tablet plus time capsule add cloud


I have a lot of data around me that has taken forever to create and cannot be replaced. I’m specifically pointing to music, pictures, movies, code and other writing. these are relatively small files that I have amassed over the years. I’m me so I have that stuff backed up backed up because losing any of it would be a stupid tragic loss. but what about the other people. here are four profiles:

the camera takes lots of pictures and because memory cards are cheap, when one gets full another one gets purchased. somehow the older cards get lost, get spun in the wash or worse get accidently erased when it gets put into the wrong camera. thousands of memories are gone.

the video of the trip gets made on the Flip but it doesn’t get downloaded. we’ll get to that someday is invoked. meanwhile the kids are recording the fish in the tank. somebody gets the bright idea that a close up of them would make a great shot. ploop!

an iPhone gets used all the time but it never gets synced. it gets plugged into a Mac not normally used and the Erase and Sync button gets (accidently) clicked. everything is lost.

she’d been buying music on Amazon and iTunes for a long time. and she’d been ripping her CDs for even longer. one day, some how, it all disappeared.

I’ve helped people try to solve all of these problems and it’s apparent that it should be LOTS easier to do. the presence of a Time Capsule should be enough for a iPhone to sync to. but it’s even more essential with the presence of a tablet. you simply can’t collect all of your media in something that has limited amounts of “disk space.”

even 32 gig of storage is not enough to deal with the digital lifestyle problem. we have too many photos, movies and songs to keep track of. and all the rest that goes with the day to day like phone numbers (does anyone actually know all of your friends digits anymore?) and the future events that we need to monitor.

that means that the “central server” has to be a part of the a tablet strategy. and why not. keeping data in a central place in a way that makes it stable is a really good idea.

the current Time Capsule is not really a great product. especially one that is being sold in the name of BACKUP! it has a poor concept of individual, work group or family. it doesn’t know anything about iPhone. but worse is it’s a single spindle in a non-user serviceable case.

the thing that makes it a real disaster in the making is that a person cannot easily add on to it. you need a mac to manage it. there’s is not plug and play automatic way to make it bigger. and if we are going to embrace this “local cloud” it has to have a way to get bigger without thinking about managing it.

the part 2 of this is there has to be a way to get what’s on the Time Capsule to somewhere else. you know, just put your username and password into it then it starts flinging to the service formally known as dotMac. and it needs to fling all 500G of it to a remote place. the very idea that Time Capsule doesn’t automatically do this NOW means that Apple is kinda sorta lying about taking care of your data.

enter the tablet. as I said, iPods and iPhones run out of room. we put so many podcasts, movies, pictures and tunes there they are completely full. and some computers are also completely full so the l)users actually erases music and movies and picture because they are already (and assumed safely) on their iPod. the number of times I have recovered from iPod can be counted when the line is, “these are the ONLY pictures of my BABY” I have to cringe. what the what?! are you crazy?

yes. they are. people don’t see this as anything other than magic. period.

for the Tablet to succeed it needs a great backend that goes beyond one-button-backup. it just needs to happen. automagically.

part 2 of this is called “what about my devices” and will be posted sooner.

tablet thoughts


computers are still pretty complicated. there’s too much you have to know to make them go. pretty much nobody thinks of iPhone as a computer even though it’s one of the most complex things ever built. if you extend that thought to something bigger in size you open the world of “doing things” to other people that don’t want to or ever need to see a file system.

I think that it’s laughable that there is so much interest in marketing tablets. so far every single photo has shown “a web page” being displayed. and in my mind this is not a problem that needs to be solved. I have lots of things that can do that. so I’ve been giving lots of thought to things that I might want a tablet for.

• screen sharing. VNC turns out to be a killer app. being able to see a screen remote gives you some flexibility: check the status of a render during a meeting, controlling a recording, getting status on a server, etc. I don’t need a full machine for peering in.

• cooking. I’ve been cooking more and find that I’m using cookbooks less. but iPhone doesn’t get along with water, flour and bacon. it’d be nice to send my recipe(s) to a device so I can page while making pie. yeah, yeah, paper blah, blah. it’s about putting a tool where it needs to be in a way that makes it transparent to use.

• dashboard apps. for example. I’m completely dependent on NextBus to the point where I’m thinking about making a “picture frame” for the busses that I use. my Chumby does this, but just shows times. I really want the system map.

• time based displays. in the morning I have a different set of things I want to know compared to later in the day.

