HELPER – General Technology

Installing Bootcamp on your new 5k retina iMac

Technically installing bootcamp on any recent Mac should be the same, so other of you using the new retina Macbook Pro or even the Mac Pro can follow these instructions.

You would think that is ts a simple process, but I found it to be quite confusing and annoying, so i decided to make a little guide.


In your Applications>Utilities folder you will find Boot Camp Assistant.
like any form of Boot Camp, its a pretty “no frills” affair and they dont make it any more exciting than it needs to be.



You will need 2 things

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 5.38.21 pm

1.Copy of Windows 7 or 8 in an ISO format.

This somehow stands for “International Organization for Standardization”, but forget that ( plus the letters are in the wrong order) . Its just what is known as a “disk image” and usually looks like a small round thing on your desktop once mounted or a file with a picture of a hard disk.

You can create that using “Disk Utility” (which is on your mac already) or other DVD copying software if you have the original, or be sneaky and download it you little devil. Bill Gates is probably in Africa and won’t notice. YOU CAN ONLY USE WINDOWS 7 or 8 as the new imac runs only  64-bit architecture. If you think this is some sort of small lego set, then pipe down and just remember the numbers 7 or 8 (if you can).


2. A small usb 2.0 thumb drive which is at least 8GB in size.

which will hold the installation. Seems pretty redundant to have to get the installation made twice, but hey, I didn’t design the process. Once this is done you can reuse that USB if you need to install bootcamp on other machines.
Generally I would recommend a funny USB stick that makes it look like a dog is getting busy with your USB port, but as the USB ports are on the back of your imac you may use a boring looking one if you like.


3. (optional) An empty external hard disk… if you want your windows to be on an external disk.
or you can use your main hard disk which will be automatically partitioned. 

For most of us, its just easier to use the same hard drive, so its always there when you need it, not that most of us will take our iMacs with us (although it is light enough to and i will probably do that sometimes). One thing to be aware of, is that, in the case of the iMac retina, you will be partitioning a “fusion” drive (25%SSD and 75% HDD), and I’m pretty sure none of the SSD will be part of your partition. I dont have the resources to test this theory but seems very likely than any partitioned area will be from the “furthest” part of the HDD, which allows you to partition and unpartition easily without losing Mac system data.



I suggest leaving all the options on. Some people say partition your hard disk first and skip the first step. I say they are very silly, or possibly know something I dont. Anyway this is the easiest way I feel.

Before you start this process, MAKE SURE you have the CD KEY for windows handy. If it is in a file on your mac, you WILL NOT be able to access it once your computer reboots in windows. This will greatly affect your happiness and you may have to start again. Just write it on a piece of paper or if you have a second computer please have it readily available

It will give you a warning saying it will erase your USB stick. Throw caution to the wind and let that happen. Then it will go to this screen….. for LOOOONG time. Go have a cup of coffee or other beverage of your choice.

This is doing what it says I imagine. Let it do its thing. Go and play with your kids, or if you dont have kids, then go play with your girlfriend, and one day you may be able to play with your kids.


After reboot

Ok, it gets a little confusing here, so just copy what I did. It will show your hard disk with 4 separate partitions. 2 of the are quite small. Ignore them.

I told my mac to partition my hard drive with 225Gb for windows… seems some is lost in the conversion and it went down to 160.6GB. Make sure to check thew sizes of the disks to find the right one. It will also have in capital letter “BOOTCAMP” next to it.Now the next part baffles me. It WILL NOT allow you to install windows on there as it says it is not formatted in NTFS format. How Apple managed to include this flaw is beyond me and so strange as that is the sole purpose of this software. Very silly Apple!

To fix this, just click the “Format” button just below, it will warn you about erasing data. Just say yes and it will only take about 10 seconds to complete.


Now it still referenced as “Drive 0 Partition 4” but loses its bootcamp name.
Note: when you open the computer up again in OS X when all this is finished, it will still be called “BOOTCAMP” and  will be slightly larger than shown here. Also you OSX partition will recuperate the space… Its all very confusing and I’m pretty sure that it because of the fusion drive. That being said I’m glad I’m chose a fairly large space for it (chose 225GB and ended up with 172GB) as i want me PC drive to be fairly large so as to not come into space issues further down the track and I advise you add 20% more on to what you want to end up with.



