Sept. 10, 2013 Keynote recap
Back in the old days, Apple and Steve Jobs used to wow us with surprise announcements, sometimes with products we just didn’t expect at all.
Today, due to their gargantuan size, production in China, need for government approvals, and folks who “dumpster-dive” into the patent office in order to gain insight as to what Apple is up to, it has become pretty hard to spring big surprises on us.
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Change is coming… and it seems we are the ones who’ve been demanding it. For the past two years all I have read about is how Apple needs to freshen the iOS. How it needs to be more modern and cleaner. How skeuomorphism is so 2007 and that we are now beyond that. What everyone seems to be saying is that we are bored with the iOS and we want something new to look at.
Well, that time has come. The team at Apple has completely revamped the iOS with iOS 7, and it is coming to your iOS device soon. Read More »
Being an ordinary schmoe, it’s certainly a rare circumstance to find myself with personal, first-hand knowledge about anyone featured in a major theatre biopic. I never met Steve face-to-face (I never wanted to; I didn’t want to risk our Apple authorization on the chance of making a wrong comment to the man), but I was in the same room with him on a number of occasions, including some of his most famous keynotes. And of course, his shadow and name loomed heavily over many of the discussions we had with corporate executives, inside and outside of the Cupertino campus. Read More »
With all the talk of the new OS X Mavericks operating system, you might have noticed your Mac might be a few versions behind the current Mountain Lion operating system. Read More »
I sure wouldn’t want Apple CEO Tim Cook’s job. Imagine what it would be like sitting at your desk with a metaphorical bank of cameras wanting to take pictures of your every move, and 1,000 internet reporters trying to figure out how to get their hands on every one of your emails, and a bunch of spies rummaging through your garbage or Read More »
I recently had an interaction with Toys R Us that reminded me why I always try and buy from companies like PowerMax. By that I mean not huge conglomerates, or big box, or companies who employ more people than there are lobbyists in Washington DC. Read More »
If you don’t know what a Ferengi is, it’s a fictional extraterrestrial race from Star Trek, characterized by an obsession with money and profit and trade. I’m not sure whether or not the invention of the Ferengi was meant to be a metaphor for this country. Read More »
I recently heard a speaker state that publicly-traded companies create no job growth. For every job they add, they take at least one away. He said most of our job growth comes from privately-held companies. I couldn’t find corroborating statistics either way on that, but it made sense to me. Read More »
I gotta tell ya, I get kind of annoyed when I hear the word “obsolete” used in conjunction with the introduction of an updated piece of technology. Read More »
Sometimes you don’t spend time thinking about what you have and how you should use it until you don’t have it anymore. I was at a concert and I was dancing my pants off. I had a side purse on that was bumping and grooving along to its own beat and slapping against me. Read More »
I was hanging out with my friends the other night and I overheard them saying, “If you have a bad website, I’m just not going to buy from you.” What does this statement really mean? Read More »
So you want the latest Apple gadget, but aren’t sure you want to spend the money to upgrade? Well, PowerMax has been solving that problem for longer than many retailers have been in business. Indeed, the PowerMax Trade in Program is one of the signatures that made PowerMax what it is today. Read More »
When you buy a New MacBook Pro 2012 or MacBook Air you will probably be pretty excited to make it your own. There are many ways to customize your new MacBook. Depending on if you are a student, business person, or parent you will have different needs to customize your new MacBook. Read More »
When you look at the human landscape that makes up the United States and analyze who is “in charge,” you might of course start with the government. Since our founding fathers had the wisdom to set up three branches to avoid any one entity assuming complete control, Read More »
The internet shopping experience can be daunting. Think about it: virtually everything you can buy is sitting somewhere for sale on the internet. It’s like walking into a mall that stretches for hundreds of miles. Even if you just look at the Apple world, we have dozens of different iPad models, not to mention all the iPods (nano, shuffle, touch and classic), and then the hundreds of Mac configurations on top of that. Read More »
1) Money Savings
2) Less Depreciation
3) Bugs and kinks have generally all been addressed
4) Environmental Sustainability
5) New introductions don’t suddenly devalue your purchase Read More »
