February 6th, 2013
The Mac OS has developed into a truly powerful and stable operating system. Long gone are the day of System 7 Type 11 errors that would bring your machine (and your productivity) to a grinding halt. And yet, all that power has not come at the expense of usability. Apple have done an outstanding job of shielding the end user from all of the UNIX, Apache and other hard-core technologies Mac OSX is built upon. Apple have always been known for wrapping their products in an attractive Graphical User Interface (GUI) thus allowing even the most digitally retarded end user to jump in without feeling overwhelmed.
Creative types long ago adopted the Mac as their platform of choice because it allowed them to create without having to learn any type of scripting, command-prompting or back-door hackery. We gladly traded off those ‘Ultimate Power User’ features that fans of Windows and Linux would gloat over. No, Mac users have been content to just turn on the box and get to work, joyfully ignorant of such shenanigans.
However, there are times when the raw power sitting beneath the sheen of a user-friendly GUI needs to be accessed directly. Sometimes the shiny user-friendly GUI gets in the way just a little too much. Fortunately, Apple have provided several windows (no pun intended) into the machine room of Mac OSX, where one can tinker with the cogs and pulleys that make The Big Cat roar. The easiest and most obvious way into the land of UNIX is via the Terminal, found in every Mac OSX Utilities folder (Cmd-Shift-U from the Finder). The Terminal is an application that lets the user open a ‘shell‘ to run UNIX command line instructions and gain greater access than a normal admin account can.
I’ve dabbled in UNIX commands in the Terminal a little. Listening to the Mac Geek Gab piqued my interest and I taught myself a few minor tricks. Nothing too fancy. This week I found myself depending on Terminal to save my bacon, because the ‘nuke and pave’ I performed last week left my MacPro in a state of Permissions meltdown. Actually, it was the Migration Assistant pulling my User data back that made a mess of things. Luckily I found a few really useful tools to force my belligerent machine to behave again. Read the rest of this entry »
January 28th, 2013
There was a time, not too long ago, when software that was more than two years old was NOT considered obsolete. Over the last decade, as update cycles have gotten shorter and shorter, software publishers have become increasingly anxious to drop legacy software from their support programs. I’ve had numerous battles with software companies lately over various issues that needed (in my opinion) some minor attention; retrieval of a serial number or a challenge/response code for example. Unfortunately I found that these companies (Steinberg, GRM, Waves to name a few) were completely unwilling, and in their opinion unable, to offer any assistance.
My problem it seems was that I was using software that was up to five years old. My reasons for keeping the digital status quo on my workstation are not unreasonable, either. To the software publishers though, I have outstayed my welcome and am now invited to sod off on my merry way unless I want to part some of my hard-earned yet scarce Nelson Eddie’s.
As I said, I have my reasons for resisting the upgrade urge. The last major upgrade I did was to migrate from Mac OSX Leopard to Snow Leopard, and this was one of the most brutally painful and disruptive upgrades I have performed. Not since the move from OS9 to OSX did an operating system cause so much havoc and disharmony to my Applications folder and my workflow. That’s another story, suffice to say it took many months to get my workstation back to peak operation. With this in mind, I’ve been reluctant go through another upheaval, so it has been a decision to stay pat. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Read the rest of this entry »
August 2nd, 2011
I built and launched a blog and podcast I have branded Lean Angles. It covers the world of motorcycles, specifically sportbikes and road racing. This is a project I have been planning and working on over the past 18 months, spending any spare moments of down time finding and modifying a WordPress template, designing the logo, defining the brand identity and generating content for the site. Here is the design and a couple of the options I came up with.
The finished blog can be found at Lean-Angles.com
branding, media, web design, blog, design
June 28th, 2011
I have been building a blog and podcast I have branded Lean Angles. Aiming to launch the site in June (which is rapidly fading) I had to get a branded pre-launch landing page up so I could begin to generate some buzz around it. Here is the design and the options I came up with. It uses all my own photography so rights are not an issue.
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June 24th, 2011
In case you missed it (which is hard to believe considering the noise on the internet) Apple released the long awaited successor to their professional video editing suite Final Cut Pro Studio this week. Final Cut Pro X was announced at NAB back in April to an eager user-base, and despite only seeing a few screenshots and an hour long demo of the top level features, expectation was colossal. It is now available in the App Store for the paltry sum of $299.
Final Cut Pro X has a bold new User Interface
After NAB everyone interested in FCPx had a pretty good understanding of these top level features; the magnetic timeline, the one-click colour correction, the background rendering and ingest, the Auditioning feature, the multi-format timeline and the Precision Editor for trimming clips. And of course the drastically renovated User Interface built around a solid metadata foundation. This was not your father’s FCP.
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