RealVNC VNC Viewer

Here’s another quick iOS app review for you… this time it’s a remote desktop app called RealVNC VNC Viewer  The app allows you to access your desktop from your iPhone or iPad (there’s also an Android version available, more info here)

It’s not multi-protocol, so it won’t connect to RDP or Citrix, only VNC.  Which means it won’t connect to Microsoft Windows unless you install the VNC server software first.  Mac systems that have screen-sharing enabled utilize the VNC protocol and most Linux systems also have a VNC server installed (although you may need to enable it)

RealVNC iOS app running on the iPad

RealVNC iOS app running on the iPad

This app is cool for a few reasons:

  1. The mouse interface is really nice… it’s just a dot on the screen and moves in relation to your finger so you’re not trying to touch a specific spot with your finger, just touch anywhere and slide your finger around to move the pointer.
  2. Bonjour.   Seriously, this is all sorts of cool.   Click on the bonjour button and all of the screen-sharing enabled macs on your local subnet appear and are available to connect with a simple touch.  Very nice!
  3. Speed:  The interface is very snappy on my local connection;  Makes interacting with the remote desktop almost pleasant.

You know what would make it better?   A tabbed interface so that I can be connected to several computers at once.  But hey, for free I’m not complaining.

More advanced features are available if you purchase the RealVNC VNC server software, but the app works just fine with the free servers included with Mac and Linux.

The app is normally $9.99, currently free, not sure how long it will stay at that price so grab it quick!

Scanner Pro by Readdle

Scanner Pro by ReaddleScanner Pro by Readdle is a nifty little app that allows you to scan (and auto-adjust/align) documents and business cards.

But that’s not the nifty part.  The nifty part is that it will upload the image as either a jpg or PDF to Evernote, Dropbox or Google Drive and  syncs to iCloud so that your scanned docs are available across all of your iOS devices.

I’ve tried the Evernote integration and I really like it.  You can choose what folder it saves to as well as add tags and description from directly within the app.

And did I mention it’s currently free?

Download it now from the Apple App Store here:

Mac Mini Design

New mac mini design? Pure speculation

Pure Speculation

While I’ve been intrigued by the latest Mac Pro design for a desktop machine, I couldn’t see purchasing one as a workstation. I just don’t have the need for that kind of high end machine at the moment. The thought occurred to me however, that if Apple were to apply the same design concept to the Mac Mini then the prospect of having several of these all over the office and home suddenly becomes quite enticing.


My Fake ATT Bill…

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before…

Looks like my ATT statement is ready, and isn’t nice of them to send me an email notification?  But uh-oh!  Look how much that bill is for!  Surely someone’s made an error!  I’d better click on that link and get this straightened out, pronto!

Ok, let’s stop here for a moment and assess some clues here:

  1. I think someone once said “Never click links in emails from people I don’t know”
  2. But I know who AT&T is, so this is ok right?

A closer look at the source code for the email shows the following:



Log in to online account management to view

your bill and bill notices, maintain your

email account or make a payment. If you are

not registered for online account

management, you must do so to view and print

your full bill and bill notices at <a

href=”hxxp://” style=” color:

rgb(6, 122, 180); text-decoration: none;”></a>.<br>

Log in to online account management to view

your bill, maintain your email account or

make a payment.<br>


Yeah, that’s not an ATT address in the link.  (fyi – I changed the url from the actual, malicious link)   Yet another phishing attempt.  Crafty bastards are getting pretty good at making these emails look real, but they did a lousy job obfuscating the links in the email. (in fact there’s no obfuscation at all except for the fact that the email is in html)

The lesson here:  No matter how legit the email looks, never ever click links in an email.   If I were an actual AT&T customer the right thing to do would be to open a browser, navigate to the AT&T home page using the correct address instead of relying on one supplied via email and login to view my account.


LinkedIn Phishing


135 million+ members | Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.

I just received a fraudulent email claiming that my LinkedIn account was locked out.  At first glance the sender appeared legit as did the body of the email and the link that I was supposed to click on to reset my password.

Reviewing the raw source of the email showed that it was bogus.  (that and the obvious fact that I could still log in to my LinkedIn account)


The link went to some web site (NOT LinkedIn)  that’s most likely designed to get me to enter my user credentials and if I had done that, then someone else would now have control of my Linkedin account.


Just because it looks legit, doesn’t mean that it is.   Don’t get all clicky just because someone sent you an email.



Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011


Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

…and he did.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011

Some Thoughts on Apple’s latest releases this morning:

Lion (OSX 10.7) is now available, although I don’t feel compelled to upgrade. The Mac Minis have lost their optical drives. No more white Macbook (your choices are either an Air or a Pro for laptops now)

Apple Mac OSX LionNot sure how I feel about the loss of the optical drives… On the one hand I think its a good thing in the long run, not many people use the drive for loading software and everyone (read: Netflix) seems to be pushing for streaming content to machines as opposed to physical media. On the other hand, I have a Mac Mini serving as my media center in our living room and we use the heck out the optical drive to watch DVD movies, both from our own library of DVD’s and places like Redbox (along with online media such as Hulu and Netflix)

Of course now that the optical drive has been removed, we now have the opportunity to put whatever type of external drive on the Mini that we want. Now if we could just get an inexpensive Blueray player and Blueray playback on the Mini, we’d be good to go!