computers macintosh technology wired culture

Tablet device coming early next year

True to form, Apple is keeping a tight lid on their Mac Tablet. But all rumors are pointing to a release early in 2010. The announcement of the device may come in September of this year at the point where new iPod products are announced. Other scuttle-butt indicates Verizon may be providing it’s Fourth Generation (4G) network for the new device so that it can stay connected to the Internet wherever Verizon cell phone towers are available. It will be interesting to see how the market might fracture between cell phone and tablet users. I would guess this whole project may turn into an Macintosh Cube experience where Jobs reach exceeded his grasp.

Tablet & iPhone
This is how big the 10" tablet might be

However, the past six months have reportedly seen the critical pieces fall into place. Jobs, who’s been overseeing the project from his home, office and hospital beds, has finally achieved that much-sought aura of satisfaction. He’s since cemented the device in the company’s 2010 roadmap, where it’s being positioned for a first quarter launch, according to people well-respected by AppleInsider for their striking accuracy in Apple’s internal affairs.

via AppleInsider | Apple’s much-anticipated tablet device coming early next year.

computers macintosh technology wired culture

Apple lineup: The Netbook is already here.

iPod Touch-the real Mac Netbook
iPod Touch-the real Mac Netbook

I’m beginning to think the iPod touch is not an end-of-life product that should be ignored. Oh, I did at one time due to the torrid pace at which Apple was releasing new iPhone products. Seemed like the old iPod was absolutlely superfluous. As the iPhone models increased their storage and speed, the iPod touch tagged along, but not too closely. Currently the iPod touch is consider a second generation device (2G) versus the iPhone in its 3G and now 3GS forms.

Like most of you who may not own an I phone, I have felt the pressure of seeing all my friends of Facebook buying iPhones and cross-posting from Twitter to Facebook via their iPhone. So caving into peer pressure, I’m considering buying an iPhone maybe in October when I reach the 3 year mark as a customer with AT&T. I have some things working in my favor though. I lucked out with being a Cingular customer before they combined with AT&T and before the exclusive distribution deal for the iPhone. But do I really need to buy an iPhone to get all the benefits of the App Store? Do I need to pay for the big hefty data plan?

Maybe not. Just this past week Mark Sigal @ O’Reillycom followed up all the rumors and speculation about Apple entering the netbook market with a Tablet PC. He claimed then Apple was already making a netbook and it was called the iPod touch:

But, perhaps the real story with respect to the forthcoming Apple Tablet Device is that Apple has already released a tablet computing device.

It’s called the iPod touch, and because it’s often overshadowed by its noisier sibling, the iPhone, we sometimes forget that it has already sold 15M+ units.

via: O’

Today J.P. Morgan is also saying, Apple is already in the netbook market. They have a device called the iPod touch.

The J.P. Morgan report views the iPod touch as Apple’s netbook, of sorts. At least, the analysis says, until Apple officially enters the netbook market – something the firm expects the Mac maker to do.

via AppleInsider | iPod touch seen as small but stealthy asset in Apple lineup.

Given the confidence level of reading these two articles I am more willing to consider an iPod touch. It seems like a more frugal choice without the burden of un-ending data plan fees. True the cost is not susidzied by AT&T, but that one time shot of money is about what I was willing to spend on a netbook anyways. So maybe an iPod touch is the better option if you want to save a little cash by not purchasing a huge data plan from AT&T.

computers macintosh

Backup Your Computer Hard Drive, right now

via: Virginia

A few weeks ago, my laptop suffered a fall onto linoleum that made its congenitally nervous hard drive more nervous even than usual. Fortunately, days later, the drive turned miraculously tranquil, efficient. Its anxieties disappeared, as if by magic. There was no freezing or whirring. I wrote some e-mail messages, surfed the Web and organized some photos before shutting things down.

There is no sadder admission by someone who considers themselves a competent IT Professional, than to say, “I resemble that.” I too suffered a Hard Drive mishap, caused by my own ignorance while upgrading my Mac from OS X 10.3 to OS X 10.4. The problem lay in an article I read on a Mac Enthusiast website that indicated there was a new user account migration utility built-in to the new installer on 10.4. So rather than run the Archive and Install option, which would leave the old operating system and all its files, I chose Erase and Install. Why? My mis-reading of the article on the enthusiast website led me to believe I could Erase and Install and then watch the User Migration Utility magically lauch itself. It would pull over my user folder and all the Applications installed on the machine originally. Leaving me with much less work to do once the OS was installed. Past experience proved that reinstalling all your old software takes forever, and I was trying to avoid that.

Joe Kissell
Taking Control of Mac OS X 10.4

via: TidBITS : Evaluating the Tiger Installation Process.

The key to this new way of thinking is Migration Assistant (the same tool that Apple provides to facilitate moving files from an old Mac to a new one). You don’t have to run this program separately; all its capabilities are integrated into Setup Assistant under the auspices of “File Transfer.”

So you can imagine to my horror as the erase and install was progressing, the Migration Assistant was not popping up asking me what I wanted to do. And by then it was too late. The Erasure was already wiping the drive or at least setting all the flags on all the files so that they appeared to be open, write-enabled sectors on the Hard Drive. And I didn’t have a full backup of the drive contents before the install. That was my biggest mistake, considering now I’m very familiar with disk cloning. I too have learned the hard lessons of self-inflicted hard drive mishaps. You should take heed of all these warnings too. Put down that iPhone, turn off that TV get on Amazon and buy yourself an external Hard drive and backup, backup, backup.

Data Robotics-DROBO
Data Robotics-DROBO
computers macintosh technology

Suspenders and a Belt: Tips for backin’ up your Mac

The Mac has Time Machine built right in
The Mac has Time Machine built right in

A co-worker has been working on a reporting tool to allow a Mac user to get reports from Time Machine whenever there’s a failure in the backup. Failure messages occasionally come up when Time Machine runs, but it never says what folder, what file or really what kind of failure occured. Which is not what you want if you are absolutely depending on the data being recoverable via Time Machine. It’s not bulletproof and it will lull you into complacency once you have it up and running. I tend to agree that a belt and suspenders approach is best. I’ve read countless articles saying Disk Clones are the best, and on the other side, Incremental Backups are most accurate (in terms of having the latest version of a file) and more efficient with disk space (no need to duplicate the system folder again right?) With the cost of Western Digital My Books dropping all the time, you could purchase two separate USB2 Lifebooks, use a disk cloning utility for one drive, Time Machine for the other. Then you would have a bullet proof backup scheme. One reader commented in this article that off-site backup is necessary as well, so include that as the third leg of your backup triad.

Since errors and failure can happen in any backup system, we recommend that if you have the available resources (namely, spare external hard drives) that you set up dual, independent backups, and, in doing so, take advantage of more than one way of backing up your system. This will prevent any errors in a backup system from propagating to subsequent backups.

One strongly recommended solution that we advocate is to have both a snapshot-based system such as Time Machine in addition to a bootable clone system as well using a software package such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. Doing this will ensure you can both boot and access your most recently changed files in the event of either data loss or hardware failure.

via MacFixIt