Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Smaller, Cheaper iPods in colour!
Think Secret has revealed that Apple is to bring out a few 'low-end' iPods for as little as £75. The digital music players will hold either 400 or 800 songs and be available in a variety of 'flavours' - even stripes! (could this be a Paul Smith design. When ever the fashion guru is asked to jazz up a product he always gives it his trademark deckchair look). The mini iPods will be available straight after Jobs' MacWorld Expo keynote on Jan the 6th. It is also rumoured that the current iPods will be made available in colours too and that iLife will get a total upgrade. What a nice start to the year! Alas, no news on the European iTunes Music Store. Yet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Apple has recently started an iPod battery replacement plan in the States. Could it have anything to do with theiPod's Dirty Secret guerilla campaign by the Neistat Brothers? Probably.

If you're searching for somewhere that is still selling iPods this Christmas Eve, then you've left it a month too late. They're nowhere to be found. (BBC News Article.)

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Panther Update!

"The 10.3.2 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and is recommended for all users.

Key enhancements include:

improved file sharing and directory services for mixed Mac and PC networks
more robust printing to PostScript printers
improved font management
updated Mail and Address Book applications
new ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
FileVault, FireWire 800, WebDAV and USB Printing improvements from Update 10.3.1
previous standalone security updates

For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website:

Important Note:
Apple has identified an issue with external FireWire hard drives using the Oxford 922 bridge chip-set with firmware version 1.02 that can result in the loss of data stored on the disk drive. Even with the improvements available in this update, Apple recommends you update the firmware on your FireWire drive. Please contact your drive manufacturer for more information."

iTunes Update!
"iTunes 4.2 allows you to sign in and buy music from the iTunes Music Store using either your AOL or Apple Account, view the iTunes Music Store in a separate window, and includes a number of performance improvements.

Music sharing requires Mac OS X version 10.2.4 or later, and AAC encoding requires QuickTime 6.2 or later."

Will they ever release the iTMS in the UK?

There's even a Battery Update!
"About the Battery Update

The Battery Update enhances the performance of the battery to ensure that full capacity is available for your PowerBook or iBook.

System Requirements

Installation of the Battery Update requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

The Battery Update supports the following products:

iBook (Dual USB)
iBook (Late 2001)
iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM)
iBook (32 VRAM)
iBook G4 (12-inch)
PowerBook G4 (12-inch)
PowerBook G4 (12-inch DVI)
PowerBook G4 (15-inch FW 800)
PowerBook G4 (17-inch)
PowerBook G4 (17-inch 1.33GHz)
Note: Once the Battery Update software has been installed, each battery you install in your PowerBook or iBook will be updated automatically."


Pictures: ©Apple

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Funny Game Geek Iain Lee is this week's Talk Time pundit in the Guardian Online. He began his computer life on a mighty Dragon 32 and BBC B and rambles on about the pros and cons of online gaming. His best gadget? An iPod of course! "I started a strict mission to get all my CDs on it, but I only managed half before getting too bored. Despite this, playing songs in alphabetical order provides the most bizarre mix of tunes and is guaranteed to lift your spirits." Well I guess you'll have more time on your hands to get back to rip your cds in the new year now R:ISE is being axed.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A report has annouced that the next generation iMac will be built from magnesium-alloy and more plastic in an attempt to keep its cost down. The new iMac will sport a 20" display and be on sale early in 2004. Will it have a tablet display making use of Inkwell? Who knows.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Here's a petition to sign to get an iTunes for Europe.. Do it now! Pirate downloads aren't up to scratch. You know it makes sense.
Security Update 2003-12-05 for Panther (and Jaguar) stops monsters accessing your cookies.


Pictures: ©Apple

Friday, December 05, 2003

The iCreate Magazine Try out offer that can't be missed. Mmmmm, Lovely big Apple pictures. Mmmm, nice shiny cover. Get you 3 Free trial issues and the next 3 for only nine squid. A bargain! All you have to do is fill in this iCreate Secure Subscription form. I'm not receiving any money for this cheap plug, I just like the magazine (honest).

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Boyzone star hosts Virgin iPod bash Last week Ronan Keating launched the iPod Advent campaign at Oxford Street's Virgin Megastore, where an iPod will play continuous music until Chrimbo Eve. The squeaky clean one said, "My iPod has become my travelling companion - it goes with me absolutely everywhere. The title of my new album, Turn It On is the perfect song to start iPod Advent." Err. Well, I could reel off thousands more suitable, Ronan. Let's just hope they forgot to upload your back catalogue to the iPod before they plugged it in. Hang on. The whole thing is being supported by NME! Couldn't they get any indie bands to appear instead?! I guess they have to market the grannies somehow.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Security Update 2003-11-19
"Includes the following updated components: gm4, groff, Mail w/CRAM-MD5 authentication, OpenSSL, Personal File Sharing, QuickTime for Java, zlib “gzprintf()” function.". 40Megs mind.


