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02 May 2011

App Review: PhotoSync

Over the weekend I came across a really cool app called PhotoSync. Tried and tested this is by far a great app that works beautifully. PhotoSync eliminates the need for a cable to transfer photos and videos from iOS device to Mac and vise versa. With an easy setup and simple user interface PhotoSync is a must have application. The app allows for transfers over both wireless and bluetooth networks and all that is required is for you to download the free PhotoSync Companion application for mac or windows to your desktop and you're all set to go. 

PhotoSync boasts 3 main features:
  • Unlimited image and video transfer to and from you mac and iOS device.
  • Smart feature, which basically means that PhotoSync keeps track of all photos and videos transferred. Therefore allowing transfer of new pics and videos with just one click.
  • For Mac users, direct importing into iPhoto and Aperture. A drop and drag feature is also available for transferring to iOS devices. 
In addition to the already mentioned features, PhotoSync app also supports Dropbox, Flickr and FTP uploading. I've been using this app for a few days now without problems. The app is stable and more importantly, it works!!! At $1,99 this app is extremely well priced considering all that the app offers. 


I've added a link to the iTunes store below where the app can be purchased and downloaded along with a short clip to further demonstrate the app's features. Enjoy!

Associated Links:

video

28 April 2011

Camping at Salmonsdam Nature Reserve

Salmonsdam Nature Reserve is approximately 150km out of Cape Town. There are two routes that can be taken from Cape Town but the route I chose allowed us to pass through beautiful Hermanus. The reserve is 834ha in size and comprises of beautiful mountainous landscapes renowned for its bird life (more than 120 bird species), fynbos, waterfalls, various antelope like the Bontebok and Klip-Springer. Baboons and other mammals are also present within the reserve. There is no river close to the camp site for swimming, so the only other option is a cement pool which I decided against. The reserve also boasts three amazing hiking trails which are highly recommended for all visitors.



We arrived at the camp site in the mid afternoon. The weather was cool, with minimal sunlight and lots of cloud cover. The sites of the surrounding mountains and hills were breathtaking to say the least. My girlfriend, Rafeeka organised an amazing tent as the one I had apparently never met minimal standards lol. Pitching the tents was quick and easy and in under an hour we had two huge tents setup, a "kitchen/storage tent" and an eating area under a gazibo. My friend Faghrie was kind enough to organise all the lighting we needed to light up our camp site since there was no power available. We were all set. Steaks, chops and sausage were on the menu for dinner. 


Relaxing around the fire, listening to the cool sounds of Bob Marley and a sky lit up by millions of stars was exactly what the doctor ordered. Dinner was served at about 9, a lil later than the norm, but hey I wasn't complaining. Kudos to Woolworths for the best Garlic and Parsley rolls I have ever had! It amazes me how quick time really flies by when you're busy, having fun or both, so before I knew it day 1 had come to an end.



Due to heavy winds and rainfall I was up at 7am, not exactly what I had in mind for my getaway but no point in complaining to mother nature. The ground was wet and the weather was unpleasant but I was in no way going to let this minor change affect my mood. Scrambled eggs, fried sausage, green peppers and fried mushrooms were on the menu for breakfast. Unhealthy I know, but so darn good! Despite the fact that there was no available electricity on the camp sites, all showers were equipped with gas heaters. Since the morning was quite wet out, most of the time was spent indoors, but by the afternoon the weather had cleared up and we decided to do one of the three hikes. We chose the Waterfall hike which is approximately 3km and absolutely beautiful. The hike took us through thick fynbos, indigenous trees and ended up at a breath-taking waterfall, making the hike ever so worth it. The hike completely tired me out so the rest of the evening was spent roasting marshmallows over a fire being prepared for a late night braai. 




Three days was definitely way too short and I would love to go back as soon as I could to complete the other 2 hiking trails and maybe even mountain bike up one of the 4x4 routes. I must admit that one of the things I loved most about this camp site was that despite the large area made available for campers, only 11 site were allocated. Which means that you have ample space between camp sites as apposed to feeling cramped by other campers. Also, listening to the rain pour over our tent, wild cats fighting in the background and the fear of baboons or Bontebok visiting our camp site during the night added so much more to our experience in the wild. . I would definitely recommend adding Salmonsdam Nature Reserve to your 'To Do' list.

I've added a Google Maps link below with easy directions to the Salmonsdam Nature Reseve

Salmonsdam Nature Reserve (directions)  

20 April 2011

App Review: Seamless

This morning I received an email from the guys at MacHeist about an app for iPhone, iPod and Mac. The app is called Seamless and was created by the peeps at FiveDetails.com. Based on the quick description of the app on the homepage I was immediately intrigued. Seamless is an app that allows you to transition music that you are currently playing in iTunes on your Mac to your iPhone or iPod touch with one easy click. What that basically means that if you were enjoying an album while busy on your Mac and you had to run off to a meeting or whatever is on your schedule, you could, with one easy click transition that very point where you're at in the album to your iPhone/iPod touch and continue listening in the car or while walking etc.

This is such a cool app that I'm sure will come in handy. And at 99cents it's a steal! The setup is so quick and easy. All that needs to be done is to pair the iPhone/iPod touch with your mac. Once that is done, whatever music is currently playing on your Mac will be displayed on the app's home screen. Thereafter you need just click the "Transition Music " button and it's done, that easy! The only catch is you need to be connected to a local network though. The app needs to be downloaded from both the iTunes and MacApp stores, I've added links to the stores below. Enjoy!


