Screen Shot 2012 09 25 at 20.43.51 300x91 Pixlr.com the best(?) cloud based image editor

As more and more applications move to the cloud, and we become less reliant on locally installed apps, I’ve been trying to find an online editor to fulfil my photo editing requirements. Tonight I had a need for a small change to an image for my site, and rather than download and install a clunky app I decided to hit Google.. This is when I stumbled across Pixlr.com, Pixlr is a suite of 3 separate editing suites.

The first, dubbed the ‘Advanced’ editor, called Pixlr Editor which offers most if not all tools needed for most photo editing projects. The layout is much similar to other photo editors on the market. The difference being of course, is that it is 100% web browser-based, meaning no hefty downloads and no apps to install..

Screen Shot 2012 09 25 at 20.52.291 300x118 Pixlr.com the best(?) cloud based image editor

(click to enlarge)

The ‘Advanced’ editor sports a feature packed toolbox, with all the tools you need to perform most image editing tasks.. From the touch up tool, to the blur tool and the image stamp and sharpen tool, really does put it in the same ring as local apps such as GIMP

If you don’t need all the powerful features from the advanced editor, Pixlr also offer an ‘Efficient‘ image editor. An although it’s got less tools in its toolbox, it’s by no way limited in its ability to do just what you want. The ‘efficient’ editor makes it as simple as clicking your mouse button or track pad to apply some pretty professional looking photo effects, or borders etc.

Screen Shot 2012 09 25 at 20.59.16 300x201 Pixlr.com the best(?) cloud based image editor

(click to enlarge)

Then for the more simple image editing projects, Pixlr offer a ‘Playful‘, which makes it dead simple to add some pretty cool effects to your images. With a similar design\layout to iPhoto on the iPhone or iPad the toolbox takes the pain out of spicing up your images a little.

Screen Shot 2012 09 25 at 21.04.03 300x275 Pixlr.com the best(?) cloud based image editor

(click to enlarge)

What’s more… Not only is Pixlr available in a web browser near you it also has a feature packed iOS and Android client, available for download in the respective app stores..
appstore Pixlr.com the best(?) cloud based image editor
androidmarket Pixlr.com the best(?) cloud based image editor

So what are you waiting for?? Dump your local photo editing clients and switch to the cloud!

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Few people are aware that OS X comes complete with a built in ‘vnc’ client. VNC is used to connect to remote machines running VNC servers. VNC servers can include things like RealVNC or TightVNC

Connecting to VNC servers really is as simple as ensuring the desktop or finder has focus, then clicking Go > Connect to server, or Apple Key + K. Once the connect to server box pops up type VNC:// and the IP Address or Device name you’d like to connect to in the server address field and click connect.

connect 300x124 A little known fact; OS X sports a built in VNC Client..

Upon clicking connect, you will be prompted for the servers password. Once connected you’ll be presented with the remote machines desktop. This is something I use almost daily in my role, and find it extremely useful.

If you prefer a third party client, one you’ll always find in my applications folder is Chicken of the VNC

Let me know if you know of alternative methods for remote connections in the comments below icon smile A little known fact; OS X sports a built in VNC Client..

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Screen Shot 2012 09 24 at 21.36.12 FIX: Check Point Endpoint Security unable to connect
UPDATE: it would appear this bug has since been resolved in the E80 release of the CheckPoint client.

Since my recent upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion I’ve been suffering a very frustrating issue with Checkpoint’s endpoint security client. For no reason at all it would frequently refuse to connect. Stating an error: “Connectivity with the Check Point Endpoint Security service is lost”
Despite trying countless things with the client I found the only fix each time was to reinstall the client.

That was until now at least, after further investigation it looks like the issue only occurs when the Trac.config file had been zeroed. Now, I’m still trying to figure out what’s happening to the file. But I found in the meantime if you kill the checkpoint client then perform the following in terminal:

$ cd “/Library/Application Support/Checkpoint/Endpoint Connect”
$ sudo cp Trac.config.bak Trac.config

Then client the starts working as expected. Alternatively you can download a compiled AppleScript from here to do just that!
NB: You will be prompted for your admin credentials when either executing the command, or the script.

If you’ve found an alternative solution, please let me know in the comments below.

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OS X Mountain Lion Update

On September 19, 2012, in Blog, OSX Tips, by

With all the excitement around iOS6 and the iPhone 5, don’t overlook this evenings Mountain Lion Update. The update is packed with features and fixes, and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store more..

Additional Information

This update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users, and includes new features and fixes:

Facebook

  • Single sign on for Facebook
  • Adds Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos
  • See Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts
  • Facebook notifications now appear in Notification Center

Game Center

  • Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages
  • Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations
  • Added Facebook “Like” button for games
  • Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement

Other new features

  • Adds Power Nap support for MacBook Air (Late 2010)
  • iMessages sent to your phone number now appear in Messages on your Mac*
  • You can now add passes to Passbook (on your iPhone or iPod touch) from Safari and Mail on your Mac*
  • FaceTime can now receive calls sent to your phone number*
  • New shared Reminders lists
  • New sort options allow you to sort notes by title, the date you edited them, and when you created them
  • Dictation now supports additional languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian
  • Dictionary app now includes a French definition dictionary
  • Sina Weibo profile photos can now be added to Contacts

* Requires iOS 6


General fixes

The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 update also includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac, including the following fixes:

  • Adds an option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As
  • Unsent drafts are now opened automatically when launching Mail
  • Receive Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone
  • URLs are shortened when sending tweets from Notification Center
  • Notifications are disabled when AirPlay Mirroring is being used
  • Adds SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field in Safari
  • Adds a new preference to have Safari launch with previously open webpages
  • Resolves an issue that may cause the “Enable Autodiscover” checkbox to always remain checked
  • Enables access to the Mac App Store when Parental Controls are enabled
  • Support for @icloud.com email addresses
  • Resolves a video issue with some VGA projectors when connected to certain Mac notebooks
  • Addresses an issue that may prevent Active Directory accounts from being locked out
  • Resolves an issue that may cause the policy banner to re-appear prior to logging in
  • Improvements to SMB
  • Addresses an issue with NIS users when auto-login is enabled
  • Addresses an issue in which the Keychain may not be accessible
  • Ability to pre-authenticate a FileVault protected system
  • Addresses an issue that may cause Xsan to not automatically start after migrating from Mac OS X Snow Leopard

For information about the security content of this update, please visit this website.

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Google Drive Update for iOS

On September 10, 2012, in Blog, General, by

Google have today released some pretty exciting news news the mobile Google drive app now allows on device/in app editing of your google documents! As far as I know it’s the first in the field of mobile online storage apps to offer such a service.

As you can see from the video below, they have pretty much got it nailed..

There’s only downside to the recent news… As of yet, the app does not support in app editing of Google Spreadsheets. However, I feel confident in saying it won’t be far behind todays release. Once it finally arrives, I will seriously have to reconsider my current alliance to Dropbox and SugarSync.

You can download Google Drive for iOS from the App Store now for free.

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