qq_tracker_code_advanced_default

Over time I’ve read many articles and comments about Mac’s vs. PC’s. The articles are mostly bias to one or the other and the comments are mostly the opposite. In the world of computers today, it is very difficult for someone to make an educated decision as to what platform is best for their use. There are so many factors to take part in the decision making process and in my opinion searching online for an answer makes things even more confusing for the average consumer. For the most part, a lot of people have their mind made up. Those who love Apple and their products will buy a Mac and those who have been raised on Windows will purchase a PC.

This article is not to persuade anyone that Mac is better then PC / Windows. This article is meant to educate and help people make up their own mind about what to purchase.

So lets first analyze the phrase, “Mac vs. PC” what does that even mean anymore?

Well, back in the day it used to mean a great deal when OS X (The operating system that runs on Mac’s) used to run on PowerPC’s which use a completely different architecture from Intel or AMD processors found in PC’s.

Today; MacBooks, iMac’s, Mac Mini’s, etc… all run on Intel Dual Core, i5, i7, etc… processors. You could go as far as stating that a Mac is a PC. Apple will never come out and say this, but yes, the Mac operating system runs on hardware that you could purchase to build a PC that will run Windows.

So what makes a Mac so different? Here’s the thing you have to remember when comparing a Mac to a PC. PC’s can be built using a variety of motherboards, processors, memory, video cards, hard drives, optical drives, etc…

What does this mean?

Without getting to technical, an operating system such as Windows, OS X, Linux, etc… is nothing but a bunch of code that was written and compiled to operate and recognize computer hardware.

Why does this matter?

Well, you could go anywhere online and start ordering parts to build yourself a computer and be pretty much guaranteed that you can install Windows on it after you’ve put it all together. Have you ever wondered why? When Microsoft Windows was written and compiled, it was done so that it would be compatible with almost any type of cpu, motherboard, video card, etc… you could throw at it. That’s great you think, Windows is compatible with anything which makes it easy to pick the parts you want for the computer you want to build. This is actually a bad think when you think in terms of optimization.

Because Windows is so very much compatible with so many different hardware combinations, it is very difficult to have an optimized operating system specific to certain hardware. On the other hand, there are many different distributions of Linux, Gentoo comes to mind that allow you to download the source code to the operating system and compile it to be optimized for the computer it is being installed on. This is no easy task.

Mac’s on the other hand, use very specific combinations of hardware which the operating system ( OS X ) is built around to have maximum optimization and utilization of the hardware being used.

So in short here are the 2 things you need to remember:

  • OS X, the operating system that runs on Mac’s is optimized for the hardware that Mac’s are numberswiki.com

    built with. Leaving less for compatibility and more for optimization.

  • Windows, the operating system that runs on almost every computer is optimized to run on almost any combination of hardware leaving less for optimization and more for compatibility.
It is for these 2 reasons that when you run Mac and Windows side by side on identical hardware that OSX will always be faster then Windows.
Also, going forward, I would like to correct the phrase Mac’s vs. PC’s to read OS X vs. Windows, since we are stating that a Mac is basically a PC with an operating system optimized for the hardware it contains and that Windows is an operating system optimized to work with a wide variety of hardware.
Ok, so now that we’ve got the hardware and operating system out of the way, lets talk about viruses and spyware… What? why? I thought Mac’s couldn’t get viruses? Wait, can Mac’s get viruses? Ok, first, lets refer to the operating system instead of the brand. We are talking about OS X, which really is a graphical user interface built on a version of Linux / Unix namely Darwin.
There are 2 questions you should think about here. Can OS X get viruses? and Does OS X get viruses?
Can OS X get viruses? Sure, but its not likely. A lot of people out there claim that because Windows has a bigger share of the market that there are more people actively writing viruses for that operating system. Wait a minute though, OS X has a fair market share, doesn’t it? I’ve been using my MacBook, iMac and MacBook Pro for the last 6 years and have yet to see a single piece of spyware or viruses. I don’t have any Anti-Virus software or anti-spyware software installed, never have. Maybe I should consider myself lucky that I haven’t contracted a virus or spyware or maybe because of the underlying operating system OS X is a lot more secure then Windows. I’m sure the Linux community would agree with that statement.
How about software compatibility? Back in the day it used to be difficult to get software that was made for Windows to work on a Mac. Today, almost every software that is made for Windows is also made for Mac, so that is no longer an issue. For those few exceptions, you can usually find an alternative.
What should you purchase?
In my opinion, if you’ve got the money, buy a Mac, you’ll be happy you did. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind dealing with the viruses, spyware, crashes, etc… then buy a PC running Windows.
Am I bias? In a way, yes I am. I made the switch from Windows to Mac about 10 years ago when I came to the conclusion that Windows was never going to get their act together. I got tired of constantly having to deal with viruses / spyware, reformatting the computer, dealing with Blue Screens, etc…
Windows is great when it is first installed and is reasonably fast. I recommend it if you never ever connect to the internet and don’t mind that after about a year your computer slows down to a crawl because of all the file fragmentations.
Last but not least is the price.
Apples latest release of their operating system OS X Lion 10.7 was only $30.00
Microsofts latest release of their operating system Windows 7 was about $189.00
What do you think? OS X or Windows? Anything you would like to add? Feel free to comment below.

Due to the very many requests I receive asking how to burn XBox360 backups on a mac, I’ve decided to put together a guide. This will be a very detailed step-by-step guide. The guide will begin with the XGD2 discs and go on to cover burning XGD3 discs.

What You Will Need to burn successful XGD2 and XGD3 XBox360 backups.

