iOS Emulator not working on OSX 10.11 (El Capitan)

Recently when experimenting the ionic framework I ran into a problem on OSX.  Every time I run these commands, the iOS emulator from Xcode would not pop-up:

ionic emulate ios
gulp -e ios

The issue seemed to be that the iOS simulator was never installed on my current computer (despite xcode being installed), and it does not give any warning/error to let you know about this.

Here is what solved it for me:

  1.  Open Xcode, hit Command-comma to open the preferences section/
  2. Hit the “Downloads” tab in Xcode
  3. Hit the small “download” icon next to the latest iOS simulator (in my case it was iOS 9.0).

ios simulator

Download Google Chrome Without a Web Browser using Windows Command Line

Due to the popularity of my old post on how to download firefox without a web browser, I decided to figure out a way to do the same thing with Chrome.  Chrome doesn’t seem easily accessible on FTP, so this method allows you to still download Chrome from a safe web source, via the HTTP link that Google provides.

1.  Open NotePad and paste the below VBScript code into it.

Note: The strFileURL variable is currently set to the URL that Chrome is at as of today.  That might change later.  Find latest Chrome EXE by going here. Click accept and install, then right-click copy the URL titled “Click here to retry.”

' This is the URL of the chrome EXE.
' This is where the file will download to.
strHDLocation = "c:ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe"
' Fetch the file
Set objXMLHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.XMLHTTP") "GET", strFileURL, false
If objXMLHTTP.Status = 200 Then
Set objADOStream = CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
objADOStream.Type = 1 'adTypeBinary
objADOStream.Write objXMLHTTP.ResponseBody
objADOStream.Position = 0 'Set the stream position to the start
Set objFSO = Createobject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
If objFSO.Fileexists(strHDLocation) Then objFSO.DeleteFile
Set objFSO = Nothing
objADOStream.SaveToFile strHDLocation
Set objADOStream = Nothing
End if
Set objXMLHTTP = Nothing

2. Save your notepad file to your desktop, and use quotes in the filename to overwrite saving as a .txt file:

3. Go to your Windows command prompt (Start > CMD)
4. Navigate to your desktop in the command prompt (cd desktop)
5. Run the command: cscript.exe downloadfile.vbs

6. Open Windows explorer, and right on your C drive you should see the chrome installer at c:ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe

Attribution: This vbscript was adopted by Gareth’s method on

9 Tips to Legitimize Your Small Business

Please note: These steps will get you in the right direction to setting up a scalable business, but you should consult with a reputable accountant and attorney before making any business decisions.  This information should not be considered legal advice.

From the last few years of experience, below are my favorite vendors to use when launching a new business.  These methods are all very cost effective, yet still scalable for when your business hopefully takes off.  Good luck!

1. Get a Logo Designed – 99 Designs (~$400)

Vendor: 99Designs

  • Post a logo project and give as much direction as possible to the prospective designers
  • BE ACTIVE give feedback as often as possible on designer submissions, active projects get much more designer competition
  • Don’t be afraid to give strong criticism to designers, and make sure to submit a rating for every design.

2. Register Your Domain and Hosting – Namecheap (~$6/mo)

Vendor: NameCheap

  • Strongly .COM and not .ly, .net, etc
  • Choose as short of a domain as possible
  • Add Namecheap’s WhoisGuard to protect your domain registration info from spammers.  It’s only $3 per year.
  • If you simply need an informational website, simply sign up for Namecheap’s $4/mo shared hosting plan.  If you have a database intensive website, you should seek consultation for a more powerful server solution.

3. Set up your business e-mail – Google Apps (free)

Vendor: Google

4. Incorporate and Trademark your company – Trademarkia (~$700)

Vendor: Trademarkia

  • You should consider trademarking both your company name, and separately trademarking your company logo, icon, or other marks.  Please seek legal advice on this.
  • Seek legal/accounting advice on whether an LLC, C Corp, S Corp, or other type of incorporation method will be right for you.
  • Seek legal advice on what state you should incorporate in.  Keep in mind that if you choose a state that you do not have active mailing address in, you will have to pay an annual fay for a registered agent service.
  • Make sure to save and backup a PDF copy of your articles of incorporation, and any other formal documents.

