US iTunes Store

Post by Mark

Early in the year I decided I was going to start buying all my iPhone apps instead of illegally downloading them. Problem I faced was the fact that I couldn’t download some of my favorite apps because they were only for the US based users. The apps I couldn’t download were the Amazon and eBay ones and both of which don’t cost a thing, they’re free. But, since my credit card is Kuwaiti based I have to purchase all my applications from the Kuwaiti iTunes store which didn’t have those two apps. Recently CNN released an iPhone application and again it was only available to US based customers so I looked for a way to download these apps and I found one.

To download applications from the US based iTunes store all you need to do is get a US based iTunes gift voucher. I found a website online where you could buy a $15 cards for $18 and have the code emailed to you. The website uses PayPal so its safe and unlike some other websites this one sells legit cards so you know your account won’t get shut down by Apple later. Here is the [Link]

Once you get a US iTunes card just go to the US iTunes store and click on Redeem Code. Then create a new account and under the credit card option choose “none”. And that’s it, you can now download US only iPhone apps. As a bonus you can also download songs and movies as well.

Update: If you just want to download some free US only applications like the ebay and amazon apps, a reader just posted that you don’t even need to buy a voucher for that. Just go to the US app store and click on a free app, then create a new account like above with a US mailing address and for credit card choose none.

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Image Capture in Snow Leopard

Post by Mark

I know a lot of bloggers have been posting their views on Apple’s Snow Leopard and here is my addition. While getting my shots for my next post I noticed the image capture software has been updated and improved. Pretty cool.

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Snow Leopard just shipped

Post by Mark

My order for Snow Leopard just shipped from Amazon. Its supposed to be performance improvement over version 10.5 and also has a lot of small improvements here and there. If you have a Mac (Intels only) and you haven’t ordered your copy yet you should, its just KD7.250! [Amazon Link]

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Nearest Tube iPhone app

Post by Mark

This is why I want the iPhone 3GS. [YouTube]

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See where your friends are right now

Post by Mark

Although in most places around the world the BlackBerry is used as a business tool in Kuwait its become a social one. With all my friends practically owning one the built in BlackBerry Messenger is a perfect way to stay in contact with all of them through out the day and a much more efficient way to communicate quick messages. Google Latitude is another application that also helps in being more social by showing you where your friends are around the world at that moment. Basically how Latitude works is you need to install the application on your BlackBerry and then sign in using your gmail account and add other friends who also have Latitude installed. You will then be able to see them on the map like in the picture above.

Latitude has many useful uses, I personally use it to find friends nearby like if I am at the Avenues I check and see which one of my friends is there or like last week I was at Kinkos in Salmiya waiting for something to get printed and then I noticed on Latitude Marzouq was just down the street. Latitude also helped a friend get to a BBQ I was at. He didn’t have the address but since I was already at the BBQ he just looked for me on Latitude and then drove towards me.

But the software isn’t perfect, when you’re indoors the GPS usually doesn’t work so the software uses cell towers to estimate where you are. Sometimes for some odd reason Latitude thinks I am in London or a friend is randomly in Belgium or Pakistan. It doesn’t happen frequently but when it does it can be funny or annoying depending on the situation.

Latitude works on the following phones:
– Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
– most color BlackBerry devices
– most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
– most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)

Its free and you can get it from [Here]

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iPhone app: Light Writer

Post by Mark

Found out about this app from Gizmodo and paid $1 to buy it from the iTunes store hoping to do a cool 2:48AM thing with it. It didn’t work as expected or should I say I ran out of patience after playing with it for like 10 minutes.

The way the app works is you type out your message on the phone, choose the color of the text and then if you wave it in front of your camera the app should be able to write out the message. The fact I tried to do this shooting and waving thing alone probably didn’t help so if you want to try this out make sure you’ve got a friend with you.

