Archive for the 'macintosh' Category

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Rediscovering Macintosh

Tom Hespos, a fellow internet media guy in NY, just started rediscovering the Macintosh.

It’s fun to read Tom’s comments on how he bought a cheap Mac Mini for himself for Christmas, but he also paid for the Apple mouse and keyboard, and a bunch of other stuff, even though he kept from being upsold to the PowerMac G5 that was $3000 … I predict now that Tom will be back in there buying a PowerMac within a year.

Then reading how easy the Mac is to use, and how fun it is for him is a joy.

And then, to read his story about how easy GarageBand is to use is just priceless.

Yes, Tom. It just works™ is what I’ve been saying for a long time.

You need to get yourself an iProduct.

Jobs in ’84

Video of Steve Jobs pitching the Macintosh in 1984 [via the thicket] Truly a good look at Steve Jobs’s presentation style in 1984… not all that much different from today, though today, he’s much more polished.

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Funny Doc from Apple

“As if it were a swarm of bees, you should stay away from the SyncServices folder in Mac OS X 10.4.” as seen in this Tech Support Article [via Matt Russell]. Too funny. Happy New Year folks!

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YAMSL

Yet Another Macintosh Software List: This one from them … good list covering the basics. I’m adding this list of favorite Mac OS X applications to this post, because I think there are already too many lists out there, but this one is good. Definitely take a look.

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RAILhead Design on Aperture

Go read RAILHead Design’s posts on Aperture from last week if you’re interested in Aperture. Good stuff.

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Getting Aperture to load without 1 GB of RAM

I spotted this on the internet somewhere (wish I could remember where, so I could point to it)

When you get Aperture, and install it, it’ll let you install it, if you don’t have enough RAM, but it won’t run, and will give you an error saying something like “This machine doesn’t have the minimum resources to run this application” (I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know what it says).

To get it to work do this:

open the file info.plist (inside the Aperture.app bundle)

and change this
<key>AELMinimumRAMSize</key>
<string>1000</string>

to

<key>AELMinimumRAMSize</key>
<string>700</string>

The above hack lowers the RAM requirement from 1 GB of ram to 700 MBs of RAM. I bet you could play with those numbers to see how low you can get it and still get Aperture to work. Something tells me though that Apple wasn’t bullshitting when they say the application needs 1 GB of RAM, so if you have less, be careful with this hack.

It goes without saying this hack is totally unsupported by myself and/or Apple. Your mileage may vary.

update: a few searches on Google lead to these other posts that might help you get Aperture running on unsupported hardware:

Think Different Stamps

If you’re into customizing your icons on your Macintosh, go check out this icon set: Think Different Stamps on InterfaceLift. Very cool set. I can’t decide between Kermit and Jim Henson or Picasso as a replacement icon for Mail.app. Which do you like best:

So, which one?

Another New to Mac OS X List

Pedro Vera just posted a list of software that you should investigate if you’re new to OS X.

It’s a decent list… though, I’d highly recommend Interarchy for your FTP needs as well. I’ve used it for years now, and find it indispendable.

I’ve also never seen Flip4Mac, which purports to be a WMV plugin for Quicktime which I’ll have to check out.

Also, check out my buddy Josh’s list of OS X apps for the newbie. From his list, I’d highly recommend iPhoto Diet and iProduct (you’ll have to visit his site for the links). I will point out that I use LaunchBar instead of Quicksilver though, just out of habit.

I’ll also point you to my “list of best Mac OS X software” from July 2004…

Backpack Widget

If you’re a Backpack using Mac user, check out the Backpak Widget. Great tool!

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PC World on Aperture

PC World: Aperture Takes Digital Photography Back to the Future – PC World’s Mac Skeptic takes a look at Aperture, from a “point and shoot” perspective. Not worth it for a point and shoot photographer, but probably worth it for a serious pro, if only for a few reasons is her take on it.

