Wacom update lineup with Cintiq Pro, Intuos Pro and Intuos Paper

Wacom update lineup with Cintiq Pro, Intuos Pro and Intuos Paper

Wacom have announced three new additions to their lineup: an updated Intuos Pro and new Intuos Pro Paper, both available now, and the Cintiq Pro, which should be joining us later in the year. 

Intuos Pro Medium and Intuos Pro Large

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First things first: users of the Intuos Pro Small tablet, we’re sorry but there’s no new version of your tablet. This selection of updates is only available for the medium and large tablets.

Medium and large tablet users, there’s a lot to be happy about. The new Intuos Pro comes with the new Pro Pen 2, a new stylus that’s four times more accurate than the previous generation of Pro Pen and boasts 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity – more than any other stylus/tablet combo on the market. This should result in a more natural and responsive drawing experience with virtually no lag and natural tilt support. Handily, it doesn’t need batteries or charging, running instead on Wacom’s own peculiar brand of sand magic (resonant inductive coupling, apparently).

The tablets themselves are now just 8mm thick, managing to be slimmer and more compact than their predecessors while maintaining the same size active area. As usual, both models come with a Touch Ring, eight customisable ExpressKeys and on-pen slider switches so that you can have your favourite shortcuts right at your fingertips. The active area still features support multitouch gestures (don’t worry, the palm rejection is still excellent).

If you’d like to update, you can now. The Wacom Intros Pro Medium is available for a very reasonable £274 ex VAT, while the Wacom Intuos Pro Large will set you back £374 ex VAT

Intuos Paper Edition

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If you prefer to start work on good old fashioned paper, the new Intuos Paper Edition is for you. It combines an Intuos Pro tablet with a Paper Clip, which affixes to the top of your tablet and tracks pen strokes made with your Wacom Finetip Pen (don’t worry, this is included).

As you draw with your Finetip Pen, the Clip saves each stroke as an editable file which you can subsequently open in your creative software of choice. If you want the digital version of your drawing to be made up of Photoshop-friendly layers, all you need to do is tap a button on your tablet to start a new layer as you’re drawing.

The Intuos Paper Edition can hold up to 200 multi-layered drawings before you need to transfer them to your computer, which can be a Mac or PC. Once you’ve transferred the sketches to your computer, just remove the Clip, pick up a Wacom Pro Pen and edit them as you would any other digital drawing.

The medium Wacom Intuos Paper Edition is available now for £316 ex VAT, while the large version is available for £416 ex VAT

Wacom Cintiq Pro

wacom_cintiq_pro

Wacom’s latest addition to their Cintiq lineup comes in two sizes: the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13, which has a 13.3″ display, and the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16, which very logically has a 15.6″ one. Both are compatible with Mac and PC computers, and can connect via USB-C, or via Mini DisplayPort and USB using an adaptor (which Wacom kindly include with the tablet so you don’t have to fork out twice).

This time around, the display is an sleek edge-to-edge etched glass surface, which leads to a slimmer, swisher design and a more realistic ‘pen on paper’ feel. The 13″ model has an HD screen while the 16″ has a 4K resolution one, and they’re colour accurate for 87% and 94% of Adobe RGB respectively.

Like the new Intuos Pro and Intuos Paper Edition, the Cintiq Pro ships with the ridiculously sensitive Wacom Pro Pen 2, which boasts 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt support and virtually no lag.

The Cintiq Pro has a built-in kick stand, and an optional Wacom Stand with three levels of elevation is available for anyone who wants more flexibility. There are no on-tablet ExpressKeys, but anyone who prefers physical buttons to the Cintiq’s touchscreen controls can invest in a Wacom ExpressKey Remote.

The Cintiq Pro 13 is due to ship later this month, with the Cintiq Pro 16 to follow in February. UK pricing is to be confirmed, but we’ll let you know when we do.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Our designers test drive Photoshop CC’s Touch Bar integration

Our designers test drive Photoshop CC’s Touch Bar integration

When Apple launched the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, Adobe were one of the first software vendors to announce support for the new Touch Bar technology, demoing Photoshop integration live onstage at the launch event

Now that we have both the 13″ and 15″ models in stock, and Adobe have released a list of all the shortcuts that will be available on Touch Bar, we thought we’d set our designers loose on a Touch Bar MacBook Pro and see how they found using the new shortcuts.

