Apple Archives (68 posts)

Apple remote vs Sony remote

Apple TV remote

Simple For Sale

The Apple TV remote is fairly simple. You can hold it in one hand and with just a few buttons you can control every aspect of the Apple TV. Contrast this design with the Sony remote below.

Sony remote

More Is Less

This Sony remote looks complicated. It controls Sony’s appropriately named Internet TV 3D Blu-ray Disc™ Player powered by Google TV. I’m guessing that you’ll have to spend some time with a manual before you start using this thing.

Contrary to my opinion, Sony marketing has this to say about the above remote:

Finding your favorite content is a breeze thanks to the included handheld keypad with QWERTY keyboard and optical mouse control. Easily navigate the internet, search for TV shows, apps, movies and more.

What? Easily browse the Internet with this remote? I don’t think so.

Posted in Apple at 3:18 PM

The Apple University Solution

What happens to Apple when Steve Jobs can no longer steer the mothership? Since 2008, Apple has been pinning its hopes on Apple University – designed to teach Apple employees to think like Steve Jobs. Some people might snicker at this but after his return to Apple the stock price has soared over 7,000 per cent. The man knows a thing or two about successfully guiding the company.

About Apple University
Research and design by Online Colleges Resource. Thanks to M. Saleem for the link to this infographic.

Posted in Apple at 12:58 PM

Think Secret: Apple’s Secrecy Has Served It Well

The New Yorker

There are two really interesting articles about Apple in Fortune and The New Yorker. In The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell has a great piece on how Xerox PARC played a huge role in making Apple what it is today – Creation Myth.

In Fortune magazine a feature article called How Apple works: Inside the world’s biggest startup pulls back the curtain on how Steve Jobs runs Apple by interviewing past and present employees. The Top 100, secret three-day strategy sessions and Apple University are a few of the highlights in this article.

Apple’s culture of secrecy has served it well. The development of the iPhone took three years and gave Apple a huge lead in the smartphone market. The launch of the iPad came out of left field and surprised everyone. As a result of this secrecy, Apple owns the tablet market and has a one-year lead on the competition.

Imagine if Xerox PARC refused to let Steve Jobs and Bill Atkinson tour its labs and spend time with the Xerox Alto personal computer. Jobs would never have pushed for the creation of the Macintosh. Thankfully, Xerox wasn’t as secretive as Apple is today.

Jobs recognized that Xerox was sitting on a brilliant idea – a personal computer with a mouse and a graphical user interface. He simplified the Xerox Alto and brought it to the masses. Then he did it again with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. What’s next? Only the Top 100 inside Apple know. Secrecy has worked well for Apple and it seems that the public loves the element of surprise, especially when it comes from Cupertino.

Posted in Apple at 10:41 PM

Simple Sells

I love great design which is why I admire so many of Apple’s products and software. Whenever a user interface is required for a product or an operating system, a simple solution always works better than a feature-rich solution. This is why so many of Apple’s products are successful in terms of user experience.

There is a great piece in the July issue of Fast Company about Steve Jobs called “Apple Nation”. I laughed out loud when I read how Apple’s DVD-burning program (iDVD) was created. A team was assembled and spent 3 weeks working on beautiful mock-ups of what they considered to be the perfect user interface. Documentation was written to describe how the prototype would work.

Mike Evangelist headed up the iDVD team and describes their first meeting with Steve:

“Then Steve comes in,” Evangelist recalls. “He doesn’t look at any of our work. He picks up a marker and goes over to the whiteboard. He draws a rectangle. ‘Here’s the new application,’ he says. ‘It’s got one window. You drag your video into the window. Then you click the button that says BURN. That’s it. That’s what we’re going to make.’”


The entire team was dumbfounded at first but when Evangelist now looks at the slides he prepared for that initial meeting, he describes them as being “ridiculous in their complexity” and that Job’s rectangle was the right way to go.

I love this example. Steve Jobs is a guy who knows that ‘simple sells’. Simple works.

37 signals is a company that understands simplicity and strives to remove complexity from its web applications. Guess what? Their apps work and are wildly successful.

Great design takes something that is often complicated and makes it really simple whether it is a phone, a software application or a website.

Posted in Apple at 1:07 PM

Steve Jobs Spanks Adobe

Ouch! Steve Jobs posted his Thoughts on Flash to Apple’s website today. The last paragraph must really sting if you’re part of the Flash development team at Adobe:

Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

I can’t wait to see what Adobe has to say but the writing is clearly on the wall now. Flash is dying and will soon be joining the likes of Shockwave and HyperCard.

Posted in Apple at 1:04 PM

Television Show About Steve Jobs Called “iCon”

Fake Steve Jobs could be getting his own TV show in the very new future and it will be called iCon. Director, Larry Charles (Borat and Religulous) is overseeing the project.

In a recent statement, Charles said “we are attempting to do nothing less than a modern ‘Citizen Kane.’ A scabrous satire of Silicon Valley and its most famous citizen.” Newsweek contributor, Dan Lyons, who is also the author of the Fake Steve Jobs blog is slated to write the series. If it is anything like his blog, this could be quite a funny show but don’t expect it to be airing on NBC next fall. If it gets produced it will be shown on Epix.

Posted in Apple and Television at 9:20 PM

Sometimes You Have To Look Back A Little

Think back to 1990. Imagine if I told you that Apple was still around in 20 years. What if I told you that Apple released a tablet computer that was the size and thickness of a regular pad of paper? You wouldn’t believe it.

If I told you that this computer had 64 GB of storage, let you watch movies, and only required your fingers for input you’d probably laugh. The funny thing is, that it is 2010, the iPad exists and a lot of people are upset that it doesn’t do more!

