Apple Premium Service Provider

1st March 2017.

We are very excited to announce that Ubertechs have been awarded the prestigious status of, Apple Premium Service Provider.

This is an achievement we have been working towards for a long time; it is awarded by Apple to service providers, who go above and beyond their already exceptional customer service.

Of the 100 or so Authorised Apple Service Providers in the UK and Ireland, only 5 have been awarded this achievement. We are extremely pleased and proud to have received this award.

We are listed on the Apple service locator as a Premium Service Provider.
 

Ubertechs have Moved.

We had been located on the White Cross Business Park since 2010, in mid September 2016 we have moved to new offices at; The Old Stables, Bulk Street, Lancaster, LA1 1PU.

The new premises are nearer to the centre of Lancaster, just behind Dalton Square and we are surrounded by 3 large public car parks.
We have signage outside the building making us easier to find and attract passing trade.
We are open for business in our new location from Monday the 19th September 2016.

Walking directions from our existing store to our new location are here. (Map below)

Driving directions from our existing store to new location are  (Map below)

5th September 2016. Our new signs are up. What do you think?

Apple WWDC Event - 2014 - Predictions.

It's nearly that time of year again when Apple holds its World Wide Developer Conference in California.
Each summer Apple holds this event, to get together as many Apple developers as it can under one roof, for a week of conferences, workshops and discussions about Apple's latest developments. 
The conference opens with a keynote presentation from Tim Cook and other Apple execs. Historically, this keynote is where Apple announces new operating systems for both iOS and OS X devices. We will certainly hear about the new iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, (nickname unknown, my guess is Golden Gate or Big Sur).
Apple often releases or at least announces an update to its product line, below are my predictions for OS/software updates and hardware:-

Mac Mini.
Apples entry level and cheapest computer, the Mac Mini, has not seen an update since October 2012 and is well overdue. I think we will see an update to the latest Haswell processors and faster Iris graphics. I believe they may drop the price slightly to entice more people in from the Windows 8 world too.

Apple TV.
I think we may get a glimpse at both new hardware and a new version of iOS for the Apple TV. This will allow the miniature unit to play games and have its own App store. Whether the current unit has enough 'poke' to play these games I am not sure; this may be something only available to the upcoming, 4th generation Apple TV.
I think we may see some kind of controller integration which uses the iPhone 5S/6 motion controller, aka M7. This would allow you to play the games from the comfort of your couch and control them with your iPhone.

iPhone 6.
I'm not sure we will see this yet, it may be talked about alongside the new iOS 8 but the unveiling could be done in September with release shortly after. It will have a bigger screen, better battery life, (hopefully), more RAM would be nice too. It may even be bundled with new earbuds from the strongly rumoured Beats/Apple buyout. Two available screen sizes and sapphire glass screen are other rumours.

MacBook Air Retina/Pro.
There are rumours of a new MacBook Air design with a 12" Retina screen. This may see the demise of the 11" and 13" MacBook Air. The retina displays use more battery power and Apple will not want to sacrifice the current 12 hour battery life of the 13" MacBook Air. Also the 11" 'Air has just had a £100 price reduction to make it more attractive. Its unlikely a Retina screen model will be offered at the same price point.

iOS 8.
iOS is the name of the operating system that runs on the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Apple really need to do a major overhaul on their photo management in iOS. Things like the limit on Photo Stream and on device storage. iCloud backup should also be much more flexible and not be as expensive  for those with 32 or 64GB iOS devices.
There are some strong rumours that we will see the inclusion of enhanced health trackers in iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6. This will tie in to the rumoured HealthBook application and iWatch device.
We should see the ability to AirDrop files between OS X and iOS devices with the next major updates too.
Split screen multi-tasking will allow you to put two applications side by side on your iPad and share information/data between the two applications. This sharing of data is something which is sorely missed in current versions of iOS. Having the two applications side by side and using some kind of temporary storage to allow sharing of data would allow this and perhaps get around the strong sandboxing security features that are built in to iOS. Apple will likely add iOS versions of TextEdit & Preview which will sync via iCloud with the desktop equivalents.