Buy now

Liana, Graphic Designer and hand model

To begin with it does feel a bit strange forcing yourself to use the Touch Bar rather than keyboard shortcuts, but I imagine it’s like when you first start using a Wacom Cintiq – once you get used to using it, it’s really useful.

The shortcuts I used most were definitely the ones to change layer properties. The brush options are a lot more intuitive on Touch Bar, as they increase and decrease in much smaller increments than they do when you use the keyboard shortcuts, so there’s a nice gradual slide that allows you to get exactly the size you want. The bar is very good at sliding, generally; each slider expands when you click on it, so if you’re changing colour options you have a nice wide range to get the exact hue and brightness you need, and you have a lot more room to edit the opacity options than you do when you edit them directly on your Wacom.

touch_bar_photoshop_brush_size

The favourites bar has a nice range of common shortcuts that you can add to your Touch Bar. Having full screen mode just a tap away is useful if your art director is hovering over you and wants a clean preview of your work. From a non-design point of view, I really liked having tiny previews of all my open tabs in Safari, which made searching for images far easier.

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Jamie, Web Designer

I hadn’t used one of the new generation of keyboards before and the lack of key travel feels weird at first, but the larger key area certainly makes the keyboard easier to type on. The one complaint that I would have is that the keys are perhaps a bit too noisy for the amount of travel they have.  The light touch makes me a feel like a hacker, the loud noise makes it sound like I’m mashing buttons on Street Fighter.

Touch Bar looks nice; it’s vibrant and sharp, and the matte finish allows fingers to just slide over the surface, which is nice when there are a few apps that have tabs or slides that require you to interface this way.

In Photoshop, Touch Bar initially feels a little redundant, as keyboard shortcuts can be used for a lot of the same tasks, and don’t require me to move my hands from the keyboard or move my eyes away from the screen. As time goes on though, it does have its advantages. For example, controls for brush size and opacity are easily within reach. I could imagine using a Wacom with my hand hovering over the Touch Bar, drawing with my right hand and dynamically updating the size, flow etc along the way.

touch_bar_photoshop_menu

There are some features that are nice with Touch Bar too. In Photoshop again, having the blending modes and layer transparency readily available is nice. I haven’t learned the keyboard shortcuts for blending modes yet, so this feels pleasant. It’s easy to see that Touch Bar would be a hit with those who aren’t privy to the dark magic of keyboard shortcuts and those used to touch screens as a primary interface.

One nice touch I did like was dialogue boxes, and that their options are readily available on the touch bar. I don’t have to move my mouse to get to the buttons to quickly dismiss pop-ups.

Thierry, Graphic Designer

I can see Touch Bar being really useful for designers who don’t use a pen tablet as part of their normal workflow. The quick button options mean the left hand can be used to adjust Touch Bar controls while you use the touchpad with your right (or vice versa for lefties).

touch_bar_photoshop_colour_slider

The options that are usually stuck in Menu Options are the most useful to me. Having options like horizontal/vertical flip and new layer on the bar is a huge time saver as they’re now in easy reach and don’t require me to temporarily break my train of thought to navigate menu options. Hopefully as time goes on, the customisable options available on the bar will expand, and then it’ll be a great tool for tweaking your workspace to suit your preferences.

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Tried the new Touch Bar? Let us know what you think in the comments. You can browse the new MacBook Pro range here, or get in touch with our Adobe team to update your Creative Cloud subscription on 03332 409 251. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Derby University student wins prestigious media awards

Derby University student wins prestigious media awards

A media production student from the University of Derby has won two Royal Television Society Midlands Centre awards for her outstanding work on her third year film, A Girl’s Story, a docudrama about a girl who struggles to maintain a long-distance relationship with her parents, who have gone away to find work.

Producer/director Yue Liu is an international student from China. She was nominated in the category of Best Factual Film, and such was the quality of production that the judging panel also selected her film to compete in the Best Camerawork category.

Media production programme leader Phil Basi said: “This is a great achievement for Yue and the course, highlighting that we can produce award-winning students with the high calibre skills required to succeed in media production.”

Yue was overjoyed with the news and said: “I can’t believe that I have won in two categories and believe that this would not have been possible without the support of the staff and students at Derby.