Pictures: ©Apple
Java 1.4.1 Update!
This "adds the following enhancements:
- Improved Java applet support for Safari and other web browsers that support the Java Internet Plug-In.
- Improved drawing correctness and performance.
- Support for AWT headless mode.
- Changes to Java 1.3.1 that provide support for Oracle 11i client applications on Mac OS X.
- Improved stability, memory usage, and correctness."


Pictures: ©Apple

Sunday, November 23, 2003

MacExpo 2004. Well it was a miserable day, weather wise and the Rugby World Cup had just kicked off as I was ironing a MacBore transfer on to a T-shirt in preparation for my visit to the Expo in Islington. It was getting late in the morning and the damn thing would take to the cotton. I ended up melting the transfer. Oh well, it was already 10am and I was due to meet fellow MacBore, Neill at Angel that morning. It didn't help with me living thirty miles outside of London, so I decided to ditch the fan boy T-shirts and head off. Fifty minutes later I was walking through Angel tube, being bombarded with iPod posters from every angle (it's surely the most wanted gift this Christmas).
So after finding my Mac buddy, we entered the BDC using our free pre-booked passes. Apparently, you could get in free if you had an iPod, as I was wearing mine, I got in free twice (well sort of). The place was packed and it only took five minutes before Neill was handed his first freebie - a Contour Hockey Puck Mouse Converter.
My Expo mission was to find a copy of Mac OS X Panther for as cheap as possible and, perhaps, a bargain basement Wacom tablet. After a quick scout around I discovered that most of the real bargains were to be found at Gasteiner Technology's stand - Panther for £85 and a 60GB IDE Drive (for my mate and work partner, Steve) at only £50 and that's both with no tax! (don't tell the tax man). Publishers Highbury Paragon were giving away iCreate and Digital Creative Arts Magazines for free, in exchange for your details. Disappointingly, there weren't any raffles. These are always a sure way of leaving with something worthwhile. Last year I won a MacAlly AirStick, not down to luck but down to the fact that most entrants hadn't returned at 5pm for the draw. Even more disappointingly, a few stands were selling iTrips (still illegal in the UK) for as little as £30 - a day after I had won one on Ebay for £45! Gutting. I convinced Neill to buy one at such a good price, even though he technically doesn't have an iPod (his 1st gen. died).
After about three hours, the noisy atmosphere and nerds we're getting to Neill and if I'd have stayed any longer I would've spent too much on stuff I didn't need. I'd liked to have seen the music thing that Kiss fm were laying on but we'd already had our coats on and our hands on the exit doors as it was about to start. Otherwise a good day had by all.
Neill got the bargain of the day.
I'm Panthered-up.
And Steve got 60 gigs more drive space in his Blue & White G3 and a mouse he can use (yes he ended up with the Contour freebie). Lucky him!


Friday, November 21, 2003

MacExpo has started! I'll be there on Saturday and I can't wait to get my hands on all those Mac goodies. Hopefully, I'll be able to find someone selling Panther for less than £99. Or perhaps a cheap old, pre-G3 PowerBook with a CD drive?(I've been searching eBay for a while now). Or a discounted Wacom drawing thingy? Macworld and MacUser have lots of pics to whet your appetite. Lovely-jubbley.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Today (out of the blue) Apple brought a 20 inch, 1.25 GHz G4 iMac. The iMac is now encroaching on lounge TV territory. Chuck out your telly and buy one of these beauties along with something like EyeTV and you can throw away your video as well. Yes, it would cost a bit more than a TV and TiVo (or Sky+), but you could watch TV on any other Mac in you house through a wireless network. Now that would impress the neighbours. Especially if they could hook up to your network too.
Imagine the possibilities.


Pictures: ©Apple

Hey, They've even pumped up the G5 Powermac. You can now get a dual processors running at 1.8 and 2GHz. (Don't tell my mate Neill, though. He bought one last week).
Bluetooth has been updated to version 1.4.1 for OS X 10.3 and 1.3.3 for OS X 10.2. It adds increased stability and performance. Which means it works with more phones. Like my brand new Sony Ericsson T610. Groovy.


