and occasionally did "demonstrations" called "Demo Days".

One day in May of '99 - I walked into a Charlotte, North Carolina Circuit City for the first time. This Circuit City was very old and dirty on the outside - it looked like a converted warehouse building. If I'm not mistaken, it served as a regional distribution hub. The entrance was a long, dimly lit hallway that was separated by two sets of auto-opening slide doors. In the corridor between the sliding doors were displays of products. On one shelf was an orange "Gumdrop iMac". There was a mismatched aqua iMac keyboard and white generic PC USB mouse with it.

Right as I went by it, I saw the screen flicker as if shorting out. I heard a strange sound and then started swatting around my face. I heard the sound of gnats buzzing in my ear. Then, I saw several swirl swirl swirl and hover towards the back of the iMac. It wasn't gnats - it was FLYING ANTS - A WHOLE COLONY OF THEM living in the handle portion of the orange iMac.

I notified an employee immediately - before introducing myself as the new Apple Rep.

My reply,

"Yeah, I know ... isn't that cool?"

After telling him who I was, I asked that they take the iMac down and put up a proper display. After waiting 15 minutes without action; I went to management. Management apparently was "aware of it" as well and thought it had the same coolness factor. After discussing it thoroughly with the manager, I called Apple at a "Rep hotline number". With a lot of loud "No way's and WHAT!!!'s" I was instructed to take the iMac down myself and get it outside of the store immediately - with caution. While doing so, I handed my cell phone over to the manager who was obviously getting a good grilling.

In my experience ... as an Apple Rep ... at Circuit City Apple computers were treated with a "freakish, we hate those" look. Apple computers, even Cubes (which Circuit City carried) were often placed next to WEBTV units and most times placed on lower shelves within the stores.

From what I have been told ... the Apple program in CompUSA stores was the most profitable piece of real estate in the stores and even kept a few stores open. Best Buy stores see a huge part of their profit from the Apple Store within a store concept. It's obvious that if Apple computers are sold with honest efforts - they sell well.

The Circuit City/Apple program was ended abruptly next year.

Good riddance Circuit City!

Eliminating stress by eliminating choices

Brad Stone, reporting for The New York Times:

Two people who are familiar with Mr. Jobs’s current medical treatment said he was not suffering from a recurrence of cancer, but a condition that was preventing his body from absorbing food. Doctors have also advised him to cut down on stress, which may be making the problem worse, these people said.

I've decided that one way I would eliminate some stress in my life would to start wearing (mostly) the same thing.

Einstein did it. Steve Jobs does it.

I need to get myself back into a routine. I used to have a good routine before my mess with Bidzirk started three years ago.

Steve's Outfit DOT COM

Albert Einstein wore the same thing everyday when he taught at Princeton; black shoes, black pants, white long sleeve shirt, black pullover sweater. He said he had "too much to think about to worry about what to wear each morning".

Catholic school students have to wear uniforms. Some sources say it's out of desire for students not to be seperated by economic status, other sources say it is to control provocative or inappropriate clothing. I would argue that it might also have the affect of organization. It's a big stress reliever because no one has to worry about looking cool or hip.

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is a test to see ...

This is a test to see if a new program I downloaded called VR+ which records short audio segments to your iPhone and then allows you to share your recordings via email or blog.

I'll place a full review of this app next week and may start to do a few posts a week like this - kinda like a podcast if it works out or if I can find a similar app that WILL work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

17,000 songs downloaded is not equal to 17,000 lost sales

Summarized story from Ars Technica:

If a song has been downloaded from a torrent site 17,000 times, it doesn't necessarily equal 17,000 lost sales, according to US District Judge James P. Jones. The judge recently ruled against using this kind of reasoning in determining restitution in a criminal copyright case, though it doesn't necessarily affect civil cases against downloaders.

Full story here.

Barack Obama's Inaugural Speech Best Since The Quote On Every Page Of This Blog

Here's two parts of President Barack Obama's speech that stuck out to me:

For full transcript ... visit here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Wow ... how could I not post this?

