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Category Archives for "Apple"

MobileMe: Exchange For The Rest Of Us

At WWDC last month, Apple unveiled it’s new MobileMe Service.  Adding on to and taking over the previous “dot mac”, MobileMe is an even more well rounded solution.  Along with updated name, Apple has added a number of new “Push” services.  Push email, contacts, and calendar to be specific.

How Does It Work?

Along with MobileMe comes Apple’s move to cloud computing.  This will be nothing new to those familiar with Exchange, but does simplify things a bit.  So how does it work?  Imagine you are at the computer and add a friend to your list of contacts.  A day later you have yet to sync your iPhone, but you are away from the office and need to give that friend a call.  With MobileMe, gone is the inconvenience that would normally require a drive back to the house or office to get that number.  As soon as you add that contact’s information to Address Book on your Mac, it is instantly sent up to the “cloud”, then resent back down to your Mac, PC, and or iPhone / iPod touch.

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Inspiring Workspaces: Jaron Brass

Jason Brass’s Office: Consisting Of

Mac Pro 3GHz // 16GB RAM // 4x 500GB // X1900 XT // 2 x Superdrive // 2 x 30″ ACD // Logitech Z-5500 Sound System // 26″ Sony Bravia LCD TV //

About The Workspace

I’ve made some changes since my last series of pictures. Of course, the computer is new. I also replaced my old Philips LCD TV with a snazzy new 26″ Sony Bravia LCD. A bunch of accessories have managed to find their way to the machine, including a new Wacom tablet.

In addition to those changes, I recently had to send both of my displays in to AppleCare for repair. They both came back with new panels of the revision “B” variety. That means they’re not only brighter but they have improved contrast ratios. While the enclosures haven’t changed, the fact the panels are new has increased their lifespan by a large margin — meaning I won’t have to replace them all that soon.

http://www.jaronbrass.com/

iPhone Apps That Will Change The World

Ok, so maybe that title is a little bit of an exaggeration.  However, there’s no doubt in my mind that when iPhone 2.0 software comes out in July, the iPhone / iPod touch combo will be become a viable computing platform when the collective minds of developers get moving.

With that in mind, here are some applications that I would purchase or start using the instant they become available.

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Green Apples

For awhile now Apple has been trying to go green. They have started making more of their computers aluminum, so that they can be more easily recycled.  If the rumors are correct, then the up and coming Macbook will be all aluminum, adding to the already aluminum Macbook Air and Macbook Pro.

Chemicals

The iPhone is known to contain a few harmful chemicals. Greenpeace has been after Apple to get the chemicals out of the iPhone for our own safety. Brominated compounds make up 10% of the weight of the circuit board, which when burned can create dioxin.  Also found were chlorine and toxic phthalate. The toxic phthalate can interfere with sexual development in mammals. It is a banned chemical in most of Europe, although not in America. The headphones are covered with the hazardous chemical. Hopefully, Apple has taken care of this problem when addressing manufacturing of the iPhone 3G.

Of course, the iPhone is not alone when it comes to harmful chemicals.  However, Apple has made it apparent that they are aware of these issues.  In June of last year, Apple moved its 15″ Macbook Pro to LED back lit screens in an effort to eliminate the use of Mercury.

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First Look: RapidWeaver 4

Back in 2004, Realmac software released the first version of its popular RapidWeaver web development software.  Since its initial release, it has won many awards from Mac publications all around the globe, and still continues onward with that trend.  Just a couple months ago RapidWeaver 4 hit the streets, and is already changing the way consumers create websites.  From its more professional iWeb-like templates to its ease of creating pages, RapidWeaver 4 is sure to be an instant hit for people who want a simple way to create professional looking websites.

Make a Site.

It couldn’t be any easier. You simply click file > new project, and a new project will form. Once you complete that, whenever you want to add another page, you simply click the button in the top left hand corner.  It will ask you what kind of page you want - From Blog and Photo pages, to Blank and Contact pages as well. Simple as that. You can now choose from the abundance of themes that RapidWeaver has to offer, or you can download more themes form the Realmac website. Editing your site is also very easy and straightforward. You simply hit the edit button to edit the photos and text on the current page, and if you want to see a preview of your site, just click preview to see a version of your site as it were already online.

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Start Fresh With Some Handy Apps

Let’s say you want to start fresh. Perhaps a clean-installation of OS X, or a good cleaning (and CRON jobs) of OS X’s underlying BSD sub-system. Well, here’s a list of around 15 (mostly) freeware applications that are useful to have on your system. I have also included alternatives, just in case you have something against a certain application.

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Rescue Your Time

Ever wanted to know which applications or websites you spend the most time on? Well, look no further. This handy service can help solve your problems.

Rescue Time (for Windows and Mac), is one of the simplest, easy to use, online services, helping you see what your biggest time suckers are on your computer. You first have to download the free software, which runs as an application; basically monitoring your every click.

Analyze.

Once you have logged onto their site, you can then get access too all the data it has collected, laying it out in simple to read bar graphs.  This allows you to see the apps/sites you are using the most and also, how much time you’re actually spending on your computer.

Process.

You then have the ability to go back throughout the day and see exactly when you were on your computer and what you were doing. There are also charts for the day, week, month and year to help you look back at those productive and unproductive days, weeks and months. Tying into that, there is a tab labeled goals and alerts where you can set up reminders to yourself for general things in life, or to remind yourself of the apps or sites you are using a little too much.

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How-To: Two Airports, One Network

Technology moves at a very fast pace. Products are continually updated with new features, and the prices keep dropping as cheaper manufacturing methods become a reality. However, purchasing a new product doesn’t always mean ditching the older one.

In my case, the updated product is the Airport Extreme Base Station with gigabit ethernet. I have used a D-Link wired router in conjunction with an Airport Express base station ever since I got into the wireless networking game, and when Apple came out with the new wireless N router, I knew it was time to upgrade. That got me thinking about what I could do with my older wireless G based Airport Express. As soon as I got my iPod touch, its fate was sealed: both routers would share my network to all areas of my house (I decided to ignore the Wireless N feature of the Extreme so that my iPod could join). But how?

After looking around for a while, I have the solution, and present that here so that others may benefit.

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Simon Says

Dejal Simon application logo and screenshot

As the Web 2.0 trend continues to grow by leaps and bounds and websites become more complex, monitoring servers and websites has become a necessary task for webmasters and site owners alike.  I recently stumbled upon an app that handled this task with ease, all the while doing so in a simplistic yet intuitive environment.  Dejal Simon is aimed at making website and server monitoring as simple as possible, while providing you with all of the features and tools that you would come to expect.

At the heart of Simon is the monitor window.  From here, you can see the current status of all of your monitored servers, websites, and applications.  Included in this window is the “test table” which shows valuable information such as how long ago the last change or failure occurred, and when the next check will occur.  If you don’t feel like taking the time to read all of the statistics, Simon has that covered.  Also included in the monitor window is a graphical layout of the tests.

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A Cover Story

Please take a moment and take a good look at CoverSutra and Cover Stream, two full-blown, all-out iTunes controllers.

CoverSutra logo

CoverSutra 2.1.2: Integrates a customizable album artwork display, a floating control window, a pop-up notification system for song/album changes, and a spotlight-esque search bar into one application.

Cover Stream screenshot

Cover Stream 2.0: A CoverFlow browsing window makes it easy to find what you want to listen to. Has a quick search feature, a resizable album art display, and a notification pop-up for song changes.

You Can’t Judge an App by It’s Cover

On an initial superficial glance, these two iTunes controllers may look like long lost brothers, seperated at coding:

They both use HUDs¹, they both display album artwork on your desktop… even the preferences icons have similarities if you look close enough.

There’s a good explanation for this: CoverSutra and Cover Stream were primarily designed by the same person: Laurent Baumann, an undeniably talented graphic designer from France.

There’s a good story to this, really there is. Something we don’t often hear in Mac software articles is the story. How was this software created? Everything has a story. It’s only on rare occasions that someone asks just what it us.

The characters in this story are Cover Stream developer Fabian Kowalski and CoverSutra developer Sophia Teutschler, as well as Laurent Baumann. I contacted each of them for their insights, and, of course, for their story.

(In fact, my contact with Laurent inspired his personal blog post on this subject, which is very similar to what he corresponded to me. I will link to it later².)

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