Interview with American Airlines Pilot Kent Wien

Last week, I spoke to longtime Your Mac Life listener and American Airlines pilot, Kent Wien about having and using iPads in the cockpit, what they replace and why it's a good thing.

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to Your Mac Life on iTunes and get each episode delivered automagically!

Why I'm not committing to Lion -- Yet

Allow me to provide a little insight into how stories with headlines like these generally work. The Author distends his or her minor objections to New Technology X to the point where said technology becomes something that anyone with a lick of sense approaches only with sterilized tongs and a throwing net. This is done, in part, so that The Reader can choose A Side and shake the nearest gardening implement in either support or fury.

In what I hope breaks from this mold, may I say—without vilifying Apple’s latest Mac OS release or those people who’ve chosen to embrace it—that Lion isn’t yet for me. At least not for the Macs I use for getting much of my work done. I spent many hours with the Lion betas and lived with the final Lion release on my MacBook Pro for a couple of weeks while traveling. I have to admit that I was relieved to return to my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard. And here’s why.

Ways to make Web Watching more like TV, less like a PC

Some folks watch movies, TV shows and videos from the Internet on their TVs by plugging in their computers, using ugly cables, keyboards, or mice that seem out of place in the living room. That PC-to-TV experience is more like using the computer than leaning back to enjoy TV.

So this week, I decided to try out three inexpensive set-top boxes that aim to make this process easier and neater. They are the $100 Roku 2 XS, the $99 second-generation Apple TV and the $199 Boxee Box from D-Link.

Of the three, I’d recommend Apple TV primarily for people who frequently use iTunes, or who own an iPad or iPhone. I’d recommend Roku for people who aren’t hooked on the Apple world and crave simplicity, variety and a low entry price. I’d only recommend the Boxee Box for techies because of its complexity.

Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO: a Retrospective in Products

It’s hard to believe, but Steve Jobs has only been Apple’s CEO for the last 13 of the company’s 35 years in operation.

During that time, he’s been responsible for a number of new products that have transformed entire industries around them — and he’s managed to do it several times over. Now that Jobs is stepping aside and leaving the role to Tim Cook, we thought we’d look back at Steve’s tenure as CEO through the lens of those products, which stand as testament to one of the most remarkable stories in American business history. Join us, won’t you?

Five Ways Apple will never be the Same without Jobs as CEO

Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO will inevitably put Apple’s future at risk. You’re going to read a lot of articles in the coming days where people are going to tell you all of the reasons that Apple is going to be fine and that the legacy of Steve Jobs will be enough to sustain the company for decades, and that Apple will be like Disney after Walt Disney’s departure. Here’s the bottom line — there’s simply no scenario in which Apple can be better without Steve Jobs as CEO than they were with him there.

Here are five big questions that Apple will have to face without Jobs involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. None of them have good answers, and that’s why Apple will be hard-pressed to continue its unbroken run of successes as Jobs exits the front of the stage.

Ruminations on Apple’s Second ‘Post-Jobs’ Era

The resignation of Steve Jobs yesterday as CEO of Apple may not have been surprising, but it was still a shock. Entire industries are reeling today, trying to make sense of what it will all mean to them. From computer manufacturers to mobile phone makers to entertainment executives, Jobs departure has high-level, closed-door meetings happening in boardrooms all over the world.

The short truth is that Apple will not change much in the next few years, mostly because it will be running more or less the same way it has for the last few.

Steve Jobs’s Resignation Letter to Apple

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know.

Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

Sly's Website of the Week - August 24th, 2011

If you're at all familiar with Tom Waits you might understand this mashup of him and Sesame Street's Cookie Monster.

Here's Cookie Monster's rendition of Waits' "God's Away On Business".

Not much more to say other than some people really do have too much time on their hands. ;-)

~ Sly

Archives for August 24th, 2011

This week's show "Steve Jobs Resigns from Apple"

HP affecting Apple and the Best Mac of All Time!

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: HP affecting Apple and the Best Mac of All Time!

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Interview with Brent Simmons of Sepia Labs about Glassboard

Glassboard is an interesting new (and free!) app from Brent Simmons of Sepia Labs. Glassboard is for sharing privately with groups. Kind of like being socially private...or privately social. Tune in to hear Brent talking about the app and how to use it.

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to Your Mac Life on iTunes and get each episode delivered automagically!

Subtle Irritations in Lion

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, has been, by all accounts, a sales success, with over one million copies downloaded on its first day of release and undoubtedly millions more since. These stellar sales results do not necessarily reflect a perfect product, but merely one that has been much discussed and long anticipated. Just as with the initial releases of 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger, and all the other big cat releases, this one has its share of minor changes from previous versions that irritate and baffle, plus new bugs that confound and confuse.

Don’t misunderstand the point of this article. Our goal is to call out subtle aspects of Lion that feel as though they’re making us — and many other long-time Mac users — less productive on our Macs. Our hope is that Apple will revisit the discussions that resulted in these changes to Lion and reevaluate how they affect not just usability for new customers, but productivity for loyal Mac users who live and die by their Macs. And, for those who might have felt that using Lion seemed awkward but couldn’t quite identify the issues, perhaps our descriptions will let you figure out how to adjust your workflow to compensate.

Here are some of the minor cosmetic and operational changes that have irked us.

Tablets aren't the "Third Device" I'd hoped For...

Hang tight just a second -- let me preface all of this with a quick reminder that I'm speaking on a personal level, and I'm absolutely certain that slates have a place in this world somewhere. We could go back and forth for hours with use-case scenarios (and the same could be done with cars, time machines or your luxury good of choice), but this isn't about proving that a tablet can do one or two things; it's about the limitations and awkwardness of using one that no one seems to talk about.

After years of watching the masses fawn over the iPad (and every other PC maker scramble to come out with something that serves a similar purpose), I still can't ever imagine myself investing in one, let alone actually using one in place of a smartphone or laptop.

Why Do People Buy iPads?

That’s the question asked by Christopher Phin at Tap! Magazine. Phin’s basic answer boils down to this:
People buy iPads both specifically because they can see where it’s going to fit into their home or office lives, and because they’re understandably drawn to a shiny slab of Apple gorgeousness – from where the useful, practical, productive bit often follows.

I can certainly see that logic. He is not saying that iPads are useless, but that often people just don’t know what the hell they are going to use them for when the get them — but they just want one because they look so damned neat.

Thoughts on Macworld Expo from Ted Landau and Chris Breen

On Tuesday, iLounge and CES announced the iLounge Pavilion at CES was growing yet again. IDG, the company that puts on Macworld Expo, has announced Macworld Beijing, where they expect upwards of 200,000 people.

It got us thinking about next January's Macworld Expo - What kind of show will it be? Who will attend? is it successful? I spoke to Ted Landau and Chris Breen about their thoughts regarding the show that used to be the biggest Mac focused event on the planet.

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to Your Mac Life on iTunes and get each episode delivered automagically!

Play Hide ‘n Seek with Lion Preference Panes

Ever since OS X 10.0 Chetah, System Preferences has displayed a fixed set of baseline Preference Panes plus user additions. The baseline set has changed a bit throughout the years, but nothing fundamental has changed with the User Interface. Lion adds a new trick — the ability to hide selected Preference Panes.

10 Good Minutes on "The Google Threat"

Last week, Google announced it was buying Motorola Mobility for $12 Billion. The internet immediately went about trying to parse "the reasons for it all". Was it an offensive move to grab Motorola's patent portfolio to bludgeon Apple with? A defensive move to prevent Motorola, Apple or Microsoft from doing the same to Google? A move to get into the hardware business?

Obviously, no one knows but it didn't stop Ian and Shawn from weighing in with their opinions!

Listen at the link below or, even better, Subscribe to "10 Good Minutes" on the iTunes store and get each episode delivered automagically!

Why Cheap Color Laser Printers are a Dicey Deal

Most people shopping for a color laser printer want one because they think it will print quickly, produce good-looking output, and cost less to run than an inkjet printer. But the sad evidence from our tests and research shows that for the cheapest color laser printers, the opposite is true: They tend to be slow, their print quality beyond plain text is mediocre, and their toner costs as much as (or more than) the ink for a comparable inkjet.

Is a cheap color laser printer a good deal for anyone?

Disruptive

Dear Anyone Else Who Thinks They Have A Chance In The iPad Market...

You don’t. The iPad is the fire that sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Apple zigged and you guys are still trying to figure out what a zag is. It’s sad really, to see companies that were once at the top of the NASDAQ stumble around digging for pocket change in your high-end sofa cushions.

It is time to stop looking and, like HP, face a simple truth – you can’t win playing the iPad game.

HP To Apple: You Win.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a cafe. Around me, there are five people on laptops — four of them are MacBooks. Four other people are using tablets — all four are iPads. Welcome to the Post-PC world.

That phrase was one of the first things that jumped to my mind today when I heard the news that HP was not only killing off their TouchPad and Pre webOS-based products, but also trying to spin-off their PC business. The largest PC business in the world, mind you.

And HP’s statements during their earnings call today only further reaffirmed the

How to Outfit the iPad 2 to make Typing easier

Although it’s a smash hit, Apple’s iPad isn’t winning the hearts of users who find it difficult to type on its onscreen keyboard. And even for many who love their iPads for other things and can type shorter items on the screen, the lack of a physical keyboard has meant they still must turn to their laptops for intensive typing tasks.

One solution to this dilemma has been to carry a separate wireless keyboard. But that means carrying two things. So a number of companies offer protective cases for the iPad 2 with low-profile, but real, keyboards built right into their inner surfaces. These keyboards appear when you open the cases, which act as stands for the tablet while you type.

I’ve been testing four such iPad 2 combo keyboard cases.

Archives for August 17th, 2011

This week's show "Google "Threat", Brooklyn Apple Store and Rumor Round Up!"

How to Fax in Lion

Faxing has been around in one form or another since the mid-1800s, and while there’s no question that it’s disappearing from many businesses around the world, there are still industries that rely heavily on faxed documents, notably real estate and construction, where paper trails of signed documents remain important. While standalone fax machines aren’t going away any time soon, it’s relatively easy to find multifunction print/scan/fax devices, and Internet faxing has become commonplace, it has become more difficult to fax from a computer.

That’s especially true for users of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which deprecates faxing in several ways.

A Year Traveling with the iPad

There is an argument to be made for the iPad being the greatest travel gadget ever made. Its portability and versatility are unrivaled in any other device I can think of.

If you are going on an extended trip and are not worried about writing long articles, then you might just be better off taking an iPad over a laptop. If you are only traveling for short periods of time, such as a weekend, you might be better off with just an iPad.

If you are going on a long term trip with the intent to do work while you are on the road, I’d recommend bringing a laptop in addition to an iPad.

It doesn’t do everything, but it does a helluva lot.

Modern Tablet Concept is Apple’s; Everything Else is just a Feature

Tablets have been around for years, and while there was a lot of interest in what the platform could do, they never really caught on. It wasn’t until Apple released the iPad that tablets became a popular device.

Apple didn’t invent the tablet, but they did perfect the way we use tablets in our modern lifestyle. The concept of the tablet is now Apple’s.

The proof is all around us. Look at Apple’s competition — everything being released today looks and acts exactly like an iPad.

Subtle Irritations in Lion

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, has been, by all accounts, a sales success, with over one million copies downloaded on its first day of release and undoubtedly millions more since. These stellar sales results do not necessarily reflect a perfect product, but merely one that has been much discussed and long anticipated.

Just as with the initial releases of 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger, and all the other big cat releases, this one has its share of minor changes from previous versions that irritate and baffle, plus new bugs that confound and confuse.

Lion Security: Building on the iOS Foundation

It has long been a truism among tech pundits that Apple users suffer few security attacks due to relatively low market penetration making Macs uninteresting to professional cybercriminals. That may have been true five to ten years ago, but thanks to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, we can now say with assurance that obscurity is no longer Apple’s primary defense against attacks.

With over 220 million iOS devices sold, Apple dominates the tablet market and is one of the major players in the smartphone market, placing the company right on the front lines of the security wars.

How does this relate to Lion?

62 Things You can Do with Dropbox

Ask Macworld editors to name our favorite apps, and most of us would mention Dropbox. The file-synchronizing service has revolutionized the way we use our Macs; we’re always looking for new things it can do.

Towards that end, a couple of months ago we posted a note on Macworld.com, asking readers, “How do you use Dropbox?” The response was incredible: Between our forums and email, we received nearly 250 suggestions. We sorted through them and then boiled them down to our 60 favorites.

Google "Threat", Brooklyn Apple Store and Round Up!

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: Google "Threat", Brooklyn Apple Store and Rumor Round Up!

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Playing nice with GarageBand for iPad

Apple touts its GarageBand for iPad application as a great way to play and record music without the need to learn scales or time signatures. Musical newbies aren’t the only ones interested in using the $5 app, however. GarageBand for iPad appeals to seasoned musicians, too. And those with significant investments in recording equipment may be wondering which, if any, of their existing gear will work with the portable version of GarageBand.

I decided to grab my trusty iPad, my iPad camera connection kit, and powered USB hub and plug in whatever I had around to see what would work.