Pictures: ©Apple

Monday, November 17, 2003

NO SLEEP 'TIL BEDTIME! Last weeks Guardian Online interviewed Tony Hawks. No, not the skater dude but the funny man/novelist/rap icon uses a G4 PowerBook and other Macs on AirPort broadband. Sounds like a nice setup, Tony. He runs a few websites too: for his books and TennisForFree - a fight for the improvement of public tennis courts. I'm in the middle of reading one of his books at this very moment, One Hit Wonderland, where after a drunken bet, he virtually tours the world to find a way of reliving past glories of being top of the hit parade. He was the brains behind the Morris Minor and the Majors' hit 'Stutter Rap'. If you haven't heard it (or can't remember it) you must download it . Altogether..."He was gonna throw a bottle, he was gonna chuck a can. Chukka Can." A Classic!

Morris Minor

There's an especially nerdy issue of Macworld Plus out. Even though (as with all editions of MacWorld this side of the pond) it's written for yanks, there's shed-loads of filthy Mac Porn to keep you happy on a cold, lonely night. From Applescripts to Linux command lines and two discs full of utilities, you'll be busy for hours.

you mmm, interesting

Friday, November 14, 2003

Fuckin' Posers! The Jason Nevins' Classic Club Blaster Remix of N.e.r.d.'s Rock Star is the chosen track on the new iPod telly ad in the US.
...and I've got mine back from Amsterdam today! Hopefully this one will work properly (third time lucky and all that).
NB: The above insult is a lyric from the song. No offence intended.

Flavour of the month

Thursday, November 13, 2003

How can you annoy a die-hard PC user? Let him experience how easy using a Mac really is. Stuart Miles, who's been using Windows since Windows began, agreed to use a Mac with Panther as part of a report in The Times. Not surprisingly, he quite enjoyed it. "What makes it worse is that after only three hours of using Apple’s latest operating system, 10.3, I started to wonder if I should have made the change years ago". The Mac connected to his PC better than his Windows laptop does, and losing track of open windows, the only past annoyance he used to have with Macs, has vanished with the introduction of Exposé.
Nigel Kendall, who was given a PC for a week, pleaded for the return of his Mac at the end of it all. Surprise, surprise.
What was the PC user's only reason for not becoming a Switcher? He thought he was "too far gone" with his current choice. A feeble excuse if you ask me. If only he'd seen the light sooner.
Virgin Megastores now stock iPods.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

iTunes wins TIME Magazine's Invention of the Year.TIME Magazine: Coolest Inventions 2003, Apple Music Store
Panther Update.
"The 10.3.1 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: FileVault, Printing, WebDav, and FireWire 800 drives. This update also includes the latest Security Updates."
Well, that should sort things out. It's only 1.3 MB in size, so best download it before any more damage is done.


Pictures: ©Apple

Monday, November 10, 2003

iPodding has hit East London. noWax night (d'you see what they've done? noWax, moWax?) at DreambagsJaguarshoes, on Kingsland Road lets aspiring jockeys to 'set the floor alight' karaoke style. Well it saves them carrying their decks and vinyl to each gig (imagine carting around 10,000 12 inches). To be come a superstar DJ , just take your iPods along, put your name down, wait for your number to flash up and up you get. Just remember to take a load of mates along who are on your wavelength (something I learned when I deejayed with Dean 'Decks' Taylor at Club X, High Wycombe in my student days). One problem though, how the hell do you cue and mix tracks on an iPod?
Realistically, who'd want to go to a club where the music was a geek's free for all? And no pitch control means no seamless mixes. Now that's the equivalent of a disco at a wedding...out of town..somewhere in the early 80s. Read more at Method Shop.

you scratch pervert!

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Boring Mac Fact:
The Apple PowerBook 100 (introduced in October '91) was codesigned with Sony.

91 cool

There's a poster for the iPod at my train station. It's there as you step onto platform 4 (for trains to Euston). There with it's bright colour and cool iPod using dancing silhouette. Did someone put it there just to piss me off (even more) in the morning? Did they check their books before the media space was booked? "Hold that six-sheet. There's a customer who still hasn't has his broken Pod fixed, even though he sent it away in September. Better not stick it where he'll be reminded of his misfortune every working day". You see I sent my replacement iPod, with the dud , back weeks ago. I need music in the morning. How else do I cope with Silverlink Trains' ineptness? I may write a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority. Yeah. That'll teach a lesson they won't forget. Heartless Barstards.
Oh for crying out loud! There's three more posters on my cycle route from Euston to work aswell!
If you need any more reasons not to buy an iPod, have a butchers at this: MP3 Insider - CNET reviews

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Apple .Mac members can download Backup 2. You can now schedule your backups to iPods and more third-party drives, burners, even folders. You can also mix the media in a single backup set. The result makes backing-up a whole lot easier. A less significant change to Backup is that the umbrella icon is now purple.