  • Latest iXtreme Firmware update for your XBox360

      iXtreme LT+ 2.0 Firmware (12.1 MiB, 1,792 hits)

  • A DVD burner compatible with iXtreme Burner Max Firmware (Buy on Amazon)
    • Liteon iHAS124B = baseline model
    • Liteon iHAS224B = 124 + LightScribe
    • Liteon iHAS324B = 124 + SmartErase
    • Liteon iHAS424B = 124 + LightScribe + SmartErase
    • Liteon iHAS524B = 124 + LabelTag + SmartErase
    • Liteon iHAS624B = 124 + LabelTag + LightScribe + SmartErase
  • iXtreme Burner Max Firmware

      iXtreme Burner Max Firmware (11.5 MiB, 2,904 hits)

  • Verbatim Dual Layer DVD’s (Buy on Amazon)
  • isoBurn 1.3 or later (Mac App Store) – to support burning XGD3 with the recently released iXtreme Burner Max Firmware. isoBurn 1.2 will still burn XGD3 discs but will force truncating of your ISO. isoBurn 1.3 has been submitted to the App Store for approval and should be available sometime this week if all goes well. There are already plans for isoBurn 1.4 that will have more features and functionality. 1.4 should be available at the beginning of next month.

What are XGD2 discs?

XGD2 (XBox Game Disc 2) is the original disc format used by Microsoft for all XBox 360 games. This format is basically the capacity of a Dual Layer DVD.

What are XGD3 discs?

XGD3 (XBox Game Disc 3) is a new format developed by Microsoft to help prevent piracy by using the extra layer of the outside of the disc basically increasing the capacity and therefore using more space then is currently available on all dual layer dvd’s on the market.

What is Truncating?

Truncating is a process by which the item being truncated is sized to a particular length. Taking a number for example 3.141592654. What if we only have 3 available boxes to fit this number into? By using truncation we could truncate this number down to 3.14, do we need the other numbers? NO we don’t. Does 3.14 change drastically because we’ve truncated it to 3 digits? NO it doesn’t.

When we truncate an ISO, all we are doing is cutting off the end of the file, most of it being meaningless data that is not needed. We do this to change the size of the ISO so that it can fit onto a standard dual layer disc.

A word of warning about truncating. In some circumstances the data being cut off while truncating contains important security information that is sometimes required for validation and could quite possibly get you banned from XBox Live. You should only use truncation as a last resort for burning XGD3 discs and when you do, make sure that you do not game online.

Layer Breaks

What is a Layer Break? A Layer Break simply put, specifies at which point on the disc, the first layer should end and the second layer should start. It has been my experience that you can set the layer break lower but not higher then what the maximum layer break supported by the media is.

Layer Breaks were first introduced to the XBox 360 scene when making backups became available. To burn a successful backup, you would have to enter a layer break that was different from the one that would be set by default.

Since we first started hearing about layer breaks several years ago, there hasn’t been much of a change, until recently. Microsoft developed a new disc format which would hold a slightly higher capacity then what is supported on all current Dual Layer DVD’s. With that came a new layer break.

It just so happens that this Layer Break is higher then the maximum supported layer break for current Dual Layer DVD’s. What does this mean? Well, on a Mac, if you try to set a layer break that is higher then the max supported by the media, the mac doesn’t know what it should do and will kindly give you your media back.

So how do we get around this issue? The very first fix was to truncate the ISO file since it was believed that the information at the end of the file was not relevant to game play. So to burn, you would truncate the ISO to the full size available on the blank Dual Layer DVD and then burn with the maximum supported layer break and your XBox360 drive firmware would take care of the rest. Keep in mind that this layer break again, was different then that used for XGD2 discs. So we are now at 3 separate Layer Breaks.

The most recent fix which seems to be the most successful is a firmware by iXtreme that will enable you to burn Dual Layer DVD’s at a higher capacity by way of overburning allowing you to use the correct layer break without having to truncate the ISO file. This method requires a special burner as well as the iXtreme Burner Max firmware.

So, what are the 3 layer breaks and when should you use them?

  • Layer Break 1 – 1913760
    - This is the original layer break and should be used with all XBox360 backups that are not labeled as being XGD3 discs.
  • Layer Break 2 - 2086912
    - This layer break can be used for XGD3 discs but only if you are truncating the ISO file to fit onto a Dual Layer DVD.
  • Layer Break 3 – 2133520
    - This layer break can be used for XGD3 discs. ONLY use this layer break if you are burning with an iXtreme Burner Max firmware updated burner that can burn the full ISO file without truncating. If you attempt to use this layer break without the special burner, your disc will be ejected.

Media

So, what media should you use when burning XGD2, XGD3, backups? Let’s take a quick second and address this. Why? because this is where most people do not believe us when we say ONLY USE VERBATIM MEDIA. Do not attempt to use anything other then Verbatim. Verbatim has been proven to be the most successful when burning backups. So unless you want to burn coasters / have your burn fail have way through, have problems with verification, etc… buy Verbatim.

Let’s put it this way, if you post a comment asking why your burn failed and I ask you what media you are using, you better answer with. “Verbatim”. If you say anything other then Verbatim, I will not help you.

Let me also add… ONLY BURN AT 2X / 2.4X. Never Never Never burn any higher then 2X. If you are impatient and you can’t wait 45 minutes for a backup to finish burning, then go ahead, burn at 4X or even at 6X and watch your burn fail or experience glitches while playing, etc… Bottom line, the amount of time you would spend burning again and again because you are using crappy media and or using a burn speed that is set too high could have been spent playing the game had you used VERBATIM MEDIA and burned at 2X speed.

So, what Media do you use and what speed do you burn at?

  • Verbatim Media (Particularly MKM-003) I’ve heard from a trusted source that they are much better because of the specific dye being used
  • 2x

Burners

So what about burners? Can the internal burner on your Mac burn XGD2 / XGD3? For the most part, yes it can. I’ve tested backups on early iMacs and MacBooks as well as a Mac Mini without issues but with the occasional coaster of course. Why do the burns sometimes work perfectly and other times they don’t? It’s because the internal burners that come with your Mac are pretty much crap, its as simple as that.

So what can you do? You can try to go through the hassle of replacing your internal burner which is a real pain or you can go purchase an external burner.

