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Crimson Steam Pirates

AOTD : Crimson Steam Pirates

Crimson Steam Pirates AOTD : Crimson Steam Pirates

Ok lets get this bit out of the way.  Crimson Steam Pirates is a turn based game… but wait before you click away thinking this is another slow paced Civilization or majorly deep football management game, stop.  This turn based game can almost be classed as fast paced.

Coming from the house of Bungie you take on the role of Thomas Blood in this episodic, turn based, steam punk pirates based affair.  Yup that’s a big description for a game like this but the most apt.

Crimson Steam Pirates Chapters AOTD : Crimson Steam Pirates

Starting off in Chapter 1 you get a total of 8 missions and further chapters and content is available to download at 1.99 a chapter.

The game itself is as beautiful to play as the graphics are to feast upon.  Starting with the basics of learning how a ship works.  Moving a ship involves dragging the ships outline to where you want the course to go, click play and that’s your first move done.

Crimson Steam Pirates Weapon Ranges AOTD : Crimson Steam Pirates[/caption]

See the steering wheel at the front?  As you go along in the game that becomes a sub menu where, with a tap, you can select all manner of features.  Do you repair your ship in the heat of battle or flog your crew to make them fire faster?  Other options let you board other ship’s perform sniper actions and activate the full steam ahead.

Speaking of combat you can see where your armouries firing range and the line of site.  As you progress throughout the game different weaponry becomes available and this shows as different highlighted segments much like a pie chart.

Weapons aren’t the only thing that get upgraded.  Some missions require you to rescue (or pillage) for your crew.  Mission 1 see’s you rescuing an engineer who in turn will make your ship go faster.  Other attributes are quicker repairs and so on, all adding to the thinking element of the game.

Couple that with then having to manage more than 1 ship with different attributes the game play fleshes out nicely.  Do you send the smaller but faster ship out ahead to recon or keep the group together for safety in numbers.  Later missions involve flying Zeppelins and future upgrades promise even more vehicles.

Music wise you’d swear you were listening to the theme music from Pirates Of The Caribbean and adds to the feeling of a highly polished and produced game.

The Graphical Touches

Trust me on this.  Zoom in on the ships and targets else you are missing out.  Rockets point and aim at their targets, on ship cannons recoil and turn to face their combatants and show  up as out of action when damaged.    Wheels turn on the boats powered by paddlers.The graphics, well simply put, are outstanding.  Things scale up and down nicely and everything fits in with the game just fine looking like it should be there.

Summing Up

It’s hard to really pick fault with the game but there are a few.  During the boarding process the ships wheel can be obscured from view by a fort of ship from time to time leaving you stuck and having to exit out of the game as you can’t move or board.

The first missions were all easy to say the least and that’s coming from a guy who’s on-line name is fodder  as I seem to die the moment I spawn in any FPS.

Overall this gets 5 stars as it’s a highly polished, well produced, great sounding, great looking cracking game that I hope more than 2 more episodes (8 chapters in each) come along.

Crimson Steam Pirates End AOTD : Crimson Steam Pirates

Adium 1.4.3 Released

A new version of the ever popular chat client Adium has been relased today via an automatic update and it looks like it’s bug fixing time.

Mentioned in the list of bugs to be fixed is the poor MSN file transfer and the facebook chat issue.

Fixes contained are…

  • Fixed a security vulnerability related to file transfers.
  • libpurple:
    Fixed a crash when remote users have certain characters in their nicknames. (Discovered by Djego Ibanez) (#p14341)
    MSN: Fixed direct file transfers, user icons, and receiving custom emoticons, while disabling multiple points of presence (MPOP). We determined that this was the better trade-off based on user feedback. (reverted to MSNP15 support from MSNP16) (#15256)
  • MSN: Fixed an issue involving the “Friendly name changes too often” error.(#15364)
  • GoogleTalk: Worked around an issue where messages contained XML code. (#15419)
  • Facebook
    Fixed connectivity.
    Facebook will now connect via the officially-sanctioned mechanism. You no longer have to provide Adium with your username and password; you will be prompted to authenticate via a facebook.com window when you first log in. Existing accounts are automatically upgraded.
  • AIM/ICQ: Fixed connecting while using a proxy server
  • Twitter: Fixed loading the Following list. (#15239)
  • Fixed a fairly common crash related to user lists. (#14294)
  • Activated overlay scrollers on Mac OS X Lion. (#15394)
  • Fixed an issue where Adium was constantly writing with the computer screen off for a long time. (#15147)
  • Fixed the “Add Link” function, which was broken in 1.4.2. (#15259)
  • Fixed instances where contacts weren’t being highlighted despite having been set to. (#14493).
  • Message View: Inserted emoticon will replace the selected text (if any).
  • Updated localisations: British English, Chinese (Traditional), Danish (#15431), Dutch (#15421), French (#15402), German (#15374), Greek (#15330), Italian (#15395), Norwegian (Bokmål) (#15365), Portuguese (Portugal) (#15371), Swedish (#15384).

