Tag Archives: apple

Apple’s new OS Yosemite

Dear Apple and the National Parks Service. I recently had a conversation about the new OSX called Yosemite with a fellow web developer Paul Clark.

PC: Because @10up is distributed, Yosemite is my office today. We’re hiring.   #php #css #js #WordPress pic.twitter.com/hrW0FoFVOr 

RD:  You weren’t looking for the OS were you?

PC:  Rode through without a windshield. Still working out the bugs.

RD:  I am just glad you didn’t crash exploring the new OS…

PC:  I was surprised it was on a drive. Thought they switched to cloud distribution.

RD:  But I bet it was a swift ride!

PC:  Now that you mention it, the Dashboard did say I was going pretty fast.

RD:  Was it a test drive? http://appleseed.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/ 

PC: All good things have to come to and end. I heard from my Notification Center.

You can read our conversation here… It was totally geeky on the fly and a little silly fun on a Wednesday Night

ps. No… neither of us work for Apple or the National Parks Service.

Steve Jobs Headshot from his memorial tribute on apple.com

RIP Steve Jobs

I was sad to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. Ever since I was three we have had a Apple Computer in our house.

From the Apple //+, Macintosh Plus, iMac, iBook and the MacBook Pro I am currently writing this post on, Steve certainly had a direct effect on most of my life and currently provides a conduit to my lively hood as a web designer / developer.

And while I know we will survive after his passing. I can’t imagine what our tech life would be without his influence.  I will certainly be wearing my black turtleneck tomorrow (I own three).

I recently listen to a NPR fresh air interview from 1996 while he was still the CEO of NEXT and PIXAR and well before the big comeback of Apple with Steve at the helm. He talked about how the mouse was brought to the Macintosh and the graphical interface that we all think is common place. I’ll leave you with this quote from the interview…

“Our goal was to bring a liberal arts perspective and a liberal arts audience to what had traditional been a very geeky technology and a very geeky audience.”
~ Steve Jobs speaking about the invention of the Macintosh

RIP STEVE JOBS 1955 – 2011

Apple.com Home Page on October 5, 2011
Will miss you Steve

This Time – he shot video

Etana and Robert during video, Photo by Laia Prats, used with permission
Etana and Robert, Photo by Laia Prats, used with permission

Robert Caplin is someone I have only met once, you might say we run in the same circles just in different end of the continent. I first talked Robert when we were both member of the sportsshooter.com. What I learn about Robert back then was when does something he does it right. Big big or go go home. . . Well Robert always goes big. Like the time Robert entered to win a Jack Gruber autographed monopod cover from the Salt Lake City Olympics. Robert set his lawn on fire to spell Jack’s name. Yes, he did get the monopod cover, but anyone who goes to that length for a monopod cover, must be dedicated to photography, Caplin is and it shows. He now lives in New York city after graduating school and having internships with LA Times and NY Times. I have always been impressed with his work. He is a gifted individual with telling a story through the lens of his camera.

Game changing

When the Canon 5D MKII,(the one that shoots 1080p video) was released, we all saw what could be done with this new hybrid of the digital age in  Vincent Laforet’s Reverie. But he had helicopters, car mounts, lights, and some resources that most people just don’t have. No doubt it is an impressive camera when put into the hands of some one who is truly a master of the craft. I though Vincent’s video was truly ground breaking and game changing. I though How hard it would be to put something like that together with limited equipments funds and budgets.

Home Video

Caplin came through to answer this question for me. He and his sister produced quite the amazing video with the same Canon 5D MKII camera. He writes in a story for sportsshooter.com that all he used was four people and a iPhone to produce this video.

The production of the video consisted of four people in total:
• Myself as ‘the cameraman’
• Etana, as ‘the talent’
• My Step-Mom as ‘the help’
• My Girlfriend Laia as ‘the producer’

Robert Caplin

He also shot the entire video in natural light, and some fast lenses (aperature f2.8 or faster) and used a reflector on just one shot. This is where the future of the industry is going where stills and video mashing up into a one solid visual artist.


Did I meantion that Etana is just a high school student who wrote this song herself and is only 15 years old? I also showed this video to a friend of mine who though this video was shot by a recording studio on location with a large crew. She did get the vocals recorded in the studio and  then added some musical accompaniment to help fill out the song, but truly it was just a family affair.

Now we all don’t have New York based awarding winning photographers as brothers, who can put us in a music video in Time Square, but  but don’t let that dismay you! Why I am showcasing this amazing video because I don’t believe it is out of reach of any photographer with a little dedication.

You can also video the behind the scenes footage of the video on how they used that iPhone too, and true to form Caplin makes an appearance at the end which captures him quite well I think!!!

Once you go Mac…

Cult of Mac
The Book Cult of Mac by Leander Kahney

I have always been an Apple fanatic, but see, it’s not my fault. I was thrust into the computer age at the very young age of five, I think.

