Free iPod/iPhone help!

I know a lot (and I mean a lot) of people have gotten iPods or iPhones for Christmas, and, given by the amount of people visiting my previous fixing iPod article yesterday, I’m assuming that there are a bunch of people that either need help setting their iPods up, have encountered some sort of error, or want to know how to do something with their iPods or iPhones. If anyone needs help jailbreaking their device, getting it set up, or anything like that, I provide free, non-professional help. As a disclaimer, I’m not responsible to anything that may happen to your device, although, seeing my track record, I can probably help you. Either post a comment or contact me, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Fixing “Fatal Error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted”

After updating to WordPress 2.8.6, I received an error telling me that my “Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes was exhausted (tried to allocate 30720 bytes)” when I tried to access my site’s admin page. Thankfully, this only appeared on my site’s backend, but there are a lot of WordPress users who have had similar (if not identical) issues. So, I’ve put together a little how-to walking you through all the things that could be causing the restriction in memory.

What is this error, exactly?

Everything on your website takes up a little bit of memory. The biggest culprit of this are plugins, which often times are the easiest answer to the problem; if you have a lot of active plugins, just deactivate a few! Regardless, plugins aren’t the only thing that can cause memory overflows; things like excessive animations, or inefficient scripts. Your page might even have too many images, but it would take quite a lot of content like this to demonstrate this issue.

Interestingly enough, there is a surprisingly simple way to fix this issue. You just need to enter a line of code in a few places so that your wordpress install knows to allocate more memory. Here’s a solution, in a few simple steps:

1. Open your FTP browser and navigate to the folder/directory that you installed WordPress in. From there,  locate “wp-config.php”. You’ll need to open it in whatever editor you like. Once you’ve done this, enter the following code somewhere close to the top:

@ini_set('memory_limit','64M');

Check to see if the error is resolved. If not, go on to step 2.

2. In your FTP browser, navigate to your root folder (it’s usually /public_html/ or /www/) and look for a “PHP.ini” file. You’ll need to find a line like this:

memory_limit = 12M

Change “12M” to “32M” to allow the PHP scripts WordPress runs to access more memory. If this doesn’t work, try changing it to “64M”. If you still have issues, and you have access to your webserver, it might be necessary to restart your webserver. If this doesn’t work, or you don’t have access to your webserver, then you’ll need to go ahead to step 3.

3. We’re going to edit your /install.php file. You can find this file in the root directory of your site, or in whichever directory/folder you installed WordPress in. You’ll need to add the following line to the beginning of the file:

ini_set('memory_limit','32M');

When you are finished, the beginning of the file should look like this:

ini_set('memory_limit','32M');
/**
* WordPress Installer
* @since unknown
* @var bool
*/
define('WP_INSTALLING', true);

If this still doesn’t work, try changing “32M” to “64M”.  If you’re totally at a loss for ideas, I’d recommend contacting your site’s host and asking them if there’s any issues with your server. If you have access to your administrative control panel, you might want to try disabling any extraneous plugins, as well.

Final thoughts

It’s always a good idea to be tidy and prudent. Delete anything you don’t need or that doesn’t need to be archived. Get rid of plugins that you don’t use, and update any old plugins (often times, plugins are optimized between versions, to run smoothest with the latest versions of WordPress). This saves you from issues when you upgrade your site. If this article helped, or if you need some extra assistance, post a comment! I’d appreciate it.

Using Skype + Google Voice for Free Calls!

Recently, I started messing with Google Voice to try and see all the different things that could be done with it. I wondered if it was possible to make calls from a computer, through Skype. This would eliminate all of the complexities of dealing with Gizmo5’s application AND web interface. Additionally, it would let you have completely free calls to ANY phone (cellular or otherwise) in the US and Canada. As it turns out, it is as easy to use Google Talk and Skype with Google Voice. Here’s what you need to do to get Skype working as a “Phone” for Google Voice.

Getting Started

If you already have a Gizmo5 and Skype account, go on to the next step.