OS X 10.10.
I think the major overhaul we will see here is a flattening of the interface to make it more similar to that which came about with iOS 7. The muting of colours and perhaps use of more pastel shades (as seen in the WWDC 14 logo above) may become more prevelant. As is usual many of the apps will get updates and we might see the inclusion of a new HelthBook app which will tie in with the iOS version.

iWatch.
I've left this one to last as things seem to have gone quiet on this front recently. If the HelathBook app/system is announced then the 'watch' or iBand/iRing may be required to get all  the data needed in to the monitoring app. The iWatch device will be some kind of wearable which will connect with your iPhone over Bluetooth LE and push notifications from your phone or health and environment data to your phone. Tim Cook hinted strongly at a new product line that Apple are involved in, whether the iWatch will be it, remains to be seen.

Those are my guesses at what we might see and hear about at WWDC this June, what would you like to see?

Ubertechs 10th Anniversary, iPad Giveaway.

At the end of April 2014 Ubertechs, will be celebrating 10 years in business.
We would like to mark this occasion by giving one lucky person an iPad Mini absolutely free.
The winner will be drawn at random at the end of April.

The rules for entry are:-

  • You must be subscribed to the Ubertechs newsletter. (See form below)
  • You must 'like' our Ubertechs Facebook page at http://facebook.com/ubertechs
  • You must share and 'like' the iPad giveaway post on our Facebook page.
  • You must be available to collect the iPad in person from Ubertechs and agree to have your photo taken for our social media pages.

Please feel free to comment on this post and don't forget to follow the rules above.

You must be subscribed to our newsletters with a valid contact email address in order to be eligible for the prize. You will receive a confirmation.




Good luck and here's to the next 10 years!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

 

Warning - Check your laptop / tablet bag!

What you see below is the left side of a 2013 MacBook Air. From left to right; Magsafe 2 socket, USB 3 socket, headphone socket.
But look more closely at the USB and headphone socket and you might just catch a glimpse of something which should not be there!

Transient

We had this MacBook Air brought in to us recently as the customer could not get any USB devices or headphones to fit in the sockets.
On closer inspection we found what looked like a tiny bead lodged in the back of both sockets.
We tipped out the neoprene sleeve the laptop was brought in and our counter became covered in tiny 'beads' of silica gel!

When these protective sleeves are shipped they often contain a small bag of silica gel to help absorb any moisture, this bag had become damaged in the bottom of the sleeve and the tiny beads worked their way inside these ports.

Transient

Fortunately for the customer they had become lodged in the ports on the left side of the MacBook which houses a small input/output board. Had it been the other side it could have been much worse and may have resulted in the logic board being removed or worse still replaced!

So check your laptop / notebook / tablet / iPad bag today and remove the small packet of silica before it is too late!

Happy Birthday Ubertechs. (AASP)

cake.jpg

Three years ago today we became an Apple Authorised Service Provider.
We would like to thank all our customers for their great support and feedback during this time. We consistently achieve 100% customer satisfaction in Apples customer surveys, moving forward we are expanding our mainly service only business to include sales of select Apple products & accessories and recently launched our refurbished Apple store.

Here's looking forward to many more great years ahead. 

 

Its here! Google Maps for iPhone.

Yes thats right, Google have this morning released the much anticipated maps application for iPhone. My initial impressions of it are great! Its a really functional and nice looking app, in fact I'd go as far to say that it is well ahead of the Android version of Google Maps at this stage. As I understand Google will be updating the Android app to have the same look and feel of the iOS one. It's obvious where they have been spending their development time recently and it's certainly paid off. Running on the iPhone 5 it is very smooth, street view works very well and the screen layout is good.

What will the iPhone 5 bring?

 Apple Announce the new iPhone 5

Apple Announce the new iPhone 5

Whilst we don't repair iPhones here at Ubertechs (at present) we are generally mad about all things Apple! Later today at the Yerba Buena conference centre in San Francisco Apple will announce to the world its much anticipated  iPhone 5.

There have been many rumours as to what this new device will bring, there have also been many numerous mock devices and photos and even videos of what is purported to be the new device. Myself, I'm a little sceptical about this as in the past Apple have always guarded their upcoming plans very seriously. It just seems this time they have either been very shoddy in keeping things mum or, they have purposely leaked information to put people off the real scent of the new iPhone! I'd like to think it is the latter myself as I can't say I am altogether blown away with these leaked photos and sketchy specifications. Either way we won't have long to wait until the announcement, it all kicks off at 6pm UK time today, 12th September.

