Now, it is possible to control a Nikon DSLR with iPhone!

An extraordinary smartphone, iPhone 4 proves to be a good remote control. It controls Macs, PCs and Apple TVs.

Recently, I came into a iPhone-based solution that even controls a DSLR! This solution, called BlueSLR, comprises a Bluetooth receiver that is connected to a Nikon DSLR and a Bluetooth-enabled iPhone 4.

The controller app on the iPhone 4 is used to send shutter release signal to the Bluetooth module attached to the DSLR. In addition, it transfers GPS information acquired by iPhone 4 to the DSLR, effectively functioning as a geotagger module.

Here is a nice review on that device.

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AirPrint on Macbook + Dropbox = Add a printer to iPhone

Sometimes it is desirable to have a webpage saved on your iPhone. On PCs and Macs, this can be done by feeding the page to a PDF printer. How to achieve it on iPhone?

If you have a Macbook and iPhone within a network, the following trick is helpful.

First of all, as Mac OS X 10.6.6 still does not support AirPrint, we need to enable it.
This link provides a method to set up AirPrint on a Macbook and use it through iPhone.

Next, assume your Dropbox directory is /Users/username/Dropbox. Create a symbolic link from the CUPS-PDF directory to the Dropbox directory.

ln -s /Users/Shared/CUPS-PDF/username /Users/username/Dropbox/airprint

This makes sure that newly printed documents are synced by Dropbox. Enjoy it!

iPhone’s Push Email is Evil

iPhone’s push email service is one of my favorite applications. Oops, sorry, I should have used the past tense form “was”.

The push mechanism follows the old Hollywood cliché “Don’t call us; we’ll call you”. The phone is constantly connected to a server. When a new incoming email is available, the mail system notifies the server, which in turn causes a beep sound plus a vibration to the phone.

push email

At the beginning, it was very cool to receive an email the moment it reaches your email inbox, without having to check the inbox periodically. This essentially transforms an email message into an SMS. It is particularly useful to receive and process a message sent by some important persons, say, your boss, as soon as possible. However, as the consequence of abusing any technology, this later becomes a disaster to me.

I have subscribed to many online services both in Hong Kong and abroad. They are located in a wide spectrum of timezones. And the incoming emails, as a result, come at any time during the 24 hours of one day.

When I am sleeping at night, a push notification can wake me up. When I am busy working, a push notification can distract my attention. These force me to try to turn off the push notification during some critical time periods, but later I found that I often forgot to turn it on and missed a lot of important emails during that time. Hmm, not only the email is pushed to my iPhone, but also my life :-(.