The Setup Process

It will reboot and a tiny windows logo will appear… actually you will realise soon that everything is small on the Windows side.


The next phase will be to enter your windows PRODUCT KEY. As i recommended before if you have a digital version of it, you had better have it written down somewhere (like I didn’t), or if you have two computers, search it that way. (which I had to do)


After that you are basically home free. It will install and then go into setup mode.


After reboot you choose language


Yes, this is truly how Microsoft see me. Some faceless idiot on a dangerously blue screen.


And suddenly that allow you to personalise with pretty colors.


It says many things, and eventually “almost ready” for about 30 mins. It truly is NOT almost ready, but the cycling colors are quite mesmerising.



Good on you!!  You successfully installed windows on you iMac.

Further viewing

Here is a really blurry video that some guy called diego made. Its totally different to the method I used as he does each stage separately. Anyway seems to work and may be a good backup for some of you that get stuck somewhere in the middle and need to start over. My technique I feel is more simple for the general user.

An easy way to free up space in OSX Yosemite

So for those of us out there using SSD drives (Solid State Drives) to boot up our macs, which is most of us these days, at the very least for our Startup Disks, you generally have less space than the good old days, so really need to make sure that you don’t waste any space on redundant items.

The average is a 256GB SSD, and as a general rule you need at least 10% free to run at full capacity, and I would generally recommend at least 20% to guarantee performance, especially if you use large Photoshop files, or even use a lot of web browsers with a lot of tabs open.

I was looking through my hard drive for large files and this got my attention immediately as it was the largest folder in my Library folder.



One of the interesting new features of OSX Yosemite is the “Dictation & Speech” function which allows you to either talk  to your computer and it be converted into text, or it reads text to you. Unless you have a visual impairment, you will be excited by the first one initially, nut in actually fact will probably play with the second option more, at least once when you first get your new OS (it is actually quite fun).

You may forget about that day and carry on with your life never to use it again in many cases.

You can find the “Dictation & Speech” preferences in the “System Preferences” Control Panel.




Dictation allows you to talk to your mac and have it write down what you say. You can choose to do it live over the internet or allow it to download fully and


This is generally for the hearing impaired, but its always fun to play around with these. You may not realize that each one you use can take up to 400Mb on your hard drive.





This will delete the accents the computer understands. Its about your voice here. im guessing you only need 1, unless you like to talk in silly voices to your computer.



You can turn off the voices, which will then ask you to delete them, but in my experience it did not actually do so. Please see the next section to find out how to manually delete and check how much space you can retrieve.



You can either use the System Preferences area to delete them, but this doesn’t always work. To make sure, you should check this folder


You can see the path at the bottom of the window. Voices are the ones that read to you and will be the most significant in size. I completely deleted the recognizer as it was also large, and its easy to re-download anytime by enabling dictation at a later date. I find that method of writing less eloquent than my typing method. I like the “Lee” voice so i left that one available, so in the end it takes up only 421.7Mb, a total saving of over 2.5GB.


I managed to get about 2.5GB back, as i had experimented with about 10 different voices. Now to find something else to delete.


Thanks for reading, and food luck freeing up more space.

Y-U-M! – Improve your food pics

So being a Photoshop professional makes you sensitive to bad quality imagery. Being a living creature also gives you an unnerving feeling when you see something you perceive as food look unappealing. I suffer from both of these situations, so instead of cringing I’m goin to show you a super easy way to get your food pics looking spot on.

So basically here, I’m going to show you how to make your food pictures look bright and bubbly and make people’s mouths water when they see them.

Lets face it. There are so many camera apps on our devices these day, some of which are designed for food. This will show you what they attempt to do, and give you an easy way to do it yourself. I’m going to explain it for Photoshop users, as I know many people use it, whether bought or not. You can do this same technique in any software, but I made this acronym to help you remember, which is designed for Photoshop’s shortcut commands.

It’s Y-U-M,

or +Y,+U,+M

Thats Command on a Mac and Control on a PC.

