Category Archives: Apple

Mac OS X – Preview

PreviewPreview on Mac OS X is a very underrated application. It has been included on every version of Mac OS X I’ve ever used, which in my case goes back to ‘Tiger’ version 10.4

Now at first sight it might not seem to be able to do a lot. You use it for viewing photo and graphic files, it also handles PDF files too, no need to install Adobe Reader… (thank goodness!!) It will also let you ‘preview’ Word, Excel and a number of other document formats.

OK so it does those… but did you also know you can do a lot more too…

For images you can:

  • Rotate images in 90 degree increments
  • Flip images horizontally or vertically (Mirrored ones)
  • Adjust the size of an image (so you can reduce the size of image before emailing it or uploading it to say Facebook)
  • Adjust the colour and other parameters of an image.
  • Crop images
  • You can annotate images with squares, ovals, lines, lines with arrows etc. Useful for adding labels and notes
  • Add Text to images in different fonts, styles, colours etc.
  • You can take screen shots of images/documents which is a quick and dirty way of creating images suitable for a website when you don’t want them to be huge in resolution!
  • You can take a PDF and digitally sign the document and save it with your signature. You do your signature on a piece of paper then hold it up to the camera.

I use Preview many times a day, it is a built in application that I couldn’t do without.

Apple iPod

The iPod has been a great invention. It was the first Apple product I/we owned. It was Philip my son who first made me aware of the iPod, he showed me the advert for the 1st generation iPod, it almost seemed to be too good to be true. A small device that you could slip in your pocket that could hold hundreds of CDs. I sat trying to work out how much storage space I would need for my full CD collection, which at the time was about 200 CD’s.

Before the iPod came into our lives I had been using a CD Walkman to play my music CDs on journeys and around the house. But it was limited in battery life and by how many CDs you could carry.

Sony CD Walkman

Sony Discman

Before the CD I had a Sony Walkman, this was back in about 1983, at the time I lived and worked in Cyprus and I used to record audio tapes instead of writing letters and posted them back and forth in the mail. It sounds old fashioned but it was great getting tapes from friends and loved ones. I forget the exact model number, but I bought a Sony recoding Walkman which had a built in radio and a single speaker on the back and a built in microphone too, so it was quite a versatile device.

So anyway the Apple iPod, Philip was still at school when the first one came out, he was originally going to buy the 5Gb model, but me being me I offered to give him the difference in money to buy the 10Gb model.

iTunes was also a big improvement over Windows media player at the time. I was using that on my PC before I got my own iPod. I discovered Smart Play Lists and that has been quite a bonus for me, they present music to me that I’ve not listened too for a while and that means I listen to a lot more tracks rather than buy new ones all the time.

iPod

My own first iPod was a third generation 20 Gb model, not exactly a classic but it got me started. There were a few issues with this model, mainly battery life and also the battery charging indication, because it doesn’t control the charging very well, the battery would get overcharged and this in turn would limit the life of the battery. I have changed the battery on mine at least twice, a strong set of finger nails and good eye sight is all you need to get the back off to change it!

Ipod

iPod 3rd Gen

Eventually along came the iPod Touch in Philip bought a 32Gb 1st gen model and sold his original iPod.

iPod Touch 1st Gen

iPod Touch 1st Gen with iOS 3.1.3

iPod Touch

iPod Touch 1st Gen with iOS 3.1.3

iPod Touch 1st Gen with iOS 3.1.3

iPod Touch 1st Gen with iOS 3.1.3

I also upgraded my iPod to a newer model with a colour screen and a 60 Gb drive. Compared to my previous one it was a massive improvement on the user interface and battery life too. I still use this one in the car, it holds all of my music collection and I just synchronise it every few months.

iPod Colour

iPod Colour

I also bought an iPod touch in 2010 although I have used it for a lot of other things as well as listening to music. Alison now uses it for listening to BBC Radio 4 in the kitchen!

iPod Touch

iPod Touch

Alison joined the club with an iPod Nano, she listens to dozens of podcasts rather than music. I’ve recently started using this as it is so compact and light in your pockets.

iPod Nano

iPod Nano

Her mini disc player/recorder still works, but interfacing it to anything is a pain

Mini Disc Recorder!

Sony MZ-NF810

Philip replaced the iPod Touch with an iPhone 4 which he has recently passed on to me

iPhone 4 with iOS7

iPhone 4 with iOS7

iPhone 4

iPhone 4 with iOS7

Alison now has my iPod Touch, it has replaced the 1st generation iPod Touch which still works but it is a bit limited in what you can do with it now, which reminds me of my Psion organisers really!

With wireless syncing of devices to our iMacs and iCloud we no longer need to connect the latest devices to our computers every few days, just a charger by the side of the bed or in the kitchen is fine.

Over 30 years of portable music devices since the Sony Walkman through to my iPhone, the technology has got better, but one thing hasn’t changed… the music I listen to. Steely Dan and a the rest of my music collection.

iPad my first thoughts and impressions

I have had an iPod Touch for over a year now and it is a great device, but there are times when I wished the screen was bigger or the camera was better.

When they announced the new iPad (3rd generation) last week it didn’t take me very long to decide to order one. I had to order it via the French Apple site which wasn’t too much off a problem, we got there eventually!  And on Friday the UPS man arrived after calling us earlier to confirm his ETA with us, what great service!

So a few pictures…

I bought the 32Gb WiFi only model in black, running a 4G model here in France like running an iPhone here would be expensive, and I don’t ‘need’ the connectivity everywhere I go. I have discovered several free Wifi hotspots in places we regularly visit. For UK visits I have a T Mobile Wireless Pointer 3G/WiFi modem which works just fine. Your ‘needs’ might be different to my own…

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