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Mac Mini (2014)

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 11, 2014 in Apple, Tech

My trusty old 2010 Mac Mini is still going strong as the backbone of my network, however a few OS upgrades, a few more services for it to host, and it’s starting to creek under the pressure. I decided that as the current model was four years old, and was only the mid range version, it was time to upgrade.

I decided this time to go with the top of the range, not the upgraded top version, the simple off the shelf top of the range. This meant that not only couple I walk into an Apple store and pick one off the shelf, but I could also save myself £400 for a simple memory and processor bump.

A few notable differences between the two version. Only four USB 3.0 ports, instead of the six USB 2.0 ports on the back of the other, however there are now two thunderbolt ports. There is no longer a firewire port, you now need a £25 thunderbolt to firewire adapter to continue using your legacy device. This model now comes with the welcome addition of a built in SDXC card reader, and a HDMI port. The hight of this model is a lot shorter now, thanks to the removal of the DVD drive.

The model I went for was the

2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5,
8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3,
1TB Fusion Drive
Integrated Intel Iris Graphics processor.

That’s about it, it does exactly the same as the previous version, just quicker.

Unboxing pics below.

 

Mac Mini 2014
Mac Mini 2014
Mac Mini 2014
Mac Mini 2014
Mac Mini 2014
Mac Mini 2014

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Apple TV 3rd Generation

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 21, 2012 in Apple, Tech

Like many I sat and watched live streams of the iPad 3 media event on the 7th March 2012, and sat at drooled at the new shiny. In addition to the iPad 3 being launched there was the announcement of the 3rd generation Apple TV.

It’s selling features at the event was a new shiny UI and the ability to output 1080 video (instead of the 720 from the 2nd generation)

Although the 1080 did sound appealing, I spend the best part of a month encoding all my media to 720, and didn’t plan on re-encoding all the blurays to 1080.

Again the new UI looked new and shiny, granted there were no new features added, it just gave it more of a iOS feel, which was available for the 2nd generation within hours of the media event….so unfortunately I wasn’t sold and thought I’d pass on this model.

Then an opportunity arose, that meant I could potentially move one of the existing Apple TV’s into the kitchen, and replace this with a new model…so I did.

Last night it turned up, and to be honest, if it didn’t say 1080 on the side of the box, it would have been hard to tell if it was the new model of not. The same applies for the device itself, I held the 2nd and 3rd generation side by side, and honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

Plugged in the device, saw the familiar apple symbol then ran through the setup as with the other models. Once set up, I flicked through the menus, to find only one change, the vide output had the 1080 option, and that’s it. This actually made me happy, as I realised I wasn’t losing any functionality from the previous boxes.

Now I’ve seen a number of tear downs, and people are suggesting the 3rd generation has got the A5 processor, and the upgrade to 512Mb of system memory making this device as snappy as the iPad 2. There is also the suggestion that this has the same internal 8Gb storage, and the bluetooth has been upgraded to bluetooth 4.0

Being a long time user of the 2nd generation model, the upgrade to the processor and memory are noticeable, this device is a lot snappier. I’ve not given it enough to see if the hardware upgrade fixes some glitches that were present in the 2nd generation, eg the random restarts, and the occasional buffering issues, however I’m sure time will tell.

I did attempt to give the 1080 a good test, however the UK version of the store and netflix seems to be a little sparse when it comes to 1080 content. It seems a lot of the items are tagged as HD, with the occasional tagged as 1080. Based on this assumption there doesn’t seem to be any 1080 trailers and all the Netflix content I tried had only the HD tag. Now I have read that Netflix has upgraded the Apple TV steaming to support 1080, but not sure if this is in the states only. Currently the UK Netflix library is but a small subset of what’s available overseas.

I did however download a 1080 trailer from Apples site, drop it in iTunes and streamed it to the Apple TV and this did look a lot sharper.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens with future content, and hope that when the iCloud movie steaming comes to the UK, I’ll get a 1080 version of all the films I got on triple play (Digital, DVD and Bluray), but I guess only time will tell.

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Finally bought an iPad

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Nov 30, 2010 in Apple, iPad, Tech

As with most things Apple, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an iPad since I knew of their existence, however was always put off by the lack of multi tasking, however the recent release of iOS 4.2.1 has fixed that problem.

In the recent tech news, there are already a lot of rumours flying around about the iPad 2, suggesting it will have a USB port, a front facing camera, a rear 8 Megapixel camera, carbon fibre back, etc etc. With all these reports, and the release of the new OS, the iPad is back onto my radar.

Tonight (thanks to Tony Lunn), I bought one !….now don’t start saying, “Ooo, did Tony buy you one, what a nice guy ?”, it was due to him I couldn’t resist and bought one.

So here’s how it happened, Text from Tony around 6ish “I’ve been offered a iPad for x amount, what do you recon ?”, I then spent the next 30 mins googling to see what prices they were going for……somehow ended up with one in my basket, then checked the opening times and the nearest store with stock (turned out to be the Leicester store of Comet), jump in the car, drove to Leicester, got lost, spend 20 minutes running through Leicester trying to find the place…..and finally walked out of Comet, 5 minutes before it was closing with a shiny iPad and case.

So, how is it ?…..it’s bloody lovely !

As you know, I’ve got an iPhone 4, had the iPhone 3GS before that, before that had the iPod Touch 2nd Gen….this is the next step up the evolutionary chain.

It does, (as you would expect) everything any other iOS Device does, but just on a bigger screen. To be honest, seeing the difference between the iPhone 3GS screen and the iPhone 4, I was a little worried how this screen would look in comparison to the retina display, but have to say I’m very impressed !, It’s sharp, bright, and everything you would expect from an Apple product.

The model I went for was the 16GB Wi-Fi model, as I plan on buying the next gen when it comes out. Not wanting to scratch it, I also bought the official iPad case thingy with it, which as you can imagine, fits like a glove 🙂

When I’ve had a good play with it, I’ll update the post, but for now, it’s play time 🙂

As always, unboxing photos below.

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