Tips and tricks for the Mac and iOS world. And our beloved Technology, of course!!


Issues with iPhone camera not saving pictures in the camera roll

Hello guys, this post is about a very annoying issue I had with a brand new iPhone 4.  A friend of mine had her iPhone swapped for a new one, since her old phone had the home button faulty.
She had an iCloud backup, which had several hundreds of pictures in the camera roll.
The problem resides in the passage from the iOS 5 backup to the iOS 6 environment of the new iPhone, which came with the newest iOS installed. Ther are some issues when a large amount of pictures need to be restored in the camera roll.
The main problem is that the camera app will not save any photo in the camera roll, so all the pictures will be lost (fortunately there's a trick to recover them).
The photos app will show just the pictures restored from the iCloud backup.
This is what you need to do in order to solve this issue, without having to completely restore the iPhone as a new iPhone:
Download Phoneview, or iExplorer, two handy programs which are designed to get into the memory of the iPhone and backup specific files or folders.
Since most of you have non jailbroken iPhones, the up most directory available will be var/mobile/media.  Go to the DCIM folder, and backup all the folders inside. They contain the pictures that were in the iCloud backup. The ".MISC" folder will contain the pictures that were not showing in the photos app.
Ok, now that your pictures are safe, in your iPhone settings go to icloud, then backup (or archive, I don't know the exact translation), then manage backup.
Click on the backup where it says "This iPhone", in the backup options deselect the camera roll, and keep activated all the other variables. Go back, again go back, then push the button "backup now".

This procedure starts the creation of a new backup, this time without the pictures that are now in the iPhone. This is done because these pictures cannot be manually removed by any mean other than restoring from a modified backup: neither by using an external software as Phoneview, nor by any internal command in the iPhone. Deleting the pictures from the camera app, will remove their listing from the camera app database, but the file will still be in the DCIM folder.

After the successful creation of the new backup (annotate the time of its completion), restore the iphone by going in the general settings, then reset, then click on "Erase all content and Settings".  This will be followed by two security confirms.
The iPhone will reboot.
As it restarts, it will ask if you want to restore from a previous iCloud backup. Say yes and select the backup you did just a couple of minutes before.
Your iphone will download the backup, then restart. After some minutes, you will see the typical dashboard, and the system will tip you that the iPhone was restored from a previous backup.
It will then start redownloading all the apps that were installed before.
The photos app will show no pictures, besides the photostream,  and the camera app will save any photos in the camera roll, just as usual! Problem solved!


iAnnotate v2.3.1 connectivity issues

Hello everyone,
this post is for people using iAnnotate on the iPad.  It is a very popular and handy app, especially for people using and studying over e-books and PDFs.
Since version 2.3, the OS X app AJI reader service, which was intended to easily upload files in the app, is no longer working with iAnnotate.
If you try to use it, iAnnotate will crash as soon as it starts transferring any file.
So now we are forced into using iTunes. When you want to backup a folder to iTunes, just push on the folder, then press the "send to iTunes" button.
The folder will show up in the iTunes app file sharing section.
Make sure you have enough space on your iPad, if you intend to backup a large folder, since iAnnotate will make a copy of the whole folder, and if it finishes the space during the copy, iAnnotate will hang and you'll be forced to restart the app.
After pressing the "send to iTunes" button, remember to save your file locally on your mac.
Then, in the file sharing tab, select the folder you just transferred and press the Delete button on your keyboard. If you don't do so, you will waste precious space in your iPad, since everything showing up in that section is a copy of something you already have in the iAnnotate library.
I had a folder that was over 1GB, so I had pretty much finished the available memory on my iPad.
I just deleted the folder that I had transferred on my mac earlier, and now everything is fine.
I hope this will help anyone with the same problem as me!!!