5. Register your EIN (free)

Vendor: IRS

  • Make sure to use your business address, or a permanent address when getting your EIN.  Most banks will require that your mailing address matches the address on your EIN document.
  • Make sure to save an electronic copy (backed up!) of your official EIN document.  You will need this to open a bank account.

6. Get a Business Bank Account (free)

Vendor: Bank of America

  • You can waive your monthly fee by using your business checking debit card once per month (Set it up as the payment method for your web hosting)
  • Use the Bank of America iPhone app to deposit checks from your phone

7. Get a Website Design Template ($~50)

Vendor: Themeforest

No need to pay thousands of dollars for a custom website design if you are just starting out.  Use a theme database like ThemeForest and get an awesome WordPress design template for less then $50.

  • Make sure you choose a WordPress template.
  • Choose something simple.  Complex themes have a lot of content sections you will not use, and you will have to pay your freelance developer to remove or hide those unwanted sections
  • Before buying a template, read the comments on the template and see if the author is responsive to questions.  This can come in handy later if you make a request for improvements.

8. Find a Freelancer to Launch your Website (~$400-$1000)

Vendor: Odesk

  • Post a project on Odesk asking for a PHP programmer with WordPress experience
  • Pay rates ranging from $10-$15 per hour are reasonable for a WordPress freelancer
  • In the project posting, specifically ask developer to send a link to the best wordpress site they have developed (and to only ONE site, not a massive list).  Most developers won’t read your special request, so you can quickly hide their applications.
  • Install WordPress on your Namecheap hosting account.  Instructions here.
  • Send the developer your ThemeForest template files.
  • Create a google doc with tasks, and share it with your developer
  • When giving feedback to any developer, use a screenshot tool to effectively communicate changes you request.

9. Bookkeeping, Expense Tracking, and Invoicing (free to start)

Vendor: Freshbooks

  • Get started with a basic account for free
  • When tracking expenses, use the spreadsheet import function to save time
  • Accept credit card payments for invoices.  Well worth the ~3% fees to save hours of time processing paper checks


How to Restore the Recently Changed files shortcut in Windows 7

Looking to restore the shortcut in your explorer window that says “Recently Changed”? I was too. In a nutshell, you must save this code snippet, which creates the Recently Changed file search, and then drag that shortcut to your favorites bar. Here are the instructions:

1. Download the raw version of this code below.

2. Paste the file contents to NotePad

3. Save the file as “Recently” (keep the quotes so it makes that the correct file type)

4. Save the file to C:Users{YOUR NAME}Searches

5. Drag the shortcut to your favorites bar (same place “Recent Places” appears)

How To Backup and Export Google Docs

Google recently changed the layout of the Google Docs interface, and made it a little difficult to figure out how to export and backup your documents.  It is always recommended to have a backup of anything you store in the cloud, so here is a quick tutorial on how to download and backup your Google docs.

Step 1 – Right click on any file in your Google Docs list, and select “Download”
Step 2 – Click on the “All Items” tab, and press the “Download” button

Step 3 – Select “Email when ready”
Step 4 – Wait until you receive the e-mail, then click download link.

After the file is downloaded, you are still not done.  It is necessary to extract the zip file, and open a few of the documents to make sure they are readable.  In my experience, the export has always worked very well, but it is imperative to check for yourself each time you save the backup.

Sort Gmail By Attachment Size


Update 3/19/2013 

You can now actually run a search for attachments based on size!  Approved operators:

  • size:5m – Find emails with attachments of 5M
  • larger:5m – Find e-mails with attachments larger than 5M

Suggested query: larger:5m older_than:2y

^ Will find all e-mails larger than 5MB and older than 2 years.


