Monthly Archives: July 2009

How to deal with iPhone Device Provisioning without Stabbing Your Eyes Out

Introduction

So for any developer than has joined the iPhone Development program and attempted to throw their app on their phone, the process of provisioning is a familiar and likely painful process. Like many developer you may have several projects going on possibly for several organizations. You can think of provisioning as the paper work your app needs to fill out in order to “board” your phone. The process involves ____ steps:

  1. Get an iPhone Developer Account
  2. Create a certificate request
  3. Download your approved certificate
  4. Register your device
  5. Create an App Id for some app (eg. com.exampleComapny.exampleProduct
  6. Create a provisioning profile that says an app with a certain App ID can run on a device with a certain ID

While there may be a headache or two in the first several steps, Apple does provide a fairly robust overview of how to accomplish those things. We are going to focus on a developer who has gone through these steps and has a provisioning profile available on their machine. Now you may have multiple provisioning profiles on a single machine, but doing that just involves more work. I use this quick trick to modify projects to my provioioning profile so that I can help  test etc.

Instructions

Step 1

Assuming you already have a project created, open up the terminal and navigate into the directory for the project. In my case I have a project called “MyTesterProject”.

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Step 2

Now if we do an ls command we can see that there is a .xcodeproj in this directory. We are going to navigate into that. Although in Finder this may look like a file, it is actually a bundle or folder that has things contained in it. Using the change directory command (cd) we can navigate into the project.

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Step 3

Listing out the directory here we can see that there are several files. The one we are going to focus on is project.pbxproj. This is the file that contains all the configuration settings for this project. What I do here through the terminal is use the command mate to open text mate, however you may use vi or pico or whatever other text editor you like to open the file.

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Step 4

Now you are going to search for whatever developer this project is currently linked to. For this example lets pretend that this project is configured for a provisioning profile for “Collin Ruffenach” but we want to change it. Search through this document and find the developers name.

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Step 5

You will find the name in a section of text that looks similar to this. You need to replace whatever name is there with your name. The other important field begins with “PROVISIONING_ PROFILE”.

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The number that you are to replace the provisioning profile number with will be found in xCode. If you go into xCode and into the Window menu, you will see an option for organizer. In organizer you can see all your provisioning profiles. Pick the one you have made for your self and get the Profile Identifier, this is what you will put for the PROVISIONING_PROFILE:

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Step 6

The last thing to do is go into the info.plist file for the project and make sure to change the Bundle Identifier to match the one for the provisioning profile you have. I know at first this seems like a kind of invasive way to do things, but it has really sped up my development and testing time. Hope this tip works for you guys. Thanks for reading and Happy Coding!

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Distinguish Snacks from Treats for a Healthier Diet [Diet Hacks]

The best and worst thing about food is the variety, especially if you’re prone to copious amounts of snacking. To help keep your waistline in check and your taste buds content, distinguish your snacks from your treats.

Photo by DeusXFlorida.

Forbes asked dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner to create a guideline on the dos and don’ts of healthy snacking. Among Dawn’s tips is to know the difference between what constitutes a snack and what classifies as a treat. As a quick rule of thumb, “a snack is nutritious and filling, [while] a treat is not.” Furthermore, “snacks should pack enough nutrition to provide energy so you don’t yearn for more and end up overeating.” As a guideline, try limiting your snacking to about twice a day and occasionally replace one of those snack times with a treat. Remember also to keep both snacks and treats between 150 to 200 calories.

Check out the full post for other snacking rules, and remember to avoid those food ads if you’d like to snack less. For some suggested snack ideas, check out this previously posted guide to 20 snacks that will fill you up and boost your productivity.





Chrome Updates, Adds Themes, Better Windows 7 Support [Downloads]

The latest developer builds of Google Chrome enable extensions by default, add support for skins, and even improve compatibility with Windows 7.

If you aren’t using the developer releases of Chrome, you’ll still need to download the Channel Chooser and switch to the development stream, but you won't have to mess around with command-line parameters anymore—extensions have been enabled by default. This means you'll be able to install themes for the browser, and while there are only two themes to choose from at the moment, the theme specifications have been published and there is likely to be an explosion of new skins released very soon.

The other noteworthy fix, although not mentioned in the linked article, is that Google Chrome’s “Application” shortcuts will now show up as separate taskbar items in Windows 7, a very helpful change for those of us that use them extensively.





3jam Is Like Google Voice with Number Portability and Skype Support [Telephony]

Google Voice has been been making a splash among early adopters, but if you’re looking for an alternative with many of the same features plus a couple of extras, take a look at 3jam.

(Click the image above for a closer look.)

3jam isn't an altogether new service—it used to be primarily a text messaging service—but its Google Voice-like features are. Like Voice, 3jam rings all your phones from one number, gives you access to your call history and SMS history, offers (visual) voicemail online, and more. Unlike Google Voice, 3jam also supports forwarding your calls to Skype, AOL, or Yahoo Messenger. It also lets you port your current number into 3jam for easy transition—something that's not (yet) available with Google Voice.

What’s more, 3jam isn’t in an invite-only beta. The catch: 3jam costs, at minimum, $5/month. That’s not terrible considering what they offer, but in light of Google Voice’s free offering, not all that many folks would be that excited at the notion of ponying up cash for 3jam. Then again, if features like Skype or IM ringing are particularly important to you (say you want to save some cell minutes), 3jam may have a leg up on Voice.