Whilst there will be no live video stream to keep up with the announcement, here are some of our favorite sites to follow the event on:-

http://live.gizmodo.com/

http://live.arstechnica.com/apple-september-2012-event-its-almost-here/

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/12/apple-iphone-5-liveblog/

It's been a while!

It's been sometime since I posted an update here! Things have been very busy at Ubertechs HQ that's for certain.We continue to repair many Apple computers in the area and we look after the IT needs for an increasing number of small businesses. We have a presence on Google+ and that will likely be the main place that we post updates to our blog from now on. You can find our Google+ page at https://plus.google.com/u/1/b/108304950224331892682/

Ubertechs are on the move!

We've been in our existing location at White Cross for almost one year! Things have gone from strength to strength and whilst at the time of moving in to the new office I thought it would last us for a few years it soon became apparent that we need a bigger office! Our new office is almost twice the size, much cooler (temp!) and has high ceilings. This will give us greater space to fit more workbenches in and allow us to have more storage space, something we are lacking in our current location. Our new offices are much easier to find too! We are moving to The Gatehouse building, which is the location of the main reception for White Cross. Our new workshop is located just behind the reception area so you won't have any trouble finding us!

I'll post some pictures and an update here when we have finished the move.

Geeks Guide to Butlins.

Recently our family went on a short break to Butlins in Bognor Regis on the south coast. I thought it might be useful if I wrote a short blog post on some of the more geeky aspects of our stay!
We'd been a few years ago, stopping in the Shoreline Hotel and our children had enjoyed it, so we thought we would go back and try out the new Ocean Hotel that has recently been opened.
Firstly the hotel is really very nice. You can forget any preconceived ideas you have about Butlins being a budget holiday, you can make your stay cheaper by booking in to one of the self-catering chalet/apartments if you wish. However if you want the luxury option then the Ocean Hotel is for you!
Back to the new hotel, our room was an Atlantis Room which is designed to sleep two adults and two children, the room was fairly spacious, very clean and they have a great little alcove or den area as Butlins call it, for the kids beds. It's like their own bedroom but without doors, they have their own LCD wall mounted TV with Freeview, great lighting and even some funky blue lights under their beds! There are two power sockets in this room.
The main room has a larger LCD wall mounted TV again with Freeview, they also seem to have some dedicated sports channels. The hotel contains a high quality spa, according to my wife!
Our room had a good sized balcony, with 4 chairs and a small table outside. We had a great view looking out across the park and straight out on to the sea.
There is a kettle with tea, coffee, decaf-coffee and hot chocolate. They seem to supply lots of sachets daily too, along with 2 or 3 packets of small biscuits. There are two free power sockets adjacent to the kettle here.
In this same area there is a large mirror, hairdryer and small fridge too.
Our room had air conditioning, it seemed to work well, though it does require you to leave your room access card in a 'card reader' just inside the door way. This also allows the room lighting to be powered too, I cannot confirm as to whether it turns off the power sockets in the room when the card is removed? One thing to note is that the air conditioning does not cool the children's 'room' very well.
In the room I was able to receive a good HSDPA signal on my T-Mobile HTC Desire phone. The hotel also has free Wi-Fi and again the signal was very good in our room. I did a speed test on the Wi-Fi from my Android phone and was able to achieve just over 3MB/s download speed and a decent 2MB/s upload speed.
One thing to note about the Wi-Fi is that you must open a web browser and accept the Wi-Fi usage policy before you are allowed access via any network port. The timeout also seems a little keen to me, if you leave your device idle for more than 20 or 30 minutes you must authenticate again. There is some content filtering on the Wi-Fi, Youtube for one is blocked. If you find any other ports or major sites which are blocked please let me know below.
Across most of the Butlins complex the same Wi-Fi system is present, I did not test this as extensively as I'd like, after all this was primarily a holiday! My phone maintained a very strong mobile signal on the T-Mobile network and was almost always HSDPA speeds only occasionally falling back to 3g and very rarely to gprs.
I'm not sure where the local cell towers are but judging by the often full HSDPA 'bars' it can't have been far away.
There is a small funfair on site and most rides are included in your admission fee.
There are plenty of entertainment shows on each evening, as you'd expect the X-Factor and Britain's got Talent plays a big part here!
The pool complex has several water slides of various sizes and the "Master Blaster" is particularly good fun, it's a 2 person ride in a small dinghy, there is a timer clock which shows the days fastest time and your time next to it. This did not always register our time for some reason, if you figure out why this is, please let me know. Also if you manage to get your dinghy over half way off the end of the final slowing down straight, as my son and I did, then let me know too! The pool does get very busy and the queue for the slides can get long, so go early and you will be ok.
To summarise:-
  • Excellent free Wi-Fi coverage across the site and in the Ocean Hotel. Content filtering is enforced and YouTube is blocked.
  • Excellent HSDPA T-Mobile signal across most of the site.
  • There were 4 mains power sockets in our room, might be worth taking a 4-way mains strip if you have a lot of gadgets to power/charge.
  • Two LCD TV's in the room with Freeview.
  • There is a phone in the room which will accept incoming calls via the main switchboard.
  • Fairly decent air-conditioning in our room, Ocean Hotel.
  • Costa Coffee on site in the main pavilion. £2.40 for a latte, so a touch on the high side I'd say?
  • Excellent Kaleidoscope bar & restaurant in the hotel.
  • Cinema on site with 2 screens.
  • Movenpick ice cream shop on site.
  • Spar shop on site, Fish & Chip shop, Burger King & a Papa Johns pizza restaurant too.
  • The whole site is very clean, well maintained and the staff are very friendly.

