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Apple Airport Express

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jun 21, 2010 in Apple

Like most people, I have multiple devices that require internet access, however I hate having to run cables.

My main problem has always been the upstairs, downstairs divide. Not wanting to run a cable through the floorboards, I’ve tried multiple solutions from wireless access points, to the Powerline adapters . Now don’t get me wrong, the Powerline mains adapter does work ok, and it’s only very occasionally I get buffering, however I thought I’d give the Airport Express a try.

I have multiple devices which use wireless n, and to be honest wasn’t really that impressed at the speed difference over wireless g, that was until I got the Time Capsule. The Wireless n technology used by Apple is pretty amazing, I went from an average transfer of 4Mb/sec to around 20Mb/sec.

Currently I have my downstairs Xbox360, PS3, and Wii connected to a Netgear DGN2000, which forwards all traffic to my Sky Router via the Powerline Adapters. Realistically I could have bought the Airport Extreme and just used this to bridge the networks, however I like the idea of the AirTunes.

What the hell is AirTunes you may ask, well let me tell you. The Airport Express comes with a 3.5mm jack plug, which you can connect either a pair of powered speakers, or connect to an amp. iTunes then recognises this as another set of speakers, and you can stream music to this output. With it being quite warm outside, I thought it would be a good idea to have some outdoor speakers connected to this, which can be controlled from my iPhone using the Remote app.

As with any Apple product, you just plug it in, and it works ! My MacBook popped up with the Airport utility, allowed me to bridge the network between this and the Time Capsule, and that was it, jobs done !

I gave it a quick test, and I got on average 25Mb/sec transfer speed, which is twice the speed of Powerline Adapters. I plugged in some powered PC speakers, fired up the remote software, and sure enough I heard my music through them ! Perfect !

The only thing is now, I want more of these, the ability to output the same music in potentially every room in the house, controlled by my iPhone sounds an awesome idea, however it may get a little pricy.

Unboxing photos below.

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Mac Mini

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 10, 2010 in Apple, Tech

“Dear Mr Jobs,

When I said “Your work here was done”, in my previous post about my iPhone, I may have been telling porkies, as I still had a Windows machine in the house, however you’ll be glad to know, that I’ve done the right thing, and replaced it with a Mac Mini. Sorry for the porkie, and I am now 100% Apple.

Your ever faithful disciple

Darren.”

As you can probably tell from the above, I’ve replaced my last remaining Windows machine with a Mac Mini (Really ? No sh1t Sherlock). To be honest I’ve been toying with the idea since getting the MacBooks last year, as essentially all the Windows machine did was act as a server. It was my media server, my iTunes server, my torrent downloading machine (all legal of course) and a way of dialling into my network from the outside world using remote desktop and port forwarding.

As you can probably suss from my ted post, I spent a little time and ensured that I could still carry out the same functions on the Mac.

I’m using PS3 Media Server to stream to my PS3’s and Xbox,I’m using a uTorrents as my torrent client,iTunes (obviously) for my iTunes server and finally VNC to dial it.

All these pieces of software are available cross platform, so all is good.

The Mac Mini turned up on Monday (unboxing below). The thing that got me about this was just how small the Mac Mini actually is, imagine stacking 4/5 CD cases onto of each other, and that it !

This this is silent, so compact, so tidy, and takes up no room whatsoever !.

As this is just going to be used for the same purpose the Windows machine was, I didn’t really need a high spec, as the Dell I was replacing was only a 2Gb Core 2 Duo, with 2Gb of Ram.

I went for the below, which to be honest it more than adequate for what I need.

  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB memory
  • 160GB hard drive1
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Now unlike the iMac, this doesn’t come with a mouse or keyboard, these are optional, however I had a spare set kicking around. The Mac Mini does have an internal speaker (which to be honest I was a little shocked at, as this device is so small. You do however have the option of connecting external speakers via the 3.5mm jack plug at the back.

The Video out connections are both the Mini DVI and the Mini Displayport adapters, allowing you to connect this to VGA, DVI and HDMI, however you only get a Mini DVI to DVI connecter included.

As with all my apple equipment, I switched it on, entered my details, and done !

This has been the final piece is a very expensive jigsaw, however my household is completely Mac, Goodbye Windows, I hope I never have to use you again ! (well, I do have to use it every day at work…but I don’t really have a choice in that)

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Finally got an iPhone

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Apr 4, 2010 in Apple

“Dear Mr Jobs, your work here is now done, it’s taking 2 years for me to fully make the transition to Apple, however my quest is now complete, and apologies for taking so long…”

If I was writing a letter to Steve Jobs, it would go something like that 🙂

Well, my journey started a couple of years ago, with a iPod Shuffle, then iPod Touch, then MacBook Pro, then iMac and finally I’ve got a iPhone.

Every device I’ve bought from Apple has wow’d me in 1 way or another, and they “just work”

I’ve been fighting getting an iPhone but I just couldn’t wait any longer. The last year has been a bit of a roller coaster to be honest. I remember reading tech blogs saying that o2 were due to loose their exclusivity. Then there were reports that Orange would be selling the iPhone, and even Tesco, but no sign from Vodafone. Then finally Vodafone jumped on the bandwagon, and finally started to sell the iPhone.

As I’ve been with Vodafone for as long as I can remember, I wanted to stick with them. My plan was to wait for them to release the phone, then buy a pay as you go version, stick my sim card in this, and wait for you contract to run out, however…..Vodafone for some reason don’t want to do a Pay as you go version ?

Anyway, my contract ran out in January, and though “Well, the next gereneration iPhone will be out in a couple of months, so I can wait. After reading some recent tech blogs, it seems that the new iPhone HD won’t be officially announced until the next WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) (Monday, June 28, 2010 to Friday July 2, 2010), and each time a new phone is announced, there is normally another month delay….Grrr !

So I made the decision and bought an iPhone 3GS from fleabay, use this until the new phone is out, then extend my contract, and stick it back on fleabay

I think I got myself a bargain, Brand New Sealed, Black, 3GS, 16Gb for £420 delivered, and on Thursday it turned up !.

Now I’ve been a iPod Touch owner for a couple of years now, but the iPhone takes it that one step further, granted my iThingy now makes calls, is able to send texts, and works without being on wi-fi, but it’s the other little thing that really do it for me. The location service is something that only kinda worked on the iPod touch, it’s nice to “select my location” and have everything map to me, and not the local exchange.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the speed difference !….Geez this thing is quick in comparison to my iPod Touch 2G, browsing, gaming, and well everything is just a lot quicker.

I so wish I’d taken the plunge a couple of years ago when they first came out, Love it !

Unboxing photos below, and again hats off to a designers for making the box look so cool !

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