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!

Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

Built right into OS X Lion, Lion Recovery lets you repair disks or reinstall OS X Lion without the need for a physical disc.

The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant lets you create Lion Recovery on an external drive that has all of the same capabilities as the built-in Lion Recovery: reinstall Lion, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with

Lion Is a Quitter

In my view...the attempt to copy the iOS experience onto the desktop is inappropriate. Apple’s entire agenda here is misguided.

Moreover, there’s a larger question at stake: Who, precisely, is in charge? I think it should be me, but Lion disagrees — and not in this respect alone.

Archives for August 3rd, 2011

This week's show "iCloud, Macworld Expo and Throttling"

Manage your Money in Lion -- without Quicken

If you didn’t read the small print before you installed Lion you may have restarted your Mac to a bit of an unpleasant surprise. Rosetta, the invisible emulation environment that was a part of both Leopard and Snow Leopard and allowed you to run PowerPC applications, has gone the way of the dinosaur with Lion.

Unfortunately, this means that Quicken, Intuit’s deprecated but still ubiquitous personal finance management application, will no longer work on your Mac. How do you manage your personal finances if Quicken won’t work with Lion? Fortunately there are several alternatives to help you keep tabs on your cash flow.

iPad a Game-Changer. It’ll do to Tech what the iPhone did to Mobile

The PC and tech industry are undergoing a fundamental transformation that will leave it vastly smaller in the coming years. The game-changer is Apple with its iPad, iCloud and iPhone offerings.

Many called the iPhone a fad, including the CEOs of Nokia, RIMM & Palm. Today, these companies are barely surviving. Their employees are in disbelief as everything around them has been reduced to rumble in a span of three years, and continues to crumble. The iPad is doing the same thing. It is fundamentally altering the technology stack and its all downhill for the thousands of companies invested in the old PC and tech industry.

iCloud, Macworld Expo and Throttling

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: iCloud, Macworld Expo and Throttling

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.

How to convert Audio and Video Files for Free

Scenario: You’ve obtained an audio or video file that’s either in a format unsupported by the device you intend to play it on—an iOS device, traditional iPod, or your Mac, for example—or in a form that you’d prefer to not use (large AIFF or WAV audio files, for example).

There are scads of utilities you can use to convert media files (and some of them aren’t marketed by spammers), but what might you use when you want something converted quickly, without a lot of fuss and bother, and that costs nary a nickel? Try these on for size.

Ars reviews the mid-2011 MacBook Air

Pros:
Size and weight
Good screen
Excellent backlit keyboard
Long maximum battery life
CPU performance on par with last year's MacBook Pros
Thunderbolt port
Network recovery

Cons:
No Kensington slot
Network options are a bottleneck for local file transfers
Hard to get the best battery performance in real-world use
Software support for higher resolution display incomplete
iLife software tied to your account, can't be resold with the machine
Network recovery

Four Lion Terminal Hacks

Lion's great, but some of us prefer mucking with the behind-the-scenes stuff with our operating systems. We've found a variety of Terminal tricks that can tweak various Lion behaviors.

Apple’s iCloud Pricing vs. the Competition

Apple has announced pricing for its upcoming iCloud service. In typical Apple fashion, the company kept things simple. 5GB of online storage is free; 10GB is $20 a year; 20GB is $40 a year; 50GB is $100 a year.

So is Apple’s pricing a deal?

Interview with Paul Kent, GM of Macworld Expo

While Macworld Expo 2012 is still over six months away, Paul Kent, GM of Macworld Expo, and his team have already started working on the show.

To that end, last week they put out a Call for Papers and are asking all and sundry to come up with ideas on how to make this next Expo the best Expo.

I spoke to Paul about what he is looking for and what you can expect in six months in San Francisco.

You can Click here listen to the interview directly or even better, subscribe to Your Mac Life on the iTunes Store to have all of YML's interviews and shows delivered hot and fresh to your computer or iOS device.