Below are two videos I recorded on my HTC Desire phone in 720p "HD" mode. I actually received the Android 2.2 Froyo update whilst we were on holiday!

If you would like to read some other bloggers articles about Butlins and the Ocean Hotel then please visit this excellent article here.

If you have any comments or questions please leave them below

New Server too!

Following on from our post yesterday regarding the switch to our new website design, I omitted to say that we have also taken the opportunity to move the site to a new host. We were originally using a shared hosting package from a large company. We have now switched to a VPS, virtual private server, slightly more expensive but performance is many times higher that our previous host! You should find the new site much faster as a result!

[Update: 24th July 2010 We are using a virtual server from Linode, so far their service has been exemplary. I can thoroughly recommend them.

New Ubertechs Website.

 old-ubertechs-website-design1

old-ubertechs-website-design1


 Today we went live with our new Ubertechs Ltd website design! Pictured here you can see the old design which served us well for the past 5 years or more. We wanted to achieve a design that was pleasing on the eye, had a clean look and was easy for us to keep up to date. Also we wanted to integrate a blog in to the design. I think we have achieved our aims, hopefully you will agree with us!?

Setting up the new office network.

Rear of an Excel cat 5 socket Between customer jobs we've been busy setting up the new Ubertechs office and workshop. We have installed trunking around the room and fitted double sockets at each desk and workbench.  Most of the sockets we used were Excel cat 5E modular ones, they are great quality. However towards the end we had to nip to the local electrical wholesalers and had to make do with a couple of Newlec cat 5E ones. Rear of a Newlec cat 5 socket

We terminated the cabling on to a 24 port patch panel in the top of the rack. Below that you can see the 3Com switch. I have since patched the sockets in with 0.3m cables.

At the other end of the rack is the UPS, which we have installed 4 new batteries in recently and directly above that is a Dell Poweredge 2850 server.

Upper part of rack showing patch panel and switch.

Lower picture of rack showing UPS and server

Now that BT have managed to move the phone line we can start to think about getting a broadband connection working.

Ubertechs are on the move!

 ubertechs-office-alston-house-lancaster

ubertechs-office-alston-house-lancaster


 Ubertechs are in the process of moving in to new office and workshops near to the centre of Lancaster. The new offices are at 6.3.14 Alston House, White Cross, Lancaster. The phone number will remain the same as always, 01524 34283. Here is a photo showing the best entrance to use to reach our office. Just inside there the doors to the left is a lift. Ubertechs Ltd are on the third floor.