Slowly but surely, the internet is creeping toward your television set, even if you don’t have it hooked up that way yet. Read More »
I remember reading a story about a father who was writing a response to a questionnaire from a university about the application of his daughter to their school. Read More »
It’s not hard to imagine replacing the handheld tablet on which Captain Kirk affixed his signature (usually while smirking at the short-skirted yeoman who’d handed it to him) with an iPad. Back in the ‘60’s, a computer tablet was only a futuristic dream. Today, the iPad is doing things that even Captain Kirk might not have imagined. Read More »
I was upgrading my iPhone software, and ended up wiping my iPhone with no backup. It was a blast from the past before sim cards, and iCloud. First thing to do when you have lost all your contacts is to keep breathing. If the incident happens at home or work, keeping a cool head will help. No need to take out your frustrations with your family or co-workers. Read More »
Are you in the market to buy a new MacBook? If so, you may have loads of questions, starting with the basics of “Which MacBook should I buy?” or “What should I consider in regards to the differences between the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?” or “When is the next new model coming and should I be worried about that?” or even, “Used or new?” Read More »
Ever since the internet became a forum for bloggers, prognosticators and technology seers, its airwaves have been filled with predictions about what Apple’s going to do next. For someone who has a small degree of access into the inner workings of Cupertino, it’s always been a little bemusing to watch, especially when I already know first-hand what is or isn’t going to happen, and I see them getting it all wrong. Read More »
I just returned from a visit to CES in Las Vegas. As I wandered the halls of this enormous show, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if it were turned into one big retail store. While one might say the internet is essentially that, there’s just no way for anyone to shop on the internet and see all this stuff. Read More »
Although Thanksgiving has come and gone, the idea of being thankful should never leave us. It’s good to be grateful for all those things we take for granted. For instance, since you’re reading this, you obviously have electricity, which is something to be grateful for. Not everyone in the world can say that. Read More »
My daughter recently quit her job at the retailer Old Navy, mostly because the company is keeping its stores open on Thanksgiving. I supported her in that decision. I mean, my God, what’s next, being open on Christmas so retailers can be the first ones with a post-Christmas sale? Read More »
I don’t watch too many commercials nowadays. Part of this is due to the fact that I don’t watch all that much TV anymore. The rest of it is because I own a DVR, and tend to DVR everything and fast forward through all the commercials. I’m one of those guys that’s making life harder for all the companies who used to increase sales solely by advertising on TV. Read More »
Steve’s death may create more commentary than any business leader’s death in history. He was certainly an iconic figure, and unquestionably impacted most of our lives. For me, the question for each of us is what we choose to learn from his life and death. Read More »
10.7.1 is out
If you are one of the few who upgraded to Lion 10.7, Apple just issued the first, much-needed, update. It consists of the usual round of bug fixes and no visible changes. I installed it immediately, did the usual repair-permissions thing, and am using it now. Read More »
While I like some of the features, I do not like the changes to Spaces. It is now too easy to accidentally invoke a screen shift while difficult to drag items from one to another. I also find it increasingly obvious that this is not really ready for prime time and one should wait for 10.7.1, at the earliest. Read More »
Getting Ready for Lion
My original intention was to just forget about OS X Lion for a few months, letting others do Apple’s field testing for them. Then I realized I should go ahead and do it because I need to learn as much as possible, in preparation for those clients who will need help with it. But to give it a go, I had to do a lot of preparation. Read More »
That’s a question a lot of video editing professionals are asking in regards to the latest edition of Final Cut Pro recently released by Apple. By completely re-thinking the idea as to how video editing is done and re-working Final Cut Pro from the ground up, Apple has managed to tick off or alienate a reasonably large percentage of the professional editing population. Read More »
Yesterday Apple issued a new Security Update, 2011-003, to fix problems with the MacDefender malware that has been biting so many people. (This after two weeks of denying the problem existed.) Read More »
It seems Americans can be divided into two camps: those who Facebook and those who don’t.
I’ve spoken to lots of people who have told me that they have never bothered to sign up for Facebook because they just don’t “get it.” Or perhaps they did sign up, but rarely visit the site. Read More »
Throughout history, size has mattered. The biggest armies generally won. Warriors were revered for their size and strength. Small people were turned into court jesters. Those with the most money ruled (and still do). Which does remind me of an old joke I learned in childhood: “Who is bigger? Mr. Bigger or Mr. Bigger’s baby?”
“Mr. Bigger’s baby is a little Bigger.” Read More »
If innovation were an animal, the government would’ve put it on the endangered species list by now. I have many opinions as to why this has happened, but then again, I have a lot of opinions about everything, including my opinions. Read More »
I’m a consumer, just like you. My own personal experiences as a consumer frequently impact the way PowerMax operates. When I run into something exceptional, whether good or bad, I try to make sure our company learns from it. Read More »
If corporate rumor mongering, article-writing, blog-posting, second-guessing and the like could be collected into hill-sized piles, Apple’s pile might be the size of Mt. Everest… while the average of all the rest of the world’s companies might barely reach the height of a baseball pitching mound. Read More »
One of the reasons PowerMax exists is to provide alternatives for obtaining the cool electronics people need and want. By that, I don’t mean so much in the way of alternative products; I mean a different approach, a different way of interacting with customers, and often a different way of marketing that approach. Read More »
Holy Cow, as Harry Caray used to say, Apple hit one out of the park with their September 1st music event. They took the #1 lineup of media devices in the world and basically changed them all again. While most companies would be happy to rest on their laurels, Apple seems to always have a knack for wanting to push us all into the next level… for better or worse. With these announcements, it seems for the better…
We’ve been selling Apple products a long, long time. Long enough to have an ocean of things only the most rabid Apple fanboy would care to care to see or own. Marvelously old, crusty Apple things that died long ago. Signs, crates of who-knows-what, pallets full of machines from a bygone era. Mostly the Clinton era, but I digress … Read More »
While Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, they certainly invented the MP3 player that would forever define the category: the iPod.
Over the years, the iPod has morphed from a music player to a near mini-computer, where you can text, chat, browse the web, record video, watch movies, play with an endless supply of applications, and yes, still just listen to music.
Apple has managed to impress and surprise more times than we can count over the years. But have they run out of ideas for the iPod? Where can they possibly take it next?
The idea for this article germinated as I once again struggled with our relatively new phone system. I say relatively new, because although we’ve had it in place for close to a year, I still have no real idea how to use it.
In fact, I would guess that most of our employees understand about 5% of the capabilities of the things. The phones feature LCD screens with menu options to infinity and beyond, and are graced with rows and rows of buttons, most of which remain unlabeled. And yet all the enticing features they offer to those willing to get a diploma in Business Phone 101 mostly go to waste because 95% of the time all we want to do is answer the damn phone. Read More »
Naturally we run a few iPhones around the office, and just for kicks we upgraded an iPhone 3GS to iOS 4.0.1 and ran a (totally unscientific) comparison on how the signal bar strength display differs with iOS 4.0.1 v.s. an identical iPhone 3GS running 4.0. Of course, the actual reception of the device is unchanged – this is just a cosmetic fix to more “accurately” display the signal strength.
Yeesh. Looks like the truth hurts: Read More »
We receive a lot of email from our customers. You folks seem to really enjoy letting us know what we’re doing right, doing wrong, and everything in between. One of our great customers, Michael, decided to give us a real-world example of why he likes using our trade in service. We thought it was a rather useful tidbit, and have published it here with his permission. Read More »
Many of you may have seen the news that Apple just passed Microsoft as the second-largest U.S. company, at least in terms of stock market capitalization. By that calculation, Apple only trails Exxon-Mobil in size and they are now the largest technology company in the world. Give ‘em a few more months, and maybe we’ll be pouring iPods and iPads into our gas tanks. Read More »
Square Mobile Payment iPhone app rolls live – Upending the credit card industry one swipe at a time.
Square, the startup Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey put together after his glass-blowing compadre missed one too many sales from only taking cash, is officially open for business. If you’ve ever dealt with the merchant account side of the credit card industry you know why this little service will find quite a home among smaller businesses. We take a look at what the service is, and how you can get Square yourself.
