Thursday, December 10, 2009

Google Chrome for Mac is damn quick.

Here's a another reason to ditch shitty Safari. Google's Chrome browser is now available to download as a beta, but it already beats Safari on speed (on my Macs anyway). Since I updated to Snow Leopard, Safari has been nothing but a pain in the arse. It has serious plug-in problems, especially with Adobe flash. So if you're not already using an alternative browser, I suggest you give Chrome a try. They've made it simple to get up and running, when you first open it, it asks you if you want to import your bookmarks from Safari. But don't click on the 'use Chrome as default browser' just yet; it is still a beta.

Adam and Joe's Adam Buxton Quicktime plug.

This is 6 Music's Adam & Joe's Black Squadron gig at the Roundhouse. Quicktime is mentioned in the first 2 minutes so you don't have to watch the whole of it. If you're not a listener of the show, you may not get it. Hey Cornish, what's so wrong with VLC? Without it we wouldn't have Handbrake.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Snow Leopard update is a beast.

If you're running Snow Leopard, I'd recommend you download this sharpish. Hopefully it should sort out those really annoying problems that forced me to switch to Firefox. Who knows, maybe iPhoto will recognise my Nokia phone again too?

The 10.6.2 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes for:
an issue that might cause your system to logout unexpectedly
a graphics distortion in Safari Top Sites
Spotlight search results not showing Exchange contacts
a problem that prevented authenticating as an administrative user
issues when using NTFS and WebDAV file servers
the reliability of menu extras
an issue with the 4-finger swipe gesture
an issue that causes Mail to quit unexpectedly when setting up an Exchange server
Address Book becoming unresponsive when editing
a problem adding images to contacts in Address Book
an issue that prevented opening files downloaded from the Internet
Safari plug-in reliability
general reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, and iDisk
an issue that caused data to be deleted when using a guest account

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This week, 8 years ago, everything changed...

1000 songs in your pocket. Back then, 20 or so songs was all I could fit on my 128 MB flash-based mp3 player . Apple's iPod had a 5GB hard drive inside. The screen was 2-inch, black & white. The scroll wheel actually moved The firewire port (this was before USB 2) and headphone socket were on the top. It was 101.6mm tall, 61.8mm wide, 19.9mm thick and weighed 6.5 ounces. The battery lasted 10 hours. Compared to today's sleek iPods, it hasn't aged well. But back then, it set a new benchmark that eventually forced many portable music player manufacturers out of the market - almost Sony. Happy birthday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Apple unveils the world's first multi-touch mouse.

I was wondering how I could get multi-touch on my iMac only the other day. The new Wacom Bamboos were about the only option but, as if by magic, this beauty appears. The Magic Mouse comes with every new iMac and is available on its own for just £55. You pretty much use it in the same way as a multi-touch track pad. This is going straight onto my Christmas list... if I can wait that long.

Mac mini updated to include a server version.

The New Mac MIni has been given more punch and also comes in a mini server configuration. Apple claim it's still the world's most energy-efficient desktop computer (are you listening Greenpeace?) The mini starts at £499 for a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM and a 160GB HD. The 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD version is £649.
But the most interesting config is the mini server. It has a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM and Dual 500GB HDs, but no optical drive, all for £799. It's easy to set-up and run, so I guess it's aimed at people like me who have multiple Macs that are beginning to get clogged up with silly amounts of Mp3s, photos and movies.

New White MacBook.

The ageing, white MacBook has been brought up-to-date with a new, curvy unibody enclosure that features a rubberised underside with no feet. It also sports the same built-in (and non-user replaceable) battery and glass multi-touch trackpad as the MacBook Pros. It come in a single configuration: 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 250GB HD, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics, all for £799. It's available now.

