iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2 Goes On Sale

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.16.12 PM

Apple, Inc. quietly shutdown their Apple Store and then added the Mac Mini 2.  Long delayed by a number of issues, the Mac Mini 2 comes in 2 models and 2 colors.  Silver and Space Grey are the colors currently available in the Apple Store.

While the US store has made both the Wi-Fi model and the Cellular model available, the Japan store is only listing the Cellular model.  4 memory configurations are available: 16, 32, 64, and 128 gb.

At the time of press, the websites on both sides of the water were say 5-10 business days for delivery of the Mac Mini.

Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator Updated to 1.701

Artemis

Thom Robertson, the guru behind the popular multi-player game Artemis and owner of Incandescent Workshop, has released an update to the iOS version of Artemis to match his PC version of the game.  Incandescent Workshop released version 1.701 includes a number of fixes, new features, and changes including:

  • All references to USFP have been changed to TSN.
  • Engineering damcon systems have been adjusted, so they (hopefully) don’t fall out of sync with the server.
  • Collisions have changed, from a soft bounce to a hard bounce. This changes how space objects bump against each other, in a subtle but significant way.
  • Vector normalizing code was changed to trap a zero-normal condition
  • Removed “invisible to sci” from Skaraan abilities
  • Changed the way torpedo unloading is handled. “tube lock” should no longer exist.
  • Enemy fighters often showed up with USFP textures and science details. This has been fixed.
  • The ship option controls on the Helm and Main Screen consoles (when NOT playing) have been changed. there’s no longer a “submit” button; changes are automatically submitted.
  • Show/hide arcs in weapons now also has the option to show player arcs only.
  • Made drones fall into black holes.
  • fixed problem with comms text color over time.
  • DAMCON Team Replenish message always poped up when docking, even if no teams took casualties. Fixed.
  • The warp slider has been recalibrated, so you have to drag it all the way up to reach warp 4.
  • Clients and servers both now have a toggle button called “3d Chase Camera” that lets you choose a chase cam OR an “out-the-window” view.
  • On the client login screen, there’s now a bit more information about the status of the login attempt.

For those of you who have never played Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator, the game is a multi-player game in the truest sense of the word.   The game is played with up to 6 players per “Team” all in the same room.  One major difference between normal multi-player games where the gamers can be anywhere, this game requires their physical presence, communication and teamwork to be shown in person.

Artemis1

So called “Artemis Parties” have been popping up since the inception of the game, mainly at gaming conventions or Star Trek fan club group meetings.  Artemis gives the users the experience of operating an actual star ship bridge as many have only seen in the now famed Star Trek series of television shows and movies.   Each player of the team fulfills a particular role within the team.  They include:

  • Captain
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Weapons
  • Helm
  • Communications

Each role require the player to focus on their area and fulfill the captain’s orders as given by the player in that role. Communication between the team members tends to be very military like and the team that is able to communicate with the shortest amount and clearest of words, generally does better.  In many parties, people switch off on the roles to gain as much experience as possible over each role of the game.

Artemis Manual Cover

The 56 page manual (PC Version) which is available for free download from the Artemis SBS website, gives the player a good basic understanding of all of the things that this game entails including methods of communications and terminology used within game play.  Artemis SBS comes with 11 built in levels and really anything over 4 starts to challenge most teams.  It takes a highly trained and experienced team to beat Level 7.

Artemis2

One feature of the iOS version of the game is the ability to use a single iPhone as a server.  this feature makes it easy for those who have multiple iOS devices to setup an Artemis Lan Party quickly and almost any where there is a space for 6 people, even in the middle of the park really.

Many people who come into the game thinking that this is an easy game to play are soon overwhelmed by the amount of actual time it takes to operate smoothly as a team and to understand all of the idiosyncrasies of their position within that team.  Some people have in recent days taken to specializing in the roles and replaying them with each successive party they attend.

