Archive for the ‘Mac vs. PC’ Category

Great news for fans of the Office

Monday, January 21st, 2008

No, the writer’s strike isn’t over, but…

Several sources are reporting that Apple & NBC appear to be patchy up their fractured relationship which led to NBC pulling their content from the iTunes store. A few nights ago, my wife and I were catching up on all the season three shows we had purchased through iTunes. The Office is the only show we’ve bought a season pass for in the past so we have the entire season on the computer. All was going well until we wanted to watch an episode of season four. I checked out Amazon Unbox which had the show but their technology doesn’t work on a Mac. We then ended up watching the show online at NBC which was pretty frustrating. Perhaps NBC & Apple are ready to kiss and makeup? Here’s some hope.

The Financial Times recently interviewed Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal, who gave praise to Apple and Steve Jobs.

“We’ve said all along that we admire Apple, that we want to be in business with Apple,” he said. “We’re great fans of Steve Jobs.”

Meanwhile, on Apple’s side, Businessweek got Jobs’ take.

“We’ll put it back together on the TV thing. Everybody lost (when Zucker pulled his content off iTunes). But NBC is a great company, and Apple is a great company,” neither of which make a habit of ignoring their customers’ desires, he said. “Fortunately,” he half-joked, “there was a writers’ strike, so it didn’t matter as much as it might have.”

A new way of engaging the world…

Friday, January 18th, 2008

This week, I got an iPhone.

I finally made the plunge and all I can say is that as revolutionary as the iPhone appears to be from a technical standpoint, it has exceeded my expectations (which have been built up for year) in my first week of use. Apple also made news this week with the annual Macworld keynote on Tuesday when Steve Jobs released a few new products including the Macbook Air. Quite honestly, I don’t see the need for the product for myself, but I found several of the components interesting including the multi-touch trackpad.

But what was more intriguing to me (as a Mac owner and recent iPhone purchaser, was the Time Capsule feature and the remote optical drive use. Coupled with that you had the upgrades to the Apple TV which included the ability to rent & purchase movies straight from that set top box. These few features which represent a dramatic increase in activity via wi-fi networks is really interesting to me especially when you consider the advancements made in the Leopard operating system that also show remarkable improvements in terms of file sharing and remote entry.

All this leads to an article I was reading today on 43 folders, which is Merlin Mann’s blog, that I thought had some really intriguing predictions on where Apple is going with all this. If Merlin is even close to the destination, Apple really might be set to take over the world. Here’s an excerpt.

Well, in essence, your Mac Pro, your MacBook Air, your iPhone, your iPods nano and shuffle, and your Apple TV would all become agents for using the stuff you’ve stored on .Mac. Heavy (invisible, background) use of rsync-like diffs-syncing (ala Time Capsule?) will ensure that all your devices have the stuff they need, and in the appropriate size and format; e.g., 720p version of Weekend at Bernie’s 2 goes to the ?TV; more modest size goes to the iPhone, etc. The value and attraction to consumers strikes me as obvious; on the same day, your electronic world becomes ubiquitous, backed-up, and very easy to maintain or access from anyplace.

If this is anywhere near do-able, Apple would be taking the concepts behind Spotlight, Time Machine, iTunes, and Smart Folders to their logical conclusion, creating an environment where Apple sits at the center of all your electronic needs, contextually syncing and serving what you need, when you need it, in a totally seamless fashion.

One more thing and then I’ll bring this very geeky post to an end. I was waiting on the iPhone to see if they released a 3g version on Tuesday. They didn’t. A year ago when Apple released the phone they were criticized for not having a 3g version. A year later, still no 3g, which I find surprising in that Apple using isn’t lagging behind. Now you could make the argument that Apple is new in the mobile phone market and that’s the reason for the delay, but again, anyone who has spent some time with an iPhone knows that Apple gave substantial energy to creating a device world beyond the competition… So why no 3g?

My theory is that it isn’t good enough for Jobs, and rather than simply being content with the current generation of technology, Jobs is seeking to jump ahead. Why isn’t it good enough?

Perhaps 3g isn’t fast enough for the eventual goal: A remote to access your entire digital life anywhere… anytime… We’ll just have to wait and see.

Here’s the link to Merlin’s full post.

Test post

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

This is my first post from my new iPhone!

Today is Macworld!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Somethingintheair 20080110-1

Upgrading to Leopard

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

CAUTION: Techy & Geeky post ahead…

Last Friday, I received my Leopard upgrade disk in the mail. When I pre-ordered from Apple, I was surprised to see “delivers by Oct. 26th” in the order confirmation. I figured I would have to wait a few days from the launch date, but I actually had the operating system installed and working before the 6 p.m. launch time.

Upgrading

My first attempt to do the upgrade had some issues. After contacting Apple, I reinstalled using an “Archive and Install” which worked fine. To perform an Archive and install click “options” at the screen where it asks you which disk you would like to install the operation system on. The only thing you need to remember to do if you do an archive and install is to delete the “previous system” folder which will be on your hard drive. This is basically a copy of system folders and settings that will be eating up around 10 – 15 gbs until you take out the trash. After your system is up and running, you can get rid of it.

Performance

After upgrade, my system booted up as normal and everything is functioning great. I think I will be waiting on an upgrade to the program that I use to sync my blackberry, but other than that, all programs functioning just fine in their new environment. Leopard runs very smoothly and at this point, I would say that my system is actually working faster than it was with Tiger. It seems like I’m seeing the spinning wheel on a much more infrequent basis.

What I love

If you’ve seen a preview of Leopard, you are probably under the impression that the majority of the changes are simply “eye candy,” that didn’t add too much functionality. To some extent this is true, but there are a ton of features that greatly enhance the user experience. Here are a few examples.

Spaces

Spaces functions as virtual desktops which allows you to organize your windows according to the type of work you are doing in each of those windows. One of my favorite parts of spaces is the ability to default certain programs to open in certain spaces. In other words, I have iChat set up to default to space four where nothing else resides. That keeps my iChat windows out of sight and out of mind unless someone jumps on. I have Safari and Mail to default to space two which sets up a space for web browsing & email, and Pages, Keynote, Numbers defaults to space one. It’s very GTD/Merlin Mann because you have a wonderful ability to minimize distractions and focus on a particular task.

Finder

The Finder is another example of something that is both “pretty” and functional” Cover flow browsing is wonderful, especially when used in conjunction with Quick Look to be able to browse through your documents in a very quick way. I also really like the sidebar which shows you attached devices, other networked computers, as well as your personal drive folders. The finder is greatly improved.

Mail

With gmail recently introducing imap, I have started using Apple Mail again, and I the addition of ToDo’s, Reminders, and Data detection are wonderful enhancements to Mail. Stronger integration with iCal is also a big plus. I lift this up because in their marketing of Leopard, all Apple seems to be talking about it the pretty stationery. I’m not sure I’ll ever use that, but the other additions have really strengthened the functionality of Mail. iCal’s interface is also a lot better.

Time Machine

Finally, Time Machine. I purchased an external drive (250 gb’s for only $90) to work with Time Machine and after formatting the drive, Time Machine was up and running. The great thing about Time Machine is that I never have to think about it until I need it. I am really happy to have this extra security for my data within such a simple process.

If you’re wondering about an upgrade, I would certainly recommend Leopard. It is certainly a step forward in terms of the visual look of the operating system, but I think you will also find it’s a great enhancement to the functionality as well.

It’s finally here!

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Banner Leopard Full 071016-1

Today is a great day!

Watch until the very end!

Friday, June 1st, 2007

There’s a great line from Steve at the very end of this video.

Leopard delay!

Friday, April 13th, 2007

I am now officially upset with Apple over this.

It doesn’t really bother me that Leopard needs four more months of development in order to deliver the product that I expect. What bothers me is the explanation… The development of iPhone has delayed Leopard? I think I can speak for most Mac addicts when I say that I am excited about the iPhone, it looks like it is going to be a great product that I will eventually buy, but I don’t want these other revenue streams to steal focus away from the bread and butter of the company… which is computers!

The best computers in the world by the way… and I’m interested in keeping it that way.

And isn’t Apple missing a big opportunity by not releasing Leopard closer to the Vista launch date?

Oh well. At least they are still producing great commercials.

Newget

Microsoft church

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

I know that I have been pretty intensive recently in the “mac vs pc” category. I certainly know that it’s one of the things about the way I blog that probably kills people’s enthusiasm for being a reader of my blog. I tend to jump around a lot rather than sharpening the focus here. But with the recent news about the iPhone, Microsoft’s recent release of Vista, and Apple’s impending launch of Leopard, there have been some interesting caveats to explore…

Which brings me to the recent rumors that we’re reported yesterday here and here that Microsoft has (perhaps desperately) decided that they need to develop a Zune phone. If you’re wondering why I believe this might be a desperate move from Microsoft, watch this video of Steve Ballmer’s response to the iPhone.

For Microsoft’s sake, I hope this is just a rumor. This scenario just doesn’t sound like one that is going to work out well for Microsoft. Apple, who I think most would have a hard time arguing doesn’t have a tremendous advantage in terms of hardware development, spends 2 1/2 years dreaming and developing a product. We’re also led to believe that over the past few years, Apple has come close to releasing this product, but has postponed it on several occasions because it didn’t meet Steve Job’s high standards. If we are to believe these stories, Microsoft execs got together on a Wednesday to put together their thoughts about a Zune phone that will be released at the end of this year… Hmmm…

Here’s the jump to my context.

There are times when I feel like a serve a “Microsoft-minded” church. What do I mean by that? Its the mindset that always leaves you lagging behind, having meetings on a Wednesday to design something that has to be extraordinary, but in the end become something quite different. It’s the mindset that says we have to produce something even if we know the product isn’t really worth investing in… And it’s the mindset that finds you having to work harder and harder because the product that you have been producing continues to hurt your constituent’s perception of your ability to produce something remarkable.

Which church do you want to be a part of?

Update: Read this and tell me if Bill Gates is bitter.

Bill Gates & John Stewart

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

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