Thursday, November 02, 2006

Free Aperture Trial

Again, apologies for not posting in ages - I've been super busy and I'm still making the transition to I need to switch hosting providers to get rid of the darn ads, but hopefully the look and feel of the site is nice and familiar-looking!

In the meantime, Apple just released a fully-functional, 30-day trial of its magnificent Aperture software, which you can get here. If you've been curious about Aperture, but haven't wanted to fork out the money before properly trying it, this is the perfect chance to give it a spin. I know I'll be giving it a thorough testing. I particularly want to see how it performs in comparison to the excellentAdobe Lightroom, which I use for my photography, and will definitely consider purchasing when it comes out of beta.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


You may have noticed I haven't updated too much recently. This was partly because of a very busy summer holiday, but also partly because I'm working on a move to, so I'll let you know when that change happens!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Apple 'Showtime' Event

New iPods. All 3 models.

iTunes movies.

iTV announced - the Apple home theatre?

'Nuff said.

Just kidding - much more later!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Random Miscellany, Widgets on desktop

Personal bits and pieces
Well, a wonderful summer has come to an end, and tomorrow I get on a plane and fly back to jolly old Toronto, leaving Hong Kong behind. Apparently they've opened a third Apple Store in Toronto in my absence, what nerve :P! But lucky ol' Toronto is now home to all 3 of Canada's Apple Stores.

What has been a very fruitful summer me ended with a production of Jean Anouilh's interpretation of Antigone, in which I acted and had an absolute blast. Why is this even remotely relevant to Apple? It isn't really, except for the fact that every laptop in the theatre was a Mac, which was very pleasing. Two Powerbook G4s and my iBook G4 were ubiquitous throughout the entire duration of the production, and the sheer percentage of the actors and crew who were Mac users was quite staggering. It's quite possible that we were a majority for once! Three cheers for the arts!

Dashboard Tip
One tip that's been floating around on sites like Digg and podcasts like the MacCast is how to get your Dashboard widgets on your desktop, permanently.

Now, by default, you can pull one widget onto your desktop from your Dashboard. All you do is simply click and hold a widget whilst in dashboard, move it slightly, and whilst still holding down the mouse button, deactivate Dashboard. Then you can drop the widget on your desktop. However, you can only do this with one widget at a time by default, and as soon as you activate Dashboard again, it goes back.

It is possible, however, to get multiple widgets out of Dashboard and onto your desktop, permanently, using the same method. All you have to do is enable Dashboard developer mode. To do this:

  • Open the Terminal.
  • Type defaults write devmode YES and press return.
  • Then either log out and log back in, or type killall Dock and press return.
  • To disable developer mode and make things go back to the way they were just type defaults write devmode NO and then logout and log back in or type killall Dock again.

  • Now if you repeat the process mentioned earlier - click and hold a widget in Dashboard, move it a bit and then deactivate Dashboard whilst still holding down the mouse button - you can drag as many widgets to the desktop as you want, and they'll stay there, even if you reactivate Dashboard.

    One word of warning with this tip - enabling the Dashboard developer mode will make widgets use up a bit more memory than they would otherwise do (which perhaps is why it's disabled by default). The amount of extra memory used varies between widgets. But the thing to bear in mind is that if you use a lot of widgets, enabling devmode could eat up a substantial amount of your system's RAM.

    And now to finish packing and get on that plane...

    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    Google's Eric Schmidt joins Apple's board

    Apparently Eric Schmidt of Google has joined Apple's board of directors in what I see as a very interesting move. Of course, Apple's board of directors already includes some very big names including Al Gore, and of course Steve Jobs himself. Steve Jobs highlighted Google's innovation and Schmidt's experience as the main reasons for wanting to bring him on board to help Apple in the future.

    I see this as a very positive and interesting move on Apple's part. Apple and Google have always had a good relationship - Google is the default search engine in Safari, Google searches will return iTunes Music Store links, and perhaps Leopard will have Google searches integrated into Spotlight.

    The biggest plus I see to this addition to the board is for the future. Both companies are aggressively innovating and releasing new products and services. Google is starting to offer a wide range of office-like web applications, from Google Calendar to Writely and Google Spreadsheet. On top of that, they have a fantastic range of downloadable apps too such as Google Earth and Picasa. One complaint I've had is that often, Mac versions of these apps are slow to be released. Hopefully with Schmidt on board, Mac and Safari compatability with Google apps and services will arrive more swiftly.

    Of course, one could argue that joining the board does not necessarily make much of a difference, but given that Jobs specifically cited Google's innovation as something he wanted for Apple's future, I see this as a very deliberate move. Look at what happened when Jobs joined Disney's board - Disney owned content on the iTunes Music Store skyrocketed.

    But perhaps there's more to it than that. There's been recent speculation about Jobs' health (which I wouldn't take too seriously), and one thing is clear - Jobs can't forever be at the helm at Apple. Without a figure like Jobs leading the company, with his drive and his desire for perfection and innovation, Apple wouldn't be what it is today. Any potential successor to Steve Jobs would have to be one hell of an individual, and the likes of Eric Schmidt just might be the right type to fill Jobs' enourmous shoes should the need ever arrive. I'm not saying Schmidt will take over from Jobs, I'm just saying that when the time comes for Apple to face life without Steve Jobs, a very big name would have to fill his shoes, someone perhaps, like Eric Schmidt.

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    'Snakes on a Plane' tattoos

    Completely unrelated to Apple, but I just got back from watching 'Snakes on a Plane' at the local AMC here in Hong Kong, and much to my delight, the cinema was giving away free 'Snakes on a Plane' tattoos (you know, the fake, stick-on kind). I managed to get my hands on 3! I wonder if this happens everywhere? Check it out.

    I apologise for the image quality and the flash, but at least it's visible!

    Now I have to decide what to stick them on, and if the answer is my skin...when...?

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Apple product placement in 'Miami Vice'

    I just got back from watching 'Miami Vice', and whilst I won't comment on the movie too much, I noticed that it has followed the trend of such shows as 24, Sex and the City and many other films and TV shows by featuring Macs and glowing Apple logos. But it's not the fact that one often sees Macs in movies that amuses it me, it's who uses them. One common trend I've seen in numerous movies and shows is that the good guys use Macs, and the bad guys use PCs.

    Miami Vice is a perfect example of what I mean (I'll try my best not to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen the film yet). Jamie Foxx's character and the girl that Colin Farrell's character falls for both use Macs, and there are at least 2 scenes in which the back of either a Powerbook or a MacBook Pro is featured, which of course means a glowing Apple logo onscreen. But on top of that, the bad guys in the movie don't use Macs. There's one scene in which one drug dealer shows a video to his boss, and to do so, he drops a clunky PC notebook on the table. Interesting eh?

    Now I'm pretty sure that Apple doesn't pay movies to feature their products, if anything it might be the opposite. So why does this phenomenon exist? Why do good guys use Macs, and bad guys use PCs? It could have a lot to do with the images and ideas associated with Macs. I would speculate, and this is probably especially true in Hollywood, that Macs and other Apple products have the cool and sexy factor not associated with other PC manufacturers or tech companies. So what better way of reinforcing your main characters then to have them use shiny, sexy Macs, and have the bad guys use ugly, dull PCs?

    Just a fun little thing I noticed that I thought I might share. What's even better is that when I pointed it out to my best friend whom I was watching the movie with, I received a prolonged groan in response and was asked why I had to notice things like that. Who wouldn't?