A video made by Microsoft about a new program called SongSmith using a MacBook Pro, running Windows Vista in Bootcamp ... a girl named Lisa ... and the program name contains SMITH!

The $15 Gift Card That Isn't: MYPOINTS $15 FTD GIFT CARD promotion is scandalous

I buy all of the Apple computers for myself and my customers through MYPOINTS.COM. I combine this with a VISA rewards program. It usually ends up kicking 7% of the purchase back to me. I recently had this experience with MYPOINTS.COM customer service and thought it was worth sharing:

I have been a member of the "read emails and shop online to get rewards" website MYPOINTS.COM for more than 5 years now. I have cashed in well over $2000 worth of rewards for gift cards over the years. Usually, each year around late October or early November, I cash in my points to get gift cards to do my Christmas shopping or to gift the cards as Christmas presents.

This year, I decided to cash in my points for smaller denomination gift cards to give to my teenage daughter because of a promotion that entailed receiving a "$15 FTD gift card" with every point redemption. I purposely used my points at a significant loss versus combining them to receive multiple "$15 FTD gift cards". No where on the MYPOINTS website is this promotion explained other than just this graphic on each page:

At each redemption confirmation page - you get a confirmation that you are going to receive your free "$15 FTD gift card" along with other cards redeemed.

I'll repeat, I purposely made my redemptions for lower amounts. I wanted to get enough cards to hopefully send my wife a nice bouquet of flowers to her work on her last day before her holiday break. Instead of redeeming for (2) $100 cards, I got (5) cards valued at $120 total ... a loss of $80 - but I figured I'd get $75 worth of FTD flower love.

I got the gift cards in during the first week of December - it was just a piece of black cardboard with "$15" and FTD on it. On the reverse is a website address:

So, essentially ... a website anyone can go to.

Well, here's the rub, I now had (5) of these cards with no way to combine them - the gift card - which is really just a direction to a promotional page - just has "flowers on sale". The page appears to have flowers that are normally priced at $29.99 - for $14.99 for example.

If one goes to FTD.COM - those same flowers are $19.99 - HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF coupon sites offer $5 to $10 discounts at FTD.COM. This means, if I just google a bit, I can find a better deal.

I emailed customer service on December 17th, 2008 as follows:


I recently made a few orders for gift cards - excited about the advertised "BONUS" of an "FTD Gift card".

I purposely made smaller gift card purchases to get multiple cards.

I received a few of my gift cards the other day in the mail.

The "BONUS" is NOT a gift card - it is a website direction - where essentially ANYONE - even if they do not have a mypoints account can go. If I do try to use the "Gift Card promo" - it actually only amounts to $5 off as the prices have been jacked up with no promotional discounts applied ... a discount that is available essentially year round from multiple sources.

Example - instead of getting the $19.99 bouquet for $4.99 - one gets it for $14.99.

The $19.99 bouquet is on sale - but not on the page.

So, not only is the promo not a value to the customer ... but the words "gift card" is misleading and makes
one think that the cards could:

A) Be combinable
B) Be a full $15 to the customer
C) Be of ANY value to a Mypoints customer.

I thought I would pass this along and just say that I am totally unsatisfied with this particular promotion and FTD AND
MYPOINTS should be ashamed.

Philip Smith

No response. (Other than an automated "We got your email and will answer shortly" email)

I emailed again on December 29th, 2008.

No response. ((Other than an automated "We got your email and will answer shortly" email)

Finally, on January 7th I get this response from MYPOINTS customer service:

Dear Philip,

Thank you for contacting MyPoints Member Services.

We are sorry to hear that you are not happy with this free FTD gift. However, please keep in mind that this was given to you free of charge. It is MyPoints way of thanking you for being a loyal MyPoints member.

Since there is no code attached to the free $15 FTD Gift Card, you may use the same card multiple times. Therefore, you may go to the website listed on the free $15 FTD Gift Card as many times as you like to get a $15 discount on your FTD order. We apologize for any confusion!

