Tablet computers now in almost 70% of schools

Tablet computers now in almost 70% of schools

We’ve been working with thousands of schools to implement iPad deployments since iPad first came out, but even we were amazed at the stat that almost 70% of primary and secondary schools now use tablet computers, of some form, according to new research.

Education technology charity Tablets for Schools, who carried out the study under Barbie Clarke of the Family, Kids and Youth research group, looked at a representative sample of 671 state and independent schools. They found that tablets are now being used, at least to some extent, in 68% of primary and 69% of secondary schools. The study also highlighted some other key points of interest pertaining to tablets in education, including:

– In 9% of schools, there was an individual tablet device for every pupil, suggesting a rise in intensive 1:1 schemes.

– Among those schools not using them at present, 45% reported that they would soon be likely to introduce them.

– Between 2014 and 2016, the number of tablet computers in schools is expected to rise from about 430,000 to almost 900,000.

– The highest use of tablet computers was within academy schools.

You can find out more about the findings of the study in BBC News’s report here.

Signs of academic improvement?

While the study had a wide sample size and no clear evidence of actual academic improvement, we have seen from working with schools at a localised level that iPad is definitely having a marked improvement on teaching and learning. One of our customers, for example, Conyers School, recently conducted their own student survey to gauge the impact of their 1:1 iPad deployment, and the results were impressive:

– 81% Students claim iPads help them learn independently.

– 89% Students claim they make lessons engaging and interesting.

– 78% Students claim learning is more accessible, suiting their individual learning style.

– 77% agree that iPad helps work with other students in a creative way.

– 66% agree iPad helps support studies and help improve grades.

– 62% agree iPad allows faster feedback from teachers.

If you’d like to find out more about how iPad can benefit your teaching and learning, take a look at some of the schools who have been taking part in our e7 project. Made up of a free iPad trial, extensive CPD training and a full 1:1 deployment, it’s a great way to get iPad into your school whatever your needs or experience levels.

Want to know more about deploying iPad in your school? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, how-tos and recommended resources, follow @Jigsaw24Edu 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

 

Avid Media Composer Nitris DX now supported on Mac Pro

Avid Media Composer Nitris DX now supported on Mac Pro

Got a Mac Pro? Rocking a Nitris DX? Good news for you, as Avid announce that the Avid Media Composer Nitris DX interface is now supported with Mac Pro via Thunderbolt 2. And all you have to do is download the most recent software update for Media Composer.

Because the Mac Pro has replaced all PCIe connections with Thunderbolt, and the Media Composer Nitris DX requires a PCIe connection, users weren’t previously able to take advantage of these newer systems. But now, users can essentially “upgrade” their purchase from the Media Composer Mojo DX to the Media Composer Nitris DX, and existing Nitris DX users can upgrade their CPUs to the newest Mac Pro without having to make a new hardware I/O purchase, which means smiles all round.

How to do it

Here’s the official word from Avid: “The feature (located in the Video Output Settings) disables the codec boards within the Nitris DX. Disabling the boards is not required in order to connect the Nitris DX via Thunderbolt 2, however some features will not function without the codec boards disabled.

“If you do not see this feature (Disable Hardware Codecs) in your Video Output Settings, make sure you are on the latest release of Media Composer Software, and that your Nitris DX is successfully connected to the machine.”

They do just mention a couple of important caveats you should bear in mind:

“Due to hardware limitations, some features of the Media Composer Nitris DX are not supported when connected to the Mac Pro using a Thunderbolt 2 connection. Other features require the hardware codec boards on the Nitris DX to be disabled in order to function.

“The table below illustrates what features are not supported, and what features require the hardware codec boards to be disabled, when connected to a Mac Pro via Thunderbolt 2.”

Want to know more about the Avid Media Composer Nitris DX? 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.

New EIZO FlexScan EV2450/EV2455: Super-slim, muscly and green

New EIZO FlexScan EV2450/EV2455: Super-slim, muscly and green

EIZO have announced a new batch of FlexScan displays that are set to be ideal for areas such as business, finance and CAD. The EIZO FlexScan EV2450 and EV2455 marry the same great specs as the current EV2336W and EV2436W but in a much slimmer and more attractive design, and with a whole host of power saving technologies too.

The main selling point for EIZO FlexScan displays has always been their quality and reliability – all the monitors are developed, manufactured and tested by EIZO and they come with an industry leading 5 year warranty as standard. They also come with tons of features as standard to help with user comfort, including a flexible stand and auto brightness control to reduce flicker (and save your poor tired eyes). All in all, they’re perfect for business users in areas like finance, as well as creative users in architecture and CAD.

Super-slim screens

The FlexScan EV2455 has a 24.1″ screen size and a native resolution of 1920×1200 while the FlexScan EV2450 has a 23.8″ screen and a 1920×1080 native resolution. It’s the design aesthetic that’s the real talking point here though – the new housing features 1mm ultra-slim bezels on the sides and top (with black borders of 5.2mm for the FlexScan EV2455 and 4.3mm for the FlexScan EV2450) and a depth of just 47.9mm for both models.

Green credentials

EIZO have also included some very clever green technologies in the displays too. EcoView reduces typical power consumption to 13 watts for the EV2455 and 12 watts for the EV2450, and automatically adjusting the screen’s brightness in accordance to ambient brightness, while EcoView Sense 2 uses movement and heat sensors to magically switch to power save mode when you leave your desk, then power back up when you sit back down!

