How to tab between all fields in OSX

I like to use the keyboard wherever possible, but by default tabbing to certain fields in OSX is disabled. For example, if you try to access a password protected website in Safari, and it pops up with the name and password box, you can’t tab to the “Remember this password in my keychain field”.

However, it is very easy to fix this:

  • Open up System Preferences > Keyboard
  • At the bottom of this window is a section labelled “Full Keyboard Access”. Click the “all controls” option.

And that’s it! You should now be able to tab cycle between all fields including the remember password field in password prompts.

First impressions of the iPad

My iPad arrived on May 27th, a day before it’s official release and I’ve been using it pretty intensively since then. Here are some of my initial observations…

The iPad works really well as a web browsing device, since the high res screen makes web pages look beautiful and the low power ARM based processor means the battery life is fantastic. I’ve only had to charge it once so far with 2 days of heavy use. It would seem that that, unlike the iPhone, the iPad uses very little, if any, power when in standby mode. It effectively behaves like a computer with an instant on/off button. The lack of flash support is a bit frustrating but definitely not a show stopper and as more sites move to using native HTML 5 video this will become even less of an issue. The on screen keyboard is a little bit fiddly, but when you get used to it you can type at pretty much the same speed as a normal keyboard for short bursts. For serious typing you would probably want to make use of an external keyboard.

iPad specific apps look great – check out Weather Pro HD, Plants versus Zombies HD, XPlane 9, Wolfram Alpha and the F1 Timing App to name a few.

The built in apps (contacts, calendar, maps) also look a lot better than their iPhone counterparts as they have been redesigned to take advantage of the larger screen.

The worst thing about the new iPad is that it’s so addictive that you’ll not want to put it down!

World’s biggest cruise ships, by size

As we are thinking of going on a cruise for our honeymoon next year, I thought I’d do some research into the different cruise ships in use today. Of course there are many factors you could compare, but to start with I’m interested in just one thing: the size!

Cunard Line Limited

Maiden Voyage Name Gross Tonnage Length Height Passengers
2004 Queen Mary 2 148,528 345m 72m 2,620

Royal Caribbean International

Maiden Voyage Name Gross Tonnage Length Height Passengers
2006 Freedom of the Seas 154,407 339m 64m 4,370
2009 Oasis of the Seas 220,000 360m 65m 5,400


Maiden Voyage Name Gross Tonnage Length Height Passengers
2008 Ventura 113,000 290m ? 3,092
2005 Arcadia 86,799 GRT 290m ? 1,952

Celebrity Cruises

Maiden Voyage Name Gross Tonnage Length Height Passengers
2008 Celebrity Solstice 122,000 314m ? 2,850

Historic Farnborough

Historic Farnborough is a new site that has been set up to document the history of Farnborough, with everything from its famous Landmarks to its worst eye soars.

Residents past and present are invited to submit their photos, memories and any other historic facts about Farnborough.

My favourite feature is the Gone but not Forgotten section where they keep track of all the old buildings that are being demolised around the town. In the past 100 years over 40 different locations have been re-developed.

Can’t login to Google Video Uploader

If you get a e-mail/password error when you try use Google’s Desktop Video Uploader, then try going to this page, which displays an captcha to unlock your account. I’m not quite sure why my account was locked in the first place (as I was able to login to other Google services), but going through that page seemed to fix it. There is more information available here.

BT launch 21st Century Phone Network API

BT have recently launched an API for their 21CN network called Web21C. The API allows developers to access various BT network functions via a HTTPS interface. Amongt other things you can place calls, send text messages, geo-locate mobiles (currently only BT mobiles).

During the beta phase, usage limits per account are as follows:

  • SMS Text Messages – 10 international messages / day. 160 Characters / message
  • Standard Voice Calls – 10 international calls of 2 mins / day.
  • Conference Calls – 10 international calls (upto 4 participants max) of 2 mins / day.
  • Location – 10 requests / day.
  • Presence – Logged out after 8 hours. 100 requests / day.
  • Authentication – 100 requests / day
  • Information About Me – 100 requests / day.

That’s pretty generous of BT if you think about it, as they are giving you up to 40 minutes of international calls per day!

They have also built 7 test virtual phones (sip addresses), that you can use for your testing, which have been affectionately named after the seven dwarfs:

  • Happy – Connects and disconnects after 60 seconds –
  • Bashful – Connects and disconnects after 3 seconds –
  • Grumpy – Always gives a busy signal –
  • Dopey – Never connects, gives service unavailable message –
  • Doc – Connects after 10 seconds and disconnects after 3 seconds –
  • Sneezy – Connects and disconnects after 10 seconds –
  • Sleepy – Never connects and after 60 seconds becomes unavailable –

The random number can be any number between 100 and 10000000.

Google launches Office Killer: Premier Apps Suite

It started just over a year ago when Goog launched G-mail for your domain. This allowed individuals and organisations to host a domain with multiple users on Google’s G-mail platform. No longer were you limited to a or domain, as now you could bring your own and still get the full power of Google’s industry leading search and spam fighting tools. Indeed, I have been happily using this service since then on my own domain.

Then over the course of the next year, Google began to add extra features such as Calendar, Talk and Page Creator (and of course docs and spreadsheets), but all the time it remained a free service, mainly used by early adopters.

However, as of today, the gloves are off. Google have launched Premier Apps, which brings them fully into the enterprise market with added features such as 99.9% uptime for e-mail, 24/7 technical support, 10GB storage per user, an API to integrate with existing IT systems, and all for just $50 (£26) a year.

I would have to say I agree with John Battelle, when he referred to the news as a potential office killer; I think this is the beginning of the end Microsoft’s Office suite as we know it.

One of his readers pointed out that there is currently no stampede of users to Google Apps once you step outside the tech world, but I feel that’s mainly because many businesses aren’t yet aware of the alternatives. I have friends and family who run non-tech businesses, and they have been keen adopters of Google Apps once I demonstrated to them what it can do.

Google Apps kills Office in many areas; such as backups (to gain the level of redundancy and reliability of Google’s storage infrastructure you would have to spend a fortune), collaboration, and spam filtering on their e-mail servers, to name just a few. These are all real problems that businesses now face, and I think Google is leading the way with it’s solutions. It’s only a matter of time before the customer’s follow.

Neighbouring uk postcodes

I just found a useful file on Dan Huby’s website where he has compiled a list of all the neighbouring postal regions in the UK. This is useful if you want to build a postcode based search script, as you can match the actual searched for postcode as well as adjoining postcodes.

For example, from this file, the neighbouring postcodes of GU are:


Ofcom to launch 03 numbers

As part of its national telephone numbering plan, Ofcom will be introducing 03 numbers later this year as an alternative to chargeable 08 numbers such as 0870. These numbers will cost exactly the same as geographic 01 and 02 numbers, and therefore be allowed as part of any inclusive minute allowances or call discount schemes in exactly the same way as their geographic cousins.

Initially, some of the 03 number range will be reserved for holders of certain 08 numbers. This will allow businesses to change their 08 number to its 03 equivalent if they deem it necessary.

0845 -> 0345
0844 -> 0344
0870 -> 0370
0871 -> 0371