Fixed a case of unfavourable wording in the German localisation. (#15393)

As always we are testing this and looking forward to seeing if MSN file transfers will work in Adium again.

Hulu Plus Supports HDMI

Hulu Plus app adds HDMI output for iPad 2

Those of you in the states using Hulu Plus now have the extra added benefit of viewing shows on your tv via HDMI.

huluplus Hulu Plus app adds HDMI output for iPad 2
Hulu Plus Supports HDMI

The Hulu Plus app itself is free, but of course requires a Hulu Plus subscription to access the content.

Those of you in the UK should be able to watch Hulu in the uk with the usage of the highly rated UnoTelly.  We’ll also have a guide for that soon as well.

EyeTV Mobile, Watch live tv on your iPad 2

First the iPhone got it’s own tv tuner and now the iPad is getting the love as well with this dandy little box from Elgato.

 

elgato eyetv mobile EyeTV Mobile, Watch live tv on your iPad 2
Elgato Eyetv Mobile

The EyeTV Mobile hooks up to the dock connector and grabs the TV signal from it’s ever so bendy antenna.  It’s freeview so you are reliant with the signal in your area (see our Elgato Tizi review for issues with this) and once again you can’t hook it up to a roof top aerial.

The software supports the over the air EPG that’s broadcast and the ability to record shows in their native format to your iPad

Macally Magstand

Macally’s MAGSTAND for your iPad 2, available this month

Sometimes the best things are the most simple and the Magstand from MacAlly is just that. An incredibly simple iPad 2 magnetic stand. There aren’t that many stands that would hold your iPad upside down whilst having a shake down.

Check the video for more information.

Oh and did we mention, we are getting a review sample from MacAlly this month 😀

Steve Jobs Resigns

OMG – Steve Jobs Resigns From Apple

Steve Jobs Resigns OMG   Steve Jobs Resigns From Apple
Shock Announcement - Steve Jobs Resigns

In an out of the blue announcement Apple have released this press statement

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

Wow,  WE hope that it;s not related to any health issues and we are genuinely surprised by this.

Is this the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4s

iPhone Rumor Roundup As Of August 24th

Another day, moment, week and something apple is being rumored. So we’ve rounded up this weeks iPhone and Apple rumors in the best of the rumors.

iphone5 e1312311349396 iPhone Rumor Roundup As Of August 24th
iPhone5 Case

Friday 26th August : iPhone 4s Leaked Pictures

So it;s not actually the iPhone 4s but alleged pictures of the case for the 4s.  The pictures speak for themselves showing a lack of a home button and moving of the antenna.

Wednesday : An All New Mac

What a way to start the week with sites announcing that a source from Japanese news and rumors website release the news that Apple will release a new product.  All that’s been said is that it will be distinctly different.  Well thanks for that, a weight lifted from my mind and a new product from Apple will be released. Next we can all rest easy after Ford announce they will make a new car.

Tuesday : The Cheap iPhone4

Rumors abound now about a cheap iPhone 4 coming with 8gb storage.  This seems semi plausible as having a handset priced in the Android pricing sector would certainly stir things up

Monday : iPhone 5 Release Date For October

The October date has been chucked around more than once by AT&T and other “sources” and this one makes sense.  A traditional product announcement in the month of September and then release in October

Starbucks And Apple. A premium partnership

Starbucks giving out iOS apps for free with your beverage

Starbucks apple Starbucks giving out iOS apps for free with your beverage
Spotted the macbook in it's natrul territory... A coffee shop.

