Export from OS X Contacts

Today I needed to export some of my contacts out of my Contacts app to send to a friend. I’d thought that would be a matter of opening Contacts and selecting Export…, but all you can get is a collection of vCards. I wanted to send a text file with just some names, emails and phones, which turned out to be quite impossible.

After some Googling and diddling about with sqlite3 and the command line, I found a hint to try Automator. Launch it from your Applications folder and select File -> New and select the ‘workflow’ type and you’ll have a window like this:


Select Contacts from under the Library, then select ‘Find Contacts Items’ and drag that to the right into the big gray area that says to drag actions to it.


Set up the query how you want it. I needed to check the Notes field for some text. If you run the action (use the ‘Run’ button at the top of the window) you should see the results. Refine your query until it works for you.


Now drag from that middle column the ‘Find Contacts Items’ action and drop it below the first. The results of each action get sent to the next action, so this one will work on the Contacts that are selected in the first step.

Select the fields you want in your final output. I just wanted name and basic contact info. Again, you can run the workflow and see if it’s getting what you want.


Now select Text from under the Library and then New Text File and drag that on over. Set it up how you like and you’re good to go.

T-Mobile CEO confirms the iPhone and the death of phone subsidies

T-Mobile CEO confirms the iPhone and the death of phone subsidies — Mobile Technology News.

This seals it: I’ll move to T-Mobile when my Verizon contract expires in April 2013. My choice to stay at Verizon and move to an iPhone 5 was to:

  1. Accept their subsidy and be forced to 1) move to a Share Everything plan which would have cost $30/month more with nothing added and 2) give up my unlimited data.
  2. Purchase my iPhone unsubsidized and keep my lower cost Family Plan and unlimited data.

I really am not that attached to my unlimited data, but paying more for the Share Everything plan really galled me. On the other hand, purchasing the phone myself and then continuing to pay Verizon rates that are based on subsidizing a new phone every two years was annoying as well.

I suspect that T-Mobile may have some marketing work to do to sell the concept of unsubsidized phones to many people, but for some of us, it’s going to be a slam dunk. Let me decided if and when I’ll spring for a new phone — what doesn’t make sense about that? Want to upgrade every year? No problemo! Keep your phone for three years? You pocket the savings!

Also, with their lower rates, I may actually pass down my old phones to the kids. Verizon wanted an extra $30 each smartphone above the rates quoted above. T-Mobile has smartphone rates starting at $30 — for me I can get unlimited ($50) with 2 $30 plans for $110 — 30 bucks less than what I’m paying Verizon for my single smartphone and two ‘feature’ phones currently.

In the spirit of the holidays, Hallelujah!

The iPad 1 – Marco.org

iOS 6 dropped support for the first-generation iPad “iPad 1”, which was sold from spring 2010 through spring 2011. In other words, everyone who bought an iPad at least 19 months ago has an iPad 1, and their unsubsidized, non-contract, $500+ tablet is going to grow much less useful over the next year as apps start to require iOS 6. This has naturally angered a lot of iPad 1 owners.

via The iPad 1 – Marco.org.

This is a great write-up on Apple’s move to drop support for the original iPad. However, I’d say we have a lot more useful life in our old 1s than a year. Everything you can do on your iPad today you’ll be able to do next year and after. You can’t get the shiny new apps and certainly many updates will leave you out, but the apps that you use today will still be going strong next year and after. For the things you do with your iPad now, it will still work next year.

That said, I’ll certainly be looking into a new model soon… mini maybe? Mini and a 4…? As Marco points out, Apple incents us to upgrade to get the great new features, and I’m certainly ready for some of those. Our iPad 1 will still see plenty of use here though, with a couple of kids to fight over it for Netflix and FB and the loads of games that I always find in the multitasking list.

I guarantee you that my kids don’t give a rat’s derrière about what version of iOS it’s running. In fact, this whole discussion would merely warrant an extended eye roll and ‘daaaaad, omg, what EVER.’

Posted in iOS

Verizon Subsidized Unsubsidized iPhone 5

Verizon Family Plan Vs. Share Everything

I currently have the Verizon Family Plan with 1 iPhone 4 and 2 basic phones for the kids. They love them and don’t need smart phones (yet). Our usage is like this  (averaged over 6 months):

  • 130 minutes talk
  • 1800 texts (did I mention they’re two teenage girls?)
  • 50 MB data

We share 700 minutes talk and have unlimited texting. I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan, which I obviously don’t use much. Most of my data usage is over wifi at home. However, I wonder how much that might increase with LTE speeds.

In order to get a subsidized iPhone 5 I would have to make two changes to my plan:

  • Switch to a Share Everything plan
  • Drop the unlimited data

Quite honestly I would drop the data. Whatever Verizon. But here’s the sticky bit. Moving from the Family Plan to Share Everything with the lowest amount of ‘shared’ features will cost me $30 per month more. And this won’t buy us anything new. The kids won’t use any shared data. We’ll have  unlimited minutes, of which we’ll still use about 130. If we do move the kids to smartphones, that’s another $40 per month each.

So… If I buy an iPhone at retail, I can keep our plan as-is. The upfront cost is $650 (using the 16 GB for comparison) and over the course of two years, I would come out about $400 ahead (whichever model I choose). And, I wouldn’t be under contract. Disincentivized much?

I don’t know about the long term, but right now buying the unsubsidized iPhone 5 and taking the $400 savings from Verizon seems like the way to go.  I suspect at some point something will tip me to needing to change my plan and they’ll nab me. I just hope by then one or more of the pre-paid carriers are ready to step in and get some business.

Disclosure Indicator or Detail Disclosure

I’ll post this just to show how wet I am behind the ears… When setting up a bunch of TableViews for lists and detail views, I came to need both the Disclosure Indicator and the Detail Disclosure. I understand when one is used vs. the other, but wasn’t familiar with working with them in code.

The long and short of it is, the Disclosure Indicator is pure eye candy. There is no callback, no way to create an IBAction for it (even if you press the control key really hard…) nothing. You just handle the row taps like any other:

tableView: didSelectRowAtIndexPath:

Detail Disclosure gets a shiny action all it’s own, built in to every NSTableViewController as part of the delegate:

tableView: accessoryButtonTappedForRowWithIndexPath:

I guess the 3d look of the Detail Disclosure vs. the flat Disclosure Indicator is a clue, but sadly it was lost on me for too long as I was working through so much else.

Fresh Start

After having my old site hacked and blacklisted, I decided the most expedient cure was the old slash and burn. I may try to recover the old posts from a db backup, but since the, ahem, newest, was over a year old, I don’t see a lot of value in spending the time.

If you’ve still got me in your RSS from my RoR days, you may want to change channels. I may post occasionally on RoR, but mostly for now anyway, the topics will revolve around iOS. After several fruitless years in the Apple Developer program, I finally got off my duff and started an app for real. It’s been great, and I’m looking to post some notes on things I’ve sorted out along the way.

There’s already a ton of great documentation (thanks SO!) but sometimes it seems I have to assimilate a multitude of notes to patch together a solution. I’m looking at you, DatePicker, NSDate/NSTimeZone/NSCalendarComponents and Core Data and NSPredicate…