Wednesday, December 23, 2009

About my new iMac :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Formatting my MBP

In a while I am going to format my MBP in order to give it to its new owner. I did not intend to give it so soon, as I have it less that one year and a half, but when the new iMacs came, well, I just wanted one of them!
The MBP served me well and reliably but, as both a photographer and a programmer, I really need the extra speed (I will get the 3.06Ghz version) and screen of the new 27'' iMacs.
Hopefully, I will get my new iMac before Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My iMac

Yesterday, I sold my MacBook Pro and ordered a new iMac!

I want the 27'' model (the screen is HUGE), but it may take some time to be delivered so if I do not have it by the end of next week I will probably buy the 21.5'' iMac.
Being a photographer, I need the extra space of the new 27'' iMac as well as the extra power of a 3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU. Also, I was constantly using my MBP with an external monitor (that is also sold) and therefore the MBP was mainly used as a desktop machine; so my thought was "why not sell it and get a real desktop machine instead?".

I will let you know when I get my new iMac.

Note: the 27'' monitor is also good for iPhone programming :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Using Google Public DNS Servers

Google Public DNS IP addresses

The Google Public DNS IP addresses are as follows:


You can find more information here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

More iMac Benchmarks

found it here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My article for the Nov.2009 MacTech issue

Title: Advanced MySQL Administration

Subtitle: How to use some more advanced MySQL features

Summary: MySQL is a very popular database. When first introduced, MySQL was considered to be a simplistic database but now things have changed! A lot of advanced features are added to MySQL, making it everything but a simplistic database. This article is going to present some advanced MySQL features along with their relevant commands.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Core i7-Based 27" iMac Benchmarks

Found it here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

MacTech Acquires MacMod

MacTech Magazine and announced today that MacTech is acquiring MacMod, including the site, forums, and podcasts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Business cards

I needed to make business cards and I ordered them from

Highly recommended!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Know your stuff!

Know your stuff.

Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on.

It’s like money;

you only have it when you don’t need it.

Found it here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

new iMacs

I just want a 27'' iMac!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


On my MBP, I am using SMARTReporter. It is a utility that periodically reads the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard drive.

Notice: it only works for internal hard disks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

MBP memory usage

As you can see, I keep my MBP pretty busy the last few days. I wish it could handle 8Gb of RAM.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Changing keyboards in SL

I use Command-Space to change between different keyboard languages.

Today, by mistake, I found that if I press Command-Space and keep pressing Command, I get the above picture!
Nice work Apple!

Monday, September 28, 2009

My new Photography Blog

As I was writing many posts about photography in my Programming Dashboard Widgets blog, I though that it would be nice to create a new blog :)

My new blog is called Mihalis Tsoukalos Photography and you can find it here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Your Camera Doesn't Matter

"It's always better to spend your time and money on learning art and photography, not by spending it on more cameras.


So why do the artists whose works you admire tend to use fancy, expensive tools if the quality of the work is the same? Simple:

1.) Good tools just get out of the way and make it easier to get the results you want. Lesser tools may take more work.
2.) They add durability for people who use these tools hard all day, every day.
3.) Advanced users may find some of the minor extra features convenient. These conveniences make the photographer's life easier, but they don't make the photos any better.
4.) Hey, there's nothing wrong with the best tools, and if you have the money to blow why not? Just don't ever start thinking that the fancy tools are what created the work."

Read the full post here (From Ken Rockwell).

Think about it the next time you want to buy a faster computer :)

(Also, read a previous post of mine)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finding Fonts

These are three web sites with lots of fonts.

Please respect the licenses!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TI BA II Plus calculator on iPhone

The Texas Instruments BA II Plus financial calculator is now an iPhone Application!

The hardware version costs 30$ whereas the software version costs only 15$, not bad!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Learning Joomla!

If you ever want to learn Joomla!, then I would highly recommend the on-line learning series from

You can find them here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Using Snow Leopard

Yesterday, I installed Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro!

The only problems that I had so far are:
  • I had to install a newer version of CyberDuck (ftp client)
  • I had to install a patch in order to be able to execute BookSmart (
  • I had to update DxO Optics Pro to version 5.3.5
  • My Joomla! installation displayed some errors. I may have to upgrade it...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Opera 10 is available

Thursday, August 27, 2009

9 Things To Do When You Are Feeling Stale (by Chase Jarvis)

1. Make a major life change. For me, I was in a stale spot in 2005, unsure of what to do next, so we up-and-moved to Paris. It changed my work, my career, and my life. Moving might sound like a huge deal, but it doesn't have to be. Try Berlin, New York, or anywhere on the planet that inspires or scares you. Things like this can be done cheaply - and once you put your mind to it, barriers just fall away. Inspiration points = 10.