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We’d also like to take a very slight bit of credit, having kitted Derby University out with over £150,000 worth of studio equipment over the years – include the suite of iMacs where media production students edit their award-winning work.  This is the second year running that films from Derby University’s media production degree programme have been shortlisted in the RTS Awards, and we’re delighted to see that Derby University’s investment in industry-standard equipment from the likes of Panasonic, Canon, Atmos, EIZO and Matrox is paying off!

Yue will now go on to represent the Midlands at the National Royal Television Society Awards to be held in London in spring 2017, where she’ll face stiff completion from across the UK. Winners were announced at the prestigious gala dinner which was held on the evening of Thursday 3rd November at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.

 

Media Production, Students work in the Computer Labs

From all of us here at Jigsaw24, well done Yue and best of luck for the next stage of the competition!

Want to know more about how we keep universities like Derby ahead of the curve? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Avid reactivate ScriptSync and PhraseFind add-on options

Avid reactivate ScriptSync and PhraseFind add-on options

Hot on the heels of their acquisition of Nexidia’s Emmy award-winning dialogue and audio analysis tools, Avid have revealed that they’re bringing back ScriptSync and PhraseFind add-on options to Media Composer. 

What’s new in ScriptSync?

ScriptSync version 2.0 will be available from February 2017, either as a new add-on to your Media Composer licence, or as an update for anyone who already owns a ScriptSync version 1.0 licence.

As with the previous version, ScriptSync version 2.0 indexes your media and links your clips to your imported script text, so you can select a line of script and instantly see the associated takes.

However, with the incorporation of Nexidia technology, version 2.0 will also include: 

– An updated colour palette for richer markup.

– Native support for more frame formats, including 4×3 and 16×9.

– Undo and Redo stacks.

– User notes.

– Editable script text.

What’s new in PhraseFind?

Also available in February 2017, PhraseFind version 2.0 indexes your audio files, so you can search for media based on spoken words. Anyone with a still-active PhraseFind 1.0 licence can upgrade to PhraseFind 2.0, or it’s available as a full upgrade for anyone without a current licence.

New features in PhraseFind version 2.0 include: 

– A reskinned Find window which matches the updated one  in Media Composer.

– Autofill in the Search field.

– An improved, faster phonetic indexing engine.

– Support for additional languages and dialects.

– Support for shorter phoneme phrases (basically it listens better and returns more accurate results).

What are my licensing options?

There is no subscription option for these add-ons – they must be purchased outright. However, they are both available as a Floating Licence, in the same way that your Symphony and NewsCutter options are.

Education customers can purchase a discounted bundle that includes both add-ons – they are not available at discounted prices individually.

These latest versions will only work with Media Composer v8.8.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

What’s new in Avid NEXIS v7.1?

What’s new in Avid NEXIS v7.1?

Avid have been feeling particularly generous toward NEXIS users of late, bringing out not one but two software updates for their shared storage platform. Here’s a quick rundown of the new features. 

What’s new in Avid NEXIS v7.0?

Protected Workspaces. This release introduces support for protecting Workspaces against the failure of an entire Engine. To use this feature, called media mirroring, your shared storage system must comprise a System Director Appliance and at least three Engines of the same type (three Avid NEXIS | E2, three Avid NEXIS | E4, or three Avid NEXIS | E5 Engines). All the Engines must have the same number and capacity of Media Packs, and all of the Media Packs must belong to the same Storage Group.

For mirrored Workspaces, if an Engine fails there is no impact on workflow. 
You can upgrade an existing shared storage system to support mirrored Workspaces. After the upgrade, a new column called Mirror Capable is displayed on the Storage Groups page. If any existing Storage Groups meet the criteria for this feature, after the upgrade the Mirror Capable column displays a Yes. You do not need to manually enable this support on a Storage Group; it is automatic.
You can choose to use mirroring on new Workspaces you create in that group. Two-disk Media Pack protection is also applied to any new mirrored Workspaces.

Mirror-capable Storage Groups are subject to some restrictions on changes and redistribution; see the Avid NEXIS Administration Guide for more information.

Link aggregation. This release introduces support for link aggregation (also called NIC teaming) on the Ethernet ports in all Controllers in an Avid NEXIS Enterprise Engine or System Director Appliance. Link aggregation provides protection from a single point of failure (one Ethernet port or one switch, depending on how you configure your network).
For more detail, see the Avid NEXIS Setup and Maintenance Guide, the Avid NEXIS Administration Guide, and the Avid NEXIS Network and Switch Guide. All of these documents are available on the Avid Knowledge Base.