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I’m no software techno-geek, but I’m not a mechanic either. Despite that deficiency, I still appreciate and understand the differences between the ride of a nice new Mercedes and a Pacer. (My Dad bought a Pacer way back when, by the way. At the time, it kind of looked cool, in a geeky sort of way, but he eventually got so frustrated by its mechanical problems that he cut out great big yellow cardboard lemons, detailed all the issues on each lemon, taped them in the windows, and parked the beast as close to the dealership as he could.
(Nothing ever came of all that, but I think he felt better.)
In a company of over 200 employees, I’m apparently the largest volume email user. I only say that to establish my credibility. Maybe I should have a doctorate in email usage. I live in email. For example, if I don’t keep checking my email while on vacation, the day of my return starts off with my face in my hands, wondering how I’m going to get through them all.
So, I keep up on them every day, even when I’m out of the country.
I’ve been mulling over the iPad ever since it’s introduction. I’ve found that a week or two of mulling is almost always necessary after Apple announces a new product. I’ve been in the theater many times when Steve is giving a keynote, and nearly everyone walks out with stars in their eyes and wallets in their hands afterward. It’s only after some amount of contemplation that the real value of the product starts to sink in.
I swear Steve Jobs should be appointed Secretary of State of head of the UN or something… he could talk a leopard out of its spots… and it would walk away with earbuds stuck in its ears. Read More »
In my last article I opined that Apple would either blow me away or cause me to go a little ho hum on the product.
We know now what it is… so did it blow me away? Again, I will emphasize that I’m only writing from a personal perspective here. After all, Apple does a terrific job of telling you what you want. I don’t really need to add to their very professional, slick messaging. But for me personally… the answer is “no.” Read More »
Once upon a time, long, long ago, before Al Gore invented the internets and people only knew what they were told by professional writers in things called magazines, Apple and Steve Jobs controlled their very own universe. They sat in Cupertino and dreamed up new and exciting ways for people to interact with electronic devices, then Steve could take the stage in San Francisco and absolutely blow everyone away with a new gadget, upgrade or computer that no one saw coming.
Steve has since mastered many other arts of marketing and showmanship, but that heretofore cornerstone to his act is a little bit like taking the liquor away from W.C. Fields.
It’s just not the same anymore. But, W.C. is dead, and a whole lot of younger people might not even know who he was, so one thing is true: things change. I’m not sure Apple will ever be able to spring a huge surprise on us ever again. Read More »
Technology has become an ever-present factor in our lives, and it’s not going anywhere. We’re surrounded by it at every corner and within almost every device we use. Even the cars we drive would stop in their tracks if the technology in them suddenly failed.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say modern (or more appropriately current) society rests on the laurels of technology. We wage wars with technology. We feed our population with technology. We heal our sick with technology. And to the point, the idea of operating a business without technology is nearly unheard of. Read More »
1. Apple will introduce a computing tablet of some sort sometime during the year, although the backlog will continue into 2011. However, it will disappoint some because it won’t allow people to just sleep all day while it does all the work, or make their coffee, or turn into a magic carpet… but, it will be a surprise hit because it does the one thing everyone wants to have done but no one knew what that was until Apple showed them. Read More »
It’s gift-giving crunch time people! You’ve got just a few short days left to make sure your gift list has been checked (twice even) and get those goodies on their merry way. Lucky for you, we’ve employed a few tactics to take the trepidation out of your last minute gift buying: Read More »
Max the Sasquatch is on a two-week vacation visiting his cousin… who happens to be the Sasquatch that jerky company (pun intended on behalf of Max) keeps torturing with practical jokes out in the woods. Max figures that if he’s with his cousin, it’ll be harder for those pranksters to bother him (besides which, we armed Max with a slingshot and a bunch of stale Halloween candy). Read More »
Congrats Mr. Ross Thomas!
PowerMax is pleased to announce the winner of our Gold MacBook Air drawing! This 24 karat-covered beauty was offered just as a way to say thanks to our customers, and the lucky winner is a Mr. Ross Thomas. Read More »
It’s been said that the most difficult movie to make is a comedy. I believe that, just as I also believe that the most difficult marketing or advertising concept to produce is one that contains humor. Being something of a stubborn and contrary cuss, usually when I hear that something is harder than everything else, I’ll gravitate toward the more difficult concept, figuring that any Joe Blow and his brother can do the easy ones. Read More »
The Microsoft/Apple debate has not only been beaten to death, but probably trampled into the depths of hell, the heights of heaven and all the stars in between by now. Let’s face it; there are those that see no value in paying the “Apple Tax,” which is just another way to say they tend to be initially more expensive, and they’re willing to stand by that opinion I think partly to help justify the relatively small savings they perceive Windows machines represent (and it’s a whole ‘nother article to talk about how Macs aren’t really more expensive at all, even when just factoring in trade-in value, a subject that we know quite a bit about. In fact, we recently stopped using the PC trade-in service we were trying from a third-party, I think mostly because PC owners were just plain discouraged when they heard what their PC’s were worth).
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I’ll admit it – Halloween is my favorite holiday. Unlike most other holidays, Halloween is about little more than having a good time. Whether it’s with your kids knocking on your neighbor’s doors or getting down at some Zombie-themed soiree, Halloween gives people a great excuse to let it all hang out (sometimes including fake intestines).
As I write this, the internet airwaves are awash in reports and reviews of Snow Leopard, Apple’s latest operating system. My contribution to the broohaha is designed to represent the majority of computer users who for the most part don’t, or shouldn’t, give a rat’s patootie.
Way back at the WWDC conference in June, Apple let the world know that its next upgrade to OS X, dubbed Snow Leopard, could be expected around September. But after what feels like an eternity of guesses and anticipation (imagine that!) the black turtlenecks have given us all a little gift and and actually shipped early (imagine that too!).
One of the most significant byproducts of the growth of the Internet has been the availability of data. Huge oceans of data available to anyone who cares to dive into it.
Well, we all expected some interesting iPhone news out of the WWDC this year – but wowee did it ever over-deliver in this humble observer’s eyes.
If you’ve got a high school or college grad there’s no time like the present to grab them a gift for their graduation. Below you’ll find a number of gift ideas to help make the most of your special occasion.
In the old cartoons it was pretty common to see a large elephant’s eyes grow wide at the sight of a mouse, and stampede away or cause all sorts of damage in its frenzy to get away from the vicious “monster.”
Apparently Microsoft’s executives spent a lot of time watching cartoons when they were kids (or perhaps still do). The little Apple mouse is making this elephant of a company run so scared that it’s airing competitive ads against Apple, despite the fact that it still commands roughly 90% of the market.
The elections of 2008 shone a bright light on the central political debate in this country: liberalism vs. conservatism. But while our country was engaged in a widening polarization of political beliefs, the true debate should have been, and should be, directed at something completely different.
We plan on providing more videos of Max’s hijinks (aka Maxjinks), especially since the big galoot can’t walk through a room without knocking something over (although he’s no longer choking copiers to death with butt hair, and we haven’t had to clean blood off the ceiling for quite some time). Read More »
The internet has helped create a world where everyone is our neighbor. An individual in Munich (I just picked that city at random, I’ve never even been there) can look at a price offered by a merchant as easily as the house next door to the company. We can receive emails instantly from Nigeria (promising thousands of dollars to help out this poor prince who can’t move his money out of the country no less) quicker than it takes a neighbor to walk to your door (which doesn’t happen as often as it used to; they probably just send an email as well).
1989 was an astonishing year for many reasons.
Depending on how old you are, what happened in 1989 may or may not bring back memories, but either way many of the following events have had significant impacts on our lives, including:
Uncharacteristically, early in the morning, Apple updated over half the Mac lineup. Most updates from Apple happen to just one product line at 10 AM on a given Tuesday morning. This time, Apple updated the Mac Pro, Mac mini, iMac, 15” MacBook Pro, Airport Extreme base station, and Time Capsule all at once… and before most of us had our coffee. Despite all these updates, the real star of today’s changes was barely mentioned, and that is the Apple 24” LED Cinema Display, now that it can attach to almost any new Mac. Read More »
Would you like to win yourself a new 8GB iPod nano? For free even? If you know PowerMax at all, you’d know that we have a cherished tradition – the Limerick contest. Well, to be honest, this is our first one ever… typically our St. Paddy’s tradition includes varying amounts of hop-based green liquid. But we’ve already declared our Limerick contest a cherished tradition because we think it’ll be pretty fun, and because we said so.