New iMac given 21.5" and 27" screens

With it's larger 16:9 displays, Apple's new iMac is steadily becoming a replacement for your TV. It can even support HDMI through its DisplayPort on the back. Talking of the back, the black plastic has been replaced with a fully aluminium, seamless enclosure. The glass front stretches from edge to edge and the resolution of the 27" display is well beyond HD with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. The speakers have been tweaked to deliver louder, clearer sound with better bass response and less distortion. The iMacs now come wireless, with the shorter wireless keyboard (no numerical pad) and gorgeous new multi-touch Magic Mouse. So, the only cable you need is the power cord.
There are four configurations, starting with the 21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, 8x double-layer SuperDrive and NVidia GeForce 9400M 256MB graphics card, all for £949 and is available now. The top-of-the-range iMac is a 27"Quad-Core, 2.66GHz Intel Core i5 with 4GB RAM, 1TB HD. 8X double-layer SuperDrive and a ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB graphics card. This configuration is £1599 and ships in November.
Of course, if money is no object, you can max this out with a 2.6 Quad-Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 2TB HD, which pushes the cost up to a whopping £3078.99. Bring it on!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DoubleTwist syncs you iTunes content with everything

Here's a nice simple app that does what iTunes used to do in the days before the iPod. Back then I could sync my Rio mp3 player and my mobile phone in iTunes, as they would be mounted as what they now call 'devices'. Then the iPod came along and Apple realised that the only way they could make money from iTunes was to lock its compatibility firmly with it's own products, i.e. to sell more iPods.
DoubleTwist can access most devices like phones, non-Apple mp3 players, PSPs, Blackberrys as well as iPods, so you can drag any kind of movie, photo and sound file between your mac and the device. It even converts your files to work on the device you're using. I'm not sure how long it will be before Apple files a lawsuit, so get it while you can.
You can download a beta of it now, but the full version is available on the 6th October. It's time to play!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Watch the 090909 event

It's ready to watch, in all the sizes... except Mr Jobs who's extra thin.... but alive and back... which we should all be grateful for.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No Beatles for iTunes... but Steve's back!

iPod shuffle gets more colours and special edition.

From the Apple Site...
The world’s smallest iPod and the first music player to talk to you is now available in five great colours, starting at just £45. iPod shuffle’s intuitive controls are conveniently located on the headphone cord, letting you navigate and enjoy music without even looking.

iPod nano given camera.

It's getting late, so here's the blurb off the Apple website...

The new iPod nano adds a video camera, mic and speaker to our most popular music player, allowing you to shoot video wherever you are, view it on your iPod nano, and use your computer to easily transfer your videos to YouTube. The new iPod nano — available today in an 8GB model for £115 and a 16GB model for £135 — features an ultra-thin and sleek design with a larger 2.2-inch colour display, and gorgeous polished aluminium and glass enclosure in nine brilliant colours.

iPod touch given more speed and storage but no camera.

The 8GB version is now only £149; the 32GB version is £229; and the 64GB version is £299.

New stuff includes...

Genius Mixes. All you do is sync iPod touch to iTunes, and Genius automatically searches your library and finds songs that sound great together. Then it creates up to 12 mixes you’ll love. These genre-based mixes are like channels programmed entirely with your music.

Voice Control. You listen to music, and now your music listens to you. The new 32GB and 64GB iPod touch models feature Voice Control. So you can tell iPod touch to play songs from a specific playlist or artist. Or speak simple commands such as “shuffle,” “pause” and “next song.” You can even ask for the name of the track that’s currently playing (and hear iPod touch answer you).

Earphones with remote and microphone. The new 32GB and 64GB iPod touch models come with the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic, which are perfect for using the Voice Memos app and Voice Control.

iTunes updated to v9.

Here's what's new...
iTunes LPs - albums have been given a DVD-like interactivity.
Home sharing - Copy content to up to five computers on your network.
Redesigned iTunes Store - The new store has been given a clean and clear layout.
iTunes Extra - Film downloads now have extra content.
Genius Mixes - Genius can now mix the songs that go together, from your own library.
Improved Syncing - Control the way you iPod/iPhone syncs with your Mac. You can even arrange your home screen.

Apple Store closed. Not long now!