OK. Back it up!

Picture: ©Apple

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

First ever Panther Update. Apple released a Security Update for Mac OS X Panther today. Security Update 2003-10-28 addresses a potential vulnerability in the implementation of QuickTime Java in Mac OS X v10.3 and Mac OS X Server v10.3 that could allow unauthorized access to a system. Also those who haven't already bought Panther may have noticed that iChat AV 1.0 isn't free (and the beta expires in January). You can buy it for £20 from the Apple Store.


Pictures: ©Apple

Monday, October 27, 2003

Update Time! Old iPod users get a software update. Version 1.3.1 improves compatability with Mac OS 10.3. iSync has moved up to 1.3 to include compatibility with Sony Ericsson P800, P900, Nokia 3650, 7650 and N-Gage mobiles. It uploads Address Book pictures to the phone. It also allows .Mac subscribers to, not only, view and use bookmarks online, but also edit them too. Ooh! La-di-dah!


Pictures: ©Apple
I'm afraid to say that I couldn't make it to any of the special Panther launch parties, Conjunctivitis, a cold and babysitting duties got the better of me. It seems that everyone who did attend had a crazy time. Read the report: Macworld UK - UK punters pounce on Panther here. (Pounce. Panther. Geddit?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

iBook goes G4. ...and it's not quite the new look we were expecting. The 12" gets 800MHz and a 30GB Drive. The two 14" get 933Mhz and 1GHz, 40 and 60GB Drives respectively. All of them have a USB 2.0, a 32MB ATI Mobility Radeon and a slot-loader. They're almost a Powerbook. Well, except that they're made of bullet-proof plastic. Hang-on. That shouldn't be the difference between an iBook and a PowerBook. My knees tell me that there's a G5 Powerbook on the horizon.

a plastic powerbook?

Picture: ©Apple
Apple updates eMac. Bigger (drives). Better (graphics cards, prices). Faster (processors). They all come with Panther too.


Picture: ©Apple
A new iPod TV ad has appeared on US TV. Using The Jets' 'Are you Gonna be my Girl?', it's much more rock 'n' roll than the last effort. A selection of 'long hairs' pogo, air guitar, head-bang and devil salute whilst listening to their iPods. Thus demonstrating that the white one's 20 minute skip protection. Shake it baby.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

The stories I've heard about Copy-Control compact discs in the past always put me off buying them. These stories range from discs that were completely unplayable to discs that didn't even eject and were only removable if you took the whole Mac apart.
It wasn't until I blagged a promo copy of the Richard X album X-Factor Volume 1 that I had my first taste of this new format (they can't legally be called CDs because they aren't mastered to something called the Red Book standard). When I inserted the disc, not one but two CD volumes appeared on the desktop. One was the normal CD (with cdda files) and the other was titled AUDIO. This contained a simple audio player that (I guess) is meant to launch instead of iTunes. Nevertheless, the track files were read and ready to rip like any other CD. So much for Copy Control.
The first Copy Controlled disc I actually paid money for was The Neptunes Presents...Clones. I first twigged that this wasn't a CD when I tried to play it on a standard CD player. Not a cheap one - a Technics separate. The CD wasn't recognised. If music companies can't even make this bastard son of the CD work in standard players then why do they bother with the format at all? Even the ageing Windows PC I use at work had trouble the first time. A message flashed up saying "To listen to the CD a number of files need to be updated on your PC. Select OK to install, Cancel or quit the installation process." It seems music companies have given themselves the right to barge into the guts of your computer, modifying files, just to make it difficult for you to listen to their music. The Playability chart on the back of the CD box stated it was compatible with CD Audio Home, Windows PCs but not Macs. I didn't have to worry for long because when I shoved it in my Mac that night, it too opened in iTunes like any other Tom (Jones), Dick (Valentine) and (Debbie) Harry CD. (Surely another good reason to switch?)
I tried out a few other CCCDs. Even the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones soundtrack from the local library worked. Now this was something that I, at the time of release, was thinking of buying but didn't because of the playability warning on the cover. A CD that I couldn't rip and transfer to my Rio mpeg player wasn't any use to me (that was before apps like Ambrosia's WireTap were available). These days, AOTC is sooo two years ago, so I've no desire to make the purchase. Now, in these days of falling music sales, do they really want to be losing another valuable customer?
I've learnt that if you use Mac OS X there's nowt to worry about. BGM et al obviously don't see us Mac Heads as much of a threat (it's the same with virus writers), we do only make up 7% of the market after all. So, the next time you're browsing through the new releases don't be put off by the bullshit label on the back. If they say it won't play on a Mac, they're probably lying.


