Life without a Mac


Apple iMacLife without a Mac – not something I anticipated any time in the past. However, when my daughter started sixth form I decided to donate my lovely MacBook Pro to her as my previous donation was now on its last legs. So, I got a new one for myself to replace it – well actually, no. I decided that as my iPhone 4S works really well as a substitute for carrying around a somewhat bulky laptop that instead this time I would get another iMac.

Dilemma – new iMacs were in the wings so I didn’t want to buy one and then find myself frustrated that Apple had just brought out a new line. So, here I am having spend the last couple of months using a PC laptop for my day job and my iPhone as a replacement for my Mac laptop.

So, how has it been? Well, surprisingly (to me certainly) I have not really missed my MacBook Pro as much as I thought I would. I am writing this post on a PC laptop, which though its nowhere as pleasant to use it does suffice for most tasks and certainly copes with writing documents for work, emails and blog posts etc. Of course, browsing the web these days is pretty much the same what OS you use.

I am using Windows 7 and its an improvement on XP but only just. I doubt I will upgrade the PC to Windows 8 anytime soon though. iOS 6 works great on my iPhone and I can do much of what I need to do day to day on it when out and about.The rest of the time I use the PC laptop. In fact, the only time I use my (daughter’s) MacBook Pro is to open documents that I haven’t copied to my Dropbox folder or the odd program that does something none of my PC ones can do.

I guess all this goes to prove how close the two operating environments are these days and that’s a good thing. Both can provide what is needed for most tasks you would need to do in everyday situations. However, I am hooked on the Apple way fo doing things and I love the reliability and sheer design perfection of Macs so I can’t wait to get a shiny new 27-inch iMac. All I need to do is find a way of financing it!

 

Secure your PC for free!


BufferZone Security SoftwareSecurity, when it comes to computers, is as important as it is with most things. Trouble with computers though is that its difficult to keep ahead of the hackers and other scoundrels who are out to get you.

Well, help is at hand from Trustware, with their free software, BufferZone. According to their site:

“BufferZone creates an isolated environment called the Virtual Zone. The Virtual Zone “buffers” your PC from all forms of known or unknown attacks that originate from the Internet and external devices. All of your private information is secured in a trusted and separated environment.”

It does this by creating a virtual environment, within which your PC is isolated from any threats. By creating a special directory – C:\Virtual in your computer’s registry, it keeps external programs and files in an isolated environment, separated from your trusted personal files and your PC’s operating system.

According to Trustware, even your online banking is safe, as are your documents. It promises to prevent spyware, keyloggers, botnets or any other Internet born malware from stealing your personal data and documents, even if anti-virus and anti-malware hasn’t yet identified the threats. If it truly lives up to the claims then this is one piece of software you should seriously consider installing.

You can read more about BufferZone on the company’s website. If you are wondering just how safe your PC is they also have a free security test you can download from their site.

You can rest assured that the software is trustworthy as CNET gives it 5 stars!

Now a blogger on T3KD!

TK3D Logo

TK3D LogoI am now a writer on the T3KD blog. You can read my first post about the future of the gaming console in my article “Is the end of the gaming console in sight?” .

I will be writing regular articles (around two a week) so do check it out. In the meantime,why not read some of the other posts by the team of writers such as Andrew Allison: Which gaming portable should you buy? or Corrina Johnson: My iPhone 4S Experience

Topics covered include:

  1. Mobile
  2. Android
  3. Gaming
  4. How To
  5. Reviews
  6. Apps
  7. Internet
  8. Opinion
  9. Hardware
… the list goes on!

 

 

Retro MacOS in memory of Steve Jobs


my Power Mac 6100

Image by blakespot via Flickr

Along with many other blogs this one has a new look – the Retro MacOS look, in tribute to Steve Jobs. Its fitting that someone who did so much to change the face (literally, in a sense) of personal computing and the web (lets not forget the influence of the Safari browser) should be honoured by having a theme created in memory of his life and work.