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Meetro wants Mac beta testers

I sent Meetro an email this morning asking to be a beta tester, after reading Scoble’s post on the subject. Sure enough, Meetro’s CEO, Paul Bragiel, sent me an email telling me that I’ll get to beta test the application and asking me to help him find more beta testers. Pretty cool that the CEO himself responded to my request ;)

If you’re interested, email them at [email protected] (include your city/state you reside in).

Meetro is an app that uses your wifi antenna to figure out where you’re located and then finds interesting things/people nearby.

Ars Followup Review on Aperture

Ars Followup to Initial Review on Aperture – Ars Technica reviewer, Dave Girard, goes into more detail with Aperture based on the feedback he received from his initial review. Good reading here, especially if you’re still on the fence about dropping $500 for an immediate workflow fix to your Digital Photography needs.

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Chuqui on Aperture

Some initial thoughts on Aperture from Chuq – Another look at Aperture from a non-pro. “My cut: Aperture is an impressive first release; among other things, they got the performance and the organizational aspects of it well fleshed out. I’m a LOT happier with Aperture than I was with iPhoto…”

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BBum on Aperture

BBum on Aperture – first look from another non-professional photographer… and I think my big problem with Aperture is going to be how I architect my organizational scheme. Aperture offers a much freer form than iPhoto in how you organize your photos, but I’m sure I’ll figure out what makes sense to me…

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DivX Codec for Playback for Macintosh

DivX Playback for Macintosh – every once and a while I download a movie (Quicktime or WMP) that I can’t watch for whatever reason… I don’t know if I need this DivX codec or not, but hopefully having it will save me some strife when I need it.

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How To Install Apple’s Front Row

How To Install Apple’s Front Row – great instructions.

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Ars on Aperture

Ars Technica on Aperture 1.0 – this is the review I’ve been looking for. If you’re interested in Aperture, read this review.

update: After reading the review completely myself, I’m left thinking that maybe Aperture isn’t what I need, and maybe it is something I’ll want, evenutally. I don’t know, and haven’t made up my mind…

The Ars conclusion:

Maybe by 2.0 Apple will have the foundation sorted out. At this stage Aperture is a big, expensive misfire and considering the hefty price tag, I can’t think of a reason to recommend it. Reading this review, you may think I sound jaded, but I am genuinely angry for those who shelled out US$500 for a program that promised professional results and failed to deliver. Thanks for coming out Aperture, now get off the stage.

A Talented Amateur Finds Aperture

A Talented Amateur Finds Aperture – a good first look at Aperture from a non-professional. Yes, now that I’m borrowing a D60 from a friend of mine, I’m really interested in Aperture.

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Apeture on a Powerbook

Derrick Story on Appeture on a Powerbook – Derrick’s first thoughts on Appeture on his trusty 17″ Powerbook. I’ll have to keep an eye on his experiences before I chuck down the cash for the software…. and Part II of this Series: Raw Files and CS2

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10 Things Every New Mac Owner Should Know

10 Things Every New Mac Owner Should Know – good list to pass on to new Mac users (which I’m sure there will be plenty of after 12/25 this year).

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When a Linux user buys Apple’s Mac mini

When a Linux user buys Apple’s Mac mini

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Safari Secrets

The Secrets of Safari – great list of useful tips for Safari.

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New iPod Nano

I bought an iPod nano (4GB Black) tonight at the Barton Creek Apple Store.

We were at a charity event at the mall, because we figured we’d do a little shopping before Thanksgiving, and to hang out with one of our good friends before they head out of town for the holidays…

We paid $10 each to get access to the mall after hours, as part of an exclusive group of shoppers that support local charities… honestly, the mall was probably more packed tonight than it normally is, or at least more packed that I like it (I hate shopping at the mall).

Since we’d already dumped that $20 into charity, I figured I’d see what kind of discounts the Apple store was offering (all of the stores were offering some sort of free gift (with a purchase) or discount to support the charities).

They were offering 10% off all iPods and iPod accessories… and since I’ve been doing well selling stuff on eBay recently, I figured I’d upgrade to a new iPod nano… I travel a lot for work, and I really wanted an iPod that’d last 14 hours (that’s the advertised battery life of the nano) and it was 10% off, so I bought one.

Initial reaction: Wow!

