Category Archives: Mac Tips

Safari Tips … Reader to PDF

You most likely know about the Reader feature in Safari. On some webpages, there is a Reader function that will display your complicated ad ridden webpage in a simple to read format minus all other distractions.

Did you know that you can Print  to PDF from this view and have an article only PDF of the site for storage and reading? This is good for transferring to iPAD for reading as well.  Try it out and you will be amazed.

iPad, Macbook Air and Macbook Pro

Just some current thoughts on my gadget situation. I bought the Macbook Air in Singapore recently. Was initially planning on the 11″ 128gb and 4gb RAM. But the RAM upgrade would mean i cannot do any impulse purchase from the shop. So i decided on the 2gb RAM version. It turns out to be a good choice. The only reason i wanted more RAM was to run Windows 7 in Parallels. But i just saw an youtube video that Win7 in Parallels run pretty fast on 2gb RAM on the MBA. Reason is that the SSD drive makes swapping very fast although not as fast as RAM. But the MBA is about compromising for the size and putting all factors together including cost, size and performance, the 2gb RAM and 128gb SSD is properly the best combination. There is one caveat. SSD currently have limited write cycle lifespan and using it for swap drive will quickly use that up. There is also another issue about SSD slowing down after many read/write cycles and require a format but this seem to be something that apple has taken care of already.

Now, back to my situation. Ideally, one should need only a powerful machine at home and one portable for traveling. I was planning on selling my MBP but so far there has been no taker. The reason could be because it is a very powerful machine and i wasnt looking to sell it cheap. It is a 15″ Core i7, 4gb, Hi-Res, 128SSD (swap in myself) AND 500gb 7200rpm internal drive. I took out the DVD drive and have it in an USB casing. Any case it is more powerful than any mac mini on sale and i am not going for the Mac Pro, so i will just keep it as the powerful home machine.

Now for MBA and iPad. The overlap is big here, but the non-overlap is also small but significant. The MBA is straight forward light and small computer. The iPad on the otherhand is a totally different device and has the following unique features:

1. It is much better device for taking notes in meetings than a laptop.

2. As a mobile device, you can use it standing or without a table. Example in site meetings.

3. The touchscreen allows for drawing and quick notes.

4. The multitouch allows for apps with very unique interaction.

5. Much better device for reading (magazines, pdf and ebooks) and viewing photos.

6. Much better device for games.

7. Longer battery life.

8. Great for the bath tub (with a waterproof case over it)

Having said all that, i still find myself not using the iPad as much as i should. For now i guess i will resign myself to traveling with the MBA and iPad and office laptop.

To buy or not to buy …. iPad

One of my blog readers asked why did I give in and get an iPad now. Below are my thoughts about whether now is the right time to buy an iPad.

Apple seldom release anything after sep event . But Jobs usually end with something like “this is our holiday lineup”, he didn’t say that this time round. In addition the delayed release of iOS 4.2 specially for iPad and the fact that developers are not even given a glimpse of it yet does go to suggest a possible new hardware in nov with the release of the new os. Now that 4.1 is live, we will see how late apple releases the 4.2 to developers. The later the higher chance of them keeping some secret.

Having said that, it is also logistic nightmare for apple to be that close to the Christmas season to release a new product. So at this stage I will say it is a 50-50 chance but growing towards new hw the longer they delay developer preview. So if you are not in a hurry, wait another month or two.

As for my final breakdown, that was because

1. I was having a not so good day in office and decided to give myself a real belated birthday gift. (android smart pad does not count as it is paperweight now)

2. As an IT gadget guy, my reputation was starting to get tarnished when asked about the iPad and I was not able to give a more passionate answer.

3. I wasn’t impressed with my mum’s iPad as I wasn’t able to do a lot with it without confusing her. Like the iPhone, the iPad is a personal device that requires personal configuration and attention. Apps built on it’s very good but basic foundation are the reasons why it works so well. I only started to appreciate it when I installed apps and have my data synchronised on it.

4. My weakness has always been a very early adopter when I can afford it. I was doom to fail when I started this delayed gratification endeavour. Normally I would have paid a lot more to get the iPad before it is officially on sale in Asia like what i did for my mum. Given that I managed to hold it off and got one at official apple price for myself, I think I have succeeded a bit in delaying my gratification.

5. The last break to the dam was Jobs not announcing anything in the sep event. I can wait till nov but by then if there is no new hw, it will be almost half way through the life cycle of the iPad’s annual refresh (likely case).

6. In any case, likelihood of me selling and upgrading if there is indeed new hw is high.

So I am not the average user. You have to decide for yourself. If you are the kind that needs the newest all the time, no point waiting. If you are the kind that is still holding an iPhone 3G then wait till nov, if still no new hw go and buy it, with the knowledge that a few months later in 2011 apple will announce the new version for sure. But it should not matter to you then.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

magic mouse connection issue and fix

I love my magic mouse.  By default it might be a bit limited, but its potential is there.  You can extend its functions using the free MagicPref software.

However, lately it has been disconnecting very regularly.  It is irritating and inefficient. But i found a posting on the apple support site that has some suggestion. In particular, there is a setting that is rather hidden.  Making a bluetooth device a favorite.


System preferences>bluetooth. Highlight the mouse and click on the little gear thing and select show more options. Click on the gear again and make the mouse a favorite.