The latter leaves you with a plethora of options, in an almost overwhelming way… Which burner should I get, there are literally thousands of different ones. I will make a suggestion for you and even provide you with a link to the burner you should purchase. This particular burner I am talking about will allow you to in conjunction with isoBurn, burn backups without having to truncate your ISO file. All you have to do is flash the burner with iXtreme Burner Max firmware and voila just like magic you have now turned your Dual Layer DVD media into a higher capacity disc, that now has just enough space to hold a full XGD3 format ISO.

So, what is this magical burner? There are several models that are compatible with the firmware.

  • Liteon iHAS124B = baseline model
  • Liteon iHAS224B = 124 + LightScribe
  • Liteon iHAS324B = 124 + SmartErase
  • Liteon iHAS424B = 124 + LightScribe + SmartErase
  • Liteon iHAS524B = 124 + LabelTag + SmartErase
  • Liteon iHAS624B = 124 + LabelTag + LightScribe + SmartErase
As you can see here, you’ve got plenty of models to choose from. So if you are going to purchase an external burner you may as well purchase one that is compatible with the iXtreme Burner Max firmware so that you can burn XGD3 discs at 100% without having to truncate. You can pick these up from Amazon, NewEgg, etc… or if you’re lucky, check out your local Walmart. I found that Walmart is currently selling the iHAS324B for $25.00.
Hey, so I thought this was supposed to be a burning guide and not an informational post? Well, I thought I would educate everyone, bring them up to speed so that when I go through the guide, that everyone can understand it and then maybe there won’t be so many people out there who are confused and have no clue how to get their backup to burn.
So without further delay or blabber, here’s the guide.

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 on Mac OS X Definitive Guide

The guides below assume the following:

  • You’ve acquired an ISO file, either XGD2 or XGD3
  • You’ve purchased isoBurn 1.2, 1.3 or 1.4
  • You’ve verified your ISO file using abgx360 (Note: At the time of this post abgx360 is unable to verify XGD3 ISO’s)
  • You have Verbatim media and understand that using anything other then Verbatim could result in bad burns aka coasters.
  • You understand that you must burn at 2x
  • You understand Layer Breaks and their differences
  • You understand the difference between XGD2 and XGD3
If you’ve read the more info

first part of this guide then all of the above items should make sense to you.

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 with isoBurn 1.2

Note: isoBurn 1.2 currently does not support iXtreme Burner Max Firmware. You can still burn XGD3 discs with isoBurn 1.2 but the ISO file will need to be truncated which for the most part is not an issue. XGD2 games burn normally.

isoBurn 1.2, the version currently available on the Mac App Store is able to burn both XGD2 and XGD3 discs without issues. isoBurn will produce 100% playable backups.

To use this guide you will need the following:

  • isoBurn 1.2 (Mac App Store)
  • Verbatim Media
  • An ISO of an XBox 360 backup
After you’ve downloaded and installed isoBurn, go ahead and launch it, you will see a window similar to the image below:
This is the main interface for isoBurn 1.2. As you can see, there are not very many options. This makes isoBurn very simple to use. The following are the steps to burn XGD2 / XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.2:
Burning XGD2 backups with isoBurn 1.2:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 1913760 – NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it.
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.2:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 2086912 – NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you and will be INCORRECT. You must manually set the layer break to 2086912 or isoBurn will eject the disc and will not burn.
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking you to truncate your ISO
  • Click OK
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 with isoBurn 1.3

Note: isoBurn 1.3 will not be available until it has been approved by Apple. isoBurn 1.3 fully supports XGD3 burning and is 100% compatible with iXtreme Burner Max firmware so it will burn XGD3 without having to truncate the ISO file. XGD2 games burn normally.

isoBurn 1.3, currently awaiting approval from Apple is able to burn both XGD2 and XGD3 discs without issues. isoBurn will produce 100% playable backups.

To use this guide you will need the following:

  • isoBurn 1.3 (Mac App Store)
  • Verbatim Media
  • An ISO of an XBox 360 backup
  • A burner flashed with iXtreme Burner Max (Optional – If you want to burn full XGD3 without truncating)
After you’ve downloaded and installed isoBurn, go ahead and launch it, you will see a window similar to the image below:
Although not very apparent, you’ll notice a very small change in isoBurn 1.3 from isoBurn 1.2. With isoBurn 1.3 a verification option was added which is needed to verify 100% successful  burns of XGD3 discs… YES, ALWAYS VERIFY YOUR BURN. The following are the steps to burn XGD2 / XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.3:
Burning XGD2 backups with isoBurn 1.3:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 1913760 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it.
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.3 – Truncating Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 2086912 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you and will be INCORRECT. You must manually set the layer break to 2086912 or isoBurn will eject the disc and will not burn.
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking if you would like to Truncate, Try Without Truncating or Cancel
  • Click OK to Truncate
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.3 – iXtreme Burner Max Firmware Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2x
  • Set your layer break - 2133520 – NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Check the box to Verify After Burn
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking if you would like to Truncate, Try Without Truncating or Cancel
  • Click Try Without Truncating
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish burning
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish verifying. You’re Done

Burning XGD2 / XGD3 with isoBurn 1.4

isoBurn 1.4, currently available on the Mac App Store is able to burn both XGD2 and XGD3 discs without issues. isoBurn 1.4 fully supports XGD3 burning and is 100% compatible with iXtreme Burner Max firmware so it will burn XGD3 without having to truncate the ISO file. XGD2 games burn normally.