It’s tiny. Really slim and slick. Transfering my Tunes over USB is slower than Firewire, but not too painful. 4GB is a tough nut to swallow when you’re used to carrying 20GBs of music around with you…

And I’m scared to scratch it.

So, I’ve left it wrapped in the original plastic wrap that it comes in for now (there wasn’t a case included in the box that mine came in).

The first thing I did when I got home was order Black Sleevz™ for iPod nano from Radtech. Hopefully it’s here before Thanksgiving, or at least shortly thereafter.

The packaging is typical Apple… meaning it’s very svelte. It feels like you bought a double CD at the music store, and opens like a special edition CD package.

I opened it in front of my wife who still had yet to even see one in person, much less hold one, and she said “Is that it? Are you sure that isn’t a picture of it?” as I held it in the box… when I pulled it out she just said “That’s cool babe.”

I’ve got a great wife!

Oh, and yes this means my 20GB 3rd Generation iPod will be on eBay next week. I’ll link to it when it’s posted. Good machine, but with all the flying I’m doing, I wanted something lighter and smaller.

Google shows no love for Mac users

Here’s one more example of how Google just doesn’t like Mac users.

Google Analytics doesn’t work with Safari on Mac OS X. In ordre to view a Google Analytics report on Mac OS X, you have to be using a Mozilla based braower, ie. Firefox. (If you are unfamiliar with how to use Google Analytics you could contact an advertising agency for help.)

Here’s an example of two screenshots:

GA in Safari on Mac OS X:

GA in Firefox on Mac OS X:

So, if you’re a Mac user, logging into Google Analytics using Safari, and you’re wondering why there is not data, it’s because GA won’t work with Safari.

Here’s a link to the official Google Analytics help system that details this bug.

I’m using Safari on Mac OS X and am unable to view any reports.
The most recent versions of Safari (v. 1.3.1 for Mac OS X Panther and v. 2.0.1 for Mac OS X Tiger) do not support the Google Analytics reporting interface. Only Mozilla-based browsers (Firefox, Mozilla, and Netscape Navigator) are supported for Macs at this time. We recommend using one of these supported browsers to view your Google Analytics account.

Yes, I’m believing Google is lame a lot lately (I think the lustre is wearing off … their search engine rocks… the rest, well, keeps sucking more and more), and this is just one more example of the Mac user hate they exhibit sometimes…

I never use Firefox, just like I never use Windows Media Player. If a WMV file shows its head in a webpage I’ve viewing with Safari and works on my machine, I’m pleasantly surprised, but I don’t download WMV files to watch in Windows Media Player. I use Safari for 99.9% of my internet browsing needs on my Mac, and only load up Firefox to view analytics reports from Google at this point (taking the screenshots above for example was the first time I’ve fired up Firefox on my Mac in probably a year to view a website on the web … ugh…)

But hey, it’s a free service… who am I to complain?

update: In the comments on TUAW a reader gives this advice for how to get GA to work with Safari:

1. Try to force a reflow of the page, e.g. by hitting “Cmd +” or “Cmd -” to resize the text. The charts will appear.

Charts also appear if you invoke them via the contextual red (^) buttons next to list elements.

One more reason why Chuq works for Apple

Chuq just posted this post: Why I work for Apple, reason number 18321.5, which points to Meet Jackie Huba, Customer Evangelist which points to this Quicktime Movie which you just have to watch… too much fun!

Printing from a Windows XP PC to a printer attached to an Airport Extreme Base Station or Airport Express

Printing from a Windows XP PC to a printer attached to an Airport Extreme Base Station or Airport Express – Now I can print to the Canon photo printer from my IBM thinkpad… too cool!

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How-to use your Mac from anywhere

How-to use your Mac from anywhere – great tutorial from Mark.

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The Secrets of Safari

MacWorld: The Secrets of Safari

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Breif Observations

Brief Observations and Comments on the New Stuff Announced at Today’s Special Event. Where else do I turn to get my “Apple’s new announcements reaction” than John Gruber’s excellent Daring Fireball… great read.

