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Category Archives: Technology

Andrew & His New iPhone 5

And The Apple Craze Continues…

Here at the Los Angeles InMotion office, we’ve got quite a few Apple fanboys that were eager to get their hands on Apple’s new release, the iPhone 5.  Here’s a firsthand review from Andrew, an IMH web designer and excited new iPhone 5 owner.

Andrew & His New iPhone 5

“I’ve been using Apple’s latest iPhone since Friday afternoon. The iPhone 5 is unquestionably the most iconic smartphone, and every new release is met with much hype. Is the iPhone 5 a worthy new addition to the Apple lineup or does it fall short of expectations? Read my quick review to find out.

Hardware
The iPhone 5 is super lightweight, especially compared to the beefy iPhone 4/4S. It’s only .07 inches thinner than its predecessors, but it’s noticeable while holding it. This thing is made out of the glass and textured aluminum on the back. I like the new backplate, though aluminum can (and will) scratch and dent (better than shattering glass I suppose). The new colored metal rim on the black/slate version really brings the whole design together.

The new iPhone boasts an all around spec bump compared to its predecessors. The size of the high-res display was increased to 4” and is slightly improved. Coming from an iPhone 4, I was mainly looking forward to increased speed that the new processor, better RAM, and new 4G connectivity bring. Everything feels snappier, from installing/launching new apps to streaming music from Spotify, to using graphics intensive apps like games. The already top-notch camera from previous generations sees a slight spec increase as well. Oh, and the headphone jack is on the bottom now. It’s next to a smaller adapter… and it’s not micro USB…

Software
Some notable new features include Facetime over 3G, Panorama camera mode, Passbook, and new Maps. Apple has been trying to distance itself from all things Google and subsequently it ditched the Google Maps powered app for an all new Apple created app with a great look and feel. Much has been made of the strange and comical issues that have been found in the app, but it’s not a software issue as much as a data issue. Google has tons of it. Apple doesn’t. Many POIs are missing or incorrect. I have little doubt that Apple and its partners will improve their pool of map data, but it will take time. I think Apple let the cat out of the bag a bit too early on this one.

Which leads me to my second point. iOS seems stagnant. It’s now catching up to the rest of the field with features. If Apple’s decision was to invest engineering time and money, replacing a Map app that just worked on its devices with something just barely good enough, then it’s a sad day for iFans. Apple has enormous software talent and iOS is still a great product. I’d just like to see it shine.

Conclusion
My opinion (having used several Android and RIM phones) is that Apple’s phone industrial design is second to none. The iPhone 5 is an all around improvement on an already great product. iOS is still pleasant to use, but I worry about how it will evolve (or fail to evolve) with the times.

If you have an iPhone 4 then this upgrade is a no brainer. If you have a 4S and are happy with your device, then save some money and wait until the inevitable iPhone 5S. Not like any of my fellow office iGeeks will heed my advice…”

Apple Fanboys

IMHhangout on mobile devices

#IMHhangout | Do Mobile Devices Really Increase Productivity?

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.

Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

With the talk of the release of the new iPhone 5, we decided to make our topic ‘Do Mobile Devices Really Increase Productivity’. We hope that our audience of web pros, gadget geeks and those that postulate working on the run will share with us their experience working while away.

Questions to follow a round of introductions:

  1. What mobile devices do you own? #iPhone #iPad #netbook
  2. What form of work do you do? #Webmasters, #Designers #Sysadmin
  3. Do you use your device for work or personal organization?
  4. Lets see which apps you use for each group: #personal #office
    1. PicSay for Androids, LogMeIn.com for remote desktop, Host CPanel iPhone/Android App
  5. How many hours daily do you spend on your mobile device? #texting #sharing
  6. Who or what is really doing the driving?
    1. I threw this sophomoric question in for debate!

So! Whether you’re a traditionalist who prefers doing things in person or keeping work to a focused time-frame rather than jumping to every alert that comes in, here’s an opportunity to find out if those that are really ‘connected online’ fare any better at productivity.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can lurk without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. We do want you to showcase your tech savvy reviews of mobile gadgets, to help the rest of us decide what we really want. Please interact using tweetchat.com here, and we’ll keep an eye on the live twitter stream to mention your name, and find out what products you root for.

