Tag Archives: Software

Apple iLife 09 Enhancing your iLife

life 4

Apple iLife 09 Enhancing your iLife

Apple iLife ‘09’s fancy features promises to make working with images and videos a breeze.

Announced at this year’s Macworld, iLife 09’s new flashy features caught the attention of the Mac community.

Although it wasn’t as groundbreaking as most Mac fans were hoping for, it still has a few impressive features such as face recognition for photos and image stabilisation for videos. For the purpose of the review, we will mainly focus on the new features of iPhoto ‘09 and iMovie ‘09.

HIT AND MISS: The face detection algorithm for Faces occasionally goofs up and detects non-human objects, such as the cushion in the picture above, as a face.

EASY-TO-USE: iMovie retains the same user interface though it now comes with a few nifty new features like image stablisation and precision editing.

Pros: Faces and Places helpful for managing photos; easy to create slideshows; iMovie’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

Cons: Face recognition can be improved; Places interface a little clunky; audio editing in iMovie hasn’t improved.

iLife ‘09

(Apple Computer)

Multimedia creation suite

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Price: RM299 (bundled free with new Macs)

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Expressionist Classic FX2020 Clunky but funky

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Expressionist Classic FX2020 Clunky but funky

Altec Lansing’s glossy Expressionist Classic FX2020 stereo speakers sound as good as they look.

ARE you looking for a pair of speakers that look as good as they sound? Then the Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020 may be right up your alley. These speakers are more for the user who is concerned with style and design.

HIDDEN: The volume controls are well-hidden and difficult to reach.

Conclusion

The Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020 takes up a wee bit too much desk space, uses unsightly thick wires and lacks a remote.

However, the sound quality is something to appreciate at a reasonable volume and the speakers do not look that bad.

Can’t give Altec Lansing flack for trying to be tasteful with the shiny design.

Pros: Easy setup; decent sound quality.

Cons: No remote; chunky design; lacks power.

EXPRESSIONIST CLASSIC FX2020

(Altec Lansing)

PC stereo speakers

Dimensions (H x W x D): 127 x 127 x 159mm

Price: RM299

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Photoshop CS4 Extended the best gets better

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Adobe Photoshop CS4aaa

Photoshop CS4 Extended the best gets better

Taking an already extensive and powerful photo editing tool and making it better is a tall order and yet Adobe has done it with Photoshop CS4 Extended.

SEAMLESS PANORAMA: Although not new in Photoshop CS4, the Photomerge has been made even better with more advanced automated analysis and blending.

MORE DEPTH: Photoshop CS4‘s Merge and Blend allows you to blend several shots of the same subject with different focal points into one photo with extended depth-of-field.

SPEEDY: One of the more major changes in Adobe Bridge is that the application launches faster and displays thumbnails faster too.

Conclusion

As usual, every new generation of Photoshop puts the software even further ahead of its rivals, and Photoshop CS4 Extended is no exception.

While probably not revolutionary, Photoshop CS4 has hundreds of little tweaks and interface changes that together make up for quite a lot.

I for one, am very happy with how Adobe has concentrated on maximising the viewing space and still have all the important tools at your fingertips, something which I feel Creative Suite 3 had really taken a step backwards with in its panels and toolbox design.

In fact, there are so many little changes in Photoshop CS4 I have only barely scratched the surface of the number of new features you can find in it.

Of course, being that the software costs RM4,099 it’s probably not worth upgrading to if you’re a casual user who already has Photoshop CS3, but for an imaging professional, this is certainly a worthy upgrade.

Pros: GPU acceleration; improved menus; lots of small tweaks and new features.

Cons: Pricey.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended

(Adobe Systems Inc)

System requirements: 1.8GHz processor or faster, 512MB RAM, 1GB HDD space, 1,024 x768-pixels display, 16-bit video card with OpenGL 2.0 and Shader Model 3.0 (or newer), QuickTime 7.2, Internet connection required.

Price: RM4,099 for Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, or RM10,239 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection

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