We finally took the plunge & invested in an apple airport extreme. We have been having a lot of problems with our normally rock solid Cisco router and e crappy salem router supplied by Sky. The problem is while we are in between houses we are living in an apartment. It’s not ideal as we are used to living in a larger space. The key to where we no rally live is the lack of wifi interference & channel overlap. Before we moved out of our last house there where no wifi networks in range of our property, not one. Now we are in the apartment there are over 30 picked up with weak antennas such as the iPhone and over 50 if scanning with the MacBook pro or iMac. This interference causes havoc.
I’ve been having issues with my Xbox overheating. It’s due an upgrade but I’m saving hard for a new car so I’m not spending any money. Since I don’t have any windows machines anymore I decided to setup a boot camp partition and install windows 7 to play modern warfare 3.
My iMac is a mid 2009 model iMac with the 2.93ghz core 2 duo processor, 4GB of ram and a nvidia GT120 dedicated graphics card. I thought this would be plenty to run Mw3 in low graphics settings, but I was so surprised to see it run at high graphic details with 2x anti aliasing enabled and sustain a minimum of 30fps on really detailed open maps. When in buildings where less scenery is visible its possible to hit 60 or 70fps. Bearing in mind this is with everything set to high so the graphics look great, and 30fps is perfectly playable & fast. If you want an even faster gaming experience you can reduce the graphics quality. This is also running at the iMacs native resolution of 1920×1200 resolution.
I finally took the plunge and bought the MacBook pro to replace our ageing dell 1545 laptop. What an upgrade. I was really torn between the portability of the MacBook air and the power of the pro. After weighing it up and asking certain techy friends I decided to ditch the portability of the air and go for the slightly heavier but more powerful pro.
So far I’m really impressed. The apple migration assistant was great and copied everything over Ethernet in a little over an hour from my old machine to the new one. That’s over 90gb of stuff copied & organised with only a few clicks. Today I’m sat in a coffee shop working, modifying php scripts, uploading files and configuring a MySQL database. What’s more I fully charged it last night and after 5 hours of use I still have 36% charge left, and it’s been hammered today already. So much stuff open including dreamweaver, photoshop, safari, mail, iTunes.
I Finally got around to installing XBMC on my iPad 2. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages but I’ve been waiting on the Jailbreak coming out. Setup was really easy simply go to cydia on your jailbroken ipad and do the following :-
1. Go to Sources -> Edit -> Add
3. Type in “http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/ios/” (Without the quotation marks)
Now once the repository is added and updated, search for XBMC in cydia and hit install. Mine installed really quickly and I was up and running in minutes. All that was left to do is add my SMB shares from the iMac and I could start streaming videos in any format directly from my mac. No need to convert to mp4/m4v and no need to manually copy them across into the VLC app. All in all A nice use for the iPad, portal streaming throughout the house. I’ve also setup the iPhone 4 for streaming which is excellent.
UPDATE – I’ve found a much better fix – Use NFS shares instead- Use NFS shares instead of Samba with XBMC
Well it’s been a nightmare few days with the upgrade to Lion GM breaking Samba sharing. For me NFS isnt really an option, it’s clunky, and my network is full of old windows machines, not to mention the XBMC’s on the Apple TV 2, Ipad 2, iPhone and the old Xboxs. i needed a fix for Samba, and this came in the form of installing Samba 3 on Lion via Macports and setting up the smb.conf file manually to share my media.
I’ve finally started reading Digital Editions of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. Historically I’ve been buying the magazine from their Yahoo store and having it mailed to me from the USA, but the kindle edition means I can have it on the day f release, and read it on the kindle or the iPad. Perfect. Also means I’m building up a great library of digital content with me at all times, ideal if I’m out & about and want to refer to an article.
Check it out
I’m currently reading The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser. I downloaded the book as a DRM free epub (I’m funny about where I buy my books from as I have a Kindle, an iPad & an iPhone so i tend to chop and change my reading device). I’m about 50% of the way through the book and it’s quite scary stuff. It’s so far prompted me to slim down my Facebook account, including removing extra information from the account. I’ve also taken steps to block tracking websites by disabling tracking in Firefox & ramping up my Adblock Pro. It’s really crazy how much money can be made from your information, you think you are benefiting from a great free service but the company behind it are normally profiting hugely from sharing your information.