First off, you’ll need a Gizmo5 Account. Gizmo5 is similar to Google Voice, except it relies more on a local program, similar to Skype (which we’ll get to in a little bit). Setting one up is really, really easy, and totally free. You’ll just need a username, password, and email (which you should have). You shouldn’t need to download the Gizmo5 program, unless you really want to. Next, if you don’t have one yet, you’ll need a Skype account. Skype is the premiere program for video and audio chat. It also supports an IM feature, although no one really uses it (except in conjunction with a video or audio chat). Go to Skype’s website, download the skype program (make sure you select the right version for your operating system), run it, and set up an account.

Setting Up Redirection

Next, we’re going to have Gizmo5 forward all incoming calls to your Skype account. This is where things get a little interesting. Go to Gizmo5’s website, click on the “My” tab, and select the “Call Forwarding” tab. Select “Forward all calls” on the left hand side, and on the right, select “Skype” and enter your Skype username. If you’d rather use your Google Talk account (Google Talk is Google’s video chat program), then you can select that instead.

Adding Gizmo5

Finally, we’re going to link your Gizmo5 account with your Google Voice account. Leaving your Gizmo5 “My” page open, open a new window/tab in your web browser and go to the Google Voice website. In the upper right hand corner, click “settings”. Then select the “Phones” tab. At the bottom of the page, click the “Add another phone” link. Enter a name that will remind you that this is the Skype forwarding number (it doesn’t have to be anything specific). For a number, you’ll need an SIP number from Gizmo5. Every account gets an SIP number. To find out what your number is, go back to the Gizmo5 “My” page. On the general settings page, you’ll see a field that says “SIP,” followed by an 11 digit phone number (it’s a 10 digit number plus a 1 digit country code). Copy this number, and enter it in the “Number” section in Google Voice”. Make sure the “Phone Type” is set to “Gizmo,” and then hit “Save.” Don’t worry about advanced settings.

Verification

Google Voice will now attempt to authorize your Gizmo phone. A window will pop up with a 2 digit number and a “Connect” button. If you don’t see this, check the “Phones” tab for the Gizmo phone you just set up. You should see a message telling you to verify it, and a link that says “Verify Now.” Click this link. If you don’t see this message or your phone, then you should try to add the phone again.

Make sure your Skype program is running, and that you are logged in, and click the “connect” button in the Verify window. Google voice will now call your Gizmo5 number (the SIP number you gave it earlier). When the call reaches Gizmo5, it should automatically redirect the call to your Skype account. When Skype detects a call and starts ringing, answer it. You’ll hear some automated woman’s voice asking you to enter your two digit verification number. Make sure you have the audio chat window selected, and just press the two digits on your keypad. I wasn’t sure how to do this at first; I had tried sending it to the google voice number via an IM chat, or by trying to dial it into Skype’s on-screen number pad, neither of which worked.

If you can’t verify your Gizmo5 account with Skype, you can alternately try downloading the Gizmo5 program and running that. You’ll need to go back to your Gizmo5 “My” page and turn off call forwarding first, and then try verifying again. You’ll receive a call through Gizmo5 asking you to verify your account. After this, you’re all finished!

Other Notes

It turns out that Gizmo5 forwards calls to your Skype account through a service called OpenSky, which is not entirely free. If you use a call for less than 3 minutes (per call, not total), you should be fine, though. I haven’t tested to see what the results are for Google Voice, so if anyone does, let me know. Regardless, I have been able to successfully make free calls to US and Canadian home phones and cell phones. How’s that for impressiveness?

Jailbreaking iPhone/iPod 3.1, 3.1.1, 3.1.2

With the release of the new iPhone/iPod Touch firmware version 3.1.2, requests for a stable, working jailbreak have sprung up like wildfire all over the internet. Geohot, the brains behind PurpleRa1n, has an answer. Already. Enter Blackra1n, a quick, clean, and painless method to jailbreak (NOT UNLOCK) your iPhone or iPod Touch. The iPhone DevTeam promises to have a version of QuickPwn running as soon as possible, but has been unable to produce anything yet. Here’s a quick little tutorial on how to get your device jailbroken and working as soon as possible. Have any issues? Post a comment!