How to Find the #IMHhangout

  • Look for our Custum URL [or click here]: google.com / +inmotionhosting
  • Type ‘InMotion Hosting‘ into google plus search to find our brand profile page. On your mobile device you have to do this through ‘people‘ [not circles] profile search to view our page profile.
  • Do a hard refresh [hold down shift + refresh] near broadcast time to make sure our google plus page refreshes and shows you the invitation to ‘join hangout

We received a comment on one of our hangouts that one viewer couldn’t jump in. So I decided to test it out and sure enough Google hangouts do work through iPhones and mobile devices. Unfortunately we cannot explain why some of you get messages like this:

“This hangout is not currently supported on this device” – So we are aware difficulties like this do happen, as this is what I saw on my iPhone. I’m looking forward to suggestions from other mobile people on how they overcome this. In the mean time the only suggestion I have is to leave the G+ app, and restart it if you see this message come up. Even so, please don’t let this hold you back! We value your input through the TweetChat hashtag, make sure you tag your conversation with #IMHhangout so that everyone in the community can see your voice!

Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! We are looking forward to giving you all a spot here in the live broadcast – so make sure you jump in

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – Our in-house Graphic Designer, will be scanning our Tweetchat

@IMH_Affiliate – Our Affiliate Manager, will be keeping a deft eye on G+ and hopefully making sure you can jump in.

@Maria_InMotion – Our SEO and Partner Specialist will be watching out for people on Facebook to make sure you get a mention.

Here’s this week’s Hashtracking report which shows that we had over 127,000 impressions on this hangout! Thanks this week to @Brianna5mith who was our top contributor on Twitter from the Business Branding world.

IMHhangout

#IMHhangout | Working from the Office vs Telecommute

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.


Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

This weeks coming topic is ‘Working from the Office vs the Telecommuter’ which is aimed at getting web pros and freelancers together to share their experience on finding the perfect workspace for your digital day.

Questions to follow a round of introductions:

  1. Have you ever worked from home?
  2. What form of work do you do? #Webmasters, #Designers #Sysadmin
  3. What type of office do you think supports your type of work?
  4. Have you ever made use of CoWorking locations?
  5. Pros and Cons of Telecommute?
  6. Pros and Cons of Freelancing?

This hangout is not just for those starting from scratch, but also those who are willing to share their great experience to others that might be looking for some webmaster help, or even webpro employment opportunities! Simply Hover over the event at the bottom of this post and add it to your calendar.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can lurk without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. Bear in mind this is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and availability for hire. We’ll push on with the show and you can still interact using tweetchat.com here. We keep an eye on the live  twitter stream to highlight your say, as well as review every person’s input after the video broadcast.

Don’t forget to hard refresh our Google Plus Page to make sure you see or simply listen in on the hangout! Near the 2pm EST spot, you will have to re-open the page to check if the broadcast is live once everyone is onboard. Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! As a special treat this week we are having our HR team join us so we’ll have some useful insight to present on who they look for!

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – our in-house Graphic Designer,

@IMH_Affiliate – our Affiliate Manager

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hastracking report which shows that we had over 95,000 impressions on our first hangout! Check out our previous Hangout on Blogging Here.

IMHhangout

#IMHhangout | Webmasters live Q&A: How to build your blog

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.



September sees the launch of our weekly webmasters live Q+A broadcast via Google Hangouts supported by the twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

This weeks coming topic is ‘How to Build Your Blog’ which is aimed at getting webmasters together to share advice, tips and opinions on how to launch and develop an audience for your blog.

