Toddlers & Baths & Sunken iPhones… oh my

So bath time before bed with my almost 3 year old is always…. “fun”

Fun like going to the dentist fun… he’s tired, i’m tired, at first he doesn’t want to get in… once he’s in.. he doesn’t want to get out…

I usually wash him up first, brush his teeth in the tub and then say , “OK, time to get out.”

Which he usually replies. “No get out of tubby now”

The ritual continues with me saying, “OK you get a few minutes to play, OK… OK…”

until he acknowledges me with an exhasperated “Oh-Tay Dad!”

This is Dad’s bath time ritual, at  this point I usually kick back on his 8″ step stool box and cruise the web or do something on my iPhone until a few minutes pass, and I decide its time to get the little guy in PJ’s and finally to bed. This way he gets his play time in the tub, I get to cruise eBay, and we should both be happy. That is… until its time to get out again, and then we get to the screaming again while I take him out of the tub and dry him off.

Last night was no exception of this ritual, except for my slow motion NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. This happened in a matter of mili-seconds, as most things with toddlers do. I realized I did not put my phone back in my pocket. Instead on this fine night I placed it on top of the laundry hamper next to the bath tub, and as I dried my son off with a towel his hawk eyes of revenge for taking him out of the tub spotted my phone. Upon this revelation his cat like reflexes grabbed this sacred item of Dad’s. As I fluffed his hair with the towel I spotted something in his hand and had a split second of what is… but thats all I had time to think. For his youth is already rubbing in the fact that I am aging and he is young.

As I realized what he had his hand was already in motion, complete with shit eating grin on his face. By the time my brain neurons where telling my hand to “react asshole… react!” the phone was hitting the water… this is where the slow motion NOOOOOOOOOO! of that night took place.

Now I try not to yell around your kids, they are impresionable at this age. However I must admit, I might have let a few F-bombs slip along, which did not help things as I think he new the seriousness of this action…. unfortunately he realized it after he did it…. thats how toddlers’ brains work. So now within mili-seconds my phone was thrown in the tub, I retrieved it within seconds, I lost my cool, and because of this my son is now crying. This of course started the second stage of the circus as my wife was curious and came up with our newborn to see what the commotion was about, as both her oldest son and her husband were crying over the sinking of an iPhone… or at least one of us were crying over that.


So now I am naked for a couple of days as my phone site in a plastic bag full of couscous (we didn’t have rice in the cabinet). I read this trick on the internet once… which means it has to be true. I’m hoping it is, as going to work in the morning without my phone feels like me going to work not wearing pants…. just plain uncomfortable.

I thought I would share my story here for anyone that feels my pain. The only time I turned the screen on was about 15 minutes after it happened to power off my phone to prevent any short circuits, I’ll update this post after a few days of rice treatment and I see if everything works. On a side note, I think couscous is a little too small, which may be good or bad. It works its ways up into all the ports to absorb water better… but then again, it works its way up to all the ports, which I have to keep cleaning out. There goes the re-sale value…

how to RDP restart… with a mac keyboard

So I remote into various windows machines often… when I needed to remotely restart one after an install or driver setting I would simply do the ctrl+alt+end click trick… only problem now is my mac does not have an end button and I could not figure out the equivalent… but I did find this new trick which is just as easy… and actually a little easier in my opinion


1. Open a command terminal – Start menu run and type cmd or just type cmd in the  search program and files if you have windows Vista and later.

2. Type shutdown -r in the command line… hit enter and wait 30 seconds… you’ll get a message saying your about to log off and if you don’t click anything it will restart the machine.

note: make sure the -r is at the end of the shutdown -r command… without the -r your machine will simply shutdown… screwing you out of remote access until you or someone can get to the remote machine and physically power it back on.




Mac Screen Capture image format

Ever wanted to change the default image capture of a mac to something else… like jpg… you can with this quick terminal command.

open a terminal window and type these two lines

defaults write type whatever format you want
killall SystemUIServer

replace whatever format you want with jpg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp, pict, etc…

Once you do that and enter the last command your next screen shots should be that format you choose. As an interesting side note, older versions of Mac OS X seem to have changed their out of box default image screen capture format over the years… for example.