Coffee shops and mac users.  The 2 go together hand in hand and Starbucks lead the way with their partnership with apple.  Now this loving bond has been extended further with a free iOS app with your drink.

Those of you who opt for the Venti sized drinks will also get a card with a code allowing you to download an iOS app for free.  It’s not any old application but a set app per week.

This week it’s the turn of Shazam Encore which would set you back $5.99 in the states.

According to sources this officially starts on the 23rd August but we aren’t sure if this will apply to the UK.  If you are in the uk please let us know your findings.

MagSafe Apple Patent

iPhone and iPad To Get Magsafe Charging?

MagSafe Apple Patent1 iPhone and iPad To Get Magsafe Charging?

Magsafe has saved my laptop many a time and so I was overjoyed to come across the news that Apple has successfully applied for a patent to bring its Mac-saving MagSave power cable technology to iOS devices.

Magsafe was introducted way back in 2006 and I’m surprised that other vendors haven’t tried to come up with their own solution thus far.

Instead of dragging the device to the ground when you trip over the cable, the MagSafe connector just pops right out, leaving you with just a slight tinge of embarrassment rather than a large repair bill.

Trademarked

Now Apple has trademarked the tech with the US Patent Office in order to transfer MagSafe and bring piece of mind to iPad and iPhone owners.

The filing, revealed by the PatentlyApple website, says: “In one particular embodiment, the connector may be a power connector such as the MagSafe.”

So there you have it, the days of self-inflicted, gadget-smashing mis-steps could be over.

It probably won’t be in time for the next generation iPhone, but soon you’ll be able to trip and fall as merrily as you like without taking your precious smartphone with you.

Side Note
Anyone else think this might be pointing to a rounded iPhone 5?

 

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac.

Logitech’s K750 Solar Powered Wireless Keyboard

 

logitechk750 586 250475 e1313592637458 Logitech’s K750 Solar Powered Wireless Keyboard

 

I do love the small Bluetooth apple keyboard but I’m not keen on batteries or the fact it doesn’t’ have a number pad.

The Logitech K750 steps up to the plate with the added feature of being solar powered.  This isn’t the first solar powered keyboard as, many years ago, I owned a Cherry keyboard that gave me many years of service till an unfortunate accident with a cup of tea.

It really does look that good btw even with the logitech logo emblazoned on top to let you know it’s not actually an Apple device.

Like the genuine Apple boards it’s packed to the rafters with the usual array of keys for brightness, volume, expose and mission control.

To allay battery anxiety, the logitech K750 comes with a free app to tell you how much juice is left and to let you know that it’s too dark for charging (i.e stop the late night browsing sessions).  The one downside is that this isn’t a bluetooth device so it will be taking up a USB slot for it’s wifi receiver for the keyboard.

The Logitech K750 Solar Powered Wireless Keyboard is available now from all good stockists (and the bad ones as well 😀 )

Energizer iSurge Charging Station for iPod, iPhone

If there was ever a case of one up man-ship in the world of iPhone, iPad, iOS, Mac and general charging shenanigans then Energizer would definitely win.

Not only does it features a dock for your iPod or iPhone to be charged the thing rotates 180 degrees and has a night light.  And that’s not to mention USB ports with 2.1 Amp output for charging your iPad or other USB chargeable devices.  Just in case you want more it’s got 3 AC outlets with surge protection to charge pretty much everything.

It’s definitely one way to tell the like of Belkin how to create a decent charger.

Availability wise, October is being indicated with a retail price of $60 (uk price tbc)

Now… if only my socket’s weren’t on the floor..

energizer isurge travel1 Energizer iSurge Charging Station for iPod, iPhone

If there was ever a “my dad is harder than your dad” competion in the world of chargers the  iSurge Charging Station from Energizer would definitely reign supreme.  Let’s hope Energizer send us a sample 😀

Minco - Introduction Screen

Review : Minco 1.3. A Simple Yet PowerFull Time Tracker

A cluttered interface is something I can’t really stand for despite the fact that we desperately need an actual quarantine zone my office workplace on the grounds of health and safety.

Quite often my day finds me flitting from task to task and quite often leads to moments of panic when I try to work out just exactly how long I have been working on a particular clients project. So I was incredibly grateful when I came across Minco.