Bug fixes. This update fixes several issues, including:

– Drives being marked as under-performing or failed in error. This could lead to media being offline. Avid strongly recommends upgrading to Avid NEXIS v7.0.

– An issue where using copy and paste actions in the Agent did not work on the CONFIGURE tab, in the Data Interfaces fields.

– Removed the “Missing/Empty Disk” warnings in Engines that are not fully populated with Media Packs, because that is a supported configuration.

– An issue with LDAP authentication on Avid NEXIS systems, so that it no longer requires reverse DNS lookup.

– Restored the functionality of the Notification Service. In earlier versions of Avid NEXIS v6.x, the Notification Service did not work. This issue also affected Avid ISIS | 1000 systems running v5.x, on which the Notification Service was configured and working, which were upgraded to v6.x. After the upgrade, notification emails were no longer generated.

Aspera support. v7.0 introduces support for running an Aspera data transfer application on an Avid NEXIS client to transfer files between Workspaces on local and remote NEXIS systems. This release also supports transferring data from Avid NEXIS Workspaces to an Aspera Enterprise Server running Aspera on Demand for Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). For more information, see here.

What’s new in Avid NEXIS v7.1?

Increased capacity. Starting in the v7.x releases, the total scale of the Avid NEXIS Enterprise has been raised to 2.88PB of capacity and 192 GBps of bandwidth.

More Media Packs. The limits on the number of Media Packs in an Avid NEXIS system have increased, too. You can now have: up to 24 Media Packs in systems with a System Director Appliance and the Avid NEXIS | FS Extended licence and any combination of Avid NEXIS Enterprise Engines, or up to 48 Media Packs in systems with a System Director Appliance and the Avid NEXIS | FS Advanced licence and any combination of Avid NEXIS Enterprise Engines.

More secure passwords. This release introduces support for extended password lengths for users. Now, users can have passwords of up to 127 bytes, which is equivalent to 127 ASCII characters. The Administrator account for an Avid NEXIS system can also be up to 127 bytes (ASCII characters).

Better drive performance. This release fixes a problem where drives were marked as under-performing or failed in error. This could lead to media being offline. Avid requires upgrading to Avid NEXIS v7.0 or higher.

Bug fixes This release fixes a problem specific to the Avid NEXIS | PRO running Avid NEXIS v7.0, where running the Log Aggregator caused the System Director to restart. It also fixes a problem isolated to Avid NEXIS v7.0 systems, where a client could not open a Pro Tools project stored on an Avid NEXIS system.

NEXIS v7.1 is available now through your Avid Master Account.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Your virtual reality content kit list

Your virtual reality content kit list

If you want to get students creating virtual reality content of their own, you’re going to need to get your hands on the right hardware. As well as the very chic headsets you’ll have seen demos of, you’re also going to need a workstation and a VR-ready graphics card. Here’s what we recommend.

HTC Vive

HTC Vive is our favourite of the recent crop of headsets. It’s designed for ‘room scale’ VR, in which each participant interacts with objects, characters and environments in a limited space (so ideal if you’re converting a broom cupboard in your media department into a VR space).

Each player is equipped with a wireless sensor that boasts 24 sensors and SteamVR tracking technology, which combine to give realtime feedback on a player’s location within the room, enabling more realistic interactions and unobstructed movement. To counteract participants’ tendency to wander into walls while immersed in VR, the Vive has a built-in guidance system called Chaperone. If you double tap a menu button, or are about to hit a real-world obstacle, Chaperone drops an overlay of the real world onto your VR environment, so you can veer away from any walls, furnishings or people you don’t want to collide with.

Bear in mind, though, that having the headset alone is not enough – you need to opt for a kit that includes base stations, link boxes and face cushions to ensure that you’re ready to go. HTC are offering a Business Edition of the Vive that combines all of these, and adds in a commercial use licence should you want to put your Vive to work recouping its own cost.

HP workstations

Rich media work is always demanding on your hardware, and creating and powering virtual reality content is no exception.

If you’re already using Avid-approved HP workstations for video editing, animation, or VFX-related courses, the top end of these will be suitable for virtual reality work, too – we recommend an HP Z840, as these workstations are not only powerful in and of themselves, but allow plenty of room for expansion should you want to increase your capabilities in the future.

