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Netatalk for AFP on your iPhone/Touch (and toggle switch)

AFPd in ActionA year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about using AFPd on my hacked iPhone to get access to my phone’s file system through Finder using Apple’s AFP system. When firmware 2.0 came out I went legit with my phone and lost touch with jailbreak app updates. I recently re-jailbroke my iPhone and now I’m having to relearn how to accomplish the things I used to have set up. A lot has changed in a year and a half!

AFPd apparently broke with firmware 2.0, and Netatalk was developed to take its place. You’ll find Netatalk in Cydia. If it’s not showing up under default repositories, do a web search to find out where it’s living. Once installed, you’ll see your device as a shared computer in the left sidebar of Finder. When you select the device, you’ll need to hit “Connect As…” and log in as either root or mobile. If you haven’t changed the password for these accounts, it will be alpine, but you really should change this password. Until you do, anyone who knows anything about Mobile OSX defaults will be able to access your file system.

That point about security brings up another issue… anyone on a Mac on the same WiFi network as your device will see your name in their finder sidebar. It’s not a huge deal, I’m a pretty public person, but I’d still like better control over my name being thrown around in places like coffee shops and other public connections. This is where RupertGee’s Boss Prefs toggle comes in. With it installed, you can turn AFP on and off instantly, letting you control the broadcasting of your name as you roam around networks.

I really think having manual control over this service is a must-have. Instructions on installing the Boss Prefs toggle for AFP are located at RupertGee’s blog here: http://redwolfberry.com/rupertgee/iBlog/2008/11/08/netatalk-toggle-v100/

Axiotron Modbook Pro

modbookpro3-737507Via: Develop3D

You may remember Axiotron from when they released the Modbook, a portable tablet computer built around a hacked up 13″ Macbook. With a professional quality pen tablet screen the Modbook became a subject of lust for many designers and artists that have been forced to turn to Windows systems for a portable tablet.

Now that Apple has released the new line of Unibody Macbook Pros, Axiotron has stepped up to release the Modbook Pro, another portable tablet built around the guts of a 15″ Macbook Pro. The system is more powerful and has a bigger screen, but that’s not what has me most interested in the unit.

A major downfall of traditional tablet computers is that you lose many of the keyboard access you need for shortcuts and modifier keys while working in applications like Painter, Photoshop, Illustrator, Rhino, etc. Axiotron is trying to overcome this with the Modbook Pro though, touting their new Synergy Touch technology. This technology lets you use the pen while also using your fingers for touch input at the same time. System software overlays keyboards, numpads, or shortcut keys in floating transparent panels so that you can hold down modifier keys while giving input with the pen. If this works as well as they say it does I believe it could change the tablet industry. I’d love to see them license the technology out to other tablet manufacturers or even Wacom for use in the Cintiq line of displays.

As far as how they’re accomplishing these two input methods at once… I’m assuming it’s a capacitance touch setup for the hand input, and the typical RF Wacom technology for the pen. They must have a threshold set on the capacitance input to ignore a surface area much larger than a couple fingers, otherwise the palm of your pen-hand would be delivering all sorts of false input while you operate the pen.

The Modbook Pro is a pretty hefty investment at $5,000, but I imagine there are a few professionals who will see the pricetag as a bargain for such a mobile workstation. It will be interesting to see how Axiotron does with this product, and what else they’ll come out with.

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MultiClutch for your Macbook

If you’ve got a multi-touch gesture enabled Apple notebook computer, you should take a look at the MultiClutch preference pane from Will Henderson. This preference pane lets you assign multitouch gestures (like Swipe Left/Right, pinch, rotate) to keyboard shortcuts on a per-application basis. You can also assign these gestures to global system-wide keyboard shortcuts. This lets you take gestures that normally only work in Apple applications, like swipe left/right for forward/back in Safari, and use them in other applications like Firefox. In the screenshot to the right, I’ve taken swipe up/down and set it to switch between tabs in my iChat chat window.

This feels like the type of thing that should be built into the system, but until it is, Will Henderson has provided an excellent (and free!) tool.