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Kick’n Chick’nz: Medieval Karnival HD

Game, Atomic Chimp, We have some absolutely amazing member companies inside thinkspace and, every once in a while, we like to brag about the awesome things they come up with – especially when it’s something that our members can actually use! Kick’n Chick’nz is a whimsical new game built for your iPad (and eventually your iPod or iPhone) by one of thinkspace’s newer member companies: Atomic Chimp Games! You may be wondering when you might use a game like this? Here are a couple examples that you can expound upon: 1. While waiting for the coffee to brew. 2. When you need a little mind-break from that proposal you’re writing. 3. When you feel like having a laugh. 4. Well, you get the idea… Built for those young, or even just young-at-heart, Kick’n Chick’nz features high quality graphics, an adorable premise, and fun game play that will have you addicted before you know it. The “karnival” includes four mini games within the game’s main storyline and additional mini games will be released shortly, so keep your eyes open for even more fun soon to come. Check out their website, twitter account and facebook profile for more information.

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iOS Developers- Win an iPad 2 and REMIX a Game at Seattle Mind Camp 7

iOS game developer challenge at Seattle Mind CampSeattle Mind Camp 7 is happening at thinkspace this weekend. Mind Camp is a self-organized 24-hour unconference designed to bring creative minds of all sorts together. Seattle Mind Camp sponsor, Monster Costume will be hosting a 12-Hour Remix iOS Challenge! First, you’ve gotta be registered for Seattle Mind Camp 7 in order to participate, and attendance is free for all iOS developers (send an email to Andru [at] gearlive.com).

The REMIX challenge will start at 9:00pm on Saturday- it’ll go through the night (don’t worry, Mind Camp will have a session showing how to make your own energy drinks that evening as well!) and in the morning, Monster Costume will crown a winning team – and all three team members will win an Apple iPad 2.

A few more pertinent details:

They recommend teams of three – but don’t worry, teams can be created in advance, or on the fly at the event itself.

Monster Costume will give you and your team members the existing source code of a never-before-published, bare bones, functional iOS game. It is then your task to take that code, and mash on it until it’s a game of unsurpassed brilliance (or, you know, until 12 hours is up.)

At the completion of the 12-Hour Remix Challenge, the team with the most outstanding game (as determined by the esteemed panel of judges and the Mind Camp attendees) will be named the winner! Games will be measured on creativity, gameplay, and use of the iOS touchscreen feature set. If you win, Monster Costume will partner with your team to publish the game to the App Store if you choose.

What’s the game to be remixed? You’ll find out at 9:01pm, August 20th

To participate in the REMIX at Mind Camp, head on over to Monster Costume’s registration page to enter the 12-Hour Remix Challenge!

Apple Discontinues the White MacBook

New white MacBookIs it really time to say a final farewell to the white MacBook?  Apparently Apple thinks so. Following the announcements of a new MacBook Air and Mac Mini, the white MacBook disappeared from Apple’s online store.

It seems that Apple thought that they would quietly discontinue the white MacBook. Apple made no announcement about the withdrawal of the MacBook from their online store and they have yet to comment on what has happened to the white MacBook, but I am assuming that they will make some sort of announcement as to the reasoning behind the pull. It has been speculated that it the white MacBook just may no longer be needed. On July 20th, Apple released updated MacBook Air models. One of those models is the 11-inch MacBook Air, which now starts at $999, the same pricing as the white MacBook. However, many Apple Users have expressed opposition to Apple’s choice to pull the MacBook off the shelves because of the history behind it. The original MacBook, available in white or black, was released on May 16, 2006 and has previously attracted many students and creative types.

The white MacBook has long stood as a symbol representing an individual’s freedom from the world of PCs. I, personally, am very surprised that Apple has discontinued this product. But, I want to know what you think. Do you think this was a smart move on Apple’s part?

The Ultimate MacBook Pro Hard Drive Upgrade – Seagate Momentus XT

I dropped a book on the keyboard of my MacBook Pro and I think the shock may have damaged the Toshiba MK165GSXF 160GB drive that came with my MackBook Pro. The Toshiba 160GB drive spins at a rate of 5400 RPM with 8MB cache. Originally, when I bought the MacBook Pro I considered upgrading to the solid state drive but Apple charges $225 more for a 128GB drive. Now that I’m forced to buy a new hard drive, I decided to go with the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Drive. It spins at 7200 RPM, has 32MB cache and 4GB of solid-state SLC NAND flash storage. All this mumbo jumbo means its really fast. It’s a hybrid between traditional hard drive technology and solid-state. Solid state is the ultimate in speed because unlike traditional hard drive technology there are no moving parts. All the data is stored in non-volatile memory chips. In the case of the Seagate Momentus XT, it’s stored in the 4GB SLC NAND flash storage.