Mac OSx 10.2 (jaguar) was .jpg

Mac OSx 10.3 (Panther) was .pdf

and Mac OSx 10.4 and later (tiger, lion, mountain lion) use .png

Happy Screen capturing

Easy way to Remote Desktop to mac OS

Simple story. I’m new to mac’s… I like them so far… I have an iMac as my office workstation, and I sometimes take the office Macbook Pro home to work. I wanted a quick way to connect to my office computer without having to install a bunch of 3rd party software, similar to how windows has RDP (which you can download on your mac to connect to windows machine if you didn’t know already)


1. First go to “System Preferences” -> “Sharing” on the mac you want to connect to… make sure screen sharing is selected. Also note your computer name at the top of the sharing window, you’ll need it for step 2. (If you get a message saying its controlled by “Remote Management” when you click on screen sharing… look down a few check boxes to “Remote Management” and add your remote user if its different that the user you log into the machine with. 

That is all the configuration you have to do on the machine you want to remote into… similar to windows… you just have to tell the OS its ok to allow remote connections, once selected it stays selected so you won’t have to do this step again next time you want to connect to this machine remotely.


2. Now when your at your remote location, open finder on the computer in front of you and hit “Command + k” (this opens connect to server prompt if your not familiar with it, but instead of connecting to a file share we are going to launch desktop sharing right from here.)

here we type the following


Then select connect… it should launch screen sharing app with your remote machine in the background.


3. Now if your outside your network the easiest way without having to fool around with your firewall a is to connect to your network via a VPN. If you don’t know how to connect to your network remotely with a VPN connection, you can google it and find out… once connected you can use your computers local name the same as above.


if your VPN connection connects to windows servers on a domain ( like mine does), then after I connect to my VPN connection to my server I have to add the full domain name after the local computer name like this



So thats it pretty simple I know, and I’m sure if your familiar with mac’s you already new this, but I was not and I had a little trouble trying to find an “easy” way to RDP to my desktop… so I thought I would share this. As I mentioned below, I am new to the Mac environment, so let me know if there are easier / alternate ways or if I messed something up in the comments below.





How to add Additional 32bit Drivers on 64bit print server

I’ve had this problem with our print server in my office for a while and just figured out the solution…. and I’m sharing it here. Essentially when I share a printer on a network, I can not install additional 32bit (x86) drivers on my 64bit (x64) printer server. Every time I try to load the additional 32bit drivers on the printer… it error’s out. The solution I found out is you have to load the additional drivers on the server from a 32bit client… I’ll semi-spoon feed you if you still don’t understand, as admittedly i did not til’ I figured it out on my own… I’ll assume if you got to this page your semi-familure with sharing printers on a server and connecting them to clients.


Install the printer on your server…

Go to the printer properties by right clicking it in your devices…

Click the “sharing” tab, and at the bottom you will see the button “Additional Drivers”

—This is where you usually have problems… after clicking the x86 box and browsing to the 32bit drivers, it usually gives an error. If it doesn’t… then why are you still reading… if it does as continue

The solution is to now go to a 32 bit client and browse to your print server and double click to install the the printer… it will say it does not have the correct driver, and in which case should prompt you to install it manually. You should follow the prompts and manually install the driver, but just for this one machine… once its installed on the 32bit machine… from the 32 bit machine

Go to the printer and devices

Find the network printer shared by your print server you just installed…

Go to the printer properties by right clicking it in your devices…

Click the “sharing” tab, and at the bottom you will see the button “Additional Drivers”

— Now from the 32 bit client you should be able to push the 32bit drivers to the printer on the server. Now the next 32 bit client you want to install the printer on, you should be able to just double click the on the server’s shared printer and the 32bit drivers will automatically install like it does on the other 64bit machines.



So I’ve gotton some emails and comments asking for step by step… i thought it was above, but after reading it I realize it is a bit confusing. I don’t have time to re-write the post above, but here are more or less the same step re-written that may help, or atleast be a little clearer.

Basically you can’t install 32 bit driver from the 64bit print server, but you can install it on the 64, map it to the 32, then from the 32 add (“push”) the 32 bit driver back to the server for future 32bit installs.

