Install Windows 10 on a Mac

I just upgraded Windows on my Macbook Pro from Windows 7 to Windows 10, taking up on the free upgrade offer. What I assumed would happen, and did, was that the hardware wouldn’t be supported since Apple haven’t released the official Bootcamp drivers supporting Windows 10 yet. Continue reading

Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface

If you are going to read one review of Microsoft Surface 2, make it this one by Lukas Mathis who is a long-time Mac user.

Another difference between the Surface and an iPad is the Surface’s split screen mode. iPad owners often note that the iPad’s «one app owns the screen» system is a good idea, since people can’t multitask anyway. But that ignores that people often need multiple apps to work on a single task. I can’t count the instances where I’ve used split screen mode just in the last few days. I’m in a meeting, taking notes in OneNote while looking at last week’s meeting notes. I’m responding to an email while looking at a spec. I’m making a drawing while looking at a reference. I’m changing a mockup based on feedback in an email. I’m taking notes during a Skype call.

This is definitely one of my main issues with the iPad as well. Not being able to research something while writing at the same time is a big pain. Pasting the research content into the writing app is a poor way of solving the problem.

What I would like to see is something like what Microsoft have done with Surface, but with an Apple twist. Something in the lines of having a main app which runs in normal iPad mode, and the ability to run a second app in 1/4 of the space in landscape mode. The twist being that the secondary app has to be a multi-platform app, and when bringing it up in secondary mode, its iPhone user interface is shown.

This could fit quite nicely and would be a terrific asset, and I can imagine a lot of use cases where this would be a fantastic way of getting things done.

The problem with Metro might not be that it’s performing badly at its intended function. The problem might simply be that, unlike me, most people don’t want to use their tablets for productivity. They’d rather keep using their old Windows PC for that, and also have an iPad for watching movies and playing games.

This is a valid and fair point. Having the ability to distinctly separate devices for work and play can definitely bring peace of mind and the ability to focus better1.

I personally prefer using the iPad for as many things as possible2, including reading, answering email and using productivity tools such as OmniFocus and the calendar. When in serious “work mode” though, nothing beats the MacBook Air.


  1. Don’t add your work email to your iPad if you only use it for personal tasks and entertainment though. 

  2. I do recommend turning off notifications if you plan on using the iPad for work and personal tasks. 

Safe document writing using Dropbox

dropbox-logoLots of people who write articles or create content in any form, often find themselves generating lots of files. A writer will for instance probably have lots of article drafts laying around. Everyone have different solutions for revision control and backup, ranging from a simple manual file copy to using a full-fledged revision control system such as Subversion.

For everyone else, there is a simple solution for keeping backups of your work in progress, as well as being able to retrieve any previous revision. In addition to all this, it even lets you sync files between multiple computers and access your files online from any computer with internet access.

I guess you know by now that I am talking about Dropbox, a service available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It installs a small application on your computer which monitors a configurable directory for changes and uploads them automatically to the Dropbox servers.

dropbox-revisions

The free version offers 2 GB of space, which should be enough for most people. For photographers and other people dealing with lots of large files, there also a premium option available which gives you 50 GB for $99 per year.

The web interface is beautiful and easy to use for navigating your Dropbox and downloading the files. This is also the place for viewing older revisions for your files and delete, copy, rename and delete them.

dropbox-events

A very handy feature is the ability to share folders with other Dropbox users! If you are working together with other people in a project, just share a folder between you and everyone will instantly have access to all changes in the project folder – automatically.

dropbox-publicThere is even a way of sharing files with non Dropbox users. There is a special folder in the root of the Dropbox named “Public”. Putting files here makes it possible to right-click on the files and copy a public URL for it. To let other people download the file, it’s just a matter of sharing the link with them. They can’t of course make changes to it, nor view its revision history.

Another special folder in the Dropbox root is the Photos folder, which creates instant photo albums for viewing on the web by anyone. This is definitely the easiest way of getting a photo album up on the web, since you only need to copy or move the pictures to this special folder on your computer – Dropbox does the rest.

All iPhone users out there, and possible other phone owners, can access the iPhone web interface too for downloading files in the Dropbox. It is even possible to view the uploaded photo galleries.

dropbox-iphone

There is a tour available on the website which explains all features more in-depth.

Upcoming features include:

  • Timeline based undo
  • Online visualization for any file type
  • An iPhone application/interface that let us download files of interest (pdf, docs, pictures..)
  • Watch any folder support (configurable per host)
  • Better shared folder controls (permissions, etc.)
  • Online edition for text files
  • Add friends
  • Improve Upload Speed
  • Group accounts

If you decide to give Dropbox a go, consider using my referral link when you sign up. That way, both you and I get additional storage for free!

Disclaimer: From this article it may seem like I work for Dropbox, but I don’t. I just like their service a lot!

Spotify — the future of music

Spotify, now in public beta, takes a whole new approach to music. All music resides on the Spotify servers, and as a user, you stream the music using the internet.

Where it gets interesting is that you can either pay a fixed fee and listen all music you want without any interruptions. There is also a free option, where short commercial messages are inserted between songs in intervals which seem to be around half an hour.

Since the software is in public beta, you need an invite to use the service. If I happen to have an invite, I will of course share it with commenters to this post. There is another option though — paying for the service for a month. If you like the service after using it for a month, just continue paying or terminate the subscription. Your account will then become a free account, and you can continue to use Spotify, but with the ads injected.

There is a Windows and Mac client available at this moment. There have been reports that the Windows version works fine in Linux using Wine, so definitely try it out.

So how does is look like? The following view shows what is new in Spotify.

The next image shows the top list. This can be customised to only show a specific country or the whole world.

The main album view looks like the following. On the top, there are five top hits for that particular artist. It is followed by all albums available, and singles follow. The next section is devoted to albums where the current artist has one or more tracks, which are highlighted.

I have some suggestions to make Spotify even better (in no particular order):

  • Last.FM integration.
  • Music browser (browse by genre, year, artists etc.).
  • Mechanism to correct faulty tags.
  • Social part where users can share songs, playlists and watch each others listening habits.
  • iPhone application

Some of these points seem to be in progress right now, but time will have to tell what will happen in the future when the services goes mainstream, which I am sure they will, as long as they can provide a smooth service without interruptions and errors.

Test Ubuntu without repartitioning your harddrive

Many people in the support channels on IRC ask if there is a way to try Ubuntu without having to repartition the drive. There is of course the possibility to run it from the live-CD, but it is very slow and the settings are not permanently stored.

Let me introduce Wubi.

Wubi is a free software installer, specialized for installing Ubuntu and its derivates (Kubuntu and Edubuntu). What makes Wubi special is that it is a Windows based installer, which installs everything into a special loop-device. The user will see this disk images as a normal file within Windows, but it contains the entire Ubuntu installation.

wubi.png

I have not yet had the opportunity to try the Wubi installer, but will of course test this when the time is right. Do note that this is beta software, so don’t be surprised if everything still does not work.

It is the perfect way for people interested in trying out Ubuntu for a while without committing to change the filesystem or having to format or other potentially dangerous operations.