Friday, October 17, 2003

Here are the two new iPod add-on products from Belkin. The Voice Recorder uses the iPod's headphone and remote connections and enables you to dictate Alan Partridge style as you drive along in your Rover ("arrange meeting with Bill Oddie"). You can play them back through it's built-in speaker. The recordings are only mono but can be easily saved to the desktop. The Media Reader is a rather cumbersome contraption that plugs into the firewire connector of the iPod. Basically it just a 6 in 1 Media reader that enables you to store photos on your iPod (instead of on your Mac) to free up media card space. The two gizmos work with all new 3rd generation iPods with iPod software 2.1.

belkin recorderreader

Fautly iPod Update: After phoning Micro Anvika today I gave in to the fact that my faulty replacement iPod would have to be returned to Amsterdam. Why I ortta...!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Indeed. Hell has frozen over. Today, as planned, Apple has launched iTunes for Windows. I don't want to even talk about it. If you've read my earlier blogs, you'll know how I feel about this subject. What a perfect end to an atrocious week. I don't want to talk about it. OK, if you insist. The replacement iPod I received, after a three week wait, is another dud. It has a mystery power leak so a full charge only lasts approximately forty-five minutes (instead of the normal eight hours). I'm going to attempt to get my money back from Micro Anvika. Now, this may involve chaining myself to their counter. It it does so be it. The aftercare service from Apple is flawed. The place of purchase has no say in the matter and, as I found out today, this can lead to endless confusion and phone calls to the shop, Apple Aftercare Centre and Apple Customer Relations. I demanded a full refund. After an hour, neither could help. (Micro Anvika's hold music was "Stuck in the Middle with You" - very apt). If I'm going to get anywhere near to seeing my money I'm going to have to force the Shop Manager to call Apple Customer Relations direct. It could get messy.


Update Time! Today, Quicktime was updated to version 6.4, iTunes to 4.1 and iPod Software to 2.1. You can now record sound and store photos on it. That's if you have the right hardware add-on.


Pictures: ©Apple

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

A new iPod ad has just broke in the States. It follows the look of the new posters and magazine ads (and also the Mac Bore mast as seen at the top of this page) and features music by the Black Eyed Peas (AAARRRRGGGHHHH! Somebody tell they to SCRAM!). I'm so glad they got rid of those all singing, all dancing buffoons in the last ads. As you can see below, they've blacked out the dancers this time (v. cool) and we don't hear them sing. The 'I like big butts' twat wasn't cool, just cringe-inducing. Expect to see the new ad here soon.


Picture: ©Apple

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Pods Reunited. Well not exactly. Twenty-one days since that fateful day, I am now in possession of a working iPod again. Not a repaired iPod but a replacement. Whilst I'm on the subject, my mother-in-law is in the States at the moment, so I've asked her to try and get me an iTrip. I'll be breaking the law if I use it this side of the pond but who cares? It's too cool a gadget not to.

Friday, October 10, 2003

iPod Repair Status: Ready to ship.
Wooo Hoooo! And it's a Friday!! There is a God!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Panther Party time! A few Apple Resellers will be putting on 'a bit of a do' to celebrate the launch of the new OS, so says a Macworld UK article. The Square Group on North Oxford Street will be opening it's store at 7pm on 24th October ready to sell Panther to early adopting Mac Bores (yup, I'll be there along with real people who actually work at Apple UK). Something similar will happen at the Computer Warehouse in Brentford and KRCS in Nottingham, Leeds and Birmingham..
Bring a bottle!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Panther is coming!


24th October it is then. Another OS X update. Another £100 to pay. This time I'll probably wait until after the first update is released before I upgrade. That is, unless Apple's marketing hasn't persuaded me otherwise before that day comes. Also iCal has been updated to v1.5.1 (Information drawer replaces palette) and iSync has reached v1.2.1 (it's now compatible with even more mobiles). What a busy day.


