Jul 142014

I have let this blog stagnate for a while, but I think I’m going to try to get back to it. I used to post here and let Twitter be auto-updated for a lot of things, and this used to be the only way I would post to Facebook. Today I cleaned out some of the blog cobwebs and updated to using NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster, which so far appears to be an amazingly good way to distribute content.

Now to find something not too boring to post… Something more exciting than this…

Sep 102013

Dreamhost is my hosting provider, as it says at the bottom of all of these blog pages. I sincerely do love their service and have been a customer for 9+ years. But today I will delve into slightly more detail. Here are some of the reasons I stick with Dreamhost:

  • They are inexpensive for lots of space and bandwidth.
  • They have an excellent panel for configuring web services, domains, email, etc.
  • They provide a lot of flexibility for handling of email, which I take full advantage of.
  • They don’t take themselves too seriously. The newsletters and press releases are great.
  • They have good customer service.
  • They require me to write posts about how wonderful they are for a chance to win a year of free service.
Aug 272013

Type2Phone is a Mac app available on the Mac App Store for $4.99.

Do you typically have your iPhone, iPad, or both sitting by you while you’re using your Mac? Type2Phone makes it easy to use your Mac’s keyboard to type into any of those devices. You can also send your Mac pasteboard to your iOS device, or use the Mac dictation ability to do speech-to-text-to-iOS-device.

Type2Phone presents a small window when run. When first started it will prompt you to connect to an iOS device using Bluetooth. After connected, whenever Type2Phone is the active application all keyboard input is sent to the connected device. Click away from Type2Phone to make it inactive, and the keyboard is back to controlling the Mac. That’s it, simple but powerful.

Logitech K760

Logitech K760

I used to have a Logitech K760 keyboard hooked to my Mac. The K760 is a nice Bluetooth keyboard with buttons on it that let you quickly switch the connection between 3 Bluetooth devices. This worked fine, but I found that the connection back to the Mac was sometimes slow. I also found that I would occasionally have problems with Bluetooth where my keyboard connection would be dropped for brief times.

Then I installed Type2Phone and I no longer needed the switching capability of the K760. I swapped it out for a wired keyboard instead. Now if I want to type on my Mac, I just type. If I want to type on my iPad, I just hit ⌘-F13 and type away. To type on my iPhone I hit ⌘-F15.

The Type2Phone window normally looks like this:


If you have only one device, simply activating that window is all you need to do. If you have multiple devices, the last one used will be active by default, or you can switch using a drop-down or hot key. (I cheat and have Keyboard Maestro watch for a global hot key, switch to the Type2Phone window to activate it, then hit the hot key for me again so Type2Phone gets it.) You can also have the window be in “collapsed” mode where it looks like this:


And it’s fast. My K760 was pretty fast when switching to the iOS devices, but not so fast when switching back to the Mac. With Type2Phone the connection to the iOS devices is still fast, but connecting back to my Mac is instantaneous because the keyboard is still physically connected to it. I also have the advantage of being able to send text from my pasteboard and lots of special commands through the Type2Phone menu. (Things like Home, Brightness Up, Delete Word Left, etc.)

If you have an Apple TV and use your laptop while watching TV, you can use Type2Phone to type into the Apple TV. No more typing a search or password using the arrow keys on your remote, just activate Type2Phone and type away. That’s very handy.

I was dubious at first about how well Type2Phone would work, but now I can say that it’s definitely worth the $5.