My father is a school teacher and he purchased an Apple two-plus for the house. The next couple years were a vast experience of syntax errors and catalog commands. I had to learn simple programming terms if I wanted to play any videogames.

As I grew, I found a different company and another cult following of something even better: The Amiga 500. It was my only brush with another computer system and not a bright one, although it’s word processor and printer got me through college. It has some great games and awesome graphics, but my overall use for the power of this computer of that time was far lacking.

As I sought a career in photography and journalism I realized that I needed to get back to Mac, and through college I was introduced to the iMac.

I graduated college and moved to Yellowknife. It was their I picked up my first Mac from a friend for $500. It was a great steal and allowed me to work from home and connect to the Internet, it was also nice to see Steve Jobs back on board.

My Amiga 500
My Amiga 500

And while I did occasionally use a windows machine, I still loved my Mac and how it was so simple to use. I was blown away when a friend of mine had upgraded to OSX but I knew my iMac couldn’t handle it. So I had to wait for the new OS.

Go East and find thy Jaguar

I left the North with my iMac and moved to the Prairies of Manitoba where my new job had me on a G4. Although it had the processing power it was still classic. This was all the power anyone could ever need, right?

I noticed more friends were ditching their spyware riddled window machines for the new, sleek and cool iMac and something called the iPod. While I decided to leave full-time employment and freelance my new laptop went on a safari and found a Jaguar (OSX v10.2).

I decided to move back to Vancouver and it seemed that everyone had an iPod. My laptop was showing its age and the 10-gig hard drive was barely enough to process files of today’s digital life.
As I reached the 30-something and ventured into a new career as a web designer, I found that the Mac is not perfect for everything and Mac still had a lot of work to convince the masses. But the tide was turning, the stable Intel chip was part of the process.

While my need grew from a 12-inch iBook to a 17-inch MacBook Pro, I also love the new chip and new power. I am left with a few questions for my fellow Mac cult members.

My 17" Macbook Pro
My 17" Macbook Pro

I have always loved my Apple for being the little quite guy in the corner who knew all the answers, just very few paid attention or cared. But now that people are flocking to the Mac and Apple is also the undisputed king of digital music, will they still be that friendly little (well not so little) company who make great products, have great customer service and a loyal cult following?

If we don’t remember History are we doomed to repeat it?

I remember a coffee shop that used to have great customer service and a loyal cult following. Unfortunately, it thought it could monopolize the market and lower quality and no one would care. Well I’d say you take a look at the Starbucks share price and tell me different.

Also, what is the difference between Howard Schultz telling me how I like my coffee to Steve Jobs telling me how I want to use my computer? Well essentially, there isn’t. And how are computers and coffee related? They are both related to the Customer Experience.

While Apple is riding the wave of great usability and Apple stores are opening up world wide to huge crowds and fan fair, can Apple really keep its loyal fan base while appealing to the mass-market consumer? Starbucks is having to close stores, retrain staff and look to save its reputation with the customers it still has left.

In an article written in wired magazine.

How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong

Author Leander Kahney speaks about how Steve Jobs can rarely, if ever, give interviews. He never tells people when products are released, and released hardware and software locks down in propriety software and then people are told to sign a multi-year contract with one company or another. Yet Apple still wins over thousands of customers, which says something about how this one company is still doing everything right.

But if Shultz walked up and told me what coffee to buy or how to buy it and, oh yeah, sign this multi-year contract if you want to drink our coffee, I’d tell him to shove it.

So I will line up with the other members of this cult as that little company from Cupertino opens its latest Apple Store in Downtown Vancouver (Pacific Centre Mall, 701 West Georgia Street, Saturday May 21, 10:00am). I am still its biggest fan and avid user. But I only worry that if all the hype of a store opening and all the pomp and circumstance of a MacWorld will ever succeed the value of what is really important: the quality of the product.

Apple Podcasting Logo

Podcasting goes Mainstream

iTunes 4.9 now with podcasting
iTunes 4.9 now with podcasting

It really wasn’t until June 28, 2005, when Apple incorporated podcasting into their now hugely popular iTunes platform that mainstream use could begin. Numbers range widely on just how many iTunes users there were at that time, but roughly their were between 25 million and 100 million users of the popular player.

Hits on Podcast
Sept. 28, 04
Oct 1, 04
Oct 18, 04
Sept, 28, 05
March, 28, 08 114,000,000

Immediately after the release of iTunes 4.9, some podcasters saw a triple and quadruple subscription to their podcast. Finally users could automatically download podcast and sync them directly with their portable device.

Apple is certainly not the inventor the podcast nor do they produce much content in the way of podcasting. But what they do and do very well is a place where the normal joe can in one click pick podcast and be able to consume when you want how you want. All the back end is provided by the podcaster and apple is only providing the directory to find it.

A lesser used podcast icon
A lesser used podcast icon

iTunes is also not the only directory for podcasts but it is certainly one of the biggest and it is a huge selling point for Apple to have this free directory available on their store.

But many podcasters suffered from their own success after Apple delivered podcasting to the mainstream, the bandwidth needed to keep up with demand became an increasing problem for some podcasters.

Claims by many service providers that they had unlimited bandwidth were met with anger and frustration by the like of Tikibartv.com a humors podcast about friends and cocktails. It was at one point the number one podcast in the United States, but keeping that number one spot was met with a lot of frustration as Kevin Gamble writes about in the tiki forum.

Kevin Gamble plays Johnny Johnny on Tikibar TV
Kevin Gamble plays Johnny Johnny on Tikibar TV

“I gotta be honest, when we started hunting for bandwidth, all sorts of places looked good (and we tried a few cheap ones in desperation) and by the time we got to Libsyn, I was a little jaded – lots of sites say “UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH!” but then they have this fine print that usually says “note: unlimited bandwidth does not include files of any kind”. Or something. So when we found Libsyn, I was like “suuuure, unlimited. We’ll see how long THAT lasts”. Well, we’re still here, and Libsyn hasn’t pulled the plug yet. So that’s why I’m plugging THEM. Because they’re nice and they keep us streaming! So if you want to start that all important cat-podcast… or… catcast… check out Libsyn No, we’re not sponsored. They’re just really nice guys and if they go offline we’ll be real sad.”
~ Kevin Gamble, November 20, 2005 Plays “Johnny Johnny” Head Bartender at the Tikibar tv ~

Podshow Logo circa 2008
Podshow Logo circa 2008

The industry responded by the creation of podcasting networks, Adam Curry, now named the godfather of the podcast, started one in October 2004 called Podshow Inc. (rebranded to the name Mevio in 2008) In August 2005 Podshow Inc. was given 8.85 millions dollars in venture capital and with in 12 months Podshow Inc. had raised 15 million in venture capital. These numbers aren’t small potatoes anymore, but what Podshow Inc. and many others have done is allowed husband and wife podcast teams like Geekbrief.tv to operate out of their own home and provided with server and bandwidth issues along with selling advertising to the show and providing support for sponsors.

Geekbrief.tv is based in Dallas, Texas and is operated by Luria Petrucci (aka Cali Lewis)and her Husband Neal Campbell (they divorced in 2010)  out of their apartment. They use normal AT&T Broadband from home and work off MacPro’s in the home studio and the MacBook Pro on the road.

Luria Petrucci aka Cali Lewis
Luria Petrucci aka Cali Lewis

Cali Lewis is not her real name but both her and Neil thought they would have a problem with people remember and knowing Luria Petrucci. It is hard to know where Luria stops and Cali begins, but the podcast is created around a theme of the Cali Lewis presenting Geek Brief tips through the Geek Intelligence Agency, which is more or less the viewership of the show.

But that is really where the fantasy stops and the news broadcast begins; to be a show which bring happy shinny technology news to it 200,000 to 300,00 views four times a week for approximately 3 years which has developed into solid and creditable following around the world. The couples next project is to take their podcasting show on the road covering all 50 states (Don’t worry they are flying to Hawaii) in something called the big trip.

Part three will cover the cost of podcasting

The History of Podcasting

First generation ipod Released October 2001
First generation ipod October 2001

In the ever evolving world of digital media, podcasting is at the forefront of this current media revolution. People are consuming more and more information from the media on a daily basis, but most are missing their regularly scheduled program.

Yet, most are still able to watch their current shows, catch up on the latest tech news and serve up the best content then can through podcasting.

For those who don’t know what podcasting is, or where it got its name, well, you can thank Steve Jobs for some of that.

When he unveiled the iPod in October 23, 2001 it was heralded as an ultra portable device in a portable age; and the word iPod rolled off the tongue as easy as money flowed into apple coffers. It fit well into its strategy of iMac, iBook, brands. Podcasting borrowed from the name in that: one, it was portable and two, it was broadcasting or media. The name didn’t infringe on any trademarks owned by Apple and gave them free advertising.

Adam Curry
Adam Curry speaks at Gnomedex

Originally, podcasting was just in audio format and it was audio that had already been recorded and was now available for download on the internet. You had to, however, download each and every episode or file yourself and you were never really told when a new version of your favorite show was available. RSS feed syndication had been invented by Netscape in 1999 and was in use, podcasting, didn’t have widespread usage. Although podcasting now uses the RSS feed syndication thanks to Adam Curry who first made podcasting viable format of delivery.

But it was still difficult to get your podcast on your ipod. There were some applications (eg. iPodder was one, but is now named Juiced after a cease and desist letter from Apple over trademark license infringement) and most early adopters were tech savvy enough to make it work, but mainstream usage was still far away.

Part two will cover the ethics of podcasting