Friday, October 26, 2007

Leopard adventures

Well, here in NZ 6pm on the 26th comes before everyone else virtually. So having obtained my copy having watched the unboxing at the local dealer (thanks Magnum Mac), it was home for dinner while the laptop backed up and then put the DVD in the drive.

The install went pretty well fine with only one little hiccup. Somehow it didn't detect the internal hard-drive and the installer couldn't offer it as an install target. After a little digging with Terminal looking at what was mounted where, I managed to provoke it into correctly mounting the disk and then I could select and install on it.

Everything else has gone rather sweetly. It really does look rather nice and is behaving very well for me so far (knock on wood). Outstanding good impressions so far: how fast Spotlight is now, how much faster Safari seems to be, the use of Cover Flow on folders with graphics, the better Terminal, the "Quick Look" functionality of Finder and just how good an "upgrade" install really is on Mac OS.

Questions still to be answered: Where my iCal calendars have gone (currently they're empty and they really shouldn't be), can I selectively choose some folders in the Dock not to be a stack (my Applications folder is really too big and unwieldly as a stack - however I'm used to having it down in that location), why the dock seems to have taken up more space horizontally for the same number of items and wondering when Acid Search for Safari is going to be updated.

Overall, for a .0 release a pretty good version - better than the developer releases I saw!

Well done Apple!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

iPod Classic - First Thoughts

Well, I'm now the proud owner of an iPod classic. Having posted my ruminations on the prospects before Apple announced their new line, I watched with heightened interest a couple of weeks ago. I guess I was sort of disappointed that Apple didn't release a Hard-Drive based iPod touch - however I'm not really surprised. Probably the power budget for that sort of device would not have been at all realistic.

So the decision for me came down to a question of "fancy features" where management of the library would have become more of an issue (I have quite a bit more than 16Gb of media) vs. size and practicality. Well - my practical nature won as it usually does. Basically I placed an order on the same day of the announcement.

What I didn't quite predict was that it was going to take nearly 2 weeks for stock to come to NZ retailers. It seems that some units have arrived, but it seems that there are still not that many available. Anyway, I've now got my new toy and so far I'm really enjoying it. Probably waiting, wasn't too bad as I managed to get the new update for the firmware before I came to load it - apparently the very first users had some issues.

The device sounds really nice. I use Sennheiser PX-100 headphones (foldable portable real headphones) that really improve the sound amazingly. I highly recommend these with any portable media device (even with a laptop) as they seem to be the best sounding portable small size set of headphones I've ever come across for the price. I tend to prefer real (i.e. headband over the head) headphones as earbuds really end up hurting my ears and don't fit so well, which also obviously affects the sound.

Anyway enough for now. I'm off to listen to a couple of Podcasts while the rest of the family are watching T.V.

Blogged with Flock

Sunday, September 02, 2007

New iPods? - My Wishes

So, if you at all follow the tech and gadget news, you will no doubt know that this coming week, Apple are supposed to be releasing some new products that it is rumoured will include one or more changes to the iPod line-up. This is good news for me personally, as I'm most probably a customer in waiting for whatever is coming.

A couple of weeks ago, I was ready to buy an iPod (a full iPod Video - I'm not interested in the current Nano). I went to our local Apple supplier to see and talk about it and found that they didn't have any stock, they had no idea of timelines and that it seemed that there was no stock available anywhere in NZ or even Australia! Given how Apple seem to handle stocking, backorders etc. this seemed very unusual unless there was a new model set somewhere on the way - therefore I wasn't at all surprised to hear of next weeks coming announcements.

So, I've been reading around some of the rumour sites. I've heard what the Apple pundits seem to think might be on the way. I listened to last week's Mac Break Weekly (including Scott Bourne's display of being seemingly ignorant to anything other than a "died in the wool" Apple fanboy's opinion - thankfully Leo and Merlin were making sense) which tried to predict what might be coming. (For the record, no I'm not the guy with a neck beard that lives in his parents basement either!). However as an actual potential customer, I thought I might share some thoughts about what I'm looking for.

For me, I'm not interested too much in the smaller iPod concept. The Shuffle is simply not interesting at all - I want to see what I'm going to hear. The Nano's are a bit too small for me. I'd rather carry my music collection - all of it - and still have sufficient room to carry a reasonable number of podcasts, videos and still use it for some external storage if I want to. (The argument about having an external drive for that doesn't work for me. I really don't want to have to carry even more devices. Generic storage on a device I'm going to carry is good). For me, I don't see that a flash based unit can meet my price expectations for the size I'm looking for. I know flash is getting cheaper, but I still don't see 2digit-Gig flash based storage being cheap enough. I'd really like some sort of touch interface like the iPhone. We don't have it here in NZ and it will probably take a while yet - so something of that style of device interface would be really great. The larger size screen for video content would also be great, even at the expense of more storage requirements for video. I'm not too sure about WiFi capability.

I guess, the ideal would be a Hard-drive based iPod, somewhere in the 40-80G range, with the iPhone interface minus the cellphone capabilities, costing around the same price as the current iPod Video. That would be ideal. However I guess we will see what is available in the next few days!

[composed and posted with ecto]

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Flock

Flock has a new version of their browser. For any of you who don't know, Flock are a company that publishes a web browser specifically aimed on online "Social Interaction" sites. Based on the codebase from Firefox, it has a number of specialised tools that aid interaction with a number of online services and websites. In particular, it has extra support for Blogging (both reading and writing), Online Photo services and similar media streams.

They've recently updated to a new release 0.9, with a much more streamlined UI and interaction with services. This version is also the first that features a codebase based on the Firefox 2.0 browser.

Anyone who hasn't taken a look at Flock previously, should take a look - you may like it. Even if you have, the updated version seems to be quite a change and has a number of different methods for dealing with features compared to the earlier 0.7 release and previous.

Blogged with Flock

Monday, February 05, 2007

Comet McNaught

So like most people, I've been looking at Comet McNaught to see what I can. Here's a photo taken last night from my front lawn. It's quite a bit harder to see with the naked eye now. The photo's taken with Nikon D50 and 50mm f1.8 lens, ISO 1600, exposure of 13seconds at f8.