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

Garageband.png

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.

10 Good Minutes on the iPhone 4 Prototype Case

Last week, the District Attorney in San Mateo County file charges against the two men who found and tried to sell the prototype iPhone 4 last year. Interestingly enough, the DA declined to charge Gizmodo or its parent company, Gawker Media, who purchased the prototype. We do 10 good minutes how what we think of the case and the decisions.

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

10 Good Minutes on Apple as the "World's Most Valuable Company"

Last week, Apple's stock market valuation closed, for the first time, higher than Exxon Mobil, making Apple the "World's Most Valuable Company". Does it matter? What does it mean? Your Mac Life's hosts and co-hosts discuss.

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

How to learn to use Gestures in Lion

Lion’s support for gestures—tapping and swiping fingers on a Multi-Touch trackpad—isn’t entirely new. OS X has supported gestures in some form for several years. Even so, many of us still haven't adopted gestures as a way of interacting with our Macs. Maybe we don't have the right Multi-Touch hardware. Or maybe the mouse-plus-keyboard interface is burned so deeply into our muscle memory, we've seen no reason to switch.

But if Lion is any measure, gestures are becoming an important part of OS X; someday, they might replace the mouse entirely. So Lion's launch is a perfect opportunity to make the switch—or, at minimum, to become conversant in this interactive language. And even if swiping and tapping on a trackpad is already familiar to you, you’ll still need to adjust to Lion’s new vocabulary. Here are some tips for doing both.

Sly's Website of the Week - August 10th, 2011

Richard Marx, yes THAT Richard Marx (minus the mullet), now pushing (no pun intended) colonics. :-)

Just how far can one b-list singer fall? Apparently, a helluva long way.

:-)

Hands on with Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

Apple this week released a free utility called Lion Recovery Disk Assistant that provides an easy method for creating an official Lion Recovery drive from any 1GB (or larger) USB hard drive or thumb drive. You can download Lion Recovery Disk Assistant from Apple’s Support site; it’s about 1MB in size. Apple provides some brief instructions for using this utility, but those instructions don't give you the whole story—while the utility is indeed simple to use, there's a lot more you should know about creating and using a recovery drive.

Back up Your iTunes Media Files

As time goes by, and our digital media collections grow, we need to ensure that we don’t lose the music and video files that we’ve spent our hard-earned dollars (or, in the case of ripping our own CDs and DVDs, considerable time) on. Music, videos, and audiobooks can add up until your iTunes library fills your hard disk and then some. In addition to storing the original files, you have to make sure you keep backups, because in many cases you can’t download such files again.

Archives for August 10th, 2011

This week's show "Apple's Value, iPhone Prototype Charges and Recycling!"

Apple's Value, iPhone Prototype Charges and Recycling!

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: Apple's Value, iPhone Prototype Charges and Recycling!

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.

10 Good Minutes on Macworld Expo

Last week, we interviewed Paul Kent, GM of Macworld Expo about the show's Call for Papers. On this segment of 10 Good Minutes, we talk about our Expo experiences and how we think the show can/will change.

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

10 Good Minutes on iCloud

Apple has finally told us a few more details on iCloud - in particular, some of the costs - and some web sites have posted further details, the boys of YML had some discussion of what we think of the pricing and how iCould will be used and is different from other services.

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