Launch Questions:

  1. Which Blogging Platform do you use and why?
    1. See WordPress.com WordPress.org Drupal.com Joomla.com for installable CMS Platforms
  2. Which Industry are you blogging within?
    1. We have several people from the Technology Vertical, but also creatives blogging from their passion like Filmmaking. Be sure to make note of seasonal trends and weekly differences for your Industry, including down to the popular traffic hours.
  3. Any special tools you can’t live without for your blog?
    1. Jason recommends ‘Ninja Affiliate’ as a WordPress Plugin for affiliates. Here is a link to Special Themes and plugins for different industries.
  4. Favorite resource sites for themes, and design?
    1. Take a look at Anie’s suggestions here. Jason suggested RocketTheme.com and TemplateMonster.com
  5. Did you auto-install your blog, or set it up from scratch?
    1. I’ve used Auto-Installers Fantastico and Softaculous. If you have to do a manual install or migration then please check out our support center.
  6. How long before you saw good traffic to your blog?
    1. My experience has been 6 months, please tell me your story in the comments!

This hangout is not just for those starting from scratch, but also those who are willing to share their great experience to others that might be looking for some webmaster help.

Simply Hover over the event at the bottom of this post and add it to your calendar.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can listen in, join in on twitter even without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. We’ll push on ahead and you can interact with the show using either tweetchat.com here, we’ll be watching and sharing your voice to the rest of the audience so make sure you introduce yourselves.

Don’t forget to refresh our Google Plus Page to make sure you see or simply listen in on the hangout! Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in!

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – our in-house Graphic Designer,

@IMH_Affiliate – our Affiliate Manager

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hastracking report which shows that we had over 95,000 impressions on our first hangout!

color schemes

Color Pallete Generators

There are a number of color palette generators out there, all with their own perks and special features. These are my top ones to go to because to me they’re the simplest ones to experiment with and I get what I want the quickest.

Kuler:

When I need a good palette quickly, I mainly use Kuler to browse through ones created by others. I choose a few color palettes that stand out to me or fit my needs and then I just change them around a bit until I get what I want. You can also create your own color palette by selecting a color off the color wheel, and then choose from a list of categories to select what type of palette you want, like monochromatic or complementary. And if you want to mess with the colors, you can use the color sliders to adjust them.

Color Scheme Designer:

I like Color Scheme Designer because I feel like it gives you more flexibility. You can choose a color, it will give you colors that go well with the one you’ve chosen based on how many you want in your palette, and then you can adjust the hue, saturation, lightness, and darkness of all the colors at once or just pick one to adjust that specific one. It will give you more variations of color too within that palette. And plus, it’ll give you an example of how the color palette would appear on a light or dark website.

Color Blender:

Color Blender is probably the simplest of the three. You choose one color such as maybe one from your logo and it will give you a six color palette that you can tweak to your liking. You get some flexibility with color sliders, and hue, saturation, and value options. They also have blends you can browse through too. It provides a quick and easy color generating experience.

All these color generators provide great usable palettes and they allow you to customize them in their own way. You can play around with them to see which one allows you to have the amount of freedom that you need.

 

snagit_screenshot_layering_and_canvas_editing

Is there a Mobile App equivalent to Snagit?

After intense searching and testing, I have found one mobile app that reigns above all others to compare with Snagit‘s unbeatable screenshot educational sharing tool. The winning contender is… PicSay! For those of you who like to engage co-workers and audiences with the wonderful tools offered by Snagit, I knew I had a hard task on my hands to find anything remotely comparable.
For those of you who are wondering why I’m raving Snagit here is a montage of just a few of the cool tools I love in this browser application:

As yet, Techsmith have not yet released a mobile app version of their Screengrabbing tool Snagit. So in the mean time, I was forced on the hunt to find the best available solution. And for anyone that’s vaguely involved in writing and explaining technical content, especially whilst on-the-go, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a gap in the market for this software.

A search for picture editing and screen capture brings up hundreds of apps for your iOS or Android Mobile device, but they are all geared towards picture effects not ‘in-picture’ frame and layering effects.

With a little work around you can compile just the technical explain it material you need from a screen capture on your mobile device using PicSay:

It can layer objects, but unfortunately not additional segments of screenshots which I would say is the major portion missing from this app that would otherwise make this a near perfect competitor to Snagit.

There are all the usual tools such as rotate, cursor effects, re-framing or canvas resizing. I Particularly love the export feature which is more versatile than Snagit; being able to share to virtually any other app loaded on your mobile device is pretty ingenious!

Overall if you’re looking for a technical explain-it bit of sharing software for screen capture and graphics from your mobile device, then until Snagit comes up with a version, PicSay is the closest app I’ve found.

ASUS tranformer

Tablet Picks: iPad, vs Microsoft Surface, vs Asus Transformer

This week I had to fulfil my need for filling in ‘downtime’. Hours where I’m travelling, waiting, and just have to satisfy my urge to stay productive.

Mission: Blogging on-the-go, Off-Site Event Admin behind the scenes..

Personal Must Haves:

  • Touch Screen for multiple email inbox navigation and speedy filing.
  • Keyboard for responsive typing.
  • Tablet like screen for ease of reading.
  • Extra long battery life for those times when I can’t plug to a wall.
  • Tweetdeck or multiple twitter profile client.
  • Browser with full flash capability for those out of date sites…
  • WiFi connectivity / 4G
  • As little outlay as possible!
iPad 3 w/ Retina Display Microsoft Surface 10.6″ Slate Asus TF300 Transformer
 
 All the tablets boast lightweight fast applications. But upon testing out the ipad, I found the responsiveness for my speed typing just didn’t cut it for making newsworthy note-taking on the go.  The Microsoft Surface is yet to be launched but with the eye-watering price tag up there with ultrabooks I thought I’d look elsewhere than wait to part with ~$999  The Asus Transformer was indeed my final choice, only because it came separately with the keyboard docking which doubles it’s battery life to a handsome 15hrs!

The retina screen of the iPad  whilst awesome wasn’t a ‘need’ factor for blogging. I could certainly see the use for photographers. I wanted to focus on my productivity tools for the moment, and wondered whether it was worth the wait for the anticipated Microsoft Surface. Faster processor, bigger price tag, and that’s ultimately what put me off. The Asus Transormer was the first to launch a quad-core processor in it’s android operating sytem, but this precurser was soon discontinued because the Asus Transformer Prime (Quad Core Version) would soon get hot and later cause funny bugs in reliability. Asus are re-releasing the Transformer Prime with a Quad Core later this month, but this will be launched with the Windows Operating system, and the first in a generation of touch screen ultrabooks.
No doubt the price tag will match, as we are anticipating the Microsoft surface being bracketed in the range $599~$999 depending on spec. It occured to me that for mobile blogging, and away from the desk, the small apps offered on the android require less memory and processing than their full counterparts on the Windows system. This alone saves on power consumption and overall battery span.
Finally what won me over was the keyboard docking designed by Asus. A must have for it’s feel and responsiveness with my level of writing, with the ingenius bonus of being that spare battery pack, as well as protecting the screen in a handy ultrabook format. The detaching is a little clunky and not as sleek as the magnetic Surface keypad, but it serves to protect the screen of my slate when it’s in my purse.
Total Spend: $650

  • The Asus Pad $399, loaded with features and google connectivity for my pre-occupation of Doc Sharing.
  • The Docking Keyboard $149, Stretching out the battery life up to 15hrs, responsive keyboard and trackpad.
  • Clear WiFi Mobile Hotspot $49, plus $50 a month unlimited. The Asus doesn’t have 4G like the iPad, but with a mobile hotspot, I can maintain connectivity wherever I go, whenever I want.

 

decisions mac air vs retina pro

Decisions: Mac Book Air vs Mac Book Pro Retina

Help Maria out everybody. She’s been anxiously waiting the release of the Mac Book Retina Pro these last few weeks, and to add to the painfully slow decision we’re all following, everyone else in the office is jumping on the consumerism bandwagon and talking up the next latest tech buy.

Stay tuned this week as our creative team here at InMotion Hosting all make their choices in what they are planning to invest in, be it the top Pad, Notebook, Laptop, or various Macs from the Apple family.

Unfortunately this doesn’t help Maria out much, all this geek talk of various specifications is just growing the want list. So I decided to throw it out there to you folks and help her make her decision. It’s like pulling teeth, because despite having settled on getting a Mac for creative purposes, their family of laptops has an incredible array of choice, overlap, and pricing purposefully to part you from your money. As I’ll now go on to explain:

On the left, the fully specced out Mac Book Air | On the right the Mac Book Pro Retina Base model

Mac Book Air vs Mac Book Pro Retina

Maria:

Well my Dell laptop has already blown up several times and is six years old – so I’ve been thinking about getting a MacBook…

Maria! I think it’s past time to invest in a replacement, don’t you think? (Not that we’re putting the consumer pressure on her.) Anyway that said, her background is in sound production – Yes there are all sorts here at InMotion.

Maria:

I’ll be just using it for sound production, D-J software etc. I don’t do any video editing or imagery work so much. So as long as it can render this stuff with multiple channels fast…

Mac Book Retina Pro Pricing
“but it’s only $400 more..”

 

Here was my suggestion:

Seeing as you’re doing sound editing, don’t bother spending on the Retina Model! Save the $400 towards extra software or add-on hardware for your home music studio.

It’s not helped by the fact that everyone has their little bit of input on what they are buying and why. Pretty amazing that Mac of all brands has managed to stop Marketing AND Development departments in it’s tracks to stare dumbfounded at the latest new toys.

Work literally ground to a halt as we all crowded around to stare at Andrew’s new Mac Book Retina Pro Base model. The same one Maria is considering, only he uses it for the Xcode SDK, and those coding texts look so crisp maybe I don’t need glasses after all?

 

Stop Working - Andrew's Retina!

Here’s what everyone else had to say:

Mike (Marketing Manager): [He was going to go for the Retina Model I believe]

I went to see it, and it made the internet look crap. Big disappointment for me because I don’t do enough video stuff to warrant me staring at a crap internet screen all day. I think I’ll wait out ’till the next round of Apple releases.

The debate has caused a stir at all levels of the company, Bob (Executive Level) has already committed to buying the Latest Fully specced Mac Book Air.

It’s faster than my old Mac Book Pro, and cheaper than upgrading. Since I only do a bit of video editing I wasn’t going to warrant going for the retina screen either. It’s fast enough for my Office editing, and occasional rendering.

I think that’s in-line with industry consensus. Unless you’re a Photographer, or full time Video Editor, going for the Retina Family will put you in a bracket of spending for those requirements at least double that of the PC family, which is where I’ll probably end up in my personal decision tree later on.

Waiting to see if Maria will snap out of the glassy eyed ooing.. help her out bods and share your decisions with us. Is the Mac Book Air good enough for sound production? Leave her a note:

lets explain web hosting

Let’s Explain Web Hosting – Behind the Scenes [Video]

Ever get bored of the techie trying to explain to you what web-hosting is all about from his bedroom recorded Skype video? Ever get confused with all the funny terms they drop in – like ‘Shared Hosting’, ‘Dedicated Servers’, it’s usually jumbled up with more screenshots of jargon, added to a robotic voiceover – you must know the type of video I mean!

Well, we understand how you feel! So our team got together and decided to ‘splain it in low-tech everyday stuff, so that even YOU can explain it to your Mom, Dad, dog, and client.

Check out our video below:

This is the catch, it was just us folks in the office, trying to explain it without going near the technology we take for granted around us. Um, do you think I set up an uncool [unfair] challenge or not?

Here’s what Anie had to say:

I guess I’d like to say what a fun process it was and how it was a different kind of teamwork that we’ve never experienced before, and we get to share this with our customers in order to have a more fun and shared perspective of web hosting from our customer’s point of view.

Which is pretty much what I was hoping for.

Anie: From beginning to end it was fun: drawing, cutting, taping, setting up and rehearsing!

Jason: I’m looking forward to using it to explain web hosting, VPS, and what I do to my friends, colleagues and affiliates. It was always a sticking point if you try to go there.