As well as the towers themselves, we offer accessories, warranties, storage and infrastructure solutions, so can help you update an existing media lab, install a new one, or add additional machines on their own network so that working with VR content doesn’t slow things down for anyone else.

One thing that you need to bear in mind, whether you’re buying new workstations or updating existing ones, is that you’re going to swap out your standard graphics card for a 3D-ready one.

A 3D-ready graphics card

NVIDIA/PNY have already got two cards ready for you: the 16GB P5000 and 24GB P6000, both of which should work with your HP workstations. These cards harness NVIDIA’s Pascal GPU technology, and offer enormous memory capacity so that you can work with ever-larger data sets and more complex visuals.

If you’d like a hand putting your 3D workstations together, you can get in touch with our team on the details below, or come along to our virtual reality event on 8th February to see how industry professionals are using VR in their new projects (you can register for that here).

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NewTek’s new education pricing structure explained

NewTek’s new education pricing structure explained

If you’ve been eyeing up a TriCaster or 3Play system for your gallery, it might interest you to know that NewTek have rejigged their education discounts. Instead of getting education-specific pricing, you now get free extras as standard with your hardware. 

TrIcaster setup at Staffordshire uni

Rather than getting a chunk off the cost of your initial hardware, you’ll now get a choice of two complimentary education software add-ons, that allow you to extend the functionality of your kit at no extra cost.

Option one gives you two coupon codes for any virtual sets of your choice, so you can drop journalism students into a TV studio complete with background effects and picture in picture display.

Option two gives you a free download of NewTek NDI Telestrator, an on-screen annotation app that allows you to add graphics to and draw on live video, instant replays, still images or clips. NewTek’s addition to the screen annotation app canon is touchscreen-friendly and IP-ready. It gives you the ability to add standard graphics to an image, plus the ability to draw freehand over the top of your video stills. NDI Telestrator includes configurable paint and shape tools, colour and highlight options, and other standard visual elements.

The free versions of these add-ons are only available to accredited educational institutions, and you will need to provide qualifying educational institute documentation. You can claim one or the other add-on whenever you a buy a new TriCaster or 3Play unit.

Advanced Edition: The exception that proves the rule

While you may not be getting special pricing on your hardware anymore, you still get a massive discount on NewTek’s Advanced Edition software bundle, which is £999 for education customers as opposed to the usual £3800 sell (not a typo).

This is a fairly fantastic deal, as Advanced Edition offers many unique and additional features to TriCaster, with just a few of the highlights being:

– Enhanced streaming engine; enabling multiple streams to multiple platforms, simultaneously.

– Augmented reality keys/graphics, within virtual sets, making them appear as a 3D, integral part of the set.

– Undo/Redo functionality added.

– Support for Dante Audio networking.

– Audio output configuration.

– Data Link Integration to allow real time updating or graphics information.

– Control Surface button lock selection.

– Improved social media integration.

– Higher quality LiveSet rendering.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Your backup glossary

Your backup glossary

While the perils of not having a proper backup solution are widely known (you’ll lose a lot of time and money if you suddenly can’t get at your application or files, basically), not everyone out there is clear on how to start implementing a plan, or what kind of backup strategy they need.

Even if you know your options, choosing between options can be a challenge – especially if you don’t speak the lingo. Backup and archive is as full of acronyms, abbreviations and just plain odd terms as every other area of IT, and it can make working out what you actually need a bit of a minefield. With that in mind, we asked our consultants to define some of the most common buzzwords, just to help you get started…

3-2-1 A popular backup strategy that suggests you have three copies of your data. Two copies should be onsite but on different devices in case one fails. One copy should also be kept offsite in case anything happens to your office. We recommend following this model.

Backup A copy of a file or application saved in case the original is lost. You can perform incremental backups or full backups of your systems and devices.

Backup rotation strategy Competing strategies that suggest how and when you should back up your data in order to maximise data retention but minimise the resources needed to maintain and implement backups. Common strategies include FIFO, GFS  and the Tower of Hanoi (all below).

Backup window The period of time in which it is most convenient for you to back up your data and applications. For example, if your business is open from nine to five Monday to Friday, your backup windows are from 5pm to 9am the next day, and all day over the weekend, as workers are not in the office so it doesn’t matter if systems are slowed down by (or inaccessible because of) an ongoing backup, and there are no open files (many solutions do not back up open files). Knowing your backup window has a big impact on your choice of backup system, as different kinds are able to back up different volumes of data in given timeframes. If your setup is designed to perform an automated backup at a specific time, this is also sometimes referred to as a backup window.

