Apple Fitness

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything techy… been a long time since I’ve written anything but hey. Today is iOS 9 release day, so prepare for the masses to bork Apple’s servers and/or complain that they have no space for the update on their devices and this is somehow Apples fault.

Last week they announced a new iPad pro that is the size of a house, comes with a stylus (Sorry Steve) and is clearly aimed at the business market. An example along side the 6/6s plus of Apple providing people with what the markets think they think they need, rather than just doing their own thing. Oh and there was a new iPhone, fetching in ringpiece pink. (I think that’s what they called it)

All that is not what excites me. If I was a app developer I wouldn’t be writing this, I’d be busy making a million dollars. Tim Cook’s barmy army announced a new Apple TV, with Apps. Now here’s the idea, you can have it for free. Apple TV Fitness.

The Apple TV coupled with the Apple Watch could, with a clever app on both devices, provide a home aerobic workout that is personalised, not only to you in general, but to you at that very instant. The apple watch monitors your heart rate and motion, so could influence the workout you see on screen. No more gym membership, no more putting up with the odours of farty Clarence whilst listening to the inane coaching stylings of Jenni “Woo yeah c’mon”

You are slowing, mid workout, Apple TV fitness coach encourages you. You do something well, there is praise. Want to workout with Homer Simpson or Ozzy Osbourne, it happened to Sat Nav why not workout? People will pay for different trainers/voices. If someone writes these apps I don’t have the skill to write there is money to be made. Hell throw in Apple Music in there as well and you could become an “iron man” led by Ozzy accompanied by “Iron Man”

I know you have Wii Fit and a few titles for Kinect and PS4. This however could change the game. Not for me, I have no time to keep fit, I’m off to sign up for the developer programme and to learn Swift.

Apple Fitness

Poem: iWish My Brain Was Like My iPod

iWish my brain was like my iPod,
Designed by Jonny Ive,
Everything stored in memory,
Keeping me alive,
iCould plug my brain in,
To sync with something new,
If it turned out not quite right,
I’d simply click Undo.
If my brain was like my iPod,
I could Pause and Play,
Skip to find the bits I like,
And let the rest just fade away.
If my brain was like my iPod,
All scuffed up and abused,
It surely is the off function,
That would be most often used.

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Poem: iWish My Brain Was Like My iPod

(28DW) Getting Ones Back Up

I’m gonna take a wild stab in the dark and say you are reading these words on some type of screen. OK you could have printed it out but I’m sure the “Please consider the environment before printing…” nazis would have got to you. (On a side note, do those people ever consider that putting that message at the end of emails actually wastes print toner when the document is printed, and therefore is bad for the environment)

So, your MacBook retina display / PC / iPhone / iPad / Android etc is now quite happily displaying my blog. Now think for a minute, what would you do if suddenly and for no reason your device of choice died. Just like that. OK now you have tried holding the power button down, crying, prayer (to a God who before you never thought existed) you ring a geek friend, who in no uncertain terms tells you “It’s fucked mate”

Now, you take your wounded tech to the local Apple Store / PC World. They are able to fix it, but it was your hard drive that was the problem. Maybe copying Gaga’s dress made out of only magnets was a bad idea. “It’s ok, we’ll swap the hard drive and restore from a back up”

A back up…. you are sweating now. The guy in front of you in the store, with the lanyard, only left school yesterday, but you feel so inferior to him. Back up? Why did no-one say anything. Well they did. BACKUP YOUR STUFF.

Luckily it’s very easy to do and there are a number of free (aside from the cost of a backup drive) or cheap ways to do it.

Mac:

On the Mac (I start here and move to lesser devices… haha, and they say Apple people are pretentious) Backup is very easy.

  1. Buy a suitably sized external hard-drive, the larger the better, has to be at least the same size as the drive inside your Mac.
  2. Plug drive into Mac
  3. If drive is PC formatted, open up Disk Utility, format to Mac OS (Extended Journaled)
  4. When drive is mounted, a box will appear asking do you wish to use “your hard drive” as Time Machine.
  5. Click Yes.

Your Mac will then perform a time machine backup, copying all your stuff. The first time you run this it will take longer than the subsequent times.

One downside to time machine is that you can’t boot from it. (Your Mac will not start from it) If you want this, Carbon Copy Cloner is the best around. It used to be free, but it’s not anymore. £25.95 for use on your Mac or any Mac’s you look after. Time Machine is a place to start for any Mac owner.. for free.

Carbon Copy Cloner in Action
Carbon Copy Cloner in Action

PC:

OK, surprise surprise I don’t have a PC. So I can only go on the recommendation of Alternative to.. and a PC Alternative to Carbon Copy Cloner is Clonezilla. It’s free, give it a go. Alternatively use Macrium Reflect.

Cloud Services:

iPhone / iPad:

Most of you will now be using devices that are compatible with iCloud. Just make sure you have iCloud backup turned on and you should be ok. For additional piece of mind, occasionally backup your iDevices to your computer too.

Android:

Android has no equivalent to iCloud in terms of full device backup. However Google do sync all your contacts, bookmarks and photos. If you sell them your soul to do so. If you don’t like Google, or do not trust them not to be evil. Consider Indefend Mobile.. and why you brought an Android.