They've also reduced the price of their old iPods. New hardware is certain for a grand unveiling.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The invites for Apple's 09.09.09 Special Event have been sent.

The line's from a Rolling Stones song so does that mean the Beatles related rumours are duds? I don't see why Apple would decide to launch something unrelated to the Beatles on the same day as the re-issued back catalogue and game launch - they'd definitely lose in the fight for column inches. Perhaps they're playing with our minds? Perhaps quoting a Lennon/McCartney song would give too much away?
Being 09.09.09, we really should expect the Beatles to eventually become available on the iTunes, and some 'refreshed' iPods - possibly with cameras. iTunes may even be given a Genius related social network-type thingy (like we really need another).
We'll just have to wait until next week.

Monday, August 31, 2009

My Sky Broadband speeds are up.

I've just used Top 10 Broadband's Broadband Speed Test to see if Sky had upgraded the speed of their Everyday package (you should do this every now and again to see if you're getting what you pay for). I recently received a letter from Sky telling me that they were upgrading their packages; the mid-priced package should now have speeds of up to 10MB. The speed test results above prove that Sky are pretty truthful with their advertised speeds- even though the upload speeds are a bit off. That's not bad, considering I only pay a pound for it on top of my existing Sky TV/phone package. Ker-ching!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Snow Leopard out tomorrow. One more sleep!

It's almost here. Twenty-five quid and you can own the world's most advanced operating system. OK, you may have a little trouble running some apps, but who cares when you're running on 64-bits? Even those of you who have an Intel Mac running on Tiger will be able to upgrade for just £25.
Here are some more reasons why you should upgrade (apart from the price and the 64-bit processing).
You'll have more space on your hard drive (6 gigs, in fact); with OpenCL your computer can borrow power from your graphics card; it works better with Microsoft Exchange; Quicktime gets a kick up the arse to become Quicktime X - better than Quicktime Pro and free; and best of all... I was going to take my kids to Hamleys tomorrow anyway (it's opposite the Apple Store on Regent Street) what a result!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bad ideas from the past pt 1

Apple tried to use Hewlett Packard to break into the PC market. I didn't work and, in the end, Apple didnt need them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ice-T gets level with his Mac.

He could've sold it on eBay. I guess he doesn't need the money.
Thanks to Word Magazine for bring this to my attention.

Friday, July 31, 2009

MobileMe iDisk App for iPhone & iPod touch.

This morning I received an 'important message for MobileMe members'. The MobileMe team were pleased to announce the arrival of the new iDisk app. I can see them now, grinning in their tight, sky blue, MobileMe t-shirts, high-fiving in self-gratulation (they're wearing those t-shirts because they haven't been allowed home in the last six-months).

"The iDisk app lets you access your iDisk folders and view files in formats supported by iPhone OS 3.0 including iWork, Microsoft Office, PDF, QuickTime, and more. The app also makes it easy to share files from anywhere. In just a few taps, you can email a link that lets friends and colleagues download a file directly from your iDisk. To learn more, watch the tutorial."

What it means is that you don't have to faff around on a computer the next time you want to share a file on your iDisk - like I did last week. The app is free to all MobileMe members and downloadable through iTunes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

MacBook touch? iPad? MacTouch? iTab? Here for Christmas?

The old tablet rumour has reared it's ugly head again. I'm sure I can remember Steve Jobs saying that there's no market for a Mac tablet. But that was back when they were only used by those working in science - It was way before the iPod touch and the iPhone brought touchscreen computing to the masses. How things have changed.
Reports in today's Financial Times say that the device will be part of a new entertainment revolution. Apple are in talks with music companies to offer more to those who download albums (very apt, since it was partly down to iTunes that people stopped buying whole albums in the first place). It sounds like they will soon be offering not just pdf booklets but interactive extras; the sort of extras you get on a DVD.
This alone isn't exactly what I'd call a revolution. A tablet device is more likely to attract movie-goers, who currently use portable DVD players, and eBook readers (it would knock the socks off Amazon's Kindle). It could also rekindle [;-)] the dying newspaper trade. That's all the iPhoners do on my train from Commuterville - read the mobile news sites.
However Apple hope we'll use it, we're gonna need a bigger cleaning cloth. Imagine the fingermarks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The new iPod touch and nano will (most definitely) have cameras.

