Rear Facing Camera not working on iPhone 5S?

Having a problem with a rear facing camera on your iPhone?

Specifically an iPhone 5S?

Should you try and replace the rear camera module?

These were all questions I was googling/asking when my wife came to me with a black screen inside of the camera app. I followed some black magic on youtube about toggling low power mode and hard resetting with some success but it was not consistent. Finally I found an apple forum post from a guy who went through the whole process below in iFixit after buying a new camera module:

He got in to replace the camera just to find that the camera module cable had disconnected. After a shy grin his girlfriend admitted her phone had dropped about the time the camera stopped working.

After reading this a lightbulb went off. Knowing that the kids use my wife’s iPhone to play games and watch video I knew this had to be a similar issue. I took out my trusty iFixIt tool kit and got to work. Low and behold the rear facing camera cable was loose.


I went through the iFixIt guide and then popped off the rear camera connection to make sure no lint or dirt was under the contacts and reconnected it. I put the phone back together and poof! The camera started working again like magic.

My wife was happy and so was I. Happy wife, happy life! ๐Ÿ™‚

Setting up a BJU Harddrive with a Mac using Parallels

appleWe have been homeschooling our oldest for two years now. My wife and I decided on using BJU as the homeschool curriculum which has been great. They have three options for accessing the teaching content: DVD, Harddrive and online. Each progressively getting less expensive. The first year we used the DVDs which were easy to use but they were prone to skipping and we had one that would not even play. When you have multiple lessons on one DVD it can set you back a few days until you can get a new one in. So this past year we decided to save a few dollars and go with the Harddrive option. Only one problem they do not work on a Mac (OSX). Windows only and we only have mac laptops in the house! Well nothing like that ever stopped me. So we made sure to get the unit early in case we had to return it and go to back to the DVDs. I was able to get things working so we could use the BJU Harddrive on a Mac and I wanted to document the process I went through here for others to follow.

  • First you will need a way of running windows on your mac. I used Parallels Desktop but I would imagine you could use VMware Fusion, Virtual Box (free!) or the software built into the mac called Bootcamp. However bootcamp requires you to repartition the harddrive and take dedicated space away from OSX.
  • Next you will need to install a copy of windows. I used Windows 7 64bit but any supported BJU OS will suffice (XP, Vista or 7). Installing is as easy as putting the Windows 7 disc into your computer and selecting the option to install from a disc under Parallels. It does the rest. Easy! (can take a little while to finish depending on your hardware specs)
  • Then you will need to plug in the BJU Harddrive and select that USB ATA Bridge under the Devices->USB menu under Parallels (or equivalent program). You need to tell windows to take over the USB device from the Mac.
  • Now we can install the software as explained in the install instructions (See the getting started guide on the Harddrive page) The drive should show up as E: if you don’t have additional drives plugged into your Mac.
  • That’s it!

You should now have a working BJU grade installed on the desktop all under a virtual windows on your mac. BJU harddrive uses a custom vlc player and portable firefox to access DRM’s files on the harddrive. So if you are used to using vlc player then it will be pretty straight forward.


  • If you plug in and install the software on a 32bit operating system. Such as 32bit XP you will not be able to run it on a 64bit OS and vise versa. However the BJU technical team was more than happy to help me. After I called them I was instructed to email them a file which they converted and sent back. They walked me through the whole process. Just make sure you plan on installing it on the machine it will be used on first. You can however move from 32bit to 32bit machine and 64bit to 64bit machine without incident.
  • The volume on a MacBook Pro can be low and hard to hear some of the lessons. I used the Boom app to increase the Mac’s volume which has worked out really well. It can get very loud now.

If anyone has any questions on any of the steps please feel free to comment or email me. Thanks.

Syncing Keyboard Shortcuts from one iOS to another using ssh (needs jailbreak)

!!DISCLAIMER!! This process could potentially brick your phone if done improperly. Follow these steps at your own risk.