Picture: ©Apple

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Bad News for UK iTunes users: We're going to have to wait until May 2004 for the Euro Music Store. Boo, Hiss!! (MacRumors report)
Good News for US Windows users: The PC version of the iTunes Music Store is almost certainly ready for release. It could be out as soon as 16th October. Double Boo, Hiss! (MacRumors report)

Monday, October 06, 2003

Completely new iBooks are rumoured to be ready for this Christmas. The consumer notebook will take on a different form to the '2001: Space Odyssey' look first seen in (yes) 2001 (I was never that fond of the shiny white plastic - it got dirty too easily). Rumour has it that they'll sport Airport Extreme, faster RAM, faster processors, Bluetooth inside, USB 2.0 and the new Panther system pre-installed. Read the full article on AppleInsider.

clamshell to 2001 to who knows?

Also, Mac OS 10.3 Panther is now at Gold Master stage. This means that it could be out sooner than first expected. Have you seen it? It's bloody smart as plums!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

iPod Repair Status: Hold - Awaiting Part.
C'mon, don't hang around waiting for an old 30GB drive. Just put a 40GB drive in there. Or send me a new one. Why keep a good customer waiting?
...Stingy bastards.

Friday, October 03, 2003

It's back! No not my iPod (that's waiting for a new part), I'm talking about the Mac OS X 10.2.8 update. Just have a look at your Software Updater. They should've ironed out the ethernet problems this time. It also includes an update for Safari. Get the info at the Apple Support page here. Oh well. Here goes...


Picture: ©Apple

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I've just been to the Smart Car site and spotted the centre console of thier special edition iPod car. It looks very 'smart'. I wouldn't mind one in my Punto.

smart as plums

The guys at Think Secret have discovered a job posting on the Apple web site, looking for a Hotspot Evangelist in Uxbridge. The primary purpose of this role is to raise the profile in the marketplace of AirPort," the description reads. "... Achieving this by coordinating the opening of WiFi Hot Spots in high profile places, which Apple will support.". Mmm, an interesting proposition.

It looks like ITV's This Morning will, most likely, be receiving a letter from the ITC in the next few days. For once again, a shaft of sunlight shone from Steve Jobs' arse and fell upon Stephen Fry. Being interviewed by Fern and Schofield about his new film Bright Young Things he digressed onto the subject of the iPod. Is he paid to do this? Not on your nelly! He just loves to enthuse all things Apple. Where's the harm in that?


Picture: ©BBC
My comatosed iPod arrived safely at the repair centre in Amsterdam at 8:30 this morning. Phew!

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I just thought I'd update you on the broken iPod. Annoyingly, MicroAnvika (where I bought it) couldn't help me. So, after logging onto the Apple Support site I arranged for my iPod to be collected for repair. Three working days later a Cardboard box was DHL'd to me with instructions on how to pack and arrange a pick-up (the repair centre is in the Netherlands of all places). The next morning I called DHL and sorted a courier to pick up my box from work. Two and a half hours later he arrived and by the early evening my sick friend was at Heathrow ready to be flown to our friends in Amsterdam - I know 'cos I've been tracking it (sad, I know). We'll see what happens tomorrow. I do hope they don't take their time, my CD Walkman can't handle the bumps in this country's fine railtracks. Also going from having a choice from over two thousand tracks to having only a couple of CD's worth is a bit of a come down. I mean, we are living in the 21st Century. Aren't we?

box or coffin?

Monday, September 29, 2003

Funny man of wit Dave Gorman discusses his hates and occasional loves in this month's X-Ray Magazine. His hates include Litter, 'Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy' by Jay Sankey, and text language (lmao). His occasional loves list The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players (now they are funny), his mates, Marmite and his iPod. "Just get one. I went to New York for three months and took a hundred CDs. Now? Just an iPod. It's the best thing in the world. They didn't even need people like me to mention them in the press cos they know how good they are. They're like the pretty girl at school who's not bothered." Wise words mate but I bet yours hasn't died on you yet.

Another funny mac user

Friday, September 26, 2003

Apple in new chrome logo shock horror!
It looks like the well-known Apple logo is in for yet another tweak when Mac OS X Panther is launched. The last time the bitten fruit was upgraded was when Jobs unveiled the iMac. Before that, we all had to make do with the original rainbow apple, which was a subtle piss-take of the bland logo belonging to Apple's 80s rival, IBM. This time it will get a polished chrome finish to fit in with Panther's hi-tech chrome user interface - a look that some Apple enthusiasts are dead against, as reported in this Wired News article.

old and new

Who said .Mac wasn't worth the money? (Oh, it was me actually). Apple are still out to prove their dot Mac doubters wrong. Members can now download Version Tracker Pro and iBlog software for free. Well done! Now, shall I move my blog out of Blogger? Nah, it's top of the list when you google Mac and bore. I wouldn't want to change that now, would I?
After everything Micheal Dell said about Apple in the 90s, it now seems that he wants to be Steve Jobs. Today Dell announced that they would be releasing a rival to the iPod (called the Dell Digital Jukebox) and they will launch their own version of the iTunes Music Store. Eat your words, Dell Boy.