• media manager and editor. iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie.

• reader. you may not read but I do. and I’ve been reading lots of things lately because I’ve moved out of printed books and moved to ebooks. before you go bah, ebooks you need to read one. just one. and then you have an opinion. personally, book is book no matter where you read it.

next I thought about a tablet from a learning point of view. you know, the OLPC meme. I always thought that OLPC missed by being a tiny computer instead of a great learning tool. a Kindle or Sony eBook could be OLPC if it had software that pushed book beyond book. it could be everything from a learn to read tool to a math slate. just like when NeXT shipped in the day with a dictionary, thesaurus and the complete works of Shakespeare all of these things (and more) should be there ready for learning. courseware has always been a problem because the diversity of platform.

iTunesU has the potential to push education beyond the standard stand and deliver. lots of what is there is that kind of thing. but it doesn’t have to be. some things are constant. for example Julia Childs video still teaches how to cook. Richard Feynman still inspires. and Guy Kawasaki still makes a point. all kinds of teacher have done things that are as valid today as they were when they said them.

think about that stuff. that’s what is next OMHO.

thoughts on OS X 10.6. here kitty, kitty…

Im yur new OS

let’s say that production and projects are the focus of your day to day. they (the projects) either keep the doors open or they are moving you along to finishing a degree, or it’s just doing your job. if everything is moving smoothly without any issues why would you want to change that? well? because the the new shiny is sitting on your desk and you absolutely cannot contain yourself. I’m talking about how your Snow Leopard is on its way.

many developers in various forums are saying the the upgrade is just like any other upgrade that we’ve experienced with 10.5. that is painless. but upgrading hasn’t always been so painless. QuickTime upgrades have borked Final Cut Pro. ProTools wouldn’t run on 10.5 for what seemed like nearly forever. and other upgrades broke simple hardware devices providing video capture or hard drive controlling. while this is usually the exception it’s still begs your attention. as makers it’s never good to be without tools in working order. even if it is just for a short time.

remember time is money or the equivalent there of.

I know that I’m not going to throw caution to the wind this time. this, I know, is not going to stop lots of people from upgrading anyway. but are you ready for it? really ready? every time a new OS comes out I post the same warnings over the years they become less and less warnings because everyone is SOOOO excited nobody bothers to read them until after the fact when I say “told you so…”

back up. blah, blah, blah, you should be doing that already. you shouldn’t have to stop to make when you should already HAVE one. done. ready for the immediate. helping save the day. duh.

the number one rule is if you are in a project or production is you cannot upgrade until you are finished with your project. that means all the revisions are in the can and you got paid. “upgrade hosed our Macs” is the lamest thing you can ever say to a client. students are prone to go down the upgrade path only to get hosed by something unforeseen. keep in mind that “Mac is borked” sounds exactly like “my dog ate it.” when I was teaching the only excuse was “lab tech told me…” and then I’d go find the guy to get the other side of the story. if you really must upgrade just make sure your looming deadline is far enough away (days not hours) before you double click the kitty.

your critical tools? what are they. you need a list. then check to see if each vendor actually says “compatible with OS X 10.6.” if just one of your tools isn’t you can’t upgrade or you have to make plans for dealing with it’s continued use. I use Final Cut, Sound Track and After Effects enough that if any of them had issues I would wait to get this sorted. but ask yourself if you can’t live without XYZ for a few weeks and if that is worth it to you.

never ever never use a dot oh release in a production environment. as long as 10.6.1 isn’t a download I’m not letting any of the people I support move to the latest. there’s that “one guy” that HAS to have it, installs it without asking and damages the workflow. doesn’t matter if it’s PhotoShop NXT or the OS X. until am I pretty positive that all the tools around me work it’s simply not worth a $29 upgrade wrecking havoc.

test it on something you don’t care about FIRST. I happen to have a few idle MacBook and MacBook Pro around that make doing this really easy. first, I can easily swap the working drive for some other similarly sized drive and do the install there. or I might clone that working drive first so I can see what the interactions of what is already installed happens to be. this way I can see how Mail, the address book and all that other stuff you never think of as critical behaves. chances are it will just work and I’m over paranoid.

mind things that are really old. usually stuff that is really old just keeps working. but things like Palm device sync goes away this revision. I’m sure there is other stuff that won’t work anymore much the same way as Classic support with the intro of the Intel Macs. if you depend on something that is old make sure it continues to work. after you commit to the upgrade is not the time to check that.

