Tag: apple

03
May

On Apple, Adobe and Flash

I’ve been interested today to try and catch up on the whole Apple / Adobe debate regarding Flash, specifically Steve Jobs’ open letter and the WSJ interview with Shantanu Narayen. Let me first get my opinions out the way: people who know me will know that I’m an Apple geek, but I’m also a Web Developer with lots of experience using Adobe products, Flash in particular. For a long while, I really disliked developing in Flash, until I discovered the MC Tween library (now Tweener), which finally let me develop in Flash the way I wanted to. But until this week, when Flash Player 10.1 Gala came out, my experience with Flash in-browser was, as it is for many Mac users (and still is for some), frustrating at best.

With the capabilities of fantastic JavaScript libraries such as Raphael, jQuery, MooTools and the like, not to mention the superb frameworks like Cappuccino, and the enhancements that are being realised through HTML5 and CSS3, I can’t help but think that Flash has had its time. I can’t help but think that for the majority of applications, Flash isn’t really an option anymore. Once there’s (hopefully) a widespread, standard adoption of the HTML5 and CSS3 specifications, it should be significantly easier to develop websites with the same aesthetic flair as Flash sites in these languages – let alone a lot more accessible.

I, personally, don’t miss Flash when I’m using my iPhone. If/when I get an iPad, I can’t imagine I’ll miss it all that much on there either.

Maybe it’s time for Flash to step down. What I would absolutely love to see is an application that has the same power as the Flash IDE with regards to creating animations, adding functionality etc, but that outputs in standards compliant HTML/CSS with a JavaScript library. Adobe are probably a bit too stubborn to admit defeat and produce this product, but something like this could be really awesome.

Jobs vs Narayen

Back to the debate. Is it just me, or are there some mixed messages going on here? Jobs talks a lot about Flash being a closed system, and that Apple are supporting the open community by placing the emphasis on HTML5 and H.264. Narayen then counters that by saying that the iPhone is a closed system, and that they are supporting an open system by creating authoring tools with single-click deployment to a wide number of platforms.

They’re all good points, and all correct. Although the specification for Flash is open (apparently, I didn’t actually know that it was until I heard it from Narayen today), it is still controlled mainly by Adobe since they have the monopoly on the actual Flash player. Jobs 1 – Narayen 0. The iPhone is very similar, in that the code and frameworks are available for everyone to use, but the actual platform is controlled by a single entity. Jobs 1 – Narayen 1. Apple are indeed supporting the open community, I think HTML5 and H.264 are definitely the right way forward, particularly on mobile devices like the iPhone. Jobs 2 – Narayen 1. Adobe are indeed working to create authoring tools with single-click deployment to the web on a large number of devices. Jobs 2 – Narayen 2.

Looks like a tie, right?

Thing is, I can’t help but think that Adobe are fighting a pretty pointless fight with their “single-click cross platform deployment” – what’s wrong with HTML? As far as I’m aware, every mobile device with any market share supports HTML, along with every computer connected to the internet. That seems pretty cross platform to me.

I’m completely with Jobs on this one. Yes, I am an Apple geek, and people will say “well, of course you’re going to side with Apple”, but I really think Adobe are barking up the wrong tree here. Flash is all but dead, Adobe should move on.

31
Jan

Ch-ch-changes

I recently decided to take quite a bold move and change my computing setup. For about 3 years I’ve used two computers, my MacBook Pro for work on the move and an iMac for work at home. Increasingly, I found I did most of my work on my laptop, since I didn’t have to worry about transferring files if I was going to be working from the office or from campus. My mom is in need of a new computer (she currently has my old iMac G4, and it just won’t cut it anymore), so I decided to get rid of the iMac and solely use my laptop.

