The Third Device

A blog about the iPad.

Free for a limited time – Stick Golf HD

Fore! Free!

If you like physics games like Angry Birds (or if you like golf! or … sticks …or … HD…) then you can’t go wrong by downloading this game, currently free for a limited time on the App Store.

It’s quite addicting, and I only wish my golf scores were this good in real life. Then again, you don’t run into very many par 7s on an actual golf course.

Grab it now.

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July 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Control your Mac – via Twitter!

So you’ve got an iMac running at home while you’re out and about with your iPad. ¬†Or (like me) you leave an MBP15 sitting on your desk at work every day because the iPad is all you need out of the office.

Well, now you can check in on your Mac and see how things are going – via Twitter!

The first step is to create a new, separate Twitter account just for your Mac. Name it whatever you want – “Vic’s MacBook”, or “My Home Machine”, or “Melvin the Mac”. Then you want to make sure your Mac’s Twitter account follows your own personal Twitter account, and vice versa. That way you can send DMs (direct messages) to each other.

Next step is to install a tiny application called TweetYourMac on your laptop / desktop. This resides in your menu bar and waits for you to send it incoming messages.

Now that you’ve got everything set up, you can launch a Twitter client on your iPad (or on your phone, or another Mac) and start sending messages. Here’s where the fun begins! You can send system commands, like “shutdown“, “screensaver” or “sleep“. You can “open [App Name]” or “quit [App Name]“. You can (very useful for me!) tweet your Mac a URL that links to a torrent file – the Mac will download the torrent file and open it in your default torrent client. Great for queuing up TV shows that you want to watch when you get home.

And, if you’ve got a shared office or home Mac and really want to assert your control over it, you can tweet “screenshot” – which sends you back a TwitPic of whatever is on the screen at that point. Or “isight” which fires up the Mac’s built in camera, stealthily snaps a pic, and then tweets you back the image. Or even “say [phrase]“, which will command your Mac’s voice synthesizer to speak whatever you type to whoever is using it! It’s too bad I didn’t discover this in time for April Fool’s Day.

The complete list of commands is on the website.

Me and my laptop, tweeting each other.

If you’re worried about security (did Vic really just post his laptop’s user account up there for everyone to control?!) bear in mind that your Mac can only be controlled by direct messages. And in order to send and receive direct messages, the two accounts need to be following each other. Otherwise, it just won’t work.

If you have a PC, you can join in the fun too! (Jerry Tieng, I hear you.) Go to TweetMyPC. In fact, you can send your PC more complex instructions, like commanding it to email you a file or generate and send a list of running processes.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you! And just to reiterate – although this blog is all about the iPad, you don’t need one to do this.

July 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment