Here are some of my top tips for additional OS X functions, most have come from my experience at home and work.
1. Plugging in a TV or Second Monitor
Most Mac models come with an external connector for attaching additional screens (normally a mini DVI connector). From this you need a mini DVI to DVI connector then another cable to plug into your screen, this can be a DVI to VGA cable, DVI to DVI cable or as I have a DVI to HDMI cable. All the cables are very cheap and can normally be picked up from Ebay.
OS X should automatically detect the second screen plugged in and you can open system preferences to adjust the resolution. You may have to play around with the settings, my 26" LG HD TV looks best on 1280 x 720 rather than its native resolution.
I've had my iMac plugged into my TV for the past 6 months and people still think its cool how I can move my mouse from one screen to another.
2. Sharing your Internet over Wireless.
While I was at University our local cable supplier didn't give out free wireless routers so to save buying one I shared the Internet out through my iMac's wireless. In Leopard the Internet can be shared from the Sharing section in System Preferences.
3. Bluetooth Internet Through Your Phone
It usually takes ISP's about two weeks to put ADSL on a phone line. Clearly I couldn't be without Internet for two weeks so I turned to my mobile phone provider (T-Mobile) to hook me up to the net. Now that 3G signal is well established (and I have a 3G phone) I got speeds of around 3mb for
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It's been quiet here at ImAFish for the last week because we have been working on our latest project:
iPod History has pictures and details on every single iPod including size, battery life, compatibility and launch date.
The site is a great place to find out what others have to say about iPod models they have owned and to put across your views. It's still early days for the site so all comments are appreciated.
We have tried to make the site as informative as possible but are open to suggestions. If you like the site then please stumble it or add it to your blog!
For more check out www.ipodhistory.com
When deciding on service providers there is often a clear choice, whether it be because they have a local monopoly (like my water provider) or because they offer you a good deal (like my mobile phone provider) but when it comes to finding an ISP noone has a good deal.
At the one end there are the free/very cheap providers that are unreliable, have poor techical support and a low bandwidth cap. At the other end are the very expensive providers that I don't want to fork out for. Then there are the providers that throttle traffic at certain times to one degree or another.
Somewhere in the middle fell the provider I decided to go with - Plus net, for
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We've reported a couple of times on the BBC iPlayer and looked at reviews from other sites slating it. There was issues that the BBC had wasted license payers money on some software that was useless and no one would use, however it seems our concerns have been listened to and a new version has been launched that is greatly improved.
So whats made it so much better?
There is now no application to download just for streaming video - it is all done through the web browser. This makes the whole experience more like viewing a YouTube video, it is faster and more reliable. All the videos are in wide screen (unlike YouTube) and the quality is almost as good as normal TV (you can see slight pixelations in full screen when sitting close to the screen).
It is also cross platform now meaning that the iPlayer will work in any browser with Adobe Flash installed (96% of browsers) on Windows, OS X and Linux.
Watching Ricky Gervais's Extras is now a breeze through the updated iPlayer.
The BBC Radio Player has also been rebranded as part of the iPlayer, the content has not changed and Real Player is still used for streaming.
Overall the updated iPlayer is a huge update bringing the BBC's content into a more accessible modern era.
For more check out the BBC iPlayer.
Cnet is reporting that NASA is looking to take on astronauts for training in 2009 onwards. They are looking for between 10-15 candidates who have a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or maths and three years of relevant professional experience.
I have a bachelors degree in computer science but unfortunately only one years experience in relevant work (well my experience in. The job gives you the opportunity to drive moon buggys, fortunately I currently have a clean driving licence.
One of the requirements of the job comes from this money quote:
"Frequent travel may be required"
I always wanted to be an Astronaut when I was growing up, perhaps this is my opportunity - application is open until next summer!
On Wednesday Apple updated their entire iPod line. The shuffle stayed the same shape and design but got new colours. The Nano got a new wider shape with rounded corners, a bigger screen, video playback capabilities, higher storage capacity and an updated interface. The iPod (or classic as its now known) got an updated design ( including rounded edges), an updated user interface and a choice between 80gig or a huge 160gig of storage.
Apple also unveiled a new device called the iPod Touch which is basically an iPhone without the phone. The device is only 8mm thick, incorporates Apples multi touch interface and comes in 8gig and 16gig models. The really cool part of the Touch is that it contains Wi-Fi, Safari, YouTube and the new iTunes WiFi Store. This makes the iPod Touch like a PDA meaning that where ever there is wireless Internet you will be able to check your email, news, Facebook and use all those other cool iPhone app on your iPod!
The problem this leaves me is do I sacrifice being able to carry all my music around with me on an 160gig iPod (I have about 45gig of music, 10gig photos and 30gig video) to be able to use the net in WiFi areas (as the Touch can only carry 16gig of music/photos/video)?
Before it was a simple choice to go for the iPod with the most features and storage, now the iPod with the best features doesn't have the most storage. Anyone else with a similar hard choice between iPods? All the new iPods can be found on the Apple Store.
Google Pack (
) has recently added StarOffice 8 the Microsoft Office alternative. In 2000 Sun Microsystems released StarOffice as open source which became the foundation of Open Office. Google Pack now comes with the following software: Google Toolbar for IE Firefox with Google Toolbar Picasa Google Photos Screensaver Google Desktop Realplayer Spyware Doctor Norton Security Scan Adobe Reader StarOffice
ImAFish previously covered Google Pack in October 2006 and recommended it as a valuable way to keep useful software up to date. From Google System Blog: "StarOffice 8 is a full-featured office suite that contains a word processor, a spreadsheet tool, applications for presentations, databases, math formulas and drawing. It has support for most Microsoft Office formats (except for the formats introduced in Office 2007), but it can also export documents as PDF out of the box. The software normally costs $70, but it's available for free in Google Pack. It's worth noting that StarOffice has a huge installer (more than 140 MB), so you should download it only if you have a fast Internet connection." StarOffice 8 usually retails at
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I was given this Sony Vaio laptop from our local LUG, it has Ubuntu on but I needed it for my accounts so dual booted Windows XP with the license stuck on the bottom. It's been a while since I've had a Windows laptop as I'm used to OS X on my iMac.
Most my friends chat on MSN messenger/Windows messenger/MSN/Windows Live Messenger (or whatever it is branded now) so I installed the Windows version. A few years ago the program was just an instant messenger for chatting to people, now it's so bloated I had to write this blog to highlight its problems.
As you can see almost 50% of the application interface is taken up by elements that have nothing to do with instant messaging! (Tabs can be hidden in the options but this is not default).
Compared to the Mac version there is so much bloat that detract from the original idea of the program.
Even though there are no search boxes, tabs or adverts the Mac version of the program remains highly usable and easy to use and look at.
I did a quick redesign in Fireworks of the Windows version to make it look better.
I've basically cut out all the crap - the program is back to its roots - for chatting to people online. All it needs now is some brushed aluminium.......
So I was browsing Digg.com last night when I came across this post about the 69 best tech blogs, it has all the big commercial players including Gizmondo (1) Tech Crunch (3) and TUAW (31). I'm scrolling down the list seeing how many I recognise when I come across number 26 - I'm A Fish!
I was more than a little surprised though it's great to see another site recognising us in such a list. In an updated post today the site explains how he came up with the list and the time and effort that went into it. The list is in no particular order though still is good to be in the middle!
Kudos to Micahville!