Trading in iPhone 4 for iPhone 5

Image courtesy of

If you are looking to upgrade your old iPhone 4 to the new iPhone 5 I suggest you look at trading it in at

If you go to Trade-In store on, they are offering folks up to $250 for a like new iPhone 4 32GB and up to $230 for a the 16GB model.

This is the best deal I’ve seen for trade-in and it’s easier than trying to sell on eBay/craigslist/etc. Amazon also provides a free UPS shipping label so it can’t get much easier/cheaper. The Amazon trade-in price is likely going to keep dropping so this may be the last time we see these prices.
Good luck!


HOWTO: Moving an Application Window in Windows 7 Using Keyboard

I have a multi-monitor configuration both at work and home.  Sometimes when I undock my laptop from the separate LCD display and bring it to another room I have found that some application windows are “stuck” on the other screen.  Here is a quick and easy way to move those stuck windows to the correct screen.

Use the Windows Picture of Windows logo key+Left arrow or Picture of Windows logo key+ Right arrow to move the window to one edge of the screen.  This should make it visible again.

This is a Windows 7 only tip from my testing.  Let me know in the comments if you have another way that works.

Canon 5D Mark III Dismissive Thoughts

Canon announced their new update to the 5D line today, the 5d Mark III.  Its price… a whopping $3500 dollars for body only, this is $1000 more than the previous model.

For me its more about the photographer not the gear, and at $3500 it seems a bit over priced in comparison to others in this space.  It always surprises me when photogs feel the need to dump their perfectly good and working gear for something new (and untested) .  Its almost as if folks feel like their equipment has all of the sudden become old and failing overnight… just by one announcement.

I think in a month or two there will be even better deals on the 5D M2 as Canon also announced they are planning to discount the 5DM2 price soon.

For me if I were a pro I would lean towards sticking with my existing Canon 5D Mark II or Nikon D700.  If your camera breaks you are still better off saving thousands of dollars and just going with the great deals on the older models such as the 5DM2and D700 right now.

With all of the change going on in the photography business, I can’t understand why photographers would over spend on frivolous gear when their market is going through such extreme change and transition.  Buy a lens instead with your money, or expand your business or hire an assistant instead.

So just think about it…. what is this new camera model really going to get you versus what you already can accomplish with existing gear.

Good Journey!

HOWTO: Stop Mac DVD Player app from starting

For Mac OS X users:
If you want to stop the DVD player app from starting when you insert a DVD movie disk, try this.

  • Open System Preferences
  • Choose CDs & DVDs (under the Hardware Section)
  • Change the setting at the bottom to When you insert a video DVD: Ignore.

HOWTO: Create Gmail Labels on Your iPad / iPhone

Lately I have been a bit frustrated when using the iPad / iPhone Mail program with my Gmail account.  I use the Gmail labels feature on all of my important mail or when I just want to file stuff away for later.  The one problem I keep encountering is how to create new labels while in the iPad Mail app with Gmail.

I recently found two ways to solve this problem:

Solution #1 – Make sure you have iOS 5 installed on your iPad or iPhone.  Open the Mail app on your iPad or iPhone, choose your Gmail account from the Accounts section (below the Inboxes).  Then select the Edit button at the top, then select NewMailbox on the very bottom.  Here is where you can create the new label name.  Enter the label name and click Done(keyboard) or Save at the top, and then click Done button at the top.  Voilà! Your new label should now be available for use.

Solution #2 – Use the link to the full Gmail site:  Normally I would never use Safari to read my email while on the iPad or iPhone, but this in theory is the only way to do this if you are still using iOS 4 and earlier.  I would have thought that using mobile Safari and surfing directly on over to would solve this problem but apparently the Google site detects that you are a mobile device and renders it as the mobile Gmail site, which surprisingly also prevents you from creating new labels.

If you have a better solution please let me know in comments section.

No one backs up their data!

This has been my observation of most home computer users over the last few years.

I find that most of these users (9 out of 10) are not backing up their music, photos, home videos, and documents with any kind of organized or planned/automated process.  I’ve come to this observation while helping friends, family, and even small businesses with their computer issues.  The range of users is not just novice computer users but also includes advanced users as well.

