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WinDirStat, a disk usage viewer, helps solve a Dropbox syncing problem

WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for various versions of Microsoft Windows –from

Simply, WinDirStat provides a graphical view of how much space files take up on your drives. So instead of deleting files and folders that may not matter much, this utility guides you to the disk space hogs. Then delete or move stuff where it makes a bigger difference.

It came in handy with a Dropbox folder that was over the free limit and no longer synced with the cloud. We found the mobile phone was syncing videos to the Camera Uploads folder in Dropbox. Photograph and video syncing is a Dropbox feature that can consume all your space, especially on free accounts. You can disable that feature in the iOS Dropbox app, Settings, Camera Upload, Camera Upload toggle.

You can use WinDirStat on a whole disk drive or a folder tree. I’ve used it on USB Flash drives. It really comes in handy for the new, smaller SSD’s (solid-state drives).

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RunKeeper 4.0 for iOS 7 is out

RunKeeper 4.0 for iOS 7 is out!

When I first updated to iOS 7 the Wahoo Blue HR Strap didn't connect to the RunKeeper app. Version 4.0.1 & 4.0.2 came out quickly and we're back in business!

I was a little unsure about upgrading to iOS 7 because the Bluetooth devices were a little flakey in the past. It was a few weeks before problems were fixed. This upgrade had only a couple speed bumps.

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Runkeeper disconnects from Wahoo Blue HR strap since update

Runkeeper didn’t call out the heart beats at the two minute interval. It called out distance and pace but not heart beats. Runkeeper showed the Wahoo Blue HR monitor connected when the activity started. Ending the Runkeeper app and restarting produced the same results. The monitor is connected at first but then looses the connection.

  • The problem appeared since the April 5th iOS update.
  • Just replaced the HR monitor’s CR2032 battery a week ago. The documentation said batteries should last a year but I figured the device & factory installed battery could have sat for a while. It is a new battery so that shouldn’t be the problem.
  • The Wahoo app maintained connection to the Blue HR monitor for a whole activity.
  • The Blue HR monitor was unpaired in Runkeeper and then paired again. That didn’t help.
  • The next day Runkeeper connected fine with the HR monitor at first but lost connection before the first update interval.
  • Instead of restarting Runkeeper, the Wahoo app was started with Runkeeper in the background. The Wahoo app connected ok. At the next update interval Runkeeper called out the heart rate along with the other data.
  • So having the Wahoo app running along with Runkeeper works around the problem. This is good because Runkeeper shows heart rate overlaid with speed, altitude and GPS position on the map display. Seeing all this data together is more meaningful.

UPDATE:  Runkeeper is aware and a fix is on the way as soon as Apple approves the update…thanks, Bob!

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Wahoo Blue HR Heart Rate Strap

I used RunKeeper for a few years . When looking for a heart rate monitor I looked in their online store first and found the Wahoo Blue HR.

A couple other heart rate monitors were considered also. Many health monitoring devices require an Ant+ dongle for wireless connectivity. My iPhone 5 has the new Lightning connector and the Ant+ dongles are for the older, 30 pin connectors. I wanted to avoid too many adapters & connectors. That’s just more stuff to loose or fail.

After reading some of the customer reviews I almost scratched the Wahoo HR Strap. The problems didn’t sound like they were problems with the product though.

Amazon customer reviews of the Wahoo Blue HR Strap

  • One of the problems was pairing the strap to the smart phone. The Wahoo Blue HR Strap is pretty simple. There is a strap and the device has a CR2032 watch battery. There are no on/off buttons or display. Documentation was sparse. It is easy to see why many reviewers thought the product was DOA. A big problem was confusion over Bluetooth Smart devices and what that meant. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 work with Bluetooth 4 or Bluetooth Smart devices while the iPhone 4, 3 do not. The third gen iPad supports Bluetooth 4/Smart but older ones and most tablets do not. Many Android phones do not support Bluetooth 4/Smart. It isn’t hard to understand the confusion. Wahoo Fitness should have done a better job to make it clear that the Blue HR Strap requires a Bluetooth Smart compatible phone or tablet.
  • Another issue that appeared a few times is the HR Strap loosing connection. Wahoo Fitness does state in their instructions that the contacts in the strap should be moistened. The Heart Rate Strap did not show up for pairing in the RunKeeper App until the contacts were moistened pretty well. Once they were moistened it worked fine for the hour or so of exercise.

Wahho Fitness Blue HR Strap product page

Blue HR Strap Instructions

Compatible Apps

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Creating a distribution list on an iPhone or iPad.

As much as people use distribution lists/email groups you would have figured that feature would be a native part of the iPhone and iPad by now. Many people think that creating the lists is easy and they are just missing it. Email distribution lists are not part of iOS but there is a workaround. It is not an Apple-like feature but it works.

