When it comes to accessories and jewelry on men, I’m a less-is-more kind of a guy. In a land of sartorial screamers desperate to be noticed for something… anything… I think understated is underrated. For me, the understated beat is doubly true when it comes to tech-related accessories. Continue reading
I’m at a crossroads with my hardware. As of this writing, I have a Mac Pro, a MacBook Pro, an iPad and an iPhone. I want to slim down. As a content creator who works with a great deal of photos, video and audio, I need something powerful. I was thinking of paring down to a suped-up new MacBook Pro (which is rumored to have a retina display) and an iPad, wirelessly accessing most of my files and media through hard drives connected to my secure home network. Then I saw Brydge.
One of the things that makes Apple products so appealing is their simple, graceful, minimal design. My problem with most iPad and iPhone add-ons is like the problem I have with new cars: they take something simple and sexy and strip it of all traces of the original elegance that made it appealing in the first place, creating a bloated beast that fell out of the fat and ugly tree, hitting every branch on the way down. Clunky and unrefined, with no trace of its original ingenious simplicity.
Brydge is different. Made of actual aluminum (instead of aluminum-painted plastic), it looks like a natural extension of the iPad. Almost as if Dieter Rams and Sir Jonny Ive designed it themselves in their spare time, it exploits Apple’s brilliant design aesthetic – an aesthetic of elegance, purity and simplicity that other manufacturers can never seem to touch. It looks undesigned, perfectly and seamlessly incidental, as if it couldn’t logically be designed any other way.
If I had this smart contraption for my iPad, it would essentially give me two laptop-esque situations. When I’m thinking now is to go for a new iMac (when the new ones come out) and use Brydge for the iPad, enabling me to do the design and multimedia work I need to do on the big iMac screen, and take advantage of the versatility and superlative portability of the iPad with Brydge.
I’m still undecided, but I’m pretty sure Brydge will be part of a leaner and meaner system here at GH HQ. For more on Brydge, check out the designers’ page on Kickstarter, which gives a full breakdown of Brydge’s impressive features.
In terms of where tech and internet is headed, this is easily one of the most relevant fifteen minutes of video I’ve stumbled upon. Tech investor Roger McNamee eloquently outlines six changes that are transforming the way we consume and create content, which will have us interacting with the internet in completely different ways ten years from now.
My favorite bullet point? “Windows is dying…”
Mr. McNamee is the co-founder of a technology investment firm called Elevation Partners, plays bass and guitar in his band Moonalice, and is the author of The New Normal, published in 2004 by Portfolio/Penguin Books.
Back in 2004, Steve Jobs asked writer Walter Isaacson to write a biography on him. Isaacson was given unprecedented access to Jobs, who encouraged the author to talk to both friends and foes, and to cover both the good and the bad. The book, titled “Steve Jobs,” was published by Simon & Schuster and released on Monday (October 24).
CBS’s 60 Minutes devoted last Sunday’s entire show to Jobs and his biographer. Below are excerpts from the show.
You’ve heard about it. It may have even happened to you. Your hard drive crashed and you lost all of your data, including your iTunes library and your photos. And there’s my favorite – the frantic messages from people via email or Facebook who lost their phone and, hence, their contacts:
I left my phone in a cab and I lost all my contacts. PLEASE email me or send me a private message on Facebook with your phone number, even if you think I already have it!!!
There are several solutions to preventing said tragedies, but this post details what I do to securely cover my ass with contacts, calendars and data on my desktop Mac Pro, my MacBook Pro and my iPhone.
Time Machine is a basic must-have for any Mac user. It is a Mac OS X application that uses a dedicated external storage drive to continually back up the entire computer: photos, music, video, documents, applications… everything.
The initial Time Machine backup can take many hours or even days, depending on the amount of stuff on the computer. (My laptop’s initial backup took place overnight, and my desktop took a day or so.) After the initial backup, Time Machine automatically backs up any changes to the entire system of each machine every hour.
The folks at Apple recommend that the backup storage drive I use for Time Machine have twice the capacity of the amount of data being backed up. Attached to my AirPort wireless router, I have a dedicated 1 TB (terabyte) Time Machine backup drive backing up my MacBook Pro wirelessly. I have a 2 TB Time Machine backup drive attached to my Mac Pro desktop computer.
Time Machine has the added benefit of virtually enabling me to “go back in time” if I ever accidentally delete a file that I didn’t mean to trash. It stores time-stamped versions of files stored over however much time the backup drive can afford to preserve. So if I make changes to a document, but then realize I want the version I had two days ago, Time Machine has me covered.
For my purposes, Time Machine is almost perfect. Its fatal flaw is that I’m still screwed if my apartment has a fire or theft. For that, I have Backblaze…
Backblaze is a “cloud” backup service that continuously and securely backs up everything except the operating system, applications, or temporary files. I’m not worried about the operating system or the applications, since I purchased legitimate licensed copies of all of my software, all recoverable from the provider.
Like Time Machine, the initial backups can take quite a bit of time. But since the backups are happening over the internet, the initial backup with Backblaze takes much longer. The initial backup of my laptop took two weeks. The backup of my desktop computer, which has over 1 TB of stuff on it, is still in progress. The Backblaze control panel in System Preferences enables me to adjust the “throttle” of the backup, i.e. the amount of bandwidth and speed being used by the backup, or leave it on “Automatic Throttle.” When I’m working, I can manually turn the throttle down or leave it on automatic.
The backups are encrypted and securely sent over an encrypted connection. All of this happens continuously in the background while I work. No thinking is required. When I make a change, Backblaze records it and backs it up, similar to Time Machine (but without backing up the applications or the operating system).
If I ever need to recover my data due to a system crash, theft, fire, whatever, Backblaze will provide me with my backup of my stuff in a storage drive or DVD.
Backblaze offers unlimited backup for $5.00/month. I purchased a package of two years of unlimited backup storage for both of my computers for $200.00. I’m a happy customer.
Apple’s iCloud is an automatic and pretty effortless service that comes free with iOS 5. It syncs and maintains identical copies of my contacts and calendars on my laptop, desktop, iPhone, iPad and online. When I add a new contact to my Address Book or add a new appointment in my iCal in my iPhone, the update is pushed to iCloud online, which then pushes the updated information to both of my computers and my iPad.
So if I lose my iPhone, I have no need to worry about my contacts and calendars. They have been synced to iCloud and to any other device I have connected to it (computer, iPad, etc.).
iCloud also features something called “Find My iPhone,” which can track my iPhone if it gets stolen or if I misplace it.
That’s how I cover my ass in terms of backing up my system, my contacts and my calendars. Again, there are other options one can use to backup a system. The ones I’ve described just happen to work very well for me and my needs.
Thanks for reading.