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Archive for June, 2009

HThackintosh Remote Part 2

June 28, 2009 1 comment

Xbox_remoteIn part 1 I looked at using a Logitech Harmony, Manta TR1 IR receiver and software to control my HTPC, which also happens to be a hackintosh. The conclusion was that this method has some drawbacks, with cost and amount of setup required being the main ones. Trying to use a remote on a hackintosh makes the endeavour even harder as many genuine Macs have a built in IR receiver eliminating one of the steps I had to take.

The second approach listed previously is to adapt an Xbox DVD remote for use with Plex. I have several of these remotes in use with my XBMC Xbox’s which are gradually being retired as I go HD. Plex is a development of the XBMC software so already has good support for the Xbox remote, so I went into the second trial hopeful. Read more…

Snow Leopard videos

June 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard has been marketed so far as a refinement of the existing 10.5 Leopard operating system, offering a smaller footprint and increased performance as opposed to lots of new features. That doesn’t mean there are no visible changes for the end user, as many components have seen additions and improvements in existing features. The video’s below show some of the improved interface elements in Snow Leopard.

The enhanced Dock ‘Stacks’ feature of Snow Leopard Read more…

Snow Leopard 10A394 released to developers

June 27, 2009 1 comment

Dock Expose

Apple has issued an update to developers for its 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system through Software Update. The 10A394 update offers ‘general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility and security’. Included in this version is the Dock Expose feature demonstrated at the recent WWDC, allowing a view of all an applications open windows by clicking and holding briefly the dock icon. The screenshot above shows Dock Expose in action, screenshots of the update below.

iPod Touch 1st Gen with V3 software

June 23, 2009 Leave a comment

The new V3 iPhone/iPod software from Apple offers a lot of improvements and additions, unfortunately the amount of these changes decreases the further back the family tree you go. Probably the least blessed by the V3 update is the first generation iPod Touch, the model I use. I’ve been looking through the software I use on my iPod for a couple of days to find what’s new, so here’s a list of the changes you get for your £5.99/$9.99

iPod_Touch_1st_Gen_V3_02iPod_Touch_1st_Gen_V3_01

Search Found to the left of the home screen, this offers similar functionality to the Mac’s Spotlight, searching most of the device’s built in applications. Icons for each application on the left identify where the match is so this is a very fast way of finding what you want. It’s also customisable from Settings>General>Home, as shown below. The home button can be assigned an action, and apps you don’t want to include can be deselected. It’s even possible to drag the apps around to change the order of the search results. Read more…

iPhoto/iPod import problem

June 22, 2009 1 comment

iPhoto09iconI’ve been working my way through the iPod V3 firmware looking for new features, and got to the point where I wanted to copy the screenshots across into iPhoto. The problem was iPhoto gave an unrecognised file format error every time I tried copying the PNG files, and would show the iPod as docked even when it was disconnected.

A quick web search led to a page at the Apple support forums, and some advice to unmount the device in Image Capture. It’s not immediately obvious how to do this, so for anyone with the same problem here’s a few simple steps to the fix. Read more…

PwnageTool 3 released

June 21, 2009 1 comment

pwnagetoolFollowing hot on the heels of Apple’s firmware 3 for iPhone and iPod Touch is the release of PwnageTool 3 to jailbreak some of those devices. Available for Mac only at the moment, this software is capable of jailbreaking the iPhone 2G and first generation iPod Touch, as well as unlocking the iPhone 2G for any network. Support for later devices will follow soon with QuickPwn.

It’s worth mentioning that PwnageTool wiped my iPod Touch when I used it, where upgrading to firmware 3 using iTunes will leave the content on the iPod. This meant a long sync after using PwnageTool to replace all the music/video/photo’s. Not a problem, just remember to sync your iPhone/iPod using iTunes before upgrading to firmware 3 or using PwnageTool to create a custom firmware.

