huwmart.in

A really nice little tweaklet which allows you to hide certain applications and folders from appearing in Launchpad. I personally won’t be using it, if i’m going to use Launchpad I wan’t to use it as intended, that and i’m running a pretty tight ship in terms of applications so it isn’t much of a problem.

(via MacStories)

So Apple showed off OS X Lion again at WWDC, compared to the last time they talked about it, and the previews we’ve seen since then, they didn’t talk about anything much else - sticking to multi-touch, full screen app’s, mission control, launchpad etc. all of which is exciting to see and a nice refresh to OS X but nothing that we didn’t know already. Since then though they’ve uploaded a new page featuring all of the new features in Lion, here’s some of the small but notable features not addressed in the keynote the really stood out for me as being cool little improvements.

1. Picture-in-picture zoom - The screen zoom feature in Lion features a picture-in-picture view, allowing you to see the zoomed area in a separate window while keeping the rest of the screen at its native size. Choose to have the window follow the cursor, or keep the window in one place to show only areas you navigate.
Although this feature is categorized under Accessibility and is probably targeted at long sighted users, I could actually imagine it being really powerful and probably great for designers and others alike, it will allow you to zoom in on a certain portion of the screen - like you would with a magnifying glass. I could actually imagine myself using this to read when i’m feeling tired or for design, the fact that it will be system wide makes it even better. A feature that probably wasn’t intended to be awesome, but is.

2. Instant messaging availability - See your buddy’s availability while in Address Book.
As issue Joshua Topolsky has discussed about iOS regularly is that it doesn’t feel “alive”, in that app’s don’t interact with each other, by the looks of it though Apple are addressing this in certain areas in a really great way on the desktop. Where they can integrate services and do it in a valuable way for the user they are. I almost never use Address Book on my Mac, with the update to Lion I think it’s going to become a lot more compelling: now in Address Book if you have contacts associated with an IM account it will integrate with iChat and show you their availability. This kind of idea is actually on it’s way to fulfilling the vision from Chris Ziegler of the universal status indicator, once this is ported to iOS as well I think it will become a whole lot more exciting.

3. Social network profiles - Address Book lets you quickly access the social network profiles for your contacts, including Facebook. Press and hold an email address to select the appropriate profile.
Obviously Address Book is going through several changes with Lion to make it a far more compelling application, integrating with social networks like Facebook and from the look of the iOS preview probably Twitter as well. What’s really intriguing about this as they are really bringing Address Book into the modern age making it the hub to find the best way to contact your friends at any given time - be it via phone, email, IM, Facebook or Twitter, you’ll hopefully be able to find links to all of it in Address Book.

4. Group as folder - Instantly create a folder from selected files by choosing the “group as folder” item from the contextual menu.
In Lion it also seems like they’re taking steps to streamline certain processes to make them that little bit easier and quicker. In the past i’ve had to create a folder, highlight the files I want to put into it and drag them over there, now, i’ll simply have to highlight the files and right click select ‘Group as folder’. Little stuff like this shows true attention to detail.

5. Keep both files - When you attempt to add a file to a folder that contains a file of the same name, the Finder now offers to keep both files, appending the word “copy” to the name of the new file.
Another really well thought out little feature which streamlines a process, i’ll often be presented with the option to ‘Stop’ or ‘Replace’, I don’t want to do either. I think this will also be great for new users, not just new to the Mac, but computers in general, people who have been brought over from the halo effect of the iPad where they didn’t even have to deal with a file system and are now confronted with the option to ‘Stop’ or ‘Replace’. They wont have to deal with that anymore.

6. Service plug-ins - Service plug-ins from third-party developers let you add new chat services to iChat. Installing a plug-in is simple. Once it’s downloaded, double-click it. Plug-ins run in a separate process to help ensure that they won’t damage your system.
Although it will probably go unnoticed this is a fundamentally huge feature with so much potential allowing iChat to support protocols other than AIM, Jabber or Gtalk. As long as someone takes the time to create a plug-in. This not only opens up the gate to finally have MSN in iChat but also beyond that any other protocol someone is interested in making a plug-in for. Where I could imagine this would really come into it’s own is with plug-in’s for cross platform messaging services like LiveProfile or PingChat, maybe even iMessage is someone manages to reverse engineer the service so that even if Apple don’t choose to bring it to the Mac we would have access to it. A really exciting prospect.