To use this guide you will need the following:

  • isoBurn 1.4 (Mac App Store)
  • Verbatim 2.4x Media
  • An ISO of an XBox 360 backup
  • A burner flashed with iXtreme Burner Max (Optional – If you want to burn full XGD3 without truncating)
Enhancements to this version:
  • Added Optimal Layer Break button, for auto setting the layer break for XGD3 discs (Truncating / Full Burn)
  • Added Cancel button to the burn dialog so that you can cancel the burn process
  • Added Alert Popup to alert you if an error occurred
  • Added Alert Popup to alert you when the burn finished
  • Added Alert Sound to alert you if an error occurred
  • Added Alert Sound to alert you when the burn finished
  • Added Data Transfer Rate to the burn dialog
  • Added Burn Speed to the burn dialog
After you’ve downloaded and installed isoBurn, go ahead and launch it, you will see a window similar to the image below:

Although not very apparent, you’ll notice a very small change in isoBurn 1.4 from isoBurn 1.3. With isoBurn 1.4 an Optimal Layer Break button was added which helps you set the layer break by detecting the media size and determining the maximum layer break. isoBurn with the help of the Optimal Layer Break button will auto set the layer break for you for XGD3 discs. For XGD2 it is still necessary to enter 1913760 for the layer break. The following are the steps to burn XGD2 / XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.4:
Burning XGD2 backups with isoBurn 1.4:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2.4x
  • Set your layer break - 1913760 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it.
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.4 – Truncating Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2.4x
  • Set your layer break by clicking on the Optimal Layer Break button or enter it manually - 2086912 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you and will be INCORRECT. You must manually set the layer break to 2086912 or isoBurn will eject the disc and will not burn.
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Click Burn
  • An alert box will pop up asking if you would like to Truncate or Cancel
  • Click OK to Truncate
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish. You’re Done
Burning XGD3 backups with isoBurn 1.4 – iXtreme Burner Max Firmware Method:
  • Drag your ISO / DVD file into the “Drop your disc image here” box. isoBurn will tell you the File Name, File Type and File Size.
  • Select your burner
  • Insert your blank Dual Layer DVD ONLY VERBATIM
  • Select your write speed, ONLY BURN AT 2.4x
  • Set your layer break by clicking on the Optimal Layer Break button or enter it manually - 2133520 - NOTE: If you used the .dvd instead of the .iso file the layer break will be auto populated for you
  • Check the box next to Layer Break to enable it if it isn’t checked already.
  • Check the box to Verify After Burn
  • Click Burn
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish burning
  • Wait for isoBurn to finish verifying. You’re Done

 

If you have any questions that this guide doesn’t cover, feel free to ask. If you think any of the information in this guide is incorrect, please contact me and I will verify and correct the guide.

If you’ve read the entire guide and followed it word for word, number for number and you are getting coasters then you haven’t followed the guide word for word, number for number OR you may have a batch of defective media which isn’t likely but possible or your burner is defective which is more likely.

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading this guide as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Seriously, I’m probably the only person with a blog that hates writing.. haha.

Swipe Lock, released today by Empoc, LLC is a new app for Mac OS X 10.6 and later that allows you to lock and unlock your Mac in a similar way to the way you lock your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

You can grab a copy of Swipe Lock at http://swipelock.empoc.com

From there you can download the Demo of Swipe Lock as well as purchase the full version for only $4.99.

Swipe Lock, is not just a screen locking app but also allows you set various options. For instance, you can set which widgets you want to show on your screen when its locked, such as; a clock widget, an airport signal strength meter, a battery meter and a button to put your Mac to sleep.

You can also choose from various pre-made themes that change the look and feel of your locked screen as well as set your own image as a background image. What’s also cool is that for those of us with multiple monitors, you can choose which monitor the lock screen should be displayed on.

Further options include setting custom lock and unlock sounds. Setting passwords, automatic startup on login, and many more. Give Swipe Lock a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a tutorial regarding anything dealing with XBox360. There is a reason for that… Quite simply, God of War III came out on the PS3 as well as Gran Turismo 5 so I had no choice but to ditch the 360 and get a PS3. In my opinion it was a good move. I don’t want to make this post about comparing the 360 to the PS3, so with that in mind, I would like to post up a quick tutorial on how to burn Xbox 360 backups using a new app I developed called isoBurn. isoBurn, simply put is an app that burns ISO’s and DMG’s for the Mac. It is the only app that I am aware of that can correctly burn backups of 360 games using native Mac OS X API’s, better yet, I have tested this app on OS X 10.7 (Lion) the next release of Apple’s operating system and it works flawlessly.

Tools you will need for a successful Burn:

  • isoBurn 1.0 (Available at the Mac App Store – Link) NOTE: As of 10/4/2011, Version 1.2 has been submitted to the Mac App Store with support for XGD3
  • abgx360 for Mac (Available on the abgx website – Mirror 1)
  • Blank Dual Layer Verbatim Media (All the others suck in my opinion and will not constantly burn a working game)
  • A Mac running at least OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • A good DVD burner. The ones that come with the Mac’s are not the best and you would be better off with a good external burner.
  • A backup of a 360 game that you would like to burn
  • A modded Xbox360 running firmware iXtreme LT + for best compatibility

Ok, so now that you’ve got everything you need, fire up abgx360. We use abgx360 to verify the ISO and make sure that everything is properly patched and to generate a .dvd file if there isn’t one already. At the end of the tutorial I will cover briefly how you can use isoBurn to verify your disc to ensure that it has been burned properly. This is a good way to check some discs that you may have burned previously that don’t work, at least you will be able to know why they don’t work.

Verify your ISO with abgx360:

Open abgx360 and then open up your ISO file of the game by clicking on the blue folder icon to the right of the text input field. You should have something similar to the below illustration.

Now click on the AutoFix tab and copy the settings below.

When you have everything set correctly you can click on the blue Launch button at the very bottom it should turn green when you hover over it with your mouse.

After clicking on the Launch button, a Terminal window should open and you should start seeing a bunch of text similar to the below. DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS. Let it do its thing.

Notice the lines in Red, the game I am working with has a blank DMI, a blank PFI and my Stealth check has failed. These are all bad things and fortunately are all things that abgx360 will fix for us.

You will notice that towards the bottom you’ll see some nice green lines of text. PFI, DMI, Video and Stealth have all been fixed, now it just needs to verify the CRC of the ISO. Let it finish, be patient this could take a few minutes. Finally we know that the program has finished when we see the line AutoFix was successful!

You can now close the Terminal and abx360. We can now move on to burn our game using isoBurn… Do me favor, when you get a chance, please rate isoBurn on the Mac App Store.

 

Burn your ISO with isoBurn:

Go ahead and open up isoBurn, if you haven’t downloaded it yet you can get it here from the Mac App Store. The interface of isoBurn is pretty simplistic which makes it a very easy tool to work with.

Opening isoBurn should present you with an interface as shown below:

Let’s quickly go over the interface. The big square on the top left is where you drag your ISO or DVD file into. Tip: If you drag your DVD file into the square, isoBurn will automatically set the correct layer break for you. If you drag in the ISO you have to set the layer break manually. To the right of the square you have File Name, File Type and File Size, these should all be obvious.

The Drive drop down will allow you to choose which burner you want to use if you have more then one. The speed allows you to select your burn speed, which should be 2x. isoBurn displays some general information about your chosen burner below the drive selection and speed pop ups. There is also a button that allows you to eject your disc if you need to.

The last section of the Burn interface is Burn Settings, this is where you would manually set your layer break if you used the ISO instead of the DVD file. From here you have the option of selecting to eject the disc or mount the disc after burn. Last but not least, we have the Burn button, when you’re ready to burn, click it. Now for the tutorial with a few screen shots.

With isoBurn opened, drag your DVD or ISO onto the big square on the left hand side, you will know that it worked when isoBurn shows you the File Name, File Type and File size of your image. See the screenshot below for an example:

If you used the DVD file you should have noticed that the layer break was automatically set for you, please reference the screen shot above.

If you used the ISO file you will need to enter the layer break manually, the proper layer break is 1913760. You should enter this into the layer break text field under Burn Settings.

Select your burner if you have more then one.

Select the Burn speed, IMPORTANT: Do not burn faster then 2x, it does not produce consistent results and may very well leave you with coasters.

Click the burn button. Wait about 45 minutes and your game should be ready.

 

Verify your burned disc with isoBurn:

isoBurn, is not just an ISO / DMG image burner but is also a tool that can provide you with useful information about any of your discs. One thing I’ve noticed with coasters is that for the most part, either the layer break was incorrect or the session was not properly closed. isoBurn can verify this for you, with the Media Info tab.

With isoBurn opened, go ahead and click on the Media Info Tab and put a burned 360 game in your burner. isoBurn will immediately analyze the disc and give you a few important pieces of information. See screen shots below for a game that has been correctly burned and one that will never play in a 360.

Screen Shot A

Screen Shot B

If you’ll notice on screen shot A, the key pieces of information are the layer break, Sessions and Appendable. A correct layer break should be 1913760 and there should be 1 session and Appendable should be No.

Now if you’ll look at screen shot B, you’ll notice that the Appendable is set to yes and that there is no session. This is an example of a disc that will never play on a 360.

This feature adds a valuable troubleshooting ability to your tool set. This will allow you to rule out if there is anything wrong with the burn itself or if there is another issue. How many times have you asked yourself after a burn and finding out that it doesn’t play if its because of a bad burn or because of outdated firmware that doesn’t support Wave ‘X’

Well with this tool at least you will know that the layer break is correct and that the session is closed and if abgx360 verified before you burned then there must be an issue with your 360 or the firmware you are using.

Please don’t forget to rate isoBurn on the Mac App Store, it only takes a minute, do it while your waiting for a burn to finish :)

Tutorial Disclaimer: This tutorial or the software isoBurn does not claim that it is able to produce working backups of Xbox360 games. This tutorial is only based from my own experiences and does not guarantee results. Use this tutorial and isoBurn at your own risk.

Legal Disclaimer: Copying or downloading games that you have not legally purchased or own is illegal in all countries. This violates not only laws in your own country, but international copyright laws as well. The purpose of this turoial is for making backup copies of games that you legally own. Software piracy is illegal carries a huge penalty if convicted, is ethically wrong, and hurts the game companies. Support the game developers by purchasing the games you play. You wouldn’t work for free would you? I am offering a SERVICE to those who cannot make backups of the games they legally own. Chris Fletcher is not affiliated with ANY of the companies, Microsoft, Xbox 360 or any others.

First and foremost, loving the new Mac App Store. The Mac App Store makes it very easy to find new apps at great deals and also makes it easy to keep track of updates, etc…

The Mac App Store is a great tool not only for consumers but even more so for developers. Being a developer myself I find it very simple to have a central location that I can submit my Mac applications to and not have to worry about any of the backend processing such as merchant accounts, refunds, updates, etc…

The downside is when a consumer has an issue downloading one of your apps. There isn’t much you can do short of telling them they must contact Apple. Well, if I was a consumer and had an issue downloading an app after I had already paid for it, then I would expect the app developer to help me with the issue. I have recently encountered an issue with a consumer that tried to download an update to one of my apps. After attempting the download the consumer was greeted with the very generic error message, An Error has occurred…

In this post I am going to show you how to fix this error message. In my opinion this error occurs because of some Meta Data issue.

There are 2 possibilities for fixing this issue, one of which involves deleting all the content from the AppStore folder and the other involves the terminal and running a command line tool to enable debugging for the Mac App Store.

Solution Number 1: Deleting all content from the AppStore folder

  • Sign out of the Mac App Store by clicking on Store->Sign Out from the App Store Menu
  • Quit the Mac App Store App
  • Open Finder and browse to ~/Library/Application Support/AppStore/ (Where ~ is your home folder) If you don’t know how to get to your home folder you can open up Macintosh HD double click on the Users folder and then double click on your username and then follow the rest of the path or you can from the Finder menu click on Go and then click on Go To Folder and copy and paste the above path.
  • Once you are within the AppStore folder, select everything and move it to the Trash
  • Start the Mac App Store App
  • Sign into the Mac App Store by clicking on Store->Sign In from the App Store Menu

After signing in, you should see your downloads resuming and hopefully everything will go smoothly and you will not have to witness the “An Error has occurred” error message.