Associated Links:
Seamless iTunes Link
Seamless MacApp Store Link 

19 April 2011

A quick fix to the Twitter for Mac and Spaces problem

About 2 weeks ago I created a post about Spaces for Mac and how simple it was to setup and use. Since then I've enjoyed using Spaces and my desktop looks less cluttered and much easier to navigate through. The only problem I kept having is that the Twitter application kept following me around from space to space, which kind of defeats the purpose. This was of course due to a bug within the Twitter for mac application. With a little online searching and reading I found a simple method to work around this annoying problem, so i thought I'd share it. 

Go to System Preferences > then choose Expose' & Spaces.


In the Spaces menu > go to the Application Assignments, click the + and add Twitter and choose 'Every Space' (essentially this is what we do not want to do, but it's a necessary step nonetheless.)

Then choose the space that you would like Twitter to be in. (in my case, Space 1)


And that's it! Twitter should now only be in 1 allocated space. This preference however will be forgotten if the Twitter application is closed. It's obvious that this a bug in the application, so hopefully the developers will have it fixed on the next update. But in the meantime these simple steps will have to be followed. Please leave any comments if this did not work for you. Enjoy!

08 April 2011

Using Spaces in Mac OSX

Ever felt that your desktop was way too cluttered with all your open windows? Spaces in OSX is the solution to the problem. I generally have a few browser windows open with each having numerous open tabs as well. That of course excludes all the different open applications, notes, mail app, calender, etc. hence a cluttered desktop. Using Spaces neatens everything perfectly, having everything exactly where I need it to be. Spaces allows you as the user to create 2 to 16 extra screens on your mac. Think of them as virtual workspaces or desktops where you can easily drop or group certain applications that you are using, not only to reduce the clutter but also to simplify your desktop to assist you to focus on one thing at a time. For example; you could have one Space for anything work related like spreadsheets or current work projects, another space for personal items like random web browsing, games or movies, and maybe even another space for hobbies like blogging or anything related to photography, etc. The possibilities are endless.

video 

Spaces is built in to Mac's OSX Leopard and can be found in System Preferences. The initial setup is extremely simple, as to be expected from almost anything that is Apple. Once you've selected Spaces from System Preferences you need to click on the 'Enable Spaces' box found in the top left corner of the window. In the top right corner is a box 'Show Spaces in menu bar' which can be clicked if you want Spaces in your menu bar. The section below allows you to choose the number of Spaces you require. I've chosen 4 as that's all that I need right now. You can choose up to 16 Spaces if so needed. 




The next step is to assign applications to their respective Spaces. By using the '+' sign you can choose from the list that appears which applications to select. Once this has been done you can assign one of the Spaces to the app. More than 1 space can be assigned to an application if so desired. For example, an application like Mail can be assigned to all Spaces making it available in all Spaces. 


The last step is to customize the shortcut keys. There are 3 different settings each having their own options as well. Once this has been done you can use your shortcut keys to switch between applications and Spaces. I've used Expose' to add an Active Screen Corner for my Spaces which makes it so easy to see all my open Spaces. 


And that's it! Once you've gone through this easy setup you are ready to enjoy Spaces!!!

30 March 2011

App Review: Self Image

With my new found interest in photography and having not yet bought the SLR Camera and lens of my choice, I find myself downloading more and more photography apps from the app store in the mean time. A few days ago I came across this really cool and really cheap application called "Self Image" by the team at Debacle Software. Now this application does not have numerous fancy features as most of the photography apps found in the app store boast. The app has merely 1 feature, however, this does not make this app obsolete at all since it's only feature is "Face Detection"

As you know the iPhone's camera is on the rear (unless you're using an iPhone4) which makes it pretty difficult to take a really cool photo of yourself or even a portrait of you and a friend. With the Face Detection feature built in to the app, taking self portraits are so much easier. The app has 3 settings; 1. A shot with just you. 2. A shot with you and a friend. 3. And a Self-Timer shot. Once your chosen your setting, turn the phone around and wait for the 3second countdown and done! Its really as simple and easy as that. All photos are automatically saved to your camera roll. 




Debacle Software are the same guys that brought the amazing panoramic photo application "PANO" which has won numerous awards since 2009, so based on that reputation you know you're getting a bargain at $0,99. I've added a link to the iTunes Store below where the app can be downloaded. Enjoy! 


Associated Link: Self Image Application

06 March 2011

App Review: 8mm Vintage Camera

About a week ago I started playing around with an app referred to me by a friend, so I thought I'd share it. 8mm Vintage Camera app shoots the old fashioned style videos making your clips a whole lot cooler than before and its so simple and easy to use. If you enjoyed movies like Casablanca and Doctor Zhivago then you'll love playing around with this app. 

When using this app you can switch from the classic black and white look of the 1920's, the colorful 70's, Siena and the muted imagery of Sakura. When switching between settings the app allows for a change of lenses and filters to make your choice of clips look even more authentic. A 'jitter' setting is also added to allow jumping of frames for added effect. A projector sound can be used or simply have the sound muted for a 'Silent Movie'. The developers have added many other extra features like being able to mail recorded clips, upload them to You-Tube or just saving them to your camera roll. The app also supports geo-tagging when your location service is switched on and is compatible with iPhones 3GS/4 and the 4th generation iPod touch running on iOS4.1 or later.



If you enjoy photography and special effects then this app is definitely for you. The app costs but a mere $1,99 and for what you get I feel the app is well priced. I've added a link below which will take you to the iTunes store where the app can be downloaded. Enjoy!!! 


Associated Link: 8mm Vintage Camera