Lab tests: Build-to-order Core i7 MacBook Airs

How fast is a MacBook Air when it's powered by an Intel Core i7 processor? Now that we've posted performance reports for the standard-configuration MacBook Airs, it was time to turn our attention to testing the optional, build-to-order (BTO) configurations of Apple’s latest line of ultra-portable computers.

OS X Lion: One week later

Apple’s new operating system, OS X Lion, has been out for a week, giving the Apple community some time to digest all the changes.

Lion is a dramatic departure from Snow Leopard, with a new, mobile-inspired user interface. Apple reportedly sold 1 million copies of the operating system, priced at $30, in the first day. Nearly all the new features were revealed from the moment Lion hit developers’ previews, so customers knew what they would be getting before they bought.

I can’t complain about the system’s features, speed or usability. It’s forward-looking, user-friendly and evolutionary. That said, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.

Safari 5.1

Pros:
OS X Lion integration
Improved Reader feature
Security and privacy improvements
Reading List feature for marking articles for later reading

Cons:
On some machines, the slowest JavaScript benchmark of any current browser
Occasional rendering glitches
Support for some cutting-edge features turned off by default
Not all features available to

Review: 13-inch MacBook Air

With OS X Lion pre-installed, the MacBook Air gives users Apple’s latest hardware, including some of the industries fastest technologies and the most modern operating system on the market today.

The 13-inch MacBook Air is the computer that all other laptops will be measured against. It has power, portability, and a sleek design that is only matched by other MacBooks.

Sly's Website of the Week - July 27th, 2011

The Owl and the Pussycat - The Sequel. ;-)

The Perfect Friendship

Enjoy!

~ Sly

Apple Mail 5.0

Pros:
New layout optimized for widescreen displays, Improved conversation display, Upgraded search capabilities, Better integration with webmail and Exchange accounts

Cons:
Most innovations already available in other programs

Archives for July 27th, 2011

This week's show "A week with Lion"

A Week with Lion, "Broken" eReader Apps

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: A week with Lion, "Broken" eReader Apps

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.

5 Best Streaming Music Services

Whether you prefer free streaming at your computer, paid streaming on the go, or the ability to host your own music in the cloud, there are more streaming music services coming online now than ever before.

Here's a look at five of the most popular ones.

Hackinations: 5 really Good Lion Tweaks

Lion. We love the OS. We hate a few tiny details.

Here are five extremely handy Lion tweaks that can improve your day-to-day use. Enable each by typing the supplied commands into Terminal.

Why there's no grown-up Quicken for OS X Lion

If you're on a Mac, you might think Intuit has abandoned you. There's Quicken 2007 for the Mac, but nothing serious after that. And if you upgraded to OS X Lion, Quicken 2007 will no longer work on your Mac.

It's the most infamous of the applications that have been left behind by the latest version of the Mac operating system, which no longer runs apps written for the PowerPC architecture, as Quicken 2007 was. What's worse, if you upgrade to Lion, you won't be able to extricate your data from Quicken at all, as no other app can read its proprietary format.

How did Intuit end up screwing over loyal Mac Quicken users so thoroughly?

10.7: Create Your Own Recovery HD

This hint shows how to create your own Recovery HD (Disc or Flash Drive).

Mac OS X Lion includes a hidden Recovery HD. This is a small partition about 650MB in size which you can boot from by pressing down Option at startup. It includes a variety of utilities which can help you troubleshoot a Mac.

It can be very handy to have a bootable copy of your own on some other media incase you need to troubleshoot a Mac with a bad drive, or something has happened to the recovery partition, unlikely but possible.

Change Mac OS X 10.7 Lion iCal and Address Book Skins - Easy Method

I am not a fan of the new leather title bar in iCal on Lion... what were they thinking? Now all we need is a wood-effect dashboard for our cars and rotary-dial iPhones...

I created new images files to go inside iCal.app and AddressBook.app to give them an aluminum look like previous versions of OS X.