It looks like those Chinese have let the cat out of the bag again. These are all case samples that have been sent to suppliers in the last week and with so many cases being made, this rumour must be true. What the designs don't tell us is whether the new iPods will be able to record video (like the iPhone). If they do, it'll mean the death of the Flip for sure. Read the full story on Cult of Mac.

Over 100 new features for Final Cut Studio

In the new version of Final Cut Studio, you get tighter integration between the new versions of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color and Compressor.
Final Cut Pro 7 expands Apple’s ProRes codec family to support virtually any workflow, and includes Easy Export for one step output to a variety of formats. A full version is £799 and the upgrade costs £249.

Look at all the new stuff in Logic Studio!

With the new Logic Studio, Apple have introduces major upgrades to Logic Pro and Mainstage and added more that 200 new bits to simplify tasks. It's "ideal for professional musicians, live performers and GarageBand enthusiasts who want to take their music to the next level". They're not my words. They're the words of Phil Schiller. Flex Time, for example, lets you pull and push waveforms with your mouse so there's no need for all that cutting and splicing. Click here to see how amazing this is when it comes to changing solo vocals. It would save me hours with my mash-ups. Then I would be able to get more done. And just look at all of these guitar pedals. If only I had £399 burning a hole in my pocket.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Back to the Future: circa 1983

Dave Lawrence from Newton Poetry wondered what Apple's website would've looked like back when the Lisa came out. As the interweb didn't exist then (well, not as we now know it) he fired up Photoshop and got to work on designing it for himself. Gone are Apple's 21st Century cool greys, back then Apple was beige (most things were until the 1998's iMac) and look how much power $10,000 could buy you; 5MHz processing power and 1MB of RAM. Scorcher! Mind you 8MHz and 1MB of RAM was fine for me in '91. Designed for the business market, the Lisa never took off. IBM was the default alternative back then, not Microsoft. Apple soon regained some ground the year after - we all know what happened in 1984 now, don't we?
Thanks to Cult of Mac for the story.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Steve Jobs introduces new liver to Infinite Loop.

Bloomberg has confirmation from Apple that he's back at work. Just a few days in the office a week to start with, whilst he recovers from his transplant. Bloomberg also reports that "during Jobs’s absence, Cook and a team that includes marketing chief Phil Schiller and design leader Jonathan Ive ran the operation." Didn't they do well? even though they broke the law buy not telling their investors about Jobs' operation.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cult of Mac's Five Favourite Hidden Features of iPhone 3

Cult of Mac (it used to be on's site) has uncovered some beauties hidden away in the new iPhone 3 software. As an iPod touch user, I've only come across the audio scrubbing (very useful when listing to the Adam & Joe Show podcast). The email address suffix buttons are a godsend too. Damn, that iPhone is getting more desirable every day. When's my O2 contract up for renewal again?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Watch the BBC Click Apple Special on iPlayer.

For all "iPhone Freaks and Mac Heads". The link is here.

iPhone 3GS. Is it worth the upgrade?

If you already have an iPhone 3G and are pondering whether you should trade it in for the extra 'S', look no further that this YouTube video from John Rectum (?).

Friday, June 19, 2009

iPhone 3GS launch 'lukewarm'.

Only a few people (well, fifty in fact) were mad enough to queue outside Apple's flagship store this morning. And they were all served promptly at at opening time. And O2's twitter feed has announced that the blacks ones are outselling the white ones three to one. The Telegraph has reported that "the first person in line, an unnamed 19-year-old student at Imperial College, bought a white, 32GB version of the device." I remember when students were poor.
Most potential iPhone 3GS customers already have an iPhone 3G and they'll still be stuck in their contract with O2. Couldn't Apple have delayed the launch until then?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The New iPhone 3GS advert.