Solution Number 2: Enable Debugging for the Mac App Store

  • Open Terminal either by navigating to Applications/Utilities/Terminal or by pressing Command+SpaceBar and typing Terminal into Spotlight
  • At the prompt type the following: defaults write com.apple.appstore ShowDebugMenu -bool true
  • Relaunch the Mac App Store
  • Choose the menu item Debug Menu->Reset App
  • Choose the menu item Debug Menu->Check for Available Downloads

Solution 2, seems like a much cleaner way to fix the issue, especially moving forward. With Solution 2, you only have to set the debugging once and then if you experience the problem again you can just do Reset App and Check for Available Downloads.

Did you find this post useful? Did this fix your issue? Do you have any alternate fixes to the same problem? I’d like to hear from you, please comment below. Have a great weekend everyone..

Coming soon to the Mac App Store is my new application, ISO Burn. The main reason I created ISO Burn is to have an app similar to imgBurn for Mac OS X, I’m hoping to have many of the features that are available in imgBurn available in ISO Burn. Most notably with ISO Burn you can set a layer break for your image files which will make it simple to set where on the disc the second layer will begin. Another reason for building this app was so that everyone would have a simple intuitive application to build and burn image files for the Mac. I know Apple has an app called Disk Utility, and I know its awesome, etc… but for the average user, I think its a bit too much and doesn’t have some of the core functionality that will be present within ISO Burn

ISO Burn is the successor to ISOX360 which was an application I developed about 2 years ago for Mac OS X. ISOX360 was built mainly to support burning XBOX360 backups but otherwise didn’t have any other features. ISO Burn will not be a direct replacement of ISOX360 and will not feature verification or patching of XBOX 360 images. However, ISO Burn does support the burning of XBOX 360 images 100% as well as many other types of disc images. Some of the disc image formats that are supported are listed below:

  • .DVD
  • .ISO
  • DMG
  • IMG

ISO Burn also supports multiple burners. If you’ve got an external burner connected you can choose between that and your internal burner. This is a feature that was lacking in ISOX360 that I have been asked countless times to implement.

As soon as ISO Burn is available on the Mac App Store, download links to ISOX360 will be removed and the application will no longer be supported. ISO Burn will be an active project as are many other apps that I have developed that are now on the Mac App Store. I will offer free support for ISO Burn and implement feature requests as long as they are within reason.

The expected date for ISO Burn to be released should be sometime around mid-July depending on how quickly the review process goes. Sometimes its quick and sometimes it can take up to a month or so.

Ideas? Specific Feature Requests? I’d like to hear from you.

UPDATE 6/23/2011 – isoBurn has been submitted to the Mac App Store, to read more about it and see some screen shots please visit http://empoc.com/isoburn

 

Icons 2.0 is now available on the Mac App Store:



 

*** The only Icon App on the App Store that exports ICNS, the Mac App icon file with rounded corners and shine. ***

Icons was one of the first native Mac Apps for previewing and generating iOS device icons. Since then, Icons has gone through some major updates and a complete new look.

Icons still does everything that it used to do but now you can do so much more. See for yourself, check out the features below:

● Preview with Rounded Corners
● Preview with Shine & Rounded Corners
● Export with Rounded Corners
● Export with Shine & Rounded Corners
● Add OpenFeint Logo to any of the 4 corners of your icon
● Add Overlay Text ( Supports Font Selection, Color, Size and Position )
● Overlay a Custom Glass Mask
● Adjust the corner radius
● Adjust the Shine Alpha
● Export for iPhone, iPad and iPhone 4
● Export for Android
● Export for Mac ( ICNS support )
● Export Custom Size
● Export iTunesArtwork (512 x 512)
● Set a Custom Icon Name

Icons is simple to use. Just drag your 512×512 image file into the app and Icons will immediately load all of the icon previews to instantly see how your icons will look in all available sizes. What you do from there is up to you, when you are satisfied with the outcome, export your icons for immediate use.

Supports PSD, PNG, TIFF, BMP, JPEG and many other file formats.

If you have any questions / comments / suggestions / issues you can visit the support site and leave a comment or email me at chris@chris-fletcher.com I try to answer all comments on the same day I receive them.

Please rate and review my application. Icons was developed in my spare time, support Indie developers. Thank you for your support

Check it out in the App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icons/id413612688?mt=12

 

I’ve recently released an app; iOS Icons, on the app store. The app has been doing well and a lot of people have found great use for this tool. I’ve recently started receiving reviews for iOS Icons on the Mac App Store with 2 reviews being completely inappropriate and just plain wrong. Here are some screen shots of the reviews and a link to iOS Icons on the Mac App Store:

Link to iOS Icons on the Mac App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ios-icons/id413612688?mt=12#

Screen Shot of Review:

Here is a description as posted on the Mac App Store:

The original dev tool for creating all iOS device icons. Simple to use. Just drag your 512×512 image file into the app and click on preview to instantly see how your icons will look in all available sizes.

The reason that I made iOS icons is because I wanted an app that was similar to Icon Composer which does its job well but only generates the icon set for Mac Apps and not any of the required resolutions for any of the iOS devices.

Supports PSD, PNG, TIFF, BMP, JPEG and many other file formats.

Once your icons are saved you can import them into Xcode.

Version 1.1 has been submitted to the App Store to provide additional requested features ( Icon Names and Rounded Corners and Glass Preview )

Now I would think that if anyone took the time to read the description and maybe even looked at the screen shot of the App then it should be clear as to what the purpose of this app is. The issue I have with reviews like this is that you have no way to fight it. You can submit a concern / issue to Apple about it but there is no guarantee that they will even check into it, let alone do something about it.

