Archive for December 2012

Annual Report for Calherewecome

December 31, 2012

I started this Blog back in May. I’ve done 104 posts with most of them happening over the summer.

For the complete report, see


iOS V6 Tips and Tricks

December 31, 2012

Okay, you’ve got your shiny new iPhone or iPad and you’re trying to figure out all it can do. Right? Or maybe you’re thinking of upgrading to iOS v6.0. Here a few neat features and/or tricks.

First here’s a trick that showed up in iOS a while back. I don’t know when it first appeared. Maybe v5, I’m not sure. Sometimes it is useful to get a screen shot of your device. To do this, simultaneously push the start button and the power button. If you’ve done it correctly the screen should briefly flash solid white. Then bring up your pictures app. You should see the the screen shot image in the camera roll. Then you can copy to the clipboard or email the image. All of the screen shots in this post were generated using this method.

Do Not Disturb

V6 added a “Do Not Disturb” feature. To turn on this feature, go to the “Settings” app. You should see something like the following:

2012-12-30 14.41.52

Swipe the switch on “Do Not Disturb” to on. Now your iPhone will only alert you for incoming text message, email, or phone calls from people on your “VIP List”.

To add someone to your VIP list, start your Contact App. Search for the person or company that you want to add.  Now suppose we wanted to add ‘Mickey Mouse” to out VIP list. Search for Mickey. You will see something like the following:

2012-12-30 15.19.55

At the bottom of the screen, tap on the “Add to Favorites” button. You should then see a screen something like the following:

2012-12-30 15.20.46

Tap on each phone number or email address listed. When you add a phone number, it will ask you if it is for voice call or FaceTime. If there is only one address or phone number left to add, the iPhone will simply add it. Once completed, you will see little blue stars next to the phone or email address, like so.

2012-12-30 15.34.03

QR Codes

December 26, 2012

So what the heck is a QR Code? Maybe you’ve heard the term, maybe not. These days you see them everywhere. A QR code is that little square bar code thingy that one sees on advertising. Here’s an example:


QR codes typically can be found in advertising, product labels and the like. Sometimes you might see them on the back of a business card. They can be used to store pointer to a web site (URL) or just plain text. QR codes on the back of business card usually contain contact information.

You can see QR codes just about anywhere. You see them in ads and on labels. I’ve seen them on billboards, though I don’t think bill board placement is particularly useful. How are you going to scan the code from a moving vehicle. You think that texting while driving is bad? Try reading QR codes while driving.

So how does one read and decipher a QR Code? First thing that you need is a smart phone. There are several apps for decoding QR codes, many of them free. The app uses your phone camera to scan the code and then decode it. The app that I use on my iPhone is called QRReader. There is a free version and a $.99 version. The free version has ads. You pay the $.99 to get rid of the ads. Fairly simple to use. Just start the app and line up your phone about 2-3″ from the add. As soon as the code is in focus the app beeps to let you know that it has been captured.

Here’s an image of the code being scanned:

2012-12-26 11.21.58

The app also has the capability to create a QR code. Also, there are a number of QR code generator web apps, most of them free. Here’s an web app that I’ve used at You can either save your QR code as a JPEG file, email or print it.

There you have it. Now you can use QR codes to amaze and amuse your friends.

More Apps

December 26, 2012

Time to talk about some more iPhone and iPad apps. These are apps that I tend to use a lot and in no particular order. I will try to include a pointer to the app on the iTunes store and/or developer web site,

Genius Scan

Genius Scan utilizes the rear facing camera as a scanner. This is primarily an iPhone app, but it runs on any iPad with a rear facing camera. The app takes a picture using the camera, then it allows you to de-skew the image so that it is square. Here’s a couple of screen shots to explain what I mean.

Once you save the image as either color, b/w or greyscale, you can title, add tags, etc. Then you can either save to dropbox or email the document. There is a basic version (free) and a plus version ($2.99).


Waze is a GPS Mapping app. What makes Waze different from other mapping apps is that it free. Waze uses the network connection to update the Waze servers with information about traffic, road obstructions and police presence. It will suggests alternate routes when traffic is bogged down on your priority route. You can report accidents, slow downs and speed traps. You can optionally have those reports appear on Twitter and/or Facebook.

To use this app safely in a car, you will need to get some sort of windshield mount and a 12v power connector. You can find this stuff online at Amazon and other online etailers.

Here’s the iTunes link

Now for fun stuff. Let’s talk about games. Here are few of the games that I use to amuse myself when I’m bored and tired of reading.


Okay, I admit it. I’m a crossword puzzle junkie. The crossword puzzle app is called “Crosswords“. The Crosswords app automatically downloads passwords every day. You can choose which puzzles to download. If you have a subscription to crossword puzzle providers (like the NY Times puzzle) you can enter the username and password to download those puzzles.

You can also sync puzzles between IOS devices. You can start a puzzle on your iPad and finish it on your iPhone.

Word Warp

Word Warp is a word jumble game. Each round you are given six letters that you must unscramble into words. If you get any of the six letter words, you get to continue to the next round. Simple but amusing. Each round lasts 2 minutes. There is a free version with ads and a paid version without ads.