Warning! Read carefully to avoid bricking your device!
If you have an iPhone 3G or 3GS, and currently unlock your device, do NOT upgrade to 3.1, 3.1.1 or 3.1.2 as it will remove your baseband unlock! Basebands can NOT be downgraded. Additionally, this jailbreak is tethered for the “3G” (new) iPod touches (size 32GB and 64GB). There is no jailbreak for the 8GB iPod Touch 3G.

The kid looks like Frodo, doesnt he?

The kid looks like Frodo, doesn't he?

Tutorial, in plain and simple English.

1. Make sure you are on an OFFICIAL Apple stock 3.1, 3.1.1 or 3.1.2 firmware. (Get it here)

2. Get BlackRa1n by going to BlackRa1n.com and clicking the windows logo at the bottom.  (Or click here) 2. Plug your iPod Touch or iPhone into your computer.

3. Start iTunes, and make sure your device is detected. If you don’t have the latest version of iTunes, get it here. (I got it working on version 9.0.1)

4. Run BlackRa1n (blackra1n.exe), and click “Make It Ra1n.”

5. You will see an “Entering Recovery” message, and your iPod/iPhone will display the BlackRa1n logo. Wait a few minutes; your device will reboot automatically.

6. On your device, run the “blackra1n” app and choose either Cydia ,Icy, or Rock(I personally just use Cydia; its more stable, and you can install the other two through it. And no, I’ve never tried “Rock”).

7. Kick back, relax, and watch the fireworks.

Read more on BlackRa1n here

MMS working on iPhone 3.1 Firmware!

I remember how everyone was all excited when the original MMS/Tethering hack for iPhone 3.0 came out (although 2G iPhone users must use this tutorial ). I thought it was a great way to kinda get back at AT&T for all the issues they’ve been giving us about making these things active.

However, with the new 3.1 firmware, many of the people who had MMS/Tethering working have lost the functionality of both. I know a few cases in which people still have access to both, but they are few and far between. Luckily, there has been a way to get at least MMS back and running, without jailbreaking, on an iPhone (still no 2nd gen support… sorry).

The tutorial is fairly straightforward, although you must be an AT&T customer. This means any users running an unlocked phone on T-Mobile will have to wait. Sorry. In addition, no 2G iPhones just yet. To be honest, I’m not sure if this works with the iPhone 3GS or not, but if anyone has any feedback please post a comment and I’ll update this post.

Step 1: Getting things ready

To unlock MMS on a non-jailbroken phone, you’ll need to update the phone’s carrier file. This involves changing a hidden iTunes setting to allow carrier files to be written to your phone. The carrier file, ATT_US.ipcc, can be modified to allow MMS. To get a copy of the modified carrier file, click here and download it.

Next, you need to make sure iTunes is running version 8.2 or later (9.0). I have to say, 9.0 is worth the upgrade. It works well, and some of the new features, like Genius Mixes, are pretty cool. You can download the latest version of iTunes here.

Step 2: Setting Permissions

By default, iTunes can NOT modify carrier files on your iPhone, for obvious reasons. This can be fixed by a simple console command. I’ll show you how to do that in just a second.

First, however, you need to make sure that iTunes is closed. We will be modifying a hidden iTunes  setting, and if iTunes is open, things could get a little hairy.

Windows Users: You’ll need to open a command prompt with administrative privileges, also called an ‘elevated’ command prompt. If you’re on Windows XP, just go to start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click on Command Prompt. If you’re on Windows Vistas or Windows 7, click start, type in “Command Prompt,” right click the command prompt menu item, and select “Run as administrator.”

Next, you’ll need to run the following command;

C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1

If you’re running 64x, you’ll need to replace “Program Files” with “Program Files (x86)”. Similarly, if you have iTunes installed in a folder that is different from your default folder, you should change “C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe” to the location of your iTunes.exe.

Mac users: Mac users have it a little easier. Run Terminal, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. You can also find it easily by typing “Terminal” into the Spotlight search box (the little magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner on all recent Apple computers).

Next, run the following command;

defaults write com.apple.iTunes carrier-testing -bool TRUE

Thats it. Not so bad, right?

Updating the Carrier File

You’ll need to run iTunes and plug in your iPhone next. After iTunes recognizes your iPhone, wait until it has finished syncing (or cancel the sync), then select it from the device listing menu on the left side of the window.