Additional features

– USB 3.0 hub with one upstream and two downstream ports.
– Dual 1 watt internal speaker and headphone jack.
– Zero watts of power consumed when the main power switch is off.
– Overdrive circuit with 5ms grey-to-grey response time for smooth display of moving images.
– Energy Star 6.0 and TCO Certified Displays 6.0 compliance.
– Available in a choice of black or grey.

Availability

The EIZO FlexScan EV2450 and EV2455 are available right now, and available to order from Jigsaw24, so get your orders in here!

Want to know more about the EIZO FlexScan EV2450 and FlexScan EV2455? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email displays@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us 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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Thanks for coming to the Adobe Create Now SMB World Tour!

Thanks for coming to the Adobe Create Now SMB World Tour!

Adobe recently brought their Create Now SMB World Tour to the UK, with the chance for Adobe users to get up close and personal with Creative Cloud 2014’s desktop and mobile apps. And we had the pleasure of hosting the very final leg at our new place in Golden Square, Soho.

Adobe’s Iona Walters and Rupert Knowles, as well as our own Adobe specialists, were on hand to show how Creative Cloud can take businesses to new levels, explaining the brand new features and how the VIP licensing and Packager processes work. It must have gone down well (the free food and drinks might have helped, slightly…) because we had plenty of eager questions and some great feedback from everyone who attended. So thank you to everyone who came down – it was a blast!

Here’s a little of what you’ve been saying, and some pics from the day, in case you missed out:

Adobe's Rupert takes to the stage

Adobe’s Rupert takes to the stage

“Just wanted to say thank you for the invite today. It was really useful and informative – it’s good to know you’re only a ten-minute walk away too!”

“I have found that many of these events can be very dry and a little too formal. I found this mornings event, both in terms of presentation and venue to be just about the right balance and as such I was able to come away feeling intrigued to find out more about some of the things I’d seen, as opposed to having ‘glazed over’.”

“More of these please! Maybe focus on different areas – video, photo, graphics etc.”

Iona from Adobe runs through the new 2014 features in Creative Cloud apps

Iona from Adobe runs through the new 2014 features in Creative Cloud apps

“@WeAreJigsaw24 @AdobeUK Thanks for a great session today. Lots of great stuff to go and play with.”

“@WeAreJigsaw24 seriously loving the fact you guys r now in soho! Great first session with @AdobeUK hoping I can convince the team to invest!”

 

Lots of Creative Cloud questions!

Lots of Creative Cloud questions!

If you didn’t manage to make it down, don’t worry – we will be holding more events like this with Adobe. Keep an eye on Jigsaw24.com/events for all our upcoming events. Plus, you can always just drop in for a cup of tea and a chat about Adobe at our Soho services and customer experience centre at Golden Square.

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? 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.


NEC unveil PA322UHD display, creatives collectively swoon

NEC unveil PA322UHD display, creatives collectively swoon

“Crisp ultra high definition (UHD) resolution and incredible, predictable colour accuracy.” That’s how NEC are trumpeting their brand new MultiSync PA322UHD display – something that’s sure to get creatives across the photography, imaging and video industries drooling.

NEC’s new display, shipping in December, delivers four times the typical Full HD resolution, packing in 140 pixels per inch (PPI) at native resolution. This enables it to display images with amazing clarity and sharpness, as well as provide a huge amount of desktop real estate to play with.

Where it really stands out though is with its colour fidelity – it uses a wide gamut white LED backlight and an IGZO technology IPS-type LCD panel for excellent image quality, while delivering 99.2% Adobe RGB colour space coverage – all with lower power consumption than comparable LCD displays.

Another reason you have such high accuracy is the 10-bit colour support over DisplayPort and HDMI inputs. When matched with a 10-bit operating system and video card, you get an extra two bits of colour data through the display, extending the typical 16.7 million colours to over 1 trillion, improving gradients and reducing image banding. That makes it an ideal option for anyone who needs the best colour accuracy for their work, such as videographers, photographers and print production specialists, NEC say.

Other benefits include:

– Support for a multitude of refresh rates, including 24, 30, 50, 60, 85, 100 and 120Hz modes.

– USB 3.0 hub (two up, three down) with DisplaySync Pro, which is a high resolution KVM switch that can control two computers with only one keyboard and mouse.

– Two DisplayPort inputs, and the options of two DVI-D and two HDMI, or four HDMI inputs, as well as an OPS-compliant option slot for additional input flexibility.

– Ergonomic stand that’s ideal for both landscape and portrait modes, with automatic rotation of the image when the display is rotated.

– Colour and white Digital Uniformity Correction with 93% more correction points than previous MultiSync PA Series displays.

– ‘Picture in Picture’ and ‘Picture by Picture’ modes, which splits the screen in half or in quarters to up to four full HD images in one or more multiple colour spaces in realtime.

– Two internal 2W speakers for great multimedia sound.

Availability

First shipments for the PA322UHD display are expected to take place in December 2014.

Want to know more about getting your hands on the NEC PA322UHD, or more on colour accurate displays? Get in touch now on 03332 409 306 or email displays@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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.