The typical response when asked, do you backup, is usually one of two responses “no, not currently but I plan to…” or “I have a backup on CD or an old hard-drive from several months ago”.    It seems that most people are betting their hard-drives won’t crash or that they won’t lose their computer to theft, fire or any other natural disaster.  Basically most people aren’t thinking about it much, and I find this surprising.  In digging deeper on those that actually have a backup, I found that it was usually not automated and/or was several months old.  Also their backups are rarely tested or verified for the content and if they are working correctly.  A backup doesn’t do any good if it doesn’t actually work or if it is missing important files.

However, there is some small but growing upside in this story as more and more online “cloud” hosted solutions and tools are used such as Google Docs, Google Music, Picasa, Drop Box, Flickr,  and the new Apple iCloud.  Also we shouldn’t forget all of the online backup services such as Crashplan and Carbonite to name a few.  These tools are very handy and solve many of the backup needs for people.  But with all of that I still find I need local storage & backup for my various home storage needs.  This may change as these cloud storage services and tools grow further and become more common place.

Let me know in the comments section, Do you backup your home computers?    What services or tools do you use?

iOS 5 Software Update

Here is the list of features and improvements I captured from the Apple iOS 5 update.  This update contains over 200 new features, including the following:

• Notifications

  • Swipe from the top of any screen to view notifications in one place with Notification Center
  • New notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen
  • View notifications from lock screen
  • Slide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app

• iMessage

  • Send and receive unlimited text, photo, and video messages with other iOS 5 users
  • Track messages with delivery and read receipts
  • Group messaging and secure encryption
  • Works over cellular network and Wi-Fi*

• Newsstand

  • Automatically organizes magazine and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen
  • Displays the cover of the latest issue
  • Background downloads of new issues

• Reminders for managing to do lists

  • Syncs with iCloud, iCal and Outlook
  • Location-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4

• Built-in support for Twitter

  • Sign-in once in Settings and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube
  • Add location to any tweet
  • View twitter profile pictures and usernames in Contacts

• Camera improvements for devices with cameras

  • Double click the home button when device is asleep to bring up a camera shortcut on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Volume Up button to take a picture
  • Optional grid lines to line up shots
  • Pinch to zoom in the preview screen
  • Swipe to camera roll from preview screen
  • Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th generation) only support exposure lock

• Photo improvements for devices with cameras

  • Crop and rotate
  • Red eye removal
  • One tap enhance
  • Organize photos into albums

• Mail improvements

  • Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts
  • Indentation control
  • Drag to rearrange names in address fields
  • Flag messages
  • Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread
  • Customize mail alert sounds
  • S/MIME

• Calendar improvements

  • Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch
  • Tap to create an event
  • View and add event attachments

• Game Center improvements

  • Use personal photos for your Game Center account
  • Compare your overall achievement scores with your friends
  • Find new Game Center friends with friend recommendations and friends of friends
  • Discover new games with custom game recommendations

• AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S

• Multitasking Gestures for iPad

  • Use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen
  • Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
  • Swipe left or right to switch between apps

• On-device setup, activation and configuration with Setup Assistant

• Software updates available over the air without tethering

• iCloud support

  • iTunes in the Cloud
  • Photo Stream
  • Documents in the Cloud
  • Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history
  • Backup
  • Contacts, Calendar, and Mail
  • Find My iPhone

• Redesigned Music app for iPad

• Hourly weather forecast

• Real-time stock quotes

• Wireless sync to iTunes

• Keyboard improvements

  • Split keyboard for iPad
  • Improved autocorrection accuracy
  • Improved Chinese and Japanese input
  • New Emoji keyboard
  • Personal dictionary for autocorrection
  • Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words

• Accessibility improvements

  • Option to light LED flash on incoming calls and alerts for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
  • Custom vibration patterns for incoming calls on iPhone
  • New interface for using iOS with mobility-impairment input devices
  • Option to speak a selection of text
  • Custom element labeling for VoiceOver

• Exchange ActiveSync improvements

  • Wirelessly sync tasks
  • Mark messages as flagged, read or unread
  • Improved offline support
  • Save a new contact from a GAL service

• More than 1,500 new developer APIs

• Bug fixes

Products compatible with this software update:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)