Here is a link to Light Writer in the iTunes store. [Link]

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Converting your phone numbers from 7 to 8 digits

Post by Mark


As many of you already know starting October 17th Kuwait is shifting from 7 digit numbers to 8. Zain numbers will get a 9 added at the beginning, Wataniya a 6, landlines will get a 2 added and commercial numbers that start with eight will get a 1 added to the front. Already over this weekend Zain and Wataniya started adding the extra numbers so its basically time to start converting all your phone numbers as well.

There are now a number of ways to convert all your numbers automatically. Zain and Wataniya both are offering this service. For Zain you need to send the letter B by SMS to 99509 and for Wataniya users you need to SMS the same word BACKUP but to 1618 instead.

Now if you would like to take matters into your own hands some guys have created applications that will do the conversion automatically.

For Windows users the blogger Q8ba7th has created an application that will take all your numbers and convert them with the new digits. You can download his application from his blog [Here]

For Mac users the blogger Q8i has created an Apple script that will also convert all your numbers to the correct format. You can download his script from his blog [Here]

Finally, iPhone users, you’re in for a treat because the local blogger Bojacob has created an iPhone application that will convert the numbers for you directly on your phone. To find out how to install his app visit his blog [Here]

Update: Here is the link to the Zain Mobile Backup site [Link]

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cCam for Nokias

Post by Mark


One of the most annoying things with the camera on my Nokia E61i is that I can’t turn off the shutter sound. With cCam I think I solved that issue. cCam is a image capture software that runs on Nokia’s and features not shutter sounds and no flash meaning you should be able to take pictures without anyone noticing. [Link]

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XBMC for Mac’s

Post by Mark


I’ve posted previously about XBMC which is currently the best media center available on the market. The only problem is it runs on the old original xbox and it doesn’t support 720p or 1080p. Recently though a Mac version of the software got released and its turning out to be exactly like the Xbox version (which is a good thing) except that it plays 720p/1080p movies flawlessly. I’ve been playing around with it for two weeks now and the progress thats being made in such a short time is ridiculous. The fact that they manage to make XBMC even more responsive then the already fast xbox version is unbelievable and the specs needed to run it are very low. I am running it on my 1.8ghz core duo MacBook for example and streaming 720p movies over Wifi without a hitch.

If you have an Intel Mac download the software and try it. You just drag and drop the app onto your desktop and run it. Here is a link to the website. [Link]

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Operating systems for really, really old computers

Post by Mark

I have an old PIII 500 with 256MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive lying around which I wanted to give to someone. I didn’t want to install Windows on it since the person isn’t very good with computers and always ends up getting viruses and trojans installed on his system. The computer was going to be used for Internet browsing, chatting on MSN and Yahoo and copying and view pictures from his digital camera. I decided to install a Linux OS.


The first Linux OS I installed was the latest version of gOS which was released two days ago. From the screen shots it looked like a really friendly and easy to us version of Linux and thats what I was looking for. After installing it I realized that the operating system was running very sluggishly on this really old computer, it wasn’t going to work.

I then remember I had bookmarked a website from Digg which had a list of Linux distros that were meant to be run on really old computers. I went through the list, did some research and in the end decided to try two different ones, TinyFlux and Wolvix.


I tried TinyFlux first and although it ran really well the user interface wasn’t very friendly. I then decided to try Wolvix and not only did it perform really well but the interface was fairly friendly looking with a Mac like dock at the bottom and large friendly icons everywhere. I decided to stick with Wolvix and after playing with it for an hour I think its pretty impressive for an OS thats under 250MB in size. It has Firefox, a music player, video player, photo viewer, and a whole bunch of other softwares all included and there is a ton more I can download all for free.

This is actually the best part of Linux, its free and the majority of the software for it is free. Another good thing is you can try out the OS without installing it, you just run it straight from the CD and if you like it you can install it if not you just eject the cd, reboot and you are back to your old operating system.

If you want to check out the list of Linux distros for old computer click [Here]
For gOS click [Here]
and for Wolvix click [Here]

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