Archive for March, 2011

Read CHM files on the iPad

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Okay, so I’ve got Dropbox with a whole bunch of tech books in PDF and CHM format.

I’ve got GoodReader for reading PDFs and it connects to Dropbox like a champ. I’ve got CHMate Lite for reading CHM files but I have to use the awful Bonjour (I think it’s Bonjour) wireless interface to copy files from my computer to my iPad in CHMate Lite.

BUT, if I use GoodReader to download the CHM file open the file using CHMate Lite THROUGH GoodReader, I don’t have to mess with the wireless interface! AND it let’s you use CHMate on more than one CHM file. Excellent!

This link will get you and me an extra 250MB when you sign up at Dropbox: http://db.tt/bskdrAA

Here are instructions for connecting GoodReader to Dropbox: http://www.goodreader.net/gr-man-tr-servers.html#read1st

And here, Ali Parvaresh explains how to use GoodReader to open CHM files: http://aliparvaresh.com/archive/2010/07/29/read-chm-files-on-ipad.aspx

UPDATE: 8/9/2011

I’ve found that you can open CHM files directly through the Dropbox app in the same way you can open them on through Goodreader.

  • Download the file through Dropbox.
  • It will complain that it can’t read the file type.
  • Then tap the little box with an arrow in it and you get the same “Open With” dialog you get in Goodreader.

I did find that the Dropbox app doesn’t handle large files (>20MB) as well as Goodreader does.

UPDATE: 6/15/2012

Dropbox now gives you 500MB of free space when you sign up through my link.

I Miss My Smartphone

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

We recently got rid of our iPhone 4’s in favor of T-Mobile prepaid phones to save money.
iphone money
I determined that even after termination fees of $265 a piece and buying a batch of prepaid minutes, we’d save $1800 over the course of the 18 months left on the contract. I was able to sell our iPhones for $500 each on Amazon so we’ve recouped the termination fees.

We bought cheap used Motorola Razr phones off Ebay and loaded each up with 1000 minutes for $100 which won’t expire for a year. Going off our past phone usage trends, those minutes may very well last us a year. Also, I’m using Google Voice for free outgoing calls when I’m at a computer and need to make a long call.

Despite the money saving benefits and my efforts to convince myself that the convenience of a smartphone wasn’t worth $130 a month, I find myself missing my iPhone. We have iPads (Wifi only) to replace most of the functionality of the iPhone and I’m LOVING it, but it’s not the same pocketable goodness the iPhone is.

Things I miss about my iPhone:

  • The camera. You don’t realize how much you use it until you don’t have it.
  • Having a book in my pocket. I carry my iPad most everywhere, but it’s still not as convenient.
  • My music. I mostly listen to music while in the car on long trips. The iPad really kinda sucks for that. Too big and my FM transmitter doesn’t charge it.
  • The alarm. WHY couldn’t they have put a simple alarm app on the iPad? Seriously
  • Being able to play games like Words with Friends and Chess with Friends while out of Wifi range.
  • Having all my contacts available to dial on my phone.
  • Being able to scan simple documents and QR codes with the camera.
  • Being able to lookup anything anywhere.

When we embarked on this non-iPhone adventure, I was convinced I would never go back to a phone contract again. Prepaid all the way. If we lived in Europe and could buy a fully loaded SIM card at the corner gas station, I would still be thinking that. But the data services and phone selection suck on pre-paid in the US. Now, I know that when my husband gets a full time job after school, we’ll be getting the next iPhones that come out after that.