Tutorial – iOS 10 Beta 5 Lock Sound

I have decided to do a quick run through below on how to do this.

You will need OpenSSH installed for this.

  1. Download the iOS 10 Beta 5 Lock Sound (.caf) from here
  2. SSH into your device (You can use iFile if you prefer) and navigate to /System/Library/Audio/UISounds
  3. Rename your original lock.caf to lock.caf.bak
  4. Copy the new lock.caf sound into the same directory
  5. Reboot!

Enjoy.

How to Get Better iPhone Battery Life

Since the launch of the iPhone 3G, people have been complaining about how bad the iPhone’s battery life is. 40% of iPhone users say that their iPhone does not last a whole working day (I’m really not sure what they are doing with it then) I personally think the iPhone’s battery is well equipped – It is a smartphone after all, its only designed to last a day. I think people think its bad because it doesn’t last as long as their old Nokia 3210 back in the year 2000.

The new iPhone 5 has had better reports of battery life than any other iPhone yet, This is understandable considering its considerably larger, though there is no need to upgrade just yet, your current iPhone can last well over a day if your willing to sacrifice a couple of things. There are plenty of things you can do to save battery life on your iPhone and I’m going to list some for you.

Turn off WiFi and Cellular 

I would turn off WiFi if you are using it – This way it can’t try and connect to any wireless networks on your commute to work or while your just in the car. You could also turn off your mobile data if you really want to save battery, but my personal opinion is kind of against this, though it does help the battery life a lot – It also takes away everything your iPhone is made for, You’ll have no internet connectivity so you’ll receive no notifications for any applications that require network access – Your iPhone will become as useful as that Nokia 3210 you loved so much (Though it can’t play Snake, You’ll need mobile data for that)

Screen Brightness

This one is a biggy, do you really need the brightness on all the way to the top. Yeah it looks fantastic on your new 4 inch retina display but your battery will be hating you for it. Just turn it down to half way or something, still looks good and you can still see your screen – Magic! You should also leave Auto-Brightness on as this dims the screen if you go into a dark room, since you won’t need the screen so bright.

Turn off Location Services

I recently wrote a post on why Location Services on your iPhone can be dangerous, If you don’t need it on – Just turn it off, You’ll be thanking me later as this uses a hell of a lot of battery on your phone. Note that stock apps like Maps and Weather will also not work as they need location services running to give your their useful information.

Change Your Email Settings

If you have several email accounts setup on your iPhone like me, this can cause battery life to drain quite quickly since its always receiving new data. There is a simple fix for this though, Go into your email settings and change your email accounts to fetch either manually or every 15 mins or so. You may be delayed on your emails but at least you can still play Angry Birds on your lunch break now. Take note that switching to the Manual setting is actually not so bad, It takes all stock apps into consideration, so if you receive a text message and swipe to reply, You iPhone will do a quick search to see if you have any new emails too, not so bad eh?

Stop Your iPhone From Stalking You 

This is default on any apple device, going back to Location Services – your iPhone knows where you are all the time and it tries to show you advertisements based on this, it also looks for traffic in your area and finds apps based on your location and your taste in software. All of this can be disabled and can cause your iPhone to be a bit happier during those long days, to disable these settings go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and then scroll all the way down to the bottom to find System Services, tap that and disable: Diagnostics & Usage, Genius for Apps, Location-Based iAds and Traffic. You could also disable the setting time zone option if your not planning on moving around very much.

Power Cycle Regularly

If you think your iPhone is not performing how it should be and it is losing battery fast. You should try restarting your phone more often, but as general rule – You should do a full power cycle of your iPhone at least once a month. This means you must let your iPhone run all the way down until there is nothing left, and then leave it on charge for a full charge without using it much. You might not a battery boost from just doing something as simple as this.

Turn Off Notifications

You should really turn off notifications for apps that you don’t need notifying from, for example do you really need Groupon to tell you that there are new offers available for you or that you have ran out of doughnuts on The Simpsons: Tapped Out… I don’t think so. Turn off these in Settings > Notifications and you will save a bit of battery daily.

