Tag Archives: Apple


Cecropia caterpillar on the move 🌻

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Don’t you love the colors of the third stage, or instar, of the Cecropia Moth caterpillar? Only about an inch and a half long in the photo, in the final fifth instar, before it pupates into a cocoon, the caterpillar will be as large as a large man’s thumb.

Cecropia moth Caterpilla mid instar. copyright Kim SmithIn its second instar in the above photo, the caterpillar resembles the developing birch flower catkins. This is an evolutionary form of mimicry against predation by birds. Cecropia Moth caterpillars eat not only the foliage of American White Birch trees, but also other species of birch trees, apple, ash, beech, elm, lilac, maple, poplar, Prunus and Ribes species, white oak, and willow.

Cecropia Moth caterpillar early instar copyright Kim SmithFirst instar Cecropia Moth Caterpillars

Thank you so much again to my friend Christine for the gift of the Cecropia moth eggs. 

iPhone 5s and 5c and What I Would Have Done If I Were Apple

I’m am an apple product fan.  Huge fan of the iPhone and the iPad.  I own a first gen iPad and still use it. Even though I am an android phone user I can still appreciate Apple hardware.

Every product refresh they make they include great enhancements but I think there is one move they have yet to make but I think would be an absolute monster boost to their sales.

A larger iPhone to me would be a monster hit.  As a Samsung Galaxy s3 user I really appreciate the extra screen real estate and I appreciate even more the ability to strap on a cheap aftermarket battery to the back of my s3 which triples the battery life. 

I believe there are many people out there that want the smallest and lightest phones they can get but with the sheer computing power available on today’s smartphones they are being used more as portable computing machines and I think there is a distinct trend with people who want larger phones to be able to hit the keys easier and navigate easier, see videos more clearly, ect, ect ect. 

Although I recognize that Apple will probably never let you open up your iPhone or add a micro sd card slot for more memory a larger iPhone would mean more space internally for a larger high capacity battery.  If there’s one thing that sucks about a smartphone for a power user it’s the amount of life a battery on a small phone has.  Bigger phone, bigger battery.

For me the ability to get many different android smartphones with detachable backplates allowing for huge batteries and larger screens are the difference and why I’d recommend an android phone over an iPhone.  But if I was a casual non-demanding smartphone user it would probably be iPhone.

The success of the Samsung Galaxy Note which is basically a Samsung Galaxy with an even larger screen shows there is big demand.

I don’t agree with Apple’s tactic of offering a low cost iPhone either with the 5c and it’s plastic parts.   Apple has always been synonymous with unapologetic top grade hardware and premium pricing.  people were and are willing to pay for it knowing they are getting the best hardware without ever questioning it. 

I equate coming out with a lower grade iPhone to a brand like Tommy Hilfiger who for a brief moment was competing with the likes of Polo/ Ralph Lauren and then went and sold out and buried there products into discounters like Marshalls and TJ Max.  Forever to be equated with a poor man’s Polo and never will they ever be able to command the premium pricing they once did.

I say instead of offering a cheaper iPhone option that they should have offered a larger iPhone option with a mongo battery and charge even MORE for it.  That would have pleased Wall Street I bet.

.Samsung Galaxy s4 vs iPhone size-



Galazy Note vs iPhone size-


Samsung Galaxy vs Samsung Note size


Sista Felicia’s Caramelized Onion & Apple Stuffed Pork Loin


2  1 ½ lb. pork loin
1 Gala apple
½ Granny Smith apple
1 medium sweet Vidalia onion
1 lb. thick sliced maple bacon
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
1 ½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt,
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Âľ cup Pure Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons salted butter

Step 1: butterfly cut each pork loin, reserve on a clean work surface
Step 2: peel, core, and dice apples in ÂĽ inch bite size pieces reserve
Step 3:  slice onion into 1/8 inch slices, reserve
Step 4: in a medium size frying pan melt butter over a high heat
Step 5: add reserved onion,1/4 teaspoon  salt and ÂĽ teaspoon pepper to frying pan, cook one minute over high heat, then lower heat to medium/low and continue to cook 10minutes or until onions are golden in color but not browned
Step 6: add apples and continue to cook 5 minutes, remove from heat, reserve in a bowl, allowing to mixture to cool 5
Step 7: divide mixture in half and stuff each pork loin with apple onion mixture
Step 8: fold each stuffed pork loin back together tucking any stuffing back inside and roll it onto its side
Step 9: starting at one end warp bacon strips around pork loin slightly overlapping bacon strips, securing strips tightly around pork will keep stuffing secured during the baking process


Step 10: season each pork loin with ÂĽ teaspoon salt and ÂĽ teaspoon  pepper, and transfer to a large parchment line glass baking dish
Step 11: Drizzle pure maple syrup over the tops of both pork loins
Step 12: bake in a preheated 375 degree oven 35 minutes
Step 13: reset oven to a high heat broil setting and broil for 5 minutes or until bacon becomes crisp
Step 14: remove from oven and allow pork loins to rest for 15 minutes before slicing into 1 inch slices
*Note: to serve, drizzle with warmed pure maple syrup accompanied with creamy mashed potatoes, rice or couscous

Apple’s Next Generation MacBook Pro is a Hardware Beast at a Price

The hardware apple pumps out is without parallel.  The specs on the new MacBook Pro makes it a dream machine.


