Archive for the ‘Macintosh’ Category

Last Week’s Links and Comments

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Here’s the best of what I shared elsewhere last week.

50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Photography Skills
Yet another great collection of web resources from Smashing Magazine.

Canon 7D gatling gun shooting 8 FPS of awesome – Engadget Video
I frequently photograph people in dark settings. In particular at a local geek event with 5 minute talks (Ignite Seattle), I’ve got a short time frame to capture a good image or two. ANY edge will help.

Frankly, the higher usable ISOs will be of more use, but I can’t help but think of how nice that bigger buffer will be.

How to Build a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard – Lifehacker
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Glad to see it’ll work with Snow Leopard.

Why your Web content will look darker on Snow Leopard – John Nack
Apple’s gamma switch from 1.8 to 2.2 explained.

How to Tweet From Anywhere in Snow Leopard
Handy little overview of creating a “Service” in OS X Snow Leopard that allows you to tweet or create a Facebook post.

iPod Touch’s conspicuously absent button(s)

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

One of things that Apple is generally known for is their elegant design and ease of use. From a design standpoint, symmetry is a key element of any product. You just don’t see a lot of asymmetrical designs out there. And certainly not from Apple.

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Looking at the new iPod Touch, I have to ask, what’s the missing button? When the iPhone was introduced, Jobs proclaimed buttons were dead. The ability to reconfigure the layout of buttons or other input mechanisms granted Apple a lot more flexibility in changing their design at will.

Question: why would you ship a product with such an obvious gaping hole?

Answer: it’s an unfinished feature.

What feature?

We could look to the iPhone for possible features, but that seems unlikely. If Apple was going to ship email, Google Maps, or any of the widgets, they would have showed them at yesterday’s announcement.

This is an iPod folks. It’s all about entertainment, be it music, television, movies, your photos or YouTube.

A remote control?

Ok, so to me, this is obvious. iPod Touch + Airport Express = Kick ass remote control. Buying stuff from the iTunes Store is gravy, but the reason the iPod Touch has WiFi (and maybe Bluetooth) is to make the iPod more useful around the house.

Ever since the Airport Express shipped, I’ve wanted this device. The iPod and now the iPhone have proven to be one of the best ways to easily access a large collection of music. Most remotes fall far short of being useful because they lack the metadata (artist, album, song title) that the iPod or your computer has.

The Sonos comes close to fullfilling my needs, but every time I’ve used one, they just feel clunky. There are a few other devices out there, but they suck way more than Sonos does or are far outside of most people’s budget.

I can’t say that I’m the first to talk about this as Gizmodo talked about this a couple of months ago. It seems that Apple has a patent on this design, or is it something slightly different?

So let’s take the remote control idea a bit farther. You might have a little more than 16 gigabytes of music lying around on your computer. Getting to that music would be pretty simple if your WiFi enabled iPod could read from your shared music in iTunes.

Controlling music being played from your computer to your Airport Express could be another use of the onboard Wifi in the iPod Touch.

A really remote control?

I might be going off the deep end here, but stay with me. When Apple first enabled sharing in iTunes 4.0, you could access your music from another computer over the internet, not just your local network. The music companies didn’t care for this very much and Apple shut this feature down in a subsequent update.

So, wouldn’t record companies complain about this as well? I don’t think so. Rather than a remote computer that could be accessed by anyone, this iPod is mated to that computer. Apple could argue that this is a variation on syncing to a given iPod.

Additionally, despite flash memory advances in the last several years, we’re probably not getting 40+ gigabytes in flash for the foreseeable future. Remote control iTunes answers the issue of a lack of local storage. My own usage of AppleTV has shown me that streaming over the network is better than syncing.

He’s nuts

Admittedly, I’m an Apple fanboy. I’m always disappointed when their isn’t one more thing or when the iPhone doesn’t heal the sick and feed the hungry. So this might be a pipe dream.

All the pieces are there and it just takes someone at Apple to put them together.

If nothing else, they have to fill the missing button with something. Maybe they just forgot to add the Mail icon.

Macworld 2007

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

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Just a few quick general impressions from the show today.

iPhone and AppleTV

First, iPhone and AppleTV are two huge new platforms for Apple to develop and deserved the spotlight today. That said, not really being able to touch or to truly get a “live” demo of the iPhone was a bit of a bummer. I guess this is why Apple usually doesn’t release products that aren’t done.

[Jan 10, 2007 – David Pogue gets a hands on with the iPhone – “Typing is difficult”

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The AppleTV seems to be on the surface of things a great platform for Apple to develop. That said, I think they may need to do some convincing to those of use with HDTVs. While photos look great on this device, video was …lacking. Maybe it’s the fact that I was looking at a 42″ HD set from less than 3 feet away, but video looked kind of horrible. I’m not sure if it is the device or the video, but man, it didn’t look good.

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Fanboy Whining

No Macworld would be complete without a little complaining. I know we’ll see it soon, but I really, really wanna see what Leopard looks like. I get that two big products were introduced today, but what’s shipping from today? Typically, we get a little software to play with before the hardware ships, so I’m bummed that we didn’t get iLife ’07 today. I suspect that it is tied to the features in Leopard we haven’t seen yet.

Finally

From a visit to Macworld perspective, Macworld is pretty boring. Folks at home are getting as much of a hands on experience as we are at the show. However, the AppleTV and iPhone launch are the most significant new directions we have seen from Apple in years. Exciting times, indeed.


More pictures from the show

Cool Tools – Monolingual

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Every so often I find something that saves my butt in some way. I’ve recently moved to using a Macbook as my primary machine. I immediately upgraded the hard drive inside, but my drive was filling up pretty quickly. Having XP and Mac OS X on the same device is great, but just having both OSs on the Mac takes up a lot of space. Even without dual OSs, I’m always in need of more hard drive space. Today, I remembered a great tool that helps you do just that.

Monolingual

Mac OS X is great in that you don’t need to install anything special to run an app in a different language as many apps ship with a cornucopia of languages already installed. Trouble is, those languages take up a lot of space.

Monolingual is an app that will remove all excess languages from your Mac. I saved 2 gigs of space alone by just removing all the extra languages.

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Now, while I don’t travel internationally much anymore these days and I don’t have many friends that don’t use English at least as a second language, if you do find that you need other languages on your system, Monolingual allows you to check off any language that you might want to keep.

Two word of caution (and thankfully for once in my life I actually RTFM). First, do not just select “US English.” It is a subset of “English” and removing “English” from your system will make your system non-functional. Second, and this is a little kludgy, if you are using Adobe products, deselect those folders from inclusion. Adobe apps “self heal,” which basically means that you will be do a partial reinstall if you remove their translations.

Monolingual is a free, open source app that is a universal binary.

Links for Thursday, September 13

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Skype 2.0 beta available for the Mac
I can finally use video Skype with all my PC pals. I knew the MacBook camera would come in handy for more than making goofy faces via iChat.

Zune launching tomorrow
The battle for your pocket (and pocketbook) is on!

Web Geeks show off new tools
Future of Web Apps conference started today.

Links for Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday, September 11th, 2006

What is pretexting?
I’ve only kinda sorta followed the whole HP fiasco, but here is Valleywag’s explanation of what the hell pretexting is.

New Influencers
Draft chapters of the new book Paul Gillin about blogging and the influence it has in the world. Paul wrote the book to “help marketers understand the changes that social media are creating in influence patterns in their customer base.” [via MicroPersuasion]

Apple Rumor Roundup Roundup
It’s “Showtime” for something from Apple tomorrow. Here’s a list of the prognosticators:

Wired Blogs – Wired has collected a brilliant set of mockups
TechCrunch
TUAW
Gizmodo
MacRumors
ThinkSecret
The Apple Core

Links for Friday, September 8, 2006

Friday, September 8th, 2006

Amazon Unbox beats Apple to the punch
Launched yesterday with Amazon front page hoopla. Now, all they need is a device that integrates well with the service. I’m planning a review of the service over the weekend.

TextExpander Review
Productivity guru and Mac nut, Merlin Mann’s review of this great productivity tool. Now, if I could just get some work done rather than goofing off with productivity tools.

RC of Parallels available
Now works with the Mac Pro and if you are super cutting edge both Leopard and Vista. This product gets better with every release. Great job, Parallels team!

Original Signal:Gadgets
In a hurry, but need a quick gadget fix. The guys at Original Signal are at it again with their gadget feed page. They offer up all the latest feeds from gadget blogs on the web in a convenient one page website.