Artemis3

For more information about Artemis, check out the Artemis SBS website at:

http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

You can also follow the updates for Artemis on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/ArtemisSBS

If you have developed your own team and wish to open or announce your Artemis Parties to the public, you can do so by registering on the Terran Star Navy events website at:

http://tsn.eochu.com/

 

Apple makes event video available for all browsers

The event video from the 23 October launch of the iPad mini is now available on the Apple event website.  Initially, the video was only viewable in safari but it is now available for all browsers.

The october 23rd event saw the introduction of a slew of new products including:

  • new iMac
  • new Mac Mini with 16gb Ram
  • new Mac book pro 13 inch with retina display
  • iPad 4
  • iPad mini

Also introduced in the event was iBooks 3 with continuous scrolling as well as iBooks Author 2.0.

You can view the event video at:

http://www.apple.com/apple-events/october-2012/

iPad Mini Announcement Invites Sent Out by Apple, Inc.

Apple, Inc. sent out invitations to an October 23rd announcement event.  The event, scheduled to be held at the 1122 seat California Theatre in San Jose, has long been expected to be the introduction of the rumored iPad Mini.  Another rumor floating around is that Apple will introduce a smaller MacBook Pro at the event as well.

The 7.85 Inch iPad is Coming — According to Samsumg Official

An unnamed official of Samsung, the Korean electronics manufacturer and Apple’s biggest parts supplier, gave an interview in The Koream Times saying “The contract is expected to rise to $11 billion by the end of this year as Apple is planning to release a smaller iPad, probably with a 7.85-inch screen, and to sell more of its MacBook Air PCs using Samsung’s faster solid state drive (SSD) storage

While Apple itself would never mention any information about products that are forthcoming and certainly would not divulge information which competitors could use to take on the behemoth, it seems that Apple’s suppliers are not holding the same “cards close to the chest” type attitude when it comes to Apple’s contracts.   Samsung is known primarily to be Apple’s bitterest rival in the global smartphone market, but they are also providing nearly all of the memory and displays found in the devices which Apple sells.

Speculation on the smaller iPad or the iPad Mini has been rife throughout the media for sometime now.  The market really has been waiting for an Apple product that would compete directly with the Galaxy Tab and the Amazon produced Kindle Fire.  Many people are speculating that the new iPad 7.85 Inch version will come out later this fall, however, the fall time frame has been traditionally the update of the OS and the Mac Mini for Apple.  It is quite possible that Apple will use the Mini theme with the iPad and release the iPad Mini with the latest Mac Mini.  And like the Mac Mini, the iPad Mini would likely be under powered next to it’s larger cousin as well as have less memory.  It is not likely that we will see much cost savings’s though as Apple is known to charge more for their products.  Speculation that Apple would sell the iPad Mini for $199 to match the Kindle Fire is a bit farfetched unless Apple intends to give away the farm and make money other ways.

Also revealed in the interview was Apple’s intention to use Samsung’s faster SSD drives in the future MacBook Airs.  The article seems to suggest that Apple will continue buying their components from Samsung for the immediate future.  And while it is not surprising that an official leaking information would not want to be named, however, it also seems that Apple needs to clamp down even further on what information their partners release when they do decide to actually purchase those parts from them.

iPad Mini – A Possible Reality or Just A Dream.

Rumors of a mid sized Apple iPad are once again flairing up on the internet.   The latest in a posting from DigiTimes Systems mentions the possibility of Apple launching a 7.85 inch iPad  late 2012.  The site goes on to compare the Apple iPad and the Kindle Fire, obviously in an effort to give the iPad some competition.

While the mini iPad would make some people happy with the fact that the iPad would then be able to fit into smaller hand bags, the idea of a smaller iPad is somewhat absurd.  The small size of the screen size mentioned by DigiTimes would make it an odd size and while the iPad is able to run iPhone apps in the 2x mode, a mid sized screen would add one more layer of checks to already problematic apps.

The likely cost gains by making a smaller sized iPad just cannot be seens as that great and a machine that is already priced well below that which other manufacturers have tried to produce similar machine at, obviously makes such a machine not likely to be produced.  Also, despite some supply chain companies products being purchased by Apple, Inc., many in the industry describe much of the purchasing as hedging against Apple’s competitors purchasing the items necessary to produce their own products.

You can find the full article at:

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20111215PD209.html