Saturday, 31 May 2008


I've been trying out a useful little app called Skitch. Essentially it's a screen capture tool combined with a light drawing package backed up by a web based sharing service.

It's very easy to use and I've found it coming in handy more and more as capturing elements of the screen is simplicity itself and you can easily annotate them and simply drag them off to the desktop to use elsewhere or post them to the web and send people the link.

It's currently in beta but I haven't had any stability problems with it so I'd suggest giving it a try.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Delicious Library

I spotted this app when I was trawling the usual Mac news sites (TUAW, MacWorld etc.) and thought it looked interesting. So I downloaded the trial version to check it out.

The app allows you to catalogue your movies, books, gadgets and the like which plays right to my latent OCD tendencies. It has a built in barcode scanner which can use your iSight camera (not for me though as I have a Mac Mini - Apple when are you going to bring the standalone iSight back?) but also allows text entry etc. and then searches Amazon to bring up loads of information regarding the item. The interface is the usual iTunesy type but with a representation of a bookshelf with the items on it (there are some nice graphical touches with how it drops in the cover art when you add an item and it "burns" it when you delete one). It can also read the title back to you when you add items.

All in all it does what I was trying to sort out on a database but in a much better, easier and quicker way and when I've finished I'll not only have a searchable catalogue of my stuff but also be able to track it when I lend it out and make backups for insurance purposes. Excellent.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Can we wait until 2012?

No I'm not referring to the Olympics but rather the digital switch-over here in the South East. Currently our digital reception is often appalling and I'm not convinced anything will be done about it until the switch-over - of course they might still not do anything then either! At least with an analogue signal the program may be grainy or snowy but you can still watch it. WIth digital it gets to a certain point and you simply have to give up or go mad. It's been happening pretty often lately something to do with good weather I suspect - of course it isn't great in a lot of weather conditions!

I'm starting to think quite carefully about FreeSat but, of course, that would mean trying to find a way of getting recordings onto the media centre - which is often a problem from satellite - may be FreeSat will be better? I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

iPlayer and HomeHub Issue

Until the Beeb release a downloadable iPlayer for Mac (if that ever happens) I'm stuck with using the streaming version. Whilst it works fine sometimes we often find it manages to crash the BT HomeHub. I have no idea why and can't always replicate the problem. What a pain...

Friday, 9 May 2008

eyeTV - The Return!

Elgato sent me a replacement eyeTV Hybrid which is working fine - woohoo! As it's a new pack it also seems to include a disk with the new eyeTV 3 software on it - so I may try installing that over the weekend to try it out.

Obviously having the device fail and the time without it whilst Elgato tested it was a real pain - but credit to Elgato for replacing it.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Summer Movies for Me

I'm not usually a big fan of summer blockbuster movies and they are sequels too, which usually isn't a good sign; however, the trailers look interesting.

I was worried that the fourth instalment of Indiana Jones would be a problem given that time has moved on and Harrison Ford isn't as young as he was (are any of us?) but the trailer for the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull looks pretty good.

Next on the list is Hellboy II - the Golden Army. I thought Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman made a pretty good job of the first movie so I have high hopes.

Yet another sequel is The Dark Knight. The follow up to Batman Begins and the first Batman movie without "Batman" in the title. Whilst not everyone liked Christian Bale's performance in the previous movie, I enjoyed it and it was held together with an excellent supporting cast. I thought the approach in that film was nicely dark (my preferred approach to Batman) and I hope this one continues that trend.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

RCD Saves the Day!

All our sockets tripped out yesterday - which was a little unnerving. I checked the circuit breakers and the RCD had tripped. I reset it and it tripped again. I went round and checked all the appliances that were on and noticed that the switch for the dishwasher was unusually hot. A quick inspection revealed that it was shorting out. A quick trip to B&Q today got us a new switch, I stripped back the insulation as the short had burned it, fitted the new switch and all's back to normal.

It's a good thing the RCD tripped as we often run the dishwasher overnight and who knows what could have happened. It just goes to show how lucky we can be...