The all new improved DaVinci Resolve 11.1.3 update is here

The all new improved DaVinci Resolve 11.1.3 update is here

Blackmagic Design have released a brand new software update for DaVinci Resolve. Version 11.1.3 brings a load of performance improvements and enhancements, as well as Rocket-X support, and is available to download now for free for all DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Lite users.

Here’s what’s new:

– Improved Media and Edit page playback performance.

– Improved tracker stability.

– Improved render stability for long renders.

– Improved trace intensity for scopes.

– Added Rocket-X support for Monochrome clips.

– General performance and stability improvements.

And those all-important system requirements…

Minimum system requirements for Mac:

– Mac OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion.

– 12GB of system memory is recommended and 8GB is the minimum supported.

– Blackmagic Design Desktop Video version 10.1.1 or later.

– CUDA Driver version 6.5.18.

– NVIDIA Driver version – As required by your GPU.

– RED Rocket-X Driver 2.1.19.0 and Firmware 1.3.19.7 or later.

– RED Rocket Driver 1.4.36.0 and Firmware 1.1.17.3 or later.

Minimum system requirements for Windows:

– Windows 7 Pro 64 bit with SP.

– 112GB of system memory is recommended and 8GB is the minimum supported.

– Blackmagic Design Desktop Video version 10.1.1 or later.

– NVIDIA/AMD Driver version – As required by your GPU.

– RED Rocket-X Driver 2.1.19.0 and Firmware 1.3.19.7 or later.

– RED Rocket Driver 1.4.36.0 and Firmware 1.1.17.3 or later.

Minimum system requirements for Linux:

– CentOS 5.4.

– 32GB of system memory is recommended and 16GB is the minimum supported.

– Blackmagic Design Desktop Video version 10.1.1 or later.

– NVIDIA Driver version 331.67.

– RED Rocket-X Driver 2.1.19.0 and Firmware 1.3.19.7 or later.

– RED Rocket Driver 1.4.36.0 and Firmware 1.1.17.3 or later.

DaVinci Resolve 11.1.3 is available to download now from the Blackmagic Design website.

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

OS X Yosemite: Compatibility roundup

OS X Yosemite: Compatibility roundup

With OS X Yosemite now available to download on your Mac, software manufacturers like Adobe and Quark are clamouring to let users know that their apps are compatible with Apple’s new OS. So we thought it was high time we rounded up all the announcements into one easy guide. 

We’ll be adding to the list as soon as we hear word from any other manufacturers regarding Yosemite support. Have we missed anything out? Let us know of any other updates in the comments below!

Adobe

“Adobe and Apple have worked closely together to test Adobe Creative Cloud applications for reliability, performance, and user experience when installed on Intel-based systems running Mac OS X Yosemite (version 10.10). The latest versions of all Adobe CC products are compatible. In addition to the current Photoshop CC release (2014.2), the Photoshop team has also tested Photoshop CC (14.2.1) and CS6 (13.0.6; 13.1.2) for compatibility.

“As with any new release of an operating system, there could be unexpected issues that arise that were not discovered during testing. If you encounter any issues, report them using the bug reporting form.” Check Adobe’s FAQs for more.

Avid

Avid have officially confirmed that Media Composer and Media Composer | Symphony Option will both work with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. However, users who are running “dual 6 core Mac Pro towers (Westmere) and the 2013 Mac Pro with a single 12 core CPU may experience performance issues with transcode, render, and playback. These degradations are typically seen with higher resolution material. The issue has been logged with Apple and [Avid] are awaiting an update.”

You’ll also need to make sure you’re running the latest builds of New Blue Titler Pro v1 and v2 in order to avoid installation errors.  These builds are available for download through Avid’s Application Manager, and details of how you’ll want things set up for a seamless installation can be found in the Media Composer | Software readme file.

You can find the readme and other key documentation over at the Avid Knowledge Base.

