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Archive for January, 2008

More Free iPhone/iPod Wallpapers

January 27, 2008 4 comments

I had a request for another colour and knocked up a few more, so here they are. All new wallpapers will be added to the wallpapers tab in the menu bar.

Black_AppleGrey_ApplePink_AppleTeal_Apple

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Categories: iPod, phone, wallpapers Tags: , , ,

Who makes my next Computer?

January 27, 2008 2 comments

hackintoshIt’s the time of year when I take a look at my computer and ask if I want to upgrade anything. My Macbook (first generation 1.83Ghz) has been fairly solid for the year and a half since I got it. Sudden shutdowns were the biggest problem, and after six weeks of use it was off to Apple for a mystery repair. Apple said they replaced a cable and a bracket but the machine came back with a different hard drive as well. Around six months ago the dying battery was replaced for free, but then half the world seems to have suffered from defective batteries.
The source of this latest round of upgrade angst is Geekbench. It’s a processor benchmarking program that lets you compare processor performance in any supported operating system. I tested the VideoPC (Windows XP, Dual Xeon 2.4Ghz) and got a result of 1560. The Macbook was a surprise (Mac OS 10.5.1, Core Duo 1.83Ghz) returning 2304. I still use the VideoPC for a range of video editing tasks, but it’s a noisy power hungry beast. If the Macbook is 50% faster I would be better served moving all my work to the Macbook. especially since UK energy prices are going through the roof.
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Free iPhone/iPod Wallpapers

January 26, 2008 13 comments

I have been looking for some simple and bright wallpapers for my iPod touch and not finding what I wanted, so I decided to have a go myself. And it’s all about sharing, right?
Right click the images below to save, images will save at full size. Drop them into iTunes (I recommend into a new album), sync to device and select as wallpaper.

Leave a comment if you want any other colours.

Orange_AppleGrape_AppleBlue_AppleGreen_Apple

Cameras with blink/smile recognition

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

E1050In the never ending quest to find the feature that sells a bucketload, General Electric is to launch a range of compact cameras in the UK with blink and smile recognition. The models will warn when someone in the photo you just took was blinking, so you can take another snap. They will also focus on smiling faces.
No definite pricing on these yet, but reghardware are claiming prices of £60 for the 7 megapixel A735, £120 for the 8 megapixel G2 and £180 for the 12 megapixel E1235. The 10 megapixel E1050 is probably the most interesting at £200, with a built in GPS receiver for geotagging and a HDMI port.

This makes me wonder what gimick the phone makers will try next to differentiate their products. Maybe the credibility filter, to remove anyone too ugly or embarrasing. Or how about a parental filter that removes nudity, drunken behaviour and obscene hand gestures so you can show your parents the lad/ladette holiday shots.

What happened to Virgin Broadband?

January 22, 2008 3 comments

Virgin MediaI’ve been on the Telewest/Virgin Broadband service for many years. So many in fact I can’t remember when I joined. I have emails to my Blueyonder address from early 2001, so that’s at least 7 years. Without wanting to sound like a preachy old git, it used to be a good service. I started on the 512Mb connection, and always got it. 2Mb, 4Mb, 10Mb and now 20Mb speeds have followed, but the last one was a very mixed ‘upgrade’. I was happy with the Telewest Blueyonder 10Mb service. Download speeds were usually over 1 megabyte a second.
Then Virgin took over, and heavily publicised the doubling of broadband speeds. My connection went to 20Mb, but I saw very little speed improvement over the 10Mb service. The biggest shock came when my download speed started dropping. I eventually found out that Virgin were capping the download speed at 5Mb if you used too much bandwidth between 4pm and midnight. I say eventually found out because unlike the 20Mb upgrade Virgin didn’t publicise this change. The 20Mb service is still sold as unlimited, as shown here, or here. No disclaimers, asterisks or anything else to say it’s not an unlimited service. Only it isn’t, as shown here.

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Time Capsule first look

January 20, 2008 1 comment

Time CapsuleThe recently announced Time Capsule wireless router/NAS is due in February (in the UK) for £199 (500Gb) and £329 (1Tb). It’s stated to work with Macs using Time Machine and Windows PC’s as a shared drive, but there’s little info as yet on the interface and access controls. The current Airport Extreme offers users accounts with passwords for restricted access to files and folders, so Time Capsule should offer at least this.
Apple’s usual ease of use is pretty much a given, but does the package offer good value for money? A 500Gb Network Attached Storage box can be bought for £146.86 here. That leaves £53 for a wireless router. You can get a cheap ‘super G’ box for £20.56 here, but that’s not Draft-N standard. I couldn’t find any Draft-N routers that cheap, so the 500Gb Time Capsule at £199 looks like good value.
But what about the 1Tb version? The price difference between a bare 500Gb and 1Tb SATA hard drive is around £120 at the moment, but that’s for a standard drive. Apple states the Time Capsule contains a ‘server grade’ hard drive, so while the 1Tb Time Capsule doesn’t offer the same cost per Mb as the 500Mb unit, it is competitively priced.
Hopefully these boxes will encourage home users to start taking backups a bit more seriously. It’s fine having a computer that makes it easy to store thousands of songs and photo’s, and hundreds of hours of video, but the more it stores the bigger the shock when it all gets lost.

Macworld Expo 2008 roundup

January 20, 2008 4 comments

The annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco has now finished, and several sites have their reviews of events.

Lots of interesting opinions on the announcements, and some very conflicting views. The charge for iPod apps seems to have split users straight down the middle, and the Macbook Air coverage seems to be split between ‘another G4 cube’, ‘nice as a second computer but limited as a first machine’ and ‘I want it now’. The last seems to be limited to geeks and macheads so it may not spread to normal people.