I am a fan of the iPhone, I am a HUGE fan of the iPad, I am a ginormous fan of Apple hardware.  What I know though is that for editing my blog quickly and for creating video clips with titles and credits and transitions and getting them published to the web I can do all of this faster on my windows 7 based PC for 1/4 of the price of the MacBook Pro.

I’ll challenge anyone, anywhere to a blog content creating competition- them using the new MacBook Pro and me using my 3 year old Gateway with an Intel i3 processor and Windows 7 with the free Windows Live Essentials suite of software which includes Live Writer and Live Movie Maker.

Keep in mind that I paid $550 for my gateway and the new MacBook Pro starts at $2200.

from Gizmodo

The "MacBook pro with Retina Display," the starship’s official name, starts at $2200 with a 2.3 GHz Ivy Bridge processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 SSD. Ships today. If you want to max it out—2.7 GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM, and the 768 GB SSD, it’ll hit you $3750.

The pricetag is a whole lot of dough and you get what you pay for if you are only concerned about having the very best hardware available.  But I believe when Microsoft introduced Windows 7 it introduced for my uses an operating system that allows me to do things way faster.  Ask Kim Smith when she needs to render a movie on her iMac and it takes half a day what would take me 30minutes on my PC.

Hardware is only part of the equation.  if you don’t have the software for what you want to do because they don’t make it for Apple it’s tough luck for you.

So if you have money to burn (and I mean if you have the kind of money where you light your cigars with $100 bills) and are already happy with Apple’s operating system and basically use your computer for surfing the web 99% of the time, knock yourself out and buy one of these gorgeous, powerful machines.

But if you want something to blog on and do a fair amount of power using, save your money and buy a slick windows based Ultrabook which might be spec’d out  a little less but will cost you anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 of the price and will allow you to create content much quicker.

I wish that MacBook Pro was introduced a little cheaper, not so I could buy one, but just so the Windows based Ultrabook which it competes with and will be the next family computer would come down in price as a competitor.  At that outrageous price of $2200 I think the Ultrabooks won’t even budge down in price a little and actually might have a little better pricing power.

7 Ways Ultrabooks Beat the New MacBook Air

Thoughts On The iPad

The iPad sure is sexy. I’ll spare everyone from making any inappropriate jokes about tampons in this space and focus on the tablet gadget that Apple came out with back in April of this year.


Some folks take the Microsoft vs Apple thing way too far much like some folks take the republican/democrat things way too far and let the principles that each faction stand for blind them to any good there may be in the opposing camp.

Before Windows 7 came out I had crazy lust for a macbook because I couldn’t edit HD movies on my windows based computer like I could on a mac.  Walking past the Apple store at the mall without popping in was and is not very likely for me. 

When the Mrs’ laptop shit the bed this winter I priced out mac laptops for her as a replacement and as much mac lust I was having at the time, a $1000 laptop was/is overkill for her very simple web browsing and Facebooking needs. So I went out and bought her a Windows 7, 17 inch laptop with 500 GB of storage space and 4GB of RAM for $550.

It wasn’t long after messing around with her windows 7 laptop that my mac lust had up and left the building.  It baffles me that Microsoft is not crowing more about the success of it’s new operating system.  They made the file system so incredibly easy to use, they added a slew of useful tools that to steal the Apple phrase “just work”.  I can easily bang out content for the blog twice as quickly on a Windows 7 machine than I can on an old Vista machine.  Every single Microsoft operating system up until Windows 7 truly sucked ass but Microsoft really hit a home run with Windows 7.

The iPad still intrigued me as a pretty neat tool but once I dug into the specs and what it can and can’t do I similarly can’t justify the expense.  Sure it is visually stunning, sure it is light weight and portable but consider the price for the base model-

$499 for a wifi version with only 16GB of capacity. $599 for a wifi version with 32GB of capacity and $699 for 64GB of capacity.  The screen’s display is 9.7-inch (diagonal) and is really a thing of beauty to look at but if you were going to carry the thing around in a bag you would need to get some sort of case for it to prevent it from getting scratched up.