Enfocus

Enfocus PitStop 12 is also compatible with OS X Yosemite with the latest update (update 3). Users already on PitStop 12 can get the free update for PitStop Pro here, and for PitStop Server here.

Extensis

Suitcase Fusion 6 is compatible with Yosemite. Universal Type Server 5 and Universal Type Client 5 are compatible with Yosemite. Portfolio Web is compatible with Yosemite. Portfolio, Portfolio Express and Portfolio Netpublish are not currently supported on Yosemite. A future release is planned to add Yosemite support.” For more info, head to Extensis’s FAQs.

Quark

Quark have released a new update, QuarkXPress 10.5, which is a free update for QuarkXPress 10 that adds official support for OS X Yosemite. It’s available here. Note: “If you are on OS X Lion, please do not install this update. This update is not compatible with Quark Publishing Platform 10.2″. When QuarkXPress 2015 is released, that will also support OS X Yosemite.

Trim Enabler

Not strictly software, but if you’re using Trim Enabler to boost your SSD performance, it’s important to note this from Cindori:

“In OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), Apple has introduced a new security requirement called kext signing. (A kext is a kernel extension, or a driver, in Mac OS X). Kext signing basically works by checking if all the drivers in the system are unaltered by a third party, or approved by Apple. If they have been modified, Yosemite will no longer load the driver. This is a means of enforcing security, but also a way for Apple to control what hardware that third party developers can release OS X support for.

“Since Trim Enabler works by unlocking the Trim driver for third party SSDs, this security setting prevents Trim Enabler to enable Trim on Yosemite. To continue to use Trim Enabler and continue to get Trim for your third party SSD, you first need to disable the kext signing security setting. It is important to note that the kext-signing setting is global, if you disable it you should be careful to only install system drivers from sources that you trust.”

Wacom

Wacom have released new drivers for OS X Yosemite, and they’ve got a handy video and advice on installing them here.

  1. “Back up your preferences
  2. Uninstall the tablet driver, then restart your computer to empty out any residual processes
  3. Now you’re ready to install the latest tablet drivers
  4. Once the new driver is in place, click the backed up settings file to put your settings back to the way you like them
  5. Click this link for the latest Windows and OS X drivers: http://bit.ly/1tG3Cbu.”

Want to find out more? Give our team a call on 03332 400 888, email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

QuarkXPress 2015 is announced, with Quazy upgrade deals in tow

QuarkXPress 2015 is announced, with Quazy upgrade deals in tow

[UPDATE 13/02/15: Quark have now extended their promo until 25th February 2015! Dates amended below]

QuarkXPress users will be very happy to hear that Quark have just announced a brand new version due to launch in 2015. As well as a bold move from incremental version names (QuarkXPress 10) to Gregorian calendar-based titles, QuarkXPress 2015 will also have boosted 64-bit performance and add tons of new features. And as if that wasn’t temptation enough, they’re also offering two juicy deals to upgraders. Here’s the lowdown…

What’s new in QuarkXPress 2015?

The standout feature is the new 64-bit architecture. QuarkXPress 2015 can use all your RAM to deliver performance improvements across the board, from file handling and layout rendering to PDF export. They’ve been listening to users too, surveying customers on what they would most like to see in an updated QuarkXPress, then delivering.

New long document features include automatic footnotes and end notes, a much faster table tool for superior Excel integration with table styles, and text variables for automatically populating recurring fields like running headers. You can also now create HTML5 fixed-layout eBooks without any additional software or costs. The fixed-layout eBook format (ePub3 or Amazon’s KF8), displays pixel-perfect layouts without the complexity and cost of creating native apps.

What are these deals then?

Quark are offering two separate upgrade paths. Firstly, if you buy the full product or an upgrade of QuarkXPress 10 before 25th February 2015 and you’ll receive an upgrade to QuarkXPress 2015 “ABSOLUTELY FREE OF CHARGE” (Quark’s caps) when it arrives (sometime in Q1). Secondly, if you’re a current QuarkXPress 10 user, in recognition of your continued loyalty, Quark are offering you a low introductory price on pre-orders of QuarkXPress 2015 upgrades. Just £290 ex VAT!

