Posts tagged macbook

My Desktops

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Just something i’ve been wanting to share for some time now.

First up, Windows on a Core i7 with 6GB of RAM:ScreenshotWin

Next comes my beloved portable, an Aluminum MacBook:ScreenshotMac

And last a Sony VAIO TX i own since 2005 (Solo Core, 1 GB RAM):ScreenshotLin

Not included here is my Windows Server 2003. If i find any other computers laying around my house I might just refresh this article.

Time Machine and Apple Multi-Touchpads

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Without finding nor providing an excuse for my absence around here I think I have gathered enough things to talk about to fill a blog entry once again after some weeks of hard work on multiple school projects.

time-machine-logoYesterday I came to the realization that I don’t even have to buy any additional hardware in order to be able to use the Time Machine feature of my MacBook. Since I bought my Network Attached Storage I had a 500GB USB Storage laying around with nothing to do. At first I tried to modify Time Machine in order to be able to use it as a Network Storage although it isn’t a Time Capsule from Apple. After a variety of weird Error Messages (which seem to be one of the reasons why Apple only supports their own Time Capsules) I decided to connect it via USB.

It works like a charm. Time Machine backs up to this Storage hourly whenever it is connected while the MacBook is not on battery operation. It keeps those hourly backups for the last 24 hours and lowers them to daily updates for the last 7 days accordingly. Furthermore it keeps weekly updates of my files until there is no storage left. So to retrieve a lost file or file-state one opens a Finder (=Explorer) Window and directs it to where you once had your file the way you want it to have now. You launch Time Machine and it takes the Finder Window on a journey to the past. You specify the Date you want to go back to and the contents of the Window will change to what they have been like at that time.

So whenever my MacBook is connected to the Storage those backups will be made regularly and I can make those journeys to the past.

To switch to another topic, something I wanted to talk about in my Blog for a long time now is how satisfied I am with the way the new Multi-Touch Trackpads from Apple work.

new-macbook-trackpad

Since the introduction of the Multi-Touch concept by Apple with the iPhone this has proven to be a hit among customers looking for ways to interact with their hardware more intuitively. And it has proven my conviction wrong that touch-pads cannot be a tool for a serious workflow on a mobile computer.

With this Trackpad I do not feel the need of grabbing a hold of my Mouse on every occasion.

I do not feel hindered by technology when working with it. It has size and it doesn’t recognize the accidental touch as a click like many others do and it does not have a dedicated Click-Button since it itself is the button which you can press down on which I think is way more intuitive than having your own click-button when most people just want to click on the touchpad itself anyways.

Whenever someone uses it for the first time they stumble across the problem that clicking and holding down on the Trackpad while dragging a scrollbar across the screen can be rather annoying. What they do not know of course is that its primary intent isn’t that at all. Since it can receive multiple inputs you can for example right-click when clicking with two fingers or scroll while sliding across with two fingers. In supported applications the possibilities are even higher in number. You can pinch and zoom in iPhoto. You can use a 4-finger swipe to get to your desktop or to Exposé (a grid of all open windows). You can use 3 fingers to go through an iPhoto Album.

Of course every application can implement their own functionalities for these, which means that sooner or later there will be even more advantages for users of this Trackpad since they are now being built into every mobile Mac Apple ships.

So this entry has been very Apple-based but this should just go to show that although I believe to be very critical of what companies like Apple do these days (because I absolutely don’t think their philosophy is better than anyone else’s) I can’t help being astonished by their way of thinking once in a while.

Have a nice weekend

My Mac OS X Dock reviewed

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So after a weekend break and a stressful start into a new one I could finally think of a topic for another blog-entry. So here’s a list of Programs that reside in the Dock of my MacBook and some more i regularly depend on:

  • Finder – Who would’ve thought.
  • Firefox – It’s my browser of choice and a good one at that. I know my way around Internet Explorer/Safari and they both do not meet my expectations and the only other one worth mentioning in my eyes is Opera which i have also tried numerous times but it just doesn’t offer the same allaround solution.
  • Mail – With the ability to work with multiple Mail Accounts (IMAP of my university and Gmail in this case) intuitively it already provides everything I’m used to from Windows. Smart Folders, RSS functionality and Notes are just very useful additions to that.
  • iCal – After trying unsuccessfully to sync my Outlook-World (which is synced with my Mobile Phone) with the Apple-side of the pond i decided to just sync my Phone redundantly over Bluetooth with iSync as well until Nokia Ovi for Mac comes along. So I’m not satisfied by its syncability but very much by its usability.
  • iTunes – Another very guessable Application I use. The only alternative i tried so far is Songbird and although i liked it i didn’t see any reason to not stick with iTunes since I don’t listen to music on my MacBook too much anyway.
  • SimplifyMedia – So this is where my list might become interesting for some. For those who don’t know it. SimplifyMedia provides me with the ability to stream music from any of my computers that also have SimflifyMedia running on it. It integrates into iTunes (or Winamp for Windows) very neatly. Very recommendable application.
  • Picasa – Although it hasn’t been out for Macs for long yet I sure made up for lost time already. It’s the best Picture Manager I know of and none works better when you have your Collections in a network-folder.
  • Adium – Without a doubt the most advanced Instant Messaging client out there for Mac OS X. It’s got it all. It’s that simple.
  • Cyberduck – When it comes to foreign file-protocols like FTP, WebDAV and so on, I’ve always been satisfied with the way the Finder itself handles them but I still hold this app dear for its ease of use, should I ever need it.
  • Activity Monitor – Since I often want to know what’s happening inside my computer i could not live without some Application of this kind. Although it cannot even begin to keep up with Process Explorer for Windows it still features everything I need.

Other Applications I regularly use:

  • VMware Fusion – This Application sure has made it easier for me to use Windows on my MacBook from time to time. It’s so much simpler to be able to have Mac OS X and Windows running side by side when the performance penalty is almost not present at all.
  • InsomniaX – Sitting in the MenuBar this Application makes sure my MacBook doesn’t go to sleep when I close the lid of my MacBook. I don’t like that standard behavior.

Maybe some of you can profit from this blog-entry. The others might as well just wait for another one. I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

cheers

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