Nice, but no iPod

Thursday, September 25, 2003

You've probably read about this on other sites before. But now Wired have photographic evidence. Students at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute have built the first Mac-based supercomputer to (hopefully) rank somewhere in the top fifty supercomputers in the world. They've clustered a magnificent 1,100 dual G5s together to create a MONSTER. "Obviously, there have been some challenges, as we have had to port a lot of the Linux code used to make a cluster a cluster -- specifically the MPI communication libraries -- but the porting process progressed very rapidly," said Varadarajan, the director of the Virginia Tech Terascale Computing Facility. Really? People say that you a pay a premium for Apples but they chose G5 over Linux because of price. The finished 20 ton beast will hopefully be running on the 1st October and will be used to research nanoscale electronics, quantum chemistry, computational chemistry, aerodynamics, molecular statics, computational acoustics and the molecular modeling of proteins. Yes, that's all very good but how fast will it render in Photoshop and rip a CD?


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

No! Don't Do It! Bad Update Warning!
Apple have with withdrawn their OS X 10.2.8 update because of an ethernet problem.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Yesterday I turned on my iPod and it failed to wake from it's sleep. I've followed the troubleshooting hints on the iPod Knowledge Base, reset it, updated the iPod software but it still won't work. How long have I had it? Just over three months. I do hope that this a rare occurrence. Well, I'm putting on a brave face. I haven't had chance to take it back to the shop yet but God knows how long it will take to be sent to somewhere for repair. I'll keep you posted.
Now where did I put that CD Walkman?

a dud

Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update out.
Just checked Software Update and up this popped. Here's how Apple describe it: "The 10.2.8 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: Audio, Bluetooth, Classic compatibility, Finder, Graphics, LDAP, Power Management, Safari, and FireWire and USB device compatibility.
The update also provides updated security services and includes the latest Security Updates." It's another bloater (40.6MB).


Picture: ©Apple

Monday, September 22, 2003

G4 iBook ready to roll out!
Macworld UK have reported that the books will have 500MHz processors, 60GB hard drives, 256 megs of RAM, combo drives and a 15" screen. Well I never! This info appeared on a Dabs advert by mistake. They said it should've been an ad for the iMac (Yeah right!). So it could be true, or it could be someone on the Dabs design team pissing about. Time will tell.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Here's yet another local boy done good, Jonathan Ive report on Is he becoming the world's most famous designer, or what?

Thursday, September 18, 2003

It seems that the European iTunes Music Store is being held up by our own Fab Four. The legal battle between Apple Computers and Apple Records is reported on MacNN to put the store on hold for a further ten months!! (I know. I don't know how I'll cope either). You see, Apple Records agreed to let Apple Computers use the name back in the 80s, as long as Apple didn't venture into anything to do with music. Well, that was in the days before mpegs (At the time I did wonder how Apple were allowed to launch the Music Store with this legal agreement in force). Well the past has caught up them and Apple Records see the Music Store and the iPod as infringement. Nevertheless, I can't see Apple closing their Music Store in the US (tracks by The Beatles aren't for sale by the way), so only God knows how it will take to be resolved.
All of us who are waiting for our own AAC download service may be in for a very long wait indeed.

Not Apple Computers

Picture: ©Apple Records

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

iTunes for Europe - "I think we'll do it next near."
That's what Jobs said in a post-keynote Reuters interview. Cheers, Steve. Get the Windoze version for US sorted out first, why don't you? (Cue violin music) Just remember those who stood by you through the 90s... those you couldn't be bothered to include when you launched the iPhoto printing service...those who, everyday, put up with you renaming our wastebasket 'trash'...those who now speak 'international English' when you speak American English... (Sniff...sorry, I seen to have something in my eye. Sniff.)

French Delicious

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Paris Expo Latest
As everyone predicted, Steve Job announced a new 15" Aluminum PowerBook in today's keynote. The rest of the PowerBook family were updated too (but these were mere speed bumps and the inclusion of USB 2.0).