So you have a photo of your food. That’s the first step. A friend of mine took this pic, which i noticed on Facebook, and I came up with the idea that this is a skill that almost everyone can benefit from, as food photography is very popular these days, and even more so in Japan where I was living for the previous 7 years.

Now to be honest for those working on the web, you don’t need the Y-step, so skip this step if you are using it for Facebook or your blog.

Step 1

Y – Proof Colors.

So pressing Command-Y will turn on your proof colors, which are a digital representation of how your document will print. Some colors that can be displayed on screen do not exist in print (as they use additive color as opposed to subtractive color). These colors are know as out-of-gamut colors. So if you plan to print your picture, turn this on. Vibrant foods like tomatoes will often look disappointing when you print them out as they are too vibrant to be represented with conventional inks. Also notice the sub-menu and make sure its on “Working CMYK”, as this represent most home printers.

Step 2

U – add Saturation

Next, press Command-U and the HSL dialog box will come up. The only one here you want to touch is Saturation. Like Saturation suggests, using the metaphor of the sponge, it will hold more color, like a sponge full of liquid. Food always looks better with a bit of extra color added.I would say add anywhere between +10 and +35. Any more and it will start to look too unrealistic. (see more info at the end of this blog post)

Now click “OK” to lock this stage in.

Step 3

M – Curves

Next is Curves. Curves technically bend the light spectrum to elongate the middle tones of an image. If that sounds like bullshit then just forget that and just remember than in a RBG (additive color which all web images are) image, moving the curves up will add more light into the image.

The first step is to color balance, and the easiest way is to set a grey point.Look at my arrows in the image above. there are 3 eye droppers there. Choose the middle one. Next you must click on an area that you think contains absolutely no color,or as little as possible, and is also 50% between black and white. of course in any shadow, radiant colors do bounce but for most situations, you can find a shadow that is far enough away from the object to be almost perfect grey. A grey balance is almost the same as a white balance, which you may have heard of, but i think gives you more options to choose from and gives better results.

If your image goes crazy and really wrong looking, don’t worry, you most likely just hit a colored pixel by mistake. Just try it again until it looks well balanced.

Before clicking “OK”, then look at point 2 on the image. You can drag the middle point of the colors slightly towards the top left. this will stretch the mid tones in the image and add light, without destroying the black or white tones.

Now click “OK”

And now you are done

Within about 2 minutes, you can have a primo looking image of your food.

The proof is in the pudding…. or Cucumber Stick as the case may be
Here is a comparison of before and after with the photos

And there you have it. Actually i got a light feathered white brush and sprayed the edge so it blends to pure white, instead of increasing the brightness, because it much more important the food looks realistic, not the table. Of course you can manipulate more if you like. But These steps are all you need to make your food look YUM!

As a side note, you should always try to use the original uncompressed image to manipulate, as the compression artifacts (like the pattern you see in the tomato) will often be enhanced. Also for food coloring there is a big difference between real color, and perceived real color. You probably wont find too many tomatoes like the above picture, but it is in harmony with the color enhanced imagery we see on the internet these days. What you want to bring out with food is the emotional response of the excitement of the great taste and freshness of the food.

Sennheiser Headphone Upgrade Time Lapse

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Simple Awesome Screenshots in OSX

So, this is nothing new, but every time you upgrade your operating system this thing seems to revert, and it certainly did happen to me when i recently upgraded to OSX 10.9 Mavericks. I take a lot of screen grabs. I mainly use them for emails (where i dont need to save them), but sometimes i do and I really dont want them hanging around all over my desktop thankyou very much!

By default, they appear on the desktop, but they can be easily told to go to a folder. I keep a “Screenshots” on the desktop for easy referencing. Its always sorted by “Date Modified” descending, so the newest one is at the top. This method works for any version of OSX but i assume you are all upgrading to 10.9 most recently.