Safari 4.0 is ready to download

They reckon it's uncrashable, but that didn't stop the installer crashing when I tried to install it on my Macbook.
The first thing you'll notice is the coverflow-like Top Sites Page (above). History uses this way of viewing pages which really does make looking though your past for on old webpage really easy.
Apple have also fixed around 50 security flaws (for the time being) in this new version.
I haven't had chance to look at all 150 new feature this app has to offer, but if you want you can read about them here.

WWDC Keynote now online.

If you weren't watching the 'wobbly phone cam from the back of the crowd' stream on twitTV last night, you may want to see the full thing here

Monday, June 08, 2009

Just in: Monthly tariffs for iPhone 3GS on O2.

New faster iPhone named the 3GS.

Everything on this iPhone runs two to three-times quicker. There's 100 new features, they say. There's no change in the form factor, but the camera has been bumped up to 3 megapixels with autofocus. You can tap to focus on a specific item. It has auto exposure, auto light balance and not forgetting auto macro (allowing close-ups to within 10cm). It also captures VGA video at 30fps with audio...and you can trim clips on the phone too (w00t). You can use voice-control for dialling calls and playing music (you'll sound silly but i guess it'll really come into play when you're at the wheel of a car). Battery life has been improved: 12 hours of 2G talk time or five hours of 3G talk time; nine hours’ use on Wi-Fi; 10 watching video; or 30 hours of audio.
The phone should be here within the month on O2 as usual.

The iPhone 3.0 software has been given another cool trick: Lose you iPhone and you can send it a message so, hopefully, the person who found it will know who it belongs to (if they didn't nick it). You'll also be able to remotely wipe it's data if it has been stolen.

Apple didn't reveal a new 'lite' iPhone, but did say that the non-s version of the 3G iPhone will be made available for only $99.

Snow forecast for September.

The best thing about this announcement is that you'll be able to buy the 'tweaked' Mac OS X for a paltry sum of $29. I guess the price will rise due to Rip-off Britain exchange rates when it's sold over this side of the pond. The new version of Safari 4.0 should scream under Snow Leopard as its a 64-bit app. Also the Safari plug-ins will run as separate processes to the application so it'll should never crash.

WWDC Keynote starts with surprise new MacBooks.

So Apple went and beefed up the spec of the 13" Alu MacBook. You can see that they'd made it too damn powerful for it's own good, so they stuck a Pro after it's name. It even has Firewire 800, a back-lit keyboard and an SD card slot (someone's been doing their research). The 2.26GHz, 160GB HD model is priced at £899; the 2.53GHz, 250GB HD version is £1149. Both are available now.
The new 15" Macbook has the SD-card where it used to have an ExpressCard slot (why?) the 17" MBP's battery and a new LED display. There's three configurations: 2.53GHz, 250GB HD, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M - £1299.01; 2.66GHz, 320GB HD, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB - £1499; and 2.8GHz, 500GB, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB HD - £1699. All come with 4GB of Memory.
The 17" MacBook Pro gets a 2.8GHz processor, 500GB HD and keeps it's ExpressCard slot - all for £1849.
MacBook Airs also got a look-in. the 1.86GHz, 120GB SATA HD, is £1149. The 2.13GHz, 128GB SSD is £1349. Both are equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card.
So, that means that the only consumer notebook left is the white plastic MacBook. Surely there's some new offerings to look forward to; perhaps they left these for the return of Big Steve?

Apple Store closed. Keynote in progress.

Follow the updates live at TwitTV with iJustine and Leo Laporte.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Steve Jobs' return and iPhone details

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Steve Jobs will return to work by the end of June. This means that he will not be making a surprise appearance at new week's WWDC but his return is to coincide with a product launch of some sort. The WSJ also cites someone who has seen the upcoming iPhone in person, "reporting a faster processor and the expected video editing capabilities."
The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off with a keynote address on Monday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. (PST) led by Phillip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. I'll see you here.
The (leaked?) picture above is from ispazio.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The iPhone v3 rumour round-up.

