Archive for the 'Mac OSX' Category

Last minute iPhone observations

While I have no recon on what new iPhone device might be introduced on Monday. I did note a few, perhaps telling remarks made during Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone SDK roadmap. You might want to watch that video again while you wait out the next 30 hours or so. Perhaps the biggest revelation of the iPhone is that it is really a whole new platform which will continue to dominate the mobile device marketplace. Key to this is of course software. What stood out after re-watching the iPhone SDK rollout video was how the apps will be distributed. It was pointed out by Steve that you could download the app wirelessly via the phone or wifi. I can’t imagine downloading an app on the phone unless that connection is pretty fast, which bodes well for the 3G projection. Also some of the apps that would not be tolerated were bandwidth hogs. I am reading this as “fast connection speed required”.

I am still pretty sure we will see some sort of new model for dot mac with support for online backup / syncing for iPhone data. Shipping of the new iPhone software was said to be late June and I see no reason to doubt that, maybe even by the week of WWDC 08. 1 day 8 hours . . . .

What We Know, iPhone iTablets and Mobile computing.

The speculation always runs high just before any Apple Event and the WWDC 2008 edition is no different. The new iPhone SDK and software rollout has captured much attention and deservedly so. I sound like a broken record but here’s the deal; the Apple development pattern is this, Innovate, ship, test evolve the product and make it better – do that over and over. The things that everyone is wanting in an iPhone, iTouch or iAnything will happen over time as long as it can be done within Apple’s prime directive. At the same time they will NEVER be all things to all people because that leads to infinite complexity.

What I expect to see: Mobile computing will continue to take center stage while not ignoring the desktop. The iPhone will get dot mac [ or whatever they call it ] syncing and perhaps better bluetooth support. As we consume more and more volumes of data; backup will be made easier and more accessible to the masses. This will apply across the product line. Based on Apple’s marketing, the trend is toward more mobile options . I am also convinced that we will see some sort of tablet device and that Apple is the company to make such a device. The first one won’t be perfect but you can be sure it will evolve into what makes sense for this type of device. i would love to see a tablet at WWDC … we’ll see.

Oh! and there’s one more thing…. it’s not a phone, headless Mac or Mac Pro for a thousand bucks. The biggest thing on the horizon, I think, is Software. Software has the greatest potential of any segment of the tech industry. Quite simply it’s the most flexible. The innovation won’t necessarily be in algorithms but in the way the interface works. There are still quite a few arcane terms floating around that the average consumer has no idea about. A simple example is that most people have little idea what’s in their Application Support folder or that it holds vital information required by their software. This is not to say these terms or the functions will go away, simply that the user will have a better idea of what’s going on with their system.

This will apply not just at system level but all applications will become easier to use and hence more powerful to the end user. All it takes is vision. Eight more days… we’ll know a lot more. 🙂

Happy computing and remember backup your files!!!

iPod Touch and the iPhone SDK

Even if you don’t know what a SDK is [Software Development Kit] you should hop on over the apple.com and watch the introduction of this new software innovation. If you’re interested in Apple as a company you will want to see this. The iphone is just the tip of the iceberg. Just watch or if you’re short on time you can google the iphone SDK and get a synopsis.

On a related note; all the new applications coming for the iPhone will also be coming to the iPod Touch. Well all those that don’t require a phone.

Here’s the tip for someone out there with there newly acquired iFund money. Make a camera that attaches to the iPod Touch. If you think it can be done let me know and if not let me know that too.!!

Superior Value in Mac Tutorials Don’t Miss These

One of the best values on the internet today, if you’re a Mac user is Screen Casts Online. These video screencasts are recorded in the UK by Don McAllister, former IT guy turned Entrepreneur. Don puts together a new tutorial each weak on a great piece of Mac software and in some cases hardware. These 20 to 30 minute videos will give you the concepts behind the software and provide a basis for any purchasing decisions. (Hint) He also offers discount codes on some software titles.

Don is in his third year producing this program which can be downloaded directly from his site or you may also subscribe through iTunes. A feature that has been quite successful is Don’s “Extra Member” subscription offer which gives you access to additional shows that are available in High Def.  The extra membership is quite reasonable for a sixth month subscription and the back catalog is also available on DVD for re-watching shows or picking up on something you missed.

You really should check it out at ScreenCastsOnline! I find I always learn something even if I am not using that particular piece of software myself.

Four Things Apple Loves, maybe Five If You Listen Close

On Tuesday January 15th Steve Jobs took the stage and in true form drew a road map for the next several months for Apple consumers. The whole Apple blogosphere has recapped this in great detail, but in short order here are the keynote highlights.

  • Time Capsule: Full Airport Extreme base station with either a 500gb or 1 terabyte drive.
  • iPhone: Updated software, maps with location, multiple SMS recipients, customization and web clips. iPod Touch: also gets 5 new pieces of software —maps, notes, stocks, mail and ical.

  • iTunes: Movie Rentals and the introduction of the Apple TV – Take Two
  • Macbook Air: Amazingly thin and light laptop relying heavily on WiFi [fits in a manila envelope]

If you want to see the essence of the keynote is 60 seconds just click here.

While most of these things were hoped for and anticipated, to some degree there was a since of let down in the post keynote interviews. Not that the announcements were bad, simply that they didn’t jibe with the interviewee’s particular dream of what was to come. There are two reasons for this.

