Caius Theory

Now with even more cowbell…

Solve volume down button not working on iPhone 5

I noticed this morning that my volume down button (-) wasn't working on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7. Pushing the physical button in didn't change the volume. The volume up button increased the volume successfully still.

As is my normal first step debugging iPhone weirdness, I rebooted the phone by turning it off, leaving it off for a few seconds, then booting it back up with the power button. Once powered off and on in this way, the volume down key still didn't decrease the volume.

Fearing a physical button issue at this point, I turned to google for suggestions on what else to try. Running across this thread on Apple's discussion forums, I tried out the solution in there.

  1. Open "Settings"
  2. Scroll down and tap on "General"
  3. Tap on "Accessibility"
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on "AssistiveTouch"
  5. Tap the toggle for AssistiveTouch to turn it on, and you should see a little icon appear on screen (white circle contained in a dark grey rounded square)
  6. Tap the AssistiveTouch icon (was in the top left corner on screen for me)
  7. Tap on "Device"
  8. Tap "Volume Down" a bunch of times and you should see the volume being turned down
  9. Tap outside the AssistiveTouch dialog to close it
  10. Try pushing the physical Volume Down button

In my case, following these steps made my physical volume down button start working again. Makes me wonder if the solution author on the apple discussion thread is right, in that this is a software issue and forcing a volume down action through the on-screen interface makes it remember that there's a physical button to respond to as well.

Either way, I can stop deafening myself whenever I receive a notification now!

Pair new device with Nexxus Drive Transmit Pro

The device is a bluetooth to FM transmitter with Model number NEX-FMTX-BTCK. (Hereafter DTP.)

The set of instructions I use to pair it to a new device, having lost the user manual/instruction booklet, is as follows:

  1. Remove all previously paired devices from range (turn them off/move them away from the DTP.)
  2. Turn the power on to the DTP without touching any buttons.
  3. Let it flash the blue call button a couple of times as it searches for known devices.
  4. Hold the call button down until the call/hangup buttons flash blue/red respectively.
  5. Find the "Drive Transmit Pro" on your device you want paired to it and pair with DTP.
  6. Test out the pairing by calling your girlfriend and talking to her in a funny accent.
  7. Celebrate with a beer!

iPad? iPerfect (…for me)

Google Groups is a pile of fail and hasn't posted my message in reply to a thread on Geekup so I'm blogging it instead.

On 27 Jan 2010, at 19:53, Steve Richardson wrote:

I've been searching for a device to fit between my Macbook Pro and iPhone. I work all day on the MBP, and moving it to then watch video in another room or read twitter/news/mail whilst watching telly, etc is a pain.

The iPhone is a great little device on the move, but for trying to multitask at home it's a bit.. tedious. Even jailbroken and running multiple apps at once it's still limiting.

I'd been looking around at netbooks, but what put me off actually getting one was my previous experience with one. I know I'd want it to run OS X to keep in sync (easily) with my other Apple devices, but hackintoshing one was a bit too much hassle, plus the fact ones to hackintosh cost more than I really wanted to pay for something that wasn't quite what I thought I needed.

And then.. the iPad. I've been sort of keeping up with the rumours (mainly through Daring Fireball) and whilst I didn't get excited about it too much ahead of announcement1, having seen the official video of it it's pretty much guaranteed that I'm going to get one.

Yes, it's limited (App Store, closed device), but.. I don't care. Take the iPhone, it's good enough for doing things on it, even if someone else is in charge of the ecosystem and has a big finger saying yes or no. I (willingly) use iTunes, Mobile Me, all the things that are so wonderfully integrated in the world of Apple, so another device that consumes my media using channels I already know and use is just a massive win for me.

All I'm hoping now is that $499 doesn't equal £499. Hopefully it'll be £399, still a good £80 above direct exchange rate, but low enough that it's a no-brainer for me to get one.

…And I think this is the first Apple product that I've seen announced and actually known from the start why I'm going to get one, instead of just a knee-jerk "SHINY!!!! WANT!!!" reaction. Uh oh, does that make me an adult?

1 I miss getting really excited about apple announcements :(


It just got even better. Was lamenting to a friend on IM that it'd be so much nicer once you can directly suck photos off a camera/SD card into it. Turns out there's an adapter for that. See "iPad Camera Connection Kit" at the bottom of for details.

Capitalise "ringer" on the iPhone Volume Bezel

Backstory: Got myself a first generation iPhone second hand and unlocked it to work on my existing T-Mobile (Official iPhone network in the UK is O2.) Noticed after a week or so of owning it that when you change the volume on the phone, the bezel that comes up says "ringer" across the top. But when you have headphones plugged in, it says "Headphones". (Note the capitalisation difference.)

Now I'm not usually bothered by stuff like this (honest!) but as soon as I'd noticed the "bug", I couldn't help but think of it everytime I changed the volume, whether I was looking at the screen or not. Seeing as I'm running a jailbroken phone, and therefore have SSH access to it, I figured the string would be defined in a .strings file somewhere in the /System folder. And I'd be able to change it!

Fast-forward a few months and I install the iPhone OS 3.0 update (jailbroken of course), and finally decide to turn the phone's SSH server on and go looking for the setting. To do so I figured I'd just need grep installed on the phone - I could copy the file itself to my mac and edit it there.

So I connect to the phone, have a poke around the filesystem and then start a search to find the correct file:

# On the iPhone
$ cd /System/Library/
$ grep -r "ringer" *
Binary file CoreServices/ matches
Binary file CoreServices/ matches
Binary file CoreServices/ matches
Binary file Frameworks/CFNetwork.framework/CFNetwork matches
Binary file Frameworks/CFNetwork.framework/da.lproj/Localizable.strings matches
Binary file Frameworks/CFNetwork.framework/no.lproj/Localizable.strings matches
Binary file Frameworks/Foundation.framework/da.lproj/URL.strings matches

At which point I stopped the grep search (^C) because I know the home screen of the iPhone is the, so I figured it would be in the file Making sure to have SSH enabled on your mac, a simple scp CoreServices/ user@your_mac.local: later and the file is sat in my home folder on my mac.

Switching to the mac, now I try and open the file with TextMate, only to realise its in binary format. I need it in the nice XML format to edit it, so a quick google later and I've found a hint on MacOSXHints telling me how to convert from binary to xml plist format.

# On the mac
$ plutil -convert xml1 SpringBoard.strings

Then opening the file in TextMate was a bit more successful! I can actually understand what its defining now. Search through the file for "ringer" and I found the following lines:


Change the "ringer" to "Ringer" between the <string> and my editing work is complete! Yes, it really is that easy to edit an interface string that is defined in a .string. Now I just need to convert the file back to binary, and copy it back to the phone. Converting back to binary file is one line, just change the xml1 in the previous command to binary1.

# On the mac
$ plutil -convert binary1 SpringBoard.strings

And then scp it back to the phone, make a backup of the existing file, and overwrite the existing file with the new one I've edited:

# On the iPhone
$ cd ~
$ scp user@mac_name.local:SpringBoard.strings .
$ cd /System/Library/CoreServices/
$ mv SpringBoard.strings SpringBoard.strings.bak
$ cp ~/SpringBoard.strings SpringBoard.strings

And then restart the phone, either in the usual manner or just run reboot on the phone via SSH. Lo and behold once its rebooted and I changed the volume, it read "Ringer"!

Screenshot of Volume bezel