Upgrading to a MacBook Air

This year I decided to swap my 2017 MacBook Pro for a 2019 MacBook Air and over the last couple of days I have been setting it up.

So far I am loving the change, it really is a great size device. Those 15″ and now 16″ MacBook Pro’s are “large” and “heavy” in comparison. It’s great to just pick up the Air and notice the difference. Performance wise I have not seen any issues, but I haven’t really done anything to stress the CPU (other than sync my photos).

On the migration, I decided to follow the same process that I have done in the past, basically I just login to iCloud and let everything sync from the cloud. I then open the App Store and install my previous purchases. The only really change this time was to transfer my Backblaze account so I still can see all the files from my old Pro. It’s a great opportunity for a clean up. I’m not sure if I needed anything from Xcode, but I have my backup for that.

It’s phenomenal how much data is stored in the cloud now and it makes this process super easy. I just need to wait for everything to sync.

My only annoyance so far is having both USB-C ports on the left side means plugging into projectors or even power not as flexible. One port on each side would be awesome.

Back to work 2020 edition

So I’m back to work tomorrow after a great Christmas break. This year I’m looking for to teaching some of the same classes and some new ones.

This is what’s on:

  • i3 – Our innovative year 10 programme asking the question “Can girls solve real world problems” 😉. We have the same 4 class teachers this year and I’m really excited by the changes we have planned
  • Mechatronics – my hands class with robots, raspberry pi’s, 3D printing etc. Really fun class.
  • Creating Apps Year 9 – this year I will introduce SwiftUI for app development and I am really excited to see how we go. I’m looking forward to sharing what we get up to.
  • Teach Drawing Year 9 – this one is new to me and I’m finally going to learn SketchUp. We are going to use the online education version which is free to Office365 schools now. I loved this subject when I went to high school so it should also be fun

Out of the classroom, I have plans to keep going with 15min PD’s and will look to start an Apple Teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator programme for staff. I am also keen to see how we can get some everyone can can create stuff happening.

I’m also planning an esports club and I’m hoping the girls will get really involved.

Some other thing I’m looking forward to is Year 9 camp and Cross Country. Probably lots more too.

Good luck to all the other teachers returning in the next couple of weeks, hopefully you are as excited as I am.

Dark Textures

This one is inspired by Matt Birchler and his take. Mine come from some stunning trees in The Valley of the Giants in Walpole, Western Australia.

Current Watch Faces

At the moment I switch between 3 faces depending on what I’m doing.
My Watch Faces
The first face is using Infograph Modular and has pretty much every complication that I need or want through the day. When I use this face I rarely need to access other apps or open the dock.
The second face is Numerals Duo and gives me a distraction free clock that I can see from about a mile away, it’s great while doing most things and I just need the time.
The last face is using Modular and I use it when I sleep. Having the red text helps my retinas not explode during a quick check of the time while in bed.
These faces work great for me, especially as I find digital clocks much quicker to read and more accurate.

Dark Mode and Text Size

Recently, while listening to episode 273 (I think) of The Talk Show podcast, John spoke about having eye problems and that he had switched to full time dark mode and moved the text size slider one notch up on his iPhone. As I am always happy to try new things, I thought I’d give it a go and I have to say that I love it.

If you are not sure of the process I have some screen shots below of the process, first switching to full time dark mode (iOS 13 required).

Switching to Dark Mode

The next is increasing the text size, which could be increased more if you like.

Changing Text Size

I also added the text size quick adjust to the Control Centre screen just incase I want to switch back.

Adding Text Size to Control Centre

Lastly, as an added bonus, another trick I employed last year was turning off Night Shift, which reduces the blue light at certain times of the day. I am now just using the True Tone feature that newer Apple devices have. This allows the screen to adjust colour temperature to match the surrounding environments. This means that at night when I’m using on my “yellow” bedside light the screen also adjust. I highly recommend this change too.

Switching off Night Shift

Live AR Pictures App Part 5

Now the final part of my guides showing how to create you own Live AR Pictures app. This movie explains how to add fade transitions to the animations just to give the final product a nice clean look. This is much more complicated than the other guides and pushes the boundaries of my understanding so bare with my descriptions of what is happening.
I will add further guides based around this app but it will focus on additional AR elements or how might you include this inside your main app.

Live AR Pictures App Part 4

In this part of the series I am going to explain how we can add to our app so that when an image is not visible on the device that the animated movie pauses. This is a nice effect that makes the overall app feel more natural.

Live AR Pictures App Part 3

This is Part 3 in the series for creating a Live AR Pictures App. In this movie I show how to loop the movies and add more images to be recognised in your App.