Cloud backup Cloud backups are a form of offsite backup. Your backup is kept in cloud storage (hence the name). The cloud can be private (run on hardware that is reserved just for your company’s use, regardless of where it’s hosted or if you manage it yourselves) or public (in which you share storage with multiple other users, and it is managed by a third party). Factors to consider when choosing between the two include your budget, data security requirements and retrieval time targets.

Disk Usually, backing up to disk will refer to backing up to hard drives (HDDs) instead of tape storage. This has the advantage that it is generally faster to back up to and retrieve data from disks than it is tapes, but on the other hand the cost per TB is higher and they have a shorter shelf life.

FIFO First In, First Out or FIFO is a backup rotation strategy in which you constantly rewrite your newest files over your oldest and least useful files. For example, if you had seven disks or tapes and did one back up every day, every Monday you would write over the previous Monday’s backup, lose the iterations of your work it contained and replace them with new ones. While this is simple and easy to organise, it does mean that if someone accidentally deletes a key file and doesn’t notice until a week later, all the backups containing the file will have been overwritten.

Full backup A complete backup of all data on a machine or system, regardless of whether the data has changed since the last back up was performed. Usually performed a regular, fairly spread out intervals (e.g. weekly or monthly) and supplemented by incremental backups.

GFS (Grandfather – Father – Son) A tape rotation strategy that suggests you have three levels of backup, for example monthly (grandfather), weekly (father) and daily (son). To give an example, you might use drives 1-4 to back up Monday-Thursday. Friday’s drive, 5, would be archived and replaced with a new drive, 6. The next week you would use 1-4 to back up Monday – Thursday, then archive 6 and replace it with 7. At the end of the month, you would archive the final Friday’s tape. This system would mean that at any time, you would have access to a back up from every day in the last week, every Friday in the last month, and every month for however long you care to keep those backups for. Some systems also include an annual ‘great grandfather’ backup.

HDD A hard disk drive, sometimes called a hard disk. Common storage media.

Hosted backup A form of offsite backup in which your data is kept on storage that is hosted (i.e. housed and maintained) by a third party. For example, our Backup24 solution allows you to back up your files to a Tier 2+ UK datacentre which we maintain on our clients’ behalf.

Incremental backup A backup which only copies files, applications or data which has changed since the previous backup. Quicker and easier than full backups, incremental backups are often performed hourly or daily in order to supplement full backups, which are carried out less frequently.

LTO Linear Tape Open is the standard format for magnetic tape storage. You’ll hear tape storage referred to as ‘LTO tapes’ and tape libraries as ‘LTO libraries’ – all this means is that they are made up of tapes which use the LTO standard to store their data. The current version of the standard is LTO 7 (capacity: 6TB per tape). LTO 7 technology can write to LTO 7 or LTO 6 media, and read from LTO 7, LTO 6 and LTO 5 media.

Offsite backup A backup which is stored somewhere other than your primary location. These are useful in case your main office is affected by fire, flood or power failure, and are often an insurance requirement. Data can be copied to a drive or tape in your location and then removed (for example, if you were to save everything to a drive that was then couriered to a data centre), or transmitted to another location and backed up there. Cloud backups are a form of offsite backup.

Onsite backup A backup which is stored on your premises, rather than offsite. They are generally quicker and easier to retrieve from than offsite backups, so are useful if, for example, someone accidentally deletes something.

Snapshots A snapshot backup captures how the entire architecture of an application, device or system looks at a particular moment in time. Restoring a snapshot backup that was taken a week ago will restore the system to the settings, content, etc that was in place when the snapshot was taken; users will lose any content created since the snapshot, and any changes to their settings they’ve made in the past week will need to be made again. You can also mount your file system as it was at the time of the snapshot and retrieve individual files.

Tape Magnetic tapes have been a staple storage medium for donkey’s years. Tape is ideal for backup and archive as it has a low cost-per-terabyte and a shelf life of up to 30 years (although it is generally slower to write to and retrieve from than disk storage). Tapes are written and read in a tape drive, and housed in tape libraries, sometimes referred to as LTO libraries after the standard used to store data on the tapes.