Retro MacOS was originally created by Stuart Brown, and converted by the team at WP so folk like me could use on their blogs. Its available in the WP Theme Directory from within your dashboard. Personally, I think it looks rather cool and is a fitting tribute to the man. What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments.

As to how long it will remain up, I’m not sure; at least for a while anyway.

iPad dominates UK Tablet


Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Kantar Worldpanel ComTec have released a report showing that the iPad accounts for some 73% share of the UK market. It’s nearest rival is Samsung‘s Galaxy Tab, with a mere 5.9% share. This is a devastating blow to those companies who have tried to jump on the bandwagon created by the iPad. Certainly, no other tablet can boast the sales that the iPad has had since its introduction in April 2010.

According to the report, there are more than 3.6 million UK citizens who now own a tablet,  approximately 7.6% of the population. This figure in November 2010 was just 2.8% apparently. With recent news that the Blackberry Playbook has undergone a price-cut (albeit limited to employees of the Rogers store chain in US and for a limited period only), things are looking somewhat bleak for the non-iPad market.

iPad a hit with silver surfers!

iPad 2 FaceTime

iPad 2 FaceTimeOver the years I have helped several individuals that fall into the so-called ‘silver surfers’ generation get to grips with computers. Most simply want to keep in touch with distant relatives or pursue a hobby online. Generally speaking, most have found it difficult to get to grips with the keyboard and mouse. Usually this is due to physical reasons such as arthritis or just simply finding it difficult to grasp the principles behind using a mouse and keyboard together to navigate around their chosen operating system.

Although I am something a Mac aficionado, my own sense is that both Macs and PCs are equally difficult to get along with because of their reliance on the keyboard and mouse combination.

So, it was interesting the other day to have a conversation with someone about their mother, who falls into the ‘silver surfer’ demographic. For ages she had been trying to get to grips with a computer but had failed to conquer the keyboard and mouse hurdle. Well, one day, her family decided to treat her to an iPad, as a gift and as a direct replacement for her computer. Imagine their surprise and delight to find that after a few days she is in happily spending lots of time on the iPad, doing all the things she tried to do on her computer but had found so difficult. It has literally transformed her life. As she lives alone, the iPad has become her means of keeping in touch via email, being able to browse the internet at leisure and she is spending more and more time on it.

So, maybe Apple should come up with some discount scheme for folk over 60 years of age? I am sure there is an opportunity here for Apple to grab even more market share whilst at the same time transforming the lives of our senior citizens. Anyone listening….

Apple leads the field with surge in Mac sales


Apple Mac Portable sales from fiscal year 2002...
Image via Wikipedia

Seems that it’s not only the iPad that is doing well, but the Mac is also experiencing a surge in sales. Maybe the success of the iPad is rubbing off and giving the Mac some help?

Whilst sales of PCs in general has fallen over the past 12 months, according to Gartner, sales of the Mac have grown significantly. PC shipments in the U.S. market totaled 19.1 million units in the fourth quarter — a 6.6 percent decline compared to the same period in 2009. HP continues to lead the U.S. market with a 29.3 percent share of fourth-quarter shipments. It seems that only Toshiba and Apple were the only vendors in the top five to post a positive year-over-year growth. Even without counting iPad sales, Apple’s Mac shipments led the field with 23.7 percent growth, a stunning performance by anyone’s reckoning.

For more on this story visit http://www.newsfactor.com.

So, it’s looking like Apple can do nothing wrong at the moment and that, at least for the foreseeable future, its in a strong position to benefit when the economic downturn reverses and consumer confidence grows. With OS 10.7 (Lion) just around the corner, the recent Verzion iPhone, the debut of the already successful Mac App Store and the roaring success of the iPad, with the iPad 2 rumoured to be imminent, Apple’s share of the market and its share price are set to grow even further in the months ahead.

With the possibility of Apple also introducing new Macs with the latest Intel i3, i5 & i7 CPU range (USB3 perhaps as well?), Mac enthusiasts are set for an interesting year. Not so for Apple’s competitors though!

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