Tag Archives: Apple

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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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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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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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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I’ve finally persuaded work that I need a Mac for my replacement computer. I’ve always been given┬áRM ‘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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