Tape library A piece of hardware designed to hold a large number of tapes, and which includes a robotic arm for reading and retrieving disks.

Tape rotation strategy Often used interchangeably with backup rotation strategy. Just means planning how to rotate your tapes so that you don’t end up spending your entire budget filling your entire office with storage media.

Tower of Hanoi A backup rotation strategy based on the Tower of Hanoi puzzle. You take a series of tapes – let’s say five, and let’s say they’re labelled A – E. Tape A is backed up every other day, B is backed up every fourth day, C every eighth day, and D and E are backed up on alternate 16th days. This gives you a range of restore options, while minimising the number of tapes needed.

Want to know more about backup? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com. or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Take the hassle out of repairs with our managed service

Take the hassle out of repairs with our managed service

As well as the convenience of having your machines collected and returned according to schedule, our managed repairs service allows you to tailor your repairs provision to your business needs, offering you the chance to spread your repair costs with manageable monthly payments and simplifying admin for your in-house team, as they can sidestep the hassle of booking in each machine as a separate repair. 

As well as the convenience of having your machines collected and returned according to schedule, our managed repairs service allows you to tailor your repairs provision to your business needs, offering you the chance to spread your repair costs with manageable monthly payments and simplifying admin for your in-house team, as they can sidestep the hassle of booking in each machine as a separate repair.

Why choose managed repairs?

– Convenient collection and return of all your faulty units.

– Batch repairs meaning there’s minimal admin per month, no matter how many machines need work.

– Monthly invoicing to spread the cost of repairs over the year.

– No lengthy waits for diagnosis on each machine.

– Dedicated point of contact and direct access to our engineers.

How does it work?

Step 1 You gather up any faulty devices over the course of a day, week, fortnight or month – whatever suits you.

Step 2 We contact you to book the repair batch onto our system, and then arrange transportation.

Step 3 We turn around the repairs in an average time of 3-5 working days.

Step 4 Your fixed Macs are returned, and any newly faulty ones collected.

Step 5 You’re invoiced monthly for any repairs that have been carried out.

Why choose Jigsaw24?

– Apple Authorised Service Provider with over 20 years’ experience.

– Repairs centres in Nottingham, Soho and Manchester.

– Our engineers are all Apple-accredited.

– In warranty or out of warranty diagnostics and repairs covered.

– Repairs by us won’t void your warranty.

– Direct point of contact within our technical team, who can explain a fault without hiding behind jargon.

– Experience of creative and business workflows, so we understand your setup.

We can tailor our managed repairs service to your business’s needs, schedule and budget. Call us on 03332 409 306 to discuss your options, or contact the team at any time at solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Adobe reveal new Creative Cloud features at Adobe MAX

Adobe reveal new Creative Cloud features at Adobe MAX

Adobe have used their annual Adobe MAX conference to announce a raft of new features for Creative Cloud users, which we can expect to join the Adobe lineup between now and the end of the year. The new improvements are designed to make it easier for creatives to deal with the new challenges presented by virtual and augmented reality, and the rise in demand for 3D content.  

Adobe’s latest updates are designed to promote collaboration, mobility, a ‘cloud first’ philosophy (in which work lives primarily in the cloud and is then edited on various devices but not housed on them), and machine learning, which constitutes extending the kind of intelligent technology that powers Photoshop’s Context Aware tools into other apps.

Coming soon: Project Felix

Felix is intended to allow graphic designers to combine 2D and 3D assets to create their images without having to familiarise themselves with more complicated applications like After Effects.

The beta is going to be opened to paid Creative Cloud for teams members at the end of the year. Once you’re on board, you’ll be able to use Project Felix to develop photorealistic 3D images using a workflow that’s specifically designed for people who aren’t experienced 3D content creators.

Key features announced as part of the beta include a free library of models, materials and lights to help you get started straight away, realtime rendering so that you can view updates as you design, and machine learning features that include auto lighting and auto horizon positioning tools.

Based on user feedback so far, Adobe are already working to improve interoperability with Photoshop and Illustrator, make label/decal application easier, add GPU rendering support and more, so it’s well worth keeping an eye out for the start of the beta.