Here’s the method for making a nice screenshot folder on your desktop


  • Click this link (which will show you some png images of cameras)
  • Click the camera image you like. When it appears bigger and loads right click on it and select “copy image”
  • Go to your desktop. Type ⌘-N to make a new folder – Call it “Screenshots
  • select the folder if it isnt already and type ⌘-I ( to see info) and then hit “tab”
  • type ⌘-V to paste the image in there, Now it looks pretty.That is important, and will help you find it much easier on your desktop.


  • click the icon on the top right on your screen. Type in “Terminal” and open this app
  • copy and paste this into the terminal once it has started up and loaded, , then hit “return”

defaults write location ~/Desktop/Screenshots

  • now copy and paste this into the terminal, then hit “return”

killall SystemUIServer

It should look like this, except it will have your computer name and user name.

and now you can take a screenshot and test to see if it worked.. It should appear in that folder. To take a screenshot see below.

The Basics of Screenshots in OSX

So while im writing this, i thought I better explain all the options available to you for Screenshots.I do know that many people still do not know how to do this, as people still often ask me what i’m doing when i take screen grabs. So heres the basic deal. You can take snapshots in OSX… (big whoop!) well, yes it is and its basically the most used function i use on it every day. and there are many awesome ways to do it.

There are 3 basic modes


Area Mode Presentation Mode Whole screen
⌘-shift-4 ⌘-shift-4 (release) space bar (release) click window ⌘-shift-3
• Selected area (the most useful) • Presentation Mode has a nice drop shadow and no background (makes it look pretty) • the whole screen (only use if you actually need t he menu to be visible on screen)


Details of each mode

Window Mode


In window mode you can draw a box around whatever you want and it will just give you that area… probably the most handy

….although there may be one that I use even more than that. If i only need it temporarily, why waste disk space by saving it, if you hold the “control” key when you click the mouse ( so its ⌘-shift-4, release the keys, hold control, click and draw your box, release the mouse – then ⌘-V when you are in the right program), it will just save it into your clipboard temporarily. You can then paste it into an email, or even into photoshop, which will automatically size the document to the last snapshot you made.

see example

Presentation Mode

-shift-4 (release) space bar (release) click window

This mode does exactly what it says it will. Make a window ready for presentation. You can see how below. It removes all the background, and make a nice drop shadow of the window. Like all Snapshots (unless you change the default) it is in PNG format, which means it contains transparency and the drop shadow will bledn into whatever background you have.

this is the same image put inside an orange table. No ugly white blends here!

Fullscreen Mode


This is fairly self explanatory and does what it says it will do…. I dont recommend this at all as it wastes disk space (by having a large file size) and is generally erdundant and harder to email. If proportionally shrunk down it also makes your target area much harder to see.

So I ope this helped some of you out there to streamline your screenshots. There are other modifications you can make but I generally suggest you leave them alone unless you know what you are doing. Happy Snapping!

CHROME is going Platinum

It certainly seems Chrome has stormed the market and has officially taken over as the most popular browser. In a free application market, which all web browsers are, you often see domination of this kind, but unlike proce point being a major factor, the workflow and available tools always are the major factors, as well as social influence.

Google obviously failed to overthrow Facebook with their own version of facebook, Google+. They also went head to head with Firefox in the browser market, which I thought would be the same deal, but this time they won, and I would say the default browser of choice these days would be Chrome.

As a web designer, i have always appreciated the advanced tools of Firefox (especially firebug – and have waited as long as i can for them to get their program working without stealing all my RAM.

Well i gave up after a looong wait. Made the switch to chrome on the weekend. I really missed my Firefox setup, but after a good 2-3 hours of setup (you really dont know how much you will like an app till its fully tuned to your needs), im very happy with it, and can see at least a 2-3GB memory improvement. I can recommend to anyone maxing their RAM in Firefox.


Step 1 – Change your default browser.

its a bitch when you click a ink and it opens in firefox. now you’ve got both open. Great. way to save memory genius! So don’t forget to do this if you plan to permanently change browser.


Step 2 – pin your most used tabs

The ability to PIN certain tabs perfect for email, kindle reader, and i have my Yamaha audio receiver on there, so i can change sound inputs and volume without the remote). It’s a perfect way to save screen space and get rid of the tabs you use all the time. Keep them to the left and have a tidier workspace. Just right click and say “pin tab” and it will shrink down to a favicon sized logo.