Performance

Based on the spec sheet it says it’s 80 percent faster performance than traditional 7200-RPM drives in PCMark Vantage benchmark scores. Has Low heat and vibration. In real world terms this is what it does for me: I timed my the boot up of my MacBook Pro at 45 seconds with the Toshiba drive. With the Seagate Momentus XT drive I am now boot up in 17 seconds!

My Specs

I’ve got a 13″ MacBook Pro, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, SMC Version: 1.47f2, 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (from Crucial.com), 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT Hard Drive, running OS X 10.6.

I also managed to recover my data from my old hard drive as it was failing and had bad sectors on it. The best way to do that is buy an external enclosure and then connect your old drive to your laptop via USB and copy the files across.

I don’t think that I will ever upgrade directly through Apple as they charge an arm and leg for the the upgrades. The cost of the Seagate Momentus XT hard drive can be purchased through NewEgg.com for $99. It’s also really easy to install. I would have to say the performance jump feels more significant with the hard drive upgrade than when I upgrade the memory from 4GB to 8GB. It’s the best $100 I’ve spent upgrading this MacBook Pro.

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Should I Wait For The iPhone 5?

When I was in school, I worked two jobs to pay my bills. During the day, I was a busy barista serving tasty coffee concoctions to thirsty regulars. Nights and weekends, I worked as a waitress at a local Greek restaurant that served garlic-infused Gyros to die for. During this time, a substantial portion of my income was attributed to the tips I received on a daily basis. Needless to say, I always seemed to have at least a hundred dollars cash burning a hole in my pocket. For some reason, that cash always seemed to have an odd habit of “disappearing.”

I know quite a few of my friends who’ve had the same issues. I don’t know what it is, but somebody gets even a twenty dollar bill in their hand and it’s gone faster than you can say “Bob’s Your Uncle.” The same is normally true for most with gift cards; and definitely true with myself! If I get a gift card for Christmas, you can bet that it will be spent by New Years. However, this story didn’t ring so true when I got another certain gift card.

I’ve had a $250 Apple Store gift card safely tucked in my purse for going on three months and I just can’t get myself to spend it. I’ve wanted an iPhone for years and now that my favorite carrier has finally launched the phone, I still just can’t get myself to make the purchase! The constant lure of “bigger and better” things to come has me in a seemingly endless state of shopping purgatory. I’m always waiting for Apple’s next big thing.

The iPhone 5 is rumored to have many new and exciting features, but the only thing I really care about is that they may release a white version (vain, I know)! What about the other Apple users out there? Have you already purchased the iPhone 4? Or, are you waiting for the iPhone 5? I’d love your feedback!

iPad2 Smart Cover does not work with Original iPad

I was thinking about whether or not to upgrade and get the iPad2 when it comes out on Friday, March 11 because the iPad Smart Cover looks like a pretty slick cover.  Then it got me thinking that perhaps I could just get the cover and use it on my Original iPad… kind of like how I got a Taylormade TP headcover for my driver even because it has a cool magnetic closure on it.  I did a little research and found this article that says: “Unfortunately, the answer is no. The Smart Cover functions as it does because of the aforementioned magnets embedded in the iPad 2. The iPad 1 lacks these magnets, and as such, won’t allow the Smart Cover to do its thing”.  That said, looks like it’s not work the trouble to just go buy the cover.  I’m still on the fence on whether to upgrade… are you going to upgrade yours?

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Yes, you can tether the iPad to an iPhone or Windows Mobile Phone

This weekend I finally sat down and figured out how to tether my iPad to my Windows Mobile phone. After getting it connected I’m so glad that I didn’t wait and buy the iPad 3G which costs $629 + $30/mo or $360/yr. for a data plan.

In order to figure this out, I started searching for an application that would turn my phone into a Wifi Router.  From there it’s simple to just go into the settings of the iPad and select the Wifi Router (my cellphone).

My friend Alvin, posted on his Facebook wall that he successfully tethered his iPhone 3GS to his iPad.  He said it was super simple with an application that he bought called Cydia.  There is a very good detailed blog post “How to tether your iPad to your iPhone (via Wifi)“.  Basically to recap it here are the steps.