On the other hand, 3jam doesn’t currently have all of Google Voices features, like call filtering. If anyone has given it a try, let’s hear your experience with 3jam in the comments.





Make a Mini-Snake for Your Bathroom Drain [DIY]

Most of the clogs in your bathroom sink or bathtub don’t require the mess of a full length plumbing snake and if you’re an apartment dweller you’re certainly not going to give up precious space to store one.

Photo by mobilestreetlife.

What you need is a mini-snake, easily stored under the sink and handy for those annoying hair clogs. At the home-improvement site DoItYourself.com they share a handy trick for always making sure you’ve got a snake close at hand. You’ll need to stop by the hardware store and get a few feet of 1/8″ stainless-steel cable and you’ll need a pair of needle-noise pliers:

Step 1: Simply bend several individual wires (not strands) out in different directions from the center of the cable so that when rotated, the strands will snag hair in the clogged drain.

Step 2: Fish cable as you would a drain snake, twisting as you push gently to advance into and around elbows, etc.

Step 3: When you feel the clog, just twist the cable until you feel some resistance and withdraw slowly to extract hair.

Step 4: Repeat until the big wad comes out, maybe two or three times.

The DIY solution is much more effective than trying to reach a mat of hair with needle-nose pliers and much easier to store under the sink than an actual plumbing snake. If you have your own handy DIY home-plumbing solutions, let’s hear about them in the comments below.





Save Memory by Disabling Unnecessary Ubuntu Services [Linux]

Linux only: The Addictive Tips blog writes up a quick tip that can help you trim down some of the fat from your Ubuntu installation—do you really need the Bluetooth service running?

By default, Ubuntu starts a number of services that really aren't necessary for everybody—but they are started to make the operating system work for the maximum amount of people. It's not a bad thing, but since you are running Linux you are obligated to tweak and customize it to fit your own needs—most people probably don't need the Braille display management or Bluetooth services, for instance.

To tweak the services for yourself, head over to System -> Administration -> Services, click the Unlock button, and then remove the check marks from the services you want to disable. Hit the link for the full screenshot tour.





“Gizmo Voice” Moves to Beta, Changes Outbound Call Rules [VoIP]

We’d previously mentioned that the Gizmo VOIP calling service was integrating Google Voice numbers and allowing for free outbound calls. Gizmo has since launched a Gizmo Voice site to help set up Giz/Google mashup systems, but made a notable change—the first three minutes of any outbound call are free, but after that is generally $.02 per minute in the U.S. Still, those already through Google Voice's invite process can use their Voice home pages to connect a call, so it's incoming to a Gizmo account, for free. Thanks to many commenters and emailer Kevin for the tip.





Use Body Language to End Conversations with Chatty Coworkers [Distractions]

Talkative coworkers can be quite a distraction, not only do they not get their work done but they keep from you getting yours done too. Cut down on unproductive chatter with a simple body-language hack.

Photo by claudiogennari.

While detailing out a list of ways to save time in your office the produtivity-centric folks at Productivity501 shared a way to use your environment and body language to control the length of conversation. Their suggestion? Remove the guest chair from your office:

People are less likely to stay for a long time chatting if there isn’t a place to sit. You can keep a fold out chair nearby or borrow a chair from the conference room when necessary. If you stand when someone enters the room, you can easily signal for them to leave by sitting back down.

A significant change in body posture and returning to the position you were working in before being interrupted is a great way to signal that chit-chat time is over.

If you have a time-tested technique for keeping the lid on chatty coworkers, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Office Timesavers [Productivity 501]





Write a Snappy Bio Line For Yourself [Career]

If you ever plan on being introduced as a speaker, web writer, or otherwise need a line or two to describe yourself and your career, you’ll need a bio. Career writer Marci Alboher offers tips and great examples.

Alboher notes that bios shouldn’t be short resumes, and should never be outright boring. You’re usually getting your one and only chance to leave an impression or spark an interest in somebody who may need to contact you, or preferably hire you, in the future. She digs novelist Laura Zigman‘s example of a human-sounding bio line that gets the job done:

“Laura Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts (where she felt she never quite fit in), and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (where she didn’t fit in either) and the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course (where she finally started to feel like she fit in).”

If you had to write two or three lines about yourself for publication, what would they be? What kind of bio lines stick with you, and which drive you nuts? Tell us all about it in the comments.

How to write a killer bio [Working the New Economy]





CitySounds.fm Geo-Diversifies Your At-Work Playlist [Music]

Many workers find that the best music is somewhat ambient and randomly mixed, so it’s not a conscious thing to keep track of, but a clever audio backdrop. CitySounds.fm provides quick streams of electronica-leaning tunes from around the globe.

CitySounds is simply a page with a number of city tags spread across it. Each city pick streams locally chosen, uploaded, or produced music using the SoundCloud platform, and pictures of each place are grabbed from Flickr. From a little exploration, the sounds tend to fall on the ambient side of electronica, which, like Gina’s pick of the Groove Salad channel, feels well-suited to stream in the background during a productive work day. If the sounds get a bit too fashion-store-soundtrack-sounding for your taste, simply click another city and return to your tasks.

CitySounds.fm is free to use, no log-in required.





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