  • Open Notes.
  • Create a new text note or use a separate, empty line.
  • Enter the email addresses that you want in the distribution list, separating each address with a comma but no spaces.
  • Select and copy the line with email addresses.
  • Open Contacts.
  • Create a new contact.
  • Enter the distribution list name in the Company.
  • Select the Email field and Paste the email addresses.
  • Save the email distribution list to your contacts. The distribution list will be available for sending email.

There are a couple apps in the App Store for handling email groups. The apps are awkward for replying or forwarding messages though.  Apple restrictions on what third-party apps to do with contacts and email is restricted.

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Extensions stopped working in the Chrome browser

A few Chrome browser extensions stopped working recently.  A couple still worked but most did not.  I use Google Chrome often enough that it’s a problem.  Clicking on the extension buttons in Chrome’s toolbar only showed an empty pop-up balloon.

There are a few browser extensions that are important to me and surfing the web without them sucks.

  • LastPass – LastPass is a password manager that makes web browsing easier and more secure.
  • Xmarks Bookmark Sync – Backup and sync your bookmarks, passwords and open tabs across computers and different browsers.
  • Rapportive – Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox.
  • Adblock Plus – Enjoy surfing the web without obtrusive ads cluttering your screen!
  • Flashblock for Chrome – Flashblock is an extension for the Google Chrome that blocks all Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content.

Googling for help had lots of tips but they didn’t work for me.

  • Tried disabling the extension and then re-enabling from the Chrome Extensions page (Tools > Extensions).  That didn’t work.  Tried disabling all extensions and re-enabling one at a time didn’t work either.
  • Tried restarting Chrome and Windows in various combinations.
  • Tried clearing browser data (Tools > Clear browser date… or Ctrl-Shift-Del).

Uninstalling and re-installing Google Chrome fixed the broken extensions problem.

  • Before uninstalling Chrome I made a backup list of extensions by selecting them all on the Extensions page and pasting the list to a text file.
  • I thought about deleting the hidden Chrome profile data but held off.  That proved unnecessary anyway.
  • When Chrome started after the re-install all the extensions were still there and worked!






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5 ways to improve battery life on new iPads

I thought my new iPad was broken. I thought the battery was defective. Over the last week power was draining fast enough to see the percent numbers changing. I was planning the trip to the Apple store or maybe Springboard Media.


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“Dudes, you are running like crazy and pushing empty wheelbarrows around. Why do you do that?”

“Man, we are so busy there is no time to load the damn things!”

The busy trap | Hacker News

When I read that I couldn’t stop laughing.  Don’t know how many times I’ve seen that since I started working.


Posted in opinion. bookmarklet for iPads, iPhones that works with the redesigned site

When redesigned their site recently the iOS bookmarklets stopped working.

Googling for help didn’t turn up anything that worked for the moment.  The tutorials were still geared to the older site.  The URL shortener had become a real pain on the iPad.

I did find a fix at’s Tools page.

  1. I dragged the ‘+bitmark’  button to my PC browser’s button bar.
  2. Clicking it brings up the new dialog for URL shortening.  It’s no longer a sidebar.
  3.  I copied the JavaScript code from the new +bitmark button and transferred via SimpleNote and copied it to the iPad/Safari’s toolbar.

Here are some easier steps to get the “+bitmark” button on your iPad and iPhone:

  1. Copy the javascript below
  2. On your iPad or iPhone add a new bookmark (this page works)
  3. Go to Bookmarks and tap [Edit]
  4. Tap the new bookmark you just created
  5. Rename it to “+bitmark”
  6. Paste the javascript in the URL field
  7. Tap [Done]

===> Copy the JavaScript code below the line <===


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Google Deletes Last 7 Years Of User’s Digital Life, Shrugs – The Consumerist


Something happened to Dylan’s Google account, and it’s been disabled. He doesn’t know what happened to the account, and no one at Google with the power to help him is interested in acknowledging the problem or letting him back in to the cloud-based services where all of his correspondence and much of the digital trail from the last few years of his life is stored.

Google Deletes Last 7 Years Of User’s Digital Life, Shrugs – The Consumerist.

Gmail Backup is a free utility that backs up the email in a Gmail or Google Apps for domains account.  It will backup all emails as individual files in the backup folder.  Gmail Backup preserves Gmail Labels as well.

  • Download the utility here – and install.
  • Activate the IMAP access to your Gmail mailbox
    • Open GMail settings
    • Under the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab enable IMAP.
    • Save changes
  • Start Gmail Backup and fill in the fields.

The first backup will take a while depending on how much is in the Gmail account.  You can save time later by updating the ‘Since Date’ field to the last time you backed up.


gmail-backup screenshot


The developers of the Gmail Backup are:

For more reasons to back up visit their site:



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