Archive

Archive for January, 2009

Hackintosh HTPC part 2

January 31, 2009 5 comments

Having decided to build a hackintosh HTPC in part 1, the next step is picking hardware. This would normally include a display and this project is no different. The display this time though is an LCD television instead of the usual LCD monitor.

I had a short list of potential TV’s and the top was occupied by a couple of Sony models, the 40V4000 and 40W4000. The decision on which to go for would depend on what deals were available as the spec is similar, with the 40W4000 being a 10 bit panel (instead of 8 bit) and adding some multimedia features. Next on the list were Samsung’s 6 series models. A local retailer had an older Samsung 46″ 5 series and a Sony 40L4000 (a cut down 40V4000) hooked up to a Vista PC through a KVM switch, running at something like 1366×768 resolution. I increased the resolution to 1920×1080 and to my surprise the Sony showed an unsupported display mode message while the Samsung looked fantastic. Read more…

iPhone/iPod 2.2.1 Update

January 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Apple has released an update for the iPhone and iPod Touch to firmware 2.2.1. This looks to be a bugfix release with no new features, and the iPhone Dev Team has upgraded their QuickPwn and Pwnage tools to handle the new firmware. Read the release notes at the Dev Team Blog before upgrading as their recommendation is to NOT use QuickPwn with a 2.2 iPhone 3G if you want to continue using it unlocked.

Hackintosh HTPC part 1

January 21, 2009 4 comments

For the past few year’s I’ve used an Xbox running Xbox Media Centre to play video files on a TV, streamed from first a Windows machine then a Synology file server. This setup is easy to use and picture quality is fine on a standard definition set. Mrs Basshead has recently become a lot more convinced of the need to upgrade to High Definition after watching a 40 inch Samsung 6 series for a while, so the second requirement (after buying a suitable LCD TV) is a HD capable media streamer. Read more…

250Mb = Unlimited

January 15, 2009 Leave a comment

The Uk’s Advertising Standards Agency has decided that an advert by e2save describing a 250Mb monthly data limit as ‘unlimited’ is ok. As far as I know this is the lowest ‘unlimited’ allowance yet, and once again the ASA demonstrates it really doesn’t care about consumers being mislead. It’s bad enought that broadband providers can slap an unlimited badge on any limit they like, now telecoms providers can do the same. PCpro covered the story (having lead a crusade recently for clearer advertising) with details that e2save claim 1MB of mobile data would allow 160 WAP pages, 100 short emails, four video clips or three music tracks. That’s music of a quality I would not want to listen to, and does anyone use WAP now? If you’re looking for a mobile data plan, look somewhere else. Oh, and could we have a market regulator with some backbone?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

Apple asks Wired to remove Hackintosh video

January 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Looks like Apple is starting to look beyond Mac clone builders using OS X. The latest news is that Wired has been asked to remove a video detailing installation of Leopard on an MSI Wind netbook. Is this the exposure level that Apple is unwilling to accept? There have been many articles published on building a hackintosh and installing OS X on non-Apple hardware, so it looks like Apple is willing to ignore the practice as long as it remains a hobbyist pursuit. Who knows, the latest move to trademark ‘OS X’ without the preceding Mac might be for a generic hardware version (yeah, and the press might give Steve Jobs some privacy).

Categories: apple, hackintosh Tags: , , ,

Palm back on the cutting edge

January 8, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been a sad few years watching the once pioneering Palm slip further behind its competitors. Fortunately the new Palm Pre was announced today and the name is the worst part of the product. Sporting the new webOS the device offers a good spec:

  • The Latest TI Omap processor claiming ‘laptop-style power’
  • 3.1-inch 320 x 480 multitouch display
  • slide down qwerty keyboard
  • EV-DO Rev. A and 802.11b/g WiFi
  • GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP
  • 8GB of built-in flash storage
  • 3 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • USB2 socket with mass storage profile
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

The best part of the package is the apps. Written using existing standards such as CSS, HTML and XML palm claims anyone familiar with these can start writing apps straight away. Also impressive is the Synergy sync system which pulls together PIM info from a variety of sources such as Facebook, Google, and Outlook, then dishes it up with duplicates removed. Sounds great, the only question I have left is will it work with my Mac?

The only negative point is the ‘first half of 2009’ release date. With iPhone, Android and Palm now offering competitive smartphone platforms the next year should see some big improvements in features and usability.

Macheist is go

January 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Anyone wanting some puzzles to solve for free software should head over to Macheist.com and sign up for an account. There are three titles on offer for those who solve the puzzles (or read the solutions in the forum), with more puzzles and free software to come. If this plays out like the last Macheist there should be discount vouchers toward the final software bundle.

Categories: software Tags: , ,

iLife 09 due late January

January 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Apple has today announced the next update to its iLife suite of apps. The 09 version is due late January and offers big updates to the iPhoto, iMovie and garageband components. Here’s a quick summary

  • iPhoto gains face recognition and geotagging support. Photo’s can be searched from a corkboard of faces and shown on a map of shooting location. Geotagging info can be added to photo’s that don’t have the data in them. Slideshows with themes are also new.
  • iMovie appears to have a lot of iMovie HD’s functionality restored. Themes are back, and new features include video stabilisation and effect direct in the timeline with no pre-rendering. Early reports suggest more in depth editing features as well.
  • Garageband gains instructional content to teach guitar and keyboard. Video of famous performers is coupled with a guitar fretboard or keyboard to show how to play each song. Artist lessons are priced at $4.99 each from the garageband store.

Sounds like some solid updates that will help Apple stand out from the competition. iLife 09 will continue to be free on new Macs, and $79 to buy. Further details at Apple.com/iLife

Picasa for Mac released

January 6, 2009 Leave a comment

picasaGoogle has released a version of its Picasa photo editing/management for the Macintosh. Currently a Beta, Version 3 of the software is missing some features of the Windows and Linux versions  but adds the ability to import from iPhoto. Most importantly, and unlike iPhoto, Picasa doesn’t store another copy of each photo you edit and works happily with an existing directory tree. This should help to keep the size of photo collections to a minimum, and also work better with other apps. I’ve been trying Adobe’s Lightroom V2 recently which also can work from an existing directory tree. Picasa runs very fast on my Hackintosh so will probably become the app of choice for quickly previewing and searching for Photo’s, while Lightroom will be used for editing.

Palm to launch Nova, new Smartphone?

January 5, 2009 Leave a comment

palm_logoI’m rooting for the underdog big time on this one. Palm is expected to unveil it’s next generation Nova operating system at CES this week, along with a new smartphone to show off it’s moves. CrunchGear is saying the announcement will be on Thursday, and the new phone will offer a slide out qwerty keyboard and will probably be sourced by HTC. Engadged adds that the new device is described as ‘amazing’ by people who have seen it, and will come packed with apps to take advantage of its multimedia capabilities. Updated Palm PIM apps? Bring it on.