Month: August 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Play TV

Sony’s announcement last week of a TV Tuner for the PS3 was pretty uneventful for me. However this video of the interface has changed my opinion.

The menu’s look excellent and far slicker than normal Freeview boxes. The ability to view recorded content and also live TV on your PSP being streamed from your PS3 was also very impressive. Twin tuners, hard disk recording and HD to 1080p (let’s hope Freeview gets a couple of HD channels) makes for an impressive package when teamed with the PS3.

With the digital switch off almost upon us this could be a big seller for Sony.

Apple comes to Glasgow

08:10 – Myself, Graham and Roy meet-up and head towards the Apple store. The plan was to get a breakfast, get to the store before 9, enjoy the opening and for Roy to buy one of the new iMacs. We walked down and could see around 100 folk queued up already. Looks like it was going to be popular. We strolled around looking for food like desperado’s. Central station came to the rescue. Tasty (but expensive) bacon rolls later we headed back to the queue.

08:35 – Back in the queue we start to look around and notice…geeks. Obviously quite passionate and loyal to the Apple brand but the geek quotient per square yard must have been higher than even Maplins during a new catalogue launch. The most ardent fanboys could be spotted quite easily. The queue had also grown to around 300 odd people with more arriving thick and fast.

08:45 – A cheer goes up as the doors to the store are finally opened. Seemingly they were left closed even during last nights friends and family invite – they had to use the side door – as they wanted the doors to be opened for the first time this morning.

08:53 – All the staff come out to cheer the folk in the queue. The queue cheers back. A nice if slightly cheesy touch. You could see that the staff were pretty pumped up for the opening as were some of the people in the queue who looked visibly excited.

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09:00 – Doors open, massive cheering and the people at the front start to enter. As the queue starts to move we get our first view into the store. As people enter they are cheered on by two rows of staff handing out free t-shirts. The cheering continued for everyone entering while we were in the store as well. Lot’s of energy and built up quite a good atmosphere.

09:15 – We’re in. I feel a bit embarrassed at the cheering but no matter – we’re here – lets get buying.

09:15-09:45 – The store is very nicely modernised. It feels a bit basic in some areas especially when you walk in and see the basic display tables with lot’s of iPods. However it feels spacious and the glass staircase is a triumph. I’m sure on a normal day the store will feel a lot less cramped than it did today. Roy did pick up his iMac and myself and Graham bought one of the new keyboards.

09:45 – Leaving the store and the queue still has at least a couple of hundred people in it with more still joining. Roy gets congratulated by members of the queue for his purchase. is there any other brand that attracts this loyalty? Looking around at the the trendy clothing stores what must they be wondering? Why didn’t their opening attract hundreds on a damp and dreary Saturday morning? Imagine how busy the iPhone launch will be!

Roy leaving with new toys

So a great store and I’m glad there’s now one in Glasgow. It will make buying far too easy though. Although I was at first put off by the whooping and cheering it’s actually nice to see something a bit different and also to see such a passionate user community get a store to match their enthusiasm. Can’t see the same happening at a PC World launch for example. The staff themselves seemed helpful although understandably busy. I also liked the mobile till units that the staff used – makes purchasing a lot easier. Damn ;-)

As for the keyboard, it’s a lot comfier to use than the existing one that came with the older iMac. It’s also helps accuracy, I guess as the keys actually have more space between them. I also prefer the shorter throw each key has. Not a bad way to spend £30 seeing as it’s the primary interface to the iMac. I’ve lost the wireless keyboard but gained two fast USB 2.0 ports that are easy to get to. I can understand why people were concerned initially about the keyboard but after spending a couple of hours with it I’m convinced that it’s a better design. Hopefully it won’t show the keyboard fluff as badly as the last design.

Almost forgot, full set of pictures from this morning available on Flickr.

Apple Queue

Taken eleven hours before opening time. I fear for their safety overnight! Still – be nice to see the store tomorrow….erm….later today.

 

Tasty curry…now what about breakfast?

So it was a catch up night tonight with Henry, Roy and Graham. The curry at Mother India was excellent as was the banter. We really need to do this more often although the bill was pretty hefty – not all my doing!!

Three of us are Mac users and Roy is planning on joining us by picking up an iMac from the new Apple store this weekend. In fact we plan to be there for the opening but not queuing up in advance. We are hoping to meet for breakfast somewhere close by to the new shop…we just don’t know where yet. Any recommendations greatly appreciated.

I’m also trying to work out if the switch amongst my friends to Mac is down to any one reason or a combination. We’re all quite geeky, iPods are everywhere, some people have made the move and enjoying it, we’re getting older and our needs are changing? A few years ago and upgrading a pc was the norm and the PC was an essential gaming platform. Now most people I know no longer game on the PC and upgrading is a thing of the past (for us anyway). Is it as we get older, simplicity and reliability (the promise of certainly rather than any guaranteed delivery) is more appealing than reduced costs? Who knows. Be interesting to see who the guys get on with their new toys when they finally get hold of them.

One final mention from the meal – the singer at the restaurant. We were there for almost three hours and he never stopped once. His hands must be raw as he played the guitar as well. I thought he was excellent although fairly loud if you were sitting close by. His song choice was also good if a little depressive. Tracks from Del Amitri, Radiohead, Deacon Blue, Snow Patrol, and REM to name a few. Right up my street.

A bit more than a tweak

So while looking around for inspiration and trying to hack together my idea’s into a new theme, I found IAMWW w2 which did everything I wanted to do but with more style. So after some hacking to take out bit’s I didn’t like and adding support for a few plugins I do like it’s now here and live on the website.

As it’s late and I’m absolutely stuffed (mmm….Mother India) there may be a few rough edges and there’s still a few tweaks to make and some changes to the archives and about pages but it’s essentially threre and slightly less sparse than the last theme which as Graham pointed out tonight…any more minimalist and it would be invisible.

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