Category Archives: Apple

iOS Apps a flaw in their design

I have had an iPod Touch for a few months now. Great device and it does most things I want.

However, this morning I discovered a flaw in the way some of the apps interface with the basic settings. I was looking for a simple app to log my car fuel consumption, what could be more difficult than that? Plenty of apps to choose from in the app store. But so far I’ve not found one that does exactly what I want… and here’s why.

  1. I’m English, but I live in France. So I prefer my language settings on my iPod to be in English, but I also set my regional settings to UK, otherwise the calendar is in French….
  2. I buy fuel in litres, but I like to know what my car is doing in Miles per Gallon, but set some of the apps to MPG and they ask for the cost of fuel per gallon.
  3. Living in France I’m paying in Euros, but most of the apps, are using the regional setting to display my costs in GB pounds.

What I need is an app that has currency, quantity, cost, and units etc independent of the device settings. Anyone know of such an app?

In the mean time I will stick to my own spreadsheet, it copes with all these different units, language demands very easily!

iTunes Smart Play Lists

I’ve been using iTunes for several years and I think I got my first iPod in March 2004, a 20GB 3rd generation model. I have since got a bigger capacity one. But the topic of this post is how I have been using Smart Play Lists.

I have one play list which I use a lot, which I devised so that I don’t listen to the same song again once I have played it on my iPod or on iTunes. It uses the last played date which is recorded when ever you play a track either on the iPod or on iTunes. So this is what my Smart Play List looks like:

So if a track has not been played for more than 10 months and also if it is rated 5 stars it is included in the list.  So each time you listen to a track when you next sync with iTunes then that track will disappear off of the play list for at least 10 months in my case.

You can also restrict the size of the list depending on the capacity of your iPod, this adds a bit more variety to each sync.

I also normally turn on shuffle to further randomise the list otherwise you will quickly play all the artists at the beginning of the alphabet and never get to ZZ Top!!

You don’t have to set it to 10 months, you can vary the time span accordingly depending on how recent you want a repeat to be.

I have found this works for me quite well and I rarely get fed up with what iTunes feeds me.

Mac it is….

So after weeks of deliberation… well not quite. I’ve made a decision and ordered a new iMac. I had looked at Windows PC’s but by the time you added in the extra software I would need to purchase and a similar size monitor I would have exceeded the price of the iMac.

So I’ve ordered a new iMac quad core machine with a 27 inch monitor… yes it’s big! But in terms of screen resolution it’s only slightly bigger than what I’m using at present but by combining two monitors. Having it all on one screen will be a lot more useful, and I will spend less time glancing left and right all the time!

Delivery date is as yet to be confirmed but some time this month. I will still be retaining my netbook PC for XP and portable use, it works well and it’s very compact. My two existing monitors will find use on other PC’s and at last I think I will be getting rid of the last two CRT monitors we own.

I’m looking forward to the iMac it will be a new challenge although I’m familiar with the Apple OS, using it full time will be different.

Watch this space…..

PC or Mac…. Mac or PC

The PC I use is now over 5 years old. Today one of the graphics cards decided to play up, so I’ve had to revert to the internal card and go from two displays to one, which is a bit of a shame. I liked the dual 1280×1024 display set up a lot. Mail in one screen, browser in another etc.

So the obvious quick fix may be is a wide screen single display… but sadly the internal graphics card won’t support more than 1280 x 1024.

So do I just get another graphics card… my machine is quite old so it’s AGP only… although you can still get those cards.

So may be a new graphics card and a wide screen display.

I’ve been thinking about upgrading to a new machine anyway… but what… another PC, with Windows 7 may be… or may be a Mac Mini.

I need to sit down and look at my real requirements and compare the two to see what I actually need.

At first sight Windows machines look cheap and Mac’s expensive… but specifying them up to similar performance, there’s not much difference in them really.

Anyway my spare display can now be used on my notebook, or on my old G4 Mac over in France!

A Week of Macdom!!

Well I’m really getting to grips with OS X. I’ve also got a Linux machine so they are very similar in a lot of ways.

I discovered a portable drive that no longer worked with Windows works fine on the Mac so that will be useful for photo shoots.

I’m hoping for some better weather this weekend to be able to get out around the village to take some more of the ‘Then and Now’ series on my Pembury Website.


Well after my request for a Mac OS 9 CD, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by a friend who said I could loan his. When I went to collect the CD, I was even more surprised when he offered me a redundant Mac G4 with OS X Tiger loaded on it… yes please!! So I’ve got it set up next to my PC and I’m rapidly learning OS X.

The machine might be 6 years old, but it does work really well. I’m even more tempted now to buy something like a Mac Mini to supplement my PC, although once I get used to the operating system I may even transfer over to it full time. I’m still learning how to get things set up to my liking. But so far I’m very impressed.

Oh and Happy New Year…

Mastering an Apple Mac Classic

I was recently given an old Apple iMac, one the old see thru CRT models from the early 90’s.

Sadly no discs, but it appears to work with only a few minor problems, so I am looking around for some OS 9 CD’s. Contact me if you can help.

I have been using the machine on the internet, there’s a few limitations but nothing that stops you from using it as a fairly compact machine.