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Back in 1965, Roger Moore uttered the now famous phrase, “Bond, James Bond.” Oh wait, that’s the wrong Moore. And Roger Moore wasn’t even James Bond until 1973. Okay, it was Gordon Moore of Intel, who most famously observed the trend of computing power doubling every two years, ultimately becoming known as Moore’s Law.
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You know you’re loved, right? Well, we’re all about sharing the love this February, and you’ll get a chance to feel the love every week because we’re giving away a pink 1GB iPod shuffle every Friday in February.
I find it interesting to watch human behavior. We definitely have a way of thinking and acting collectively that seems to be somewhat different than what we might do all by ourselves.
Apple just announced that the 2009 MacWorld is going to be its last MacWorld Expo. As a long-time veteran of this event (as well as many other trade shows), I figured I’d weigh in before I even read all the sky-is-falling articles that are sure to abound at the news of this “dramatic” news.
From modest beginnings with just a few hundred applications when iTune “App Store” first opened for business in June 2008 to over 10,000 apps today, it’s clear that mini apps for your iPhone and iPod touch are a big hit.
When is the right time to buy a new Mac?
Anyone who has managed sales people in the technology field will understand and even laugh about what I’m going to say: A lot of knowledgeable technicians make absolutely the worst sales people, both from the owner’s and customer’s perspective.
Your Data is About as Secure as a Candle in the Wind
Those of us who work in the industry have a pretty good handle on the uncertainty of computer data. If you ever get a chance to look at a hard drive in operation, this understanding will become fully entrenched. You’ll see a round disk spinning around at thousands of RPMS, and this tiny little metal thing twitching back and forth over it like a worm having a seizure, grabbing the ones and zeroes and turning them into pictures, music and letters on your screen, using some mysterious alchemy that might have befuddled Einstein.
It shouldn’t surprise many that Apple is always looking to differentiate the MacBook from the MacBook Pro. With chip speeds at their current level, today’s processors can handle most operations with aplomb… so the two product lines need reasonably significant differences to justify the extra expense, and not just in screen size.
These are exciting times. It’s a time of dramatic changes: in the way we receive information (and how much we can access), the way we communicate, the way we purchase products, even the way we run our businesses.
Having just returned from Apple’s 2008 World Wide Developer Conference, I reflected about what I feel is the really good news lurking in the background.
And it wasn’t about the new iPhone.
Sure, most of the keynote was about the iPhone, and most of the press is about the iPhone, but the really good news is about Snow Leopard, the next OS in the pipeline. At first glance, Snow Leopard is kind of an awkward name for an OS. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, and it’s just a variation on the current OS name, Leopard, which might bring up questions as to just how much of an advance it is over the current OS. But it’s not really an advance as much as it is a reflection of the genius that is Apple.
According to a 2006 report from CNN, only 57 percent of computer users who store personal data on their machines actually back up their data. A later survey conducted by Apple indicated that only about a fourth of those users actually professed to backing up their data, with just four percent doing it regularly.
(What wasn’t reported was that another twelve percent actually thought the question had to do with plugged-up toilets, but we won’t worry about that at the moment.)
Much has been said about Mac users being a bit arrogant when it comes to the choice of their operating system. There is a certain amount of truth to it, which is unfortunate when you think about how it actually would be best to “convert” more users to the Mac platform. One hardly gains traction with someone on the other side of an issue by belittling the other viewpoint.
So I might offer the idea that instead of putting up our noses at those who use Windows, Mac users should have a mindset that includes acceptance of the Windows alternative, and an understanding that there is a need for multiple operating systems, and a reason some people pretty much have to use one or the other.
In this day and age, between work e-mail, free e-mail, multiple home accounts and even newsfeeds, opening your inbox can seem an overwhelming task. Many of us have had the experience of shouting, “WHAT?! 264 new messages?! I just got everything caught up last night!”
Well, now, with the aid of a simple utility, you can help get yourself a little more organized, without a single change to the way you read your e-mail. No complicated e-mail filtering rules, no lectures on what can and can’t stay in your inbox, no clandestine meetings at E-mailers Anonymous.
I often wonder how many of us really stand back and contemplate the world of technology. I’m sure some of us pretty much just accept whatever happens, while others delight in every new-fangled creation whether or not it really improves his or her life, and of course there are others that are pretty much suspicious of anything new. Those are all reactions… but how about contemplations?
There are many of us who can think back to the days before the internet… but notwithstanding the increasing number of young workers who have never known anything but, that’s actually getting harder and harder to do. Everything’s on the web. If an evil alien race approached our planet and needed to know everything possible about the human race before they attacked, all they’d have to do is steal a personal computer and start reading.
E-mail has become such an integral part of most people’s lives that it’s almost hard to remember that its pervasive presence is barely about a decade old (like many things we use today, its “invention” dates back another thirty or forty years, but it didn’t get to be such a large part of everyone’s lives until the explosion of the internet).
For me personally, my day starts and ends and revolves around e-mail. Information I used to receive through the mail, fax machine, phone and in-person visits now comes almost exclusively via e-mail. If you haven’t pondered how to properly manage and organize your e-mail duties yet, you’d better be thinking about it now, because e-mail isn’t going away anytime soon.
In some ways, Apple and Christmas make strange bedfellows. First of all, Christmas is a time of giving, and Apple’s culture is about as averse to philanthropy as Brittney Spears is to parenthood (hey, cheap shots to go all ‘round!).
However, while hanging Christmas lights on our house, it reminded me why Apple is successful (I tried to keep these stray thoughts limited to the times I wasn’t tilting one-legged on an overextended, shaky ladder while trying to reach that last hook).
Only six years ago, 35mm negative and slide scanners were plentiful. All the major optical-electronics companies had multiple offerings for consumers and professionals. At that time digital photography was in its adolescence and, frankly, not as good as 35mm film output. Therefore, digitizing from film used to produce better pictures. Between then and now, digital photography has caught up with film and won people’s hearts and minds.
For the last few years Nikon has been a long-time holdout with a full line of negative / slide scanners, but now even they are not upgrading their offerings. Nikon’s decision is in line with what many other electronics companies have done–they no longer see film scanning as worth their efforts. Most people are not using film cameras now. Digital cameras are the new standard and are affordable and easy to use. If you are still using film, it is probably because you do not have a contemporary computer to manage your digital photos or have a huge investment in film-based systems.
Occasional shrieks of panic were heard from the Mac community last week as word of an active Mac Trojan virus circulated the blogs and news sites. Although this was not the first Mac OS X Trojan, it was found actively infecting computers and stealing people’s information. Up to this point most of the reported Mac vulnerabilities came from “proof of concept” programs. A proof of concept Trojan, or virus, are tools of security experts who want to illustrate how a malicious person could cause problems if not fixed. The release of non-damaging (fake) viruses and Trojans will often cause the software maker to patch the problem before a criminal takes advantage of this flaw. This Trojan, dubbed “OSX.RSPlug.A,” was not created by security experts. It is intended to mislead you into giving bad guys your valuable account information.
PowerMax has recently teamed up with Computer Choppers to provide R&D, as well as continued support, for their first, custom 24kt Gold & Diamonds Macbook Pro. Computer Choppers is an award-winning custom designer of computer cases, laptops, and electronics. They offer a variety of services, including handmade custom cases and unique add-on modifications. Pictured below are photos of the completed laptop which features a paint matched/re-etched MBP keyboard and a diamond-encrusted Apple logo!
Elgato released its latest version of EyeTV software with a special feature just for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Version 2.5 now supports a special web server that will broadcast your recorded programs over a home network, or the internet. No longer do you have to come home first or connect to your computer before you have access to your newly recorded TV programs. Although this may seem like a minor addition to the slew of TV encoding options available with the EyeTV family of products, it marks yet another TV venue that Elgato is attempting to take the lead in. Watch out Slingbox™, Elgato has you by the tail.
