Thursday, September 29, 2022

Mea Culpatino as Apple brings back the ports on the new MacBook Pros

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Mea Culpatino: Who would have thought it? First to delete superfluous ports from its products, Apple has now eaten humble pie and brought back a trio of dodos from MagSafe to the SD card slot and the humble headphone jack.

Smartphone Cameras: You cannot be serious…

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Smartphone photography: Only for selfies and boring meal shots? Not a bit of it. John has discovered the phone in his pocket is one of the best cameras he has used. He's been converted on the road to the beach by an iPhone SE2...

Tekkiepix connects 100 years of technology industry photography

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A new web site conceived by journalist and broadcaster Barry Fox has been launched to bring together more than 100 years of technology industry...

Want a cheaper electricity deal? Try Octopus for home and car

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It pays to look around for the best electricity supply deal, especially if you own a battery electric vehicle. Mike untangles the enticing tentacles of Octopus

Light: What I learned to help take better photos

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Erwin explores the photography principle that dwarfs everything else, the fact that light matters.

Working with invisible light: Infrared photography with the M10 Monochrom

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How the Leica M10 Monochrom opens up exciting possibilities in the field of infrared photography. Claus takes us on to a new spectrum in the cities, forests and mountains of Germany

Apple’s Mac mini with M1 processor surpasses expectations

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The M1 Mac mini arrives and it supasses expectations on speed, despite being an entry model. It's neat and easily stowed out of sight, but not out of mind.

Apple’s M1 chips and all that: This MacBook Pro simply rocks

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This Apple MacBook Pro rocks. Unfortunately, it rocks on its bulging battery. Time for a change to the remarkable new M1 processor...

Macfilos: 5,000 posts already and here’s one from 2010

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Review: Heroes of the Telegraph by John Munro (1891), iBookstore, free

Had blogs existed 120 years ago John Munro would have been up there with the best of 'em. His book, which traces electronic communications from the 50-year-old and "perfected" telegraph through to the latest modern developments, the telephone and the phonograph, is a Gutenberg gem. At the time of writing in 1891 both the telephone and phonograph had been around for little more than 10 years and Munro exhibits the sort of enthusiasm now associated with the latest technical news on Engadget or TechCrunch.

Edison and phonographThe story of the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison is fascinating enough, but it is Munro's conjectures on the future opened up by recordings that are much more interesting. Here is a review of possible future developments, some uncannily accurate, some wide of the mark, that make for gripping reading. 

He suggests that phonograph records could be used for correspondence, for dictation and for communication "on unsteady vehicles such as trains" where writing is difficult. He also foresees audio books and reports that Edison can fit the whole of Nicholas Nickleby on four eight-inch wax cylinders of five-inch diameter. "Perhaps," he says, "we could have circulating libraries which issue phonograms, and there is already some talk of a phonographic newspaper which will prattle politics and scandal at the breakfast-table. Addresses, sermons, and political speeches may be delivered by the phonograph; languages taught, and dialects preserved; while the study of words cannot fail to benefit by its performance."

Strangely, in 1891, the concept of recording music was not mainstream: "Musicians will now be able to record their improvisations by a phonograph placed near the instrument they are playing."

This book is a delight and is a must-read for all technophiles.  It has probably been out of print for decades, yet through the Gutenberg project and Apple's iBookstore we can read it again. Much of the book is concerned with the development of the electric telegraph and, of particular interest, the trials and tribulations of undersea cable laying.

After the break is a fuller excerpt from the chapter on Edison's invention of the phonograph.

USB-C Port Woes: Wobbling all the way to the Genius Bar

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Does your cable wobble? All four USB-C ports on Mike's 2018 MacBook Pro wobble and lead to unstable data connections. Apple don't want to know, but a simple fix seems to be working.