The Green Room have helpfully put together this 'info-graphic' to highlight every rumoured feature of the next generation of iPhone that may appear at next week's WWDC. A 3.2 megapixel camera, video and a 32GB option are the most likely to happen. That's fine by me.
There are also rumours of a 4GB 'lite' version of the phone floating around too (but not mentioned here).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coke & iTunes track giveaway.

Coke Music
Unlike last time, you're given a list of tracks to choose from, but there's enough range to keep most bargain hunters happy.
Just collect the special bottles of Coke for the codes then hop along to the website to get hold of the free iTunes tracks. They're also giving away iPod nanos. You should know that Boots are offering two bottles of Coke for £1.50; that's one pence shy of the cost of two tracks. Get drinking, folks.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Apple responses to US Laptop Hunter ads...

The difference between the Apple and Microsoft campaign is Apple get the message across with humour and likability - like a friendly jest. Whereas Microsoft's ads are all bitter and twisted and just about price.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Microsoft still won't let it lie as Apple hit back.

I'm glad I don't live in the US. I'd have to put up with this endless bullshit advertising from Microsoft. Their ad agency. Crispy Porter Bugoutsky (or whatever they're called) once made great ads, like the subservient chicken, for Burger King (by the way, they work on MacBooks) It seems as if they're really struggling to paint Microsoft in a good light, so instead of simply tell Americans that they can download unlimited songs for $14.99 a month (a fantastic deal) They have to think up some unrealistic fact about how much it would cost to fill an iPod with tracks from iTunes. They really do take the American public for complete idiots.

At least Apple can see the funny side.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Apple makes the top five.

Now then, now then... Apple now sell more PCs than Fujitsu Siemens. Now all they have to beat is Toshiba, Acer, Dell and Hewlett Packard; who all sell netbooks, as it happens. Who knows how high in the charts Apple could climb if they did too, guys and gals? Full story at MacUser.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Twit me! Apple may buy Twitter.

Brand Republic have just reported that Apple are looking at a Twitter takeover costing $700m. The two brands are perfectly matched; Minimal, simple and easy to use. They all use Macs at Twitter too.

Apple Netbook?

This has just appeared on the Cult of Mac website. To me it looks a little too plasticky and that Apple logo isn't quite right, but it could be a prototype I suppose. If they're going to bring out one, they'd be quick; my wife is about to buy a Samsung NC20.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Dell's 'iMac' now available.

Dell's own version of the iMac, the Studio One is here for only £599 (+p&p). The all-in-one has an 18.5" HD display which has a multi-touch option (this version starts at £879 plus p&p). They say "it begs to be touched".

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apple hits back with new ads.

$10,000 iTunes voucher for the 1 billionth customer.

Time your next App purchase well and you could be the winner of a $10,000 iTunes voucher (not sure how much this is in stirling), a iPod touch, a Time Capsule and a MacBook Pro. Or if you're a bit strapped for cash (aren't we all?) fill in this form and you can enter without having to buy anything.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stop it Microsoft. You're being churlish!

This has to be scripted.
Jackson: "Let's go see the Macs."
Lisa: (to camera) "They're kinda popular at this age...they're way more money, dude."

Please shoot me if I start addressing my kids "dude".

So Macs are too expensive are they? Why did you go and buy a Sony VAIO?

Microsoft should change their line to 'Life without Apples'.

Anyway, I've ordered a MacBook Air from the Apple Refurb Store.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

.Mac HomePage set to become discontinued

I just received an email from MobileMe telling me that the .Mac Homepage web application (it wasn't one of them when it started) will be switched off on 7th July of this year. Whatever you have on your .Mac Homepage will remain there, you just won't be able to edit it or upload new stuff.

Here's the message in full:

Dear MobileMe member:

On July 7, 2009, the .Mac HomePage web application will be discontinued. As of this date, you will no longer be able to create new pages or edit existing pages using HomePage. Any pages you've already published will remain live at their current web address for as long as you like. If you need to make changes to your existing pages, please do so before July 7.

