Magic Trackpad Getting Jumpy? Here’s a Weird Fix

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As you may know, Lion recently came out. Lion relies heavily on multi-touch gestures to be taken full advantage of. So I decided to break out the magic trackpad and try it out.

I’ve had many problems with the magic trackpad recently, mostly with it jumping around the screen a lot – I would touch it, and suddenly it would be on the other side of the screen. This time was no exception.

So why does my trackpad keep doing this? I’ve replaced the batteries, cleaned it off, and even tried someone else’s.

After a bit of research, I finally found the problem:

Time Machine.

I don’t know why, but after I read this I noticed that Time Machine was backing up. Hmm…. I stopped the backup and Voilla, the trackpad is back to its normal, behaving self.

This is going to get in the way, considering that Time Machine likes to back up every hour; make sure you keep an extra USB mouse on hand just in case.

To tell you the truth, I have absolutely NO idea why Time machine causes a problem with the trackpad. Time Machine connects over WiFi, and the Trackpad connects over Bluetooth. They’re totally seperate antennaes – why are they interfering with each other?

Although there is no explanation to this solution, it’s still a solution. So remember – if your trackpad is acting up, check to see if Time Machine is backing up. (HEY THAT RHYMES!)

Swype Beta open again

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Swype is amazing. It is a great technology that allows you to slide your finger over the letters for a much faster typing experience. I did write a post and made a video about it a while ago, but there have been new versions and it has MUCH improved in speed and stability.

But the Swype Keyboard is only available for certain devices. The manufacturer has to incorporate it in the stock operating system. But now the Swype beta has opened back up so you can join and get the keyboard.

But sorry iOS users, apple doesn’t like you (I know, I’m probably giving Android too much credit). So this keyboard is only available for android users.

The beta won’t be open for long, so if you have an android phone (or plan on getting one) I recommend clicking here and registering for the swype beta.

Teleport

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Many people I know have multiple Macs. The most standard multi-mac setup would be one desktop (usually a Mac Mini) and a laptop (Macbook, Pro, or Air). This is usually so that one can have power and still be mobile. But when it comes time to sit down and do some work, it might be useful to have two screens (studies show a dramatic increase in productivity with more screen real estate). But one problem faced is that with multiple computers comes multiple mice/keyboards. Well, if you’re all macs, then there’s a solution.

Teleport is a free and easy way so that you can use one keyboard/mouse and have it span across multiple computers (so you don’t have to move your hands to control a different computer). It’s extremely simple to use.

To get it all working, all you have to do is download teleport. Teleport is a Mac Preference pane (.prefpane) so to configure teleport you open system preferences and click on teleport (under other). Here you can configure settings and arrange the screens. NOTE: Make sure that both Enable Teleport and share this computer are both checked.

In the preference pane you can configure things like pasteboard sync and choose if you want to only switch to the other computer when you are holding a specific key down.

the rest is pretty simple. Just move your mouse across the edge of the screen and it should show up on the screen of the other computer. Whichever computer your mouse is on will be the computer that the keyboard affects. However, the volume keys don’t work across Teleport (neither does multitouch except for scrolling).

Teleport is a great free app that works and does what it should quite nicely. There are some problems when your mouse is on a client computer screen and the client computer loses internet connection. It takes quite a while for your mouse to reappear on your main computer. But the convenience of this application overcomes this setback.

Teleport main site

Teleport direct download

Swype

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These days, to type on a keyboard, you press the touchscreen. This usually requires thumbs, which can get VERY tired after a lot of typing. It can also take a while…………

Swype is a way to replace typing by instead of touching the keys you swipe over the letters on the keyboard to create the word instead of typing them. It has already broken the world record for fastest typing speed.

Luckily, Swype is allowing beta users on Android. And thanks to my Droid Incredible I got the chance to try it out.

As you can see, it may take a little bit of practice, but there are other videos where people are much faster than me. I’ll probably be able to swype a bit faster when Im not in japan, as here it is so humid my screen fogs up and becomes sticky.

Swype is rolling out on many new phones and the beta seems to work just as advertised.

To get swype, you need to have an android phone, an internet connection (which it looks like you have), and an email address.

Just go to beta.swype.com and register. Make sure you can access that email address on your android phone. After registering, check your email on the phone and click the link. You will need to allow third party installations, which the process varies depending on your phone. Once it is downloaded, open it and login with the information you entered into the swype website. Continue through the rest (it is quite self explanitory) and once it is done installing, just long press any text field, select input method, and select swype. Tada! You’ve just installed swype on your android phone.

New betas are always on the way, and there are numerous tips for Swype here.

Apple isn’t telling us everything…

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We all know that apple doesn’t tell anybody anything.

But you’d think theyd tell you SOMEWHERE (maybe on the web?) everything about a product that was already released, right?

Think again.

We all know that apple made an array of accessories for it’s new baby the iPad.

One of which happened to be the camera connection kit. This costs $29 and comes with two things: A little dongle that plugs into the bottom of your iPad with an SD card slot, then a similar one with a USB slot.

We all thought that the USB slot was for plugging in your camera. And it is! But…

So many people have told me that they can’t use any keyboard other than apple’s. WRONG! You can plug a keyboard into the USB slot!

You can also plg in USB headphones, microphones, headsets, and probably more. You can even connect your iPhone to get the photos off it, so you no longer have an excuse for no camera an the iPad! I mean, you took them on the go, and they are on your iPad, am I right?

But why didn’t apple tell any of us? Comments welcome.

Review: Wireless Keyboard

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“The best wireless keyboard out there”–Me.
Yup, I love this thing. There is an amazing responsiveness to the keys, and it is TINY, but the keys themselves are the same size as huger keyboards. The new wireless keyboard is a huge leap from older apple keyboards. Only one thing, that isn’t actually a bad thing: I hope I don’t crack it in half!
The first setup is REALLY easy, and actually kind of enjoyable. First, you take it out of the box and of course, put it on your desk to see how it looks. Wow. now that’s an improvement of desk space. But it wireless, so it’s a little different from just plugging it in. So of course, you take out the rest of the stuff. Hey, look! there are 3 Energizer batteries that are AA. So the first step is to take them out of the packaging and untwist the left knob of the keyboard
and put in the three AA batteries, like shown in the picture below.
Then press the on button on the right of the keyboard, it should look like the picture below

Then you will see a small green light appear.

 

Now it is time to hook it up with your computer. Easy. Now what you have to do is go up to the bluetooth icon in the top right and click Setup Bluetooth Device like shown in the picture below.
Select Keyboard in the window that appears.
It will look for keyboards that are there. I have already paired and named mine before, and I unpaired it to do this demo. So this is why it has the actual name of my keyboard there. Select the keyboard and click continue.
It will connect and tell you a passkey to put in followed by the return key to confirm that you are actually pairing it with your own keyboard, not someone Else’s somewhere else.
Tada!
Now in the Keyboard and Mouse preferences you can name your keyboard and change other settings for your new keyboard!
So there’s the setup. Using the keyboard is great. It has the perfect angle for typing. And it is SO much thinner than the older keyboards, as demonstrated in the pictures below.
And look at the size of it. The exact same size as my MacBook, and way way way smaller than those older keyboards!!!
And with the Wireless Mighty Mouse it makes the ultimate wireless workstation, way better compared to the old ones, as compared below.
BEFORE:
AFTER:

And I’m sure that it looks great on your desk. Interested? Go get one for yourself.
Get a Mighty Mouse Here
EDIT: The above link is no longer active, because the new mouse is the Magic Mouse. The review on that Can be found HERE.