Category Archives: Gadgets / Tech

Welcome back Save As…

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One of my greatest frustrations with Lion and Mountain Lion has been the absence of ‘Save As…” in the menus. I never understood why they removed it in the first place and the ‘Duplicate’ function that has replaced it is tedious and unintuitive if you know anything about folder structure in a computer.

So I was particularly happy to come across this fix, to restore “Save As…” to its original function. See below.

1. Go to your System Preferences and choose Keyboard.

Keyboard preferences

2. Choose Application Shortcuts and press + to create a new shortcut.
3. Enter the menu title “Save As…”
4. Enter the shortcut (Shift CMD S)
5. Add the shortcut

Voilà! It will now be available in all your applications.

Category: Gadgets / Tech, Mac

Ik kan de toekomst voorspellen

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In 2007 werd ik geïnterviewd door het Financiëel Dagblad – waarom weet ik eigenlijk niet meer. Maar ze ontfutselde mij voorspellingen over mijn werk in de toekomst waarbij ik het had over bewegend werken met computers. Nu blijkt dat ik gelijk had! Vandaag presenteert Google haar nieuwe product Google Motion (bewegende interactie met de PC). Het is natuurlijk een 1 april grap – maar tóch had ik gelijk! 😉

Klik op het plaatje van het artikel voor een grotere weergave.

Category: Gadgets / Tech

Getting Ripped Off On Kindle Content

Amazon’s Kindle e-Reader is hugely popular and I can understand why. If you are a voracious reader and perhaps travel a lot, then the ease of taking hundreds of books with you within the mere 250 grams of the Kindle is fantastic. I personally don’t own a Kindle but have downloaded the free app on both my iPad and iPhone. It syncs through Whispernet which basically works as follows:

  • I purchase Patti Smith’s autobiography “Just Kids” for $9.99 through the Kindle app on my iPad.
  • It goes through my Amazon account and is paid for by the credit card linked to that account.
  • When payment has been processed (in a matter of seconds) the Kindle app downloads the book to my iPad (also a matter of seconds, depending on the size of the book, obviously).
  • I start reading and get to page 23 before switching off the iPad.
  • That evening I switch on my iPhone to read in bed (the iPad really is too heavy for that and it’s winter, so sticking my arms out of the covers is too cold).
  • I launch the Kindle app on my iPhone which automatically detects that there is new content to be downloaded and proceeds to do so.
  • “Just Kids” appears in my Kindle library and if I click it it goes straight to page 23 as it has synced my ‘furthest’ position in the book with the iPad from earlier on.
  • I love this system. It really makes it so easy to read at any given moment without having to lug your book(s) around with you. One word of warning, though. If you have a toddler, as I do, who likes to play with your mobile devices, try not to let him start up the Kindle app and start flicking through your book as you will lose your place… synced over ALL your devices 🙁 **Learned the hard way**

    Reading on the iPad and iPhone isn’t as great as on the Kindle itself because Kindle uses e-Ink and the iPad/iPhone screens are lit and therefore cause more eye-strain. The advantage is, however, that you can read in bed without a light on.

    But now for my angry rant about Kindle content (and other e-Reader content, for that matter, as this problem seems quite universal).
    I paid $9.99 for the Kindle version of “Just Kids” and was disappointed to find that it did not include any of the photos that are included in the hard copies of the book. When I checked back at Amazon for the other copies I was frustrated to find that the paperback including photos is sold for $6.98 with free shipping.

    Why are publishers as obtuse about the great possibilities of digital media as the record companies are? They are charging more for an electronic version of a book which they do not need to print / distribute / wrap / mail etc. I can only read it on a Kindle device (if I ever switch to another e-Reader I cannot read the books I paid for), I may not lend my books to a friend (DRM restrictions) and in the above mentioned case, I paid more for the electronic version of the book despite the fact that it contained less content (i.e. photos).

    I want to purchase legal content, but refuse to be ripped off like this, so if an electronic version of a book is stripped and costs more, I shall buy the paperback version. Actually, by my reasoning, even identical versions of a book should be cheaper in the electronic edition. I’d love to hear from a publisher who can explain to me why it should be more expensive.

    And while this is going on, the publishers and record companies keep calling downloaders thieves?!?

    Mac Book Air 11-inch

    Mac Book Air 11-inchNo, alas, I am not going to be the one writing this review as I don’t own the gorgeous 11″ Mac Book Air, but I did recently purchase an iPad, so I’ll get round to writing a review about that a.s.a.p.