I have created many keyboard shortcuts on my iPhone 4S after learning about the new feature for iOS 5. They make filling out forms and logging into sites so much easier when you can type eml instead of your full email address. You can check out how to setup keyboard shortcuts in iOS at lifehacker or by seaching google for iOS keyboard shortcuts. Many good resources are out there. However the problem that I found myself with was also using my iPad for signing in and other tasks that required filling in forms. I googled around and could not find any methods of copying shortcuts from my iPhone to my iPad other than to restore the iPad from the iPhones backup. Less than an ideal solution. So I have come up with a way that depends on both devices being jailbroken. Since iOS 5.0.1 has recently been jailbroken I downloaded and applied Absinthe on my 4S and redsn0w on my original iPad. I installed openssh on both devices and copied my Keyboard info from one device to the other (remember to change the root and mobile user passwords if you install openssh!)

Here are the full steps I took for getting all my shortcuts assuming both devices are jailbroken:

  • Make an iTunes backup of each device in case something goes wrong!
  • Install openssh on both iOS devices using Cydia (check out the “OpenSSH Access How-To” on the ront page of the Cydia app)
  • ssh in to each device and change the password of root and mobile
  • ssh copy to the device that has all your keyboard shortcuts and copy the contents of /User/Library/Keyboard to your PC or Mac (ie ssh mobile@ ~/Desktop/keyboardshortcuts/)
  • ssh the contents of the /User/Library/Keyboard directory from your Mac or PC to the device you want the keyboard shortcuts copied to (ie ssh ~/Desktop/keyboardshortcuts/* mobile@ the dynamic-text.dat is optional
  • Reboot the device you just copied the Keyboard contents to.
  • Enjoy your awesome keyboard shortcuts!

If you know ssh well you could technically copy from one device to another directly, but I liked the idea of having a backup of all my shortcuts on my Mac.

This is the way I came up with. I would love for Apple to support this feature with iCloud or some other method of keeping them in sync. For now this will do even though it involves jailbreaking. Anyone else have an idea of how to do this differently?

Nerd info:
– I checked the contents of dynamic-text.dat and it doesn’t need to be copied
– The contents of UserDictionary.sqlite is what creates UserDictionaryWordKeyPairs.plist as just copying over UserDictionaryWordKeyPairs.plist does not do the job. I checked with sqlite command line the UserDictionary.sqlite file and it looks to only contain the keyboard shortcut data. Thus I feel this is a safe hack and shouldn’t mess up anything.
– I used mobile user above since the original files were owned by mobile and copied via root could mess up permissions.

Wish I had an iPhone

After looking over the unpacking of, the disassembly of, the workings of, the howto videos of and more I think I have finally gotten iPhone envy. But just like I waited for the Macbook Pro Core 2 models to come out I think I will wait for the iPhones w/ GPS, 3G, 16-30GB, and more. Good things come to those who wait (some would say good things come to those who get in line first). So have fun with your iPhones. I’ll just sit here wishing I had one and play with my Blackberry Pearl.

Another reason not to bother with freepay (aka

freepay bites

Just got an email stating the following:

Important Change to Terms & Conditions

This email concerns an important change to the Terms & Conditions for [SiteAddress].

* With a start date of March 1, 2006 รขโ‚ฌโ€œ users of FreePay websites have 90 days to complete all offer requirements.
* Upon completion of all offer requirements, existing users will need to print a “Redemption Form” that must be filled out in its entirety and mailed with a postmarked date no later than 30 days of completing their offer requirements.

You will find an indication of how many days you have left to complete the requirements on the Status page. When you have completed the requirements you will be able to download the redemption form from the Status page.

To coincide with this change, look out for an update soon that will make it even easier to refer friends!

Best wishes

– The FreePay Team

Basically making it harder and more troublesome to get an iPod (or other freepay offered item). Here is what it says on my freepay member status page:

You have until 5/30/2006 to complete the full requirements, including all credits for your referrals.

90 days to get 5 referrals. Yeah right! Oh well maybe there loosing money giving away iPods lol!

Free iPod Bummer

Free iPod BummerWell I thought I was going to get a free ipod from, but alas you cannot sign-up multiple users under the same address. Each account has to be from different addresses and have to sign up themselves ๐Ÿ™ So I’m now back down to 2 referrals. I’m not sure if I will just quit or not. It makes me mad that FreePay (Gratis) is getting referral kickback money for the ones that they put on hold. I guess that is what I get for not reading “the fine print”. Maybe if I would get another referral in the next few weeks I would try again, but I signed up over 2 years ago so I think it might just be time to call it quits.