Tips on installing dual-boot with XP and Win7

Today I want to share some tips about the process of upgrading a PC to a dual-boot system, namely with Windows XP and Windows 7. What I needed was to have another partition containing XP SP3, because some programs were fully compatible only with that operating system.
First of all, I wanted to keep the 100MB partition which is created and installed by Windows 7. Several guides on the internet suggest to remove that partition, but I preferred to keep it. Remember that in a single OS PC, the 100MB partition has the boot flag, so it is used during the system boot.
Using the GParted iso, prepare the disk by shrinking the Win7 partition. Create a primary NTFS partition after thw Win7 one, which will be used for WinXP. After it, create an extended partition, and inside it, create a logical partition named DATA, which will be used to share data between the two OSes. This is done because it is preferred to hide each OS partition from the other, so the OSes won't interfere with each other.
Boot from the WinXP installation disc, install on the newly created XP partition. If you have any problem during the installation, like a BSOD (BLue Screen of Death), this is because the XP installation cannot control the SATA hard drive, because one of the BIOS options is set to AHCI. If this is your problem, enter into the BIOS, and change the storage parameters from AHCI to IDE. This will solve the XP installation problem.
After the installation, install the drivers of all the components of your PC, then go to administrative tools --> computer management --> disk management and remove the drive letters from the 100MB partition and the Windows 7 partition THis will avoid any interference by the XP system to the Win7.
At the next startup, change back to AHCI drivers, and wait for Win7 to start up. Install EasyBCD, which is a MBR (Master Boot loader) modification tool, and use it to add a new entry to the choice selection during the system startup. After finishing, push the button "Write to MBR" to save the edits.
After this, we must tell Win7 to change the hard drive control drivers, so they will be compatible with XP.
Do as stated in this useful guide:
Change SATA hard disk mode from AHCI to IDE after installing XP in a dual-boot system
At the next restart, set the storage parameter to IDE in the BIOS; Win7 will then load the IDE drivers, the same used by WinXP, so there will be no need tho change anything from the BIOS ever again.
Now the PC should start with the request to choose between XP and Win7. Boot into Win7, go to the "disk management" control, and remove the drive letter from the XP partition, so it will be hidden from the system, and no program will be able to modify its content.
Now you have a nice dual-boot system!!
If you have any problem, I suggest to keep a local copy of the Gparted live iso, and Hiren's boot CD, which is a powerful first-aid collection, full of useful programs for any issue.


Converting 50p/60p .MTS HD files for iMovie

Do you want to use your beautifully recorded 1080 60p videos with iMovie or Final Cut Pro X? My Sony NEX-5N saves them in a .mts file format, which is not compatible with any Apple software.  Fortunately there's a quick solution to that: use ClipWrap!
It converts the file formats to an Apple-compatible one, like .mov.
The quality is not altered, so you won't loose any detail in your video!
I personally recommend it, since it is really fast, unobtrusive and Lion compatible.
This is a sample of a video conversion:


Parallels Desktop 7.0.15098 not compatible with USB 3.0

Just wanted to let you all know that Parallels Desktop, the software virtualization King for Macs, is currently not compatible with USB 3.0 found on new hardware.
I tried several usb keys and hard disks, and none of them is recognized by Windows 7.
I hope an update is on the way!


Root level locked even for administrators in Lion

This is really nasty: I couldn't edit my Macintosh HD folder (which is the root level), move any file/folder in it. 
This is really something annoying if you started using Mac OS many many years ago. 
I found a solution, since the helpful advices on the net about the ALC permissions didn't work for me (although I'm sure they fixed some of the mess created by the OS upgrade process).

First of all you have to enable root user:

then head to your computer icon, highlight your HD icon, cmd-I and now in the privileges section there should be your administrator account.  Change from read-only to read-write.  Now I can move any file and folder which are in the root level.

Obviously having the root user on can be risky, so take your precautions.

Os X Mail hangs while importing mailboxes

I ran into this weird problem, and it caused me to loose so much time!! I hope that this can help you, if you ever encounter this issue.
After starting Mail in Lion for the first time, a window appeared telling me that it needed to convert the old mailboxes to the new format. I said yes and waited.
Then I noticed that the number of mails processed stopped, and activity monitor was reporting an anomalous cpu usage for Mail.  I tried several times by force-quitting mail and restarting it, but to no avail.
So I started to think that the mail folder included in the user/library folder could be damaged.  
This is how I solved this issue.
First thing to do: move out the mail folder from the luser/library folder.
Open Mail, let it create a new one, quit Mail and trash the newly created Mail Folder.
Make a copy of the old mail folder from your old Mac (it can be really huge, especially if you have multiple mailboxes or receive many e-mails), then place it in the user/library folder.
Start Mail, and now it should begin converting the mailboxes without getting stuck.
Remember to repair often the file permissions, using Disk Utility.

The Lion decision

Yes I finally did it. Well, I was forced to, since I got a new MacBook Pro 15.4" with the new Ivy Bridge chip.  I thought moving my files would have been easy, while it's being a really time-consuming process.  I decided to move my files with my time machine backup HD that I used to connect to my former MBP. So I switched on my new mac, the migration assistant asked me how I wanted to move the files and I told it to use the time machine.  After just one hour and a half, the mac already transferred all the 350GB.  As soon as I rebooted, I noticed that some folders were missing, especially some of them which had thousands of files in them. So, be advised: if you are using Time Machine to move your files, double check that all the data was really transferred.  I had more than 10 GB missing!!