Month: August 2007 (page 2 of 3)

Tweaks and stuff

I’ll be doing some site tweaks over the next few days, might even get most done today while waiting for Sky. I hate waiting. Anyway, tweaks? Where?

Well, if all goes well the feeds should now be re-directing to Feedburner. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while but never really found the time. I’m tempted to splice in Digg and links but that will probably be in a separate full fat feed. Aplogies for the one or two that pick up the blog via the feeds – things may be a bit screwy or old posts will be re-posted.

In fact that full feed would end up looking like my tumblelog. Which itself has a feed. More and more I’m thinking of moving to something solely like that rather than having the blog and a separate aggregator elsewhere. I’ve seen some posts recently on turning WordPress into a tumblelog – I may hack some more this week than I anticipated.

So that should remove some duplication. I’m also going to reign in the different websites I post/use/talk on. First to go is Twitter. Account was deleted this morning, blog plugins removed, Twitterrific removed. If blogs are all about boring and mundane topics then what does that make Twitter? It may just be that the service isn’t for me but it was just another website I was subscribed to that held my content and everyone else’s rather boring twitters, including the new fad of twitting when they had blog posted. Nothing like a bit of self promotion. There will be a few others dropped over the coming days (Linked In and a couple of other similar sites – that’s why I never responded to your invite Roy – I knew I would get round to removing myself).

It’s been niggling me since my account was defrauded that there’s probably too much info on the web about me. Annoyingly thanks to Google and other search providers it can be difficult to remove once it’s been spidered. So thats probably the main reason for removing. Paranoia is spreading.

Speaking of identity theft, I see on the latest electoral roll that there is a tick box to remove yourself from the edited electoral roll. This is the roll that is bought by companies. Great idea I thought and another small step in protecting identities. Pity the letter all my personal details came in regarding the electoral roll was not delivered to us but put through the wrong door. Fools. Irony. Someone, somewhere is having a laugh.

Bioshock Demo

It came out yesterday but I only managed to finish the download today. Fantastic graphics and sound but most important is an environment dripping with atmosphere. The demo scratches the surface and actually promises so much more with some cutscenes at the end of the demo that really wet the appetite. A must have purchase for the 360…again. I wonder when the PS3 will finally get a killer title? It’s out next week, single player only and here’s hoping it really matches up to the hype of system shock successor.

The graphics while not only great are also very stylish and totally different to anything out there at the moment. Ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but they are very good. The developers have now released a PDF celebrating the visuals within the game. The post warns of spoilers so I’ve not read the text within the PDF yet, but the images are superb. A great freebie and well worth a look even if your not buying the game.

.Mac Web Galleries

After all the hype I decided to try out the new Apple web galleries so I uploaded my first album. The upload speed seemed pretty sluggish as did the loading of the actual album on visiting the web page. Presentation on the website is superb though and it’s a great way of showing off your photo’s.

First .Mac Web Gallery

One of the nicest ways of viewing the album is using the carousel. This is like coverflow in iTunes and allows you to scroll through the pictures. Only annoyance is it takes a while for pictures later in the album to get the high res sharper version of the photo so you can spend a while looking at fairly fuzzy pictures. Another feature I like is that as you move the mouse over the album photo in the gallery page it flicks through the images in the album – very slick and mirrors the functionality seen in iPhoto.

While many have seen this as a Flickr competitor for me they are two different beasts. .Mac Web Galleries allow you to easily upload albums of photo’s (and also video’s) and let your friends view or download them. Flickr lets you do the same but with far more disk space and has a whole community supporting it with forums, groups and commenting. It also has far stronger tools for editing sets, albums and also supporting geo-tagging. One feature that .mac has got is photo uploading – letting people upload photo’s to your album which then sync back to iPhoto. I find that pretty odd as thats something I don’t think I would ever use. Due to space and speed alone I’ll be sticking with Flickr – be nice to see them up their game when it comes to presenting albums though.

Mac Announcements

Initial thoughts…

  • New iMacs. I don’t like them. The design isn’t as clean as the iMac’s of old. Not convinced by black surround or by glossy screen. Love the size of the new keyboards but would need to try them first as the key’s look close to the style of the Macbook. Fine for laptop – not so sure for desktop. Good options on hard disk size though.
  • iLife – some nice improvements here on photo management and also video creation. Not much else for me
  • iWork – Numbers look very interesting. Tried Keynote over the last few days and it is very impressive. Must try Pages to see how good/bad it is especially as Office is delayed until next year.
  • .Mac. Some improvements at last. Disk space upped to 10Gb which is nice. Was also impressed with the new picture and video albums – .Mac Web Gallery. Very clean presentation and it reallt does feel like an app on the web. Sharing options were also nice to see with friends able to upload photo’s with them sync’d back to your mac. A nice upgrade to .mac but still feel they could do so much more.

More meh than yeah for me but some nice changes all the same. If you commit to everything Apple I can see why it makes sense but with sites like Flickr and so many other websites established with communities it’s hard to see many people moving over to the web albums. Good for one off’s more than a whole set of albums for me.

Mac Rumours

So, my thoughts on Tuesdays announcements? We’ll see an iMac replacement. This was my worry when I first bought a Mac almost a year ago. It wasn’t the switch or the initial purchase. It was the upgrades the following year to lovely new hardware. However the iMac still feels new to me so I’m not too fussed. I guess we’ll see how true this is later in the week.

I expect something on iLife as well although that might come later on with Leopard. The one product I’d liek to see change is .mac. I bought it earlier this year and it’s been great for keeping the mac’s in sync. However the access over the web is lame compared to other Web 2.0 apps and the tiny 1Gb disk space makes a mockery of taking docs anywhere. Increased disk space, an improved range of apps and more than the ‘Back to mac’ functionality announced at a previous Leopard demo. How about a nice wrapper around the Google suite of tools coupled with the web disk. That would really make a portable office accessible from anywhere.

So that was much of the draft I wrote at the weekend. Now there’s speculation that there really could be some .mac announcements as there’s downtime scheduled on the .mac service during the keynote. I still have my doubts. Hey ho – we’ll all know this time tomorrow.

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