Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Why Every Creative Needs To Know a Little Unix

Wednesday, 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. (more…)

Final Cut Pro X – digesting the pandemic of outrage

Friday, 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.

Boxee : The Killer App For AppleTV

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Procrastinating earlier today, thumbing through the Twitter stream, I came across a link to Boxee. I clicked through to see what the deal was and was greeted with something I have personally been waiting for since AppleTV made it’s debut.

When Steve Jobs announced AppleTV at Macworld 2007 I was initially really excited. Finally a chance to watch the gazillions of podcasts on my 61″ Samsung HDTV from the comfort of my couch. I had Front Row already on my Mac, but had never used it because, well, my Mac is in my office and my TV is not. AppleTV promised the ‘lean back’ viewing experience for all the new media I had become partial to. Mainstream TV holds little interest for me outside of a couple of big shows (Lost, Heroes etc) and sporting events. I watch so much more internet content these days but being relegated to the discomfort of my office is a real turn-off, especially having been in that office for many hours already during the work day.