New Apple Gear.

I posted ages ago (but only a very few posts ago) that I would not be getting any new apple gear.  Whoops.

Soon after that I did get the AppleTV4.  Only the 32GB version, I can’t see any point in having the 64GB, the apps arent huge and I don’t play games on it.  Seems just too clumsy to play with the remote controller that comes with the ATV (I don’t like it, TBH, and most times use the old controller from the 3).  I decided to get the 4 when Plex was released for it.  I had been jailbreaking my ATV2 for Plex… And then that became a bit of a dud as the developer stopped updating the app.  Then I was using OpenPlex to run on the ATV3 by a hijack of one of the existing apps, which worked quite well.  But, the best thing about the 4 is that theres no need for a jailbreak or a hijack.  Most reputable apps are now native to the AppleTV.

[Following is relevant to Australia, but may be also for geo-unblockers from other locations] So I have my Netflix, STAN, ABC iView, SBSonDemand, TenPlay, and 7PLus.  9Now is less than impressive and although I have it installed, I rarely open it. I also have iTunes accounts on both the US and UK stores, and the AppleTV4 makes it easy to switch between, in order to download apps relevant to your needs or wants: eg; HBO (subscription), Hulu (subscription), BBC iPLayer, ABC (US), NBC, CBS all Access (subscription).  I don’t have those subscriptions, as I can no longer be fussed acquiring US itunes credit (though I hear that CBS is easy to sub to with an Aussie card and a US address).  I use Getflix as my geo-unblocker (I got a Lifetime Licence via Stacksocial which expires in 2046 – I don’t expect to be alive then) to be able to see some of the UK and US shows, but I find myself more often these days watching local stuff, and AUS Netflix which for me has a better selection than US.  US has more, but a greater proportion of junk.  You can also subscribe to various news services across the globe which won’t necessarily require an unblocker, like Al Jazeera, BBC News and so on. Basically, whatever you can download from your local iTunes store will not be blocked.

So for the past few months I have really become a fulltime couch potato.  And I also bought a new iPhone 6S which I was not going to do.  Its OK, but I do miss the compactness of the 5S.  Might see if the SE (basically a cut down 6S in the 5S package), if it ever gets updated,is more to my liking.  In the meantime, the 6S will do.  Nicely.

Saturday Arvo

image

There we go.  Pelicans on Newcastle Harbour late yesterday afternoon.  I wasn’t out for long, but at least I got out. Today, not so much.

Almost a year later…

How time flies when you have pretty much abandoned the world.  Why has this happened?  Facebook.  I find that when I get the irrits about something, be it political, social, or otherwise, instead of posting here, as I did in the past (say, prior to ~2009 or so) I have at it on facebook.  And really, I got not much more of a response there, than here.

The difference though, and the reason I am contemplating becoming much more vociferous on WordPress, is that I hate facebook.  I only stay there because of a very few friends, and it occurred to me that those I care about, and my family, are really more likely to pick up the phone or send a text message… The rest never did and likely never will.  Why am I hanging on to those?  I have no idea.

I have a secondary account in which I have one friend and I only use that for games I can play on the iPad and which seem to demand a facebook login.

Another thing that has happened as a result of a) not being in the workforce anymore and b) facebook… I am becoming quite agoraphobic.  I have no desire to leave the house or yard, most of my photographs are taken of birds that visit me, rather than me getting out and about, and I stay in touch on facebook.  I have two friends, and a cousin, who I love dearly and who I see once a fortnight or month or so, depending on many variables.  Without them, I don’t think I would leave the house unless I really had to.

Its a sad state of affairs when you have to reward yourself for going out, with a trip to the shops to get some needed items… But I know if I shopped first, I would not follow up with any kind of outing.  So, I’m going into town.  The beaches, Queens Wharf perhaps… Somewhere, where I will have to leave the car, and take a photograph or two.  Even if they are crap.

Back later, hopefully to post a photo of where I went.

New Apple gear I don’t have.

The people at Apple have been busy this year. Updates to almost everything… phones, ipads, laptops, desktops, and AppleTV. I want it all, of course, but, being financially challenged (and buying way too many cameras over the years) means I have to make hard decisions.

1) New phone? Not this year, my 5S will do at least another year or possibly two. I’ve decided that I will upgrade when I can no longer get the latest Operating System for it.

2) New laptop? Hell no! My current Macbook does the job nicely, its been upgraded with an SSD and 8GB RAM, all it needs now is a new battery, but that can wait.

3) New iPad? Possibly. Been considering my old iPad Mini (the original, first gen) and its really starting to slow down. I may have to bequeath it to someone if I can’t sell it. And, sell it I must if it no longer does the job I want it to. 4th Gen iPad mini? Maybe not. I bought a new iPad Air (2nd Gen) around this time last year, and a new Logitech keyboard case to go with it… and I’ve found I have been using it far more than the Macbook or the current Desktop. The screen is a tad small for photography editing, as my eyes become more dodgy. iPad Pro with an almost 13″ screen? A definite possibility. I think it could easily replace both the Air2 *and* the Macbook. I’d never use it as a mobile device, just simply something on the table for internet, photography, and blog. And maybe some writing if ever I can undistract and get on with it. Pricing has not yet come out for Australia… its going to be expensive.

4) New AppleTV with an app store? It would be nice, but Apple has placed a premium on it. the base model in Australia is $269, as opposed to the $149 for the USA. Even accounting for exchange rates and GST, that is over the top by about $60. Not nice, Apple. I have two other AppleTVs, guess I will be making do with those and not getting the 4 for a while, must as I hanker after a native Plex or Infuse app.

So, this time round, its not a case of “Take my money, Apple!” Its a case of “you greedy bastards, taking more than you ought to”. The Australian “Apple Tax” is now a reality, where in the past, it really has not been. Seriously annoyed, me. Its not like they are broke. But, if they keep this up, they will be, and theres no Steve Jobs to bring them back, like the last time. Clearly they did not learn from past mistakes.

And I still don’t have another cat.

I’m not “suffering” over the loss of Tom anymore, but I am really quite nervous about bringing a new cat (well, it would be a young cat or kitten, under 2 yrs) into the house. So I have been doing absolutely nothing about getting the house ready to receive a new cat. The study is still a shambles, the lounge room and bedroom have a bazillion places a kitty can hide and never be found again, and I am not looking. Much. I still check out the Sawyers Gully cat rescue place, last time I looked they had over 100 new kittens. I hope they managed to find homes for them. I’ve become very used to having the option to do what I want, when I want, and not have to fret over cats being outside or inside or being fed. Its been a bit of a relief, really. However, I am still in the gotta have a cat mindset. Once I leave that behind and decide I don’t *have* to have a cat, but in fact *choose* to have one, I think I will be more of a mind to go and actually get one.

And Just because I can…

I’ll make a comment in general on photo-a-day Challenges. I’m glad they call them challenges because I find them extremely challenging. The idea is that you develop a discipline in having to do something every day, whether its using one camera, or just one camera and lens and so forth. For me its a tiresome pest, and I really don’t enjoy it much past the first week. Then, when its associated with a forum, there’s an expectation (and why not!) that you’ll comment on everyone else’s efforts. An admirable aim, I believe, but when you have 30 odd people submitting every day, it becomes a tiresome mess, too.

What if you genuinely do not like some of the submissions? It happens. I think that the shoot-anything-as-long-as-you-submit mentality is bringing out a lot of second-rate shots which the owners would never bother submitting anywhere else. There are some which are hideous. Oh dear. I’m being judgmental.