Step 3 – find some time saving and time wasting tools

You can setup your new page tabs with loads of pages and apps, much like you would on an iphone. You can name each page down the bottom. They have a “windows 8″ style page option also with pink squares, but once you fill up about 30 slots it defaults back to its original style. This is easier and better.

Here are some “plugins” that i installed to my chrome desktop. As its just been a few days i haven’t had tome to rurally thoroughly test each one, but here are the ones i think will be very interesting.

Plugins I like


Earbits Radio – browse channels – good world music selection – FULL SCREEN IMAGERY

middle eastern world – indian world and all kinds of subgenres for electronic. I was introduced to them when was djing at the Eclipse festival in Australia and they had an official eclipse radio station for all the artists there and every song yo can see who it is and also join up to a mailing list of their music. very handy (if you want to join a lot, then setup a new email address just to receive all the music ideas )

Audio Sauna – nice little synth you can play with your commuter keyboard that has a whole bunch of sounds. good sub bass, as well as a pretty standard sequencer. Good for playing around and making ideas on. You can save the tracks to a folder and reopen them later on. sweet. – Who doesn’t love a good tape. they had such personality, you got to love every warp and glitch on every song you had on tape. This mix tape is very different though, as it is of YouTube videos. It is partenered with soundcloud, so i thought you could make music compilations, but fuck me if i could work out how. Make mixtures of everything you like, and. They have awesome tape designs and unlimited fun. you can share your tapes too. click the play button in the right spindle( is that what the are called?)

Dark Editor – make your won pub books out of text on your computer, or type stuff in there. perfect if you want to make a very simple EPUB book to send someone with your resume or similar.

In the office

Resumup – This show you how to get from where you are now, to where you want ot be career wise. Pretty interesting. Shows you jobs available and courses available along the way. Not sure how realistic it is though.

Fox Utils Merge PDF- Merges PDFs. Not foxes.

PDF Split - same as above but the opposite. Not fox related at all.

PDFBot- make a web page into a PDF

and of course

GAMES – Whooppee!

Most of the games I downloaded free on chrome were total crapola. There were one or two that stand out as a bit interesting for different reasons.

Contra – the original Konami NES game playable through chrome. Awesome if you like blowing and shooting things with little pixel shaped bullets. nice moody music and i looove pixelation transitions. It’s pretty hard so you won’t get far. But that means its good for a short break. There is 3 in the series. well worth getting on a wii if you have one.

Z-tpye – very interesting typing game.Like space invaders but you gotta type the words of the incoming spaceships which get progressively longer. You die after about 5 mins. Good for a quick break but not very relaxing on your fingers.

WarLight – old school turn by turn take over the world game. Played like its a board game. No fancy animations, just numbers. Good for strategy loving people. Spent more time on this game than any other recently, and crazily addictive. First 3 missions are not so hard, but after that beware. This gets two thumbs up for being so engaging and so simple at the same time.

Firefox search bar fun

This picture has nothing to do with what I’m going to write about, but it certainly makes you appreciate he beauty of Firefox.

This is a super fast and easy tip: Fixing your Firefox default address bar search engine and also some super shortcuts!
So after quite while using chrome, i returned to Firefox today to do some work, as I find it more helpful for some web tasks.

As i’m used to Chrome now, i forgot to press the “tab” key before typing my search, as is necessary in Firefox, to jump to the search string area, and it did my search in Bing. Yuck! Double Yuck!! i felt violated obviously, and resolved to change this.

Don’t be fooled by this sexy representation of Bing. there is nothing sexy about it.

So What can i do to fix this?

If you know much about the inner working of Firefox you know its kind of setup like Unix, and has loads of typed commands that most of us will not remember to use. There is no pretty interface for a lot of them which speeds up the way the browser works, but you can very easily access them though by typing this little piece of magic


Type this into the address bar in Firefox.about:config

You will see this little dialog. don’t ruin your pants… just don’t do anything silly. Click the “ill be careful…” button


Next in the Seach field below, type “keyword.URL

You should see the Value column appear – but the value will be different


double click the Value area and replace it with this -

There are also many many different search engines you can put in there
here are the options –


close that window. make a new one and do a test!

