Okay, let’s test the speed…

I’ve had my FTTP connection for over a month now, and I am chuffed with the reliability as well as the speed.

However though some of my devices directly connected to the router by cable can benefit from the 1Gb speed, most of the devices in my house are constrained by the speed of the wifi.

I did buy a TP-Link Archer T3U AC1300 mini wireless adapter for my iMac which is too far away to be cabled to the router.

This though was no faster than the built in Airport card, however I could use it on my MacBook which had a slower card and I have managed to achieve speeds in excess of 400Mbps, but not quite the 800Mbps I was hoping for.

My MacBook does not have an ethernet port so I have been unable to test a wired speed for the fibre connection. I bought an USB Network Adapter Syncwire USB 3.0 to RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet.

I did look for a Thunderbolt 2 to Ethernet adapter which I had used before with my MacBook but they were a lot more expensive.

It was plug and play (which I like and wasn’t the case with the TP-Link adapter) and connected my MacBook to the router via cable and tested the speed.

I was very impressed to get in excess of 800Mb/s via the wired connection.

I never thought I would see the day when my home internet access was constrained by the speed of my wireless network, how things change.

Happy Birthday Mac

Today is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Apple Mac, so Happy Birthday Mac.

My first Mac was in 2002, and it was a Titanium G4 PowerBook. I was Director of the Western Colleges Consortium in Avon, and one of the partner colleges was not happy about the support they were getting in using the shared VLE and online learning content on their Macs they used. They were using G4 PowerMacs, so in order to support them better I decided to order the “cheapest” G4 Mac I could and that was the Titanium G4 PowerBook.

Titanium G4 PowerBook

I remember thinking that if I was going to really understand the needs of the users of these strange devices I had better use it as my main device for a few weeks.

Within a week, it had become my main computer and I soon upgraded it with an Airport 802.11b wireless card so it was more useful. I remember how much I liked the fact that you shut the lid, and when you opened it, it came back on almost immediately.

It was a dual boot machine running OS 9 and OS X 10.1 Puma. It had a 500MHz G4 chip, a 10GB hard disk drive, 128MB of RAM and a DVD Drive.

It was a very different experience to the Windows 2000 PCs I was use to, and the user interface was in many ways a combination of “easy” and “challenging”. It took me a few months to work out how to drag and drop.

It lasted a few years and was eventually replaced with an Aluminium G4 Powerbook a few years later.

Since then I have had and used many Macs, including the G5 PowerMac which was an amazing computer, very powerful, various incarnations of the iMac, most recently a 27” model. With the move to Intel, I used a range of MacBooks, I really liked the MacBook Pro Retina and I am currently typing this article on an 11” MacBook Air.

Charging Annoyance

MagSafe 2 Power Adapter

I am currently having an intermittent charging problem with my MacBook Retina. I “plug” in the charger and it fails to charge the battery, there is no green or orange light. If I tweak the charger then the green light comes on and then the orange. What I mean by tweak is that after plugging in the charger, I slightly move it up without breaking the magnetic connection and then down agina. At which point the light comes on.

I don’t think it is a hardware issue, but could be a software one. However I might be entirely wrong and it’s a problem with the cable! As it’s one of the new cables I don’t have a spare I could try.

At this time, now I know what tweak I need to do, it’s more of an annoyance than a huge problem.


Those who know me, know that I work across three major sites in Gloucestershire. I was very annoyed with myself as yesterday I was at Gloucester and then went to the Forest of Dean. I accidentally left my MacBook power adapter at Gloucester.

MagSafe 2 Power Adapter

Wouldn’t have been so bad, but today I was based in Cheltenham. As a result I knew I needed a spare adapter, the problem (well a first world problem) was that I have the new MacBook Retina, and it uses a different kind of power adapter to the older MacBooks. As a result I couldn’t use anyone else’s adapter. One of the problems in been an early adopter is that sometimes you are the only person in the organisation that has a specific device, so no one has an adapter you can borrow.

Now what is doubly frustrating, I do in fact have one of those small metal adapters that allow you to use an older power cable with the newer MacBook Retina. The problem is that it is quite small, only about half an inch long. As a result I put it somewhere safe.

Can I remember where that safe place is?

No I can not.

As you might expect, I am frustrated. As a result I will now have to wait until Tuesday before I can charge my laptop…

More rumours on new iMacs

Macrumors has some nice new rumours on the next incarnation of the Apple iMac.

The new iMac may include…

…an SD card reader, as found in the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro, and the use of quad-core processors, which conflicts with a subsequent report claiming that the new iMac will continue to use dual-core processors.


…a new 100% touch-enabled mouse capable of advanced mouse functions, as well as a new aluminum Apple Remote. 

I am also hoping that the Blu-Ray rumour that has also been seen is also true. However Apple do seem to have decided that video downloads from the iTunes Store and not via physical format.

I am expecting to see the new iMacs in October and I will probably more than likely be buying one, to replace my current imac which is coming up to three years old.

While we’re on the subject of new Macs, there is also a white MacBook rumour on Macrumors. I wonder if this will be the same format as the current MacBook but with better specifications. However could it be a completely new format to compete in the cheap netbook market?

Want to have some fun…

If you have the time, the energy, the MacBook and a Windows 7 disk, you can have some fun too, according to PC Magazine Labs.

Here we are sitting in the PC Magazine Labs, and it occurs to us: We’ve got a shiny new Macbook Pro and an early build of Windows 7 on disc, so why not attempt to use one to run the other? 

The new MacBooks

Popped into the Apple Store today to check out the new MacBooks and boy are they nice. Though I had seen them online, there is something about seeing them in the flesh.

They are constructed well and I like the way they are made from a brick of aluminum.

I might have to get one.

New Apple Stuff

Those who know me will know that I am a bit of a fan of Apple products, not exclusively, but I do like good design and stylish kit.

Yesterday in San Francisco at MacWorld Expo, Apple announced some new products and upgrades for the iPod touch and iPhone.

Key new product announced at the keynote was the MacBook Air, a small light MacBook.

I do like small computers, great fan of the 10″Sony VAIO laptops, however this is slightly bigger than I would like, and I can’t see how that would survive travelling by air or train.

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s very stylish, well designed, but doesn’t meet my needs for a small portable computer for use at conferences, on the train and in coffee shops.

No rumoured touchscreen, nor a Blu-ray drive either (actually no optical drive, though cleverly you can use your other Mac’s drive wirelessly, which is a very clever piece of software and something I would like to use with Windows UMPCs).

Nor can you can carry a spare battery, actually you can’t even replace the battery, it has to be sent to Apple to be replaced if it goes faulty.

There was also upgrades for the iPhone and iPod touch announced which provide additional applications, annoyingly free on the iPhone and a £12.99 upgrade for the iPod touch.


Probably worth it for the e-mail and notes applications which make the iPod touch a more useful.

Also announced was a new Airport Extreme base station which comes with a 500GB or 1TB drive for Time Machine backups.

On the Americans get the opportunity to rent films, here in the UK we don’t, well not for a while.