Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Migrating to the 27" iMac

I do not usually post information that is extremely timely in nature, but I cannot cover all of this in 140 characters in Twitter, so I figured a blog post was in order!

I am a Bootcamp user for running Windows on the Mac, and have been since day 1. The types of applications I want to use really do need the "whole" machine, and, although I have tried all of the virtual machine choices, Bootcamp is the best solution for me. I run things like Adobe Premiere Pro and other graphic and RAM-intensive apps, and do not need to move back and forth between the two operating systems. (I am a recent Mac convert but the left-side of my brain still controls how I work!)

I have been running Windows 7 Pro under Bootcamp since Win7 came out. Even though it was not officially supported, it worked fine. Of course, yesterday, Apple released Bootcamp 3.1 which provides official support for Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit) and the newer Apple peripherals under Windows. But I did not know that earlier yesterday.

However, yesterday was also the day I received my new 27" iMac. I used the Time Machine back-up to migrate everything from my 24" iMac with only a few minor glitches.
  • As suggested, I had de-authorized iTunes on the previous computer before I did the back-up. After migrating the back-up to the new machine, the new launch of iTunes complained it was corrupt and I needed to re-install. I did the re-install and did not have to do anything else. All music, movies, settings, etc. were still there and fine. I had a little trouble with Audible in iTunes, but, after authorizing a few audiobooks, all the others worked.
  • When I launched an Adobe CS3 app, it brought me to the registration screen and the key was already showing. I had to re-activate the suite. I hope it did not register another licensed copy.
  • When launching FileMaker Pro 9, I also received the activation screen with the product key already showing. However, the FileMaker activation server never accepted the activation. After a call to FileMaker, it seems as if they are activating in a different way now. I have to uninstall FMP, wait for them to send me a new product key, and reinstall the program. If you are a FileMaker user, make sure you can locate your install disks!
  • All of these were minor inconveniences. I then used the Bootcamp Assistant to partition the drive and installed Windows 7 on the iMac. I have done this lots of times before, without any problem. This time, there were times when the screen would go black and nothing would progress. I would whack the partition, and try again (and again) but it happened each time. I was lucky enough to find this page (don't ask me how) and I followed the 14-step process that helped this along for the 27" iMac and all is well. (Apparently, the same process should be followed for the 21.5" machines, too.) Lucky for me that all of these components were released on the day I was setting up the machine!
I have since upgraded all my Macs to Bootcamp 3.1 on the Windows 7 side of the machine so I can try out the new wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse. That will have to wait until I get home!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

ION niche products

I have recently acquired two Ion Audio products and have been very impressed with them.

The first, picked up on sale at my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond on sale for $45, is the Ion Profile Pro USB Turntable. I have been transferring lots of 33rpm albums into iTunes and the results are surprisingly good! The turntable also includes a line-in to attach another input peripheral if needed, the ability to transfer 45rmp records, and the connections to allow the turntable to act as part of a regular stereo component system.

The software is provided for the both Windows and the Apple OS, and differs in one aspect. The Windows version of the software creates new tracks during recording in-between songs. One has to baby-sit the Mac version and manually hit a button to create the tracks as the album is being recorded.

The results sound like real albums, with the hisses and scratches, but can easily be cleaned up in an audio-editing program if so desired. I have been recording on the Mac side, and the items run seamlessly into iTunes. So far, I have been recording "niche" albums that are not available for purchase on CD or digitally, such as my highly coveted Rutgers 1975-76 championship basketball season LP, "Run Rutgers, Run"! Am I a true audiophile? No. Do I want to transfer my albums while the technology is still around to do that? Yes. Do I want to finally get rid of some of them? Yes.

The second Ion Audio item I have recently acquired for my parents, is Ion's new version of the Film2SD scanner. I wanted an item that would be easy to use, did not necessarily require a computer in the mix, and produced a good image.

This item arrived yesterday and works like a charm! You simply load the appropriate carrier with four slides, a strip of negatives, or roll film, and manually slide the carrier into the device. You can then rotate or flip the image if you want, and press the button. In under 2 seconds, you can move on to the next one.

There is an SD card inserted in the back of the device, and the scans are saved there. The results from slides that were from the early 1950's (and had not been stored archivally) were great! In addition, even without rotating or flipping, one can easily fix that and any color or contrast concerns in the post-processing time on the computer.

This device can output its screen to a TV, which would allow the user to enjoy their slides as they are scanning (instead of huddling around the screen on the scanner as we were doing). The power cord is a USB-plug adapter, allowing the user to scan directly to a computer if so desired by using the USB cable alone. Here is a link to the user guide if you are interested.

Ion Audio seems to have a whole host of new products on the horizon-- they have announced a fullish-size keyboard that you place your iPhone into and can easily type, a musical keyboard that does the same thing, and a variety of film and print scanners. This may become another of my favorite companies!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Project 365

Being a latecomer to the Project365 meme of posting a photo a day, I decided yesterday to try it out this year. I figured I would use Flickr for hosting the photos and automatically send a quick tweet when I post a new one. As I started to do that today, the "email to flickr" with a copy to Twitter soon became a little problematic. I had to remember where to put what, and it just seemed like it was going to be too much work.

So, I decided to use my MobileMe Gallery feature. I have never used this before, and it seems to be easy enough! Steps thus far:

  1. Create a new gallery in MobileMe.
  2. Copy the RSS feed that is generated.
  3. Sign up for an RSS2Twitter account for auto-posting of the new item each day.
  4. Here is a screenshot of the things I typed in to try to get the hashtag for Twitter to show up, too.

We will see how it works out....

Follow up:

Well, it seems to work!