Close Down Your Apps

Kill your power hungry apps. Double-click the Home Button to activate the multitasking dock, hold your finger on an app to enter “jiggly” mode, and kill any apps that might be running in the background, especially things like Skype and TomTom navigation – as these applications are designed to run in the background.

Restore Your iPhone (Last Resort)

If you have tried all the above and your still having battery woes after a week or two. You could try restoring your iPhone to its factory settings, This can solve a lot of problems on Apple devices and if you go into an Apple Store this is one of the first things that they will tell you to do. Just make sure you have a current iCloud backup and plug your iPhone into iTunes – Click ‘Restore’ and watch go and make a cup of tea (Takes around 15 mins)

Twitter + Location Services = Bad News

Twitter and Facebook for iPhone will send your location by default when you tweet or send a new message. This can be a huge privacy concern for some users. Luckily, you’re only a few taps away from preventing both applications from sharing your location to the world. Facebook isn’t actually that bad because the location data only gets shared to your friends, unlike Twitter which is totally public unless you have certain privacy settings switched on.

I have never really thought about it when I send a tweet from my iPhone with location services enabled, I knew exactly what it was doing, I just never actually thought about it. Now for me its not so much of a problem, I have turned it off now for good, But it wouldn’t be a huge problem if I people knew where I was all the time (I thought).

But then I came across OpenStreetMap, which is an open source mapping system that is contributed to by members of the public, They have an amazing online map as well as Android and iOS applications for browsing on the move. This is all well and good right up until the point somebody clicks the “Twitter” icon in the application. Enabling this feature instantly shows recent tweets from where ever you are looking on the map, You can see people stuck in traffic on the motorway tweeting their other half to tell them they will be late for their dinner or see people leaving work and telling the world that they have had a bad day – Its actually very interesting, but people can easily use this to cause some serious trouble.

The images above show how the application works, and also that it works very well (I can assure you of that) I tested the app on my iPad by leaving the twitter finder searching and then posting a tweet from my iPhone, within a few seconds my tweet was live on this map showing the exact location I tweeted from, creepy eh? The most scary part about the whole thing is that someone could technically monitor your day to day life by watching your tweets on a map over a couple of months – They would know what time you go to work, what time you have your lunch break and what time you get home for the day. They could find out which days you have off work, what you do in your spare time, if you have any hobbies or even your favorite place to eat.

Children are a lot worse off in this situation really, Stalkers etc could use this information to find out when your child is walking home from school and if they are with their friends or just listening to their iPod (Yes its crazy what people tweet) but seriously, people do tweet these things and around half of them have this location tracker on, Your child could be pinging all over a map with hundreds watching them.

The best way to prevent this is to just turn off location services for Twitter altogether, You can do this on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on the latest software by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and finding the Twitter app. This will take all location rights away from Twitter completely and will ensure your not being cyber stalked.

Review: JustHostMe Ltd

Now when it comes to web hosting, I have had my fair share of accounts. I usually go with the big time providers such as The UK2 Group and RackSpace but this time I needed something a lot smaller and cost effective to host my personal website. The website wasn’t going to be much more than a simple central hub for all of my accounts and online profiles, I want everything to run from this domain name and also have a couple of email addresses setup for easy access.

I searched google for a UK based cloud hosting provider, I then came across JustHostMe. My first impression was that their website was pretty and had a very nicely designed WHMCS install on the go, they certainly looked the part (I know not to judge a book by its cover, but if I looked at a web-host with terrible 90′s graphics and cheesy images, I’d keep away) So I decided to have a little look into them online, I couldn’t really find many reviews or posts about them on the internet other than the ones listed on reviewcentre.com, In which they were in the ‘Top 5 Web Hosting Companies’ on the website. I read through quite a few of these short reviews to find that they were all 5 star and were praising JustHostMe’s support.

Their website is full of information about their network and datacentres, they have various datacentres in different locations (most of them in the US) and a few in the UK. I wasn’t sure if you got to choose your own server location, but turns out you can’t and they just allocate you your server based on how many clients on each. JustHost do state that they do not overload their servers and have an 99.99% uptime SLA. On their website it states:

“We have a strict policy when it comes to server load. We have optimised our servers to be fully compatible with FFmpeg scripts and to be CPU friendly at the same time. We will never put more then 500 accounts on a shared hosting server and our aim will always be to keep the average server load below 1.00 which is less than the standard average server load of 3.00.”

