Category: Apple/Mac


Presenting my pet project…

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Application Description:

Ever found yourself pressed for time, yet still wanting to prepare delicious and healthy meals? Want a different way of serving regular desserts and drinks? Then the Eat Rich Quick cookbook series is for you. Eat Rich Quick presents flavorful, easy-to-prepare recipes that don’t require long hours in the kitchen. Watch out for different themes in succeeding volumes.

Eat Rich Quick 1 is labeled “The Cheater’s Guide to Eating Well”. This application contains recipes that allow you to save time and energy; and when you serve the food, the others in the table won’t even have a clue about how quick it took you to prepare it. You can choose from 14 different recipes, ranging from appetizers to desserts. All the recipes are stored right in the application so you can access them anytime; no need for a wi-fi connection.

Eat Rich Quick also contains these other features for a more informative and interactive experience:

» Food shots (including some step-by-step images) – Tap to enlarge
» Cook’s Notes – Tips and tricks from the author
» Grocery List – Check-box feature to help you while shopping
» Cooks’ Community – Email the author or visit the blog to post comments, get more cooking tips, and see what other Eat Rich Quick users are saying

Enjoy cooking, and watch out for the next volume of the Eat Rich Quick series!

I loved doing this project!  I enjoyed working on the interface with the graphic designer and the developer, as well as with the author.  It was also nerve-wracking since it was our first time to come up with something like this.  There were plenty of bumps in the road, but finally seeing it on the App Store and seeing the download statistics were all worth it.  We’re still seeing a lot of things to improve, but this version’s not bad.  I would say it’s great, but then again, it’s my baby, so I’ll leave it to the users to decide.

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597603 One of the iPhone/iPod Touch comics apps our company has been developing is finally up for sale ($0.99) at the iTunes store.

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Here’s the description of the series:

From the Dead
Written and Drawn by Jonas Diego

When strange murders started happening all over the city the mysterious organization known only as “The Foundation” turns to their best operative, Frank to help them clean up the mess and solve the problem. The only problem is that Frank’s been retired for many years and less than enthusiastic about going back to work for his former employers.

The Foundation however has ways and means to convince him to take the case.

Having no choice in the matter he takes the case hoping to close it quickly and get The Foundation off his back.

Frank’s only lead is an informant belonging to a cult who could possibly shed some light on his case and point him in the right direction.

Things take a turn for the worse when his beautiful contact appears from nowhere, out of her mind, and being chased by monsters…which is about one of the worse things that could happen to Frank.

Because one of his few weaknesses are damsels in distress…

Though this is not the first iPhone app developed in the Philippines (I believe it’s iManila), this is the first comics and the first that is also relevant to the international market.

For now, we’re focusing on e-book applications.  Next up (pending approval from Apple) will be the e-cookbooks – my pet project, yey! 😀

Calling on Filipino authors…if you have interesting e-book ideas, please get in touch with me through this blog.  Leave your email address on the comment box (I won’t publish them) and I’ll contact you for the terms and conditions.

And the tradition ends…

…with not quite a bang. No new desktop Mac! And no new product. No surprise Steve Jobs appearance either. A new Mac mini was expected, but nada! I was really disappointed about that. Since it was Apple’s last participation at the Macworld Expo, I seriously contemplated participating in a time-honored Philmug tradition – staying awake for the keynote (which starts at around 1am Manila time), tuning in to the live blogs, and sharing reactions in the forum. But the thought of the very hectic work day ahead got the better of me.

The product announcement I loved best was the Mac Box Set.

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iLife ’09, iWork ’09, and Mac OS X Leopard all in one neat package! It costs $169, but for us in the Philippines, it’s P9,890 at the Apple Online Store. I’m hoping the Authorized Re-sellers would have a lower price, like they do with Leopard. The box set has huge savings, considering the total cost if the three are bought separately.

I haven’t been able to upgrade to Leopard yet since all the re-sellers have been out of stock and I couldn’t bring myself to shell out an additional 1k by getting it at the Online Store. It has turned out to be a blessing in disguise! Now I can also get the latest iLife and iWork at a fraction of the cost. However, there’s a dilemma. iMovie ’09 would only work with G5 and Intel Macs. My Mac mini is still a G4. I have been holding out (and trying hard to save!) for an aluminum Macbook. It finally came out, and I was drooling over it, but I had already grown to love the Mac mini. So my decision for now is to pair the Mac mini with a netbook (Linux OS, please; really can’t go back to Windows outside the office) for mobility purposes. But then again…who knows when Apple would release a new Mac mini? Should I get the Mac Box Set and figure out the way to use the old iMovie with iLife ’09; wait for the new shipments of the latest existing Mac mini model that would already have iLife ’09 in it; or wait indefinitely for a new Mac mini? But then again, new Macs don’t contain the full version of iWork. Haay… I’m think I’m just giving myself an unnecessary but sort of fun dilemma, haha!

The keynote ended with Tony Bennett singing ‘The Best is Yet to Come’. Hmmm, interesting! The new Mac mini, perhaps? 😀

Leaping to Leopard

I’m finally doing it. I’m currently in the process of cleaning up my harddrive and backing up all my files (In CDs! I have no external drive) in preparation for the OS X Leopard upgrade. I’m now doubly glad for getting the iCreate Philippines issues since they’re full of Leopard tips and tricks.

