“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” -Steve Jobs.
My wife has been in need of a new laptop for a while now. Typically she’s delighted to get my old hand-me-downs when I upgrade. But this time around, she wanted something a little newer.
My one year old 13″ MacBook Pro was churning along just fine, so I wasn’t really thinking about upgrades for myself when she finally had enough and told me to get my butt to the Apple Store. She doesn’t need a powerful laptop, just plenty of storage for her music, photos and videos. I had a tough decision to make, because I’ve already been eye-balling a new 27″ iMac to replace my six year old MacPro sitting beneath my desk. I didn’t want to spend too much, but I do need a capable laptop for working on the go.
Enough of the background, what did I buy?
After reading a few forum discussions, playing with the demo units at the Apple Store, and three days of inner termoil, I decided to toss caution to the wind. I went with the 13″ MacBook Air, with the 1.7 GHz Core i5 processor, stock 4 GB of RAM, and the 128 GB SSD storage drive. My only question remaining to be answered was how would the Adobe Creative Suite perform on this lower-spec laptop? (more…)
A collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen, all focused on Mac OS X:
Steve: Who’s Going to Protect Us From Cheap and Mediocre Now?
Until the last sinew, the last synapse gives up, Steve Jobs will continue to influence the company he co-founded and later recreated. This article takes a look back at how Steve Jobs protected us from mediocre technology, and how Apple will continue to do so.
Things Mac OS X
While this web page has some outdated information, the list of Mac OS X resources is fairly extensive. The categories include browsers, FTP apps, databases, security, GUI and more. I love sites like this because I always seem to come across an app or a bit of information that I didn’t know about.
Shrine of Apple
If you’re an Apple fan (which I assume you are if you’re reading this), then you need to check out Shrine of Apple. It’s a new website that aims to photograph every Apple product ever made, right down to adapters and cables. They’ve got quite a collection already.
OS X Lion GUI PSD files
If you’re a developer, or just want to comp-up some OS X GUI elements, you can grab the fresh-out-of-the-oven Mac OS X Lion GUI Elements. You can grab Lion UI Kit here, or OS X Lion GUI Kit here. Thanks to OSXDaily for finding these layered Photoshop files.
Lion’s Mail Favorite bar
Of course you know your web browser has a favorite bar (bookmark bar), but did you know Mac OS X Lion’s Mail app has one that you can customize with your preferred mailboxes. As a bonus, you can use keyboard shortcuts to access them.
I quickly grew tired of reading about Steve Jobs retiring last week. Practically every tech-blog filled their front page with article after article covering it. There were a few that I found interesting, one of which is The Steve Jobs Formula and Why It Works, by Scott Fulton at ReadWriteWeb.
The article covers six key things that we can look to Apple, and Steve Jobs, for examples of how and why it works.
- Make it all one platform
- Make your mission a cause
- Make them look into your eyes
- Fight to the death, every time, all the time
- Surround yourself with smarter people, then own them like your children
- Let the world see you fall, then rise again
While the article is focused on Steve Jobs and what he’s done at Apple, when you read it you can see that it’s really a formula for successful business in general.
Of course, you’ll have the opportunity to read more about Steve Jobs, including more about his resignation this past week, in November when Steve Jobs (the biography) by Walter Isaacson is released.
When I think back on the entire length of my career, I find that it has been tied (for good or for bad) to Steve Jobs. From the Apple II, to the Mac, to NeXT, back to the Mac again, iPods, to my current iPhone, I’ve been using Steve Jobs’ devices and software virtually every day. It’s kind of weird to think about, really.
We all knew Steve Jobs would be retiring soon, and after the last keynote speech, most of us knew it was going to be much sooner than people thought; due to the obvious health issues. With Apple announcing Steve Jobs’ resignation today, I (like many of you) enter a new Apple era. Unlike the last time Steve left Apple, this time it’s in great hands and on top of the world. When you think about it, he really couldn’t have chosen a better time to retire as CEO of the company he founded.
I’m not going to repeat the hundreds of articles that popped up yesterday after the announcement. Instead I’ll just say this: Thanks, Steve. Thanks for the vision, courage and leadership. Thanks for making our lives easier, and better.
Their latest piece of link-bait is a piece titled “iPod. iPhone. iPad. Why Apple is Done Inventing New Devices.” This mind-numbingly long article (which I won’t even bother linking to) asserts that Apple will stop inventing new devices and focus on finding new ways to make money selling what they already have. For decades. Yeah, you read that right.
What bothers me about the article is not the 15 paragraphs of well-known Apple history that their target readership don’t need a lengthy reminder of, though that’s 50% of the mind-numbing part. No, it’s the idea that Apple has ever “invented” anything at all.
Maybe I have a definition of “invention” that differs from Cult of Morons. It’s this off idea of Apple inventing things that bothers me, and the assertion that Apple will simply sit back for the next decade and try to milk customers for more money using nothing but what they already offer, such as iOS, to do so.
To truly understand what Apple will do in the next decade, you can look back at Apple’s storied history to see that Apple takes existing problems and finds creative, appealing solutions for them that motivate people to buy. Constantly. (more…)
When Apple built their first store here in Phoenix, Arizona I was ecstatic. No longer would I be forced to order Apple-related products online, I could walk into a store and walk out with virtually anything I needed. The atmosphere was fantastic – with plenty of space to move around and try everything, the staff knowledgeable and helpful, and the Genius Bar was such a great resource.
Those days are gone. Probably forever.
The Apple Retail Store has lost virtually everything that made it great, mostly due to their own popularity and success. It’s truly unfortunate. (more…)
You’ve no doubt read a lot about OS X Lion, Apple’s next generation operating system for the Mac. The last few weeks have seen the tech media publishing gobs of information, but some of the new features in Lion aren’t getting the attention that some of the more popular features like Launchpad, the new Mail and Calendar apps, and iCloud are.
A few features that should be in the final release of Lion when it ships in July that you may not have read about include: (more…)
The core services provided by MobileMe have been put on death watch in the wake of iCloud’s release coming soon. While most people are excited about signing up for the free iCloud service, many of us have questions about the transition from MobileMe and older .Mac accounts – specifically as it relates to the use of our current Apple IDs.
While there are still questions as to how iCloud will work, and how we’ll integrate our current purchases using our old Apple IDs, Apple has at least answered some questions in a recently-released iCloud transition FAQ.