They seem to have failed their aim on several accounts so far, as my server load is more like 3.00 average and I have seen some servers as high as 7:26. However this doesn’t seem to of affected my website performance in anyway so far. You can view the full server list and server loads here. I have been with this company for only 3 days now but apart from the very minor note above, I’d say they seem to be a decent host.

I went for the cheapest plan they offer which costs me £2.50 a month and gets a couple gigabytes of webspace and 25GB bandwidth, I also opted for the dedicated IP address option as I had an SSL certificate to be installed onto the server. My account was setup almost instantly and I was welcomed by 6 emails in my inbox, the only one I cared about was my account information email. It turns out that hosting account was setup just fine, however the IP address that I purchased took a further 5 hours to be added to my account, not so good but it was late and I didn’t really care.

I logged straight into my newly created cPanel account and got setup, not much to say here really – cPanel is the same with every web host unless they do something fancy with the theme like HostGator do. One thing I did notice though is that I was on the ‘Bravo’ server which was located somewhere in the USA, I wanted a UK based server really but I was all setup by this point so there was not much that I could do. I did call the number provided on their website to see if I could speak to someone about this, but instead I was greeted by a shouting automated voice saying that their phone system was down, nice!

It’s still early days for me to make a judgment on them really but as of now, it seems that their hosting performance is fantastic but their support is a little off, but maybe I just happend to join at a bad time when everything seemed to be going wrong eh? I would defiantly say to give them a go though if your after a cheap place to create your online presence. Sign up today!

Update: I got an email from JustHostMe saying that it would cost me £5.00 to move my website to a UK server.

Update: They sent me an email telling me they would move my website to a UK server free of charge, after I sent an angry email to them. Winners

Original Windows 7 SP1 Downloads

Even with the release of Windows 8, many people are still purchasing brand new laptops with Windows 7 installed. PC’s purchased recently that come with Windows 8 can almost certainly be downgraded to Windows 7 without an issue, the only problem is… You probably don’t have a Windows 7 disc do you?

Some computer manufacturers provide a recovery disc with their machines so that you can restore the operating system in case you face problems while starting Windows.

Even if you have your genuine product key noted down in your diary or printed on the backside of your computer, you can’t use it to reinstall Windows because you don’t have the setup disc.

To solve your problem, I am going to list direct download links for Windows 7. These are 100% genuine and official download links. It’s also completely LEGAL to use them as they don’t come with a product key. You’ll need to use your own product key to activate Windows. The links provide an untouched Windows 7 ISO which is a fully functional 30-day trial version which can be converted into full version after entering your product key and activating it with microsofts servers. These servers are fast (10Mbps+) if your connection can handle it, so get your backup disc today!

Download Windows 7 with Service Pack 1:

Windows 7 Home Premium with SP1 32-bit
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24208.iso

Windows 7 Home Premium with SP1 64-bit
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24209.iso

Windows 7 Professional with SP1 32-bit
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24280.iso

Windows 7 Professional with SP1 64-bit
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24281.iso

Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1 32-bit
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24394.iso

Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1 64-bit
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24395.iso

Once you have finished downloading the ISO file, you can burn the ISO file to a DVD using any burning software and then install Windows 7 onto your PC, You could also use the Microsoft Windows 7 USB Tool to create a bootable USB installer for the files above.

How To Get 25GB Dropbox Space For Free

Now that Skydrive are offering 25GB to everyone, users of the popular Dropbox service want in on some extra space. I currently have 25.85GB on my Dropbox account and I am using around 11GB of that, The company are always finding ways to give users of their service free space to compete with the rivals. I personally think that nothing comes close to what Dropbox offers but thats a whole different post.

There are many different ways to increase your Dropbox cloud storage space, But I’m afraid you may well of missed some by the time you have read this, You’ll have to wait until the next round in order to get extra space from things like Dropquest. They always do things like this, and its a great way to get a few extra GB. I am going to list every way (That I know of) to increase your space.