I haven’t really seriously thought of upgrading to Leopard, until my Mac mini “broke down” again a couple of weeks ago. Yep, that was in quotation marks, because it made one of its “miraculous” recoveries again. I turned it on last Saturday, resigned to the fact that it would still be stuck at the gray screen during startup. When the startup chime didn’t sound, I knew it was still hopeless so I just left it for a while to get a glass of water. To my surprise, the Apple logo finally appeared on the screen, the Mac continued to boot, until I finally saw my desktop again!  A few tests and clicks showed that it’s business as usual.  And the startup chime has been sounding again since then.

Anyway, now that the Mac’s ok again, I’m still going ahead with the upgrade. I might increase the RAM (since I was saved on repair cost) and I’ll definitely upgrade to Leopard. I’m excited because of all the major improvements from Tiger. Next step would be iLife ’08. Can’t wait to use the much-improved iPhoto and iMovie.

I’m using the budget earlier alloted for an iPod Touch.  Since the only things that it has that my new phone doesn’t are the touch screen, applications, and the bigger capacity, then I think it’s wiser to just spend the money on the Mac upgrade.  After 3 years, I guess it’s about time. 🙂

Apple Online Store Philippines

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It’s finally here!  Pinoy Mac users have been wishing for this, and we got it just in time for Christmas.  Some of the items are a bit pricier compared to the resellers, but there’s the benefit of convenience.  It’s free shipping for items worth P3,000 and up.

This couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I’m thinking of updating my Mac mini.  I’m going to compare the prices with the resellers, and if the online store is better or if there’s minimal difference, I’ll go online to try it out.  And I really want the free shirt that comes with every purchase (until supplies last) 😀

Now that the online store is here, I wonder if next in line would be a full-inventory iTunes Store Philippines (only sells apps as of now) and finally, the Apple Retail Store.  Crossing my fingers, but hiding the credit card, haha!  Keep repeating to self:  “Window shopping is just as fun!”

Aside from his campaign strategy which is a very good case study for us in the PR/Marketing/Advertising industry, Barack Obama is also a Mac user!  And I love that Pacman sticker right beside the Apple logo.  I hope he was really the one who placed that sticker there.

Sad Mac

My new Sony Ericsson phone crashed my Mac mini!  I got a kernel panic message the first few times that I connected the phone via USB.  The following day, the Mac didn’t hang, but it didn’t read the phone’s memory card either, so I restarted it.  Then…nothing!

Just a gray screen!  And the startup chime didn’t even sound.  Uh-oh.  But I’m hoping it will get its “service center phobia” again and work properly once I’m about to bring it in for repair, hehe.  If not…oh well, it’s due for an upgrade anyway and I might as well go all the way and finally update the OS to Leopard.

That’s the reason this blog has been mostly silent.  I’m just sneaking in posts when there’s a lull at work. 😀

(Photo from TUAW)

(Photo from TUAW)

Saw the photo above and an accompanying article at TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog). It was taken at LAX. Best Buy is now selling iPods there through a vending machine. The article casts a doubt on the logic of taking an empty iPod on a trip, but I think this works better for impulse buyers or last-minute shoppers. But then again, how many people in the airport would think “Oh shoot, I forgot to buy an iPod!” 😀

I wonder what we’ll see on a vending machine next…

iCreate Philippines

Maiden issue cover (courtesy of www.digitalphotographer.com.ph)

Maiden issue cover (courtesy of http://www.digitalphotographer.com.ph)

At long last, a Mac magazine in the Philippines that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – because this is a Philippine edition, the first-ever for a Mac magazine.  The international editions of other Mac magazines are all priced in the P500 and up range, but iCreate Philippines costs only P295/issue or P1,500 for a 1-year (6 issues) subscription.  That’s a very good price for a very informative magazine.  iCreate Philippines comes from the same group that publishes Digital Photographer Philippines.

I found this issue very useful.  I discovered some more new things, especially on OS X and iLife.  It’s really more like a reference magazine that is best placed beside your Mac – something that you can immediately reach out for when the need arises.  The tutorials are very simple and practical.  I’m even more excited about the next issue which is all about Mac and photography.

iCreate is available in the higher-end bookstores (read: Fully Booked and Powerbooks, and some National Bookstore branches) and Authorized Apple Re-sellers (Power Mac Center, Digital Walker, iStudio).  For subscriptions, email subscriptions@icreate.com.ph.

I want to meet Jonathan Ive

And speaking of Wall-E’s Mac references, here’s the Apple executive I most want to meet (yes, more than Steve Jobs):

Jonathan Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President for Industrial Design

Jonathan Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design

I like this image showing him with one of his creations, the 2nd generation iMac.  Jonathan Ive is the man largely responsible for the design of Apple’s most innovative products: the G4 Cube, the iMac, Mac mini, iPod, and iPhone.  He won several international design awards for the Cube, which unfortunately did not do well in the market because of miscalculated pricing and marketing strategy.  The Mac mini appears to be a direct descendant of the Cube, and this time around Apple got it all right.

These are my favorite creations from Ive and his design team:

G4 Cube

G4 Cube

The original iMac

The original iMac

2nd generation iMac

2nd generation iMac

Aluminum and glass iMac

Aluminum and glass iMac

Of course it goes without saying that I love the Mac mini.  It’s the model I eventually bought.  Oh, special mention also goes to the clamshell iBook.  I lived on it and the original iMac when I worked at the graphic design agency.  Anyway, read Jonathan Ive’s profile for more about this design genius.  He’s the popular choice among Mac users to replace Steve Jobs as Apple CEO when that time comes, but that’s far-fetched in reality.  The man is notoriously private and would much rather focus on designing.  He doesn’t seem to want to be bothered by CEO concerns.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way too.  And I hope he and his team will finally give us the 12-inch aluminum Macbook. 😉