Category Archives: Apple

I love my iPad Pro. It’s light, quick and it’s powerful enough to edit photographs on. Lightroom has improved significantly and has most of the features of the desktop application. But there’s still issues mainly related to connectivity that makes me question using it as a replacement for a laptop. Such as the inability to import photographs directly into Lightroom without first importing them into Photos and there’s no obvious way to backup these photos to an external drive.  I’ve got into the habit of throwing my iPad into my camera bag when I’m out shooting a gig in London and it’s quickly becoming my default photo editor as I can start editing photos on the train home. Previously, it used to be frustrating, because it took so long to import the photos, that often I’d be getting off the train before the import had completed. That was until a…

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I currently use a 2008 Mac Pro as my main development machine at home. The old war horse has been the best computer I’ve ever purchased (even better than my beloved Amiga 1200 that I still have in a cupboard). It’s memory was upgraded to 10GBs not long after I bought it and I’ve gradually filled up the storage bays with extra hard disks to hold my photos. But it’s starting to show it’s age. Mavericks stretched it, but Yosemite really pushed the setup too far with heavy IO and large memory usuage. Startup times were excruciatingly slow as where opening applications. Once open they were okay. But switching to another app, would slow everything down. Clearly both disk and memory were a bottleneck.  I had been thinking about upgrading. I have a new Mac Pro at work and it’s a wonderful machine. But I can’t justify the cost for…

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Part of the reason Apple are Apple is because they do not feel the need to follow the crowd. But with the iPhone 6, that’s exactly what they’ve done, followed the recent trend to increase the size of phones. Is that a good thing? Sales will no doubt show it is. But here’s my perspective. I’m a heavy user of my iPhone. I spend a lot of time standing around at gigs and sitting on trains. So I’m always using it for viewing websites and updating Facebook and Twitter. I do use my phone to take photographs. But as I usually have a camera with me, I tend to use it for quick captures and for days when I feel like ‘filter photography’. Last year I lost my iPhone on Old Street. Luckily it was found and returned to me a few days later. But in the few days without…

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I bought the original iPad on the UK day of release and have used it daily ever since. I was at SXSW last year when the iPad2 was released but decided against buying one in the ‘pop-up’ shop, Apple set up for the conference. Clearly the iPad2 was much better than the original iPad. It was quicker, featured a front facing camera for video conferencing and was smaller and lighter than the original iPad. But despite all these advantages, it wasn’t enough to justify my buying one. The reason simply, after using my iPhone 4’s retina display, there was no way I was going to buy a new iPad until it offered a similar quality screen. So with the release of the iPad 3, or the new iPad, as Apple prefers to call it, coming as it does with a near retina display, it was time to upgrade. The new…

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… no really it has. It’s come up with this fantastic product, the electronic book. It’s so much more than ‘book v1’, it’s interactive. ‘Books v2’ is so much better for the current generation of students. Apple thinks our current generation of students are too stupid to understand words and need pictures and too stupid to understand diagrams, so they need videos. Seriously Apple, is this meant to ‘change education’? The announcement happened while I was at Lotusphere and I saw some tweets from some people I respect in the academic world about Apple ‘reinventing education’. With IBM failing to provide a working wireless network at Lotusphere I’ve only now had a chance to download the iBook Author and view the Apple announcement. Don’t get me wrong, Apple do a lot of good things with education and well designed ibooks will help provide a more engaging experience for many pupils,…

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For the last few months my iPhone’s home button has been unresponsive.  Double clicking would often take me to the search pane and not the multitask bar. This is getting to be very annoying. I’ve been hoping that the button would hang on until the iPhone 5, next summer, but in the last few weeks it seems to have got worse. So much so, I’d even started to use the assistive technology in the iPhone to by-pass the requirement of using the home button. Doing some research this morning, it appears that the button is a serviceable part that Apple can replace in-store but there were also claims that sometimes the problem is causec by particulates that get into button via the connector port. Blasting air or vacuuming the connector port can fix the problem. Although it sounds ridiculous, blowing very hard into the connector port seems to have fixed it.…

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I ran into a problem installing Lion on my Mac Pro. The install screen appeared to be stuck at 33 minutes with no sign of progress. Several reboots later and still no luck, I noticed that there were a lot of disk errors in the install log that appeared to stop the installer in it’s tracks. It appears the installer doesn’t validate your hard disk before installing and is unable to report failures when encountered. So before installing, run ‘Disk Utility’ and save yourself the three hours I wasted. If you do reach this point and there’s no sign of progress. You can still boot back into Snow Leopard by selecting ‘startup disk’ from the Installer’s menus.

iPlayer+

The new AppleTV is a great little device if the majority of your content is stored in your iTunes library. But there’s one serious limitation for UK users. It cannot access any of the BBC iPlayer’s content. I’m sure a solution is forthcoming using an iPhone or iPad as a proxy broadcaster using Airplay. But if you want a solution now, I’ve found a great little app that offers a solution. For the last year, I’ve been using iPlayer Downloader. However, in the last week or so, it’s started to fail. It appears that the BBC have updated the security on it’s streams and it can no longer grab them. So I’ve been looking for a new solution and iPlayer+ has come to my rescue. Instead of relying on the iPhone mp4 stream, it will grab the flash stream, encoded it and save it to your iTunes library with appropriate…

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On Tuesday, I spent a fascinating day at Apple’s EU Education Summit. The summit explored how mobile learning has the potential to act as a transformation agent in European Higher Education. (and in doing so push Apple’s products) The day started well, with Apple providing all delegates with an iPad for the day, fully loaded with educational applications. A nice touch was that Apple had contracted CampusM, a company specialising in educational app development, to develop an iPad application to support the conference. The app provided personalised information such as timetables, attendee lists, maps and presenter bios. It even alerted you of where you needed to be. The day was a mixture of presentations and hands-on sessions from Apple employees, Apple Educational mentors and case studies from European Universities. Almost all the sessions focused on mobile learning, usually with the emphasis on Apple products. The non-Apple presentations started with Theodore…

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I bought an iPad on the UK day of release so have now been using it for about 6 months. So I thought it was about time to reflect on how the iPad is working for me. I know many people have bought the iPad and then found that they had no use for it. But I find that I’m always pawing at it and on reflection, I think with the iPad, content is king. Out of the box all it really does is email, video, music and web. It does them very well, but I’m not sure the basic functionality is enough to justify it’s price. Many of the people I’ve met who don’t like it, never download content or applications and so judge the iPad on the installed software. In my case, I already consumed the majority of my media through the internet and the iPad makes accessing…

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10/19