Category Archives: Apple

I know I’m not alone in finding the Mac startup ‘bong’ extremely annoying, especially if you have to start your computer in a meeting or public place. Pre-Intel hardware, the ‘bong’ was muted if you plugged in headphones. Since the change to Intel, Apple have not provided a way to stop the sound. But there is a third party solution. ‘Startupsound.prefPane’ allows you to mute your Mac when it starts up. It’s one of the first pieces of software I install on all my new Macs. Download ‘StartupSound.prefPane‘

My first personal Mac was a 12″ Powerbook. It was purchased for testing purposes but it quickly became my computer of choice for the majority of work. The only reason for keeping a PC was my requirement for Domino Designer. I loved the 12″ form factor. The size was perfect for travelling and it had a full size keyboard. The new MacBook Air is it’s natural successor I’ve purchased the base 128GB 11″ model. I did consider the 4GB version or the 13″ model, but I’m buying this purely as a travel companion (along with an iPad) and it’s not meant to be a replacement for my 17″ MacBook Pro. After playing with one in an AppleStore it seemed far more responsive than my current travel computer, a Window 7 based Samsung netbook. It didn’t feel like I was compromising like it usually does when I use my netbook, it…

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For a number of years the resolution and dimensions of our monitors have been increasing. This has been a godsend to many, especially the development community, affording us the space for our ever bloating development tools. But as the resolutions increased, we’ve found that many of our users, (a uni) struggle to take advantage of these resolutions due to their failing eyesight. They understandably continue to use resolutions that displays text at a comfortable size. So we still see resolutions of 800 x 600 on a 17″ monitor, or 1024 x 768 on larger monitors. Instead of crisp native text they get text ‘blurry’ anti-aliased text on their lovely new LCD monitors With the arrival of the iPhone 4, with it’s hyped ‘retina display’ I think we may finally have seen the end to the resolution race and the start of the pixel density race. I’ve been waiting for many…

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After OSX 10.6.3 was released the sync services between iCal and Entourage went a little screwy. Many calendar entries were flagged as conflicts (usually items with invites) but the sync service wouldn’t allow them to be merged. Since I have several Macs connected into my Exchange account, multiple entries started to appear. The solution was to switch off Entourage’s iCal sync, delete the Entourage calendar from iCal and then re-enable syncing so that a new calendar is created. Although I had fixed my work Mac and my main Mac at home, on my old laptop, I’d been ignoring the conflicts. However, the warning message were starting to get annoying so I decided to re-sync the calendars. However, I forgot to switch of the Exchange/iCal sync option before deleting the calendar from iCal and before I knew it, Entourage synced all deletions to Exchange. I’ve found an easy way to restore all…

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There’s going to be a lot of comment on the iPad and it’s capabilities. I thought I’d take a look at it from a ‘Higher Education’ perspective. The ‘tablet’ form factor is ideally suited to education. Ever since Microsoft released the first Tablet PC it’s been clear to many in education that this interface was the answer to many of our needs. Unfortunately, Windows and the applications it runs, has never fulfilled the promise. Maybe Apple can provide us with the answer. The Student Perspective Laptop usage in Universities has been growing exponentially. Most Universities provide students with access to a wide range of internet based systems and resources, such as email, learning environments, e-books, journals, videos, podcasts etc, along with the wireless infrastructure to enable students to use their own laptop throughout campus. So laptop usage at my University has increased significantly over the last few years. My first…

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Mobile Roadie looks like an interesting service that helps people create iPhone apps.It appears to be aimed towards bands, but it’s just been used for ‘Le Web‘ conference. (Supports Twitter, uSteam, Comments, News etc). Via TechCruch

I’ve finally persuaded work that I need a Mac for my replacement computer. I’ve always been given RM ‘workstations’ (that have to last 4 years) that are really just fairly standard desktops with a bit extra memory and slightly better graphics card. From my point of view, they are underpowered for development work. Not bad machines, but more suited to general office tasks. But working for a University, you sometimes have to accept that cloth has to be cut to fit. After two years of moaning about how underpowered my work computer is compared to my own Mac Pro (and taking my MacBook Pro to most meetings). They’ve finally given in and bought me a Mac Pro. They even threw in a few surprises such as a gorgeous Apple Cinema display and 2Tb of hard disk space. I owe somebody a very big favour. Unfortunately I still need to run Windows…

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I’ve just bought a new 17” Macbook Pro. My 2006 15” MacBook Pro had started to show it’s age. First impressions? Well it’s a Mac, and we all know they are good at first impressions and this one is no different. The unibody design gives is the laptop a solid feeling. The HD screen is bright and although this isn’t the first laptop that I’ve owned with a glossy screen, they are an acquired taste, so it’s worth checking out in store if you’re uncertain whether to pay extra for the matt screen. The new touch pad takes a little bit of adjusting. I’m finding the extra multi-touch gestures a little bit annoying (I keep zooming instead of scrolling). This laptop is much quieter and quicker than my 15” model. I hadn’t been sure about switching to the larger laptop. Previous 17” models were ‘big’ but this one though doesn’t…

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Ok lets make this clear before anyone jumps on me. I am a Mac user. (2008 Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, and a 12″ Powerbook – and a Mini at work). As a Domino developer I have to use Windows at work and I have various XP VMs on my Macs. I would never dream of running XP without a virus checker and it’s always the first piece of software I install when I get a new box. But now Apple are recommending all users install a virus checker. A few weeks ago I had my first case of a user with a ‘Mac’ virus – actually a Windows Word macro virus that works on Office on OSX. So although it didn’t have a payload that damaged Macs it’s still a virus. The user has continued to post documents containing the virus despite being told to install a virus checker. So…

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