Using a Square Reader with an extension cable

I’ve been using Square with my business for a few months now and recently decided to put together a point-of-sale with an iPad, only one problem, I didn’t want the Square reader sticking up off the top. I wasn’t asking for much, just the ability to extended the reader a few inches and mount it on the side, but using a regular 3.5mm extension cable wouldn’t work because of how the reader functions.

Doing what any good nerd would do, I took to Google and found nothing but many other people wondering similar things.

One such person suggested I try this item: Audio Extension Cable for iPhone and claimed that it worked perfectly with their Square Reader. Despite having only a one-star rating, I put my faith in this random internet stranger and ordered one. It arrived quickly enough, only to be promptly added to my box of random cables I will probably never use. As you might’ve guessed it didn’t work.
At this point I’m getting rather annoyed, but being the rather passive aggressive person I am, I settle for tweeting asking if anyone else had found a solution. Square replied to one of my followers, but not directly to me, with the following statement…

The reader must be plugged into the headphone jack in order to work. Let us know if you have additional questions.

Hmm… Challenge accepted! (Side note: Much like a spoiled child if someone tells me no, I want it all the more)

Undaunted by my previous brush with one-star rated items, I ordered up this little piece of crap pair of headphones: Macally TunePal Stereo Hands-Free Headset and Audio Splitter for iPhone and iPod My logic being that if it supported the audio pass-through for volume controls and a mic that it should work with Square’s card reader. And moments ago, the Macally TunePal arrived, I hurriedly unpacked it and then promptly discarded the headphones only saving the audio splitter, plugged it into my iPhone 4S and then attached the Square Reader…

Despite being incredibly short and adding a second unneeded headphone jack, I got what I wanted. Bonus, it turned out to be just long enough to work for my point-of-sale setup.

So dear internet, if you happen to be searching fruitlessly for a method to extend your Square credit card reader, I hope you stumble upon this post before spending too much of your hard earned latte money on various cables that may or may not work. But by all means, if you find another cable that works please share it in the comments!

A Brief Letter

Dear world,

This is not a comeback. This is not a triumphant return to the internet with a string of brilliant posts. Nor is this the announcement of the phoenix like resurrection of Hijinks Inc.

No, this is merely the faint sound of our staff crying out from under the cascading waterfall of the real world. We’re still alive, we just don’t have the time or the mental capacity to balance our lives and posting regularly.

But maybe someday soon we’ll have a few spare moments during a layover at an airport, or an exceptionally boring meeting, to jot down a few thoughts.

Stay tuned.

Xbox 360: Nov. 1st Firmware Update

For those of you who are unaware, Xbox just had it’s mandatory firmware update as of the first of the month. It’s noticeably very different after starting the update. Once the first download finishes it restarts the machine and finishes downloading the update. While it does this you’re left to think about what you just saw and are left to see. Continue reading Xbox 360: Nov. 1st Firmware Update

Minecraft (subtitle: I was one of those 143,932 people)

I’d heard about Minecraft through a few different avenues, but it took Penny Arcade making a comic about it to convince me I needed to try it. The first time I tried to play the website was down, replaced with a plain text explanation that amounted to “I’m making so much money right now, be patient.” I tried a couple days later and got through. I spent about five minutes in the free version before I spent the fifteen bucks to get access to the paid version.

If you’ve never heard about or played Minecraft, here’s the summery: It’s Legos with zombies. You live in a bright and colorful world during the day, but at night zombies, mummies, spiders, and all manner of evil creatures come out, and you’re the only one on the menu. Come daybreak, all the bad guys exposed to sunlight promptly burst into flames and die.

Allow me to explain. I spent the first half hour trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do. After I looked at the wiki, I was off to the races. I started a new world and immediately headed to the highest mountain I could see. I climbed all the way to the top, and started digging down through the mountain. I hollowed out a good sized room near the peak and set up a makeshift workshop. After fashioning a pickaxe out of the wood and stone I had procured, I started digging down again.

After a few minutes of delving a winding stair into the depths of the earth, I broke through the ceiling of a huge underground cavern. After mounting some torches on the walls for some light, I was met by the denizens of the cavern: namely a giant spider and his three zombie buddies. After frantically trying to climb back up to my stairway, I was quickly caught and killed, and found myself back on the beach in another part of the world. And all happened in about twenty minutes of playtime.

If you like sandbox games, or Legos, or creativity, or fun, I’d highly recommend at least trying the game. Looking around some of the public servers is fun too. People have created some amazing stuff.

Colbert interviews Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Been really busy this week and I need to veg, so I’m going to opt out of thinking this weekend.  However, I feel like if I don’t post something this week, I won’t be upholding my duty in this relationship that we’ve established, and then I’ll have guilt, and I don’t need that.  So in review… I’m doing this out of selfish reasons.

Anyway, here’s a great interview of Google CEO Eric Schmidt by the brilliant Stephen Colbert.

Have a great weekend!

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