Thank you for your participation in the MyPoints program! Please let us know if you have any more questions.


Jermina M

I emailed again:

This reply did not answer my question at all.

There was no value in the card whatsoever ... it is a common discount ... that if one researches ... can get a better discount.

It is NOT a gift card as advertised ... a gift card means I receive the full value on the card and if I have multiple cards I can
combine them. This is not the case. Please address this issue properly and now address why it took 3 weeks to respond.

Thank you
Philip Smith

I received this response this morning:

Dear Philip,

Thank you for contacting Member Services.

We apologize if this promotion caused you any confusion. However, this was a free gift and we can not offer anything else. Thank you for your understanding.

Best Regards,

MyPoints Member Services

I feel so yucky!

I also emailed this complaint to The Consumerist and my attorney general.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sales R Not Us

Here's a flikr find:

Wow! What an awesome savings!

I guess the weird part is ... what employee doesn't question this sign to management?
Here's an interesting story from 60 Minutes this past weekend concerning the manipulation of oil in the futures market over the last two years. This is only part of the problem. Once we understand that OPEC and our own federal deficit combined with whackos that don't want to drill for oil in our own country - then we will see the true reason oil is manipulated - it's far far worse than ANY Sopranos mafia shenanigans.

We also must come to realize the importance of utility of resources - ie SUN WIND MAGNETIC WASTE ENERGY

60 Minutes report on oil futures manipulation

Editing & Moderating

I've been spending a lot of my time on this website moderating comments to older stories and editing a number of stories that have grammar errors, bad tags, or outdated links.

New stuff coming soon ... including an update on that John Gruber article I promised ... it was actually published briefly but I had to remove it at the request of a certain fruit company.

Real apples with real Apple logos

Reader Buzmania found this very clever idea ...

Placing vinyl Apple logo and iPod shaped stickers on an Apple relatively close to the end of the growing cycle leaves a permanent image on them.

My father has a small Apple orchard and I think I will try this with some Granny Smith apples this summer.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

MACRUMORS.COM live feed hacked during Macworld keynote

Apparently the website - which redirects to during an Apple press event - was hacked.

All of the sudden ... I started seeing the URL "" pop up and then "STEVE JOBS JUST DIED" ... then weird stuff mixed with gay and obscene slurs popped up.

I switched over to engadget's coverage at 1PM

Monday, January 05, 2009

Another Apple ripoff ...

As posted by The Consumerist:

This is a pic of an Apple shaped perfume bottle that Hot Topic ripped off from Nina Ricci to sell Twilight perfume.

Gizmodo tries to spread some brown stuff ...

This article appeared over the weekend on Gizmodo [ as summarized by The Consumerist ]:

AT&T is encouraging its customers to upgrade to the faster 3G network—by downgrading their older EDGE service.

Although the change will improve 3G speeds, customers with EDGE phones, including the original iPhone, will experience decreased quality indoors and in rural areas. We're all for improving your networks and staying modern, but we think EDGE is still widely used to the point that AT&T is going to be hurting a lot of their customers.

First ... AT&T would have to eliminate a BAND of service for this to happen. It would invalidate nearly 20% of their coverage in the USA.

Second ... Many of the phones currently for sale at AT&T have EDGE and NOT 3G ... this would cause a HUGE problem where people said such a downgrade would invalidate their contract.

Third ... this would infuriate so many recent purchasers of smartphones that it would most likely cause a a large reduction in customer satisfaction and possibly a defection to Verizon or T-Mobile.

[UPDATE] Apparently this story was yanked because it was inaccurate - like most Gizmodo stories. Just check out their horrible picture; advertising MacWorld coverage. The guys that run Gizmodo are complete jerks!

You won't find this one on the official AT&T website ...

As posted by Engadget:

The iPhone Air /iPhone Nano

The Health Issue Laid To Rest ...

Posted by Steve Jobs on the Apple website at 9AM EST Monday January 5th 2009:

Dear Apple Community,

For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.

Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.

I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.

As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.

I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.

So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.