This change would be fine if it weren’t for the embarrasingly small hard-drive that was in my laptop. It would just about hold my music collection and nothing else, so it would need upgrading. Thanks to the various guides on upgrading the machine, I was able to replace the old 80GB 5400RPM drive with a lovely new 320GB 7200RPM drive, and boy is there a big difference. Not only do I not have to worry about drive space anymore, but the machine boots and loads things so much quicker. Very impressed indeed.The upgrade itself wasn’t too bad, it took me a good evening to do it all, including backing up the old drive and restoring the data. There were a couple of issues once the case was off, but nothing too major. My warranty was void a long time ago, so there’s no worries there.

The only problem remaining then was the fact that I like working on a big monitor. Fortunately, I decided this right around the time of the January sales, and managed to get myself a nice Dell SP2309W (which has annoyingly gone down in price since I bought it…), which I am very very pleased with. I’ve yet to try out something in HD, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

All in all, this switch-around ended up being a lot less scary than I thought it would be. I’ve found my work is a lot more streamlined now I only have one machine to worry about and now I can use my laptop on a nice big screen. And it sets me up nicely for a big bad Mac Pro in the next couple of years…

13
Oct

Coincidence Averted?

So the problem appears to be solved. The issue was that on waking from sleep, the laptop would crash. Then, when trying to start it up again, it would not even get as far as the Apple logo screen before failing. The solution to this was to hold the power button until the light flashed and a high picthed noise was heard. I’m not sure what exactly this does, but it made the laptop start up.

After some searching around, I found this article pertaining to sleep modes. I did what it said, and changed my hibernate mode to 0, and now the laptop seems fine. Also, I’ve saved myself a precious 2GB worth of hard drive space, which on only a 70GB drive, is very much worth it! It does mean, however, that I can’t leave it on sleep for long periods of time, since it drains the battery to keep the contents of the RAM happy. I think I can live with that, though.

13
Oct

Coincidence

Tomorrow, Apple are set to be launching new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Today, my MacBook Pro broke.

I think the gods at Apple are trying to tell me something…

26
Sep

iPod Touch First Impressions

Yesterday I received my 8GB iPod Touch – which I was very excited about! I wanted an iPhone (obviously…) but O2 wouldn’t let me upgrade. Since we’re thinking of going into the iPhone App business, I thought I’d get a Touch to tide me over until my contract runs out next year.

So what do I think of it? I find the keyboard difficult to use, but hopefully that will improve as I get more used to the device. Other than that, I love it! Everything works really well, and it’s so damn pretty. So very, very pretty. I’d love to know how the current location functionality works on it (I’m sure it’s out there, I just need to do some research…) but it works very well, getting my location pretty damn accurately, and also quite quickly. My only disappointment is that the Facebook iPhone app seems to be quite limited, but I’m sure that’s something the guys at Facebook will be working on over the next while. Browsing and working in Safari on it is really easy, and pretty quick (though that may just be the network here). Also, multitouch RULES.

So now I’m waiting for my iPhone Developer status to be approved and I can start putting some little apps of my own on there. Exciting times for Griffs!

01
Sep

OS X Mouse Following Issues

I’ve found a problem on my iMac which is a bit odd. OS X doesn’t seem to be able to trace my mouse movements. This manifests itself in a number of issues, some of which are outlines below:

  • The dock doesn’t magnify
  • When a select a menu, and then hover over the options, the options don’t turn blue (i.e. the hover state isn’t activated)
  • Similarly, when I select a menu and then move across to the next menu, the first menu remains open.
  • The x, – and + symbols on the window action buttons (close, minimize, resize) don’t appear on mouse over.

Now, my MacBook Pro has the same version of OS X, both are up to date, and only the iMac has the problem. I suppose it could be a PowerPC issue, since the iMac is a G5 and the MBP is intel, but I can’t find other people complaining of a similar issue. I wonder if it’s some spyware or similar that’s found its way onto my system – there don’t appear to be any suspect process in Activity Monitor though. It’s not the mouse, either, same issue with different mice.

Has anyone else found this problem? Anyone got any solutions?

Solution! I zapped my PRAM, and everything seems to work fine. I wasn’t entirely sure the zapping worked, but it appears to have done. So yay!