Alex: I enjoyed recording the sound with everyday office noises – even more so that I managed to get one of my own songs into the background party bit!

And the point I was making? Well, wouldn’t it be cool if as a new start-up or web-business, you could put together a simple video like this to explain your business? I’ve proven that we don’t have to have fantastic performance skills to produce something that could be meaningful to our audience. I hope you share the video as inspiration for your own office/business videos!

web hosting for beginners

lets explain web hosting

Purple HTML5 Animator

So you want to begin #HTML5 Animation?

A while ago we produced the HTML5 Cheat sheets that went down a treat amongst pro web developers. But what about those of us who are completely new to HTML5 and want to take advantage of it’s powerful features without the in depth coding knowledge?

I researched and put together a list of the top 5 Animation suites to get you a head start on creating some punchy graphics for your web pages.

1./ Purple – $20 Mac OSX App for HTML5  iPhone, iPad and web animationsPurple HTML5 Animator

Hmmm, this was the cheapest of all the apps, looks beautifully built. But it has strong limitations in that it’s only for Mac users and that there are no mouse over or button animation features. Another nasty hiccup was browsing their demo site, I came across a browser incompatablity issue and graphics wouldn’t display. The animation demos looked nice on my iPhone but didn’t scale and couldn’t interact so there is still some room for improvement.

“SAY WHAT!@#%^!? – I thought we were supposed to be moving away from Flash and all it’s hiccups!?”

Yes – currently unless your browser supports ‘WebKit’ Extensions, you can’t view the work you put all that effort into. Purple say that in the next update of Firefox 5, this compatibility issue will be resolved, and therefore their HTML5 WebKit animations will be supported.

2./ Tumult Hype – $50

The graphics user interface of this suite seems particularly well thought out. You have the full options of animations given to you whether you are trying to create mouse-over animation etc. I Love this suite and at 50 Squids I think they hit  great affordable pricepoint with me. Now if only I had a mac. Hype is only available for Mac and they have no plans to produce a version for windows.

3./ Hippo – $30Hippo HTML5 Animator

They have gone to the effort of creating some really easy to understand tutorials for their software suite. The pricepoint is a really attractive low $30, matched only by the fact the tool feels a little clunky and buggy at times. This seems to match the windows platform hiccups as a PC user I have steadily gotten used to. The demos in their gallery show a great range of capability with mouse-over animation and button functions recently added. The Developers behind this tool are active which gives me great confidence there is more to come with this animation suite, and their support team seem really approachable. Definately a thumbs up for the beginner with HTML5, including anyone fearful of animation and timelines.

4./ Adobe Edge – $PREVIEWAdobe Edge HTML5

Adobe Edge is in preview beta release so grab it while you can. I was quick to end up being disappointed, just like Flash was known for it’s user ‘unfriendly’ workflow. Adobe Edge starts off appearing to have a more intuitive layout, but seems to be lacking many editing tools. I’m sure this is just a limitation of using the Beta release, but I’m sorely limited to be able to create new concepts when I want to trace different shaped paths, or cropping windows.

5./ Sencha Animator – $199Sencha HTML5 Animation

Wow this suite has it all, but the beginner can be easily scared off or confused at the layout of the purchase pages. Sencha has been around the longest and probably has the most stable editing suite out there. There is an amazing array of tools coding window, and even a nicely laid out support forum. But where this is let down is that it’s currently the most expensive on the market, and as a beginner sure enough it’s the lowest priced software Sencha is offering, but look down the list or at the sidebars and there’s a lot of cross navigating to developer architect tools, higher priced packages, amazing training courses in different softwares, and you suddenly become bewildered at your first attempt with coding HTML5 to think; ‘maybe you should get used to a simpler tool before investing 200 bucks?’

Summary of HTML5 Animation tools

Overall I think Tumult Hype is the winner for me, because of it’s GUI useability and function range. So much so I might have to go out and purchase a Mac just to get on this editing platform. In the mean time Hippo Animator will do as long as I can cope with it’s buggyness. I must have crashed the software 3 times in one session already! :(