Buy QuarkXPress 10 now and get a free upgrade to QuarkXPress 2015.

How does the upgrade work?

1. Register your licence at https://accounts.quark.com.

2. Complete the redemption form at www.quark.com/2015 in order to receive your licence of QuarkXPress 2015.

3. QuarkXPress 10 customers also need the pre-order redemption code you will find in your order confirmation from Jigsaw24.

4. Once QuarkXPress 2015 is publicly released, you will receive an email from Quark containing the QuarkXPress 2015 installation link that you will use to download QuarkXPress 2015.

The small print

Both offers expire 25th February 2015, and do not apply to educational licences or non-profit licences. The first offer is restricted to new single registered licences of QuarkXPress 10 full products and upgrades, including site/volume licences and government licences of QuarkXPress 10. The free upgrade licence of QuarkXPress 2015 will be provided as an electronic download only. This offer is not valid for any other products and cannot be used in combination with any other offer or discount and only applies to valid products purchased between 28th October 2014 and 25th February 2015. Additionally Quark will now allow upgrades from any previous version (v3 to 9) to QXP10.

System requirements

QuarkXPress 2015 requires a dual core CPU with at least 1GB available for QuarkXPress, ideally 4GB. QuarkXPress 2015 is supported on OS X Mountain Lion, OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite as well as on Windows 7 (64-bit only), Windows 8 (64-bit only) and Windows 8.1 (64-bit only). Please note that QuarkXPress 2015 does not run on 32-bit operating systems.

When I upgrade to QuarkXPress 10 and 2015, can I still open old documents?

You cannot open documents prior to QuarkXPress 7 with version 10 or 2015. But Quark do have a free converter application, QuarkXPress Document Converter, that opens legacy files from version 3-6 and saves them in a format that QuarkXPress 10 and 2015 can open.

QuarkXPress on Jigsaw24

Ready to buy or upgrade to QuarkXPress 2015? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.Facebook

 

Wacom offer brilliant bonuses with every Cintiq

Wacom offer brilliant bonuses with every Cintiq

Wacom’s Cintiq range are the graphics tablets every designer wants to be using. And now that Wacom are offering up to £315 worth of brilliant bonuses with each purchase, you’ve got another reason to bug the boss for an upgrade (or just treat yourself!).

Buy a Wacom Cintiq model – be that anything from the 13HD to the Companion and Companion Hybrid, to the incredible 24HD touch – and choose a free product or service, including warranty extensions, handy video training, and top creative tools.

What do I get?

There are five bonuses up for grabs in all, so there’s bound to be a bonus you and your creative workflow could benefit from. Depending on what model of Cintiq you go for, the bonus changes in value (ie bonuses for the Cintiq 24HD are greater in value than those that come with the Cintiq 13HD), so to get a better idea of what you will actually receive, check out Wacom’s website. You can choose from:

– Care Pack. Get total peace of mind with an extra one or two years’ warranty protection and onsite exchange, depending on your Wacom model. The Cintiq 13HD/22HD/24HD have by default a three year warranty with onsite exchange, so the Care Pack adds one year of warranty plus onsite exchange. The Cintiq Companion has two years’ warranty without onsite exchange, so the Care Pack adds two more years of warranty plus onsite exchange for the whole four years.

– Video training. lynda.com and video2brain are two of the world’s leading video training providers, offering everything from in-depth Photoshop tutorials to management training and more, all delivered by industry experts. Get between three and 12 months’ worth of access to training with this option.

– Colour calibration. Get better results from your monitor with Datacolor’s professional digital colour calibration solutions, from the SpyderCUBE to the Spyder4 EXPRESS, PRO and ELITE.

– Digital painting. Corel is a world leader in digital painting software, so if that’s your bag, opt for the bonus Corel Painter X3 application. There are tons of unique brushes, media, gradients, nozzles, patterns, and paper textures to choose from and get creative with. (Not available for Cintiq 13HD.)