Instead of HomePage, we recommend the other sharing features of your MobileMe membership. With MobileMe Gallery, you can share photos online directly from iPhoto or the web application at And using iWeb on your Mac, you can create custom websites and blogs and publish them to MobileMe.

We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause. For more information, please read this FAQ. And thank you for being a MobileMe member.


The MobileMe Team

Basically you're buggered if you don't have iLife '08 or '09. If you don't fancy upgrading, you can use Flickr or Picasa instead of the .Mac Gallery; and Google Sites instead of HomePage.

Channel 4|OD dumps Windows DRM for Flash. W00T!

At long last us Mac users can catch up on missed C4 programmes now their online player runs on Flash. The 4|OD service has been available for the last few years for Windows users. They can still download the programmes to watch later, we have to watch streams online, so it's not all perfect yet.
As way of an apology, Channel 4 have put together a special ad for us. Isn't that nice?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New Xserve twice as fast as last one.

I know absolutely FA about servers, so I'll keep this short.
This Xserve has an brand new quad-core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” inside. It also delivers 89 percent better performance per watt and eliminates many toxins such as PVC and BFRs; and has an ultra-efficient 128GB solid-state boot drive option, up to 3TB of internal storage, and RAID 5 support. This gives the new Xserve industry-leading storage capability. Prices start at £2399.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

iTunes now fully DRM-free with new prices.

No more copy-protected tracks on iTunes; they're all 256kbps with AAC encoding. And there's a new tiered pricing system that Apple said would never happen (but most of us wanted) - 59p, 79p and 99p. You can also pay 20p to upgrade your old iTunes purchases to the higher quality, DRM-free files. There's even a button to do it automatically.
How much a track costs doesn't make sense. Looking at this week's top ten of the hit parade, Lady Gaga's Poker Face and Taylor Swift's Love Story cost 99p, Metro Station's Shake It costs 59p (the only cheap song in the top 100) and the rest of them are 79p. 7Digital is cheaper than that (they're even selling the Doves' Kingdom of Rust for only 50p) and looking at Amazon, they're virtually giving them away - most are 29p for a 256kbps mp3! You might be able to tell the difference... if you're a dog. I import my CD tracks as 192kbps mp3s. I can't tell the difference in quality, but I am going deaf in my left ear (I'm a child of the Walkman generation).

Only 12 hours left to buy your MacHeist 3 Bundle!

This year MacHeist have an excellent bundle of apps for just $39 (bought separately they'd cost $981). That's around 26 English pounds. The inclusion of PhoneView and WireTap Studio convinced me to hand over my cash this year. Picturesque looks like a quick alternative to Photoshop for editing web pics; iSale is an excellent app for all you eBay sellers as it gives your item page a professional store feel; SousChef is a portal to thousands of recipes and advice for cooks everywhere; World of Goo and Cro Mag Rally will keep the kids happy; PhoneView gives you access to all the stuff on your iPod touch or iPhone; Littlesnapper is a neat way to collect pictures and articles from websites; Acorn is a very simple and quick photo editor; Kinemac is a 3D animator; WireTap Studio is a professional audio recorder and editor; BoinxTV is a TV Studio that can control three cameras; The Hit List is an excellent To Do List app; Expresso is a great HTML editor; and Times is a newsreader that presents your feeds in an easy-to-read newspaper format. How can you not want to buy it? MacHeist gives 25% of the price to charity.
There's less than 12 hours left to get this bundle of joy, so what are you waiting for? Buy it now here and if only two of you make a purchase, I get a some extra apps for free. Go on, I know you want to.

Monday, April 06, 2009

New PC buyer disses Macs for an HP laptop? FIX!

Steve Ballmer must really hate Apple. Just like the last ad this PC hunter, Giampaolo, wants a laptop with "portability, battery life and power" for under $1500. Once again they show him looking at the MacBooks, "this is sooo sexy...but Macs to me are about aesthetics more than they are about computing power...I don't wanna pay for the brand, I wanna pay for the computer" he says. But then he chooses a bog-standard, 15-inch HP! Do you think this campaign may be part-funded by Hewlett Packard, by any chance? If he didn't want to pay for the brand, he should've remembered that Microsoft were paying. He could have had an Aluminium MacBook instead of that plasticky Hewlett Packard... and it would be able to run Windows. The fool.