Greg Knauss has a really nice post called The Days of Miracles and Wonder that describes our discontent with the iPad and Obama among other things.

Sometimes you have to look back a little, to appreciate the world you live in today.

Posted in Apple at 11:04 AM

Iron Man Sticker For MacBook

Iron Man sticker for MacBook

How cool is that? An Iron Man sticker for your MacBook. I don’t have a MacBook but if I did you can bet that I’d head over to Etsy and order one of those stickers now!

Posted in Apple at 4:51 PM

The iPad’s Untapped Potential

Joe Hewit gets it. Michael Pusateri gets it and he’s not an Apple fanboy.

The iPad is a game changer. It’s a version 1 product that is full of untapped potential. The more I overlook the complaints about the iPad the more interesting and exciting this product looks for the entire industry. Lets face it. The graphical user interface hasn’t changed very much in the last 25 years. The iPad is a welcome change.

Posted in Apple at 10:56 PM

Thoughts On The iPad

I watched Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation of the iPad yesterday and the reaction to the most talked about tablet in the world was underwhelming. When the first iPhone was unveiled the audience went nuts. Yesterday, the audience seemed a little subdued.

Apple didn’t say a word (publicly) about the iPad, leading up to its announcement yesterday. The press created all of the hype surrounding the product launch and raised the expectation of what Apple’s newest product could actually do. Is the iPad a failure? Of course not. I think it is going to evolve over the next couple of years and have a huge impact on the mobile computing industry.

A lot of people are complaining about what the iPad lacks:

  • a camera
  • multitasking
  • HDMI output
  • a USB port
  • 16:9 ratio screen (it’s 4:3)
  • no Flash support

These are all valid concerns but I think people have to remember that the iPad is a first generation product.

The original iPod didn’t have video or an iTunes store. It evolved. The original iPhone didn’t have 3G support, or any Apps, or a replaceable battery. People complained bitterly but as points out, it went on to sell 40 million phones and it evolved into the best smartphone in the industry.

Nothing in the industry comes close to what the iPad can do or what it will probably do in the future. Most of the people complaining about the iPad haven’t used one yet. John Gruber spent 20 minutes using a demo model at yesterday’s event and he was most impressed with the speed of the iPad.

As I watched the keynote demo I was blown away by the gaming demonstration that EA did. Who would have thought that an iPhone would evolve into a major gaming platform 5 years ago? The iPad is incredibly fast and I’m guessing that a lot of kids are going to want one (and a lot of adults).

I have a friend who bought an iPod Touch for his daughter. On a recent visit to his house I noticed that his daughter didn’t spend very much time playing with her iPod. That was because my friend and his wife were playing games on it constantly.

So who is going to buy this thing and what are they going to use it for? It has wide appeal and I can see the entire family using this for surfing the web on the couch, playing games, email, listening to music, reading a book or watching a movie.

Do I need an iPad? Nope. Do I want one? Yup!

At $499 the price is right for a 16 GB model. If Apple added a camera, USB port, HDMI etc. you can bet that it would cost more and people would complain about how expensive it is.

I haven’t mentioned how the iPad will affect the publishing industry with its new iBookstore. At the very least, it will give the Kindle some real competition. Apple has inked deals with major book publishers to sell content.

Missing from yesterday’s presentation was any talk of newspapers and magazines for sale through the iTunes store. One news report mentioned that the New York Times app for iPad might not be necessary because the web browsing on the iPad is so good. I’m not sure if Apple has plans to sell magazines and newspapers but Rome wasn’t built in a day. And did I mention that iPad is version 1.0 product? Stay tuned.

Posted in Apple at 12:41 PM

Can Apple Rescue The Press?

Last week I commented on the upcoming Apple tablet and wondered how much of an impact it would have on the publishing industry, newspapers in particular. Today, Macworld published a piece on What an Apple tablet would mean for publishing.

People are calling it the end of free. Forget about Chris Anderson’s cover story for Wired last year that describes why “free” is the future of business. There is a growing shift toward paid content and Apple is the one company that could act as a catalyst to pull this off.

I think you’ll see a whole new subscription model in the iTunes store for publishing from some major newspapers and magazines on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Posted in Apple at 6:27 PM

Technologizer’s Take On The Apple Tablet

Harry McCracken has published a group prediction titled, “The Apple Tablet: What Will Be, According to You”. It will be interesting to see how accurate the predictions are.

Newspapers For Sale On iTunes?

A couple of things in McCracken’s article caught my eye in terms of newspapers: “Exactly 48.5% of you think Apple will let other publishers sell books, magazines, and newspapers through the tablet” and “payment systems for some magazines and newspapers through iTunes will already be worked out when it goes live.”

Last week the New York Times announced that we would be paying for its newspaper in the future. In May 2009, Rupert Murdoch said that News Corp owned newspapers would begin charging for online access within one year.

iPods and iTunes rescued the music industry. Maybe iTunes and an Apple tablet can do the same for the publishing industry? I don’t think it is a coincidence that news organizations are warning us that we’ll be paying for our news in the future.

Posted in Apple at 3:33 PM

Who Will Use An Apple Tablet Computer?

I have an iPhone and a desktop Mac and I’m wondering the same thing that John Gruber is wondering:

If you already have an iPhone and a MacBook; why would you want this?

Steve Jobs has famously asked what an Apple tablet would be good for besides surfing the web in the bathroom. Oddly enough, that’s where I often look at Twitter with my iPhone! But seriously. What niche will this new device fill?

A lot of the technology in the iPhone came from previous versions of Apple tablets that got shelved. Still, I’m sure that Jobs and company have figured out a few ways that the tablet will become the next must-have gadget of the decade.

Posted in Apple at 11:21 AM

iPhone Growth is Strong

We’re in the middle of a recession yet millions of people are willing to part with their cash to purchase iPhones. Consider these headlines:

If you live in the state of Kentucky you can’t even purchase an iPhone. Not bad for a second generation phone without any groundbreaking new features. Meanwhile Palm has sold 150,000 phones and the other smartphone makers are seeing negative growth in terms of smartphone traffic.

What’s next for Apple? After reading Fast Company’s cover story, I’m going to say that Apple will jump into the publishing market and go head to head with the Amazon Kindle.

Posted in Apple at 1:10 AM

Think Secret

Interesting piece in the New York Times about Apple’s Secrecy on Products and Top Executives. It’s amazing to me that Apple employees are just as surprised as the public when it comes to product launches like the iPhone.

Posted in Apple at 10:25 PM

iTunes Movie Trailers on Twitter

Now you can follow itunestrailers on Twitter to get the latest updates on the iTunes Movie Trailers. I love that Apple keeps tweaking the page with Ajax goodness and minor improvements to the user interface.

Posted in Apple and Movies at 11:04 AM

Will Steve Jobs return to Apple in June?

Wired is reporting that Steve Jobs Probably Won’t Come Back to Apple and I’ve got a bad feeling that they are right. My guess is that his cancer is back. I hope I’m wrong.

Posted in Apple at 2:09 PM

10 useful iPhone tips and tricks

tap tap tap as a really handy list of 10 useful iPhone tips & tricks.

A lot of the iPhone’s features are hidden and incredibly useful. Who knew that tapping the status bar (where the clock resides) acts as a top of page button? Great list. (Via Daring Fireball)

Update: The website iPhone J.D. has a nice list of iPhone shortcuts that can help you get more out of your phone.

Posted in Apple at 12:00 AM

The biggest flop of the 21st century

The iPhone platform has been around for just 18 months. In the last 4 months, for the first time ever:

  • Apple sold more iPhones than RIM sold BlackBerrys
  • The iPhone generated more revenue than the iPod or Macintosh

The iPhone is a huge success which is why these quotes are amusing.

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.
— Steve Ballmer

I wonder when Microsoft is going to release a Zune with a built-in phone to overtake the iPod?

These phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be passé within 3 months.
— John C. Dvorak

No wonder cranky John says, “iPhone and gPhone be damned! I’m sick of reading about new phones” in his latest PC Magazine column.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If the iPod is the biggest success of the 21st century then iPhone is likely to be the biggest flop of the 21st century.
— Laura Ries

I wonder how many people would hire self-proclaimed “marketing guru” Laura Ries? I find it odd that her company doesn’t list any actual clients on their website.

Posted in Apple at 5:33 PM

Have you ever seen a cheap Mac?

A couple of weeks ago PC Magazine published an interview with Steve Ballmer and he had plenty of things to say about Apple including this:

I’m not saying that there are not some things that people like about Macs, apparently there are. But have you ever seen a cheap Mac? No.

Check on Tuesday October 14, 2008 for a cheap Mac.

Posted in Apple at 9:28 PM

A discussion about the iPhone 3G on Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose has A discussion about the iPhone 3G that features Walter Mossberg, Steven Levy, Michael Arrington. The general consensus is that the 16 GB version is a hit but heavy cellphone users may be put off by poor battery performance.

What makes the iPhone stand out from other so called smart phones? The new app store has made iPhone a platform for mobile software and the Safari web browser for the phone is hands down, better than any other smart phone web browser out there.

Posted in Apple at 11:58 PM

Steve Jobs’ Health

Arik Hesseldahl, writing for BusinessWeek wrote today:

After the earnings call last night I talked with a source who is close to Apple and who who has in the past proven very well informed on the concerns of Apple senior management. This source told me with near-certainty that Jobs’ cancer has not returned.

Rumours about Steve Jobs health sells newspapers and advertising. Naturally, there have been a lot of rumours because of Jobs’ thin appearance of late. I’m hoping that Hesseldahl is correct (with complete certainty) and that Jobs has at least another 10 years at the helm of Apple.

Posted in Apple at 9:55 PM

Stingy Rogers iPhone voice and data plans

Rogers finally announced their iPhone 3G Voice & Data Packages and they suck. Their aren’t any unlimited data plans and the voice plans are lousy.

The cheapest plan they have is $60/month for 150 minutes of talk and 400 MB of data. If that isn’t enough of a slap in the face they claim:

iPhone packages include all the voice minutes and data you’ll need to fully benefit from the breakthrough device.

Rogers doesn’t have a clue. They are going to hurt 3rd part apps that require unlimited data and their expensive plans are also going to hamper how most people use the phone (WiFi usage whenever possible).

Rogers has one of the most expensive iPhone plans in the world. Want caller ID? That will be another $15/month! Their unlimited voice for evenings start at 9 PM. When did evenings start at 9 PM? What a greedy bunch of buggers.

The iPod Touch Alternative

I might consider an iPod Touch instead. I don’t use my existing cellphone very much and my plan is relatively cheap at $25/month ($35 after taxes and, network charges, etc). A Rogers phone would cost twice as much — up to $420/year for voice/data plus network charges and taxes. Factor in the price of the phone and a 3 year contract and an iPhone from Rogers would cost me $620 (CDN) in my first year.

Why not purchase a 16 GB iPod Touch for $419 (CDN) instead? I’d be ahead by at least $200 in my first year. Even if I purchased a 32 MB iPod Touch ($519 CDN) and continued using my crappy Telus cellphone, I’d be further ahead.

I think Rogers just lost a potential customer.

Posted in Apple at 4:07 PM

Rogers iPhone Pricing

If you’re an Apple fanboy in Toronto, then you’ve been waiting patiently for Rogers to make some kind of announcement on data plans for the new iPhone. They haven’t.

Rumour sites have been posting leaked information about Rogers pricing for data plans.

It looks like you’ll only have to pay $30/month for unlimited data in addition to a voice plan. This sounds reasonable. You can get voice plans for as little as $25/month. I could live with $55/month for cell phone service.

Posted in Apple at 2:23 PM

iPhone finally arrives in Canada

Apple finally announced that the iPhone will be coming to Canada. Rogers will be the carrier and they have next to nothing on their website. The unfortunate thing about the iPhone is that I’ll have to become a Rogers customer again. Can’t wait.

Everyone is raving about the new 3G iPhone which is now half the price of the old iPhone and twice as fast. The question on my mind is what will Rogers gouge us with in terms of service plans?

In the US, AT&T is going to charge $30 unlimited data per month for consumers and $45 per month unlimited data for business (on top of voice service fees). I’m predicting that Rogers will charge around $50/month unlimited data for consumers.

At $200 a phone to start, Apple is trying to flood the market and it will kill the competition from Samsung and Nokia rip offs.

Posted in Apple at 1:33 AM

The Power Mac G5 is the best computer I’ve ever purchased

I have a Power Mac G5 (dual 1.8 GHz processors) that has worked perfectly for the last 4 years. It handles large Photoshop files easily and renders video out of Final Cut Pro without grinding my system to a halt.

I’ve owned a Macintosh IIsi, Quadra 800, Power Macintosh 9600, PowerBook G3, Power Mac G4 and iBook G4. The Power Mac G5 is the best computer I’ve ever purchased. Why? No repairs, no drive failures and it’s still going strong.

I’m used to buying a new computer every 3 years to keep up with software upgrades that often require faster processing speeds. I haven’t made the jump to an Intel Mac and probably won’t until I’m forced to — when I fall behind in Adobe upgrades which should be another year or two.

Macworld’s new rules for buying a Mac should be of interest to anyone that will be purchasing a new Mac in the future. Unless you’re doing scientific research or 3D rendering, you don’t need a top of the line, 8 core Mac Pro.

For many power users who once bought a Power Mac by default, the Mac Pro is overkill, and an iMac or a MacBook Pro is powerful enough.

My father has enough computing power to render the next Pixar film when he probably only needs the power of a Mac Mini.

I don’t need a Mac Pro even though I spend most of my time in Photoshop and render the occasional video file. I could probably get away with using a MacBook Pro and would love the portability.

For now I’m going to keep using my Power Mac G5 until it starts to slow me down.

Posted in Apple at 6:23 PM

Ultrathin Apple Keyboard

My old Apple Keyboard was a little worn out. I gave it a thorough cleaning a year ago but some of the keys were starting to stick, the keys were dirty and the dust was building up.

Apple Keyboard

I decided to replace the old keyboard with a new ultrathin aluminium keyboard from Apple. It looks and feels like a laptop keyboard instead of a larger keyboard that you’d use for a desktop computer but you get used to the feel.

Apple Keyboard

I like that it takes up a little less space on my desk. The anodized aluminum enclosure also matches my Cinema display and looks very sharp on my desk.

I don’t like that the eject button is no longer in the top-right corner of the keyboard but the addition of a few new function keys is handy and saves a few clicks of the mouse such as pausing iTunes when the phone rings.

Posted in Apple at 4:14 PM

Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford

I read about Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford but for some reason never watched it on YouTube until now. Inspiring stuff and yes, I am a Jobs fanboy.

Posted in Apple at 8:35 PM

Failed Apple products

Wired has a nice piece on Apple’s Most Notorious Flops. I completely forgot about the Apple Pippin — the game machine from 1996 that was a complete disaster. Here is a great example of where Microsoft copied something Apple did and actually succeeded with the Xbox.

I still think that the G4 Cube was a thing of design beauty. I always wanted one and a lot of people still do. This is a hard to find collector’s item.

My favourite failed Apple product is the Apple IIc — my very first Apple computer. I still have mine, including the carrying case that I used to take it to high school with. I think it was around $2,000 and the best birthday present I ever received.

I loved that the computer was featured in the movies 2010 (1984) and A View to a Kill (1985).

Posted in Apple at 7:21 AM

Apple iPhone Doomed To Falurire

Mitchell Ashley, “the independent voice of Microsoft customers” wrote an article titled (with the typo), Apple iPhone Doomed To Falurire — Windows Mobile 7 Plans For 2009 Leaked. Windows Mobile 7 isn’t scheduled for release until 2009 (and who knows if that won’t get pushed back until 2010) but Ashley believes that it will kick the iPhone’s butt. I wonder if Ashley has heard of a brown brick called Zune.

Windows Mobile 7 looks like another copy of the iPhone. By the time it gets released, the iPhone will have been out for two years yet Ashely thinks the iPhone will fade away? The last two major product releases from Microsoft have been failures — Zune and Windows Vista. I wonder why he thinks Windows Mobile 7 will be any different.

To top things off, Mitchell Ashley based his assumptions on a sketchy blog entry authored by InsideMicrosoft blogger Nathan Weinberg. Weinberg claims to have a document detailing plans for Windows Mobile 7. He says he can’t publish the article but includes a lot of screen captures (which may be the work of a hack with too much time on their hands).

I love this quote from Weinberg:

Windows Mobile 7 will dramatically change the way we use mobile devices. It will emphasize the use of touch on the device, as well as motion gestures created by using the device. It is, absolutely, Microsoft’s effort to beat back the iPhone, and the iPhone is referenced several times in the document.

I though that Apple dramatically changed the way we use mobile devices with the iPhone in 2007. As one commenter said on Weinberg’s site, “Apple innovates and Microsoft imitates.”

Posted in Apple at 8:27 PM

David Lynch iPhone commercial

Okay so maybe David Lynch didn’t make an official iPhone commercial but the YouTube clip David Lynch on iPhone is pretty funny. I think he makes a very good point about the small screen.

Posted in Apple and Movies at 4:26 PM

Leopard is slow on my Power Mac G5

I finally got a few design projects out of the way and thought it would be safe to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). I backed everything up installed the new system and have been disappointed ever since.

I’m using a PowerPC Macintosh and I’m finding that Leopard is slow! A dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5 with 2 GB RAM running Leopard feels underpowered.

A day after upgrading my system, Adobe Photoshop CS2 wouldn’t work. For the first time ever I encountered this dreaded message.

Photoshop CS2 Error

I ponied up $199.00 and downloaded the Photoshop CS3 upgrade. The installer wouldn’t run. The Photoshop CS3 Beta that I installed earlier in the year was conflicting with the final release (even though I uninstalled the application after the beta expired).

I’m guessing that a lot of people ran into the same problems that I did because Adobe has a page on their site for the Adobe CS3Clean Script which removes any trace of a Photoshop CS3 Beta install. This software worked and allowed me to proceed with my Photoshop CS3 installation.

After the installation I clicked on my shiny new Photoshop CS3 icon and waited. I watched the icon bounce and bounce and then in stopped. Photoshop refused to start. Groan.

Instead of putting my fist through my Cinema Display I went for a Cocktail — Mac OS X disk utility software. Before this would work I had to download the Leopard-compatible version. More Leopard updates. Groan.

After a restart, running Cocktail, and another restart, my old G5 was happy again. Photoshop CS3 launched right away and I was back in business. This was a 3 hour ordeal.

Leopard seems to run a little faster now but I think my tired G5 will have to step aside for an Intel-based Mac Pro computer. I’m just not sure I’m ready for a 3.0GHz, 8-core Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro.

Posted in Apple and OS X Software at 2:35 PM

John Gruber rips apart Adam L. Penenberg’s Fast Company cover story on Apple

This morning I picked up the latest copy of Fast Company to read on a flight to Vancouver. The cover story, All Eyes On Apple questions whether Steve Jobs and company can maintain the incredible growth and success of 2007.

Daring Fireball is one of the sites that makes the Internet such a great place. John Gruber wrote an excellent piece that rips apart Adam L. Penenberg’s feature for Fast Company. Gruber is one of the few people that takes the time to critically examine popular news stories about Apple and point out their inaccuracies.

I love the title of his latest blog entry — Yet Another in the Ongoing Series Wherein I Examine a Piece of Supposedly Serious Apple Analysis From a Major Media Outlet and Dissect Its Inaccuracies, Fabrications, and Exaggerations Point-by-Point, Despite the Fact That No Matter How Egregious the Inaccuracies / Fabrications / Exaggerations, Such Pieces Inevitably Lead to Accusations That I’m Some Sort of Knee-Jerk Shill Who Rails Against Anything ‘Anti-Apple’ Simply for the Sake of Defending Apple, and if I Love Apple So Much Why Don’t I Just Marry Them?

Posted in Apple at 1:53 AM

Choose a Vista

I love the new Get a Mac television commercials at My favourite of the bunch is Choose a Vista.

It plays down the 6 different versions of Vista that Microsoft offers and notes that Apple has one new operating system with all of the features you need.

Posted in Apple at 11:14 PM

Apple iPod Hi-Fi

My brother Drew recently purchased an Apple iPod Hi-Fi. Below is his review of the product.

Apple iPod Hi-Fi

The iPod Hi-Fi is pretty impressive. I’m not sure if you’ve seen one up close but it’s about the size of a small toolbox, pretty heavy and similar to a Bose system in that the only real buttons on it are for volume.

The remote control is pretty cool… it’s slightly smaller than the actual iPod Nano and it lets you adjust the volume, skip or fast forward tracks and pause. One neat thing is that there’s a Speaker option added to the iPod’s main menu when you put it in the dock, letting you boost the bass (or minimize it). It’s just a little more accessible than going to the iPod’s EQ menu via the Settings selection.

Interestingly, the dock adapter for the Nano that came in the box didn’t seem to work. There are about 8 or 9 different adapters but the Nano one won’t let me put the player in the dock because it seems a little off centre. I went online to check this out and read feedback from a couple other people who had the same problem. I ended up having to use the adapter that came in the Nano box and it works fine.

The sound on this thing is awesome. Amazing bass and really loud.

One thing that Future Shop screwed me on was not including the $20 iTunes card that was supposed to be part of the deal. Guess I’ll have to follow up with them on it.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the purchase.

Posted in Apple and Home Theatre and Music at 11:04 AM

Apple to add H.264 video encoding/decoding chips to all Macs?

Robert X. Cringely posted “The Great Apple Video Encoder Attack of 2007: Cupertino plans to add H.264 hardware support to its entire line” on his weekly column at I, Cringely. If the rumour is true then we’ll see H.264 video encoding/decoding chips in all new Macs before the end of the year. Looks like I’ll have to wait a little longer before switching to a MacBook Pro.

With Apple TV shipping in the next couple of weeks H.264 support in new Macs seems to make a lot of sense. Apple wants to make it fast and easy use video on Apple TV.

H.264 support will make my life a little easier when it comes to compressing video for In the future, it will probably take longer to upload a clip to the web server than it takes to compress it. Now, that would be sweet.

Posted in Apple at 2:39 PM

Come to my seminar!

No it’s not a Tom Vu seminar. Apple has a free, 47 minute video seminar/tutorial on Creating a Rich Media Podcast with Final Cut Pro.

I just watched the whole thing and learned a lot more than I expected. Final Cut Pro is a lot like Photoshop in that there are many shortcuts and many different ways of performing the same task. If you’re creating video projects or doing your own video podcast then you’ll find this online seminar to be invaluable.

Posted in Apple at 1:40 PM



Wow! Apple has done it again. An iPhone with a built-in iPod, web browser, sexy touch sensitive interface and more. I wonder if they’ll sell a brown version?

Jobs blew them audience away with the new iPhone and the Apple TV. I can’t wait to get my hands on either one of these devices.

Take a look at some of iPhone demos at Apple.

Posted in Apple at 2:43 PM

Daring Fireball

Lately I’ve been checking John Gruber’s blog, Daring Fireball for the latest buzz in the Mac community, web development and technology. Great site with plenty of fresh content served up daily.

Posted in Apple and Blogs and OS X Software and Web Development at 1:01 PM

About This Particular Macintosh

I’ve been using Macs now since about 1991. Before that I was an Apple II user. I drank the Apple cool-aid around 1983 and have been a convert ever since.

When you become an Apple user you often crave information about new products, great software, tips and tricks. Tonight I came across About This Particular Macintosh (ATPM) for the first time and I can’t pull myself away from the site.

How many Macintosh webzines do you know of that still remember SyQuest disks or Compactor Pro? ATPM reminds me of MacWeek magazine, back in the day.

If you’re a long time Mac user or if you just switched from the world of Windows, then have a look at ATPM. For starters, there are some great software reviews of EarthDesk, VirtueDesktops, and Dobry Backuper.

ATPM also has some great monthly columns that explain hidden features of your Mac and provides endless tips and tricks that will improve your daily workflow.

Now that I have a new 500 GB drive I’m going to read a review on SuperDuper! 2.1. If my main disk drive fails (never happened), or my computer gets stolen (happened twice) it would be nice to know that I can stay in business and retrieve a backup.

Posted in Apple and OS X Software at 11:47 PM

More Gigs

Lately my Macintosh (Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5) has been feeling a little sluggish. Photoshop CS2 occasionally takes a coffee break, Safari seems a little slow at loading pages and I’m always low on hard disk storage.


I doubled my RAM to 2 GB and things seem to be zipping along again. Because I’m using Photoshop and often working with 16-bit images I would probably benefit from even more memory.


My internal 150 GB hard disk has only 6 GB of space left. Who would have thought that applications would every be 400 - 500 GB in size? It doesn’t help that I have 12 GB of RAW photos to archive.

I have an external 120 GB LaCie drive and it is almost full as well. Solution? Call up and order a 500 MB Seagate internal drive (7200/16MB/SATA). That should last for a couple of years (or until I dump another 186,500 photos on there).

Does anyone have any tips on how to speed up an old G5?

Posted in Apple and Television at 4:50 PM

iTunes Challengers

BusinessWeek published a story this morning called Meet the iTunes Wannabes which shows why Apple dominates the market in legal music downloading. Some of the new competition that Apple faces includes Microsoft, MySpace, AOL, Samsung, Nokia.

None of these companies are trying anything new or innovative with their music services. Microsoft is the biggest challenger with its upcoming Zune media player — a weak copy of the iPod at best. None of these companies seems to understand the terms simplicity and innovation. Not that I’m complaining.

Posted in Apple at 12:13 PM

50 Cent Mac

Steve Jobs is trying to work out a deal with rap star 50 Cent to produce a line of affordable Macs. The target audience would be inner-city residents. I thought this affordable machine was called the Mac mini?

I’d love to know how Apple is going to brand this machine. 50 Cent Mac? Mac Daddy? Ghetto Mac? Fully story here.

Posted in Apple and Music at 11:20 AM

Deal of the decade

I just received a copy of Final Cut Studio for $199.00 (USD)! The retail price is $1499.00 (CDN).

My father recently bought a copy of Apple’s Soundtrack Pro from the UK via eBay (approx $250 CDN). You can’t purchase Soundtrack Pro on its own anymore (at least in North America). The only way to get a copy is to pay $1499.00 and get Final Cut Studio which includes Soundtrack Pro.

Apple has a great upgrade policy for all of those people that are stuck with an older version of Soundtrack Pro and want an upgrade. For $199.00 (USD) you can get the full version of Final Cut Studio that includes:

• Final Cut Pro
• Soundtrack Pro
• Motion
• DVD Studio Pro
• Compressor

You also get a couple of training CDs and the manual is on disc. That’s 7 CDs, 5 great apps, all for $199.00. Today it feels like Christmas morning at JAK MEDIA. Thanks dad!

Posted in Apple at 4:55 PM

Nike and Apple partner

Wow. How cool is this? Apple and Nike have partnered to bring you the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. For those of you that run with your iPod you can now use it to track your progress in real time.

The NIKE+ website has a great video that explains how your new pair of Nike shoes can talk to your iPod and provide you with detailed info of your run. This whole concept is genius and will probably boost Apple’s marketshare/brand even more.

Just for fun, here is a link to another type of Apple running shoe.

Posted in Apple at 2:59 PM

Apple slaps Microsoft

Apple isn’t holding any punches with its latest ad campaign. It unveiled a series of TV commercials that pokes fun at Microsoft’s security vulnerabilities.

The Apple website also has a new Get a Mac page with several reasons why you might want to purchase a Macintosh. Next Year’s OS Today takes a serious jab at Microsoft’s not so innovative features in their upcoming operating system. Ouch!

Posted in Apple at 12:42 AM

Will Apple purchase Adobe?

Robert Cringely is at it again. This time he’s speculating on whether will purchase Adobe. Is this part of the reason why Apple laid-off most of the Aperture development team? Read on.

Posted in Apple at 11:40 AM

Podcast Ads are coming

Advertising Age reported yesterday that iTunes will soon display ads when you are listening to podcast content. Full story here.

Posted in Apple at 4:37 PM

Some bad apples

Apple makes innovative, stylish, expensive products that are often obsolete before their time.

Take for example, the 17-inch Apple Studio Display. It’s beautifully designed, only two years old and it won’t work with the new Mac Mini. It also won’t work with an older Power Mac G4 tower.

The Studio Display uses an ADC connection which Apple no longer supports. All of their new displays use standard DVI connectors.

For $129 (CDN) you can purchase a Apple DVI to ADC Display Adapter. This is the cost of using Apple’s sexy hardware.

Do you think any of the Apple dealers in downtown Toronto have these display adapters in stock? Of course not. They take two weeks to order in. I called the Apple Store at Yorkdale Mall and they have “lots of them”.

2.5 million people live in Toronto. If you include the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) the the population is 5 million. Apple has two stores in Toronto and neither one of them is downtown.

I drove up to the Apple Store at Yorkdale Mall and thought I would get my iPod repaired while I was there. The screen is cracked and needs to be replaced. I waited 25 minutest to talk to an ‘Apple Genius’ (salesperson).

This kid, I mean, Apple Genius tells me that the cracked screen can’t be repaired. I laughed and told him that you can buy replacement screens online for $120. Of course it can be repaired.

His response was that it would be really expensive to fix. Huh? It’s a 40 GB iPod. It was $400 new! Why would it cost $400 to fix if I went through Apple? I told him that his answer wasn’t acceptable. His genius solution was to buy a new iPod.

What a moron. Yeah, me for waiting 25 minutes and the sales guy for being so incredibly helpful. I felt like I had been transported to Future Shop.

Posted in Apple at 6:18 PM

1,750 inch HD display

Dolphin Stadium has the world’s largest HD display — 137 feet wide, 50 feet high, 1,750 inches diagonal viewing, 720 lines progressive scanning. Now that is going to look cool. Too bad half the fans will be too drunk to notice (at least that has been my experience in Miami).

I just picked up a 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display and gorgeous doesn’t begin to describe how it looks. 1920 x 1200 pixels of viewing area.

I don’t know how I did any work in Photoshop before with a 17“ Studio Display. Being able to see your documents at 100% saves a lot of time — no more shuffling windows and palettes around. No more resizing documents. Improved workflow.

Posted in Apple and Technology at 10:21 AM

Japanese Bank Thinks Different

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Japan’s Aozora Bank is going to switch all of its PCs running Windows to Macs running OS X — 2,300 desktop computers. The bank says that Macs running OS X have become more “stable and functional” for business users. I wonder if this will be a new trend now that Macs are using Intel chips. Full story here.

Posted in Apple at 11:33 AM


Just when you thought you had everything that you could possibly need for you iPod, along comes TuneCenter from Griffin Technology. This “home media center for iPod” comes with a 14 button remote.

TuneCenter looks like an iPod version of Apple’s Front Row software for it’s Macintosh computers. The living room is becoming the next battleground for Apple, Microsoft and Sony.

Posted in Apple and Technology at 11:00 PM

Don’t be surprised if Apple saves the day for Blockbuster Video

Robert Cringely wrote an interesting article last week about Apple and Blockbuster. Will Apple’s video iPods put Blockbuster back into the black? Read on.

Posted in Apple at 10:36 AM

Disney wants to own Pixar

Unfortunately this isn’t from a rumour site. This morning, Reuters reported Disney in talks to acquire Pixar. Gulp. If this deal goes through, it would make Steve Jobs the biggest shareholder in Disney.

Posted in Apple and News at 3:03 PM Dashboard Widget

If you use on your Mac to rent movies then check out the Dashboard widget that a friend of mine created. Ryan did all of the programming and I provided the graphics.

This widget will display the DVDs you currently have out. Flip the widget over and you can view all of the titles in your Ziplist. It’s still in beta but it seems to be working perfectly.

Visit to download the Dashboard widget. To install it on your system, go to your user directory, open the Library folder and at the bottom you’ll see a folder called Widgets. Place the file ZipMini.wdgt in this folder and launch Dashboard.

Comment here to let me know what you think about the widget. If you’re stuck with using a PC, just purchase a Mac mini to test out the widget.

Posted in Apple at 10:14 AM

Apocalypse Then: A Second Look at the First Gulf War

Walter Murch is featured in the Pro/Film section of Apple’s website. He edited the film Jarhead in HD using some Power Macs with Final Cut Pro HD. Full story.

Posted in Apple and Movies at 2:10 PM

Power Mac G5 Quad

YIKES! I somehow missed the announcement of the new Power Mac G5 Quad. This may the fastest Power Macs and one of the last Power Macintosh computers before they switch over to Intel chips.

The Power Mac G5 Quad has two dual-core processors running at 2.5 GHz each — 76.6 gigaflops. Huh? Trust me, it’s wicked fast.

Now I know why the system requirements for Aperture are so high (dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 or faster and 2 GB of RAM). I’m running a Power Mac G5 with dual processors running at 1.8 GHz each and 1 GB of RAM. I guess I’ll be using PhotoShop CS2 for a little while longer.

Aperture could be the perfect excuse for me to upgrade my hardware.

Posted in Apple at 10:22 PM


Wow! I just came across this online magazine that has tonnes of panoramas and virtula tours using QuickTime VR (QTVR). This isn’t anything new. I first dabbled in QTVR in 1992 at York University but the presentation of this content has vastly improved.

When I was in Paris this spring, I wanted to visit Père-Lachaise Cemetery but ran out of time. A lot of famous people are buried there and there and it is a great place to take some interesting pictures. If you’re going to be in Paris and are considering this cemetery then check out this amazing virtual tour.

The panoramas atop the Matterhorn are also pretty spectacular. I had no idea that QTVR was still this popular.

Posted in Apple and Photography at 2:29 PM


Apple’s Movie Trailers page has been redesigned and there is a lot of content now available in High Def.

Posted in Apple and Movies at 1:47 PM

Apple unveils a video iPod

The rumours are true. This afternoon Apple released an iPod that will play video, a new version of iTunes and a slimmer iMac.

If you’ve been purchasing music from iTunes in the last 6 months you’ll know that a number of recent albums have included videos—Coldplay, Neil Young and Billy Corgan. I guess this was a hint that a video iPod was on the way. You’ll probably see more videos bundled with albums to encourage the purchase of music videos.

I wonder how long it will take for my father to break down and upgrade to a new video iPod? After all, that anemic 20 GB colour iPod he just go is a bulky 10% larger than the latest iPods, the battery doesn’t last as long and it has less storage.

Time to upgrade iTunes (again) to version 6.

Posted in Apple at 2:39 PM

iTunes 5, iPod nano and my new 40 GB iPod

iTunes 5 is out today but you won’t be able to upgrade via Software Update under OS X. You’ll have to download iTunes 5 from Apple’s website. The new interface looks nice and improves on the usability. There are minor enhancements to the program which keep getting better and better.

iPod nano is also out today. Say goodbye to the iPod mini. These things look sexy, have great battery life and will sell bundles. I expect that a lot of people with 20 GB and 40 GB iPods, that are having a hard time filling them with music, will upgrade to iPod nano.


My father (the iPod fanatic) just upgraded to a 20 GB colour iPod (his 5th iPod to date) which means I’ve happily acquired his 4th generation 40 GB model. I already have a 2nd generation 20 GB iPod (also from him). I love it that he feels this need to upgrade his toys. I better tell him that iPod nano came out and is better than is new 20 GB colour model.

I’m not sure how I’m going to fill a 40 GB iPod with music. Who has that much time to catalog and burn their entire music collection? The best thing about this 40 GB iPod is that it was free! The second best thing about this iPod is that I can back up CompactFlash cards from my digital camera.

If the step-daughter does well in school and can figure out how to quit smoking then she may be able to graduate from her iPod Shuffle to a 20 GB iPod. Failing this, the 6 year-old will be the only kid on the block with an iPod listening to Foo Fighters.

Posted in Apple at 5:48 PM

First views of Windows Vista has some screenshots of Vista—Microsoft’s new operating system which used to be code-named “Longhorn”. This is great. Microsoft has copied Apple’s OS X aqua design right down to the search icon.

If I was Bill Gates I would be embarrassed. With his billions of dollars, his interface design experts have been unable to create an OS interface that is innovative and unique.

Apple should be flattered that Microsoft has ripped off copied their interface design. Again.

Posted in Apple at 5:21 PM

Mighty Mouse

Apple recently introduced the Mighty Mouse for Macintosh users. It features a new approach to the scroll wheel on other mice. It also features a touch-sensitive technology that gets rid of the two-button mouse. Very cool.

Posted in Apple at 5:13 PM

Tablet Macintosh?

The Mac Observer posted a story yesterday that Apple was granted a patent for a tablet Macintosh. This story first appeared last August in the The Register. Now that Apple has a patent for this device, what’s next?

There were rumours back in December of 2003 that Apple was working on a tablet Macintosh, that it was going to be released any day. The latest iMacs could be considered “oversized” tablet Macs perched on aluminum stands. If they can make the iMac a little smaller and a lot lighter you have a tablet Mac.

Combine a tablet Mac with a built-in camera and you have a video phone. Combine it with the new video services from Rogers and Bell and you have a portable TV. Throw in iTunes 5 (which will probably incorporate iPhoto, now that QuickTime video is included in iTunes 4.8) and you have a nice, digital hub.

Knowledge NavigatorJohn Sculley’s vision of the Knowledge Navigator, a tablet Macintosh controlled by voice and a pen, are probably six months away from being a reality. I can remember seeing those videos at York University about 15 years ago. I thought it all looked pretty far-fetched. Today, there is no reason why a Knowledge Navigator shouldn’t exist.

Below are various clips of the Knowledge Navigator videos (QuickTime format).

Navigator — 0:47 (1.7 MB)
Rain Forest 0:48 (1.7 MB)
Knowledge Navigator — 5:57 (14.9 MB)

Posted in Apple at 9:52 AM

Retro iPod

Gizmodo always has interesting photos and news of the latest gadgets. This photo caught my eye. The look of this new and unannounced iPod fits right in with my retro theme on Bombippy.

Posted in Apple at 11:12 AM

The Second Coming of Apple

Not exactly a new article but an interesting read from the The Wall Street Journal.

Posted in Apple at 7:57 PM

Maximize battery life in your iPod

Here’s an intersting link I found over at on how to restore and maximize the battery in your iPod if it isn’t lasting as long as it used to.

Posted in Apple at 5:30 PM

Vertigo at iTunes

U2’s latest single Vertigo is being used to sell iPods and help promote the iTunes Music Store. I can’t believe the band has made what is basically a couple of iPod videos to promote their new album. The music videos, or rather marketing videos will surely drive traffic to the iTunes Music Store.

I can’t imagine U2 doing a video for a Microsoft product or any other corporation. Hats off to Apple for getting them to promote the iPod and iTunes. U2’s next album is hotly anticipated. Apple performed a major coup by getting an exclusive video. And no, you can’t save the movie to your computer. It must be viewed through iTunes. Brilliant! Too bad I can’t purchase the single from iTunes Music Store—it’s not available to Canada yet. Why?

Posted in Apple at 4:59 PM