Here is the SUPER TIP!

While messing around with this, i could see that it was just adding what i typed onto the text I passed into the window.For example -

which is obviously googles search method for UTF-8 documents.

This gave me an idea…

What If I replaced it with my own web address(don’t forget the slash if you are going into a subfolder!). i have already made some shortcuts to my main pages (See this blog post i made that explains that –

So, using that method on my server, you can type just blog,portfolio or music to get to these pages:

Which, using the technique explained in the “Super Simple Page Redirect” blog post can link to any page you like.

Now when you type in the key words you have setup on your server, you will go to the corresponding pages. So If I just type the word “music” I will get to my Music.Live/DJ site – www.ahimsalove (see how). Awesome.

Of course the opportunities are endless. This is perfect if you want to keep all the data for a project in one place and easy to find and remember.

Hope this help you guys……

And the final roundup

if you are lucky you will never see this pile of poo again……

The best way to shorten URLs

Well that’s not exactly true, as tinyURL has basically only one feature, to make long URLs into short ones. heres the link

It does have one feature that REALLY makes it stand out. You can choose what it shortens the URLs too. That’s probably the most important feature in the whole URL shortening business.
Some other URL shorteners have other options, but this is all you really need to make awesome URLS. perfect for twitter where you have limited characters.

TinyURLs website is pretty ugly to say the very least. they are not stupid so they did this on purpose to create a “homemade” vibe I guess. Anyway I dont use it for its other fancy functions, only that it makes beautiful

for example i made the link to my Facebook page in each of them.I think there is a clear winner

Its certainly the most pretty. to show you how each major URL shortener works, I made the same link in each.

The other options are: - has click tracking with analytics. A good feature if you need that info. ugly though and not so handy.

example – -Actually great if you create a free account as it keep them all there for you to find later. This is very handy. It also has analytics and is a nice pale blue website which i find relaxing.

example –

ShortURL -Actually this site has some pretty impressive options, but not exactly what i would call convenient as it give you too many URLs for different purposes. Has some other features you can explore if you like.

example –


So you want to have a well integrated an simple way to contact people? If you dont then read no further as I think this system is pretty good.
I myself have decided not to have a phone anymore. “What?” you say. “How can this be?” . Well it is, so just shut up and listen.

I was in love with my new iPhone when i got it, but why do i want an SMS and MMS messaging service on my phone when it is email capable. It also comes with an email address of its own (why??). Its so annoying when your phone vibrates and you have to check 4 applications to find the message. Boo to that. You may argue that its cheaper, but stress is a cost too, so I could care less if my phone bill is higher. couldn’t be more than 5 or 10 bucks a month. Drink one less beer, or in the case of Australians, half a less beer ( that was a joke about your expensive food and drink there!) and it’ll even out. You won’t be as stressed and need that beer as much anyway. Actually realistically I think in the long term its cheaper anyway, depending on how you use it and your data plan. SMS and MMS are a scam in my eyes and rarely do save you money or time.


Two of the most popular communications networks have teamed up and I’ve never been happier. You’ve probably even heard of them. One is called Skype and the other Facebook.
if you dont use either one of these or both then you’ve probably never used a computer. Skype revolutionized how people communicate and forced telecommunications companies (a.k.a. “telco’s”) to rethink their strategies and drop their process to compete. Oh yeah it was free. Skype was famous for its video calls, but actually personally i used the chat function more as i like to multitask and chat on the side. Its also one of the fastest and file size unrestricted file transfer methods on the net.

Next was Facebook . people like to bitch and moan but really its the most revolutionary form of communication every presented to humankind. Well maybe the second, as i would say language itself was the first. Not long after Facebook became extremely popular the chat function was built in, and unlike every email client that tried the same thing, they were actually successful. When Facebook realized this, they  further exceeded its vision by releasing “Facebook Messenger” which allows you to send messages through Facebook without having to look at it. This is a huge advantage as Facebook basically erases your mind and you always completely forget what you are doing when you use it, and if you had a legitimate purpose to use it that is also whisked away on the part of the brain now controlled by your desire to read useless crap from your friends.

