Posts Tagged

vote

The notion of a “Mac Media Centre” has always fascinated me, and I love the idea of having a home entertainment system that’s completely centred around OS X. Once you get used to the simplicity of the Mac interface, using any other piece of consumer electronics can sometimes feel as though you’re trying to navigate the space shuttle back to Earth.

Apple’s “hobby” – the Apple TV – offers a good solution to this problem for certain tasks, but it’s still fairly restrictive if you’d like to have a fully Apple powered media centre. Even if you simply want to watch live TV, you’re going to need something more flexible.

The two main candidates that spring to mind are either the Mac Mini, or a small MacBook stashed away underneath your LCD screen. Both are perfectly capable of performing media centre duties, and have the required output to send good quality video and sound to your entertainment system.

But how many of you have made the jump? I’d love to know whether you’re using a Mac to power your home entertainment system and, if so, which software you use. Are you happy with navigating around OS X, or do you prefer something such as Hulu, Plex, or Boxee?

Let us know, and do share your thoughts in the comments!

Hot on the heels of our recent roundup of blockbuster Mac games, I thought it would be interesting to see just how many of you do use your Mac for gaming on a regular basis.

In recent months, I’ve actually found my iPad to be the go-to choice for trying out new games and killing time. Although there are a vast array of games available for the Mac, I often find the high price point to be too much of a barrier. If I can instead pay $5 or $10 for a fun iPad game, I’m more likely to go for it.

Consoles certainly still rule the market when it comes to gaming, but more and more Mac users are finding that their machine is much better suited for gaming than they originally thought.

I’d love to hear what you think, so be sure to fill out our weekly poll and leave your own thoughts in the comments. Are you a regular Mac gamer, or do you prefer to stick to a dedicated console?

For many people, Christmas Day is a great opportunity to switch off completely. I always try to avoid using gadgets and technology, preferring to spend quality time with the people that I really care about. It sounds cliché, sure, but days like these are incredibly important from time to time.

We’re all permanently connected to the Internet, and our access to emails, social media, and the ongoing barrage of communication is no longer limited to “the office”. If you’re anything like me, it sometimes feels that your iPhone is physically attached to your body, following you around everywhere you go.

Sometimes, this is brilliant. Being in constant communication and always “plugged in”, gives us a connection to the world that people would never have dreamt of a few decades ago.

But it’s no way to live your life every day of the year.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, why not consider the 25th December a day to leave your MacBook lid firmly shut, turn off your iPhone, and just enjoy the day with family and friends? You never know – it might just be something you want to make a regular thing!

With Macworld 2011 slowly approaching, I thought it would be interesting to ask whether any of our readers have attended this conference previously (or are planning on going next year).

If you’re unaware of what Macworld is, essentially it’s a four day event that covers everything to do with the Mac. It includes user sessions focusing on teaching, an Expo floor for software exhibitors, various conference programmes, and generally lots of Mac-geekery! It’s based in San Francisco, running from the 26th-29th January.

Although Apple used to attend this event, the company pulled out prior to last year’s event. It seems that the 2010 conference was still a major success, despite their absence, and Macworld will be running once again next month.

The AppStorm team is going to be in attendance in January (a first for all of us!), and we’re really looking forward to meeting a few of you there. Let us know if you’ll be going in the comments!

I’ve read a few interesting articles this week about whether apps that help you achieve better productivity or a “distraction free” environment are really a good thing (e.g. WriteRoom). On the face of it, this type of software does help you get more done and avoid a cluttered workflow. But is it that simple?

Another argument could be that the process of trying out all these new “productivity enhancing” applications is actually just a way of putting off work that needs to be done! Wouldn’t it be better if you just settled on a single app and got to work?

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this. How do you view this process of searching for and trying out new apps? Does it ultimately lead to the “ultimate” set of software for a productive workflow, or is it just another way of procrastinating?

As a side note; if you want to read something slightly more in-depth about this topic, try this recent article by Merlin Mann. Lengthy and detailed, but fascinating nonetheless.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow