Macintosh 30th: How Did I Get Here?

Barry_1InfiniteLoopI found myself in Cupertino attending the Mac 30th bash recently at the Flint Center. How did I get there? Well besides my peculiar penchant for driving everywhere, I have to step back and look at the community that got me here. [Read more…]

Lasting Value – On the Future of Our Older Macs

There is no denying that the world of Mac is changing. The dramatic success of iOS first had a significant impact on Mac OS X back in the days of Snow Leopard.

Snowy was always billed as a release not focused on features, but on stability, and it took a little while longer to arrive than was originally announced. We waited 22 months for it to grace the Apple Store shelves, but at the time, this made a lot of sense — we accepted that Apple’s teams were working hard on their iOS products. Snow Leopard may not have brought us ‘shiny’, but I for one was quite happy to settle with ‘stable’.

Since that time, that narrow focus on iOS has broadened back out. Lion brought some iOS concepts back to the Mac, as well as introduced iCloud. We now await OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion. Scheduled to be released a mere year after Lion, we are promised even more features ‘inspired by iPad’.

Wait a second. What was that? It is due to arrive this summer. Just one year after Lion was released.

A new release of OS X hasn’t come so quickly since the operating system was very young and was still being established and stabilised.

This strikes me as quite a shift, and it brings me to an important issue — how does this affect the lifespans of the Apple products we buy?

[Read more…]

The Omni Group: A Community Leader

After Macworld Expo, I often reflect on the Apple community. This event highlights the unique environment Apple has created for its users. There are many key individuals who highlight the community and one such individual is “Senior Statesmen of the Apple Community,” CEO and co-founder of The Omni Group, Ken Case. [Read more…]

Steve Jobs: Words to Live By

by Pam Arnone

For decades I’ve admired and been inspired by Steve Jobs.

His passing has deeply affected me in ways I didn’t expect. So many others have said the same about their reactions to losing Steve.

There’s no way I can be as eloquent as the man himself. So instead of trying to express what he meant to me, I will just remind you to listen (if you haven’t already) to Steve’s own words and be inspired and touched by him again.

Thank you Mr. Steve Jobs for changing the world. Standing Ovation… for a long, long, long time.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address:

A Few Thoughts on Steve and the Community

by Barry Fulk

When I flew home last night and turned on my phone upon landing at O’Hare, I was unfortunately greeted with the news of Steve’s passing. Obviously I was shocked and saddened. As my own little tribute, I wore my Apple shirt today to work. Lots of people came up to me to talk about Steve Jobs (it’s kind of weird as I’m the center of all things Apple here). Everyone was extremely gracious. It was odd but cool that people wanted to share their thoughts about Steve and Apple.

The other thought I had was about the Apple community. While many of us have worked in the tech field one way or the other for many years, I think we’d all agree that the community Steve/Apple created is unlike any other. I’ve gone to Microsoft conferences and other companies functions, but none that sparked the friendship and relationships that Apple conferences, training, Macworld, etc. create.

I’ve met people from all over the world at these events and we continue to communicate regularly. I’ve traveled to ‘tweetups’ and had amazing times. I’ve met and become friends with podcasters — even meeting one who lives about an hour north who was gracious enough to let me be part of his “insanely great” show.

Taming Lion: A Few Months On

With the release of Mac OS X Lion, many of the fundamental Macintosh concepts to which we have grown accustomed began to change. We were released from the heavy burden of having to click ‘Save’ periodically (in some apps at least), with Auto-Save and Versions. We welcomed in Launchpad, the iOS-inspired way of firing up our favourite apps. We even had the scroll direction reversed.

In the first few days of using Lion full-time, I found myself struggling with some of these changes. It took some time re-learning which way to swipe my fingers to move down a document, and I often found myself puzzled by some of the dialogue boxes inviting me to ‘Unlock’ or ‘Duplicate’ my files.

Several months into using Lion, have things got easier? How has the transition gone? [Read more…]

My Second Apple Store Opening Experience

Few would that disagree that Apple retail stores seem to inspire enthusiasm few other retail outlets can. I don’t know if it is the Apple brand itself, the beautiful design and attention to detail of the stores, or just the free WiFi, but I have never yet been able to pay a visit to an empty Apple Store!

A new store opening is a particularly special occasion. I was lucky enough to go to the opening of the WestQuay store in Southampton, UK, back in 2007 — but this time, it was the turn of the new Festival Place store in Basingstoke, UK.

This new store is particularly convenient for me, being only a 20 minute train ride away. The peace of mind one gets from knowing that knowledgeable people and repairs are easy to access is particularly important. This is perhaps one of the things that sets the Apple retail store concept apart from other tech retailers — it genuinely is not just about making the sale, it’s about the whole experience, including sales, supporting new and old users, training, learning and repair. [Read more…]

Attack Of The Two Headed Editor


Since the day of it’s release and the first minute it launched, much has been written and opined about Apple’s long awaited update to their renown video editing software.

Reviews on the Mac App Store:

I feel like I’ve been had.

To professionals saying:

I’m shocked. That’s the best word for it. I’m just shocked. It’s incredibly bad…

This is Apple’s worst release in history.

This is the worst release of anything by anyone.

As of this writing, the one star ratings lead the five star ratings 679 to 508 in the Mac App Store. Wow, this must be some bad stuff. Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound good. Of course I’m talking about the new version of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X ($299 on Mac App Store). Even if you’re not into the latest in non-linear editing you may have seen Final Cut making the rounds on the late night talk show circuit. Good or bad, this app has stirred a lot of emotions in just a couple of weeks. One thing is for certain, I’ve not seen this kind of vitriol and hatred toward a software app since, well ever. The negativity came so fast and furious it led one blogger to speculate that it could have been organized by competitors. [Read more…]

iPad 2: The Wait and The Line

The Wait

When Steve Jobs announced iPad 2, I was immediately caught up in the reality distortion field: lighter! thinner! faster!

But what really got me was that the new device would be available a mere two weeks after the announcement. I was fully prepared to wait until mid-April before the device became available. Now, it was to be released on 11 March in the States. And I did not want to wait a day beyond the 11th.

OK, no problem. As I am currently working in New York during the week and flying back home to Chicago on Fridays, I figured I would pre-order and have it arrive on Friday. That’s how some people ordered the iPhone 4. However, Apple decided to change the rules a bit: no pre-orders UNTIL the 11th and in-store pick up starting at 5:00 pm local time. Uh, oh: I am on a plane at that point!

What to do, what to do? First, I asked my wife if she’d be willing to stand in line. After all, she’d benefit too: she’d get an iPad 2. She immediately agreed. She asked what time should she get there? I suggested sometime after 2:00 pm. She offered to head to the mall right after lunch! Wow, this reality distortion field is stronger than I realized. Second, I would try to fly standby and get home earlier and meet her in line. [Read more…]

The Chronicles of Macintosh: The Last Battle


I have this idea for a movie. It starts out with a tech company, Flynn Computer Corp, who’s developing a revolutionary new product. They approach another tech company, Encom, to help develop software for this new product. Encom has never been a competitor to Flynn Computer and therefore Flynn Computer considers Encom to be more of an ally. The villain in this movie is a bigger tech company, C.L.U., which is a direct competitor to Flynn Computer. The movie unfolds with Flynn releasing its revolutionary new product and it’s a success, but the plot thickens as Encom announces a new product of their own that’s nothing more than a clone of Flynn’s. It comes out that Encom betrayed Flynn Computer by stealing some of their secrets and technology. Flynn Computer and Encom go on to become bitter rivals, but Encom’s open business model allow its product to be used anywhere. Flynn keeps their product closed which allows Encom to take over the market. It’s full of intrigue, betrayal, ruthlessness, rich people, and lots of tech stuff.

What, you’ve heard that one before? You know the story. It takes place back in the early eighties. Replace Flynn Computer with Apple, Encom with Microsoft, and C.L.U. with IBM and the revolutionary product was the Mac. Oh, no, that’s not the one you were thinking of? That’s ancient history. You were thinking of Flynn Computer as Apple sure, but Encom is Google, and C.L.U. is Microsoft and the revolutionary new product was the iPhone.

Funny how history seems to repeat itself. [Read more…]