an OS upgrade is always a good time to do some hardware house cleaning. this is the time that I check on the age of drives with the idea of consolidation and retirement. the completely full boot drive needs to be cloned to something modern and lots more huge. drives are cheap compared to what they were 5 years ago. plus they are also much, much more reliable. although you need to use a drive for roughly 7-10 days before you can trust it to run for the distance. if a drive is going to fail it will in the first few days of it spinning. after some time has past a drive is likely to not fail until the MTBF hours are reached. after that it could fail any time or just keep spinning.

finally, look at that list of features. what something on the list is something you simply must have. what is going to end your constant problem. for me with 10.5 it was “not hanging when a file share went away.” that was a H-U-G-E fix. I wish this applied to local drives as well. instead of producing a big RED warning it would be more kind when I pull out the USB memory drive. I started to use Spaces but found it was marginally better unless you really worked the work flow. Spaces was nothing like Expose from the time before. that was game changing. Final Cut doesn’t take advantage of any of the new CPU/GPU enhancements so there’s no reason to make a jump for those things. in fact what does make use of Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL? I can’t think of hearing about anything. this may be the sole reason to wait.

it’s the end of the OS line for the PowerPC. this isn’t to say that these Mac’s don’t have long lives to live. they just won’t be running anything bigger than 10.5. I’m sad about this but I’m not. the last PPC mac shipped in 2006 meaning that Apple has an obligation from a California point of view to offer support for a few more years. that means Security updates will continue for another 2 years. legally there is no life after 7 for technology.

and speaking of new-ish already old tech. lots of the early Intel Macs aren’t going to be able to EVER take advantage of new tech. the CoreDuo doesn’t do 64bit. and some MacBooks that have Core2Duo don’t have 64 bit support turned on. video cards (aka GPUs) are another sore subject. the list of what OpenCL supports is pretty short. now may be the time to flip that older Mac to somebody else and get into more modern. seriously YMMV. sigh.

bottom line, let the early adopters do all the bug hunting. oh, and don’t get in line for midnight.…w-leopard.html


Making a Dell 1320c Color Laser print with OS X 10.4 or 10.5

Dell has posted for real drivers for 10.4 and 10.5 for this printer. You can download them by clicking this link: 1320c Macintosh

This is now the OFFICIAL way to make this printer work. it may or may not fix the manual paper load problem that we’ve seen using the Fuji Xerox drivers. we have not tested these drivers with OS X 10.6. although the new printer architecture should find the printer and install the drivers automatically. If you do not want to use the Dell Drivers for whatever reason(?) the “hack method” below continues to work. 

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To talk to a networked Dell 1320c Color Laser Printer using OS X 10.4 follow these steps. We have not tested this printer using USB. The steps for OS X 10.5 are nearly the same. The difference is that you don’t have to download the driver from the website. 

Download the driver for the DocuPrint C525 from here:

Double click the icon to install after it downloads. When the install is finished you can delete the installer.

From the Apple menu open System Preferences and select Print & Fax.

Click the + to add a printer.

Select IP Printer.

Select for the Protocol: Line Printer Daemon – LPD

Type the IP address: or whatever it happens to be assigned on your network. You can print the printer settings page by pressing and holding the Continue button on the printer until the Ready/Data indicator blinks. It will print a report that has the IP address of your printer. After you know the IP address you can actually log into the printer from your web browser to change any settings. It is a good idea to make your printers IP address fixed. If you know what that means you should be able to figure out the how to log into the printer to change it. If you don’t you’re “computer guy” should be able to change it in about 5 minutes.

Name the printer “color laser” or whatever you’d like it to be.

For Print Using select: FX

Next select FX DocumPrint C525 A-AP v1.2 in the box below.

On the next screen you must select 250 Sheet Feeder as an option. Otherwise it will only manual feed.

Click Ok.

Print something.

NOTE: Paper Source is not automatically selected on this printer. It won’t print unless you set it. This is found in the printer options called Printer Features. The paper should menu should be set to Auto or 250 Sheet Feeder. Once you’ve made these settings save it as a Profile. Do a Save As… for the Printer Profile. So you don’t have to check this every time the set that Profile as the Default.

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Select Print Features from the menu.

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Select Tray 1 from the menu.

NOTE: There is NO way to set the main paper tray so it is remembered. You have to do it manually each time or make a Setting that you select before printing. See the screen shots above.