  • It’s getting harder for Apple to ascend the mountain they’ve set out to climb. To be the dominant player in media delivery is no small task and it is clear from watching the iTunes store that Aplle wants to be the place you consume entertainment. Mountain climbing is always hard work.
  • The second reason is that Apple cannot simply give us a few more or few less pounds of technology. The needs of the consumer must come at the expense of Apple’s vision for the future. So you want a lighter laptop; let us build you one that is within our corporate vision. Every smart business does this. Design isn’t chopped liver because chopped liver is always a side dish.

What is most interesting are the things Apple didn’t announce on January 15th 2008. At the end of the keynote Steve recapped what they had announced in the first two weeks of 2008 and then said “that gives 50 more weeks” which is code for; there is a lot more to come. Let’s speculate for a moment.

The Macbook Air is 1799.00 weighs 3 lbs has two gigs of ram an 80 gig hard disk and is the greenest laptop Apple has ever produced. The Air is really nice, wrapped in a aluminum skin and as stylish as any laptop ever produced. But what else can you get for 1799.00? A very capable black Macbook, with better specs in some areas and only two pounds heavier. True the Macbook doesn’t have the same “green” build or the design cachet as the Air but feature wise it’s just about on par. The question becomes is there enough difference to the buyer. Is there an Air consumer out there that is not being served? Time will tell.

What I find more intriguing is what Apple may have around the corner hence the reason for this post. If you are a laptop buyer it might be worth considering what Apple could announce in those “50 more weeks”.

Macworld 2008 “…something in the air” But What?

This year I am taking the low verbiage route and reducing this post to a graphic!

macworld2008.jpg

Mac & Stuff ~ Picks of 2007

There’s an old saying “the more things change the more they stay the same” and when it comes to technology where the “next big thing” seems to defy that saying, it comes down to a few basic principals. For years we have heard a steady stream of rhetoric regarding the “endless possibilities ” of our technologies. In fact though, we only need them to do what is required to get our work done. It is true that the possibilities are endless but that can be part of the problem because most people don’t explore those endless possibilities, it’s a little daunting and possibly not fruitful, so people want stuff that works.

I’ve bookmarked an awful lot of those simplify your life, unclutter your life kind of sites this past year and with good reason, beyond the fact that I have a big family. Clutter invades every area of our life and that includes our Computers, Cell Phones, and other electronic gadgets. While we have access to so many good pieces of hardware and software, we simply don’t need all of it. In fact we don’t need most of it. CUT TO THE CHASE: there are too many options and we need a way to simplify our digital life to the essential tools necessary to get work done. To do this we must develop a plan to deal with all the other “infinitely possible and totally cool stuff” that comes our way via ads, email and the web. Before you download it, clip it, snip it or buy it plan how you will use, read or otherwise benefit from it. This of course leads to the larger plan of how you spend your time, energy, money, and so on.

Not the complete list but here are a few picks from 2007 that you might find useful; of course your milage may vary. There are exceptions to every rule and if you are a Macgyver with a geek factor of ten you may well assemble your own kit of parts that will melt silicon for a half mile radius but for us mere mortals my recommendations are in the safe zone.

Apple Inc. – Although not without it’s problems, the company and it’s hardware and software continue to provide the best user experience via OSX 10.4.xx and beyond. Pound for pound they put more points on the board than any other system out there, in my opinion of course.

Cameras – Lots of fine makers of digital cameras but you will be hard pressed to go wrong with Canon or Nikon. I own both and use both; if I take a bad shot it’s usually because I flubbed the shot.

Photo EditingPhotoshop CS3 and Elements again are both solid and the ones that most people refer to when the subject of photo editing comes up. I’ve tried other editors but they all have their own quirks and tutorials are not as plentiful as with PS. CS3 is expensive but you can get much of the same functionality with PS Elements for about a hundred dollars. If you are looking for tips, how-to’s and training, hop on over to Photoshopusertv.com and that will link you into many good resources for both photography and Photoshop.

Photo ManagementAperture [Apple] or Lightroom [Adobe]. Aperture is a complete suite of tools for managing your photos with an eye mostly to the professional photographer. Lightroom is faster and geared more to the Photo Enthusiast and since it comes from Adobe plays nice with Photoshop for any round trip editing.

Text Editing – There are many good ones and you may find one that suits your style better than another one, however I use Textmate and is apt for just about anything you want to throw at it, from blog posts to coding or websites Textmate is quite extensible and should meet your needs.

Wiki Creation – Creating a wiki in an easy straightforward manner I use Voodoo Pad; funny name but it does what it’s supposed to do, create a wiki. If you aren’t familiar with Wikis then click over to what else, wikipedia.com for all the details.

Google – It’s hard to imagine how much this company has grown and in the areas it has pursued. Beside being the No. 1 search engine the online giant hosts many other services including email all for the price of setting up an account. If you haven’t taken the full tour I suggest you take a closer look; features such as Google Docs and Gmail can be a great tool if you are on the go and not always with your computer.

Graphic Design – Lots of great sites of design nature out there, some broad and meandering and other highly specialized. My favorite, can count on every time to have great content presented in the most clear way is Chuck Green’s ideabook.com His books tips and tutorials reveal the process of design better than anyone I know of.

More Picks of 2007 to come; stay tuned!! Also look for my Macworld Keynote predictions in the next few days.