The concept of a home network has grown substantially in the last five years. In its infancy, most home networking was just the use of a router to share a single broadband connection with multiple computers. Now users are sharing printers, networking attached storage (NAS), and streaming large media files through their homes. The services that many people expect from their home network would have challenged a top IT manager ten years back. Now all you have to do is open up one box… well, as long as the box has an apple on it.
Sometime during the last decade, the era of traditional touch-typists began to wane. It’s ironic because more people interact with a keyboard now than in any other time in history. Perhaps it’s because some of our keyboards are not standard QWERTY keyboards. We use cell phones and smart phones that use thumb typing. Or we use a standard keyboard but with one hand resting on a mouse. Unlike the text-driven days, we click the mouse button almost as much as we click keys on the keyboard. Whatever the cause, we know the vast majority of us are not true touch-typists, and that means we are looking at the keys when we type. Why else would Apple make a laptop keyboard that lights up in the dark? In the interest of getting your eyes back to where they belong, I have two products the will keep your eyes on your screen and not on the keyboard.
Over the last six years, Apple has existed as a computer company that also makes consumer devices. Every year, Apple has become more divided between its device business and its computer business. The result is that Apple essentially exists as two different companies doing business under one name. One company makes products of media consumption, such as the iPod, iTunes, and Apple TV. The other, older side of Apple is a toolmaker for creative people.
The Macintosh and the software that comes from Apple are products used for creation. They’re used to make great new things or create a better understanding of the world in your mind. Macintosh computers, and the software that runs on them, are founded on user creativity. However, 2007 has been a year of growing the consumption company to greater prominence, and relegating the creative departments to the back of the bus. This has and will continue to have impact on those of us who love using the Mac.
The title of this article may be a little misleading. This guide is not about learning how to use the new Creative Suit applications — that would require an undertaking of encyclopedic proportions. This article will attempt to explain the differences between the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Standard, Premium and Masters Editions.
Since the acquisition of Macromedia in 2005, Adobe has incorporated newly updated applications (such as Dreamweaver) into their suites. The result is a comprehensive, albeit confusing, collection of software.
The longer you use a computer, the more your data piles up. Sometimes you migrate those files from one computer to another. Other times those files stay locked up, forever entombed inside a retired computer.
If you are anything like me, you have old computers sitting in your garage or tucked away in closets. Perhaps you ditched the computer, but removed the hard drive and saved it. I have a small stack of those drives sitting on my desk right now. For years I asked myself why I was saving those drives. As it turns out, I was just waiting for Newertech to develop their Universal Drive Adapter .
After we filled all our back orders for the Apple TV we decided to break one open and see what it’s all about. The Apple TV is certainly a device for people who are invested in their TV-watching experience. That left us wondering why Apple gave the Apple TV a hard drive smaller than a Video iPod. The last few generations of iPod have been able to connect to TVs, albeit at lesser video quality, so having half the capacity of an iPod didn’t seem like enough space.
As a result, we figured out how to upgrade the hard drive from its original 40 gigs, and turn it into an Apple TV 120 GB unit. Of course, we took some pictures to document the process.
Never before in the history of Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) has one of its products been so quickly and thoroughly hacked as the Apple TV. The swarm of attention surrounding the Apple TV is a phenomenon that defied all expectations, and deserves examination.
Almost all of Apple new releases get inspected by the faithful with the enthusiasm of a newly discovered archeological dig. New product “un-boxing” pictures make their way around the net within hours of the first FedEx delivery. Every detail of Apple’s award-winning packaging is displayed. The Mac-geek photo spreads often include disassembly pictures. I myself have had my hand in a few of those online Mac centerfolds. For the last few years, the bar has not been raised beyond that point, but now we have the Apple TV. Not only was it un-boxed and disassembled like other recent Apple releases, but this time the product was re-engineered by Apple-loving zealots, and within a matter of hours.
Whoever said that “half the fun of travel is the journey,” must have been an iPod video owner. That’s because without your iPod, trudging through the long security lines and the otherwise endless waiting can be too much for a lot of modern Americans to endure. The longer we wait without anything to occupy us, the higher our stress levels climb. It defies logic, but doing nothing at all can really be more stressful than a full day at work.