Creativity, Design and Fun

iPhone 13 with USB-C

Date : July 20, 2022

Apple phones are known for being behind Android phones a few years in technology developments and listening to what their customers want. This is not an Apple vs. Android debate. I call it as I see it. I am an Apple user but seriously Apple, you need to fire whoever is in charge of the design decisions.

Quick examples of terrible design decisions:

  • Removing the headphone jack from iPhones.
  • Removing all ports except USB-C from MacBooks.
  • Placing USB-C ports only on the left side of the MacBook Air.
  • Charging port under the wireless mouse (really?)
  • Apple Pencil exposed on the side of iPad Air.
  • Lightning ports on iPhones but USB-C on MacBooks.

Apple (as always) is dragging their feet at implementing new technology across the board in all its products, this time I am talking about USB-C on iPhones

Well this guy decided not to wait and figured out a simple way to add the necessary circuitry inside his iPhone 13 to make it work. The best part is that Apple can’t do a single thing to stop him or block the use of an authorized cable chip to made this modification work flawlessly. Louis Rossmann would be proud.

Check out his video!

This is ingenuity at its finest, this guy swapped the lightning port with a USB-C port and he shows the process step by step.
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VLC Remote for Stream Deck

Date : April 4, 2022

How to setup VLC Remote Plugin for Stream Deck

What is the VLC Remote Plugin?

This plugin allows you to control your media on VLC at any time without having to switching applications, it works even if the VLC window is minimized.

A quick guide on how to configure that pesky VLC Remote plugin for Stream Deck

This plugin doesn’t work instantly like many others, you have to enable the web interface in VLC Player in order for this plugin to be able to communicate with the controls. So here’s a quick tutorial:

First, you need to download the VLC Remote plugin from the Stream Deck Store.

Activating the remote interface in VLC

In VLC Media Player, go to Tools > Preferences

Bottom left corner select ‘All’ under ‘Show settings’

Scroll down and click on ‘Main Interfaces‘. Then on the right side panel check the ‘Web’ option

Click on the arrow on ‘Main Interfaces’ to display more options. Click on ‘Lua’ and set a password under the ‘Lua HTTP’ section on the right. Save your settings and restart VLC.

Configuring Stream Deck VLC Remote Control

Add your action buttons on Stream Deck by dragging them to your desired locations, then on the options at the bottom type the same password you set on the VLC player.

That’s it!

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MacBook Air Review

Date : October 4, 2021

I am not a great fan of Apple but I recognize the quality on some of its products. Recently I decided to buy a MacBook Air M1 for two reasons, it offered good battery life and no fan noise. I’ve owned a MacBook before and although I used it daily I was never impressed with it.

The new MacBook Air uses a processor called M1 (apparently made by Apple) that works well with the internal hardware, capable of fast processing while remaining cool without the need for fans and it manages battery life more efficiently than the old intel version.

Okay, I am impressed

This is a cool little laptop and I mean that literally, it stays cool even when doing video editing. The MacBook Air M1 is almost everything I wanted in a laptop.

Gone are the days of carrying my AC adapter all the time, checking my battery percentage and looking for a place to recharge, this little thing can hold its battery power for a week (depending on how you use it) without having to plug it in for recharge, it is quite refreshing not having to worry about my battery.

The very friendly touchpad or trackpad (whatever its called) is very easy to learn, it’s intuitive and allows the user to navigate easily through different desktops, files and documents.

Pros

  • Battery lasts over 20 hours
  • No fan noise
  • Lightweight
  • Stays cool
  • Charges through USB-C
  • Sturdy hinges
  • Fast M1 processor
  • Great keyboard
  • Touch ID

Cons

  • No touchscreen
  • No USB Type-A
  • No SD Card slot
  • No HDMI
  • Needs a separate adapter (dongle)

Great but still no touchscreen

All new Windows laptops in this price range have touchscreens. The new MacBook line do not have touchscreens, this is not a deal breaker for me but this move is not surprising for a company like Apple since they tend to do tiny incremental changes over long periods of time to maximize sales and later add old technology to its devices that has been available in competitor’s products for ages. By the year 2030 they might release the first MacBook with a touchscreen and call it “revolutionary”.

Final comments

Like most technology devices, computers are tools, they are not impressive on their own unless it is the right tool for the right job. I used to be an early adopter and buy the latest and greatest every year to stay current but I learned to buy just what I need.

The MacBook Air M1 could be the best little laptop you can get for $1000 if you are looking for a fast laptop with long battery and a decent screen. I recommend it to anyone that is familiar with Apple laptops and is currently on the market for a new one, with all its flaws the MacBook Air M1 is a good tool that serves its intended purpose.

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Music while working

Date : September 23, 2021

Creativity works in mysterious ways, what works for me may not work for you. Music is an important part of my creative process. For example, I am currently working on an epic artwork piece featuring a hero with a sword while listening to The Lord of the Rings and Gladiator soundtracks. It really sets the mood and gives me a sense of direction to where this artwork should go.

I personally prefer movie soundtracks with no lyrics when working but sometimes I listen to mindless music like Daft Punk, Röyksopp, Massive Attack, Gorillaz, etc. This type of music clears my head and let’s me focus on my work.

Find your tunes

Not all music is created equal, you have to find what works for you, depending on what you are doing, how you are feeling and what you want to get from it. Some of you probably will find music distracting and prefer silence. After many years of working with music I have found the type of music that works for each type of project.

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