Details… Details…. Hey Siri

OK Google != Hey Siri.

Update: Google took a huge step forward. (Do they read my blog!?) You can now do OK Google from any screen. Yes, even a locked PIN screen. It’s clunky but it works. Now, they need to get Google Now closer to Siri in terms of common things like directions and make it less specific with keywords. Siri is still much better for common language commands.


Most Android phones cannot do much from a PIN locked screen. A good exception is the Moto X which really can do this from a PIN locked screen and indeed can implement this feature while sleeping.

In iOS8 with the available hardware as of this date, can only do this while plugged in.

The OnePlus One is rumored to do this, but hardly anyone has one of them.



Kronos and stuck notes

If you use a Yamaha type damper/sustain pedal with the Korg Kronos and it ever goes bad, watch out. You can get stuck notes on the Kronos and there’s no way to stop the stuck sustaining notes and continue to play the keyboard. You are screwed.  Sure, you can stop the notes by pressing COMPARE or switching sounds, but you cannot play the keyboard without the notes getting stuck.

The only thing you can do is restart the machine. Wait 2 1/2 minutes minimum to restart. By then you are mad, the song is over and maybe the entire day is ruined.

There is a work-around to a restart. Load this MIDI File and have it in the sequencer for an important gig. If you ever have the problem – pull the sustain/damper pedal, press play on the sequencer and the notes will shut off. Then continue to play.

Suggestion: Buy a Korg sustain pedal.

S-OFF HTC ONE S (or other variants) using Ubuntu and moonshine with Mac

Here is how to achieve S-OFF (security off) for an HTC ONE S or other HTC variant using Ubuntu.

First, create a bootable live USB version of 32 bit Ubuntu. Follow the instructions. 64 bit Ubuntu doesn’t work with  moonshine.

Once you have the live USB created – you need to find a Mac that will boot it. The only one that would boot from USB was my retina display Macbook Pro. You insert the live USB version and then restart and hold down option. Then you select the USB install and boot off of it.


Make sure you have everything set correctly on your phone.

1: Use 32 bit Ubuntu desktop (13.10) – 64 bit doesn’t work. (Ubuntu 13.10)
2: Enable wifi and join your wifi network. (Go to System settings ? Software sources ? Additional drivers and enable your wifi card)
3: Download moonshine and then extract right into the Downloads folder. IT MUST BE EXTRACTED THERE!
4: CTRL-ALT-T to bring up Terminal.

5: The missing link – CD to Downloads – you must do this! (You MUST be in the Downloads folder and have the extracted files in that folder)

5: Connect your HTC One S via USB. (If you want to be sure things work, type adb devices and information should appear in the terminal. If nothing appears you need to fix adb first).
7: type sudo ./distiller

Follow the prompts and skip all of the suffering and pain that led to this post. If you can get this live USB version to work it’s easier than Windows. No need to install drivers such as adb and fastboot etc..


Good Android Software

I have found the following programs to be extremely useful for an Android phone.

Waves Tuner – very simple. Very accurate. I really like this one. Only $3.

Camera ZOOM FX – Decent camera app. Has stable shot feature which is very cool. Free and Paid version.

CamScanner – very decent photo to PDF app.

Easy Battery Saver – yep, saves your battery!

Mr. Number – block calls.

Themer – Makes your phone fun looking. Great themes, and easy to use!

SOL Calendar – Very nice calendar