That review with 1 star hurt my overall star review, I should have 4 stars but instead I have 3 1/2 stars. This will most likely discourage some people to even look at the app further. As developers we should at least have a way to comment on a review because honestly, some of these reviews are just not fair and some of them as is with this case are completely irrelevant.

I may come across as ranting here, but I needed to say something about it where people could see. Hopefully the complaint I filed with Apple will have some affect and they will consider removing the review but I’m not holding my breath.

What do you guys think? Are you  a developer that has received an unfair or blatantly irrelevant review for one of your apps? What have you done to try and correct the situation?

We thought it would be a great idea to have an installer for the cocos2d game engine to make it quick and simple for everyone to install the latest stable cocos2d build. The cocos2d installer app is a native Mac OS X app that after installation allow you to, with a click of a button, download the latest stable build of the cocos2d game engine, install it and the Xcode templates to get you up and running and making games simple and quick.

You can download Cocos2d Installer by clicking on the link below:

  cocos2d Installer (368.6 KiB, 1,027 hits)

As new cocos2d builds become available we will update the Cocos2d Installer app so that you can grab the latest version of cocos2d.

We were going to list this app for free on the Mac App Store but because of some of Apple’s guidelines, specifically file locations, we have had to remove it and host it here. If you find the app useful or can think of something else to add to it to make it more useful then feel free to leave a comment.

I would like to start this post by introducing some new software that will make the lives of developers much easier. When I first starting developing my new game Elementals HD for the iPhone I had no idea that loading individual PNG’s as textures for sprites would result in a final memory consumption of over 130MB on load. That’s really bad considering that the newest iPod Touch only comes with 256MB of RAM which to this day I will never understand. Apple added the hi-res display to the iPod Touch which means that images will use twice the amount of memory that they were using before. With the iPhone 4 they did it right and doubled up on the memory which helps a lot with the HD images taking up twice the amount of memory as the SD ones do. So anyway, back to the topic.

I needed some way to minimize the amount of memory utilization, so I started reading about sprite sheets and image sizes in the power of 2, etc… I found a neat utility called Zwoptex to create sprite sheets of all my images. This ended up helping me quite a bit, not only did it reduce the amount of disk space but it also reduced the amount of memory being used. At this time I was able to get my memory utilization down to about 90MB. To me, this is still quite high and I was not satisfied with the result, so I continued to look for a solution. I started reading about PVR’s and how fast they load and then I read about compressed PVR’s. Next, I needed to figure out how to use these PVR’s to lower my memory utilization and speed up my loading times.

I found an awesome app called TexturePacker which runs natively on Mac OS X. TexturePacker is a very similar tool to Zwoptex in that it creates sprite sheets from images but is very different and far more advanced when it comes to optimization. Long story short, I was able to use TexturePacker to create *.pvr.ccz sprite sheets for HD and SD images and reduced my memory utilization down to 50MB… WOW.. Now that is a lot better then the 130MB I started with. What I’d like to do now is present a tutorial on the usage of TexturePacker and walk you through step-by-step to get HD images loaded into TexturePacker, optimize them, publish them and finally write the code in Xcode to make them work. I’ll also share some best practices for memory management at the end of the tutorial.

Software you will need:

  1. Texture Packer

After you are done downloading the software above, you can follow the below steps to install TexturePacker and start up the Demo Project

Install TexturePacker:

If you haven’t downloaded Texture Packer yet, you can download it here. After the download has completed you can double click on the DMG file so that it mounts a disk image. The disk image contains the Texture Packer installer package. The screen should look like the screen shot below:

Texture Packer - Disk Image Contents

Double-Click the TexturePacker Package File and you will see the install screen, like the one below:

Texture Packer - Install

Texture Packet - Install

From there just follow all of the prompts until Texture Packer has completed the install process. You will find Texture Packer within your applications folder. Go ahead and launch Texture Packer. You will get the following screen:

Texture Packer Essential vs Texture Packer Pro

Texture Packer Essential vs Texture Packer Pro

Unless you’ve purchased a license you should choose Essential. The main difference is that with the Essential (Free Version) anything you export will be exported in red. In the next section I will give a brief overview of Texture Packer and the features we will use the most.

Note: All typos within the installer have been fixed since version 2.1.3

Importing Sprites:

Texture Packer - Import Sprites

Texture Packer - Import Sprites

Referring to the screen shot above I used the Import Sprites button to import a selection of sprites to work with. Once I imported the sprites, Texture Packer automatically adjusts the sprite sheet size to fit the 3 sprites I imported. If you look to the bottom right of the application on the status bar, Texture Packer displays the size of the resulting sprite sheet and the amount of memory it will consume. In this case with the above images, my sprite sheet will be 128×128 and consume 64 kB of memory. 64kB of memory isn’t a whole lot but lets go ahead and do some optimization anyway and see if we can cut down on memory usage.

On the left hand side of the app you will see the Texture Settings menu that is divided into 3 categories; Geometry, Layout and Output. Scroll down to Output and find the Image format setting. The default for this setting is RGBA8888 which results in a sprite sheet with the highest quality and the most memory usage. Change this setting to RGBA4444 and watch what happens to the memory usage. 32kB is what the memory usage is now… WOW we just cut memory usage in half but at the cost of quality. Why? The reduced quality comes from taking a 32-bit image and converting it to a 16-bit image. Make sense?

Ok, lets fix the quality to make it look a little better. Two fields down, you’ll see Dithering. The default Dithering setting is NearestNeighbour which makes for some ugly gradients when going from 32 to 16-bit. Go ahead and change this to FloydSteinberg+Alpha and watch in amazement as your gradients start to look like gradients again. You may notice that this results in your sprites looking a bit noisy but remember, we are working with hi-res images here and every 4 pixels will equal 1 point so the image should look pretty sharp, at least that’s what I’ve experienced.

