Retro MacOS in memory of Steve Jobs


my Power Mac 6100

Image by blakespot via Flickr

Along with many other blogs this one has a new look – the Retro MacOS look, in tribute to Steve Jobs. Its fitting that someone who did so much to change the face (literally, in a sense) of personal computing and the web (lets not forget the influence of the Safari browser) should be honoured by having a theme created in memory of his life and work.

Retro MacOS was originally created by Stuart Brown, and converted by the team at WP so folk like me could use on their blogs. Its available in the WP Theme Directory from within your dashboard. Personally, I think it looks rather cool and is a fitting tribute to the man. What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments.

As to how long it will remain up, I’m not sure; at least for a while anyway.

Steve Jobs – we cannot thank you enough!


Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

For those of us with long memories, Steve Jobs is the one person more than any other who is responsible for the Mac and also for Apple’s rescue from corporate oblivion. As such, he is, in many ways, Apple.

Back in December 1979, Steve Jobs saw the future and that future was a world of computers with a GUI (Graphical User Interface). This particular vision arose following a visit to Xerox Parc to see the Xerox Alto, which first introduced the ‘desktop’ concept and GUI in computers. He went on to bring us the very first Mac in 1984, complete with a GUI and using a mouse. The original Mac was more successful than the Lisa, which came out in 1983, but was still expensive and had limited software. However, this was still the early days of personal computing remember so this was not surprising.

The Mac really took off however when Adobe Postscript and the laser printer came together n the form of the Apple Laserwriter in 1985. Together with Pagemaker (originally an Aldus Corporation product, later Adobe). This allowed the desktop printing revolution to take off in big way, and ensured the success of the Mac.

However, Steve Jobs has never been an easy guy to work with and in particular corporate management always failed to truly understand his genius. So it was that following a corporate power struggle within Apple’s board, Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985 and immediately set up his own company, NeXT Inc. At NeXT, Steve Jobs developed the object-oriented Nextstep operating system  and a programming environment standard called OpenStep. He also developed WebObjects, one of the first enterprise web application frameworks.

Although NeXT was targeting the higher education and business sectors and sold only 50,000 units or so, it was nevertheless influential. Whilst Apple was heading for the corporate graveyard under the management of corporate executives who lacked the visionary genius of Steve Jobs, NeXT was relatively successful. So much so, that when Apple needed to reboot and find a saviour, it turned to Steve Jobs. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to helm (as a consultant but in reality he was the real power behind the throne, so to speak). The new Mac OS became a revamped version of OpenStep and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, having faced the very real prospect of being bought up by the likes of Sony for a few million dollars back in the 1990’s, Apple is now one of the richest and most successful companies in the world. It has some of the most successful products ever known (iMac, iPod, iPhone and now the iPad) and its market share has grown considerably compared to where it was in its years of decline. All of this is arguably down to one man, Steven Jobs. Only he had the vision, the determination and the genius to achieve this. Yes, others played their parts but not to the extent he has. Now that he is withdrawing from the heart of the company its not clear what the future holds for Apple but I am sure his legacy will live on and others are already taking up the torch. Apple will continue to thrive and Steve Jobs has taken the right steps to make sure that happens.

Thank you Steve and I wish you well. I hope and pray you will recover your health and enjoy many happy and healthy years with your family. You deserve it.

New build of Lion Developer released by Apple


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Image by Gory ^ via Flickr

Apple’s latest build release of Mac OS X Lion doesn’t increment the 10.7.2 version number but does bump the build number from 11C26 to 11C37. In Apple’s build system, the first number relates to the reference release of Mac OS X (11 means Lion) and the letter refers to the minor release (C = x.2), with the final number referring to the build within that release.

For those who eagled eye amongst you, you may be asking why the jump from 26 to 37 in its developer releases? well. Apple creates some builds that it never releases publicly, (in this case builds 27 to 36).

This latest build includes developments of iCloud, as Apple moves closer to the full release of iCloud and also iOS 5.

iPad a hit with silver surfers!

iPad 2 FaceTime

iPad 2 FaceTimeOver the years I have helped several individuals that fall into the so-called ‘silver surfers’ generation get to grips with computers. Most simply want to keep in touch with distant relatives or pursue a hobby online. Generally speaking, most have found it difficult to get to grips with the keyboard and mouse. Usually this is due to physical reasons such as arthritis or just simply finding it difficult to grasp the principles behind using a mouse and keyboard together to navigate around their chosen operating system.

Although I am something a Mac aficionado, my own sense is that both Macs and PCs are equally difficult to get along with because of their reliance on the keyboard and mouse combination.