2. Travel. This can take many forms depending on your budget and timeline, but the gist is to shake up your routine. I can be lots of long weekends regionally, or the other side of the globe. Don't rely on your standard morning cereal to inspire you. Have fish soup for breakfast in Japan, baked beans in London, or a tuna fish sandwich on Route 66. Sleep in tent or a hostel, or a castle. Travel by train, foot, bike or rickshaw. Mix it up. Meet people.

3. Set the Camera Down. Give yourself a break. Live a life without your camera for a predetermined time frame - a month or two or three. For me, this made me miss shooting soo much. I noticed things in the world that I longed to photograph. And when I picked up that camera again, I was hungry.

4. Watch films. And I'm not necessarily referring to summer blockbusters. I mean track down some art films. Documentaries. Fantasies. Seek out your local art house cinema, or downloa some films that you'd not ordinarily put atop your list. Reach out to friends and colleagues for their most inspiring flicks. This will get your mind going both conceptually and visually.

5. Look inside. Deal with that stuff in your life that you're not dealing with, or point a spotlight on those things in you that you know not what they are. Personal sacrifices and insights are a huge key to individual creativity and often bring out the best in who we are. These experiences can be humbling and challenging. Haven't talked with your brother in 2 years because of that fight you guys had? Reach out. Not sure why you have an aversion to hard work, success or failure? Explore that. And let yourself experience those emotions, those pains, or those moments of clarity you find on that journey. Those things can drive incredible work in your creative self. What pictures could you take that no one else in the world could take? Those can only be found by looking inside. You want a "signature" style? That's where you'll find it.

6. Become a voracious reader. It seems like a cycle for me - when I read a lot I'm creative, and I'm creative when I read a lot. The material I'm reading matters a little, but generally I chow down on a steady diet of biographies of artists I admire, classic fiction, philosophy, books on cultivating creativity, and monthlies in design, obscure fashion rags, or inspiring foreign design magazines. Blogs too - especially ones that keep me guessing on their content - less how to and more 'why'. Whatever your 'thing' is. Read about it.

7. Carry a sketchbook or an iPhone. All the times in my life when I've been on the creative rocketship have included a sketchbook as a part of my daily routine. I've never sat down and particularly drawn a ton, but I jot notes, make sketches, and take notice of things that inspire me. For me, this has really transformed into a role for my iPhone. The camera is my visual notebook - a snap here or there, a dissection of the visual vocabulary around me. I couldn't live without it. Voice memos that I mail to myself in brief moments of inspiration, or notes I jot and send myself via email. Whether it's a notebook or a handheld computer, the important thing is that you're recording ideas, inspiration, emotions for later reconsideration.

8. Get healthy. There's a longstanding tradition of artists in every culture being exceptionally unhealthy creatures. Complete overindulgence to the point of destruction. While I'm a strong advocate of experience, experimentation, and sometimes living loudly - I've found that for me these are ultimately best if they're short term methods to blow off steam or to temporarily avoid what's going on inside. Necessary evils I'd argue--but definitely not the key to creativity. I'm far more creative when I'm in a healthy place. Balanced, energized, alive, honed, exercising, taking time for myself, my friends, and my family.

9. Do something creative everyday as a practice. If you sit around waiting for the perfect inspiration, you'll make a lot less stuff, and the stuff you do make will be of a lot lower quality because your skills will be in the gutter. Creativity can be fostered. There are neural pathways that you're opening up, blood that your pumping around your brain. Again, enter my iphone. I post photos almost every single day (follow this onTwitter and Facebook). Some are great, quirky, unusual or evocative; others not so much. Banal. Purely experiential. Not everything you make will be great, but you'll be more attuned to the things you make that are great, and you'll have the wisdom to recognize those things that beg for more of your creative attention when they hit you like a freight train.

(found here)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 changed Snow Leopard release date changed (corrected!) the release date of Snow Leopard :)

It is now August 28, 2009.

Just ordered Snow Leopard

I have just ordered Snow Leopard from

It may be a little late though as it says that it will be dispatched later next week and not this Friday (28th of August).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Apple Store is down!

Maybe Snow Leopard is coming...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Is Snow Leopard coming earlier?

iPhone Developer Program

After getting my iPhone, I tried to enroll to the iPhone Developer Program online.

Unfortunately, as I live in Greece,

"it is not possible to purchase the program online for Greek developers."

I sent the fax today and I am now waiting for the approval.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The great artists steal!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

10.5.8 is out

Mac OS X 10.5.8 is out.