As ever, thanks to the iPhone Dev Team for their continued hard work bringing us the option to jailbreak and unlock our iDevices. Below is a video walkthrough, click on Read the rest of this entry for a screenshot gallery.

Read more…

iPhone/iPod software 3.0 released

June 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Apple has today released the V3 software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Available through iTunes as a free (iPhone) or paid (iPod Touch) update, much has been written of the new features so I won’t repeat it here. My own 1st Gen iPod Touch is currently updating so there will be some update screenshots and V3 screengrabs added soon.

Update Not much new in the update process, I’m currently working through the new features to see what works on the iPod Touch 1st gen.

UK iPhone pricing

June 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I had hoped O2 would be replacing the 8/16Gb iPhone 3G with the new 16/32Gb 3GS, but the AT&T pricing of $199/$299 made that look unlikely. O2 now have an iPhone 3GS pricing page and they’re not coming cheap.

iPhone_3GS_Uk_pricing

The last generation iPhone 3G stays at £96.89/free, but the new 16Gb 3GS rises to £184.98 on cheap/shorter contracts, compared to £155.61 for the replaced 16Gb 3G. The 32Gb 3GS comes in at a wallet busting £274.23, or £175.19 if you are willing to sign up for a 24 month contract. That’s a TCO of £890.91 for a 16Gb model on the £35 tariff for 18 months, or £926.91 for 32Gb. The new 3GS is also available on pay as you go:

  • iPhone 3G 8GB – £342.50
  • iPhone 3G S 16GB – £440.40
  • iPhone 3G S 32GB – £538.30

That’s an eye watering price for the 3GS, but since it includes 12 months of unlimited data it works out cheaper for anyone with light call and text usage.

The real issue here is the use of 18 and 24 month contracts, especially when Apple seem dedicated to a 12 month release cycle for its iPhone hardware. Macworld has some details for users looking to terminate their contracts to get the new model, and the bad news is that it looks like O2 will want the remainder of the contract paid in full. That means an iPhone 3G owner 12 months into their contract would have to pay £205.56 plus cost of new 3GS model, with the prospect of doing the same in 12 months when the next version is released.

Categories: apple, iPhone, uk Tags: , , , , , , ,

Apple announces iPhone 3GS

June 8, 2009 Leave a comment

iPhone_3GS

As was fairly widely reported in the past 24 hours, Apple has announced a new version of the iPhone hardware. The 3GS improves on the current 3G model in a number of key areas:

  • Speed improvements launching apps
  • 7.2Mbps HSDPA for faster cellular data transfer
  • 3 megapixel autofocus camera with macro down to 10cm
  • 30fps VGA video capture
  • Voice control for calls and iTunes
  • Nike+ support built in
  • Up to 5 hours 3G talk time, 9 hours WiFi internet use

Price at $199 for 16Gb and $299 for 32Gb the iPhone 3GS goes on sale in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and UK on June 19th. The existing iPhone 3G will still be available as an 8Gb $99 option, so it looks like all the talk of an iPhone nano is redundant.

Categories: apple, iPhone Tags: ,

iPhone OS 3 due June 17th

June 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Also just announced at the WWDC, iPhone/iPod Touch OS version 3 will be released on 17th June. As before, this is a free upgrade for iPhone users and a paid ($9.99) upgrade for iPod Touch owners. Most of the changes have been covered in depth before, but include:

  • Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo across all apps
  • Landscape screen support in key Apple apps
  • MMS support for some carriers
  • Spotlight search for anything on the iPhone
  • Rent/Buy video content through iTunes
  • Tethering, share the mobile connection with a computer. Not all carriers are offering this.
  • Faster Safari Browser with Autofill
  • More than 30 languages supported
  • ‘Find my iPhone’ tracking and remote erase through Mobile Me

This update should please a lot of iPhone users complaining the lack of basic functionality, especially when the Palm Pre looks to have got a lot right with its first release.