Turn your iPad in to a second display for your Mac or Windows machine

I’m used to using my large 27 inch iMac at home, I rarely use applications full screen though, you start to suffer from moving your head from left to right, like you are watching a tennis match on Centre Court!! So I tend to divide the screen between two apps at a time. Mail and Skype, or Safari and Twitter etc.

Quite often I will drag a tab out of Safari and sit it next to the other Safari window, so I have the two side by side. I can see both that way. I can place the mouse cursor in one Safari window, whilst the flashing on-screen cursor is in the other and happily copy links from one window with the mouse and paste them in the other with a key stroke without having to change the active window, it just works brilliantly for that simple function.

I’m writing this post whilst away from home on my Macbook Pro, the same resolution screen as I have at home, but smaller screen size. Resizing windows to fit two side by side isn’t so practical on a 13 inch screen, but with a simple app I have gained a second display using my iPad.

My iPad isn’t particularly new, it’s the 3rd generation one, but with the Duet App loaded it functions as a second display when connected via the USB cable to the Macbook Pro.

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The app lets you configure the screen resolution to use on the iPad separately to your main display, which side of your main display the iPad is stood on and a few other features.

Even on my old iPad there is no detectable lag or delay in the cursor movement, the second display acts just like it is the main display. If you press the home key on the iPad to come out of the app, any windows or apps you had placed on the iPad screen are moved back on to the main screen without having to close them or reopen them.

It apparently works with Windows machines as well, although I’ve not been able to test it with one as I don’t have any Windows machines these days.

So if you have a spare iPad you aren’t sure what to do with it… turn it in to a second display for your laptop or even your Mac or PC at home.

How to kill your home Internet Connection with Apple iCloud Photo.

I love most things Apple, I take a bit of convincing some times. However, I recently saw the benefit of iCloud Photos, the ability to have all your photos in the cloud and on smaller capacity devices it will only download on demand the photos you want to view etc.

Upload all your photos from a weekend trip whilst you are away and they will be on your main machine when you get back etc. It holds a lot of advantages….

Sadly there is a downside to this.. I’ve been using digital photography for over 10 years, my photo library is over 25,000 photos about 90Gb in total. I didn’t think this would be a big problem. We use CrashPlan on all our machines, my iMac has uploaded over 400 Gb, yes it took several weeks, but it got there in the end.

iCloud Photo though isn’t quite as clever as other Cloud storage applications, it just grabs all the bandwidth available and tries to use it all ignoring the fact you might want to look at a website or down an email or two. The only control you have over it is to pause it. Even closing the application doesn’t stop it unless you have paused it. So you end up pausing it during the day and then having to remembering to resume the upload last thing in the day.

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Crashplan

By comparison CrashPlan as you can see has a much smarter approach to controlling how much bandwidth it uses when you are using the machine or you are away from the machine.

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I’m not the only one complaining about this, I’ve come across several other blog posts on the topic in the past few weeks. Short of taking my iMac to somewhere that has super high speed fibre internet to upload all the remaining photos, I shall just have to continue to upload a couple of hundred photos each day, pathetic really.

 

[2017 Update: Apple seem to have tamed iCloud uploads so that they are a bit more slow connection friendly. They no longer kill your connection. It backs off until the connection is available.]

Music of 2014

I’ve done similar posts to these before, but this year I thought I would do it slightly differently. Once again the list comes from one of my iTunes playlists which looks at the Top 100 tracks I’ve been playing in the last 12 months.

1. Peg – Steely Dan – The video how this complex track was ‘assembled’ by the best musicians in the business for the Aja album (in my opinion)



2. Genesis – After the Ordeal – This track comes from another favourite album of mine ‘Selling England by the Pound’ from the early 1970’s.



3. Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine – This track was used in a clever scene in the film Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant



4. Mason Williams – Classical Gas – No sure why I love this track so much, but it dates back to my early awareness of music and I tend to like guitar instrumentals a lot!



5. Bruce Hornsby & the Range – The Way It Is – A 1980’s classic, the track that started my love of Bruce Hornsby and his magic piano playing.



6. Gerry Rafferty – Night Owl  – Gerry has a different way of singing, but I can listen to his albums often late at night without tiring of them.



7. Pink Floyd – Sorrow  taken from the live album Pulse. I’m not always a fan of Live albums but Pink Floyd are an exception to this rule.



8. Robert Palmer – Simply Irresistible



9. Steelers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle – Gerry Rafferty again, Love the line ‘Clowns to the left of me Jokers to the right‘ it reminds me of trying to mediating in disputes at times!



10. Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight – I listen to a lot of Phil Collins tracks, love the drums on this track, especially once it gets going at about 3:15 in to the track!



Well that’s my Top 10 for 2014, but I listened to many many hours of music in 2014 and I suspect 2015 will be no different!

My favourite new track of 2014 was Pharrell Williams – Happy

 

Enjoy and Happy New Year.