Blog Archive: Computer Stuff

Transfer Angry Birds data from iPod Touch to iPhone

I recently (finally?) upgraded to a smartphone. I had been using a basic phone for quite some time and got the additional functionality offered by a smartphone by carrying my iPod Touch with me at all times … after all, I reasoned, WiFi is offered nearly everywhere. Anyway … it’s great to be carrying around a single device (the iPhone 5) that is thinner, faster, lighter, and all around way cooler than my LG EnV + iPod Touch combo. Plus, the iPhone’s GPS and 4G network will be helpful when we move out to Seattle later this month.

But, I was bummed to find that my Angry Birds game data got lost in the transition from the iPod Touch to the iPhone. I had both devices syncing application data to iCloud, but when I loaded up Angry Birds for the first time on the iPhone, it appeared I’d have to start from scratch. When I first got the iPod Touch, I played the series of games quite frequently, so starting over then wouldn’t have been a problem. But now my relationship with the game is more casual, so I didn’t want to have to redo all those levels again. So, today, I set out to find a solution.

After a little research, I learned about a few tools that will allow you to access the iOS device’s file system and transfer data to your computer. After quickly following Angry Birds Nest’s tutorial on transferring game progress, I’ve got all my Angry Birds data on my iPhone.

How to Enable Gmail Themes in Google Apps for My Domain

A while back, I found out about the Google Apps service that allows you to host Google applications, such as Mail, Chat, Calendar, Sites, and Docs using your own domain name. I set this up for erichmusick.com and have been using it for quite some time. I’m hoping to set this up for my fiancee, Ellen, once we get married. She’s a big fan of Gmail’s themes, so I wanted to make sure Google made this functionality available in Apps Mail. When I looked in my Settings initially, I did not see the option to use a different theme. After doing a little digging, I found out how to enable themes for my domain’s Google Mail application.

Enabling Themes for Google Apps Mail accounts

  1. Log on to your Google Apps control panel. The URL will look something like https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/yourdomain.com/Dashboard
  2. After logging in, from the navigation across the top, click the Domain Settings button.
  3. Under New Services and Pre-release Features, there are two check boxes. Click both of them:

    googleapps-themes_sm

  4. Click the Save changes button.

I cannot guarantee that this will enable themes for your instance of Google Apps Mail. However, this is what worked for me and, assuming that Google has rolled this out to all their Apps users, this should work for you as well!

Thunderbird Address Book Name Display

While setting up my parents’ new business computer, my mom expressed her wish that Thunderbird would sort the contacts by last name instead of by first name and display their names in the format Last, First. I couldn’t find an option in the GUI for this, but after doing a little digging in the Config Editor and some research online, I found the answer.

  1. Click Tools -> Options
  2. Click the Advanced “tab”.
  3. In the filter box, type lastnamefirst.
  4. Double-click mail.addr_book.lastnamefirst
  5. Change this value to one of the following options:
    • 0 – display the “Display Name” value as the contact’s name.
    • 1 – display Last Name, First Name as the contact’s name.
    • 2 – display First Name, Last Name as the contact’s name.
  6. The change should be noticeable in your address book immediately.

Note: This is applicable for Thunderbird 1.5. I do not know what sort of support for this option will be provided in future versions of Thunderbird.

Google … the next Microsoft?

So Google is absolutely nuts. I just came across Google Spreadsheets. I built a sample page on GooglePages. They wrote Picasa for Linux. And you can now sync Firefox across computers so it’s as if you ever got up from one and went to the other.

Wow.

Can I work for them when I graudate? Someone told me that I don’t want to work for them; Yahoo would be a better place to work. I’ll have to find out why he said that. Any insight?

My guess is that next Google will come out with an online Word processor app that rivals Word 2007. For free.

IE7

For those of you who are curious as to any further thoughts I might have on IE 7 … I uninstalled it last night. I didn’t like the UI and it had some funky behavior in Project Foundry, which uses Dean Edwards’ IE 7 Javascript. It doesn’t appear that he has yet compensated for the functionality that was missing from IE 6 but has been included in IE 7 and thus, I was unable to test code I wrote for work without using a different computer.

