Monday, November 14, 2005

inPrint: Macworld (December 2005) 5/5

Another month, another great Macworld :-) .

I'm always amazed at how often the next Macworld seems to contain articles on the very issues I was considering that month. This month's issue contained a couple of these...

FireWire Hard Drives: It seems crazy but, even with the two 60GB hard drives in my desktop and the 100GB in my laptop, I still find myself in need of additional storage. This is especially an issue when doing video production, but is also important for back ups, a habit which I'm desperately trying to embrace with increased regularity. This article covers considerations such as: Connections (number and type of FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and/or USB 2.0 ports - BTW, FireWire 800 does not in practice perform twice as fast as FireWire 400 and buying a drive with a couple of different connections can be a good idea); Portability (heavier, cheaper, and more spacious desktop drives or lighter, more expensive, but less roomy portable drives); Storage (portable drives reviewed are 20-100GB, desktop ones are 160-400GB); and Back Up capability (included software, etc.). FYI, I'm looking at the Iomega Black Series triple Interface 250GB or the Other World Computing Mercury Elite-AL Pro. Other considerations include being able to boot OS X using a FireWire connection and getting a FireWire drive to match your Mac Mini. For those of us who want to install the bulky GarageBand on an external drive, Macworld points us to the free GarageBand Anywhere software by David Hodge.

Make Automator Work For You: I've been fooling around with Apple's built in Automator software recently, which allows you to create workflows/macros to run a multitude of tasks. This month's Macworld includes "Learn the Essentials", "Take a Trial Run", "Troubleshoot Your Workflows", "Automate Photoshop Chores", and "5 Workflows for Geeks" related to this subject. Automator is a really useful tool that I suspect most people don't make enough use of. A quick read through these articles should change all that in short order! ;-)

On top of what Macworld mystically knew I wanted to learn about, there were also some other great sections:

iChat Power Tips: I was disappointed with my lack of success at establishing multi-person video chats out of the box with iChat, but it sounds like there have been some improvements since it was originally launched. This article teaches you how to send text messages from iChat to mobile phones (just enter "+1<3 digit area code><7 digit number>" into the person's name field in File->New Chat With Person); how to receive messages in the same manner; how to set up your Mac to automatically accept chats so that you can remotely monitor through your iSight; how to stop chat mishaps; and a variety of other info.

Macworld's Gear Guide: My Christmas shopping list all in one place! :-) Actually, there are some great new toys in here for all us Macheads, so let me point out a few (all prices USD): the QX5 Computer Microscope ($80) hooks up to your Mac for viewing and control to see 10x, 60x, and 200x magnifications, timelapse movies, and more; Logitech's Z-5450 ($500) THX-certified 5.1 surround sound speaker system can get those of us with Mac's equipped to handle it the ultimate cinematic experience on our desktop; and, for the truly frivolous, why not pick up a dancing Hasbro I-Dog ($30) to boogie and blink to your music :-) .

Lots more goodness in this issue too (e.g. video iPod reviews), so check it out!
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11/14/2005 10:20:00 p.m.  


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