Every once in a while, I'll come across a video or reference that puts into words an idea or a method I've been using to express myself all along but had never actually verbalized or identified. Two people I have identified as "teachers" in the art of presentation skills, Nancy Duarte and Garr Reynolds, have a great way of expressing techniques I've been using all along in a way that makes so much sense. Nancy gave a presentation at a TED conference about the art of story telling when giving a presentation which simultaneously helps you captivate your audience and tell a story.
A few weeks ago, Apple upgraded their current operating system (OS), Snow Leopard (10.6), to 10.6.8 in preparation for the release of their new OS, Lion (10.7). Lion will be released this month (quite possibly, tomorrow, July 14) and, although it's a great OS with lots of fantastic features, it's important that you understand the implications of moving to Lion.
First and foremost, Lion drops support for older applications that were written for the PowerPC family (the old G3, G4 and G5 computers). Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6) included a technology introduced in 2006 called "Rosetta" which allowed Intel-based Macs to run applications that were made for the older PowerPC computers. These applications include Microsoft Office 2004, Quicken 2007 (and earlier) and Adobe CS3 (and earlier) among others.
With Lion, Apple is no longer including the Rosetta layer that allows these PowerPC applications to work. In most cases, this shouldn't affect anyone that has upgraded to current versions of their everyday applications. For example, Microsoft Office 2011, Adobe CS5 and newer, FileMaker Pro 11, etc. should work fine with Lion (with some minor updates by the respective software vendors, no doubt). Note, although Microsoft Office 2008 is a Universal application that works on Intel computers, its installer is PowerPC only so it won't be able to be re-installed under Lion. Also, Quicken 2007 will NOT run on Lion. So, if you depend on Quicken for your personal accounting needs, you will need to look for alternatives. There are many such as the more limited Quicken Essentials, iBank, MoneyDance and more. Of course, all the iLife '11 (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD and Web) and iWork '09 (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) applications will work fine. A wonderful (but a bit incomplete) resource that lists some compatibility with OS X Lion is available at http://roaringapps.com/. This website will undoubtedly get updated quickly soon after Lion is released.
Our good friends at Take Control Books are constantly coming out with new books to help Mac and iPhone users make the most of their favorite toys. Fellow Macworld Expo alum Tonya Engst just published her iPad Basics book and this time, she's made it free for all! Run on over to the Take Control site and download the PDF.
While you're there, browse the other great new iPad books as well as all the other titles they've made available over the years.
Lots has been said lately of the lack of Flash on the iPad. This is nothing new as the iPhone hasn't been running Flash for the last three years. There is a lot of misunderstanding as to why Apple has not implemented Flash and Steve Jobs has posted an open letter explaining Apple's position. It's a very interesting read and it details six major points why Flash technology falls short and won't be on any Apple mobile device any time soon.
My FileMaker developer colleague, Hal Gumbert of Camp Software, has come up with a solution to something I've been meaning to do for a long time. The new Dragon System Dictation software for iPhone transcribes messages you dictate into your iPhone. You can then email those text passages to your self (or anyone). I also use the wonderful Things from Cultured Code, a great To Do/Project Management system for both iPhone & Mac OS X. Hal has developed an AppleScript and Mail work flow to email text that's transcribed on the phone to yourself and then have a Mail rule process it and trigger an AppleScript that then adds the transcribed text as a ToDo item to your Things "Today" list. Very cool!
Keeping up with Apple technologies is very important to maintaining a current level of understanding of how the new systems work and how to troubleshoot them. Apple offers several levels of certification for Mac OS X and Phil is one of the first consultants to achieve the Apple Certified Support Professional (for desktop support) and Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (for server support) certifications. In addition, Phil has also upgraded his Certified Trainer status for Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server.
As anticipated by the mainstream media, Apple released new versions of their MacBook, iMac and MacMini models today. The MacBook is still $999 and plastic but now sports a super-bright LED display and an internal (non-removeable) battery that lasts up to 7 hours under ideal conditions in their labs but if one gets 5 hours out of it, that would be great. Even more exciting is the new iMac which has been upgraded to 21" and 27" models, up to 16 GB of RAM, 2 TB hard drives, and a Nehalam Quadcore Intel i7 processor option on the high-end 27" model. In addition, the 27" model also has video input on the Mini Display port allowing the 27" display to be used as an external display for another computer such as a MacBook Pro. The MacMini has been upgraded with faster processors and a new option includes dual 500 GB hard drives (no optical drive) and Snow Leopard Server for only $999! This makes a great small business server! All desktop Macs now come with the new wireless Magic Mouse that uses multi-touch technology for its buttons and scrolling.
Scott Berkun has posted an open letter to all micromanagers. Just in case you are one and don't realize it, read about what your effectiveness as a micromanager does to your staff. Also read some of the other links at the end of the article that link to how to be a great manager.
AT&T is finally offering a device that connects to your Internet connection at home and extends their often spotty 3G coverage.....as long as you pay up for the privilege.
We've been working with various builds of Snow Leopard for over one year and have become quite familiar with it. Whether you want us to provide an audit of your comptuers for compatibility, provide help with installation and upgrades, build a Snow Leopard Server for you or teach you all about Mac OS X, we'd love to do it!
Feel free to schedule an appointment.