Posted in Rumors, tagged app store, apple, Hackintosh, iWork, Mac OS X Lion, Mac Pro, OSX, OSx86, Personal computer, USB flash drive on October 30, 2013 |
1 Comment »
While perusing more of the reviews of Apple’s new version of OSX and iWork, a thought occurred to me: with the omission of the optical drive and the emphasis on secure, vetted digital downloads of content Apple has managed to gain even more control of their product line. Case in point- in my time before my switch to all things Apple I enjoyed cobbling together my own PCs. It was a fun hobby that allowed me to both configure my desktop to the exact specs I wanted (or could afford, at the very least) and when the time came I could either make a new one financed by selling the old or cannibalize the acceptable parts from the old to offset the price of building the new.
While Apple has long held the business model of controlling their physical product line, there are a few brave and adventurous souls out there that have constructed their own desktop PCs to run OSX (dubbed Hackintoshes). Some want more power for less money, some want the ability to personalize their own version of the Mac Pro, and some just like to tinker. I’ve been tempted to make my own (and there are plenty of tutorials out there), but the realities of being a professional adult have kept me from having enough time and free money to try.
One factor that made the process easier was the fact that OSX disks aren’t DRM protected. If you have the disk, you can install it- unlike just about every viable version of Windows that requires a product key and verification from Microsoft to function. Even after the change to the App Store as the primary means of delivery of OSX Lion there were alternate means of procuring a copy of the install media (typically via a snazzy USB key). Now with Mavericks Apple has forgone all physical means of OSX installation; those that need to install OSX from scratch on a fresh hard drive will need to install an older version and upgrade from there. There are tutorials on how to create an install package on a USB thumb drive from an installed copy of Mavericks, but the procedure isn’t for newcomers.
While the tech savvy will likely be able to extract the installation package for some time, it’s not unfathomable to think that Apple may make garnering a physical copy of the installation package for their operating system almost impossible for DIY-ers to get their hot little hands on. While I prefer the real thing, the ability to tinker still appeals to me, and I’d be loathe to think that the Hackintosh (however impractical) has faded into history.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged apple, Arts, Computer file, delete, education, Free, helpful, Hosting, interesting, mac, OSX, Television, Third Watch, trash, Web Design and Development, YouTube on July 28, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
Found this YouTube video courtesy of Bits and Pieces. Enjoy!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Advice, tagged apple, desktop, hard drive, iMac, ipad, OSX, PC, portability, productivity on October 23, 2012 |
Leave a Comment »
Thanks to Apple’s recent hard drive recall I am, for the first time since my original (and at the time very cutting-edge) custom Windows 98 PC, effectively without a desktop computer in my household. The realization came over me on my way out of my local Apple retail store; the associate’s assurance that I’d have my iMac back in a short five to seven days slowly sinking in. Surely I can make do with what I have left in my computing arsenal, I thought.
My first fallback option was my media center Mac Mini. The early 2009 model is a fantastic media jukebox, but its integrated graphics and less than powerful 1.6 GHz processor meant I would have to do without one of computing life’s greatest pleasures- gaming. Casual gaming and the occasional round of Infinity Blade II can only get one so far before the craving for some real FPS fun becomes too difficult to ignore (especially since I finally succumbed to installing a Boot Camp partition so I could enjoy Black Mesa Source) . Still, one makes do with what one has, not with what one wants.
My decision to rely on the Media Center Mac Mini was ultimately thwarted by something unexpected- the viewing angle. My 54 inch Samsung is wall-mounted at a perfect height and angle for viewing video content; but as I shortly discovered it was far from optimal for tasks like browsing. While it was easy to adjust the font size to be readily legible on the larger screen, the fact that browsing meant sitting on the floor using the coffee table as a makeshift desk for my keyboard and trackpad; putting the screen at an uncomfortably higher position that it would be if I were using my iMac in my office. Using a lapdesk while sitting on the couch made it a bit better, but still suboptimal due to the lower than normal position of the keyboard and trackpad and greater distance of the TV/monitor. I realize these are the very model of First World problems, but it was enough to make me shift gears.
On to my trump card- my trusty iPad and Zagg keyboard case. It handles browsing like a champ, is perfect for casual video or streaming downloaded content from the Media Center via Plex or shared iTunes library, and offers some functionality like ebooks that the desktop isn’t intended for.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Zagg Folio case provides a reasonable approximation of the functionality of a laptop. The hardware keyboard is a must if you want to type more than a paragraph or two, and the Zagg version is a fine choice (although I do look forward to getting my hands on the Brydge keyboard that I’ve preordered).
There’s something to be said for actually sitting at a desk when it comes to being productive. While some advertisements show smiling beautiful people happily finishing that best selling novel or sale-clinching spreadsheet while at the beach or park, actually sequestering yourself in an office at a desk does seem to have at least a subliminal effect on actually getting something done. I tend to take my iPad with me most days, but get little other than media consumption done when I’m out and about. When sitting at my iMac the only distractions I have to fight off are the call of my Steam games, Fark.com, and drinking more port than is helpful (Facebook is always there, but it rarely takes up more than five minutes unless I’ve picked another fight over politics).
I’ve used the iOS WordPress app to write this post, and it’s worked well, although I’d be hesitant to use it as my primary means of posting. It’s far easier to use the iMac’s expansive screen to keep multiple apps running; Safari for both WordPress and research, Pandora or iTunes for audio inspiration, Messages for staying in contact via multiple platforms, and ready access to saved images or press releases in the Downloads folder. App switching has been made much easier thanks to the inclusion of multitask gestures in iOS, but it’s not quite the same experience as a full OS.
So far I’ve successfully fought off the temptation to do an early hardware upgrade. I’ve been seriously considering bypassing the iMac entirely for my next setup for the more mobile configuration of MacBook Pro plus Thunderbolt Display paired with my current bluetooth keyboard and trackpad; the idea of being able to have both the desktop experience and the ability to take my full home Mac setup with me is a fantastic idea. The MacBook’s ability to run in clamshell mode, tucked conveniently behind the Thunderbolt Display like a diminutive PC tower is enticing, but sadly prohibitively expensive at the moment.
So for now, my iPad is my sole conduit to my second life online. It’s not a bad option, but I’ll be more than happy to have my iMac returned and its Time Capsule backup restored.
Read Full Post »
MacRumors has reported that the latest rendition of the serial game Quake (first introduced to OSX in 2006) is coming to the Mac App Store at the lowered price of $19.99.
While I’ve confined my game buying to Steam, competition is always a good thing. The OSX App Store matches two of Steam’s advantages as a vendor- updates and fixes are automatically pushed out to clients, and new titles are at your fingertips providing immediate gratification. With the addition of an OSX-centered version of iOS’ Game Center Apple with be able to compete with the social aspect of Steam’s client as well.
Read Full Post »