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60 hours and a pre-wedding iMovie

A few friends of mine and I ‘volunteered’ to put together a movie for a couple of friends of ours that are getting married this weekend. I got roped in because I’m the one that owns a Macintosh, which means I have iMovie and iDVD

The goal: a 10-20 minute video that gives the couple’s friends the opportunity to share something about the couple with the audience, show a bunch of photos from the couple’s history, with a little music running in the background.

So, we set out a month of more ago with the camera, and my two friends started video taping. They shot around 3 hours of footage. This was a bad start… I knew it, but figured we’d be able to work with it.

One thing I’ve learned about making movies over the past 10-12 months (that’s how long I’ve been making movies using the Macs in the house) is that shorter is always better. If you can make a movie short and sweet, everyone loves it. If it’s long, it always seems to drag on, because the subject gets a little old. It happens…

This past Sunday, we started editing down the 3 hours of footage.

The first few “interviews” were horrible… the interviewees just rambled and rambled, and they didn’t speak up enough to make it easy to hear them. This is partially due to the fact that the two folks that worked the camera for us had never edited a video, and thus they didn’t know that the subject in the frame needed to speak up, and for editing ease, needed to give us good, sharp soundbites. The last few interviews were much better… concise and to the point. I also noticed that the first few interviews were all women. The last few were men. I’ll let you make the connection between rambling vs. not rambling and the sexes.

By Monday, we had it edited down to 45 minutes worth of sound bites/video snippets… Then I used iMovies “Extract Audio” feature on all of the video clips at once. Bad idea!

iMovie on a 2GHz iMac doesn’t like converting all of that audio at once, and it shit on us after the conversion process… so we lost all the work we’d done on the editing side up to that point.

Luckily, I’d created a backup on the original movie data. On Tuesday, we edited again, and were much better at it, because we knew what we were looking for in that 3 hours of footage. It still took a little while to edit though… about 2.5 hours this time. Then we got the footage in order, and called it a night.

On Wednesday, we decided to start putting the pictures with the video clips and to just make it work. After 4 hours of work, we had a finished product that was 20 minutes long, and looked pretty good.

Thursday night, we added the music and some final title screens and transitions… then I adjusted the volume levels of some of the quieter video segments and the music… and I made a DVD using iDVD, and burned a copy.

I watched it at 10:00 p.m. or so, and those low level video segments were still too quiet to be heard on the TV after I made a DVD out of the video… so I re-edited the movie to get rid of the background music completely, and brought the levels way up for the quiet video segments. I called it a night around 11:30 p.m.

The video is done. I personally spent around 18-20 hours working on this thing. My two friends that shot the video and helped edit it spent at least that long as well. 60 man hours, a lot of money on gas, and a few more grey hairs… that’s the cost of this movie. Finally done.

We should have charged for this work.

Lessons:

  1. iMovie is a great tool, it handled 3 hours of video footage editing just fine… It was a bit underpowered for the things we wanted to do with this video, but it did the job we needed it to do just fine. I should have done this in Final Cut Pro, but I wasn’t going to spend the money on it yet.
  2. iDVD rocks! iDVD will put a very professional look on your DVD and is worth paying for all on its own.
  3. Editing 3 hours of video footage down to 20 minutes worth of good stuff ain’t fun. Next time, spend a lot more time getting the people in the movie to be better video subjects.
  4. Better Together by Jack Johnson on In Beetween Dreams is a great song for a wedding.
  5. If you ask your friends to make a movie for you, make sure you know what you’re asking for… it’s a lot more work than anyone that hasn’t made a movie before might think… and you get what you pay for.
  6. The quality of your movie really comes down to the quality of the source material you have to work with. If you have crappy source material, no amount of technology can make it better. If you’re shooting the footage yourself and can direct the actors, focus them on sound-bites and make them speak up if they aren’t right in front of the camera.
  7. I might have to invest in a microphone and light setup for the DV camera.

Overall the process was a great learning experience, and we’ve created a great movie… I’d put it online for you all to watch, but I’m not that proud of it and don’t want to pay the hosting/bandwidth bill for a 20 minute movie. If you want to watch it, contact me and I’ll tell you where to send that $5 check to cover burning it and shipping the DVD.