Please let me know if you have any problems with it.

My white iPhone 3GS is on its way!

I think that I have finally managed to find an iPhone 3GS.
Although I wanted the black one, I think that the white one is just fine!
I expect to have it by tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Still waiting for iPhone 3GS

While I am writing small iPhone applications using iPhone Simulator, I am still waiting for iPhone 3GS to officially come in Greece (and I know that I am not alone). If everything goes as expected, iPhone 3GS will be available on July the 31st (this Friday).

It is good that iPhone Simulator exists as I can improve my iPhone programming skills, but I still want to try the real thing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

More iPhone 3 Development: Tackling iPhone SDK3

As you may have guessed from my previous post, I am now waiting for the "More iPhone 3 Development" book from Apress. says that it should get published around November the 9th.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK

You can buy the book here.

Update (from the book's preface):
"We’ve definitely made the book better. If you’ve already been through the first edition and feel very comfortable with all the material, go ahead and move on to More iPhone 3 Development, which takes up where this book leaves off, discussing the amazing new technologies introduced with SDK 3."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brand Yourself as an Expert Photographer

"Brand yourself an expert and you’ll have already overcome one of the toughest challenges in marketing yourself as a photographer: you’ll have given yourself an edge over the competition and buyers a reason to choose you instead of someone else with a camera. Nor do the benefits end there. Photography knowledge — particularly the kind of strange, specialized photography knowledge that few others understand — is a valuable thing. It can be shared for a fee and, no less importantly, it can be demonstrated to buyers, create a unique brand and win some useful, free publicity."

Read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cosmote: iPhone 3GS is also coming on July the 31st!

The bad thing is that both Cosmote and Vodafone Hellas did not announce the prices of iPhone 3GS either with or without a contract!

Nevertheless, I cannot wait for iPhone 3GS!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Logitech V550 nano mouse

As my previous mouse failed later this week (actually, only the scroll wheel button failed–it could not click any more), I bought a new one: a Logitech V550 nano which is a cordless laser mouse.
This is the first time that I have a cordless mouse and I really like it so far.

Vodafone Hellas: iPhone 3GS, 31 July!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The design of the UNIX operating system

If you want to learn the nuts and bolts of the UNIX operating system, then you should, without doubt, read this book. It is an advanced book but it is highly recommended.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Safari 4: show the Debug menu

The command for showing the Debug menu in Safari 4 is the following:

defaults write IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

HP releases classic calculators as iPhone apps!

HP releases iPhone versions for two of its classic calculators, 15c and 12c!

Although they are not cheap, the 15c (scientific calculator) version costs 23,99 euros and the 12c (financial calculator) version costs 11,99 euros, they are impressive!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

(after) WWDC 2009 thoughts

  • It is really nice that new iPhones (3GS) were announced. I will get one as soon as they officially come to Greece.
  • I really like the fact that Snow Leopard is cheap and will be available by the end of September 2009.
  • Kudos to Apple for supporting Greek Spelling in Snow Leopard (better late than never!).
  • I really hope that my mobile telephone company will support data tethering. Vodafone Greece already supports it!
  • I was not expecting new MacBook(s) and MacBook Pro(s) but it is nice that they are cheaper, have better batteries and are more powerful!
I cannot wait to start programming for iPhone 3.0. I really liked iPhone 2.0 (from a programmer's perspective) and I think that iPhone 3.0 is even better!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

iPhone 3GS is coming!!!

By the way, Macedonia (upper right corner) , which appears to be a separate country, is actually a part of Greece, like Sterea Ellada, Thraki, Peloponese, Crete, etc.

Please Apple correct this mistake!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palm Pre video presentation

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carphone Warehouse (iPhone 32Gb)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

onOne DSLR Camera Remote for iPhone

This is a great application (from onOne Software) that demonstrates the many possible uses of iPhone.

"Just connect your camera to a WiFi enabled computer and the DSLR Camera Remote software enables you to use your Apple iPhone or iPod touch to wirelessly adjust cameras settings, fire the shutter, review images, even get a live viewfinder preview. DSLR Camera Remote is a must-have for remote shooting applications like high or low angles, self portraits and children".

You can find the list of supported cameras here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Backing up my MBP

After reading a post from Scott Kelby's blog (under Dead MacBook Crisis: Day 9), I decided that it is time to create a bootable backup using SuperDuper!

I excluded my iTunes library as I do not have enough free space and because of the fact that Time Machine takes care of backing up my iTunes library.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WWDC 2009 thoughts

We are pretty close to Apple's WWDC 2009, and, for the first time, I am really very anxious about it.