So, it was interesting the other day to have a conversation with someone about their mother, who falls into the ‘silver surfer’ demographic. For ages she had been trying to get to grips with a computer but had failed to conquer the keyboard and mouse hurdle. Well, one day, her family decided to treat her to an iPad, as a gift and as a direct replacement for her computer. Imagine their surprise and delight to find that after a few days she is in happily spending lots of time on the iPad, doing all the things she tried to do on her computer but had found so difficult. It has literally transformed her life. As she lives alone, the iPad has become her means of keeping in touch via email, being able to browse the internet at leisure and she is spending more and more time on it.

So, maybe Apple should come up with some discount scheme for folk over 60 years of age? I am sure there is an opportunity here for Apple to grab even more market share whilst at the same time transforming the lives of our senior citizens. Anyone listening….

LaunchBar 5 by Objective Development


LaunchBar 5 by Objective DevelopmentLaunchBar 5 by Objective Development is one of the programs available as part of the MacLegion Spring Bundle.

Overview

LaunchBar is a smart and powerful, keyboard driven productivity utility that lets you access and control every aspect of your digital life. Whatever you want to get done on your Mac – with LaunchBar it’s only a few keystrokes away.

Features

Abbreviation Search
LaunchBar’s powerful, blazing fast adaptive abbreviation search technology allows you to find items just by typing short acronyms of their name.Keyboard Shortcuts
Invoke LaunchBar quickly with a system wide hotkey, or just by tapping a modifier key.

Clipboard History
Preserve the data of your most recent Copy operations, and use the copied objects again later.

ClipMerge
Combine subsequent Copy operations into one single clipboard object just by pressing ⌘C twice.

Web Searches
Searching the web has never been easier. Choose the desired web service, enter your query and get the result instantly shown in your web browser.

Calculator
From simple numeric calculations up to complex scientific expressions – just open LaunchBar, type your calculation and press Return to get the result.

Quick Look
Get a quick preview of your current selection just by tapping the space bar.

Instant Open
Open items even more quickly. Just hold down the last entered abbreviation character and the selected item opens immediately.

Browsing
Navigate folders, contacts, bookmarks, recent items, libraries or any other kind of hierarchy with the arrow keys to reveal related information.File Operations
Manipulate your files efficiently with the keyboard. Move, rename, compress, assign color labels, create folders and much more.

Services
Call up Mac OS X Services by name to quickly manipulate text or file selections.

Address Book
Enjoy the convenient access to your address book data to quickly create new email messages, retrieve phone numbers, postal addresses and other contact details.

Bookmarks
Get instant access to all of your web browser’s bookmarks, bookmark folders and history.

iTunes
Browse your iTunes Library, find your favorite tunes and enjoy your most beloved albums and artists.

iCal
Create events and to-dos in your iCal calendars within seconds.

Instant Send
The most efficient way to send files or text selections to LaunchBar, and then hand them over to applications, folders, email contacts, search templates, services and more.

You can read more about LaunchBar 5 on the Objective Development site. Normally, it retails for $39 for a family licence or $24 single user licence. The promo site says $35 so maybe the price has changed very recently.

Contactizer Pro available as part of MacLegion Promotion


Contactizer Pro

Contactizer Pro from Objective Decision LLC is included in the MacLegion Spring Promotion Bundle. Normally retailing for $119.90, you can get Contactizer Pro along with ten other apps for the bargain price of just $49.99. There are just over 14 days left and already sales have reached 1667. Bearing in mind that only the first 9000 purchasers get HDRtist Pro included in the bundle its probably a good idea not to delay any longer and head over to MacLegion’s site right now.

“Contactizer Pro 3.8 is an amazing all-in-one solution for managing, sharing and organizing your personal and business activities. Following the prodigious success of it first release, Contactizer Pro makes your business management experience more efficient, productive and enjoyable. Contactizer Pro combines a wealth of innovative features with an intuitive interface to create a clean and elegant package specifically built for Mac OS X.”

Objective Decision LLC

Certainly, the quality and value of the apps included in the bundle make it extremely good value for money and its nice to see apps that don’t normally make it into such bundles.

MacLegion Spring Bundle for $49.99 (worth $582.68)


MacLegion Spring Bundle

 MacLegion have a great bundle deal on 11 Mac apps for just $49.99. The whole package is worth almost $600! The list of apps is:

  • Data Rescue III – $99.00 (includes the boot dvd)
  • ScreenFlow – $99.00
  • Contactizer Pro – $119.00
  • Virus Barrier X6 – $49.95
  • Forklift     – $29.95
  • LaunchBar – $35.00
  • Amadeus Pro – $40.00
  • HDRtist Pro – $29.99 (FREE for the first 9,000 customers)
  • Printopia – $19.95
  • Radio Gaga – $39.99 (for a 3 seat license)
  • MacPilot – $19.95
You can check out the MacLegion Spring Bundle on their website, but hurry as it has only another 15 days to go and only the first 9,000 purchasers get HDRtist free!
It reminds me of the MacHeist bundles (when will see you again!) and other similar promotional bundles. Its certainly a very savvy way to get excellent Mac software at great prices.