– Print materials. Choose the Tecco bonus and customise yourself a pack of professional print materials for proofs, photos, production and laser printing.

How does it work?

– Buy any Wacom Cintiq tablet (Cintiq 13HD, Cintiq 22HD, Cintiq 22HD touch, Cintiq 24HD, Cintiq 24HD touch, Cintiq Companion or Cintiq Companion Hybrid) before 31st December 2014. You can check out the full Wacom Cintiq range here.

– Register your Cintiq on wacom.eu/register by 31st December 2014. Keep your serial number, date of purchase and an image of your invoice or receipt ready for this bit.

– Choose one of up to five brilliant bonus items for free from the selection above.

– Receive your confirmation email with details on how to get your bonus, or find your bonus on your personal dashboard. All bonus items have to be redeemed before 31st January 2015.

Want to know more about Wacom’s incredible deal, or our full Wacom Cintiq range? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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Avid update Media Composer with background rendering and more

Avid update Media Composer with background rendering and more

The latest update for Media Composer is out now, with Avid adding all manner of workflow enhancements to turn you into a lean, mean editing machine. Render in the background to save time and money, use floating licence servers to cut out downtime, and find those assets you need quicker with favourite bins and the like.

Here are just a few of the new Media Composer tools and features:

Background render. Render effects in the background while you continue to work and edit within Media Composer. Use the Background Queue window to confirm progress and manage jobs.

Favourite bins. Have one or more bins always available no matter what project you’re in.

Project information in select project dialogue. Selecting a project in the list displays the project type, colour space, raster size, frames per second, stereoscopic profile and more – before opening the project.

Quick filter in project window. Quickly filter bins in the project window based on specific text.

Search for markers. Search for marker names and comments in the Find window across all sequences and master clips within a project, in both open and closed bins.

Image cache for thumbnails. Improved performance loading, scrolling or resizing large quantities of thumbnail images in bins and the timeline. In addition, the Media Cache setting allows users to set the memory and disk cache size, as well as establish the location of the disk cache.

Redundant floating licence server support. Configure an additional floating licence server as a backup server in case of emergency. When the primary server goes down, the editor seamlessly uses a licence from the backup server and continues working – no risk of losing access to your licences!

Enhanced feeds management in Application Manager. View feeds in chronological order and choose which feeds you’d like to receive.

DMF support for DPX files. The AIS (Avid Image Sequencer) plug-in now supports DMF workflows. Use profiles to automate the linking, consolidation, transcode and copy of DPX files in the background using DMF profiles.

How to get the new update

The latest update to Media Composer has already been unleashed on the world, and getting it couldn’t be simpler. If you’re already running the latest version of MC, then Avid will drop you a notification to let you know the update’s available through the Application Manager. When ready, you’ll be given a link to download and install under the Apps tab.

If you’re purchasing Media Composer new, or a Standard Avid Support/Upgrade for Media Composer, Symphony, or NewsCutter, you’ll receive this update in your Master Avid Account. Anyone on current Support contracts can download the update either from their Master Avid Account or the Avid Download Center (login and password required). Finally, if you’re not on a current Avid Support contract, you can get one of those from us to receive the latest software update.

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.

Infographic: Top app ideas for every area of your business

Infographic: Top app ideas for every area of your business

You can now streamline pretty much every area of your business with a bespoke app. From a customer-facing sales catalogue that will improve your meetings with clients, to a warehouse distribution app that’ll ensure your logistics are as efficient as they can be. Take a look at our infographic below for some of our top ideas (just click to see it in more detail)…

Infographic: Top business app ideas

Want to know more about developing your own killer business app? Get in touch with our app development team on 03332 400 888, email appdevelopment@Jigsaw24.com or head to our custom app development site.

