Monday, November 23, 2009

Where I've Been

I've been pretty busy these past few months. October was pretty much devoted to travel with trips to Boston (x2), Beijing, Disney World, and London. It was all tons of fun but it was really nice to get back and be able to relax a little. Between all of those trips, I was never home for more than 18 hours which was a bit much, even for me!

The Boston trips were fun and included a Red Sox game with Dawn, a visit to the Media Lab sponsor week, good food at Wagamana and Brown Sugar, and lots of fun visiting friends. Then it was off to Beijing for ACM Multimedia and hanging out with old Yahoo Berkeley friends. It was amazing to see how much the city has changed in the past 4 years. The subway even goes all the way to the Summer Palace now which is amazing considering that there were only three lines last time. It was a great time with a few days of sightseeing and then the conference. I presented our work on TuVista which was a fun talk to give.

From Beijing, I made my way down to FL to run the Tower of Terror 13k race with Alison! I was not feeling well at all and might have been still trying to get over a case of the swine flu, but I felt ok enough to start running and made it all the way through. I have no idea how I found the energy to make it to the finish line, but I did! Maybe it was the thought of MGM staying open until 2am for the runners and running around with Alison riding Star Tours and the Toy Story ride all night that did it :) The Toy Story ride was especially awesome...I really can't wait for the Wii game! The next day we met up with one of Alison's friends and went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. Space Mountain was still closed, but we had a blast! Including getting vegan ice cream from the ice cream parlor on Main St. I love Disney :)

I though I'd be heading home from FL, but instead I ended up going out to London. It was a quick 2 day work trip, but still super exhausting. After the 13 hour ride home from China in Economy, the 9 hours trip to London was really not fun. At least I got a trip to Brick Lane for diner one night!

These past few weeks have been really busy as well with a trip to the opera, a play in the city, and lots of catching up at work. Hopefully things have calmed down a bit and the rest of the year shouldn't be so bad.

All of that is just a bit about why I haven't been writing much on here lately. I hope to have a few posts coming soon including one about some of the awesome things on the new Cliq phone and another on some Arduino programming/building I've been doing lately.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Mac User's Guide to the Motorola Cliq

I'll have a post soon where I gush about how amazing the Cliq phone is. But this post is pure utility. If you're a mac user and want to get up and running on a new Cliq, here's what I've found to get all of your data moved over. Note that if you're on a PC, there's a really awesome tool called MediaLink that will get you all synced up.

I'll also state here that I do work for Motorola and that "The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent Motorola's positions, strategies, or opinions." OK, legal stuff out of the way, here goes...


So you have your contacts in mac address book, and you need to get them onto your brand new Cliq. There's really no straightforward way to do this since the device doesn't officially sync on the mac. You'll need to export your contacts as a vCard (This is a little trickier than it should be. Go into Address Book, and select all of your contacts, then export as vCard. This will make a single file with all of your contacts). You can then upload this vCard file to whichever service you'll be syncing with your new phone (Google Contacts/Mail, Yahoo Address Book/Mail, an Exchange account, etc.). Then just add that account on the Cliq and all of your contact information will come streaming into your address book. Added bonus: if you modify any of your contacts online, the changes will get synced automatically to the phone, and vice versa.

This isn't particularly mac-related, but once you add a few services on the phone, you might find some contacts that were not automatically merged together. To merge (aka Link) contacts together, go to a contact detail page in the phonebook and press the menu key. One of the options will be to Link, then pick the contact you want to merge with and everything will come together into one. It's really simple, but I didn't think to press the menu key, so I didn't see how to do this right away.

Music and Photos

First, get a bigger Micro SD card. The phone comes with 2GB, but you can pick up a 16GB card from Amazon for $40. Second, the phone doesn't sync directly with iTunes. But your good friend DoubleTwist can save you. It pulls music and playlists out of iTunes and photos out of iPhoto and lets you sync these with a phone (Blackberry, Android, Palm, etc.). It's a nice utility and fairly self explanatory. Make sure you've removed any Apple DRM from older music from the iTunes store. iTunes Plus lets you do this, but I've found doesn't always get you the version of the song you bought in the first place, so be careful with this route.


The default music player on the Cliq doesn't handle podcasts. So the step with DoubleTwist above will not bring in RSS feeds for podcasts that you want updated. It's ok though. Google has a free app called Listen that you can get from the Android Marketplace. In this app, you can specify all of the podcasts that you want synced to the device. After you've done this, be sure to go into settings and make sure it will automatically download new episodes, and that it will do this over 3G as well as wifi.

I think that's about it. If I think of anything else that I had issues syncing, I'll update this post. And there will definitely be a post coming soon about the awesomeness of the Cliq and MOTOBLUR in general :)