Should I upgrade to Mountain Lion?


OK, so the big question... To update or not to update?!?

I am always very careful before switching to a new OS, but with only a $20 price tag it's hard to say no. As with any new OS there is usually always a bug or two and some changes that may take getting used to. Before upgrading I'll usually read quite a few reviews beforehand to get a feel for what the pros and cons of the update are. This blog post is to help those still sitting on the fence to make a decision. 

Mountain Lion is technically nothing like Lion, which is a good thing. My experience from the first day of it's release has been a good one, It's polished, stable and way faster. In contrast, the first few weeks with Lion were frustrating to say the least. The only real concern around Mountain Lion at this stage is that many users are seeing decreased battery life in laptop devices. I have not experienced this issue with my macbook pro, however I usually have it plugged in most of the time...

Stability, speed and usability are usually what matter most to me when considering an upgrade so any useful features are an added bonus. With Mountain Lion there are quite a few added bonuses. Some of my favourite include:


Brings iMessages to the mac to allow you to message iPhone and iPad devices.


Originally another app only for iOS, allows you to create lists and tasks that can synced between your other apple devices.

Notification Center

Allows you to see information important to you within other applications at a glance.

Safari 6.0

My favourite features in the latest version of safari on Mountain Lion is the new share button and the smart search field. This isn't exactly a new feature in the browser market but a great addition to safari none the less.

Airplay Mirroring

Airplay mirroring is flawless, great for if you want to be able to non apple supported content to your big screen or give a presentation.

VIP's in Mail

My second favourite feature after Messages. VIP's allows you to add mail contacts to a special vip list so you'll never overlook an important email again.

Twitter Integration

Pretty self explanatory, saves a bit of time.

All in all, Mountain lion is a HUGE improvement over Lion and an OS I would reccomend it to anyone. Nuff Said. 

Cheatsheet For Mac

How to save yourself 8 Days/ year

Two words - Keyboard Shortcuts

Say whaaaat?

Yes, they really do help you save time. And now there's a great new free & simple way to learn them!

Cheatsheet for Mac allows you to quickly and easily check up on the keyboard shortcuts for any application you are currently using by simply holding down the command key. 


Cheatsheet is great for anyone who wants to save time whilst doing every day tasks through use of keyboard shortcuts.

The folks over at the brainscape blog say that by using keyboard shortcuts you could be saving yourself a total of:

8 days per year!

Making this an amazing application for anyone who wants to get their work done faster and go on holiday! Cheatsheet for mac gives a clean and simple list of commands that can be used for the current application and best of all it's free!

Product Review: NetComm NP206 Wireless Powerline Kit

Purchased from: Officeworks Mona Vale

Price $199

The NetComm Wireless Powerline products are great for anyone needing to extend their network beyond the boundaries of their existing wifi range or for anyone not wanting to pay contractors to put ethernet cable through the roof or walls. I have always been a bit skeptical of these devices but after having two success stories i've been converted.

Netcomm powerline kits aren't cheap but give amazing flexibility when trying to extend the range of your network throughout the home or office compared to ethernet or wifi. When installing the NP206 or any of the other powerline kits, make sure you are using them on the same circuit and have both plugged directly into a wall socked (not a powerboard).

Some users have mentioned that the passwords supplied with the documentation have been incorrect, however this can be fixed by using the utilities available here:

Users have also reported that the unit gets quite hot and that it makes a high pitch whine when turned on. Keep these things in mind when deciding where to position the units in the home or office. It may not be suitable for the bedroom.

My final thoughts on this one: If you are ok with the slight drawbacks such as the temperature and reported high pitch whine (which I never noticed) then this is a great alternative to wifi extenders or laying your own ethernet cable.

I give the NP206 an 8/10

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Product review: Netgear N600 – DGND3700

Purchased from: Officeworks Mona Vale
Price $237

Long story short – Not worth the money – wifi range is no better than devices half the price!
I recently purchased this for home use with the primary reason being it had a wifi on/off button on the front meaning I could easily turn the wifi off at bed time or when leaving the house. The two reasons for this need were:

    1.    So I didn't have to have wifi going through my body whilst sleeping at night (I usually turn it off in the config before going to sleep but a manual button is nice.)

    2.    Better network security. The great features advertised on the box such as “best” wifi range, gigabit ethernet and USB for attachable storage were also appealing. I picked one up from Officeworks at the full retail price of $237 (This was a forgetful mistake as Officeworks have advertised for years that they will beat any price by 5%).

+ Installation was quick and easy
+ My internet speed actually increased by about 1Mbps

- Wireless range was worse than my current Belkin N300 wireless router which which is half the price of the Netgear.

- Wireless activity is not displayed on front of router, instead you get a constant light with no flicker.
- When trying to play around with the settings I found that the level of configuration available was also quite basic and therefore was not able to squeeze any better performance out of the wireless signal apart from what came from changing the wireless channel which was minimal.
My final thoughts: steer clear unless you don't care about wifi.

I give the netgear n600 a 5/10