Archive | Tech

iPhone News: iOS 4.02 and Ultrasn0w 1.1.1 Released

Apple has just released iOS 4.02 for the iPhone which fixes the PDF security flaw that allowed the web site to function. As most good jailbreakers now now, do NOT upgrade to this version of the software as it is currently un-jailbreakable.

In other news, Ultrasn0w 1.1.1 has been released (the tool you need to unlock your iPhone).  This new release has been tweaked and should improve standby battery performance.

I’m currently waiting on my new factory unlocked iPhone 4 which is coming from the UK.  My friend, who waited for about an hour at the new Covent Garden Apple Store to pick one up, tells me that the line for the unlocked iPhone was about 100 people when he got there and 300 people when he left. There was no line at all for iPhones with a service contract.

He also says that a lot of the people in the line were foreigners wanting to get one.  The Apple employee told him that they were moving around 3,000 iPhones a day from that location alone.  They had gotten a new shipment the previous night and expected to be sold out by that afternoon.

– via iPhone Hacks


Cool Software: Rappaportive

If you use Gmail, you have to install Rappaportive.

I’ve been using this software for awhile now and it is really cool.  What it does is try and pull the contact information from anyone who emails you from various social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.).  If it finds information, it will display it along the right-hand side of your Gmail window (where the ads usually appear).  This includes things like their photo, location, and links to the various social networks they have profiles on.  It helps to make email a lot more personal, especially when it pulls up a photo of someone you’ve never met before.  It’s also free, which makes it even better.


Software I Can’t Live Without: KeePass Password Safe and ZumoDrive

KeePass Password SafeWorking with new technology on a daily basis, I invariably come across some really great software programs that make my life a whole lot easier. I decided to start a blog series titled “Software I Can’t Live Without.” And yes, the title pretty much says it all.  I’ll be featuring programs that are either indispensable to me or are really cool and useful. I hope that these reviews help you to find some programs that also become indispensable to you.

The first program that I had to feature is KeePass Password Safe. This is one that I only started using three months ago and now don’t know how I ever managed to get along without it. Oh wait, I didn’t. I would have some Excel spreadsheets with passwords, forget others, use the same password for many different web sites, etc.  Now, with this program, I easily store all my account information in one secure place and have secure and unique passwords for all the web sites I visit.

KeePass allows you to create entries for all your web site passwords, pin numbers, credit card information, etc. – pretty much anything you would like to store in a secure manner. It stores this information in a secure AES and Twofish encrypted database that you only have to remember one master password to open.  In addition to storing passwords, it also allows you to auto-generate long secure passwords, which can then be copied from the program when needed. You can also create groups, enable enhanced protection and memory protection, and much more.  The best thing is that it’s free!  Not only that, the code is open source, so the software can be evaluated to make sure there are no backdoors or security problems. There’s also a number of plugins which further extend its functionality. The main downloads on the site are for Windows, but there are also ports and builds for Mac OS, Linux, iPhone, PocketPC, Blackberry and more.

It’s very easy to use, but like any new program it takes some time to make it part of your routine. Once you do, I’m sure you’ll also wonder how you ever lived without it.

ZumoDrive Cloud StorageI also mentioned ZumoDrive along with KeePass in the title of this post.  ZumoDrive is a cloud-storage solution that works on Windows, Mac OS and iPhone. It’s a bit unique from other cloud-storage solutions in that the files you store there do not also take up physical space on your hard drive. ZumoDrive sets up a “fake” local drive (Z: by default on Windows) and then streams those files over the Internet when you need them. They’re not actually local, even though it looks like they are.  This is great for devices like the iPhone or NetBooks that do not have a lot of storage capacity of their own. They give you 1GB of free storage, and larger plans start at only $2.99 per month.

The way to combine KeePass and ZumoDrive is to store the KeePass database on your ZumoDrive cloud-storage drive.  KeePass operates exactly the same way as always, but now your encrypted database is stored on the cloud and you can access it from your home computer, work computer, laptop or iPhone and it will always be in sync and backed up automatically.

These are both great products and they both have some great uses!  Hope this post helps you to better manage and secure your accounts.


Pulling your Twitter Home Page into Google Reader using RSS

I know that there are many Twitter client programs out there, but I think that one of the most efficient ways to quickly read through all of the Twitter updates of people you follow is through an RSS reader (Google Reader is my favorite).  However, the Twitter RSS feed for your home page is an authenticated feed (requires a username and password) and many RSS readers do not support authenticated feeds.

Luckily, there is a quick hack to make this work thanks to the FreeMyFeed web site. FreeMyFeed handles authenticated RSS feeds and will give you a non-authenticated feed in its place that works perfectly in any RSS reader.  Here’s the steps you need to take:

  1. Head over to
  2. For “feed url” enter:
  3. Enter your Twitter username and password in the appropriate boxes.
  4. Click submit and you’ll be taken to a page that provides you with your new non-authenticated RSS link.  Copy that to your favorite RSS reader or  simply use one of their provided links to add it automatically.

That’s it. You now have your Twitter updates in a convenient, easier to read format.


Yum Update Fails with Unresolved Dependency Errors on RedHat EL 5

I was trying to update some of my RedHat EL 5 servers to the latest updates by running:

yum update

Unfortunately, I kept running into unresolved dependency errors like these:

--> Missing Dependency: is needed by package 1:control-center-2.16.0-16.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gnome-panel-2.16.1-7.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: ghostscript is needed by package ghostscript-fonts-5.50-13.1.1.noarch (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: ghostscript is needed by package libgnomeprint22-2.12.1-10.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package 1:control-center-2.16.0-16.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package ImageMagick- (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gnome-panel-2.16.1-7.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package 1:control-center-2.16.0-16.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gnome-panel-2.16.1-7.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: evolution-data-server >= 1.1.4 is needed by package gnome-panel-2.16.1-7.el5.i386 (installed)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package gnome-panel-2.16.1-7.el5.i386 (installed)

Turns out the resolution was simple. All you need to do is clean out the yum dbcache with the following command:

yum clean dbcache

Then, re-run the yum update command. If that does not work, try running the command:

yum clean all

That should take care of these dependency errors.


Blackberry Professional Server – Blackberry Controller Service Will Not Start

Today we had a problem on our Blackberry Professional Server where the “Blackberry Controller” service was stopped and would not start.  Trying to manually start the service would give us the following error:

The BlackBerry Controller service terminated with service-specific error 5003 (0x138B).

Luckily, the fix was easy. There seemed to be some contention with this service and the “DNS Server” service on the same machine.  Stopping the DNS Server service, starting the Blackberry Controller service, and then restarting the DNS Server service seemed to fix the problem.


Force Microsoft Outlook to Specify Sending Address to Use

I have 9 different email accounts set up in Microsoft Outlook (mostly free Google Apps IMAP accounts), and while it works great for receiving and replying to messages, I have found myself often sending from the “default account” in Outlook rather than the account I meant to send from.  The reason is that when you compose a new message, if you do not select the Account, it uses the default one.

I really wanted to force Outlook to prompt me for the account to use when sending email, but after some searching, it appears that is not possible.  Maybe it will be in the next version of Outlook.

The best option I could find was to set up deferred delivery in Outlook.  This cause Microsoft Outlook to delay sending your email for a specified number of minutes (I chose 5 minutes).  While this is not an ideal solution, it does allow me to quickly go in and change the ones that I remember – usually right after I send them.  So, it’s better than nothing, plus it allows me to pull back emails that I may have written too hastily as well.