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Talkin' Smack: The Viable Notebook, Phase 2 By Dave Nagel In the long-ago, far-away epoch before the advent of DV and FireWire, notebook computers were good for one thing: showing your friends and colleagues that you had enough money to afford one. Those of us wizened enough to remember all the way back to, say, the 1990s recall (as best we can in our senility) machines that could run little more than word processing programs, though many of us certainly did try to integrate them into our professional work. (Believe it or not, I was an editor putting out a weekly print magazine on a PowerBook Duo 210. It didn't last long ... the Duo, that is.) ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times By Kevin Schmitt Folks, I'm tanned, I'm rested, and I'm ready. (Translation: my usually butt-white Irish skin is a lovely late-summer pink, I've been lazy, and Dave Nagel was about to hand me my rear end on a shiny silver platter garnished with a lovely sprig of parsley if I didn't get him something to publish soon.) I hope everyone out there in Mac-land is doing about the same, because if this summer has been any indication, the next year or so should be a very interesting one for the professional end of the Mac market. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Obsolete My Eye By Dave Nagel There's a fallacious line of reasoning that says that the faster a machine is, the better. We've been witness, of late, to new benchmark studies showing that current-generation AMD and Intel chips are faster than the current-generation chips found in Macintosh computers in real-world software tests running After Effects and Photoshop, not just clock speed. And this has led some to conclude that Windows-based PCs are, therefore, better machines and that the Mac is now obsolete. Wrong. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Wait for It.... By Dave Nagel So did you hear the big news? Me neither. As far as I could tell, just about everything Steve Jobs talked about at this morning's keynote address at Macworld started with a lowercase "i"--from the new iMac and iPod to iTunes 3, iSync and iCal--and that's bad news for professional users. But I'm not going to come down hard on Apple this time around. Why? ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Acquire and Conquer By Dave Nagel If you were in any doubt about Apple's direction in the past, you can now be pretty certain now where things are heading. With the acquisition of Emagic yesterday, Apple made its plans completely clear for the Macintosh platform: total domination of the creative market. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Copyrighting the Future By Dave Nagel For most, the issue of intellectual property rights is just a distant abstraction, and probably a dry subject to boot. But for our industry, the issue is at the core of everything we do. It drives our value as content creators--whether in print, on the radio, in film and video or on the Web--and it affects the financial value of our work well after the work is created. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Copy That By Dave Nagel You may be aware that CDs encoded with Sony's key2audio copy protection scheme are designed not to work on computers and may even prevent you from ejecting the disc once it's inserted into your Mac. You might have also read of late that this super-duper CD copy protection scheme has been cracked by somebody using nothing more than a felt-tip pen to overwrite the copy protection data. What does this go to show? ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Dead & Buried By Dave Nagel Is Mac OS 9 dead? According to Steve Jobs, it is. At the Worldwide Developers Conference May 6, Jobs showed keynote attendees a Mac OS 9 box inside a coffin and proclaimed "the passing of OS 9." Feeling sad about it? I'm not. ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? By Kevin Schmitt 'Scuse me, but do you have the time? My watch reads about 11:55, and I'm not sure it's right. I could've sworn it's earlier than that. You see, Uncle Steve said that when the clock hits twelve the transition to Mac OS X would be complete, and my trusty Justice League of America wristwatch purchased back in the days when the '040 chip was about to give way to the PowerPC 601 is telling me that it's damn near twelve. Maybe my watch needs another battery, but, on the other hand, maybe it's actually correct. Maybe it is as close to twelve as it claims to be. Man, how time flies. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: ColdFusion on the Mac Desktop By Dave Nagel The Mac gods are not as forgiving as some of the other gods currently on the market. For a Mac journalist like me, one little slip can mean the difference between canonization among the great saints and martyrs of Macdom and expulsion from Machalla. And so it is not with a little trepidation that I offer you the following confession, one that, though slight, reveals the dark patch on my AltiVec core that I've been trying to hide lo these many years. ...Read More »