* *

There is now a plethora of cloud based backup services. From Dropbox (use this link to get a free 2GB storage) to Box.net. Both of these services start out free and have mobile apps, both are useful for storing single files that you need to access or update on the go, both have sharing functions.

In the states there have been services like SugarSync for a long time. This is an offsite backup, always useful to have. Bitcasa is a UK alternative and something I am considering.

In conclusion, there are now so many documents, photos and save game files we hold dear to us. So many ways of keeping them safe. Don’t wait until you are burned by hardware failure. It’s not a question of if it goes wrong.. it will. Make sure you are ready. And don’t get caught..

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Please check out the work of my 28DW reprobates  at The Resident Weeble and A Piece of Pandemonium  or kittens will die.

(28DW) Getting Ones Back Up

Skeuomorphism

A skeuomorph or skeuomorphism is a design element of a product that imitates design elements that were functionally necessary in the original product design, but which have become ornamental in the new design. – Wikipedia.

Look it’s just like torn paper!

From the outset of iOS Apple have applied this design principle. Address Book looks like it’s older paper brother and the same can be said for Calendar app on the Mac to name but two. This has been much maligned it would seem and with the departure of Scott Forstall in an Apple re-shuffle which sees Sir Jonny Ive take over the software design as well as that of the hardware. It may become a thing of the past.

I am torn (like the pages of my electronic calendar) I am geek enough to want my computer things to look computery and shiny. My Mac for example always boots in Verbose mode, meaning it looks like an old Windows machine booting from DOS (for practical reasons I like to see whats going on). However the folksy me that likes to sit in a big jumper with fluffy slippers (ok I have not got fluffy slippers, but they are there in my head) and curl up and watch a movie, likes the fact that there is an App that looks like Post it notes (Stickies) for note taking.

The skeumorph approach I believe played a huge part in getting those who weren’t geeks or in the Apple family to make the switch from other platforms. It’s much easier to say to Grandma that the Address Book application is the one that looks like the one that has been in her handbag since 1948. It’s easier for Grandma to understand that, and not be frightened by it, and embrace the technology.

Many of us have shown people how to do things electronically only to return later and see them bravely soldiering on with pen and paper. Tech is worthless if it is not accessible. Whilst I hold no fear that Sir Jonny won’t come up with a wonderful design for iOS OSX or iOS11 whatever it be called, I do fear that if he adopts the minimalist design he has for his hardware in the world of software, it will be a step backwards for the masses

Skeuomorphism

(BDYBIS) Hello iPhone 5 or How to eat a MacBook

OK OK I was wrong. I said for a long time that Apple wouldn’t call the next iPhone the iPhone 5. I even said here I’d eat my MacBook if they did. Well I’ve emailed Gordon Ramsey for a recipe and when he gets back to me I’ll chow down.

Well the iPhone 5 it is. Most of the rumours I’ve read about this new smart phone turned out to be true. It’s taller, you can watch 16:9 movies/tv without having to stretch stuff (well your arm maybe, if you wanna reach a beer or scratch your balls.. there is probably an app for that) Being taller it also means you get an extra row on every page of your home screen for your apps and folders. Good news if like me, you are an App whore.

It’s not wider. Thank Steve for that. No really thank Steve Jobs for that, iPhone 5 was the last Apple project he had any input into and he always wanted a phone you could operate easily with one hand. Presumably to free the other one for ball scratching. In practice this is superb, all the galaxy 3 people must have pockets the size of the lady garden of Katie Price. I would also love to see stats on how many times people drop their phones. The Galaxy is just too big. It is not so much sat in your hand, but lodged precariously like a jumper on a railway platform.

The beloved 30 pin dock cable is no more. Well kind of, Apple have redesigned the dock cable to produce Lightening. (No not the blonde one from Gladiators, you know the one who would have kept you busy if someone else was with Jet.) No lightening is a sister cable to Thunderbolt the cable used to connect Macs with displays and other fun stuff. So Thunderbolt and Lightning, not very frightening, because Apple have an adapter which will make Lightning play nice with all forty of those old dock cables you have lying around.

Jet… Not Lightning

The processing power of this thing is immense. They demoed Real Racing 3 at the Keynote (which you can watch here) It’s a racing game with amazing graphics, which coming from an 8 bit generation as I do, I still can’t believe are being produced by a phone.

Everything appears to be improved or honed. Including Battery life (although real world useage hmm) But here are a few things I didn’t like about the keynote itself-

Facebook:
In iOS 6 (which is released on 19th September) Facebook is baked in, I have a Facebook account. But I hate it, I want to break away from it, how can I do that if my phone has it baked in. The ability to “like” things in the new iOS 6 app store grates too.

Shared Photostream:
Why don’t I like this. Well it’s more social buttfuckery. You can like and comment on photos in shared Photostreams. Whatever did we do before we could just click “like”.

“It’s 7.6mm Thin”:
Something, dear Apple is not 7.6mm thin. It’s 7.6mm thick. I know it’s not very thick but come on.

