Aperture Albums in iTunes

I had an issue the other day where a couple of my Aperture photo albums weren’t appearing in the photos tab of iTunes, so I couldn’t sync them to my iPad.

The fix turned out to be: select the errant photos in Aperture and then click on the menu item “Photos > Generate Thumbnails”.

Some people recommend “Photos > Update Previews” as well, but it wasn’t required in my case.

Reset iPad Backup/Sync

Several times lately when I’ve tried to sync my iPad it’s failed to complete the backup stage, even after 10-12 hours. If you force-quit iTunes and try again iTunes will skip the backup with the error message:

“iTunes could not backup the iPad “Chris’s iPad” because a session could not be started with the iPad”

I did a little research to find a solution, here’s what works for me:

  • Quit or Force-Quit iTunes
  • Delete your old backup: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup
  • Delete all files from ~/Library/Lockdown and /var/db/lockdown
  • Reboot Mac
  • Reboot iPad (hold Home and Power buttons until Apple logo appears)
  • Run iTunes
  • Select Reset Warnings and Reset Cache in iTunes Preferences > Advanced

Hope this helps someone else.

What Every New iPad Owner Should Know


With the international iPad arriving soon, here are some things I’ve learned about the iPad over the last few weeks:

  1. The battery life is great. It will last all day and maybe two days.

  2. It needs a 2.1 amp charger as opposed to the 1 amp of the iPhone so your iPhone chargers won’t work. New iPad/iPhone chargers are now available which pump out the higher amperage. Most USB hubs don’t produce 2.1 amps so you’ll need to connect the iPad dock to a USB port on your computer or plug it into the wall.

  3. iPhone apps look horrible. The good news is most apps have already been updated.

  4. You can leave your laptop at home. Unless you’re editing video or doing some other heavy-duty project everything you need is on the iPad.

  5. iBooks are great and are in epub format, but if you buy your ebooks from Apple they will have Apple’s Fairplay DRM (digital rights management) embedded. So if you want to future-proof your ebooks buy them in Adobe Digital Editions epub format and remove the DRM so you can read the ebook on any device. Once the ebook is DRM-free, Calibre is a great program for converting ebooks from one format to another.

Business Card Holder
Business Card Holder
  1. You’ll soon discover that you need a few stands around the house to prop up the iPad. Griffin Technology make a great stand (see above), the A-Frame, but at $50 you won’t want more than one. Cheaper solution are (a) a business card holder like this one from Office Depot, only $0.69 so buy half a dozen and spread them around and (b) plate holders like this one.
Plate Holder
Plate Holder
  1. You’ll also need a case. I’ve got a Belkin Vue Sleeve at the moment but I’m planning to get the Marware Eco-Vue when I can get my hands on one.
Marware Eco-Vue
Marware Eco-Vue
  1. The 3G version also has a GPS.
Huawei E5830 MiFi
Huawei E5830 MiFi
  1. The UK data plans aren’t great. Consider buying a MiFi which creates a WiFi bubble wherever you are. I use a Huawei E5830 from three.co.uk and I pay £15 a month for 5 GB of data. There’s also this one which I believe comes already unlocked.

  2. Essential apps: Evernote, Dropbox, 1Password, GoodReader

  3. Not essential, but great apps: PCalc, WeatherBug Elite, NYT Editor’s Choice, The Guardian Eyewitness, NetNewsWire, Instapaper Pro, National Geographic World Atlas, OffMaps, London Tube, Star Walk, Urban Spoon, Epicurious, WunderRadio, Air Sharing HD, Print Central, AppAdvice, Kayak Flights.

Enjoy your new iPad!

[Update 27 May] Three have annouced the best iPad data plan by far: £15/month for 10GB, rolling monthly contract.

Suzie Automatic iPad and MacBook Transfers

Canon 5D Mk II Decal on iPad
Canon 5D Mk II Decal on iPad

I found some great transfers (“decals” in American English) on the web and ordered this one. It’s a Canon 5D Mk II Mode Dial and it’s really easy to apply. It also comes off cleanly if you change your mind.

The decals come from Suzie Automatics and are listed on Etsy.com. The iPad ones are the same size as the MacBook/MacBook Pro versions as far as I can see. This one cost US$15 with $3 shipping and it arrived about four days after ordering.

The iPad’s Here!

The iPad
The iPad

I picked up a trip to New York last week, four days after the Apple iPad was released. The SoHo Apple Store only had the 64GB models in stock – luckily that was the one I wanted. I also bought a second AC charger to keep in my travel bag, a Belkin case (they’d sold out of the Apple one) and a dock.

I’ve now had a few days to set it up and play with it. It is simply a wonderful machine. Reading on its LED screen is a joy, photographs look fantastic and there are already something like 2,500 iPad specific apps available. I imagine I’ll be carrying this more often than my MacBook Pro.

UK prices and release date haven’t been announced yet but the iPad is expected here by the end of April. The 3G and WiFi-only models should both be available then. I’ve obviously got the WiFi-only model, but despite the lack of GPS, it always seems to find my location. On the move I’ve got a Three MiFi to provide mobile internet access. Three are replacing it with an unlocked version this week which I plan to use overseas.

Here are some images and screenshots of some of my favourite apps: