Ever since Mac OSX Leopard was introduced customizing the dock has become a popular tweak to the operating system. At first the only way of customizing the dock was by transplanting the files yourself, or using an automator action. And if you don’t know what you are doing; things could go wrong.

Panic’s Candybar also has a way of allowing you to change the dock design (and do lots of other UI changes) – but it does, of course, cost in the region of $30, It’s a fair amount of money, there must be a free option if all you want to do is change your dock?

Enter, Dock Library, an easy way to customize your dock with ease, all within a clean GUI interface. Editing your dock with Dock Library couldn’t be easier. Dock Library also comes with a few popular docks for you to try out when you download the app; but if you want to find more, all you have to do is go to a website, such as LeopardDocks.com, choose the dock, you want to try out, download them. and open up Dock Library.

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Canon 135L f/2 lens

I’ve had the Canon 135 f/2 L series lens in my possession for over two months now, and it has completely exceeded initial expectation - now sitting in the line as my favorite lens, ahead of the marvelous Canon 24-70 f/2.8L.

Sharp wide open at f/2, super fast autofocus, a beautiful smooth depth of field at low aperture settings, and a perfect focal length for long range landscape/short range sports are a few of the areas where this lens really shines.

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Long have I been a subscriber to the theory that those new to the digital single lens reflex arena should start their lens collection with one, relatively inexpensive piece of glass, the f/1.8 variation of the 50mm prime, in either a Canon or Nikon mount, depending on the users choice of camera brand.

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 prime lens

50mm f/1.8

As a Canon user there are two different relatively affordable variations of the standard 50mm prime lens. An f/1.8 and f/1.4 version. The f/1.8 variation is the lightest and the cheapest ($79 USD) of all three, it’s the perfect piece of glass to introduce an individual to primes lenses. I’ve owned this lens in the past and thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of inability to zoom. Owning the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 forced me to use my eye to its full creative ability.

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 prime lens

50mm f/1.4

Second in the line is the slightly heavier, and relatively more expensive ($329 USD) f/1.4 version of the 50mm lens. Advantages of this lens include a far more superior build quality, faster focusing, full time manual focus ability, and a larger aperture opening. I now own this Canon 50mm lens due to its advantages over its cheaper counterpart.

Also available is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. This is the only 50mm prime lens in Canon’s line which features the “L” tag, as a luxury series lens. It features the most superior build quality of all Canon 50mm primes, and is one of two lenses in the Canon EF mount lineup which will open to f/1.2 (the other being the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 USM) - allowing in a significant amount of light.

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Take Away The Unnecessary

Keep asking yourself, does this “something” add anything to my life? If you have to think about an answer to the question for more than a few seconds, it doesn’t. Remove it from your life. Throw it away. Clear out the space visually and mentally.

There’s no use keeping around a piece of digital material (RSS feed, song, file, bookmark) if it’s not adding anything to your life, or helping you in any-way. Try to simplify things down and keep only the essentials, both in the material world and the evolving digital world.

Moving from a desktop computing setup to a notebook based setup comprising of a MacBook Pro helped my digital cleanliness propagation a few months ago, I migrated over 1TB of data into under 100GB.

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I thought I’d post my photography shooting stats each month so I can keep a tab on how my photography is coming along. A few of you who have asked for more personal and “statty” posts should enjoy this too.

Images Taken: 1,685
Images Kept: 966
HD Space Used: 5.57GB
Average Shots Kept Daily: 31

Shots With 18-55 Lens: 856
Shots With 75-300 Lens: 101
Shots With Other Cams: 9

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Those involved in any kind of video work will be able to relate to the grueling chore of long encoding sessions, especially if you’re not on an exceptionally quick Intel based machine. Video encoding takes time, hogs your machines resources, and is a long and tentative task.

I’m lucky enough to own a powerful dual-core MacBook Pro now which makes encoding videos for my show an easy process. However on my old Intel iMac this wasn’t the case. Videos took an age to encode into different formats, while the process left something to be desired. Enter the Elgato Turbo.264, saving your sanity, and your wallet from having to shell out for a quicker machine for faster video encodes.

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The overall transition from a powerful desktop to a slim portable machine has been very smooth to date. I enjoy portability much more than the added power of the desktop machine, the MacBook Pro is one tool I don’t think I could go without now having used it for a few weeks.

However, there has been one downside to the transition which I expect to see eliminated over the course of the next 24 months – data storage. It’s difficult when you have over 500GB of live data but just a 160GB internal hard-drive. This will start to improve as manufacturers pump out higher density drives, Western Digital already have a 320GB drive on the market. I don’t think it’ll be too far away until we see those as official Apple BTO options for the MacBook Pro.

I’m very interested in the new WD Scorpio 320GB 5400-RPM HDDs. Installing a 320GB drive into the MacBook Pro would mean less data to keep on external drives, in turn leaving me with less headaches. It’s no fun receiving a warning message like shown above. Thank goodness for my 250GB LaCie Porsche external drive, which is now home to my extensive catalog of digital images in Lightroom (review coming very soon for those who have asked).

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OSX Spaces

When the first details of Leopard sprung onto the scene at WWDC 2006, Spaces was something which caught the eye for a second, and immediately disappeared from my mind. Even over the past few weeks when the official feature list was posted on Apple’s website and Spaces was featured as one of the main components to the operating system, I still glanced over it - thinking it wouldn’t change the way I worked.

Boy, was I wrong. At this point in my continued exploration of Leopard, Spaces is by far one of the most convenient Leopard feature.

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Mac Apps

I have an array of applications which I use on a regular daily basis for fun, work, and to get specific things done. They range from office application right through to games, what exactly do I use?

Information And Organization

OmniFocus is employed as my universal to-do list. All tasks which enter my world are entered into OmniFocus so I can take care of them later. I like having a dedicated to-do application which allows me to clear my head and get things out of the way.

NewsFire is still my RSS reader of choice. I read over 100 feeds on a daily basis and NewsFire allows me to sort through them quickly and efficiently. I thoroughly enjoy the interface of the application and the way it manages my feeds intelligently.

Mail/Safari are two applications which I’m constantly browsing through to read and gather information, get things done, and waste time… Most of my digital tasks and to-do’s are generated through Mail, and most of them are completed using my web browser of choice, Safari.

Twitterrific is an application I use more than once daily..50 times would be more accurate. I’m constantly receiving updates from friends on Twitter via Twitterrific, along with using it to post updates. Twitterrific is by far one of my most active applications.

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Apple logo
plus sign
Nike swoosh logo

Running is not something that really interests me. I play a lot of sport, but I just find running plain boring. When I saw that the Nike + iPod sports kit was being released in New Zealand, I started reading up about it, and running for points, setting goals, and competing in challenges sounded really cool to me (I’m a big stats guy).

I promptly went out and purchased a new iPod nano, Nike+iPod sports kit, and the stylish Nike+ shoes so I could get into optimal condition for the grueling cricket season ahead. The kit includes a wireless transmitter which plug’s into your iPod nano, and a wireless sensor which you insert into your pair of Nike+ shoes.

When you head out for a run, you connect the wireless transmitter to your iPod nano, put your Nike+ shoes on, choose which workout you wish to complete (basic, distance, time, or calories), set your playlist, and you're off.

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