Tag Archives: Apple

Using Russian Revolutionary Art for Apple Watch Faces

With Watch OS 4, Apple introduced a new kind of watch face – Kaleidoscopic. This takes an image, fragments it, and makes makes moving patterns on the watch face. There are a few floral examples to play with, but you can also select your own.

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No Starbucks in Colchester?


Having had odd results from Apple’s new Maps app the other day, I thought I’d give it another shot today. The other day, I wondered if it could find me a branch of Costa in Chelmsford. In fact, it found me just about every café APART from Costa. Costa, being a big brand in the high street coffee market should, I thought, be on those naps from the off.

I am fairly close to Colchester, so I repeated the experiment. No results for Costa or Starbucks. I know there are at least two branches of Costa there, and one Starbucks. I repeated the Starbucks search using Google’s web app on the phone. As you would expect, the Starbucks I was thinking if gets listed. Screen shots of both apps above, with Apple to the left and Google to the right.

What is good is independents are there already, so they may get a period of good trading while the giants wake up.

Apples and a Dark Room

In 1993/94 I spent quite a bit of time in the University dark rooms. One of the projects was a photomontage, and I spent quite a bit of time with apples photographing them and drawing with the negatives on an enlarger.

I recently found a box with some of my experiments in them, which I’ve scanned and posted to Flickr.

Link for those on non Flash enabled browsers/platforms.

Some of the images were subjected to post processing in chemical baths – I forget what they were, but this will explain some of the odd tinting. I also salarised them quite a lot – that is by turning the main on and off very quickly before processing the photographic paper.

Fun days.


The above image is two photos, one taken before I had eaten the apple and one after and then superimposed in the darkroom. That one took a few goes (and apples IIRC) to get right. These days, we’d just use Photoshop and move on to the next job.

Aperture 3.1 and Flickr – what?!?

Aperture 3.1 is here, and it has a few speed improvements. The thing which caught me by surprise is how it handles Flickr and FaceBook uploads. In previous incarnations of Aperture 3, you only got a list of sets/albums which you have created and uploaded from Aperture. That’s fine – I can handle that.

However, 3.1 grabs all your picture information from Flickr, and when you look at a set (I’ll use Flickr terminology from now on) it downloads them. Here’s the headache. I don’t really mind that that is what it does (though some warning would have been nice), but what I do mind is that the downloaded images are orphans within the Aperture library.

To explain: say I have a few photos in Aperture. I can bunch them together as a set and upload to Flickr. This becomes an album within Aperture, and the thumbnails in the set are proxies for the original image, which are stored elsewhere in a project library. If I edit that image in Aperture and resync with Flickr, that image will be uploaded and replaces the previous version. I like this – it is Good and is how it should be.

However, these downloaded non-proxy images are pretty meaningless within the library. I can’t edit them (and what’s the point – they are “web sized” – 1024 pixels at the longest dimension?), and even though they are based on originals in the Aperture library which were uploaded using other software or a plug-in, they have been disconnected from the originals. Ideally, Aperture should be able to guess or recommend matches for images (and given Apple’s attempts to recognise faces, this may or may not be a good idea). At the very least it should allow me to swap a proxy for an original – thus giving me full editorial control over the image. Unless this feature is buried somewhere in the UI, this functionality is not available.

So, at the moment, I have a two-class Flicker library. There are a few sets which are Aperture 3.1 derived, so the link between Aperture and Flickr is preserved. However, the vast majority of sets are pretty much useless. Yes, it’s nice to see what I have in Flickr, and I believe that I can drop new images into existing proxy-laden sets, but that would further compound the problem. I have no way of knowing what kind of images the sets contain without clicking on them to open them, and waiting for Aperture to complete the sync (which appears to involve a download of the images). I’d rather have kept is as it was before the 3.1 update. Let me control new sets and their content in Aperture, and keep the previous ones out, or at the very least label folders so I know what is what.

Downgrading the iPhone – Back to 3.1.3!

You may have read my tale of woe. I updated my iPhone 3G to iOS4, and it went wrong. Hideously wrong.


And I am not alone – Apple’s support forums are reporting similar issues – this update seems to have affected many people. It seems that the “-34” and “files not found” errors I was getting was something to do with the downsampling of music to 128kbs.

I did get the phone running, but it’s slow and choppy. I like the folders in iOS4, and I had started to organise my apps into folders. However, given the limited features for 3G users, this seems to be an update to get iAds out to as many people as possible (I am dreadfully cynical about advertising).

The other problem was speed. The iPhone is dreadfully unresponsive. Apps take for ever to start up. The soft keyboard is very choppy and unresponsive, and in Twitter for iPhone takes forever to appear. I took the decision yesterday to downgrade to 3.1.3. I know this is dangerous, and I could have a non functioning phone at the end of it, but I though I’d bite the bullet. The instructions here seem to be pretty easy to follow.


And indeed they were – after a little fiddling with iTunes, and the Terminal, I got my iPhone 3G back to 3.1.3. It synced it’s apps, and a quick test showed me that it is indeed snappier, faster and more responsive that it was running iOS4. The Twitter for iPhone app starts up more quickly, and typing on the keyboard is far more pleasurable.

The bonus was that my in app data, which I had thought was gone for good, was restored. I used one of the backups taken during my attempted recovery process (just because I thought it may contain some useful data), and it appears that data stored in apps, which I lost during the iOSX 4 process, has been restored. Maybe I could have used those backups for iOS 4 too after all.

Now, as stated, reverting your iPhone is potentially dangerous. The method I linked to seems to have worked for me, but this is no guarantee that they will restore your phone. Use it at your own risk. The same applies to any hack of this nature.

Thanks to MacFormat dude @chrisphin for Tweeting this fix the other day.

My iPhone iOS4 Update Woes

This week, Apple pushed out the iOS 4 update for their iPhones. This update is supposed to be compatible with the iPHone 3G (which is what I have), so I elected to update it. Little did I know problems it would cause.

The update took ages – this is partly because there was an iPhone backup done. iTUnes warned me that this could take a while (“hours” was the key word here), so I left it to get on with it. When I eventually checked back, the update had been applied, but I found this error window on iTunes:


Now, I don’t know what an error of -34 is, but a quick Google showed me that I was not alone. The following day, I thought I’d try again. However, plugging in the phone gave me a warning that a previous restore was incomplete, and I should restore again. So this is what I did. Again, I got the -34 message. I also discovered that amongst the list of backups, the one that was important (ie the pre iOS4 update) one was missing.

OK, thinks I, the restore is broken – but I’ll sync it anyway. Bad idea. I got this error:


I tried again, but this time got about 30 variants of this error message to click through:


I believe that this is down to me having iTunes downsample tracks to 128kbps so I can get as many on the phone as possible. Maybe it could not find them.

Anyway, by now I had come to obvious conclusion that the thing was totally messed up, and I opted to do a total wipe and restore the phone from scratch. This meant that I would lose a lot of in app data, some which was important, but as it appears that the backup I would need to get that lot back was some fiction iTunes has concocted to make me go away and watch anything non-Football related on the telly.

After I did that, and all content was restored, the phone was working again, and iTUnes was no longer complaining abut missing files or -34 errors.

This is not a problem I have had in isolation – there are many people with iPhone 3G models who have had similar experiences. I just don’t think the 3G update was tested properly before release. iOS4 works, albeit sluggishly, on the 3G, but I am not sure if it was really worth the hassle I went through.