Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Vista Backgrounds

Vista (unlike it's predecessors) comes with an array of great Desktop Backgrounds. Hamad Darwish, the photographer responsible for many of them. He has posted photos from the Microsoft Photoshoot up on Flickr. Pretty cool.

All of the pictures on the site were taken in Oregon during a 10 to 12-day period. Darwish chose 15 images from over 6,000 RAW files from his Canon D20, and from those Microsoft would choose 5.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is now Available. Lightroom is a full featured application that allows photographers the ability to manage, adjust, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. Lightroom and Apples Aperture are the premier software titles for this right now, they blow any other RAW capture handler out of the water. O'Reilly has some good reviews including some comparisons between the two apps. For now it seems a matter of oppinion, however, strangely enough Lightroom seems to be the more intuative app.

Both of these applications will retail for $300 (Lightroom is $200 until the end of April). If that's a bit rich for your blood, there are other photo management and editing programs for the casual shutterbug. Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows and Mac, ACDSee Pro and the free Picasa from Google (which is good and couldn't be cheaper) just to name a few. Speaking of free it's getting more and more difficult for these companies to make worthwhile commercial products that can compete with the built in tools like Windows Photo Gallery and iPhoto.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Airport Extreme Reviewed

Macworld reviewed the new Airport Extreme Base Station. This product is long overdue, but understandably delayed due to the whole 802.11n standard fiasco.

This is a welcome product for Mac and Windows users alike. The printer and external hard drive sharing feature is awesome. I however do expect Apple to quietly upgrade this product before the end of the year due to the glaring lack of Gigabit Ethernet (what the heck) and the possibility of the ratified n standard.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Power of Multitouch

One of the most promising features of the new iPhone, at least long term, is probably the multitouch navigation. Jeff Han is one of the pioneers of this technology. He blew everyone away with his demo at TED, and his new company Perceptive Pixel will market this innovative technology to a large spectrum of companies.

This is an impressive new video of him giving a demo of some new interfaces.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

10 Windows Vista Myths

This article from Tech Republic addresses 10 myths about Windows Vista. There's been a lot of speculation and hate'n (FUD) going on. Some of the points are scetchy, but it's a good read if your not to familiar with Vista except through the media.

These areas are addressed:
  • Myth #1: You'll have to buy a new, high-end PC to run Vista
  • Myth #2: Vista will solve all your security problems
  • Myth #3: Vista is no more secure than XP SP2
  • Myth #4: The only thing new about Vista is the eye candy
  • Myth #5: You can't dual boot Vista with another operating system
  • Myth #6: Vista requires (or includes) Office 2007
  • Myth #7: Most old applications and peripherals won't work with Vista
  • Myth #8: You have to buy a Premium version of Vista if you have a dual core machine
  • Myth #9: You won't be able to play ripped music in Vista
  • Myth #10: Vista costs a lot more than XP

My additional points:

#1 - No you don't, but you should.

#7 - Not most, but many common titles have issues, such as: Adobe Creative Suite, iTunes, File Maker Pro, MS Money, Visual Studio, Real VNC, Thunderbird and many more. Although much of the compatibility of these products depends on the Third Parties themselves the simple fact is they have problems. And who's to blame for the Microsoft titles? If your printer doesn't work, get a new one, they're $80.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Disappointed in Mr. Gates

I don't dislike Bill Gates by any means, other than the sound of his voice. But here recently he's made some statements of an anti-apple nature, that if where true would be appreciated. I would like to see him retaliate to the likes of the Mac PC ads. However, a few things William has stated recently are just quite ridiculous.

First incident:
On CNN, O'Brien threw Bill Gates a curveball (That should have been expected and therefore not a curveball) when interviewing him about the debut of Windows Vista.

No, no, no. Actually, uh, the, we're ahead [slight pause] on a lot, uh, there's whole areas where we've innovated like Media Center and tablet, uh, that, uh, no one else is doing

Verrrry innovative, watching movies and listening to music on a computer. So if the computer is plugged into a television it's innovative? I like Media Center and it is without a doubt more advanced than Front Row (mainly because it has a DVR) and it was first. However if there where a reason "no one else is doing", "innovations" like Media Center and Tablet PC it may be because of their lack of revenue and popularity. But this was a valid response, he should have stopped there.

and the parental control, that's the first time that's been done.

I don't know what their growing up in Redmond, but Parental Controls debuted in Mac OS X Tiger in 2005. Lies.

Even in this photo area, you know, we'd love to have you compare how we've done, make it easy to make a DVD, edit high definition movies.

iPhoto, 2002. iDVD 2001, iMovie 1999 with HD editing added at the beginning of 2005.

You finally release something similar 2-5 years later and not only call it an innovation, but use it as a defense (read: admission of guilt) that you are mimicking your nemesis. You might as well have thrown the Zune in there, that's innovative right, something that no one else is doing. Bill your a smart dude, maybe you should prepare yourself for just such a question, which is more than valid by the way. Get your head out of your butt, and figure out what's going on.

I'm as tired of the whole Windows copies Mac thing as anyone, but you are the former CEO of a the biggest software manufacturer in the world, in a public forum. Have a good answer prepared for a common and reasonable alegation of the product your promoting. Here's an idea. Hire a guy (if you have enough money) who's sole job is to watch apple and tell you what their doing, just so you know. Just like the entire teams you have working on your software now, except instead of tying to emulate it he will tell you about it, because your obviously out of the loop. This may save you from any awkward situations in the future.

Second Incident:
In his interview with Bill Gates in Newsweek, Steven Levy pointed out that many of the new features in Windows Vista are similar to features already in Mac OS X.

Gates’ response:

I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise.

Fascinating indeed, I don't really know where to begin, but I'll keep this short. First, I think Gates actually believes Microsoft came up with these features first, Apple copied them, and Apple got them into their final product first because Microsoft was spending so much time improving Vista’s security. This is impossible and untrue. Second "Security guys don't break the Mac every single day", (and thanks for the refferences Bill) and if they do, why don't Hackers? I'm not saying Vista isn't more secure than OS X, I'm very willing to believe this and hopeful of it. But seriously, every day, but no real world exploits? ..."Your machine can be taken over totally"?...a month to take over Vista? It just sounds like the knee-jerk rantings of a kid who was just told his dad got beaten up by a girl.