Apple Lose Spanish iPad Court Ruling

Apple have lost one of the series of long running legal disputes with tablet / Android makers over infringements relating to the design and functionality of it’s iPad tablet. For more information on this result going against Apple, see this Foss Patents post:


Portable Information: Essential Applications Everyone Should Install…..

As I progress through life, it seems there are more and more computing instances I need to interact with (much to my wife’s annoyance I’m sure). With this expanse of computing power, it becomes more and more of a requirement to install and sync information across all these devices.

For me personally, I hardly ever sit in front of just one computer. As I type this on my iMac, I have a PC, a PC laptop and a Mac laptop on various surfaces around me, all showing different facets of essentially the same information. Over at, we talk about virtualisation and the portability of workloads and diverse storage architecture in a virtual environment. For an ‘end user’ (or any user who sits at a computer for that matter), the principles are the same for our personal data – the 2 concepts dovetail quite nicely. Virtual and cloud concepts exist to support data and information portability.

How we gather information also impacts this requirement. Those with portable aspects to their everyday lives need to take their information with them – supported either by a smartphone, netbook, tablet or full laptop device. These, and others with more static requirement often have to interface with other static computing instances – this is all born out by me sitting amongst 4 other devides (including my iPhone). Aside from the physical requirements, preference and opportunity also play a role in how we gather inforation. I gather a lot of information whilst at work, and need to save it later for reading either offline or at home. My email needs to go with me everywhere, as do social media tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn, not forgetting my To Do lists for home and work.

This portability and diversity has led to a new tranche of applications and services that come together to allow data and information to reside across many devices.

So, what am I aiming for with all this rhetoric? I have been meaning to post for a while about the applications I use to manage my everyday life, and how these have changed over the years, and how it’s become more of a core requirements for applications to support data across multiple devices and platforms.

A couple of notes:

– We are a Mac house, my wife and I both use MacBooks and our main home machine is an iMac. PCs in our house are mainly for work.

– We don’t work for any of these companies, and make no claims as to the absolute or future functionality. These are just our preferences and what works for us.

Here are my thoughts:

Email. With everything, I have several accounts, and need to access them from everywhere. At the core is MobileMe from Apple, which is either accessible mostly from my Mail application on my main portable and iPhone, but also by any web client – so no surprise there. (I couldn’t deal with the old ways of email anymore – POP to 1 client just wouldn’t cut it anymore).

Productivity. For my main ‘To Do’ lists, I use Things for Mac by CuturedCode. This syncs with our iMac, MacBooks, iPhone and iPad so we always know what’s next to do on the list.

Web Cuttings. For information snippets from the web, I use Adding snippets is easy, can be tagged as categories into lists, and saved for reading another time.

Information Portability. Only one stop here – Evernote. Evernote is a an application available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices, all of which sync data between them using a free-to-register account. This is what enables information sharing between all my devices and allows me to move data around so easily!

File Portability. Again, only one stop here – Dropbox. Available for Mac, Windows, Linux and portable devices, this allows sync’ing of files across all instances of your devices irrespective of format or platform source. Freely downloadable and registered by a free account, moving files about without firewall restrictions or attachment size limits was never easier!

Social Media. There are many options for Twitter applications, but the 2 best ones I’ve found are TweetDeck (available as a browser extension or application download), or Twitterific for Mac. Both are excellent and well featured.

So – these are the applications I install when using a new device. But, got any more I should be looking at? Drop me a comment and add to the list!

VCP5 Revision

UPDATE: I have updated this information on my other blog post on ‘vSpecialist’. For additional links for VCP5 resources, please visit the updated post.

I have the VCP5 exam in a couple of weeks, and am in the midst of revision. A couple of excellent resources for those going through the same process:

TrainSignal VCP revision videos.

– The Simon Long blog (

Mastering VMware vSphere 5 book by Scott Lowe.

All these are fantastic resources – use them if you are studying for this exam!

More on results as I take the exam……

VMworld Blog

Now that VMworld 2011 is finished, I have updated my VMworld blog at with some tips and information about attending conference, and the useful things I learnt! Head on over and check them out.

New Co-Authoring!

I have been invited to co-author on a virtualization blog:, so please do head over there and check out my other virtualization postings there.

vCloud Director 1.5 Pilot for UK HE

In another blog post, I have written about the decisions and outlines about using vCloud Director 1.5 and vSphere 5 in a new pilot project for the University Modernisation Fund (UMF) on which I am working. The UMF project is a centrally funded multi-million pound project to provide shared services for the benefit of universities and colleges.

Read more about my blog post here:




VMware vRAM Licensing Changes

Following lots of correspondance from users affected by the vRAM licensing model announced with vSphere 5 (including an 87 page communities posting), VMware have listened and responded by changing the model to make the licensing a more realistic proposition for licensed users. Highlights of the changes are:

  • vRAM has been capped at 96GB per VM, so VMs with the new 1TB maximum would no longer be mega-bucks!
  • vRAM entitlements have been increased across all licensing tiers.
  • Usage now calculated on 12 month average allocated vRAM, not high tide allocation mark, protecting users from short term usage spikes.
  • vRAM for the free ESXi hypervizor has been increased to 32GB, up from the previous 8GB.
Eric Siebert of vSphere-Land fame has an excellent detailed post on this:

vSphere 5 Management Design Challenges

As the release of vSphere 5 comes closer, I’m reading and digesting information about the potential impacts of vSphere 5 and it’s enhancements over vSphere 4.

There is definately a shirt in direction for the platform with the last 2 major releases of Virtual Infrastructure – vSphere 4 and 5, in that the platform focus is going away from virtualization and the focus on the host hardware and hypervisors running the VMs to actually managing and maintaining the VMs in a highly available and scalable manner. This has been proven over the past release and continues into the new release with the new feature set announced with vSphere 5. Add this to the new products and streams of recent releases from VMware, and the direction is clear to see. Read more of this post

MacBook Running Hot?

Recently my faithful MacBook Black (2006 – 2GHz Core Duo) has started to get a little hot under the collar.

When I say hot under the collar, I really mean the underside of the chassis gets so hot that you can’t put it on your lap comfortably – even with jeans on! And what is hot? My processor is getting-up to 190 degrees plus….resulting in 6000+rpm processor fans and the spinning beachball of doom.

Time for a little investigation – hardware, software or both? Read more of this post

Apple iCloud Pricing Unleashed

On Monday, Apple released it’s new Apple iCloud service to beta and made it available to registered Apple Developers. The launchpad for the service is openly available for all to see, with logins restricted to those who part with their $99 for an iOS Developers subscription. Also released was more information on what subscribers will have to pay to upgrade the storage provision.

Apple announced in June that all iOS5 and Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) users will automatically get 5GB of storage in the iCloud as part of their service provision. For those who don’t think 5GB will cut it, users will be able to upgrade their storage by paying a tiered price:

  • 15GB for $20/year
  • 25GB for $49/year
  • 55GB for $100/year
For more information on iCloud Pricing, good article for 9to5Mac here. Read more of this post