Jun 12

Apple Portuguese prices are crazy?

Today was the start of the WWDC 2012.

I was watching the keynote with anxiety as i have, among other Macs, an old MacBook Pro (Core Duo 2.16Ghz, 2GB Ram) which i’ve been using since around mid 2006.

I’ve been upgrading this machine, of course, in order to maintain it usable. Right now it has an 120GB SSD and i’ve replaced the SuperDrive with the original 100GB HDD. I really need a faster processor and more RAM, sadly something i can’t really upgrade.

So, i was really hoping for the new MacBook Pro announcement – in order to consider it as a replacement for my portable machine.

The new Retina Display MacBook Pro is amazing, in fact. A big cheers to Apple for this.

What is not so amazing is the Apple pricing outside of the United States.

Follow me on this:

  • USA price of the 15″ MacBookPro 2.3Ghz Retina Display: 2199$
  • this in euros, in today rates, is around 1764€.
  • so, add the TAX in Portugal (called IVA), which is 23% (crazy, i know), and we get: 2170€

But, the price on the Portuguese Apple Store is … wait for it … 2349€ (around 2930$).

So, it’s about 180€ more of what it should be after taxes.


Nov 11

At SAPO CodeBits 2011

I’m on SAPO Codebits 2011 for the next days.

Check it at CodeBits.eu


Jul 11

ClipBox is available on the Mac App Store …

I’ve made a small application, called ClipBox, which is now available on the Mac App Store.

I was trying to resolve a problem i really feel when i’m using my MacBook Pro, iPad or iPhone, and feel the need to quick send/share something to my iMac or other computers. Right now it’s only a Mac App, but i’ve started the iOS version already.

I was very curious about the Apps Stores (Mac & iOS) infrastructure and processes, so i kinda thought of something to submit and check how all the steps work. I was kinda trying to have the feel & experience of a small developer.

The Mac App Store link is here and the support site is here.

Jun 11

Thoughts on Google+

I must admit I’m curious about Google+.

I’m a very reluctant user of Facebook, only going there very sporadically to check the feed, accepting some connection or responding to some message. I just can’t seem to like it’s interface. And the fact that most people just assume you should accept them as a friend, to me kinda defeats the “social network” concept.

On the other hand, I really like twitter. Although I use it more for reading/following than posting/updating, I like it’s simplicity, shortness and a timeline that can be populated with people I want to follow, but aren’t necessarily my “friends”.

Since I don’t have a Google+ invite, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try in person.

However from what I’ve been reading and watching, a couple of good points come to me (in no particular order):

– The “circles” notion, which can separate your social network in groups.

This is a important problem I feel in using facebook and twitter …

– The fact that you can have a non-google user in your “circles” and they can still get your updates/posts by e-mail.

And, my idea here, if you could also connect to your circle some friends that only have a Facebook/Twitter/etc. account (meaning Google+ using theirs APIs), that could be almost perfect (Although I somewhat doubt that google is going this way, at least fully).

– The fact that’s probably integrated with your Google account (and your gmail account), meaning it’s not the same idiotic idea as “lets launch a very cool technological product like Google Wave and make it a barren desert by not connecting to your google account and all this other accounts you know”

From what little I’ve seen, I could see myself using it way more than Facebook.

If Google is being Google and this PLUS thing also has good APIs behind it (which could lead to some nice native client apps, mobile and desktop), I’ll be a very happy user …

… and ending up putting all my information for google to scrape and sell, like we all do in using Gmail 😉

Jun 11

GarageBand for MacOS and the Behringer iAxe USB guitar

After my previous post (GarageBand for iPad and the Behringer iAxe USB guitar) and a comment about that post, i realized i haven’t made the same tutorial / explanation for GarageBand on the MacOS version.

So, here it is, a simple away to connect your iAxe to GarageBand.

What is needed:

A) GarageBand on the MacOS

B) Behringer iAXE USB + the supplied USB Cable

C) Headphones (any type) to connect to the iAxe, or your computer (more on this later)

And the setup is pretty simple, just follow the steps:

(Note: in this screenshots, i’m using GarageBand’09 and MacOS X 10.6.7 – Snow Leopard)

1. Open the “Audio MIDI Setup” app on your utilities folder

You should have the application screen similar (or aprox.) to mine:

2. Connect the iAXE USB cable to any of your computer USB ports.

3. Connect the iAXE USB cable other end (USB type B) to the iAXE guitar – a light should turn on on the iAxe

4. The screen on the “Audio MIDI Setup” app should change to something like this:

4. Start GarageBand

5. Select / Insert a “New Instrument”, specifying the “Electric Guitar” type (so you could use GarageBand as your AMP).

6. Connect the headphones to the iAXE

(if you want to use your computer headphone jack, this part is also different, and you should go to the STEP 13 on the end of this post. NOTE: this is slower and you need a fast computer)

7. Go the the GarageBand “Preferences”

and on the “Audio/Midi” tab, you should select the “USB Audio CODEC” for both INPUT and OUTPUT:

(if you want to use your computer headphone jack, this part is also different, and you should go to the STEP 13 on the end of this post. NOTE: this is slower and you need a fast computer)

8. Choose an Amp type … i started with “CleanCombo”

9. Note: with my iAXE i noticed that you should turn both the MASTER and OUTPUT nobs to some higher volume

10. Double Click on the AMP image to get to the AMP settings and:

– make sure the input source is “USB Audio CODEC” (mono or stereo, you know best)
– make sure to turn the monitor ON, so you can listen while you play.
– you can also drag the noise gate slider a bit lower or OFF (you should know what this is, if you ever used an Amp).

11. Play the Guitar 🙂

12. You could also record that track and have something like this (i’ve chosen another type of AMP).

Have fun …

And, finishing this …

13. If you want to use your computer audio (meaning speakers, headphones jack) instead of connecting the headphones to the iAXE output audio jack, you should do this steps:

13.1 On the “Audio MIDI Setup” app, create an aggregate device, clicking on the “+” (plus) button:

13.2 This device will be used for sound OUTPUT, so you should specify both the “USB Audio CODEC” and “Built-In Output” as part of it:

(notice the “out” column with the number 2 and that you should also resample both devices if needed)

13.3 Then go again to GarageBand, and on the preferences window in the “USB/MIDI” panel, set the “Audio Output” to the “Built-in Output”.

This steps will allow the output from the “USB Audio CODEC” to be also transmited to the “Built-In Output” Audio of your computer.

Hope it was useful!