If you dont like Microsoft  ( who owns Skype ) and Facebook ( who owns Facebook (duh!) and then don’t use this method. People love to think they are better than these companies, but i dont see you creating free revolutionary information platforms for people around the world to share information.


Anyway my point was not to introduce these things but to teach and convince you to use them, and use them to your their full capacity. Its dead easy and most people would have accidentally done it when they downloaded an update to their Skype in the end of 2012.

As you can see from the pic it now has Facebook added to the list of contacts.

Subnote:It also has Mac contacts, but if you are like me you probably dont want to Skype with someone you met in 1997 when you first got an email address ( for me i actually designed my first web page before i had ever used the internet  – not bad eh, …and then refused to use email for another year) – anyway my mac syncs all my email addresses so avoid that option.
SubSubnote: If you use a PC, a “mac” is what we call a computer just in case this thing confused you. PC is what we call it when we want to pinch a girl on the bum but dont because its socially unacceptable.

So lets carry on shall we. Now Skype runs through the Facebook. if you are doing the fast track through this blog post then you should have only had to read about 4 lines of text so far, so stay with me. You can now sent text messages to people in your Facebook .

To do this:

  1. Open Skype
  2. Go to the “Skype Home” tab/window.
  3. Click on the grey or sometimes blue COG symbol.
  4. Click “connect to Facebook” and put in your deets
  5. Yes, yes, click, click. Let them do whatever they want.
  6. You are done

See this picture ( note:  to protect the innocent i changed everyones names. Sorry if your name already started with a “D”. )


Yes and heres the next part. This post was not completely just to help you, but to help me too. If you happen to be the lucky ones who have down this, then you can only see the conversations of people who also connected. This can be a major bummer, so convince all the friends you have you actually wanna chat with to do it too. So please do this and lets try to stick to one network to send messages.

THE MAIN ADVANTAGE – Is that you can check you messages on Facebook (computer or smartphone), Facebook Messenger (smartphone) or Skype (computer) and they are all the same. Facebook delivers content much faster than Skype and they update simultaneously. (Disclaimer, sometimes the PC version of Facebook will override Skype if you log in on both, but if you have Facebook open anyway you are not really saving time). Any anytime you need to find some info its all there recorded in those platforms. you can also then get updates about your facebook messages on your pc without having your browser open.

THE DISADVANTAGE – Please note this is a deal breaker for some, but not me, (read the next section why) – If they have not connected their Skype and Facebook then you can send them messages ( as your pipeline is open(nothing to do with a high fiber diet)) but theirs is not.  Thats to protect their privacy. Your next message to them should be a link to this blog post, or just tell them what to do (its easy,right!)


There are ways around this.

1.Put your iPhone or iPad near your computer and read the popup responses on the screen and answer in Skype. they will not realize you can’t see their responses and avoids using 2 methods to chat simultaneously ( or you can do the opposite and use growl or notification manager to see their responses in Skype and respond with your Facebook messenger if its an urgent message – just ignore it if its not.)

2. Do like I do and tell everyone you know to connect the two so you can read their messages in Skype and save you the $500 to get an iDevice. plus it looks better if you are in the office to not setup a chit-chat content media center.

additional reading
why doesn’t Facebook develop its own VOIP platform –—how-webrtc-will-turn-friends-into-enemies.asp

please leave your comments and suggestions.

This post was written on the 5th of Feb 2013 and will probably be out of date in about a week (unless you all do this and it becomes institution)

Update your foolish ways, not software

Sorry for the derogatory title, but its very important that everyone understands this.


It does not necessarily that you will be progressing to the “next level”. Waaaaay too many times have I seen people get into trouble because of this. People love updating things… its almost an obsession with people these days. Spurned by the psychology that “onwards is upwards” they think that something magic will happen and all their dreams will be realized. then… BOOOM!!! They are thrust into the bad lands, where nothing works the way they planned anymore and after 3 days of stress they get back to where they were and suddenly they are more appreciative of a working phone/computer/device. I like to think of this as the “Adventure Romance Phenomenon”, where two lovers on the verge of breakup/ have recently broken up/were married but live separate lives but are both lonely ( this list could go on ) who suddenly are put on a trial of nerves and physical endurance, by being chased by ninja/attacked by killer piranha/stalked by the Mafia/anything with Bruce Willis and at the end of it they realize that all they need is each other to be happy.