Foo Fighters:
Now I like the Foo Fighters. I’ve caught their live shows on TV and they seem to produce lots of energy and atmosphere. They closed the keynote. With the very talented Dave Grohl phoning in a performance.

Ear Pods:
I liked the iPad name. Even though some said it sounded more “Always” than Apple. But EarPods, really. It looks like a load of work has gone into replacing the headphones, you know the white ones that entertained a whole train carriage with tinny distorted Britney Spears. The keynote showed how Apple had developed an ear fetish, and the EarPods look good, do they sound good. Time will tell. Just hate the name.

Enough with the hate. A new version of iTunes was mentioned and demoed too. Looks good. Will write something on that when it’s released to the great unwashed.

In short (678 words!) iPhone 5, not much has changed, except everything. Do I want one? You bet my MacBook Risotto I do.

(BDYBIS) Hello iPhone 5 or How to eat a MacBook

(BDYBIS) Mountain Lion

Ok. Time to do a tech piece.

Mac OS 10.8, Mountain Lion to it’s friends. I’ve had it installed for a while so now it’s bedded in and everyone is talking about the iPhone I thought I’d give the world my two penneth whilst I’m waiting for my dinner to cook. (Sausages, if anyone is interested)

Released on July 25th 2012, installed on my machine 3 days later. I have learnt my lesson about purchasing operating systems on the day of release. This release like it’s predecessor Lion is only available via the Mac App Store. Now that we live in a broadband world this is the way forward. Just over 4 gigs over dial up would be a no-go! The purchase is associated with your Apple ID and if you are lucky enough to have 10 macs you can install Mountain Lion on all of them for no extra cost (although lets be honest, if you have 10 Mountain Lion compatible Macs you aren’t short of a few bob) £13.99 for ten licences is very good value.

The only criticism I have with the App Store launch of Mountain Lion is the fact that you can’t (well I couldn’t) find Lion to purchase anywhere. I understand apple want people to have the latest and greatest, but I recently purchased a MacBook which although not ancient is not up to the spec of Mountain Lion. Signing in to the App Store on this machine yielded only search results for Mountain Lion. Luckily Lion is in my purchase history so I was able to download again from there. Although this is no good for first time second hand mac buyers.

So what does Mountain Lion give you?

Well if you have an iOS device an awful lot of familiar features. Notification centre makes an appearance down the right hand side of your screen if you do the right magical swipe. I don’t have a multi-touch enabled track pad so it’s accessible via a click on the top menu. Housed within are twitter, mail, messages and the newly christened Calendar (bye bye iCal). There seems to be virtually nothing else in the way of notifications you can add, a sports results notification would be nice but no.

There are just three things that I really like about Mountain Lion. These are messages, iWork in the Cloud and Reminders.

Messages:

This was released as a beta as part of Lion. So there were no great surprises here. It replaces iChat. It is a great instant message client, with easy set up for Yahoo, Google Talk, Aim and most awesomely iMessage. This means that if you know anyone with an iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone or another Mac running mountain lion you can message them from the comfort of your sofa. You can also FaceTime via Messages but if you want to use video chat over Yahoo or Google Talk you are out of luck. MSN is available via a third party addon.

iWork in the Cloud:

iWork (Apple’s office suite) has had cloud features baked in since the release of iOS 5, meaning you could write something in Pages (like MS Word but actually good) on your iPad and it would be there on your iPhone. You could also go to iCloud.com on your Mac and download the document, continue writing and upload when you were done. A little clunky. With Mountain Lion iWork on the Mac cloudyness is baked in. It’s so easy, it’s helped me this month with the blog-a-day thing. I’m able to write parked up in my car on my iPhone and then continue the same piece on my Mac when I arrive home, no fuss. As someone once said “It just works.”

Reminders:

Another iOS app that has been around since iOS 5. It can be used to remind you to do something when you are at a certain place. (Sounds good, however in reality I only used this feature once, it uses GPS all day which kills the battery) It can also be used to write shopping lists or to-do lists. For me these are easier to write on a computer, and Mountain Lion lets you. When you get to the shop, just fire up reminders on your phone and that order for a “Big fuck off Bottle of Jack” that you typed on your Mac will be right there waiting.

In summary:

I did tell my friend not to bother getting Mountain Lion. This is based on his usage, however next time I see him I think I will tell him to take the plunge. At £14 there is very little to complain about. I think I would pay that for iWork in the Cloud on it’s own. There are lots of other features but I haven’t really used them. Find out more here. If you have Lion or Snow Lep and your Mac can handle the big ML. Do it.

(BDYBIS) Mountain Lion

Poem: Her Lover

Her lover is suave and stylish,
Smart and witty too,
He knows answers to her questions,
And I don’t have a clue.
He remembers her birthday,
And that of Uncle Fred,
And when that winter sale starts,
In Next and Red or Dead.

Her lover is well spoken,
He knows all the hot spots and bars,
I’ve even heard them talking,
About where best to buy her bras.
I think they are planning to kill me,
Magical evil witchcraft,
He’s told her to hide the body,
In the old abandoned mineshaft.

He’s always there beside her,
To respond to her loving caress,
For his name is Siri,
And he lives in her 4S.

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Poem: Her Lover