Macintosh Blog Posts

July 14, 2005

Apple iPods

Yesterday, Apple announced some pretty good numbers for last quarter. Once again the iPods are stealing the show.

I can't wait until they have a living room version of the iPod, a device that will replace having Multi-CD Electronic devices.

Here's what currently on my July Playlist:
Africa, As We Walk to Fenway Park In Boston Town, Black Water, Broken Wings, California, Candle in the Wind, Desert Moon, Dirty Water, Don't Dream It's Over, Drift Away, Ebay (Parody of "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys), Gangsta's Paradise, Going up the Country, How Bad Do You Want It, I Lost On Jeopardy, Independance Day, Iris, Live Like You Were Dying, Maybe I'm Amazed, Merchandising Wright Brothers, Nothing Compares to you, Otherwise, Parents Just Don't Understand, Psycho Killer, Somebody's Watching Me, Teddy Ballgame, This Used To Be My Playground, Tubthumping (I Get Knock Down), Waiting For A Star To Fall, Walk On Water, Wind of Change, World Series Game 4, You're Still the One

July 8, 2005

New Powerbook

Well after months of thinking about buying a new Powerbook, I finally bought a new one last night at the Apple Store in Salem, New Hampshire. This is the model I selected:

15.2-inch TFT Display
1280x854 resolution
1.5GHz PowerPC G4
512MB DDR333 SDRAM
80GB Hard Drive
ATI Mobility Radeon
9700 (64 MB DDR)
Backlit keyboard
Gigabit Ethernet
FireWire 400 & 800

Apple made it easy to copy Applications from my old laptop onto my new laptop. It took a couple of hours to move 20 GB of data. All this was automatic. I just connected the two computers and told it what I wanted to copy. It couldn't have been easier.

I had to enter in my Serial Number for Snapz-Pro and install MySQL. Other than that, things work as they did before.

They were selling 512MB Ram for $150 with free installation. I declined that knowing that I could get a better deal online. I found places that had the same memory for $50.

The screen is much brighter and some applications do appear to open faster.

June 7, 2005

Devon Think

In March I purchased Sticky Brain, however due to problems with the software in my upgrade to MAc OX 10.4, I can no longer use the software.

I tried to uninstall, reinstall and nothing worked. I have two computers and can't get the main program to work. The shortcuts and other features work, but I can't get to the main screen.

Other people were having a problem with Sticky Brian, so I decided, since I use the program as a work tool, that I need a different application.

Right now I am using DEVON think, and so far everything is working well.

I think the problem with Sticky Brain is that it uses OpenBase as a database and I have MySQL installed on both computers. I program a lot in MySQL, so I don't plan to uninstall the database.

June 6, 2005

Apple to use Intel

This past weekend CNet got the scoop that Apple will start using Intel chips in their computers starting next year. I think someone at Apple intentionally leaked the information so the the Developer's Conference would be getting a lot of publicity.
The news that Apple is switching from PowerPC to Intel chips could confuse consumers, some analysts are warning. "Apple has sent a strong signal that it would be sensible to wait a year if you want to buy a new Powerbook," Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum, told BBC News. Mr. Barnett said he would have been more impressed if Apple had decided to switch to AMD processors. AMD had "out-innovated" Intel in terms of its 64 processor technology, he said. "Everything around PowerPC seems to interesting and optimistic - AMD can be classified as that too. Intel is just the current leader, albeit it by a big margin."
My impression is that most consumers don't care what's in the box. They just want to know if its easy to use and will it work with their exisiting programs.

Apple's move to Intel is an economic and technological win for Apple. They will be able produce cheaper computers that will run really fast. It appears this all has to do with getting a G5 chip in the Powerbook.

Also Yesterday:

Jobs introduces Wolfram's CEO, who said they ported Mathematica 5 to Intel-based Macs in 2 hours. Working version in 2 hours flat. Only about 20 lines of code changed.
Ok... Maybe you should reword that it took 2 hours test changing 20 lines of code. The above quote makes it seem that Mathematica has slow programers.

May 23, 2005

Apple and Intel Rumors

The Associated Press is reporting that Apple is in secret talks with Intel, and the AP is spreading the rumor that this has to do with the possiblity that Apple might be using Intel chips.

A couple of years ago, Apple was in talks with several major record companies and all the rumors were about how Apple was going to buy a record company. However, it turns out that Apple was in talks to get record companies to sign off with Apple's new music service.

So the rumors of Apple using Intel instead of IBM could be just that rumors. Apple might be planning some Living Room accessory and would like to use Intel Chips. This might be a better option since it wouldn't infringe on any contracts that Apple and IBM have.

Its possible that Apple-TiVo might be working on something using an Intel chipset, that would be cool...

May 19, 2005

Applications

Since I am thinking of updating my laptop, I was going through my list of applications that I currently use. These are the major applications that I have:
  • Acrobat 5 - use to create and Modify PDF douments
  • Adobe Illustrator - use to create Illustrations on the computer
  • Adobe Indesign - perfect for creating booklets and PDF documents
  • Adobe Photoshop - Photo editing tool
  • Audio Hijac Pro - Record radio stations
  • BBedit - Primary HTML editor on the Macintosh.
  • Can Combine Icons - Custom Icons
  • GraphicConverter - Use to browse images.
  • Interarchy - FTP client
  • Microsoft Office - Word/Excel and Powerpoint files
  • SQL4X Manager J - Use to access MySQL and SQL server
  • Sticky Brain - Use to jot down notes and information
  • Toast 6 Titanium - Burn CDs and DVDs on unsupported Mac hardware.
Freeware Applications:
  • Remote Desktop - Microsoft remote desktop tool
  • VNCViewer - VNC client
I created this list so that I can find all the serial numbers and disks. I know programs like Carbon Copy can migrate data between two computers, but I am thinking of doing a fresh install.

May 12, 2005

New Apple Display

Today I purchased a new 20" Apple Display.

Since 1999, I have been using the Apple 15" display at a 1024 x 768 resolution. The new Apple Displays are much better and have a higher resolution (1680 by 1050 pixels). Putting a new display on an existing computer almost seems like you have a brand new computer.

One of the reasons I decided on going with the new displays was that the computer at work I am using 1280x1024 resolution and I have gotten use to the higher resolution.

The downside of upgrading the monitor is that I can't use it on my Titanium Powerbook laptop. I have to purchase a ADC converter which costs $299. Its almost cheaper to buy another monitor.

I haven't figured out what I am going to do with the Apple 15" monitor.

November 10, 2004

Smultron

I have been using BBEdit for at least 5 years on a daily bases. Recently someone told me about Smultron, a powerful text editor for the Macintosh.

This is a pretty cool app, that could easily replace BBEdit if it incorporated one feature, the ability to Zap Gremlins. Gremlins are strange bits of characters that usually appear when I copy text between Windows and Macintosh.

I really like the Code Snippets in Smultron. This makes reusing code a lot easier. In BBEdit, there isn't a way to store code within the app.

I am working on a way to integrate Smultron with Interarchy, its not working as I would expect. But if you use BBEdit, I would highly recommend checking out Smultron.

Oh, Smultron is about $119 cheaper than BBEdit, its free!

July 29, 2004

Apple's 2 GB Limit

If you are using Peak LE, iMovie, or Photoshop and you are experiencing problems dealing with files greater than 2GB, you may need to reformat your drive. If the drive is formatted as HFS or FAT32, then filesize on external drive is limited to 2GB.

You need to format the drive as Mac OS Extended. This will eliminate the 2GB limit problems.

July 22, 2004

Radio Shark

Last year at MacWorld in NYC Griffin Technology announce a new tool called Radio Shark. It like a TIVO for the Radio. I saw a couple of prototypes on the show floor and it seemed like a cool tool. I liked it because it the only audio program that you can set to schedule a radio show. The only other Macintosh audio program that can schedule recordings is Audiocorder.

Its been 1 year since Griffin Technology announced Radio Shark, and the webpage still says it 'shipping soon'. They are about as bad as Microsoft in announcing a product well before its finished.

July 13, 2004

MacWorld Boston 2004

Today I was lucky and had the opportunity to get away from work and at least checkout the exhibit floor at MacWorld Boston. This was a far cry from the days when they split the show between the World Trade Center and Bayside Expo.

There were only 80 exhibitors this year, a much smaller than the last show in Boston. While everyone knows that Apple wasn't there, there were some other notable exhibitors missing from the show floor.

  • Adobe
  • Microsoft - They could have capitalized on Apple not being at the show!
  • Aladdin Systems
  • Macromedia
  • Bare Bones - Makers of BBEdit, this is their home town!
  • MacSoft
However, the there were lots of attendees and the exhibit floor was filled with people looking to buy software/hardware. I heard over and over again, that this is only a beginning, and the success of this show will only lead to a bigger show next year.

One of the Town Hall panelist said that Apple didn't need to be at the show since 80% of the American population lives within an hour drive of an Apple store, so if they wanted to see the latest Apple hardware and Software they could goto their store. The show was an opportunity for other developers to show their stuff.

Anyway the next Boston MacWorld is July 18, 2005, we'll see what happens next year.

June 24, 2004

Ipod Playlist

I uploaded my daily commute playlist that I have on my iPod. Many of the songs are ones that I put together from my own music collection.

I typically select this playlist when I drive to work every morning, and sometimes on my evening commute, if there isn't anything exciting on any of the local Boston stations.

The Child Stars song comes right from the DVD. Instead of buying the soundtrack for Dickie Roberts for one song, I used Ambrosia's WireTap. If you are a Macintosh user, you can download Wiretap for free from Ambrosia Software website.

The Airplane sound is pretty funny, and this is usually the first sound I select when I leave in the mornings. This is a short sound byte that I captured before an airplane crew was about to open the cabin doors. I'll put it in my sound library shortly.

June 16, 2004

120 GB Hard Drive

I was thinking of getting a new hard drive for my desktop computer. So this evening I spent a few minutes looking around the web at some electronic stores near me to see who had the best pricing for a 120 GB internal hard drive. (Since this is to be for storage, the speed of the drive didn't matter.)

Best Buy Maxtor $113.99
Comp USA Maxtor $119.99
Micro Center Maxtor $139.99
Staples Maxtor$119.98

It appears that Best Buy had the best pricing option. Not only that BestBuy.com has the ability to order online and pick it up at the store, so you'll know it will be there when you arrive. (It isn't fun going to the store and finding out that they don't have it in stock.)

However looking online, I noticed that MacSales.com has a Maxtor 160GB drive for $117.99. So if I am willing to wait a couple of days, I can get a 160GB drive for about the same price of 120GB drive.

I'll probably go for the MacSales.com option.

June 8, 2004

Itunes Problems

I am in the process of making my new apartment to be pretty high tech. Right now I have a wireless network and a webcam setup. In fact, you can see the latest photo online.

In order to do this I have one of my old Macintosh computers, Powermac G3 400Mhz, in my living room. So I thought I would take advantage of the computer and use it as a personal stereo. I have run into two problems:

  1. The speakers I wanted to use are not working, this is probably because I have the wrong input connector, and buying an adapter at Radio Shack should fix this.
  2. The more serious problem is that I can't see other Itunes libraries from my two newer computers. This seems to be a 'known' problem since other people are encounter this.
So, once everything is successful, I'll be able to stream music from my office to the living room and the dinning room. Apple just announce a cool new adapter, I'll have to check that out to see if it will fit into my network.

May 20, 2004

MacJournal

For the past few months I have been using MacJournal by Dan Schimpf Software. This is a great Macintosh application that allows you to store data in a Journal form.

Does this mean I am writing a book? No, I am logging all my PHP, ASP and Cold Fusion code so that I can use them again. This application allows you to store the data in an organized way and the find it easy.

For the past 2 years I was using BBEdit, and saving the files in a Library folder. However, this makes searching hard, and BBEdit doesn't support images.

If you do any development on a Macintosh, you should check out MacJournal.