Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
Last week at WWDC Apple quickly announced HomeKit, the company's home automation framework for developers. Many folks have been asking if Apple is too late with this; if the market is already saturated such that there's no room for Apple (or any other new "platform"). It's possible that Apple is late to the party, but I will offer this: Apple is rarely first at anything, but Apple is often the best.
Our deal partners at StackSocial and friends at BackBlaze have teamed up to offer this killer deal. $25 for a full year of unlimited online backup is pretty darned hard to beat (tomorrow this deal expires and that price doubles back up to $50). I've used BackBlaze over the years and they truly are a Mac-first type of shop. Their Mac interface is a first-class, native Mac application and it works every time. Configuration is as easy or complex as you want it to be, and you'll be backing online up in no time. All of this, of course, is seated on top of BackBlaze's own, secure data center, and your data is encrypted in transit, too. If you don't already have BackBlaze, go grab this deal. $25 for one year isn't a price you'll get tomorrow for anything this good.
Bandojo, an iOS app from a team that includes Andrew Stone of Twittelator (and Videator, and Stone Design) fame, allows both musicians and non-musicians to explore and play music, regardless of experience. The software has over a dozen built-in soundscapes on top of which you can play one of a number of different solo instruments. You choose notes by simply tapping colored dots on a board that looks a little like a Twister mat. If you know solfege ("do, re, mi" etc) you can see what those intervals are, but the beauty is you don't have to know anything other than what you like to hear. As you find colors that sound good to your ear, you can use them in different places and at different spots (octaves, for those who care) along the board. You can even play notes simultaneously to make chords. Pretty much whatever you think, you can do. A few minutes with this is all it takes to completely grok it and you'll lose yourself and just be able to play. You can link up wirelessly with other Bandojo users and jam together or simply play on your own. A forthcoming Mac app will add even more collaboration options. Jam on!
Looking to learn or hone your skills to be a web developer? This bundle includes courses on becoming Amazon Web Services certified, using version control with GitHub, learning programming with Python, HTML5 fundamentals, PHP & MySQL classes, and more. There's even a MongoDB course in here! All this and more for just $49.
We've talked about how SSD pricing, as well as timing, has really put us in the Golden Age of Mac Upgrades, and this price on Crucial's 480GB M500 SSD is yet more proof of that. But you don't need proof, you need an SSD for that older Mac of yours, so go get this one. Why wait? I've got one in a 2007 iMac and it feels like a brand new Mac.
Today in our deals section you will find our latest Name Your Own Price Bundle. Inside the bundle are 8 great Mac apps (plus one defunct app that seems to have curiously risen from the ashes in a corporate switcheroo move... you can decide about that one!) and an iOS development course. Highlights include CrossOver 13 for Mac, RapidWeaver 5 and Snapheal Pro (one of my all-time favorites!). You literally can name your own price. ANY price you name (yes, any!) gets you two pre-selected apps and the iOS development course! But if you offer more than the average price you get all nine plus the dev course. At the time of this post that average price is just US$9.28, so act quickly and get yourself a heckuva deal. Or you can choose to pay more and put yourself on the leaderboard to get entered into a contest for an 11" MacBook Air. Several ways to win, and they're all cheaper the sooner you act!
Things went a-flutter starting on Thursday afternoon when Mac users began noticing their /Users and /Users/Shared folders went into hiding. Turns out this was a bug in iTunes 11.2 that Apple has now fixed with iTunes 11.2.1. Nothing more to see here. Move along.
We did some extensive testing and it turns out that hidden /Users folder has nothing to do with OS X 10.9.3. Your /Users and /Users/Shared folders will be hidden by OS X upon every reboot of your Mac if you have updated to iTunes 11.2 and have Find My Mac enabled. More about the testing after the jump.
Handbrake is an excellent tool that allows you to take a movie and convert/compress it into a Mac-and-iOS-playable movie file. It's free, and it works. If you also have VLC installed Handbrake will read DVDs and convert them directly. What many users don't realize, though, is that MakeMKV can be invoked on-the-fly to allow Handbrake to rip and convert/compress Blu-ray disks directly, too.
Cirque du Mac is a true expression of our community every year, and we're thrilled for the role we play here at TMO. But it doesn't happen with just us alone. It takes all of us – our whole community – and this year Wally Cherwinski and the folks who dedicated their time at the party to being behind the lens outdid themselves. Every single song the Macworld All-Star Band played has been meticulously mixed, edited, and published on YouTube, all in multi-camera goodness. It's pretty amazing what Wally and his crew did here. Great thanks to the camera work of Rally Barnard, Chuck Joiner, LeRoy Lees, Ewen Rankin, Steve Sheridan and, of course, Wally. Cirque this year truly would not have been possible without our sponsors: Antec Mobile Products, Drobo, MacKeeper, The Omni Group, Other World Computing and Project Wizards. You all rock. Below is one of my favorite moments of the night, the rest are all at Wally's Cirque du Mac XI YouTube Playlist.