Monday, October 28, 2013

MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch ready to ship within 24 hours (Singapore)

As of Monday, October 28th, 2013, the MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch ready to ship within 24 hours from the Singapore online store.

Meanwhile, the 15 inch variant still shows mid-November.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

OS X Mavericks Time Machine Changes

Some changes to the logo on the top menu bar when your time machine volume is backing up. It now doesn't spin, instead it shows 2 arrows now.

Another possible "bug" that appears is that a connected external hard drive used as a Time Machine volume doesn't appear in their usual blue-green, it appears as a USB drive now.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apple October Event 2013 (iPad Air, OS X Mavericks, iWork, etc.)

So yesterday's Apple event focused on the launch of the new iPad line, which featured the iPad Air (or rather the 5th generation iPad) and no surprise, it looked like the iPad mini. Other features expected were the new 64-bit A7 chip, which during the presentation for Garage Band there were hints of a 64-bit chip, etc. One of the things that I felt caught out by surprise was the release of retina display in the 2nd generation of iPad mini. It should be quite a feat because the battery life was maintained as before.

Looking at the Apple online store, the iPad Air is available for pre-order on November 1st in Singapore, however it doesn't state which part of November the items will deliver. iPad mini with retina display is not yet available for pre-order, could this suggest a limited quantity supply of retina display screens from their suppliers for this holiday season?

Consumers would be spoilt for choice given that both iPad Air and iPad mini retina have exactly same specifications, and now it boils down to either going for 9.7" or a smaller 7.9". In terms of weight, the iPad mini retina has gained slightly (4 grams for wifi model, 10 grams for cellular model) while the iPad Air has now reduced in thickness by 43% and lost significant weight, weighing in at 469 grams for the wifi model.

More information on the current iPad models can be found here.

The other main highlight was the availability to download OS X Mavericks for free from the Mac App Store. Apple had been working on the latest release of OS X, and the features were already previewed at WWDC earlier in the year. During the first part of the keynote, we knew at some point they would definitely be talking about this, and it was really surprising that they made it FREE and available almost within the next few hours. Also, Mac users as old as those from 2007 could get Mavericks free, unlike some other operating systems that charged US$199 for an upgrade.

I got the downloads about 5 hours after the event when I woke up in the morning. As far as download times were concerned, the iMac 2012 managed to download it in 20 minutes, while the MacBook Pro took about an hour. Not sure why one took longer than the other, perhaps they were in separate builds and more MacBook Pro 2011 users were downloading theirs concurrently.

As for install times, the iMac 2012 (with fusion drive) took only 40 minutes to unpack, install and apply changes, while the MacBook Pro 2011 took me 1 hour and 20 minutes. Both systems were using the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion prior to that.

In terms of boot time from a powered off state, the iMac 2012 w fusion drive took 22 seconds (compared to 19 seconds when on OS X Mountain Lion) to get from the time you pressed the power button to the desktop appearing, and another 11 seconds for base applications like iTunes and Safari to be open. Compare this to the MacBook Pro 2011 15" that took 1 minute 25 seconds for the first phase, followed by 12 seconds for iTunes and Safari to load.

Apparently that key feature that looked impressive on me was the memory management. There is a new graph in the Activity Monitor that now shows the pressure on the memory. As I use mainly Bridge and Photoshop, these really take up lots of memory. However, the memory used throughout editing in Photoshop however around not more than 10GB out my available 16GB. I suppose if I had only 8GB, the compression of inactive memory would make more free memory available for Photoshop, and allow you to do your work seamlessly!

Hence, for users who are considering buying the newly updated MacBook Pro retina display for image editing, I think it's fair to say you can save S$280 on upgrading the memory from 8GB to 16GB as the memory management is pretty good.

To download OS X Mavericks, just launch the Mac App Store from your Mac, go to the updates tab and follow the instructions on screen to install Mavericks and you are good to go.

iWork and iLife was also updated for Mac OS and iOS 7, with many new features which I haven't really explored. One new feature was the ability to share the "current" latest version with your contact and he was able to edit the file and you would see the changes being made to it. A really cool feature, this would be really useful in the office environment and might help push more users towards using iWork in the office.

Well, that's all for now, let's see how Mavericks turn out to be, I am still in the midst of testing and seeing if it's really much improved as they have claimed to be.


Lionel Ng

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Food & Instagram & Snapseed

I like taking pictures of the food I eat and when I do remember to document the food I eat, I use the social media app Instagram. Personally, there are tons of apps out there that can apply color filters today, however the color filters in Instagram are unique in its own way. Here is some of the pictures of food I have shot using Instagram:

Cha Shu Ramen at Bario shop at Ramen Champion

Devil's Chocolate at TCC

Golden melons from Korea at NTUC, S$5.80 for 2 melons

Prawn noodles - Tanglin Halt Food Centre

Chocolate hearts - A wedding door gift at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore (Victor & Bai Su's wedding)

Lastly, I was experimenting with a Lensbaby last night when there was some thunder and lightning activity going on, and I thought I would share this image which I took with my DSLR camera with a lensbaby sweet 35mm optic. It has been slightly enhanced using Snapseed, a photo editing app for mobile devices.

Lightning illuminates the night sky past midnight on October 22nd, 2013. Shot with a Lensbaby Sweet 35mm optic glass. Visit for more information on how Lensbaby lenses work.

So that's all for now! Remember to head down to my photography page ( for frequent updates!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The webpage has been updated

My photography portfolio webpage has been updated. Be sure to check out the optimized images on the site. I've also added some recent portraits, including the latest from TS Sim's workshop featuring Na Ri from Korea.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Maybank Photo Awards 2013

Some entries accepted into the gallery for Maybank Photo Awards 2013.

Search "Ng Hanxiang Lionel" and press vote.

Recently accepted submissions of Ariela and Jana, please Vote for my image!