1. So what you have to do is install the printer mapped thru your 64bit print server on the 32 bit machine.
2. It will prompt something about not having correct drivers and you will have to manually locate and install them this once on the 32 bit.
3. Once the mapped printer is installed on the 32bit, goto printers -> printer properties -> Sharing Tab (at top) -> Addtional Drivers button (lower right of menu)
4. The Additional Drivers button will give you popup window… check off the x86 option and click OK.
5. After you click OK it will push the 32bit driver from the machine you just installed it on to the 64 bit server.
6. Now any future installs of this printer on 32 bit machines will go faster because the 32bit drivers were pushed to the 64bit server and it won’t prompt for a manual install of the 32bit drivers.

iPhone Lockscreen Camera Button Not Working


After upgrading to IOS 5.1 on my iPhone I noticed to what I thought was the new camera button on the Lockscreen not working anymore. However I found out today that it’s not that it doesn’t work anymore… They just changed how it works. For those out there that used the feature before… You could easily access the camera without unlocking the phone by double clicking the home button and the camera button would appear next to the slider… Well now you see the camera button on any click… But when you click on it all that happens is the screen bounces… Well its not broken… Technically… But you will feel stupid because this what the changed… Just swipe the camera button you see up… That simple… Yet not intuitive enough for most people I know to figure it out without googling it… Oh well… Now you know like me

Netflix is Bombing

So I read an article by Brian Stelter about Netflix not-renewing its “STARZ Deal”, next month (March 2012). In case you did not know… Netflix’s new release selection for streaming is pitiful at best, and the movies they do have from the past 8 years (with somewhat of a good in the box office run) are 9 times out of 10 from their deal with STARZ. Netflix’s argument in short is  they want to focus on more TV shows than they do movies… stating they know they do not have their costumers #1 choice when they log on to view a certain movie… but they have other stuff in the form of TV shows that same customer should enjoy.

So I ask the question… is Netflix suffering from corporate sabotage within… are they literally trying to bomb their own company to the ground? Why else are there so many consumer point of view “stupid” decisions coming out pf this, up to now, successful company.If I wanted more TV shows I would not sign up with a company that had the word “flix” in their name. Netflix already lost a lot of support from their consumer base when they jacked their prices way up and tried to forcefully separate their DVD rental + streaming into separate paid for services and companies.

As a longtime subscriber to Netflix I joined for the convenience of getting DVD’s in the mail with no return dates or late fees, It was simple and worked for me. Then they offered their “streaming service” as a bonus, but in reality they really all it had were “B” and “C” rated movies. Now they are charging me almost triple what I was paying  4 years ago, wanting me to watch the service I don’t want to watch while separating from the services I do want, and telling me the titles I want to see are not really what I want to see… instead here is more stuff that is somewhat good for you according to our suggestion algorithms.

I understand the movie studios are making it tough for streaming services, but in reality separating yourself from how you are most profitable (read DVD+BD) and hoping that your customer base will be loyal with 3rd and 4th choice titles is insane from a business standpoint. I currently have Netflix and loved it when it was such a unique service. However, now that there is competition for digital media providers popping up with Easier Vudu access, Amazon prime, HULU plus, and HBO Go, and others,  it is not so unique anymore.  Add the fact that they are making me look at their streaming service separately from their rental service instead of a bonus with not so competitive pricing plans, you are forcing your consumers to look at alternative options. Which sorry Netfix,  I think I will start doing at the end of next month. iPad/iPhone workaround

If you are studding for your Architectural Registration Exams in the United States you know what the above title means… if you don’t… well this article probably will not interest you… but here’s a synopsis… I’ve written about my opinionated thoughts and explanation on the long procedure to become a licensed architect in any of the 50 States before. Essentially the are called the ARE’s (for Architectural Registration Exams, and if your studying for them you know about the, and if you don’t… you should… as it is an invaluable tool in studying fort the ARE’s. Essentially a forum of everyone else in the US studying for the exams as well as people trying to help that demographic… its a place to ask questions, and more importantly review and have your practice vignettes reviewed by your fellow peers.


However the forums are difficult to log into the first time on an iPhone or iPad if you don’t know this workaround. The problems arises after navigating to the home page of and clicking on the button “Enter Forums”. Before giving you the login prompt it redirects you to the forum rules… which you should read. However there is no way to continue pass this forum rules page and actually log in on an iOS device. I think this is because of Flash… not the super hero in the picture above, but the programing language, which if you know or not, is not available on iOS devices and probably never will be. You can read the rules fine on an iOS device, but there should be a button at the bottom of the rules saying “Accept” however this button i believe is created with flash for some odd reason and does not show up.

