Recently I discovered this piece of great software (Mac-only) to help me focus on my studies while I am on my computer. It’s especially important now that I have taken to typing out my notes (which I find more effective than just plain reading and faster than writing them out). Featuring Concentrate from Roobasoft!
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The Snow Leopard ship date has been pushed ahead to 28th August, instead of the original September release date announced at WWDC 09. However, there is still no word on which is the final build (10A435 or 10A432). A launch party should be in place though, as with all Mac OS X launches. Get the full story here
On the other hand, still no word about the upcoming September Apple event. I am hoping that they announce a new iMac (even though it’s quite unlikely given it’s likely to be a music based event).
I wrote this piece last year in May. (Too bad the blog is no longer available)
I went down to the Apple Support Centre today to collect my new battery for my MacBook Pro. I must say I am rather pleased with the job they have done on my laptop. The sunken in Power button was fixed, and the bottom case with some bulging part above the lid button was also fixed. Even my very dirty screen was wiped for me. All this for the excellent price of $0, even though my warranty’s expired, all thanks to the exception code given to me by the very friendly Apple Staff on the support hotline.
But I couldn’t help thinking: what if I don’t have the exception code? Well, from the price list displayed at the Support Centre: it would cost me S$100 just to send the machine in for diagnosis, and extra costs for my replacement parts (the battery costs about S$235, and I am told that to fix my sunken in Power button, it would cost another S$100 to S$200) and of course transportation fees for the parts to come in from the US. So of course the guy recommended me Applecare, which extends the warranty of the product to 3 years from the date of purchase. Of course I politely declined his offer, given that it costs S$629. (Can you believe it, Applecare for the Macbook Pro is more expensive than any other Mac line – even more expensive than Applecare for iMac or the Mac Pro!)
Now, as we all know, Apple has poor quality control, and the problems and defects for it’s various products are numerous, especially issues of swollen batteries and excessive thermal grease. A look at the MacBook Pro’s wiki page on the Apple Defects Site and one could probably guess why lots of people chose to buy Applecare. Is it possible that Apple is so evil so as to deliberately lower their quality control, in hope of increasing sales of their wildly expensive Applecare plan? (The Applecare plan for the Macbook Pro is 20% of the price of the base model). I mean it is possible right? It would seem like a great chance to profit. (I have never seen exactly what’s in the Applecare box, but I can’t believe people actually pay S$600+ for a paper box)
But of course, to quote my friend: “Big brain, evil heart; everything’s possible.”
Now I am thinking that the bolded paragraph might just be true.
I am a big fan of search as you type, where search results are delivered on the fly as you type. This often means that you do not have to type out the full query string before you get the desired results, hence driving efficiency on the computer.
As such, I am glad to stumble upon Keyboardr, a search as you type frontend for the Google search engine. (However, searches are not limited only to Google – I will get to that in a while) It’s actually developed by Julius Eckert, who also happens to have created the HUD theme for Quicksilver, of which I am a great fan. But back to Keyboardr. It is obviously designed with Mac power users in mind – you can navigate and open search results using the arrow keys and the enter(/return) key, and there is no need for your hands to leave the keyboard.
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Even though it has been over a month since iPhone 3.0 was released, I had always wanted to write a piece on the Spotlight feature in the updated firmware.
Spotlight is the universal search for iPhone, much like Spotlight for Mac. And I love it. While Spotlight on Mac never gives the fast response of Quicksilver (probably due to it having to maintain a huge search index), the iPhone version is a lot snappier and actually acts as a viable app launcher. Not only that, you can also search through your emails (but not SMSes interestingly), contacts, Calendar appointments, notes and stuff in your iPod. The best part is, you can just double-click the Home Button to bring up spotlight and Boom, start typing (to do this, it requires you to change your setting under Settings > General > Home Button). It’s also “search as you type”, which means you often get the result you want without typing more than 3 characters. This is great, especially for those with pages and pages of apps and loads of content on your iPhone (/iPod Touch). Tip: you can also reorder your search results under Settings > General > Home Button > Search Results (not the most likely place one would look for such a setting, I know).
Continue reading Spotlight on iPhone