Disney and Pixar

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Date: Thursday, January 26th, 2006, 08:17
Category: Opinion

Disney absorbs Pixar and Steve Jobs moves to the Disney board. This could not have happened with Eisner. The clash between Eisner and Jobs was a problem that went beyond just personality. Eisner did not appear to have a strategic vision and did not do well for Disney during his tenure. According to Jobs, Bob Iger has one. If he does, this could be a good marriage. Disney benefits by having one of its strongest assets in-house with a guaranteed future relationship. Animation is fundamentally important to Disney. God help Iger if he does not have vision and one that is compatible with Steve’s. Look at what the Next acquisition did for Apple. Great things, but Gil Amelio did not survive the deal. He had no vision and he got Steved.
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Monday Morning Quarterback

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Date: Tuesday, January 10th, 2006, 15:51
Category: Opinion

Well, OK Tuesday afternoon then. What happened? Apple was in fact early with their Intel Processor migration. Why? They had to start somewhere and Yonah was ready. This is a relatively expensive dual core processor, especially compared with the cost of the G4. I do not think the iBook and the mini were right for the timing of this particular processor. Sounds like it is screaming fast and power stingy to boot. Perfect for the pro laptop.
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mini Blockbuster

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Date: Friday, December 16th, 2005, 08:00
Category: Mac mini

mac-mini-200.jpgBlockbuster, Hollywood Video, Netflix, GreenCine, whatever the movie rental competition, I predict that Apple will eventually challenge these services. The Video iPod and iMac G5 were just testing the waters. The iPod screen is tiny and the iMac, even with the biggest screen is too small to be a home entertainment system. I wouldn’t have predicted it would start by selling TV episodes, but at some point Apple will need to rent feature length films at HD quality.
The Mac mini is the real deal. The size is right and video via Apple is poised to be the next big thing. The next mini is going to have to be a digital video recorder capable of decoding surround sound right out of the box. Think Secret is saying that video will reside on the user’s iDisk and never reside on the computer. I don’t think streaming feature length films or HD content can work that way any time soon, but I can envision a number of solutions that are far more robust than the DRM used to lock iTunes songs.
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Makin' Copies

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Date: Friday, December 9th, 2005, 07:20
Category: Software

Here are four Macintosh backup solutions ranging in price from US$5 to US$100.
Carbon Copy Cloner is a tried an true solution for creating a clone of your hard drive. No frills, it gets the job done and for just $5.
If you need a truly elegant way to make a bootable backup, try SuperDuper!. This program has an easy intuitive interface and super simple scheduling. It excels at copying your boot volume and it only costs US$27.95. Backing up folders requires some scripting and is not so simple.
SynchronizeX Pro does it all, bootable backups along with an infinite variety of data backups. At US$99.95, it is a serious comprehensive backup solution. If you don’t need bootable backups, then Chronosync does a tremendous job of backing up your data for just US$30.
My backup strategy has gotten quite robust, yet quick and easy. I have a 120GB as well as a 160GB dive in my trusty Quicksilver G4. The 160 is partitioned 120GB and 40GB. I typically boot up from the 120GB partion. Every week, my 120GB partition is backed up to the 120GB drive. Every day, just my user data is backed up to the same drive. I have a clean OS install on the 40GB partition, so I have three bootable volumes. I also back up my user data to a TiBook over my wireless network on a regular basis, so I am able to keep working without missing a beat, even if my primary drive fails.
Contributed by Bob Snow.

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REVIEW: Griffin SmartDeck Save Lives?

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Date: Monday, November 28th, 2005, 00:34
Category: Review

Griffin SmartDeckHow many people do distracting things like using their iPod while driving? C’mon, you know who you are! How many people still have a cassette player in their car? Enough. How many people don’t have a auxiliary input jack available on their head unit? Most, especially those with a cassette head unit. How many people have serious problems with interference and sound quality using an FM transmitter to get iTunes music to their car stereo? Tons, especially in major urban areas. How many people have US$30 to spend on in-car iPod connectivity?
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REMINDER: PPUG Meets Saturday

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Date: Friday, November 4th, 2005, 15:37
Category: User Group

PPUG.jpgPPUG (Philadelphia PowerBook Users Group) will have its last meeting of 2005 on Saturday, November 5, 2005. The meeting will take place from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant. We usually have lunch (or a brew) while we talk mobile computing. We will have Jason O’Grady, editor of the PowerPage on hand to talk about his latest ventures. Topics will include the upcoming Macworld Expo 2006, new iPods, podcasting, gadgets and a question-and-answer period. Join us for a great meeting, and it’s free — open to all and guests.
You can view PPUG calendar dates or subscribe to the PPUG calendar (via iCal).

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Apple Controversies

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Date: Friday, October 28th, 2005, 08:51
Category: Opinion

The Eminem Spot is a tempest in a teapot. Apple has been using black silhouettes for its iPod for a while now. The Eminem rap spot is consistent with what Apple has been doing in that campaign. In fact Eminem does not look much different from the hooded Eminem in his Mosh video, although the cartoon characters in Mosh look a bit like South Park and some of the Bush TV spots look Jib Jabish. In the Apple television commercial, the iPod character looks like the typical silhouette with white wires. The color palette in the new Apple ad is right out of the Lugz ad from 2002, and even though this does not constitute plagiarism, there will be no ad industry awards forthcoming for this effort.
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Apple and Video

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Date: Monday, October 17th, 2005, 09:56
Category: Opinion

The iTunes store, iPod and G5 iMac now provide an integrated video experience. This is an extremely low risk way for Apple to enter the video-for-sale business.
QuickTime sits at the center and all of the products are a plus for Apple. Selling videos at the store, watching videos on an iPod, controlling your iMac G5 with a remote control. The reason these things work is that they cost next to nothing for Apple and their customers and are generally revenue neutral. But, are these video deals, press announcements and DRM solutions just a bit of fluff or a stalking-horse for Apple to move seriously into video distribution?
I think it is the latter, but the pieces must fall into place before the next big thing happens. Apple ought to hit the high-end too. It is just a matter of time before all theatrical releases are distributed and projected digitally? Can you say Akamai? It is just a matter of time before all rental video is distributed digitally?
Video can be distributed throughout your house via WiFi without cables running through the walls and Intel is the partner to have. It is just a matter of time before phones supplant the iPod. Hello Moto! (ROKR not withstanding).
By the way, I think FireWire lost the war to USB 2.0. It may not be fair, it may not be elegant, it may not be the outcome we all wanted. Look at the newest iPods. If Apple is not providing FireWire and Apple is moving to Intel processors for their computers, then the handwriting is on the wall.

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The Case for no Case

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Date: Friday, October 7th, 2005, 07:21
Category: Accessory

Gadgets are getting so small, that a case is a hindrance. I love my iPod shuffle. I would never get a case for it. It has a nice durable finish, it seems bullet proof and a case would just hinder its function. I like the idea of a skin. I use one on my Razr and my G3 iPod. If I had a nano, I would just skin it.
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iPod nano – Best iPod Yet!

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Date: Wednesday, September 7th, 2005, 17:44
Category: iPod

The iPod nano is now the best iPod, with just a few shortcomings. It is limited to 4GB of storage, does not connect via video to your TV to display photos and it has a smaller screen than the iPod. The advantage over the iPod and the discontinued mini is significant. There is no hard drive mechanism making it amazingly small and robust. It is difficult to overstate how important size is. The storage capacity will be irrelevant to users who don?t have enough songs to fill it.
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