Now in beta: Adobe Experience Design CC

The Experience Design (XD) beta continues apace, with over 50 features added since March. The app is designed to improve teamwork among workgroups who are prototyping apps and mobile content, and allows you to build and share prototypes, then collaborate and feed back on them in realtime. Adobe say it’s now ready for everyday use on computers that are running macOS, so if you’ve been holding off on downloading XD until it became more stable, now’s the time to get involved.

Major new additions include the arrival of Layers, a slightly modified version of the layers you know from Photoshop et al that makes it easier to navigate between artboards and work with elements on each. The idea is that Layers will speed up your XD workflow by allowing you to focus on just the elements you want to modify (the Layers panel contextually displays only the layers for the artboard that you select).

To navigate to the artboard you need, just double-click its icon and XD will automatically pan and zoom to that artboard, fitting it into the application window. Double-clicking on groups allows you to explore and navigate to nested elements. You can also reorder, rename, show/hide, export, make symbols and lock/unlock layers quickly and easily.

Another addition is Symbols, aka objects that you use throughout your design, and which are all dynamically updated if you edit once instance. All you need to do to create a Symbol is hit Cmd+K. For ease of organisation, all your Symbols are stored in their own library, and you can drag and drop them from there into your prototype.

Once everything is added, your peers will be able to comment on it in realtime, and preview changes on different devices as they are made.

The XD beta is currently available on macOS, iOS and Android platforms, with Windows 10 compatibility coming soon.

What’s new in… desktop design apps

The biggest overall change is to your in-app searching capabilities. The new Universal Search in Photoshop not only lets you search all panels, menus, libraries and assets from a single pane (great for finding a command you’ve forgotten the location of), but includes a Visual Search component.

A bit like Google Images, Visual Search allows you to find an image that’s almost right in a library or Adobe Stock, and then search specifically for images that are similar to that one. In a nice additional touch, you can add text descriptors to the image you’ve searched, so if we were to have found a particularly noble picture of our mascot, the zebra, but wanted it to be standing against a setting sun, we could search “[selected image] + sunset” to see pictures that feature similar zebras against the sunset, or ask for a zebra with water in the foreground and mountains behind. This will also work when searching for textures and shadows to add to 3D objects.

Both Photoshop and Illustrator are now going to include template libraries to help new users (or experienced users who are short on time) to get started on common document types. Additional templates will be available in Adobe Stock, and should you download one that you don’t have the right fonts for, Typekit will automatically source and download them for you.

Photoshop also benefits from tighter SVG integration, an enhanced Properties Panel, and support for SVG fonts.

As well as templates, Illustrator is poised to receive font, text and glyph enhancements as a result of Adobe answering 81 common user requests in this update.

Dreamweaver is going to get a new, streamlined interface with a fast, flexible coding engine, but we haven’t managed to get a peek yet – we’ll let you know more when we do.

What’s new in… video apps

The emphasis here is on preparing video and animation workflows for the influx of 3D and virtual/augmented reality projects that are expected to hit the pipeline as everyone attempts to develop the next Pokemon Go.

A new 3D rendering engine in After Effects allows for the creation of extruded text and shape layers, and handles CPU rendering of 3D elements up to 20 times faster than the current version.

As part of their push to integrate more machine learning elements into Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro is getting a new auto-aware virtual reality feature that auto detects the kind of content you’re creating, and a new Social Publishing Panel (released in beta at MAX) will optimise the publishing of content you create in Premiere Pro across multiple social channels, so you achieve maximum impact.

There were two other key beta trials launched at Adobe MAX: Team Projects and Character Animator. Character Animator is designed to improve the connection between Photoshop, Illustrator and video apps to speed up puppet creation and animation – you might have seen it in action during The Simpsons’ live episode or when a cartoon version of Donald Trump appeared on the The Late Show. By mapping characters’ movement patterns onto an actor’s features, Character Animator lets you see your animated creations walk and talk in realtime.

Team Projects allows Creative Cloud for teams and Creative Cloud for enterprise members to co-edit video files simultaneously in Premiere Pro, After Effects and Prelude, so multiple users can be working on the same frame at the same time, but all accessing it from different machines.

What’s new in… mobile apps

The big news is that Photoshop Sketch, Comp and Photoshop Fix are now going to be available on Android. There have also been a number of workflow improvements, including automatic creation of mockups, universal copy/paste within and across documents (hooray!) and enhanced font support in Comp.

Photoshop Brush is also going to be supported in Sketch, and both Sketch and Draw are going to gain new layer blend modes.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook