Ten years ago (yes, The MKX® is that old) I posted a side-by-side comparison of the original 1984 commercial and the updated twentieth anniversary version shown in 2004. It even made it to the venerable MacSurfer’s Headline News. Sadly, modern QuickTime doesn’t like that video, maybe it dropped whatever codec I used, or the file got corrupted, or something.
So today, for the thirtieth anniversary (!) I whipped out good ol’ QuickTime 7 to put it together again. Here’s the YouTube version:
And for those of you who’d like to download the QuickTime file with both videos embedded (you can play with each element in QuickTime 7 in the properties dialog for the movie), a link to the original MOV file. Download the file and open in QuickTime 7. The browser embed messes it up (go figure).
And last, this is my Twentieth Anniversary 1984 poster, given out after the keynote by Steve Jobs at MacWorld 2004.
Where is my Thirtieth Anniversary version, with the girl wearing an iPhone in an armband?
Last year I upgraded Shlomit’s MacBook Pro to an SSD. A few months ago I upgraded my MacBook Pro. The only little Mac left behind with its puny little spinning platters was my Mac mini. So I finally broke down and bought an SSD for it. This time it was a 250 GB Samsung 840.
Similar to the last times, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to transfer the contents of the original 2.5″ hard drive to the SSD. This took about three hours over USB 2. Slow but without a hitch.
But one thing would be different this time: turns out that when Apple ditched the DVD drive on the Mac mini, it left room for a second internal hard drive. So I can fit both the original drive and the SSD in the little box! Great. The problem: You need a special cable to do this. The solution: OWC ‘Data Doubler’ SSD/2.5″ Hard Drive installation Kit.
For $35 you get:
A little ribbon cable to connect the drive
Four cute screwdrivers: two were needed for the installation, two were not, and a third type that was needed did not come in the kit but thankfully I had it.
Four rubber bumper thingies.
A piece of green plastic they call “pry tool” and was actually super useful.
A U-shaped piece of bent metal, effectively used to move the computer’s motherboard out of the chassis.
A rip-off? Hardly, because they also bundled a very detailed manual with great photos and step by step instructions. Trust me, the booklet alone was worth the price. This was one tricky installation, they sure pack those little boxes tight.
The Mac mini 40% into the installation. These little boxes fit together like one of those impossible to put together wooden puzzles.
I’m happy to report that although it took a long time, the operation was a success. The computer is a lot faster now. Nobody should be forced to use magnetic hard drives anymore. Now all I need to do is decide how to best distribute all my stuff across the 5 (five!) hard drives connected to this machine. I want iPhoto to be fast, but my giant library won’t fit in the SSD. Questions, questions…
Anyone who is tech-savvy enough to read this blog has undoubtedly heard about the “Apple Maps debacle”. The press has written lots and lots about it – some justified, most over-simplified link bait, as follows:
Apple hates Google ‘cuz they copied the iPhone
Apple wants Google off the iPhone so it created its own Maps, got rid of Google Maps
Apple Maps suck.
The reality is, of course, much more complicated. Since their negotiations happen behind closed doors, all we can do is use what we know and speculate on the rest. My take follows.
For over a decade, Microsoft — the monopolist of its era — treated its customers on Macs as second-class. Its Office suite never achieved parity with its Windows sibling, even when the differences were not dictated by platform architectures. Whether it was document compatibility, font-metrics, macros, integration with other Microsoft software or myriad other gotchas, Mac versions were always lacking. Every new version of Office promised better compatibility but never really delivered it. Worse, Microsoft never quite integrated Apple-grown technologies into Office to better blend it into the Mac ecosystem, claiming it would break cross-platform compatibility with the Windows versions.
Sadly, this wasn’t an occasional inconvenience but a source of daily frustration for millions of paying customers, corporations and individuals alike. With business so dependent on Office, Microsoft’s message was loud and clear: if you want the real thing switch to Windows.
Sufficiently annoyed by all the trouble, some users did.
Most didn’t, and haven’t forgiven Microsoft ever since.
Therein lies a lesson for Google
I should not need to spell out the analogy they are making, but here it goes anyway:
“Google Maps is to iOS is what Microsoft Office is to Mac OS”
To be fair, Mac users resent Microsoft for more than that. After all, Microsoft ripped off Apple’s groundbreaking user interface whole-heartedly when they created MS Windows.
I debated long and hard whether to upgrade to the iPhone 5 or not. Three minutes later I decided to upgrade. I will attempt to write something coherent about it that is different from all the hundreds of reviews out there. If you want a review, Ars Technica is a good place to start.
The Samsung vs Apple trial opened today. Apple is accusing Samsung of “slavishly copying” its designs, specifically for the iPhone and the iPad.
Samsung is a gigantic company that can put together impressive high-technology products like almost no other company in the world. They build components (screens, chips) and they build end products. They should be admired for this.
But it’s obvious to me that there is a deeply ingrained culture of copying other companies’ successful designs and not respecting their intellectual property. They make the highest quality, most reputable KIRFs. The phone market is probably where this shows the most obvious. This is not new and is not just about Apple.
Does this phone remind you of any other phone? Perhaps one that was quite successful a just few years ago? If you can’t see how this phone is a close copy of Blackberry, then let me convince you: coincidentally, this phone was named “Blackjack“. Is that close enough?
Here’s a slightly older model. Its thin flip-phone form factor may remind you of a very popular phone made by Motorola in the mid-2000s: the RAZR. It could have been worse, of course… they could have called it Samsung BLDE. Instead Samsung kept all the vowels and called it Blade. To avoid confusion, of course.
And here is the Samsung Galaxy at the heart of the lawsuit, next to an iPhone. Even the background color of the phone app icon is the same! At least they did not call it sPhone or iSamsung. So… copy or gigantic coincidence?
There’s many more examples floating around the web: cables, packaging, their tablet. We’ll see how it develops. Samsung may get away with it because what they did is still legal as defined by the law. But nobody should pretend that there’s no copying going on.
Solid State Drives have been replacing Hard Disks on computers lately. Instead of storing data on a rotating magnetic disk, they store data in flash memory: basically silicon chips that keep data even when powered off. They are lighter, use less power, have no moving parts, and most importantly are way faster than hard disks. The problem is that, compared to their rotating counterparts, they are (still) more expensive.
Still, prices have dropped dramatically recently. Shlomit’s computer was feeling a little sluggish so I decided to give it a nice little upgrade.
Crucial M4 SSD
After waiting for a good price on DealMac for a few weeks, I bought a 256 GB Crucial M4 for $180, a very good deal at the time of this writing, to replace the stock 250 GB spinning disk.
The upgrade is reasonably simple, here are the steps:
Use Disk Utility (it comes with Mac OS X) to format the SSD.
Use Carbon Copy Cloner (donation-ware) to copy the contents of your old hard drive to the new one. This was straightforward and it even created a Recovery Partition on the SSD. But it took a long time: almost 3 hours.
Swap the hard drives. It’s easy, just follow the instructions posted on any of hundreds of YouTube videos. Like this one. But make sure you have the right tools, in my case a Philips #0 and a Torx #6 screwdrivers.
Turn on your Mac and be amazed at how fast it feels now.
Go into System Preferences and make sure you select the SSD as the Startup Disk. Otherwise every time you boot your computer, it’s going to spend ~30 seconds looking for the old drive.
Carbon Copy Cloner doing its thing.
MacBook in mid-transplant. Make sure you don’t misplace a screw.
Really, the speed difference is amazing. Everything is snappy. Opening programs like iPhoto or iTunes happens in less than a second.
If you have a computer that’s 1-2 years old and you want something much faster without buying a new machine, strongly consider upgrading to an SSD. You may have to sacrifice capacity but I think it’s worth it. Just put your pirate movie collection in an external hard drive and/or pay $25 to keep your music on iTunes Match.
If you are buying a new laptop, make sure you get one with an SSD. If it’s too expensive, get a slower processor instead to make up for the difference. You will be surprised at how most slow tasks are dramatically sped up by an SSD. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of a side by side comparison: