Posts made in May, 2008

DropBox vs iDisk- it’s not even a contest

Posted on May 28, 2008 in Featured, Opinions

I’ve been participating in the DropBox beta now for a few days and whilst there any many similar competing services out there, the DropBox guys have really been able to distinguish themselves through their seamless OS integration.

Competing services such as Omnibox, Moxy etc. offer similar OS clients, but DropBox is the first that seems to match Apple’s own .Mac iDisk in terms of seamlessness: Your DropBox appears in the Finder and adding a file is as simple as drag and drop. A utility that runs in the background then uploads that to your DropBox account.

I’d even go a step further and say that it actually seems to work better than the iDisk. Adding files to your iDisk is a sluggish process that usually ends in a two second progress bar claiming your 200MB file has been uploaded in record speed, followed by 2 hours waiting for .Mac to “finish” the file.

The DropBox folder looks and feels like a regular local folder. The default behaviour is even “move” rather than “copy” when you drag items into it, which is a bit disconcerting at first. (Tip: Use option drag!)

Once you’ve dragged in a file, DropBox takes care of the rest silently in the background. Files are instantly visible online at your Dropbox account, even whilst they’re still being uploaded.

I’ll have a some more impressions later this week, but initially it does beg the question:

Why on earth doesn’t .Mac work this well? Apple already has OS integration baked in, so there’s almost no excuse for the current state of the .mac iDisk. For me at least, snappy, pretty DropBox – even in its current beta state – beats the pants off the iDisk in every respect.

Let’s hope the “.mac overhaul” theĀ rumor-millĀ has promised for WWDC pans out.

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Jetplane Review: Brentaven Metrolite II for Macbooks

Posted on May 26, 2008 in Featured, Reviews

(If you enjoyed this review, you can support the site by buying your Metrolite II via my Amazon affiliate link.)

Update – November 10th 2008:

I’ve had a few emails as to whether this case would fit the new aluminum MacBooks as well. Short answer: Definitely. The new MacBook is smaller than the old one and the slightly wider new MacBook Pro should fit with a tiny bit of a squeeze as well.

Full Review

I was able to get hold of a Brenthaven Metrolite II case to take a look at, so this is a review after using it for a few days. Bear in mind I take my Macbook to university or my company Macbook to work on my bike nearly every day, so that’s the usage scenario I’m working with.

First look
This case is mainly designed to carry a Macbook or Macbook Pro around and also has a number of additional compartments for your accessories and other stuff.

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Jetplane Review: Belkin Sport Armband for iPhone

Posted on May 22, 2008 in iPhone, Reviews

I’ve recently taken up jogging and the iPhone has been a great tool in helping me to motivate myself to get out the door. I use the stopwatch to keep track of my running times and of course the iPod app to play music and podcasts to keep myself occupied.

After carrying the iPhone in its Artwizz Seejacket case for a few days (which honestly wasn’t that bad), I decided to purchase the Belkin Sport Armband. Here’s some impressions after using it for a few days.

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Embedded graphics = shot in foot?

Posted on May 19, 2008 in Mac, Opinions

OS X has led the way in GPU powered user interfaces on desktops. Over the years Apple has introduced Quartz, Quartz Extreme and the Core Image, Video and Animation frameworks, all of which can take advantage of the video processor. Developers have been putting the new frameworks to good use in Leopard, making applications such as Times, Pixelmator, ScreenFlow, CoverSutra, Stationery Pack & Candybar 3 very visually appealing.

But despite this push to offload work to the video card, since switching to Intel processors, Apple has been shipping its lower end Macs with relatively mediocre Intel integrated video chipsets (first the GMA950 and now the X3100). Whilst these cards are more than capable of running a few simple animations here and there, as the use of Core services becomes increasingly prevalent in Apple and 3rd party apps you can’t help but feel that the graphics card is quickly becoming a bottleneck.

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5 reasons the iPhone is a better iPod than an iPod

Posted on May 16, 2008 in iPhone, Opinions

Let me start off by making a qualifying statement:

Because I worked for a large german Apple retailer for a few years, I’ve owned nearly every iPod Apple made, starting with a 10GB 2nd Gen I bought myself all the way through to the 30GB iPod video (no, I’m not insane, most were work iPods we were given to demonstrate to customers. But we were allowed to keep them for private use as well).

So consider me a big fan of all the previous iPods.

But apart from the obvious new touch interface which is generally considered to be a huge leap forward, there are several practical improvements to the iPhone’s iPod that are less headline-grabbing, but make the device considerably more useable than its predecessors all the same.

Here are my top 5 subtle improvements that make the music listening experience on the iPhone better than on any iPod.

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