Janicek nano

If any of you out there are iPod nano fans, you’ve gotta go check out my buddy Josh’s news:

Go to: http://www.janicek.com/

You’re gonna love it.

Congrats Josh and Elise!

Shitty Ditty

Gruber does it again (brings a smile to my face) with his witty analysis of the Dell DJ Ditty

14. Sit back and recall, with tremendously smug satisfaction, a decade’s worth of tech industry punditry holding that superior design would never get Apple anywhere, and that Apple should instead, you know, be more like Dell.

Textpander

A recommendation for Textpander – there are lots of little utilities like this for the Macintosh, but it’s nice to see such a well written recommendation.

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Enter the Dell 2405FPW

Enter the Dell 2405FPW – looks like a really nice 24″ LCD monitor… with Dell pricing… I might have to look into this one…

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Reality Distortion Field

Great story: Reality Distortion Field

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iTunes 5 vs. Brushed Metal humor

The iTunes 5 Announcement From the Perspective of an Anthropomorphized Brushed Metal User Interface Theme – Bwahahaha! Too damned funny. Great job Gruber!

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iPod Cemetery

the iPod Family Cemetery from engadget.

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iTunes 5 interface

Michael Tsai on iTunes 5 interface – a good summary read of all of the comments floating around out there on the new iTunes 5 interface…

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Sexy “Free” OS X Apps

Sexy “Free” OS X Apps

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Black or White?

The biggest challenge I see facing my future purchase of an iPod nano?

Should I get a Black one or a White one?

Ugh… the decisions in life that make it so tough.

Who is connected to my Airport Base Station?

Have you ever asked yourself the question “Who is connected to my Airport Base Station?”

If so, then you should download the Airport Management Utility. This tool kicks ass.

I don’t know why Apple doesn’t advertiser the existence of this software more than it does… the only mention I could find of this software on their website was on this “On Campus” page in the Airport Extreme section of their site.

Maybe it’s mentioned somewhere else, but since the only reason I was looking for it was because I was getting horribly slow connections from my Cable internet connection, which is run through my Airport network… and I couldn’t spend all damned day looking for software on a 0.1 KB/sec connection.

Photon

Photon – a cool little iPhoto plugin that helps you manage weblog based photo galleries from iPhoto.

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Notational Velocity

Notational Velocity is an application that stores and retrieves notes.” Enough said. Cool software, very simple, and super easy to use.

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Command Key

The story of how we got the unusual symbol used for the menu command key in the Mac OS.

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know that kid? iGuy from Speck

In case you were wondering what Jack, my son, looks like: Check out this review of the iGuy from Speck. Misha Sakellaropoulo is a buddy of mine, and he let Jack play with it a little last weekend when they were down… and lo and behold, Jack made it into the review. Expect Jack’s agent to send you a modeling bill, Misha.

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new ipods

ThinkSecret has the scoop on the new iPods and the iTunes phone. I’d trust their report if I were a betting man… they’ve been right too many times in the past to doubt them.

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Backpack feedback

Here is some feedback on Backpack which looks like something I should check out.

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Damned Windows Media Player

Can anyone tell me why Windows Media Player (version 9 for OS X) always decides to shit on me:

Windows Media Player Has Died

It really doesn’t matter what I do with it, after about two weeks after I install it, I get lots of these “Windows Media Player has crashed” error windows whenver I try to open a WMV file from the internet.

VLC tells me this when trying to play the same files that crash Windows Media Player:

main: no suitable decoder module for fourcc `undf'.
VLC probably does not support this sound or video format.
main: no suitable decoder module for fourcc `WMV3'.
VLC probably does not support this sound or video format.

What’s the deal? Why can’t I watch these media files Microsoft?

Any idea Mr. Scoble? Think you can ask the Windows Media Team to work on this?

Mac Mini for Mom

Tim Bray’s Mac Mini for Mom

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Mac OS X Backup Strategy

Mac OS X Backup Strategy – nice

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