That’s enough for now. More post to come on apps.



Merry Christmas

December 25, 2012

No snow here. Merry Christmas to all.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Pedro, CA

There’s an App for that

December 17, 2012

First, some administrivia. This is my 100th post. How’d that happen?

I thought I would write about some of my favorite iPhone/iPad apps. As many of you know (or may not) I own a 3rd gen iPad and in iPhone 4s. Here in no particular are some of the apps that I use a lot. Note, most of the hyperlinks takes you to the iTunes store.


Shazam is in app for identifying music. Push the button and the app will listen for about 30-60 seconds and report to you what you are listening. It is truly amazing. Even works with classical music. BTW, it’s free.


An app for managing grocery lists. Sync’s with your grocery list in the cloud. So you can add something on the iPad list and it shows up your iPhone list. There is also a web version. Free. There is also an Android version.


Dropbox is a cloud file storage service. I pay $10 a month for 100Gb of storage. There are Dropbox apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. You selectively sync folders on to your device.

Sheet Music Apps

When the iPad first came out, I decided it would be an excellent platform for storing my collection of sheet music. I had hundreds of pages of sheet music stored in loose leaf binders. This was a killer app for me.

Readdledocs and PDF Expert

At first I used Readledocs together with dropbox to put my sheet music (stored as PDF files on Dropbox) on to my iPad. I also used a similar app called PDF Expert. I believe that both apps support Google drive (another cloud storage service). Both apps support annotation of the files. Readdledocs is $4.99 and PDF Expert is $9.99.


Forscore is a sheet music management app. One loads music scores in PDF format into the app. Then one can assign to a genre (eg. Classical, Pop, etc.)

But there’s more. You can create ‘Set Lists’ then organize according to the way you plan to play the music. You can import from Dropbox and other cloud storage services. Then add other meta-data related to each score (author, tags, etc.)

They also sell music scores. Price $4.99. Well worth the money.


Musicnotes is another sheet music app. The difference here is that it is primarily for viewing scores bought from their service on The app is free, but you have to buy music from them.

They have an option for loading PDF files that you have created. But this costs $9.99 and doesn’t work very well. I either scan the music on my flat bed scanner or use an app called DeskPDF to create the PDF file. For my money, Forscore is way better.


PWsafe is an app for managing usernames and passwords. The app is free, but for a couple of dollars you can add the function to sync password files on Dropbox or other cloud file services. In my online world I have many accounts on many different services. (eg. Banking, Shopping, Social media, Subscriptions, etc.). Using the same password on all of one’s accounts is a bad idea. So remembering multiple passwords is (at least to me) impossible. PWsafe encrypts the file that stores your passwords. Now you only need one master password to open the file. IOS devices and Android supported as well as Windows PC.

That’s enough for now. More later…

This and That

December 16, 2012

It’s about time for an update. Two weeks is too long between posts. Paula and Mary are off to church this morning. I am left behind to watch Boomba. We are dog sitting this weekend so that Mike, Theresa and Jonathan can have a weekend away. Now I remember why we don’t have a pet.

Boomba is a good dog but… He is like an alarm clock that you can’t turn off. Last night we was awake at three AM. Whining. So somehow it was my turn to get up and get dressed and take him for a walk. Then he was back up at 0600. Now it was Paula’s turn. Mike & Theresa will be back this afternoon to pick him up.

Well the new computer has arrived. Loaded all of my files from the old computer and shipped the old one to Neil. It’s taking me a while to get used to the new keyboard. Lots of typos. Windows 8 is taking some getting used to. Overall, I am pleased with the performance.

We have been in Southern California for about four months now. Weather is beginning to turn cold and damp. I finally broke down and started putting on a coat. Temp is in the fifties. The weather guy on the news gives about 8 or 9 forecasts depending on our location. LA county is (geographically) huge. Probably bigger than the state of RI.

Life with Mary K goes on. She has her good days and bad days. Her short term memory is getting very bad. I can tell her something one day and have to repeat again the next. Our tastes in TV tend to differ. She likes to watch Dr Phil and the local news while we like to watch Letterman, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. When she watches Dr Phil, I either go in the office and watch videos online or read. I don’t think she has figured out that I despise watching Dr Phil.

In the reading department, I am reading the biography of Joseph P Kennedy by David Nasaw. Interesting stuff.

Last Monday, we watched the NE Patriots play on Monday Night Football. Of course Mary K doesn’t like football, so she went in to her room and pouted for the rest of the evening. Sigh. It’s not like we watch football every weekend. This was the first football game we had watched all NFL season. She probably won’t be happy tonight. Patriots are on Sunday Night Football tonight. I expect that towards the end of the season we will see more Patriot’s games on national TV.

We met with our new minister last week. He preached at last Sunday’s services. He also came to our weekly bible study meeting. Seems like a nice enough guy. His command of the Bible is impressive. (though I would certainly expect him to be.) The church was to vote on accepting him after the service. Mostly a done deal. He managed to remember everyone’s name around the table. He starts work on Feb 1.

Finally, we got our Christmas letter written and mailed. Paula has a few letters that she will be adding personal notes.

I will probably do a separate post on the Sandy Hook tragedy.