A “Warm Fuzzy” Approach to Computing... As I pondered more this week on “why I use a Mac”, I realized that some of the reasons I’m a “Mac head” have very little to do with processors, hard drives, megabytes, or gigahertz. Forgive me for getting a bit “esoteric” and “touchy-feely”, but this time I’m going to try to put you “in touch” with my “warm fuzzy” Mac side.
Why I Use A Mac “It Just Works”... Hmmm. Aside from the fact that Athens bears a striking resemblance (both physically and in its headline features) to the three-year old PowerMac G4 Cube and Apple Cinema Display, doesn’t it sound like Mr. Gates has just described the Apple model? Wow, me and Bill Gates agree? Good for him.
The Mac Maineiac’s Holiday Gift Guide... Ok, you’re inundated with “Holiday Gift Guides”. Your snail-mail box is overflowing with catalogs. Your email is flooded with advertisements from every web catalog you gave your email address to this year.
A Short List of New Years Computing Resolutions... “I’m going to spend the New Year free from worms, viruses, spyware, adware, and pop-up windows”. Now, you could spend a ton of time and money on anti-everything-software to protect you from techno-terrorists, egomaniacal hackers, fanatical marketers, purveyors of “adult entertainment”, and the like. Or, you could get a Mac.I
Data Loss Those That Have, Those That Will... If you use a computer, eventually you’re going to wish you had backed up your important information. It could be a hard drive crash, or an accidental erasure, or a nasty virus. You can guard against losing everything with a little planning and discipline.
More on the Pack of New Panther Features... Now, Mac OS X has always been a multi-user system (as is Windows XP). But the Panther implementation is more powerful, and true-to-Apple-form, stylish as well. The real “cool” stuff comes when you change Users.
Home Entertainment on Your Computer Blessing or Curse?... There’s another wave of computer hype coming, just in time for the holidays. It’s called Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004. Whew. Say that five times fast. In fact, it’s such a “catchy” name, we’ll assign it an acronym before we go any further WXPMCE2004.
iTunes for Windows - Music for Everyone's Ears... When Apple opened their iTunes Music Store (iTMS) six months ago, pundits were skeptical. Why would people pay for music that they could download for free with P2P (peer-to-peer) file distribution applications like Napster and Kazaa?
To Blog or Not to Blog... All right, what the heck is a “blog”? No, it’s not some mutant genetic cross between a bloodhound and a frog. Blog is short for weblog, and is all the rage right now on the internet.
Bits, Bytes, Bluetooth, and Freedom from Wires... But, hey, who needs wires and cables at all? Wireless networking is now the rage, with “hotspots” popping up in coffee shops, bookstores, hotels, and airports. The 802.11b (Centrino) wireless standard can move 11 Mbps (or around 1.5 MB per second), and the emerging 802.11g standard easily doubles that rate.
For a “Cheap” Computer in All the Wrong Places... If
you tally up all the prices across the surveyed machines, you’ll
find that you’d actually spend more, by a slim margin,
to buy all the Dells than all the Macs. ($17977 vs $16967). How
can this be? After all, Macs are “just too expensive”.
Etiquette: Keeping Email Lean and Efficient... Those
attached image files and all that extra code (code that you or
your reader never see, but it’s there, in, the background)
add at least a few kilobytes (KB) to every message. With gazillions
of messages traveling the internet every day, and people replying,
forwarding, etc., that becomes a lot of KBs that have to be pushed
Attachment Etiquette: Be Bullish on Bandwidth... There’s
an unwritten (or, maybe, un-typed) rule: the more email you send,
the more you get. If you discover a joke or anecdote and forward
it along to others, you will undoubtedly end up on their unofficial “people
I send funny stuff to” list.
Applying Rules and Filters to Control and Organize Your Email... More
advanced email applications can look at more information in the
header, and execute actions like deleting, changing message colors
in lists, saving attachments, printing, automatically addressing
replies, adding senders to your Address Book, etc.
the Email Beast Within Us All... You’ve
gone from experimentation and casual user to full-fledged “email
junkie”. Confronted by your loved ones, you say, “I
can quit any time”, and maybe you scale back for awhile.
But then, out of the shadows, comes Instant Messaging, and your
downward spiral begins again.
on IT Managers and Job Preservation... It’s
really a marvel of marketing ingenuity. Produce an enterprise computer
solution that’s extremely complex and prone to flopping over,
then recruit and train an army of people whose livelihood depends
on fixing it, and certify them to “recommend” the system
to School Tech Tips... And,
if you’re on a Mac, you can even audio and video chat, again,
for free. Although, your college kid may not want you to see the
laundry stacked up in the background. But, hey, doing laundry is
a great reason to come home for a visit.
Inside Story on Scanners... let’s
say a scanner boasts 1600 x 3200 dpi (dots per inch). The first
number is the number of photosites on the scanner’s sensor.
The second number is the distance the light source advances between
for Making Your Photos “Look Good On Paper”... Your
printer (either by way of your computer, or on some models, by
itself), interprets the digital data about each pixel in your photo,
then sends a print head containing hundreds of ink nozzles across
the paper, spraying ink droplets to “re-create” the
pixels in your picture...
Your Expanding Digital Photo Library... Generally, “pro” level
applications deliver precise control at the expense of simplicity
and convenience, while “consumer” applications favor
ease-of-use and shallow learning curves.
Picture’s Worth (In This Case) Six Hundred Words...Over
the next few weeks we’ll take a geek-free “big picture” look
at what you’re creating when you take the picture, how
to manipulate and manage your pictures, what to look for in a
digital camera, and some pitfalls to avoid as you build your
digital photo library.
Tale of Two "Als"...They’re
both encased in an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, hence their “unofficial” designation
by some as “Little Al” and “Big Al” (“Al” being
the symbol for aluminum on the Periodic Table).
the “Road Tape” Evolves in the Age of MP3...some of us probably remember “the old days”, when there were vinyl “LPs” (records), and cassette players. Many of us made “road tapes” personal compilations of our favorite songs, to take in the car or on a Walkman...
Web Design Rules to Live By...Even if you’re not a Maine middle or high school student and planning on entering a site in the Maine Student Web Design Awards, you may have considered building a web site for your business or hobby.
WiFi and Hot Spots - The Web Without Wires...several years ago, while Microsoft and Intel were still trumpeting their “groundbreaking” home-network-through-the-electrical outlets and phone lines technologies, Apple Computer was doing what they do best innovating.
The Home of the Future - Today...despite the now rapidly diminishing hoopla surrounding the “computer that is also a TV” (Windows XP Media Center Edition, for example), people are realizing there are serious limitations to family entertainment in front of a computer.
Making the Move to Mac Easier Than You Think...there are some things you’ll have to do without, however. You’ll be without your PC’s cutting edge 1.4 MB floppy drive, which will hold all of one high-resolution picture from your digital camera.
the Home Video Editing Award Goes To…
(A DV Primer) [Part Two - Software] It’s easy
to get caught up in placing eye-catching transitions between scenes,
or building flashy titles and special effects that would make George
Lucas proud. The question you have to ask yourself is, does this
really help tell my story, or does it detract or distract?...
Apple Raises the Bar Again...Apple’s position as the computer industry innovator is solidified at every MacWorld show, and this one was no exception. Over 90,000 Mac faithful gathered to see the latest and greatest hardware and software from Apple and third-party developers, and they weren’t disappointed.
Ready For My Close-Up, Dad...(A DV Primer) [Part One - Hardware] You’re ready to make an edited home movie masterpiece that even Mr. Spielberg would be proud of. But do you really have “what it takes”? Maybe, maybe not.