Software is exactly like this. Youll run around in circles and wish you were where you started. Of course big things , like computer operating systems, have so many functions and changes that its impossible to know whether they advantage/disadvantage will balance one way or another. It is also true that change is as good as a holiday, and some will upgrade just for the excitement of seeing a new icon or screensaver. This is ok as long as you are prepared to receive the consequences.

Windows Vista was an awesome example of a global downgrade. “Your computer working at 90%?? – well why not try Vista….?” – fo course that gamble didnt pay of for many and they were soon running at 45% efficiency, speding days updating drivers and wishing that had bought a one way ticket to Hell instead of that stupid upgrade.
Not to be biased against PC users, im sure most long term mac users had never upgraded to Lion over Snow Leopard. The Mission Control and backwards scrolling ideas were just ridiculous and annoying for everyone. Apples move towards iOS style interfaces for desktop users is just a silly mistake. Sure some features work, but some were obvious disasters. i still cant believe they didn’t scrap Mission control and get spaces back when they released Mountain Lion. of course apple doesn’t make mistakes ( cough!)

Ask any jailbreaker ( of any device… this term is not limited to iPhones and has been around for much longer. Its also referred to as “custom firmware”, which denotes modified software on a hardware chip built into a device running the bare bones functons of said device) will tell you, Most of the “upgrades” on devices just shut down exploits ( loopholes) in software that hackers have used to their advantage to trick the device into letting them modify code, or replace, or add. So by upgrading your not changing anything besides that. they are often called “security updates”, and patch the code so that exploit is shut down. Its like a game of cat and mouse and provides no benefit for you as a regular user.

Here as some actual good reasons to upgrade:

  • There is an actual, single security risk you are trying to avoid, which you understand how this fix will protect you from.
  • There is a new function that you cant live without, or new software you need, and are willing to trade it for one other you love ( even if you dont know what that is yet )
    (this is also true for Plugins for a tool like WordPress. Sometimes you really want that new gallery. But be prepared to lose your random image generator or other plugin you love. )
  • You are preparing yourself in advance of a predicted forced upgrade and have the time and inclination to fix it.
  • You are a computer wizard and like all the problems upgrading presents ( this is not a joke. Sometimes i upgrade to test my problem solving skills on a weekend or some time where i can get seriously nerdy )
    - of course i do this usually on a cloned version of a site or a site that is a) not live, or b) not important.
  • You are in love with a nerd, and have unlimited funds, so keep breaking your computer to get him/her over to your house.

There may be more, but you get the gist.


Now to the really important bit – WordPress. If you did not make your own site and have no particular reason to update your wordpress or its plugins, then DO NOT DO IT! It will only break your website. I know its tempting and it tells you you should, and you really want to click it, but dont…. ever. You will be on the phone to your web designer the next day, and don’t expect them to be ready to fix your website at a moments notice. Its not the web designers responsibility of any upgrades or changes that may happen to a system over time once the job is complete and the controls are transferred into the users hands. If you do that and need it fixed, you will have to pay someone to fix it, and if its broken enough, some parts of the site will need to be remade. This costs money and time.

A smarter move, would be that if you need new functions, consult someone in the know, who can recommend a direction for yo to go in, or if your site is database run ( which all wordpress are (using a MySQL Database)) Then get someone to clone it, then upgrade the copy and see what happens. Its like a backup of your site, and like any data backup is a good investment, You can keep backups of your database easily, and any wordpress user will show you how, using xCloner or Wp-DB Manager ( i use both) or a similar plugin. this database is not your website, but just the instructions for it. All physical media will be stored elsewhere and putting them back together is for experienced users, or those who can read instructions ( despite your presumed ability. this is not you ).

Anyway i hope this helps you make up your mind, upgrading is exciting but dangerous, but so is life. just be prepared.