Browsing articles from "October, 2009"

Apple Magic Mouse and new Macs

Oct 21, 2009
Comments Off

Apple has refreshed its line up overnight with revised iMacs, MacBook, Mac Mini and a new “Magic Mouse”.

The Apple Magic Mouse is a buttonless design using a multi-touch surface that covers the device. The multi-touch design allows similar controls such similar to the Trackpad on a Mac laptop. You can use the surface to scroll up and down, left and right and use gestures to swipe. It is only available as a wireless mouse, with the old Mighty Mouse as a configurable option. The Magic Mouse comes as standard with the new iMacs.

Click to view the Might Mouse video.


The iMacs have been redesigned in 21.5-inch and 27-inch 16×9 widescreen ratios with LED backlit dsiplay. Performance of the iMac has been increased with faster CPU’s, including a new 2.66GHz Quad core i5 CPU in the high-end 27-inch model. You can take the new iMacs up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of disk storage. And to make it more attractive prices have been reduced, with the entry level model being $1999.

Click to view the new iMac video


The white MacBook has been given a bit of a face-lift with new tapered edges and modest performance upgrades. The new model has a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and can use up to 4GB of RAM. The MacBook also has a LED backlit display, 7 hour battery life and no longer has Firewire ports, but does have two USB ports.


The often neglected Mac Mini has been given a modest performance upgrade as well. You can choose between a 2.26GHz, 2.53GHz, or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and can use up to 4GB of RAM. Curiously there is an option to turn the Mac Mini into a mini server. It drops the SuperDrive in favour of another hard drive and comes with Mac OSX Leopard Server. As the Mac Mini uses slow 5400RPM drives often found in laptops it would not suit as a file server for graphic studios or as a Mail Server. Both areas require fast hard drives to keep everything running smoothly.

Spark 5.5 Development

Oct 20, 2009
Comments Off

One of the biggest new features of the upcoming Spark 5.5 is the redesign of Time Entry. At the moment, Time Entry is a do-it-all single screen which some users find a bit confusing. We are moving to a timer based system with the ability of Start and Stop a timer while you work on a job.
My Timesheet will also be changing – allowing you to view your day graphically, delete entries (yes, its true!) and manually add/edit entries.

Keep an eye on this blog as we will post more Spark 5.5 development progress. Spark 5.5 will be out around the end of the year.

Spark Project Management

Quick Tip: InDesign – Creating a Table Of Contents

Oct 14, 2009
Comments Off

A Table Of Contents (TOC) can help readers quickly find information within your book, magazine or other publication.

Rather than manually creating a TOC yourself, you can use InDesign to automatically generate a TOC for you based on your Paragraph Styles.

To create a Table Of Contents for your document;

From within InDesign go to the ‘Layout’ menu and select ‘Table Of Contents…’, the Table of Contents window will pop-up.

In the ‘Title’ box you can enter a title for your TOC, e.g. ‘Contents’, you can select a style from the “Style:’ pull-down menu.

From the ‘Other Styles:’ box highlight the Paragraph Style that you wish to include in the TOC and click ‘<<Add’, repeat for the other Paragraph Styles that you wish to include. Paragraph Styles that you add appear in the ‘Included Paragraph Styles:’ box.

You can select the Sub Heading style by using the ‘Entry Style:’ pull-down menu.

Under ‘Options’ you can decide whether to ‘Create PDF Bookmarks’ (Bookmarks will appear in your exported PDF), ‘Replace Existing Table of Contents’ (if you are making changes) and ‘Include Book Documents’ (If you are creating a TOC for a book).

Click ‘OK’ and a loaded text cursor will appear, you can move to the desired page or create a new page then click the mouse button to place the TOC on a page.


If you continue to edit your document you can update the TOC by selecting the TOC with the Selection Tool then from the ‘Layout’ menu go down and select ‘Update Table of Contents’.

You can find more information including formatting and styles online at Adobe InDesign CS4 Help.

Quick Tip: Google Search Options

Oct 13, 2009
Comments Off

A few months ago Google introduced a tool to help filter search results.

After you have searched Google for something a little ‘Show options..’ link appears in the top left, just above the search results. Click on it to reveal more search options so your can refine your search to options such as Videos, Blogs, Forums and Reviews.

You can also filter results by time or sort relevance by date, which is handy for finding breaking news.


AdobeTV – InDesign to Flash

Oct 13, 2009
Comments Off

This episode from AdobeTV guides you through getting your InDesign documents out to Flash. The first example shows you how to output a simple SWF file and the second example goes further using an XFL file so you can edit your pages in Flash.

Blackberry Desktop Manager for Mac

Oct 8, 2009
Comments Off

The new BlackBerry Desktop Manager is out for Mac users, this replaces the rather loathsome PocketMac.

The new software allows you to Install and Update BlackBerry Device software, Backup and Restore your BlackBerry and sync Calendars, Contacts, Notes, Tasks and Music with your Mac.

Overall the software is easy to setup and use, reliable and quick to sync, which addresses the biggest issues with the previous sync software. If you haven’t already upgraded your BlackBerry to an iPhone then the BlackBerry Desktop Manager will save you some frustration associated with long term PocketMac use.

Blackberry Desktop Manager requires an Intel based Mac running Leopard or Snow Leopard.


MYOB to Xero – something to note

Oct 7, 2009
Comments Off

When switching to from MYOB (yes, something you NEED to do) you can import the chart of accounts from MYOB into Xero. This is great, except, Xero doesn’t bring in the hyphen from MYOB. For example, a 4-1000 MYOB code becomes a 41000 code in Xero.

All the GL setups in Spark are designed to work with the 4-1000 style GL code. It isn’t a big job to go into Xero and just make sure that the codes that you import from MYOB have the same style in Xero. Once it is setup – it’s a breeze.

If you are still fighting your way through MYOB, take a look at as it will improve the quality of your accounting – and your life!

Faster Internet on the horizon via VDSL2

Oct 1, 2009
Comments Off

Telecom Wholesale is expanding its roll out of VDSL2.

VDSL2 is an advanced standard of broadband offering potential broadband speeds of 40Mbit/s download with 16 Mbit/s upload. This is about double the best possible speeds on offer with ADSL2.

As of today, Internet Service Providers in select suburbs of Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and other regional locations with enabled exchanges will be able to offer VDSL2 to their customers. Telecoms commercial launch has not been finalised so realistically it may be at least a few months before it is widely available.

Release of VDSL2 will help Telecom deliver TiVo content to subscribers. TiVo will be available in November and in order to get TiVo you must be a Telecom broadband customer.