  • Sign Up using a referral link. Dropbox offers ways for existing users to increase their space, by referring friends each person that signs up gets an extra 500MB added to their account as well as the referrer (up to a limit of 16 GB) This can give 18GB in total if you play your cards right.
  • Complete the Getting Started page. Once your logged in, Click the getting started link on the left hand side, complete these simple actions (things like creating a shared folder and adding files) and you will be rewarded with an extra 250MB, not much but it all adds up.
  • Link your Twitter and Facebook. If you can link your personal Twitter and Facebook accounts to your Dropbox account and share a link. You can get up to 750MB extra for this, add your accounts now by going to your account settings and logging in to both of your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Duplicate referral space with .EDU email. This one is for people in the states really (as we don’t use .EDU email addresses) If you go over to https://www.dropbox.com/edu and add your .edu email address, You will get double the amount of space for every referral you make.
  • Complete Dropquest 2012. Now you can’t actually complete this anymore (This is one of those actions that you missed, I did warn you) But I will tell you for next time anyway. Dropquest is like a game/challenge created by the lovely people at Dropbox for you to play and earn a bonus for every level you complete. if you wait for the new one to launch and replace “2012″ with “2013″ in the link provided. You’ll be good to go next time… Dropquest 2012.
  • Invite your friends to Dropbox. This is probably the most important one to note, If you can find enough people to sign up to Dropbox using your referral link, then you can build up space very fast and actually end up with a lot of space if you use add your EDU email first.
  • Test the latest software for Dropbox. Dropbox will reward you for testing the latest version of software in BETA. The most recent booster was earlier this year when they tested the camera upload feature. Customers of dropbox could earn an extra 5GB by just uploading pictures that they took on their smartphone, simple!
  • Join the Great Space Race. This one is fairly new on the scene, and you get it here. If you are at university and have an active .ac.uk email address, You can add this earn up to 8GB for you and every other person at your university. You start with 3GB being added to your account, and then the more people than sign up at your place of study, the more space you get.
  • Upgrade to a Pro account temporally. If you can spare £7.99 one month, You might consider upgrading to the Pro 1TB account, just for one month. This means you can earn double the space referrals and it also increases all your previously Referrals too.
  • Pay for a Pro account. This last one isn’t free at all (£7.99 monthly), so it goes against my title name, But I’m going to write it anyway. If your using a lot of space in Dropbox and you enjoy the service and have a bit of spare cash. You may as well upgrade your account and have 1TB (plus your space already) and get storing and syncing!

I think thats about it for now, but if I think of anymore – I’ll be sure to update this post.

WordPress.com VS WordPress Self Hosted

Okay, so as you know (because your reading it) I have recently started my own blog. I have wanted to create my own blog for some time but have never really got round to it. I have been considering the options for a while and have been trying to decide on which platform I should use, after carefully choosing from my options, I chose WordPress as the core of my blog/wesbite for a few reasons…

Now this is where some people get confused, There are infact two different ways of creating your wordpress blog or website. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different things, WordPress.com is a hosting platform that allows clients to create a blog completly free using their own servers and feature set, all you have to do is to sign up for an account to run your blog.There are no web hosting or maintenance charges, WordPress.com handles all of the maintenance and upgrades of the WordPress software, themes and plugins that are installed on your blog.

WordPress.org is the organisation behind the software that is WordPress. They are the people that develop the free software that people install on their own servers, this is called self hosting,  companies like Ebay UK, Yahoo, Samsung, CNN and Wall Street Journal all use WordPress (as a CMS, Content Management System) to run their website. I will share more information about using WordPress as a CMS in the future, but for now I am going to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both platforms.

I decided to go for the WordPress.com option as the disadvantages did not really effect that much, and the purpose of my blog was just to write about things that interested me and that I wanted to write about. I didn’t need advanced plugins or themes to achieve what I wanted.