7. Bind application to a space - You can now bind an application to a particular space or make it available in all spaces right from the Dock. Press and hold the icon in the Dock and make a selection from the contextual menu.
This feature really builds on classic Spaces and goes beyond its functionality to bring it in line with Mission Control, allowing you to pin certain applications to certain spaces. I really think this will be an immensely powerful feature alongside full screen app’s once people figure how to incorporate it into their workflow to make them even more productive and allow them to focus.

8. Capture a region of the screen - QuickTime Player lets you record part of the screen, such as a specific window. It’s perfect for creating a video tutorial of an application.
Although the ‘Apple way’ is typically to add a new feature and do the bare minimum to make it awesome and nothing more1, it’s refreshing to see them build on a small feature like screen recording QuickTime and make it so functional that it will do just fine for the vast majority of people. Saving them a decent amount of money so they don’t have to buy a devoted app.

9. Show clicks on capture - Screen capture in QuickTime lets you show mouse or trackpad clicks, highlighting the pointer each time you click an object on the screen.
Again, a great new feature in QuickTime screen recorder that will go above and beyond what most people need and save them a tonne of money.

10. Improved auto-correction - Auto-correction in Lion displays suggested spellings below the word. Press Return to accept the change or click the X to keep the current spelling.
Another great feature obviously lifted from iOS which i’m really going to appreciate. Listed under Text suggesting it will be a system wide function. I’m terrible at spelling so having the option to correct spelling mistakes in line without having to right click will be useful for me and save me a lot of time. It looks to have been implemented in a really unobtrusive way as well which wont get in your way if you’re just hammering at the keyboard and not paying attention to the screen: Press Return to accept the change or click the X to keep the current spelling.

They’re all tiny little features which probably shouldn’t have been mentioned at the keynote, they wouldn’t have got rounds of applause the way Versioning did. They do though show a precise amount of care that has gone into this OS update, and I highly advise anyone else to read through the other 240 features like I did, because this update is going to be a big one.

Well, this is when it starts to get interesting, the new MacBook Air is shaping up to be an amazing product. With 11.6-inch 64GB MacBook Air stocks already running out that speaks volumes about how popular it is, and this release from Photofast just ups the ante!
The release from Photofast is a 256GB SSD USB drive - I think, not clear on how it works yet, going to have to wait and see - which conceivably doubles the maximum capacity of the new MacBook Air machines. Which is great for the memory junkies out there who feel the need to have 500GB even if they aren’t going to use it who are desperate for the ‘instant on’ which only the MacBook Air with its SSD currently provides. Interestingly Photofast promise speeds of 250MB/s, a 30% performance boost in comparison to the built in SSD by Apple with just 150-160MB/s speeds.
To be honest though, none of that applies to me, I don’t have $1500 to spend on a top of the range 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air. However, i’m still overwhelmed with glee and excitement by this announcement from Photofast as they allegedly plan  to offer 64GB/128GB/256GB SSD upgrades. This applies a little more to me, because i’m now thinking about buying the relatively affordable 11.6-inch 64GB MacBook Air which I never even considered before because of the lack of memory, now though I could buy the 11.6-inch 64GB model and add 64GB, 128GB, or even 256GB if I feel like splashing out and have a rather powerful machine, I mean even with the first - 64GB - it would leave me with 128GB of space, if i’m honest, thats more than the average user will ever need! Anyway, just wanted to give my two cents. Huwbert out.

Well, this is when it starts to get interesting, the new MacBook Air is shaping up to be an amazing product. With 11.6-inch 64GB MacBook Air stocks already running out that speaks volumes about how popular it is, and this release from Photofast just ups the ante!

The release from Photofast is a 256GB SSD USB drive - I think, not clear on how it works yet, going to have to wait and see - which conceivably doubles the maximum capacity of the new MacBook Air machines. Which is great for the memory junkies out there who feel the need to have 500GB even if they aren’t going to use it who are desperate for the ‘instant on’ which only the MacBook Air with its SSD currently provides. Interestingly Photofast promise speeds of 250MB/s, a 30% performance boost in comparison to the built in SSD by Apple with just 150-160MB/s speeds.

