Category Archives: Tech

Apple TV Review

Apple TV

 

I’ve now been using my Apple TV for four months. And so far it has been an absolute pleasure. I have previously used the “smart” feature of my Samsung Bluray player. This was okay, but not great and clunky and probably coded using Java or something else clunky.

Apple know how to do UI really well, and at the end of the day, you just want a nice and smooth and easy to use interface when watching TV. I get really grumpy when I see bad UI and for something you use to access and view catch-up TV and other video on demand such as YouTube, it’s all about the apps, number and availability of apps and quality of the apps and since tvOS has been released the Apple TV  now has access to that too.

I’m a big Apple fan (if you hadn’t noticed), and to quote their UK site – https://www.apple.com/uk/tvos/ – “Apple TV keeps getting better and better“. And in my opinion it really does. It’s just great, really great.

Yes you can buy cheaper, but like  all things, sometimes cheaper isn’t always better.

So far I have found a nice app called SlimLibrary which integrates nicely with Logitech Media Server (see HiFi) but I need to do a little bit more work to get that working.

The only negative I can think of at the top of my head is the fact it doesn’t have a dedicated audio out, an optical out, or co-ax  so I can connect it and have a separate input for playing audio on my amp (me getting finicky).  (Edit: in the time I wrote this I did a Google and found the following courtesy of iMore: http://www.imore.com/how-hook-fourth-generation-apple-tv-optical-audio-speakers)

Apple TV remote

This isn’t an extensive review, but you can find those elsewhere… this is more along the lines of I like it, I think it’s really cool, the remote lasts for 3 months on a single charge and uses the Lightning connector to recharge, and you should get one if you are considering a set top box!

Talking about the remote, the Siri function works really well for selecting what you want and is a really good substitute when typing passwords if you don’t mind saying them out loud. You can also use your iPhone or iPad as a remote which is neat.

Dedications:

Thanks to my girlfriend for this great gift 🙂

My blog got hacked but now I’m back!

My site recently got hacked. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t have any real-time alerts so my only way of finding out was from a Google email notification as I had registered with Google Webmasters (recommend you do the same).

I had found that the hackers had accessed my WordPress blog and database and added redirects to another site involved with essay writing – go figure! It makes absolutely no sense and from what I could see was doing nothing other than redirecting to another site.

Luckily, I keep full directory backups, and database backups, every time I do a full version update of WordPress and the last backup I had was December ’16. I had only posted one additional post and made some minor changes since then (I’ve been slacking).

Everything would have been relatively straight forward had phpMyAdmin displayed a logical error message when trying to import an oversized SQL file (70+Mb). After much deliberation I decided to set up a local install using a MAMP stack, courtesy of Bitnami, to try and work out why the database wasn’t importing. Voila, on my test site everything imported without any problems.

I then took to HostGator who actually have a page explaining what to do with oversized databases (here) and a section called Your import file is too large! under common issues! So I got on their webchat and 15 minutes later they had imported the database successfully back in situe. Unfortunately unless I pay more for hosting (at the minute I’ve an account on the Whitecherry / Frantik reseller package) I will need to get in touch directly every time I want to import a database over  50Mb.

I’d like to do a shoutout to WPBeginner and their following page – http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/beginners-guide-how-to-restore-wordpress-from-backup/ – it’s a little outdated but the principles remain the same.

 

Using Spotify

Spotify Logo

I know people say it all the time, but I truely believe that Spotify has revolutionized the way people listen to music in this time and age.

No where else can you go and sample music without  purchasing the track. I know it’s not brilliant for the artists but then those who will buy the albums still will on iTunes or in physical format and so on.

For me it has opened up doorways and allowed me to discover more than I could possibly have ever done by listening to a radio station or at live shows.

At school I got recommendations from friends, and I would then go and torrent those tracks. At least with Spotify I can do it legally! And I am one of those people who will go and buy the album to support the artist if I want the whole thing.