15 incher

It's about time the 15" TiBook was updated, some bloke was Pro-Tooling on one the other day on the train. It was chipped all over and looked rather dated compared to the AlBooks.
Another treat that was revealed was something that I reported about a few weeks back - The Bluetooth Wireless Mouse and Keyboard. They'll be on my Christmas list, I can tell you. Oh yes!
Hey Jobs! Didn't you forget something?!
What about the iTunes Music Store for us lot, hey?
Bah! What a let down.

She's white

Pictures: ©Apple

Monday, September 15, 2003

AppleExpo Paris Tomorrow...
Rumour has it that there will be a special edition iPod launched at tomorrow's French Expo.
No one know what will be so special about it yet, but it is only a rumour. It's not an announcement that will get the keynote crowds whooping, is it?
My predictions for tomorrow are:
For Definite: Medium-sized G4 aluminum Powerbook (to replace the aging 15" TiBook)
A Possibility: New iBooks (they're getting old and slow)
A Must: iTunes Music Store for Europe (everyone else has managed to get over the European publishing rights, why can't Apple?)

If Steve Jobs doesn't announce the Euro Music Store tomorrow, I'll cry.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Software Update!
Quick! There's a Java to download. Java Update 1.4.1 adds improved Java applet support for Safari and other web browsers that support the Java Internet Plug-In; Improved drawing correctness and performance; Changes to Java 1.3.1 that provide support for Oracle11i client applications on Mac OS X; Improved stability, memory usage, and correctness. It's a big bastard though. Nearly 40 MB. Better download it overnight if you're still on narrowband (like myself).


Picture: ©Apple

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Managing Director of, Douglas McCallum has been interviewed in The Guardian Online Talk Time. He let slip that he plans to retire by selling his Apple Newton number 000001. A nice little nest egg if you ask me. It's in working order as well! Apparently it's in his loft, if anyone knows where he lives.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Yesterday (new iPods and iMacs aside), Apple announced that at 11:34pm on September 3, 2003 some gullible Music Store user had bought and downloaded the one millionth AAC file. What did this person download? Avril Lavigne's Complicated. Shame on you! You know who you are. Realistically, The actual 'ten millionth' download was probably something less well-known or even sadder - Atomic Kitten for example (I just searched for the aforementioned girl group and the message 'Did you mean Attic Sitter?' came up. Nice to see that the Music Store does draw the line somewhere). Imagine if the 10,000,000th track was 'Fuck Me' by Vanilla Ice? Or 'Fuck her Gently' by Tenacious D? Would that have been 'cool'? Call me cynical but I'm sure the Apple PR department picked the most suitable song from between 999,980 to 10,000,020 for the press release. Or else they chose which track summed up the whole iTunes download experience (for their desired target market) and downloaded it when the time came.
You can't fool me, I know how you operate.

complicated teen grrrl

Monday, September 08, 2003

Soon you'll be able to buy a replica of the first ever personal computer, the Apple I. They're only $200. Cheap as chips!
New iPods and iMacs!
40 and 20GB iPods replace 30 and 15GB. 40GBs holds four solid weeks worth of non-stop, 24 hrs a day, back-to-back tunes. Now who, apart from John Peel, owns 10,000 songs?! Perhaps I'm jealous. The G4 iMacs have also been upgraded. They now have all the usual speed/drive/video card bumps and include USB 2.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Every nerd's dream girl and ex-co-presenter of Robot Wars, Philippa Forrester has been interviewed by The Guardian Online. Yes, I know she now presents the Heaven & Earth show, but boy, did she look good in a tight black vest top, floozing about in the robot pits! I digress. The real reason she's deserved a mention here is because she uses Macs. Not only does she use Macs, she's also a fan of Final Cut Pro.


Thursday, September 04, 2003

Backup 2 Beta is ready for download! Use it at your peril.


Picture: ©Apple
A bonus treat for all .Mac subscribers is the free download of StickyBrain 2 (usually $20). It's a useful, sort of searcher/scrapbook for Mac OS X. There's also the chance to download a trial version of F10 Launch Studio. Apple offer the upgrade the full version for only $10. This also looks like a useful little app. Mmm, I'm tempted.
On the subject of .Mac, I re-subscribed last week and was offered a choice of free gifts. I chose The Sims over a strategy game (the name escapes me) or a money-off voucher for the Apple Store. The Sims is one of those games that I always think about buying but never get around to it. It'll be sent out to me when this year's subscription runs out.

The new G5 advert is playing on UK channels. It involves an unsuspecting victim who is blasted backwards through four walls of his house and slammed against a tree. All he did was start it up! Thankfully Jeff Goldblum explains why. Those crazy ad people!


Picture: ©Apple


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