Here are some of my thoughts about the forthcoming WWDC 2009:
  • I really want the official release of iPhone OS 3 for many reasons: official Greek language support and new APIs. I have some ideas and I would like to start programming ASAP!
  • I would also like new iPhones to be announced and, preferably, to be immediately available. I want to get an iPhone and it would be nice to get the latest one.
  • It would also be nice if Apple announces when Snow Leopard (a.k.a. Mac OS X 10.6) will be available. It is said that it would be faster than Mac OS X 10.5 which is a nice thing :)
  • I do not really care about other hardware announcements (apart from the iPhone...) although I think that new iPods may be announced.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Shake your tree today (by Chase Jarvis)

Chase Jarvis wrote a wonderful post in his blog. Is is called "Shake your Tree today" and you can find it here.

It contains ideas on what to do when you get stuck. It is about photography but can you also apply his ideas to programming.
  • Shoot personal work.
  • Set free that idea you've been holding onto.
  • Learn about video.
  • Connect with your peers.
  • Walk around with your camera.
  • Rent a piece of equipment you've been wanting to learn about.
  • Put together a book of your work.
  • Do the thing on your list that you most dread doing.
  • Remind yourself that the gear you can't afford is not the barrier keeping you from success.
  • Read up online about the history of photography and it's masters.
  • Admit to yourself that you don't know about something you've been pretending to know about.
  • Go sit in front of the newsstand at some mega book store.
  • Make a list of 5 clients you want in the next 24 months.
  • Rent a medium format film camera and shoot two rolls of 120.
  • Look through the pictures in my portfolio and appropriate an idea.
  • Take 100 pictures with your iPhone.
  • Refresh your website with at least one new picture.
  • Take a picture of something wherever you are when you read this post.
  • Quit your day job (!!!) if you hate it and can live without it.
  • Concept, shoot, and edit a short film (video) in a single day.
  • Show somebody your portfolio or a selection of pictures.
  • Back up your work. It's not that hard and it'll probably save your arse at some point in the very near future.
Go check the full post and its comments.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ken Rockwell about Macs

Look what Ken Rockwell says about Macs and Windows:

"Last week a colleague asked if I knew how to fix his virus-dead computer. I responded "Buy a Mac." I was right: he was on a windows computer, which are designed to get viruses so that you have to replace them every couple of years."

"I remember back when I had a job and my employer's crappy $4,000 windows laptop was in for one of its usual repairs for the week. I continued to work unimpeded on my personal Mac.

When I met my boss and handed him all the paperwork he wasn't expecting to get, he said "I thought your computer was in the shop?" "Yes," I said, "so I did this all on my Mac." He had no idea that all our secret and proprietary hoop-de-do files worked even better on my Mac than the windows crap Tektronix used, like most computationally more foolish US businesses."

"If you want to get something done, get an Apple. It's all you'll need for a very long time."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Travel Photography: Tread Your Own Path

Now that summer is coming, I think (and hope) that most of us will go out for vacations and photography :)

If I can only recommend one single book for Travel Photography, then I would recommend "Travel Photography: Tread Your Own Path" by Steve Davey.

You can also find more info about the book at Scott Kelby's blog.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

iPhone Best Practices

Jessica Kahn from Tapulus, a company that develops iPhone applications, made that slide for her presentation for the Stanford iPhone Programming course.

You should watch the whole video :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Half-Star ratings in iTunes

Type the following command in and press return
defaults write allow-half-stars -bool TRUE
Then, you will be able to set half-star ratings in iTunes :)

PS. If you decide that you no longer want half-start rating in iTunes, replace TRUE with FALSE in the command.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10.5.7 update is here!

I am downloading the combo update – I always prefer the combo version as I find it a more reliable way to update Mac OS X.

Friday, May 8, 2009

All new apps must work with iPhone 3.0

Beginning today, all submissions to the App Store will be reviewed on the latest beta of iPhone OS 3.0. If your app submission is not compatible with iPhone OS 3.0, it will not be approved. Existing apps in the App Store should already run on iPhone OS 3.0 without modification, but you should test your existing apps with iPhone OS 3.0 to ensure there are no compatibility issues. After iPhone OS 3.0 becomes available to customers, any app that is incompatible with iPhone OS 3.0 may be removed from the App Store.

Monday, May 4, 2009

from Dave Cross' blog

"You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either." - Galen Rowell (found it @ Dave Cross' blog)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Macessity LapTuk Stand!

Bought one of these for my MacBook Pro. I bought it from OWC because it was cheaper :) (actually, shipping was cheaper)

Its official web site is @