My summary – ┬íVive el Fuegozorro! (long live Firefox).

So that Spanish is really bogus. I combined two nouns as one would in German … except they don’t really do that in Spanish. Oh well. This is why I’m American.

Internet Explorer 7 Beta

So I’m on a try-new-software spree. I downloaded and installed Microsoft’s beta of IE7 and am writing this blog post from it. My first impression is that it has an ugly interface. I have absolutely no reason to use it and will forever be a Firefox fanatic.

Internet Explorer 7 Beta Screenshot
Click to enlarge

Office 2007 Beta

I just found out today that Microsoft has made a beta version of Office 2007 available for download. As much as I’d love to have a Mac, I must say that the screenshots of Office 2007 that I’ve seen are impressive. At the same time, though, it looks like Office 2007’s interface is dumbed down quite a bit, a somewhat frustrating prosepect for more advanced users.

I’m 200 MB into the 440 MB download … maybe I’ll post a little something once I test it out … if I ever get around to it with all the work and fun activities (?) that promise to keep me busy. I’m afraid to install it on my laptop, though, becuase of the uncertainty regarding what it might do to my existing installation of Office 2003. I’ll probably try it out on my 800 MHz AMD desktop.

AIM “Photos from 6th grade” Virus

I got called out on an emergency virus removal shortly after waking up this morning at 11:15. It turned out that my client was plagued with one of those viruses that spreads around on AIM. AVG Antivirus identified it as downloader.generic.hgt. I struggled with removing it for a few hours and then came across a few utilities that got rid of everything for good. Below, I’ve summarized the steps to remove this trojan that I found on the Tech Support Guy forums.

  1. Download and run AimFix.
  2. Download AlcanShorty to your desktop and run it.
  3. Running AlcanShorty will create a folder on your desktop called alcanshorty_en. Double click this, locate run.bat and double-click it.
  4. Run.bat will download an executable called BFU and a script to be run with it. This will download a file called BFU.exe and a BFU script. If your firewall asks for the download application to connect to the internet, allow access. When you receive a message that Alcan Shorty is done, exit the console window.
  5. In the alcanshorty_en folder, double click BFU.exe.
  6. Click the open folder icon. Navigate to the alcanshorty_en folder and select alcanshorty.bfu.
  7. Click Execute
  8. When this is done, download and run the Look2Me destroyer.
  9. Check the box labeled “run this program as a task.”
  10. Wait for the application to close and reopen. Once it reopens, click the button labeled, “Scan for L2M.”
  11. When the scan is complete, click the button labeled, “Remove L2M. Let the application restart the computer if it asks to.

You should be all set.

Yum, delicious, munch munch munch

I signed up with a del.icio.us account today as I was going through my Inbox trying to clear out old e-mails. It seems a little cumbersome, but it’s better than either e-mailing myself every time I come across a web site I want to keep in mind in future endeavors or adding a bookmark that I’ll, without a doubt, forget to backup and lose the next time my hard drive crashes. Speaking of which, this new laptop of mine has seemed to hold up fairly well so far. I shouldn’t speak too loudly, though, or the laptop fairy might come and mess it up.

The Joys of Java

So I was working on Project Foundry stuff today and spent an hour or two trying to figure out why an object did not contain the data that I expected it to have. The query was executing correctly, returning the correct results and even populating the object correctly. Somewhere along the line, though, the data was getting lost. I finally realized that it was because of Java’s all-pointer approach. I added this user object to a response object and then populated it with some other data. Since adding the user object to the response didn’t actually clone the object but just sent along a memory address, successive changes to the user object caused a change in all “copies” of the object. I changed the user class so that it implements the Cloneable interface and that solved my problem.

Anyway … it’s another late night and I’m not sure how much sense I’m making, so I’m going to shower and go to bed.