It really is a great read, give it a look and grab a copy for your kindle or iPad.
After a month searching the length & breadth of Britain for a 3G iPad 2 I finally got hold of one in the Exeter apple store. It was a 150 mile round trip with no guarantees of bagging one but I did it. I’m now the proud owner of an iPad 2 64gb 3G model with an O2 microsim.
I’m really impressed so far. My only criticism of the iPad 2 is the quality of the cameras. They are adequate, but feel like an afterthought. The resolution is rubbish on both front & rear cameras and my ageing iPhone 3G takes much better stills.
I finally took the plunge and bought a decent sized external hard drive. Up until now I’ve hoarded away my movies & media on DVD’s but with the cost of storage media plummeting I decided to opt for one of these 2TB hard drives from Western Digital. The My Book Essential is a nice looking unit with a gloss black finish, rubberised feet to stop vibration and a front facing storage gauge indicating how full the drive is. The drive is nice and fast over USB 2.0 and does a great job of spinning down when not in use and even shuts itself down when I put the mac to sleep so is very conveneient.
Well I’ve finally done the untethered jailbreak of my apple tv 2 and I’m really impressed with the results.
The jailbreak wasn’t too difficult (although I still use pwnage tool to get the apple TV 2 into DFU mode as it seems much easier). Once in DFU mode I plugged in the power cable then it’s just a case of running greenpois0n RC6 (mac version) and hitting the jailbreak button. Once it says complete, wait around 40 seconds before removing the usb cable and inserting the HDMI cable. You will have an extra tab on your apple tv called greenpois0n. Click this and click install cydia and it will download cydia from the repository using apt.
Well after all the hype over the iPad, I have to say after playing with one I’m not overly impressed. It’s a quick ass piece of kit, don’t get me wrong, but the price point is way off. After all it’s iPhone OS so we rely on apps, and the lack of file system access & printing mean it will never replace a laptop. Besides, I can’t see CS4/CS5 for iPad arriving anytime soon. I really do think it’s a good piece of kit, and would have one no question if the price wasn’t so high. I’ll get one soon enough but it’s not a game changing device so no rush.
Well it has been a crazy month of new things. Firstly the month has seen me in and out of the doctors with headaches, which we have concluded is down to stress, and a weak right eye which is being irritated by using a screen all day. So I now have two pairs of posh designer glasses to wear which has already made a big difference, meaning I can see my iPhone & netbook and all other screens alot more clearly.
To go with the new eyewear, I finally invested in a North Face hardcore waterproof with zip out fleece which cost me so much money it makes my eyes water thinking about it, but I’ve wanted the jacket and the fleece for so long, and I got a good deal on the pair so I now have them.
Yesterday I grabbed a copy of the tomtom gps app fron the iTunes store to test with my iPhone. I’ve been a long time tomtom gps user and currently have a tomtom go in the car. The promise of similar functionality on the iPhone coupled with the inteligent route functionality to find the shortest & fastest route made this app a must for my iPhone.
First impressions of the app Are mixed. The gps signal isn’t great on the iPhone, and the app isn’t as responsive or fast when compared with the tontom go. However the functionality is complete and the app has much more functionality than the recently updated tomtom go software.
Well I’m now in the second month of ownership and I still love the Samsung N110. This machine has completely changed the way I browse then Internet, and the fact that most of the things I do online are web based such as Twitter, Gmail, iPlayer and reading news and blogs, the Netbook is an ideal partner.
I was sceptical from the start with regards to quoted battery life, but I’ve got to admit, even with normal usage on battery with brightness adjusted to my lining and iTunes either playing music or downloading podcasts in the background, I still manage in excess of 8 hours battery life from a single charge. I now find that If I charge the netbook overnight, I can do all my computing on it the following day without the need for a power outlet. The powe consumption and battery life is amazing, and although the system may be limited from a processor power point of view, it is more than sufficient for editing photos in Picassa or Photoshop, and writing php in Dreamweaver.