Reffering back to the post These days, who can afford a Mac?, the one where I said that I couldn't afford to replace my wife's old 12" PowerBook with another Mac. Well I've come to realise that I also need a notebook. Of course, I'll be plumping for a MacBook Air (as you may have read, I now know why underpowered notebook exists) and not the Dell Inspiron Mini that I've chosen for my wife. But only because I don't want to have to buy a Windows version of Adobe Creative Studio. This is not double standards. I'll need to design on my laptop, whereas she only use hers for eBay and email.
That's my excuse anyway.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Look out 02. Skype for iPhone is here.

MacUser have just announced that Skype for iPhone is confirmed for a release tomorrow. Skype gives members free calls through VoIP (voice over internet protocol - computer to computer calls) So as long as your friends also have Skype installed on their computer or iPhone, you can call them for free. This is bad news for O2. Especially now as sales of mobiles are plummeting.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

These days, who can afford a Mac?

This ad is currently running in the States. They took a (tele)visually pleasing member of the public, Lauren, who was in the market for a laptop with "speed, a comfortable keyboard and a 17-inch screen". Microsoft said, "You find it and you can keep it". How generous of them. We then follow her as she shops for her dream laptop.
Her first port of call is an Apple Store (isn't it everyone's?) the ad brutally cuts straight to her walking out crestfallen. "They only have one computer available and that has a 13" screen...I would have to double my budget, which isn't feasible...". Then, in her car, she depressingly announces that she's "...just not cool enough to be a Mac person".
This is the sad truth for most people; they can't afford a Mac. Anyone in Lauren's position has a choice of thousands of notebooks and netbooks that look as cool as a Mac but are hundreds of pounds cheaper. My old 12" PowerBook G4 that my wife uses is now so unbearable to us, she wants a new one. For a start, Apple have no modern alternative to it and the cheapest MacBook is £720 but that's made of plastic - one drop and it's done for. There are some 1st generation MacBook Airs going for £900 at Micro Anvika but that seems a little excessive. Why should I pay more for a stronger laptop when I can spend £329 on a Dell Mini 10? OK, I'd be spending a good fortnight of evenings getting the damn thing to stop asking if I'm sure I want to run or install an application; I'll have a few dozen apps to un-install too; I'll have to fork out for McAfee Virus Barrier; I'll also have to peel off all of the Vista and Intel stickers; but on the plus side, it'll be much quicker to surf the wifi; it has a webcam, so I'll be able to video chat when we're apart; and I wont be too bothered if she drops it - I can buy three of them for the price of an alu MacBook. Yes I know my Mother-in-Law had endless trouble with her Dell Desktop but it runs fine now I've stuffed in a few more gigs of RAM. I can even buy one that runs on the Linux-based Ubuntu without the bloatware.
The truth is, in Lauren's words, we're "not cool enough" to own a new MacBook.
Back to the ad...Lauren chooses an HP Pavilion and Microsoft paid the $699.99 (but that was instead of her acting fees. She wouldn't know about that, she's not an actor). Lauren isn't cool enough to be a Mac person, but she looks like she's just walked out of a GAP ad - she wears dark nail varnish, has cool hair (for a 'ginger'), has definitely been to Specsavers, drives a Volkwagen and now owns a cool Windows PC. Honestly, who's going to think less of her if it's not an Apple?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ive, give this man a job!

If the iPhone nano looks anything like this, I'll be first in the line.
The thought control goes a bit too far.
Where do people find the time to do this sort of thing?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

iPhone 3.0 software keynote

Learn all about the imminent cut/copy/pasting on your iPhone/iPod touch and how many 3rd party accessories will soon be able interact with the touch screen interface (to name but a few features) here.


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