Category Archives: Gadgets

Apple OS X (10.6.4) Graphics Update 1.0

Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0Apple has long been criticized for their apparent neglect of the gaming industry. Today, it seems that they’re taking note. A software update released on 17th August says that it fixes problems that affect Portal, Team Fortress 2 and StarCraft 2 among others. Enough to level the playing field? Maybe not. A step in the right direction? Possible. Only time will tell.

Summary

The Snow Leopard Graphics Update contains stability and performance fixes for graphics applications and games in Mac OS X v10.6.4.

Products Affected

MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009), MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010), MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010), iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2009), Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac mini (Early 2009), Mac OS X 10.6.4, Mac mini (Mid 2010), iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010), iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010), MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010), Portal, StarCraft II, Team Fortress 2

What’s included?

The Snow Leopard Graphics Update contains stability and performance fixes for graphics applications and games:

  • Addresses frame rate issues occurring in Portal and Team Fortress 2 by Valve, on iMac (Late 2009 and Mid 2010), Mac mini (Early 2009 and Mid 2010), Mac Pro (Early 2009), MacBook (Early 2009 and Mid 2010) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010) or MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010) models.
  • Resolves an issue that could cause Aperture 3, or StarCraft II by Blizzard, to unexpectedly quit or become unresponsive.
  • Resolves an image corruption issue that may occur when disconnecting and reconnecting external displays while the system is running.

I love my Genius

I’ve been using iTunes 8 (Look at what’s new)for a couple of days now, both on my Mac and my PC… and I’ve found that the selection of music that it brings up is rather diverse playlist.

Now, my playlists have a number of songs that I play really often, and others that I play rarely, if at all… When I select a song that I like and press the Genius button, iTunes brings up a playlist that seems to based on the kind of song that was selected, similar in terms of genre of music, or artist, but varied in terms of BPM (Beats Per Minute), my rating of the song, and the number of times the songs have been played. I’ve beeing using this feature for a while now, and its only created playlists that have been interesting. So far, its never mixed up genres, or moods (and I have a varied set of music ranging from Classical to Pop to Classic Rock to Metal).

Genius does list out my music and upload it to Apple’s servers, but presumably this is in order to match the music together and to provide me with suggestions in the accompanying Genius bar on the side. However, when I log in to the Indian iTunes Store (which does not sell music), the bar helpfully suggests that it close itself, because there are no suggestions from my country’s store. I just wish that they start selling music on the Indian store, instead of just iPhone Apps.

Good going, Apple.

Download iTunes Here

Apple UnSlow Commercial

I’m an Apple fan. I have been for quite a while now… I’ve moved all my work from a PC desktop to a mac book pro so that I can get things done one the go, and things work great.

Recently though, 37Signals brought into question, the forthrightness of one of Apple’s ads.

Here’s a short video that compares Real-Life 3G performance and Apple’s advertising material.

Yes, I do get that “twice as fast” is in reference to non-3G wireless networks, but its still misleading.

Google Ad Sense adds Scroll Buttons!

I noticed something new today…

Google’s Adsense has done something that I’m not particularly happy about. Its gone and added scroll buttons on each of their text ads. This means that people can view more ads on my site (maybe this is actually good for me!) but distracts them from the reason that they’re at my website … my content!

Google Ad with Scroll

Click on the image above to see it full size. It’s a screen shot from Technorati

Google Ad with Scroll

Now, this is a screen capture from my website www.beyondphototips.com and as you can see, the arrows just above my comments box are a bit distracting.

Of course, over time people will stop noticing the buttons and just get on with their lives, and yes, Google is just trying to attract more attention so that they can get more clicks…

But that does not mean that I have to like it! Now, unless I see a significant rise in revenue from Google, on a daily basis, I may just remove all the ad sense ads…

What do you think? Would you remove your adsense ads just for this reason? Do let me know in the comments!

Update: Look, Its for real! Problogger had a post about it too!

PS: This blog has been on WordPress 2.5 for a while now, and I should say that its been great. Yes, I’ve had some inconsistencies in the plugin upgrades (some of you may have noticed some issues), but writing this post was a breeze.

I’m a fan!

Smack Da Book

I’ve finally got a Mac. Everybody who knows me knows that I have one. I love it. It’s got a beautiful, sleek exterior, great build, a very intuitive interface, and a great hardware configuration.

Hey, you… Stop drooling… That’s MY Mac I’m talking about… You go get yourself your own piece, buster!

I’ve been using it for about a month now, and it’s taken me some time to get used to the interface. It’s great and all… but having used a PC for over 17 years of my 25 years of existence has made me partial to it’s quirks. I needed more to get me hooked. It was then that I came across Shadow Book, Smack Book and VirtueDesktops. VirtueDesktops (Download Link) is no longer in development because the author figured that Leopard‘s spaces would have more to offer. I run tiger for the moment… and I guess I’ll use VirtueDesktops until my copy of Leopard arrives (it’s in the mail).

VirtueDesktops offers multiple different desktops so that you can arrange your applications logically, into conveniently separated views. Shadow book and Smackbook then offer a very ingenious way of switching between these desktops. Smackbook lets you use the motion detector that is built into the hardware of almost all Apple Notebooks. You tap the laptop, and it Smackbook detects the movement and changes desktops; Smack Da Book.

Shadow book uses the ambient light sensor built into the Mac Book Pro to detect the light differences between the left and the right sensor. If you put your had over the left hand side ambient light sensor, the software switches your desktop. Great Stuff!

I installed the last beta of VirtueDesktops (possibly the last build of this software ever, what a shame!) and to my pleasant surprise, I found that I could activate switching of desktops using the motion or ambient light sensors from directly inside the software! Now I didn’t need Shadow book, but take a look at it in action in the video above… I wonder whether Leopard can do that!

So, i’m going to buy meself a point’n shoot

Small CameraYes, you heard me right. I’m looking out for a tiny, pocket sized, point-n-shoot digital camera. I’m looking for something that’s easy to operate, that lets me shoot at high ISOs (because I like to) and that has a manual mode that is not too difficult to operate.

Durability is a factor too, because, you see, this is going to be IN my pocket almost all the darn day… and that’s not a very safe place, especially when I’m in the middle of a photoshoot. Resolution is a factor, though not so much… anything over 5MPX should be fine…

Any Suggestions?

iPhone… or do i?

Apple’s brand new ‘revolutionary’ iPhoneApple has revolutionised the phone… really? The guys at Engadget don’t seem to think so. They’ve got a long list of things that they think Apple did wrong.

We’ve all heard about the great things that the iPhone can do… now we hear about what it cant!

But first, a recap of the headlines… What Apple did right!

  1. Designed something that looks way cooler than anything else on the planet, yet…
  2. Got all of the mobile devices you would need, and bunched them into one sleek package.
  3. Gave this thing an interface that could have great potential in many different applications.
  4. Made everything upgradable simply by running everything off OS X (software is so much easier to upgrade than hardware).
  5. Made this sleek, shiny iPhone almost completely scratch proof.
  6. Gave it a display that was usable in direct sunlight Continue reading iPhone… or do i?