On windows, you’ll need to hold down “shift” and click “Check for updates” (on a mac, hold down “alt” instead). You’ll be prompted to select a file. Browse to the ATT_US.ipcc file that you downloaded earlier, select it, and wait for your iPhone to update. After it updates, it is imperative that you reboot your iPhone. When it turns back on, MMS should be enabled!

If you get it working, let me know! Post a comment, or send an MMS txt to salem[at]technoheads.org. I’d appreciate it.

Recovering music from your iPhone!

Everyone knows that iPhones and iPod Touches are NOTHING like their predecessors when it comes to restoring your music library after some catistrophic computer mishap or hard drive failure. It happens a lot, and I’m probably one of the biggest culprits. A while back, I found all my songs on my iPod Nano, imported them into iTunes without copying them onto my computer, and then told iTunes to wipe my iPod. Within seconds, all my music (yeah, at the time it was only 8 gigs, but still) was gone. Needless to say, I wasn’t very pleased. I figured that the easiest way to help people out with it is to write up a little tutorial. Below, you’ll find tutorials for PC as well as Mac users, and all the download links you need.

“I’m a PC.”

Well, isn’t that nice for you then. The PC tutorial is markedly easier, and involves just one piece of software that many people already have: WinAmp. WinAmp is an iTunes replacement, and can be tweaked to do anything from DJ’ing to internet radio broadcasting. However, we are going to install a plugin that allows it to interface with an iPod Touch or iPhone, and back up its music. Alright; lets get started.

Download everything!
You’ll need to download Winamp, and the ml_iPod plugin for Winamp. Make sure you get version 3.08 or later of ml_iPod or it won’t support iPhone/iPod Touch devices. You do not need to download the “Pro” version of Winamp, and you can choose whether or not you want to download it with the free bundled .mp3. Install Winamp first by running the file you downloaded, follow all the steps, and enable any features you’d like. Then, run the ml_iPod plugin installer, follow all the steps, restart Winamp if its running, and get ready to rock and roll.

Getting started.
If you haven’t already, plug your iPod Touch/iPhone into your computer, run iTunes, but DO NOT SYNC IT or you will lose all of your music. Connecting it is crucial in initializing the device communication drivers. Next, you’ll want to close iTunes completely and open up WinAmp. If all goes well, you should notice your iPod Touch/iPhone on the left hand side menu. If not, try unplugging your device, waiting a minute or so, and plugging it back in. Still no luck? Restart your computer and re-launch Winamp, then try again. If you’re still getting nothing, you may have installed something wrong, old, or corrupted, and I recommend you uninstal everything and start from step one again, or contact me.

Prepping your device.
The best way to guarantee a clean backup is to make sure your device has a clean, correct database. This means that the file used to organize, list, and pull up songs is clean. Luckily, the ml_iPod plugin has a feature to clean up your database for you. Right click your iPod Touch/iPhone, select “iPod Tools” and choose Cleanup part 1. If you want to ensure your device is fully cleaned up, I’d run parts 2 and 3 afterwards. This may take some time, but it is well worth it. Cleanup part 1 removes any “orphaned” or unused database entries. Part 2 checks every file for consistency, and part 3 checks for any songs that it could not find.

Backup Time!
Here’s where things get hairy, at least for me. Go to start, click “My Computer,” and select your primary hard drive (usually “C:”). An issue I noticed with ml_iPod is that when it backs songs up to your computer, it copies them to the root folder of your primary hard drive, and for this reason, I IMPLORE that you make note of any and all files and folders in the root of your hard drive (anything in the folder “C:/). After you’ve done this, its time for some backing up. Go back into Winamp, clicking your device, and selecting any songs you want on your computer. Right click your selection, and select “Copy songs to hard drive.” You may have to wait a little bit as it copies, but once it finishes, you should have all of your songs back on your hard drive! Just move them to a place where you’ll be able to find them later, unplug your iPod, and go on your own merry way.

“I’m a mac.”

I’m still working on a tutorial for Mac users; the only method I’ve been able to come up with so far involves using a free trial, and I’m not a fan of 30 day trials. I should have a Mac tutorial up within a few days. Hang tight, and contact me with any immediate questions.