Archives For apple

I very much doubt there is a single designer at Apple who has felt flattered by Samsung. And, on the flip side, I doubt there is a single designer at Samsung who sees their work as homage to Apple.

Gruber has it exactly right in his most recent post about Apple, Samsung, and the degree to which Apple itself has or hasn’t ripped-off others’ work.

We got our first family computer last fall, a 24″ Apple iMac. It had been running like a champ until a strange hardware problem popped up a few weeks ago. It didn’t boot properly a few times, and when I investigated further I found that the system was reporting that the hard drive was starting to get flakey. Following a trip to the local Apple Store, I was back home with a new 750-GB drive (replaced under warranty). Fortunately, I had a full system backup and didn’t lose a single kilobyte of data. Here’s what I’m using as my personal backup strategy. Perhaps it will be useful for someone who runs across this post.

I’ve been busily ripping my CD collection into FLAC and AAC formats since I got the new computer. That’s well over 100 GB right there. In addition, I’ve got a complete archive of every podcast I’ve ever produced with the full uncompressed, unedited audio; some ripped DVDs (DVDs that I own, of course); Final Cut Pro projects; every digital picture I’ve ever taken; and a boatload of software. All told, I’ve got almost 450 GB of data on that disk. Backing up to a few DVDs isn’t going to cut it.

I bought a 500-GB Western Digital MyBook last year which seemed huge at the time. Currently I’m doing weekly full system backups to it with SuperDuper!, an awesome backup and drive imaging tool for OS X. SuperDuper! can be used for free to create a bootable backup to an external drive, or, if you pony up $27.95, it will do a “smart update” on subsequent backups that copies only changed files. That saves a ton of time when you’ve got hundreds of gigs to backup. When I got my iMac back from the Apple Store I did a SuperDuper! “restore” back to the new hard drive, and I was back in business.

I decided that I didn’t want to have the external My Book plugged in 100% of the time so I upgraded my wireless access point to an Apple Airport Extreme because I wanted to use the hard drive sharing feature. It works really well, but I’ve only got a 100-Mbit switch on my home network. That’s a far cry from the Firewire 800 connection that I use when it’s plugged in to the iMac directly. Feeling the need for speed, I just bought a Netgear JGS524 24-port Gigabit switch from ($180 after rebate). That should make the Airport Extreme’s USB 2.0 connection the bottleneck instead of my network.

I’ve shelled out a few hundred bucks at this point, but I’ve got great protection from a system failure or accidental deletion. I’m well on my way to a complete solution, but I haven’t dealt with the tornado or fire scenario. I’m working on that now, and I’ll give the details in Part II.

The Mac faithful were tuned to MacRumors and their IRC chat today for the Steve Jobs keynote at MacWorld. There were a number of surprises that will be blogged about everywhere. A couple things that caught my eye were the new version of GarageBand and a new product called iWeb. Many people had predicted that Apple would release an app that would make podcast creation and publishing easier, and now we have it. I will install the new iLife as soon as possible and give this new Garageband a whirl. iWeb appears to be a Apple’s attempt to create a basic blogging tool that can publish photos and all sorts of digital media. Apple is touting the RSS capabilities of everything including iPhoto and a new feature they’re calling “photocasting.”

Who knows how well these tools will actually work, but it sure looks cool so far.

ilife, osx, iphoto, iweb, macworld, garageband, rss

If you’re reading this you’ll know that I have landed safely in San Jose, CA for a week of intense training at the Apple Distinguished Educator Summer Institute. I’m not quite sure what to expect actually, but I’m confident that it will be top-knotch. Ever since I was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator this spring I have been consistently impressed with the quality of the ADE community. I’m looking forward to geeking out with some real tech wizards, and, of course, I’ll be blogging and podcasting as much as I can.

STP Episode #3

29 Jun 2005

Carlyn and I attended an Apple-sponsored podcasting event last night with my friend Craig Nansen from North Dakota. Perfectly timed with the release of iTunes 4.9, Barnaby Wasson from Arizone State U. presented for about 30 minutes about the educational uses for podcasting and provided a good primer for those in the audience who were still learning the basics. We also got a tour of the new iTunes from an engineer who works on the iTunes development team. We were all quite surprised at the tournout as Apple had to conduct two back to back sessions to accommodate the crowd who showed up at 9:00 p.m. for the session.

After the session ended I got together with Carlyn, Craig, and a bunch of teachers from Grand Forks, ND for a chat about what we’d just seen. (I didn’t just pick them out of a crowd. I met most of these folks a couple weeks ago at the TNT Conference in Grand Forks.) If nothing else, this podcast illustrates another way that podcasts could be used in schools. Teachers could create an initial podcast and students could be encouraged to podcast their reactions to it. Have a listen.

Download: STP-2005-06-28.mp3 (4.8 MB, 10:34)

A report from WWDC

7 Jun 2005

My colleague Siddhartha Chadda is out at Apple’s WWDC this week and has this “man on the street” report:

The gasp of the audience when Steve Jobs said “it’s true” with the “e” hanging down to mimic Intel’s logo was a seminal event in computing. This is really the third major transition for Apple. And my opinion is that Steve Jobs made a compelling case for this transition. This time it is when Macintosh as a platform is very strong. Most people don’t change much if they are strong and it really is a bold new direction for Apple to do at this particular time and space.

One can make the case for a race between Longhorn and Mac OS X (Leopard) on Intel by late 2006.

Going to some of the labs at WWDC and seeing stock Intel motherboards in a G5 powermac chassis is so freaky not because of the Frankenstein aspect but how matter of fact the developer community has embraced this new path.

There are labs with 75 G5’s with each alternative row of computers with nice shiny brass combination locks in the back. These are the only hints that you are running OS X on a Pentium motherboard.

People want stuff to work. They don’t care about what CPU is in there. This announcement is absent from Apple home page as a major link because they still want to sell Power PCs. And frankly a person looking to surf the web, write an email and store photographs can’t care about endianess and other technological hurdles and developers just care about solving technical problems on a platform that allows them limitless possibilities.

It’s going to be a very interesting two years for Apple.

Steve Jobs announced a bunch of new Apple products at today’s MacWorld Expo SF 2005. MacCentral has a full description of the goodies. Looks cool.

A room full of iBooks

Less than a week after placing the order, an incredulous delivery guy showed up with a truck full of 650 Apple iBook laptops. We had a pretty good idea where we were going to store them, but weren’t entirely sure how much room it would take. The stack you see in the picture (click for a larger view) accounts for almost 600 of them.

We hired the technician who will be responsible for doing the inventory and installing the images on those machines. He didn’t run screaming from the room when he saw them so I’m optimistic that he’ll work out.