Continue reading → Review : Minco 1.3. A Simple Yet PowerFull Time Tracker

Wiretap Studio

Review: WireTap Studio Making Podcasts Easier

Wiretap Review: WireTap Studio Making Podcasts Easier
Wiretap Studio : If you can hear it, you can record it.

With the Samsung Meteor microphone on its way for review I realised I had the non-enviable task of trying to find some adequate software to match a premium microphone and must leave the idea to create our first ever podcast was born.

By no means is podcasting a black art but it’s certainly not as simple as one would think, so after laying down some pretty hefty cash for a microphone it only seems right that a similar investment was made in terms of software.

Cue Ambrosia’s WireTap Studio ($70).  A few of my friends had mentioned this software previously along with several forum posters.  Originally I was looking for a simple way to test and microphone but then it occurred to me why not just go the whole 9 yards and produce a pod cast.  As always as simple idea then turns into a bit of a complex project as I wanted to record a Skype call for the broadcast.

Wiretap studio sits as an out of the way widgets which proves to be deceptively powerful.  The widget effectively acts as a very simple mixer allowing you to select two same sources so, in my case, I can select one source as a microphone and the other as Skype. Selected audio sources can be saved as a separate files, very handy the editing later.

Once audio has been recorded there are a myriad of options to save the audio in a format of your choice. These range from the de facto MP3 standard right up to AAC lossless quality format. If you aren’t sure what your destination file type will sound like there is a live preview option to let you make that ultimate decision between the quality of sound and desired file size.

So that’s the basics but what Wiretap Studio really does excel at is to add spit and polish to any voice clips.

In my case I tend to do most of my EssentialMac.co.uk new and reviews with the aid of  via speech recognition, however, I do have a tendency to pause midsentence to recollect my thoughts into a coherent sentence. Wiretap studio has a feature to automatically remove and cut pauses from the track. By selecting an option from the menu the application delete silences and you can control how long and how quiet passage is before the application considers it a silence and adds the appropriate pause.

Believe me the ability to remove pauses from stuttered speaking during podcasting sessions is a complete boon and this is just scraping the surface of this application. There is a complete sound effects suites which I haven’t even started dabbling with.

Of course, software like this, only reaches its full potential with proper, clear and concise documentation and the developers have obviously realised this with a plethora of videos and walk-throughs to get the most out of the software experience.

Disappointingly when we visited their websites to look at the add-on files section it seems that none have been developed from 2005 onwards. Older plug-ins don’t always put us off but with USB microphones becoming ever more prevalent in the market plug-ins can make a program look underdeveloped or discontinued.

We aren’t quite ready to make this one of our coveted essential applications as this really is our first foray into the world of broadcasting. That being said we did find it a rewarding experience for first-time venturing forward into the audio rather than textbased format.
Note.  We did encounter some problems running this software after our upgrade to lion however we have been assured by the developers that they are working on this issue.As soon as the Lion compatible version is released we will update this review.

Taming OSX Lion With Gestures

How to make the most of Lion gestures

lion taming How to make the most of Lion gestures
Taming OSX Lion With Gestures

Essential basic lion gestures.

Lion is really taking it to the traditional mouse and computer interaction we have all become accustomed to. Snow Leopard really did push me towards being more interactive with my desktop with more than three buttons and Lion makes even more use out of the track pad.

1.  Tap for dictionary.

The dictionary facility has been about for a number of Mac OSx incarnations. Previously he had to press command   control   D whilst hovering over a word. Lion simplifies this approach by allowing you to simply double tap on any word using three fingers

2.  Finder navigation using gestures.
Finder didn’t escape the briefest of makeovers in the lion operating system as opening the finder presents you with a Cover Flow style presentation of files and folders. To navigate through these items with a gesture, simply scroll up and down with two fingers to see the different groups and position your points are in a group and slide two fingers left or right on the trackpad to see different files in the sections.  As normal, when you see a file you want to work with, just double tap on it.

3.  Make the most of mission control.
Mission control is activated by simply swiping up four fingers on your track pad. Once in mission control, you can swipe left and right with three fingers to move between different desktop, spaces or any of the full-screen applications that are currently in operation.

If you have any hints or tips on how to manage Lion with gestures then please drop us a line with the comment form below