    During the past few weeks I have been enjoying an incredibly nerdy e-mail correspondence with my old friend Eric about various Apple hardware and software (chiefly iTunes library sharing/syncing, my favourite subject). There will be a post about that soon, but first I wanted to share with you his experiences of the new 11″ Mac Book Air.

    Take it away, Eric…

    Continue reading

    Category: Gadgets / Tech

    Media Centre Remote Controls (for Mac Mini)

    I’ve been using a Mac Mini as a media centre since 2007 and am very happy with it. The hardware set-up has expanded during the past few years, including replacing the crappy 4:3 Samsung LCD with a Full HD 42″ Sony Bravia LCD (which I adore!) and once I had finally ripped my entire CD collection into iTunes, the CD’s were moved into boxes in the basement, freeing up valuable space in the living room. Besides music, the external hard drive is filled with films and series (mostly in DivX format) which the family watches using VLC. The problem with using a computer for all this is that it’s hard to find a suitable interface for use while you’re lying on the sofa, especially if you don’t want to share the sofa with 6 different remotes.

    Read on for my experience with quite a few different remote/interface solutions.
    Continue reading

    Category: Gadgets / Tech

    iPhone taking forever to sync

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    A while ago I noticed that my iPhone 3GS was taking ages to sync with iTunes. By ‘ages’ I mean more than 90 minutes. I couldn’t pinpoint when the problem exactly started because to be honest I don’t sync that often (usually purchasing and installing apps through the phone itself). I came across this website which offered a solution for many people experiencing the same problem.

    According to the author, corrupted apps (especially those installed through the phone rather than through iTunes) are often the culprit. So I followed his steps to remove all apps from the phone and reinstall them one-by-one by syncing through iTunes. Doing this of course meant I lost all my app data and settings. I didn’t really mind too much about high-scores though, except for in Angry Birds (which has to be the best game for iPhone so far!). It seemed to help as my final sync completed within a matter of seconds rather than hours. But a day later the slow syncing problem had returned – this time even worse.
    Continue reading

    Category: Gadgets / Tech | Tags: , , ,

    UPC Experiment

    Well, I took the plunge again with UPC. We are on the verge of buying a Full HD LCD TV and I know that the analogue signal will look like sh*t on it – so we need digital. To clarify: I hate UPC but they are the only cable TV supplier in Amsterdam that also offer BBC1 and 2 – an absolute must for me (KPN’s Digitenne doesn’t).

    So, for digital TV, UPC offers a normal digital package and an HD package – both available with and without a built in DVR harddisk recorder. I decided I’d like the recorder. So what are the prices?

    The Royaal Digital package costs: € 13/month
    The Royaal Digital HD package costs: € 22/month

    That’s a € 9/month difference – for what exactly?

    Not for receiving everything in HD, no… the HD package is identical to the digital package except you can connect it to the TV with HDMI instead of scart, which makes no difference to the signal except for 4 extra HD channels.

    I would have thought UPC would have made some kind of subsidy deal with the HD TV manufacturers to offer HD channels at an attractive price (rather than an exhorbitant one for diddly squat) to encourage people to spend their cash on new hardware and get addicted to UPC channels.

    But then, UPC’s way of conducting business is something that has always baffled me. When, oh when will they be faced with some true competition in the Amsterdam area. Please, OPTA, make ’em sweat!

    Category: Gadgets / Tech | Tags: , ,

    Getting Nothing Done

    I’m spending so much time researching productivity tools for my new iPod Touch that I’m not getting anything done… pffff…

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    Gadget Dilemma: iPhone or iPod Touch + Nokia E61i?

    Another gadget dilemma is haunting me. It’s hard being addicted to gadgetry whilst trying to be just slightly financially responsible at the same time. It’s that damn iPhone 3G luring me into its Apple lair of beautifully crafted interface and apps – to integrate seamlessly with my iCal, Address Book and my generally sleek Mac experience.

    I’ve greatly enjoyed having an all-in-one smartphone since I got the Nokia E61 (E61i in the meantime) but the iPhone interface appeals so much more than Symbian S60 and I can’t wait to get my hands on those apps and dirty the screen with my greasy fingertips. However, something is holding me back. Continue reading

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    So Do Cell Phones Fry Our Brains After All?

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    This is a very worrying little video (it’s really annoyingly filmed but gets interesting at around 30 secs).