Command Line Tip: Start of Line – End of Line

If you like to work from the command line there are many keyboard shortcuts that can make your life easier. Two of my favourites are control+a and control+e. When you are have some text entered and you want to quickly get to the start or end of the entered text these little shortcuts will save you some key-presses.

ctrl + a: moves the cursor to the start of the line

ctrl + e: moves the cursor to the end of the line

Many of you will already know about these handy shortcuts but if you haven’t I think you’ll really appreciate them.

A Quick Take on the New Apple iPad

New Apple iPad
New Apple iPad

Apple recently unveiled there much anticipated and much hyped tablet device, the iPad. Here’s a quick take on the new offering.


Long Battery Life

  • The iPad is being touted as having an impressive 10 hour battery life with 30 days of standby

It’s Pretty

  • Like most Apple product the iPad is pretty and shiny and more pleasing to the eye than essentially any other hardware manufacturers devices.

It’s a Better E-reader Than the E-readers

  • Your Kindle is kindling compared to the iPad. Georgous full color display with the ability to embed video in publications. Big publishers should be sucking up big time to Apple for the opportunity the iPad gives them. The opportunity to get themselves back off of life support.


No Camera

  • What!? How sweet it would have been to be able to easily do video calls / conferences with this device. No dice. I guess Apple has to save some things to make people have to upgrade to the next iPad when that comes along.

Locked Down

  • Just like the iPod and iPhone, you’ll only be able to put on the iPad what apple allows you too. Apparently this isn’t really a computer but an oversized iPod touch.

You can’t replace battery yourself

  • A common grievance with iPods is the fact that you have to send your device to Apple in order to have a battery replaced. Unfortunately Apple continues this trend with the iPad. This is even more unfortunate considering Apple’s history of battery problems.

Text Entry

  • The on screen keyboard will undoubtedly be more difficult to use that a real keyboard, especially considering the back of the device is rounded. That means typing with the device on a flat surface is all but out of the question as the entire thing will wobble with every ‘key’ press.

No USB Port or SD Slot

  • Again Apple frustrates its users with a lack of standard connections. In order to use a USB based peripheral with the iPad you’ll have to shell out more money to Apple to get an adapter dongle. Would it be so hard to have just included one or both of these? Yes, we get it. The iPad isn’t a ‘computer’.

No Flash

  • This doesn’t bother me that much. I’d love to see Flash go the way of the dodo.

The iPad might make a nice addition to my coffee table or kitchen counter for casual web browsing or emailing and tweeting but I can’t see it being a must have device.  I’ll wait to see if they can get things right in generation two, or until I can get a Google tablet that offers a bit more options and openness. While the iPad may not be ideal for the more technically savvy user there is a huge number of people out there who are less technical and don’t really like computers who will find the iPad will fit their needs very well.

Power Outlets with Built-in USB Ports

usb_powerNot only do I wish I had these everywhere in my house but I also wish I would have thought of these first. Power outlets with built-in USB ports simply make complete sense. What a great stocking stuffer for this Christmas/holiday season. Well, at least you could stuff a picture of one in a stocking; they don’t ship until 2010. You can pre-order them now though.

Check them out here: TruePower UCS Power Outlet With Built-in USB Ports

iPhone + Google Calendar + Google Sync = Awesomeness

Google Sync and Mobile Devices
Google Sync and Mobile Devices
Two tools that I love enormously are Google Calendar and my iPhone.  Google Calendar is incredibly powerful. It allows you to have multiple calendars with any mix of private and public/shared calendars you like. It has a powerful quick ad option for adding events with plain English, amazingly configurable repeating events and reminders, and the feature list goes on and on.

When Google launched Google Sync earlier this year the loop from my Google Calendar to my iPhone and back was completed. Sync allows you to view and edit events on either your iPhone built in calendar or on Google Calendar on the web and see the changes propagated almost immediately.

Google sync used to only allow 5 of your Google Calendars to sync to your mobile device but I noticed yesterday that they now allow up to 25 calendars to sync. If you are a Google Calendar power user this is music to your ears.

I highly recommend this combination of tools. If you haven’t tried it yet you are missing out on some serious awesomeness.

Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Sync

Better Paste Takes the Annoyance out of Pasting Formatted Text – Clipboard – Lifehacker

Copying text from a web site and then pasting it somewhere else usually results in the formatting being copied over as well, which in 99% of cases in not what I want.  I’m definitely not alone on that either.

Someone has created this wonderful script for the extremely useful windows tool  ”Autohotkey‘ that will remove all formatting from a normal control-v paste.  For those rare occaisions when you DO want the formatting, simply control-shift-v and there it is.

So handy!

I have yet to write a post about Autohotkey itself but it is definitely one of the more useful Windows tools in my arsenal. You can check it out here:  Autohotkey

Check out more about the script at Lifehacker:

Paste Takes the Annoyance out of Pasting Formatted Text – Clipboard – Lifehacker.

Throw a Windows 7 Torrent Party

Techcrunch has a post about a very funny  spoof of the Windows 7 Party videos. The story and spoof are very timely as today is the launch day for Windows 7. You’ll find embeds of both an original corny-by-accident Microsoft video and the spoof.  It’s definitely worth a watch.

How To Throw A Windows 7 Torrenting Party Without Getting Arrested

Apple Trumps Windows 7 With New Product Announcements

The new 27 inch iMac
The new 27 inch iMac

Yesterday Apple quietly launched a number of significant new products. The launch is obviously timed to take wind out of the sails of the upcoming Windows 7 launch. Some of the highlights of the Apple launch include:

– The Magic Mouse: new wireless bluetooth mouse with multi-touch

– A 27 inch iMac (a 21.5 inch iMac as well)

– A new hardware remote that also works with your iPhone or iPod;  no longer comes free with iMac purchase

Mac Mini in a server version with no optical drive but has a second internal hard drive providing 1 terabyte of storage

– New white plastic MacBook that has a bigger hard drive than the MacBook Pro and boasts 7-hour battery life

– Upgraded Time Capsule and Airport Extreme

The product of most interest to me at the moment is the Magic Mouse. I wonder if the gestures would translate through Synergy when working on my PC via my Mac. I doubt it.

Read more at Apple.

HighlightCam: Easy Video Surveillance

HighlightCam is a very good site if you are interested in basic video surveillance. You can easily set up a simple security system using your existing webcam. The key features include

– motion detection

– email alerts

– free and paid levels of service

– reduces hours of video into seconds containing only the important bits

– view videos from any internet connected computer

The free version of the service is quite worthwhile. The main advantages to upgrading to the paid version, currently $8.99 /month, is that it  gets you video storage for 2 weeks (up from 24 hours) and the ability to download recordings. Other than that you also get no ads (they are unobtrusive anyway) and higher resolution video.

HighlightCam is definitely worth checking out. I use it to monitor my home when I’m out of town.