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by Philip Roy

iOS 7 peeves

Last Updated - Thursday, 10 October 2013

iOS 7 is a radical overhaul of the performance, look and feel, and way that you interact with your iOS device. It moves away significantly from previous version of the iOS, bringing with it differing ways to interact with your iOS device. The UI/UX changes are severe in many cases. Apple has moved away from the approach of small incremental changes to iOS with each update, with a significant change that is not to everyone's liking.

I confess I haven't really got used to iOS 7 yet, but I'm sure that I will. I'm not saying whether I like it or not in this article...but instead, focus on some iOS peeves that have me frustrated or just simply surprised by what I consider (in some instances) bugs. Here goes...

Clean My Mac 2

Last Updated - Wednesday, 01 May 2013

After a 2 year hiatus from writing a review of Mac software (due to being under a "non-compete" with the sale of my Mac and iPhone websites) I was keen to get stuck in to try CleanMyMac 2.0 from MacPaw. I'm generally not a fan of commercial applications designed to check the state of my Mac and I am certainly not a fan of some companies that saturate the web with advertising trying to get us to buy these types of applications. But MacPaw isn't the guilty party in this instance and the software looked impressive when I first spotted the announcement.

There are in fact many free alternatives out there to products like this, but they come in varied forms of user-friendliness and functionality. At the same time, many of these applications launch scripts or commands that you could take time to learn and execute yourself...but with CMM2 and in particular it's promise to clean up iPhoto libraries and look for large unused files, I bought a license before even trialling it. That decision was partly due to the half-price launch sale (the software usually sells for $40 USD), but also due to the great exchange rate at the time. I was also intrigued to see that the application had an "Uninstaller" feature (to help you remove other applications cleanly) and the intriguingly named "Extensions Manager", which I was keen to look at and see if it had any similarities to what we used to have within Mac OS 9 and earlier.

Notes on Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8)

Last Updated - Sunday, 19 January 2014

Please note this is not a review and is not intended as a guide in any way shape or form...it's just some random notes on things I discovered whilst getting ready to install Mountain Lion and on starting to use it.

Getting Ready

1. You should look at this page on How to Make a Bootable OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion USB Install Drive or look at this application (Lion Disk Maker) before you install Mountain Lion. I prefer to have a DVD of each OS to keep and so first tried Lion Disk Maker but it failed to function (note, it was a release candidate version of the app and appears to have had one update since I tried) so I ended up taking the more hands-on approach to burn a DVD. You'll need a dual layer (8Gb) DVD and be warned that the DVD is very slow to boot up once you create it...so you might want to consider the USB stick approach instead.

2. Screen Casts Online has created a superb free to view tutorial about Installing OS X Mountain Lion that I urge you to watch before hand

3. As always, Ars Technica has an incredibly detailed review of Mountain Lion. Interestingly, the author has also posted details on other ways you can view the review and support him and the site. The ePub version is a massive 117 pages long and worth every cent!

4. Roaring Apps have also updated their superb Application Compatibility Chart

5. If you really want to keep up-to-date with all your software, I recommend the superb AppFresh for checking if there are updates available to software. It seems to catch more updates than CNET's TechTracker, although both sometimes show inaccurate updates. AppFresh has just turned commercial it would seem and is for sale at $9.99 USD at the moment....I think that's a bit much, but the exchange rate makes it great at the moment.

Proposal - Adobe Captivate Elements

Last Updated - Tuesday, 01 May 2012

In 2009 I got the opportunity to spend a week at Adobe HQ as part of a Summer Institute for Adobe Education Leaders from around the world. It was a real honour to have been appointed the first Adobe Higher Education Leader in New Zealand and to be invited to their Summer Institute in San Jose. It was a fantastic week and a great opportunity to meet a lot of exceptionally talented people...both within Adobe and from the Adobe Education Leaders community. We were exceptionally well looked after and got to learn a lot about forthcoming releases from Adobe, as well as it being an opportunity for Adobe to listen to us about suggestions for future projects and how to support the education sector worldwide.

I did however come away with two frustrations - Firstly, I felt that Adobe didn't really appreciate the significance of the Moodle open source Learning Management System in the education sector, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region1. With the greatest respect to Adobe, I would say that I still don't think they have fully understood its importance within the e-Learning community. Secondly, at the end of a presentation and discussion about the next version of Adobe Connect, we moved on to a discussion about Adobe Captivate...and in particular, how many in the room felt that there was a need for a simplified version of Adobe Captivate...an "Adobe Captivate Lite" if you will, or as I outline here, a suggested Adobe Captivate Elements.

The reason I say this is that I believe that there is still the need for such an application and my reasoning stays much the same as it was in 2009. I shared some of that reasoning with the two Adobe staff immediately after the discussion had taken place at Adobe HQ and it goes along the lines of this....Adobe Captivate was (and is) a very powerful application that has tremendous use in the eLearning community. But it is an application that I don't often recommend depending upon the needs of the people that I am talking to. In many case, I recommend alternatives, despite Captivate being an absolutely superb product2.