Other posts related to mac-os-x

 | September 24, 2009 2:41 pm

More Stable, More Secure, More Settings and Supports Amazon S3

The first time that you attempt to do something, it’s pretty much a guarantee that it’s going to suck.  This doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing.  Shows like  America’s Funniest Home Videos and MXC have found dozens of way to cash in on the humiliation of their participants.  (And what better exemplifies pure suck than a golf ball to the groin?)

It, therefore, shouldn’t come as any surprise that creative pursuits are no exception to the general rule of suckiness.  After all, you have to overcome inexperience and ineptitude to produce anything.  The only way to ensure that a release doesn’t suck is to finish a first draft and revise heavily.  Which requires a great deal of work.

Yet … as interesting as that might be, this isn’t a post about the creative process.  It’s about Time Drive and I should probably admit that Time Drive 0.1 had a few … rough … edges.  Sure, it mostly worked, but it was new software and did too many strange things to declare anything other than a “work in progress.”  But Time Drive 0.1 was a first release and first releases suck.

Second releases, however, offer a chance to clean things up, refine the bleeding edge, and otherwise deliver the goods.  Maybe that’s why I’m so excited to announce the release of Time Drive 0.2.  This version of Time Drive is a great improvement over it’s predecessor.  So much so that Time Drive 0.2 is hereby dubbed the “More S” release: more stable, more secure, more settings, and Amazon S3 storage.

In the remainder of this post, I’ll attempt to justify such a silly name by taking a look at a few of those new features.

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 | August 14, 2009 11:19 am

Lifehacker induced change in web traffic.  Looks like move to exponential decay.It’s been an interesting couple of days.  I was rather honored to see that Lifehacker did a short highlight of Time Drive, which I thought was pretty cool.  It’s always been one of my goals to have something featured in Lifehacker or Gizmodo, and now I’m going to have to scratch that off the list of goals.  But that’s okay, I’ve got other things to fill the void.  Like … how exactly does one get invited to present at TED?

On another note … while I knew that I would see some kind of traffic bump due to the article in Lifehacker, I wasn’t necessarily prepared for the magnitude.  In mathematics, there is this thing called a step function.  It’s where you move from one value to another more or less instantaneously.  It looks like a step, hence the name.  Sure, It may not actually exist, since even very dramatic shifts still have a non vertical slope; but even so, the change in my traffic might as well be a step-function.  Between yesterday and today, I’ve had more visits to this site than I’ve had in much of the rest of the year combined.  I think that’s kind of cool, though it probably won’t last.

(This might be a good time to say that I am actually rather proud of my “lackluster” web traffic.  Though it might not necessarily be that impressive, it is, nevertheless, mine. I’ve worked hard for it, and I revel in the fact that some 40 to 50 people each day find the unorganized garbage of my mind intoxicating.  Some of them even come back!)

But as interesting as that might be, traffic stats is probably not why you’re here.  Good thing, since I’ve got announcements.

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 | June 9, 2009 9:58 pm

Mac OS X - Leopard - Disc At it’s World Wide Developer’s conference in June of 2006, Apple released a product that changed the way that a great many people think about backup: Time Machine.  While I cringe at the thought, I need to descend into the fawning adoration public relations speak that masquerades as critical coverage of Apple Products.  (Actually, forget that, here’s how Apple describes their backup system.)

Time machine is a breakthrough automatic backup that’s built right into Mac OS X.  It keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on your Mac – digital photos, music, movies, TV shows, and documents.  Now, if you ever have the need, you can easily go back in time to recover anything … Time Machine takes care of it … Automatically, in the the background.  You’ll never have to worry about backing up again.

General sarcasm and bitterness aside, Time Machine really is a spectacular piece of kit.  Sure, you can very successfully imitate a Time Machine experience using the tools within Windows Vista or Linux (or via third party tools such as Norton Ghost).  Even so, Time Machine is just just about the perfect combination of simple, powerful, and integrated.  And like most Apple products, when used within the Apple eco-system is  a lovely experience.

However, if you migrate too far out of the walled garden, Time Machine isn’t quite so nice to work with.  Actually, it can be a bit demanding and temperamental.  For example, it requires its own formatted hard drive or the ready availability of a specialized Apple router (called a TimeCapsule).  Alternatively, it can be a bit flaky; when I was backing up to a local hard drive, it would often quit with an indecipherable error.   Luckily, however, these limitations are pretty easy to overcome.  In this article, I will look briefly at how to setup Time Machine so that it works with a simple home server running Samba and Subversion.

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 | February 27, 2009 7:37 pm

MobileMe.jpg MobileMe (the email, contacts, calendars and file service from Apple) is something that seemingly everyone loves to hate.  It’s too expensive, doesn’t work right, and doesn’t really offer anything that you can’t find for free.  This winning combination of traits have lead to more than a few articles detailing how to sync, share and publish without handing even more money over to Apple.

Even with the plethora of articles explaining how to save time and money, however, it is possible to find happy users of Apple products.  Users which will “vigorously” share their “carefully considered” opinions.  One user from MacWorld raises the following (somewhat legitimate) points:

Are you the pot or the kettle?  First you say don’t expect the rest of us to have the same needs/wants, and then you make a blanket statement … [which] is full of assumptions that are not necessarily correct …

  1. “It’s way to expansive.”  If you only use web hosting, then maybe.  MobileMe is $8.25/month.  how much is hosting?  Does hosting give you automatic sync of photo galleries, contacts, ect.  How much is Flickr pro on top of regular web hosting.
  2. Alternatives are not that hard to find, set up or use.  Really?  It seems that not everyone knows of alternatives.  And then why did the commenter have to make suggestions and corrections?  It seems to me [that] it’s not as easy as you say.

This happy MobileMe user has essentially laid down a challenge.  He implicitly (and others explicitly) state that they are willing to pay good money for their time.  And in the same bravado common to members of the Cult of Cupertino, he almost dares someone to disagree with him.  Since this topic has become a bandwagon and I’ve decided to generally hop in its direction, I accept this challenge. You might even say that figuring out ways to avoid using Apple’s signature web service has become a bit of a hobby.

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