WordPress.com Advantages

  • Its Free! If you self host you own WordPress installation, You get 3GB of free disk space (which can be upgraded if you pay more) If you host your own blog your going to need a web host with a decent platform to run your site, along with a domain name. This all costs money (around £10 per month) so unless your planning to make money from your blog – Your out of pocket
  • Your blog is going to hosted much faster and can perform much quicker than anywhere else, The reason behind this is that WordPress.com only host wordpress blogs. Its what it was built for, meaning super fast speeds when you are editing posts and uploading pictures.
  • There is a pretty good chance than your website or blog will be more secure on this platform. Most hackers target self hosted WordPress blogs, as they know it will have weaker security than blogs hosted on the official servers. You are also secured by SSL when logging into your dashboard to manage your blog.
  • You are more likely to get increased traffic from other WordPress.com users for being part of the community, You could appear on the Freshly Pressed pages and also get talking in the forums.
  • You can share your interests and find other blogs that match your mood, all from the built in dashboard on WordPress.com. Reader, as its called, allows you to browse by category for websites that interest you.
  • All of the technical maintenance work is taken care of by WordPress themselves, including setup, upgrades, spam, backups and security.
  • Your content, including posts, pages, pictures and videos are all backed up automatically to different servers and can be restored at any time.
  • Automatic upgrades of the software, You can wake up one morning to find that the latest software is installed and ready to go.

WordPress.com Disadvantages

  • You cannot upload your own theme. WordPress provides 250+ themes which you can customize (As of September 1, 2014, Custom Design is now a feature of the WordPress.com Premium and Business Plans.), but you cannot upload your own custom theme, unlike on a self hosted blog. No option for custom themes and plugins. Unfortunately you can only customize your wordpress.com site so much before you have to pay and also cannot add extra features using plugins.
  • You can’t upload plugins, none at all.
  • You can’t modify the PHP/CSS code behind your blog.
  • Monetization (through advertising, affiliate links, etc) is not allowed
  • WordPress.com place their own advertisements on your blog from time to time (I haven’t actually seen any yet) You have to pay $30 to remove these.
  • No custom analytics, You can’t use Google or anyone else for that matter to monitor the statistics of your website, You may only use the built in one (which is actually quite good)

So, we have learnt that WordPress.com is a great place to start if you want a free or low cost blog, But not that great if you want to get more hands on and get technical with stuff, This is where hosting your own WordPress platform comes in.

WordPress.org (Self Hosted) Advantages

  • You have the ability to upload custom themes, that you have created yourself or that you have purchased from somewhere on the internet
  • You also have the ability to upload plugins, which WordPress.com counts as a security issue.
  • Complete control of your webite, If your technically minded and up for a bit of coding, You can turn your WordPress site into anything you want (as long as you have the skills)
  • Since you are in control, you can decide whether you want to sell ad space on your site or generate revenue through things like membership services, product sales and so on. This feature is actually banned on WordPress.com
  • Self Hosted wordpress sites offers you complete control over your site.

WordPress.org (Self Hosted) Disadvantages

  • You need to pay for a host. A self-hosted WordPress-based site does require some expenses, The primary expense is the monthly cost of hosting. I do recommend outsourcing your web hosting to a company that not only specializes in web hosting, but in WordPress-based site hosting. The average price of a web host that is suitable for WordPress is around £6 per month. You then have to buy your own domain name.
  • Your website, Your problem. If you install a dodgy plugin or theme, You could end up bringing your whole web server down, This would make your web host very unhappy too.
  • You are responsible for the upgrades, widgets, plugins and files that sit on your blog, You need to update them, maintain them and make sure that everything works smoothly.
  • Generally a self hosted WordPress blog requires more technical knowledge to set up and run, But this isn’t always the case.
  • You’re responsible for stopping spam, WordPress.com offers a very good anti spam tool. Which actually does a great job of keeping the crap out.
  • You’re responsible for creating and maintaining backups of your site, Just finished a post and your server crashes, what’s that? You didn’t create backup, You have lost everything.
  • If you get a huge spike in traffic, your site will probably go down unless you have a robust hosting setup

Conclusion

With all this in mind, I decided to host my website with WordPress.com. The main reason was that it was just easier at the time, I just pointed my domain to WordPress servers (cost me £8.00 for one year) and then I was all set, all of my files are kept safe and secure. Its not that I have a problem with self hosted blogs, Its just that with the pros and cons of each, I really didn’t see a problem with hosting with WordPress. I don’t edit any themes and I don’t need to use plugins, So there we go!

Edit: I’m now hosting this website on a self hosted server.