Let’s take a minute to go over the Output Category that’s in the Texture Settings Menu:

  • Data Format – This setting is for defining in what format the sprite sheet data should be processed in. We need to select cocos2d for this. What this will do is generate a plist file that we will load into frame cache a little later.
  • Data File – This will be the output location and name of the data file (plist file for cocos2d) You don’t need to set this as it will automatically be filled when you set the Texture File
  • Texture Subpath – Not sure what this is for, I’ve never used it
  • Trim sprite names – Leave this unchecked, I’m not sure what this is used for
  • Texture Format – Here you will choose the output format of your sprite sheet. You can choose any format you like, they are all compatible with cocos2d but I recommend Compressed PVR (.pvr.ccz). This will give you the most compression and pretty quick load times.
  • Image format - This is where we will get most of our optimization from. For most of the sprite sheets we create we should choose RGBA4444 as it will give you the best result. RGBA4444 is used for sprites with transparency’s. If you have a sprite that doesn’t use any transparency you should use RGB565. If you have a sprite sheet that absolutely needs to have the highest quality then use RGBA8888 but we aware that this will result in high memory use, especially if your sprite sheet is 2048 x 2048.
  • Texture File – This is where you would set the name of your texture file. Click on the browse button to select your location and then give a name. If you are working with hi-res images be sure to add -hd at the end of the filename, you’ll see why, later.
  • Dithering – I covered this earlier but just to re-cap, if you are using RGBA4444 you should use FloydSteinberg+Alpha and if you are using RGB565 then use FloydSteinberg
  • Premultiply alpha – This is used to limit the amount of artifacts and possible thin black borders around your sprites when sprite anti aliasing is on. Also semi-transparent pixels might get too dark without this setting. If this is enabled be sure to add the following to your code:
    [CCTexture hasPremultipliedAlpha:YES]
  • AutoSD – This is one of my favorite features of TexturePacker. What this little nifty checkbox does is automatically create a low-res sprite sheet and plist file for you but you have to make sure that you named your Texture file with a -hd at the end.

A Note from the author of TexturePacker: Whenever possible, you should use Add Folder to import your sprites because this uses smart folder. Every time you add sprites to the folder and update your sprite sheet it re-scans the contents of the folder and adds all sprites. This makes sprite handling much easier than adding single sprites.

Ok, so now we have our sprites imported and have everything optimized. Next we will talk about Publishing.

Publishing Sprite Sheets:

Before you click on the Publish button be sure that you’ve got all of your settings configured the way you want them. Here’s a quick step-by-step re-cap of the steps above:

  1. Import sprites either by using the Add Sprites or the Add Folder button.
  2. Set Data Format to cocos2d
  3. Set Texture format to Compressed PVR (.pvr.ccz)
  4. Set Image format to RGBA4444
  5. Set Texture file to something-hd
  6. Set Dithering to FloydSteinberg+Alpha
  7. Check AutoSD

With all of the above completed go ahead and click on the Publish button. Texture Packer will now export your hi-res and low-res sprite sheets and associated plist data files.

You should have something similar to the following screen shot:

There isn’t too much to say about publishing, the next section will cover how to get your sprite sheets to work with cocos2d.

Writing The Code:

After publishing your sprite sheets with Texture Packer, the next and last step would be to add this into your project and get them to show up in your scene. I’ll be walking you through adding your sprite sheets to your project and showing you code examples of how to make the best use of your new sprite sheets.

Open up Xcode, create a new cocos2d Project from one of the cocos2d templates and copy the 2 sprite sheets and 2 plist files that were exported from TexturePacker into your Resources folder within your Xcode project, make sure that copy files is checked.

Copy Items

Copy Items

Once the sprite sheets and plist files have been added go ahead and click on your HelloWorldScene.m and find your init method. Once you’ve located your init method replace what’s inside the if statement with the following lines of code:

[CCTexture2D setDefaultAlphaPixelFormat:kCCTexture2DPixelFormat_RGBA4444];
CCSpriteBatchNode *spritesDemoNode;
spritesDemoNode = [CCSpriteBatchNode batchNodeWithFile:@"demosprite.pvr.ccz"];
spritesDemoNode.tag = 805;
[self addChild:spritesDemoNode];
[[CCSpriteFrameCache sharedSpriteFrameCache] addSpriteFramesWithFile:@"demosprite.plist"];

The code above does the following:

  1. Sets the current Pixel format to RGBA4444 to match that of our sprite sheet that we set in TexturePacker
  2. Creates a sprite batch node using the Compressed PVR
  3. Sets a tag ( has nothing to do with texture packer but I use tags for other reasons )
  4. Adds the node as a child to your current Layer
  5. Adds the sprite frames to cache from the plist file that was exported by Texture Packer

Next we need to create a CCSprite from the frames that are in cache, we do this with the following code:

CCSprite *spriteDemo = [CCSprite spriteWithSpriteFrameName:@"fireball.png"];
spriteDemo.position = ccp(size.width/2, size.height/2);
spriteDemo.tag = 1;
[self addChild:spriteDemo];

The above code does the following:

  1. Creates a sprite from the frames in cache. In this case I had an image named fireball.png that was one of the images that was imported into Texture Packer. When Texture Packer creates the plist file it uses the names of your sprites for the frame names, which makes it easy to use.
  2. Next I am setting the position to the center of the screen. size is a variable that I’ve setup that has the height and width of the screen as properties.
  3. Again I am setting a tag, not something you have to do
  4. Last we are adding the new sprite to our layer.

If all went well and you’ve followed all of the above directions then you should be able to build your project and see your sprite on the scene. Granted, this is more work then copying individual PNG’s into your project and just creating sprites from the PNG’s but that is a big waste of memory and will eventually crash your app. Remember, with Texture Packer I was able to reduce my memory to more then half of the original memory utilization even using Zwoptex did not make a huge improvement with memory usage. I would definitely recommend Texture Packer to anyone that is interested in optimizing memory.

If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to leave them. If anyone has any more optimization tips, please share, I would love to hear them and I’m sure everyone else would appreciate it as well.