To be honest though, none of that applies to me, I don’t have $1500 to spend on a top of the range 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air. However, i’m still overwhelmed with glee and excitement by this announcement from Photofast as they allegedly plan  to offer 64GB/128GB/256GB SSD upgrades. This applies a little more to me, because i’m now thinking about buying the relatively affordable 11.6-inch 64GB MacBook Air which I never even considered before because of the lack of memory, now though I could buy the 11.6-inch 64GB model and add 64GB, 128GB, or even 256GB if I feel like splashing out and have a rather powerful machine, I mean even with the first - 64GB - it would leave me with 128GB of space, if i’m honest, thats more than the average user will ever need! Anyway, just wanted to give my two cents. Huwbert out.

it’s called Project ROME, and it looks great. by the looks of it i’m not entirely sure what it is if i’m honest! from the video it looks to be a desktop publisher, sort of microsoft publisher, but better - thats probably a bad example, i mean do they even make publisher any more? - though it also allegedly allows you to edit graphics, photos, text, video, audio, animation and ‘interactivity’, how the FUCK do you edit interactivity? anyway, i digress.

it’s currently available for free as a demo though apparently ‘Project ROME’s final availability, pricing, and feature set are still under review, so visit this site often for updates. Once available, it will be offered as a paid subscription.’ sounds pretty good, though i don’t think i’d pay for it annually, i’d really rather pay a couple of hundred to just have the application. though, i think i see why their planning to do it as a subscription, for alternative version of ROME; ‘ROME for Education’ - inventive name, i know. i do think this will be a pretty big success though, currently a lot of schools shell out for a volume license of the adobe suite, which is good, you get a variety of different apps for different things, but, because the only people using it are pupils, all the great pro features just go unused and it is a bit of a waste of money, ROME on the other hand looks to cover all the bases: graphics, photos, text, video, audio, animation and the illusive ‘interactivity’, but it will only include the bare essentials, the stuff people actually use.

i think this is a big step for adobe, in the future i think all of the separate apps in the creative suite will be targeted solely at professionals for the pro features while the mainstream will be encouraged to use ROME, which will hopefully provide everything the average person would need on a day to day basis. i also think this is why they’ve gone for an interface which is more easy on the eyes, something the average user will appreciate and probably make it easier to use for them.

so, check it out, both ROME and ROME for Education are currently available for windows and os x as a web app or a desktop app, though to use the desktop app your required to use Adobe AIR - yuck - more importantly, version 2 of Adobe AIR, which won’t be a problem for most people though for me and my elderly imac g5 which can only run Adobe AIR 1.5, it is a problem. for now i’m going to have to use the web app, though i do prefer to have the application on my computer just so i don’t have to go on the internet every time i use it. i recon this is going to be the first time in a while fluid - fluidapp.com - is going to come in useful! anyway, i’ll try and get round to doing a review of ROME and maybe fluid as well actually, because it is a very interesting app. so, thats me done, you can find ROME and of course ROME for Education here:

rome.adobe.com/

huwbert out.

MacBook Air Dirt Cheap? Doubt It. But Fingers Crossed Regardless!

i’ve really got my fingers crossed the new macbook air is going to be cheap. my imac g5 is lovely, but that fact it gets itself into a tizzy if i try to play a youtube video is really rather off-putting. as i’ve already said in a previous post os x 10.7 is going to be my almost valid reason for an upgrade, and i think the new macbook air is going to be my best bet.

starting college next year i’m wanting something portable, and the macbook air is one up on that; it’s REALLY portable. it can run windows, for my moments of insanity when i want to run windows - though, ‘want’ isn’t the word, it’s usually ‘need’, for compatibility and such using microsoft office, though that will hopefully be solved with office for mac 2011, which i sadly can not run on my imac g5! also, i don’t need masses of memory, i’m not a heavy user, 80% of the time it’s just the internet, music, tweetie, windows live and sparrow! the other 20% is when on occasion i have a project and need to use iwork, ilife or photoshop or indesign. my only other request is a built in cd drive, i don’t think i could put up with carrying a superdrive with me, sadly it’s really quite unclear about weather the macbook air will be getting a cd drive or not. if you have a better insight into that please let me know and tell me more! as thats what is shrouding the idea of getting a macbook air with doubt for me!

so, i hope you can see why i’m hoping beyond hope it will be very, very cheap, it would be a mac which would fulfill all of my needs, portability, function, and hopefully price. i would buy a mac mini, but what alludes me is that if i would have to buy an apple display as well, and that would actually result in it being bloody expensive! that and its not exactly portable unless you have a display (and preferably a keyboard and mouse, i wouldn’t like to carry them around as well) where ever you’re going!

but yeah, i just wanted to have a short (i know, i’m funny aren’t i?) rant about that. $800 would be ideal! although i know that is NEVER going to happen, though i would happily pay $1000, if it’s any higher than that, i think apple have lost out on a large target market: people who need a cheap, and more importantly, portable, apple device. don’t anyone dare say the ipad is a cheap portable apple device, that doesn’t count! if it’s anything greater than $1000, i think i might just wait a little longer and get a low-end macbook. huwbert out.