So here is the workaround to get to work on the iPad or iPhone… type the full path of the forums (after you actually read the rules to comply with them) in the address bar and you will get to the actual forums, which runs on vBulliten, which works great with iOS devices… its just that lonely accept button at the bottom of the rules that is flash. Anyway the full path of the forums is below. Once there you can login with your user name and password, or register to create a new one. Good Luck… on both the tests and forums 😉


Why will Siri not remember my relatives?

My brother got the iPhone 4s a few weeks before me… when he utilizes the voice recognition software built into it, called Siri, all he has to do is say… “text my brother what are you up too”… and Siri creates a  text message to Tim (me) saying “what are you up too”… it remembers his relation ships so it knows who his brother, wife, mother, etc. are… However when I got my iPhone 4s I would say “text my brother hello”… because my phone is new, Siri would ask something along the lines

“who is your brother?”

I would reply “Matt”, and Siri in return would say

“would you like me to remember this?”… and of course I said

“sure” and Siri would reply in her most devious voice



The problem I was having though, was that she was not remembering Matt was my brother… even though I told her to remember it countless times. I finally figured out the reason and though I would post it here for others incase they are having the same problems and decide to google it.


My situation was that my email runs off of Microsoft Exchange (which for those that do not know many many corperations use for their email  servers… which also links up to my own calendar and own set of contacts stored on my exchange server that links with my iPhone. The problem is that default exchange contacts only has association fields of manager and assistant…. and you can not to my knowledge easily create custom association fields like “wife” or “Brother” in my case. So once I figured that out the solution was easy… I simply went to my contacts on my phone… browsed to exchange contacts… and deleted the contact for my self…. then i created a new contact for my self, but instead of doing it with all my other contacts on my exchange server… the one for myself resides souly on my iphone… not related to my exchange server. Now that I have a new contact of myself on my phone I can use any of the association or related fields pre=programed…or even create new ones…


The easiest way to do this after you create the new contact on your phone, rather than through your exchange server is to just call up Siri and say… So and So is my Mom… or whoever and whatever relationship you want Siri to remember. Cmmment below if anyone has any questions.


The Portfolio… do I even need a papper version

I have not updated my professional portfolio in 5 or more years, and upon deciding it is perhaps time to do so I found myself asking the question… “Do I even need a portfolio on paper”

In an age of conference room computer access, and tablets… I say no, and here’s why.

The first reason that comes to mind is the size… as the feature picture shows… they can get quite large if you intend to bring originals… to the point of absurdness… Working with the construction industry for some larger projects its not unheard of for sheet sizes to get up to 48″X36″ for working documents… not to mention some artwork or master plan ideas (at least by me)… that are drawn at a similar large scale…

So we have been long in the age of digital scanners, and hence that is what most people did with large format drawings that need to become more mobile… the problem with scanning and re-printing at a reduced size is that sometimes the details that made the original lager version of the work so “grandiose” are lost in the reduction.

So you could bring in the originals in a large portfolio case as shown above, but think of how that looks to the people you are presenting it too. I don’t care what the laws say you can or can not hire an employee for, when you go to an interview you are selling your self as well as your capabilities and ideas.

Think of what the potential portfolio viewers are thinking when they see you for the first time and instead of seeing the confident, suave yet energetic future employee… they see you walking into their walls and struggling like you just came in from the marina with the sail of a portfolio you have…

Now think if they see you walking in with composure and not wrestling anything, but carrying a sleek piece of technology that says this person is already adept at the future… having the best of both worlds, your work is small enough to handle, yet with technology can be zoomed in and out of various detail with ease.

That’s how I see my future presentations of my work, and that’s why I’ve decided to not modify my paper portfolios of decades past, but instead investigate the presentation of my work digitally, both from the web and from a more portable tablet.

So I bought a couple of new domains and I plan to start developing one… so far its been a pain, not because of the digital translation, but because I am not a computer engineer by trade, and I’ve had some difficulties with my Linux server hosting multiple websites… but I think I worked out most of the bugs and plan to start actually building the site now the foundation of its interface is somewhat worked out.

As the site gets closer to launch I’ll release the domain names here on, which will remain my blog, with the new site simply holding my professional portfolio only.