All this begs me to ask the question- Why would someone spend $499 to get a machine that can only do a fraction of what you could do with a windows based laptop that demolishes the iPad on just about every single statistic?

Here’s where I answer my own question-

The reason people are buying these things is because for 90% of the users out there they don’t need all the specs that a power user or someone that actually creates content needs.  My guess is that 90% of home based computing is for browsing the internet and consuming content and for those people the iPad is pretty damn good.  The interface IMO trumps anything that is out there for a internet content consumer.

My needs as a heavy content creator cannot be met by a $499 16GB of storage iPad that does not (as of this writing) allow you to edit video.  It also does not have a usb port which means you can’t even use a portable external drive.  That is a huge failure for MY needs but for most of the computing public it’s of no concern at all.  Apple to their credit is smart.  They aren’t trying to capture every single person in the universe.  they don’t care about the power user in this space or else they would at the very least up the RAM and provide a USB post.  They are producing quality products for the masses that are slick and extremely easy to operate and for the vast majority of users, my guess is that they never take a bit of video off their video cameras and edit into a movie on their computer.

Poll time-

You can’t argue with the recent study by Morgan Stanley Research which showed how much US Retail Notebook sales have decreased since the announcement of the iPad.  Those numbers are staggering.  I guess that will be good news for those of us power users who will probably be able to get incredibly powerful machines for very little scratch due to an abundance of supply while all the consumers of digital content add the sexy iPad to their Christmas wish lists.


So to sum it up-

If your computer usage only consists of browsing the internet and you never edit pictures or save pictures to your computer but want a slick viewing experience (and money to burn) the iPad is pretty sweet.

If you plan to do any serious content producing and/or can only own one device buy yourself a laptop.  They are pretty damn cheap and you can do a whole lot more.

Now if in future generations of the iPad they choose to up the RAM, give us a usb port, and  a movie editing app similar to iMovie I might reconsider my stance.

You never know, it could happen.

Who Is More Obnoxious? Poll

Random Thoughts About My Experience With Apple and Microsoft

Random thoughts about my experience with apple and microsoft

My ipod touch is the coolest, easiest-to-use,just works out of the box seemlessly, gadget I’ve ever owned.  It promises to do a lot and over delivers.

I wish I had an iPhone.

I’ve never owned a mac but have wanted to for a couple years-mainly for the ability to make some great videos.

Every time I need to purchase a new computer for the house or dock I’ve looked at macs and just can’t bring myself to spend over double to get a similarly spec’d mac compared to a pc.

Windows 7 is a ginormouse step forward over any of the three previous pc operating systems I’ve used.

I LOVE it’s file system, love windows live writer for blogging, love windows LIVE movie maker(all new in windows 7), and many of the other features in win7

Although the iPad is cool as hell I’d rather have a $700 laptop with a 4g sprint connection which they will be rolling out this summer.  faster speeds and you can do wayyyy more on a laptop than you can do on an iPad.

That’s not to say the iPad isn’t cool as hell, but you’d be able to do wayyyyy more on a $700 laptop with 4g.

I also think that a laptop is a better format for a mobile computing device than an iPad.

If you carry and iPad around you have to protect that screen.  with a laptop you close the cover and the screen is protected.

With an iPad you need to hold it with one  hand and type with one, with a laptop you adjust the angle of the screen to what works for how you are viewing it and bang away with two hands.

just off the top of my head.

Oh I’ll also add that the apple products have wayyyyy cooler interfaces.

the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all  are way cooler interfaces than any android or other phones or mini computers I’ve ever used.



The Mrs’ iPhone Update

I got out of work at 8:10 last night which left me just enough time to get home  so the Mrs could make her 9:00PM appointment at the The North Shore Shopping Center Apple Store.   When you buy an iPhone they include free lessons on how to use it.  They also activate it for you at the store and transfer your existing cell phone number from whichever previous carrier you had your cell phone service through to ATT (the sole cell phone provider for the iPhone).

I had pretty high expectations for this product but they were surpassed when she got home and woke me up to fiddle around with it.  I was surprised she gave it up to let me play with it to be honest.  I tried out the mapping, the youtube app, the safari browser (which I typed a quick comment to GMG on),the weather app, and the clock application all of which worked flawlessly.

The iPhone incredible intuitive and easy to figure out.  There was never a spot where I got “stuck” and quickly figured out how to make a few configuration changes for her.  Things like setting her weather stations for Hamilton and Gloucester, and world clock settings for Boston instead of the factory setting of Cupertino.

I gotta think this thing will be a huge gift for the upcoming Holiday season.  It’s not just a toy, this thing will be incredibly useful and fun.

Needless to say I’m jealous as hell.