Tether your iPad to your iPhone

  1. Download and run blackra1n on your Mac or PC.
  2. Install Cydia on your iPhone.
  3. Use Cydia to search for and download MyWi which costs $9.99.
  4. Enable your iPhone as a WiFi hotspot, and give it a 40 or 105-bit encryption key.

Tether your iPad to your Windows Mobile phone

Download “WMWifiRouter“.  It’s basically turns a smartphone into a WifiRouter. The installation is quite easy.

  1. Download a trial application from the website to make sure it’s compatible with your phone.
  2. Configure the name of your WiFI Router and create a WEP Key.
  3. Go into your iPad settings and pick the WiFI Router.
  4. I was able to jump on the Internet and quickly connect to a few websites.  After a few minutes the trial program tell you that trial key is expired and you’ll be forced to buy the application if you want to keep using it.  It costs $19.99, which is a bit steep in my opinion because the iPhone Application that does the same thing costs $9.99.

There’s even a YouTube video on how to tether an iPad to a Droid. Here’s the link. Later this summer, I’ll be upgrading out of my Samsung i760. I’m glad I will have a ton of good choices like the new iPhone 4G, Droid Ultimate, or even a Windows Mobile 7!

Also check out: The 8 Best Business iPad Apps.

The 8 Best Business iPad Apps

For me the iPad has been amazing. While it is a bright shiny object (BSO) and I have been known to become distracted by “BSO’s”, I have found it to have utility beyond just a cool new gadget.  I’ve been intent on finding new ways to use the iPad for business reasons and have discovered a few ways and apps that help me justify buying an iPad.  I’m a guy that just doesn’t buy something without getting some kind of ROI on it.  So far the thing that I love about the actual iPad is the mobility, weight, size, speed, touch, and ease of use.  Those are all advantages over my 13″ MacBook Pro.  Of course it can’t do everything my laptop can do, but, my laptop can’t beat the iPad in those items that I just listed.  Here are my favorite business apps on my iPad:

Credit Card Terminal ($14.99) Credit Card Terminal: “Say you own a small business, and you need to ring up a customer’s order. Well… there’s an app for that.” Thanks to Derek Del Conte and Ryan Anderson, founders of Innerfence and creators of the Credit Card Terminal which turns your iPad or iPhone into a portable point-of-sale credit card terminal.  It can tap into your list of business contacts which helps speed up the credit card processing. From a business perspective, I LOVE pushing the big “Charge” button.  The application is super easy to use and it’s reliable, safe, and secure as I process transactions through Authorize.net.  A smart app that makes it super easy to process mobile transactions on the fly.  I also love the fact that Derek and Ryan are thinkspace Members and their company provides excellent customer service.

Memeo Connect Reader (free): This App is sweet, it connects to Google Apps and synchronizes and downloads all of your Google Docs locally on your iPad so that you can view them even when you’re not connected through WIFI.  There have been a number of times where access to this information has been helpful for me.

Air Sharing HD ($9.99): “It lets you wirelessly mount your iPad as a drive on your computer so you can load it up with files. You can then view, share or print everything from PDFs to Excel documents. For anyone complaining about the lack of a file system on the iPad, this gives you one.… Highly recommended.” — Gizmodo.

Twitterific: ($4.99): A Twitter Client that has a beautiful interface, allows you to manage multiple accounts (business/personal), view all your lists etc. Only feature I don’t like is the “retweet” RT action.  It doesn’t allow you edit/modify the RT before you send it. The free version does not allow multiple accounts + it has ads.

Evernote (Free): Great app for taking notes. “One note, many devices” that’s their tagline.  It works across the computers and phones you use daily, allowing you to capture something in one place and then access it from another.

WordPress (Free): One of my favorites because I’m in WordPress all the time. I love the fact that I can manage multiple websites/blogs from a single application.  The UI has a similar look and feel to the online app. Adding a new post, making changes to existing pages is super easy. Definitely a must have.

PixelMagic ($2.99): Quite a powerful photo touch-up program. Use your fingers to control image parameters like brightness, contrast and saturation, apply filters, draw with many brushes, apply effects or perform fine-tuned histogram corrections.

VNC Lite (free): One of my favorite apps. Mocha VNC provides access to a VNC Server. Using your iPad, I am able to connect to my Mac OS X and even control Windows 7 through Parallels. It was exactly like sitting in front of my MBP and controlling it with my finger. I’m surprised shocked how good it is!

Also check out: Yes, you can tether the iPad to an iPhone or Windows Mobile Phone