Monday, November 10, 2003
On recovery and a possible return
The latest John Dvorak column in PC Magazine has some interesting bits about Drivesavers, the people who specialize in recovering blown hard drives:
DriveSavers has fixed a lot of celebrity drives and apparently saved the bacon for The Simpsons by recovering the "Who Killed Mr. Burns?" episode, which was lost to a crash before it was finished and aired. What amuses me most about the company is that it has on staff a full-time grief counselor who used to do suicide prevention. Apparently, she is needed in a lot of situations, such as when the head of IT loses all the corporate data and essentially the entire company. Tough business.
Dvorak also goes on to speculate that Apple might return with a PDA or enter the Tablet PC market in January 2004.
Monday, August 18, 2003
Mac news bits interesting to me and maybe you
Now that I've got some time off from work (but not away from housework), I've been able to get back to some Mac system maintenance and installing apps I've bought such as the Apple iLife bundle. I've also been paying closer attention to the Mac news feeds in NetNewsWire and note the following:
- CNET News reports on an analyst comment that Photoshop 8 is probably just four months away from release. One of these years, a new release of Photoshop will enable distortion filters as a dynamic layer process, but probably not this year.
- Cinematize 1.0, a $49.95 utility for OS X, easily extracts arbitrary segments from DVDs and saves them as MPEG2 or QuickTime movie clips. Copyright issues notwithstanding, there have been so many times I've wanted to extract a clip from a DVD to use in a class lecture. This looks like a tidy solution that eliminates messing with complicated freeware utilities.
- Mail servers I've used in the past have relay restrictions limiting the number or size of outbound e-mails, so for the technically adept, a solution is to activate Sendmail, which is already installed in OS X. Sendmail Enabler greatly simplifies configuring the local Sendmail process on your laptop so that e-mail can originate directly from your computer without going through your ISP or corporate mail host.
- MacResQ is offering an install-it-yourself Superdrive for the Titanium PowerBook. I got my 867mhz a few months before the laptop Superdrives were offered, so this is a temptingand now more attainableupgrade at $299 (down from $499 elsewhere). With the PowerBook, iSight camera, firewire camcorder and built-in DVD writing capability, I feel like I should be close to cobbling together a light-duty usability testing station.
- Partiview, which is a free desktop data visualization application from The Hayden Planetarium and NCSA that lets you interactively fly through the Milky Way Galaxy, is finally available for Mac OS X. I've been recklessly flying through the galaxy on our Windows XP machine, and I can't wait to get this running on my PowerBook so I can take the show on the road. I'll have to report back on my progress as the installation for OS X didn't work right away, and I'm not sure why. For some more background, there's a good article at Wired on Partiview and the Virtual Universe project.
An era is ending at the Lee Household with the last tube-type Mac monitor leaving last week. We have one more 15" generic VGA monitor to get rid of, and then all our computing equipment will be flat panel. Turning to our tube-type TVs, I dream of one of these.