5 ways iBeacon can improve your customer loyalty

5 ways iBeacon can improve your customer loyalty

You’ve probably seen iPad being used in retail environments for all manner of things from digital signage to till systems. But with iBeacon, it also has a nifty little trick up its sleeve for improving customer loyalty over wireless, with bespoke notifications, contextual special offers and more.

How does iBeacon work?

Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to nearby iOS devices. When a device is in range of a beacon (essentially a small, inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter), an app on the customer’s iPad or iPhone will pick up the signal from the beacon and respond accordingly.

How can beacons be used?

Say you’re a customer, and you pass a beacon in a particular store and have the app installed, that retailer could push out specific special offers, loyalty schemes and promotions, or more information around a particular display, to you. Strategically placed, this means you can also work out where your premium shop space and ‘hotspots’ are, enabling you to analyse and monetise your store. Customers feel like they’re getting a more personalised shopping experience, which all helps promote loyalty around your brand.

Apple, naturally, have been using iBeacon in their Apple Stores for a while, letting them pinpoint a customer’s location in the store and enable Apple to present relevant sales information. The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street, is also dabbling with iBeacon technology; Regent Street resident brands, including Hamleys, Armani, Longchamp and Hackett have all installed to help push exclusive and personalised marketing messages to shoppers via a mobile phone app (Marketing Week).

I’m sold. Can I have some more beacons ideas, please?

There are endless ways you could use iBeacon to provide information to customers, but here are a few of our favourites as a jumping off point:

1. Entice new customers with time-sensitive deals. Whip up a bit of urgency by pushing out a limited time offer to customers as soon as they step in your store, eg “Jim’s crazy deals: Get 50% off all underwear for the next hour!!!”. This would be especially effective around seasonal periods, blue cross sales and similar.

2. Help customers navigate your store. Tell your customers where they are, and direct them to where they want to be, using beacons. Ideal for large department stores, and multi-storey shops, eg “You’re now on the homeware level”.

3. Engage customers with in-store games. This is a bit of fun, but holding something like a store-wide treasure hunt using beacons (with a small incentive up for grabs) can really help engage customers, and even get them to visit parts of the store they may not have originally intended to.

4. Get feedback from customers. As well as giving customers information, you can also use beacons as part of your mobile strategy to get feedback from customers.

5. Give customers a joined-up shopping experience. As the Regent Street brands are doing in the article above, beacons can be used to promote multiple stores, or let you work in conjunction with other nearby stores to offer deals that are specific to a certain area.

Looking to learn more about iBeacon? Download our iBeacon in retail pdf here.

Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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What does the future hold for retail technology?

What does the future hold for retail technology?

The face of retail is changing, with more and more retailers now looking to innovative new technologies to help increase sales conversion, reduce time at tills, and generally improve overall customer experience and engagement.

Mobile technology, for example, is massively on the rise, with devices like iPad now ubiquitous amongst consumers, who expect that level of engagement from retailers too. So they’re having to think about how to integrate these technologies both in-store and at headquarters too.

To find out more about the challenges retailers are facing, and what they really want from technology, LightSpeed (who create clever point of sale and ecommerce solutions for retailers), posed a few questions to their customers. The Lightspeed Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 (downloadable by clicking on the image below) from earlier this year polled 640 small to medium-sized businesses from across the globe about their retail technology buying habits, from clothing and apparel stores to home and garden retailers.

Download Lightspeed's Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

Download Lightspeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

The ultimate takeaway from the survey, it seems, is that retailers want “innovative inventory management and predictive analytics solutions above all else.” Of the biggest inventory challenges, keeping inventory stocked without over-ordering topped the list with 47% of respondents (single site, 35% multi-site location), salespeople’s lack of inventory knowledge in second (24%, 23%), then keeping checkout lines short (11%, 7%) and tracking inventory across stores (10%, 28%).

eCommerce and mobile technology forecasts

Being iPad nuts, we were particularly interested in seeing what impact mobile devices were having in-store, as POS or kiosk systems. According to the survey, 80% of those retailers who currently use mobile devices in-store report that they have increased sales, and apparently there’s a massive upward spike of uptake predicted by the end of 2014 too, with the percentage of retailers using tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices in-store expected to double.