Gmail inbox getting full?  Mine was too.  For some inexplicable reason, Google does not allow you to run a simple search of your inbox where you can sort by attachment size.  There are some options to get your Gmail account under control, most useful of which is searching for particular file types.   Run a search for the most commonly large file types, and optionally add a date modifier so you only look at mail older than a certain date.

Enter this into the search box:
filename:(mpg OR mpeg OR avi OR wmv OR zip OR bmp OR mp3 OR wma OR mov) before:2010/12/31

Note: Change the “before” date to whatever date you want.  It can even be today’s date.

I did not exclude JPG or JPEG because pictures are often a useful thing to save.  I still recommend going through each e-mail before doing a mass-delete with the above search query, but this will at least give you a useful workaround while Google works on a sortable attachment filter.

Google is well aware of the need for this feature, but feel free to cast your vote on their suggestion page, like I did.

Make sure to vote for Google to add this as an official function.

4 Million Twitter Followers Mean Nothing!

I have to admit, I am a little disheartened.  I was convinced that building a large Twitter following would at least give a great platform for promoting things.  I was always curious about numbers though.  If I posted a link, what % of my followers would actually click it? – 62 views as of writing.  While I have a paltry 135 Followers, it seems that roughly 46% of them clicked on the link I posted.  Keep in mind, this view count is based off of pageviews to that page, so if one person viewed it multiple times it would count towards the same total.  So let’s make a more conservative estimate of 35% of my followers actually clicked the link.  Not too bad.

I still had envy for someone like Ashton Kutcher though.  Well, maybe not.  But I did have a little intrigue about his almost 4,000,000 followers on Twitter.

When he posts a link, if using my conservative estimate of 35% conversion ratio in clicks, that would mean he would get a whopping 1,400,000 clicks on every link he tweets.  Then again, 35% is a rather generous conversion ratio, what with all the spam accounts and all.  So let’s be VERY conservative.  10% conversion ratio.  Surely, at least 10% of the people “following” Ashton Kutcher are at least visiting the links he posts.  10% conversion ratio would be roughly 400,000 clicks.  That is still spectacular.  He is a marketing machine, right?  If only there was some way to actually see how many clicks his links get.

Oh, yeah,  That’s right, they offer pretty neat stats on every link shortened by them.  So I decided to look at some recent @aplusk data.


Timestamp Tweet Stats Clicks


6:30 PM Oct 17th the balloon boy remix


5:30 PM Oct 17th wow/surreal . . . never thought we would hear a piano entering the climate debate 5,015


10:18 AM Oct 17th Thoughts on Google wave? ha ha Samuel L. Jackson riding the Google wave “Pulp Fiction style” 13,045


10:02 PM Oct 16th classical version of “Run This Town” = awesome 8,274


10:26 AM Oct 16th social media reminder about the scope of global hunger 4,675


9:09 AM Oct 16th Conan and @corybooker Feud to End With @ustream and Tonight Show Appearances 4,414

I made a typo right?  I wish I had.  It turns out that the links Ashton tweeted averaged 7,500 clicks per link.  This amounts to a shocking 0.19% percent conversion ratio.

The lesson?  Quality over quantity when it comes to a Twitter following.  If only .19% Ashton’s followers are clicking his links, at BEST 0.4% of his followers actually even read a word he says.

Ooma + iPhone = Perfect Voicemail Combo

One of my favorite features on Ooma is the ability to receive voicemail via e-mail.  Not only does Ooma alert you via e-mail when you have a new voicemail, but it has the option to e-mail the voicemail message itself as an MP3.  I did end up upgrading to Ooma Premier service, and it looks like the “attach file” feature is only available in Premier.  Even so, when you first get the Ooma, you should try this feature out during your free Premier trial period.

To enable this feature, go to your Preferences > Voicemail, and see the Voicemail Notifications area:


After saving your changes, all of your voicemails from now on will be e-mailed to you.  If you elect to receive e-mails on your phone, it makes it amazingly easy to check your voicemail when away from your Ooma hub.


On the iPhone, simply click the e-mail attachment, and it will open up the voicemail file in the iPhone quicktime player:


Could not be easier!