Bonus Smack: It's the Big One, Elizabeth By Dave Nagel Good gooblety goop! It's finally here--Photoshop 7.0 for Mac OS X ... and, uh, all those other operating systems as well. But who cares about those? With the release of the most ubiquitous creative application on any platform, Adobe has finally made Mac OS X a viable operating system for creative professionals. And that means everything else can kiss my shiny, graphite Mac! ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: Let The Macromedia Obsession Continueth By Kevin Schmitt I've only got 10 days left, and by the time you read this, it will probably be even less. I've been slowly, and with increasing sadness, watching the "days left" counter on my Flash MX trial version tick down from thirty. I'm at ten days and counting before I have to break out the old credit card and plunk down my hard-earned $199 for the upgrade from Flash 5. I'm not all that pleased about that, since the version 5 upgrade was fifty clams less back in the summer of 2000, but I feel I have no choice. That's because in the span of less than three weeks, I have come to completely love and depend on Flash MX. ...Read More »
Maya Enters 3D Volume Market By Paulo de Andrade Alias/Wavefront has reduced the price of Maya. Not just by a little bit, but significantly. Maya Complete, formerly priced at $7,500 will now sell for $1,999 and Maya Unlimited, which formerly sold for $16,000 will be priced at $6,999. The software remains the same and no features were removed in order to lower the prices. This means that Maya is now priced in the same category as traditional volume market 3D software such as Lightwave and MAX, which may very well be considered a landmark in the history of 3D graphics. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Broadband Madness By Dave Nagel By this point you all know me as a reasonable man, one not prone to outbursts of emotion or spurious logic. Perhaps you see me as a peacemaker, one whose aim is always to promote harmony and spread joy among users of technology in all of its forms. Or perhaps you see me as a cool stoic--a philosopher king who's unfazed by the world's troubles. But deep within my cool, slender, handsome exterior I am, fundamentally, just a man, one prone to the same perturbations of the mind as any of you. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: You So Crazy By Dave Nagel You know I love each and every one of you. However, as wonderful and physically attractive as you all are, you're also nuts. I reached this conclusion a very short time after publishing last week's Talkin' Smack column, in which I--or rather one of my many assistants who wrote that opinion for me--made a few negative comments about Apple's upgrade policy with regard to Mac OS X. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Think Exploitive By Dave Nagel Let's recap. First Apple releases OS X as a public beta, charging a "nominal" $30 shipping and handling fee. Then they release the full version, jacking up the normal price of their OS to $130 and offering those who purchased the beta a $30 "discount" on the cost of the full release version of OS X. Then they came out with a 10.1 upgrade and charged another "nominal" $30 shipping and handling fee for those who needed the update, which included literally everybody because OS X 10.0 was missing so many features. And now there's something new that's so infuriating I couldn't even believe it when I heard it. ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: Finally! By Kevin Schmitt It seems that only a mere couple of weeks after my somewhat controlled rant at Macromedia, something got done. The powers-that-be over there finally said, "You know, that Kevin is absolutely correct. Start the port of Flash over to OS X right now!" And here we are, less than one month later, and they're already done. All is forgiven! Praise be! ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Where Was I? By Dave Nagel So here's what happened. On the day of the announcement of Photoshop 7 for Mac OS X, I boldly proclaimed that I would be spending the next week covering every important, new aspect of the forthcoming release and analyzing what the announcement meant for us creative pros. It was, after all, the news every Mac designer had been waiting for, so why not give it the coverage it warranted? But little did I know that on the very day of the announcement I would be unceremoniously dragged to the hospital, have my gall bladder ripped out and spend the next seven to 10 days strung out on high dosages of FDA-approved opiates. So much for timely coverage of the most important news for OS X since OS X itself. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: License To Stream By Dave Nagel We've heard a lot in the last months about the glories of MPEG-4, the technology that may or may not emerge as the all-encompassing format for streaming video. Real has announced its general willingness to adopt the technology. Apple, of course, wants to make it synonymous with QuickTime. Microsoft ... well, who knows what Microsoft will do about it? Regardless, it looks like MPEG-4 could conceivably bridge the proprietary media formats out there to make life easy on end users and provide developers with a high-quality, low-bandwidth format for delivering their content. ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: What Have You Done for Me Lately? By Kevin Schmitt Here I was, thinking I was all clever with the original title of this week's column, which was "Let's Put The Mac Back In Macromedia." While I was sitting around, patting myself on the back, some other columnist at some other site put my title out of play by naming his piece something oddly similar. While I had to come up with a new title, the content of my thoughts remain the same, and it boils down to the following: I've been more than a little peeved at Macromedia for a while now. ...Read More »
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