You can check out the full lot of survey results by downloading LightSpeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 here, but we’ve picked out a few more choice cuts for you to skim over below…

– 43% of respondents want to improve the customer experience using mobile checkout; 34% want to improve mobile inventory lookup.

– 54% of retailers derive 1-10% of their total sales from eCommerce on the web.

– 38% of those retailers currently offer eCommerce, while 38% plan to offer eCommerce in the future (that’s a whopping 100% increase…).

Get your very own bespoke app

One of the best ways for retailers to get the most out of mobile tech is with a bespoke app, and we’re ideally placed to help. If, for example, you’re looking at getting your own app, and have salespeople out on the road and conducting meetings, we offer our free b7 app and iPad trial scheme, designed to improve field operations and make your team more productive and better equipped.

If you’re looking for something more specific to you, while also reducing costs, then talk to us about developing your own bespoke app. We recently worked with Welcome Furniture to develop their own custom app, and they’ve since seen a massive £130,000 saving per annum on logistics purely because of the app (check out the Welcome Furniture case study here).

Find out more about the b7 programme, and how we can help you get the most out of iPad, by giving our team a call on 03332 409 306 or emailing b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

It’s hard to believe Apple’s Mac Pro is now a year old, having been first unveiled at last year’s WWDC. With the new Mac Pro now working its way onto desktops across the creative industries, we caught up with Sanjiv Sathiah, news editor at MacNN.com and Electronista (and devoted Apple fan!) to find out his thoughts on the mighty Mac Pro a year down the line, and why it still reminds him of a Sith Lord…

It’s been a while now since you originally reviewed the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN. Have your opinions changed at all?

“Like all Apple enthusiasts who first saw the new Mac Pro teased at last year’s WWDC, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. It radically reimagines workstation computing in a way that no one else but Apple could have delivered. I’m just as excited about it today as I was the day I saw it; it really is an amazing piece of technology.

“For me, it is an embodiment of the Apple design and engineering philosophy. If you look at previous Mac Pros, it’s like Apple just instantly jumped ahead a decade in terms of workstation design. It is the ultimate in refinement, stripping away everything that could be considered non-essential, leaving behind only exactly what is needed to power professional workflows right now.

“The new Mac Pro is a stripped down and lean machine, designed for both speed and heavy lifting. There is not a single component that could be considered a bottleneck, with optimal bandwidth a key consideration right throughout its system architecture. It really is a joy to use, and of course, it looks simply stunning.”

What’s the general reception been like with staff at Electronista/MacNN?

“Like me, I think everyone in the team loves what it has to offer the Apple power user. It is the most expandable Mac Pro yet, but at the same time it is just 1/8 the size of the previous generation and also manages to be substantially more powerful across the board. Some of the team miss the chassis space of the older model, but this was not always fully utilised by Mac Pro owners in the past.”

Has uptake among professionals and consumers matched your initial thoughts?

“I haven’t seen any official sales figures that break out Mac Pro sales on their own. However, Apple’s Mac revenue was up in the last quarter year-on-year by 5%, and it seems likely that the new Mac Pro played some role in that.

“The fact that it took Apple over six months for supply to catch up with demand shows that it has been hugely successful. Some of that was due to pent-up demand, no doubt, as a new model was overdue. But, it would seem that the wait was well and truly worth it.”

Are there any specific tasks that you think have seen the best performance uplifts since the upgrade?

“The new Mac Pro has incredible CPU, RAM, GPU, storage and connectivity bandwidth. Even the entry-level model fitted with quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU and dual-AMD FirePro D300 GPUs offers serious computing power.

“You have to remember that the new Mac Pro is optimised to utilise both the CPU in combination with the GPUs for computational processes in a number of OpenCL-compatible professional applications like Final Cut Pro among many others. The GPUs alone provide between 4-7 teraflops of processing power, depending on model configuration.

“Mac OS X’s support for OpenCL benefits users in all types of pro applications, including those using 3D intensive modelling CAD applications, through to realtime 4K movie editing, photo editing and music making. Scientific applications also benefit tremendously from the new Mac Pros. I use Logic Pro a lot and have enjoyed nothing but smooth sailing since upgrading to the Mac Pro myself.”

And have you seen any particularly clever Mac Pro setups or uses?

“I have seen one hooked up to six Thunderbolt displays, which was cool. The potential is definitely there for some incredible setups thanks to the six Thunderbolt 2 ports that Apple has built into the device. With the daisy-chaining capability of Thunderbolt, you could actually hook in another 30 Thunderbolt utilities in addition to the six Thunderbolt displays, which is pretty wild.”

What about that design? Still love it?

“Oh yeah; it is the coolest-looking computer I’ve seen in a long time. It reminds me of Darth Vader in the way that its case lifts away to reveal its inner workings. Very Sith indeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the same polished anodised Space Grey finish applied to some other products from Apple – perhaps it might appear on the rumoured MacBook Air redesign…?”

Are there any accessories you definitely recommend?

“Yes actually. While I can’t wait for Apple to release its own Thunderbolt 2 displays, LG has made an outstanding Thunderbolt 2-equipped QHD IPS UltraWide monitor. The 34UM95 is 34-inches on the diagonal and is packed with 3440×1440 pixels for a total of nearly 5 million pixels. It’s impressive and makes for a nice companion to the Mac Pro.”

What improvements, if any, could you see Apple still make to the Mac Pro?

“My list of grievances with the Mac Pro is very short. I simply wish that for all its incredible connectivity, Apple had included an SD card slot in the machine, even if people can still connect a camera to it over USB. Some users might have preferred six USB 3.0 slots and just four Thunderbolt 2 ports. Other than that, for me, it is absolutely perfect.

“I think Apple has ticked all the right boxes with the new Mac Pro. It is a bandwidth beast. If you need a machine that will crunch through processor intensive tasks, the Mac Pro exists for that very purpose. It’s perfect for prosumers too, who might do quite a bit of general computing as well. And although the AMD GPUs are optimised for parallel processing tasks, they still perform really well for a bit of Mac gaming in your downtime – each of the GPUs in even the entry-level model has more grunt than the latest Xbox One or PS4.”

So can you see Mac Pro on many Christmas lists this year?

“Absolutely. And the Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator is a great place to start when looking to build your dream machine!”

– You can read Sanjiv’s full review of the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN here.

Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator

Want to know more about Apple’s Mac Pro? Email sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 306. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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Adobe launch new storytelling app, Adobe Voice for iPad

Adobe launch new storytelling app, Adobe Voice for iPad

Adobe are best known for their professional Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and InDesign, and tools like Acrobat, but lately they’ve been focusing on standalone mobile apps too. Now they’ve officially launched Adobe Voice, their brand new storytelling app for iPad.

Aiming to give anyone the ability to create and share engaging stories, Adobe Voice lets users easily create and share animated videos that combine images, music, voice recordings and special effects. This is great news for educators and students who want an easy in to creating basic video, using simple tools that make it easy to teach, to learn and to express themselves creatively.

It’s an ideal way for teachers to explain a concept or for students looking to create an engaging school assignment where they may not necessarily have the skills or resources to go down the traditional video route.

Adobe Voice for iPad

All you need do to get started is choose from a preset story template which outlines the structure of your video. Then you can simply import your own photos, pick from the app’s library of 25,000 icons or search the web for your own images. Next, pop a soundtrack over the top to fit your video from Adobe’s library, and even record a voiceover to explain your story. Your finished animated video can then be shared across social networks by posting a single link through social media, email, personal blogs or websites.

We’re going to be giving Adobe Voice a thorough test in the future, but in the meantime, why not give it a go yourself? It’s completely free and available to download now from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.
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